Danish News in Brief: Book your train tickets to avoid Saturday heartache, warns DSB

In other news, the Christmas misery continues with the revelation that the murder of a Danish backpacker might be terror-related

DSB has warned that Saturday will be its busiest day of the year, advising those returning home for Christmas to book their tickets in advance and to reserve seats unless they want to spend hours standing up.

Failing that, Sunday or Monday would be a better option, as advanced sales indicate the majority – particularly those travelling from Zealand to Jutland or Funen – are planning to make the journey on Saturday.

Nevertheless, Tony Bispeskov, the information director at the rail operator, is optimistic there will be fewer delays than in previous years as the timing of Christmas Eve on a Monday affords returning Danes three days in which to make the journey.

PM’s anger at possibility that backpacker’s murder was terror act
Danish PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen is consumed by “anger and disgust” at the possibility that the murder of Danish tourist Louisa Vesterager Jespersen and her Norwegian co-traveller, Maren Ueland, in Morocco might have been the work of terrorists. PET will reportedly today confirm that the Moroccan authorities are investigating whether the killings are linked to the Islamic State terror group. They have already made four arrests, and it is believed one of the suspects has links to an extremist group. There is also a video that might show one of the killings, but a Moroccan journalist has told DR that it is impossible to identify either of the women, who were discovered dead in the Atlas mountain range on 17 December.

READ MORE: Danish woman found dead in Atlas mountain range – foul play suspected

No ban of Christmas song about blonde girl, confirms CBS
Copenhagen Business School has sought to clarify that it has at no point banned the Christmas song ‘Den danske sang er en ung blond pige’. Two years ago, a manager apologised to a female researcher who privately complained she did not feel included when the song was performed – a revelation uncovered by the P1 radio station on Saturday and subsequently jumped on by the Danish-speaking world – due to her not being ethnically Danish. Several MPs have suggested the woman is depressed and needs to take some ‘happiness pills’.

READ MORE: PM shocked over CBS song debacle 

Slovakian ice hockey fan’s sentence reduced
The Østre Landsret high court has reduced the sentence handed out to a Slovakian ice hockey fan for assaulting Josue Vasquez, the boyfriend of Søren Pape Poulsen, from 40 to 30 days in prison. While the assault is not disputed, the motivation for the May 17 attack is. Vasquez claims it was a homophobic attack, while the Slovakian claims it was related to a frosty encounter earlier in the evening.

READ MORE: Slovakian ice hockey fan guilty of assaulting justice minister’s partner

Groundwater testing to be carried out by end of June
A water panel has advised the Nature and Environment Ministry to carry out a more thorough testing of the nation’s groundwater by the end of June. Currently, the water is tested for 39 pesticides, but earlier this autumn the panel agreed that the number should be expanded to 244 potentially dangerous substances. Chloridazon, the harmful substance discovered at 204 locations in the summer of 2017, was not on the list at the time of its discovery.

READ MORE: Drinking water in several areas of Denmark contaminated with pesticide

Homeless exhibition in Hellerup gives gallery visitors face-to-face time
Kristian von Hornsleth has confirmed another project involving homeless people – this time at a location in Hellerup. He has recruited homeless people to stand like mannequins for two hours every day from 12 pm at his Strayfield gallery on Strandvejen, so the public can come and gaze at them and contemplate how poverty and inequality are growing in Denmark. The initiative follows similar stunts in other European cities, including one in London that enabled the public to buy homeless people like they were works of art.

READ MORE: Contentious artist in hot water over homeless project

Cult TV program to finally make its UK television debut
Barely a week after it was confirmed that ‘Dinner for One’ has finally made its UK debut – albeit at a film festival in Scotland – the broadcaster Sky Arts has confirmed it will be showing the one-off comedy sketch this New Year’s Eve. In Germany, it has been shown every December 31 since 1972, and in Denmark, every NYE since 1973 – with one exception. In 1985, DR1 pulled the show, only to be met with a deluge of complaints that crashed its switchboard.

READ MORE: ‘Dinner for One’ to get British premiere … 55 years after being filmed

Polish man in critical condition after being found in cold storage unit
A 28-year-old Polish man nearly died yesterday in a cold storage unit at the orchard where he works in Odsherred in northwest Zealand. Not only is the room cold, but it also has a very low oxygen content (around 1 percent) in order to preserve the fruit. It is unknown why the man was in the room, but it is believed he might have entered via a window, fallen and banged his head. The man is in an extremely critical condition and his parents have travelled from Poland to be at his bedside.

Attic collapses at town hall in the Copenhagen suburbs
An attic collapsed at Hvidovre Town Hall on December 18, injuring a visitor to the building as a ceiling believed to be 80 sqm in size collapsed. No employees were caught up in the collapse. Renovation work had been ongoing at the building in the Greater Copenhagen suburb, but it is unclear whether it was responsible as it had chiefly been concerned with touching up the façade of the building. Some of the scaffolding has been taken down whilst investigators seek to determine the cause of the collapse.

Thieves nabbed, but was the bounty collected? It’s private, say police
Police in north Zealand have confirmed they have charged two individuals with stealing silverware worth 10-15 million kroner from a residence in Gentofte in September, which has now been returned. The pair were finally tracked down on December 13 and formally charged at Lyngby Court the next day. The owner of the silverware had offered 3 million kroner for any information leading to its return, but the police did not confirm whether the reward had been paid, stating that it was a “private matter”.

Golf computer game wins top independent award
A Danish computer game, ‘What the Golf?’, has won the Grand Prize at Indiecade Europe, the independent gaming industry’s answer to the Sundance Film Festival – not bad for a product that won’t be released to the public until next year. Triband developed the game with the help of crowdfunding.

Danish royal to narrate documentary series
Prince Joachim has landed a job as the narrator of a new DRK documentary series about Danish identity, which is scheduled to broadcast next autumn.