Not a word of complaint (

The last test match before the European Championship was two months ago: Goalkeeper Dinah Eckerle lost with the DHB team against the Dutch at the beginning of October.

Photo: dpa / Carmen Jaspersen

It was time for a clear statement from the top. At least that must have felt like that for Andreas Michelmann, which is why the President of the German Handball Federation (DHB) announced at the beginning of the week that his association would of course plan to take part in the men’s World Cup in Egypt next January. After some clubs and national players had expressed doubts and pleaded for a postponement of the World Cup or a waiver, the president spoke a word of power.

The media-effective rushing forward by Michelmann is remarkable because this need obviously does not exist among women. On the contrary: when the European Championship begins in Denmark this Thursday, the DHB team will defy all sorts of adversities – and so far not a word of complaint has come from the lips of the country’s best handball players. “We’re really happy, I was very happy when I was allowed to join the team,” said Dinah Eckerle. The goalkeeper only joined the squad last Friday, six days before the first European Championship game, because she had to be quarantined after the last game with her French club Metz HB.

In general, the preparation of the German team resembled a permanent reaction to unexpected outside influences. There were no test matches and the national coach wasn’t there. “We would never have imagined such a preparation without a test match in our life, but we just have to pay tribute to the circumstances and still prepare optimally,” said Axel Kromer, Sports Director at DHB. National coach Henk Groener is in domestic isolation because of a positive test for the Covid-19 pathogen, and it is still unclear whether he can be with the team until the first game against Romania this Thursday in Kolding. The team is currently being looked after by assistant trainer Alexander Koke, who was only able to join the team last Thursday. On Tuesday, however, he was on the charter plane with which the Germans first flew to Billund, from where the bus continued to Kolding, which is 50 kilometers away.

Originally, the German preliminary round matches were to be played in Trondheim, but the Norwegian association withdrew as co-organizer just under three weeks before the start of the tournament. The pandemic-related requirements of the Norwegian government could not be met, so that the EM will now be held entirely in Denmark. Kolding was added as a venue at short notice – two preliminary round groups and a subsequent main round group are played here.

“We are happy that we are starting, we have good tension in the group,” said Amelie Berger on Tuesday after arriving on Danish soil. Like her teammates, the 21-year-old first had to complete a PCR test before moving into the team hotel and thus diving into the tournament bubble. The Danish organizer has developed a hygiene concept in order to be able to hold the EM as possible without positive corona cases. For players, coaches and officials, this means that they are only allowed to leave the hotel for training units and games; external contacts are completely prohibited. These are demanding requirements for the athletes because there will be no distractions in the next two weeks. “I will read a lot,” announced Luisa Schulze. The anticipation of the international tournament outshines the prospect of being “locked up” in the hotel.

For the organizers, the sealed-off bubbles are the best way to hold the EM. Because all 16 teams are together for almost two weeks at the two locations in Kolding and Herning, the risk of infections is comparatively low. Some teams would not change location until the finals. In any case, the Danes feel well prepared. In the event of a positive test, the entire team must be isolated, followed by further close-knit testing. This is currently the case with the first German opponent: A quick test had given a Romanian player a positive result. The EM host rejected the request to postpone the game on Wednesday. The anticipation of the German handball players for the start of the European Championship could not diminish this news either.


Mutated form of the corona virus: Denmark wants to dig up killed mink again – news abroad

The mink drama in Denmark continues!

Concerned about putrefaction gases in the ground, the Danish government will probably have millions of dead minks dig up again. The carcasses should be cremated now.

The Minister of Agriculture Rasmus Prehn spoke out in favor of the idea on TV2. He said that such a move would need approval from the Danish Environment Agency. However, the idea has already been debated in parliament. There it is supported by the majority.

The Danes want to dig up the dead animals again!

A breeding mink just before the cullPhoto: Mads Claus Rasmussen / AP Photo / dpa

The government had ordered the culling of all minks in the country because of a mutated form of the coronavirus. According to the latest figures, around ten million minks have already been killed and buried. The government now fears that the decomposition process could release large amounts of phosphorus and nitrogen in the soil.

A few days ago, the carcasses of the fur animals were driven to the surface of the earth due to putrefaction gases in a makeshift mass grave that was created on a military site.

At the beginning of November, a mutated form of Sars-CoV-2 that could be transmitted to humans was discovered on breeding farms in northern Jutland.

