Close to 35 million Christmas cards
The traditional Christmas card remains popular. This year, Swedes sent a total of about 35 million Christmas cards, according to a forecast by Swedish Mail, 'Posten'. It is about the same number as last year and more than in the 1970s. Christmas cards are more desired than other forms of greetings, for example via email, both among senders and receivers, according to a survey by Posten.

Frosty relations
What’s colder than the weather in Sweden right now? Try the relationship between Princess Madeleine and her father, King Carl XVI Gustaf. As you already know, Princess Madeleine was a no show at this year’s Nobel festivities, and she has pretty much moved to New York after the break from her former fiancé Jonas Bergström (she’ll remain in the US until next summer, according to the royal Swedish court). But she’s back in town for Christmas and it was clear she is not on good terms with her father. Madeleine blames the King for having to break off with Jonas. She knew about Jonas’ affair with Norwegian Tora, and had already forgiven him for it, when the story was made public and the King forced her to break off the engagement. After the publication of “Carl XVI Gustaf – Den motvillige monarken”, Madeleine confronted her father at the Palace, feeling he had been unjust with her. At the recent ceremony at Stockholm’s Börshuset the two didn’t look at each other, and when Peter Englund, the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy cracked a joke, everybody laughed except Madeleine.

Local politician stabbed
Bernt Andersson, a Social democratic member of the local city council in Umeå in north Sweden, was stabbed outside him home today. He is reported to have serious injuries. Andersson managed to contact a neighbor who called the police. The security service has now been involved in the investigation but no further details are made public at the moment.

Princess Christina: “I have breast cancer”
Swedish Princess Christina (sister to the King) is suffering from breast cancer. It was last spring that the Princess received the diagnosis, and since she has undergone both radiation and chemotherapy at Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm. The treatment is very harsh on the body, and so it isn’t until now, when she has come out of the treatment, that Princess Christina lets it be known that she has cancer. Now she wants to talk about her disease. “I hope it can be of support to others,” she says. Sweden is on the forefront when it comes to research and treatment of breast cancer – a comfort to Princess Christina and many other women as well. Queen Silvia has encouraged women to examine their breasts and both she and Christina recommends having mammograms. “The earlier a tumor is discovered, the higher the chances are for survival,” says Princess Christina, who is relieved the treatment is behind her. Now she wants to rest, but many controls are left until she can be declared free of cancer.

500 cars stuck in the snow – road closed
A road in the eastern part of the southern province of Skåne has been closed and the Transport Administration has declared that they cannot guarantee the availability of minor roads in that area. About 500 cars are stuck in snowdrifts and so are also several plough trucks. Motorists are therefore requested to not take the roads in eastern Skåne.