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How creating wildlife crossings can help reindeer, bears - and even crabs
23 January 2021 - This week, Swedish authorities announced they would build up to a dozen 'renoducts' (reindeer viaducts) to aid the crossings and allow reindeer herds to reach grazing more easily. It is hoped the crossings will allow herders to find fresh grazing lands and alleviate traffic jams, and also help moose and lynx to move around the landscape. Sweden's announcement is the latest in global efforts to help wildlife navigate busy roads. (more)

Empty stores and offices: how Sweden aims to plug housing gap
23 December 2020 - Sweden may have too many shops and offices after the pandemic. It doesn't have enough homes. It spies an opportunity. The government is now examining whether empty commercial real estate in the wake of COVID-19 could be converted to help plug a shortfall of around 140,000 homes. (more)

Sweden: Ikea to buy back used furniture in recycling push
13 October 2020 - Ikea, the world's biggest furniture business, is planning a second-hand furniture venture. The Swedish giant will next month launch a scheme to buy back your unwanted furniture items you no longer need or want. 'By making sustainable living more simple and accessible, Ikea hopes that the initiative will help its customers take a stand against excessive consumption this Black Friday and in the years to come,' it said in reference to 27 November, when lots of retailers offer discounts on their products. (more)

Swedish 2021 budget to include $1.1 billion in climate measures
14 September 2020 - Sweden's Social Democrat and Green minority government said on Monday [14 September] its 2021 budget would contain 9.7 billion Swedish crowns ($1.11 billion) in new spending aimed at fighting climate change. (more)

Windpower breezes back into shipping with Swedish venture
10 September 2020 - A Swedish consortium aims to launch commercially by 2025 a wind-driven car carrier that will emit 90 percent less carbon dioxide than a conventional roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) cargo ship, it said on Thursday [10 September]. (more)

Greta Thunberg to donate one-million-euro humanitarian prize
21 July 2020 - Greta Thunberg, the Swedish environment campaigner, has been awarded a new humanitarian prize worth one million euros. The 17-year-old ... won the inaugural Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity. Ms Thunberg said she will be donating the prize money to charitable projects that are combating 'the climate and ecological crisis'. (more)

Sweden closes last coal-fired power station two years ahead of schedule
27 April 2020 - Sweden has closed the country's last coal-fired power station two years ahead of schedule. It becomes the third European country to exit coal completely after Belgium closed its last coal power station in 2016, and Austria ended its final coal-fired energy operations earlier this month [April]. (more)

Volvo Cars aims to be climate neutral by 2040
16 October 2019 - Volvo Cars, owned by China's Geely Holding, is targeting a 40 percent reduction in the carbon footprint of each car it manufactures by 2025 as it bids to become fully climate neutral by 2040, it said in a statement on Wednesday [16 October]. (more)

'Plogging' craze goes global as fitness fanatics clean up environment
25 April 2019 - The Swedish phenomenon of 'plogging', where joggers combine their run with picking up the trash they find in nature, is going global as both environment and fitness fanatics benefit from the new trend. Started in 2016 by Swede Erik Ahlstrom in the town of Are, which hosted the recent Alpine skiing world championships, the craze is now spreading around the world. (more)

Engineers develop cheap, simple tests for car emissions
15 March 2019 - Engineers working to tackle carcinogenic pollution from cars have developed cheap and simple devices to test the effectiveness of particle filters, which could help take toxic vehicles off roads without resorting to blanket bans. ... Regulators also need to find inexpensive ways to measure real-world emissions without installing costly equipment. (more)

Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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Researchers link greater creativity and success to higher brain integration
26 June 2014 - Creativity may depend on greater brain integration, according to a new study published in Creativity Research Journal by Maharishi University (USA) brain researcher Fred Travis and University West (Sweden) quality management researcher Yvonne Lagrosen. The current study on Swedish product-development engineers builds on earlier research showing higher brain integration among world-class performers in different professions. (more)

Does practice make perfect? Or are some people more creative than others - and why?
5 June 2014 - Creativity may depend on greater brain integration, according to a new study published in Creativity Research Journal by Dr Fred Travis, brain researcher at Maharishi University of Management, USA, and Dr Yvonne Lagrosen, quality management researcher at University West in Sweden. Conducted on 21 product-development engineers in Sweden, the study found high levels of both creativity and brain integration, in line with previous research on world-class athletes, managers, and musicians. 'Some people put in long hours and do not excel,' Dr Travis said, leading to consideration of whether brain integration 'may be the inner factor that leads to outer success'. But is it possible to optimize brain functioning? Regular practice of Transcendental Meditation has been found to increase brain integration. 'People who want to excel in any field should consider learning Transcendental Meditation,' Dr Travis commented. (more)

