Weekly Highlight: 04.12.2007

Denmark: about ranking again…

Striking a work-family balance
30.11.2007

The country’s job market is a kid friendly place.
A new OECD report places Denmark in the top echelon of countries that allow parents to achieve a balance between work and family.
The report, titled ‘Babies and Bosses, Reconciling Work and Family Life’, singled out Denmark, together with Iceland – the ranking’s top scorer, as having ‘the most effective public policies and workplace practices that promote a healthy work and family balance’.
Denmark’s second-place rating came on the strength of its parental leave laws, availability of childcare and access to part-time and flexible working hours.
Denmark also had the lowest rate of child poverty in the study.

Finland:

Wheel Buggy Voted Useless Product of the Year
Published 03.12.2007, 19.50

The Finnish Association for Nature Conservation has selected the wheel buggy for its annual useless product award. It says there are over 30,000 such vehicles in Finland. Their small particle emissions are fifty times greater than that of the average automobile. Wheel buggies also leave damaging tracks.
A total of 333 suggestions for the annual award were made by 500 people. Digital TV set-top boxes received a total of 75 votes.
The annual useless product award has now been selected for the eighth consecutive year. Among the products are drinkable yogurts, city jeeps and leave blowers.

Netherlands:

Holland tops EU internet rankings
Monday 03 December 2007

Some 83% of Dutch households have an internet connection, making the Netherlands the most wired-up country in the EU, according to Eurostat figures published on Monday.
The EU average is 54%. Bulgaria, where only 19% of homes have an internet connection, is at the bottom of the list.
Holland also tops the list when it comes to making telephone calls via internet, says Eurostat.

Norway: they are not that happy with this ranking 😦

Students not testing well
First published: 30 Nov 2007, 14:40

Norwegian students ranked 29th, for example, among students in 53 countries who were tested on their knowledge of natural science.
That puts Norway below average on the list of participating countries, all of which are attached to the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development).
Around 400,000 15-year-old students in 57 OECD countries were given a two-hour test called PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) in the spring of 2006. The results left Finland in the top spot for the third time in a row, followed by Hong Kong and Canada.

Sweden:

Swedish HIV infection rates up
Published: 1 Dec 07 11:01 CET

HIV infection rates in Sweden have risen in 2007, according to the Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control. Some 420 new cases have been reported in the year up to October, an increase from 312 during the same period in 2006.
The number of reported cases of the virus that can lead to AIDS has risen over the last five years, with a large number of people already infected before coming to Sweden. Even the domestic spread of the disease has increased. In 2002, the figure was about 50 in the first ten months of the year. This year, that figure is about 100.
“It’s a clear indication that people are taking greater risks during sex.”
One of the reasons for the disregard for the dangers associated with sexually transmitted diseases can be traced back to sex education in schools, which was less of a priority ten years ago. A situation that is being addressed, which Blaxhult believes is important.
Use of condoms in Sweden has also fallen significantly, thus contributing to an increase in the risks.

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