Denmark to label food according to effect on climate


Denmark to label food according to effect on climate

New labeling on food packaging will enable consumers in Denmark to see the effect of their shopping on the environment.

 

Food products will be marked with stickers showing their environmental impact, according to a proposal expected to be included in a new climate package to be presented by the government this week.

“We want to give consumers the means to assess in supermarkets the environmental impact of products,” Minister for the Environment Lars Christian Lilleholt said.

Business interest group the Danish Agriculture & Food Council (DAFC) welcomed the proposal, but said a number of considerations must be made.

“It might be necessary to weigh up the environmental impact against the nutritional value of the product. A bottle of soda may have a low environmental impact, but it is not a product you can live on,” DAFC director Morten Høyer said via a press statement.

Lilleholt agreed that the plan to implement environmental labeling on food products carried a number of challenges, but stressed the importance of providing consumers with information.

“My impression is that there is a demand for knowledge about how individual consumers can contribute to improving world climate,” the minister said.

Based on voluntary climate markings on food packaging, the government will launch a campaign to make it easier for consumers to make climate-friendly choices, according to the plan.

The initiative will involve a collaboration with supermarkets.

“I will enter into dialogue with the retail sector, butchers and other food producers to open a discussion about how we can implement this in a way that would enable the climate labeling to work,” Lilleholt said.

 

The Local

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Denmark:Photo of Danish policewoman and Muslim hugging at demonstration goes viral


Photo of Danish policewoman and Muslim hugging at demonstration goes viral
Ayah, a wearer of the niqab, weeps as she is embraced by a police officer during a demonstration against the Danish face veil ban in Copenhagen. Photo: Andrew Kelly/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix
A photo of a police officer hugging an emotional niqab-wearing woman at a demonstration in Denmark on Wednesday has become one of the country’s most widely-shared images this week.

 

The demonstration in Copenhagen’s Nørrebro neighbourhood on Wednesday took place as a new law banning public wearing of face-covering garments including Islamic veils came into effect.

During the demonstration, a 37-year-old woman named Ayah became emotional and was consoled by a police officer.

The embrace was captured by Reuters photographer Andrew Kelly and the story has since become the most viewed article on newspaper Politiken’s website, the newspaper wrote on Thursday.

Social media users also shared the moment widely.

“This picture tells you everything about the fantastic land we want to protect together. These two women are everything I believe in. Not the niqab or the uniform. But love for each other when others want to turn us against each other,” Niddal El-Jabri wrote on Twitter.

The woman in the photograph told Reuters prior to the demonstration that the law would limit her personal freedom.

“This is not the Denmark that we know. I can’t go out when I want to…I have kids, how do I pick them up from the bus and the school and the train?”, Ayah, who is reported to have requested her full name not be published due to threats, said.

“It’s just absurd. I can’t do the things I love to do any more. I can’t go to the museum and the beach, can’t go out and take photos. I’m just going to be a prisoner in my home. But I prefer to be a prisoner in my home to taking off my niqab,” she added.

The 37-year-old also spoke to Politiken after the photo was published.

“It was a very difficult day. We were very insecure, and we didn’t know what to expect. It was overwhelming. And then this dialogue police officer, as I call her, approached us to ask if we were okay and to offer us a drink of water,” she told the Danish newspaper, which took the unusual step of reporting the story in English.

“I told her that everything was fine. And I thought it was great that 3,000 people could march together peacefully,” she added.

She also said the policewoman told her she was personally against the law banning face-covering garments.

“To be honest, I can’t remember the exact sequence of events. But I recall that I was talking to her. And then suddenly I was crying. It was weird, because she was just being nice and friendly. She told me that she was personally against this law, even though she is a police officer,” the 37-year-old said.

“I had mixed emotions. On the one hand, this woman is being really friendly, but she is also a person who is entitled to fine me tomorrow when I leave my house,” she continued.

Similarly to niqabi women interviewed by The Local at Wednesday’s demonstration, Ayah said she would continue to wear the niqab despite the ban.

