No foreigners eyed for Nobel committee

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has long been relatively anonymous, but is now subject to a storm of attention in Norway. This photo was taken at last year's awards ceremony. From left: Chairman Thorbjørn Jagland, the 2013 winner from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Ahmet Üzümcü; Kaci Kullmann Five, Inger-Marie Ytterhorn, Berit Reiss-Andersen, and Gunnar Stålsett. At far right, outgoing committee secretary Geir Lundestad. PHOTO: Utenriksdepartementet

Norway’s Conservative Party, which will be able to nominate two new members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee this autumn, has now ruled out considering anyone who’s not Norwegian. The Conservatives also won’t insist that veteran Labour Party politician Thorbjøn Jagland be dumped as the committee’s chairman. According to the will of Nobel Prize benefactor Alfred Nobel, the five-member committee […]

State budget battle begins in earnest

Prime Minister Erna Solberg (right) and Finance Minister Siv Jensen face tough weeks ahead, as they battle not only with the opposition over their proposed state budget, but also with their own support parties. PHOTO: NTB Scanpix

Prime Minister Erna Solberg got a taste this week of the state budget battle her government faces this autumn. A united opposition, including her government’s so-called “support parties,” grilled her in Parliament on Wednesday, while her own support party leaders accused her of poor leadership. Attacks on the conservative government’s budget were expected from the socialist parties like […]

‘Norway’s oil age is not over,’ yet

Oil Minister Tord Lien on Ekofisk platform

Tord Lien, Norway’s government minister for oil and energy, isn’t letting himself be overly concerned by the recent, some say dramatic, fall in oil prices. Lien believes oil companies will continue to be interested in tapping into Norway’s large oil reserves, and that there are still large amounts of oil and gas off Norway just waiting […]

Child’s murder unleashes police critics

A 32-year-old man from Lithuania was ordered held in custody for at least four weeks on Wednesday, after police charged him Tuesday with the murder of an eight-year-old girl in western Norway three years ago. Critics complain the police badly botched their initial investigation of the child’s death, which they’d ruled a suicide, and the case has […]

Union wants to oust Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways, shown here taking off from Oslo's main airport at Gardermoen, should be banned from serving Norway because its working conditions violate human rights, claims Norwegian labour union Parat. PHOTO Oslo Lufthavn AS/Espen Solli

The head of the labour organization representing many airline employees in Norway, Parat, is calling on Norwegian authorities to revoke Qatar Airways’ right to operate flights from Norway because of the way it treats its employees. Vegar Einan claimed the airline “systematically undermines the rights of its workers.” Einan, who earlier has been part of legal challenges […]

Finally some good news from Yara

Yara plans to greatly expand production capacity at its plant in Porsgrunn, about a two-hour drive southwest of Oslo. PHOTO: Yara International

One of Norway’s largest companies, fertilizer producer Yara International, could finally report some good news on Wednesday after being caught up in a corruption scandal and, most recently, top executive drama. Yara announced that it was preparing to greatly expand production capacity at one of its major plants in Norway and could also report strong quarterly earnings. Yara […]

Russians visit as tensions rise

Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende (left) met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow last month. Bans on Norwegian salmon exports to Russia were on their agenda.  PHOTO: Utenriksdepartementet/Kristin Enstad

NEWS ANALYSIS: While Sweden’s military continued to hunt this week for what many fear could be a Russian submarine in Swedish territorial waters, concerns are rising in Norway over military preparedness in the Arctic. Tensions are high on the eve of a meeting between Norway’s and Russia’s foreign ministers in Norway’s most northern county of Finnmark this […]

Aurland shoes still surviving in style

The classic Aurland shoe, which inspired the American penny loafer, has become a fashion object, selling in a wide variety of colors. PHOTO:

They inspired the American penny loafer and were meant to be practical, locally made shoes. Now the small Aurland Shoe Factory that’s still making them in the scenic fjordside Norwegian town by the same name is celebrating its 75th anniversary, in style. Aurland, located in the mountainous county of Sogn og Fjordane, could once boast fully 19 shoe factories. Today Aurland […]

Ebola doctor now ‘fully recovered’

Dr Silje Lehne Michalsen appeal has made a full recovery from ebola and urged the world to do much, much more to help ebola victims in West Africa. Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) carried her first, and apparently only, public appearance live on national TV Monday evening. PHOTO: NRK

Norway’s first and, so far, only ebola patient made a surprise appearance at a press conference in Oslo Monday afternoon, after being released not only from the high-isolation ward where she’d been recovering from the deadly virus but also from the hospital itself. Doctors at Oslo University Hospital Ullevål declared her “completely healthy,” but she had a serious […]

TV charity drive broke all records

Sunday's major annual charity drive in Norway raised NOK 240 million to fund clean water projects in eight countries, to relieve people like those in this photo who must walk miles to obtain water every day. PHOTO Kirkens Nødhjelp/NRK

One person paid just over NOK 100,000 to have lunch with Finance Minister Siv Jensen, with a tour of the finance ministry afterwards. Someone else paid NOK 205,500 for a trip to the remote Arctic Island of Jan Mayen, accessible only by military aircraft. Lots of other unusual bidding and generous giving among the general […]