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“I’ve spoken to Steen Jensen and he can see this is over the line, and he has withdrawn from the party so as not to damage it,” he also said.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

Charity Age Concern Denmark (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.