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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Thursday

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

The Ukrainian flag next the the Danish flag
The Ukrainian flag next the the Danish flag in front of an office building at Kalvebod Brygge in Copenhagen on March 2nd, 2022. The Ministry of Justice has announced that private and public authorities can fly the Ukrainian flag until March 16th. Photo: Ida Marie Odgaard/Ritzau Scanpix

Vestas ends commercial activity in Russia 

Vestas is the latest major Danish company to cut business ties with Russia, after announcing yesterday it would stop all commercial activity in the country.

The wind power giant is to continue servicing existing turbines in both Russia and Ukraine, however.

“Vestas condemns in the strongest possible terms the Russian invasion and the gruesome acts Russian troops are committing in Ukraine,” the company said in a statement to broadcaster DR.

A number of Vestas staff in Ukraine have been forced to flee or are concerned for their safety, the company said.

“We are worried about our colleagues, customers and commercial partners who are located in the besieged areas,” it said.

READ ALSO: Danish shipping giant Maersk to stop deliveries to Russian ports

Court jails exiled Iranians for spying for Saudi Arabia

A Danish court on Wednesday sentenced three leaders of an Iranian Arab separatist group to between six and eight years in prison after they were convicted of spying for Saudi Arabia, news wire AFP reports.

Two members of the ASMLA (Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz), which Iran brands a terrorist group, will also be deported after completing their sentence, the court in Roskilde announced in a statement.

The court last month found the ASMLA leaders “guilty of creating an intelligence unit for a Saudi intelligence service over a period of several years”, based among other places at an address in Zealand town Ringsted.

Weather: Early spring day awaits after chilly start

Spring in Denmark often doesn’t really get going until April, but this year has so far defied that with March getting off to a sunny and mild start.

That will continue today with below freezing temperatures early this morning giving way to a bright, sunny day after sunrise. Blue skies are predicted for the whole country this afternoon.

Temperatures are forecast to reach between 4 and 6 degrees Celsius. Frost is expected to return tonight with possible fog tomorrow morning.

Covid-19: 20,458 new cases in most recent update 

A total of 20,458 new cases of Covid-19 were registered by health authorities in the latest daily update yesterday, with metrics showing that the winter wave of the coronavirus is now receding.

77,746 PCR tests were administered, giving a test positivity rate of 26 percent.

95 of Denmark’s 98 municipalities have a declining incidence rate over the last week, with the exceptions being Solrød along with two islands, Læsø and Ærø.

Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said earlier this week that the number of people with a positive test who are admitted to hospital is now falling, another sign that the epidemic curve has turned.

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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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