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World News Denmark

Grenfell Tower tragedy shows social housing system has failed UK citizens | Letters 
25-06-2017

In the housing system, cost-cutting and reckless decisions were made with little fear of anyone being held responsible

The fire at Grenfell Tower has highlighted a number of issues relating to government housing policy in recent years, not only the failure to apply proper safety measures but also its whole approach to social housing.

The 2012 national planning policy framework, often described as a “developers’ charter”, has given precedence to expensive private development while discouraging social housing. The result is that through land-banking, slow build-out rates and using the housing market as an investment, house prices have risen way beyond the reach of most average-wage earners. At the same time, an increasing proportion of the incomes of the lower paid is spent on rented accommodation, which is often of poor quality.

Continue reading...

What all urban planners should be asked: would you let your child cycle here? 
15-06-2017

For generations, Danish urban planners have made it a priority for children to be able to ride to school alone. The result is not just more social, cheerful, healthy children – but more social, cheerful, healthy adults

“I love to cycle. I’ve got no clue why,” says Emilie, a six-year-old Danish girl. She is with her friend Vilja, who’s the same age. “When I cycle, I can go to new places faster,” she says in a recent Danish campaign for cycling.

Even though it’s almost half a century ago, I would have said exactly the same at that age. When I was a child, my bicycle gave me freedom to move around with speed, ease and lightness. It gave me the feeling of being independent from my parents, as I did not need to ask them to drive me to my friends’ place or to school. I could just jump on my bike, and off I went. My childhood wasn’t very different from that of most other Danish kids.

Would your let your child cycle here? If not, then​ it's an unsafe and insecure environment for cyclists

Related: 'They said girls don't ride bikes': Iranian women defy the cycling fatwa

Continue reading...

Brexit broadside: British officials bristle at Danish scorn 
14-06-2017

Minister’s jibe about ‘small nations, and countries that have not yet realised they are small nations’ draws terse response

Her Majesty’s ambassador to Denmark, Dominic Schroeder, drew himself up to his full 1.8 metres (5ft 10in), puffed out his chest and gave the Danish finance minister a jolly good telling-off. Britain was a permanent member of the UN security council, a proud member of the G7 and the G20, and a bloody good egg.

“That’s not to my mind,” Schroeder growled, the record of a “diminished or diminishing power”. With all the menace of a man on the brink of doing something he would come to regret, Schroeder added: “I think I’ll leave it there.”

There are small nations and there are countries that have not yet realised they are small nations

Continue reading...

New Danish triennial looks at nature throughout history ? in pictures 
08-06-2017

Large-scale installations across Aarhus city depict nature, and man’s relationship with it, in three categories: the past, present and future – from a structure highlighting bee decline to a reflection on light pollution

ARoS Art Museum’s triennial The Garden – End of Times, Beginning of Times runs until 30 July; The Past section runs until 10 Sept

Continue reading...

How Lego clicked: the brand that reinvented itself | Johnny Davis 
04-06-2017

The revival of Lego has been hailed as the greatest turnaround in corporate history, ousting Ferrari as the world’s most powerful brand. Johnny Davis reports

From its founding in 1932 until 1998, Lego had never posted a loss. By 2003 it was in big trouble. Sales were down 30% year-on-year and it was $800m in debt. An internal report revealed it hadn’t added anything of value to its portfolio for a decade.

In some ways Lego CEO Jørgen Vig Knudstorp is a better model for innovation than Steve Jobs

Boys are more about good versus evil, but girls really see them-selves through the Mini-doll

Lego Life is a social network for kids too young for Instagram to share their creations, gaining ‘likes’

Continue reading...

