Former hostage glad to be back home

Kjartan Sekkingstad, the man from Norway’s west coast who was seized by a guerrilla group in the Philippines last year, landed back in Oslo on Friday following his release last weekend. Sekkingstad said he’d been through “a year in terror.” The 57-year-old former hostage, who already has profusely thanked officials in the Philippines for helping […]

Norway’s wolf hunt catches foreign flak

PHOTO: Klima- og miljødepartenentet

An announcement late last week that Norwegian authorities would approve the hunting of 47 wolves this autumn and winter has been met with a barrage of criticism from abroad. Local environmentalists and conservationists are upset, too. The large British newspaper The Guardian reported how the Norwegians were planning to kill off two-thirds of their wolf population, […]

UDI cuts back as refugee wave ebbs

Immigration officials have scrambled to set up emergency shelters for arriving refugees, but the asylum centers are already packed and can breed frustration and unrest. PHOTO: Utenriksdepartementet

Norway’s immigration agency UDI (Utlendingsdirektoratet) has been closing empty asylum centers and reducing staff lately, after last year’s tidal wave of asylum seekers arriving in the country ebbed into this year’s trickle. Some politicians, however, are calling on the government to take in far more Syrian refugees now languishing in camps abroad, while Prime Minister Erna […]

Still no change in key interest rate

Norway's currency, the "krone," was being "blown in all directions" again this week, but likely in a weaker direction. PHOTO: newsinenglish.no

Norway’s central bank (Norges Bank) seemed to follow the advice of a vast majority of local economists on Thursday in deciding to keep its key policy rate unchanged at 0.5 percent. The bank’s governor also suggested the rate was likely to remain steady, downplaying early predictions of another decline to stimulate the economy or even an increase to curb […]

King’s ‘no’ to Nazis hits the silver screen

The new film about Norwegian King Haakon's refusal to surrender to invading Nazi Germany in 1940 was premiering this week. PHOTO: Norsk Film Institutt

The latest in a wave of films about epic events in Norway’s history was getting a royal reception this week. Kongens nei, which is about King Haakon VII’s refusal to surrender to Nazi German invaders in April 1940, has also won rave reviews and been nominated as among Norway’s candidates for an Oscar. The film’s […]

Oil workers strike over ‘dirty deal’

Commuting by helicopter is part of life for offshore oil workers, like disembarking here from a flight to Statoil's Snorre A platform in the North Sea. PHOTO: Statoil/Harald Pettersen

More than 300 offshore oil service workers were called out on strike Wednesday, amidst reports that nearly 38,745 jobs in their sector have disappeared in the past two years. The workers’ union nonetheless deemed a strike necessary, claiming they couldn’t accept “a dirty deal” offered by employers’ organization Norsk Olje og Gass. The tone between […]

Police seize huge weapons stash

Norway's state police system is about to be streamlined and consolidated, to improve response time and provide better coordinated coverage. PHOTO: Justis- og beredskapsdepartementet

Norwegian police have seized more than 1,000 illegal weapons and charged as many as 20 people in one of their largest gun crackdowns ever. Nationwide raids resulted in confiscation of everything from automatic weapons to revolvers, pistols and ammunition. Norwegians often refer derisively to how guns flourish among the public in the US, but Norway also […]

Memorial dispute heads for court

Jonas Dahlberg's winning proposal for a July 22 memorial on the terror-hit island of Utøya calls for excavating part of the island and transporting the hallowed ground for use in another memorial in Oslo, at the site of the terrorist's bombing. ILLUSTRATION: Jonas Dahlberg/KORO

Amidst comments that there would be no winners and only more pain and grief, state attorneys have decided to defend in court the state’s decision to build a memorial to victims of the July 22, 2011 massacre on the island of Utøya. Neighbours living nearby have strongly objected to the memorial, claiming it will remind them […]

Oil minister must explain himself

PHOTO: EBM/OED

The leader of the one of the Norwegian coalition government’s own support parties is demanding an explanation on the floor of Parliament from Oil Minister Tord Lien, over how the waters off Lofoten, Bjørnøya and Møre wound up in the government’s controversial 24th oil exploration licensing round. Lien has claimed it was simply a mistake […]

Bomb scare shut US Embassy site

It's been 12 years since the land at Huseby in Oslo was purchased to build a new US Embassy. The construction site was evacuated on Tuesday because of a bomb scare. PHOTO: US Embassy

Around 250 people working on the construction site of the new US Embassy in Oslo were evacuated Tuesday after a “suspicious item” was found in a container. Police said the item was placed there “to generate fear.” Police were called to the site at Huseby on Oslo’s west side after the item resembling a bomb was found. […]