There was no red ribbon, but a big blue button, as Facebook’s new 400 million kroner data centre officially opened in Odense yesterday – several months ahead of schedule.
Three of the four server halls at the climate-neutral centre, which uses green power produced in Norway, are already in operation.
“The electricity comes in as green,” said Dan Jørgensen, the climate minister, who attended the official opening. “And then the surplus heat produced goes out and heats houses on Funen.”
In total, 7,000 homes are heated by the surplus. Overall the centre uses the same amount of power as a medium-sized Danish town.
Minister stalling on handshake rethink
Several of the country’s Socialdemokratiet mayors had been hopeful that Mattias Tesfaye, the new immigration and integration minister, would do away with the handshake requirement for new citizens, which came into law in January. However, Socialdemokratiet supported the previous government’s bill to introduce the requirement at the citizenship ceremonies, and Tesfaye has told DR that no legislation will be changed until the handshakes have been tested out. “It’s like saying to my kids that they have to taste the food before they reject it,” he reasoned.
Tent camp to remain open
Following an inquiry from a parliamentary committee, the justice minister, Nick Hækkerup, has confirmed that a hastily assembled tent camp built to house refugees in Vordingborg in southern Zealand will stay open despite being mostly unused since its installation in 2015. A reported 20 million kroner (some 11 million kroner on utilities in 2016 alone) has been spent on a camp that was expected to take the overflow from an asylum centre in Rødby, which ended up never materialising as the flow of refugees to Denmark abruptly stopped in 2016. In fact, some media are questioning whether it has ever housed a single resident.
Fewer young homeless people
The number of young homeless people has decreased for the first time in a decade. In the eight years between 2009 and 2017, the 18-24 homeless age bracket more than doubled from 633 to 1,278. According to the report ‘Hjemløshed i Danmark 2019’, more care homes have become available. Nevertheless, one out of every three homeless people is aged 18-30 and over half struggle with a mental illness – 53 percent of the young men and 70 percent of their female counterparts.
Minister unsure about banning herbicide
The environment minister, Lea Wermelin, remains unconvinced that a ban on glyphosate, and therefore the withdrawal of the Round Up herbicide from Danish shops, is necessary, despite 29,000 Danish gardeners signing a petition. Germany recently banned glyphosate, and Wermelin is keen to monitor the results. Glyphosate has been linked to causing cancer among humans.
Plane hit antenna on approach
A private plane carrying ten members of P!nk’s entourage to Aarhus Airport in early August hit an antenna about 400 metres away from the runway, it has emerged. Among those on board was P!nk’s manager.
Two kids killed by e-coli
Outbreaks of the e-coli bacterium have claimed the lives of two children this year – in unrelated cases in Copenhagen and Funen. The bacterium is typically derived from beef. In the case of the Funen death, the child’s school was shut down as a precaution.
Berlin Wall taking tour of Denmark
A 3.6 metre-high piece of the Berlin Wall arrived in Copenhagen last Saturday to begin a tour through Denmark to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its dismantling. The ongoing Golden Days festival in the capital is marking the anniversary, and the 2.5-tonne fragment has been viewed by many curious visitors to BLOX. Following visits to Odense, Aarhus and Aalborg, it will again return to Copenhagen on November 4 and remain here until March. Its final destination is Koldkrigsmuseum Langelandsfort, the official owner of the fragment since 2011.