Fast-growing FIKA
After plans to go from five to 15 locations (10 so far) this year, Swedish New York based coffee chain FIKA was recently named fastest-growing café in the city by Crain’s NY. Congrats to founder and co-owner Lars Åkerlund, who literally built the first location on 58th Street in 2006.

Sweden to recognize the Palestinian state
In his inaugural address to parliament Sweden's new prime minister Stefan Löfven said that the new government will recognize the state of Palestine, adding that "a two-state solution requires mutual recognition and the will to co-exist peacefully. Sweden will therefore recognize the state of Palestine." This should take place with respect for the "legitimate demands of the Palestinians and the Israelis with regard to their right to self-determination and security," Löfven said.

Saab plant reduces work force
Swedish automaker Saab let go of nearly a third of its workforce as it struggles to resolve serious financial difficulties. National Electric Vehicle Sweden (Nevs) halted production at the Trollhättan factory in late May, when it was unable to pay its suppliers. Nevs, 78 percent owned by China's National Modern Energy Holdings and 22 percent by the Chinese city of Qingdao, only produces one model today, the electric 9-3 Aero Sedan, mainly for the Chinese market. The Chinese-owned company was created to buy Saab in June 2012 after it filed for bankruptcy. Swedish media reports that Nevs is now looking for new investors.

Swedish human rights award to Snowden
Fugitive U.S. intelligence agent Edward Snowden has been jointly awarded a Swedish human rights award. The Right Livelihood Honorary Prize is awarded annually "to honor and support those offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today." The Stockholm-based foundation awarding the prize said Snowden had shown "courage and skill in revealing the unprecedented extent of state surveillance violating basic democratic processes and constitutional rights." After the winners became known, Sweden's ministry of foreign affairs said the annual Right Livelihood press conference could not be held at its offices, which has been the case in earlier years. It was speculated that the decision came from former foreign minister Carl Bildt. Bildt, known for his U.S. sympathies, has denied the claim. The awards for SEK 500,000 ($70,000) will be presented at a ceremony in the Swedish parliament in December. The award, sometimes called the "alternative Nobel prize" was founded by philanthropist Jacob von Uexküll in 1980 after the Nobel Foundation refused to create awards honoring efforts in the fields of the environment and international development. The other three 2014 prize winners were Pakistani human rights lawyer Asma Jahanger, Sri Lankan rights activist Basil Fernando and U.S. environmentalist Bill McKibbben.

Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology
The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet has announced the Nobel Prize in medicine. The prize was awarded jointly to spouses May-Britt and Edvard Moser from Norway, 51 and 52 respectively, and John O’Keefe from New York, 75, for their work on understanding how the brain locates itself in space using an “inner GPS” made up of place cells and grid cells. O’Keefe will receive half of the award - valued at $1.1 million - while the Mosers will split the other half. For more info, see