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16. Februar 2005  
Georgians convicted of white slavery

An Oslo court Tuesday convicted two men from Georgia of keeping two women as virtual slaves. The women were raped, held captive in an Oslo flat and forced into prostitution.

One of the men, convicted of human trafficking, pimping and kidnapping, was sentenced to 11 years in prison. Prosecutors had sought 13 years.

The other man was sentenced to four years for pimping and kidnapping.

The women, one from Russia and the other from Lithuania, were brought to Norway by the men and forced into prostitution from an Oslo flat. Neither was allowed to keep any of the money that their male customers paid.

Six other men were also convicted in the case, found guilty of rape and organizing prostitution operations against the women's will.

The case ranks as the biggest of its kind in Norwegian history.

Via Aftenposten News in English.

14. Februar 2005  
Bondevik accused of embarrassing Israel's leader

Prime ministers Sharon and BondevikAn Israeli newspaper Monday accused Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik of embarrassing his Israeli counterpart, Ariel Sharon, during a meeting in Jerusalem on Sunday.

Newspaper Haaretz claimed the embarrassment arose after Bondevik asked Sharon why Israel continues to keep Palestinian offices in East Jerusalem closed. Bondevik referred to a letter that Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres sent to him in 1993, where Peres wrote that Palestinian offices in the area would be allowed to continue to operate.

Sharon reportedly responded that he could also show Bondevik several letters with promises from the Palestinians that weren't kept, either.

Haaretz also reported that Bondevik put Sharon on the spot again when he took up the controversial issue of the security wall that Israeli has built inside Palestinian territory. The wall has been internationally condemned as being illegal.

Bondevik reportedly mentioned the case of a Norwegian woman who is married to a Palestinian, who no longer has access to a hotel he owns because it's now cut off by the wall.

Bondevik said later that Sharon "had nothing to give" regarding the wall, indicating Israel has no plans to bow to international pressure and remove it.

Norway has long played an active role in Middle East peace efforts. Bondevik is in the area to meet with both Sharon and the new Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas.

Via Aftenposten News in English.

3. Februar 2005  
Healthy, wealthy and sad

A new study finds that Norwegians, despite their beautiful natural surroundings, oil fortune and having the country ranked as the best place in the world to live, are the saddest people in the Nordic region.

"We have everything and that is basically all we have. The meaning of life is to do difficult things," professor Thomas Hylland Eriksen told newspaper Dagsavisen. That is his explanation for Norway, regularly rated the best place in the world to live and one of the planet's richest nations, only finishing 14th in a study of world happiness.

"We don't have what is needed to be happy. We need something to aspire to, a project, a hope. Look at children, they can build the most complicated things. But when they are finished they tear them down, it isn't interesting any more. It was getting there that was fun, Eriksen said.

On a scale of 1-10, where one is deep depression and 10 dizzying happiness, Norwegians manage a score of 7.4 on the World Database of Happiness, a major scientific comparison of the state of cheer in 90 countries.

Stiig Broby, head of the Association of Danish Interests in Norway, has been puzzled by his nine years of living in Norway.

"Norway is one of the world's most prosperous nations. One should also be one of the most satisfied. Everyone complains about schools, the health system and Oslo Transit," Broby told Dagsavisen.

Researcher Ottar Hellevik believes that the steadily rising standard of living undermines contentment by stimulating a desire to have even more.

"More people look upon material things as the source of happiness. But that joy is short-lived, so it becomes an endless race, full of frustrations," Hellevik said.

Via Aftenposten News in English.

21. Desember 2004  
Norway condemns Iranian death sentence

Jan PetersenThe Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Jan Petersen condemns the planned execution of 19-year-old Leyla M in Iran.

The Iranian ambassador was called in to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Monday to explain the situation. 19-year-old Leyla M., who is mentally underdeveloped, has been sentenced to hanging for adultery.

Petersen said that he is appalled by the sentence.

"I think it's a terrible and unbelievable sentence, and this is why we protest it," Petersen said to TV 2 Nyhetene. "We have joined both the EU protest against Iran and we called the Iranian ambassador in Norway so that the Norwegian authorities could present its protest directly."

According to Petersen, the Iranian ambassador was informed that the sentence is unacceptable, and Norway urges Iranian authorities to overturn the grotesque sentence.

The Foreign Affairs minister also urges Norwegian companies that operate in Iran to hand over a formal protest to the authorities. However, both Statoil and Hydro, who are heavily involved in Iran, have informed TV 2 Nettavisen that they currently have no plans of protesting.

Petersen will so far not join an economic boycott of the country.

"Economic interests may also lead to a positive development of the country and I do not think a boycott in this case will lead us closer to the goal of getting an end to the death sentences," Petersen said.

In a press release, the Iranian embassy stressed that the country's Supreme Court will decide Layla's fate.

VIa Nettavisen News in English.

10. Desember 2004  
Peace Prize winner welcomed to Oslo

Wangari Maathai and Geir LundestadWangari Maathai of Kenya arrived in Oslo this week to accept the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday. She's a controversial winner, but she was warmly welcomed by the Nobel Committee and a host of dignitaries.

Maathai, who won the prize for "her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace," has a busy schedule while in Oslo. On Thursday she met reporters and criticized the US' war against terror.

She noted that Kenya has experienced several terrorist attacks, "so we know what terror means." She claimed, however, that today's war against terrorism was unfortunate because innocent victims were dying. She said she sought better ways of solving conflicts.

Maathai, a government minister in Kenya, also said she regretted making earlier remarks that offended some of Kenya's native peoples. She's been criticized for an alleged lack of sensitivity to Kenya's aborigines.

Maathai faced a series of meetings and appearances before she was to be formally awarded the Nobel Peace Prize during a traditional 1pm ceremony at City Hall.

The ceremony will be followed by an interview on CNN and then she'll be hailed by another traditional event, a torchlight parade through downtown Oslo that ends in front of the Grand Hotel, where the Peace Prize winner traditionally stays.

The Nobel banquet will also be held at the Grand Hotel Friday night. On Saturday afternoon, Maathai will be the guest of honor at a Peace Prize Performance conducted by Oslo schools, and then she'll also be the guest of honor at the annual Nobel Peace Prize Concert.

The concert, at the Oslo Spektrum arena, is being hosted this year by American talk show host Oprah Winfrey and actor Tom Cruise. Performers will include Tony Bennet, Diana Krall, Andrea Bocelli, Patti LaBelle, Sondre Lerch and Cyndi Lauper.

Via Aftenposten News in English.

8. Desember 2004  
Krekar accused of bin Laden praise

Mullah KrekarGerman media claim that controversial Norwegian resident mullah Krekar congratulated Osama bin Laden shortly after the terrorist attack on the USA on Sep. 11, 2001.

German media are now linking a speech given by Krekar at a mosque in Biara, Iraq, on Sep. 14, 2001 to an allegedly planned assassination on the Iraqi prime minister in Berlin last week, newspaper VG reported.

VG cited Berlin newspaper Der Tagespiel's story that German security police have arrested a man - Jassin F. - that they claim is Krekar's chief financial officer and secretary.

The reports, which were widely used by the German media, claim that Jassin F., an asylum seeker in Germany for six years, was arrested by Kurdish police in North Iraq with USD 40,000 in cash and a tape where Krekar praises bin Laden's terrorist actions in the USA.

German news magazine Der Spiegel said that the four suspects in the assassination attempt are all found in Jassin F's phone book and that both Jassin F. and one of the four are close personal friends of Krekar.

Krekar told VG that it was incorrect that he offered his congratulations after the attack on the USA but would give no further comment.

Krekars's lawyer Brynjar Meling believes the tape's contents may have been misinterpreted.

"I am aware of mullah Krekar praising Osama bin Laden on previous tapes but this is on recordings before September 11," Meling said.

Meling said he was confident that Krekar had already discussed all such recordings in detail with Norwegian special crime unit kokrim and that nothing criminal had been found.

kokrim said that their investigation of Krekar was over.

Via Aftenposten News in English.

7. Desember 2004  
PM challenged over ties to powerful Christian group in US

kmb.jpegOpposition political parties in Norway's parliament, from the Labour Party to the conservative Progress Party, are demanding that Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik, who is an ordained minister, explain his ties to a secretive, Christian "fellowship" based in the US.

Bondevik, who hails from Norway's Christian Democrats, has had ties to The Fellowship Foundation for 20 years, according to newspaper Dagbladet.

