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

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 Friday
A burger from Noma's summer pop-up burger bar. Photo: Linda Kastrup/Ritzau Scanpix

Mink mutation 'most likely eradicated'

Perhaps this will be the last time the coronavirus mink mutation will be at the top of our daily briefing (but then again, perhaps not).

The mutated version of the new coronavirus detected in minks that raised concerns about the effectiveness of a future vaccine has likely been eradicated, the health ministry said yesterday.

The government responded to the discovery of the mutation by shutting down North Jutland (now reopened) and culling every fur farm mink in the country, effectively bringing an end to a billion-kroner industry. The latter order turned out to have no legal basis. The political consequences of that are still unfolding, but have already forced a minister to resign.

Despite all this, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said yesterday she still believes the order to cull minks was the right thing to do – and would still have concluded they had to be culled even if she had known at the time that the order was illegal.

“We can’t gamble with the health of the Danish people. We can’t gamble with public health. And we can’t risk making Denmark guilty of undermining a future vaccine,” she told media including TV2.

Government reshuffle after minister’s departure

The above comments by Frederiksen were made outside of Amalienborg, the residence of Queen Margrethe, after the PM visited with Her Majesty to present changes to the government, as is the custom when such changes occur.

The reshuffle was necessary due to the departure of Mogens Jensen from his role as agriculture minister. Jensen bore responsibility for the illegal order to cull minks.

The Ministry of the Environment and Food is to be spilt up, Frederiksen announced on Thursday, with Rasmus Prehn taking on the portfolios for food, agriculture and fisheries. Prehn was previous the minister for foreign development. That role, along with Nordic cooperation, is to be taken over by Flemming Møller Mortensen.

Another of Jensen’s former areas, equality (ligestilling), now comes under minister Peter Hummelgaard at the employment ministry.

Danes world’s second-best non-native English speakers

An annual index by EF, a language training company based in the US, has placed Denmark at no.2 for its second-language English proficiency, beating all the other Nordic countries. Only the Netherlands got a better score.

Denmark typically does well on rankings of this type, which is unsurprising given that the vast majority of Danes do indeed speak English. But are they better than Swedes, Norwegians or Icelanders? Perhaps that’s up for debate.

We’ll have a report on the index results on our website later today.

Michelin restaurant to open permanent burger bar

Here’s an item that could get (fast) foodies salivating.

Two-starred Michelin restaurant Noma is to open a burger bar in Copenhagen’s Christianshavn neighbourhood.

The famous Danish restaurant ran a pop-up burger bar earlier this year, after its normal operations were closed down due to coronavirus restrictions. The concept was popular and is now returning for good, Politiken reports.

Weekend to begin bright and clear

If you haven’t already done so, now’s the time to bring your winter gloves out of storage, because temperatures are going to be close to freezing point for much of the morning. On the bright side, the skies will be clear.

Rain is expected on both Saturday and Sunday, with a warm front bringing temperatures back up a little, according to DMI’s forecast.

Danish vocabulary:

  • Regeringsrokade: government (cabinet) reshuffle
  • Ligestilling: equality, equal rights
  • Sprogkundskaber: language proficiencies
  • Byge: (rain) shower

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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Thursday

A new Nord Stream leak, a protest against Qatar on the national team’s World Cup kit, and other news stories in Denmark on Thursday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Thursday

Fourth leak detected at Nord Stream pipelines in Baltic Sea

A fourth leak has been detected in undersea pipelines running from Russia to Europe, the Swedish Coast Guard said this morning, after explosions were reported earlier this week in suspected sabotage.

“There are two leaks on the Swedish side and two leaks on the Danish side,” a Swedish Coast Guard official said. Media reported that the latest leak was detected at the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, but the coast guard did not confirm this.

The official added that the two leaks on the Swedish side are “close to each other”.

We’ll have a full report on this on our website this morning.

READ ALSO: Who is behind the Nord Stream Baltic pipeline attack?

More than half of Nord Stream gas has escaped from pipes

Danish officials said yesterday – prior to the discovery of a fourth leak – that more than half of the gas in the Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea had leaked into the atmosphere after they were damaged.

“A clear majority of the gas has already come out of the pipes,” head of the Danish Energy Agency, Kristoffer Böttzauw, told a press conference.

“We expect the rest to escape by Sunday,” he added.

Defence Minister Morten Bødskov said Wednesday morning that, due to pressure of the gas leaking out, it would take “one or two weeks” before inspections of the damaged structures could begin.

Hummel tones down logo on Denmark’s Qatar World Cup kit

Denmark will wear a “toned down” kit at this year’s World Cup in protest at Qatar’s human rights record, sportswear maker Hummel said Wednesday, setting off a furious response from the Gulf state.

Qatar’s organising committee accused Hummel of “trivialising” the country’s efforts to improve conditions for migrant workers and called on the Danish federation to intervene.

The logo of the Danish sportswear brand and the Danish national badge are both barely visible on the shirts designed for the World Cup that starts on November 20th.

Several competing nations and rights groups have criticised Qatar’s rights record and FIFA for allowing the event to be held in the conservative Muslim state where homosexuality is illegal.

“We support the Danish national team all the way, but that isn’t the same as supporting Qatar as a host nation,” Hummel said in a social media post.

Age charity wants foreign education programmes to bring in workers

Age concern charity DanAge (Ældre Sagen) wants Danish social care education programmes to be opened in foreign countries to address the chronic labour shortage suffered by the sector.

Danish welfare courses that take place abroad are a potential solution to the problem, the CEO of Ældre Sagen, Bjarne Hastrup, told newspaper Berlingske. Germany, Spain, India and the Phillippines are potential locations according to the charity.

“And my question to politicians would be: ‘If you’re not going to do this, what are you going to do?’,” he said.

The charity is scheduled to host a debate between the political party leaders, which will be televised by broadcaster DR this morning.