Haaland Hails ‘Amazing’ City After United Rout

Manchester City’s Norwegian striker Erling Haaland celebrates scoring his team’s second goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on October 2, 2022. (Photo by Lindsey Parnaby / AFP) 

 

Erling Haaland saluted Manchester City’s “amazing” performance as the Norway striker made history with yet another hat-trick in a 6-3 rout of Manchester United on Sunday.

Haaland destroyed United with the latest display of his predatory finishing, in the process becoming the first Premier League player to score a hat-trick in three consecutive home games in the competition.

After 52 years without a hat-trick scorer in the Manchester derby, City were able to celebrate two trebles in the same game against their arch-rivals as Phil Foden also bagged a treble at the Etihad Stadium.

Haaland has made an incredible start to life with the Premier League champions since signing from Borussia Dortmund in a £51 million ($56 million) deal that already looks a bargain.

He has 17 goals in 10 games in all competitions for Pep Guardiola’s side, including trebles against Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest, and has now netted in eight successive City appearances.

“Not bad. We score six goals, it’s amazing, to win at home and score six goals is nice,” Haaland said.

“You see the passes we give each other. We always want to go forward and attack. It’s what I love about the team.

“In the end, it’s amazing. There is nothing more to say.”

Making City’s demolition derby even sweeter, both Foden and Haaland were City fans while growing up.

“It’s a dream come true playing in a derby being a City fan as well. It’s been a pleasure to be a part of this team,” Foden said.

Thanks in large part to Haaland’s blistering form, City sit just one point behind leaders Arsenal as they chase a fifth Premier League title in six seasons.

It was the first time United had conceded two hat-tricks in a top-flight match since a 6-0 defeat against Huddersfield in 1930.

Haaland and Foden were left to fight over the match ball — traditionally awarded to a hat-trick scorer in English football — as well as the man of the match award, which was given to both players.

“We can do one ball for the first half and one ball for the second half!” Foden said.

It was a chastening first experience of the Manchester derby for United midfielder Christian Eriksen and boss Erik ten Hag.

Eriksen made no excuses after United’s four-game winning run in the league came to a painful end.

“Everyone feels it was a very bad day at the office. We started on the wrong foot. They had chances straight from kick-off. We can only blame ourselves,” Eriksen said.

“We let them be at their strength. The main focus from this game will be on ourselves. There are a lot of things we need to change and a lot of things we need to do better.”

AFP

At Least Three Injured In ‘Random’ Stabbing In Norway – Police

Police has cordoned off the crime scene where three people have been stabbed in the village of Nore in Numedal, Norway, on May 20, 2022. (Photo by Lise Åserud / NTB / AFP) / Norway OUT

 

 

At least three people were injured, including one critically, in a stabbing attack in southeastern Norway on Friday, Norwegian police said. 

A suspect has been arrested, police said on Twitter, without specifying the motive for the attack and saying people appeared to have been attacked at “random”.

“At this stage: three people injured and one person critically injured,” the police wrote in a tweet.

Minutes later, they said they had the “suspected perpetrator” under control.

The police referred to what they call a PLIVO emergency, meaning an ongoing violent event where lives could be in danger.

The attack occurred in a valley called Numedal just north of Kongsberg, where a man killed five people using knives and a bow and arrow last October.

The trial of the Danish national accused of that attack, who experts say suffers from psychiatric problems, started on Thursday.

Zelensky Urges Norway To Supply More Energy To Ukraine, EU

Zelensky demands 'immediate' EU membership for Ukraine
This handout video grab taken and released by the Ukraine Presidency press service on February 28, 2022, shows Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivering an address in Kyiv.  UKRAINE PRESIDENCY / AFP

 

 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday urged Norway, the second-biggest supplier of gas to Europe behind Russia, to deliver more energy to his country and the European Union.

“You can make a decisive contribution to the energy security of Europe by providing the necessary resources, both for the countries of the European Union and for Ukraine,” he said in a video address to the Norwegian parliament, adding that Russian vessels should be blocked from the world’s ports.

COVID-19 Restrictions: Norway Scraps Social Distancing, Face Masks Usage

In this photo taken on December 2, 2020 a face mask hangs with a table tennis bat cover at a park in Beijing. GREG BAKER / AFP
Photo used to illustrate the story: In this photo taken on December 2, 2020 a face mask hangs with a table tennis bat cover at a park in Beijing. PHOTO: GREG BAKER / AFP

 

Norway on Saturday lifted its final Covid restrictions, scrapping social distancing and masks in crowded spaces despite a surge in Omicron infections.

