Colourful opening of Sami Parliament

Two days after the new Norwegian Parliament opened amidst traditional pomp and circumstance in Oslo this week, the country’s Sami Parliament (Sametinget) opened in its own blaze of colour and with the monarch present. Both legislative bodies take their traditions seriously. King Harald V and Crown Prince Haakon were welcomed to Sametinget in Karasjok, Northern […]

Russians jammed flights’ GPS

Norway’s military intelligence unit (Forsvarets Etterretningstjeneste) confirmed to state broadcaster NRK on Friday that Russian military training exercises taking place across the border from Norway’s northernmost county of Finnmark last month jammed the on-board global positioning systems (GPS) of airline flights from both SAS and Widerøe. The Russians reportedly were practicing electronic warfare when the […]

Sea urchins cause problems in Tromsø

The airport serving Norway’s northern city of Tromsø has to deal with an unusual problem because of its location right next to a large marsh that extends into the sea around the Arctic island. Every day the runway is littered with prickly, stone-hard shells that housed sea urchins thriving in the nearby marsh. “We’re talking […]

Labour shifts position on Andøya closure

Several groups opposed to military restructuring in Northern Norway demonstrated in front of Parliament on Tuesday against looming cutbacks or shutdowns of the local home guard, the Andøya air station and a helicopter base at Bardufoss. Even though the Labour Party voted in favour of the changes, it now seems to be changing its mind […]

Massive emergency effort saved scouts

Things went wrong at a major gathering of speidere (scouts) in Northern Norway this week. Nearly 60 of them had to be rescued by helicopter during the night after they ran into problems on a strenuous mountain hike, and four were sent to hospital. Around 9,000 scouts from more than 30 countries have gathered outside Bodø in Nordland […]

Winds of fortune blow from the north

More record growth in its fishing and tourism industries, along with more looming oil and gas activity, have made Northern Norway the country’s current driver of economic growth. A new survey also indicates that the north will continue to propel the economy for many months ahead. “It’s full steam ahead here around the clock,” Adrian Jakobsen, […]

Parliament to study Sami, Kven history

All the political parties in the Norwegian Parliament, with the exception of the two government parties, now support a proposal to officially examine the history of Norway’s indigenous Sami and the country’s northern ethnic group, the Kven people. Both were all but forced to adopt the Norwegian language and culture for more than a century, a practice that King Harald […]

Military exercises underway in Arctic

Northern Europe’s largest air force exercises got underway in the Arctic on Monday, just as Norway’s Northern Brigade also kicked off a military drill in the area as well. The two are not connected and military officials have insisted that Russia should not view such exercises as a provocation. Newspaper Aftenposten reported over the weekend that the Russians, […]

Northern Norway’s counties to merge

Northern Norway has long been divided into three counties: Finnmark in the far northeast, Troms farther to the west, and Nordland between Troms and Trøndelag. Now Norway’s vast Arctic area will be divided into just two counties, after a majority in Parliament agreed on Wednesday to merge Finnmark and Troms. Helge Njåstad, leader of the parliamentary […]

Terror suspects grew up in Finnmark

Three young men who have been tied to Islamic extremism in the past three years all grew up in a small town in Norway’s northernmost county of Finnmark. They had all arrived in Norway as asylum seekers from former Soviet republics in the Caucasus and Central Asia, areas that have spawned several others who have carried out terrorist attacks abroad, most […]