August 27 is Raoul Wallenberg Day
He has his own day in Canada, Argentina and the U.S., but not in Sweden. Until now. Since 2012 was the centennial celebration of Raoul Wallenberg's birth, the Minister for Culture and Sports, Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth, former Prime Minister Göran Persson and Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Jan Eliasson, among others, feel it’s important that Wallenberg’s legacy doesn’t disappear into a cloud of silence. Therefore on August 27, Sweden will celebrate Raoul Wallenbergdagen. “Sweden needs a day like that in order to remember the work of Wallenberg,” Liljeroth, Persson and Eliasson write. Since there’s no formal way to decide “days,” the group picked a date when schools are in session so children will learn about and remember the Swedish war hero. Raoul Wallenberg (1912-1947?) was a Swedish businessman, diplomat and humanitarian. He is widely celebrated for his successful efforts to rescue tens of thousands to about one hundred thousand Jews in Nazi-occupied Hungary during the Holocaust from Hungarian fascists and the Nazis during the later stages of World War II. While serving as Sweden's special envoy in Budapest between July and December 1944, Wallenberg issued protective passports and sheltered Jews in buildings designated as Swedish territory, saving tens of thousands of lives. On January 17, 1945, during the Siege of Budapest by the Red Army, Wallenberg was detained by Soviet authorities on suspicion of espionage and subsequently disappeared. He was later reported to have died on July 17, 1947, while imprisoned in the Lubyanka, a building located in Moscow, Russia, housing both the KGB headquarters and its affiliated prison. The motives behind Wallenberg's arrest and imprisonment by the Soviet government, along with questions surrounding the circumstances of his death and his possible ties to U.S. intelligence, remain mysterious and are the subject of continued speculation.

No 'Majesty' for Hans
For fun, Hans Bertil added "Majesty" to his name at work and on Facebook. But when he wanted to make the change for real, Skatteverket (the Swedish Tax Agency) denied his request. Hans wanted his name to be Hans Majestät (Majesty) Bertil, but the agency felt such a name would lead to misunderstandings. “It’s not a name, it’s a title. There’s a person in the country with that title,” says Ingegerd Widell at Skatteverket. Says Hans: “I wanted to make the change just for fun, there was no secret motive behind it.” Hans Bertil does not want to reveal his last name. “Also I saw that a name change was free of charge.” Inspired by friends who had added names like “Blåvitt” (blue white) and “Kongo” to their names, Hans Bertil began to add Majesty to his name in between his first two names. “Many people thought it was fun and asked about the name,” he explains. “And at work, many of my colleagues have begun adding it in writing as well.” Hans Bertil thought about appealing Skatteverket’s decision, but decided against it. “It’s a waste of time, they won’t change their minds.” But Widell says the agency has become more lenient and more willing to take suggestions for name changes seriously, since the possibility became available in the mid 1980s. “We’ve changed our practice, and we are now more generous. Titles, brand names and phenomena, however, are not to be regarded as names.”

Messi beats Zlatan
Zlatan gets beaten by Messi big time. At least when it comes to popularity in naming dogs. Fresh statistics from Jordbruksverket’s dog register shows that though there are 202 dogs registered under the name Zlatan (as in Zlatan Ibrahimovich), there are 431 dogs named Messi (after the Argentine soccer player Lionel Messi). However, both Messi and Zlatan have nothing on Ludde, a sort of old-fashioned, standard dog name: There are currently 3,647 dogs in Sweden named Ludde. These are of course male dogs; when it comes to female dogs, the most popular name is Molly. As for the most popular dog breed in Sweden? The German Shepherd. There are 32,032 German Shepherds in the dog register.

Pia Sundhage FIFA coach of the year
A Swedish woman went to London and won an Olympic gold medal for the U.S. As a bonus she recently enjoyed a trip to Switzerland: Pia Sundhage, has won FIFA's "Coach of the Year" award. “This year has been like a dream,” Sundhage says. Sundhage was close to winning last year but was beaten. The year before, 2011, she came in third. It was therefore a logical choice for her to win this year. When Sundhage stepped up to receive the honor, she began singing Bob Dylan’s “If not for you." “When I’m nervous and don’t know what to say, I sing instead,” she explained. “I think that what we’ve done—coaches and players—is amazing. And when I had Abby (Wambach) and Alex (Morgan) and Hope (Solo)—all three professional American soccer players—distributing the prize, I wanted to express myself in the best way possible. So I thought of ‘If not for you’ and then just went for it.” Sundhage says she values the honor of Coach of the Year a lot. “Absolutely. I wanted to win for our sake, and I’d really like to share this prize with those I’ve worked with, however that’s not possible. It was a sign that we’d done something really great. I’m so proud for what we’ve done together.” Next for Sundhage? The European Championship this summer when she will be coach for the Swedish women.

More Swedes survive cardiovascular diseases
For decades, heart attack was the most common cause of death in Sweden. However, now dementia is the number one killer according to a study by DN. Meanwhile the number of Swedes dying of cancer is at the same level it has been for the past ten years. Last year 34,666 Swedes died of cardiovascular diseases, which may be compared to the 42,695 that died from the same diseases ten years earlier. The information is based on statistics from Socialstyrelsens dödsorsaksregister (the mortality register at the National Board of Health and Welfare). The result shows that many of the most common diseases in Sweden are decreasing. For instance, the number of people dying of flu or pneumonia has decreased 25 percent. “The decline of cardiovascular diseases has to do with health care getting better, which means more people survive,” says Maria Danielsson, researcher and investigator at Socialstyrelsen. “Fewer people get sick, which has to do with fewer people smoking and eating less saturated fats.” However, it is not certain that the declining trend of cardiovascular diseases will continue, due to the growing trend of LCHF diets (low carb high fat). And this, according to Socialstyrelsen, is cause for concern. According to a study coming out of Umeå, Swedes’ cholesterol levels are going up. “This is a worrying trend,” Danielsson continues. “It’s not certain that the number of people dying in cardiovascular diseases will continue to decline at the same rate.” Today it’s dementia—for instance, Alzheimer’s disease—which is increasing as the most common cause of death in Sweden. Last year 8,097 Swedes died from some sort of dementia (including senility)—an increase of more than 32 percent since 2001. That trend is likely to do with an aging population. In the last ten years, research has made progress in cardiovascular diseases as well as cancer. Yet, just as many Swedes die from cancer now as they did then. Prostate cancer and breast cancer both have a stable development, for cancer of the lung and bronchus there’s even been an increase.