Clear link between vaccine and narcolepsy
There’s a clear link between the vaccine Pandemrix (given against the swine flu) and the risk for getting narcolepsy (a chronic sleep disorder, characterized by an excessive urge to sleep at inappropriate times). This according to a new, increased study presented by Livsmedelsverket (the National Food Administration). “There’s a connection. This strengthens the results from last spring,” says Ingemar Persson, Senior Expert at Livsmedelsverket. It was in 2010 that Livsmedelsverket received an unexpected amount of reports of narcolepsy among children and young people. Many said their problems had begun in connection with getting the vaccination. Both Livsmedelsverket and Socialstyrelsen (the National Board of Health and Welfare) were criticized and accused of being passive about it. A similar link between the vaccine and narcolepsy was discovered in Finland, and when that happened Socialstyrelsen decided to not recommend Pandemrix for children and youth. As there were still some question marks to iron out, Läkemedelsverket (the Medical Products Agency) continued to look into the Swedish cases of narcolepsy, and it is this account that’s being presented today.

Lund – best in environment
The city of Lund tops the list of most environmentally friendly cities in Sweden (followed by Örebro, Malmö, Växjö, and Norrköping), according to Miljöaktuellt’s annual ranking. Skåne, the southern region of Sweden where Lund is located, generally does very well when it comes to sustainable cities. Helsingborg and Malmö have topped the list previous years. But this time, it is Lund. Already in 1992, an environmentally strategic committee was founded in Lund, separated from the regular environmental panel, with the purpose of highlighting environmental issues. The city of Lund has had alternately Social Democratic and Moderate majorities since the mid 1980’s, but there’s always been an agreement that environmental issues be prioritized. Says Karin Loodberg, Director at Lund’s Department of Environmental Strategy: “The politicians have been in agreement (…), and that has made it possible for us, who work with these issues, to focus and work on a long-term basis. We have a high consciousness when it comes to the environment; both among politicians and the general population.” It’s easy to take public transportation in Lund, ecological food is served in schools, and all coffee served in the municipal sector is ecological. Environmental perspectives are applied, whenever possible, when new constructions are planned, and the city tries to save energy in a number of ways.

Swede Dreams in the USA
Funny man Jon Stewart proclaims Sweden the new USA and USA the new Mexico on the Daily Show. In the segment, the Daily Show makes fun with the American image of Swedes, which they say have gone from being Socialists to aggressive Capitalists. And the base for it all is the most Swedish of all: Ikea. Jokes aside, there’s a real conflict here. The Ikea factory discussed in the segment, has been the object of extensive criticism for being racist, for being hostile towards the union and for serious work environmental problems. Watch the clip here: