TIME viral

This Swedish Model Says She Can’t Get Work Because Agencies Think She Is ‘Too Big’

Despite the 19-year-old being classified as underweight

Swedish model Agnes Hedengard has hit out at the fashion industry’s standards, alleging that she has been denied work on the grounds she is “too big.”

In a video posted to YouTube and Facebook, the 19-year-old said she has been in contact with big agencies and clients, but when they receive her measurements they back out.

“I have worked as a model for about five years now, but up to this day I don’t get any more jobs since the industry thinks I’m too big,” she said in the English version of the video, which has garnered more than 1,343,000 views since Monday.

Hedengard, who appeared on Sweden’s Next Top Model, claims that she has been told she should “get in better shape” despite having a body mass index (BMI) of 17.5.

According to the National Institutes of Health, a BMI of below 18.5 is considered underweight.

“They think my butt is too big, and they think my hips are too wide,” she said. “According to the modeling industry, you cannot look like this, you need to be thinner.”

Hedengard said she posted the video because she wanted other people to see the fashion industry’s “absurd” standards.

Speaking to local news site the Local.se, the Association of Swedish Fashion Brands said although they couldn’t comment on individual cases, they “would like to see clear guidance and standards on a global level,” and that they “intend to continue working with [their] members and the industry to promote healthy ideals.”

TIME Ecuador

U.K Lodges Formal Protest Over Assange’s Continued Stay in Ecuadorian Embassy

A police officer stands outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London
Peter Nicholls—Reuters A police officer stands outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London August 13, 2015.

Hugo Swire of the Foreign Office called the issue a "growing stain" on Ecuador's reputation

The British Ambassador in Quito lodged a formal protest to the Ecuadorian government Thursday over the country’s continued harboring of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Foreign Office officials confirm.

Assange sought asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2012, saying he was afraid his extradition to Sweden on sexual assault charges would be followed by further extradition to the U.S. to stand trial for leaking classified and sensitive documents through his organization. He has been living at the embassy since then.

“Ecuador must recognize that its decision to harbor Mr. Assange more than three years ago has prevented the proper course of justice,” Foreign Office minister Hugo Swire told the BBC before the written complaint was delivered in Quito. The issue is both a moral and a financial one: U.K. officials estimate that the cost of policing the area around the London embassy is nearing $19 million.

Swedish authorities were forced to drop two allegations of sexual assault this week due to that country’s statute of limitations policy. Under Swedish law, an individual may not be charged until he or she has been questioned by authorities, an action that investigators say has been made impossible by Assange’s stay at the Embassy. He still faces a more serious allegation of rape, on which the statute of limitations will not run out until 2020.

“I am an innocent man. I haven’t even been charged,” Assange told the BBC. “From the beginning I offered simple solutions. Come to the embassy to take my statement or promise not to send me to the United States. This Swedish official refused both. She even refused a written statement.”

Sweden’s director of public prosecution told the BBC that authorities had submitted a request to interview Assange inside the embassy as he suggested but had not received permission.


TIME sweden

Sweden Drops Sexual Assault Investigation Against WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks during a news conference at the Ecuadorian embassy in central London
John Stillwell—Reuters WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (R) speaks as Ecuador's Foreign Affairs Minister Ricardo Patino listens, during a news conference at the Ecuadorian embassy in central London August 18, 2014

He still faces a more serious rape allegation

Swedish prosecutors have dropped their investigation into two sexual assault allegations — one of sexual molestation and the other of coercion — against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange due to the country’s statute of limitations, AFP reports.

Assange is still facing a more serious rape allegation, which will not expire until 2020, according to the BBC.

Under Swedish law, an individual may not be formally charged with a crime until he or she is questioned. As investigators were not able to question Assange before the two deadlines passed this week, the investigation has been ended.

They were not able to question Assange, who founded the whistleblower organization WikiLeaks, because he has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012. He claimed asylum there in order to avoid extradition to Sweden, saying he fears he will then be further extradited to the U.S. to stand trial for releasing classified documents. He denies all the assault allegations.

Discussions continue between Sweden, Ecuador, and the U.K. regarding the circumstances under which Assange might be questioned about the remaining rape accusation, the BBC says. Assange has said he would be willing to be interviewed by videolink from the embassy, but no agreement has yet been reached.

The U.K. argues that Ecuador must allow Assange to be extradited both to fulfill what they characterize as a legal obligation and to resolve what has become a very expensive situation. The BBC reports that the cost of maintaining police personnel around the Ecuadorian embassy over the past three years stands at nearly $19 million.


