Green light for Swedish wolf hunt
Swedish hunters have been given the go ahead to shoot 36 wolves this winter as animal activists suffer a setback on one of the country's most divisive environmental issues. The seasonal wolf hunt had been stopped at the last minute by a lower court but will go ahead after a Gothenburg appeals court lifted the ban. Animal activists said that by the time the case can be heard by a higher court, this season's hunt for 36 wolves — close to 10 percent of the Swedish pack — will have already ended.

Sochi Olympic doping case dropped
Swedish hockey star Nicklas Backstrom reached a settlement in his fight against the positive drug test that kept him out of the Olympic final in Sochi. The Washington Capitals center dropped his appeal against the International Olympic Committee ruling that he committed a doping violation. In return, he was issued with the minimum sanction of a reprimand and cleared of any intention to cheat. Bäckström tested positive for pseudoephedrine after Sweden's win over Slovenia in the Olympic quarterfinals on Feb. 19, 2014. He said the stimulant was contained in a sinus medication he had been taking for allergies, and earlier reported to the committee. He was, however suspended for doping violation and pulled from the Swedish team just hours before the Feb. 23 gold-medal game, which Sweden lost 3-0 to Canada. The Swedes were outraged by the timing of the decision, and said it affected the team's performance. A few weeks after the Olympics, the IOC ruled that Bäckström hadn't intended to enhance his performance, laying the blame for his positive test on Sweden's team doctor. Bäckström was allowed to receive the silver medal based on ''mitigating circumstances.''

Swedish diggers make a rare find in Egypt
A team of Swedish archaeologists has discovered a rare 2,500 year old wall relief depicting two pharaonic deities south of Cairo, Egyptian officials said January 20. The discovery, one of several finds by a team from Sweden's Lund University, was made near Aswan, 850 kilometres (528 miles) from the Egyptian capital. The wall relief is one of the "few available sculptures combining the two deities Amun-Re and Thot," Ali al-Asfar, head of Upper Egypt's antiquities, said in a release. The wall relief was found in a quarry north of Aswan used to supply stone to build the famed Karnak and Luxor temples in the city of Luxor.

No-confidence vote fails
A vote of no-confidence in Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, head of the minority government, failed on January 20, as widely expected. The Sweden Democrats called for the vote the week before when Löfven reached a deal in December with the center Alliance to exclude the anti-immigration party from influence in parliament. Only 45 of the parliament's 349 members supported the motion. Of the remaining lawmakers, 133 voted to reject the proposal, 155 abstained and 16 were absent. The Sweden Democrats have 49 seats. Votes of non-confidence are very unusual in Swedish politics. This was only the sixth ever and none have succeeded.

Swedish Foreign Minister not welcome to Israel
A spokesperson for Israel’s foreign ministry said Sweden's foreign minister was not welcome for an official visit to the country, with relations strained over Sweden's recognition of Palestine. Sweden's decision in October to recognize the state of Palestine — the first major EU nation to do so — infuriated Israel, which temporarily recalled its ambassador to Stockholm. The Israeli foreign ministry spokesman told Swedish Radio “What Sweden did was an utterly unfriendly action.”

Ericsson and Apple in legal showdown
Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson has filed a complaint against Apple in a U.S. court over the technology giant's use of its technology in smartphones. The complaint came after Apple filed a case earlier against the Swedish company, claiming that Ericsson's LTE wireless technology patents are not essential to industry standards and that the Swedish company was demanding excessive fees to renew a licensing agreement. Ericsson said it was bringing the counter case in order to get an independent assessment of its global licensing offer since Apple refused to accept it. Ericsson no longer makes mobile phones but builds equipment for mobile networks, and has more than 35,000 technology patents and 100 patent-licensing agreements worldwide.