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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

Rising Covid cases, SAS' plans for electric planes, and Denmark's two-headed snake (not a metaphor) are among the top news stories in Denmark on Friday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday
A two-headed viper found in Denmark in 2011. Denmark's second-ever two-headed snake, a grass snake (which is non-venomous, unlike this viper) was found at Kalvebod Fælled on Amager on Thursday. Photo: Benny Rohde Nielsen/Ritzau Scanpix

Rising Covid cases amid limited testing 

Although Denmark all-but shuttered its public testing program in the spring, and despite the fact that current public health guidelines discourage most people from testing, the latest data from Denmark’s infectious disease agency indicate Covid cases are again on the rise. 

Two weeks ago, 4,948 people received positive PCR tests, while last week the number climbed to 5,428, according to the State Serum Institute (SSI). 

The positivity rate — the percentage of all PCR tests administered that are positive — also increased, from 12.7 to 13.8 percent. 

Hospital admissions of people with Covid-19 are also up, though deaths decreased last week, the SSI data says. 

READ MORE: Covid-19: Denmark begins autumn vaccination programme 

SAS plans for electric planes in 2028 

Despite its many and varied economic woes, airline SAS has contracted with a Swedish company that builds electric aircraft. 

The model of plane that SAS would purchase from Heart Aerospace seats 30 passengers and has a range of 200 kilometers, SAS wrote in a press release. Those planes will be in commercial operation starting 2028, according to the plan. 

“This has the potential to be a significant step on SAS’ sustainability journey, enabling zero-emission flights on routes within Scandinavia,” the release explained. 

READ MORE: SAS cancels 1,700 flights in September and October 

Copenhagen’s two-headed snake (again, not a metaphor) 

A visitor to Kalvebod Fælled in Amager, a wetland reserve in eastern Copenhagen, was treated to a rare sight — a two-headed grass snake of considerable size. 

Based on a picture shared with TV2 Lorry, a guide with the Danish Nature Agency estimates the snake is between 70-80 centimeters long — certainly not a record-breaking grass snake, but an impressive achievement for an animal that has to coordinate the activity of two heads to be an effective hunter. 

It’s only the second time an adult two-headed snake has been recorded in Denmark, after a viper in 2011.  

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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Tuesday

Parliament returns to spark election expectations, and Swedish investigations at the Nord Stream pipeline are the key news stories in Denmark on Tuesday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Tuesday

Opening of parliament 

Denmark’s Folketing or parliament returns today, following the terms set out in the Danish constitution, which states that each new parliamentary year must begin on the first Tuesday in October.

The occasion is marked by a number of traditions, including an opening speech given by the prime minister and attended by members of the Royal Family.

Parliament’s return means that Danish lawmakers can again vote on and discuss law proposals.

READ ALSO: Denmark reopens parliament: Who does what during annual custom?

Social Liberals give government an extra day to announce election

This year’s reopening of parliament comes as the deadline of October 4th, given by the Social Liberal (Radikale Venstre) party for the government to call an election, looms large.

The Social Liberals have demanded Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen call an early general election, an ultimatum issued in response to the conclusions of an inquiry into the government’s 2020 mink scandal, which resulted in Frederiksen receiving a rebuke.

The party has threatened to bring down the government through a vote of no confidence if an election is not called before October 4th, the day after parliament reopens. As such, an election would have to be called today to meet the demand.

Talk of an election is therefore high as parliament returns, but the government now appears to have been given an extra day to call the vote, news wire Ritzau reports.

“The exact day means nothing for me. And I can also see that several commentators have noted that an election will be called on Wednesday [October 4th]. And that is completely fine with me and us,” Social Liberal political leader Sofie Carsten Nielsen said.

READ ALSO: KEY POINTS: What changes about life in Denmark in October 2022?

Sweden blocks off Nord Stream area for investigation

Swedish prosecutors said Monday that they had decided to block off the area around the Nord Stream pipeline leaks in the Baltic Sea, while the suspected sabotage was investigated.

In order to further the investigation into “aggravated sabotage,” the prosecutor in charge had decided “to block off the area in order to do a crime scene investigation,” the Swedish Prosecution Authority said in a statement reported by news wire AFP.

“The investigation continues, we are at an intensive stage… I understand the considerable public interest, but we are in the early stages of a preliminary investigation and I can therefore not comment on details about which investigatory measures we are taking,” public prosecutor Mats Ljungqvist was quoted saying in the statement.