TIME sweden

Attacker Stabs 2 People to Death at Ikea Store in Sweden

Sweden Ikea knife attack
Peter Kruger—AP Police officers attend the Ikea store in Vasteras, Sweden on Aug. 10, 2015, after three people were injured in a knife attack at the store.

Another patron was seriously injured

(HELSINKI) — An attacker stabbed two people to death and wounded another at an Ikea store in the central Swedish city of Vasteras on Monday afternoon, police and store officials said.

Police in the city, some 100 kilometers (60 miles) west of the capital Stockholm, said they had detained a man on suspicion of murder. They said in a tweet that a man and a woman had been killed in the attack and a third person was seriously injured.

Sweden’s security police, responsible for investigating suspected terror cases, told national news agency TT that they had no reason to be involved in the investigation based on the information they were given about the case.

Martina Smedberg, spokeswoman for Ikea Group, said the attack occurred with no warning and they had no idea of a possible motive.

“There have been no known threats against Ikea,” she said. “The building was evacuated and closed immediately after the attack.”

Police said they were called to the store in the early afternoon where they found a dead man and two wounded people, one of whom died later.

Further details about the condition of the injured person or the suspect were not immediately available.

TIME Travel

These Are the World’s Best Biking Cities

From Amsterdam to Portland

Whether you’re hungering for wide-open vistas, riverfront views, or access to cultural sites, here’s how to pound the pavement from your bicycle seat this summer.

  • Malmö, Sweden

    Peter Forsberg—Alamy

    As proof that Sweden’s third-largest city (pop. 318,000) adores bicycles, look no further than the free bike pumps along cycling paths. Then there’s the 300-plus miles of paths reserved for bikes (more than in Stockholm), which are used for nearly 30 percent of trips within Malmö. In under three hours you can easily tour the city by bike.

  • Amsterdam, the Netherlands

    Dennis Cox—Alamy

    In central Amsterdam, bikes—as opposed to cars—are the norm, and 60 percent of people use the mode of two-wheel transportation. On the down side: bicyclists tend to whiz past you during a leisurely ride. Witness Dutch icons like windmills, fields of tulips, and storied castles by straying outward to North Amsterdam. With your rental bike in tow, hop a free ferry behind the central Amsterdam station and, once in North Amsterdam, travel through farm villages like Broek-in-Waterland and Uidam (11 miles total) before heading back to your hotel.

  • Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A.

    Greg Ryan—Alamy

    The Midwestern city counts five percent of its population (that’s 20,000 people, and the second-highest percentage in the U.S.) as two-wheel commuters—yes, even through the often bitter-cold winter. Local roaster Peace Coffee even delivers its beans by bike. Visitors can tool around the city on shared bikes through Nice Ride MN, or try out some 118 miles of on-street bikeways and 92 miles of off-street bikeways. Try the 5.7-mile Midtown Greenway, which takes you over the Martin Olav Sabo Bridge and grants access to the Chain of Lakes.

  • Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.

    Danita Delimont—Alamy

    This Pacific Northwest city is crammed with cyclists—so much so that the city developed nine urban routes. The “Short, Steep, & Sweet,” a 15-mile hilly climb, winds through Portland’s West Hills neighborhood and affords views of Tualatin Valley before coasting downhill to Washington Park. Promoting paths like this is all part of the Portland Bicycle Plan for 2030, which hopes that 25 percent of all residents’ trips will be done on bike.

  • Copenhagen, Denmark

    Niels Quist—Alamy

    Copenhagen is arguably the best biking city in the world, as evidenced by its 242 miles of designated bike lanes and the new Cycle Super Highway—a 13.7-mile stretch connecting Copenhagen with the suburb of Albertslund ,and the first of 26 “highways” just for bicyclists. There’s also the Instagram-worthy, year-old Cykelslangen, an elevated two-way bike lane painted bright orange, which connects the highway and harbor bridge.

  • Montreal, Quebec, Canada

    All Canada Photos/Alamy

    Canada’s most French metropolis is naturally going to be en amour with bicycles. Rent a two-wheeler through Bixi and opt for a ride along the Lachine Canal, where a bike path debuted during the 1970s. To reach the canal, depart from downtown on either Guy or Peel Streets. Bonus: along the 18.6-mile trip, you’ll have the chance to pop into Old Montreal and Old Port, adding just six miles to the journey.

