Sweden's population: almost 9.5 million.
Sweden's population continues to increase, but immigration declined last year for the first time since 2004. In late 2010, there were 9.41557 million Swedes, according to Statistics Sweden's final figures. That is an increase of 74,888 persons over the previous year. A total of 98,801 persons immigrated in 2010, which is 3,479 fewer than in 2009. The largest group of immigrants is returning Swedes—from Norway, U.S., England and Denmark. The second largest immigrant group is Somalis, followed by Iraqis.

Carl Bildt: embassies cannot be saved
Improved organization and efficiency at the foreign ministry would not be enough to save some of the embassies that are risking closure. This claims Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, even before he has read a new critical report. In a report on the ministry's effectiveness, investigator Richard Murray states that the embassies, threatened with closure due to finances, can be saved if the deficiencies at the ministry are corrected. The view is not shared by Bildt: "For the simple reason that we talk about 130 million SEK ($20,281,681.21), it is a lot of money for us."

Needle-exchange program in Stockholm likely
Stockholm will most likely participate in a needle-exchange program test The program would give drug addicts clean needles, with the aim of preventing the spread of, for example, HIV. Recently, all parties (except the Moderates), supported such a proposal in the city's social services committee. The decision is only a consultation response but shows how the parties intend to vote in the final decision of the city council.

Swedish “Las Palmas”—a YouTube success
Have you seen the funny trailer to the short film “Las Palmas” by Swedish director Johannes Nyholm on YouTube.com yet? In just a week, it was seen 2.7 million times. The film is about middle-aged Marja who goes on a charter trip to Gran Canaria and has problems with the social codes there. Marja is played by Nyholm’s own 1-year-old daughter and her fellow actors are marionette puppets. “Las Palmas” won the prestigious short film prize Startsladden at the Göteborg Film Festival earlier this year. If you haven’t already seen it, see it at www.youtube.com/watch?v=cds7lSHawAw

Beating the Monday blues
No matter where you go in the world, people seem to dread Mondays. Povel Ramel sang about the horror of Monday morning in “The Gräsänkling Blues,” as did Boomtown Rats in “I Don’t Like Mondays.” The problem is, it starts already on Sundays, doesn’t it? Sunday—the sad end of the weekend. So when we read on Alltommat.com about a way to use Sunday to kick start the week in a better mood, we thought why not? Take the sting out of the Sunday/Monday blues by trying activities that will recharge your batteries. Instead of a lounging in front of your television, take a long walk, watch a movie, visit a museum, take a warm bath or read a good book. And try making and eating something that’s delicious and nutritious, like a mango smoothie or a tofu-based blueberry drink with sunflower seeds.

Mango Smoothie
(makes 2 glasses) 2 cups plain yogurt 5 ounces frozen mango 2 Tablespoons lemon juice 1 Tablespoon honey ½ teaspoon ground ginger Pour the yogurt in a tall pot, add the frozen mango, the lemon, the honey and the ginger and mix with a hand blender. Pour into a glass.

Blueberry Drink
(makes one large glass) 4 ounces tofu half a banana 1 cup blueberries 1 cup milk (try oat milk) 1 Tablespoon honey 1 Tablespoon sunflower seeds ½ teaspoon cinnamon Mix tofu, banana, blueberries, milk and honey in a blender until smooth. Pour into glasses, and drizzle sunflower seeds and cinnamon on top.