Jan 19, 2019

Divided Sweden forms government 18 weeks after election

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. Photo: Florian Gaertner/Photothek via Getty Images

A new coalition of four parties in Sweden's parliament voted Friday to elect center-left Prime Minister Stefan Löfven to a second term, 18 weeks after an election in which Löfven's Social Democrats finished with their lowest vote share since World War I, Politico Europe reports.

The big picture: The Sept. 9 election left the Swedish government in a state of flux, with no party commanding an absolute majority and the far-right, anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats earning a record 17.7% of parliamentary seats. The establishment center-left and center-right coalitions ruled out working with SD — who have roots in neo-Nazism — forcing a rejiggering of political alliances that at points seemed impossible.

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Coronavirus cases rise, as more Americans on cruise confirmed ill

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

A U.S. public health official confirms more than 40 Americans on the Diamond Princess cruise ship off Japan have coronavirus, while the remaining U.S. citizens without symptoms are being evacuated.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,770 people and infected almost 70,000 others. Most cases and all but five of the deaths have occurred in mainland China. Taiwan confirmed its first death on Sunday, per multiple reports, in a 61-year-old man with underlying health conditions. Health officials were investigating how he became ill.

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Scoop: Inside the Trump campaign's big hedge on Facebook

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Trump campaign has invested most of its advertising budget to date on Facebook, testing thousands of versions of ads per day to maximize its spending.

But behind the scenes, a source familiar with the campaign tells Axios, the thinking has shifted: "As everyone can see, we still have strong spending on Facebook, but the percentage of our total media budget [on Facebook] is shrinking."

Trump's revenge tour has the House in its sights

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Saul Loeb/Getty Contributor

In the lead-up to the 2018 midterm elections — buoyed by Republican control of both chambers — President Trump viewed campaigning for the House as a lower-tier priority and instead poured his energy into rallying for the Senate.

But after the GOP reckoning in 2018, and experiencing firsthand how damaging a Democratic-led House has been to him, Trump is now personally invested in helping Republicans regain the majority in November, several people familiar with his thinking tell Axios.