Sweden extends bank bailout.
The government announced July 9 it would extend its injection of capital into the banking system as massive losses loom in the Baltics for Scandinavian financial houses. The Swedish Ministry of Finance said it would extend its 50 billion Swedish kronor program ($6.35 billion) by six months to facilitate lending. The offer now stands until Feb. 17. The news came a day after Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis said the country's banks may need to write off 10% of loans to financially distressed households as part of a debt-restructuring program. Two of Sweden's top four banks, Swedbank AG and SEB AB, do a lot of business in struggling Latvia. Banking officials in Sweden played down any negative impact the write-down scheme would have on results, saying there are strict requirements for borrowers to qualify for the program in a bid keep writedowns at a low volume.

Sweden to extradite war crimes suspect.
The Ministry of Justice said July 8 it would extradite a Rwandan national accused of taking part in the 1994 genocide to Rwanda to face. Sweden plans to extradite Sylvere Ahorugeze, a former director of Rwanda's civil aviation authority, within three weeks of Rwandan prosecutors formally receiving the Swedish decision, the government said in its decision. "The government has today decided to extradite to Rwanda a Rwandan citizen suspected of genocide in 1994," Justice Minister Beatrice Ask said. "Sweden is the first country in Europe to extradite a suspected genocide criminal to Rwanda. This has not been an easy decision." Sweden's Supreme Court ruled May 27 that Ahorugeze could return home to stand trial, saying there was nothing in Swedish or European law that prevents someone suspected of genocide from being extradited. Ahorugeze, who has been a refugee in Denmark since 2001, was arrested in July 2008 after he was recognized at the Rwandan embassy in neighboring Sweden. The Rwandan government demanded his extradition a month later.

Watchdog takes over nuke plant.
Sweden placed one of its three nuclear power plants under special supervision after years of neglecting safety procedures, the state nuclear watchdog said July 7. There were "extremely serious" incidents involving safety mechanisms and reactor functions at the Ringhals plant in the past year, Swedish Radiation Authority spokesman Mattias Sköld said. The agency also “observed deficiencies that can be linked to the safety culture” at the power plant in southwestern Sweden, it said in a statement. The watchdog placed the plant under special supervision—involving investigations and regular reports on operations—due to "weaknesses in regard to leadership and control, the tracing of internal decisions, as well as the following of routines and instructions," the statement said. Agency official Leif Karlsson said Ringhals' management has been unable to resolve problems raised by the nuclear authority previously. Sköld said special supervision has been imposed "only a few times in Sweden's nuclear power history."

Sexism on the Web.
More and more women fall prey to sexist remarks and comments on their Internet blogs. Carolina Gynning, a Swedish model, TV-host and successful blogger, has had enough of it and will close her blog because of readers’ comments. She has received insulting remarks about herself, her looks and her family. “I’ve received mean comments during six months. They’ve even attacked my friends and family, and that’s where I draw the line,” Gynning said. Her blog stureplan.se has over 100,000 followers every week, one of the most read blogs in Sweden. But at the end of this month, it will all come to an end as Gynning closes her blog. “I want to write because it is fun,” she added. “And it is not fun now. It’s just a whole lot of negative energy.” Says Karin Eder-Ekman, editor of the debate site Newsmill: “As soon as there’s a negative comment about a group of people or something, then people are very good at reporting that. But nobody ever reports comments about misogyny.” Eder-Ekman goes on to explain that as soon as a woman writes about equality on the net, insulting comments follow, most often about the woman’s looks or her intelligence. “Misogyny is flowing in the comments of blogs and Web debates. It’s as if people have no limits. Also, on the Web you can remain anonymous while pouring out things you otherwise keep quiet about.”