Norway's current ambassador to the US, Knut Vollebæk also attends meetings in Washington, and several members of the Christian Democrats (Kristelig Folkeparti, KrF) have long been associated with the group, according to Fellowship archives reviewed by Dagbladet.

The Fellowship Foundation has often been described as an arch-conservative, fundamentalist Christian "brotherhood" that has sought to influence political leadership for decades. Current members include outgoing US Attorney General John Ashcroft.

Now even the Progress Party, Norway's most conservative political party, is raising questions about Bondevik's participation in the group, as are the Labour Party and the Socialist Left (SV).

"Seen with Norwegian eyes, this is a reactionary association," SV leader Kristin Halvorsen said Tuesday. "When Bondevik participates actively in its network, he's signalling a political relationship."

Labour Party leader Jens Stoltenberg told Dagbladet that Bondevik should clarify his role in the group as soon as possible.

Bondevik told Dagbladet that he participates in the Fellowship mainly as a "private person," not in his role as prime minister.

He conceded, however, that a dinner at Fellowship headquarters in 2001 with the then-new US Attorney General John Ashcroft was linked to his public role. The dinner was never officially noted in Bondevik's agenda during an official trip to the US at the time.

Via Aftenposten News in English.

6. Desember 2004  
Security scandal shocks pilots

Shocked pilots demand that the Civil Aviation Authority - Norway and Avinor take action immediately and improve the security at Oslo Airport Gardermoen.

The management at Gardermoen decided to close the staff entrances past the security control Sunday after TV 2 reporters revealed how easy it was to get in through these doors and get onboard flights with a bag that had not been checked.

Petter Frde, leader of the Norwegian Airline Pilots Association, is far from pleased to learn that the security at Oslo's international airport is so poor.

I'm shocked, Frde said to TV 2 Nyhetene. This should be impossible. We who work in the environment have seen a gradual improvement of the security routines at airports, but this is a flaw and it should not occur. The Civil Aviation Authority - Norway and Avinor must do something, and I expect that they will do something immediately.

Via Nettavisen News in English.

5. Desember 2004  
Norway may lose its aviation certification

BraathensNorway may loose its international aviation certification next fall because the Civil Aviation Authority - Norway has problems recruiting enough people.

The Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) demands a full inspection of the Civil Aviation Authority - Norway after the formal decision to the office to Bod, reported the Norwegian paper VG.

The inspection may end with Norway losing its international certification because the Civil Aviation Authority - Norway have problems with recruiting enough professionals to Bod. The situation is reportedly particularly critical in the department which determines whether or not planes are fit for flying, reported the paper.

Director Per-Arne Skogstad said he understands the worry in regards to the certification.

If we do not manage to fill the positions before the inspection, we can not exclude that it may have consequences for the certification, but I am of the opinion that we will be able to fill these positions Skogstad said to the paper.

Via Nettavisen News in English.

26. November 2004  
Caged thief had to help police arrest him

SmartassA spectacularly unsuccessful thief was trapped and on display for arriving police, who needed inside help getting their man out and under arrest.

Police responding to the alarm found their suspect caged and waiting.

The 33-year-old broke into a pawn shop in downtown Oslo, but as he smashed the window at the entrance the alarm went off, sending an rolling iron gate crashing down behind him.

The thief was then trapped and on display while waiting for police to respond to the alarm. Nearly half an hour later, the law arrived.

"We have control of one person but he is not yet apprehended," the first patrol on the scene reported. "Well, there isn't much of a difference here really," head of operations replied.

But bringing their man in did take some effort as the lock resisted the efforts of both police and security guards to open it from the outside. The extraction of the caged burglar was only managed when police lent him their tools and he opened the lock himself.

"Don't take photos, that's double punishment," the man said while caged.

The 33-year-old claimed he didn't smash the entrance window, but had no explanation for his bloody hands or who else had arranged the break-in that left him trapped.

Via Aftenposten News in English.

17. November 2004  
Royal immunity suggested abolished

Law experts and politicians want to change the Norwegian constitution making royals liable according to the law like everybody else.

"The law should apply to everyone," said Kåre Willoch, former Norwegian prime minister, to the Norwegian paper Dagsavisen.

Prince Joachim of Denmark was filmed this weekend while he was driving close to 170 kilometers (105 miles) per hour on the freeway, gravely extending the speed limit. According to Danish law, he will not be fined because he is royal, something which has erupted into a heated debate regarding the royal immunity in Denmark.

Politicians, law experts, and others are calling for a similar debate in Norway, according to the people Dagsavisen has interviewed.

"The King is today instituted as a symbol, but we have seen the royals walk around with a frozen pizza, carrying a café latte", said Trond Nordby, professor in political science at the University of Oslo, himself a declared republican, to the paper. "As they lose their elevated distinction, I see no reason why they should keep their immunity."

Carl-Erik Grimstad, expert on the royals and deputy head at the Royal Castle, stated that the time has come for a constitutional amendment.

"I have for a long time thought that the immunity law is outdated and not adequate," Grimstad said. "It was originally a constitutional protection between the governmental powers and not a protection against ordinary offences that anybody can get themselves into."

Socialist Left Party's Ågot Valle and Siri Hall Arnøy sued this fall a proposal to change the law. However, since a constitutional amendment is required, it will at the earliest be viewed when the next Parliament is in place after the election next year.

Via Nettavisen News in English.

13. November 2004  
Norwegian weapon industry reports growth

gun.jpgNorway may be a peaceful nation, but it is one of the top nations when it comes to weapon export, according to numbers presented by Statistics Norway.

New numbers from Statistics Norway (SSB) indicate that Norwegian weapon export during the first three quarters of the year amounted to NOK 918 million (USD 146 million), indicating that the export has fallen somewhat from last years record. However, there is still a growth compared to previous years.

SSB reported that Norway is the world's sixth largest exporter of weapons. The list is topped by the US, Canada and Great Britain followed by Italy and France. However, compared to the population, Norway ranks at the absolute top.

During the first nine months of this year, Norway has exported military equipment to Spain for NOK 175 million (USD 28 million), to the US for NOK 91 million (USD 15 million) and to Turkey and Sweden for NOK 50 million (USD 8 million) each.

Some of the growth is connected with the development of the Norwegian of frigates in Spain, in addition to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

SSB used data from the customs declarations in order to compile the numbers. The statistics includes products in ordinary sale from Norwegian exporters to buyers abroad. Equipment which is delivered between Norwegian and foreign military powers as part of military agreements are not declared so they do not appear in this statistics. The same goes for equipment from Norway that Norwegian military use on missions abroad.

There are no secret goods in the Norwegian export of military equipment, according to SSB.

Via Nettavisen News in English.

11. November 2004  
Open for extended whale hunting

Whale huntingSocialist Left's group leader in the county of Troms wants to increase the hunting rights to include killer whale, sperm whale, and grampus.

Minke whale is the only type of whale which is hunted in Norway today, but in regards to the future of the Barents Sea, Pl Julius Skogholt, Socialist Left's group leader in the county of Troms, suggests expanded rights for hunting whale. Skogholt has a Master in Marine Management and extensive expertise on the issue.

Skogholt's argument is that if the fishing continues at the same pace in the Barents Sea, then a synchronizing should be conducted in regards to the fishing of other species as well. He states that more seal should be hunted as well.

It's about time to look at hunting other whales like killer whale, sperm whale and grampus as well, in order to create a proper balance between the withdraw of fish and the need to create a balance between the species in the Barents Sea, said Skogholt to the local paper Nordlys. We are actually talking about stocks that consist for several million animals.

Skogholt is not without support.

I'm in favour of us hunting whale, but I don't know enough about this to comment on this particular suggestion, but I'm willing to look at this, said Labor politician Martin Henriksen.

Via Nettavisen News in English.

30. Oktober 2004  
Cruise not welcomed to Norway by all

Actor Tom Cruise is going to host the Nobel concert together with Oprah Winfrey, but the Church of Scientology's most famous member is not welcomed by all.

It's really sad that the Nobel committee has asked Tom Cruise, it undermines the committee's good name and reputation, said Harald Heldal-Lund, who is an opponent of the Church of Scientology, to the Norwegian paper VG.

Heldal-Lund has written a letter of complaint to the Nobel committee.

The Church of Scientology is a criminal and destructive organization, and its only goal is to make money, Heldal-Lund said. The movement destroys lives and rips families apart.

Heldal-Lund stressed that it is neither people's personal believes nor Cruise he is after, but the church itself.

Cruise can believe whatever he wants, it's the organization I'm after, Heldal-Lund said.