“I’m not bothering anyone, and I wasn’t a criminal yesterday. I will continue to wear my niqab as I always have. And then I guess I will have to isolate myself even more in my apartment. I’m not a millionaire, you know, so I can’t afford to pay the fines,” she told Politiken.

Dear, Canada, Britain, France, Mexico, Australia, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Nigeria, Argentina,Japan, New Zealand and the rest of the world.


Dear, Canada, Britain, France, Mexico, Australia, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Nigeria, Argentina,Japan, New Zealand and the rest of the world,

Despite what you read and see on television. America and Americans haven’t lost our minds or our way.  We realize you are bombarded with negative sounds and images emanating from our great nation, leaving the impression we aren’t the welcoming nation we once were.

These aren’t the best of times for the United States

Our current President, businessman with no experience on the world stage    Who in short time, has become the President his competitors warned us about during our presidential primary.

He is easily played.   Compliment him and you’re in.  In his mind, he is always successful.

Like you, most Americans are in a constant state of shock .  Many Americans are overwhelmed by the amount of negative and often destructive news emanating from the White House.

Just when we think our President has reached bottom, he finds a way to go even lower.  He has insulted our neighbors ,Canada and Mexico.  Damaging long-term relationships with our Allies and forging relationships with enemies of our nations.    He is impulsive, and often acts without council and doesn’t fully understand protocol.

Most Americans (not all) are frankly embarrassed.

Its seems, by the hour he is dismantling, environmental laws in favor of business.  Relaxing and reversing laws that benefit the poor, laws that once protected women, members of the gay communities and people or color.

 Two America’s

This picture taken last Thursday in Montana,  gives the impression that Americans  overwhelmingly support the President and his policies.   The reality is far from the truth.  Look at the participants in this photo.  They are good Americans, however they do not represent the majority of Americans.

Donald TrumpImage result for president obama crowd

Compare this picture to the one above.  The participants represent the real landscape of America.

Donald Trump rarely travels beyond his fan base.  Our great cities  with their diverse populations, New York, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco,or Honolulu are not on his itinerary.

At these rallies, the Real Estate business man and Reality Television personality  is energized by his fan base.  Where he seems more comedian than politician, here in a friendly enviroment is where he is the happiest, places where he feels loved.

 His words and global intentions, are often designed to keep this narrow base happy.   Our Commander-in-Chief, goes his own way, he doesn’t like to be told what to do.  He oftens ignores the advice of those with decades of experience in global affairs, to spout conclusions that is loosely based on facts.   Which often confuses and angers our allies and friends around the world

He has often said, he and he alone have the answers to the worlds issues.  The Tariffs he is levying on our friends and neighbors and China, does not have the support from most Americans.   Politicians in both parties and the business community and yet he continues.

In Montana, he made fun of the #MeToo movement.  He insulted our war hero’s, Senator John McCain and former President Herbert Walker Bush, who are highly regarded members of his political party.  Both of these men are ill, one is terminally .

In the United States, he has always been a bit of a social media bully, who often acts differently when in the presence of the people he’s attacked.

While he insists upon loyalty, he hasn’t demonstrated any loyalties to anyone including those he appointed and placed in positions of power.

I have lived in the United States  my entire life.  When one group is attack , we react!    Many Americans are currently outraged by the treatment of children, who were stripped from their parents.  Simply to intimidate those who want to immigrate to the United States.  This has never been a policy of America to separate families.  Again, this was done to appeal to some of the  Presidents supporters, many of whom have long wanted to limited the number of  individuals immigrating from south of our Border.

Many of family members and friends who live outside the United States often asked ,how was he elected?   I believe the fault lies with our leaders. 

The day Donald Trump announced he was running for President and then went on to insult Mexican American and citizens of Mexico.  There was no major outrage from either party.

In 1968, George Wallace the former Governor of Alabama ran for President.   Wallace supported segregation and was outraged by the Passing of the Civil Rights Legislation.  The Governor stood at the entrance of the University of Alabama to prevent a black student from enrolling .

