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

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 Thursday
North Jutland remains under Denmark's toughest coronavirus restrictions. Photo: Claus Bjørn Larsen/Ritzau Scanpix

Politicians to discuss compensation for mink fur farm owners

The ongoing destruction of every farmed mink in the country, due to concerns over a mutated form of coronavirus in the animals, will effectively close down an industry worth several billion kroner annually and cost hundreds, perhaps thousands of jobs.

The Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs is currently negotiating a compensation package for the industry – work that is expected to continue via online talks today, DR reports.

Since the decision was made last week to cull all fur farm minks, it has emerged that the government lacked the legal authority to make such an order. You can read more about this here.

EU agency to assess risk of mink coronavirus mutation

The decision to cull the minks, as well as to shut down and restrict large parts of North Jutland, was made after national infectious disease agency SSI found evidence based on preliminary test results that a mutated coronavirus variant which came from mink and had been passed back to humans could be resistant to future vaccines.

But several Danish experts have since cast doubt over those concerns following the release of a preliminary research paper by SSI.

The European Medicines Agency, the EU agency concerned with medical products, will this afternoon release its own risk assessment of coronavirus outbreaks at mink farms, DR reports this morning.

North Jutland could be reopened early

North Jutland, the region where the outbreak of the mink coronavirus is centred, has been subject to stringent restrictions since last week, with many under instructions not to leave their home municipalities.

The restrictions are in place until December 3rd, but Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen yesterday suggested they could be eased before that.

In a lengthy Facebook post, Frederiksen wrote that while North Jutland was currently under “tremendous pressure”, “hopefully some of the restrictions be eased earlier – that depends on the ongoing risk assessments by health authorities”.

High court to rule on ban against gangster group

Organised crime gang Loyal to Familia (LTF) was banned earlier this year in a verdict at Copenhagen City Court. That judgement is to be tested today at the high court for the east of Denmark, Østre Landsret.

The case, which has been ongoing since 2018, seeks to ban an association from existing in Denmark for the first time since the Second World War.

“Most people are aware that LTF members commit violent crime, but I believe we can also prove that they do it as an organised association,” state prosecutor Jan Reckendorff said I 2018.

Did US ambassador to Denmark intentionally spread misleading information over her vote?

Carla Sands, the United States Ambassador to Denmark, posted several days ago a screenshot which she claimed showed her absentee ballot in the state of Pennsylvania had not been registered.

Absentee or mail-in votes in the state can be tracked using the voter's name, date of birth and the county they voted in. All of this information for Sands is public. Although I was unable to access the ballot tracking page on the Pennsylvania state government website, several other Twitter users – as well as the New York Times – were, and found that Sands’ vote was indeed registered, on October 15th.

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Sands, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, has made several Twitter posts since the election in support of Trump’s baseless claims of election fraud.

Danish vocabulary:

  • Forhandlinger: negotiations
  • Byret, landsret, højesteret: city or district court, national (high) court, supreme court
  • Bande: (criminal) gang
  • Stemmeseddel: ballot

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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Wednesday

Defence minister to discuss Nord Stream explosions with Nato, parliament to look at working environments at churches, and other news stories in Denmark on Wednesday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Wednesday

Defence minister to discuss gas pipeline leaks with Nato

Three leaks in Baltic Sea gas pipelines connecting Russia and Europe were detected yesterday, including two in the Danish economic zone of the waters.

Footage and photos released by the Danish military showed the surface of the Baltic frothing dramatically, while Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said the leakages were due to “deliberate acts” and “not an accident”.

Defence Minister Morten Bødskov is scheduled to meet with Nato’s General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels today, where the incident will be discussed.

Social Liberals still want early election

The Social Liberal (Radikale Venstre) party earlier this year demanded PM Frederiksen call an early election. The demand was issued in response to the conclusions of an inquiry into the government’s 2020 mink scandal, which resulted in Frederiksen receiving a rebuke.

READ ALSO: How likely is Denmark to have a general election ahead of schedule?

The centre-left party, a parliamentary ally of the governing Social Democrats, yesterday said it is sticking to the demand despite a raised alert level in Denmark as a result of this week’s explosions and leakages at the Nord Stream gas pipes.

“This happened in international waters. It is not an attack on Denmark,” Social Liberal leader Sofie Carsten Nielsen said in an Instagram post yesterday evening.

Church ministry to address working environment issues at places of worship

An open parliamentary committee will today address the issue of working environment problems at the Church of Denmark (Folkekirken), broadcaster DR reports.

The committee follows the broadcaster’s reports of bullying, harassment and physical intimidation at a number of churches in Denmark.

Medicine costs too much in Denmark, watchdog says

The price of medicine in Denmark is too high and should be remedied by increasing the number of pharmacies and reducing costs through competition, according to watchdog agency Konkurrencerådet.

The agency also wants medicine to be more accessible for online purchase, newspaper Jyllands-Posten reports. Currently, regulation in the sector limits competition, it said.

The Danish Pharmacists’ Society (Apotekerforeningen) disagrees with the criticism, saying Danish medicine prices are not higher than those in other European countries and that prices have not been pushed up by inflation.

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