H&M gets props for Muslim model
Swedish clothing retailer H&M is getting international acclaim and respect for featuring a Muslim model in its advertising. Mariah Idrissi is the first model to wear a hijab in an ad for H&M's "Close the Loop" campaign about maintaining individuality and accentuating personal style. The reinvented clothing line, promoting recycled and donated clothing, began in 2013 and is now getting more attention than ever, being hailed around the world for using the veiled model, who stands in a doorway and wears round glasses, a pale pink coat, wide black trousers and a loosely tied hijab. “Maria Hidrissi didn’t just model for an ad campaign, she awakened the people. In a simple and quiet way she made others look at a Muslim woman without fear or contempt but with a healthy curiosity. Maria opened a conversation that has always been strained” wrote fashion blogger Muslim Girl. www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4xnyr2mCuI

More free healthcare initiatives
In the budget drafted for presentation at parliament on Monday, September 21, Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson presented health care proposals in addition to those that would raise the age of free dental care to 23 and free glasses for everyone with impaired vision up to age 19. Free outpatient care for everyone over 85 years will now be discussed as will free mammograms for women between 40 and 74 years and free contraception for women up to age 21. Free admission at 18 state museums is also being proposed.

Swedish dairy farmers protest
Hundreds of farmers, some on their tractors, were quite a sight as they made their way through the city of Stockholm on Monday, Sept. 21 to protest outside parliament as the government presented its annual draft budget. Some travelled 600 miles across the country to call on the government to save Swedish dairy farmers. In all, more than 1,000 Swedish farmers and supporters rallied to convince politicians to launch a series of measures designed to rescue milk production in Sweden, including financial support for farmers and raised diesel tax refunds for agriculture companies. Dairy farmers are also dealing with a lower demand in Sweden, where milk consumption has dropped by nearly half since 1980 as Swedes' dietary habits have changed. "The politicians need to realize this is not just about the dairy farmers but also about what kind of food and what kind of Sweden we should have in the future," said Helena Jonsson, chairperson of the Federation of Swedish Farmers (Lantbrukarnas riksförbund, LRF).