Geir Lundestad, director of the Nobel Institute, said Cruise's religion is irrelevant.

We are just very please to get him here, Lundestad said to the paper. You have to separate between the work Cruise does and his religion. A person's faith is personal.

The Nobel concert is takes place December 10 in Oslo, and the event is already sold out.

Via Nettavisen News in English.

23. Oktober 2004  
Al Qaeda has roots in Norway

Osama bin LadenThere are clear indications that Al Qaeda also has roots in Norway, according to senior researcher Jonathan Stevenson at the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS).

Stevenson stated that research indicates that Norway is one of 60 countries where the terror network has cells. According to the Norwegian paper Dagbladet, IISS conducts independent evaluations of the security situation in the world, and they base their conclusions on intelligence sources, among other things.

In regards to Norway, we do not have concrete intelligence information to build on, but an evaluation of Norway's role in Iraq indicates that Al Qaeda also has roots in Norway, stated Stevenson to the paper.

Stevenson claims it is conspicuous how many times Norway has been mentioned by terror organizations as a possible place to execute terror actions.

About half of Al Qaeda's 30 top leaders and as much as 2000 of its foot soldiers are estimated killed or apprehended during the last couple of years, but IISS estimates that the network still has 18,000 potential terrorists in its lines.

Via Nettavisen News in English.

16. Oktober 2004  
Oslo again most expensive

While studies continue Norway to name as the world's best country to live in, capital Oslo is building a similarly strong reputation for being costly. The French newspaper Le Monde put Oslo at the top of its world list for the cost of goods and services.

The survey compared prices of food, lodging, public transport and bank services, among other factors, TV2 reported.

Oslo edged out Hong Kong and Tokyo for the dubious honor of world's most expensive city, with New York and Zurich following after.

"We in Norway have some of the highest wages in the world and one of the highest standards of living. Then it is also natural that the cost level is the highest in the world," Bjrn Erik Sttem, editor of finance magazine Dine Penger, told TV2

Via Aftenposten News in English.

9. Oktober 2004  
Environmental activist wins Peace Prize

Wangari MaathaiThe Norwegian committee charged with awarding the Nobel Peace Prize surprised almost everyone Friday, bypassing the favorites to honor a Kenyan environmental activist. Wangari Maathai is the first African woman to win the Peace Prize, and was clearly elated.

"I'm so grateful, I'm so happy!" she exclaimed over the telephone to Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). "I am absolutely overwhelmed. I did not expect it, this is the biggest surprise of my life."

Maathai, who also works as deputy minister of the environment in Kenya, was cited for her work as leader of the Green Belt Movement, which has planted millions of trees all over Africa.

When asked how planting trees can contribute to peace, she said that trees contribute to the environment and natural resources. "When resources become scarce, we fight over them," she said. "We plant the seeds of peace."

Maathai, who holds a doctorate degree, left a successful academic career to concentrate on her political activities. She said winning the Nobel Peace Prize will only increase her commitment.

"I hope (the prize) will show (to others) that commitment to a common good is worth working for," she said.

The Nobel Peace Prize, which will be formally awarded in Oslo on December 10, the anniversary of Alfred Nobel's death, includes a check for SEK 10 million (USD 1.3 million). Maathai said she initially had no idea what she would do "with so much money."

Record nominations

The committee that chooses the annual winner of the Nobel Peace Prize had a record number of nominations to sort through this year. The committee is appointed by the Norwegian Parliament under the terms of the Alfred Nobel's will.

Nearly 200 candidates were evaluated since nominations closed in March. Known nominees included the European Union, the International Solidarity Movement, Vietnamese human rights activist Dr Nguyen Dan Que and George Ryan, the former Republican governor of Illinois in the US, who gave amnesty to prisoners on death row.

The hottest candidate had been the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and its leader Mohamed El Baradei. Stein Tnnesson of the International Peace Research Institute (PRIO) in Oslo said earlier this week that he thought it was "about time" that the IAEA and El Baradei were recognized for their work.

The IAEA's main goal is to limit the spread of nuclear weapons, and it played a key role in the hunt for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. It also is currently active in attempts to control the development of nuclear weapons in both Iran an North Korea.

Via Aftenposten News in English.

3. Oktober 2004  
Norway mentioned as al-Qaida target

Ayman al-ZawahriAn audio tape said to be from senior al-Qaida official Ayman al-Zawahri called for organized resistance against invading "crusaders" in the Muslim world. The tape, aired by Al Jazeera satellite television on Friday, mentioned Norway as a US ally.

"We should not wait until US, British, French, Italian ... forces invade us before we resist, " said the man on the tape, adding that the United States and its allies had interests everywhere.

Al-Zawahri also mentioned Australia, France, Japan, South Korea, Poland and Norway, saying they had all participated in occupying Afghanistan or Iraq or Chechnya and gave Israel "means of survival".

"We can't wait or we will be devoured country by country ... a leadership for resistance should be organized to fight the occupying crusaders," he said, adding that Muslim fighters should carry on even if al-Qaida leaders die or are arrested. "The youth must not wait for anyone and must begin resisting from now and learn a lesson from Iraq and Afghanistan and Chechnya."

The tape also called for carrying out attacks against Israel and the United States "to liberate" the Palestinians, which he called "an Islamic duty for all".

"Limiting the battle to fighting only the Jews in Palestine and leaving America without attacking it, will not restrain America and the crusaders against us," the voice said.

Al-Zawahri is the right hand man of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. The voice on the tape sounded similar to previously recorded messages by him.

Via Aftenposten News in English.

30. September 2004  
I'm going to crash this plane

axman.gifA 34-year-old asylum seeker grabbed the control stick and screamed that he was going to crash the plane. In the fight that followed, he injured two pilots and one passenger with an axe.

Im going to crash this plane, screamed the asylum applicant who started the axe drama onboard the Kato Airline Wednesday afternoon.

Plunged towards the ground

In the chaos that emerged, the plane plunged towards the ground. The pilots did not regain control over the plane until it was about 100 feet (30 meters) above the ground.

It was very dramatic, said Tone Vangen, acting police chief at Salten police district, at a press conference Wednesday afternoon. The pilots managed in some amazing way to get control over the plane.

The pilots have explained that they were just above Tverlandet when one of the passengers had gotten up from his seat and into the cockpit. Here he attacked the pilots with an axe.

At the same time, he pressed the control stick forward so that the plane almost went in a dive. The pilots regained control over the plane, reported Salten police district in a press release.

Two of the passengers managed to drag the man out of the cockpit and force him down on the floor. They managed to keep him down until the plane had parked. Personnel from the fire department at the airport went onboard and retained the man. Personnel from Bod police station arrived shortly thereafter, according to the police.


25. September 2004  
No fine for apple peeling!

An Oslo chauffeur will not have to pay a NOK 6,000 (USD 885) fine he received for using a knife to peel an apple in a public place. Sverre Moen, 50, was arrested by two police officers in May as he was returning to his car to pick up a handicapped passenger after peeling an apple.

Police were reacting to a ban on carrying any kind of knives in Oslo. Moen, who had used a common tollekniv, a sheath knife that typically has a 10 centimeter (four inch) blade to peel an apple, was handcuffed and brought to Majorstua police station.

Moen was body searched and tossed into a cell where he waited four hours before receiving a fine.

The case generated much media attention, with police sticking to their grounds for action. Moen took the case to court and was cleared on Thursday.

"The hours in that cell were so traumatic that I needed medical help," Moen told TV2 Nettavisen. He got his knife back but plans to eat unpeeled apples when in Oslo.

Via Aftenposten News in English.

22. September 2004  
Aviation security fails

SignalgunOdd Harald Hauge went through two security controls with a pistol and ammunition in his hand luggage. Avinor, the company that owns 45 airports in Norway, is shocked.

Its comical, Hauge said. The history indicates that the security checks do not work the way they are supposed to.

Hauge, the entrepreneur, former editor and owner of Nettavisen, was on his way back from Svalbard to Oslo, when he forgot that he had a signal pistol and shells in the side pocket of his backpack. He did not think of it until he was unpacking his bag back home. He said he think the event was particularly ironic because security personnel have several times confiscated small scissors among his toiletries.

Located knife

Hauge was at Svalbard as a guide for a group of 35 people. He purchased the gun at Svalbard to protect himself and the group against polar bears. The pistol had during the entire stay been in his backpack, and he completely forgot about it.

