Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II says she will abdicate after 52 years in surprise New Year’s Eve announcement

Queen Margrethe II.

Luca V. Teuchmann/Getty Images

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark announced she is abdicating after 52 years on the throne.She said in a New Year’s Eve announcement that her eldest son Crown Prince Frederik will succeed her.She said the decision was prompted in February 2023 after she underwent back surgery.

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark announced she will abdicate the throne after 52 years.

The Danish royal made the surprise revelation during her annual New Year’s Eve speech on Sunday. Margrethe became queen in 1972 at the age of 32 after her father, King Frederik IX, died of complications from pneumonia.

Queen Margrethe II and members of the Danish royal family in April 2018.

Luca V. Teuchmann/Getty Images

“I have decided that now is the right time. On 14th January, 2024 — 52 years after I succeeded my beloved father — I will step down as Queen of Denmark. I will hand over the throne to my son Crown Prince Frederik,” Margrethe said.

During her speech, Margrethe said she underwent “extensive” back surgery in February that prompted her to think about the future.

“Inevitably, the operation gave cause to thoughts about the future — whether now would be an appropriate time to pass on the responsibility to the next generation,” she said.

Margrethe became Europe’s longest-seving living monarch after Queen Elizabeth II died in September 2022.

Representatives for The Queen of Denmark’s Household did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s comment request made outside of regular business hours on Sunday.

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Denmark’s Queen Margrethe to Abdicate After Tumultuous Year

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Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II said Sunday that she will abdicate on Jan. 14 after a recent surgery got her thinking about “whether the time had come to leave the responsibility to the next generation.”

Her eldest son, Crown Prince Frederik, will assume the throne, the popular 83-year-old monarch said in her annual New Year’s speech.

“I have decided that now is the right time,” she said.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Dave Chappelle’s New Netflix Special Proves He’s Learned Nothing

Netflix

It’s telling that both Dave Chappelle and Ricky Gervais decided to end 2023 by releasing specials in which their comedy pivots to poking fun at the disabled. Could they be more obvious about finding new ways to punch down than targeting people physically unable to fight back?

In a false promise near the opening of his brand-new special and seventh for Netflix, The Dreamer, Chappelle boasts: “Tonight, I’m doing all handicapped jokes,” because “well, they’re not as organized as the gays, and I love punching down.”

Similarly, Gervais decides to have a bit of fun at how we’ve decided as a society to say “disabled” instead of “handicapped” and what that says about us, and suggests further in his special Armageddon, released on Christmas Day, that he’d mock Make-A-Wish kids if given the chance to make videos for them.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Ron DeSantis keeps talking about blowing up The Bahamas

Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis addresses attendees during a campaign event in Rochester, New Hampshire.

AP Photo/Charles Krupa

Ron DeSantis keeps saying the US would “flatten” The Bahamas if it attacked Fort Lauderdale.DeSantis’ comments on the campaign trail were a comparison to the Israel-Hamas war.The US Embassy in Nassau said the US has a “strong mutual security relationship” with The Bahamas.

Ron DeSantis keeps saying it would be easy to blow up The Bahamas, prompting the US Embassy in Nassau to clarify that his comments do not reflect official policy.

DeSantis, a 2024 presidential candidate, took a campaign trip to New Hampshire on Saturday, where he has trailed in the polls behind Chris Christie, Nikki Haley, and former President Donald Trump, WMUR, a local ABC affiliate, reported.

The Florida governor once again said during the stop that the US would “flatten” The Bahamas if anyone were to ever fire missiles from there into his state, not that there is any indication that anyone would do that, Florida Politics reported.

“If someone was firing missiles from The Bahamas into, like, Fort Lauderdale, we would never accept that. We would flatten. Anything that happened, it would be done like literally within 12 hours, it would be done,” DeSantis said during a speech to supporters, according to Florida Politics.

DeSantis’ office did not immediately return a request for comment from Business Insider on Sunday.

He has made this claim a talking point in several of his campaign stops since early November, comparing the war between Israel and Hamas to his hypothetical situation, The Miami Times reported.

On November 13, the US Embassy in Nassau told The Nassau Guardian that it “regrets” DeSantis’ comments may have portrayed “anything other than a close relationship” between The Bahamas and the United States.

“The Bahamas and the United States enjoy an enduring and unique partnership,” the embassy said in a statement.

“The USS Leyte Gulf, a US Navy cruiser currently in the Nassau Harbour, illustrates our strong mutual security relationship,” the statement continued. “We have been allies and friends for 50 years and are looking forward to the next 50.”

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Sununu Claims Nikki Haley’s Slavery Gaffe is a ‘Nonissue’

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New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, who has endorsed Nikki Haley for president, downplayed her recent failure to mention slavery when asked what caused the Civil War.