“The metre is disappearing. We are taking away the recommendation on social distancing,” Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store told reporters at a press conference.

“Now we can now socialise like we did before, in nightlife, at cultural events and other social occasions. And on the way to and from work on buses, trains and ferries,” he said.

Norway lifted most of its other Covid curbs earlier this month, including remote working, crowd size limits, and restricted alcohol sales in bars and restaurants.

READ ALSO: France To Scrap COVID-19 Test Rule For Vaccinated Travellers

The requirement to isolate for four days after a positive Covid test was meanwhile on Saturday downgraded to a recommendation, and children with respiratory symptoms are no longer required to get tested for Covid.

Gahr Store stressed however that “the pandemic is not over”, and advised unvaccinated people and those in risk groups to continue practising social distancing and wear masks where social distancing is not possible.

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI) said the country had yet to see the peak of the Omicron surge, but it was expected soon.

The agency’s director Camilla Stoltenberg told reporters the number of Covid hospitalisations had risen by 40 percent in the past week.

As of Friday, 986,851 cases and 1,440 virus-related deaths had been recorded in Norway, where more than 91 percent of the population has received at least two doses of the vaccine.

FHI estimates that three to four million people from a population of 5.4 million may be infected by this summer.

AFP

Russia All Set For Military Move On Ukraine, Says Norway

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with members of the Security Council via teleconference call, at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence, outside Moscow, Russia, on February 11, 2022. Alexey NIKOLSKY / Sputnik / AFP
Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with members of the Security Council via teleconference call, at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence, outside Moscow, Russia, on February 11, 2022. Alexey NIKOLSKY / Sputnik / AFP

 

Russia is operationally ready to conduct a wide range of military operations in Ukraine and the Kremlin just needs to make the call, the head of Norway’s military intelligence service said Friday.

The Russians “have all they need to carry everything out, from a minor invasion in the east to minor attacks here and there in Ukraine, or a complete invasion, with, possibly, an occupation of all or parts of Ukraine”, vice admiral Nils Andreas Stensones said.

“Now, it is up to President Putin to choose if he wants to proceed or not”, he said.

READ ALSO: Ukraine Calls Russia-Belarus Drills ‘Psychological Pressure’

Stensones made his remarks at the presentation of the Norwegian intelligence services’ annual threat assessment report.

According to him, Russia has “more than 150,000 combat troops” massed at the Ukraine border, along with the country’s “most advanced weapons” and all the necessary logistics.

“It’s very difficult to say if (an offensive) is likely or unlikely, because it is solely up to the Russian president to make the decision”, he said.

Western nations believe Russia is preparing an imminent invasion of Ukraine, though Moscow has denied it.

Conflict has been festering in eastern Ukraine since 2014 between Russian-backed separatists and Kyiv forces.

Meanwhile, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Friday warned again of the “real risk for a new armed conflict in Europe”, while US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said a Russian invasion could come “any time”.

 

AFP

Investigation Suggests Norway Attack Prompted By ‘Illness’ – Police

Police officers cordon off the scene where they are investigating in Kongsberg, Norway after a man armed with a bow killed several people before being arrested by police on October 13, 2021. Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB / AFP

 

The investigation into a bow-and-arrow attack in Norway that left five people dead suggests it was triggered by “illness”, police said Friday.

“The strongest hypothesis after the first days of the investigation is that illness is in the background,” police inspector Per Thomas Omholt told reporters two days after the attack.

READ ALSO: Four Migrants Dead, 21 Missing Off Coast Of Spain

Norway Attacker Converted To Islam, Suspected Of Radicalisation – Police

An arrow is left in a wall at the scene where a man armed with a bow killed several people before he was arrested by police in Kongsberg, Norway, on October 13, 2021.

 

A Danish man suspected of killing five people with a bow and arrows in Norway had converted to Islam and police had been in contact with him due to radicalisation fears, police said Thursday.

The 37-year-old is in police custody after the deadly attack on Wednesday evening, in the small town of Kongsberg, home to about 25,000 people 80 kilometres (50 miles) west of Oslo.

