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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

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

People queue to buy Halloween supplies in Copenhagen on Thursday.
People queue to buy Halloween supplies in Copenhagen on Thursday. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Health minister to brief parties on coronavirus situation 

Health Minister Magnus Heunicke has summoned other party representatives to a briefing today to discuss the Covid-19 situation in Denmark.

Infection numbers have risen sharply this week and the minister said on Wednesday that testing would be upscaled. He also said the more of the population must be vaccinated in order to ward off the need for restrictions.

Spokespersons from at least three other parties – the Red Green Alliance, Danish People’s Party and Conservative Party – this week expressed their opposition to the return of coronavirus restrictions.

Two men arrested for smash-and-grab burglary of Copenhagen department store

Two men were late last night brought into police custody as suspects in a spectacular burglary at upmarket department store Illum in Copenhagen in May this year.

Earlier police statements confirmed that burglars rammed a vehicle through the store’s entry on the night of May 11th before making off with several watches of unknown value.

They then used a scooter to flee to Slotsholmskanalen, the canal opposite the Christiansborg parliament building, where an accomplice in a high-speed rigid inflatable boat helped them make their final escape.

Specific charges against the detained men are unclear at the current stage.

Local politician leaves party over racism conviction

Steen Jensen, a local politician in the Norddjurs municipality, has handed in his Danish People’s Party (DF )membership after it emerged he had been convicted under Denmark’s racism laws.

Jensen was last year found guilty of racism for writing in a Facebook post that “Islam is murdering away all over Europe”.

The DF party secretary Steen Thomsen said that Jensen had not communicated clearly over the post and subsequent conviction. 

“He initially gave a completely different explanation of the post and conviction he was given,” Thomsen told TV2.

“I’ve spoken to Steen Jensen and he can see this is over the line, and he has withdrawn from the party so as not to damage it,” he also said.

Not all ministries delete texts

With Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen facing questions over automatic deletion of her SMS messages in connection with the ongoing mink inquiry, it emerged yesterday that other ministries do not have the same deletion policy as the PM.

The Foreign Ministry, Transport Ministry and Justice Ministry all confirmed that their ministers’ telephones do not delete texts, broadcaster DR reported. The Ministry for Elderly and Social Care said that minister Astrid Krag’s phone is set to only store text for a limited period.

An official inquiry into the government’s decision last year to cull far farm minks requested access to Frederiksen’s cell phone text messages and those of three close advisers.

However, the prime minister said they no longer existed as her phone setting automatically deleted them after 30 days.

READ ALSO: Deleted texts plague Danish government in mink inquiry

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For members


Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

A Danish school evacuated due to a sickening smell, Nigeria prosecuting Danish soldiers in piracy case, and a ringing endorsement for fourth Covid-19 jabs are among the top news stories in Denmark on Friday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

‘Unpleasant smell’ that sickened children at Danish school is unexplained 

 An Aarhus-area school was evacuated on Thursday after a mysterious smell appeared to be related to new headaches, coughs, and runny noses in students and teachers, newswire Ritzau reports. 

Suspecting some kind of chemical spill, school management reached out to emergency services — but police, the fire brigade and emergency medical responders were unable to identify the cause, according to a tweet by the East Jutland Police. 

However, authorities were able to rule out a chemical spill, police tell broadcaster TV2, and the investigation is ongoing. 

ICYMI: Recent Covid-19 booster jab offers good protection, Danish agency says 

People who received the most recent round of Covid-19 boosters are at significantly lower risk for hospitalisation, according to a recent analysis by the State Serum Institute, Denmark’s infectious disease agency. 

Having a second booster (for most, that would be your fourth dose) provides “around 75 percent better” protection against hospital admission than just three doses, writes Bolette Søborg, senior medical consultant at the SSI, on the agency’s website. 

READ ALSO: Can you get a second Covid-19 booster in Denmark if you are not in a risk group? 

Nigeria to prosecute Danish soldiers involved in piracy case 

This week, Copenhagen District Court began to hear the case against a Nigerian man authorities say is a pirate who participated in an attack on a Danish vessel off the coast of Nigeria in November 2021. 

But now, Nigeria has announced its intention to prosecute the Danish soldiers involved in the same incident, in which four Nigerian nationals were killed. 

“We demand that Denmark release the remaining Nigerian in Danish custody. We demand an apology from Denmark to Nigeria for the behavior of the frigate,” says Nicholas Ella, director of the legal department in Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign affairs, according to newspaper Weekendavisen.  

Ella describes the firefight as the “direct murder of people on the boat,” Weekendavisen reports.