At Svalbard airport, he placed the bag together with other hand luggage for x-raying before he boarded the plane. Nobody said anything, and Hauge took the plane to Troms. Here he changed planes and continued to Oslo.

In Troms he was stopped in the security check and he had to remove a knife from his hand luggage, but the gun passed right through.


Avinor is taking the incident seriously, but the company does not want to comment the story before it has been checked.

Its completely incomprehensible that this has occurred, said Ove Narvesen, head of information at Avinor, to TV 2 Nettavisen. We must obtain more documentation on this. It seems completely unlikely.

Narvesen stated that the x-ray system is supposed to identify guns. He said it sounds strange that the knife was discovered and the pistol was not.

If we are going to comment this, we have to investigate the case thoroughly, Narvesen said. We must know exactly what happen, flight numbers and so on.

Via Nettavisen News in English.

21. September 2004  
Local uproar over asylum policy

Norway's largest municipalities have begun to protest asylum policies that are creating a homeless population. Refugees that are refused asylum but either cannot or will not return home are turned out on the street, without rights. Local governments decry the policy as inhumane, newspaper Dagavisen reports.

According to new policy asylum seeker lose the right to board and lodging at an reception center when their application is rejected. The government then defines them as being in the country illegally, and the refugees are only entitled to nominal emergency aid.

On August 25 Oslo's city councilor Margaret Eckbo wrote to ministers Dagfinn Hybrten, Erna Solberg and Laila Dvy, who oversee social, local government and family affairs. She asked for a meeting in order to clarify how the City of Oslo should handle people ejected from state asylum centers, but has yet to receive a reply.

"When they do not go home we cannot let them live on the street. No one can live on the street. I want to cover their expenses until they can travel home. Otherwise the state must keep them in dormitories," Eckbo told Dagsavisen.

"The policy is excellent if these people just went back home. But we also have some that are unreturnable. The state says we should just give them emergency aid, which is NOK 60 (USD 8.67) a day, but that is untenable," Eckbo said.

In Trondheim, Bergen, Stavanger, Kristiansand and Troms local governments have voiced despair and disbelief at the government's apparent disinterest in dealing with the consequences of the asylum policy.

"I am astonished that the tragic consequences of what can happen have not been considered. When they are thrown out on the street without the means to live, the path to committing crimes to survive is short," said deputy mayor Pia Svensgaard in Troms.

"We cannot have people being thrown out on the street without anything to live on or a place to go. If this happens here, we must help. The government must sort this out," said Bjarne Ugland, deputy mayor in Kristiansand.

Via Aftenposten News in English.

17. September 2004  
Controversy over armed guards on airliners

Planes from several foreign airlines land in Norway with armed guards onboard. The airlines have permission from Norwegian authorities.

Deputy leader of the Judiciary Committee of the Norwegian Parliament, Gunn Karin Gjul, (Labour) has reacted strongly to the fact that permission has been given.

Director of the Civil Aviation Authority, Per-Arne Skogstad, confirms that there are armed guards, so-called Air Marshals, on several forign airliners that land in Norway.

-We have regarded it as a national concern of the individual airline's home nation whether or not armed guards are allowed, Skogstad says.

He says the weapons are handed over to the Norwegian police for safekeeping as soon as the airliners land on Norwegian soil.

Skogstad says there are no plans for permitting armed personnel on Norwegian airliners.

According to the newspaper VG, planes from Pakistani Airlines and Aeroflot probably have armed guards onboard.

Gunn Karin Gjul says she will question the Minister of Transport regarding the issue.

Via The Norway Post.

16. September 2004  
Number of asylum seekers halved

The number of applicants for asylum in Norway has declined by nearly half so far this year. Up to September, 5,238 people had applied for asylum here, 47 percent less than the year before, according to figures from the Police Immigration Unit.

"The decline in the number of asylum seekers is not unique to Norway. It is a tendency we see over nearly all of Europe. That is why it is difficult to point out concrete measures that can explain the decline," said information consultant Roar Hanssen at the PIU.

The largest group of refugees are the 824 (1,988 at this time last year) that claim to be from Afghanistan, who make up 16 percent of the total. Somalians are the next largest group, with 594 (1,584 at the same time last year) applicants so far in 2004, and make up 11.3 percent of asylum seekers.

In third place is Serbia and Montenegro, which includes Kosovo Albanians, followed by asylum seekers from Chechnya, Russia, Iraq and Iran. The PIU says that the pattern of the refugee stream is also changing. Fewer underage asylum seekers are coming to Norway.

"After we began testing the age of asylum seekers claiming to be under 18 fewer have come in this group. The reason is likely that the tests show that many of them who claimed to be minors turned out to be older than 18. Then the rules for gaining residency in Norway are different," said Paula Tolonen, division director at the Directorate of Immigration (UDI).

One thing that hasn't changed is the lack of passports held by asylum seekers. This remains around 94 percent, though some of these do carry some other type of identification papers.

The Norwegian Organization for Asylum Seekers believes Norway's tougher policies are having an effect.

"It seems as if Norway has gotten a worse reputation among asylum seekers due to its stricter asylum policy the last two years. Also there has been an end to the great catastrophes we have had earlier, like the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and in the Balkans," said Morten Tjessem, secretary general of NOAS.

Via Aftenposten News in English.

10. September 2004  
Norwegian flag burned in protest

Burning the norwegian flag in Sri LankaHundreds of Buddhist monks and Sri Lankan nationalists marched, demonstrated and then burned the Norwegian flag outside the Norwegian embassy in Colombo on Thursday, protesting Norway's role as peace negotiator there.

The activists demanded that Norway stop their meetings with Sri Lankan authorities and the Tamil liberation group LTTE, popularly known as the Tamil Tigers.

"This country belongs to Sinhala Buddhists, kill LTTE leader Prabharan," the demonstrators cried, according to Tamil web site Tamilnet.

Eight Buddhist monks delivered a letter containing 14 questions about Norway's involvement in Sri Lanka's peace process to the embassy, and a Norwegian diplomat received the document.

Sri Lanka's second largest political party has accused Norway of being partial to the LTTE and demanded India take over the role of peace negotiator.

Via Aftenposten News in English. Photo: Sena Vidanagama/AFP

31. August 2004  
Armed robbers were on leave from jail

Captured!Politicians were red-faced and pointing fingers Tuesday after the identities of armed robbers caught in the midst of another major heist became known. All have long criminal records and several were out on prison leave under Norway's liberal criminal justice system.

A rising crime rate in Norway is raising questions about a system that doles out relatively mild jail terms and then lets convicts out on leave after serving a third of their sentence.

Lars Harnes of the motorcycle gang Bandidos, for example, was serving time for torture, sexual assault and a string of earlier robberies when he was granted prison leave last week, reports newspaper Aftenposten. He used the leave to take part in the armed robbery of money couriers at the Aker Brygge waterfront complex in Oslo early Monday.

With him were two other convicts, Daniel de Linde and Petter Tharaldsen. De Linde, 25, is a right-wing extremist with string of convictions for assault, shootings, smuggling and robbery. He was out on prison leave when he allegedly took part in the armed robbery of money couriers for Nordea Bank in Oslo's Grunerlkka district in April 2003.

Tharaldsen, meanwhile, was sentenced to 21 months in prison in 2001 for an attempted bank robbery and later was arrested for a money courier robbery in December 2002. That case is due to come up in court in October.

Justice Minister Odd Einar Drum, who earlier has been criticized for being mild on crime, called Tuesday for a report on why Harnes was granted prison leave. He told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) Tuesday that he wanted to be sure the rules were followed.

He stressed that liberal rules for prison leave were recently tightened, adding that the government wants "to differentiate between those (convicts) who behave well and those who abuse the trust they're granted."

Bondevik 'disappointed'

Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik, who shook hands with Harnes at an anti-violence conference in 1999, said it was "disappointing" that someone who expressed a desire to give up a life of crime "is again involved in serious crime."

Bondevik called a recent wave of violent robberies "upsetting," and claimed his government would "strengthen its fight against violence and crime."

One key problem over which the politicians have little control, however, is what Norwegians call "rettspraksis," or court precedence. Few judges in Norway hand out the maximum jail sentences allowed under the law, while a lack of prison space allows convicts to go free while waiting for their terms to begin.

Via Aftenposten News in English. Photo: Heiko Junge / SCANPIX

17. August 2004  
Boris Yeltsin visits Norway

yeltsin.jpgFormer Russian president Boris Yeltsin has arrived on a private visit to Norway.

