“We are the world” with the help of a Swede. Girls with a nose for business. Finland to cede land. Ericsson reports 92 percent drop in profit. Malmö men on the ideal man. Rodent revenge.
“We are the world” with the help of a Swede
A new version of “We are the world”, the 1985 hit song and charity single recorded by the super group USA for Africa, is being planned. The 2010 version will not be for Africa, but for Haitian earthquake relief. The song, which was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, featured singers like Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Bette Midler and Diana Ross. The stars for the upcoming version will include Bono, Wyclef Jean, Carlos Santana and Lady Gaga and in the center of it all there is a Swede: the music producer Nadir Khayat, a.k.a. RedOne. “It’s a great honor,” RedOne says about being picked for the job. “Of course I said yes when Quincy Jones and Lionel Richie asked me. It’s not just about me, it’s about Haiti.”
Girls with a nose for business.
Enterprising spirit and a good dose of initiative is something that will take up more space in Sweden’s future, that’s something both researchers and politicians agree on. And wouldn’t it be great if we could teach – and learn – these qualities already when we’re in school? “We’ve learnt a lot in just 6 months,” says Ellinor Gunn, managing director of Magnetize. Ellinor and six friends of hers founded their own business while still studying. Last September they got a brilliant idea. “We were asked to find a solution for a common problem, and that’s when we thought about all these hairpins that are just about everywhere in a home, on the sink in the bathroom, in the sofa, on tables…” The solution was to create a little magnetic hairpin plate with suction in the back, so that it can be attached on the tiles in the bathroom. The girls found a producer of magnets online and went visiting a few, before finding a suitable partner. “The hairpin plate comes in four shapes: Circle, square, rectangle and puzzle-shaped and it sells 20 times more than we initially had hoped,” says Ellinor.
Finland to cede land.
Sweden is set to undergo a territorial expansion following a government decision on Jan. 27 which would alter the Finnish border to Sweden’s advantage. The move would expand Sweden’s territory by a few acres, based on an agreement with Helsinki.
“Every 25 years we review the border between Sweden and Finland,” said Karin Kristiansson, a desk officer with the Swedish foreign ministry.
In the north, the border is partially defined by a groove along the bottom of the Torne River which separates Finland from Sweden. A joint Finnish-Swedish border commission has now registered that the groove has moved somewhat in the last quarter century. As a result, approximately 86 acres of previously Swedish territory has been handed over to Finland – but Sweden is set to receive a bit more in exchange, said Kristiansson. Finland would not receive any financial compensation for the adjustments.
Ericsson reports 92 percent drop in profit.
Wireless equipment maker LM Ericsson AB on Jan. 25 said it would cut another 1,500 jobs this year after reporting a 92 percent drop in fourth-quarter profit as mobile operators slashed spending. Ericsson said net profit in the October-December period was 314 million kronor ($43.4 million), down from 3.9 billion kronor in the same three months 2008, while full year profits dropped 67 percent to 3.7 billion kronor ($512 million).
Network sales were hit by reduced operator spending in several markets, but Ericsson managed to maintain market share, the company's new CEO, Hans Vestberg, said in a statement.
Vestberg said the downturn in investments coincided with an anticipated decline in sales related to the GSM cellular standard, as telecommunication operators shifted their focus from voice telephony to mobile broadband. Vestberg replaced Carl-Henric Svanberg as Ericsson's president and CEO on Jan. 1 as Svanberg took over as chairman of oil major BP Group PLC.
Malmö men on the ideal man.
“The ideal man is the man women look up to, it’s that simple,” says Johnny To. “He must be authoritarian but still a gentleman. He must be like an alpha male, make tough decisions but at the same time be humble. It’s a difficult balance, really.” Johnny and his friends Marcus Larsson and Josef Aktan are busy working out at a gym in their hometown Malmö. But the newspaper Sydsvenskan wanted to know how these young men view masculinity, and what an ideal man is like. “Women,” adds Josef, “influence us a lot, 100% actually. They are part of the reason we’re here.” And Marcus says: “That we go tanning isn’t something we’re proud of. We do it to look better. It’s about being interesting to women.” When Josef says he really works out for himself, Marcus interrupts him: “I don’t believe you. You do it for the sake of women. If you worked out to be healthy, you wouldn’t lift weights the way we do, you’d be out running instead.” When asked about men who don’t look the way they do, Marcus says: “Perhaps a man doesn’t look very masculine at a first glance, but if he behaves like one, I’ll respect him.” Sydsvenskan also met with Jakob Tripolitis, who is also from Malmö. “I grew up in Greece,” says Jakob, “where a man is supposed to be very macho, not care much about either what his home or he himself look like. That’s not at all the kind of man I am today. I take care of myself, I clean, I cook and I care about what I look like.” When Jakob came out as a homosexual, he also decided he wanted to experiment with make-up. Most of Jakob’s friends are women and together with them he talks about men, and the ideal man. “I don’t like big bulky men, I like flexible men,” Jakob says.
The man and the woman who lived north of Stockholm had had a relationship. Suddenly something went wrong and the man is now a suspect of illegally threatening the woman – with rodents. Early one Sunday morning mice began trickling in through the mail drop in the woman’s door. “We’re up to 19 mice by now,” says Kenneth Lindfors from Norrortspolisen. “And the woman is extremely afraid of mice.” Apart from illegal threat, the man is also now a suspect under the law for the prevention of cruelty of animals. “The person who owns the mice wants them back, and they are lucky to still be alive,” Lindfors concludes.
Rodent revenge. Mice began trickling in through the woman's mail-drop - as many as 19 of them.
The Swedish music producer Nadir Khayat, also known as RedOne, will produce the new version of "We are the world" - the 1985 hit by USA for Africa. The 2010 version will be sung by, among others, Bono, Carlos Santana and Lady Gaga. Says RedOne: “Of course I said yes when Quincy Jones and Lionel Richie asked me. It’s not just about me, it’s about Haiti.”
The look of entrepreneurship can look like this: The six girls behind the hairpin plate Magnetize, got their idea while they were still in school. Says Ellinor Gunn, one of them: "(The plate) sells 20 times more than we initially had hoped.” Way to go.