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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Tuesday

Michael Barrett
Michael Barrett - [email protected]
Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Tuesday
The new Ikea superstore in central Copenhagen opens on Wednesday. Photo: Emil Nicolai Helms/Ritzau Scanpix

Parties criticise minister’s China visit, hate crime in focus and could AI be used to bolster the health service? Here’s the news from Denmark on Tuesday.


Left-wing party wants to make it easier to report hate crimes 

The left-wing party Red Green Alliance (Enhedslisten) says is should be made easier to report hate crimes by adding a separate section about such offences on the paperwork used to file complaints with police.

“This is a tool for the police that will make sure hate crimes will be treated as such by the police,” the party’s spokesperson for justice and equality Rosa Lund told newspaper Kristeligt Dagblad.

A justice ministry survey has shown that 12,000 people were victims of hate-motivated violence in 2020, while the National Police registered 635 hate crime cases the same year. That shows that many hate crimes are not investigated as such, Lund argued.

The party also wants hate crimes to be an obligatory part of police training.

Vocabulary: hadforbrydelse – hate crime 


Foreign minister travels to China as opposition parties express concern

Foreign Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen is scheduled to travel to Shanghai and Beijing today, where he will sign a new programme of cooperation between Denmark and the Asian superpower.

Rasmussen has stated that Denmark has had a “too naïve” approach to China in the past, but that it remains in the Nordic country’s interest to have a good relationship with Beijing.

The trip has been backed by the Confederation of Danish Industry, which says that Denmark’s trade with China is crucial.

The libertarian right-wing party Liberal Alliance has criticised Rasmussen’s visit and said that China regularly fails to comply with international treaties and threatens Taiwan.

“We should be careful about becoming too dependent on states and regimes that don’t wish us well,” the party’s foreign spokesperson Henrik Dahl said.

Three other parties – the national conservative Danish People’s Party and Denmark Democrats, and the centre-left SF – have also been critical of the visit by Rasmussen, with the former party’s leader Morten Messerschmidt saying China “supports some of the worst regimes in the world”.

Vocabulary: samarbejdsprogram – partnership programme


Minister talks up AI as solution for health staff shortage

Health minister Sophie Løhde says in an interview with newspaper Berlingske that she will set aside a fund of 500 million kroner to develop the use of AI in the health service, as well as to improve home health care.

“If we don’t see technology as one of the most important ways to may our health service more robust, then patients will get a worse treatment and staff will be overrun by patients,” Løhde said.

The comments come after doctors at the Zealand University Hospital in Køge successfully trialled AI by using supercomputers to produce treatment programmes for cancer patients. Only one out of 112 patients involved in the trail was readmitted, according to broadcaster DR.

Vocabulary: kunstig intelligens – artificial intelligence

Police issue warning after 'dangerous' medicine stolen from hospital

Copenhagen Police have issued a warning to the public after a large quantity of various types of medicine was stolen from Bispebjerg Hospital.

The stolen medicines can be lethal if ingested in large quantities, police said in social media posts following reports of the theft.

Medicinal items stolen include plasters and tablets that include drugs such as morphine, methadone and fentanyl. All three are used for painkilling purposes by hospitals.

“It can be very dangerous, potentially lethal in fact if you consume the drugs in excessive quantities,” Copenhagen Police senior officer Martin Finderup said.

Vocabulary: dødsfarlig – lethal


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