Røde Orm review ? the greatest saga ever told 
04-06-2017
Moesgaard Museum, Aarhus, Denmark
With its rooftop setting, clashing of swords and larger-than-life characters, this Viking epic is a fitting centrepiece to Aarhus’s European capital of culture feast

Night nestles around the crowded bus that snakes us from grassy country slopes via copses and neon-lit suburbs to Aarhus town centre. Standing teenagers sway; beer sloshes the sides of a plastic glass. A rhythmic chant in English patterns through the Danish conversational hum of men, women and children returning from the 1,000-year past of a Viking epic to the present. Two among the teenagers are quietly singing-speaking a rap number. They stand face to face, seeming to search one another’s eyes for the words they enunciate so carefully in a language whose shapes are unfamiliar to their lips, which move exaggeratedly to form them. The moment is small, and nothing to do with the performance we have just seen, yet it seems to crystallise the evening and something bigger: people sharing experiences that help them shape and reshape their realities. It is such experiences that the European Union project of cities of culture aims to multiply and amplify.

This year, Denmark’s second city, Aarhus, is one of Europe’s two capitals of culture (alongside Paphos, in Cyprus). Its theme is “Rethink: Think the new, think anew, think again”, and its 360-odd planned events involve local communities, national companies and international co-operations. Not surprisingly, perhaps, given Anglo-Danish links stretching back to Viking incursions, there is a sizable English presence in the programme, with work shown here as well as there: the Royal Opera House, the Manchester international festival (which has two productions in the schedule) and the UK’s own City of Culture, Hull. For this last, the theatre company Blast Theory will deploy a mix of technology, social media and audience interactions to explore what life might be like in the year 2097 in a future city imagined as a blend of Aarhus and Hull (where evidence of centuries-back Danish-Yorkshire blending is found in the names of surrounding villages). Notions of boundaries crossed carry over into the international children’s literature festival, co-produced with the Hay festival; for this, 39 authors under the age of 40 will create new works around the theme of “journey”.

Exaggerations are carried to the point of parody and, in the case of the glam-rock, boogieing English court, way beyond

Continue reading...

Denmark scraps 334-year-old blasphemy law 
02-06-2017

‘Religion should not dictate what is allowed and what is forbidden to say publicly’, says MP who proposed the repeal

Danish lawmakers have repealed a 334-year-old blasphemy law that forbids public insults of a religion, such as the burning of holy books.

Only a handful of blasphemy trials have taken place in the past 80 years, and several high-profile cases have been dropped, including one involving a caricature of the prophet Muhammad published in the Jyllands-Posten newspaper in 2005.

Related: Stephen Fry investigated by Irish police for alleged blasphemy

Continue reading...

Copenhagen cycle jams tackled with electronic information panels 
31-05-2017

Danish capital last year saw more bicycles enter city than cars, with almost half of residents cycling to work or school

Copenhagen now has so many cyclists that the city is installing electronic information panels along its bike lanes to help prevent two-wheeled traffic jams.

In what city hall has called a world first, an initial five screens will be fitted at strategic points on the Danish capital’s 390km (240-mile) network of protected bike lanes, the state broadcaster Danmarks Radio reported.

Related: Two-wheel takeover: bikes outnumber cars for the first time in Copenhagen

Related: Where is the most cycle-friendly city in the world?

Continue reading...

Nordic prime ministers troll Trump's viral orb photograph 
31-05-2017

The five leaders mock the notorious photo and post it on social media with the question ‘Who rules the world?’

World leaders don’t generally troll each other, but the prime ministers of the five Nordic countries are giving it a shot.

They just posted a photograph of themselves clasping a soccer ball - echoing a photo of US President Donald Trump, Saudi King Salman and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi holding a glowing orb that went viral last week.

Related: 'One orb to rule them all': image of Donald Trump and glowing globe perplexes internet

Continue reading...

Ineos buys Dong Energy's oil and gas business in £1bn deal 
25-05-2017

Anglo-Swiss chemicals firm hails acquisition as ‘very logical’ as Danish firm makes progress in switch to renewables

Anglo-Swiss chemicals firm Ineos has bought the oil and gas business of Dong Energy for £1bn, a major milestone in the Danish company’s switch from hydrocarbons to renewable energy.

The acquisition is the latest in a buying spree by Ineos, which recently bought a significant North Sea oil pipeline for £200m from BP, and takes it from 28th biggest oil and gas producer in the region to the top 10.

Continue reading...

