Archive for October, 2011
Norwegian Labor Party Youth Movement AUF has been notified by the Directorate for Civil Protection and Emergency Planning (DSB) that the families and survivors that were unable to visit Utøya the 19th and 20th of August will be given the opportunity to visit Utøya the 1st of October. The support group after 22th of July has requested that the media do not to visit the island until these persons have had the opportunity. Therefore, AUF ask kindly the media to respect this, and not visit Utøya before the 3rd of October or 1st of October.Practical information from AUF:
• It is not allowed to bring survivors or relatives to the island on the 3rd of October.
The terrible tragedy has happened at Utøya island in the Tyrifjorden lake in Hole municipality, in the county of Buskerud, Norway.
Norwegian referee Tom Henning Ovrebo was today smuggled out of Britain by police who feared for his safety because of his role in Chelsea's exit from the Champions League at the hands of Barcelona. Ovrebo turned down four strong penalty appeals by Chelsea, who lost the semi-final on the away goals rule after Andres Iniesta scored in the 93rd-minute of the second leg to level the scores at 1-1 on the night and on aggregate. At the end of the game, Ovrebo was confronted by a furious Didier Drogba and had to be escorted down the tunnel by a group of Chelsea stewards who had difficulty restraining the striker.
Fearing reprisals from furious fans, police changed Ovrebo's hotel before organising his exit from the country, according to former international referee Graham Poll.
Poll, now a media pundit, revealed: "This morning he's being smuggled out of our country under police escort - this is a referee of a football match. That is a disgrace.
"When he booked in a hotel they had to change the hotel he was staying at because of the fear that maybe fans would find him."
Ovrebo's situation has worrying echoes of the hounding of Swedish referee Anders Frisk, who retired from the game in 2005 after receiving death threats in the wake of another ill-tempered meeting between Chelsea and Barcelona.
Frisk had sent Drogba off in the first-leg of a second round match and was accused by Chelsea's then-boss Jose Mourinho of having invited Frank Rijkaard, the Barca coach at the time, into his room at half-time.
A Norwegian first division side said Tuesday it plans to nominate a 57-metre headed goal by one of its midfielders, Jone Samuelsen, to the Guinness book of world records. Samuelsen's feat occurred late in a match Sunday as his team, Odd Grenland, led opponents Tromsoe 2-1. After Tromsoe's 'keeper moved up the pitch to take part in a corner kick, an Odd Grenland defender booted the ball down the pitch.
A Tromsoe player sent it back with a header, only to be met by Samuelsen, who from midfield headed it into an open goal as the goalkeeper rushed back towards the net.
After having police measure and verify the distance of the sensational goal, Odd Grenland manager Tore Andersen said: "According to our information, this is the longest distance ever recorded for a headed goal.
"We have measured 57.3 metres (187 feet and 11'9 inches)."
Samuelsen meanwhile played down his accomplishment.
"I could say that I was trying to score, but that would not be true," Samuelsen told the NTB news agency.
"It was a punt, in fact, and I didn't see that the ball was going into the goal or that the Tromsoe goalkeeper was not there."
Norwegian and Russian Defence ministry officials agree for the first time to let their army soldiers have common training on land. The officials met in Moscow this week. We are not talking about exercises with brigades or larger divisions, says state secretary in the Norwegian Ministry of Defence Roger Ingebrigtsen to NTB. Ingebrigtsen is in Moscow and has talks with both Defence Ministry officials and representatives from Russia’s Security Council.
- This is historical, says Roger Ingebrigtsen.
Norway’s Royal navy and Russia’s Northern Fleet have trained together several times, like during the exercise Pomor 2011 earlier this year, but this is the first time joint army soldier training will be on land.
According to State Secretary Ingebrigtsen, the idea is to let Russian soldiers train on Norwegian soil and Norwegian soldiers to train in Russia.