There was therefore a risk that the mutation “Cluster 5” could render future vaccinations ineffective. The government is now assuming that “Cluster 5” could be “eradicated” again.

In the course of the culling, the then Agriculture Minister Mogens Jensen resigned. He had previously admitted that the culling of all mink in the country – including healthy animals – was illegally ordered.


Denmark on alert: slaughtered minks come out …

A shocking event occurred in Denmark. After the Government decided to sacrifice minks for a mutation of the new coronavirus potentially problematic for humans, animals began to surface.

In Holstebro, in the west of the country, the corpses of a makeshift mass grave on military land they began to resurface due to the gas resulting from the decomposition that moves the ground. Furthermore, this highlighted the conditions in which slaughtered animals were buried in risk areas (either contaminated or adjacent to contaminated animals).

Faced with this scenario, the Danish government claimed it was willing to unearth and burn the corpses of millions of minks that were hastily buried after being euthanized as part of the fight against covid-19.

“I had the desire to get rid of the minks and burn them from the first day I heard about it,” said the new Minister of Agriculture, Rasmus Prehn, on public television TV2, adopting the position of most of the parties of the parliament.

Authorities say there is no risk of the graves spreading the coronavirus, but residents of the sector are concerned about the risk of bodies contaminating drinking water and a lagoon less than 200 meters away.

Along the same lines, politicians fear that the decomposition of the bodies of dead animals will lead to pollution by phosphorus and nitrogen and demand that the carcasses be dug up and destroyed in other ways, for example by burning them.

The gases emitted could, for example, contaminate drinking water and bathing water. The agriculture minister warned that any final decision on incineration of the mink could only be made with the approval of the environment agency.

The official decision taken at the beginning of November, which meant the death of 17 million farmed animals, resulted in the resignation last week of the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Morgens Jensen.

Two weeks after raising the alarm, and in the midst of a political crisis linked to the lack of legal grounds for the decision to euthanize them, the government came to the conclusion that this possible threat to vaccines “very probably had disappeared” as no new cases have been detected.


Denmark: dispute over the mermaid – panorama

The little mermaid is not only one of the most popular characters from Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale universe. Since 1913 it has also been a bronze statue created by the sculptor Edvard Eriksen, which sits on a rock and looks out over the water at Copenhagen harbor. Just one meter and 25 centimeters tall. It became a magnet for visitors after campaigns by the tourism authorities, who tried to reinvent Denmark as a romantic, peaceful oasis in a turbulent Europe in the 1930s and 50s, and made the mermaid the symbol of this fairy-tale land.

After Eriksen’s death in 1959, the community of heirs of the sculptor rose to protect sculpture and its reputation, but primarily their own financial interests. Eriksen’s heirs do this in the name of copyright to this day with such verve that the Danish edition of Wikipedia does not even dare to illustrate an article about the little mermaid with a photo of the same, instead one sees a white spot there.

This week the great Copenhagen newspaper has the joy of complaining of the heirs – once again Berlingske Caught. The newspaper dared to illustrate two of its articles with the little mermaid in the spring. Apparently, the heirs were particularly impressed by the illustration for a post on the opinion page that dealt with the Danish culture of debate, right-wing populism and ultra-nationalism. The draftsman had given his mermaid-like figure a zombie face and a tattered Danish flag, next to it was written “Evil in Denmark”.

The court sentenced Berlingske now due to copyright infringement to the equivalent of almost 40,000 euros – the fact that the fine was so unprecedentedly high is probably due to the political context. The illustration is a “demonization of the little mermaid”, it says in the judgment. The illustrator’s intention was to connect “the little mermaid with political messages, right-wing extremism and evil”. Caricaturing innocent little mermaids so unfavorably is therefore prohibited in Denmark.

Berlingske-Editor-in-chief Tom Jensen spoke afterwards of a “wrong judgment”. After all, his newspaper did not want to take commercial advantage of the mermaid picture, but used it in a journalistic context. “That is a question of principle,” he told TV2 and announced that he would go to the Supreme Court. The caricaturist of the competition paper Politics In an act of solidarity on Thursday, he also dedicated his caricature to the statue: In his drawing, instead of the mermaid (Danish: havfrue), a steaming pile of shit rests on the famous rock. The headline is the caricature with an allusion to René Magritte: “Ceci n’est pas une havfrue”.


