Negative interest rate in Sweden
The Swedish crown dived to a six-year low and local stocks hit record highs on February 12 after Riksbanken (Sweden's central bank) cut its main repo rate to -0.10 percent. "There are signs that underlying inflation has bottomed out, but the situation abroad is now more uncertain and this increases the risk that inflation will not rise sufficiently fast," the bank wrote in a public statement. Price levels in Sweden have been stagnant since 2012 and the bank’s measures are clearly to ward off deflation tendencies.The Riksbank lowered its key repo rate by 10 basis points and said it would buy 10 billion crowns ($1.2 billion) worth of government bonds. The crown fell nearly 2 percent against the dollar to 8.5512 kronor per dollar, its lowest since April 2009. The Riksbank also said it was prepared to do more at short notice to safeguard its inflation target of 2 percent.

Another Swedish series adapted for American TV
Nick Cassavetes has teamed with "The Walking Dead" producer Gale Anne Hurd to develop “Tusenbröder” ("Brothers in Crime"), adapted from a Swedish series aired in the 2000s. The story centers around three friends who turn to crime in order to prevent the financial collapse of their construction business. The original series ran for three seasons on Swedish television between 2001 and 2006. Ola Rapace ("Skyfall") was among the stars. The American version is not yet attached to a network but will be produced by Hurd and Cassavetes, who is also set to direct. The Scandinavian series adaptation trend is still going strong in the U.S. Following the success of "The Bridge" on FX (adapted from "Bron") and "The Killing" on AMC and Netflix (from "Forbrydelsen" in Denmark), AMC is currently working on "Real Humans," its version of the Swedish sci-fi drama "Äkta Människor."

Virtual hospital on anesthesia web
Gunilla Lööf, an energetic nurse anesthetist at Astrid Lindgren Children's Hospital in Stockholm, founded Narkoswebben in 2006 to better prepare children for anesthesia and surgery. It was the first service of its kind and remains unmatched, attracting 15,000 visitors each month, mainly from Sweden but also from other countries. The site is interactive in English and Swedish with available text in a multitude of languages. Children using the site become calmer and more confident about the unfamiliar procedures and surroundings of a hospital. Anesthesia Web is designed and operated by Lööf and anesthesiologist Ulf Lindsten, also at the Astrid Lindgren Children's Hospital. All information on Anesthesia Web is reviewed and approved by the hospital’s children anesthesia section but is run on a voluntary basis without any public funding. For more info see

Pirate Bay online again
File-sharing website Pirate Bay came back online in early February, two months after Swedish authorities delivered what had appeared to be a fatal blow to the decade-old website. Swedish police raided servers belonging to Pirate Bay in early December after being prompted by a complaint by the Rights Alliance, a group targeting cyber crime. Following the longest outage in its history, a slimmed down version of the website came back online with a new logo: a phoenix rising from the flames. Some of the site’s former administrators are warning users of the re-launched Pirate Bay, which will run without staff and is likely to become targeted by fakes and malware. Founded in 2003 by a group of Swedish hacktivists seeking to build a library of files to share, the site had humble beginnings on a Mexico-based server, then later moved to Sweden. At its peak, an estimated 50 million people used The Pirate Bay each day to download music and movies. The site's core group, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Peter Sunde, Fredrik Neij and Carl Lundstrom were tried and convicted on copyright infringement charges in Sweden and have since distanced themselves from the site.