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24. Juni 2004  
Summer holidays!

I'm going on holiday tomorrow, on friday 25th. To Scotland for one week and then to Eire to visit my son, Thomas who is living and working (at Xerox) there, for 8 days. Then I have three more weeks off, but I haven't decided what to do in those weeks yet. Anyway, no work until 2. august!

Maybe I will post some entries and/or photographs, but it's highly unlikely.

Have a nice summer, see you in august!

Personal [13:46]   TrackBack (0)


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22. Juni 2004  
Tobacco firm comes to smokers' aid

Warm smokersA new Norwegian smoking ban in restaurants and bars has led to increasing numbers of smokers heading outside to puff away. Now a major tobacco producer is sponsoring outdoor heating lamps to keep them warm.

Tiedemann's Tobacco Co is giving the lamps free to Oslo bars and cafes that can't allow their patrons to smoke inside their establishments any longer. "We saw that smokers were heading outdoors," Jan Robert Kvam of Tiedemann's told newspaper Aftenposten Aften. "We wanted to help out."

Oslo was enjoying warm summer weather when the smoking ban first took effect on June 1, but temperatures have plummeted in the past week. Now, with thermometers hovering around 10C (50F) in the evening, smokers shiver while puffing outside.

Tiedemann's claims local bars and cafes have gratefully accepted the heating lamps, and its spokesman rejects suggestions the lamps violate the tough new anti-smoking law, or even the spirit of it.

"As a supplier of tobacco products, this is not a problem for us," he said. "We're getting constant requests from our customers."

Kvam won't say how many heaters Tiedemann's has given away to allow smokers to keep smoking more comfortably. Nor will he say how much the tobacco producer is investing in the project.

He views the heaters strictly as an urban phenomenon, and says Tiedemann's won't give them to bars and cafes all over the country.

While Kvam doesn't see any problem with accommodating smokers outside cafes and bars, it remains to be seen whether neighbors and non-smokers agree. Some local residents are growing irritated that smokers are spilling out onto local sidewalks, leaving the air fresher inside the bars than it is outside.

Via Aftenposten News in English. Photo by Dag Grundseth.


19. Juni 2004  
Bush adds Ministry of Silly Walks to Cabinet


sillywalk.jpg

President Bush recently announced the creation of a new cabinet-level department, the Ministry of Silly Walks, in his ongoing effort to battle terrorism. Following the announcement, the president and newly-nominated Secretary Cleese, demonstrated the "Silly Walk to Victory Against Terrorism" which will be performed during the opening ceremonies at the Republican National Convention, followed by a three-hour tribute to Ronald Reagan.

Found at american idle.


17. Juni 2004  
We all have a twin somewhere
Separated at birth

Everyone in Hollywood has a Cleavage Double!

Found at american idle.

Bizarr [14:24]   TrackBack (0)


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16. Juni 2004  
Case dropped against Krekar

KrekarNorwegian authorities have opted against indicting controversial immigrant Mullah Krekar on charges he financed terrorism and was involved in political murders in northern Iraq. Dropping the case may help clear the way for Norway to deport Krekar back to Iraq.

Mullah Krekar's fate remains unclear but Norwegian authorities now may be able to deport him.

Norway's cabinet minister in charge of immigrant matters, Erna Solberg, has repeatedly said she wants to get Mullah Krekar out of Norway. She has called him an endangerment to national security, while it's long been suspected that he violated the terms of the asylum he was granted in Norway more than 10 years ago.

Sending Krekar out of the country, however, hasn't been easy. His case has drowned in complicated legal maneuverings and it appears Krekar and his family would just as soon stay in Norway, at taxpayer expense, instead of moving back to an uncertain future in Iraq.

The political chaos in Iraq has been among the major factors preventing his deportation. Norway on principle won't send refugees, legitimate or not, back to countries where their lives may be in danger. Moreover, it remains unclear to whose authority Krekar would be transferred: US-led coalition forces or a new fledgling Iraqi self-governance system.

Nor will Norway send refugees or even convicted criminals back to countries where they may face a death penalty. At present, Iraq has no death penalty, but if one is put back in place under Iraqi rule, Krekar could likely avoid returning.