Although the visit is of a private nature, Yeltsin will on Monday have talks with Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik, followed by a lunch.

Yeltsin has also been invited to meet King Harald in a private audience at the Royal Palace.

The former Russian leader will the leave for Troendelag, where he will try his had at salmon fishing, NRK reports.

On Sunday, Yeltsin visited the Norwegian/Russian exhibition at the Norwegian Folk Museum in Oslo. The exhibition "Norway-Russia - neighbours over 1000 years" shows ewxamples of art, literature and documents from the long relations.

The first border treaty between the two nations was signed already in 1348.

Following the display in Norway, the exhibition will be moved to St. Petersburg

Via The Norway Post.

13. August 2004  
Treholt Olympic guest of honor

Arne TreholtFormer Greek foreign minister Georg Papandreu has invited Arne Treholt (photo) to the Athens Olympic Games as a guest of honor, newspaper VG reports. Treholt, a senior foreign ministry official and politician who was convicted of espionage for the Soviet Union and Iraq in 1985, was pardoned in 1992.

Treholt told VG that he would be present at the games as a foreign guest of import for the staging of the Olympics in Greece.

The controversy and coverage surrounding Treholt's trial for espionage is still widely considered the most traumatic post-war case in Norway and his sentence of 20 years was the harshest sentence of its kind in peacetime.

He was pardoned in 1992 and is now a businessman based in Cyprus.

Via Aftenposten News in English.

10. August 2004  
Bin Laden backer on his way to Oslo

hussain.jpgOne of Pakistan's most influential and religious politicians will travel to Oslo later this month to speak before local Muslims. His party has earlier hailed Osama bin Laden, and he's been denied entry to Belgium and the Netherlands.

The Islamic Cultural Center in Oslo's Grnland neighbourhood has invited Qazi Hussain Ahmed, leader of Pakistan's largest religious party, to Oslo. He's scheduled to speak at a religious gathering August 22 and before a Muslim students' organization from the University of Oslo two days later.

Ahmed has earlier make flattering comments about Osama bin Laden, and his party, Jamaat-e-Islami, also has hailed al-Qaeda members as heroes.

The party also has allegedly encouraged its members to shield al-Qaeda members who are fleeing US troops in Afghanistan. Because of this, both Belgium and the Netherlands blocked his entry as late as May of this year.

Officials at Oslo's Islamic Cultural Center claim Ahmed's ties to Osama bin Laden are inflated. "Who says he supports Osama bin Laden?" asked local imam Hafiz Mehboob ur-Rehman. "We don't think he's controversial. We don't support terrorism and stay on the right side of the law."

Mehboob ur-Rehman says Ahmed was invited as a party leader, but that he'll talk about "how we live in and out of Pakistan."

A party official said Ahmed doesn't need a visa to Norway because he is a member of parliament in Pakistan. The Norwegian embassy in Islamabad wouldn't comment on whether he has permission to enter Norway.

"We don't comment on who has applied for or received a visa," said an embassy official.

Via Aftenposten News in English.

4. August 2004  
Sales numbers up after anti-smoking law

Heated statements that bars and restaurants would remain empty after the anti-smoking law was instituted have proved wrong. Several establishments reported increased turnover.

Of the 50 establishments in Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger, Trondheim and Troms TV 2 contacted, 22 of them stated that their turnover increased in June and July of this year compared to last year. Only 14 reported a decrease.

Norway instituted the new anti-smoking law June 1 of this year, banning all smoking at bars, pubs and restaurants. The industry was afraid that the banning of smoking would mean a massive income loss, empty establishments and in the end, liquidations.

In Bergen, the hangouts Caf Clue, Engelen and Metro have had an increased turnover of between 10 and 20 percent so far this summer.

People who most often smoke, solve the problem by drinking more, said Jan Georg Syversen, manager at the company Sinco, to TV 2 Nyhetene. People rather take an extra trip to the bar than go outside to smoke.

The staff at Caf Sting in Stavanger stated that much of the sales increase is due to people who did not go out earlier because of the smoke, have established new habits.

Some people have allergies, others can't bare the smell. Now people can stop by at a caf or attend a concert without having their wardrobe smelling a week afterwards, said Marianne Nyhagen at Caf Sting.

Much of the sale of beer takes place outdoors in the summertime, but also several establishments that to not serve outdoors report increased turnover. However, the weather, at last in the southern part of Norway, has not been much for sitting outdoors.

Viat Nettavisen News in English.

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


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.

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.


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.

22. Mai 2004  
Norwegian Nazi-hunting a failure

NSThe Wiesenthal Center has prepared a report on the international pursuit of Nazi WWII war criminals. The document, which will be published later this summer, classes Norway's efforts a failure and gives the country a spot in the lowest group, newspaper Dagsavisen reports. Norway's statute of limitations is the main stumbling block.

The report grades countries from A - very successful - to F - total failure. Norway is in the final group, with Colombia, Venezuela, Sweden and lowest ranked Romania.

Norway has a statute of limitations of 25 years on all crimes, while international law puts no limit on the pursuit of genocide and crimes against humanity.

The Norwegian government is currently assessing proposed changes to legislation that would bring the country into line with the international stance on such crimes.

Professor of criminology at Oslo University, Per Ole Johansen, has researched Norway's post-war efforts to prosecute those who committed crimes against Jews.

"The great majority of those involved in the Norwegian persecution of Jews went free," Johansen said. He argues that post-war prosecutions were random and many of the worst offenders went free.

Via Aftenposten News in English.

19. Mai 2004  
Beer strike as of today

UtepilsOh my God! Summer's coming, all the open-air restaurants have a lot of beer thirsty customers and now this:

More than 2500 brewery employees went on strike as of Wednesday morning. As a result stores, bars and restaurants will soon run out of beer and mineral water.

The strike in the brewery industry became a fact when the parties had not yet managed to reach an agreement at the deadline, midnight Tuesday. Norsk Nrings- og Nytelsesmiddelarbeiderforbund (NNN) took out its 2560 members on strike. As a result, the production and delivery of beer, soda and spring water at 12 breweries and spring water producers nation wide have been stopped.

According to the employers, the strike hits companies that represent 96-97 percent of the beer and mineral water market. NNN predicted yesterday that there would not be any beer and mineral water left in the stores by the beginning of next week.

Subconciliator Siri Berg Paulsen presented at 1 a.m. last night a plan for a solution after NNN and NBL had gone one hour overtime, in order to prevent conflict.

The employer side recommended the plan as a solution, but the employers refused to accept it, and the conflict was a fact.

Eystein Gaare, union branch secretary in NNN, said that the subconciliator's plan did not include an acceptable solution on the fundamental question regarding hiring temporary personnel. NNN demands to have a right to have a say in when and to what extent temporary personnel is hired.

Our suggestions have been turned down all along, Gaare said. This is so important for us that we could not go back on this.

Director Carl E. Rnneberg in NBL said to the Norwegian news bureau (NTB) that the plan presented by the subconciliator was good and that they would accept it. He said that it was impossible for the employers to accept the demand presented by NNN.

They have demanded veto right in the evaluation of when workers are to be hired in, and we could not agree on that, Rnnberg said.

The following breweries are included in the strike that went into effect as of Wednesday 6 a.m.:

Aass P. Ltz A/S, Coca-Cola Drikker, Eden Springs, Grans Bryggeri, Hansa Borg Bryggeri, Lerum Fabrikker A/S, Mack Distribusjon AS, Mack's l Bryggeri og Min.v.fabr., Olden Brevatn, Polytech Emballasje, Ringnes, Telemark Kildevann AS, Trio Bryggeri, Voss Production AS.

Via Nettavisen News in English. Photo: Scanpix.

18. Mai 2004  
May 17th - Norway's Constitution Day

Click to enlargeMay 17th, is Norway's National Day. It is celebrated all over the nation, from the largest community to the smallest, with parades, bands, flags, national costumes, festival services and festivities with everyone taking part, marking the day in 1814, when Norway adopted its new constitution.

In Oslo, the children's parade is the main attraction, with all the city schools represented, 110 in all, each headed by the school's banner and brass band.

This unique parade has become a world attraction, and each year thousands of visitors from all over the world come to watch. A few were fortunate to obtain special seats set up in front of the Royal Palace, mainly reserved for diplomats and special guests.

The long parade marched up Oslo's main street, Karl Johans gate, to the Royal Palace, where they were received by the Royal Family standing on the front balcony, waving to the crowd.

(You may see my granddaughter, Ida, in the parade in Retropixels.)

