Coping with a ‘necessary crisis’

Some oil industry workers are feeling alone these days after losing their jobs, but their numbers are rising. PHOTO: Statoil/Harald Pettersen

The steep decline in the price of oil has already cost thousands of jobs in Norway and triggered uncertainty in a once-gushing industry, yet even the head of its national trade association calls the cutbacks “painful but necessary.” Some companies are catching the blame for creating the “oil crisis” themselves, while others are simply coping as best […]

Nobel leader has her eyes on the prize

Kaci Kullmann Five said her only real fear tied to her new role in announcing the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, and speaking at the prize ceremony in December, involves her constant need to monitor her blood sugar because of diabetes. She warned that she may suddenly need a sugary soft drink. That may be popular with her grandchildren, as she headed out Tuesday to pick them up and bring them home. PHOTO: Berglund

The new leader of the Norwegian Nobel Committee readily admits she’ll be battling “a lot of butterflies” when, less than six weeks from now, she’ll be the one stepping out from behind the heavy wooden door at the Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo to announce the next winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Kaci Kullmann Five is, […]

Aker job cuts signal new wave of layoffs

An engineer suspected of terrorism ties was arrested at Aker Solutions' offices at Fornebu. PHOTO:

Oil industry officials were fearing a new wave of layoffs on Tuesday after Norway’s large oil service firm Aker Solutions announced that as many as 500 employees will be losing their jobs. The large-scale layoff will affect full-time Aker workers at the company’s Oslo headquarters at Fornebu and at company operations in Stokke, Moss and Tranby. […]

Prisoners sent to jail in Netherlands

The Norgerhaven Prison is a high-security facility in the Netherlands where some of Norway's long-term convicts will be sent to serve their time. PHOTO: Justis- og beredskapsdepartementet

Around 20 Norwegian prisoners will already be in place in new Dutch cells when Norwegian authorities ceremoniously take over a key to the Norgerhaven Prison in Veenhuizen, the Netherlands on Wednesday. The first Norwegian inmates were being flown down on Tuesday. The controversial agreement to transfer Norwegian prisoners to the Dutch jail, because of an acute shortage […]

Embattled mayor goes back on leave

Bergen Mayor Trude Drevland has landed in trouble over her role as godmother for a cruiseship. She's also a big supporter of the city's football club Brann, which also has been in trouble during the past year. PHOTO: Wikipedia/Nina Aldin Thune

Trude Drevland, the embattled mayor of Bergen, has opted to take unpaid leave right in the middle of the municipal election campaign, after prosecutors decided Monday to reopen an investigation into whether she misused her position as mayor in connection with a cruiseship christening. Drevland remains the Conservatives’ candidate for re-election as mayor. In a […]

New disaster film packs cinemas

The new disaster film "The Wave" is an unusually realistic portrayal of how a pristine Norwegian fjord can be the site of a catastrophe. PHOTO: Norsk Film Institutt

UPDATED: Oslo’s large Kino Victoria cinema was packed Sunday night as audiences continued to stream into the weekend’s premiere showings of an eerily realistic new Norwegian disaster film. Simply called The Wave (Bølgen), the film depicts a tsunami roaring through Norway’s popular and scenic Geiranger Fjord, and the questions it raises about the probability of such a […]

Majority welcomes refugees to Norway

A new survey shows that an absolute majority of Norwegians support plans to take in at least 8,000 refugees from Syria, and many think a still-wealthy country like Norway should take in far more. The survey sends a strong signal to politicians advocating restrictive policies, as does social media response to recent spontaneous efforts to help those […]

Oil minister tries to stay optimistic

Oil Minister Tord Lien (center, on board the Ekofisk platform) remains bullish about the prospects for Norway's oil industry, despite the current slump. PHOTO: Olje- og energi departementet

After another week of low oil prices and rising unemployment, Oil Minister Tord Lien was grasping for bright spots in the industry he oversees. He finally found one on Friday, and claims he’s still optimistic about oil’s long-term future. Lien has made it clear that he remains bullish on prospects for the largest and most important sector of […]

Electric car craze keeps rolling along

Lots of electric vehicles were rolling towards Geiranger for an EV festival this weekend. Norway now boasts one of the largest markets in the world for the quiet cars.  PHOTO: El-bil forening

There are now so many electric vehicles in Norway that state authorities will soon run out of the special “EL” license plates made to identify them. A second series of plates is due to be introduced as electric car owners and fans gathered in the fjord town of Geiranger this weekend, to celebrate at an electric […]

Snowden may get prize at border

PHOTO: Berglund

Officials of a Norwegian academy devoted to literature and freedom of expression are considering handing over their already-announced annual prize to Edward Snowden this year in an unusual ceremony at the far northern border between Norway and Russia. That’s because the Norwegian government, under pressure from Snowden’s US homeland, won’t guarantee that Snowden wouldn’t be arrested if […]