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Mudasir Khan, originally from Pakistan, sits with his nephew Yaeesh Rao Khan in Mjolnerparken, a housing estate that features on the Danish government's "Ghetto List"

REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Denmark’s new policy seeks to integrate immigrants, but at what cost?

Denmark’s new policy mandates integration in low-income neighborhoods inhabited by mostly “non-western” immigrants through reeducation, demolition, and policing.

The goal: a massive social engineering project to dismantle immigrant enclaves and force integration into Danish society. The policy will require young children from these neighborhoods to spend 25 hours a week in preschools to learn the Danish language and values.

In practice, the policy will look an awful lot like gentrification in the US, only driven by the government. Residents of low-income neighborhoods, where at least half the population is of non-Western descent, will be forced to leave their homes, and thousands of apartments will be sold to private investors and demolished. In their wake, housing catering to wealthier residents will be built to incentivize social mixing.

Critics are calling the policy ethnic discrimination and say it is unnecessary in a country where the generous welfare system minimizes income inequality, crime, and poverty. Nevertheless, it has broad support across the political spectrum.

Denmark, like countries throughout the European Union, is seeing its expansive welfare state challenged by the influx of migrants from Ukraine, Africa, and the Middle East in recent years. The influx has led to a rightward tack in migration policy across the continent.

A harvester carries coca leaves on his back in a coca plantation. He has put in half a day for this. For each 12-kilo sack, he receives the equivalent of about $1.50. A worker can harvest about 20 bags of coca leaves a day.

Edinson Arroyo/DPA via Reuters

Hard Numbers: Colombia sees coca boom, Denmark sends museum pieces to Ukraine, World Food Program warns of “doom loop”, a river of wine flows in Portugal

230,000: Farmers in Colombia cultivated a record 230,000 hectares of coca in 2022, a 13% increase over the previous year. Coca is the key ingredient in cocaine, of which Colombia remains the leading exporter. President Gustavo Petro has criticized coca eradication programs as failed policy, but he has struggled to contain armed trafficking groups and has made little progress alleviating poverty in rural areas where the crop is grown.
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Protestors chant slogans during the demonstration against the Quran Burning In Sweden.


Nordics may ban Quran-burning protests

Quran burnings in Denmark and Sweden in recent weeks have angered Muslims around the world. These protests, usually by far-right extremists, tend to play out in front of embassies of Muslim-majority countries or other government buildings. In turn, Scandinavian leaders have been forced to explain that their hands are tied by their countries’ strict freedom of speech laws. But that may soon change.

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A mock 10 baht banknote bearing an illustration of a yellow duck instead of the Thai king or his predecessor is pictured in Bangkok on Nov. 25, 2020.

Kyodo via Reuters Connect

Hard Numbers: Thai royal canard, Biden’s deficit plan, Japan’s gender pay gap, golden Odin, Greek walkout

2: Prepare to read the next sentence twice. A man in Thailand is facing two years in jail for selling calendars of … rubber ducks. The squeaky fowl has long been a symbol of the country’s pro-democracy movement, and since these birds were dressed in royal regalia, authorities say they insulted the monarchy. The country’s defamation laws have been used to convict 200 people since 2020.

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Ari Winkleman

The Graphic Truth: How much it costs to supply Ukraine

As the war in Ukraine enters its second year, proponents of continued military aid to Kyiv say it’s a cut-rate investment for security while others wonder whether the cost is worth it. We look at how much the biggest suppliers spent on military aid to Ukraine as a percentage of their defense budgets last year.

US politics are prone to misinformation, says former Danish PM
US Politics Are More Prone to Misinformation, Says Former Danish PM | Global Stage | GZERO Media

US politics are prone to misinformation, says former Danish PM

Why has Europe been less affected by online misinformation than America has been?

"The democratic debate in Europe is less hostile and less fragmented than in the US," former Danish PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, during a Global Stage livestream discussion hosted by GZERO in partnership with Microsoft. She was joined by Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group and GZERO Media; Brad Smith, president and vice chair of Microsoft; and moderator Nicholas Thompson, CEO of The Atlantic.

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Netanyahu on the verge of losing power in Israel; US spying on EU?
Netanyahu On The Verge of Losing Power In Israel | US Spying On EU? | World In :60 | GZERO Media

Netanyahu on the verge of losing power in Israel; US spying on EU?

Ian Bremmer shares his perspective on global politics this week:

Is Netanyahu's time as Israel's prime minister about to end?

It does look that way. Though of course, like with everything in Israel politics it's right down to the wire. Can they put this unity government, where the only thing they're unified on is everyone wants to get rid of Netanyahu, together by midnight Israeli local time. If they can it's the end of Netanyahu's term, 12 years tenure in office. Though the government's not going to last for long. They agree on absolutely nothing else. There's no policy that'll happen, maybe they get a budget together. That's about it. But my God, yes, indeed. It does look like Netanyahu's probably going to be out.

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Brazil players celebrate winning the Copa America 2019 against Peru with the trophy.

REUTERS/Sergio Moraes

What We’re Watching: Copa America venue woes, Denmark-US Euro phone tap, Greenpeace vs big coal in Australia

Who will host the Copa América? Only two weeks before the first match, the Copa América, South America's biannual national football (soccer) tournament, has become — pardon the pun — a political football. The tournament was initially to be held jointly by Argentina and Colombia. Two weeks ago, however, the organizers dropped Colombia as co-host citing security concerns following mass street protests against the government's planned tax reforms. Now, as Argentina enters another national lockdown over rising COVID cases, they have decided to switch the venue to... COVID-ravaged Brazil. Brazil's embattled President Jair Bolsonaro has given the go-ahead, perhaps thinking that hosting the competition will help boost his rapidly declining approval ratings in the football-crazy nation. But the move — which is not yet final — immediately provoked strong criticism from Brazilians who think it will cause the deadly disease to spread even more, and the Supreme Court has agreed to review an urgent motion by the opposition Worker's Party to stop it. Meanwhile, Bolsonaro's supporters are calling out his opponents for rejecting a competition that will flush cash into Brazil's economy.

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