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 […]

‘Sensible’ Brende back in Russia

Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende tried to dismiss his Russian counterpart’s greeting on Wednesday as a joke, but the words from Sergey Lavrov lingered: Brende’s first visit to Russia since Norway’s neighbour controversially annexed Crimea three years ago was, according to Lavrov, “at least a sign” that Brende and his colleagues had understood that they needed “to come […]

New airline faced delay on take-off

A new airline that’s launching routes in Northern Norway, FlyViking, took off for the first time on Monday morning. Its first departure from Tromsø, however, was delayed by stormy weather that continues to hammer the far north. The airline’s maiden flight from Tromsø to Hammerfest was supposed to depart at 5:50am, with its founder Ola Giæver […]

Two Italian tourists caught in Lyngen avalanche

UPDATED: Another avalanche, this time in the Lyngen Alps of Northern Norway, crashed down on a group of ski tourists from Italy on Thursday afternoon. One was rescued quickly, but the other was caught under the snow for nearly two hours before being found and dug out. Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that the Italian skier […]

Grandmother wins tough dogsled race in Finnmark

Elisabeth Edland, a 58-year-old grandmother who’s also a veteran dogsled racer, was first over the finish line in Alta on Tuesday as the annual Finnmarksløpet came to an end. She could hardly believe her victory herself. “Now I feel confident!,” Edland, from Nannestad just north of Oslo, told reporters after a rough last night outdoors […]

Oil minister ‘crazy’ to open oil fields

Fishing industry- and environmental advocates were reacting with disbelief on Tuesday after Norway’s new Oil & Energy Minister Terje Søviknes announced plans to open up a record number of new blocs in the Arctic for oil and gas exploration. “The man is crazy,” claimed Steinar Eliassen, director of the fishing firm Norfra. “This is completely incomprehensible,” Eliassen […]

Oil enthusiasm fails to dip on price fall

Oil prices have fallen recently and so has the value of Norway’s currency, the krone, but that’s not dampening enthusiasm for those who still view the oil industry as extremely important. Local officials along the coast of Northern Norway, meanwhile, are cheering the country’s new oil exploration bonanza in the Barents Sea. The government’s decision […]

Man killed in fox hunt

A 26-year-old man in Balsfjord, Northern Norway, was shot and killed while apparently out fox hunting Tuesday evening. Police have charged a 41-year-old man, who also was fox hunting, with negligent homicide. The 41-year-old told police he thought he was alone when he went fox hunting at Stormoen in Balsfjord, Troms County. “According to his own statements, […]

Norway and Russia friendly up north

Despite lots of tough official language and rising tensions lately, Norwegians and Russians continue to get along well in the northern area around their shared border. That was confirmed last week at the annual Kirkenes Conference and Barents Spectacle, two events that continue to cement strong ties and nurture good relations. Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende […]