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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
Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

Denmark agrees deal for vaccine development with Israel, Austria

Leaders from Israel, Austria and Denmark announced Thursday in Jerusalem an alliance for the development and production of future generation coronavirus vaccines.

Danish prime minister Mette Frederiksen said the three countries “all have promising research that could pave the way for a next generation platform”, adding they “would like also to explore possible cooperation on clinical trials”.

Denmark and Austria are European Union members, and the Israeli partnership has elicited criticism from fellow EU state France, which said the European framework remained the best way to guarantee “solidarity” within the bloc.

Here’s the report on the deal in full.

Domestic criticism of PM’s deal

The deal struck by Frederiksen with the two other nations, as well as the visit to Israel itself, has also drawn criticism at home, from both opposition and allied parliamentary parties.

Peder Hvelplund, the parliamentary group leader of the left-wing Red Green Alliance, one of the parties which props up the minority government, said he was “deeply astonished” by “what the prime minister is running around and doing in Israel. This is not something she has agreed parliamentary parties,” he said.

The Socialist People’s Party’s political spokesperson, Karsten Hønge, said Frederiksen was an “extra” in Netanyahu’s election campaign, national broadcaster DR reports, while Jakon Ellemann-Jensen of the opposition Liberal party called the deal with Israel and Austria “inconcrete”.

AstraZeneca vaccine will now be given to all age groups

The Danish Health Authority is now recommending that the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine can be given to all adults over the age of 18. It was previously only recommended for people under 65.

In a statement, the health authority said results from a study in Scotland has shown that the vaccine significantly reduces the chance of serious illness including hospitalisation with Covid-19, and that the effect had been documented for all age groups.

Cold, clear start to weekend

Cold and clear air is expected to persist throughout Friday after a frosty start to the day. Between 2 and 6 degrees Celsius is forecast along with plenty of sun.

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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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