  • Bordeaux, France

    Vito Arcomano—Alamy

    In this bustling, pedestrian-friendly region, about 124 miles of bike paths satisfy a city of only 236,000. For a quick five-mile route that straddles both left and right banks, depart from Place Gambetta for views of world-class monuments (Grand Théâtre, Place de la Bourse, Porte Cailhau and Place du Palais) from your bicycle seat along Cours de l’Intendance, Cours du Chapeau Rouge, and Pont de Pierre.

  • Beijing, China

    maurice joseph—Alamy

    While the chief reason for bicycling in this city—home to 20.2 million people—might be automobile congestion, it’s nonetheless a valid one. To avoid Beijing’s auto-traffic crunch, cruise along the Tongzhou canal, a 10-mile flat route that’s mostly vehicle-free and kicks off from the Grand Canal’s east bank (where Yunhe Xi Dajie turns into Tonghu Nan Lu). From this route it’s easy to enter the Grand Canal Ecological Route. Expect to see wetlands, bridges, river islands, and garden sculptures. There are also many spots along the way to stop for a picnic, so long as you’ve packed your own food.

  • Bogotá, Colombia

    Robert Harding World Imagery/Alamy

    Outfitted with a 211-mile network of bicycle paths, Colombia’s largest city is in the middle of a commuting renaissance. Plan your trip over a Sunday to experience car-free roads between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m., a tradition that’s been going strong since the 1970s. Among today’s most popular cycling routes in Bogotá are those on the Complementary Network, which showcases the city’s green spaces and traveling along riverbanks.

    Read the full list here. This article originally appeared on Travel + Leisure

    More from Travel + Leisure:

  • Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.A.


Sweden Investigates Mysterious Submarine Found Off Coast

Fredrik Sandberg—AFP/Getty Images The Swedish corvette HMS Visby under way on the Mysingen Bay on October 21, 2014 on their fifth day of searching for a suspected foreign vessel in the Stockholm archipelago.

Defense experts debate whether the submarine ran aground recently or as far back as WWI

Swedish officials say they are investigating a mysterious submarine that apparently ran aground in territorial waters two miles off of Sweden’s coastline.

Sea explorers with Ocean X spotted the roughly 65-foot submersible at an undisclosed location last week, prompting speculation about its origins. Ocean X explorer Dennis Åsberg told Swedish newspaper Expressen that the submarine appeared to have Russian cyrillic characters on its hull and no signs of physical damage.

The absence of a distress signal led one defense expert to speculate that the submarine may have run aground recently while on a confidential mission, while other experts suspect that the craft dates back to WWI.

The Ocean X team said it had partnered with Swedish officials to conduct further analysis into the submarine’s origins.

The investigation comes one year after Swedish intelligence agents detected a foreign submarine, transmitting Russian distress signals, east of Stockholm.

TIME sweden

Snoop Dogg Briefly Held in Sweden on Suspicion of Drug Possession

Snoop Dogg arrested by Swedish police
Marcus Ericsson—EPA US rapper Snoop Dogg performing in Uppsala, Sweden, on July 25, 2015.

No word yet on whether he had drugs or not

Rapper Snoop Dogg, fresh off a performance in Sweden, was stopped by police in Uppsala on suspicion of possessing drugs.

Snoop, who is on tour for his recently released album, “Bush,” was pulled over by police late on Saturday night.

“Police carrying out roadside controls noticed that Snoop Dogg [whose car was pulled over] seemed to be under the influence of narcotics. He was arrested and taken to the police station to take a urine test,” Daniel Nilsson, a spokesperson for the Uppsala police, said, according to The Guardian. “The incident lasted several minutes. Once the test was carried out he left.”

Snoop, 43, took immediately to social media to protest his arrest. He posted a video on Instagram, calling his experience “racial profiling” and apologizing to his Swedish fans, saying he would “never be back to your country, it’s been real.” (Be forewarned: all videos in this post are NSFW for language.)

Ftp 💥💥💥💥🔫✈️

A video posted by snoopdogg (@snoopdogg) on

Snoop followed the initial Instagram video posts with another one, this time in black and white and assuring his fans that he “made it through” (again, this video is NSFW for language.)

Message to my fans n fam !!

A video posted by snoopdogg (@snoopdogg) on

“They took me down there, made me pee in a cup, didn’t find s–t,” Snoop says in the grainy shot.

The rapper has had a history of using drugs. His songs often feature blatant references to his love for marijuana.

The results of the urine test were not immediately available.



