Weekly Highlight: 27.11.2007

Denmark: bad ranking on cleanliness…

Fines for littering a possibility

A recent tourist survey shows that Copenhagen is the dirtiest out of 14 northern European cities. 
Deputy mayor Claus Bondam is looking to the possibility of fining litterbugs as a way to help clean up the city’s reputation amongst tourist.
In a recent survey by Wonderful Copenhagen, the official Copenhagen tourist and conference organisation, the city ranked last in terms of cleanliness, scoring only 60 points out of a possible 100, the lowest of 14 other tourist destinations in Scandinavia and the Baltic region.
‘The poor survey results are nothing to be proud of,’ he told Berlingske Tidende newspaper. Unfortunately, too many people find it perfectly legitimate to discard their cigarette butts or used coffee cups on the street instead of throwing them in a nearby garbage bin.’
Apparently, the police had informed Bondam that they did not have the resources for issuing fines for littering, but he said that he would approach the Justice Ministry on the matter if necessary.
‘Someone else can issue the fines, but it’s possible that we’ve reached the point where harsher methods are becoming necessary,’ he said.


Longer Queues For Hospital Care
Published 26.11.2007, 08.51

Waiting lists for surgical procedures have lengthened significantly since last spring. Although delays in receiving care began stretching well before a threatened nurses’ strike, the labour dispute did have an impact. Numerous wards were shut down in anticipation of a strike, further throwing off schedules and slowing down care services.
In Pirkanmaa in west-central Finland, around 1,100 people have been waiting for care for over 6 months, in the capital city and Uusimaa region the figure is 2,300 – nearly 700 more people than a year ago.
Hospital districts in the southwest and other central parts of the country also report longer queues.


STD rate stable this year
Monday 26 November 2007

Some 13% of the 69,000 people who have had tests for sexually transmitted diseases this year so far were actually infected, according to health institute figures.
The figure was 20% for homosexual men. There are now some 13,000 people in the Netherlands officially registered as having HIV.


Students mount protest against ‘unhealthy’ schools
First published: 26 Nov 2007, 10:54

Norway may be ranked as one of the world’s wealthiest countries, but many of its schools are old, overcrowded and in desperate need of rehabilitation or replacement.
“The air in our classrooms stands still, and the heating system can’t be adjusted, so it’s either too cold or too hot,” Jon Stavnsborg, head of the student council at Grefsen High School told newspaper Aftenposten. His school’s most pressing need is more oxygen, and students have trouble concentrating.
The problems at Grefsen in Oslo are far from unique. Parts of Olav Duun High School in the northern township of Namsos have been closed because of inadequate ventilation. St Svithun High School in Stavanger is plagued by a leaking roof, poor ventilation and chronic stuffiness. Skien High School in Telemark has mould growing on the ceilings and furniture that’s falling apart.


Unions mull Sweden Democrat ban
Published: 26th November 2007 09:20 CET

Members of the far-right Sweden Democrats should be denied trade union membership, according to a large proportion of leading union representatives.
Almost a third (31 percent) of district chairmen in the IF Metall, Grafikerna and Pappers unions would like to see a ban placed on Sweden Democrat (SD) members, despite the fact that the party gains more support from union members than from the population as a whole.
“SD is an undemocratic organization that advocates things that we don’t share. But to issue a general ban on members is not something I think we should do,” Pappers chairman Jan-Henrik Sandberg told Dagens Arbete.

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