Forty eight years later, both parties were relatively silent.  Presidential candidate and former Governor of Florida, (Father George HW, and his brother George W,  were both Presidents of the United States)  Jeb Bush, whose wife is Mexican American, and has three bi-racial children and other bi-racial family members  wasn’t outraged enough to speak against Trump.    Not one candidate from either party, went in from of the Cameras and screamed “The statement made by Donald Trump goes against everything that America is!  They were all playing politics.   There was an assumption, Donald Trump would never be elected president.

Today, most members of the Republican party remains silent.  Unlike most of the world, the United States, has primary elections then ,General Election in November.   In the majority of the states.  Members of a party can only vote for members of their party in the primary election.  Only in the General Election can citizens vote for any candidate.

Because of our electoral system, and Donald Trump’s current popularity in his party. members of his party is choosing him over party and country.   To criticize him could mean losing in the primary.    While his actions go against many tenets of the Republican party and against many conservative views of the party.   Most Republican bite their teeth and support the President even though his views and actions are not only damaging to the Republican Party and the United States, it’s having a negative effect on our friends and allies.

His insistence in meeting in Vladimir Putin is a slap in the face to Prime minister May  after several Russian based poisonings in the United Kingdom.

If the Russians intent was to destabilize the Western Alliance by meddling in the US election then they were successful.  Our friends very concerned.  Nothing would make Putin happier than a dismantled Nato.

The majority of his party are afraid to speak out against him  because they need to survive the primary .  Even though his practices conflicts with the party and is damaging to the country.  The few member of his party who are critical of him and his policies are not running for re-election.

There is a bright high!     After the initial shock and disappointment,followed by proposed ban on Muslim immigrants.   Americans are angry!   People are all walks of live are getting involved , in numbers we haven’t seen since the 1960’s

The challenge, unlike the 60’s, it’s not just the Vietnam war,  it’s not just civil rights.   There are so many issues,created by this president we are overwhelmed.    We are less confident.  Conventional wisdom says ,with all of this outrage by the American public, there will be a change after this fall’s midterm elections.    However, conventional wisdom said, Donald Trump could never get elected.

To our all of our friends in:  Canada, Britain, France, Mexico, Australia, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Nigeria, Argentina,Japan, New Zealand and the rest of the world. .  America is still America, the land of immigrants and the place where dreams can come true.   America is at a crossroads, many American are disappointed with our government.

For nearly 10 years, there has been a civil war within our government.  A war of a zillion words which has been damaging to Americans as our needs have been ignored.   Many frustrated Americans wanted something different, something new, as the old guard had placed their political ambitions and party over the needs of its citizens.

Something you maybe currently experiencing in your country.  In America, we basically have a two-party system, this was deliberate.   The Republicans and the Democrats have made it difficult for other parties to participate in the system.  There are many political parties in the United States.   However, Americans are unlikely.  to hear from them.  They are not allowed to participate in public media debates.

 As a result, we have limited choices in this great nation.   Some, angry americans chose, a business man whose “business” reputation is so poor, he cannot get a loan from an american bank,   A man who had well known credibility problem, a man whose family has a legal history of not renting to people of color,and a man who has little respect for women, over the status quo.  Despite all the money in world, spent to prevent him from being elected,  Donald Trump became President of the United States.

I do not represent all Americans in my views.  But I am sorry.

I hope you learn from our mistake.  I believe in choosing a leader, demand experience, and integrity, empathy and heart.   Avoid, shiny objects, with promise, but doesnt have a history of performance or you may just elect a Donald Trump

Better days to come

CityFella

 

 

 

Zzzzzz Your next-NEXT car will be Electric!


Yes, your next NEXT car will be electric.   A report from research firm,Bloomberg New Energy Finance says by 2022,” the report says, the cost of ownership of battery electric vehicles will fall below that of an internal combustion engine vehicle.  Bloomberg projects by 2040 25% of the cars globally will be electric.