While he admitted under pressure that it was a mistake for Haley to answer how she did, Sununu clamed on CNN’s State of the Union that the gaffe is now a “nonissue”—even though she is still getting questions about it.

“She cleared it up quickly,” Sununu said, suggesting that “slavery” was such an obvious answer to the question that Haley didn’t think she needed to say it.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Nikki Haley seemingly mixes up Iowa Hawkeyes basketball sensation Caitlin Clark with CNN anchor Kaitlan Collins during a tailgate event in the key early-voting state

From left to right, GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley, Iowa Hawkeyes women’s basketball star Caitlin Clark, and CNN anchor Kaitlan Collins.

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall; Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley flubbed Caitlin Clark’s name during an Iowa tailgate event.While speaking to the crowd, Haley instead said the name of the CNN anchor Kaitlin Collins.”I can assure you her free-throw percentage is much better than mine,” Collins joked on X.

During a Saturday tailgate event in Iowa, GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley sung the praises of Iowa Hawkeyes basketball sensation Caitlin Clark, who over the past year has become one of the highest-profile female athletes in the country.

But as Haley spoke to the crowd ahead of the Hawkeyes women’s basketball game, she seemingly mixed up Clark’s name, instead naming CNN anchor Kaitlan Collins.

“We’re excited to see the Lady Hawkeyes team,” Haley said. “What a great coach they have. Kaitlan Collins is phenomenal.”

Collins, a onetime White House correspondent, is now the anchor of the CNN program “The Source.”

The journalist responded to the apparent mixup with a quip about her own basketball skills.

“I can assure you her free-throw percentage is much better than mine,” Collins said of the phenom Clark.

(The No. 4 Hawkeyes went on to defeat the Minnesota Golden Gophers 94-71 in Saturday’s game, with Clark scoring 35 points.)

It didn’t take long for Ron DeSantis’ team to pounce on Haley’s hoops gaffe.

“After making a fool of herself in New Hampshire, Nikki Haley just landed in Iowa and confused an Iowa basketball star with a CNN anchor,” the DeSantis War Room wrote on X.

Haley’s mixup came at the end of a tough week for the presidential aspirant.

On Wednesday, Haley received a torrent of criticism for her response to a question about the Civil War while on the campaign trail.

In pointing to a cause for the Civil War, Haley stated that the conflict was “basically about how the government is run, the freedoms and what people could and couldn’t do.”

The audience member who posed the question said it was “astonishing” that Haley had not explicitly used the word “slavery,” which prompted her to reply: “What do you want me to say about slavery?”

Haley later sought to add context to her comments amid the sustained backlash.

“Of course, the Civil War was about slavery,” Haley said on Pulse of New Hampshire, a radio show, last week.

“We know that. That’s the easy part of it,” she continued. “What I was saying was what does it mean to us today? What it means to us today is about freedom.”

Haley had seen her support among GOP voters rising in recent weeks as she tries to position herself as the top alternative to former President Donald Trump.

The former UN ambassador has become the preferred candidate of many of the country’s top business leaders, but despite her higher standing in the race, Trump still dominates the GOP field. The former president boasts robust leads in early-voting Iowa and New Hampshire, as well as in South Carolina, where Haley served as governor from 2011 to 2017.

And the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 15, 2024, are quickly approaching.

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A Florida woman discovered her driveway was stolen while preparing for Christmas

Amanda Brochu said contractors bulldozed and removed her driveway (not pictured).

Willowpix/Getty Images

Florida mother Amanda Brochu said her driveway was stolen earlier this month. Brochu’s real estate agent told BI she believed Brochu was a victim of a scam.Brochu set up a GoFundMe page that raised more than $13,000.

A Florida woman attempting to sell her home said her driveway was stolen in broad daylight.

Amanda Brochu first shared her story in a now-disabled GoFundMe campaign created on Thursday.

According to Brochu, the incident occurred in December when her family listed their current Orlando-area house for sale with hopes of moving into their “forever home.”

In an interview with local station WSVN, Brochu said the trouble began when unsolicited contractors arrived to measure her driveway. Brochu told the outlet that she confronted one of the contractors, who claimed a man named Andre hired them to determine the price for a replacement driveway.

Screenshot from GoFundMe.

GoFundMe

The outlet reported that the contractor showed Brochu text messages from Andre that contained his initial request and her home address.

But Andre was out of town when the contractor asked to meet in person and cut off communication when asked for proof of ownership, WSVN reported.

Brochu told WSVN she called local authorities.

“After the cops spoke to them, they called me back, and they said that he said it was a mistake, he just got the address wrong; nothing else will happen again,” she said.

But one week later, Brochu got a notification from her Ring doorbell camera that showed a bulldozer tearing up her driveway and taking it away.