Denmark adopts restrictions when detecting a covid-19 mutation in mink

The Danish Government announced this Thursday a new series of regional restrictions after being detected a Sars-CoV2 mutation linked to mink, after deciding to sacrifice up to 17 million copies of that animal.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said in a statement that citizens of the North Jutland region they will not be able to leave their municipalities for the next four weeks. During that period of time, the hotel industry in the region will be closed and all cultural and sporting events will be suspended, while schools will remain open.

Local authorities are organizing a massive test campaign in the region with the aim of testing about 280,000 people.

Frederiksen announced Wednesday the slaughter of up to 17 million minks, distributed in about a thousand farms, after detecting several people infected with mink coronavirus and that these viruses had some genetic changes. The measure, added the prime minister, has been taken “as a precaution” and “responsibility” towards the Danes and the population of the world.

Danish authorities reported twelve cases of coronavirus with a mutation in humans and that the same mutated virus was found in five cases of mink farms – of which Denmark is the world’s largest producer – in the north of the country. The prime minister said that the Government has data on this mutation that indicates that weaken the capacity of the human body to create antibodies, which could call into question the effectiveness of vaccines currently being developed against COVID-19.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday to be in contact with the Danish authorities to keep abreast of these events. For its part, the Swedish Ministry of Agriculture confirmed this Thursday an outbreak of coronavirus among minks in the Blekinge region (south) that affects ten farms.


Mink, dangerous vectors of Covid in Denmark

► What is the context?

The world’s leading producer of mink, Denmark announced on November 4 that it was going to slaughter all of these mustelids raised for their fur on its territory, that is to say between 15 and 17 million, spread over more than a thousand farms. The reason ? These farms are the cause of a mutation of the coronavirus, already transmitted to 12 people, according to the authorities. “In such farms, when the virus circulates, it does so easily and quickly, emphasizes Barbara Dufour, professor of epidemiology and infectious diseases at the Alfort veterinary school. This increases the likelihood of mutations. “

Such mutations do not necessarily make the virus more dangerous for humans, but can have other consequences. ” In this case, the mutated virus does not seem more virulent but it is different from the first strain, which complicates the fight ”, decrypts Coralie Martin, researcher at the National Museum of Natural History. According to Kåre Mølbak, head of the Danish Infectious Disease Control Authority quoted by AFP, the virus detected in some mink “Does not react as much to antibodies as the normal virus.” Antibodies still have an effect, but not as effective. “

► What could be the impact on a future vaccine?

This mutation could thus have a deleterious impact on the efficacy of a future vaccine, hence the radical decision to mass slaughter. On November 4, during a press conference, the Danish Prime Minister herself emphasized: “The virus mutated via mink may create the risk that the future vaccine will not work as it should”, declared Mette Frederiksen.

→ EXPLANATION. Coronavirus: Europe is refining its vaccination strategy

To understand this, it must be remembered that research on the vaccine against Covid-19 took as reference the starting strain and not this mutated virus. “Suddenly, the antibodies may not recognize the antigens of the new virus, and therefore be little or not effective”, continues Coralie Martin, who takes the image of legos: “If a duplo meets a technical lego, it’s not going to work.” This is also why, recalls Barbara Dufour, that for the flu, “We adjust the vaccines to new strains, looking at those that have emerged in the summer in the southern hemisphere.” In other words, before the disease reaches our latitudes.

In Denmark, the mutation has been identified at this stage in five different herds. As for the 12 people infected, they were in northern Jutland, the region with the most livestock – according to health authorities, they are no longer carriers of the mutated virus. Which does not prevent fears. Because ” the risk, sums up Coralie Martin, at the Museum, it is to trigger a new epidemic loop ”.

► How to protect yourself?

A catastrophic scenario, which Denmark, which has already slaughtered more than a million mink, wants to avoid at all costs. ” The worst case scenario [serait] to have a pandemic that leaves here, in Denmark ”, a fact observer Kåre Mølbak. “In this context, mass slaughter is the only solution and as quickly as possible”, confirms Barbara Dufour, from Alfort veterinary school.

