Denmark

Business • Farming & Agriculture
UK faces shortage of Christmas trees due to Covid-19 export restrictions from Denmark
UK faces shortage of Christmas trees due to Covid-19 export restrictions from Denmark
Credit: Steve Wilson (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Due to a recent outbreak of a mutated Covid-19 version in mink, Denmark has heavy export restrictions in place. Following the United Kingdom has problems importing Nordmann Firs of which it normally uses around a million trees every year.

According to MailOnline Domestic suppliers are working hard to fill any gaps in demand to ensure people can get a tree for their house, but face an increase in demand of sometimes up to 1,000%.

Regional News • Europe
WHO says Europe is facing 'six tough months' of pandemic
WHO says Europe is facing 'six tough months' of pandemic
Credit: unsplash/Isaac Quesada

As Europe has recorded over 29,000 Covid-19 deaths in the past week, meaning that "one person is dying every 17 seconds", WHO Europe director Hans Kluge warns that Europe is facing "six tough months".

"There is light at the end of the tunnel but it will be a tough six months," so Kluge at a news conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. "Europe is once again the epicentre of the pandemic, together with the United States."

Business • Farming & Agriculture
Major fur auctioneer to shut down following link between mink and Covid-19 in Demark
Major fur auctioneer to shut down following link between mink and Covid-19 in Demark
Credit: Kopenhagen Fur

Kopenhagen Fur, the cooperative of 1,500 breeders which was founded in 1930, said a government announcement earlier this month to kill 15 million mink - to minimize the risk of them transmitting COVID-19 to humans - "changes the basic platform of the company in the long term."

"As a company, we are in operation and are looking into a completely normal sales season, where we offer the world's finest mink skins, as we usually do. Our sorters are ready to receive the skins, and the auction team is already working deep into the detailed planning," said Jesper Lauge, CEO at Kopenhagen Fur, in a statement.

Sports • Soccer
England's FA plead with UK government to grant Iceland players travel exemption
Wembley Stadium
Wembley Stadium Credit: David Wilson (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Talks are continuing on Thursday between the FA and senior government officials in an attempt to clarify whether existing coronavirus regulations denying Iceland's players and staff entry into the United Kingdom will remain in place. The current restrictions relate to a new coronavirus strain that has spread to humans from mink in Denmark.

"We have asked the Government to consider allowing us to play our final Nations League match at Wembley Stadium, by giving travel exemption to the Icelandic team subject to strict medical protocols," the FA said on its Twitter account.

Health
Danish Government admit mink cull 'had no legal basis'
Danish Government admit mink cull 'had no legal basis'
Credit: Dzīvnieku brīvība / via Wikimedia Commons

In news that has angered many Animal activists, the Government of Denmark have admitted that their mink cull had no legal basis.

Denmark's Prime Minister, Mette Fredericksen, admitted to the Danish Parliament on Tuesday "Even if we were in a rush, it should have been completely clear to us that new legislation was required, and it was not. I apologise for that,".

With this news, the Government shall be putting forward legislation of their own to create the necessary legal basis to continue and 'back up' the mink culling.

The cull is expected to affect the mink fur market, with Denmark being the biggest producer of mink fur in the world.

Health
Denmark: Mutated Covid-19 version from mink found in 214 people

Mink variants of the Covid-19 virus have been found in 214 people in Denmark. 200 people are infected with these variants in the North Jutland Region, while 14 others are infected outside North Jutland. These are different variants of the virus, where the virus is mutated in mink, and then passed on to humans.

The so-called cluster 5 variant is the most prevalent and has been found on five mink farms in twelve affected people. So far no evidence of reduced sensitivity to antibodies has been found, but it will take most likely weeks before studies show more conclusive results.

Health
Following fears of a mutated Covid-19 version, Denmark announces cull of 15 million mink
Following fears of a mutated Covid-19 version, Denmark announces cull of 15 million mink
Credit: unsplash.com / Jo-Anne McArthur

The Danish prime minister, Mette Frederiksen, has announced that twelve people have been infected with a mutated version of Covid-19 that has been transmitted from mink to human. The mutated Covid-19 version is feared to be a greater public health risk and could cause possible interference with a future vaccine.

