Bring on the bats
Swedish gardeners are encouraged to welcome bats into their yards. Citing the positive effect bats have on combating pest-related garden issues and controlling mosquitos, Dave Karlsson, station manager at the Linné research station on Öland says it’s easy to provide a refuge for bats looking to make their home among the trees. He added the reminder that bats are mammals, not rodents, and don't normally pose a threat to homeowners.

Trash talk
Two years later and the recycling and trash problem continues: In Orebro, residents were quick to embrace a scheme that sorted trash. Touted as a solution to improve recycling and waste disposal efforts, residents have spent the last two years sorting their waste into segmented trash cans for plastic, glass, paper and metal, only to learn that this multi-million kronor project isn’t what they believed. It’s been discovered that once the trash is collected, it is combined into one large bundle and burned.

Skanska says rules restrict building
In a new report that highlights the current housing restrictions and compares them to the views of modern-day Swedes, Skanska, a leading construction company, says there is a gap. Construction requirements, if applied to current housing units across Sweden, would mean that older housing units simply wouldn’t have been allowed to be built. With housing one of the biggest challenges in Sweden, the report shows the need for flexibility and rethinking standard accommodations. Citing the changing attitudes and needs of Swedes among different generations, it is argued that new policies be adopted to reflect the true feelings and existing reality when it comes to solving Sweden’s housing problem.

Visas stolen from embassy
Two hundred visas were stolen from a Swedish embassy. Immigration officials with Migrationsverket are investigating and suspect the theft is likely tied to organized crime. With a street value of more than $20,000, the value of a Swedish visa has never been higher.

Sweden's struggle with child brides
Immigrant children who come to Sweden slip through the protection of Social Services and find themselves married without consent. Such was the case of a 12-year-old refugee from Iraq who found herself married to a man more than twice her age. The struggle to train and equip counselors to identify children at risk is something Social Services is aware of yet they say part of the problem is the lack of training and awareness about the cultural differences. As more children are identified and bravely come forward with their stories, it is hoped that the protection and rights of the child, which Sweden is known for, will cover all children.

Honor-related violence and oppression
A record number of cases have been reported where children are victims of honor-related violence, forced marriage and abandonment. With a large disparity in the locations of these crimes, it seems most reports come from areas with large immigrant and refugee populations. Västra Götaland has seen 90 cases reported, more than double the cases of Stockholm, and Gotland has two reports, yet authorities say this isn’t tied to large cities only. They say all of Sweden is struggling to deal with protecting these children. Municipalities are being accused of letting children down yet with the number of cases reported tied to cultural norms not found in Sweden, many social workers say they are trying to meet the needs of the most vulnerable; but more must be done to educate all parties involved.