Swedes more British than Finnish
People from the south and north of Sweden aren’t as closely related as one have previously thought, according to a new study. That same genetic study, done by researchers in Sweden and Finland, reveals that Swedes are closer related to Brits and Germans than Finns. The analysis shows that there’s a genetic difference between Swedes and Finns, which is fairly strange as Finland for hundreds of years was part of Sweden. “It is both strange and interesting that the genes are so closely connected to language,” says Per Hall, Professor in Radiation Epidemiology* at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and one of the researchers involved in the study. Hall believes these results will be of medical importance, too. Genetic differences, such as the ones between people in southern and northern Sweden, can often explain the spread of certain diseases. “Stomach cancer, for instance, is much more common in northern Sweden,” he says. “It might have to do with genetic factors, since the difference in life expectancy within Sweden isn’t that great.” In total 1,500 Swedes were compared with 3,000 people from other European countries in this study. (*Epidemiology is the branch of medicine that involves the study of the cause and spread of disease in the population. Epidemiological research is devoted to working out scientifically sound strategies for preventive measures and to evaluate their effects. Radiation epidemiology looks at the effect of ionising radiation, primarily in patients that have undergone radiotherapy for cancer, but also in environmental disasters such as Chernobyl.) Source: PLoS ONE and Dagens Medicin

1,900 quota refugees to Sweden
This year Sweden will receive 1,900 so-called quota refugees, people the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, considers to be in particular need of assistance and protection. These are, at this moment, mostly refugees from conflicts in the Horn of Africa and Afghanistan. Sweden receives nearly 30% of Europe's total quota, according to the Swedish Migration Board.

Queen Silvia demands a vacation
Expressen reports that Silvia has forced the King to come with her on a hastily planned love vacation. At the very last moment, the royal couple cancelled their participation at a grand official party in Stockholm, and instead flew to Thailand. They won’t return to Sweden until next week, after having spent some time in China too. Prince Carl Philip had to fill in for his parents at the Stockholm party where Silvia and the King were guests of honor. It’s been a tough fall for the royal couple after the publication of the book “Den motvillige monarken” (The Reluctant Monarch), and the one who was hurt the most was without doubt Silvia. Since the book came out, she hasn’t had any vacation with the King, and finally she put her foot down and demanded one.

Author and poet Bo Carpelan dies
One of the best-known Swedish-language authors in post-war Finland, Bo Carpelan, has passed away. He died at the age of 84 after a literary career that spanned 65 years. Carpelan’s work included poetry, novels, librettos and children’s books. His breakthrough came in 1986 with the novel “Axel”, written in the form of a diary, a fictionalized account of the life of Carpelan’s great uncle Axel Carpelan, a musician, friend and champion of composer Jean Sibelius. As a writer Carpelan is credited with expanding the range of Swedish-language literary modernism in Finland. He wanted to “enlarge upon experience, vision, and feeling, specifically by writing”. He described poetry as “hearing with the eyes”. Carpelan’s poetry had a strong link with antiquity. In 1984 he published a collection called “Marginalia”, which comprised short aphoristic fragments, which originated as footnotes that he wrote while reading ancient Greek and Roman poetry.