Minister opens up for burqa ban in school
Minister of Education Jan Björklund (Liberal People's Party) wants to make it easier to forbid the wearing of a so-called burqa, or burkha, in school through giving each school headmaster the right to decide whether it should be allowed or not. “Teaching means communication and that also means being able to look into each others’ eyes and faces. In this sense it is extremely inappropriate to allow clothes, which cover the face,” Björklund says. A burqa is is the enveloping garment worn by women is some Islamic traditions for the purpose of hiding a female’s body when out it the public.

Skarsgård to join “Tattoo” cast?
Stellan Skarsgård is in negotiations to join the cast of the U.S. remake of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”, to be directed by David Fincher. Skarsgard would play Martin Vanger, one of the principal suspects in the 40-year-old disappearance of a teenage girl. In the Swedish film, the part was played by Peter Haber. "I have met Fincher, I want to work with him, he wants to work me. I have had a concrete offer and now we are in negotiations," Skarsgård says. "The contract is for the period September to March, but I don't know yet when I am supposed to start my part of the film. Most of it is to be shot in Stockholm, but some studio work will be done in the U.S. I think there might be some location work there as well, when it becomes too dark to shoot here." As Nordstjernan recently reported, Daniel Craig is to play Mikael Blomkvist, the journalist at the center of the story. It is yet to be announced who is to play the female hero, computer hacker Lisbeth Salander. The script for the American version has been written by Steve Zaillian, and the film is being produced by Scott Rudin and Yellow Bird Films. Skarsgård is currently shooting Lars von Trier's sci-fi film "Melancholia” in Trollhättan.

Special nurses will receive foreigners in Stockholm
Stockholm county council has decided to hire ten "health communicators". The idea is that they are to help newly arrived refugees in Stockholm. The communicators have various kinds of education in nursing and foreign background. They have also concluded a 20-week course at the nursing university Karolinska. They can speak among else Arabic, Somali, Persian and Tigrinya.

The trend of pouring out champagne
“Vaskning”, which translates as washing or pouring, has become the talk of the town in Stockholm. Vaskning of what you ask? Get this, after the spraying of champagne was banned by the authorities in Båstad and Gotland, the rich who want to party found another way to have a good time with the money: Pour the champagne down the drain! Doesn’t that sound festive? You order two bottles of champagne, and have the bartender pour one of the bottles out – just like that. Vaskning has, as one can understand, stirred up emotions in Sweden and created a debate. Though many bartenders claim they’ve never been asked to “vaska” and believe it is but a myth, there are those who have come across the phenomenon. Says Erik Sandberg, bartender at Burmeister in Visby: “It’s one of the worst things I’ve ever been asked to do, I was so embarrassed – but what don’t you do for your tip? We get about one serious ‘vaskning’ request per evening.” It’s all about showing that you can throw away a 3000 SEK ($420) bottle of champagne without batting an eyelash, even though the world is in a global recession, with people struggling to scrape by.

Train collided with bear
The other day a train hit a bear outside the city of Boden in northern Sweden. The bear survived the accident but did not move. It just lay down beside the railway. A couple of hours later, hunters were sent out to the area and shot the bear to death. This is not very unusual since there are many bears in this area.