🍄 Increased poisonings
To: Riedia Readers
Good morning! Today is Wednesday. In today’s edition of the Riedia Sweden Summer Weekly newsletter, we're covering:
Critical blood shortages, growing terrorism threats, increased mushroom poisonings, and more flooding ahead.
A blood shortage in Västra Götland could push elective surgeries back. "Priority will be given to emergency care and severely ill patients. The postponed surgeries involve individuals with relatively good health who require eventual operations, but the current timing is not optimal," explains Anna-Karin Norrman, who leads the transfusion medicine department.
Traditionally, blood donations experience a decline during the summer, partly due to a one-month deferral period after travel abroad. However, this year, demand has surged beyond the norm, leading to a critical situation.
The demand for blood arises from accidents, cancer treatments, and complex childbirths. Given blood's perishable nature with a storage limit of six weeks, a continuous supply is crucial.
In the Västra Götaland region, an urgent call has been extended to registered blood donors, specifically appealing for blood group O-. This universal blood type is invaluable in emergencies and for premature and newborn infants, as it can be transfused to anyone regardless of their blood type.
"We began the day with only around 50 bags of O-, whereas the required amount ranges from 130 to 150 bags. This constitutes a critical shortage," warns Anna-Karin Norrman.
Contrary to this situation, the rest of the country doesn't exhibit the same concerning trend, according to Ge Blod (Give Blood), an organization overseeing blood donations.
"While an acute blood shortage is not currently observed in other parts of the country, ongoing replenishment remains essential to prevent scarcity. Given the ongoing vacation period in Sweden, there is a continued necessity for blood replenishment, particularly in the major metropolitan areas of Stockholm, Gothenburg, and Skåne," explains spokesperson Ingrid Johansson.
Al-Qaeda has recently issued threats against Denmark and Sweden in response to the Quran burnings, urging Muslims to seek revenge.
The terrorist organization published these threats through its official media channel. Despite the seriousness of the situation, experts believe these threats may not significantly impact Sweden's security, considering existing threats from various Middle Eastern actors.
Swedish terrorism researcher Hans Brun, linked to King's College in London, explains that the threats appear to be a call to action for people globally, rather than a well-organized plot. While the primary impact might be felt by Danish and Swedish diplomats in the Middle East, experts note that such threats underscore the increased focus on Sweden from Islamist extremism.
Mushroom poisonings this year are on the rise. Peter Hultén, a pharmacist at the Swedish Poisons Information Centre, says that the frequency of calls to the center has increased significantly in July and August, "we're already witnessing a substantial surge in inquiries compared to previous years," he said in a press release.
The Swedish Medical Products Agency says that mushroom pickers should educate themselves and learn which mushrooms are toxic before consuming the mushrooms they pick. The agency also warns against allowing children to eat any foraged mushrooms, as consuming poisonous mushrooms can cause severe poisoning.
To avoid the most dangerous mushroom varieties, the authority advises avoiding "white and green mushrooms with white gills, and brown mushrooms with brown gills."
A warning of "torrential rain" has been issued for large portions of Götaland and southeastern Svealand in Sweden due to warm, humid air moving over the region. Thunderstorms may arise from southern latitudes or develop over the sea, but their exact locations and intensity are challenging to predict, says Ida Dahlström, a meteorologist at SMHI.
The anticipated rainfall quantities are hard to predict, as a true downpour is defined as one millimeter of rain per minute or 50 millimeters in an hour—conditions uncommon in Sweden. SMHI characterizes the storm as "torrential rain-like" due to the significant short-term rainfall it may bring.
SMHI's warnings extend to Öland and the southernmost parts of the country, cautioning against flooding on roads and in basements. The alerts are in place from 08:00 to 15:00 on Tuesday for southern Götaland, and from 11:00 to 23:00 for central Götaland to southeastern Svealand.
Unchanged inflation rate this summer : The inflation rate in July is at the same level as in June, despite a slight decrease in the measure excluding energy prices. The inflation figures for July are not expected to affect the Riksbank's decision to raise the policy rate at their next monetary policy meeting in September. Inflation in the services sector will be closely monitored by the executive board.
Quiet on the housing market : The number of housing transactions in Sweden has decreased by 12 percent compared to last year as buyers adopt a wait-and-see approach. However, experts predict that the market will normalize in the autumn, with stable prices and the need for relocation being the driving factors.