Sir Paul McCartney has offered support to an anti-whaling campaign by urging the Norwegian government not to lift a ban on commercial hunting. The former Beatle has backed the protest, calling on the Norwegian government to “protect” the sea mammals. “It’s time to end the cruel slaughter of whales and leave these magnificent creatures alone,” the Daily Star quoted him as saying.In the 21st century how can we even contemplate killing whales – or any animal – in such barbaric ways? Governments should act on their responsibilities and protect these beautiful creatures,” he added.
The intergovernmental organisation behind some of the most iconic images of Earth weather from space will host its annual conference next month. On 5-9 September, meteorologists, scientists and researchers will meet in Oslo, Norway, for the 2011 EUMETSAT Meteorological Satellite Conference. The conference is hosted and co-organised by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute.
A major theme of the conference is the assimilation of satellite data into global and regional Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models.
The conference will be attended by over 400 participants from around 40 countries. The opening session on the first day of the conference will be addressed by EUMETSAT Director-General Alain Ratier and Norwegian Meteorological Institute Director-General Anton Eliassen.
The first session will be devoted to current and future satellites, instruments and their applications. Other sessions will cover climate monitoring, Nowcasting, atmospheric composition, data access and utilisation, and satellite-based observations of the oceans, with an emphasis on the Arctic regions. These subjects will also be covered by the conference poster programme.
The European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) operates the geostationary satellites Meteosat-8 and -9 over Europe and Africa, and Meteosat-7 over the Indian Ocean. The data and products from EUMETSAT’s satellites make a significant contribution to weather forecasting and to the monitoring of the global climate.
EUMETSAT is an intergovernmental organisation based in Darmstadt, Germany, currently with 26 European Member States (Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom) and five Cooperating States (Bulgaria, Estonia, Iceland, Lithuania, and Serbia).
Couch potatoes in Norway are being offered the unique chance to enjoy a 134-hour fjord cruise without leaving the comfort of their homes. Broadcasting on state television channel NRK 2, the self-proclaimed “longest TV programme in the world” has taken up the challenge to air a complete 8,043-minute cruise along Norway’s world famous coastline in real time. “We believe that there are many in Norway who have a strong connection to the coast and we hope to offer viewers an experience of the voyage,” Thomas Hellum, the project’s creator said to newspaper Aftenposten. Nine cameras installed on the MS Nord-Norge capture a voyage that connects Norway’s southwest to the arctic north. The ship sailed Thursday night from Bergen with 314 passengers on board and headed north where the sun never sets in the summer. On its way, the ship will pass the spectacular Geirangerfjord, a UNESCO heritage site, before reaching Kirkenes near Norway’s border with Russia.
Extends railway sidings between Luleå and Riksgränsen to meet increased iron-ore transport. The Swedish government allocate 3,6 billion SEK (€392 million) for upgrading of railway infrastructure in its autumn budget, a press-release from the Government reads. Part of this funding makes it possible to start the improvements of the iron-ore railway in the high north of Sweden.
Both LKAB and Northland Resources will benefit when the railway now will be upgraded. LKAB plans to increase its delivery capacity by 35 percent by 2015 by the opening of three new open-pit mines in the Svappavaara area between Gällivare and Kiruna. Northland Resources is in the process of opening iron-ore mines the border areas between Finnish Kolari and Swedish Pajala.
- Although the current capacity of Malmbanan will allow us to transport our high-grade, high-quality magnetite iron concentrate at the time we start production in 2013, the new investment will ensure capacity for the expected increase of iron ore volumes from Northland, as well as from additional players, says Karl-Axel Waplan, President of Northland Resources in a press-release.
- We’re planning Europe’s biggest railway project, and we have worked hard to make the government and the administration aware of our needs with respect to infrastructure investment, says Per-Erik Lindvall, Senior Vice President, Technology and Business Development, LKAB in a press-release. – We are very pleased with the decision. Now, we needn’t be concerned that the railway will become a bottleneck for LKAB’s future plans, Lindvall adds.
Sidings will be built at Ripats and Lakaträsk between Gällivare and Luleå, and at Rensjön and Kaisepakte between Kiruna and Riksgränsen. The new sidings will make it possible for trains up to 750 metre long to cross each other on the single track railway.
