New policy for pilots
March 27, 2015 — SAS, the largest airline in the Nordic countries, announced it would implement a new policy that requires two staff members in its cockpit at all times. Following the Germanwings crash on March 25 in which a pilot intentionally crashed a plane when he was alone in the cockpit, the policy was strongly recommended by Swedish air traffic authorities. Other major airlines including Norwegian, Easyjet, Air Berlin, Virgin Atlantic and Air Canada have also announced a change in their procedures following the incident. The U.S. already follows this protocol. Despite the international spotlight on the Germanwings crash, figures suggest that Europe remains one of the safest places to fly; the 28 countries in the EU have the world's lowest rate of fatal accidents at 1.8 per million commercial flights, according to the European Aviation Safety Agency.

Millennium Trilogy stands apart from fourth book
The highly-anticipated fourth installment of Swedish author Stig Larsson’s Millennium series is due to be released in 35 countries on Aug. 27. But it isn’t written by Larsson. It’s written by David Lagercrantz, a Swedish journalist and author best known as soccer star Zlatan Ibrahimovic's official biographer. Stig Larsson died unexpectedly in 2004, before his dark crime trilogy gained international success, but he had started the draft of a fourth book several months before his death. That draft is nothing like the new novel, however. According to Larsson’s long-time partner, Eva Gabrielsson, Lagercrantz’s "That Which Does Not Kill Us" is a mistake, a misunderstanding of Larsson’s story line, a marketing ploy to make money. According to Swedish publisher Norstedts, the book will be a stand-alone sequel based on Larsson's characters, not claiming to use Larsson’s incomplete manuscript, though some unfinished plot threads are woven in. The August 2015 release date of "That Which Does Not Kill Us” (literally translated from its Swedish title “Det som inte dödar oss”) marks the 10th anniversary of the first Millennium novel.

Welcome to Sweden returns in July
The imported comedy show "Welcome to Sweden" will kick off its second season with back-to-back new episodes on Sunday, July 19. NBC picked up 10 episodes, which are said to be a little different from Season 1 —including the fact that it’s set in the winter as opposed to the summer of season one. With its dry humor and pokes at both Swedish and American stereotypes, Greg Poehler, brother of comedian Amy Poehler, stars in the comedy, based loosely on his own life as an American who drops everything to follow the love of his life to Sweden.

Building international relations
In the six months since Stefan Löfven took office as prime minister, he has made 25 foreign trips — that’s twice as many as his predecessor took in the first half of his first year. But it’s for reason not necessarily required in 2006 when Fredrik Reinfeldt began his term. Löfven’s start is stressed by a global unrest and a desire by Swedish government to get Sweden a seat in the UN Security Council. Löfven feels this demands face-to-face meetings to establish international contacts for the future. “I think this is an important investment for the remainder of the term. If you once meet, it's much easier to then have contact,” said Löfven. Most recently, the prime minister spent time at the economic summit in China and met with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang. From there, he went to the U.S. and delivered a speech in New York and met Vice President Joe Biden in Washington, DC. Many of his international trips have been in the Baltic States and Nordic countries, but he has also visited Ethiopia and Brazil. Löfven stresses that he has traveled domestically, too, giving priority to Sweden’s near European neighbors, including Paris and Copenhagen, in the wake of the terrorist attacks.