NATO boss back home in Norway


Jens Stoltenberg was briefly back home in Norway this week, right when he could celebrate his first year as NATO’s secretary general. He’s busier than ever and the world seems a grimmer place, given the escalation of the civil war in Syria and Russia’s unwelcome interventions, but the man who ranks as perhaps Norway’s most popular prime […]

Norway and Russia met for own talks

After years of steadily improving relations with neighbouring Russia, Norway worries that things are changing during the second term of President Vladimir Putin. PHOTO: Utenriksdepartementet

Two high-ranking politically appointed officials from Norway and Russia met for talks in Oslo on Monday, a bilateral meeting that caught attention in Norwegian media. The Norwegians said they made it clear that Norway continues to oppose Russian intervention in Ukraine, and Norway is also concerned about Russia’s recent bombings in Syria, “but it’s important […]

Tunisians win the Nobel Peace Prize


The Norwegian Nobel Committee, under new leadership, surprised everyone on Friday by announcing that it would award this year’s Nobel Peace Prize to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet, for its role in building democracy in Tunisia. The winner had barely if at all been mentioned during weeks of speculation over prospective prizewinners, who ranged from Angela Merkel to […]

‘Historic continuity’ for new state hub

The 17-story building known as "Høyblokka" will remain the tallest building in the complex, with new ministries built behind and alongside it. ILLUSTRATION: Statsbygg/Nordic Office of Architecture

Gone are all the visions of fancy highrises, glass and mirror buildings and rooftop promenades: Norway’s new government headquarters in the heart of Oslo now looks most likely to feature what state planners are calling “historic continuity” and climate-friendly, economical new offices for reassembled ministries. Statsbygg, the state agency in charge of state-owned properties, unveiled drawings on Tuesday of […]

Nobel Prize week starts its roll

The Peace Prize initiated and funded through the will of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel will be awarded at 11am on Friday. PHOTO:

Nobel hype has been swirling as new candidates emerge for the Peace Prize that will be announced in Oslo on Friday. This year’s announcement is also bound to reflect a variety of new forces behind the prize, and perhaps some unusual unrest at the Norwegian Nobel Institute itself. As the Nobel Prizes in medicine, physics, chemistry and literature […]

Anti-terror exercise pointed up trouble

PHOTO: Forsvaret/Didrik Linnerud

Another anti-terror exercise aimed at testing Norway’s preparedness has revealed ongoing coordination problems between the military and the police. One terror researcher at the University of Bergen said the problems almost seem insurmountable. “I was a bit suprised that it (the exercise) went as badly as it did,” said Kjetil Stormark, leader and editor of the […]

Long waits to see new July 22 center

Public interest is so high in the new July 22 information center at Norway’s bombed-out government complex in downtown Oslo that officials are warning of long waiting times to get in. Some people are standing in line for over an hour to see the exhibits. The 22 July Center opened last week on the fourth anniversary of a […]

Future memorials to be toned down


The Norwegian government and victim support groups have held memorial ceremonies every year since a right-wing gunman killed 77 people on July 22, 2011, 69 of them on the island of Utøya. That will end with the fifth anniversary next year, according to the head of a national victims’ support group, who says it’s time to tone down […]

Labour’s youth group sees huge post-July 22 growth

The Norwegian Labour Party’s youth group AUF has seen its membership grow by more than 40 percent since it was attacked by a right-wing extremist on July 22, 2011. The attacks both on AUF’s summer camp island of Utøya and on the government complex in downtown Oslo clearly have inspired support. “I got involved because […]

July 22 victims’ parents still struggling

A new survey shows that 51 percent of the parents of those killed by a right-wing extremist on July 22, 2011 are still on long-term sick leave, or not back at work full-time. More than two-thirds are still struggling with intense grief, four years after the attacks. Newspaper Aftenposten reported Wednesday, on the anniversary of the […]