In 2016, nearly 160,000 electric vehicles was sold in the US . Last year Toyota sold nearly 390,000 Toyota Camry’s

Electric vehicles have fewer moving parts than an internal combustion vehicle.

The current challenge for electric car production is the availability of batteries which currently accounts for one third of the cost of the vehicle.

California Clears The Air

Automobiles are responsible for more than 40% of air pollution.

Air pollution exposure can trigger new cases of asthma, exacerbate (worsen) a previously-existing respiratory illness, and provoke development or progression of chronic illnesses including lung cancerchronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and emphysema.

1.2 million die each year in India to diseases related to Air Pollution.  In China over 2 million people die annually.

In 1967, The State of California established the Air Resources Board(CARB).  One of the goals of CARB is maintaining air quality.  One of CARB’s responsibilities is to define vehicle emissions standards.  California is the only state permitted to issue emission standards.  Other states can choose to follow CARB standards   There was a time when Automakers  built two engines, one designed for California and the other for the other 49 states.

A few years ago CARB set a mandate for cars sold in the state. By 2025,15% of all cars sold in California must be zero polluting vehicles.  These would include, Electric, fuel cell vehicles powered by hydrogen.

Naturally there was resistance by auto manufacturers.  How committed was the state to implement this programs in 2006 there were a few charging stations and no hydrogen stations.

To build an electric vehicle from the ground up would cost the industry billions without a guarantee of acceptance by the public.

To meet this mandate, Auto manufactures modified existing vehicles adding an electric motor.  The problem is these cars had a very limited range(most were less than 100 miles) and to completely charge the cars took 8 hours or more.  The electric vehicles were based on a compact or subcompact platform, the average cost for these electric cars was $40,000 (before state and federal incentives) The manufactures lose money on each electric sold.   As for styling ,automakers seems to be dragging their feet, building something to meet the requirements.

Image result for bmw i3 price

BMW I-3

The worlds best selling electric vehicle in the Nissan Leaf.   The Leaf was introduced in 2011 and more than 250,000 Leafs has been sold worldwide.   The current Leaf has a range of 107 miles.

Image result for nissan leaf

 

 Tesla Brings Sexy

Founded in 2003 The Palo Alto, California based Tesla started building electric vehicles in 2008.,  A two seat Roadster with a range of 200 miles.  It was the first production automobile to use the lithium-ion battery.

In 2012, Tesla introduced the model S.

Image result for 2012 tesla model s

  Unlike the other automakers,the S was built from the ground up as an electric vehicle.  The batteries are larger and is a part of the cars structure. thus having a considerable longer range (265 to 351) than other electric vehicles .

The S was an instant hit.  With a price range from $80,000 to $100,000 its style attracted buyers who would normally purchase premium luxury cars from Mercedes Benz, BMW and Jaguar.

In 2015, Tesla introduced the model X, SUV.

Tesla has a network of high-powered Supercharges located across North America, Europe and Asia for Tesla vehicles.  Software within the vehicles navigation directs Tesla to charging stations.  The company also operates a Destination Charging program, under where shops, restaurants and other venues are offered fast chargers for their customers. As of  December 2016, Tesla has nearly 1000 stations globally, and 6,400 and charging locations. 

Image result for tesla supercharger station roseville

Tesla Supercharing Center, Rocklin, Ca

Earlier this year, Tesla briefly surpassed Ford and General Motors in market capitalization for a couple of months, making it the most valuable American automaker.

An Electric World?

The Government of Norway intends to ban internal combustion engine cars fueled by gasoline or diesel by 2025.

  Sweden, Japan and the Netherlands do not have an official mandate, however,their governments are  looking at 2025.  Implementation in Japan and the Netherlands would not be difficult. In the Netherlands 6% of the cars sold are electric.  In Japan 14%

China, home to some of the world’s most polluted cities has a mandate similar to California requiring manufacturers to sell a minimum of 8% “new energy vehicles” by next year.  Virtually every car company argued the time table was too aggressive. Even though sales of the low or zero emissions vehicles are higher than in most other countries, except Norway, they still account for less than 3% of the Chinese new car market.

