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Norwegian FOST conducted illegal surveillance against the PM

Yesterday, Norwegian news outlets reported that Defense Security Service (Forsvarets sikkerhetstjeneste [FOST]) had conducted illegal surveillance against the prime minister’s office and other government offices.

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Norwegian PM Jens Stoltenberg

Kripos, a division of the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and the Police, did a police search of the Norwegian Ministry of Defence’s top-secret intelligence agency’s computer equipment in Jørstadmoen, after a request by the Ministry of Defense.

While remaining confident that the case will be investigated in a correct way, Norwegian Prime minister Jens Stoltenberg stated to Aftenposten late Wednesday that “it’s important that the police now find out what actually has happened.” Read More…

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Ad-hoc Liaison Committee meets in Oslo, Norway

The AHLC (Ad-hoc Liaison Committee) met in Oslo, Norway on June 7 and 8 to discuss the Palestinian economical situation in Oslo. Its mission is to bring the key donors of aid and relief together with the Israeli and Palestinian governments to address the current state of affairs between the two countries. The AHLC keeps track on how donor countries interact with the Palestinian authorities and how the support they provide is handled.

Early on the first day, Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre and Palestinian Prime minister Salam Fayyad both expressed optimism and hope for the Palestinian situation. Minister Støre underlined the importance of continuing aid, but stated that he understood that most countries still had problems because of the world economic crisis. As for the unstable political situation in Palestine, Prime Minister Fayyad explained that “the political instability is also a reason why we need more aid.” Read More…

Norwegian government considers prosecuting Scientology

The Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services is considering prosecuting and banning some Scientology practices, in particular the use of the Scientology personality test to sell courses.christian_science_monitor_logo

State Secretary Rigmor Aasrud said that the activities in question might be prosecuted as fraud or as violations of existing healthcare regulations.

A Norwegian Member of Parliment (MP) whose daughter killed herself after taking such a test, supports the idea of prosecuting illegal practices rather than trying to ban the movement as a whole. Read More…

On this day September 25, 1972

A referendum on whether Norway should join the European Community was held on 25 September 1972, after a long period of heated debate.

The “No” side won with 53.5 per cent of the vote. Prime Minister Trygve Bratteli resigned as a result of the defeat. This was Norway’s second attempt at becoming member, after having been rejected by France in 1962 and again temporarily in 1967, but the first attempt with a referendum on a set of fully negotiated accession terms.

A 1994 refendum on entry into what had become the European Union also resulted in the rejection of membership.

Norway adopts same-sex marriage law

The Norwegian national assembly voted Wednesday to change the existing marriage and adoption laws. After debating for several hours, the vote resulted in a 84 to 41 majority in favor of the new law which allows lesbians and gays to marry and adopt children.

For the past several weeks, there have been extensive debate over the change, with both sides staging demonstrations in most of the larger cities in Norway. The last time Norway changed the laws regarding marriage was in 1993, when gay and lesbian people were allowed to form partnership unions with similar rights as marriages. Read More…