Sweden: Helping women learn about Transcendental Meditation, natural health care
30 November 2012 - In Sweden, directors of the Transcendental Meditation programme for women have been involved in the past year in conducting research and developing materials in education and music, as well as further outreach to health professionals and indigenous women's groups. (more)

Sweden expands meditation, health, knowledge opportunities for women and girls
29 November 2012 - The Transcendental Meditation programme for women in Sweden has been expanding opportunities for knowledge and personal development around the country this year, with new teachers and specialists giving courses and consultations in meditation and natural health care, and making outreach to civic leaders and the public. (more)

Sweden: Dr Nancy Lonsdorf brings knowledge of Maharishi Ayurveda natural health care to women
3 July 2012 - Hundreds of women in Sweden learned about Maharishi Ayurveda natural health care during the recent tour of Nancy Lonsdorf, MD, a renowned American expert in this field and women's health. Visiting three regions of the country, Dr Lonsdorf lectured to audiences including many women in Stockholm, Uddevalla, Gothenburg, and Malmo, and also gave consultations in Stockholm. (more)

Musicians' brains highly developed, Science Daily reports
5 May 2011 - A study conducted by researchers at universities in the US, Norway, and Sweden, shows that the brains of musicians are 'highly developed in a way that makes the musicians alert, interested in learning, disposed to see the whole picture, calm, and playful. The same traits have previously been found among world-class athletes, top-level managers, and individuals who practice Transcendental Meditation.' (more)

Sweden: Visit of Dr David Lynch sparks nationwide enthusiasm for Transcendental Meditation
15 January 2011 - A report this week highlighted the recent two-day visit of Dr David Lynch to Sweden, during which he presented the Transcendental Meditation Programme to prominent individuals, met with the press, and attended a celebration for TM practitioners. (more)

Sweden: Dr David Lynch holds press conference on Transcendental Meditation in Stockholm
1 November 2010 - Recently Dr David Lynch, the revered film director, gave a presentation about Transcendental Meditation, creativity, and world peace to 120 leaders in business, the arts, and education in Sweden. Dr Lynch is also a philanthropist whose foundation generously supports the use of Transcendental Meditation to help at-risk groups around the world. Each guest at the special event received a copy of Dr Lynch's book, Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness and Creativity. (more)

Sweden: Maharishi Ayur-Veda health care theme of large courses offered near Malmo
2 June 2010 - Maharishi Ayur-Veda natural health care was the theme of a weekend course near Malmo, Sweden, attended by 90 members of the Global Country of World Peace in May. The course enjoyed the presence of leaders of the Global Country, including Dr Bevan Morris, Prime Minister, who visited during his recent tour of Scandinavia and gave several lectures. Dr Charlotte Beck, a medical doctor from Denmark and expert in Maharishi Ayur-Veda, helped organize the course and gave a number of inspiring lectures about Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's Vedic Approach to Health. (more)

Sweden: More people learning Transcendental Meditation, businesses and schools look to implement programmes
19 January 2010 - Over the last year, Sweden has seen increasing interest in the Transcendental Meditation Programme, and in 2010 opportunities are arising for schools and businesses to benefit from the programmes of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. (more)

Short Summaries of Top Stories

New study casts more doubt on Swedish coronavirus immunity hopes
18 June 2020 - Sweden's hopes of getting help from herd immunity in combating the coronavirus received a fresh blow on Thursday [18 June], when a new study showed fewer than anticipated had developed antibodies. Herd immunity, where enough people in a population have developed immunity to an infection to be able to effectively stop that disease from spreading, is untested for the novel coronavirus and the extent and duration of immunity among recovered patients is equally uncertain as well. (more)

Losing one night's sleep may increase risk factor for Alzheimer's, study says
9 January 2020 - A preliminary study found the loss of one night's sleep in healthy young men increased the levels of tau protein in their blood compared to getting a complete night of uninterrupted sleep. Studies have shown that higher levels of tau protein in the blood is associated with an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. In a healthy person, tau and other toxins in the brain are cleared away during sleep, sort of like taking out the garbage. Losing sleep, or having disordered sleep in which sleep cycles are disrupted, can interfere with the brain's ability to clean up. (more)

Poor sleep makes people pile on the pounds, study finds
22 August 2018 - Disrupted sleep alters metabolism and boosts body's ability to store fat, data shows. Lack of sleep has long been linked to obesity, but a new study suggests late night snacking may not be the primary culprit. The latest findings provide the most compelling evidence to date that disrupted sleep alters the metabolism and boosts the body's ability to store fat. Jonathan Cedernaes, a circadian researcher at Uppsala University in Sweden and the paper's first author, said the findings pointed to 'the irreplaceable function that sleep has'. (more)