There are now strict limits on the number of new vehicles that can be registered in major cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, but qualified NEV models are exempt, encouraging buyers to shift. With some of the world’s most polluted cities, some observers believe China could call for an outright ban on internal combustion technology in the not-too-distant future.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       India wants all its cars to be battery powered by 2030 — and that means it not only wants to end the sale of internal combustion vehicles but convert or replace all other vehicles already on the road by the end of the next decade, a goal few see possible.

France and Germany, the ban is expected to be far more contentious. Auto manufacturers in both countries have condemned the moves by their respective governments to ban the internal combustion engine, saying that it would make the economy less competitive. European automakers have lagged behind Japanese and American ones in both hybrid and all-electric car technology, as conventional

European gasoline based and diesel cars already have high fuel economy. In response to so-called range anxiety, in which an electric car’s limited range may leave the driver stranded on the motorway, the Holland administration is expected to pair the proposed phaseout with national investment into charging stations as well as additional investment into TGV lines, to make it easier to travel long distances in France without a car.

Germany may also push to end sales of gas and diesel cars by 2030, but there is strong opposition, especially since half of its electricity comes from coal. Yet German automakers are launching major drives to electrify and that could help build momentum for a switch.

Volvo Leads the Way

In July, Volvo told the world ,all the models it introduces starting in 2019 will be either hybrids or powered solely by batteries.

Volvo headquartered in Sweden, is owned by Geely Automobile Holdings of China, which already produces battery-powered cars for the Chinese market. The decision by Volvo to focus on electric vehicles could ultimately give it and Geely a head start if, as many analysts expect, sales of battery powered cars begin to take off. China is already the largest market for electric vehicles.

Next!

With the American automakers focus on the very profitable SUV’s  will they have the billions necessary to build electric vehicles?  Currently every electric vehicle sold in America loses money.

Last year General Motors introduced the Chevy Bolt, the first car built from the ground up as an electric vehicle.   The car has been well received by the press.  Car and Driver says the Chevy Bolt ” is so cutting edge that it makes all other affordable electric vehicles seem irrelevant.”  At 238, it has more electric range than any car on the market with one exception, Tesla. It actually has a greater range than the highly anticipated Model 3

______________________________________________

Nissan just announced their next generation Leaf will have a range of 150 . Hiroto Saikawa CEO of Nissan says a Leaf with a range of 300 miles is possible within 3 years.

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Unlike Tesla, this car is affordable. its very quick and roomy AND it starts at $38,000 (before incentives) $40,000 less than the current Tesla model S.   If there is one problem with the car, its the styling.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

 

It not ugly or Toyota Prius Quirky.   Tesla gave buyers a reason to trade in their BMW’s and Mercedes . One would expect more from the General.

Related image

Waiting in the wings is Tesla’s people’s car the  Model”3”. Tesla began building the car in its Fremont, California plant in July.    Pricing for the “3” begins at $35,000(before incentives), if its the “3′ you want, you’ll have to get in a very long line as 450,000 people have placed deposits on the “3”.  Based on Tesla’s track record the 400 thousandant should receive his “3” by 2020   Tesla has an Apple like, cult following and those people are willing to wait.

Game Changer?

With all the luxury manufacturers taking aim at Tesla. Jaguar, a company known for its stately vehicles, is introducing a compact luxury electric SUV called the I-Pace( Est arrival is first quarter 2018).  Its engineering comes from Tesla’s play book.  The batteries anchor the car with two electric motors, one at each axle.  Jaguar says the range of the I-pace is estimated at 220 miles.

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The SUV, will be built in Austria and the platform will be used on other Jaguars as the company says half of its vehicles  will be electric by 2025  The cost for I-Pace begins a tick under $100.000.

