Money Matters - Simplified

Swedish

Study: Charging for plastic bags cuts use

Gothenburg, Sweden -- Consumption of plastic bags in China dropped by half when stores starting charging consumers for them, a Swedish study says.

Research by the University of Gothenburg showed the Chinese, the No. 1 consumers of plastic bags in the world, cut their use of them by half after a June 2008 ordinance against free plastic bags took effect.

Plastic bags is a growing global environmental problem and are becoming subject to various regulations in an growing number of countries with mixed results, a university release said.

University doctoral student Haoran He studied the effect of the Chinese ordinance as part of his thesis in environmental and behavioral economics.

Court: Drunk driver may have been asleep

Karlskrona, Sweden -- A Swedish man was cleared of drunken driving charges in a court ruling saying he may have been sleepwalking when he got behind the wheel.

The 51-year-old man was cleared by the Blekinge District Court despite having a blood alcohol content higher than the legal limit when his car became stuck in a ditch in May, The Local reported Tuesday.

"He fell asleep around 9 p.m. After that, he doesn't remember anything except that his next memory is that he woke up in the ditch outside his car together with a male named Magnus," the court's ruling reads. "He had on his nightshirt, sweatpants and slippers."

The court heard the man may have suffered from somnambulism, or sleepwalking, at the time of the incident.

Court: Drunk driver may have been asleep

Karlskrona, Sweden -- A Swedish man was cleared of drunken driving charges in a court ruling saying he may have been sleepwalking when he got behind the wheel.

The 51-year-old man was cleared by the Blekinge District Court despite having a blood alcohol content higher than the legal limit when his car became stuck in a ditch in May, The Local reported Tuesday.

"He fell asleep around 9 p.m. After that, he doesn't remember anything except that his next memory is that he woke up in the ditch outside his car together with a male named Magnus," the court's ruling reads. "He had on his nightshirt, sweatpants and slippers."

The court heard the man may have suffered from somnambulism, or sleepwalking, at the time of the incident.

Man filmed biting off mouse head

Gotland, Sweden -- Swedish authorities said they are bringing animal cruelty charges against a man who was filmed biting the head off a live mouse.

Prosecutor Mats Wihlborg said the 23-year-old Gotland man was recorded in April holding the mouse by its tail, biting its head off and spitting the head back into his hand, Swedish news agency TT reported Wednesday.

Wihlborg said the video, taken on a friend's cellphone camera, was discovered by police when the phone was seized in an unrelated matter.

The man, whose name was not released, faces a maximum two years in prison if convicted.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

Rep: Swedish royals don't Tweet

Stockholm, Sweden -- The Swedish Royal Court says a recent spate of Twitter postings about the royal family are fake.

The messages are generally humorous and discuss the taste in housewares, music and television of King

Carl XVI Gustaf, Queen Silvia, Prince Carl Phillip and Princesses Madeleine and Victoria, the Local reported.

"We do not have a Twitter feed, we are looking at alternatives to close unwanted Twitter pages," Nina Eldh from the Royal Court told the Swedish society magazine Svensk Damtidning.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI)

Swedish couple charged with bus sex

Stockholm, Sweden -- A middle aged Swedish couple were kicked off a bus and charged with sexual harassment for allegedly committing sex acts while aboard the vehicle.

Passengers on the bus traveling from Huskvarna to Ljungby in August 2009 said the couple, who boarded the vehicle in Stockholm, were engaging in sexual activities in full view of other people, The Local reported Thursday.

The pair, a female musician and a male real estate agent, were kicked off the bus in Ljungby and arrested on sexual harassment charges.

The couple denied engaging in sexual acts while on the bus.

"I don't understand anything. We did not have sex. She stroked me on my tummy just inside my shirt," the man said in a statement.

Tiger and Elin still love each other?

New York, January 4 --Supermodel Elin Nordegren, rebuffed several pleas of reconciliation from husband Tiger Woods, when he made several phone calls on her 30th birthday.

Volvo Goes to Geely

Ford announced this week that it would be selling its Swedish brand Volvo to Chinese automaker Geely, emphasizing China’s growing hold in the global auto industry.

Ford confirmed its terms with Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. Ltd., and said that all “substantive commercial terms” have been settled. Now all that is left is a sales agreement, which is expected to be signed in the first quarter of 2010. The final closing of the deal is expected for the second quarter.