Sweden issues leaflet to homes telling people how to prepare for war
22 May 2018 - Sweden will send out instructions to its citizens next week on how to cope with an outbreak of war, as the country faces an assertive Russia across the Baltic Sea. The 20-page pamphlet, released in English and Swedish and titled 'If Crisis or War Comes', gives advice on getting clean water, spotting propaganda, and finding a bomb shelter, in the first public awareness campaign of its kind since the Cold War. (more)

Sweden to send war pamphlet to 4.8 million households
22 May 2018 - The Swedish government is reissuing an instructional war pamphlet to all 4.8 million households in the country, informing them for the first time in more than 30 years on the perils of war. ... The brochure provides information on everything from how to identify fake news and prepare against extreme weather conditions to what to do in the event of terror attacks and military conflicts. In May 2017 Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist told CNN: 'The Russian regime has showed they are ready to use military powers to fulfill political goals.' (more)

Soda and other sweet drinks tied to risk for some rare cancers
13 July 2016 - People who drink lots of soda or other sugary beverages may have a higher risk of developing rare cancers in the gallbladder and bile ducts around the liver, a Swedish study suggests. Compared with people who avoided sugar-sweetened drinks altogether, individuals who consumed two or more juice drinks or sodas, including artificially sweetened sodas, a day had more than twice the risk of developing gallbladder tumors and 79 percent higher odds of getting biliary tract cancer, the study found. 'Obviously, this finding signals again and again that healthy lifestyle is the key to cancer-free life,' said Dr. Igor Astsaturo, a medical oncologist at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia who wasn't involved in the study. 'Regardless of the cause, it is easy enough to quench the thirst with water to stay fit and healthy.' (more)

Early exposure to traffic pollution may affect lungs later
24 May 2016 - Infants exposed to higher levels of vehicular air pollution more often have problems later on in the small airways near the edges of their lungs, according to a new study. The finding that early life exposure to air pollutants affects the so-called peripheral airways, 'has not been reported before,' said lead author Dr. Erica S. Schultz of the Karolinska Institutet Institute of Environmental Medicine in Stockholm, Sweden. Stockholm has relatively low air pollution levels, she said. For more polluted cities, the effects may be greater and cause conditions like asthma, heart attacks, strokes, and early death. (more)

Sabotage of telecoms masts reignite Swedish security fears
18 May 2016 - The mysterious suspected sabotage of three telecommunications masts, key parts of Sweden's infrastructure, has reignited fears of foreign spies and the readiness of depleted security services in a country on the frontline of growing tensions with Russia. In early May, a cable to another mast in the same region, dedicated to rescue services communications was cut off. On Tuesday, the bomb squad was called into the look into a suspicious package near another mast in central Sweden, police told local media. (more)

Heavy marijuana use in teen years may predict later-life disability, Swedish study
20 August 2014 - A long-term study of Swedish men finds that those who smoked marijuana at age 18, especially the heaviest users, were more likely to end up on the nation's disability rolls by age 59. It's unclear whether the pot use in adolescence may have led to more severe substance abuse or was an early sign of psychiatric or social factors that contributed to later disability, the researchers caution. 'There is reason to believe that the associations found in our study develop over a long period of time and are intertwined with problems in the labour market, in the social security system, and with the individual,' said study leader Anna‚ÄźKarin Danielsson of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. Marijuana is one of the most commonly used illicit drugs in the world, with 77 million Europeans reporting having tried it in a recent study. Pot use in the US has been on the rise since 2007, possibly due in part to a perception of diminishing risks. Nonetheless, studies continue to link cannabis with a variety of psychiatric and health problems as well as adverse social consequences. (more)

Swedes tire of tax cuts as welfare state shows strains
17 March 2014 - Voters are returning to faith in cradle to grave welfare after eight years of centre-right Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, who cut income, wealth, and corporate taxes. In the eyes of many Swedes, the welfare state withered. Sickness and unemployment benefits were cut. Private firms started to run tax-funded schools and hospitals. Sweden has one of the world's most generous welfare states, but at the same time as demands grow for more spending on schools and hospitals, Sweden's public finances have worsened. The country may now be heading for years of rising tax burdens if it wants to keep its public finances in order. Week-long riots last year in Stockholm from largely poor immigrants put inequality under the spotlight. But if there was one event that swayed opinion it was the OECD's PISA survey last year where Swedish 15-year-olds racked up the biggest decline in results of any participating nation. Swedish children ranked below OECD averages in many areas. One of the biggest private education firms in Sweden went bankrupt in 2012, leaving 11,000 students in the lurch. Other state run schools have seen class numbers rise and teachers' salaries fall behind. There is only one Swedish university classified in the world's top 100 rankings, according to the Times Higher Education. The angst also extends to health -- where private firms run a fifth of hospital services. Scandals surfaced at elderly care homes with reports about residents being locked up in closets and some people not being fed for nearly a day. Staff switched off alarm systems at night so as not to be disturbed. (more)


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