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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

A Dane going to space, beefing up the Danish navy, and increasing Covid cases are among the top news stories in Denmark on Friday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday
Danish astronaut Andreas Mogensen will spend six months on the International Space Station. Photo: Nils Meilvang/Ritzau Scanpix

Covid cases increase as holidays end

The number of positive PCR tests in Denmark is again on the rise with people returning to work and school after summer holidays, according to the latest data from the State’s Serum Institute, Denmark’s infectious disease agency.  

From the last week of July to the first week of August, cases rose 18 percent, while the positive percentage grew to 27 percent. 

“Activity in our society is increasing, and people may also be more aware of getting tested for symptoms in connection with starting work and education,” says Tyra Grove Krause, professional director of the SSI. 

Central and North Jutland have seen the highest overall infection rates, while nationwide 40-59 year olds are seeing the most positive tests. 

Data on incidence rates are more likely to be an underestimate given Denmark’s dramatically reduced public testing program, which saw all quick test sites and all but a handful of PCR test sites shuttered in the spring. On August 15, authorities further restricted guidelines for who should be tested if they experience Covid symptoms — now, the official guidance is that testing is only recommended for people who are 65 years old or over, pregnant, or have a condition that causes a higher risk of sever outcomes for Covid-19. 

Danish astronaut announces mission to space 

Danish astronaut Andreas Mogensen will spend six months at the International Space Station as part of Mission Huginn — named after one of two ravens from Norse mythology that flew around the world to gather news for the god Odin.

Instead of news of the world, Mogensen will be gathering information about “sleep and well-being in space” as well as attempt to 3D print metal components, all essential for potential longer-term space travel to destinations like Mars. 

Denmark to strengthen naval fleet with eye to Russia 

Defense minister Morten Bodskov announced a significant investment in the Danish navy on Thursday.

Over the next 20 years, 40 billion kroner will be spent to upgrade the Danish fleet. “We are facing a serious situation in Europe. There is war in Europe. We have just been through a corona pandemic, and common to both is that it has created problems for our security of supply,” Bodskov told reporters, according to newswire the Agence France-Presse. 

“It is not viable, especially in times of war in Europe, for the Danish defence to have problems getting ships and other equipment built,” he added. “That is why we are taking action now” with industry partners to build our own warships. 

READ MORE: From June: Russian warship violates Danish waters

Danish politicians may visit Taiwan 

Members of Danish parliament from six political parties are ready to travel to Taiwan after a possible election this autumn, newspaper Politiken reports. 

“Taiwan must not be isolated in the way that China wants it to be. They must not succeed in that,” Michael Aastrup Jensen, foreign affairs spokesman for the Liberal party (Venstre) told Politiken. 

The six parties that have signed on to a possible trip are the Conservatives, the Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten), the Social Liberals (Radikale), the Danish People’s Party, the Liberal party, and the new Danish Democrats party. 

However, some, including Socialist People’s Party foreign affairs spokesman Karsten Hønge, say stirring the pot in Taiwan could cause more harm than good. 

READ MORE: From 2019: Copenhagen Zoo removes Taiwan from display map to get loan pandas from China 

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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

Prince Joachim’s reaction to his children losing their titles, a potential MitID security weak spot, and other news stories in Denmark on Friday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

‘No timeframe’ for fixing Nord Stream pipelines

Nord Stream’s operator said yesterday it was unable to immediately assess damage to pipelines linking Russia to Europe, threatening an indeterminate outage. That came after Sweden detected a fourth leak and NATO decried “acts of sabotage”. 

Nord Stream’s operator said it “intends to start assessing the damage to the pipeline as soon as it receives necessary official permits”, news wire AFP reports.

It said access could be allowed “only after the pressure in the gas pipeline has stabilised and the gas leakage has stopped”. 

“Until the completion of the damage assessment, it is not possible to predict the timeframe for restoration of the gas transmission infrastructure”, the operator said.

NATO declared the damage was “the result of deliberate, reckless and irresponsible acts of sabotage” and said it supported investigations to determine the origin of the damage.

READ ALSO: Could Baltic Sea gas pipe leaks affect Denmark’s election timeline?

Prince Joachim not happy after children lose titles

In a rare episode of public drama in the Danish royal family, Prince Joachim, the Queen’s second son, yesterday went to the media to express his disappointment over the decision to remove the titles of ‘prince’ and ‘princess’ from his children as of next year.

Prince Joachim’s four children will no longer be princes or princesses but will retain their other titles as Count or Countess of Monpezat, the royal palace announced on Wednesday. The decision was taken by Queen Margrethe.

“It’s never fun to see your children harmed in this way. They themselves are in a situation they don’t understand,” Prince Joachim told newspaper Ekstra Bladet.

In a longer interview with another newspaper, BT, the prince said the decision to change the children’s titles had been moved forward.

“This whole idea was take my children’s identity from them when they each reach 25 years of age… I was given five days’ warning when the decision was brought forward,” he said.

‘Simple hack’ can breach MitID, media reports

Media Version2, a supplement of engineering journal Ingeniøren, reports that a coding trick can enable hackers to easily identify the usernames of MitID users.

The MitID digital ID system is gradually replacing NemID as the online ID used in Denmark for access to public service platforms, online banking and shopping online.

READ ALSO: MitID takes over as default option on Danish platforms

The Danish Agency for Digitisation (Digitaliseringsstyrelsen) told Ingeniøren that it would investigate the issue.

NemID will be turned off for secure platforms like banking and public services on October 31st. After this date, only MitID can be used to log on.

Other platforms, like online shopping, will still accept NemID for now. The old system will be fully decommissioned on June 30th, 2023. 

Cancer charity wants to ban solariums for under-18s

The Danish Cancer Society (Kræftens Bekæmpelse) says that increasing numbers of young people are using solariums in Denmark and that regulation is therefore needed on the area.

A report from the charity finds that 16 percent of young people aged between 15 and 25 use tanning salons, an increase from 10 percent two years ago.

“This calls for us needing an age limit of 18 years for use of solariums. Because if this continues, we will have more cases of skin cancer in future,” project manager Peter Dalum told news wire Ritzau.

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