Morning Briefing – Wednesday, August 28

The Copenhagen Post’s daily round-up of the front pages and other major Danish news stories

Denmark prepared for Syria action
If the US calls on Denmark to assist in a military operation against the Syrian regime, Denmark will answer. The foreign minister, Villy Søvndal (Socialistisk Folkeparti), said that after previously rejecting military action that was not sanctioned by the UN, he and the prime minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt (Socialdemokraterne), had spoken with allies in Europe and the Middle East and changed their position. The government has received no formal request from the US to contribute military forces, according to Søvndal. In recent years, Danish forces have participated in multi-national operations in the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. – Jyllands-Posten

READ MORE: Thorning-Schmidt opens up possibility of Syria intervention

Majority oppose Syria action
The nation’s military should not participate in intervention targeted at the Syrian regime, a majority of Danes say in a Gallup/Berlingske poll taken yesterday. Sixty-four percent of respondents were against taking part in military action in Syria without a UN mandate. Twenty-three percent were for it and 13 percent remained undecided. Politically, the PM has the support of a majority in parliament, should she decide to contribute Danish forces to a military coalition. The PM said the 1999 NATO-led intervention in Kosovo provided a precedent for a non-UN supported attack on another country. – Berlingkse

READ MORE: At UN assembly, Denmark affirms responsibility to protect Syria

Kerry convinced PM to support Syria attack
US secretary of state John Kerry’s address on Monday was crucial in convincing PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt that military action against the Syrian regime was necessary, even if the UN does not support it. On multiple occasions on Tuesday, Thorning-Schmidt referred to Kerry’s claim that it was “undeniable” that chemical weapons had been used in Syria. “We are all but certain that it was [Syrian President Bashar Al-] Assad who initiated the attacks,” Thorning-Schmidt said. Opposition parties in parliament have compared Kerry’s statements with then-secretary of state Colin Powell’s 2003 claims that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. – Politiken

Forced vaccination to go forward
A one-month-old child will receive her second set of vaccination shots early next week, despite the objections of her parents, a judge ruled yesterday. Immediately after she was born, the daughter of Vinita Brødholdt received a vaccination for hepatitis B, a disease her mother carries but is not infected with. The girl’s parents objected to the vaccination being given out of concern it could cause epilepsy. Doctors said the baby’s risk of becoming ill was less than the danger associated with not being vaccinated, something the court agreed with. The vaccination had been planned for Friday, but was postponed until Monday in order for the hospital to have enough personnel on hand for the child to be observed for a 48-hour period. – TV2 News

Facebook handed over data in half of requests
During the first six months of this year, Facebook handed over the personal data of six Danes to law-enforcement officials in Denmark, according to information released by the social media network. Danish officials sought to obtain information on five other individuals but the requests were not honoured. The reason for the requests was not released. – DR Nyheder

READ MORE: Watching the watchers: controlling our secret guardians

Infant elephant died of heart defect
The unexpected death of an elephant calf shortly after it was born at the Copenhagen Zoo on Sunday night was caused by a heart defect, veterinarians said yesterday. Zoo officials had expected to find that the elephant had been stillborn, but a post-mortem found the animal was missing a dividing wall between two of the chambers of its heart, a birth defect veterinarians described as “rare”. They said the elephant had also oxygen in its lungs, which indicated that the calf had been breathing at the time of birth. – Ekstra Bladet