Swedish dads take leave
Sweden’s parental leave policy has parents in other countries wishing they lived in Sweden — where parents get 480 days of paid leave after a child is born or adopted. Of those days, 60 are reserved for the father, though statistics show only about 12 percent of dads take their whole leave. The Swedish Dad Photobook about the heartwarming relations between Swedish dads and their children offers a glimpse into the everyday lives of 21 dads at home with their children in Sweden. For more info, see www.swedishdad.com Sweden's system is also of particular interest to photographer and father of three, Johan Bävman, of Malmö, Sweden, who shared his parental leave equally with his wife, both taking about nine months with each child. That’s when he began to consider other countries’ policies and Swedish dads' lack of interest, so he started documenting fathers who were home on paternity leave for at least six months. His project, "Swedish Dads," has caused a sensation in the media around the world. In interviews and photographs of 60 men and their children — one for each day a father must be on paternity leave — Bävman’s aim is partly to show role models, to encourage other men to feel they could handle the dirty diapers, the playground gravel and smooshy bananas of 24/7 parenthood. But it’s also to describe the reality of the good times as well as the fatigue. Halfway through the project, "Swedish Dads" already started winning prestigious photo awards, and foreign media is casting light on men engaged in the lives of their children. Now Bävman continues the search for more dads on paternity leave so he can finish the project and his plans for an exhibition and a book, for which he notes foreign markets are interested.

ABBA does it again
ABBA legend Björn Ulvaeus wasn’t kidding when he told media that he had a big announcement to make. And today the secret is out: He has plans for a Stockholm entertainment venue, inspired by the Greek taverna in the smash movie and musical, Mamma Mia, which was created around and with ABBA music. Mamma Mia! The Party is set to open in January 2016, at Gröna Lund, one of Stockholm's main tourist attractions. And, if it’s successful, especially since it can easily be performed in English, "There is no reason why it wouldn't work anywhere else," said Ulvaeus. The new entertainment venue will be part restaurant, part stage show and part role play. There will be music and Greek food, and the audience can watch and even take part in the show. And for the fans hoping the project might bring about an ABBA reunion? "That's probably not going to happen,” said Ulvaeus. “Although, you never know...."

Not too many surprises in Sweden's spring budget
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven's centre-left coalition government's spring budget was made public on Wednesday, laying the focus on jobs, education, sustainable development and welfare politics. “It's a fairly traditional Social Democratic — and of course now Green as well — budget where you care for the welfare by raising the cap on unemployment benefits and employing more workers in the elderly care sector. It's a symbolic 'reset budget' to bring back the social safety net of the last century,” said Social Democratic politics professor Ulf Bjereld at Gothenburg University. But the supplementary spring budget was sharply criticized by most of Sweden's opposition parties, calling it a “betrayal of jobs” with the greatest tax hike in 20 years. "The government policy will slow the growth of new jobs," said Ulf Krister Andersson from the Moderate Party.