Cool, rainy start gives way to heat
Finally, after weeks of waiting, Swedes are getting the summer temperatures they’ve been hoping for. The heat has suddenly come in earnest, and it looks like it’s here to stay. With high temperatures around 30 C (86 F), southern Sweden’s weekend was just a preview of what a warmer air stream is bringing. “It looks like it might be high summer temperatures across most of the country,” said meteorologist Lovisa Andersson. The more common unstable weather patterns in northern parts of the country may be back with cooler temperatures again in the coming weeks, but much of Europe is experiencing a heat wave – and health warnings – all over.

A new wave of emigration
Last year, emigration from Sweden beat the previous emigration peak on record: that of the late 1800s. The wave of emigration to America in the 1800s was a trend that's being paralleled in Sweden now as immigration declines — slightly. Immigration is still as high as in the 1990s, but emigration is even higher. In 1887, Sweden hit a peak with one percent of its population — that’s 50,786 people — emigrating. In 2014, the number was 51,237 persons (that's just 451 more), constituting about half a percent of today's population in Sweden. According to demographic analyses at Statistics Sweden, there are several explanations for the new wave of emigration: work and education opportunities, immigration issues and ease of mobility in general. Many are young people and families with children, or have parents born in another country.

Swedish actress shines bright
Another Swedish actress is a rising star on the silver screen. Alicia Vikander, 26, will star opposite Matt Damon in the fifth Jason Bourne film, due out in 2016. The Gothenburg-born actress and dancer rose to international fame when she appeared in Anna Karenina with British star Keira Knightley three years ago. Vikander began her career with a number of appearances in short films, and a role in the popular Swedish television drama Andra Avenyn. Now she’s becoming one of Hollywood's new sweethearts, with roles in five movies being released in 2015 alone. “It's a lot, but it's fantastically fun as well,” Vikander said.

Immigrants send money home
Immigrants in Sweden sent SEK 17.6 billion ($2,140,500) back to their homelands in 2014. That’s equivalent to half of Sweden's total aid budget. Ria Financial Services, the market leader in the Nordic region, has estimated that “on average it is about $390 per transfer, usually once a month,” says Torbjörn Sandahl, director of the Ria Nordic region. It is well known that remittances that migrants send home to relatives is often more than international aid, not unlike what it was at the turn of the 19th century when Swedes who came to the U.S. sent money home. They sent money back to Sweden to a value estimated by researchers to be more than one percent of the GDP; the money flow actually contributed to an initial modernization and streamlining of Swedish agriculture. The latest records show the country that receives the most remittances from immigrants in Sweden is Iraq with SEK 1.5 billion ($182,700) transferred last year. Next is Poland at just under SEK 900 million ($109,600), Iran, Turkey and Bosnia.