Baltic tax blow : Proposed tax changes in Latvia threaten Swedish major banks as the new tax model would replace the dividend tax currently applied to banks, potentially eliminating a profit tax. The Latvian banking market, dominated by Swedish banking giants, has experienced increased profits due to interest rate hikes. It remains uncertain if the proposal will gain majority support in Parliament.
Fintech employees rank top executives – Klarna in bottom trio : Klarna CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski ranks among the lowest-rated executives in a compilation of employee reviews on Glassdoor by data analytics company Synaptic. The companies with the lowest average ratings are those that have laid off staff or faced media scrutiny. Klarna ranks 18th among the top 20 valued companies, with 51% employee approval of Siemiatkowski.
Jan Helin leaves SVT - becomes Bonnier's AI General : Jan Helin, former editor-in-chief and CEO of Aftonbladet, is leaving his role as program director at SVT to join Bonnier News as head of product development, with a focus on AI. He will start his new position on November 1st and will be responsible for Bonnier News' upcoming work with AI.
Real Madrid's crisis move : Real Madrid has borrowed Spanish goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga from Chelsea as a temporary replacement for the injured Thibaut Courtois. Kepa became the world's most expensive goalkeeper in 2018 when Chelsea signed him for £72 million. Real Madrid also has Ukrainian goalkeeper Andriy Lunin in their squad.
Sirius crushes Kalmar : Swedish football club Sirius scored three goals within eight minutes, leading to a devastating defeat for Kalmar. Joakim Persson, who scored the last goal, credited their success to their strategy of running into depth and fighting for goals. This match also marked the first time a woman, Almira Spahic, served as an assistant referee in the Allsvenskan.
Swedish frustration after defeat : After losing 2-1 against Spain in semifinal of the FIFA Women's World Cup, Swedish players express frustration with Brazilian referee Edina Alves Batista, feeling that they were unable to have a dialog about various situations and that crucial decisions were not made. A key moment was the winning goal scored by Spain, with Swedish players arguing that an offside player in front of the goal affected the game. The Swedish Football Association's head of referees supports the decision not to disallow the goal, stating that it is a matter of interpretation.
What else is happening in Sweden?
Viaplay releases documentary of the King : Viaplay has released a new documentary series titled "The King's Inner Circle" which provides an intimate portrayal of the life and achievements of the king, featuring interviews with Queen Silvia, Queen Margrethe of Denmark, Princess Christina, and childhood friends. The series offers a new perspective on the king's life.
Less pressure on healthcare this summer : The region's hospitals are experiencing a less demanding summer due to the absence of COVID-19 patients and improved staffing. Increased capacity in geriatrics and home healthcare has contributed to a smoother flow in emergency hospitals. Planned care will resume in the autumn to address the backlog caused by the pandemic.
World through the Swedish lens
One-third of Israelis are considering leaving the country : A survey shows that one-third of Israelis are contemplating leaving the country due to plans for a new political system. The potential exodus could have a significant impact on the healthcare system and the economy.
UK warns of terrorist attacks in Sweden : The UK has changed its advice for British residents in Sweden due to an increased threat of terrorist attacks following recent Quran burnings. The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office describes the risk of attacks as "very likely" and urges vigilance during demonstrations, warning that attacks can occur in places often visited by tourists. Sweden's Security Service confirms the elevated terrorist threat level and indicates that there are indications of planned attacks against Swedish interests abroad.
1,000 still missing : Around 1,000 people are still missing after fires broke out in Maui, Hawaii, with over 2,200 buildings destroyed or damaged. The fires are the deadliest in the United States in over 100 years.
The Stockholm film festival is kicking off again with its summer movie nights. Over the course of five late summer evenings, the film festival will put on a complimentary open-air cinema event at Rålambshovsparken. You can find out more information here.
The annual midnight race around Södermalm is set for Saturday. The race kicks off at 21:45 on Ringvägen, close to Zinkendamms IP, and concludes at Hornsgatan 57. The course is lined with various DJ stations, samba music, and cheering crowds.
Mushroom foraging is a popular late summer/ early fall activity in Sweden. In fact, it is so popular that it even has its own name, "svampplockning" or "mushroom picking."
The most sought-after mushroom is the yellow Kantarell (Chanterelle), a Swedish delicacy .
by Julia Powanda/Riedia
Sweden news morning digest
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