Swedish diplomat accused of spying for Russia. Board of directors still swarming with men. Giant eggs in Malmö. Easter Chicks.
Swedish diplomat accused of spying for Russia.
A Swedish diplomat leaked classified and sensitive political information about the EU to Russia, a Swedish newspaper reported Wednesday, quoting a defected Russian foreign intelligence officer. "He gave us large amounts of information and documents, especially about how former Soviet states were trying to approach the EU and NATO," Sergei Tretyakov told the newspaper Expressen. Tretyakov explained that the diplomat, who was not named, was recruited in the late 1990s in New York, where he had regular meetings with Russia's foreign intelligence service, the SVR in 1999 and 2000. Codenamed Silverster by the Russians, he supplied classified information from the European Union's internal information system, Coreu. "He was valuable. He gave us constant and relevant access to up-to-date information," Tretyakov told Expressen. "The documents we received from Silvester related among other things to the conflict in the former Yugoslavia around Kosovo, and that was of course of the greatest interest to Russia," he said. "He was a very important source ... He also told us about information that he received during discussions with other diplomats," he added. The diplomat himself, who is reportedly still working in Sweden's foreign ministry, acknowledged to Expressen that he had been in contact with Russian "representatives" during his New York posting, but insisted Tretyakov's description of events was "misleading". The paper also reported that Sweden's security police Säpo had been informed about the Swede's activities by the CIA, and that prosecutor Tomas Lindstrand had launched an investigation into the espionage charges in 2002. After just three months, however, the probe was discontinued, since the information the diplomat had access to was primarily political. "For it to be considered espionage, I need to prove that the leaked information harmed national security, and that is difficult to prove in this case which involves political information," Lindstrand told Expressen.
Board of directors still swarming with men.
In spite of new generations of women hungry for power and success, Swedish boards of directors remain bastions for men – and men only. Folksam, a Swedish insurance company, began charting the development of gender equality in Swedish businesses seven years ago, and the result can’t be described as other than disappointing: Women’s shares in nominations to committees have increased only by 2% from the year prior. And seen over a longer period, from 2003 to 2010, then Folksam’s figures look even more dismal: The increase of women on boards of directors are only 13%. In the statistics used by Folksam, the greatest increase of women can be seen in companies that deal with health, consumption goods and, to a lesser degree, IT. On the other hand, there’s little if no gender balance when it comes to building- and manufacturing companies. Last year, Skanska was one of 18 companies with zero women on their board of directors. Only now is Skanska breaking the ice, with Josephine Rydberg-Dumont and Charlotte Strömberg joining forces. Another woman who is stepping up to the plate among men is Cecilia Stegö Chilò who is now among the board of directors at Saab.
Giant eggs in Malmö.
Beware! Flying frogs and houses on clouds are some of the strange things the giant hen Ada 23 has laid in Malmö this Easter. And look, there’s a giant egg weighing close to 80 kilos (176 lbs) made of glass fiber, that can be seen next to the Optimistorkester on Södergatan. There are other eggs, nine of them to be specific, that grace Malmö City – all of them created not really by Ada but by Pärra Andréasson and seven other artists belonging to the group Centrum för urban konst (CFUK). The eggs are not fragile and will not break, so if you’re around go ahead, touch them. They were inspired by words like “integration”, “commerce”, “tourism” and “playfulness”. “Perhaps we’ve managed to create a curiosity for art among people who don’t normally visit museums,” said Karina Andersson at Malmö Citysamverkan.
It’s Easter and you might have a few days extra off. Don’t just sink down in a couch with your peeps and your chocolate eggs, instead make your own Easter candy. Svenska Dagbladet featured these cute meringue chicks and we are pretty sure they are going to be a hit.
Ingredients for 24 chicks: 3 egg whites, 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1.6 cups confectioner’s sugar, 25 drops yellow food coloring. For decoration you’ll need orange paper and 48 small silver-colored balls.
Pick a bowl, preferably metal, and a pot that are equal in size so that the bowl covers the entire opening of the pot. Clean out the bowl with vinegar essence so it is completely free of any fat residue. Fill the pot to a third with water and warm until it begins to simmer. Mix egg whites and lemon juice in the bowl and sift in the confectioner’s sugar. Beat carefully until mixed. Put the bow on top of the pot with the simmering water and beat with an electric mixer to a fluffy meringue. Remove the bowl from the pot, mix in the food coloring until it has a nice yellow tone, and continue beating until the mixture is cold. Preheat the oven to 250F. Put baking sheets on baking plates and fill a pastry bag with the meringue and squeeze out, make the meringues wider in the front and have them taper out towards the back. Squeeze out a little boll on top, which will be the head. Cut out little beaks for the chicks in the orange paper and decorate with silver balls for eyes. Bake in the oven for around 3 hours. Then let the meringue chicks dry in the oven, with the heat turned off.