Ohly isn't, but Sahlin's coming!
Leftists boycott wedding, socialists accept, despite their convictions against monarchy. Keeping in line with his party's anti-Royalist manifesto, Left Party (formerly communist branded) leader Lars Ohly rejected his invitation to the Royal Wedding of Crown Princess Victoria and Daniel Westling on June 19. On the other hand, party head Mona Sahlin, whose Social Democratic Party likewise advocates dissolution of Sweden's Royalty, nonetheless accepted the invitation, and her party sent a modest gift to the couple. Sahlin rationalized that the monarchy was so popular with the Swedish people (with around 80% approval), that her own party's political objections were not significant. Ohly, on the other hand, denounced the monarchy in a searing editorial that he wrote in the tabloid newspaper, Aftonbladet. However, he softened his otherwise harsh condemnations of royalty by adding, "I have nothing against Victoria and Daniel. I really do not begrudge them a good life and a nice wedding."

Sweden breaches 10 million mark in 2021.
Thanks to immigrants and a mild lust increase among Swedish couples, the nation's population is growing by around 60,000 a year. Last year, the population in Sweden increased by 84,000 people, and this year, according to the Swedish bureau of statistics (SCB), the increase will be about the same. They predict, if all goes according to their paperwork, that the population of Sweden with cross the ten million mark sometime in 2010. Sweden's population passed 9 million in 2004, and at this point, will need about 610,000 to cross the eight figure line. These steady annual jumps since 2006 are due to modest increases in birth rates along with high increases in immigration. This year, SCB expects an additional 103,000 residents coming into the country, but also figures the annual average will soon drop to around 70,000 and stabilize at that level. Because the Swedish parental grant system is linked to income and employment, birth rates have remained high despite the economic crisis. This year, the average Swedish family is expected to have 1.97 children for every female, and this is the highest relative number since 1993. In 2009, 112,000 children were born, and SCB thinks the average will rise to around 115,000 per year over the coming decade. Greater longevity this year will find Swedish women reaching an average of 83.4 years and men to the age of 79.5. However, in 50 years, women are expected to average 86.9 years of age and men, making a five year jump, will live on the average to 84.7 years. Numbers of retirees will also increase, as well as working age persons along with families with children living in the household. Resource: www.scb.se

Antibiotics used for common colds.
In spite of strict guidelines and a risk of creating resistant bacteria, many Swedish doctors keep prescribing antibiotics for common colds. This according to a new doctoral thesis by Thomas Neumark, a medical doctor and doctoral candidate in general medicine at Linköping University. Neumark took a closer look at 240,000 patient visits, which means this is the biggest study ever done on infections of the respiratory passages in Sweden. What Neumark discovered was that at 45% of all infections, antibiotics were prescribed although most of the infections are caused by a virus. At 80% of all ear infections in children, antibiotics were also prescribed, although Swedish guidelines ask doctors to be prudent and wait 3 days.

Annika Östberg is getting used to freedom.
After having been in jail for almost 30 years, it is time for prisoner for life Annika Östberg to get used to a life in freedom. Last year in April, Östberg came to Sweden after having served 28 years of her sentence in California. She was convicted for felony murder. After one year in a Swedish prison, Östberg was moved to a new work coop outside the municipality of Nykvarn, and it is here that she will prepare for a life in freedom. For the first time in many years, Östberg will move around freely and have access to an apartment with her own keys. “It’s big,” she says. “I’m so used to commandos like ‘eat’, ‘sit there’, ‘stand there’ and so on. Everything is very new.” A new documentary film by Tom Alandh, follows Östberg during her first day in freedom. In it she also discusses the crimes she committed and her fight for freedom. It was on April 30, 1981, that Östberg and her boyfriend Bob Cox robbed and killed an ex-restaurant owner named Joe Torre. Next day on the highway their vehicle became disabled. A Sgt Helbush stopped to render them help. According to the local district attorney from Lake County CA, evidence exists that leads one to believe that Östberg may actually have shot Sgt Helbush as he walked back to his patrol car. The conflicting story that Östberg states is this: whilst Östberg pretended to search for a driver's licence that didn't exist, Cox shot Helbush in the back of the head. Östberg told Cox to get rid of the body and steal the policeman's wallet before the couple stole the police car. In Sweden the case got a lot of press, it upset many Swedes since it is claimed that Östberg was not armed and did not commit any murder herself.

