WASHINGTON, August 21 -- The US president told reporters that buying Greenland, which is part of the Kingdom of Denmark but has extensive home rule, would be “a large real estate deal” that could ease a financial burden on Denmark, but Denmark’s prime minister did not want to talk about a possible US purchase of the island of Greenland.
President Donald Trump said he would be putting off a planned meeting with Denmark’s prime minister because she did not want to talk about a possible US purchase of the island of Greenland. “Denmark is a very special country with incredible people, but based on Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s comments, that she would have no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland, I will be postponing our meeting scheduled in two weeks for another time,” Trump said in a Twitter post on Tuesday night. “The Prime Minister was able to save a great deal of expense and effort for both the United States and Denmark by being so direct. I thank her for that and look forward to rescheduling sometime in the future!” the president wrote. Trump had been scheduled to make a state visit to Denmark on Sept. 2 on the invitation of Queen Margrethe II.
Hours before the trip was called off, Carla Sands, the U.S. ambassador to Denmark, tweeted that the Scandinavian country was “ready for the POTUS @realDonaldTrump visit! Partner, ally, friend.” Earlier this week, the president told reporters that buying Greenland, which is part of the Kingdom of Denmark but has extensive home rule, would be “a large real estate deal” that could ease a financial burden on Denmark.
Frederiksen had ruled out any sale. Danish officials have been adamant about no-sale since reports emerged last week that Trump had directed advisers and lawyers to review a possible deal. “Greenland isn’t for sale, Greenland isn’t Danish, Greenland is Greenlandic,” she said Sunday during a visit to Greenland, according to local newspaper Sermitsiaq. “I keep trying to hope that this isn’t something that was seriously meant.” Larry Kudlow, head of the National Economic Council, earlier Sunday said Greenland is a “strategic place” rich in valuable minerals and that discussions are continuing. “The president, who knows a thing or two about buying real estate, wants to take a look at a potential Greenland purchase,” Kudlow said on “Fox News Sunday.” However serious White House discussions of a sale might have been, the topic prompted jokes on both sides of the Atlantic since Trump’s interest was first reported. He got into the act on Monday night with a tweet showing an image of a golden Trump tower on an austere Greenland landscape. “I promise not to do this to Greenland,” Trump wrote.
COPENHAGEN, August 15 -- Shipping group A.P. Moller-Maersk (MAERSKb.CO) on Thursday posted second-quarter profit above expectations and reaffirmed its full-year guidance.
But Maersk also warned a trade war between the United States and China could hurt the container sector. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) totalled $1.36 billion (1.13 billion pounds), topping the $1.24 billion forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll. Maersk, the world’s largest container shipping company, said it still expects EBITDA for the full year to total $5 billion.
COPENHAGEN, August 10 -- An explosion damaged a police station in Copenhagen early on Saturday, in the second blast to hit the Danish capital in four days.
No one was injured in the blast, which happened outside a station in the Norrebro, just outside the city centre, police said on Twitter. On Tuesday (Aug 6), one person was slightly injured in an explosion outside the Danish Tax Agency's office, in what police said was a deliberate attack. Police told Reuters it was too early to say whether the two blasts were connected, but could not immediately comment further. Police were searching for a man running from the scene of the blast, Ekstra Bladet said. Serious attacks or violence are rare in the small Nordic country of 5.7 million people that prides itself on a reputation for safety and social tolerance.
"Iraqi suspects ordered detonator, downloaded bomb-making instructions and tested explosive powder"
BERLIN, January 30 -- German authorities arrested three suspected Islamic extremists on allegations they were planning a bombing attack, and searched properties in three states in connection with their investigation.
Federal prosecutors said Iraqis Shahin F. and Hersh F., both 23, and Rauf S., 36, were taken into custody in an early morning raid by a police SWAT team in the area of Dithmarschen, near the border with Denmark. In addition, searches were carried out of other residences in northern and southwestern Germany of people linked to the three main suspects but not currently to the bomb plot. The two younger men are suspected of preparing a bomb attack and violating weapons laws, and Rauf S. is alleged to have aided them. Their last names were not given in line with German privacy laws.The men appear to have been in the early stages of planning, and had not yet built a functioning bomb nor decided upon a target for attack, prosecutors said in a statement.
Prosecutors allege Shahin F. and Hersch F. decided in late 2018 to “carry out an attack motivated by Islamic extremism in Germany.” There are indications that they sympathized with Islamic State, but a direct link to the extremist group or others is currently under investigation. In December, Shahin F. downloaded “various instructions” on how to build a bomb, and ordered a detonator from a contact person in Britain, prosecutors said. Its delivery, however, was stopped by British law enforcement agencies.
