Breakthrough in Philippine peace talks

Norway’s foreign ministry, which has been facilitating talks in Oslo this week for peace in the Philippines, announced a new breakthrough in the lengthy process on Friday. Both sides agreed to sign a declaration committing them to unilateral ceasefires with no time limits on them. Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende called the agreement “important” as the […]

Anti-gay campaign spreads new fear

Skeive sørlandsdager, pride flags

Someone is cutting down gay pride flags in Sørlandet (Southern Norway) and hanging up banners urging that the “homo-lobby” be crushed. The banners, at least, are “signed” by a right-wing extremists’ website ironically called Frihetskamp (Freedom fight). They’re clearly not in favour of gender freedom or equality. Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reports that the anti-gay campaign has sprung up […]

Reindeer giddy over mushrooms

Reindeer can often be seen on the road in the northern county of Finnmark, like here north of Alta. PHOTO:

It’s early autumn in Norway already, and the forests are full of mushrooms this year, some of them hallucinogenic. They’ve been discovered by reindeer out grazing, and sometimes getting higher than a kite. Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported this week how motorists in Sør-Trøndelag have seen some very unusual behaviour among reindeer who appear absolutely giddy. […]

Norway hails new pact in Colombia

Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende (right) and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon applaud a ceasefire signed in Havana earlier this summer between the Colombian government and FARC. Now they've agreed on a peace pact. PHOTO: Utenriksdepartementet/Kristi Enstad

Norwegian officials could breathe a sigh of relief on Thursday, after news broke during the night that the government of Colombia had agreed on a peace pact with the militant guerrilla group FARC. The deal climaxes more than four years of peace talks that Norway has nurtured for decades. “This is a victory for all the […]

Investors try to keep Rygge airport open

The Rygge airport at Moss is served almost entirely by Ryanair, which has come under severe criticism by labour organizations and politicians this week. Now state authorities are vowing a full review of Ryanair's operations in Norway. PHOTO: Moss Lufthavn Rygge

A group of high-profile investors, businessmen and a former defense minister are actively trying to ward off the looming shutdown of commercial airline operations at the Rygge airport south of Moss. They have political support from both state and local governments, but lack any firm deals to ensure more takeoffs and landings. “This is an investment of the heart, […]

Brexit briefing drew a large crowd

Norwegian government ministers invited business leaders to a "dialogue meeting" this week, on the consequences of Brexit. Interest was high, and business representatives packed an auditorium. PHOTO: Utenriksdepartementet

Norway’s government ministers in charge of business, trade, fisheries and EU issues drew a large crowd on Wednesday when they invited Norwegian companies to a briefing on the consequences of Britain’s decision to leave the EU. They stressed that they want Britain to remain Norway’s most important trading partner, also after the so-called “Brexit.” The […]

Pain of job losses acute in Stavanger

Some even darker clouds have been settling over Norway's once-booming oil capital of Stavanger. Next week the city will host another large Offshore Northern Seas conference, and that will help generate business, but thousands of laid-off oil workers are still suffering. PHOTO: Berglund

Two years after the oil and offshore industry seriously started slashing jobs, the sharp pain of job losses is now really striking many of those out of work and their families. Unemployment benefits are running out for workers laid off in the early rounds of job cuts, while a crisis center in Stavanger is reporting a worrisome rise in […]

Northerners fight for military bases

Military exercises will continue in Northern Norway, like here in Finnmark, but reorganization plans call for the controversial shutdown of several bases and operations. PHOTO: Forsvaret/Frederik Ringnes

Critics of government plans to restructure and relocate military operations in Northern Norway were trooping into an open hearing at the Parliament this week, bound and determined to preserve bases and the economic support they provide. Some even argue that the future of the army itself is at stake. Seven mayors and other regional leaders […]

Drama rolls over collector’s art

Stein Erik Hagen

Wealthy investor and businessman Stein Erik Hagen wants to share his vast private art collection with the public, and the state wants access to it. That’s about all they agree on, though. Hagen finally met with the government minister in charge of culture this week, after a summer of high-stakes drama that involves the future […]

Registered hate crimes rise in Norway

A Palestinian family has fled a small town in Southern Norway after facing death threats and attempted break-ins at their home. A Norwegian man was recently convicted for spreading hateful comments on social media. A man from Kapp Verde who has lived in Norway for 31 years was a target of verbal abuse while out shopping in […]