Grenfell Tower tragedy shows social housing system has failed UK citizens | Letters 
What all urban planners should be asked: would you let your child cycle here? 
Brexit broadside: British officials bristle at Danish scorn 
New Danish triennial looks at nature throughout history ? in pictures 
How Lego clicked: the brand that reinvented itself | Johnny Davis 
Røde Orm review ? the greatest saga ever told 
Denmark scraps 334-year-old blasphemy law 
Copenhagen cycle jams tackled with electronic information panels 
Nordic prime ministers troll Trump's viral orb photograph 
Ineos buys Dong Energy's oil and gas business in £1bn deal 

Grenfell Tower tragedy shows social housing system has failed UK citizens | Letters 
25-06-2017

In the housing system, cost-cutting and reckless decisions were made with little fear of anyone being held responsible

The fire at Grenfell Tower has highlighted a number of issues relating to government housing policy in recent years, not only the failure to apply proper safety measures but also its whole approach to social housing.

The 2012 national planning policy framework, often described as a “developers’ charter”, has given precedence to expensive private development while discouraging social housing. The result is that through land-banking, slow build-out rates and using the housing market as an investment, house prices have risen way beyond the reach of most average-wage earners. At the same time, an increasing proportion of the incomes of the lower paid is spent on rented accommodation, which is often of poor quality.

Continue reading...

What all urban planners should be asked: would you let your child cycle here? 
15-06-2017

For generations, Danish urban planners have made it a priority for children to be able to ride to school alone. The result is not just more social, cheerful, healthy children – but more social, cheerful, healthy adults

“I love to cycle. I’ve got no clue why,” says Emilie, a six-year-old Danish girl. She is with her friend Vilja, who’s the same age. “When I cycle, I can go to new places faster,” she says in a recent Danish campaign for cycling.

Even though it’s almost half a century ago, I would have said exactly the same at that age. When I was a child, my bicycle gave me freedom to move around with speed, ease and lightness. It gave me the feeling of being independent from my parents, as I did not need to ask them to drive me to my friends’ place or to school. I could just jump on my bike, and off I went. My childhood wasn’t very different from that of most other Danish kids.

Would your let your child cycle here? If not, then​ it's an unsafe and insecure environment for cyclists

Related: 'They said girls don't ride bikes': Iranian women defy the cycling fatwa

Continue reading...

Brexit broadside: British officials bristle at Danish scorn 
14-06-2017

Minister’s jibe about ‘small nations, and countries that have not yet realised they are small nations’ draws terse response

Her Majesty’s ambassador to Denmark, Dominic Schroeder, drew himself up to his full 1.8 metres (5ft 10in), puffed out his chest and gave the Danish finance minister a jolly good telling-off. Britain was a permanent member of the UN security council, a proud member of the G7 and the G20, and a bloody good egg.

“That’s not to my mind,” Schroeder growled, the record of a “diminished or diminishing power”. With all the menace of a man on the brink of doing something he would come to regret, Schroeder added: “I think I’ll leave it there.”

There are small nations and there are countries that have not yet realised they are small nations

Continue reading...

New Danish triennial looks at nature throughout history ? in pictures 
08-06-2017

Large-scale installations across Aarhus city depict nature, and man’s relationship with it, in three categories: the past, present and future – from a structure highlighting bee decline to a reflection on light pollution

ARoS Art Museum’s triennial The Garden – End of Times, Beginning of Times runs until 30 July; The Past section runs until 10 Sept

Continue reading...

How Lego clicked: the brand that reinvented itself | Johnny Davis 
04-06-2017

The revival of Lego has been hailed as the greatest turnaround in corporate history, ousting Ferrari as the world’s most powerful brand. Johnny Davis reports

From its founding in 1932 until 1998, Lego had never posted a loss. By 2003 it was in big trouble. Sales were down 30% year-on-year and it was $800m in debt. An internal report revealed it hadn’t added anything of value to its portfolio for a decade.

In some ways Lego CEO Jørgen Vig Knudstorp is a better model for innovation than Steve Jobs

Boys are more about good versus evil, but girls really see them-selves through the Mini-doll

Lego Life is a social network for kids too young for Instagram to share their creations, gaining ‘likes’

Continue reading...

