Brightpoint in Borås. Swedish advertising rebounding. Öresund Bridge 10 years. On love and weak knees. Youth homes – an insult to the integrity of the residents. Anna-Lena Löfgren has died. Elin demands $750 M from Tiger.
Brightpoint in Borås
US wireless distributor opens first Swedish center on southwest side of country. A Swedish subsidiary of a US firm, Brightpoint Sweden is opening a new Distribution Center in the city of Borås, Sweden.
Expected to be operating in the fourth quarter of this year, the center will serve Brightpoint's Nordic customers in the wireless industry with hardware and logistic services. Their existing distribution centers in Norway, Denmark, and Finland will remain intact for the near future.
Brightpoint has some 2,700 employees with 25,000 B2B customers in over 25 countries and generated revenue of $3.2 billion last year.
Swedish advertising rebounding
First four months show ad volumes returning to normal, increasing for Internet. A steady increase in Swedish media investment continued through April and logged an overall 12% increase for the month. For the first four months, compared to last year, the hike hit 7%, and the cash totals up to the end of April reached SEK 1.1 billion, according to figures from members of the Swedish Media Agencies association. Strong 20% increases for the first four months were gained by Internet advertising, Internet search marketing and also evening tabloid newspapers.
Öresund Bridge 10 years
Expectations were high ten years ago, when King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and Queen Margrethe of Denmark officially opened the new bridge connecting Sweden and Denmark. The ambition then was to increase the integration and lessen the barriers between the two Nordic countries, but many people were critical to the building of the bridge, and in the beginning, things did indeed proceed very slowly (January 2001 saw only 4,700 cars passing the bridge during a 24-hour period). That has changed, however: The Danes discovered that it was quite inexpensive to live in Sweden while working in Denmark, and tens of thousands of Swedes got occupation in Denmark where the unemployment rate was very low and the demand for labor high. In their leisure time, Swedes replaced their single yearly visit to Copenhagen with several, and the Danes discovered that there are many exciting things for which to drive over to Sweden. A spectacular natural landscape, lots of cultural attractions and experiences, and recently the rate of exchange have all resulted in many Danes beginning to make their shopping trips on the other side of the Sound. All these points of contact have had the result that the population surrounding the Öresund has come to know each other’s good qualities, and it is no longer unusual to travel around the region – rather it has become an every-day occurrence. Car traffic has increased with 141% from 2001, and during 2009 72,000 people passed the bridge daily, 41,300 by car and 30,400 by train - that’s over 26 million people a year. And the numbers are expected to increase. Before the bridge, 2,000 peiople lived in one country and worked in the other, after the bridge that number is 20,400. 95% of these commuters live in Sweden. Ida Hastrup is a Danish woman who moved to Sweden 4 years ago with her husband and her now 7-year old daughter. Ida still works at Copenhagen Airport, but loves living in Sweden: “You can count on public authorities and people in general. There’s a sense of order here. But the main difference is the view on children. In Sweden they are seen as the future, while in Denmark they are just stuffed away.” Brotherhood in all its glory, the bridge has also increased crime in the area. It is the customs in Malmö, which has to take care of that part, and 92% of all their confiscations take place on the bridge. Nevertheless, 10 years is 10 years and a celebration is due. There will, for instance, be a Bridge Run on June 12, when the bridge will be closed for 1 hour and 30 minutes to allow 30,000 runners from across the world to run across. The official anniversary is on July 1. For more information about the 10 year celebration of the Öresund Bridge check out their anniversary website www.oresund10.com
On love and weak knees
Only little over 20 days remain until Victoria and Daniel’s wedding, and as usual there are many details to iron out before the big day. But that is of course as it should be. Svenska Dagbladet met with the couple for an in-depth interview.
“Love? That’s something that’s greater than yourself,” says Daniel.
“Now you stole what I was about to say,” Victoria cuts in. “But I can continue: Love means that you want to spend every minute with somebody, and experience everything with this person. Because of the wedding this will be a reality for Daniel and I. We will represent Sweden together, so we will also work together.”
“That’s right, we will wear each other out 24 hours a day…” Daniel smiles.
Victoria is used to media, she enters the room with a great smile. Daniel comes in after her, and he is a bit hesitant. He asks the photographer not to take too many photos during the interview. Being interviewed is still a bit strange for him, he says.
“What part of the wedding ceremony will feel most private?”
“When we say ‘I do’. I expect there will be a special feeling then,” Daniel says.
“I agree. My ‘I do’ will be to Daniel, only to Daniel, not to the TV or to the people in the church,” says Victoria.
“I would hope so!” Daniel answers.
