Sweden and U.S. agree to border control
(World) A new agreement between Sweden and the United States will allow travelers going to the U.S. to go through immigration and customs at Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport. Armed personnel will be responsible for border, customs and security checks. The agreement was signed on Nov. 4 by U.S. Ambassador Azita Raji and Minister of Home Affairs Anders Ygeman at the American Embassy in Stockholm. The Swedish government believes this step will make travel between the two countries easier and will allow for greater business opportunities. Sweden is the second European nation to have U.S. immigration checks on its own soil. Ireland was the first.

Reducing number of deportees
(National) There is an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 individuals who have been denied asylum in Sweden but can not be deported because their home country refuses them, they are stateless, or because they have medical issues. Anna Lundberg, lecturer in human rights at Malmö University, has been asked to investigate the issue and examine how the government can reduce that number. Her report is due September 1, 2017.

Sex crimes against women increase
(National) Sexual abuse and domestic violence in Sweden has only recently been recognized as a criminal offense, and with increased awareness, more and more women are coming forward to say they are victims of sexual crimes. New figures from the National Council show 480,000 incidences were reported by Swedish women in 2015. The study from the National Crime Survey and the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (BRÅ - Brottsförebyggande Rådet) covers a wide range of offenses from indecent exposure to rape. Twenty-nine percent of the cases reflect the more serious offenses; sexual abuse cases have increased over the last three years. For more info, see www.bra.se

Identity theft on the rise
(National) In a country where transparency is valued, more than 6,000 cases of identity theft have been reported since July 1, 2016 when ID theft became illegal in Sweden. Identity theft, well known in other countries, consists of someone stealing another individual’s personal information for the purposes of purchasing services, merchandise or procuring a loan. Of the 6,000 crimes reported in Sweden over the last four months, only one person has been tried and prosecuted for the crime. Jan Olsson of the National Fraud Center believes the majority of these crimes will not be resolved.

Swedish writers' association fights internet hate
(Culture) Swedish PEN has taken a stand to fight internet hate which it believes is one of the greatest threats to democracy and freedom. The writers' organization has assigned a secretary-general for the purpose of actively fighting hate culture by working to spread information and raise awareness in public debate and within educational systems. The writers' association works regularly with persecuted writers and journalists, and reports that a culture of hate in Sweden is increasing. Thirty-five percent of Swedish authors, and 30 percent of journalists in the country have been threatened or harassed. More info on the Swedish Writers' Union, see www.forfattarforbundet.se