The railway continues from Riksgränsen to the Norwegian harbour town of Narvik where the Swedish iron-ore is shipped out to the world market.
Whether you can call it the ripple effect, the domino effect or the butterfly effect it all amounts to the same thing; the repercussions of the Swiss National Bank’s pegging exercise are still being felt. Since September 6th when the Swiss Franc was pegged to the Euro, investors have sought out a new safe haven, and the Norwegian Krone is quickly becoming the darling of the currency world. And Norwegians don’t seem to like it anymore than their Swiss counterparts.
Much like its Swiss neighbor, Norway has a comparatively thriving economy, which is estimated to expand by 3% in 2011, and 3.75% in 2012. Its unemployment rate is the lowest in Europe at 2.8%. Inflation is rising, but at a moderate rate of 1.2% in July, as compared to 0.7% the previous month. Norway’s credit rating is AAA, and they have very low public debt. Further, the country is on track to have a 12.5% budget surplus this year. All in all, it’s an enviable economy.
But, for how long? The Norwegian Krone is continuing to rise, and like the then-overvalued Swiss Franc, is likely to wreak havoc on the economy as it appreciates. Already, the governor of the Norwegian central bank is considering an interest rate cut which would (hopefully) curtail the safe-haven inflows. The surge in the Krone’s value naturally has quite a few ramifications for Norway, including the possibility that the tourism industry could suffer (just as the high season approaches), as would exporters of Norwegian goods.
Maybe it won’t be any time in the near future, but with economic turmoil escalating in the Eurozone, and risk appetite waning, it’s a near certainty that the safe haven currencies will be sought after. And while the Norwegian central bank governor insists that the government has a policy of “not intervening,” central bank governors have been known to surprise the markets now and again.
Bioprospecting is opening up international markets for Norwegian seafood companies. Essences extracted from a prawn or octopus off the west coast of Norway could end up as flavouring in noodle packages in China.
This type of bioprospecting involves investigating marine organisms to find components or compounds that have commercial use. The potential results are particularly promising in relation to foodstuffs as well as for applications in medicine and the energy industry.
In the initial phase, researchers will be investigating various species and raw materials, including species already common in fisheries, untapped resources such as woodlice, and by-products such as leftovers from processing in the fishing industry, to cater for Chinese preferences.
Essences extracted from a prawn or octopus off the west coast of Norway could end up as flavouring in noodle packages in China.
“In China they sell a total of 100 billion noodle packages each year. Two-hundred million of these contain a packet of seafood flavouring. This enormous market is our target,” says Ola Ween of the Norwegian research company, Møreforskning AS.
Ween is heading a research project in cooperation with another company, Firmenich Bjørge Biomarin AS. Their goal is to identify molecules to use as a source of seafood flavourings they hope will catch on specifically in China. The process is a complicated one and begins with studying the Chinese palate.
Marine bioprospecting with commercial promise
If the researchers succeed, they can add yet another success to the growing list of products resulting from marine bioprospecting. This type of bioprospecting involves investigating marine organisms to find components or compounds that have commercial use. The potential results are particularly promising in relation to foodstuffs as well as for applications in medicine and the energy industry.
The Chinese have different taste preferences from Europeans. Møreforskning AS’s project receives funding under the National Programme for Research in Functional Genomics (FUGE), one of the Large-scale Programmes administered by the Research Council of Norway.
What do the Chinese prefer?
“We know that the Chinese have different taste preferences from Europeans. Our first step is to identify the appealing flavours which the Chinese associate with the sea. Subsequently, we will find raw materials off the Norwegian coast we can use to create similar flavours,” Ween explains.
In the initial phase, researchers will be investigating various species and raw materials, including species already common in fisheries, untapped resources such as woodlice, and by-products such as leftovers from processing in the fishing industry. They hope to end up with 3-4 promising sources to research further after this phase has been completed.
Just the right mix
Once the prospective ingredients for new flavours have been isolated, they will be analysed down to the tiniest molecule. This will enable the researchers to determine whether it will be at all feasible to extract what they have targeted. If so, these substances will then either be produced from raw materials or through artificial means.
