International Round-Up: Fifth most peaceful in world
From a relaxed work-life balance to low crime levels, life in Denmark is pretty chilled compared to most places.
According to the freshly-published 2019 Global Peace Index, Denmark is among the most peaceful countries in the world – coming in fifth behind leaders Iceland, New Zealand, Portugal and Austria.
The Danes dropped one spot compared to last year thanks to Portugal jumping up two spots from fifth to third.
“Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world – a position it has held since 2008,” the index noted.
“Bhutan has recorded the largest improvement of any country in the top 20, rising 43 places in the last 12 years.”
US and Russia struggling
The index ranks countries based on 24 parameters spread across three main domains: Safety and Security, Ongoing Conflict, and Militarisation.
Canada, Singapore, Slovenia, Japan and the Czech Republic completed the top 10, while other notables included Australia (13), Finland (14), Sweden (18), Norway (20), Germany (22), the UK (45), South Korea (55), France (60), China (110), Brazil (116), the US (128), India (141) and Russia (154).
Afghanistan was ranked last at 163rd, just ahead of Syria, South Sudan, Yemen and Iraq.
Lars eyes EU presidency
Former PM Lars Løkke Rasmussen is in contention to become the president of the EU. A day after pledging his support for Danish candidate Margrethe Vestager, the European competition commissioner, he told DR on June 21 that “if they suddenly think they need a pragmatic, middle-aged, cold-blooded, liberal Scandinavian, then they can just call.”
Fogh supports US stance
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the former Danish PM, supports the US’s threat to impose economic sanctions should the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany go ahead. Opponents of the project view it as part of a long-term Russian strategy to make Europe dependent on Russian gas.
Woz wed in Tuscany
Caroline Wozniacki married former NBA player David Lee on June 15 at the Castiglion del Bosco vineyard in the Tuscany province of Siena. Guests included NBA stars Pau Gasol and Harrison Barnes, NFL player Jesse Palmer, and tennis stars Angelique Kerber and Serena Williams, who was reportedly one of the bridesmaids.
Dane a German mayor
Danish furniture dealer Claus Ruhe Madsen has become the first ever non-German to become a mayor of a German city. The 46-year-old, who stood for election in Rostock as an independent, was born and raised in Denmark, but has lived in Germany for around 26 years. His manifesto mostly concerned the environment, business, and digitalisation.
Health record breach
A large group of IT employees at the US firm Epic have access to personal health records of patients in Denmark, according to a new report released by the law firm Bech-Bruun. The Epic staff can access the data via the Health Platform, an e-journal documenting the health records of patients that serves as a point of reference for doctors.
Denmark has decided to close all eight of its hydrogen tank stations following an explosion in Norway at a station in the town of Sandvika about 10 km outside of Oslo. The explosion on June 10 caused a considerable amount of damage and two people were taken to A & E. A further 10 stations were closed in Norway.
Happy holidays: IKEA on the hunt
IKEA Denmark is hosting a global competition in search of a ‘Happiness Hunter’. The winner will spend two weeks in Copenhagen in September to sample life in one of the happiest nations in the world. They will receive an average Danish salary and be filmed to help IKEA understand if happiness arises from the Danes’ authentic life at home. The deadline to apply is July 1.
Cynical election reaction
Political commentators across Europe hailed Socialdemokratiet’s victory in the Danish General Election as a game-changer for the continent – and as a little bit cynical as well. The win showed “how much Europe has normalised anti-immigrant politics”, noted Vice, and it was reported as “Social Democracy with an Inhumane Face” in counterpunch.org.
Deaths in Iceland and NZ
Two Danes – a mother and son – were among three fatalities in a plane crash near a small airfield at Fljotshild in Iceland on June 10. The third victim, the father, was an Icelander, while two other family members survived. In related news, the 21-year-old Danish hunter discovered dead in the Karangarua Valley in New Zealand has been identified as Jonas Legaard Sørensen.
Nuuk mayor resigns
Asii Chemnitz Narup, the mayor of Greenlandic capital Nuuk, has resigned after a decade in chage after criticism in a DR documentary entitled ‘Byen, hvor børn forsvinder’ (the city where children disappear), which claims every third child in the suburb of Tasilaq has been sexually assaulted, while every other child has a social welfare casefile.
Syria child evacuations
The Foreign Ministry has evacuated a 13-year old Danish boy, the son of a deceased IS warrior, from a northern Syrian camp to have emergency treatment – barely a week after the French authorities rescued two boys of similar age with Danish and French heritage from nearby camps. Belgium, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands are also busy retrieving children from the region.
Kulturel Forbindelse together with the Romanian Embassy have announced the implementation of a new project, ‘Resident in Denmark: rights, obligations, integration’, which aims to integrate the Romanian community into Danish society.
Recognition for Helena
The former Danish supermodel Helena Christensen has been named a goodwill ambassador of UNHCR, the UN Refugee Organisation. The title recognises the photographer for her extensive charity work in countries such as Rwanda, Ukraine and Colombia.