Kim Wall: An ‘exceptional’ journalist remembered

Kim Wall's Facebook profile pictureImage copyright Facebook Image caption Kim Wall "never made a spectacle of the characters she reported on"

It is a "black irony" that Kim Wall - the journalist whose remains have been found off Denmark - should have met her end while working in such a familiar and seemingly safe area, say friends and family.

The 30-year-old freelance journalist had travelled the world in pursuit of her stories - from Uganda to Cuba to the Marshall Islands to Kenya to New York City.

At one point she even "slipped into" North Korea.

"Kim has worked as a journalist in many dangerous places, and we have often been worried about her," her family wrote in a letter to Danish TV[1] while their daughter was still missing.

"That something could happen to her in Copenhagen, just a few kilometres from the childhood home, we could not imagine at all."

Ms Wall's "pint-sized" physical presence and personal humility were misleading - the redhead was a formidable person and a driven journalist, say those who knew her.

She was born in 1987 and grew up in a close-knit community in the small town of Trelleborg in southern Sweden, just across the strait dividing Denmark from Sweden.

She studied international relations at London School of Economics and went on to gain a place on the rigorous masters programme of Columbia University's School of Journalism - described as the "Oxbridge of journalism".

Even within her cohort she was top of the class, winning honours in her year, her classmate and friend Anna Codrea-Rado told the BBC.

'Rock-solid reporting'

"What made her journalistic abilities so exceptional was that she looked for quirky stories but with a bigger narrative," she said.

"She reported them deeply - she never made a spectacle of the characters.Her reporting was rock-solid."

Her interest in people and stories made her a great party guest.

Image copyright Christopher Harress Image caption "She was one of the few people that could lift a room just by being in it," Ms Wall's friend Christopher Harress (left) told the BBC

"She was very bubbly and warm, the kind of person who had fantastic stories about the things she was working on - you could jump straight past the small talk.

"She was intellectual, so well-travelled and had such varied interests.She was interested in quirky and eccentric stories.If you were at a party you'd end up passing hours just chatting to her."

This admiration has been echoed by numerous friends.

Ms Wall wrote "about subcultures, about a globalised world in rapid change", says Victoria Greve in Sweden's Expressen newspaper[4]."About life in a huge shopping centre in Kampala's Chinatown, about Cuba's underground internet providers who download and disseminate new episodes of Keeping Up with the Kardashians to people from all walks of life in Havana.We made a report together about the wealthy women in New York who voted for Donald Trump."

A taste of Kim Wall's work

But Ms Greve and others also highlight the effort and pluck needed to succeed at this genre of journalism in today's media.

"As news organizations grapple with shrinking budgets, they increasingly rely on freelancers, who cost less and are often willing to take on the attendant risks reporting in places they wouldn't send their staff to," writes Sruthi Gottipati in the Guardian[5].

"Even against this backdrop, the competition is fierce to place stories and female freelancers work hard to ensure their gender isn't calculated as a liability.So they clam up about the dangers they face and sometimes report before being commissioned to do so."

Image copyright Ritzau Foto Image caption Mr Madsen and Ms Wall were photographed just before departing on 10 August

This pressure to secure good material before there is even a formal commission could explain why no news organisation has confirmed it gave Ms Wall the assignment she died carrying out.

Friends and family have urged the world not to let the nature of her death overshadow her life.

"Please don't remember her as the murdered Swedish journalist who died in a grisly horror straight out of a crime drama," Ms Codrea-Rado said on Twitter[6].

"Remember her work."...


  1. ^ a letter to Danish TV (
  2. ^ Who is DIY submariner Peter Madsen? (
  3. ^ What we know (
  4. ^ in Sweden's Expressen newspaper (
  5. ^ in the Guardian (
  6. ^ said on Twitter (

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The KLF: Pop's saboteurs return after 23 years


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Media captionThe KLF return 23 years after bowing out of the music industry On 23 August 1994, The KLF - one of Britain's most incendiary bands, in more ways than one - burned £1m on a remote Scottish island. They vowed to put their careers on hold for 23 years. That time is now up. So at 23 seconds past midnight on Wednesday they made their comeback at a book launch in Liverpool. The duo are also hosting a three-day event including performance and debates starting with the topic "Why Did the K Foundation Burn a Million Quid?" Image caption Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty made their comeback at a bookshop in Liverpool They have promised that their new book 2023, described as "a utopian costume drama set in the near future written in the recent past", will be then performed in full in the city on Thursday. The event will finish on Friday with a "Graduation Ball" headlined by a hitherto unknown artist named Badger Kull, who is billed as having just one three-minute song, titled Toxteth Day of the Dead. The KLF - who also went by names including The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, The K Foundation and The Timelords - had hits like 3AM Eternal, Last Train to Trancentral and What Time Is Love?in the late 1980s and early '90s. As well as their electrifying pop-trance hits, Jimmy Cauty and Bill Drummond became known for their outrageous, self-sabotaging stunts. Here are four of them: Image caption They went to number one in 1988 as The Timelords 1.Abba vs The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu The duo were ordered to destroy all copies of their 1987 debut album after a complaint from Abba, who objected to the unauthorised sampling of Dancing Queen. Cauty and Drummond travelled to Sweden to try to track Abba down in person.But they failed, so they presented the gold disc they had brought with them to a Swedish prostitute instead. As you do. They burned some of the LPs in a field before throwing the rest overboard from the ferry on the way home. The album was eventually released with large stretches of silence where the samples had been. 2.The chart manual After getting to number one as The Timelords with Doctor Who theme rip-off Doctorin' the Tardis (fronted by Gary Glitter), they published a book called The Manual (How To Have A Number One The Easy Way) with instructions about how to top the charts. Austrian Eurotrash band Edelweiss followed their advice and sold five million records. Image copyright RICHARD YOUNG/REX/Shutterstock 3.The great Brit Awards massacre When The KLF won best British group at the 1992 Brit Awards, they made their disdain for the music industry clear by performing 3AM Eternal with death metal group Extreme Noise Terror. The appearance ended with Drummond firing blanks from a machine gun into the stunned audience before an announcer said:"The KLF have left the music business." Not satisfied with that, they dumped a dead sheep on the steps of the after-show party with a note reading "I died for you", and deleted their back catalogue. 4.The £1m bonfire After their resignation from the music industry, they rejected everything that had gone before in the most extreme way in 1994 - taking the £1m they had left in royalties to the island of Jura and burning bundles of £50 notes. That led to howls of protests from those who said it should have gone to a worthy cause. Despite saying they wouldn't talk about it, they actually have."There's plenty of people who want to give money to charity," Cauty told Irish TV[1]."We want to do something that we found more interesting with the money." Follow us on Facebook, on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts, or on Instagram at bbcnewsents.If you have a story suggestion email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..[2][3][4][5]


