Royal blasphemy
The shiny one krona coin looked normal enough, but when Karin Mattsson in Pitea took a closer look, she saw the difference. Instead of it saying: “Sveriges konung” (Sweden’s king) it said instead: “Vår horkarl till kung” (Our whoremonger the king). “My first reaction was that I didn’t read it right,” says Mattsson to the daily Piteå-Tidningen. At Riksbanken (the central bank of Sweden), it was confirmed that the coin indeed looked like a real one, apart from that one line. “It’s extremely well done,” says technical expert Mårten Gomer. Ian Wiséhn, museum director at Kungliga Myntkabinettet (the Royal Coin Cabinet), says that coin forgeries are very rare and difficult to do. “You have to be quite crafty,” he says. It’s surely a time-consuming and complicated process to make the coin look real enough to fool people. “I suspect you make a mould and carve out a negative of the coil. And that’s not easily done.” That the forgery is of a one-krona doesn’t surprise him, however. Earlier forgeries have been mostly of ten-kronas. A series of ten-kronas was made as an art piece by the artist Pär Lindblom. But Lindblom’s coins have little in common with the coin Mattsson found. “He made an artistic piece out of it, without distorting the king or anything like that. He also made his coins in gold.” Mattsson says she found her coin by accident, and that she doesn’t know where she got it. Now she keeps it in a box. “It’s a fun thing to show off,” she says. Although police have been interested in seeing the coin, Mattsson has no intention of reporting the forgery. “If they want to see it, they can come here,” she says.

Not allowed to go to bathroom without permission
Every third woman (34 percent) in LO (Landsorganisationen i Sverige – The Swedish Trade Union Confederation) is not allowed to take a 5-minute bathroom break without first asking permission to do so, or ask for a substitute to cover their job, according to a fresh report from LO. “That so many of our female members are chained to their work so they cannot even use the bathroom without permission is not acceptable,” says Karl-Petter Thorwaldsson, chairman of LO. “There has got to be a way to organize and staff the workplace better than that—even for women.” Among male workers, the equivalent number is 12 percent. Compare that to the number of male civil servants, and only 5 percent are prohibited to take restroom breaks among them. The report also shows there are great differences between men and women within LO when it comes to work time, such as possibilities to come in late, catch up with work at other times and to decide when to take vacation. 70 percent of LO men feel they have these freedoms, whereas only 54 percent of LO women feel they do. The same goes for deciding in what order to do certain tasks at work: Men feel they have more freedom to decide. Only in one field are there but marginal difference between men and women within LO, and that is the freedom to work from home. According to the report, 6 percent of the women feel they have that option, whereas 7 percent of the men feel the same way.

State to take responsibility for narcolepsy
The Swedish state ought to reimburse the children and young adolescents who have been struck with narcolepsy as a result of the swine flu vaccine. This is something that the Social Democrats and the alliance are in agreement over. “We take this seriously,” Social Minister Göran Hägglund (Christian Democrat) and Lena Hallengren (Social Democrat), deputy chairwoman on the Parliament’s committee on social questions, write in a debate article in daily Dagens Nyheter. Of all Swedes, 60 percent chose to get vaccinated against the swine flu in 2009 and 2010. In connection with this, around 200 children and youngsters were affected by narcolepsy (a chronic sleep disorder characterized by excessive sleepiness and sleep attacks at inappropriate times). The pharmaceutical insurance covers people being affected by a medicine, but according to Hägglund and Hallengren, there are financial restrictions. “Among those affected and their families, there is therefore a great worry that some of them won’t be reimbursed or will receive but a smaller sum of money. There’s also a worry over how these children and youngsters will be able to work in the future. That’s why it’s paramount that the affected children and young people can feel safe in the long run, when it comes to compensation,” the two write. The government and the Social Democrats are now in agreement that in those cases where the pharmaceutical insurance can’t cover, the Swedish state will take responsibility for compensation.

Mora Nisse has died
Swedish cross country skier and legend Nils Karlsson, better known as Mora Nisse, has died. Mora-Nisse was born in 1917 in Mora, Dalarna, as his nickname suggests. He won the Olympic gold medal in the 50 km at the 1948 Winter Olympics, a bronze medal in 50 km at the 1950 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, and a total of 37 gold medals in Swedish national championships, 17 in individual competition. He also won the Vasaloppet race nine times, and has meant a lot to that particular race, initially through his many victories. Eventually, with the aid of famous radio sports commentator Sven Jerring, Mora-Nisse made Vasaloppet known in all of Sweden. According to a statement released by Vasaloppet organizers, the skier died early Saturday, surrounded by members of his family. The cause of death was not immediately available. Mora-Nisse was 94 years old.