As early as June 2020, the Netherlands, noting a strong spread of the coronavirus in their farms, had taken the decision to eliminate more than a million mink and to accelerate the end of the sector on its soil. A decision today welcomed by the deputy Loïc Dombreval (LREM, Alpes Maritimes), who asks “Immediate shutdown” such farms in France, taking into account the health risks. Our country currently has four farms. But the end of American mink farming is not planned there before 2025, according to the announcements of the Minister of Ecological Transition, Barbara Pompili, at the end of September.


Denmark: resignation due to mink massacre (

The carcasses of the killed mink must be disposed of on military grounds in Denmark.

The carcasses of the killed mink must be disposed of on military grounds in Denmark.

Photo: dpa / Morten Stricker

Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and Agriculture Minister Mogens Jensen wanted to show their willingness to act and act. When they went public earlier this month, they wanted to prove they were ready to do the utmost to care for the health of the people of their country. “It’s a matter of life or death, not just in Denmark, but all over the world,” said the head of government. The corona mutation Cluster-5 found in mink may be resistant to the vaccines, which are currently in the crucial development phase. The message given at the press conference and subsequently sent in writing to the mink breeders was an unmistakable instruction that all mink must be slaughtered in an emergency.

Since then, Danish virologists have been discussing how dangerous the new mutation really is for humans. It was only later that it became clear that drug administration did not require mass slaughter. Therefore, instead of the expected praise for her quick decision, the Prime Minister is confronted with the first serious crisis since her government was formed in June 2019. Ironically, it was not the decision to mass slaughter, but the lack of a legal basis that led to it. For almost two weeks now, ministers, prime ministers and various administrative bodies have been issuing different opinions on the epidemiological basis on which the decision was made and who had what level of knowledge.

For a long time, Frederiksen and Jensen tried to gloss over the disregard for the constitution, which forbids expropriation without a legal basis, as slip-ups and communication errors, and blamed each other on. Agriculture Minister Jensen now had no other option but to announce his resignation on Wednesday. He had come to the conclusion that he no longer had the sufficient support of a majority of the Danish parliamentary parties, he wrote on Facebook.

While the government did not worry about the legal basis before the decision, ex-minister Jensen tried to find a parliamentary majority for subsequent legitimation. He achieved this this week with the help of the center-left parties, which form the parliamentary majority for the social democratic government. The new regulation also includes a passage that prohibits mink breeding for 2021. The scandal cost his job anyway. The decisive factor for the left-wing parties to withdraw their confidence in the minister was that the government stopped the emergency slaughtering of mink that had already been ordered within a safety radius that was possible under the Epidemic Act. With this she wanted to save the industry. However, this measure could possibly have prevented the current mass slaughter and, above all, the transmission of the mutation to humans.

The mink crisis is already having a massive impact on the political mood in the country. The bourgeois opposition is seeking a motion of no confidence in the government, but has no majority for it. Instead, she is now urgently demanding that the fur industry be fully reimbursed for the damage caused by the emergency slaughter. Initial estimates are around one billion euros. The process will undoubtedly be an important topic in the next election campaign, especially since Prime Minister Frederiksen comes from North Jutland, the center of the now badly battered mink industry. Then the bourgeois camp could win the elections. Because the left parties are not only weakened because of the discussion about the emergency slaughter. The news of sexualized assaults in their own ranks also damaged their reputation.

Another concern for the fight against the pandemic is that the confidence of the Danish population in the government’s measures is at its lowest level since March. Just under half of the Danes believe they are in good hands.


“Detective work” on glaciers: Greenland ice loss much greater than expected

The rise in sea level – during the 20th century it averaged 17 centimeters – threatens many coasts around the world. One reason for this: melting glaciers. Researchers have now examined three such ice giants more closely – with terrifying results.

New calculations on Greenlandic glaciers indicate a significantly greater loss of ice as global warming progresses than previously thought. Previous predictions based on a worst-case scenario for the climate are likely to have underestimated these effects, writes an international team of researchers in the journal “Nature Communications”.

The rise in sea levels is threatening coastal regions around the globe. According to experts, it averaged 17 centimeters during the 20th century. One of the main reasons for this is the melting of glaciers. Many experts assume that sea levels could rise by over a meter in the course of the 21st century if humanity continues to emit as much greenhouse gas as before.

Development of three glaciers on Greenland in the 20th century

Jakobshavn Isbræ: The glacier front in the background flows into the Kangia Fjord. The traces visible on the mountains show the glacier position around 1875. The retreat of the glacier has left a landscape full of lakes.

