Ice hotel opens ahead of time
(National) The now year-round ice hotel near Kiruna in northern Sweden has opened for business — but before it received clearance from the inspection authorities. The hotel now faces large fines. "The law is very clear on this point,” said Kristoffer Johansson, head of planning permission in Kiruna.

The Arctic Circle is not a fixed geographic location
(Science) The Arctic Circle is not, as most people assume, a fixed location on the ground. Instead, it is an astronomical phenomenon related to the tilt of the earth’s axis to the sun and also changes due to planetary, moon and the sun’s gravity. Always in flux, the National Land Survey plots the actual Arctic Circle which moves with a steady trend to the north. The Arctic Circle is the southernmost boundary where one can see the midnight sun or the polar night.

Cheating on tests brings harsh results
(National) Cheating on university entrance exams has brought harsh results to 51 individuals caught by the Swedish Council for Higher Education. Due to the introduction of stricter rules, those found cheating had their exam papers disqualified and have been banned from retaking the test for two years. The council could also report some of the misdeeds to police, which could carry a jail sentence for up to six months.

Improvement in math and science
(National) The latest TIMSS (Trends in Math and Science Study) results show that students in grade 4 and 8 have improved in math, and students in grade 8 have improved in physics. In secondary schools, ages 16-18 show improvement in math but results for physics has gone down. The last report was generated in 2011 but compared to the 1995 result, performance is still down by 71 percent. And in comparison with other international countries, Sweden falls behind.

TV personality accused of racism
(Cultural) Television host and singer Sanna Nielsen has been accused of racism after posting a controversial photo of herself and a colleague in costume on social media. Nielsen disagrees with the criticism stating the costume was part of a production number from the Oscar Theatre Performance. It was and the skit in question was about how easily we accept stereotypes we understand. Several of her colleagues spoke out in her defense, instead ridiculing the accusers. Nielsen is scheduled to be this year’s Julvärd on SVT.