These Are the Best Places in the World to Be a Woman in Politics, According to the OECD

Banking And General Views As Iceland's Bankruptcy-to-Recovery Mode Proves Viable
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images The city skyline is seen illuminated by lights at night in Reykjavik, Iceland, on Friday, Aug. 10, 2012.

Most countries are not hitting benchmarks for female representation in politics, however

Aspiring female politicians should consider moving to Finland or Sweden, where women have the most representation in government, according to new OECD data.

The findings, published July 6 as a part of the OECD’s Government at a Glance report, saw Nordic countries leading the way for women’s representation both in lower houses of parliament and in ministerial positions.

These countries are likely to benefit greatly from this representation, the OECD says. More equal gender representation can help governments institute better policies surrounding work-life balance, gender violence and equal pay.

But the overall trend is not as promising in the rest of the OECD, where things have only gotten marginally better for women’s representation in politics since 2002.

The report found that 16 out of the 34 OECD countries are failing to meet the desired 30% threshold of representation in both lower houses of parliament and ministerial positions.

Among the worst performers are Hungary, South Korea and Turkey. The U.S. and the U.K. also showed below average representation.

You can read the full report here.

TIME public health

Now Blood Donors Can Get a Text When They Save Lives

blood donation
Getty Images

What we can learn from a revolutionary way Sweden is getting people to blood banks

The usual visit to a blood donation center goes something like this: you enter a sterile room, ease into a seat or lie down and have your blood drawn. Besides a handful of free cookies, you leave with nothing more than the noble sense of being a good citizen, and your part of the transaction is complete.

In Sweden, however, a simple text message is moving blood donation from an activity of the generous to a social media worthy event. Launched three years ago to combat paltry donation rates, the hospital using the pioneering text campaign, Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden, sends a text to a donor acknowledging their contribution. When the blood has been dispensed to someone in need, the clinic sends a follow-up text.

The system has seen a resurgence in attention thanks to a viral tweet from Swedish designer Robert Lenne:

The text program also includes a “nag me until I become a blood donor” option, reports Ragan’s Health Care Communication News. Choose it, and you’ll receive texts like “We won’t give up until you bleed” to (not so subtly) encourage you to donate.

It’s an attempt by Swedish blood banks—which are struggling with low blood donations—to connect with younger blood donors, reports The Independent.

In a post on behavioral economist Richard Thaler’s just-launched blog “Misbehaving,” Allison Daminger and Jamie Kimmel note the role of “nudges” in getting people to do otherwise mundane or uncomfortable tasks, like giving blood. The idea is simple, they write: offer potential donors proof that their contribution is going to a good use. The problem with blood donation, along with other acts of charity, is that if a donor doesn’t know the recipient of a gift, it’s harder to convince them that donating is beneficial, they write.

It’s not yet clear whether or not the campaign boosts donation rates, say Daminger and Kimmel. “There simply haven’t been many evaluations of similar programs,” they write.

What it does do well, however, is to tap into the ultimate millennial form of flattery, they say—personal connection with a social media twist.

The U.S., too, offers some options to track blood donations. In 2014, they launched a Blood Donor App was to track the journey of the donation, according to Kara Lusk Dudley, public affairs manager in biomedical communications at the American Red Cross. The organization also emails donors when their donation is shipped.

But a text with a witty vampiric nudge? Not quite yet.

TIME Wages

This Big Retailer Just Raised its Minimum Wage for U.S. Workers — Again

Richard Cadan Media Kitchen cabinet fronts made at Ikea’s factory in Älmhult.

Company is already reaping the benefits of the last pay hike

Last June, Ikea announced it would raise its hourly minimum wage in U.S. stores from $9.17 to $10.76, a 17.3% hike. Now, almost exactly one year later to the day, Ikea is doing it again.

The Swedish furniture giant says the pay will go up to $11.87, a 10% increase for Ikea and a whole $4.62 above the current U.S. federal minimum wage of $7.25. (There is a movement underway to bring that up to $12 by 2020.) The hike will take effect on the first day of 2016 and will have an impact on 30% of Ikea’s U.S. employees.

This is a smart business move by Ikea, which has been expanding globally at a rapid pace, and it is one that will inevitably reap good P.R. The last time around went well for the company: Rob Olson, Ikea’s U.S. CFO, told the Huffington Post that in the six months since the last hike, Ikea has had 5 percent less worker turnover and is already attracting better talent.

Ikea was one of Fortune’s Best Companies to Work For in 2006 and 2007, but then dropped off the list. Perhaps its continued attention to better worker wages will get it back on.

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