If $100,000 seems hefty.  Tesla sells to variations of the Model S for $100,000 and the Model X SUV sells for over $100,000.    If Jaguar is remotely successful, expect the automakers to quickly follow suit.

Perhaps with the assistance of Tesla’   Tesla build a Gigafactory, outside of Reno Nevada.  Panasonic is currently building car batteries in a section of the uncompleted building and Tesla will eventually build cars there.

  Cummins, known for diesel trucks recently introduced its first application for inthe first electric commercial truck

The truck has a range of 100 miles and is capable of hauling a 22-ton trailer.  Cummins electric power train is being targeted at urban delivery vehicles (like a beer truck or food delivery truck) as well as for short haul trips in and around ports and other terminals. It can be recharged in about an hour at a 140 kWh charging station, and Cummins’ goal is to get that down to 20 minutes by 2020, reducing down time for its business customers. Production begins in 2019.

There are challenges ahead for the industry.  There isn’t a standard for charging. In Most charging stations uses Level 2 J1772 charger.these will work on all electric cars. Those charging stations are fairly slow, often requiring hours to fully charge your vehicle.  If you own a Tesla you can drive from coast to coast due to their network of superchargers where owners can charge their cars in as little as 30 minutes. Those charger are exclusive to Tesla vehicles.

The other challenge is much greater.  Is  our national electrical (grid) prepared for an  increase of electric usage?  As a result of individual scharging their vehicles at home?

Your next-next new car is likely to be an electric car.  With ranges considerable more than the cars of today.

Like your cell phone, charge it and drive.

CityFella

Danish priests marry more gay couples every year


Danish priests marry more gay couples every year
Danish television doctor Charlotte Bøving (L) and partner Pernille Lok after their church wedding in May. Photo: John Randeris/Scanpix
The number of gay couples marrying in Danish churches has increased on a yearly basis since the law was changed in 2012.

 

416 same-sex couples have exchanged vows in churches around the country since the law change, according to figures from Statistics Denmark.

During 2012, the first year in which same-sex weddings were allowed, 51 couples were married, compared with 105 in 2016.

The total number of same-sex church weddings has increased every year since the law change came into effect.

Lesbian couples form the largest proportion of the weddings, according to the report.

Gay and lesbian couples have been able to marry in civil ceremonies in Denmark since 1989.

READ ALSO: Denmark maintains positive record on LGBTI rights

Bishop of Copenhagen Peter Skov-Jakobsen, who was at the forefront of the committee that developed the same-sex marriage ritual for the Danish church, told Ritzau that he was glad to see so many taking advantage of the new law.

Bishop Skov-Jakobsen also criticised the tone of the debate on the issue at the time of the law change.

“The tone was strong sometimes – it also got inappropriately strong – but when we look at the figures we can see that the LGBT community has taken to this opportunity,” he said.

The bishop added that only a minority of Danish priests continued to oppose same-sex church marriages.

 

“Priests that do not wish to conduct this type of marriage can be exempted. But the law is fortunately such that if a priest exempts him or herself, the couple will be referred to another priest that will conduct the ceremony,” he said.

“It is always possible to marry in a parish church. Neither the priest nor the parish council can prevent that,” Skov-Jakobsen added.

The differences between Danish marriage rituals for homosexuals and heterosexuals are subtle – the words for ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ are exchanged for ‘partner’, for example.

Priests are also advised to use a biblical text of their choice as the basis for their wedding sermon, as opposed to the traditional use of the story of creation from the book of Genesis.

Scandinavia’s First Women Only Mosque Opens in Copenhagen


Scandinavia’s first women-only mosque opens in CPH

The imam at the new mosque will help Muslim women achieve equal rights. Photo: Iris/Scanpix

Sherin Khankhan is the imam at the new mosque and the driving force behind its creation. In an , she called Mariam Mosque a “feminist project” that will help Muslim women.

