Mankell's “Wallander” receives British award
The new series of “Wallander” films, starring – again – Krister Henriksson as the private detective in Ystad – just won the award for best foreign criminal drama during the televised British Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards 2010. Nominated in the same category were, among others, the American series “The Good Wife” and “Damages”. “The award shows that our films keep a high, international standard. It’s especially exciting to be so appreciated in England, a country that’s a bit of a home to the crime genre,” said “Wallander” producer Malte Forssel. Crime Thriller Awards is presented by the British TV channel ITV in collaboration with The Crime Writers Association and awards books, films, and TV series in the crime category. Brits watch “Wallander” on the BBC channel.

Wow, Crown Princess Victoria!
What do you call the one earring that Victoria sported when in China on a state visit? Unexpected! This is not at all how we’re used to seeing the Crown Princess. Is it the fact that she is now married and happily showing her love, or is it that she has a new stylist? Whatever it is, and whatever you think of her new style, it’s fun to see a different Victoria. During the visit, she and Daniel were celebrated like idols. Hundreds of people had gathered to get a glimpse of them. “Wow, this was quite an experience!” Victoria said with a smile.

Room for Victoria and Daniel in the budget
Victoria and Daniel have a special place in the Swedish budget. The government is giving them 14 million SEK extra (that’s $ 2,111,862.89) as they move into Haga Palace. “Most of it covers personnel like guards,” says Jan Lindman, financial director at the Royal Swedish court. And the fact that there’s a new prince, also means more expenses. Prince Daniel must receive money for safety, travel and transportation as well as living expenses. Jan Lindman says we must put the cost of having a royal family in relation to what we get: “The cost of the royal family equals one Piggelin (a Swedish popsicle) per Swede. In Denmark and Norway, each citizen pays the equivalence of a Magnum (a more expensive Swedish ice-cream cone) for their royal courts.” But of course some might want to put their Piggelin-money elsewhere. The King’s appanage, which in Sweden is paid to the Royal Household, is slightly more than 120 million SEK ($18,101,477.57). Of that money 60 million SEK ($9,052,379.87) goes to the King and his work and organization, and 60 million SEK goes to the upkeep of castles and palaces around Sweden.

Clean, green and very pristine
Well, we all knew this of course, but it is worth being repeated: The Nordic countries are among the cleanest in the world. This time according to the Economist. The cleanest, purest country is Switzerland, but second on the list of the top ten countries, are Norway, whose slogan “Powered by nature” brings thousands of tourists to see the fjords every year, and Sweden, which offers cascading northern lights, white sandy beaches, mountains and meadows and a glittering array of over 24,000 islands. Sweden was also the second country in the world to introduce an eco-tourism charter, and also created Europe’s first eco-label that assures the quality of around 180 holidays and activities run by its 80 eco-certified operators around the country. Following Norway and Sweden is Finland. The Finnish Lapland is one of Europe’s last true areas of unspoiled wilderness, with vast swathes of forest and hundreds of pristine lakes, visitors can enjoy the midnight sun, stunning natural scenery and see bear and lynx. A paradise for campers, hikers and bikers, Finland was also named ‘Best Country in the World’ by Newsweek, and is one great escape. The entire list reads: 1. Switzerland 2. Norway 2. Sweden 4. Finland 5. Costa Rica 6. Austria 7. New Zealand 8. Latvia 9. Colombia 10. France. The US ranks as the 39th cleanest country.