In other news … (Nov 16 – 22)

Melanoma on the rise
Here’s a record Denmark could have certainly done without. With 800 Danish women being diagnosed with melanoma each year, Denmark is in first place among the Nordic nations for incidence of the disease. The national cancer society, Kræftens Bekæmpelse, said that unless Danish women change their ways, as many as 1,900 women a year would be diagnosed with melanoma by 2030. The organisation is advising women to stop visiting tanning salons altogether and get better at applying proper sunscreen. Kræftens Bekæmpelse is also pushing for new regulations within the tanning salon industry.

Syrian refugees make up much of the surge in asylum seekers (Photo: Scanpix)Refugee inlfux
The Danish asylum system is under so much stress that the Immigration Service has started approaching to the nation’s councils to help them house asylum seekers. The Danish Red Cross, which runs the majority of the nation’s asylum centres, has been so overwhelmed by asylum seekers that it has been putting many of them up in hotel rooms. But this isn’t working and now the state has turned to the councils for help. The Justice Ministry estimates that by the year-end, 6,000 people will have sought asylum in Denmark in 2012, compared to 3,800 last year. Many of the additional asylum seekers come from war-torn Syria.

Second thoughts? Or just not sure what to say? (Photo: Scanpix)

Flip-flop on pot
If Copenhagen is to legalise cannabis, like Mayor Frank Jensen (Socialdemokraterne) and his City Council colleagues wish, it’s unlikely to happen with Helle Thorning-Schmidt in the prime minister’s office. At her weekly press conference on Tuesday, Thorning-Schmidt made it clear she wasn’t having it. “I’m not for legal cannabis, I might as well say it,” she said. “I have dramatically changed my viewpoint in this area.” As Ekstra Bladet tabloid pointed out, Thorning-Schmidt advocated for a pilot project in 2003 to legalise cannabis in Christiania in order to battle organised criminality – the same reason Jensen cites today.

Security guards escored the man out of the press conference after he first handed the PM a note, then later told the rest of the press corps that their questions about her tax audit were none of their business (Photo: Scanpix)

Well that was odd 
Weekly press conferences are typically stale affairs, but at Tuesday’s presser with PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt, a man described as “confused” (in a striped sweater) shouted out random questions and delivered a note to the PM that allegedly said he would take over the country. He was kicked out.

CPH Post Word of the Week
Værdier (plural noun) – Values. Where you heard it: Out of the mouths of outraged individuals who contended that a housing association’s decision to forego a Christmas tree constituted an attack on traditional Danish values.

Last week's top read stories
1. Concerns of ethnic bullying after housing board axes Christmas tree
2. Opinion | Why Denmark is great and why more people need to know
3. Dating the Danes | Where have all the Vikings gone?
4. Journalists attacked for reporting on Christmas tree controversy
5. Aarhus siblings’ love child sets off incest debate