The couple also talks about how to deal with nerves. “It’s good to remember to breathe,” says Victoria. “We can’t very well faint up there!” Daniel admits he will have butterflies in his stomach and weak knees. That they are very much in love is undeniable, they touch each other often, as loving couples always do, and they laugh. Tradition, says Victoria, is important. “The flowers in my bridal bouquet have been chosen with great care, with great symbolism.” Falling in love with a princess was not something Daniel planned to do and there must have seemed like many obstacles were in the way. “But when you’re in love you chose to see the possibilities, not the problems,” he says. He adds that he cannot remember the day he first called to tell his mother he was in love with the Crown Princess of Sweden but says: “I would be lying if I said that my parents don’t think it is special that I’m going to marry Sweden’s Crown Princess.” Victoria says she thinks she was more nervous than Daniel’s parents when they first met. “I was nervous about what they would think. I feel a bit sorry for them, being dragged into all this,” she says, gesturing to the Blue Drawing-room in the castle where the couple is being interviewed. She hopes the media interest for her and Daniel will peter out a bit after the wedding, and she believes the fact that Swedes are looking forward to a general election this fall will help. And ten years from now - where do the couple see themselves? “With a family,” says Daniel quickly. “Hopefully with several children, although you can never plan these things. I also hope that we have made a difference, work wise.” Towards the end of the interview he reiterates that he believes his mission is to be a support for the Crown Princess, and that that is a role that will take time for him to grow into. “I hope people understand that it’s not a full-fledged prince that’s standing there, the day after the wedding.”
Youth homes – an insult to the integrity of the residents
After reports suggesting increasing violence at the so-called youth homes, other problems are surfacing as well. Youth homes, the special and temporary accommodation for young people with social problems of different kinds, have much worse conditions than prisons according to a report on Swedish Radio. Especially for those who are put in isolation for different reasons. Says one girl who was previously at a youth home: “Sometimes, if one is lucky, one gets a plastic mattress in the isolation cell, sometimes not even that. I do not think that this is a way to help young people with problems, it almost gets worse. When I was locked in at one of these places there were very young girls there, some of them only twelve years old.” The isolation cells are only meant to be used if the teenager is so violent or affected by drugs that no other alternative is an option but sometimes refusal to finish all the given food or other minor disobedience is enough to end up in isolation, the report stated. To avoid that the inmates hurt themselves, the clothes are stripped off. If they refuse to take them of, the staff does it with force. According to the radio report, it has happened that male officers have torn the clothes of young girls who previously have been victims of rape. And according to another former resident at one of the youth homes, they even remove the underwear by force since for example a piece of glass could be hidden there. This kind of behavior would not have been accepted at prisons where the most dangerous adult criminals are being detained. “To strip an inmate naked, would be an exceptional measure,” says Elisabeth Anestad, one of the directors at the prison Hall. The general director of the National Board of Institutions, Ewa Persson Göransson claims incidents like this shall not happen and she urges teenagers who feel mistreated to report the shortages. Youth homes can be an alternative to prison for young people but they can also be put there for other reasons. The minimum time is fourteen days and the maximum is four years.
Anna-Lena Löfgren has died
She was famous for singing the popular “Lyckliga gatan”, which she recorded in late 1967, but in reality Anna-Lena Löfgren was a singer with a string of hits, making her one of the most beloved singers in Sweden. She contracted polio at a young age, but that didn’t stop her from touring and entertaining and performing on TV. During 1962 and 1995, 40 of her songs reached Svensktoppen (Swedish Radio’s record chart). Löfgren also visited the Swedish folkparkerna, nursing homes and hospitals as well as theaters. She performed with Siw Malmkvist, Ann-Louise Hanson and Ray Adams. “She is an important part of our cultural heritage,” say her partner Peter Kondracki. She also did a lot for children in need; much of her proceeds from concerts went to an orphanage in Poland. She was also popular in Germany, and recorded 22 singles in German. Anna-Lena Löfgren was 66 years old.
Elin demands $750 M from Tiger
Wronged wife Elin Nordegren demands $750 million from Tiger Woods in their divorce negotiations according to reports. Woods has not yet agreed, but if he does, what he wants in return is silence, total silence, from his soon to be ex-wife. She must keep mum about the collapse of their marriage – forever. So far, Nordegren has denied signing a lifetime “confidentiality clause”, which would prevent her from writing a book or doing any interviews about the split. Sources say the negotiations between the couple have turned testy and that the two don’t talk to each other. Elin Nordegren has spent a lot of time away from Woods in recent months, she first went to Arizona for nearly a week on her own recently, and then she took the couple’s two children to Sweden while Tiger Woods returned to golf. Woods has been seen hanging out in Florida with a blond woman, an Elin lookalike.