Røde Orm review ? the greatest saga ever told 
04-06-2017
Moesgaard Museum, Aarhus, Denmark
With its rooftop setting, clashing of swords and larger-than-life characters, this Viking epic is a fitting centrepiece to Aarhus’s European capital of culture feast

Night nestles around the crowded bus that snakes us from grassy country slopes via copses and neon-lit suburbs to Aarhus town centre. Standing teenagers sway; beer sloshes the sides of a plastic glass. A rhythmic chant in English patterns through the Danish conversational hum of men, women and children returning from the 1,000-year past of a Viking epic to the present. Two among the teenagers are quietly singing-speaking a rap number. They stand face to face, seeming to search one another’s eyes for the words they enunciate so carefully in a language whose shapes are unfamiliar to their lips, which move exaggeratedly to form them. The moment is small, and nothing to do with the performance we have just seen, yet it seems to crystallise the evening and something bigger: people sharing experiences that help them shape and reshape their realities. It is such experiences that the European Union project of cities of culture aims to multiply and amplify.

This year, Denmark’s second city, Aarhus, is one of Europe’s two capitals of culture (alongside Paphos, in Cyprus). Its theme is “Rethink: Think the new, think anew, think again”, and its 360-odd planned events involve local communities, national companies and international co-operations. Not surprisingly, perhaps, given Anglo-Danish links stretching back to Viking incursions, there is a sizable English presence in the programme, with work shown here as well as there: the Royal Opera House, the Manchester international festival (which has two productions in the schedule) and the UK’s own City of Culture, Hull. For this last, the theatre company Blast Theory will deploy a mix of technology, social media and audience interactions to explore what life might be like in the year 2097 in a future city imagined as a blend of Aarhus and Hull (where evidence of centuries-back Danish-Yorkshire blending is found in the names of surrounding villages). Notions of boundaries crossed carry over into the international children’s literature festival, co-produced with the Hay festival; for this, 39 authors under the age of 40 will create new works around the theme of “journey”.

Exaggerations are carried to the point of parody and, in the case of the glam-rock, boogieing English court, way beyond

Continue reading...

Denmark scraps 334-year-old blasphemy law 
02-06-2017

‘Religion should not dictate what is allowed and what is forbidden to say publicly’, says MP who proposed the repeal

Danish lawmakers have repealed a 334-year-old blasphemy law that forbids public insults of a religion, such as the burning of holy books.

Only a handful of blasphemy trials have taken place in the past 80 years, and several high-profile cases have been dropped, including one involving a caricature of the prophet Muhammad published in the Jyllands-Posten newspaper in 2005.

Related: Stephen Fry investigated by Irish police for alleged blasphemy

Continue reading...

Copenhagen cycle jams tackled with electronic information panels 
31-05-2017

Danish capital last year saw more bicycles enter city than cars, with almost half of residents cycling to work or school

Copenhagen now has so many cyclists that the city is installing electronic information panels along its bike lanes to help prevent two-wheeled traffic jams.

In what city hall has called a world first, an initial five screens will be fitted at strategic points on the Danish capital’s 390km (240-mile) network of protected bike lanes, the state broadcaster Danmarks Radio reported.

Related: Two-wheel takeover: bikes outnumber cars for the first time in Copenhagen

Related: Where is the most cycle-friendly city in the world?

Continue reading...

Nordic prime ministers troll Trump's viral orb photograph 
31-05-2017

The five leaders mock the notorious photo and post it on social media with the question ‘Who rules the world?’

World leaders don’t generally troll each other, but the prime ministers of the five Nordic countries are giving it a shot.

They just posted a photograph of themselves clasping a soccer ball - echoing a photo of US President Donald Trump, Saudi King Salman and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi holding a glowing orb that went viral last week.

Related: 'One orb to rule them all': image of Donald Trump and glowing globe perplexes internet

Continue reading...

