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TODAY IN DENMARK

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 in Copenhagen protest at the Russian Embassy
People in Copenhagen protest at the Russian Embassy following the invasion of Ukraine on February 24th 2022. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

50 million kroner in humanitarian aid to be sent to Ukraine 

While Denmark is involved in ongoing EU, US and UK talks over sanctions against Russia, the Danish government has decided to send 50 million kroner in humanitarian aid to Ukraine, international development minister Flemming Møller Mortensen told news wire Ritzau this morning.

“We must help the Ukrainian people who may unfortunately soon be in a serious humanitarian situation as a result of the Russian invasion,” Mortensen said.

30 million kroner will help finance the UN’s humanitarian work in Ukraine while 20 million will go to the Red Cross.

Over 100,000 Ukrainians have already fled their homes since the Russian invasion began on Thursday morning, according to the UN’s refugee agency UNHCR.

READ ALSO:

Parliament votes to increase Danish military contribution to NATO

A government amendment increasing the Danish military contribution to NATO was last night voted through by parliament. Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod confirmed the motion had been passed.

Kofod thanked parliament for backing what he called a “strong, important signal” following Russia’s “cold-blooded attack on Ukraine”. All parties were in favour with the exception of the Red Green Alliance (Enhedslisten). The left-wing party said it wanted to avoid “a direct confrontation between Nato and Russia”.

The increased contribution means Denmark will provide more troops to Nato and send 20 F-16 fighter aircraft to Poland, broadcaster DR reports.

Some Danish nationals still trying to leave Ukraine

A number of Danish nationals are still trying to leave Ukraine, according to the foreign ministry.

It will now take some time to leave the country with airspace closed, an official from the ministry’s citizens’ service said at a briefing yesterday.

“There are huge queues out of the cities and at borders. So you need supplies for a long journey, fuel but also food and drink,” the department’s director, Erik Brøgger said.

Brøgger also urged Danes leaving the country to bring all relevant identification papers.

Denmark takes ‘far too long’ to approve qualifications of foreign medics

In a report issued earlier this week, the ombudsman’s office at the Danish parliament issued a report which concluded that authorities take too long to approve qualifications and authorise foreign medics who are applying to work in Denmark.

An investigation by the ombudsman said that the processing time for applications had increased from 10 months to as much as 3 years since 2018.

“That is far too long,” the ombudsman’s office said as the report was released.

We’ll have more detail on this in an article on our website today.

READ ALSO: Why does Denmark take so long to authorise foreign medical professionals?

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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Thursday

Murder at a luxury Copenhagen hotel, changes to laws on Ukrainian refugees, and new Covid surveillance strategies are among the top news stories in Denmark this Thursday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Thursday

Danish government wants to make Ukrainian refugee “start date” more flexible 

As the law currently stands, Ukrainians who happened to have left their home country — perhaps for vacation or business — just before war broke out could have trouble gaining residence in Denmark. 

The Danish government have announced plans to change the ‘cut-off date’ for when people must have left Ukraine to be considered war refugees from February 24th to February 1st. 

Parliament will consider the amendment to the current “Ukrainian law,” which grants two years’ residence to refugees who meet certain stipulations, including when they fled the country. 

READ ALSO: Denmark plans ‘Ukraine towns’ to accommodate war refugees 

Without widespread testing, how will Denmark predict next Covid wave? 

With Denmark’s once-wide network of public Covid test sites nearly gone, the State Serum Institute — Denmark’s infectious disease agency — is piloting a new program that it hopes will detect upticks in infections.

Ten thousand blood donors and the members of their households will be randomly chosen to participate in the “PCR Home Test Study,” the SSI says. Those who agree to participate will receive test kits from the government and will be asked to self-test once a week for a month, registering each sample in TestCenter Denmark’s app and sending it to the SSI for processing. 

If a new wave is detected, the SSI will consider recommending boosters for groups at high risk, director Henrik Ullum told Danish newswire Ritzau. 

If the program is successful, it could be deployed to monitor other respiratory viruses, such as the flu, Ullum added. 

READ ALSO: Which Covid self-tests should you buy (and avoid) in Denmark? 

Danish man pleads guilty to bow and arrow attack in Norway 

Espen Andersen Brathen the 38-year-old Danish man accused of using a bow and arrow outside a supermarket and stabbing five to death with a knife in the Norwegian town of Kongsberg last October, pleaded guilty to all charges yesterday. 

Although the attack was initially thought to be an act of terrorism, three experts who observed him assessed that Brathen was experiencing paranoid schizophrenia, newswire Agence France-Presse reports. Both the prosecution and defense agree that a psychiatric commitment, rather than a prison sentence, is appropriate. 

Murder at luxury Copenhagen hotel 

The NH Collection on Strandgade — home to the “Feel Safe at NH” campaign during the Covid pandemic — was the site of what authorities describe as a brutal murder on Sunday.  

A 28-year-old man suffered head injuries in a room in the NH Collection, where rooms start at 3000 kroner a night, and died of his injuries Monday evening. Police have one man, a 20-year-old, in custody for the crime and are seeking a 24-year-old Dutch citizen as an alleged accomplice. 

Authorities also suspect the 20-year-old currently in custody in another crime three hours after the incident on Strandgade — a gruesome knife attack at an “apartment hotel” in Silkegade. According to charges read at a preliminary hearing in court yesterday, the second victim was stabbed repeatedly, his cheek was ripped open, and an ear was cut off. 

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