Big debut for new government complex

One of the more radical proposals would move the main entrance to the government complex to the square outside the historic Møller Gate 19 building. ILLUSTRATION: Snøhetta/Statsbygg

Six architectural and consulting teams debuted various proposals on Monday for the redevelopment of Norway’s state government complex in Oslo. The proposals will be on display in a pavilion at the site, which was bombed in a lone right-wing extremist’s attack in 2011. Spring is a time for new beginnings, and the proposals put forth clearly offer new and […]

Security guards: ‘We can’t do our job’

Security guards working in and outside Norway’s government ministries and at the residence of the prime minister say they can’t do their jobs, since they’ve been prohibited from carrying batons or pepper spray. Their ability to defend themselves and the offices they’re supposed to protect is thus minimal at best, they claim. “If someone comes into the reception […]

Refugee children as political pawns

Justice Minister Anders Amundsen of the Progress Party (left) and Prime Minister Erna Solberg of the Conservatives were all smiles when announcing the so-called "asylbarn" solution this week. In reality, though, they had to give in to the more liberal asylum policies of their smaller support parties in Parliament, the Christian Democrats and the Liberals. PHOTO: Justis- go beredskapsdepartementet

NEWS ANALYSIS: Norway’s long-running drama about the fate of rejected refugees’ children reached a climax this week, when the government finally agreed to “be more liberal” in cases involving children who’ve spent most or all of their lives in the country. The agreement came only after the minority government coalition was faced with losing the votes […]

The king’s defiance, and chaotic escape

King Haakon, Crown Prince Olav and government ministers had to run for cover during a bombing attack after they refused to surrender. PHOTO: Arbeiderbevegelsens Archive

As Norwegians recalled their wartime history this week, attention turned to the chaotic escape of Norway’s king, crown prince and government from Nazi German invaders in April 1940. A new account of King Haakon VII’s historic decision to refuse to surrender shows how it led to nearly two months of harrowing travel north from Oslo, that […]

Dramatic police operation draws flak

UPDATED: A routine eviction case in Østfold County on Wednesday evolved into a heavily armed police operation involving evacuations, sharpshooters, a bomb squad and the arrest of a man in Rygge, south of Oslo. Now some local residents are complaining that they weren’t evacuated as well.  “Many people were afraid and they didn’t get any information while […]

Alleged jihadists go on trial in Oslo

PHOTO: Wikipedia

Security was being boosted around the Oslo City Courthouse this week as three Norwegian men go on trial for their alleged involvement with The Islamic State (IS) in Syria. It’s the first case that directly charges Islamic extremists in Norway with having fought for or supported a terrorist organization. IS was included on the United Nations’ list of terrorist organizations […]

Fighting extremism among themselves

An estimated 1,300 people formed a "ring of peace" around the synagogue in Oslo on Saturday, at the initiative of young muslims. PHOTO: NRK screen grab/

The muslims who formed a ring around a synagogue in Oslo on Saturday are part of a growing movement in Norway that’s standing up to the minority of extremists amongst them. They’re tired of having to be on the defensive, and are now making public and sometimes loud statements that the extremists are hijacking and […]

19-year-old denies terror plans

A 19-year-old Norwegian woman who’s being sought internationally by Norway’s police intelligence unit PST denies she has any plans to become a suicide bomber, as PST fears. She reportedly married recently and left Norway just before Christmas. PST reportedly believes she has joined the ranks of young Norwegian Muslims who have become radicalized and headed off […]

Norwegians thirst for ‘Heavy Water’

This winter's TV series about the battle over heavy water in Telemark during World War II has been a huge hit. Among the dramatic scenes are those filmed in the mountains after resistance fighters parachuted in with supplies from England and Scotland, to sabotage Norsk Hydro's plant in Vemork. PHOTO: Filmkameratene

Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) set yet another record on Sunday evening, when 1.2 million viewers sat down in front of their televisions to watch the latest episode of a series entitled “Kampen om tungtvannet” (literally, “The Battle for Heavy Water.”) It’s the latest dramatization of one of the most heroic sabotage actions in Norway during World War II, […]

Krekar avoids banishment, for now

Muslim cleric Mullah Krekar won’t be sent to a small village in Trøndelag after all when he’s released from prison on Sunday. His defense lawyer turned in a 20-page appeal of the forced move to a court in Oslo on Friday, and the police decided to suspend Krekar’s relocation pending a court ruling. Oslo Police Chief Sverre […]