Danish News Round-Up: Police clear one of the Aalborg murder suspects  

One of the 36-year-old men charged with the murder of 22-year-old Mia Skadhauge Stevn, who was then subsequently released from jail, had nothing to do with her disappearance or death, police in Aalborg have ruled.

“A decision has been made to drop the charges against the 36-year-old man whom we arrested on February 9,” said North Jutland Police.  

“We were able to map his movements and they show he had nothing whatsoever to do with Mia’s disappearance and subsequent death,” explained Deputy Inspector Frank Olsen to DR.

While he has been cleared of any involvement, another man remains in custody.

‘Reasonable grounds for suspicion’
Inspector Olsen added there were “reasonable grounds for suspecting” the man in the initial phase of the investigation, which was the reason for arresting the 36-year-old in the first place. He did not elaborate more on that.

“Remember that we were trying to find Mia alive and we launched a major investigation in which we consistently followed up on the leads we found. And this was just one of the leads that we pursued.”

The other suspect
The other 36-year-old man remains in custody. While he denies killing Mia, he yesterday voluntarily agreed to extend his detention by a further four weeks.

The police are still mapping his whereabouts and assessing video footage, witness statements, and other technical clues.

Once they are satisfied they have investigated everything at their disposal they will hand over the evidence to the prosecution, which will then decide whether or not to take the matter to court.

Tourists returning to the capital
After two lean years plagued by corona, things are looking up for the Copenhagen tourism industry. In the run-up to Easter, hotels, restaurants and attractions around the capital are expecting a large influx of tourists. Last month, just over 50 percent of hotel rooms in Copenhagen were booked. In March 2021, the figure was 10 percent, according to Dansk Erhverv. According to Lars Ramme Nielsen, a manager at Dansk Erhverv, the tourists are mostly coming from Germany and the Nordic countries. That is also the impression of Birthe Becker, CEO of Arp-Hansen, one of the largest hotel chains in the capital.

Grade averages should not be the key to obtaining a place at university, contends Reform Commission 
Upper-secondary students favour a proposal from the Reform Commission to place less emphasis on the average grade score. For example, doing badly at music should not hurt your chances of becoming a doctor. Good grades in the subjects the students are applying to study should be the ultimate focus, not the average, the commission and students argue. A lot of sought-after courses require an average of 11.1, which is pretty much the equivalent of all Bs (11) and one A (13), but the Reform Commission thinks this should be lowered to Cs (9). The main determining factor in offering a place to a student should be their potential to shine in the subject they have chosen. The hope is that gymnasiums will focus less on strategies to get the students good grades.

US armoured vehicles landed in Esbjerg en route to Poland
Yesterday morning saw the unloading of 300 armoured vehicles from a US military ship at Esbjerg Harbour, which will now be taken by truck to Poland. The operation is an example of Denmark providing ‘host nation support’ – including security – to another NATO country. At 264 metres long, This unloading in Demark may be a sign of how the country can contribute to NATO in the future. ARC Endurance is the longest ship to enter the port of Esbjerg.

Nicotine-free generation plan hit by EU directive
The government’s plans to make it illegal for children born after 2010 to buy tobacco have received a setback. The EU Tobacco Products Directive confirms the proposal cannot be legally implemented. The health minister, Magnus Heunicke, is hopeful the directive will be amended – particularly as several other EU members have bought into Denmark’s proposal of a smoke-free generation. Otherwise Denmark, according to Heunicke, could gradually raise the legal age to buy tobacco products to fulfil its goal.

Outdoor sports far more popular than indoor activities
Following corona, outdoor sports have been steadily attracting more participants, but indoor activities are still feeling the pinch. Last year, Idrætsdanmark, DGI and Danmarks Idrætsforbundgot all saw a slight increase in membership. Football is the most popular sport, while golf, tennis, surfing and rafting have all seen participation numbers grow.

High speeds almost the norm on country roads
Country roads experience the most serious road accidents in terms of serious injuries and fatalities, according to a study carried out by the Council for Safe Traffic and Wilke. One in six drive over the speed limit on country roads, where youngsters are the worst offenders. One in four drivers aged 17-24 regularly exceeds 100 km/h on roads where the limit is 80. Just 22 percent of those aged 25-50, 14 percent of those aged 51-65, and 7 percent of those aged 66 or more, do so too.

Could Denmark scrap SU grant for master’s students? 
The government-appointed commission suggests the state could switch from a grant to a loan system for master’s degree students. For now, the basic living costs of all bachelor’s and master’s degree students are covered by Statens Uddannelsesstøtt (SU). Master’s students, reasons the commission, are more likely than those who stop following their BA, to land a well-paid job. The savings made by the change would be reinvested in education. The move should then not be seen as an education cut.