“While I was preparing to head out of town for my birthday and Christmas with my kids, I received a ring doorbell notification that someone was outside of my house, ripping up my driveway before my eyes,” Brochu wrote on GoFundMe.

Brochu added that when police officers arrived at her home, “the company that was tearing up my driveway had already completed the job and left my driveway with only dirt.”

Photo shows dump truck with gravel and tar.

Catherine McQueen/Getty Images

The sight left Brochu and her current real estate agent, Rocki Sanchez, in disbelief.

“Utter shock. I’ve never seen this before. I’ve never had this happen to myself or anyone in our office,” Sanchez told WSVN.

Sanchez told the outlet she shared details about the situation in a Facebook group for realtors, who said they’d seen similar things before. She believes Brochu is a victim of a scam.

“I had multiple people come forward saying that they’ve seen things like this happen — whether it be driveways, roofs, painting, even outside the exterior,” Sanchez told the outlet. “So it happens more often than we actually see it.”

Sanchez told Business Insider in an email on Sunday that she hopes Brochu’s is a cautionary tale to homeowners and contractors.

“We’ve received unwavering support from the community, friends, family, and people from across the world,” she told BI. “I’ve received calls from other contractors and fellow agents stating that something like this is more common than we expect. The target isn’t just homeowners, but contractors as well, who take on the business not fully doing their due diligence and being taken advantage of in the end by the scammer.”

She added: “I hope this story helps other homeowners and contractors to be more alert and mindful when confirming ownership before taking on a job.”

Brochu told WSVN that her missing driveway is more than just a cosmetic problem.

She recently replaced the home’s roof and made a separate investment, so she didn’t have the $10,000 needed to replace the concrete.

“No one’s gonna buy this. This brings down the property now, and that just messes it up for me and my family,” she told the outlet.

Fortunately, Brochu has received a helping hand.

WFTV reported that a Cox Media Group radio sponsor learned about her story and offered to install a new driveway at no cost to her. Brochu told WFTV that she plans to donate the $13,543 she raised on GoFundMe to a local nonprofit in coordination with 9 Family Connection.

Brochu did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment made outside of regular business hours.

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New Year’s Eve terrorist threat in US and Europe as Israel-Hamas war fuels rage

Police officers patrol Times Square in New York.

REUTERS

The US and Europe are on higher terror alert levels on New Year’s Eve.Anger over the Israel-Hamas war could make New Year’s Eve celebrations a target, say security officials.France has mobilized 90,000 police officers to heighten security during New Year’s festivities.

Fears that the Israel-Hamas war has fuelled a new wave of radicalization have put US and European cities on a terrorism threat alert for New Year’s Eve.

Law enforcement agencies in the US are intensifying security measures for New Year’s Eve, where concerns about lone-wolf attacks have risen amid the Israel-Hamas war

New York and its iconic Time Square celebrations are of the most concern, said the report.

New York Mayor Eric Adams denied any specific threats but said, “We’re gonna be ready to respond” to any potential problem, CNN reported.

A joint threat assessment from 10 agencies, including the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, signals a heightened threat environment, partly due to the risk of online radicalization leading to unsophisticated attacks, per CNN.

The assessment, obtained by CNN, revealed persistent worries about lone offenders using online platforms to express violent threats against Jewish, Muslim, and Arab communities, raising concerns about difficult-to-detect attacks. 

In France, 90,000 police officers and gendarmes have been mobilized during this weekend’s New Year festivities because of a “highly elevated terror threat,” per The Times.

Belgium remains on its second-highest level of terrorism threat alert after two Swedish football fans were shot and killed by a Tunisian illegal immigrant in October. He described himself as an ISIS “soldier.”

Germany is also gearing up for one of its largest police operations, recognizing the potential for violence on New Year’s Eve.

Nancy Faeser, the German interior minister, expressed concern about a mix of blind rage and senseless violence, acknowledging an increased danger due to radicalization influenced by the Middle East conflict.

With 4,000 police deployed in Berlin and additional support from other regions, security measures aim to prevent potential threats.

Tension increased earlier month when four men were arrested in Berlin accused of being part of a Hamas plot to attack the Jewish community, per BBC News.

They planned to store weapons in the German capital for future attacks, said the report.

Danish authorities arrested three men linked to the alleged plot.

Meanwhile, before Christmas, Germany was tipped off by a foreign intelligence agency of a potential plot to attack cathedrals in Cologne or Vienna by an ISIS-affiliate group, The Times reported.

This is not the first time Germany required vigilance on New Year’s Eve. During the 2015-2016 New Year’s celebrations across Germany, a string of sexual assault incidents were reported, with approximately 1,200 women targeted.

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