(Photo: Shfaqat Abbas Khan, DTU Space Denmark)

Shfaqat Khan from the Technical University of Denmark and his team took a closer look at the development of three large glaciers in Greenland over the course of the 20th century: Helheim and Kangerlussuaq glaciers and Jakobshavn Isbræ. During this period, the average air temperature there has risen by around 1.5 degrees.

Based on complex model calculations, which also include geological features on site, the researchers estimate that Jakobshavn Isbræ lost around 1.5 trillion tons of ice between 1880 and 2012. At the Kangerlussuaq glacier it was around 1.4 trillion tons between 1900 and 2012, and at the Helheim glacier significantly less. Overall, the sea level has risen by around 8.1 millimeters as a result.

“Elaborate and exciting detective work”

“It was a complex and exciting detective work,” said Khan, according to a statement from his university. Current satellite data and older aerial photographs have been evaluated. “And everything else we could find.” This also included historical photos from early expeditions.

According to the researchers, the calculations by Khan and his team point to a darker future than expected. Previous models came to the conclusion that the three glaciers could contribute to a sea level rise of 9.1 to 14.9 millimeters by the year 2100 with steadily increasing greenhouse gas emissions – little more than Khan and his team for the period between 1880 and 2012 estimate.

Previous forecasts “too conservative”

The scientists working with Khan therefore consider the previous forecasts for the 21st century to be too conservative. After all, in a worst-case scenario, the average temperature increase for Greenland could be around 8.3 degrees during this period. That would be an increase more than five times higher than in the 20th century.

The researchers therefore assume that the rise in sea level caused by the three glaciers has so far been underestimated. And they even go one step further: “It seems likely that this is not just limited to these three glaciers.”


Belgium ensures England’s Nations League knockout – double packs from Eriksen & Wijnaldum

Final tournament very close

Belgium has thrown open the door to the Nations League final tournament and robbed England with a 2-0 (2-0) win the last chance to reach the four-man finals. The team of the world number one returned the favor on Sunday in Leuven for the 1: 2 first leg defeat in October.

Youri Tielemans (10th) and Dries Mertens (24th) scored for the Belgians each with shots from around 20 meters. This means that a draw in the home game against Denmark in Group A2 on Wednesday is enough for coach Roberto Martinez’s team to move into the final round as the second team after France (A3) in early June 2021.

The Belgians lead with twelve points ahead of Denmark (10), which Iceland defeated 2-1 (1-0) on Sunday thanks to two penalties from Christian Eriksen (12th / 90th +2) in Copenhagen. Schalke’s goalkeeper Frederik Rönnow came into the game at halftime for the injured Kasper Schmeichel. The Icelanders without a win or points are relegated to the B-League, England (7) has no chance of winning the group before the final duel with the Northern Europeans.

Three more teams can secure the final round ticket in group A1. Italy defeated the Poles around Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski thanks to a transformed penalty from Jorginho (27th) and a goal by Domenico Berardi (83rd) 2-0 (1-0) and now has it in their own hands, with one Success in Bosnia-Herzegovina to make the group win perfect.

Nations League: Netherlands defeat Bosnia-Herzegovina, Hungary miss a threesome

With ex-Bremer Davy Klaassen in the starting line-up, the Dutch also kept their chance at the final tournament and landed their first win against Bosnia-Herzegovina with 3-1 (2-0) under bond coach Frank de Boer. Georginio Wijnaldum from Liverpool FC (6th / 13th) and Memphis Depay (55th) met for the Elftal in front of empty stands. In the fight for the final, the Dutch (8 points) would have to win in Poland (7) on Wednesday and hope that the Italians (9) would lose points.

Germany’s opponents of the European Championship, Hungary, did not get beyond a 1-1 (1: 1) against Serbia. In the Budapest Puskás Aréna, Nemanja Radonjic (17th) gave the guests the lead, Zsolt Kalmár (39th) equalized. In Group 3 of Nations League B, the Hungarians are at the top with eight points, tied with Russia after the home game. The Russians had previously lost 3-2 in Turkey and will now play for group victory in Serbia on Wednesday. Hungarians are expecting Turkey.

Hungary qualified for the European Championship next year with a last-minute win over Iceland on Thursday. Portugal and France were already established as other German group opponents.

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