Arctic tax break offer sparks interest

The mayor of the small town of Bø in Vesterålen, Northern Norway, was in Oslo on Monday to futher promote his local council’s decision to cut fortune taxes as a means of attracting investment. Not as much promotion as he’d thought was needed, though, after a major British paper picked up on the tax break […]

Air ambulances grounded again

After finally settling technical problems tied to its fleet of air ambulances in Northern Norway, ambulance operator Babcock now faces another problem: sick pilots. The lack of pilots to fly Babcock’s air ambulances left them grounded again this week. “This is an unfortunate situation,” Maria Jahrmann Bjerke, a state secretary in the health ministry, told […]

North Cape finally freed for visitors

Norwegians and tourists alike have received a surprise Christmas gift, after the county governor of Troms og Finnmark decided that hotel and real estate company Scandic can no longer charge admission fees to Norway’s famed North Cape plateau. The ruling overrides an earlier agreement between Scandic and the local municipal council. High admission fees to […]

More arrests for king crab crime

Police have conducted more raids against a criminal network suspected of illegally trapping king crab and selling the crabs nationwide. The network is believed to have generated tens of millions of kroner in illegal revenues. Several locations in eastern Finnmark were targeted between Thursday evening and Friday morning. Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported Friday that several […]

Hopes and tension at liberation jubilee

On the eve of Friday’s ceremonies marking the Soviet liberation of Finnmark in 1944 came word that a Russian commission was recommending a pardon for convicted Norwegian spy Frode Berg. As hopes rose for Berg’s release, however, Russia uleashed harsh criticism of Norwegian defense policy, marring the Norwegian delegation’s long-planned meetings with Russian Foreign Minister […]

Norwegian vessel sails to North Pole

Norway’s polar exploration heroes Fridtjof Nansen and Roald Amundsen never managed to sail all the the way to the North Pole, but a vessel from the country’s coast guard finally did on Wednesday. The ship’s captain and an Arctic researcher planted flags on the North Pole at exactly 9:32am. “It all went much faster than […]

Norway braced for Russian exercises

The Russian Navy is expected to launch “unusually high activity” off the coast of Northern Norway next week, after announcing more military training exercises in the Norwegian Sea. Three US surveillance aircraft have joined Norway in efforts to keep an eye on the Russians. “A large number of naval vessels are on their way from […]

Calls roll in for a train line to Tromsø

Norway’s Socialist Left party (SV) is calling “all aboard” for its proposal to build a long-sought train line to Tromsø in Northern Norway. The country’s train service currently terminates in Bodø, but the state railroad directorate has just concluded a study on extending it to Tromsø via Narvik. Called Nord-Norgebanen (NNB), the train line would […]

Toilet trouble torments tourists

They don’t like having to squat behind trees or rocks, and have been chided for doing so, but tourists in Norway often don’t have much choice. A lack of public lavatories at tourist attractions is causing problems again this summer, and reigniting debate over whether a tourist tax would help.  The situation is acute at popular […]

White whale’s fate subject to debate

The tame white whale known as Hvaldimir disappeared from his refuge in Hammerfest late last week, only to resurface Sunday near Alta, more than 50 kilometers away. Debate flew during the weekend over whether he should be escorted back to Hammerfest and cared for by researchers and minders, or allowed to chart his own course. […]