Entries in Denmark (8)


Should Women Pay More for Haircuts than Men?

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(COPENHAGEN, Denmark) -- Hairs are being split in Denmark as a new front line has opened up in the battle of the sexes over the price of a haircut.

The Danes have long considered themselves one of the world's leaders in promoting equal rights between men and women, but debate has been ignited after Denmark's Board of Equal Treatment attempted to tackle the longstanding disparity between the price of a haircut based purely on whether the customer is a man or a woman.

The trouble arose after a woman filed a complaint against a salon advertising haircuts for men at a lower price than for women.  The board found that barber shops and salons charging women and men different prices for haircuts are violating Danish laws of equality.

But far from creating gender harmony, the ruling has drawn rage and disdain from Denmark's hair cutters.

Denis, the manager of Copenhagen's Z hair salon, said the reason his shop charges women more than men is for a very simple reason and has nothing to do with discrimination.

"We have different prices for men and women because it takes much longer to cut and style the longer hair that most women wear," he told ABC News.

Labor unions that represent barbers and hair stylists are outraged that they were never even consulted before the ruling.

"It is completely absurd that the Gender Equality Board, without even inquiring with us about the reason for various women's and men's rates, just declared them illegal," Connie Mikkelson, chairwoman of the Danish organization for independent hairdressers and cosmeticians, said to ABC News in a statement.  "There is a reasonable explanation as to why there is this difference in price."

The board's decision has been appealed and it will be up to a court of law to decide if haircut pricing can be restructured in a more equitable way.

It has been suggested that instead of offering cuts for women or men, rates could be broken down for short, medium or long hair.  Of course, that kind of judgment call could create more problems than it solves.

"What is medium and what is long hair?" asked Mikkelson.  "It will end in a series of conflicts with customers."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Did the CIA Have a Double Agent Inside al Qaeda?

Jyllands-Posten(VIBY J, Denmark) -- A Danish man claims he worked with the CIA to infiltrate al Qaeda as a double agent for years and helped track radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki until the prominent al Qaeda figure was killed in an American drone strike, according to a Danish news report.

The man, who calls himself Morten Storm, provided evidence to the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten that he was a former radical who had been turned by the Danish intelligence service (PET) and later worked with the CIA so closely that he says President Obama knew his name. Storm said he was the one who sent Anwar al-Awlaki, the al Qaeda preacher linked to several American terror plots, a USB stick that contained a tracking device that eventually allowed an American drone to take him out in September 2011.

Among the evidence that Storm gave Jyllands-Posten are alleged letters between Storm and Awlaki and what appears to be a secret recording of a conversation between Storm and people he calls PET agents and an officer from the CIA in a swanky Denmark hotel in October 2011. During a private conversation, the alleged CIA officer, identified only as Michael, confirms Storm's work for the PET and CIA and makes the claim that the President is aware of the operation.

However, the purported CIA man maintains that Awlaki was killed thanks to a parallel mission and not because of Storm's work.

Storm said he was a radical, militant Islamist in the United Kingdom in the mid-2000s who appeared at at least one anti-American rally, but was turned by PET in 2006.

In a statement from PET's chief, the Danish spy organization said that as a matter of policy it does not publicly confirm sensitive information about its operations, nor does it deny incorrect information.

"It should be noted, however, that in no way does PET engage in or support operations aimed at taking civilian lives. Consequently, PET has not contributed in connection to the military operation that led to the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen," the statement said.

The CIA declined to comment and a White House official did not immediately return requests for comment on this report.

Storm told the newspaper he wanted to come forward now because he was proud of the work he had done and wanted some recognition. He reportedly also wanted his family to know he had been fighting terrorism for years.

Bruce Riedel, a former CIA officer and contributor to The Daily Beast, said that for the most part, Storm's account seems plausible.

"This story is consistent with how you would infiltrate a terrorist group like al Qaeda," Riedel told ABC News. "You need someone who's a plausible recruit ... He's the perfect kind of infiltrator, perfect kind of plant inside of al Qaeda."

Riedel said that as good as America's technological capabilities are in fighting terrorism, there's little substitute for having a man inside.

"The drones themselves are amazing technical phenomena, but the information that leads the drones to the target is what really matters," Riedel said. "In the end it's human beings and the little technical means they can put on somebody to track them down."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Danes Arrest Three Men Suspected of 'Preparing Terrorist Act'

Photodisc/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Danish intelligence officials arrested three men in their twenties suspected of "having been in the process of preparing a terrorist act," according to a statement from PET, the country's Security and Intelligence Service.

A 21-year-old Danish citizen who lives in Egypt and two Copenhagen residents -- a 22-year-old Jordanian and a 23-year-old Turk -- were picked up from two locations in Copenhagen and charged with illegal possession of automatic weapons.

Intelligence officials also searched several locations after the arrests, but a spokesman for Copenhagen police declined to provide any additional information. The three are scheduled to appear in court Saturday morning.

"The investigation will establish whether possible terror threats have been addressed and averted by the arrests," PET said in the statement.

Denmark has faced terror threats before, mostly linked to the publishing of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten in 2005.

Admitted American terrorist David Headley told a U.S. court that in addition to helping a Pakistani militant group plan the 2008 Mumbai massacre, he also scouted Jyllands-Posten's offices in Copenhagen for the possibility of an attack.