Well-educated Danderyd.
Danderyd, a small but affluent municipality just north of Stockholm with around 30,492 inhabitants, has something to brag about: They have the highest share of well-educate people in all of Sweden. Eda and Filipstad, on the other hand, have the smallest share of the same. Of all Swedes aged 25-64, around 23% have gone on to study after high school. In Danderyd that percentage is 53% - top in the country, in other words. Another five Stockholm municipalities can be found on the top-ten list: Lidingö, Täby, Solna, Stockholm, and Nacka. Municipalities in Skåne like Lund and Lomma, as well as Uppsala and Umeå are also on the list of cities with most well educated people. In general there are more educated people in bigger cities and municipalities with universities than in smaller towns. According to Statistiska Centralbyrån (Statistics Sweden), Eda, Filipstad, Bjuv, Laxå, Degerfors and Gnosjö have only 8% adults with at least three years of post-high school studies. The same statistics also show that Swedish women in general are better educated than men, especially in the younger ages (25-34). More than every third woman in that age group has at least three years of college or university studies. And there’s no difference between Swedes born in the country and those born abroad – the number of well educated is the same in both groups. The number of well-educated people has increased with almost 1% since last year.

Tetra Pak wins climate acclaim,
Forestry association praises packaging innovations that reduce climate damaging releases, wastes. The Forest Industries Climate Prize for 2010 has been awarded to Tetra Pak, the Lund, Sweden packaging equipment and services firm, for having reduced their carbon footprint by nearly 10% in absolute terms over a period of only five years. "Tetra Pak's packaging has revolutionized the distribution of food worldwide. It is less known that the company creates packaging innovations whose environmental and climate impact are lower than with other packaging materials. Tetra Pak is also responsible for the forests from which raw material originates," stated the award committee's citation. "Tetra Pak products incorporate wood fiber content, high functionality, low weight and low environmental and climate impact," said Marie S. Arwidson, MD of Forest Industries (Skogsindustrierna). Tetra Pak has set climate objective to reduce their measurable impact on the climate between 2005-2010 by 10%. "We reached a decrease of 9.4% for last year and are confident that we will reach 10% this year. Because we have increased sales, during these years, in real terms, we have improved ourselves by over 20%," said Claes Du Rietz, Global Environment Manager at Tetra Pak. Finn Rausing, one of Tetra Pak's principal owners, accepted the Forest Industries Climate Price from Sweden's Prince Carl Philip at the opening of Forest Week in mid-April in Stockholm. Source: www.skogsindustrierna.org

No faith in the King.
In spite of the much-hyped royal wedding this summer, most Swedes are losing faith in the king and the monarchy altogether. And many Swedes would actually like to see the monarchy abolished. The Swedish people’s attitude to the royal family was recently presented at a seminar arranged by the SOM (Society Opinion Media) Institute at Göteborg University. Last fall a study conducted by SOM showed 22% wanted to abolish the monarchy, the corresponding number six years ago was 15%. The percentage of people who want to keep the monarchy has gone from 68% to 56%. Explains Lennart Nilsson at the center for research of the public sector: “The support for the monarchy has decreased in all groups, even among right-wing voters.” In truth, the faith in the monarchy has steadily decreased ever since the SOM studies began in 1995. The King’s speech to the victims of the tsunami in 2005, temporarily raised the figures, but they have since dropped again. “That the numbers are again decreasing in spite of the upcoming wedding I think is a paradox between nobility and what’s the norm,” Nilsson continues. “Perhaps the support is failing because Victoria chose a man of the people. There’s that dimension to it, although I have no evidence for it.”