STOCKHOLM Claudio Marchisio Jersey , Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- Sweden on Monday launched its largest military exercise in over two decades, in cooperation with several other countries, prompting criticism that it is a NATO-style exercise and could lead to tension with Russia.

The three-week-long exercise, dubbed Aurora 17, involves a simulated attack from a feigned foreign power. It is carried out in the Stockholm region in eastern Sweden Carlo Pinsoglio Jersey , in Gothenburg on the west coast and on the Baltic island of Gotland, according to the Swedish Armed Forces' website.

Sweden is not a NATO member, but the military alliance's secretary-general, Jens Stoltenberg told Swedish Television on Sunday that Sweden and NATO's security are closely connected.

"So it is good if we practice together," Stoltenberg said.

While in Aurora 17 Andrea Barzagli Jersey , the fictitious attacking power bears similarities to Russia, and the latter carries out its own military exercise on the other side of the Baltic Sea, which, several Swedish peace organizations and the Left Party perceived could lead to increased tension in the region of strategic importance.

However, Stoltenberg said the aim of the exercise is not to provoke a conflict or a "new Cold War."

Sweden's Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist said Aurora 17 is the country's exercise and not a NATO-initiative. "We have the right to collaborate with other countries without that collaboration being thwarted into something other than what it is Alex Sandro Jersey ," he told local newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

Seven out of eight Swedish parliamentary parties believe that Aurora 17 will strengthen the country's capacity to deal with a potential attack and will deepen its military cooperation with other countries, while the Left Party and peace organizations have warned of a spiraling arms race.

According to Swedish media, more than 19,000 Swedish men and women, and over 40 Swedish civil authorities Cheap Juventus Jerseys , are participating in Aurora 17, along with 1,500 military personnel from seven other countries, namely, Denmark Wojciech Szczesny Jersey , Norway, Finland, France, Lithuania, Estonia and the United States.

Aurora 17 is estimated to cost nearly 580 million SEK (73 million U.S. dollars) Tomas Rincon Jersey , around 220 million SEK (28 million dollars) more than usually spent on military exercises in Sweden, Swedish Television reported.

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LOS ANGELES, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- The public is being urged Saturday by an environmental advocacy organization to avoid the waters of the Los Angeles River in west U.S. this weekend due to alarmingly high levels of bacterial pollution.

The staff scientists of the nonprofit organization, Heal the Bay Stephan Lichtsteiner Jersey , collected weekly water quality samples at four sites in the Sepulveda Basin and Elysian Valley and said the bacteria levels are the highest they have ever seen since they began monitoring L.A. River sites in 2015, City News Service reported.

"The results have a special urgency this weekend, as the fourth annual L.A. Boat Race is scheduled to take place at the Glendale Narrows. Dozens of kayakers are expected for the boat pageant and parade," said Heal the Bay in an advisory to the public on its official website.

Every year thousands of people recreate in the L.A. River. Some areas of the L.A. River have become popular for kayaking, fishing and other recreational activities.

Samples taken on Sept. 6 in the Sepulveda Basin by the City of L.A. Sanitation Department showed very high levels of bacteria Stefano Sturaro Jersey , well over accepted regulatory and health limits. The poor results are possibly related to runoff from recent thunderstorms and rains.

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Fourth, we should actively pursue shared development. We should improve the philosophy and modality of development, work hard to address uneven development and make economic globalization more inclusive and universal. Countries should strive to balance the relations between capital and labor, growth and distribution, and efficiency and equality, so as to ensure equal access to development opportunities, share the fruits of development and uphold social equity and justice. We should step up North-South dialogue and South-South cooperation, help underdeveloped countries integrate into the global industrial chain, encourage developing countries to increase capacity for self-development and intensify efforts of poverty reduction and implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We should aim at realizing balanced development at a global level so that the light of economic globalization will shine upon every corner of the world.

Fifth, we should strive to promote equitable development. We should adapt to the new changes in world economic landscape and push for the reform of the global economic governance system to provide strong guarantee for global growth. In international economic cooperation, we should ensure equality for countries in decision making, rights and obligations. We should stick to multilateralism, uphold the authority and effectiveness of multilateral syste.