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After that Nazi gaffe at Cannes, Lars von Trier's status as everyone's favourite art-house film director was in doubt. But then, he never set out to be liked...

Music: Beating around the bush

New Music: RHYTHM STICKS; SOUTH BANK CENTRE, LONDON

Classical: The Danish invasion

Carl Nielsen is Denmark's most famous composer, but he's just one of many being featured at this year's Proms.

Royal & SunAlliance buys Swedish insurer for pounds 316m

ROYAL & SUNALLIANCE, the composite insurer yesterday pulled off a 3.6bn Danish kronor (pounds 316m) deal to take over Trygg-Hansa, one of Sweden's biggest non-life insurance companies from its current owner Skandinavska Enskilda Banken (SEB).

Words: slapping, adj.

"TODAY I had a slapping walk." One might think this a Bright Young Thing's remark, not that of the cerebral poet Wallace Stevens when writing to his wife in 1912. The OED omits its survival in America this century, but notes the two 19th-century usages: large and fast. In each case, this refers to both men and horses, as does spanking, which goes back to the 17th century, possibly from spanke, Danish for strut.

Schools

King's College School, Wimbledon

The Canary

Saving your bacon: Denmark is joining the Bahamas and the Virgin Islands as a tax haven. The Danish government has abolished tax on profits made by companies abroad and 200 foreign firms have set up holding companies in Denmark to take advantage. Observers fear this generous tax environment could encourage less than credible companies to Denmark. "If there are no checks on profits, it is a perfect arena for money-laundering," says one analyst. Scandinavian firms, including many from Sweden who are taxed almost out of existence, are moving to Copenhagen.

SPORTING DIGEST: BADMINTON

SPORTING DIGEST: BADMINTON

FKI to buy Crisplant for pounds 186.5m

FKI to buy Crisplant for pounds 186.5m

Cinema: It's a laughing shame

The Idiots

Girl `shot and strangled' by gun fanatic

A GIRL aged 13 was beaten, shot and strangled as she was walking to school by a lone attacker who dumped her in a river, a court was told yesterday.

CRICKET: Something rotten in the state of Denmark

Kent Board XI 227-8 Denmark 169 Kent Board XI win by 58 runs

Ice Hockey: Britain have to settle for silver

ICE HOCKEY

Ice Hockey: Adey keeps Britain on track

GREAT BRITAIN completed the first step towards rejoining the world's elite following a 4-2 victory over Hungary in Pool B of the World Championships in Rodovre, Denmark, yesterday.

Badminton: Christensen's title

WORLD NO one Peter Gade Christensen won his first All England title yesterday with a hard-fought 15-11, 7-15, 15-10 victory over the Indonesian teenager Taufik Hidayat.

Badminton: Flights of fancy smashed down

Peter Gade Christensen of Denmark (foreground) takes control against Indonesia's Johan Hadikusuma during his straight-sets 17-15 15-8 quarter- final victory at the
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