  1. ^ told Irish TV (
  2. ^ Facebook (
  3. ^ @BBCNewsEnts (
  4. ^ bbcnewsents (
  5. ^ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (

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EU citizen detention letters sent in error

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The Home Office sent about 100 letters "in error" to EU citizens living in the UK, saying they were liable for "detention".

The mistake emerged after a Finnish academic, who has the right to live in the UK, received one of the letters.

Dr Eva Johanna Holmberg, who is married to a British citizen, was told she had a month to leave.

A Home Office spokesperson said "the rights of EU nationals living in the UK remain unchanged"....

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Brexit: Theresa May says UK leaving EU court's jurisdiction


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Media captionWhy the fuss about the European Court of Justice?

Theresa May has insisted the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in the UK will come to an end with Brexit.

As the government published new details of its position[1], the PM said the UK would "take back control of our laws".

But critics say it will be impossible to avoid European judges having a role in enforcing new agreements drawn up with the EU.

Ministers say the two sides will keep "half an eye" on each other's rulings.

The ECJ is in charge of ensuring member states abide by EU law.

Its rulings are binding on all member states, and it also settles disputes between countries and EU institutions.

In its new policy paper, the government:

  • Does not rule out ECJ keeping its jurisdiction during the Brexit transition period that is planned after March 2019
  • Promises to work with the EU on the "arrangements for judicial supervision" during this period
  • Makes clear that the rights of EU citizens living in the UK after Brexit will only be subject to British law - a sticking point in the negotiations with the EU
  • Says giving the ECJ authority over UK-EU disputes would be unprecedented and not "fair and neutral"

EU court's role

The promise to end "direct jurisdiction" in recent policy papers - a phrase not used by Mrs May - has raised questions about what "indirect" jurisdiction the EU court could be left with.

In the latest publication, about how to enforce disputes after Brexit, the government has outlined several models used by other countries that it says show there is no need for the ECJ to be the final arbiter.

But some of these involve the ECJ having an influence on the outcome of disputes, for example by interpreting EU law in a way that binds a disputes panel, or for its past rulings to be taken into account.

The government said it was not committing to following any of the arrangements set out, ruling out an "off the shelf" model.

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Theresa May has repeatedly promised to end the EU court's jurisdiction in the UK

And sources played down the significance of the word "direct", saying it meant ECJ rulings would no longer automatically apply to the UK and that the court would no longer be able to strike down domestic UK laws.

Asked about her government's position, Mrs May said:"What we will be able to do is to make our own laws - Parliament will make our laws - it is British judges that will interpret those laws, and it will be the British Supreme Court that will be the ultimate arbiter of those laws."

Earlier Justice Minister Dominic Raab said there would be "divergence" between UK and EU case law after Brexit, adding:"It is precisely because there will be that divergence as we take back control that it makes sense for the UK to keep half an eye on the case law of the EU, and for the EU to keep half an eye on the case law of the UK."

The ECJ's remit extends into many of the areas where the UK is hoping to draw up new arrangements with the EU, including trade and citizens' rights.

Mr Raab said "some form of arbitration" would be needed, but that this would not be akin to a European court.

Arbitration is where disputes are settled by a neutral third party.The UK and the EU could each appoint arbitrators and agree on a third, Mr Raab suggested.

He said this was different to the UK accepting the jurisdiction of ECJ which would be "lopsided and partisan and that's not on the cards".

Image copyright AFP

European Court of Justice

  • Decides whether the institutions of the EU are acting legally, and settles disputes between them
  • Ensures that the member states of the EU are complying with their legal obligations as set out in the EU treaties;and allows member states to challenge EU legislation
  • Interprets EU law at the request of national courts

Pro-EU campaigners say the government made an "appalling error" by making leaving the ECJ a "red line" in Brexit negotiations, saying new courts will now be needed in all the areas it extends to, including trade, citizens' rights and security.

The pro-EU Open Britain group claimed a "climbdown" in the government's approach.

Sir Keir Starmer, Labour's shadow Brexit secretary, said:"The prime minister's ideological insistence that there can be no future role whatsoever for the ECJ or any similar court-like body risks preventing the deal Britain needs."

Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable said Mrs May's "red lines are becoming more blurred by the day", saying the ECJ had "served Britain's interests well" and should not be "trashed"....

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