“Rosengård made me who I am.”
Soccer striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic told Italian TV about his childhood in Malmö’s Rosengård, and confessed: “Rosengård made me who I am, in soccer, and in life. There were many immigrant children like myself there: Chileans, Yugoslavians, Arabs and Moroccans.” Zlatan remembers his trainer from FBK Balkan, Hasib Klicic, with love. “He was like a father to all of us, he drove us to the matches in his car, sometimes he let me play with the older kids.” Zlatan also talks about a match between FBK Balkan and Vellinge where he came to play in half-time, when Balkan was losing 0-4. Zlatan turned it around, scoring 8 goals. “I think the trainer put me on the bench at first because I was late, but I showed him he had made the wrong decision.” Today Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who was born in Rosengård in 1981 of Bosnian and Croatian descent, plays for Italian Serie A club Internazionale and the Swedish national team. He and Brazilian midfielder Kaká are the top soccer players in the world.

Freckles increase the risk of cancer.
If you have freckles, birthmarks or red hair you have a higher risk of developing malignant melanoma, a type of skin cancer, according to researchers at Lund University. “In our study we have found that genes related to the number of birthmarks are also related to the risk of melanoma,” said Professor Håkan Olsson, a senior doctor at the oncology department of the Lund University Hospital. According to the international research group, the relationship between melanoma and the genes associated with red hair and freckles has proven to be even stronger than expected. In the study, the researchers compared persons who have been diagnosed with melanoma with those who do not suffer from it. They hope to be able to take the study further and take both lifestyle factors and genetic information into account to gain a better understanding of the causes behind the disease. Statistics show that malignant melanoma affects about 2,000 people in Sweden every year. Although it accounts for just 5% of all diagnosed skin cancers, it is responsible for three quarters of skin cancer-related deaths. The number of new cases in Sweden and the Nordic countries are among the highest in the world when the size of the population is taken into account. Skin cancer is more than twice as common in Skåne than in the county of Norrbotten, which has 50% less total UV radiation than Skåne.

Pizza? No thanks!
Is there anything better than pizza? Well, if you’re in Halmstad, Sweden, there is. Nine out of ten pizzerias in Halmstad were found wanting by Livsmedelsverket (the National Food Administration). “It’s probably not better or worse in other cities,” said Louise Nyholm from Livsmedelsverket. Nineteen of the pizzerias lacked sinks so the workers could not wash their hands; in one pizzeria beetles were found, and in 49 cases the food in the freezer lacked dates, and nobody knew exactly what it was. So is it safe to go out and eat pizza in Halmstad? In spite of it all, it seems it might be. “Well, yes,” Nyholm said. “A bubbling hot pizza, what could possibly survive in that?” But do you really want to?

Latte of the day.
How about a vanilla ice latte? That’s what Metro.se gave its readers and we pass on the excellent tip. Coffee is never wrong, and in summertime we like ours cold, with vanilla for sweetness and taste. Enjoy! Ingredients: 3 oz coffee, 3 oz milk, 0.3 oz vanilla syrup. Brew strong coffee (or espresso), beat the milk and let cool. Mix coffee, vanilla syrup and milk and pour into a tall glass filled with ice. Top with some of the cold milk foam.

Lasse Strömstedt dies.
Author, debater and actor Lasse Strömstedt died at his home in Gränna. He was 74 years old. Strömstedt was a jailbird who turned his life around and became a writer. He went on to write several books and acted in movies, including Staffan Hildebrand’s youth film “G,” among others. Strömstedt was also a popular lecturer and was often involved in debates about society, where he contributed with his personal experiences with prison and drug abuse.

Paintings restored with ultraviolet radiation.
If you’re ever in Vendel, a parish in the province of Uppland, then do not miss the strange and beautiful paintings in Vendel’s Church. These paintings, which were done in 1451-1452 by Johannes Iwan, depict scenes from the story about Saint George and the dragon and well as scenes from Saint Catherine’s life, are now being restored. “Often when medieval art is being restored it is because it’s in need of cleaning or fixing, but we’re focusing on getting information about how these paintings were done, what kind of technique was used,” says conservator Anna Henningsson. “We’ve been illuminating the paintings with ultraviolet radiation and are using microscopes to figure out in detail how Johannes Iwan painted them.” The restoration will bring about information also about Iwan himself, and the church’s history.