“There were fears linked to radicalisation previously,” Norwegian police official Ole Bredrup Saeverud told reporters, adding that police had followed upon him in 2020.

“We haven’t had any reports about him in 2021, but earlier,” he added.

Responding to questions Saeverud explained that the man was a “convert to Islam.”

“We are investigating, among other things, whether this was a terrorist attack,” he told reporters.

Saeverud also said investigations were still ongoing to confirm that the man was acting alone.

“We have no information indicating anything else, but we are continuing investigations to be completely sure,” he said.

READ ALSO: Taiwan Building Fire Kills 46, Dozens Wounded 

Police had already said the suspect, who was arrested shortly after the incident at around 6.45 p.m. local time (1645 GMT) on Wednesday, was a resident of Kongsberg.

Five people, four women and one man died and two others were injured in the attack, which shocked the usually peaceful Scandinavian kingdom.

The victims were between 50 and 70 years old, Saeverud said.

The attack was the deadliest in the country since far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people in 2011.

Since then, Norway has seen one other far-right attack, carried out by a self-proclaimed neo-Nazi who opened fire into a mosque.

Man Kills Five, Injures Others With Bow And Arrow In Norway


Police officers cordon off the scene where they are investigating in Kongsberg, Norway after a man armed with bow killed several people before arrested by police on October 13, 2021. Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB / AFP

 

Five people were killed and two wounded in an attack by a man using a bow and arrows in the southeastern town of Kongsberg in Norway on Wednesday, police said.

Some Norwegian media outlets well as source close to the rescue services had earlier said that at least four people were killed. A man has been arrested over the attack, but his motive is not yet known.

The motive for the attack, which took place in several locations in the town centre of Kongsberg, were not yet known.

Police said the suspect had been taken to a police station in the nearby town of Drammen but gave no other details about the man.

“There is no active search for other people,” Aas said.

The wounded have been taken to hospital. However the number of wounded, or their condition, were not yet known.

AFP

The Utoya Massacre: Norway’s Worst Post-War Attack

(FILES) In this file photo taken on March 15, 2016 Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik (2nd L) enters a makeshift court in Skien prison’s gym on March 15, 2016 in Skien, some 130 km south west of Oslo, for his lawsuit against the Norwegian state, which he accuses of violating his human rights by holding him in isolation.  (Photo by JONATHAN NACKSTRAND / AFP)

 

 

Norway was plunged into horror on July 22, 2011, when right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik killed dozens in a bomb attack in central Oslo and a shooting spree on the island of Utoya.

At 3:25 pm on a rainy Friday, a rented van packed with 950 kilogrammes (2,100 pounds) of explosives made from fertiliser detonated outside the tower housing the office of then prime minister Jens Stoltenberg.

Although the bombing killed eight people and injured dozens more, many employees had already left before the blast as Breivik, then aged 32, had been caught in traffic.

Stoltenberg escaped unharmed as he was working at his official residence about 2 kilometres (1.2 miles) away.

Already disguised as a police officer, Breivik heard on the radio of the getaway car he had parked some distance away that the 17-storey building had not collapsed as he had hoped.

Disappointed, he moved on to the second phase of his plan.

 

(FILES) A handout picture release on December 15, 2011 by Norwegian police shows the government building on July 23, 2011 a the day after a car bomb set off by Norwegian right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik exploded. – Norway was plunged into horror on July 22, 2011, when right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik killed dozens in a bomb attack in central Oslo and a shooting spree on the island of Utoya. (Photo by – / SCANPIX NORWAY / POLICE / AFP)

 

– Summer camp –
Breivik took the ferry to Utoya island some 40 kilometres northwest of Oslo, site of an annual summer camp for hundreds of members of the Workers Youth League (AUF), affiliated with the centre-left Labour Party.

At 5:17 pm he stepped off the MS Thorbjorn, a small boat used by the AUF to ferry people across the lake.

He immediately shot long-time camp organiser Monica Bosei — also known as Mother Utoya — and an off-duty policeman in charge of security.

Armed with a Ruger rifle and a Glock pistol, Breivik roamed the island, tracking down distraught young people and posing as a policeman who had come to protect them in order to gain their trust.

He killed 13 people in the island’s hilltop cafeteria, another 10 youths holding hands along a “path of love” running along the shore and 14 more near a small shed housing a water pump.

In total 189 shell casings were collected from the 72 minutes of the massacre.

