Italian politician slams gay Ikea ad
A top Italian minister, Carlo Giovanardi, Assistant Minister for Family Policy, has criticized the ads of Swedish company Ikea, which contains the image of homosexuals. The ad shows the picture of two men holding hands, and the caption reads: “We are open to all families”. The Italian minister calls it “bad taste” and said in a TV interview: “I find it serious and in bad taste that a Swedish multinational comes to Italy to tell Italians what they should think.” He continued: “I think that many clients of Ikea will not find this pleasant”. Giovanardi was much against the usage of the term “family” in relation to a gay couple, saying it is “in direct opposition to our constitution, which says that family is founded on a marriage”. Aurelio Mancuso, a gay rights activist, called the minister’s comments “dangerous and aggressive”, and said they “risk fuelling the climate of homophobia that drives violence and insults against gays, lesbians and transsexuals.” Italy has no law against homophobia and does not identify same sex marriages or civil partnerships.

Lund returns Maori skulls
Three Maori skulls kept for over a hundred years at Sweden's Lund University have been packed in boxes and handed back to New Zealand's National Museum at a repatriation ceremony. The New Zealand Ambassador to Sweden and representatives from the National Museum of New Zealand were there to collect the Maori remains which were taken from New Zealand in 1876 and which ended up at the department of history at Lund University for study. Michelle Hippolite, leading the delegation from New Zealand that is carrying out the repatriation project told Swedish Radio, "It is a sad and happy day, with every sad day comes enlightenment to another realm.” The delegation will continue on their journey to repatriate Maori remains from Norway, Germany and France. There are an estimated 500 Maori remains at different museums in Europe, the results of an extensive trade in human remains of indigenous people during the 1800's.

Remains of a giant lizard found
A team of researchers in Lund has discovered primary biological matter of a 70-million-year-old giant marine lizard in a fossil. The proteins they discovered are entombed in the stone. Johan Lindgren, Per Uvdal, Anders Engdahl and their colleagues explain it is a so-called mosasaur fossil, the mosasaurs lived in the sea during the Late Cretaceous (100-65 million years ago), and they are related to the monitor lizard of today. The experiment and subsequent discovery was carried out at the national laboratory of research at Lund University.

More want Carl XVI Gustaf to abdicate
According to a study by Sifo (a company in the area of opinion and social research) commissioned by the Swedish Television’s news program Rapport, more and more Swedes want King Carl XVI Gustaf to abdicate in favor of his daughter Crown Princess Victoria. 39% feel the King should make way for Victoria, while 45% believe he should remain as long as he wishes. During a similar study last year in February, 64% felt the King should remain as King. The study is based on interviews with 1000 people.