Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Swedish Teetotallers Ban 'Gay Sermon' Preacher

Controversial pentecostalist pastor Åke Green has been barred from membership in Sweden's largest sobriety movement as a result of his views on homosexuals. The preacher from the Baltic Sea island of Öland received written notification on Tuesday of his expulsion from the teetotaller organization IOGT_NTO.

Sweden: House surrounded after shooting

Police have surrounded a house in Sollefteå in northern Sweden after a man was injured in a shooting incident on Wednesday morning. Police said a local specialized unit was on its way to the scene. "We believe that there are several people still in the house and that at least one person is armed," said police spokesman Christer Johansson. The injured man has been taken to hospital to be treated for minor injuries, according to police.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Nazi Victim's Heirs Lose Patience With Sweden Over Looted Nolde

Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) -- The heirs of a Jewish businessman forced to flee Germany before World War II appealed to the Swedish government to hasten the return of a looted painting by Emil Nolde that now hangs in Stockholm's Moderna Museet art museum. Otto Nathan Deutsch fled to Amsterdam, in late 1938 or early 1939, leaving his possessions, according to the heirs' lawyer, David Rowland of Rowland & Petroff in New York. Deutsch never got his belongings back.

``Blumengarten (Utenwarf)'' (``Flowergarden (Utenwarf)''), painted in 1917, surfaced in Switzerland in 1967 and was sold at auction to the Swedish museum, Rowland said. He estimates its value at $4 million. The heirs first contacted the Moderna Museet in 2002. Though Rowland declined to identify them by name, he said the heirs include a Holocaust survivor who was on a train headed for Auschwitz in the last days of the war and was only saved by the Soviet army's advance into defeated Nazi Germany.

``We are still waiting for Sweden to return this looted art,'' Rowland said in a telephone interview from New York. ``What they are doing is not correct, and we are fed up.''

Monday, January 28, 2008

More Swedes Attempt Suicide

The number of suicide attempts among young people in Sweden is increasing. The rise among young women has been particularly sharp, although the figure for young men is also up. The figures come in a report published on Monday by the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare, which shows that the greatest rise in attempted suicides in 2006 was among women in the 15-24 age group.

A total of 140,000 people were admitted to hospital in 2006 for 'deliberate self-destructive action', the official term used in medical registers for suicide attempts. Overdoses of tablets were most common.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Swedish Male Obesity to Weigh Heavy on Healthcare System

Young Swedish men have become so overweight that they may soon pose problems for the healthcare system, new research has shown. Researchers from Karolinska University Hospital and the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm analyzed the weight patterns of more than 1.5 million Swedish young men in the period from 1969 to 2005. By the middle of the current decade, the prevalence of moderate obesity among Swedish males at the age of military conscription had almost quintupled, reaching a level of one in twenty young men. Morbid obesity was found to have increased tenfold over the same period, with one in every hundred men affected, said the researchers in a statement.

Sweden: SAS Flew Defective Planes 'For Years'

Airline SAS serviced routes for years using planes containing dangerous hidden construction errors, a Danish newspaper has reported. SAS permanently grounded its fleet of Dash Q-400 planes last October after a series of incidents. A report the previous month showed that 25 of the airline's 27 Dash planes contained landing gear with rusty parts. Further investigations have now shown that the filters on the landing gear's hydraulic systems were also faulty, Danish newspaper Politiken reports. The problem has been discovered on 16 of the 18 planes so far examined.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Doubling in Reported Cases of Insider Trading in Sweden

The number of reported cases of insider trading in Sweden more than doubled last year compared to 2006. In 2007, the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority received 170 reports of suspected insider trading from businesses dealing in the buying and selling of shares. The equivalent total for 2006 amounted to 79 reports of suspicious dealings.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Stockholm Exchange Continue to Slide

The Stockholm stock exchange was off to a rocky start on Wednesday morning on worrying financial news from around the globe. After dropping 1.9 percent in the first twenty minutes of trading, the exchange recovered slightly, but remains down more than 1 percent for the day.

