PST rejects mobile surveillance report

Norway’s police intelligence agency PST has dismissed reports in newspaper Aftenposten late last year that the paper had found false base stations used for mobile telephone surveillance in Oslo. The newspaper stands by its lengthy series of stories, however, and so do its sources. The public is left to decide who is more credible: Aftenposten, which raised questions of who […]

Easter holidays off to a chaotic start

This was the scene Friday morning, as thousands of travelers tried to fly out of Oslo's main airport at Gardermoen. PHOTO: Avinor/OSL Gardermoen web camera

As many as 90,000 airline passengers expecting to fly out of Oslo’s main airport at Gardermoen on Friday were met with a chaotic start to their Easter holiday week. Flights were still disrupted after Thursday’s heavy snowfall, and stranded passengers who spent the night at the airport were clamouring for seats on Friday flights that already were full. […]

New Nobel boss hints at change


Olav Njølstad has spent the past three months settling into his new job as director of the Nobel Institute in Oslo and secretary to the Norwegian Nobel Committee. Now the mild-mannered historian is sending signals that changes loom in how the committee goes about deciding who wins the Nobel Peace Prize. “They won’t be dramatic changes, but […]

Snow paralyzed Oslo and beyond

Walking and skiing were among the best options on Thursday for anyone needing to move around Oslo. The city's entire bus system shut down because of heavy snowfall. PHOTO:

Oslo’s bus system shut down, trams weren’t running, some trains stood still and Norway’s gateway airport at Gardermoen, north of Oslo, finally had to close. Warnings had been issued about Thursday’s snowstorm, but it proved to be more than transport systems could handle. The blizzard that began during the night and built up during the morning […]

Farmer let his cattle starve to death

A Norwegian man living in the county of Nord-Trøndelag has admitted that he’s responsible for the deaths of 92 cattle on his farm in Fosnes. Police found between 70 and 80 dead animals in his barn late last week and boosted the death toll on Thursday. “We have now found 92 dead animals,” John Bjarne Falch […]

Solberg drops trip to Moscow memorial

PHOTO: Nils S Aasheim/Norges Bank

In the latest sign of frosty relations between Norway and Russia, Prime Minister Erna Solberg won’t be taking part in ceremonies in Moscow marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. It remained unclear whether anyone else will represent the Norwegian government at the ceremonies set for May 9. Solberg wasn’t commenting directly on her […]

‘White-out’ over southern Norway

The snow was blowing sideways in Oslo early Thursday morning, and visibiity was poor here at Vika. The buildings of Tjuvholmen and Aker Brygge just two blocks away were shrouded in the snowstorm. PHOTO:

UPDATED: There were “white-out conditions” over most of southern and eastern Norway Thursday morning, with lots of snow and wind resulting in numerous traffic accidents and delays in public transport. All bus traffic was halted in Oslo because of difficult driving conditions, and police warned of a “chaotic” day ahead. In an unusual move, all Oslo bus […]

Bookstore battle reaches a climax

Tronsmo book store

The last of Oslo’s radical and independent book stores faces an uncertain future, after it received an eviction notice from its state-controlled landlord. The eviction has set off great public debate in the Norwegian capital, and raised interesting issues in a situation that’s full of paradox. Nearly 11,000 people have joined a social media campaign to save Tronsmo Bokhandel […]

Criticism flies over failed Olympic bid

Børre Rognlien (left), Oslo city government leader Stian Berger Røsland and the city's culture and sports minister Halstein Bjercke kept pushing for Oslo2022 despite public criticism. Not pictured: Athletics boss Inge Andersen. PHOTO: Kulturdepartementet

Norwegian sports and city officials did a bad job of fronting their failed bid to host the Winter Olympics in 2022 and have themselves to blame for its lack of public support, according to a new report on the expensive Olympic project. The report suggests that the country’s powerful athletic lobby also needs to become more professional […]

Ombud assails Norway’s jails

Prison authorities are having trouble deporting foreign convicts from cells like this at the new prison in Halden. PHOTO: Justisdepartementet

Norway’s prisons are often described as “hotels” by foreign inmates who marvel over their single cells, some of which even have flat-screen TVs. Norwegian jails are not good enough, however, for inspectors from the country’s own civilian ombudsman who sees risk of “torture and inhuman treatment.” That’s something normally feared far outside Europe’s borders but […]