King Harald and Queen Sonja were this year joined by Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit, and little Princess Ingrid Alexandra also spent a few minutes looking out on the cheering crowd.

Princess Mrtha Louise and her husband Ari Behn with baby Maud Angelica are celebrating privately, and no one is saying where.

The school children of the municipality of Asker just outside Oslo however, are particularly favoured on May 17th. Early in the morning, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit greeted the youngsters as they paraded past the Royal Family's country home at Skaugum. The couple received flowers from two of the children. This has been a tradition for many years.

After several years of celebrating the Constitution Day attending a festive performance at the National Theatre in Oslo, the King and the Queen have the last couple of years changed this tradition by visiting other parts of the capital and nearby communities.

This year, 2004, Queen Sonja and Crown Prince Haakon will visit the Oslo ward of Torshov, where they among other things will attend a performance of the Puppet Theatre.

With all of the important outdoor festivities, the weather is very important on this day, and the whole nation watches the weather forecasts days in advance, with joy or dismay as the case may be.

This year large parts of the nation faced a rather gray day, with most of the sunshine reserved for regions of the south east and the far north.

Norwegians abroad on this day are also sure to gather and celebrate Norway's birthday, be it at an embassy, a mission station or not to forget the 32 Norwegian Seamen's churches around the world.

Here there will also be parades, festival services, speeches and activities for the children, as well as coffee with the beloved waffles.

Via Norway Post.
The children's parade on Karl Johans gate towards the royal palace. (Photo VG)

6. Mai 2004  
Military guards on pizza and beer

On duty

Norwegian soldiers guarding Gardermoen military airport during the Iraq war relaxed with beer and pizza while on duty. Newspaper VG presented a photo taken by one of the soldiers on watch, showing four colleagues ignoring monitoring equipment in favor of other distractions.

The photographer and former soldier posted the picture on a web site, saying that he wanted to give people a glimpse of what really goes on in the Norwegian defense.

The photograph shows four soldiers, drinking beer, eating pizza and potato chips, playing chess and talking on the phone while paying no attention to surveillance equipment in the room.

Base chief Kjell Belbo told VG that the men in the picture, as well as the photographer, have violated Defense security statutes.

The incident has been reported to military police and Belbo has informed Air Defense staff and the Defense security administration.

The picture was taken during heightened security at the military airport, which is also the nearest neighbor to Oslo's Gardermoen International Airport.

Via Aftenposten News in English. Photo: VG.

5. Mai 2004  
Fighter planes against Norwegian tourists

F16.jpgTwo Dutch fighter planes had to signal with their wings for 20 minutes in front of the charter plane filled with Norwegian tourists before the plane identified itself.

According to Dutch media, it was a dramatic incident that took place in midair when the passenger plane did not identify itself Saturday afternoon.

The fighter planes were allegedly getting ready to shot down the plane, but according to the Norwegian paper VG, neither the tour operator Star Tour nor Ving Reiser was aware of the situation.

This is the first time since September 11, 2001, that something like this has happened, said Fred Konnemann, press officer at Eurocontrol, the European organization for the safety of air navigation.

The fact that Europe was celebrating the expansion of the European Union made the situation even more dramatic.

It is still unknown why it took 20 minutes before the pilots in the charter plane saw that they had two fighter planes in front of them. The charter plane is owned by the Spanish company Air Europe.

Civil Aviation Authority Norway was not aware of the incident as the charter operator is not Norwegian and the incident occurred in Dutch air territory.

Via Nettavisen News in English.

4. Mai 2004  
Work starts on embassy security fence

usemb.jpgThe US Embassy in Oslo started work Monday on its so-called "perimeter security project," aimed to ward off terror attacks. Construction is expected to take a year.

The project includes a high steel fence that will surround the embassy, which occupies a site at the corner of one of the city's busiest intersections.

The embassy has been dubbed "Fort America" by critics unhappy with the concrete barriers, cyclone fencing and round-the-clock armed police guards positioned around the site since terrorist attacks on the US in September 2001.

Embassy officials argue that the new fence "will be a great aesthetic improvement." They also contend that the "security enhancements" will "in no way detract from the Embassy's commitment to move from its current location."

US and Norwegian officials have been negotiating a new site for the embassy, but a move isn't expected for several years.

Via Aftenposten News in English.

27. April 2004  
Norway may prolong Iraq deployment

In addition to the about 150 Norwegian engineer soldiers who are stationed outside Basra, Norway has a total of ten staff officers stationed with the British and the Polish forces.

We have gotten indications from the Ministry of Defense that they are considered to continue for the rest of the year, said Thom Knustad, press officer at Fellesoprativt headquarters, to TV 2 Nettavisen.


From a military standpoint the officers will not make much of a difference, but politically the contribution may mean a lot for the occupational forces. US Secretary of State Colin Powel recently asked in an interview with the Norwegian television channel NRK that Norway left their soldiers in Iraq. The request was denied by Norwegian Foreign Minister Jan Petersen, who stressed that the Norwegian soldiers will return home when their commission ends June 30, but Petersen did not say anything regarding whether or not the government considers letting the officers remain in the country.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is very reluctant to comment on the future status of the Norwegian soldiers in Iraq.

Their commission ends July 1, and they are going home, but if that means that we are going to have zero Norwegians in Iraq is another matter, said one source.

22. April 2004  
Bin Laden turned him down

2004 Al Jazeera TV appearance by Mullah Krekar Mullah Krekar, former leader of the militant Kurdish group Ansar al-Islam, presents his book "Med egne ord" - In My Own Words - at a press conference on Thursday. The autobiography includes a series of shocking revelations, including the admission that Krekar tried to get funding from Osama bin Laden, newspaper VG reports.

Other riveting tales from the spiritual leader, born Najmuddin Farah Ahmad, include how the teenaged Krekar took a pilot's head as a trophy in his early years as a liberationist guerrilla and memories of how Kurds endured vicious bombing from Iraqi Baathists and others.

Krekar hoped that bin Laden would help fund the Kurdish jihad-movement and met with the al-Qaida leader in Peshawar in Pakistan around 1990.

Krekar describes bin Laden as a silent man who was only known as a wealthy, potential benefactor. Krekar relates that he did not receive any financial assistance from bin Laden, and two later attempts by an emissary to raise funds for the Kurdistan resistance also met with failure.

Krekar claims that bin Laden preferred to back rebels in Afghanistan.

The controversial mullah, who is currently fighting an deportation order in Norway, writes effusively about his new homeland, telling immigrant readers living here that it is a Muslim duty to maintain the laws of their new home.

Krekar thanks Norway for its protection and patience and says that Muslims gaining residency in Norway and other western nations have a holy duty to observe the laws and rules that apply there.

The mullah also defends the ongoing resistance effort in Iraq against the American-led occupation forces, VG reports.

Via Aftenposten News in English.

20. April 2004  
Utvik shipwrecked after boat collision

Utvik SeniorThe accident investigation board investigating the loss of Utvik Senior in 1978 concluded Tuesday that a collision most likely was the reason for the shipwreck.

The people left behind when nine people lost their lives in the shipwreck of the coast of Senja in 1978, finally got their fears confirmed, 26 years after the tragic event. The investigation report was presented in Troms Tuesday.

Not surprising, but in the direct opposite of the first accident investigation report, the new commission concluded unanimously that a collision with another ship appears as the most likely reason for the shipwreck.

After the incident in 1978, the accident investigation commission concluded that the fishing boat had run aground.

The people left behind could never accept that the accident was due to the wrong doings of the crew. Among other, Karstein Fredriksen, age 77, the father of one of the deceased, started a fundraising in order to have the case investigated further. The findings of this private investigation contributed to uncover a completely different conclusion.

Via Nettavisen News in English.

8. April 2004  
Journalist deported from Western Sahara

Norwegian freelance journalist Erik Hagen was arrested by Moroccan security police in Western Sahara's capital Laayoune, and deported to the neighbouring country, Mauritania. He thinks Moroccan intelligence in Norway has contributed information.

Hagen was in the Moroccan occupied area in order to interview human rights activist and former prisoners of conscience, among them Sidi Mohammed Daddach, who two years ago received the Rafto prize for his struggle for an independent Western Sahara.

I was stopped on the street of policemen in plain clothes who asked if I was Mr. Erik, something I confirmed, Hagen explained on the phone to the Norwegian news bureau (NTB) from Nouadhibou in northern Mauritania. They said I was welcome to talk to the chief of police in town.