The taste of a food is determined by its particular combination of amino acids, fats and other chemical components. The challenge is to find the perfect blend for Chinese noodles — perhaps a tasty mix of substances from Norwegian prawns, cod and woodlice?
Norway hosted on 11 Monday 2011 a Conference on Energy for All .The Conference was organized by Norway in cooperation with the International Agency (IEA) and five partners; Brazil ,Ethiopia, India, Liberia and South Africa .The UN Secretary General Ban Kimoon , together with Raila Amolio Obdinga Prime Minister of Kenya, Meles Zenawi Prime Minister of Ethiopia as well as Jens Slottenberg Prime Minister of Norway will participate together with representatives from more than 70 countries.
Sudan was represented in the Conference by the State Minister for Electricity and Dams Eng. Elsadig Mohamed Ali Elsheik.
In this context we publish hereunder the Article written by the Norwegian Minister of Environment and International Development Mr. Erik Solheim.
Sudan is has ambitious plans for producing more electricity. It intends to increase capacity from 1 500 megawatt to 1 900 megawatts in five years. Today 83% of all energy in Sudan is renewable. The aim is to increase this to 97%. Plans for the use of wind energy and geothermal energy are undertaken.
The first solar power plant in Sudan is soon a reality. Sudan has a huge potential in further developing its natural resources in order to meet the future energy needs. This would foster business development and provide several new jobs. Norway can help to promote these opportunities.
Electricity failures create huge problems: for the girl who cannot attend evening classes, for the doctor who cannot keep medicines cool, for the businessman who has to close down production. Such problems are widespread in Sudan and many other developing countries.
At the same time, there are many people who have no access to electricity at all. They depend on burning coal or other fuel for cooking and heating. The pollution this causes is not only dangerous for families in their homes, it is also detrimental for the climate.
The introduction of more modern and efficient stoves can help. This would enable families to save time and money, and breathe cleaner air in their homes, at the same time as greenhouse gas emissions are reduced.
Energy is hope: hope for economic development, for a better future. Together with its partners, Norway is working to establish an international energy and climate initiative to increase access to energy services and limit greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector in developing countries. This initiative will be presented at the conference entitled “Energy for all – financing access for the poor” in Oslo on 11th October. The conference is being arranged in cooperation between Norway and the International Energy Agency (IEA). It will also be attended by Sudan’s State Minister for Electricity and Dams Eng. Elsadig Mohamed Ali Elsheik.
Today, 1.4 billion people lack electricity. That is 20% of the world’s population. Many countries also experience frequent power cuts due to an overburdened grid and inefficient energy use. Better energy systems would benefit everyone, as well as improving the economy and the environment.
Energy for all is an important goal. This means considerably more than just providing each family with a light bulb and the opportunity to charge a mobile phone. It means creating jobs, strengthening the economy and making it possible for doctors to use lifesaving equipment and medicines. It also means giving people access to new, clean cooking facilities. Today, around 1.5 million people – mainly women and children – die due to the cooking facilities in their homes.
If we are to achieve energy for all – including for industry – we must plan 10–20 years ahead. Electricity consumption will increase over these years, at the same time as there is considerable potential for using electricity more efficiently. Without a plan for improving efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions will increase.
In order to achieve the goal of access to more sustainable forms of energy, efforts are needed from many parties. The countries concerned must give priority to this sector and provide a good framework for investment. Companies must identify opportunities. Rich countries and the major international institutions must play their part, and so must NGOs by providing information and implementing concrete measures to increase access and improve efficiency.
Norway would like to play a leading role in this work. We would like to take part in the financing of energy developments in other countries based on the results achieved in terms of increased energy access and reduced emissions for the country as a whole. We will also encourage companies to invest in enterprises that increase energy access in poor countries.
If the countries themselves, the donors, the international institutions and the business sector join forces in putting energy for all on the agenda, it will be possible to achieve this aim. Political will is vital for change, and we have enough examples that show that it is possible. We therefore hope that this effort will be successful. Energy for all represents hope for a better future – for all. And together we can make it happen.
