Israel objects to any circumcision ban

The Israeli Embassy in Oslo is criticizing a decision by Norway’s conservative Progress Party over the weekend to support any proposed ban on circumcision of baby boys in Norway. Circumcision is a ritual within both the Jewish and Muslim religions, and the embassy called any prohibition of it “disappointing and unfortunate.” The party policy approved […]

Norway’s ‘success’ attracts North Korea

UPDATED: North Korea views Norway’s social welfare state as a “success,” according to an expert on the isolated country. That may be why talks are reportedly going on in Oslo this week between representatives from North Korea and the US. Both Chinese and South Korean diplomats have referred to the otherwise secret, “informal” talks, which have been […]

Norwegian leaders congratulate Macron

Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Labour Party leader Jonas Gahr Støre, head of the opposition in the Norwegian Parliament, were among those sending congratulations to the newly elected president of France, Emmanuel Macron. Both were clearly relieved that the leader of the right-wing National Front, Marine Le Pen, did not win, and wound up with […]

Solberg and Merkel plan for G20

Prime Minister Erna Solberg and German Chancellor Anglela Merkel were able to make some joint preparations for the upcoming G20 meeting in Hamburg this summer, when they met near Dusseldorf last week. Their meeting came after both had made an appearance at the opening on Thursday of Norsk Hydro’s new aluminum plant in the area. Norway is not […]

Dual citizenship wins a nod, but ‘no’ to circumcision

Norway’s Progress Party has become the latest to back dual citizenship, thus creating a majority in the current Parliament in favour of allowing Norwegian citizens to have two passports. The party, meeting for its national meeting over the weekend, also voted to ban circumcision, hijabs in public schools and surrogacy, after heated debate. The voting was close […]

Jensen rallies her shrunken party

Progress Party leader Siv Jensen left no doubt as she opened her party’s annual meeting on Friday that she’s determined to hang on to government power despite polls suggesting that voters are defecting. She offered up a long list of classic party policy in her lengthy opening address, with some new twists that directly challenged her opponents in […]

State slashes farmers’ demands

Last week Norway’s farmers demanded more than NOK 1.4 billion in state subsidy and other financial support. On Friday the state responded, with an offer that cuts the farmers’ demands by more than NOK 1 billion but still offers income growth higher than in most other work groups. Leif Forsell, the longtime leader of the […]

Curtain falls over drama at the Opera

All the top officials at Norway’s state-owned Opera & Ballet have put a lid on the latest management drama that’s already resulted in the looming departure of music director Karl-Heinz Steffens. They’re clamming up after incoming opera director Annilese Miskimmon, the target of Steffens’ ire, finally responded to Steffens’ criticism late last week. “I’m sorry that Karl-Heinz […]

Nobel Committee elects new leader

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has elected Berit Reiss-Andersen as its new leader, to replace the late Kaci Kullmann Five. Reiss-Andersen has been serving as the committee’s acting leder since Five died of cancer in February. The board held a meeting this week at which formal changes were made on the committee that chooses the winners […]

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 […]