{mer...}

11. Juni 2004  
Names

Just in case:

This is my hobbit-name: Berilac Knotwise of Michel Delving and
this is my elf name: Amras Ancalimé.

So if I'm ever in Middle-earth, I know what to call myself!


9. Juni 2004  
Wants to drop agreement on fighter planes.

Joint Strike FighterThe Norwegian Progress Party (Frp) requests that Norway withdraws from participation agreement with the United States on the development of the fighter Joint Strike Fighter.

Norway has invested 200 millions Norwegian crowns to obtain assignments for the Norwegian industry, without any result.

Progress Party representative Per Ove Width requires that Norway immediately withdraws from the agreement with Aeronautics Company Lockheed Martin.

"We have received no assignments, though we have invested large sums of money. Enough is enough", said Width to the Norwegian Television Channel (NRK).

The Norwegian Labor Party (Ap) and the Norwegian Federation of Trade Unions (LO) are also critical towards the contract.

"Purchasing fighters without a re-purchasing agreement is not in our interest. We expect to receive a concrete offer from Lockheed Martin within this autumn," said LO vice-president Roar Fløtten.

The Defence Committee will present their recommendation for a long-term proposition about the Norwegian Defence Monday. There may be a majority in favour of withdrawing from the cooperation agreement with the Americans. However the Ministry of Defence (FD) wants to pursue the contract.

"If we withdraw from the project at this point, we will get no industrial benefit out of it," said Norwegian Conservative Party's Bård Glad Petersen, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Ministry of Defence.

Via Nettavisen News in English.


8. Juni 2004  
Rapists agree to chemical castration

Four convicted rapists and pedofiles in the Trondheim area have agreed to let themselves be treated with hormones to block their production of testosterone. It's the first time the so-called "chemical castration" is being used in Norway.
Newspaper Dagsavisen reported Monday that the treatments are voluntary and aimed at putting the brakes on the men's sex drive. Doctors say it will return if the treatments are stopped.

The four men already have undergone six months of group therapy. A local psychologist and researcher said the four sex offenders thus are ready to begin hormone treatments.

The goat is to prevent them from committing more sexual assaults. Among the offenders are men who have sexually attacked young boys.

Those agreeing to the treatment, however, won't be released from custody earlier nor will they receive other advantages. Treatments can continue after the offenders are released, if they request them.

State officials are now sending out information on the treatment project to all Norwegian prisons. Those signing up will be transferred to a prison in Trondheim, which is offering the treatment in cooperation with St Olav's Hospital in Trondheim.

Denmark has conducted voluntary hormone treatments on 25 sex offenders since 1989. None has committed a sexual assault after treatment.

Via Aftenposten News in English.


1. Juni 2004  
Smoking goes up in smoke

A lost causeIn a country where members of the royal family puffed away for years, it hasn't been easy to introduce smoking bans. But prohibitions started filtering in several years ago and as of June 1, it's now illegal to smoke anyplace in Norway where food and drink are served. That includes the royal palace.

King Harald kicked the habit recently after getting a cancer diagnosis. Crown Princess Mette-Marit and Princess Martha Louise reportedly quit when they both became pregnant.

Now the royal palace itself will "in principle" be smoke-free, claims a spokeswoman, and all ashtrays were removed over the weekend.

The "in principle" qualifier, however, indicates that it remains unsure what palace officials will do if the Queen of Denmark or the president of Norway's parliament, both heavy smokers, light up doing a palace banquet. It's unlikely they'll be forced to step outside, like office workers have done since a smoking ban was imposed on Norwegian workplaces in the mid-1990s.

Meanwhile, most restaurants and bars in Norway, which vigorously opposed the extended ban when it was first proposed, now are going along with it and even are trying to look on the bright side. Gone are most of the doomsday predictions that a smoking ban would ruin their business, and several acknowledge that many customers were looking forward to smoke-free restaurants.

One popular eating establishment greeted the ban by placing baskets of candy on the table when ashtrays were removed. Others point to smoking bans long in place elsewhere, like California, which haven't destroyed the bar and restaurant industry.

Meanwhile, Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) noted Tuesday that it will still be legal to smoke on board the cruise-ferries between Norway and Denmark. The smoking ban can't apply in international waters, but officials at one cruise company doubted passenger counts would jump as a result.

Via Aftenposten News in English.



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