Norway launches an international energy and climate partnership in support of the UN Secretary-General’s initiative “Sustainable Energy for All”. The Partnership aims to ensure access to sustainable energy for all and avoid greenhouse gas emissions through the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency.
In the presence of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of the United Nations and other high-level representatives the new partnership, International Energy and Climate Initiative – Energy+, was launched by the Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg at a conference entitled “Energy for All: Financing Access for the Poor“.
The conference takes place in Oslo on 10-11 October and is co-hosted by Norway and the International Energy Agency (IEA).
The International Energy and Climate Initiative – Energy+ is Norway’s contribution to the Secretary-General’s vision for universal energy access, a doubling of energy efficiency and a doubling of the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix by 2030.
“We need to build political momentum around the energy for all agenda. The 2012 International Year of Sustainable Energy for All and the Rio+20 summit in June 2012 present us with an historic opportunity”, says the Secretary-General.
The Secretary-General has invited leaders from business, government, international organizations and civil society to come together to develop clear actions for all to take – locally, nationally, regionally and globally.
Energy+ is inspired by the successful program to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD). Through Energy+, developing countries’ efforts to transform the energy sector to achieve universal access to sustainable energy and decrease greenhouse gas emissions by scaling-up access to renewable energy sources and increased energy efficiency will be supported.
In turn, this will contribute to energy and job security, improved health, business opportunities for private investors and national economic growth.
Representatives from more than 60 countries, international organizations, business and civil society organisations take part in the conference.
The following countries and organizations have formally declared the intention of becoming partners in the International Energy and Climate Initiative – Energy+ Partnership:
Kenya, Bhutan, Liberia, Ethiopia, Maldives, United Kingdom, Switzerland, France, the World Bank Group, Asian Development Bank, African Development Bank, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), International Energy Agency, World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD), Global Village Energy Partnership, United Nations Foundation.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations has launched the “Sustainable Energy for All” (SE4ALL) initiative. The initiative will seek to achieve the goal of Sustainable Energy for All by meeting three interlinked global targets by 2030:
* Achieving universal access to modern energy services;
* Improving energy efficiency by 40 per cent;
* Producing 30 per cent of the world’s energy from renewable resources.
“I am concerned about developments in Cairo over the last 24 hours, and deeply deplore the extensive use of violence against Coptic protesters on 9 October. Egypt plays a key role in the region, and it is vital that the democratic transition process doesn’t come to a halt,” commented Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.
At least 25 people are reported to have been killed following yesterday’s clashes in Egypt’s capital Cairo between Coptic Christian demonstrators, soldiers and other protesters opposing the Copts. The demonstrators were protesting against an earlier attack on a Coptic church in Aswan.
“Egypt’s transitional military authorities are responsible for the security of all of the country’s citizens. All groups in Egyptian society must be able to enjoy freedom of belief, expression and assembly without fearing for their lives and health,” Mr Støre stressed.
Coptic Christians make up around 10% of the population of Egypt. In recent years there have been growing tensions between religious groups in the country.
“There is cause for concern if the state media have contributed to inciting unrest. The Egyptian media has a responsibility to cover incidents of this kind in an objective, critical and balanced way. It is also essential that independent media are able to carry out their role freely,” commented Foreign Minister Støre.
“I urge all actors to show responsibility and engage in common efforts to prevent further acts of violence. Norway supports the calls for the use of violence over the last 24 hours to be investigated, and those responsible must be brought to justice,” Mr Støre said.
A US movie in the making of the July 22 shootings that claimed 69 lives in Norway has prompted Oslo police to urge the movie producers to pull a trailer from the internet, a news report said Sunday.
Norwegian police cited the distress the film project has caused next-of-kin, according to an email sent to the producers of the film, which is being made in the United States, the VG daily said.
The film is entitled Utoya Island. The trailer, which has been uploaded on video-sharing site YouTube, depicts some of the events at the island near Oslo where 69 participants at a youth camp organized by the Labour Party youth wing were killed.
