Swedish journalists missing in Ethiopia. Decreasing childlessness in Sweden.
Swedish journalists missing in Ethiopia
Swedish journalists Johan Persson and Martin Schibbye are missing in Ethiopia. According to a spokesperson for the Ethiopian government, they were arrested by the military at the same time as 15 rebels were killed. The spokesperson says the Swedes were hurt during the arrest. “They knew they were in a very dangerous region,” says the missing journalists’ contact person, fellow journalist Anna Roxvall. The two men, freelancer Martin Schibbye and photographer Johan Persson, went to Ethiopia to examine reports about allegations of human rights violations in the Ogaden region, including torture and rape. They are now in custody, but have received medical attention. Says Cecilia Julin, information officer at Utrikesdepartementet (the Ministry for Foreign Affairs): “We have informed the Swedish Embassy in Addis Abeba, which will try to get more information. I don’t think the embassy knew the two journalists were there. We have told people not to travel to the region.”
In spite of what most believe, childlessness in Sweden, according to Sweden Statistics, is decreasing. Since the beginning of the 1970’s, the average age of a mother having her first baby has gone up greatly; from 24 to 29 years on average. And in some bigger cities, the age is even higher than that. “At our practice, many first time parents are around 40,” says Claes Gottlieb, fertility doctor at Sophiahemmet in Stockholm. And with a rise in age, come a rise in fertility problems, as becoming pregnant gets more difficult with age. The trend with more childless couples looked like it was going to continue, and as late as 2009 Sweden Statistics counted on the number of childless women going from 14 to 15%. But something has happened to reverse the trend. “Everything points to childlessness decreasing instead,” says Lotta Persson, demographer at Sweden Statistics. “We will therefore change our prognosis due next spring.” Why the decrease then? The explanation seems to be the available fertility aids; everything from ovulation prediction kits to hormone treatments and in vitro fertilization. Says Persson: “Among the 34-40 year women who have not yet had babies, but who live with a partner, 1 in 4 have used some kind of aid in becoming pregnant.”