Social media age limit becomes law
As a result of new data protection rules from the EU, the Swedish government has proposed an age limit for teenagers who want to interact on social media. Swedish authorities will consider an age limit between 13 and 16, the result of a new directive finalized by the European Union in December, according to Consumer Minister Per Bolund. "It is a binding directive, so somewhere in that range is where the Swedish rules will end up," Bolund told Swedish Television. Children who have not yet reached the age limit will need their guardian's consent to use social media applications or websites. While services such as Facebook or Snapchat require new users to be over 13, the EU rules, expected be implemented within two years, are designed to ensure enforcement by law, according to the report.

Foreign Minister in housing scandal
Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström has become involved in a housing scandal. Stockholm has an acute housing shortage and the average waiting time to receive a rental apartment through the system is over 10 years. Wallström received a rent-controlled apartment from the municipal workers' union Kommunal, bypassing a queue of less eminent would-be tenants when she entered office in the fall of 2014. A Stockholm prosecutor has opened a preliminary inquiry to determine whether a crime was committed. If the contract was arranged to receive any kind of return favors or to influence the minister it could be considered a bribe. "I welcome an investigation. I have nothing to hide and it is good that this will get sorted out," Wallström told news agency TT and added, "I will continue to do my job."

Unwelcome to Israel
The Swedish Foreign Minister seems to adhere to the reverse of President Teddy Roosevelt’s dictum to "speak softly and carry a big stick." In one of her first moves as foreign minister, Margot Wallström enraged Israel by announcing Sweden's recognition of a Palestinian state. She then angered Israel again in December last year by calling for thorough investigations into the Israeli army's killing of Palestinians that she termed extrajudicial. Israel declared her persona non grata on January 13. Wallström has "a rare ability to stir things up," opposition leader Anna Kinberg Batra of the Conservatives said recently. Indeed. After she called Saudi Arabia a "dictatorship" and slammed it for human rights abuses in 2015, Sweden's diplomatic ties with Riyadh were frozen.