A lawyer representing the Labour Party youth wing said the movie was inappropriate.
Anders Behring Breivik, the man who has admitted to the shooting and a car bombing in central Oslo that killed eight people, remains in custody.
Executive producer George Anton told VG that one reason for making the movie was to drum up support for stricter gun control laws, for instance by equipping legally sold handguns with global positioning system devices.
The director and writer of the film was named as Russian-born Vitaliy Versace.
There will be no conferring ceremony for foreign ministers Sergey Lavrov and Jonas Gahr Støre in at the University of Tromsø in October. Lavrov has cancelled his trip to Norway. Norway’s and Russia’s foreign ministers were to meet in the Arctic town of Tromsø on October 12 to be conferred as Honorary Doctors at the world’s northernmost university
Today came the news that Lavrov has cancelled his trip. According to information from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Russian foreign minister is prevented from coming to Tromsø because of “duties given to him by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin”.
Some might speculate that the cancellation is a reaction to the incident in the Barents Sea last week, where Norwegian Coast Guard detained the Russian fishing vessel “Sapphire II” allegedly for dumping of fish in the fishery conservation zone near Svalbard.
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in an official protest to Norway’s ambassador to Moscow Knut Hauge called the actions by Norway “unacceptable and provocative”, underlining that “such practice runs counter to existing political arrangements for preserving favorable conditions for Russian fishing after the entry into force of the Russian-Norwegian Treaty on Maritime Delimitation and Cooperation in the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean”.
Jonas Gahr Støre and Sergey Lavrov were appointed Honorary Doctors because of their role as frontmen for the maritime agreement.
Head of the Norwegian Barents Secretariat Rune Rafaelsen believes that there is no connection between the detainment of the Russian vessel and Lavrov’s cancellation:
- Relations between Norway and Russia are so solid that an episode like this will not have any impact. The level of cooperation between Norway and Russia has never been higher, he adds. At the same time Rafaelsen underlines that it is important that Norway ensures control with the rich fish resources in the fishery conservation zone.
Kongsberg Maritime has successfully completed Factory Acceptance Tests for the K-Master aft bridge systems being delivered to two Platform Supply Vessels (PSV) built at Havyard in Leirvik for owner Sartor Offshore and Supply Service.The vessels are part of a four newbuild series, all featuring KONGSBERG K-Master, K-Pos Dynamic Positioning, C-Joy joystick control and K-Thrust thruster control. The FATs were for Havyard 103 and 106, vessels number 2 and 3 in the series and are due for delivery to the owner in Q1 2012.
In combination with the K-Thrust total thruster control system and K-Bridge forward bridge, the K-Pos Dynamic Positioning meets DNV DYNPOS AUTR requirements. The integrated system for the four Havyard PSVs is one of many flexible configurations supplied to PSVs that can be integrated with functionality available within the K-Master aft bridge operator chairs. In this context, K-Master is a complete working environment, designed primarily for improving efficiency and safety by ensuring the operator has all information and control within reach.
The first vessel in the Havyard newbuild PSV series – Havyard 102 ‘Saeborg’ – is already sailing with the full KONGSBERG system installed. Immediately after the FAT for Havyard 103 and 106, Kongsberg Maritime team members, along with DNV delegates joined the sea trial for Saeborg in order to evaluate operational performance and to train operators. The trials were classed as a success with the KONGSBERG integrated system performing to expectations.
“These deliveries reflect our good standing with Havyard and many other high-technology vessel builders around the world,” says Sven Brede Grimkelsrud, Operation Manager OSV/K-Master, Kongsberg Maritime. “Our project teams, product & development, logistics, training and customer support departments are all working closely together to ensure that Seacor’s new PSVs benefit from the enhanced safety and efficiency that our K-Master and Dynamic Positioning can bring to operations.”
Installation of the full Kongsberg Maritime systems aboard Havyard 103 and 106 will take place before the end of the year. Since April 2011, Kongsberg Maritime has delivered four integrated K-Master solutions; Fugro Symphony, Rem Commander, Rem Fortress, and Havyard’s Saeborg.