Search for submarine called off
Swedish authorities called off the search for a suspected submarine in the Stockholm archipelago after just over a week, saying the presumed intruder had probably escaped into the Baltic Sea. Naval and amphibious forces were ordered back to base, while some ground forces remained in the search area, military officials said. "We assess that the (vessel) that violated our waters has now left," Rear Admiral Anders Grenstad said.

Advice on visiting Sweden
Forbes’ David MacDougal offered advice to anyone inclined to visit Sweden’s capital: “The world’s media — and the Swedish navy — has been peering into the archipelago waters near Stockholm this month, searching for a mystery vessel, widely believed to be a Russian submarine. A more conventional way to arrive in the Swedish capital is at Arlanda Airport, with fast efficient train service straight to the heart of the city in just 20 minutes.” We couldn’t agree more and have to wonder if maybe Putin reads Forbes.…

Swedish krona slides after interst rate cut
The Swedish crown slid to a four-year low against the dollar on Oct. 28 after Sweden's Riksbanken, the central bank, surprised investors by slashing interest rates to a record low of zero percent. Most analysts had forecast the Riksbank to lower its main interest rate, the repo rate, to 0.1 percent from 0.25 to fight the risk of deflation. But the central bank went a step further and lowered the rate to zero. The dollar immediately rose to 7.35 crowns, its highest since 2010, and has continued the upward movement since.

Decision to recognize Palestine immature
One day after the Swedish government officially recognized the state of Palestine, members of the Riksdag disagreed on whether this decision was right or "immature." The left leaning social democratic/green government, which took office a little over a month ago after winning national elections in September, on October 30 became the first European country to recognize the state of Palestine. This prompted Israel to recall its ambassador of Sweden to Jerusalem on the same day. The country also threatened that further cuts to the two countries' diplomatic relations can be expected. Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman said Sweden "needs to understand that relations in the Middle East are more complicated than a piece of furniture from IKEA that you assemble at home," according to the Israel news agency Haaretz. Not surprisingly Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has praised Sweden’s decision, which isn’t expected to be followed by other European nations anytime soon. Birgitta Ohlsson, Sweden's former European affairs and democracy minister, called the decision immature, saying that it legitimizes Hamas, the Islamist political party running Gaza, and that it would further hinder the peace process.

Intolerance for sexism
Game developers in Sweden are taking a stand against harassment in the video game industry, denouncing threats, intimidation and hate as unacceptable, according to Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet. Behind the declaration are some of the largest game developers in Sweden: Avalanche Studios, Coffee Stain Studios, DICE and Mojäng, which was recently acquired by Microsoft. According to the story in the publication, developers are aware of the attacks on "women who publicly take a stand against sexism in computer games" from anonymous individuals online. The recent #gamergate controversy is by some considered an outright war against women and the diversification of gaming culture — art form or entertainment?

‘Made in Sweden’ in Hollywood
The crime drama Made in Sweden, based on a true story of a 1990s series of brazen bank robberies pulled off by three Swedish brothers and their childhood best friend is about to be produced by Dreamworks producer Mark Sourian. The novel, originally “Björndansen,” was co-written by bestselling author Anders Roslund and screen writer Stefan Thunberg. As an additional twist, Thunberg is the fourth brother of this the so-called “Military gang” who never participated in the crimes.

New U.S. Ambassador to Sweden
The White House has nominated the Iranian-American ex-investment banker Azita Raji to take over from Mark Brzezinski. Once confirmed by the Senate, Raji will be the first female U.S. ambassador to Sweden. Azita Raji is a recognized business strategist, and a former Wall Street executive with international experience. During the 2012 Obama campaign, Raji served as National Finance Vice Chair and Chair of the Swing State Victory Fund, in addition to serving on the national advisory board of the Democratic National Committee since 2008. Raji currently resides in northern California with her family.