Sun Axelsson has died
Swedish author Sun Axelsson has passed away. Born in 1935 in Göteborg, Axelsson studied teaching and journalism and worked as a reporter at the literary reviews BLM and Ord och bild. In 1959 her first collection of poetry, “Mållös,” was published. For the entire year of 1960, Axelsson lived in Chile while engaged in a relationship with Chilean poet Nicanor Parra. During this time she also formed a closed friendship with Nobel-prize winning poet Pablo Neruda. Axelsson’s most famous book is probably “Honungsvargar.” “She was a very generous person who would give away her belongings not only to her friends but to others as well,” explains Stig Björkman, her partner. Axelsson was a cosmopolitan, and one of the first in Sweden to write so-called confessional novels. She also worked as a translator of literature.

Sharp decline of foreign students
Applications to international courses and master programs at Swedish colleges and universities have sharply declined since the introduction of tuition fees for international students, according to the Agency for Higher Education Services. The number of foreign students registered at masters programs in the autumn of 2011 has decreased by 73 percent compared with 2010―from 91,788 to 25,094. The number of applicants for individual courses has dropped by 86 percent, from 40,429 to 5,772.

Palme murder case
The head of the investigation into the 1986 assassination of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme toned down reports of an alleged new lead into the case with links to the former Yugoslav security service. "This is absolutely not new. We received the first tip about this in 1988," Detective Superintendent Stig Edqvist told the German Press Agency dpa. German news magazine Focus reported in its latest issue that a contract killer linked to the former Yugoslav security service was connected with the crime. The alleged assassin was said to be living in Croatia, and German police had provided information about this to Swedish investigators in 2008, the magazine said. "We have looked into this, and Prosecutor Kerstin Skarp has decided that we will not do anything more on this matter," Edqvist said. "If we get more information we are of course ready to look into it again." German police quoted in Focus said they had not heard from their Swedish colleagues, but Edqvist said it was not possible to respond to every tip sent in. Palme was shot and killed on a Stockholm street on the night of February 28, 1986 while walking home from the cinema with his wife. Christer Pettersson, the man convicted of the killing in July 1989, was later acquitted on appeal. He died in 2004. Last year Sweden abolished the 25-year statute of limitations for certain serious crimes including murder, manslaughter, genocide and terrorism.

Oven pancake with pork (Ugnspannkaka med fläsk)
We continue to look a bit closer at traditional Swedish fare, which really is perfect for this time of year when you crave a bit heavier food. Fläskpannkaka (pork pancake) is a special Swedish and Norwegian variant of pancakes, baked in an oven and usually served with lingonberry jam. 4-6 servings. ¾ pound (300 g) lightly smoked bacon or side of pork 3 eggs 3¼ cups milk 1¾ cups flour Preheat oven to 435 F°. Slice the pork into small cubes. Place in a 12” x 18” rectangular baking dish. Place in oven and brown. Stir occasionally so the pork browns evenly. Beat the eggs. Add half the milk and all the flour to eggs and beat until batter is smooth and without lumps. Stir in the remaining milk. Pour the batter into the baking pan and place it in the middle of the oven. Bake 25-30 minutes until the pancake is completely firm and golden brown. Allow it to set a few minutes before slicing. Serve warm with lingonberry jam or finely shredded green cabbage, which has been flavored with lingon jam.