Nature lovers meet some opposition

At the height of the annual fall hiking and hunting season, doubts are suddenly emerging about Norwegians’ alleged attachment to the great outdoors. A new book is getting rave reviews for portraying an honest and funny aversion to hiking, skiing or spending time at Norway’s iconic cabins called hytter. Proud residents of Northern Norway, meanwhile, decry […]

Calls rise to invite Putin to Finnmark

Next fall marks the 75th anniversary of how Soviet forces liberated Norway’s northernmost county of Finnmark from the clutches of Nazi German occupiers in 1944. Local officials are steadily being joined by other voices around the country in calling upon the Norwegian government to invite Russian President Vladimr Putin to join the solemn anniversary celebrations. […]

Murder shakes a small Arctic city

Police in the far northern Norwegian city of Vadsø are baffled and residents stunned by the murder last weekend of a young Norwegian man, fatally stabbed while on duty at a local grocery store. The assailant is also a young man, one of many who fled Afghanistan and sought refuge in Vadsø three years ago, […]

Russia jails Berg for two more months

Frode Berg, the retired Norwegian border inspector who’s charged with espionage in Moscow, was ordered held in prison for another two months on Wednesday. His earliest release date has now been set for October 5. Norwegian journalists in Moscow were allowed to speak with Berg for a few minutes before Wednesday’s custody hearing began. He […]

Melting ice makes drilling ‘immoral’

A Norwegian researcher’s findings that the Barents Sea may be ice-free by 2040 has unleashed new heated opposition to Norway’s granting of licenses for even more oil and gas exploration. Environmentalists claim the drilling will be “immoral” also after the ice is gone. Ocean researcher Sigrid Lind has concluded in her new doctoral thesis that […]

Finnmark’s fight repeats history

NEWS ANALYSIS: A fight over the future of Norway’s northernmost county of Finnmark has hit fever pitch, with the local population battling a forced merger with neighboring Troms. A visit to an historic monument at the other end of the country shows how such struggles have gone on since Viking times, pitting the importance of […]

Huge majority votes against Finnmark-Troms merger

A referendum held during the past week in Norway’s northern-most county of Finnmark has resulted in fully 87 percent saying “no” to a pending merger with neighbouring Troms County. Even though the Parliament has decreed the merger, opposition parties are now calling on the government to halt the merger process. The referendum result came as […]

Finnmark fights forced merger

Residents of Norway’s northernmost county of Finnmark are so angry over the terms of a looming and likely forced merger with neighbouring Troms that they’ve threatened everything from civil disobedience to secession in recent months. Now they’re in the process of voting on the merger in a referendum, with the state government unlikely to respect […]

Air ambulances fly but problems persist

Norway’s air ambulances were cleared for take-off again this weekend, but conflicts involving their pilots remained unresolved. Neither the pilots’ union nor their employers’ representative could report any progress. The ambulance service has been in crisis since the company that’s run it for many years was outbid by a foreign-owned newcomer last year. The new […]

Air ambulance crisis grips the north

Norway is in the grips of an air ambulance crisis that has disrupted emergency medical service, especially in the northern counties of Finnmark and Troms. Members of Parliament are demanding immediate cancellation of the results of an ambulance service bidding process last year that generated all the turbulence. Air ambulances are a critical part of […]