At the police station I was questioned regarding what I was doing in Western Sahara, who I had talked to, where I had been, what I had done in Norway earlier and what plans I had, Hagen said.

The questioning lasted for hours, and the chief of police himself did the questioning. According to Hagen, he was accused of supporting the Polisario Front and its struggle of independence.


6. April 2004  
Larger CO2 emissions from the North Sea

GullfaksThe emissions of CO2 and nitrogen oxides from the oil industry will increase dramatically in the years to come. As a result, Norway may not meet its requirement in the Kyoto agreement.

Norway's emissions increased greatly compared to last year. New numbers indicate that it will become even worse in the years to come. The reason is increased sale of gas to Great Britain and the Continent.

The increases will make it difficult to reduce the emissions to the level Norway is required to according to the Kyoto agreement. The goal is to get the Norwegian CO2 emissions to the level of the 1990s.

The oil industry is responsible for almost one third of the CO2 emission and about one fourth of the nitrogen oxides.

New numbers indicate that the CO2 emissions from the oil and gas installations alone in the period 2004 and 2006 will increase with 2.1 million ton. The new calculations were presented in a letter from the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy to the Ministry of the Environment. The numbers are calculated in connection with the work of the revised national budget which will be presented May 11.

Frederic Hauge, head of the environmental organization Bellona, said that Norway will not meet its environmental requirement with the increase from the oil industry. Hauge said that he wants a method were the CO2 gas is used to increase the extraction of oil. Statoil has researched this method, but claims it is too expensive.

Via Nettavisen News in English. Photo by Statoil.

5. April 2004  
Norway is a woman's paradise

A womans paradiseNorway has passed Iceland, and it is now the best country in the world for women to live in, according to a new UN report.

Norway is definitely the best country to live in for women when it comes to political participation, economic independence, equality, health and social security benefits for women, reported the Norwegian paper Dagbladet.

The so-called Human Development Report includes 135 countries and lists the countries according to certain criteria for growth, development, sustainability and equality.

Iceland was listed in front of Norway for a couple of years, but now Norway has surpassed Iceland. Sweden is listed third.

The statistics which gave Norway top scores was recently published in Britain, and the Guardian journalist Tanya Branigan travelled to Norway to find out for herself. She interviewed women in all ages and some men.

It appears as if it is easier to combine children and work, and that the child care services are good, Branigan said. Men are pleased to be able to take paternity leave and stay home with the children. It appears as if work life is more family oriented than in my country. People who have lived in England say the same thing. But many stated that there are few women in executive positions.

The negative things women point out are body fixation and violence against women.

Violence against women in and outside the family is something women all over the world are worried about, also in Norway, Branigan said to Dagbladet.

Via Nettavisen News in English.

22. Mars 2004  
Norway condemns killing of Yassin

jpetersen.jpgThe government of Norway, which for years has tried to broker peace in the Middle East, condemned Israel's murder of Hamas leader Ahmed Yassin on Monday. Norway's foreign minister said the killing creates "an extremely dangerous situation" in the Middle East.

Norwegian Foreign Minister Jan Petersen said Israel's rocket attack on Yassin "will lead to greater tension in the area." He said it also will "impede implementation" of the latest peace efforts in the area, as well as Israel's withdrawal from Gaza.

"We realize that Hamas has been responsible for a number of terrorist operations, which we have deeply deplored," said Petersen, who hails from Norway's Conservative Party.

"This does not, however, justify extrajudicial killings like the one we have now seen," he added.

The killing of Yassin "has created an extremely dangerous situation" Petersen said, urging both the Palestinians and the Israelis to refrain from further violence.

"Efforts to implement an agreed Israeli withdrawal from Gaza must be given top priority," he said. "I urge the parties to refrain from further violence and lay the groundwork as soon as possible so that the 'Roadmap for Peace' can be implemented."

Thorbjoern Jagland, a former foreign minister from the Labour Party who now heads the Norwegian parliament's foreign relations committee, also fears that Yassin's murder will seriously escalate the conflict in the Middle East.

"The only certain thing is that it will strengthen the radical groups, especially in Gaza," Jagland told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). "There will be even more violence, and the moderate leader within the Palestinian authorities will be further weakened."

Jagland was in Brussels on Monday to meet Javier Solana and Romano Prodi of the European Union, along with Spain's incoming foreign minister Miguel Mauratinos, to talk about how the EU can contribute to the Mid-East peace process.

Jagland was also set to have bilateral talks in Tel Aviv with representatives of Israel's government. On Wednesday he's due to meet Yasser Arafat.

Via Aftenposten News in English.

4. Februar 2004  
Royal geography gaffe spoils debut

HaakonFor the first time in Norwegian history, a crown prince regent received a foreign head of state on Tuesday. Crown Prince Haakon has been an exemplary stand-in for King Harald during his illness, but the welcoming speech at last night's gala dinner featured an embarrassing error.

At the palace dinner for Portugal's president Jorge Sampaio and his wife Maria Jos Ritta, Crown Prince Regent Haakon got his bearings wrong in his address to the honored guests.

"Norway and Portugal are on their own edge of Europe. You are placed on the Mediterranean's warm beaches, we are as far north as it is possible to be," the crown prince regent said.

It did not take long before readers and media reacted to the royal displacement of Portugal from its warm but true location on the Atlantic Ocean.

The official speech was also posted on the Internet, where it also exasperated soccer fans, who were quick to point out that a reference to Portugal's football legend Eusebio misspelled his name.

The palace's information section would not divulge the speechwriter responsible for the blunders, and told newspaper VG that they apologized for the error, and that the meaning was clearly that Portugal lies far to the south, at the mouth of the Mediterranean.

Author Jon Michelet, who has hosted a TV show testing geography knowledge, was shocked.

"This isn't just amusing. It is in fact terribly stupid and disrespectful of both the royal court and the government - which is responsible for the speech," Michelet told VG.

Via Aftenposten News in English.

28. Januar 2004  
'DVD-Jon' demands compensation

dvd-jon.jpgJon Lech Johansen, who spent four years fending off computer piracy charges, now wants some compensation. He's demanding nearly NOK 150,000 from the white collar crime unit that prosecuted him.

It's a modest claim by international standards, amounting to around USD 20,000. But that will apparently satisfy Johansen, who was a teenager when all the fuss around him started.

There was no immediate reaction from the prosecutors (Oekokrim), who lost their effort to prove that the young computer expert made it possible to copy DVDs and then spread his decoding information for DVDs via the Internet.

Last January, the so-called "DVD Jon" was acquitted on all counts by an Oslo city court. An appeals court upheld his acquittal just before Christmas and prosecutors decided not to pursue the case any further.

Halvor Manshaus, who served as Johansen's lead defense counsel during the long legal battle, has earlier said the charges were a heavy burden for his client.

Via Aftenposten News in English.

23. Januar 2004  
Oh dear!

A newborn princessBeing a hard core republican (not to be mistaken for a political party in the US), I live thru hard days. The monarchy, Norway, has recently added a princess to the line of succession to the norwegian throne. And everybody rejoice. And media is wallowing in it. I'm happy for the Crown Prince and Princess, but sad for the republican cause. But what the heck! Monarchy is probably like so much else: If it works, don't touch it!

13. Januar 2004  
Parents face teen sex dilemma

A public quarrel has broken out in Norway over when parents should allow their teenage children to spend the night in the same bed at home with their boy- or girlfriends. The debate may take the country's sexual permissiveness to a new level.

The average age for a Norwegian girl's sexual debut has fallen by a year since 1992, to 16.7 years of age.

Oral sex is now as common as sexual intercourse among teenagers.

Norway's age limit on sex (lov om seksuell lavalder) was designed to protect youngsters from doing something they may not want to do. No country in Europe has a higher age limit than Norway. In Austria, it's 14 for heterosexuals and lesbians and 18 for homosexuals.

Psychologists remind both sides that Norway has a law actually forbidding sexual relations for those under 16 years of age. Parents, meanwhile, recommend talking with other parents to resolve the sometimes awkward situation.

Nurses who deal with teenagers, meanwhile, think the parents are much too naive.

"Many parents should better monitor where their sons or daughters are actually spending the night, when they say they're staying with a friend," advises Turid Sandvold of a youth health station in Oslo's Nordre Aker neighborhood. "Why not call the parents of that 'friend' and ask what you should send along with your son or daughter? That way it won't seem so much like you're trying to control the situation."


12. Januar 2004  
Norwegians pay the highest EU fee

EUAnd we aren't even a member of the European Union!