“I have never felt comfortable in the existing mosques,” Khankhan told Politiken. “The big new mosques are beautiful, but I’ve always had the feeling of being a stranger… [Mosques are] male-dominated and patriarchal places, where a man is at the speaking platform, a man leads prayer, a man is in focus and dominant. That’s why we have created a mosque on a female premise.”

As the first of its kind in Scandinavia, Mariam Mosque will put women in charge of Friday prayers as well as all administration.

Khankhan said the mosque is aimed at helping Muslim women achieve equal rights, for example by making it easier for them to divorce their husbands.

 

Mehmet Ümit Necef, an associate professor with the Center for Middle East Studies at Copenhagen University, told Politiken that he sees the female mosque as a form of modernization of Islam, which should be considered a positive step.

“While external criticism of Islam creates a defensive response amongst Muslims, criticism and new ideas from within is hugely positive,” he said.

But leaders of Copenhagen’s traditional mosques have responded critically, questioning the theology as well as necessity of a women-only mosque.

“They can do as they like, but their theological basis is wrong. Why is there a separate need for women only? Should we also build a men-only mosque? That would cause an uproar in the Danish public,” Imam Waseem Hussein, chairperson of the Danish Islamic Centre (Dansk Islamisk Center), told Politiken.

Hussein does not believe that the mosque will be recognized by the majority of Danish Muslims.

The mosque will have two female imams and a 12-member board, which will include two men, according to Politiken. The location of the mosque has not yet been made public due to concerns about repercussions from the general public.

Hans Jørgen Bonnichsen, former head of the Danish Security and Intelligence Service (PET), told Politiken that he sees this as a sensible measure.

“If it is possible to keep the location of the mosque secret, then that is a guarantee [of its safety],” said Bønnichsen. “But it is sad that it is necessary – a victory for extreme influences.”

Black Friday in Denmark: The new Halloween?


Black Friday in Denmark: The new Halloween?

Danish newspapers advertise Black Friday sales. Photo: The Local

The Growth of the American shopping ‘holiday’ Black Friday is expected to reach new levels in Denmark this year

In recent years, it has become the norm to see children (or even adults) dressed as wizards, vampires or superheroes in the last week of October in Denmark as  Halloween becomes bigger and bigger.

Now, the rush to the stores to take advantage of Black Friday, the super sales event that marks the beginning of the Christmas consumer season, is set to become an equally established transatlantic part of the Danish calendar.

Traditionally the day after Thanksgiving  in the United States, Black Friday earned its name as the day that allowed retailers to operate at a profit (“in the black”, as opposed to “in the red”). Such an opportunity appears to have been a tempting one for Danish businesses, who have managed to grow the tradition in just a few short years.

According to the consumer price comparison website PriceRunner, the Black Friday phenomenon first came to Denmark in 2010 and had its real breakthrough in 2013.

 

A study by the Danish Chamber of Commerce(Dansk Ehrverv) found that two out of three Danish stores will offer customers deep discounts on Friday, November 27th. This is set to result in a record number of debit card (Dankort) transactions – last year’s Black Friday saw 1.5 billion kroner ($213 million) worth of sales, making the all-time top ten for single-day transactions.

“Black Friday has exploded in recent years. We have a clear expectation that it will be an even bigger day than last year, and that when the shops open on Friday, Danes will be ready and waiting,” Martin P. Barfoed of the Danish Chamber of Commerce said in a press release. “After all, everyone likes a bargain.”

The study by the Chamber of Commerce showed that over half of all Danes are now aware of Black Friday. More than one in five of all Danes under 30 expects to do some of their Christmas shopping on the day, as stores across the country will extend their opening hours, often from 6am until midnight.

Despite the many treats on offer, however, economists have warned consumers against getting carried away.

“We tend to go charging in whenever there’s a special offer or sale,” consumer economist Ann Lehmann Erichsen told broadcaster DR. “There’s no doubt that we buy more when prices are reduced. Our analysis shows that both men and women end up buying goods because they are on sale – even when they are not needed.”

 

The Local