Norway Weekly 168: Norway’s top stories from the last seven days
Hey everyone, well I’m back from the truly spectacular Lofoten Islands. If you’ve never been, I advise you to stop what you’re doing right now and go book a flight! Speaking of flights, my flight back home was a hair-raising experience.
I was caught up in the strongest ever April winds on record at Trondheim Airport and suffered not one, but two aborted landings before being diverted to Oslo. When we finally made it back to Trondheim, the plane hit the runway so hard it caused several passengers to scream.
However, the experience was quickly put into perspective as I turned on my phone to read the disastrous news of the helicopter crash in western Norway. This accident has hit the close-knit oil industry hard and many expats will know some of the victims. Our thoughts and sympathies to everyone involved.
Top Story: Helicopter crashes off western Norway
A helicopter transpiring oil industry workers crashed off western Norway last week, killing all 13 crew and passengers. The helicopter went down on Turøy island as it was returning to Bergen from the Gullfaks B platform.
Sadly, news has emerged that the helicopter had to return to base twice in the days leading up to the accident. The operator has confirmed that a warning light appeared in the cockpit as recently as last Tuesday and during the subsequent test flight.
Looming strike could paralyse Norway public services
The Local reports that a potential public sector strike could affect the police, tax office, customs, NAV and the nation’s universities and colleges. Sources say the negotiations are likely to be even tougher than the 2012 deal, which saw three confederations of public sector employees go on strike for two weeks. Meanwhile, 3,500 workers in the hotel, catering and hospitality industries have been on strike since last weekend.
Carlsen wins Norway Chess
Norwegian chess prodigy Magnus Carlsen beat Pavel Eljanov in the final round to win his first Norway Chess title.
Executive pay crackdown by huge public fund
The world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund plans to target excessive executive pay, according to BBC reports. With stakes in more than 9,000 companies across the globe, Norway’s wealth fund has a powerful voice. The world awaits further announcements.
ConocoPhillips given notice following Norwegian safety audit
Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority has given ConocoPhillips until 10 May to report on how it will make improvements on its Ekofisk and Eldfisk fields following a recent safety audit, according to Energy Voice.
Government starts review of Norges Bank’s currency mandate
A statement from Finance Minister Siv Jensen reveals that the Norwegian government has started a review of the Norges Bank mandate, that could include changes to how the exchange rate is managed.
The survival of species suddenly looks better
Science Nordic reports that findings on the Norway spruce show how plants and animals can adapt better to climate change than previously envisaged. The spruce remembers what temperature conditions were like when it was a seed, a memory that helps it adapt.
Hotel review: Vestfjord Hotell, Svolvær
As the biggest town on the Lofoten archipelago, Svolvær has everything you need for a short break and more, despite its small population of under 5,000. That includes a couple of full-service hotels and apartments. Read our review of the Vestfjord Hotell.
US Lawmakers appear to take aim at Norwegian Air with new bill
The saga continues. Travel Weekly reports that a bipartisan group of four congressmen filed a bill last week that appears to be aimed at blocking the Department of Transportation approving a foreign air carrier permit for Norwegian Air’s international operation.
NRK sign five-year deal to broadcast Ski Classics
Norwegian state broadcaster NRK has signed an exclusive agreement to broadcast Norway’s Ski Classics competition. The deal covers the series of long-distance skiing races from the start of next season (2016-2017) until 2021.
Casper Ruud: the Martin Ødegaard of tennis
The teenage tennis player currently ranks first on the junior tour, as he prepares to enter the world of adult competition. The father of the Bærum ace is Norwegian tennis legend Christian Ruud.
Embracing kos with the “Waffle Queen”
From the Norwegian American Weekly: “When it comes to waffles, Norwegians do it best, according to Stine Aasland, a Norwegian woman behind a successful waffle company in Norway. And she’s determined to share the wonders of the Nordic waffle with the United States with a new business launching this spring.”
From A Worldly Wannabe: “To really get the most out of living in Norway you need to spend time outside. Nothing so strange about that when there is an endless supply of wide skies and grab-a-camera landscapes to be discovered. It is basically a selfie-stick user’s paradise.”
What to pack for winter in the Arctic
From Snow in Tromsø: “First things first: It’s all about wool. Make sure to bring real wool sweaters, socks and thermal underwear. There’s nothing like wool to make you stay warm! You know, a lot of people think that it’s enough if you just wear many layers but honestly, that’s not useful at all if your layers are made of acrylic.”