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Today in Denmark: A round-up of the latest news on Tuesday

Find out what's going on in Denmark today with The Local's short round-up of the news in less than five minutes.

Today in Denmark: A round-up of the latest news on Tuesday
Mass testing for Covid-19 in Vesløs, North Jutland. Photo: Claus Bjørn Larsen/Ritzau Scanpix

Mink culling to continue despite questions over process

The culling of millions of minks is to continue today under the auspices of the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, despite a number of questions being raised on Monday over the process.

Prominent amongst these was reports in a number of Danish media that the government does not actually have any legal framework to enforce the culling – in other words, there’s not actually anything in the law that allows for the current circumstances. Work is underway at parliament to push through an emergency law enabling the culling of all mink, DR reports.

That comes as concerns were raised over the way the animals are being culled. The Danish Agriculture and Food Council, an interest organisation for the agricultural sector, said authorities lacked expertise for the task and that animals were not being culled humanely, new wire Ritzau reported.

Meanwhile, the BBC reported yesterday that, after Danish infectious disease agency SSI released details of the genome of the mutated coronavirus from mink, an expert in the Netherlands said the same mutation had already been detected there, but had not been passed to humans. Danish authorities have been criticised for not releasing the genetic information earlier.

Denmark is culling every single one of its fur farm mink, has locked down much of the North Jutland region and is mass testing 280,000 residents out of concerns the mutation could reduce the efficacy of a future Covid-19 vaccine.

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PM Mette Frederiksen back in parliament for questions session

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen is likely to face questions over a number of the above issues today, as her regular prime minister’s questions session returns. It was cancelled last week after Frederiksen was forced to isolate and take a Covid-19 test, which later returned negative.

Brexit: how it could affect Danes and Brits in Denmark

Yesterday, we published a feature on Danish fishermen who are hoping for a trade deal between the UK and the EU, because their livelihoods depend largely on catches in British waters.

For British nationals who live in the UK, it is important to know how the end of the transitional agreement on December 31st this year affects their status as residents. Denmark has provisions in place and has been in contact with UK nationals registered as residents in Denmark to outline this. We’ll publish an article later today with this fully-updated information.

Mortensaften

It’s November 10th, and that means many Danes will be tucking into roast duck or goose this evening as they celebrate Mortensaften.

The tradition is named after St. Morten, who, according to legend, hid in a goose pen to avoid being made a bishop. The noisy geese gave away his position and he took revenge by eating them annually, the story goes.

Sound bizarre? Here’s a full explanation of this popular Danish custom from our archives.

Danish vocabulary:

  • Gås, gæs: goose, geese
  • Lovhjemmel: legal authority
  • Udnævnelse: appointment, selection (of a person to a position of authority)

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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Tuesday

Eighty-six weekend flights cancelled and a major setback for Copenhagen's artificial peninsula project are among the top headlines in Denmark this Tuesday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Tuesday

Cancelled flights reflect dire staff shortage 

This past weekend, 86 flights to and from Danish airports were cancelled, according to Danish airline news outlet Check-in.

By their calculations, that meant that 10,000-12,000 passengers were left at the gates. Half of the cancellations were by the beleaguered SAS, which nixed 42 flights in and out of Copenhagen alone. 

“We currently have high sickness absence, [technology issues and a late flight from a partner airline, ed.] and we already have a tight staffing situation, Alexandra Lindgren Kaoukji, SAS spokesperson in Denmark, told Check-in.  

READ ALSO: What are your rights if your flight is cancelled in Denmark? 

New Herlufsholm chairman: culture creates ‘problems for the weak,’ while ‘the strong’ manage

The latest wrinkle in the Herlufsholm scandal is the appointment of Jon Stokholm, former Danish Supreme Court Justice, as chairman of the board. 

The 71-year-old told newswire Ritzau that he believes Herlufsholm’s emphasis on individualism was where the school went wrong. 

“Such a culture creates problems for the weak,” Stokholm said. “The strong will cope.” (This seems an unusual way to describe students at a school struggling with bullying.) 

READ ALSO: Danish royal children withdrawn from controversial boarding school 

Artificial peninsula project Lynetteholm faces major setback 

Copenhagen’s dreams for a self-financing Lynetteholm, the new Copenhagen district to be built on a manmade peninsula in the harbour, have shattered like a ‘broken Kinder egg,”  mayor Sophie Hæstorp Andersen told broadcaster DR

New number-crunching by the ministry of transportation reveals that the profits from selling plots of land on future Lynetteholm, which promised to fund the creation of a metro connection and an eastern road ring, are likely to fall far short of that figure. 

The project was designed to solve three problems in one fell swoop — its creators say Lynetteholm will ameliorate the Copenhagen housing shortage, reduce congestion in the rest of the city and protect the mainland from storm surges in the face of climate change. 

READ ALSO: Danish parliament gives go ahead to giant artificial island off Copenhagen

Pollution linked to 10 percent of Europe’s cancer cases 

The European Environment Agency released a report today that concludes more than 10 percent of all cancer cases in Europe are preventable — because they can be tied to pollution. 

“Together, exposure to air pollution, carcinogenic chemicals, radon, UV radiation and passive smoking can account for over ten percent of the cancer burden in Europe,” the EEA wrote in a statement. 

Cancer cases due to exposure to radiation or chemical carcinogens can be reduced to “an almost insignificant level,” environment and health expert at the EEA Gerardo Sanchez told reporters last week. 

Of special interest to Danes, who sometimes eschew sunscreen during the summer months, should be the EEA’s calculation that four percent of European cancer cases are linked to natural UV radiation from the sun. 

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