Roxette reunited.
Roxette, aka Per Gessle and Marie Fredriksson, will reunite this fall. The successful Swedish duo had a string of hits in the late 1980’s through the mid 90’s with songs like “It Must Have Been Love,” “The Look” and “Listen to Your Heart.” The reunion will take place when Roxette, along with other artists, plays the so called Night of the Proms Tour, which yearly visits countries like Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. “It will be the first time we stand on a stage together since 2001 and it’s very exciting to do it for the enormous Night of the Proms audience,” the band writes on its Web site. Night of the Proms will begin October 23 in Antwerpen; there is no mention of any Roxette concerts in Sweden.

Swine flu reaches Sweden.
Sweden became the 23rd country with a case of swine flu as the public healthauthority May 6 confirmed the country's first case of H1N1 flu. Officials said the individual, who recently returned from the United States, was now healthy. The Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control said tests showed a suspected case under laboratory investigation for several days, was indeed the new flu. "The earlier possible case in the Stockholm region has been confirmed," the institute said in a statement. The case is the second in the Nordic region. Denmark confirmed its first case on May 1. A spokesman at Stockholm's health authority said a Stockholm woman in her 50s, fell ill April 25, two days after returning from Chicago. "She is healthy now. She feels absolutely fine," said Ake Ortqvist, a spokesman at the authority. People who had been in close contact with her have been receiving antiviral treatment.

Sweden to sell state-owned pharmacies.
The government continued its policy of privatizing state-owned monopolies, as it put 616 branches of pharmacy chain Apoteket up for sale May 5. Apoteket has a monopoly on retail sales of drugs. The company responsible for the privatization said big and middle-sized buyers would buy 466 of the 946 branches while it reserves 150 for small businesses through an initiative run by the state. The chain would continue to run 330 branches. Apoteket Omstrukturering AB said the sale has attracted interest from both Swedish and foreign pharmacy companies and venture capitalists. The Swedish parliament in April decided to deregulate the pharmacy market starting July 1. Breaking the Apoteket monopoly is part of the center-right government's plans to reduce state involvement in business activities. The government has already sold Absolut vodka maker Vin & Sprit, real estate group Vasakronan and stakes in telecom operator TeliaSonera and Nordic bourse operator OMX under the privatization plan.

Free surfing in Stockholm.
Here are three of the best places for free Internet surfing in Stockholm. According to Dagens Nyheter they all offer free WiFi as well as better “fika” than most. At Café Edenborg you’ll run into tourists, young authors and playwrights (Jonas Hassen Khemiri and Shima Niavarani have been spotted) while you munch on “ostkaka” and check your e-mails. If you tire of the Internet, there are books, some comic books and cultural magazines. Café Edenborg is located on Stora Nygatan 35, T: Gamla Stan, Phone: 08-22 10 19. At Mariatorget there’s Café Aguéli, a café, gallery and mini second-hand bookshop all in one. Their soups, according to visitors, are to die for. For a more spacious place where you can meet with friends and colleagues and where the music is never overpowering, try Scandic Anglais at Stureplan.

“Bananas!*” in Los Angeles.
Swedish film director Fredrik Gertten’s documentary film “Bananas!*” has been chosen as a competitor for the Los Angeles Film Festival and thus has a chance to win $50,000. Two other Swedish films will also participate in the L.A. Film Festival: “Drottningen och jag” and “Istället för abracadabra.” “Bananas!*” (the asterisk indicates there’s more under the peel) is a film about the poisonous chemicals that are being used in the banana industry, as it follows a lawyer in Los Angeles who represents 12,000 banana workers in Nicaragua in a historical case against Dole Foods and Dow Chemicals. When asked what he would do with the money should he win, Gertten said, “Oh, I read somewhere that it’s the largest prize anywhere in the U.S. … to be so close and yet so far away. What do I tell the kids if we don’t win?”

Dolls save the day.
Dolls have a special way to look at you, with their big, kind eyes. They awake empathy. “I wanted to make dolls that were more than pretty,” says Britt-Marie Egedius Jakobsson. Britt-Marie lost a child to a horrible, nameless disease and decided to start making something with her hands as a way of surviving. “We all know from science that playing and learning go hand in hand,” she says. “And for me both of them are very important. I have seen what play can do. And that’s why I so strongly believe in the dolls’ capacity in creating feelings.” Britt-Marie wants her dolls to be the size of a newborn but with the capabilities of a baby a bit older. “I want the doll to be sturdy, to be able to sit up and bring comfort.” Britt-Marie’s dolls come in different skin colors and have different ethnic features. In Leeds, England, they are used in childcare to teach little children about diversity in society. But the dolls can also be used as models in social training, by bringing out empathy in adults. In Italy and Germany the dolls are used in eldercare for patients with senility problems. “Old people can get their memory back by holding the doll like a child, talking to it and caressing it,” says Britt-Marie.

Teenage hero.
When Natalie Forsberg, 18, heard her dogs bark at the back of her house, she ran out and saw that her neighbor’s house had caught on fire. She noticed her 87-year-old neighbor standing in the doorway of his burning house, and she didn’t think twice. “I ran up to him and carried him over to our courtyard,” she says. Her neighbor, she said, is very thin and didn’t weigh much so carrying him to safety wasn’t that hard. But very brave and very courageous. Natalie called the authorities, and her neighbor was cared for and will be all right. His house, however, could not be saved.