Yes to call for prayers
The mosque in Fittja has received permission for calls to prayers on loudspeakers. It was Botkyrka Turkiska Islamiska kulturförening (Botkyrka Turkish Islamic Cultural Organization), which applied for this permission. The municipality already approved their application, and now Stockholm police has done so also. The decision means that the mosque is allowed to have calls to prayers three to five minutes between noon and 1 pm on Fridays. Conditions have been laid down as to the placement and direction of the loudspeaker, and the organization must also inform those living in the area nearby. The issue of calls to prayer from a minaret has led to a debate, and within the municipality there are several thoughts about it. But according to an investigation, there was no legal support to deny calls to prayer. Only the Sweden Democrats was against the decision. The last word has not been said, though. Those living in the area, if they feel they are being bothered by the calls from the minaret, may appeal the police’s decision. The mosque in Fittja, south of Stockholm, was built in 1998 and was opened for public in 2007.

Frozen berries leading to hepatitis A?
Smittskyddsinstitutet (SMI or the Swedish Institute for Communicable Disease Control) is cautioning Swedes to cook their store-bought frozen berries before eating them. Since the beginning of December last year, there have been reports of 22 people infected from different parts of the country. The normal number is usually around five. The advice to cook frozen berries a full minute before eating them is in effect until SMI finds out where the infection comes from. “The advice is for all kinds of frozen berries and from all suppliers, that’s the safest way to go until we have more knowledge,” says Margareta Löfdahl, epidemiologist at SMI to TT. “If you put the berries in boiling water for one minute the infection disappears or dies.” A handful of those infected were infected by the same kind of hepatitis A as in Denmark, where there’s a current outbreak that has infected 30 people so far. Frozen berries, especially strawberries, are believed to be the culprit. Since the hepatitis is of the same strain as the one in Denmark, where frozen berries were identified as the common denominator for all persons infected, the same conclusion is being drawn in Sweden until further information. “The infections spreads through feces and in Denmark it is believed that it has spread through the watering of the berries, but that is as yet just a qualified guess,” says Margareta Löfdahl. Together with Livsmedelsverket (the National Food Agency), SMI will now look into what caused the infection. Those infected will answer questions regarding what they’ve eaten and tests on frozen berries have been sent to Livsmedelsverket for analysis. Hepatitis A is an acute infectious disease of the liver. The time between infection and the appearance of the symptoms (the incubation period) is between two and six weeks and the average incubation period is 28 days. The infection produces a self-limited disease that does not result in chronic infection or chronic liver disease. However, 10–15% of patients might experience a relapse of symptoms during the 6 months after acute illness.

Military intelligence registers information illegally
MUST, the Swedish military's intelligence agency, is registering people's ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation – which is against the law. Datainspektionen (the Data Inspection Board) is now criticizing this sort of survey. Must’s assignment is to gather and analyze information that might lead to outside threats to Sweden. By doing so, sensitive information about people’s political and religious beliefs, their ethnicity, and their sexuality is recorded. How and when such information is allowed to be saved, is regulated by Must’s own legislation. “Must has the right to handle personal information that may be very sensitive,” says Mikael Ejner, IT security specialist at Datainspektionen. “But if this information is handled illegally, there’s a risk people will be offended. The consequences are hard to foresee, but it is a closed environment, where individuals aren’t privy to the information. It becomes extremely important then to have people’s trust that the authority is acting correctly.” Must establishes a great number of reports on people every day. Those who are being surveyed may not even be suspected of any crime. The law demands that the information Must considers, is relevant for the investigation in question. But according to Datainspektionen such controls aren’t taking place. “There’s no control at all, everything is added to the reports,” continues Ejner. He also tells that it’s impossible to say just how extensive the problem is. “But we’ve found samples that show that there is information added that’s not necessary.” In total, Datainspektionen criticizes Must on five points: In addition of making sure the information added is relevant, Datainspektionen also demands that the handling of sensitive information gets tightened up and that the discarding of information improves. The legal basis as to why a person is registered must also be stated more clearly. The last point is about information security, but for the sake of national security, it is classified. Must has been given until September 30 to correct these defects. (MUST: Militära underrättelse- och säkerhetstjänsten)

Swedish ship may have stopped pirates
Swedish HMS Carlskrona has prevented a suspected pirate attack outside the coast of Somalia. The ship carried through its first assignment in Operation Atalanta, which is the European Union’s naval contribution to protecting ships in the region, when the ship’s helicopter discovered a suspicious pirate boat on the morning of April 12. Since the helicopter followed the boat, which presumably is of the same type often used in pirate attacks, the crew chose to steer towards the coast. On the beach, the boat was turned upside down, according to Försvarsmakten (the Swedish Armed Forces), in order to cover its equipment. “It was a successful mission to discover the boat, and to get the suspected pirates to turn around,” says Anders Kallin, Information Officer at HMS Carlskrona to TT. This is the third time Sweden participates in the operation, and the second time for HMS Carlskrona. The mission will continue until August.