New NAV boss gets down to work

Sigrun Vågeng

Sigrun Vågeng started her new job as head of Norway’s state welfare agency NAV this week, a post billed as one of the worst and most difficult jobs in the country. Given the rising unemployment rate in Norway, Vågeng likely will get more colleagues in addition to the 19,000 already under her wing. “This is a job […]

Kristoff finally takes time off


Norwegian cyclist Alexander Kristoff was celebrating the end of the racing season this past week by doing something relatively unusual: Taking a holiday with his family in the Bahamas. Kristoff had been favoured to win the World Championships in Virginia after his cycling season rolled off to a great start last spring. Even though he had […]

‘Rimi-Hagen’ comes out of the closet

Stein Erik Hagen

Stein Erik “Rimi” Hagen, who made his fortune establishing the Rimi grocery store chain in Norway, has long been one of Norway’s wealthiest and most high-profile businessmen. Now he’s also emerging as a champion of gay rights, and has confirmed publicly that it took him years to realize he was gay himself. Hagen, the chairman of industrial firm Orkla […]

Honduran priest wins Rafto Prize

Padre-Melo@Jeremy-Zipple_sm (1)

The Bergen-based foundation that awards the annual Rafto Prize for Human Rights announced Thursday that this year’s winner is the Honduran priest Ismael Moreno Coto, better known as Padre Melo. He was hailed for his defense of “freedom of expression in one of the most violent countries in the world.” The Rafto Prize jury cited Padre Melo, […]

Lundestad loses his Nobel office


The Norwegian Nobel Committee is apparently so angry with its former secretary Geir Lundestad that it has kicked Lundestad out of the office he’d been allowed to use after retiring last winter, also as longtime director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute. At issue is the new book Lundestad has written about his 25 years working […]

Star golfer met hatred on the green

Suzann Pettersen

Suzann Pettersen has been Norway’s star golfer for nearly two decades, but experts claim she now may be irreversibly tarnished. The respect she’s commanded suddenly dissolved into hatred after she controversially contested a putt during the weekend’s Solheim Cup tournament between professional women golfers from Europe and the US. At first she defended herself, but later apologized. The reaction to Pettersen’s decision to point […]

Bergen mayor charged with corruption

PHOTO: Bergen kommune

Trude Drevland, the outgoing mayor of Bergen, was charged with corruption on Friday as was the chief of Bergen’s harbour authority, Inge Tangerås. The charges climax a dramatic year for both the city and Drevland, who’s been on leave since police reopened their corruption investigation. At issue is whether Drevland and Tangerås misused their positions when […]

Northug wins a meeting with ski federation

Petter Northug

The drama around Norwegian skier Petter Northug, currently banned from the national ski team this season, took a new turn on Thursday when the country’s ski federation agreed to meet with the controversial champion. He won a new chance to try to cut a deal with the national skiing authorities, and also hang on to his lucrative […]

‘Swap hostage for Krekar’

Mullah Krekar

A social media campaign has been active in recent days, urging the leadership of the Islamic extremist group IS to turn over its Norwegian hostage Ole Johan Grimsgaard-Ofstad in return for the Islamic cleric Mullah Krekar, who’s currently in prison in Norway for making threats. Krekar, who’s also been deemed a threat to national security, […]

Crown princess also mum on yacht

Crown Princess Mette-Marit

Crown Princess Mette-Marit was also confronted by reporters this week who wanted to know who paid for her royal family’s luxurious holiday on board one of the most expensive yachts in the world this summer. The royal refusal to answer questions about the couple’s latest jet-set holiday is a sign, according to a Norwegian philosopher, […]