Morning Briefing – Monday, October 14

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

First class apology
The mea culpa letter that Lars Løkke Rasmussen, the head of opposition party Venstre, sent out to 44,000 members of his party apologising for his extravagant travel bills, should serve as a lesson for the prime minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt (Socilademokraterne), says Ellen Trane Nørby, a Venstre spokesperson. Nørby said she was glad to be speaking for the suddenly camera-shy Rasmussen, calling him “a skilled politician” who was able to admit when he made a mistake. “The prime minister has made many mistakes since she has been in office, and I have yet to hear her apologise,” Nørby said. Rasmussen has come under fire after it was revealed that he spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer kroner by flying first-class around the world while serving as chairman of Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), an international climate organisation. – DR Nyheder

SEE RELATED: A first class scandal for Luxury Lars

Heart trouble? Get to the big city, stat!
Complications during heart surgery are more than twice as likely at smaller hospitals than at larger ones, according a University of Aarhus study that looked at 6,000 pacemaker operations performed during a 12-month period from 2010 to 2011. A spokesperson for the country’s patient advocacy organisation said the higher risk was “totally unacceptable”. – Politiken

Cops admit failure in fight against hash
Copenhagen police admit they need more tools to stem the use of cannabis. Despite a 40-year campaign against the drug, cannabis use is increasing, and police say the debate and questions about the possible consequences of using the drug is absent these days. “We need a debate about who is smoking cannabis and why there are so many who will buy it,” Thorkild Fogde, spokesperson for the Copenhagen Police, said. “Public debate helped reduce tobacco and alcohol use and we need the same debate about cannabis.” Unlike with alcohol and cigarettes, there is no nationwide campaign encouraging cannabis users to think twice before they fire up, and health officials fear such an effort would actually encourage more people to use it. – Jyllands-Posten

SEE RELATED: Police make 650kg cannabis find

Zero sum game: Some councils cut taxes while others continue to raise them
After years of rising or consistent tax bills in the nation's 98 council’s, residents in 10 councils will get a bit of a tax break next year, while those in eight others will pay less in property taxes. Business taxes will also go down in 19 councils. The reductions will be offset slightly by four other municipalities raising taxes and two more bumping property taxes up. One observer said it was normal to see reductions in local taxes during a local election year. – Jyllands-Posten

Editorial Excerpt | Fucking lyrical
Everyone in the integration debate has been busy using [teenage ghetto poet Yahya Hassan’s] lyrical gall to support their own arguments. The right has cried “we told you so”, and said it exposes a number of problems beneath the surface that no-one wants to speak about. The left, on the other hand, has welcomed Hassan’s efforts to expose the violence of the ghetto in the language of the people who live there. […] Hassan, though, is more than just a media phenomenon with a message. […] He is first and foremost a lyricist. A poet with a new and angry linguistic universe – immigrant Danish – that has been created in the crucible of the ghetto in a big bang of the welfare state, hard knocks, loss of identity and religious hypocrisy. – Politiken

SEE RELATED: Young poet threatened after TV appearance