COPENHAGEN, January 2 -- Several people were killed in a train accident on a Danish bridge linking the central islands of Zealand and Funen, police said.
It has been reported six people were killed in the incident, which took place on Wednesday about 8am. Danish media reported a tarpaulin on a freight train hit a passenger train going in the opposite direction toward Copenhagen, prompting it to brake suddenly. The passenger train had departed from the city of Odense, on the central Danish island of Fyn. The Storebaelt bridge is part of a system of bridges and a tunnel linking the Danish islands.
Police is scheduled to give a news conference later Wednesday. In a statement, police urged passengers to contact next of kin to inform them of their safety. The accident took place on a road-and-rail bridge, part of a transport system consisting of a road suspension bridge and a railway tunnel.
The transport system was closed to cars Wednesday because of strong winds but trains could pass.
ROTTERDAM, December 28 -- In the latest troubling study regarding how the climate crisis is affecting the world's iciest regions, a new report by the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) found that the second-largest ice sheet in the world is currently melting even in winter.
The study follows a report released earlier this month showing that Greenland's ice melt rate is currently faster than it's been in about 7,000 years. The island's 650,000 cubic miles of ice is melting 50 percent faster than it did in pre-industrial times. "Greenland is a bit like a sleeping giant that is awakening," says Edward Hanna, a climate scientist at the University of Lincoln. "Who knows how it will respond to a couple of more degrees of warming? It could lose a lot of mass very quickly."
The ice sheet's persistent melting even in winter has come about because huge waves below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean, created by unusually strong winter winds, are pushing warm water up to Greenland—creating an environment that's hostile for the country's icy ecosystem, explains SAMS.
These "coastally trapped internal waves" are "pushing warm water into the fjord and towards the glacier, causing melting hundreds of metres below the ocean surface," says Dr. Neil Fraser, an ocean physicist who led the study. Greenland's huge ice sheet also makes it a huge contributor to rising sea levels, SAMS noted, accounting for more than 20 percent of the annual increase in sea levels. Accelerating, year-round run-off that persists even in the coldest months of the year is "the greatest contributor to sea level rise," says Sarah Das, a researcher at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
COPENHAGEN, December 20 -- The Danish government will begin holding foreign criminals on a remote island, located approximately 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of Copenhagen.
The controversial plan was included in the 2019 budget proposal, which the legislature approved on Thursday. Under the measure, some 100 migrant criminals would be sent to Lindholm Island. People with criminal records and those who were denied asylum, but cannot be deported due to risk of torture or execution in their home countries, would be included. Denmark has taken a tough stance on immigration in recent years. The center-right government, which governs with the anti-immigration People's Party, has made notable changes to reduce the flow of migrants. These include the reduction of benefits for asylum-seekers, shortening temporary residence permits, stepping up deportations of rejected asylum-seekers and granted power to authorities to seize valuables from migrants, to help finance the costs of their stay. Thursday's budget proposal also includes a cap on family reunification.
"Now we tell people from day one that they should not remain in Denmark for the rest of their lives. They only get temporary shelter until they can return home," said Peter Skaarup, parliamentary group leader of the Danish People's Party, when the measure was introduced to the budget law earlier this month.
Island decontamination required
Lindholm Island has been used as a laboratory and crematory by scientists researching swine flu, rabies and other contagious diseases. The government said it would decontaminate the uninhabited island by late 2019 and open the detention facilities in 2021.
"They are unwanted in Denmark and they must feel that," said Integration Minister Inger Stojberg in a Facebook post, shortly after the proposal was announced in early December.
The foreign criminals will be allowed to leave the island during the day, but will have to report their whereabouts to authorities and return at night.
Martin Henriksen of the anti-immigration Danish People's Party said that the decision was somewhat inspired by Australia, which currently holds asylum-seekers in detention centers on neighboring Pacific island nations. But the mayor of Vordingborg municipality, Mikael Smed, where the island is located, was not enthusiastic about the measure."People think this is not the solution to the real problems," Smed said prior to Thursday's parliamentary vote.
UN condemns the move
UN human rights Chief Michelle Bachelet had expressed concerned about the island measure. "I have serious concerns with this plan and we will monitor it and discuss it ... with the government," Bachelet told journalists in Geneva earlier this month. "We've seen the negative impact of such policies of isolation, and (they) should not replicate these policies. Because depriving them of their liberty, isolating them, and stigmatizing them will only increase their vulnerability," Bachelet added.
Human rights activists have likewise denounced the decision, calling it degrading and inhumane.