Clinton to visit Sweden
U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, will visit Sweden during a weeklong trip to Europe this summer. Her spokesperson Victoria Nuland confirms Clinton will commence the trip on May 31st. She will arrive to Stockholm on June 3rd and talk to Swedish representatives on green energy, freedom on the Internet, Afghanistan, and the Middle East. Clinton will first go to Denmark, and then to Norway, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Turkey.

More commuting than vacation for people in Stockholm
People living in Stockholm spend more time in traffic between work and home than they do on vacation. On an average they spend 6.4 working weeks per year commuting to their jobs, according to a new compilation from Stockholms Handelskammare (Stockholm’s Chamber of Commerce). And that’s not OK, according to the Chamber’s CEO Maria Rankka. “Our time has a value. Not only to us, but to society,” she says. In Stockholm county, the average work commute takes 34 minutes, or 1 hour and 8 minutes back and forth. That’s 10 minutes more than for the average Swede, and 22 minutes more than the average person living in Norrland spends on his commute. One important explanation is that public transportation is slow in Stockholm, only 20 kilometers an hour. In spite of traffic jams, it’s much faster to travel by car, since you then can drive an average of 36 kilometers an hour. The Chamber of Commerce is now looking for increased efforts in making public transportation better and faster, especially the subway. First of all, there’s a proposal to extend the subway to include Täby, via Hagastaden, and to Nacka.

Three generation vacation
A more stressful life with less time to spare for family and loved ones has made the vacation to a more important time to spend with family. More and more Swedes today go away on so-called “three-generation vacations”. “I think it’s all about a change in society,” says travel company Apollo’s Director of Information Kajsa Moström. And to other travel companies like Fritidsresor and Ving, the trend is also clear: Grandparents’ inviting children and grandchildren on vacation has become more popular. According to Apollo, this type of traveling has increased with 25% the last two or three years. “Perhaps it’s because families live further away from each other now and don’t have the same time and possibility to meet. Our lives are getting more and more stressful, so we use vacation as a time to catch us,” Moström says. It’s often the grandparents who pay for the trip. “It is also possible that the grandparents are more spry, more alert and have more energy to take care of children and grandchildren, and can afford to do so,” says Jim Hosverberg, Director of Information at Fritidsresor. And it’s not only charter companies that note the trend. A study from Stena Line, the ferry company, shows that 18% are planning a three generational vacation this coming summer. The company has even included special “grandchildren trips”.

Only 4 percent of burglaries solved
Swedish police are bad at solving burglaries, especially when compared to their Scandinavian colleagues. In Finland police solve 25 percent of all burglaries, whereas Swedish police solve only 4 percent, according to Dagens Nyheter. The number of burglaries is increasing in Sweden, and while Denmark, Norway and Finland are successful in clearing up their problems, Swedish police seems stuck. “We make quick and effective preliminary investigations,” says Jyrki Pelkonen, superintendent at the police in Helsinki, Finland. “The message to the criminals is that it doesn’t pay to commit crime here.” In Denmark and Norway, 7 percent and 15 percent of burglaries are solved. Stefan Holgersson, researcher and police, believes that Sweden’s poor statistics has to do with organizational changes within the agency. “The local police reform from the mid 1990s is such an example,” he says. “It destroyed a functioning organization and since then the percentage of clearing crimes has gone down. It’s been like that with every organizational change. The focus hasn’t been at clearing as many crimes as possible, but at showing a functioning organization.” Last year Swedish police solved 920 out of 22,000 reported burglaries. “The highest number in many years. Of course we should solve more burglaries and we aren’t satisfied. But we see a new trend this year with 400 less burglaries than during the same period last year,” says Kalle Wallin, permanent secretary at the National Police.

Mass grave from Lutzen found
German archaeologists have found a mass grave from the battle of Lutzen, where, among many others, the Swedish king Gustav II Adolf died. The battle of Lützen was one of the bloodiest of battles during the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648). Analyses will now confirm whether there are Germans, Swedes or Scots in the grave. The grave contains 175 soldiers, unlucky to die that day, November 16, 1632. According to the German paper Der Spiegel, the soldiers are buried in two rows with their feet against each other. Researchers now believe this mass grave is one of possibly hundreds. During the battle, close to 9,000 soldiers died, most of whom were thrown into similar mass graves by the locals. But since two thirds of the area is now covered by buildings, the grave is fairly unique. In order to analyze the remains of it, the archaeologists have transported a massive piece of the grave to the German town of Halle, where they hope to find out what nationalities the soldiers might have been. A complicated task. Even though the battle was between the Swedish king and his troupes on one side and the German imperial general Albrecht von Wallenstein on the other, there was a motley crew of soldiers from countries like Austria, England, Scotland and Croatia involved as well. The dead soldiers were plundered before thrown into their graves, which makes identification even harder. Most of them seem to have died from heavy blows, cuts or heavy lead bullets. Gustav II Adolf died when an imperial officer shot him in the lung.