Minister forced to defend her defense

Defense Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide was under attack again this week, after yet another report from military experts contended that Norway’s defense forces are woefully inadequate. NATO forces would of course be expected to help Norway defend itself, but the report is the latest in a long series of claims that Norwegian troops are unable to mobilize and […]

PST won’t specify Islamic extremists

Norway’s police intelligence unit PST (Politiets sikkerhetstjeneste) is facing criticism for its reluctance to be more specific about terror threats posed by Islamic extremists. Not only will it not attach a number to how many extremists may be in Norway, it didn’t pass on warnings that an Islamic cleric suspected of having ties to terror group IS was on […]

Car deals landed diplomat in trouble

A Norwegian diplomat serving temporarily as a high-ranking envoy at one of Norway’s embassies abroad lost his chance at becoming an ambassador after a spurt of lavish spending. Newspaper VG told the story on Tuesday of how the diplomat paid cash for a BMW and a Toyota, without authorization for either purchase. It’s the latest example of a diplomat exhibiting […]

Svalbard coal firm needs new bailout

Store Norske, the coal company that once dominated economic activity on Norway’s Arctic island group of Svalbard, claims that it’s once again teetering on the verge of bankruptcy. It’s seeking another major bailout from its owner, the Norwegian state. Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported that Store Norske Spitsbergen Grubekompani, a wholly owned coal mining subsidiary of Store Norske […]

Norway ‘shamed’ over ‘nuclear nod’

Opponents of nuclear weapons were claiming that Norway should be ashamed of itself, for once again failing last week to support a UN resolution to ban them. Another 123 countries had already agreed to negotiate a “legally binding instrument to forbid nuclear weapons.” Norway instead joined the US, Russia, Great Britain, France and 33 other countries in voting […]

Refugee arrivals now ‘historically low’

The numbers of asylum seekers who have made it on their own to Norway have fallen to their lowest level in more than two decades. Most of the decline is linked to closed borders in southern Europe that have prevented refugees from traveling north. New numbers from state immigration agency UDI (Utlendingsdirektoratet) show that only 2,380 […]

Foreign minister returned stolen Buddha

Foreign Minister Børge Brende traveled to Myanmar (Burma) this week, where he delivered a 200-year-old Buddha sculpture believed to have been stolen from the country several years ago. “Norway wants to contribute towards the return of stolen cultural objects to their countries of origin, in line with international agreements,” Brende said during a formal ceremony […]

Solberg eager to speak up at G20

Prime Minister Erna Solberg was among the leaders of countries invited to the G20 Summit in Hamburg this weekend. That gives her a chance to put forth issues that the Norwegian government wants to promote at the summit attended by leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies. There was no lack of demands before she left over […]

State cuts funding to the Islamic Council

Norway’s Ministry of Culture has followed through on warnings it would hold back NOK 650,000 in funding for the country’s Islamic Council (Islamsk Råd). The move comes after the council used state funds intended for “bridge-building and enhanced communication” to hire an office administrator who uses a niqab that covers everything but her eyes. Culture […]

Only nine border crossings are staffed

Norway has 78 border crossings along the vast length of the country, but only nine are actually staffed with border patrol and customs agents, news bureau ABC Nyheter reported this week. Even though the government has boosted border control, officials say it’s “impossible” to have guards posted from southern Sweden all the way north to Finland […]