The entire Danish herd of 15 million mink will therefore be culled to prevent the mutated Covid-19 version from spreading further.

Regional News • Europe
Fehmarn Belt Tunnel: German Court dismisses claims against construction
Fehmarn Belt Tunnel: German Court dismisses claims against construction
Credit: Courtesy of Femern A/S

The world’s longest immersed road and rail tunnel, the Fehmarnbelt link is going to be built. The state treaty between Germany and Denmark is valid and binding under international law: the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig has rejected the lawsuits against the controversial Fehmarn Belt crossing - thus removing the last major legal hurdles to the construction of the more than seven billion euro tunnel.

Both states explicitly adhered to the contract and the EU Commission continues to count the link as one of its most important transport projects, said presiding judge Wolfgang Bier in the oral reasoning of the judgement.

Scheduled to open in mid-2029, the work on the Danish side is expected to start on January 1, 2021, after several delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Regional News • Europe • European Union
Mayor of Copenhagen steps down over sexual harassment
Frank Jensen
Frank Jensen Credit: News Oresund (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Frank Jensen, mayor of Copenhagen since 2010, resigned on Monday following several allegations of sexual harassment. Jensen will also step down from his role as deputy leader of Denmark's governing Social Democratic Party.

Jensen's exit came after two women said they were sexually harassed at social events by Jensen in 2012 and 2017, respectively with both saying he touched them without consent.

Denmark’s Prime Minister, Mette Frederiksen, called Jensen’s resignation the "right decision" in a Facebook post and told the local news agency Ritzau it is "obvious" there are problems in the Social Democratic Party that must change immediately.

Regional News • Europe
EU leaders reach deal on €750 billion coronavirus recovery package
EU leaders reach deal on €750 billion coronavirus recovery package
Credit: EU2017EE Estonian Presidency (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Following the fourth night of talks, EU leaders have struck a deal on a huge post-coronavirus recovery package involving €750 billion in grants and loans to counter the impact of the pandemic in the 27-member bloc. The deal includes as well as a seven-year €1 trillion EU budget.

Member states were split between those hit hardest by the outbreak -- Spain and Italy --, and those more concerned about the costs of the recovery plan --Sweden, Denmark, Austria, the Netherlands and Finland. While the first group wanted a minimum of €400 billion in grants, the later set €375 billion as their upper limit.

The €390 billion figure was suggested as a compromise, and "frugal" nations were reportedly won over by the promise of rebates on their contributions to the EU budget.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
Zindzi Mandela, daugther of Nelson Mandela, dies aged 59
Zindzi Mandela meeting President Barack Obama, 2 November 2013
Zindzi Mandela meeting President Barack Obama, 2 November 2013 Credit: The White House from Washington, DC / Public domain

Zindzi Mandela, the youngest daughter of Nelson Mandela, has died at the age of 59 in a hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa. The cause of her death has not been revealed yet.

Zindzi Mandela had been serving as South Africa's ambassador to Denmark since 2014. She was married twice and had four children.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Swedish and Danish governments to rescue SAS airline
SAS plane at Gothenburg Landvetter Airport, Sweden
SAS plane at Gothenburg Landvetter Airport, Sweden Credit: Miguel Ángel Sanz

The Scandinavian airline SAS presented on June 15 a recapitalisation plan estimated in $1.3 billion. The company's two principal shareholders Sweden, with a 14.8% stake in the carrier, and Denmark, with a 14.2% share, are expected to inject capital to help the airline face the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The aim of the plan is to ensure that SAS is fully funded and that shareholders’ equity will be at levels reported before the COVID-19 pandemic when anticipated business volumes return to pre-corona levels in 2022,” SAS said in a statement.

Health
Greta Thunberg donates $100,000 to UNICEF to support children affected by Covid-19
Greta Thunberg donates $100,000 to UNICEF to support children affected by Covid-19
Credit: Anderspangpang (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Greta Thunberg, 17-year-old Swedish climate activists, donated $100,000 she previously won from a Danish foundation to UNICEF to help support children affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Thunberg stated that "like the climate crisis, the coronavirus pandemic is a child rights crisis," and asked people to join her in her effort to "support of UNICEF's vital work to save children's lives, to protect health and continue education".

The Danish NGO Human Act is said to match Thunberg's donation.