Swedish Bank Rammed by Armed Robbers

Two men have escaped with an undisclosed sum of money following an armed robbery at a bank in Västerås on Tuesday morning. Using a small truck, the robbers smashed their way in to a Swedbank office in the town's Skiljebo Centre shortly after 9am. Staff at the bank were ordered to lie on the floor as the two masked men, believed to have been carrying a shotgun, quickly emptied a number of tills before leaving the premises.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Sweden's Apartment Prices Keep Falling

Swedish apartment prices are continuing to fall and house prices have stagnated, according to figures published on Friday. The value of apartments in central Stockholm fell by 9 percent in the past three months, with an average flat now worth 50,500 kronor per square metre, according to Mäklarstatistik, which compiles statistics on behalf of the real estate industry. The figure represents an increase of 12 percent since a year ago, but is a substantial fall compared with the highs of 56,500 kronor in August last year.

Swedish Inflation at Record Level

Consumer prices increased by 0.2 percent from November to December, according to Statistics Sweden. The rate of inflation was 3.5 percent, compared to 3.3 percent in November. The December figure represents the highest level of inflation in Sweden in the past 14 years.Prices have not increased so sharply since January 1993, when inflation reached 4.8 percent.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Swedes More Pessimistic About Economy

An increasing number of Swedes believe that the country's economy will weaken in 2008, according to a new poll. In the poll, taken by Skop, 33.1 percent of people questioned said they thought the economic situation would worsen during the year, up from 30.7 percent in October.

Only 22.4 percent of those polled said that they thought the economy would improve this year, a fall of 5.7 percentage points since October. [...] "Pessimism is deeper than it has been for two-and-a-half years," said Skop analyst Örjan Hultåker.

Immigrant Children Coming to Sweden 'Like visitors From The Middle Ages'

Children who come to Sweden from Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia can be likened to time travellers from the Middle Ages, according to a report commissioned by top education officials in Eskilstuna. Despite initially having approved the emergency report, schools chief Margareta Forsberg and department boss Rolf Brunell have both agreed to have a rethink following strong criticism of the wording in sections of the document. Arguing for more resources in the central Swedish town for schools with large numbers of recent immigrants, the report said these pupils often found themselves a thousand years behind their Swedish counterparts, Eskilstuna-Kuriren reports.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Homeless Swede Hijacks Korean Businessman's Identity

A homeless man from Gothenburg is facing prosecution after he was caught for the second time misappropriating the identity of a Korean businessman in order to obtain goods and services, Metro reports. The 46-year-old man, who is a registered user of a homeless shelter on the outskirts of the city, was previously sentenced to two years in jail after acquiring large quantities of electronic equipment under false premises.

Telia Sonera Loses Millions of Emails

According to an initial investigation by telecom giant Telia Sonera, a series of technical and administrative failures led to 300,000 customers losing emails in last week’s server crash. Trouble with the servers was first detected on December 15th, but went undetected because the person responsible for checking computer logs left the post on December 14th and wasn’t replaced. As a result, no one saw what was happening and no back-up was performed before the crash.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Secret Swedish Military Files Left in Library

A USB-memory stick loaded with secret documents from the Swedish Armed Forces was found in a Stockholm library, reports Aftonbladet. The secret documents included material related to Nato’s ISAF peace keeping force in Afghanistan, as well as an intelligence report from a private American security company analyzing the murder of the Sri Lankan foreign minister and the attempted assassination of Lebanon’s defence minister.

Swedish Opera Star Beltran Denies Rape Charges

A Swedish opera star has spoken out for the first time in response to accusations that he raped an 18-year-old nanny. Tito Beltran, 42, is accused of raping the woman at a hotel in Nötesjö in Skåne following a performance at a concert in the area. A number of other well-known Swedish performers were staying at the hotel, and have been interviewed in the police investigation.