Ineos buys Dong Energy's oil and gas business in £1bn deal 
25-05-2017

Anglo-Swiss chemicals firm hails acquisition as ‘very logical’ as Danish firm makes progress in switch to renewables

Anglo-Swiss chemicals firm Ineos has bought the oil and gas business of Dong Energy for £1bn, a major milestone in the Danish company’s switch from hydrocarbons to renewable energy.

The acquisition is the latest in a buying spree by Ineos, which recently bought a significant North Sea oil pipeline for £200m from BP, and takes it from 28th biggest oil and gas producer in the region to the top 10.

Continue reading...

Grenfell Tower tragedy shows social housing system has failed UK citizens | Letters 
25-06-2017

In the housing system, cost-cutting and reckless decisions were made with little fear of anyone being held responsible

The fire at Grenfell Tower has highlighted a number of issues relating to government housing policy in recent years, not only the failure to apply proper safety measures but also its whole approach to social housing.

The 2012 national planning policy framework, often described as a “developers’ charter”, has given precedence to expensive private development while discouraging social housing. The result is that through land-banking, slow build-out rates and using the housing market as an investment, house prices have risen way beyond the reach of most average-wage earners. At the same time, an increasing proportion of the incomes of the lower paid is spent on rented accommodation, which is often of poor quality.

Continue reading...

What all urban planners should be asked: would you let your child cycle here? 
15-06-2017

For generations, Danish urban planners have made it a priority for children to be able to ride to school alone. The result is not just more social, cheerful, healthy children – but more social, cheerful, healthy adults

“I love to cycle. I’ve got no clue why,” says Emilie, a six-year-old Danish girl. She is with her friend Vilja, who’s the same age. “When I cycle, I can go to new places faster,” she says in a recent Danish campaign for cycling.

Even though it’s almost half a century ago, I would have said exactly the same at that age. When I was a child, my bicycle gave me freedom to move around with speed, ease and lightness. It gave me the feeling of being independent from my parents, as I did not need to ask them to drive me to my friends’ place or to school. I could just jump on my bike, and off I went. My childhood wasn’t very different from that of most other Danish kids.

Would your let your child cycle here? If not, then​ it's an unsafe and insecure environment for cyclists

Related: 'They said girls don't ride bikes': Iranian women defy the cycling fatwa

Continue reading...

Brexit broadside: British officials bristle at Danish scorn 
14-06-2017

Minister’s jibe about ‘small nations, and countries that have not yet realised they are small nations’ draws terse response

Her Majesty’s ambassador to Denmark, Dominic Schroeder, drew himself up to his full 1.8 metres (5ft 10in), puffed out his chest and gave the Danish finance minister a jolly good telling-off. Britain was a permanent member of the UN security council, a proud member of the G7 and the G20, and a bloody good egg.

“That’s not to my mind,” Schroeder growled, the record of a “diminished or diminishing power”. With all the menace of a man on the brink of doing something he would come to regret, Schroeder added: “I think I’ll leave it there.”

There are small nations and there are countries that have not yet realised they are small nations

Continue reading...

New Danish triennial looks at nature throughout history ? in pictures 
08-06-2017

Large-scale installations across Aarhus city depict nature, and man’s relationship with it, in three categories: the past, present and future – from a structure highlighting bee decline to a reflection on light pollution

ARoS Art Museum’s triennial The Garden – End of Times, Beginning of Times runs until 30 July; The Past section runs until 10 Sept

Continue reading...

How Lego clicked: the brand that reinvented itself | Johnny Davis 
04-06-2017

The revival of Lego has been hailed as the greatest turnaround in corporate history, ousting Ferrari as the world’s most powerful brand. Johnny Davis reports

From its founding in 1932 until 1998, Lego had never posted a loss. By 2003 it was in big trouble. Sales were down 30% year-on-year and it was $800m in debt. An internal report revealed it hadn’t added anything of value to its portfolio for a decade.

In some ways Lego CEO Jørgen Vig Knudstorp is a better model for innovation than Steve Jobs

Boys are more about good versus evil, but girls really see them-selves through the Mini-doll

Lego Life is a social network for kids too young for Instagram to share their creations, gaining ‘likes’

Continue reading...

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