In May, a Chechen-born man was sentenced to 12 years in prison in Copenhagen for preparing a letter bomb believed to have been intended for the newspaper. In addition, four Swedish residents are currently on trial in Denmark for plotting a shooting spree on the newspaper.

Danish officials refused to disclose the target of those arrested Friday, or how close they came to executing an attack.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Finnish President’s Husband ‘Busted’ for Wandering Eyes

File photo. Hemera/Thinkstock(COPENHAGEN) -- What does a man do when caught red-eyed staring at a woman’s cleavage?  And what does a man do when that woman is not his wife, the president of a nation, but the wife of a prince?  And how does a man respond when his indecent exposure is caught on camera and broadcast to the world?

Those are all questions now facing Pentti Arajarvi, the “first gentleman” of Finland, married to Finnish president Tarja Halonen.

Arajarvi, 63, was seated next to Princess Mary of Denmark, wife of the Crown Prince of Denmark, at a dinner he attended in Copenhagen with his wife last month.

At some point during the dinner, Arajarvi became more enthralled with his 23-years-his-junior seatmate than the meal or the program itself, and began to stare at the princess’s chest.

Arajarvi’s fixed gaze was not only busted by the princess in an awkward moment, his ogling was also caught on camera, the footage of which was released to the world by The Sun newspaper this week.

The video shows Arajarvi abruptly lifting his gaze at the moment the princess spots his eyes and adjusts her dress.

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To make matters worse, the dinner the two were attending was hosted by Princess Mary’s mother-in-law, the queen of Denmark.

Though local media reaction to Arajarvi’s has been unforgiving, the Sun gives him one possible out, writing, “In his defense, he may have simply been admiring Princess Mary’s necklace.”

Arajarvi’s wife, Halonen, is the first female to hold office of president in Finland.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Theft of Titanic Necklace ‘Inside Job’

Artifacts from the Titanic are displayed in the Titanic: Artifact Exhibition at the Metreon in San Francisco, Calif. Photo by David Paul Morris/Getty Images(COPENHAGEN, Denmark) -- Danish police belief the theft of a necklace that was recovered from the Titanic wreckage was part of an “inside job.”

The necklace was discovered missing from a showcase at Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens amusement park Saturday morning.

Valued at $19,300, the necklace was on show as part of a traveling exhibition of expensive trinkets that sank with the “unsinkable” Titanic in the early-morning hours of April 15, 1912.

The piece was originally owned by first-class passenger Eleanor Wildener, a Philadelphia woman. She survived the disaster, which killed 1,517 people.

Tivoli Gardens, located in Copenhagen, Denmark, is the second oldest amusement park and fairground in Europe. It opened to the public on August 15, 1843.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Copenhagen Mosque Shooting Leaves One Dead, Two Wounded

John Foxx/Stockbyte/Thinkstock(COPENHAGEN, Denmark) -- A shooting incident outside a mosque in Copenhagen has left a 21-year-old man of Pakistani origin dead and two others injured, according to reports.

Eyewitnesses say an argument and scuffles broke out between two groups in the parking lot of a mosque as nearly 1,000 congregation members departed the mosque right after prayers marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

Fifteen to 20 shots then rang out, according to one witness.

Currently, no arrests have been made, but Danish police are searching for the perpetrator allegedly seen standing over the victim during the shooting, according to The Copenhagen Post.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama Meets with Denmark's Prime Minister Rasmussen

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama met with Prime Minister Rasmussen of Denmark Monday afternoon in the Oval Office, where Mr. Obama said that Denmark is a “model” for allies in Afghanistan.

“We have discussed how 2011 is going to be a year of transition, and under Prime Minister Rasmussen’s leadership, he has been able to build a consensus within Denmark about how that transition would proceed that I think is a model for all our allies and participants in Afghanistan.”

The president said that Denmark “punches above its weight”  and thanked them for the sacrifices made by Danish troops in Afghanistan.

Rasmussen said he was pleased to inform the president about the recent decision taken in Denmark, “which proves that we are in this with a long-term perspective,” Rasmussen said. “We want the mission done.” The prime minister announced that he will increase assistance to alternative crops in Afghanistan.

The two leaders also discussed the situation in Libya during their meeting.

“We both share the view that Mr. Kadhafi has lost legitimacy and he needs to leave,” President Obama said, “and that we as an international community have to speak firmly against any violence that’s directed at civilians; that we have to make sure to provide humanitarian assistance, both inside of Libya as well as along the border regions where so many people have left; and that it’s going to be very important for us to look at a wide range of options that continue to tighten the noose around Mr. Kadhafi and apply additional pressure.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


'Mumbai-Style' Attack Planned on Danish Newsroom

Photo Courtesy -- Getty Images(COPENHAGEN, Denmark) – Danish Intelligence Services say a “Mumbai-style” attack was planned on a Danish newsroom.

Investigators arrested five men who allegedly had planned to storm the newsroom of the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten and shoot as many people as possible.

Officials arrested four of the men in two separate raids outside of Copenhagen and a fifth man in Stockholm. Police recovered automatic weapons, a silencer and ammunition.    
Jyllands-Posten is the newspaper that published the controversial prophet Mohammed cartoons five years ago.
Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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