Oslo court orders alleged spy’s release

A court in Oslo didn’t go along on Thursday with a request by Norway’s police intelligence service PST to keep an alleged Russian spy in custody any longer. Mikhail Botsjkarjov, a Russian security expert at Russia’s parliament in Moscow, said he now wants to travel home as soon as possible. PST (Politiets sikkerhetstjeneste) had sought to […]

MP caught cheating on his expenses

UPDATED: A Member of Parliament for the Progress Party has admitted to submitting fraudulent expense accounts, after newspaper Aftenposten discovered how he had turned in a series of undocumented claims for reimbursement. MP Mazyar Keshvari, who sits on the Parliament’s own disciplinary committee, was himself reported to police on Thursday afternoon for collecting tens of […]

State visit ‘renews’ Chinese friendship

Norway’s King Harald V got some support from Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday, both in the literal and figurative sense. Xi reportedly slowed his pace and helped the 81-year-old monarch up some stairs during state visit ceremonies in Beijing, and confirmed that the two countries are friends again. “With this visit we are renewing […]

King to speak up while in China

Norway’s King Harald V was winning praise after he said he would bring up human rights concerns during a meeting with China’s authoritarian president Xi Jinping this week. Norway’s leader of Amnesty International called the king’s stated intention to be on the offensive “very gratifying.” The monarch, who is on a state visit to China […]

Teenagers have stopped smoking

Hardly any Norwegian teenagers smoke cigarettes any longer. After 20 years of tough restrictions against smoking, it seems today’s youngest generation never started in the first place. New statistics from a health care survey in the central Norwegian county of Trøndelag showed that the number of daily smokers aged 13 to 19 has fallen 11 […]

Poverty grabs the political spotlight

There’s been a lot of talk lately about poverty in the world’s wealthiest country. It’s not the poverty that Norway’s huge foreign aid budget hopes to alleviate but rather a relative sort that still exists in Norway itself, and opposition politicians are highlighting it for all it’s worth. Debate climaxed this week with the release […]

State budget’s everyday effects

Details of the government’s state budget proposal this week will have an effect on the everyday lives of most Norwegians if they win majority support in Parliament. Here’s a rundown of some of the highlights: There won’t be any increase in Norway’s 25 percent VAT (called moms in Norwegian) but there will be some slight […]

NATO exercise grows in size and scope

Another 6,000 US soldiers will be joining the huge NATO exercise that formally gets underway in Norway later this month. They’ll be arriving on the USS Harry S Truman, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier that’s bound to make waves. Norwegians generally have an aversion to anything nuclear-powered and don’t like it when either US or Russian […]

Giant skyscraper plan meets fury

Local opposition is strong to wealthy Norwegian industrialist Kjell Inge Røkke’s plans to build a skyscraper at Fornebu in Bærum, west of Oslo. Residents literally in the shadow of the 60-story building are already calling it Norway’s version of Trump Tower. “We are outraged over these plans,” Anne Greve, deputy leader of an organization representing […]

Moment of silence after MP’s death

All Members of Parliament and others in the elaborate chamber stood silently at the opening of Monday’s session, in tribute to a fellow MP who died over the weekend. Ivar Odnes, who represented Oppland County for the Center Party, died Friday after a brief but brutal illness. Odnes, age 55, had reported himself in September […]