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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

Train tickets for bikes, a grim Covid milestone for Europe and a disgraced Danish spymaster are among the top news stories in Denmark this Friday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday
While bikes will still be allowed on the S-train for free, regional and long distance journeys through DSB will require a 20 kroner bike ticket. Photo: Niels Ahlmann Olesen/Ritzau Scanpix

God Bededagsferie, or happy prayer day holidays! Learn more about the Danish holiday here

READ ALSO: Denmark’s Great Prayer Day: 7 things to know 

DSB to require tickets for bikes on certain trains 

DSB, the Danish national rail company, has announced that as of July 1st you’ll need a 20 kroner ticket to bring your bike with you on long-distance and regional trains. “Our customers have long wanted greater certainty that there is actually space when you take your bike on the train,” Jens Visholm, commercial director of DSB, told Danish newswire Ritzau. 

This is cause for celebration for the Cyclists’ Association, which has lobbied for such a change for years. 

DSB emphasises this new policy doesn’t affect the S-train (S-tog), to the relief of the capital region. 

Former Danish spymaster charged with leaking state secrets 

Former Danish defece minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen was charged yesterday with “unauthorised disclosure of highly confidential information,” according to the justice department. 

It’s up to parliament to lift Frederiksen’s immunity as a former minister, but the details of the unauthorised disclosures are so highly classified that members of parliament do not have access to the case file to determine whether immunity would be appropriate, the Agence France-Presse reports. 

These latest charges are fallout from the May 2021 revelation that the US National Security Agency had access to Denmark’s undersea cable network, which it used to listen in on targets in Sweden, Norway, Germany and France — including then-chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel. 

Two million have died from Covid-19 in Europe, WHO says 

The World Health Organisation announced yesterday that Covid-19 deaths in Europe have surpassed two million, calling it a “devastating milestone.” 

The WHO has tallied just over 2,002,000 confirmed deaths attributed to Covid-19 from the 218,225,294 registered cases in the region. According to the Danish infectious disease agency the State Serum Institute, 6,271 people have died in Denmark from Covid-19. That represents 0.2 percent of all positive PCR tests.  

READ ALSO: Explained: Are deaths from Covid-19 in Denmark increasing? 

Norwegian Air slows, but doesn’t stop, huge financial losses 

Although passengers are returning to Norwegian Air, the embattled airline still can’t turn a profit, according to first-quarter earnings. 

In the first three months of 2022, Norwegian Air lost 616 million Danish Kroner — which, strikingly, is 42 percent better than in 2021, Ritzau reports.

Norwegian served 2.2 million passengers in the first quarter, up nearly 970 percent compared to the same time last year, Ritzau says. 

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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Wednesday

The health minister briefing colleagues on monkeypox, the return of music festivals and holiday traffic are among the news stories in Denmark on Wednesday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Wednesday

Health minister to brief MPs over monkeypox situation 

Health Minister Magnus Heunicke will brief the health spokespersons from other political parties today after two cases of monkey pox were detected in Denmark earlier this week.

Health authorities said yesterday they would offer a vaccination to close contacts of people who contract monkeypox.

But authorities are stressing there is no cause for public concern over the virus, which is not highly transmissible and causes mild disease.

“As things are now, no infections have happened in Denmark. In other words, it’s travelling Danes who have brought the virus home with them. But our authorities are fully engaged with contact tracing,” Heunicke told broadcaster TV2 yesterday.

READ ALSO: Denmark to offer vaccination to close contacts of monkeypox cases

Expect extra traffic during Ascension holiday

Tomorrow is Ascension Day and that means a public holiday in Denmark. While Friday is a regular working day, many decide to use annual leave or take that day off too to give themselves an extended weekend.

Motorists can expect congestion and queuing in some areas beginning today, the Danish Roads Agency (Vejdirektoratet) said on its website.

The heavy traffic is expected to begin as early as this afternoon between 12pm and 4pm.

More traffic is likely when holidayers return home on Sunday, again between 12pm and 4pm according to the roads agency.

Areas like the west coast of Jutland and northern Zealand, where many summer houses are located, can expect a lot of comings and goings.

Festival season returns after two-year absence

Major Danish music festivals such as NorthSide in Aarhus, Smukfest in Skanderborg and not least the Roskilde Festival all return at full capacity this year after two years of cancellations and restricted events.

The first of the summer festivals, the Jelling Festival, starts today. Danish acts Minds of 99 and Lord Siva are among those on the programme.

Jelling takes place over the next four days and 35,000 people are expected to attend.

Danish Jehovah’s Witness released after five years in Russian jail

Dennis Christensen, a Danish Jehovah’s Witness, was released from Russian jail on Tuesday and will have to leave the country, the US-based Christian evangelical movement said.

In the first such conviction since Russia outlawed the religious movement in 2017, Christensen was sentenced to six years in prison in 2019. Earlier reports in 2020 suggested Russian authorities had decided to release him.

His case has drawn worldwide condemnation.

“Dennis Christensen has been released from prison. For his faith, he spent a total of five years behind bars,” the movement said in a statement Tuesday according to news wire AFP.

Christensen must leave Russia overnight on the night of May 24th-25th, the statement said.

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