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Armadillo awarded editing-Emmy
The Danish documentary Armadillo won one of the prestigious Emmy awards at the award ceremony in New York on Monday night CET.
The award was given to editor Per K. Kirkegaard for "Outstanding Editing of a Documentary". The film depicting the Danish war effort in Afghanistan also received nominations in the categories "Outstanding Documentary", "Outstanding Cinematography in a Documentary" and "Outstanding Continuing Coverage of a News Story".
With the four nominations, the Danish documentary was the most nominated contribution in this year's edition of the distinguished American TV-award show.
The idea for the unique film Armadillo emerged when director Janus Metz and cameraman Lars Skree were allowed to follow the Danish soldiers at the front for six months, camera poised and ready at crucial moments and during violent engagements.
Armadillo was based on these recordings from the Helmand province in Afghanistan, and several shots in the film have created a stir among audiences. One scene in particular - that of a soldier describing his experience with killing Taliban fighters - has proved especially controversial and was widely discussed after the movie's release.
Many better off than before the crisis
In some municipalities, people now have around DKK 15,000 more at their disposal per annum than before the crisis began in 2008, according to Ugebrevet A4, the newsletter of the Danish Confederation of Trade Unions (LO).
A survey carried out by the Economic Council of the Labour Movement shows that the crisis was over in just three years when measured by the Danes' private finances on average.
Certainly the crisis hit hard in 2008 and 2009, when thousands of people lost their jobs and the citizens of some of the country's most well-off municipalities saw a drop of up to DKK 50,000 in their annual post-tax incomes.
By 2010, however, the average income after tax was higher than when the financial crisis first struck the country.
Michael Svarer, professor of economics at Aarhus University, believes the explanation is to be found in the Lib-Con government's Spring Package 2.0 from 2010.
"In 2008, a lot of people lost their jobs, but for those who kept their jobs there have still been pay increases. There were some very significant tax cuts in 2010, which meant a considerable rise in disposable incomes," he told Ugebrevet A4.
By way of example, in 2010 the country's richest citizens - in Gentofte Municipality - had an average post-tax income of DKK 393,000. In 2007, before the crisis set in, the figure was DKK 382,000. This means that, in spite of the historically tough financial crisis, the annual disposable income of the richest citizens in Denmark rose by just under 3 per cent from 2007 to 2010. In Langeland, which is traditionally a less well-off municipality, the average annual income also rose during the period, albeit rather more modestly, from just over DKK 197,000 to DKK 199,000, an increase of 0.8 per cent.
There were only six municipalities - Hørsholm, Vallensbæk, Greve, Tønder, Halsnæs and Solrød - where the average income fell from 2007 to 2010.
Denmark and USA in a New Global Partnership on Gender Equality
Denmark participates in a new global initiative to advance gender equality and women’s rights, launched on 24 September 2012 - by the United States Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, during the UN General Assembly.
Together with a small group of countries, Denmark has entered into a partnership with the United States, aiming to advance global gender equality and women’s rights. The initiative originates from President Obama’s speech at the UN General Assembly in 2011. The United States have invited the selected countries to come together to form the “Equal Futures Partnerships”, which shall create renewed progress.
The participating countries are committing to working actively to promote gender equality. In particular, the countries are to work towards ensuring women full participation in public life and in political decision-making processes. The initiative was launched by Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, during the UN General Assembly on 24 September, which Minister for Foreign Affairs, Villy Søvndal, also attended.
”The American initiative is important, since it contributes to create new dynamic in the global fight for gender equality. Unfortunately, this is still much needed. The initiative focuses on the implementation of concrete steps. In all countries – including in Denmark – there is a need to comply with the goals on gender equality, which the countries have committed to in the international community. The initiative helps to point out areas where a strengthened effort is needed. We are open to learn from the experiences of other countries – also countries far away from Denmark. And a lot of countries look to Denmark – and the other Nordic countries in general – as pioneer countries in the field of gender equality. Therefore we gladly support the American initiative”, says Minister for Foreign Affairs, Villy Søvndal.
The idea behind the partnership is for the participating countries to commit to taking the lead and working with the challenges in their own countries, and thereby act as a source of inspiration for others. Therefore, like the other founding countries, Denmark has committed to new actions on gender equality. Denmark focuses on three projects: fighting the gender-based violence, improving the gender balance in company management and boards, and working to enhance political and civic participation of ethnic minority women in Denmark. Among other things, the goal is to increase the awareness on violence in the family in 75 % of the municipal authorities before July 2013, to commit companies to establishing target figures for the under-represented gender in boards, and to ensuring that fewer young women are exposed to honour-related violence.
”Women’s right to shape the society they live in is a fundamental part of the modern, democratic society. But in too many countries, women are prevented from participating on equal terms with men, and therefore it is extremely important that we speed up progress. Women’s equal participation is a prerequisite to sustainable economic growth, and through the good examples we will show that gender equality is a win-win situation”, says the Minister for Gender Equality and Ecclesiastical Affairs, Manu Sareen.
The projects will be monitored and the results will be published under the auspices of the partnership.
Besides the United States and Denmark, the Equal Futures Partnership comprises Australia, Bangladesh, Finland, Benin, Jordan, Indonesia, Peru, Senegal, Tunisia and the EU. The United States focuses on more women in science and technology, on promoting women leaders and entrepreneurs and on ending domestic violence. Jordan and Indonesia especially focus on women’s equal political and economic opportunities through increased political representation and labour market reforms. Finland, among other things, looks at mainstreaming gender equality in economics and tax policies.
Nordic countries lead internet use
One third of the world's population is now online, but nowhere else on Earth is internet access as widespread as in the Nordic countries, where nine out of ten people are hooked up.
This is the finding of a new global report from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the UN's agency for information and communication technologies.
The world rankings are topped by Iceland, where 95 per cent of the population has access to the internet. Norway is no. 2, Sweden no. 4 and Finland no. 7.
Denmark is also among the leaders on the international list, which covers 177 countries. According to ITU, 90 per cent of Danes use the internet, putting the country at no. 6.
Burundi, Ethiopia, Myanmar and East Timor are at the bottom of the list. In these countries, only around 1 per cent of people use the internet.
The report shows that half of all active internet users frequent social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
The UN agency also notes that the number of people using the internet in languages other than English will overtake the number of US, British and other English speakers by 2015, due in no small part to the number of Chinese coming online.
Credit rating agencies praise Denmark
The government may very well face a backlash from voters for its strict economic policy. However, it is receiving praise from the three credit rating agencies Standard & Poor's, Fitch and Moody's, whose ratings can change the global perception of the Danish economy and Danish interest rates from one day to the next, reports Politiken.
"The Danish economy has many structural strengths. It is versatile, personal incomes are high, and there are robust financial, political and social institutions. A long tradition of sensible financial policy-making is also reflected in relatively low structural unemployment and a stable currency," said Maria Malas-Mroueh, a director in Fitch's sovereign team.
This positive view of the government's economic policy is supported by rating analyst Ivan Morozov from Standard & Poor's.
Morozov cites one of the reasons for the AAA top rating for the Danish economy as the present and former governments' "many years of commitment to financial discipline and growth-oriented macroeconomic policy".
Finally, Moody's emphasises the Danish government's work to increase long-term employment prospects.
Torben M. Andersen, professor of economics at the University of Aarhus and former chairman of the Danish Council of Economic Advisers, believes the rating is of major importance for Denmark.
"We are one of the countries with the greatest control over the situation. The benefit is that our economic policy is not being questioned, which means we can maintain a very low interest rate and are not subject to mistrust and unrest as other countries have been," he said.