Twice, in referendums held in 1972 and 1994, norwegians voted no to become a member of EU. In spite of the norwegian reluctance to membership, most of our export goes to the EU anyway. And to keep the EU market open, we have to pay! How much has not been common knowledge until now, and the price for staying outside is high.

According to numbers from the European Union commission, Norway gives three times more money per inhabitant to EUs new member countries than the member countries themselves.

The ten new EU members will as of this year receive EUR 205.8 million annually in subsidies from Norway during the next five years.

Of the other nordic countries (that are members), Sweden is transferring between EUR 64 and 84 million annually, while Denmark gives between EUR 19 and 25 million, and Finland about EUR 1.5 million annually during the next five years, according to the norwegian newspaper Nationen.

The numbers are based on calculations made on data presented by the EU commissions budget directorate.

Divided per inhabitants, every Norwegian pays EUR 137.2 over a period of three years. The most densely populated country in the Union, Germany, will in the same period give EUR 18.60 per inhabitant.

16. Desember 2003  
Norwegian troops remain in Iraq

Foreign minister Jan PetersenNorway is going to contribute to the international stabilizing force in Iraq until the summer, said Jan Petersen, Norwegian foreign minister, during the meeting at Norwegian Parliament Monday.

The Norwegian contribution will remain on the same level as it is today, and the foreign minister stressed that the Norwegian troops in Iraq does not give Norway status as an occupational power in Iraq, according to the Norwegian news bureau (NTB).

Furthermore, the foreign minister stated that Norway is going to contribute in a larger degree to the reestablishment of a civilian police force and border police in Afghanistan. He stressed that Norwegian troops would remain in the country for a longer period of time.

slaug Haga, head of the Agricultural Party (Sp), said she is very critical to the foreign ministers account, and she stated that Norway should not be present in Iraq at all.

The foreign minister could have highlighted more problems than he did in his account, it was not very analytical, Hage said to NTB in statement Monday night. He could at least have contributed with attempts to analyse other problems like for example military efforts suitable to fight terrorism.

Carl I. Hagen, head of the Progress Party (Frp), said he was not particularly pleased with Petersens account, and he stated that the level for Norways military participation abroad has been reached, according to NTB.

Hagen claimed that the Norwegian military is about to become troops of a type of mercenaries which are sent around in the world.

Kristin Halvorsen, head of the Socialist Left Party (SV), was not either particularly pleased with the foreign ministers account.

The presentation only gives an overview over what we are doing today, and a little about what is going to happen in the future, Halvorsen said to NTB. Its shocking that we dont have a clearer political idea of what we wish to do.

10. Desember 2003  
The Nobel Peace Prize

Iranian lawyer and human rights advocate Shirin Ebadi receiving the Nobel Peace Prize from committee leader Ole Danbolt Mjoes at the ceremony in Oslo's City Hall.Nobel Peace Prize winner Ebadi Shirin had a hectic Wednesday, first taking part in the Save the Children celebration of the prize with Crown Princess Mette-Marit outside Oslo's city hall before rushing to an audience at the palace an hour before the prize ceremony.

Iranian lawyer and human rights advocate Shirin Ebadi receiving the Nobel Peace Prize from committee leader Ole Danbolt Mjoes at the ceremony in Oslo's City Hall.

Ebadi met Queen Sonja, acting regent Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit. The busy schedule on Nobel award day also affected the royals, with the crown princess missing a photo session at the palace before the audience with Ebadi.

Ebadi told the French newspaper Le Figaro that she had decided to give the peace prize of SEK 10 million (USD 1.37 million) to human rights groups, particularly those championing the rights of children, journalists, prisoners of conscience and jailed students, in her homeland Iran.


2. Desember 2003  
DVD-Jon pleads not guilty

DVD JonFor the second time this year Jon Lech Johansen told Norwegian authorities that he pleaded not guilty to violating the copyright protection of DVD films by helping to create a software utility that allowed users to make backup copies of such films. Johansen continues to argue that he only helped people use what they had legally purchased.

In January this year an Oslo court acquitted Johansen, 20, on all counts, and found no proof for the prosecutions case that the program DeCSS, which decodes DVD films, had been used for anything other than the copying of legally purchased films.

Eight working days have been set aside for the appeals trial, which is overseen by three professional judges and four lay assessors, two of whom have technical expertise relevant to the case.

In Norway, the laymen act as assistant judges and have a vote to cast towards the verdict and so are more than expert counsel.


27. November 2003  
No oil output cut despite OPEC worry

Oil and Energy Minister Einar Steensnaes said on Thursday that Norway had no plans to curb output next year when the OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) cartel fears prices may falter due to rising world supplies, a winter rarity.

Steensnaes told an energy conference in Oslo that Norway planned to maintain production at maximum capacity of 2.9 million barrels a day in 2004.

Steensnaes said current prices and inventory levels, violence in the Middle East and delays in the recovery of Iraq's oil exports indicated there was no need to reduce output.

"All these indications put together say there is no need for production cuts," he said. Norway is the world's number three oil exporter behind OPEC powerhouse Saudi Arabia and non-OPEC Russia.

Via Aftenposten.


13. November 2003  
What's the point?

Sometimes it feels good to donate money to a good cause, like Save The Children. But watch out! Read what Aftenposten's News in English writes today.
And also consider that the organizations themselves also take parts of the money you donate for their costs.

Fundraisers take 70 percent of donations

Professional fundraisers admit that up to 70 percent of money donated to a cause can end up in their account before the charity gets the rest. Nevertheless, the pros have no qualms about their cut, arguing that their work costs money and that they charities do better as well, Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reports.

Talk2me, which now owns successful fundraisers Viadial, makes no secrets about their earnings from charity work, and says humanitarian organizations are good clients.

"Fundraising is expensive and the costs are often difficult to communicate to donors," said Talk2me's managing director Arild Horsberg.

"Up to 70 percent of the donor's money stays with us. Ten percent is pure profit," Horsberg said, and argues that the system works because his company does a better job than the charitable organizations could do themselves.


6. November 2003  
UDI smothering Norway's IT industry

Click to enlargeOne of Norway's most promising Information Technology companies, browser developer Opera Software, is in desperate need of foreign expertise to keep the firm competitive and innovative, but finds itself stymied by the UDI, Norway's Directorate of Immigration.

Opera has employees from about 20 countries, and many of them have to weather a blizzard of bureaucratic paperwork to work in Norway. Many key applicants wait for months before being denied permission to work in the country.

Other successful Norwegian IT companies, such as Trolltech, which has landed a contract with Motorola, report similar problems. Fast Search and Transfer has reacted by employing people abroad instead.

"We are developing cutting edge technology and constantly need people with very special skills. We often do not find them in Norway. But when we find people abroad we are stopped by an enormous bureaucracy. It is frustrating that it is so insanely difficult to employ the people we need," said Anne Stavnes, office and personnel manager at Opera.

(Via: Aftenposten - Photo: Jon Hauge)


4. November 2003  
Modernizing Islam?

Click to enlargeMuslims living in Norway must accept that they're a minority in a progressive, egalitarian-oriented society, claims Cabinet Minister Erna Solberg. Islam must be modernized, she says, but local Muslims claim they don't understand her criticism.

Cabinet Minister Erna Solberg is calling on Muslims to better integrate into Norwegian society.

Solberg, the government minister who's charge of immigration and integration issues among other things, is making some controversial demands of Muslims who have moved to Norway or grown up in the country as first- or second-generation immigrants.

In doing so, she's taking a brave stand. Solberg earlier this year was the target of death threats by a disgruntled Muslim asylum-seeker, and she also has been at the center of the storm around Mullah Krekar, the suspected terrorist who remains in Norway despite a deportation order.

(Via: Aftenposten - Photo: Gorm Kallestad/Scanpix)


14. Oktober 2003  
The Nobel Peace Price

Clickk for larger imageIranian lawyer and human rights activist Shirin Ebadi has won the Nobel Peace Prize for 2003. Ebadi is Iran's first female judge and a leading figure in the struggle for women's and children's rights in Iran. She is known for representing the interests of persecuted individuals and has braved reprisals for her beliefs.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has often been accused of being too non-controversial in awarding the prize, but this year they actually awarded it to a woman who fights against all odds.

There are no official statements about the award from the Iranian government or the clergy. Hopefully they will not put her under arrest like the Burmese government did with Aung San Suu Kyi.

Read The Norwegian Nobel Committee's decision.

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