Woman Raped by Three Men in Stockholm

A young woman was raped by three men in Solna, near Stockholm, in the early hours of Sunday. The woman was found by a taxi driver at around 12.30am. The rape is reported to have occurred at around midnight near a bus stop in Frösundavik. Police have so far been unable to make an arrest for the crime which has been designated as aggravated rape.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Ferry Passengers Stranded For Twenty Hours

Ferries carrying around 200 passengers were stranded off the coast of southern Sweden for almost twenty hours in poor weather on Wednesday, unable to dock in the port of Trelleborg.
The Scandlines ship Mecklenburg-Vorpommern approached Trelleborg at 9pm on Wednesday after a voyage from Rostock, but knocked a fender into the water as it entered the port.Port authorities ruled that for safety reasons ships could not dock until the fender had been removed.

Buses Collide in Sweden, one Dead, 60 Hurt

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Jan. 3 Two buses collided head-on in central Sweden Thursday, killing one person and injuring as many as 60 others, police reported.The wreck involved a Russian tourist bus and a city bus near Gagnef, 150 miles northwest of Stockholm, The Local newspaper reported.Bo Eriksson, spokesman for Dalarna County Police, said seven of the 60 people hurt were listed in serious condition.

Malmö Man in Child Sex Probe

Prosecutors in Malmö are warning that a man who appeared in court on Thursday accused of sexual assaults on four girls could have attacked more children. The man, aged 50 and from Malmö, appeared in Malmö District Court to face charges of child rape over his attacks on two girls under 15. A further two attacks on girls over 15 have led to charges of sexual assault. "There could be more victims. We don't yet know," said prosecutor Thorbjörn Sjöberg.

Six Arrested Following Samurai Sword Attack in Karlstad

Six people were arrested and three taken to the hospital following a knife fight in Karlstad Wednesday night. “There was some sort of scuffle, and then a knife came out,” said Bjarne Andersson of the Värmland police. The clash involved two families in a store in the industrial area of Våxnäs outside of Karlstad. In addition to a knife, a sword was also involved in the fight.

HIV Infections on The Rise in Sweden

A record number of Swedes were infected with HIV in 2007. Stockholm’s intravenous drug users suffered a major outbreak which added to the high infection statistics. The virus strain is new and appears to have come from Finland.Through the middle of November 2007, forty-five new cases of HIV infections were discovered among drug addicts in Stockholm county. The figure is more than double the twenty-two cases confirmed in 2006 and significantly higher than the twenty-six cases recorded in 2005. “This is amounts to a real emergency,” said Åke Örtqvist, a doctor of infectious diseases in Stockholm.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Boy Fights For Life After Firework Blast

Fireworks caused injuries to people and damage to property as 2008 was ushered in overnight in Sweden. One 16-year-old boy was left fighting for his life after an accident in Blekinge. The incident occurred in Långö in Karlskrona. As the boy walked up to a rocket which had apparently not caught light, it exploded in his face, according to police.

Sharp Rise in Swedish Road Deaths

A total of 470 people died on Sweden's roads in 2007 - some 40 more than the year before. An ongoing zero tolerance campaign has the target of reducing that sum to 270. On Wednesday the Swedish Road Administration will hold a press conference to explain the rise and the changes in the ten years since the zero tolerance decision was taken.

Grave Sites Sandalized in Helsingborg Sweden

Dozens of grave sites have been damaged by vandals in three separate Helsingborg cemeteries. As of nightfall on New Year’s Day police had confirmed 38 overturned stones, but according to Helsingborg Dagblad, the total number of overturned head stones may be as high as one hundred. Stones in the Old, New, and Donation Cemeteries have been overturned or damaged

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Stone-throwing Swedish youths force bus route closures

Bus operator Swebus has elected to shut down several stops in response to attacks by gangs of rock-throwing youths in Hovsjö and Ronna. Last Wednesday one bus suffered damage due to thrown rocks and on Thursday another bus was hit by fireworks. As a result, several bus stops were closed into the weekend.

Swebus drivers ventured out again this past Saturday evening and were once again met with thrown rocks. “They stand on the pedestrian bridges over the roads and throw rocks at us when we drive toward the city center. We simply can’t risk our drivers’ or passengers’ safety, said Kjell Hägglund, head of security for Swebus.