– Violence unleashed –
Trapped on an island just half a kilometre across, many of the young people threw themselves into the cold waters of the lake to escape.

Alerted by the gunfire, people rushed from a nearby campsite in boats to try and rescue the swimmers — only for Breivik to fire on them as well.

The gunman, who had taken a mixture of aspirin and stimulants ephedrine and caffeine before launching his attack, shouted “you’re going to die, Marxists” at the people in his sights.

Although he twice called out that “I have completed my operation and I want to surrender”, he resumed killing both times.

Breivik shot almost everyone he encountered, methodically finishing off many of the wounded with shots to the head.

Of the 69 victims, 56 were found with bullet wounds to their heads.

– Surrender –
An inflatable boat carrying a police response team from Oslo broke down on the lake, and the officers had to be relayed to Utoya by nearby boaters.

Breivik put up no resistance to police and was arrested at 6:34 pm.

Of the 564 participants of the summer camp, 67 were shot dead and two fell to their deaths or drowned, in Norway’s worst post-World War II tragedy.

Another 33 suffered bullet wounds.

Most of the victims were younger than 20, with the youngest having turned 14 only five days before.

One 18-year-old boy’s body had been riddled with eight bullets.

Breivik said he had aimed to stage “a fireworks display” to draw attention to a 1,500-page anti-immigrant, anti-Marxist screed he dubbed a “manifesto”.

In response, prime minister Stoltenberg promised “more democracy, more openness and more humanity”.

At his trial in 2012, Breivik admitted the facts but pleaded not guilty.

He was sentenced to 21 years in prison, which can be extended indefinitely as long as he is considered a threat to society.

Norway Suspends Use Of AstraZeneca Vaccine

FILES) In this file photo taken on February 12, 2021 a vial containing the Covid-19 vaccine by AstraZeneca and a syringe are seen on a table in the pharmacy of the vaccination center at the Robert Bosch hospital in Stuttgart, southern Germany. Danish health authorities said on March 11, 2021 they were temporarily suspending the use of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine as a precaution after some patients developed blood clots since receiving the jab. The move comes “following reports of serious cases of blood clots among people vaccinated with AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine”, the Danish Health Authority said in a statement.
THOMAS KIENZLE / AFP

 

Norway’s health authorities said Thursday they were suspending the use of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine as a precaution following Denmark’s decision to do so over fears of a link to blood clots.

“We are pausing the AstraZeneca vaccination in Norway,” the director of infection prevention and control at the National Institute of Health, Geir Bukholm, told reporters.

“We are waiting for more information to see if there is a link between the vaccine and this blood clot case,” he said.

More to follow . . .

Norway Seeks To Decriminalise Use Of Marijuana, Others

A recreational marijuana smoker indulges in smoking weed on April 14, 2020 in the Bushwick section of the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Bruce Bennett/Getty Images/AFP
A recreational marijuana smoker indulges in smoking weed on April 14, 2020 in the Bushwick section of the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Bruce Bennett/Getty Images/AFP

 

Norway’s government on Friday proposed a bill aimed at decriminalising the possession and use of small amounts of narcotics, saying users should be offered treatment rather than face jail.

“Decades of repression have taught us that punishment doesn’t work. On the contrary, punishment can make things worse,” Education Minister Guri Melby told a press conference.

“Drug addicts need help, not punishment,” she added.

Under the centre-right coalition government’s proposal, both possession and the use of small quantities of drugs, including heroin, cocaine and cannabis, would no longer be punishable under the criminal code, but users would still have to seek help.

“They are still forbidden, but no longer punishable,” Health Minister Bent Hoie said.

Proponents of the bill argue that criminal prosecution of drug users can be counterproductive as it deters those with abuse problems from seeking help, makes it more difficult for relatives to detect problems and stigmatises an already vulnerable demographic.

The proposal comes with set thresholds for what should be considered a small amount for different illicit substances: two grams for cocaine, heroin or amphetamines, 10 grams for cannabis and 500 grams (17.6 oz) for khat.

As the government only controls a minority in parliament, passing the legislation will require support from the opposition, with some arguing the measure could encourage drug use.

According to a survey published in early February by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, around five percent of respondents in Norway say they have used cannabis in the last 12 months, and one percent have tried psychotropic drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines.

Despite having one of the highest living standards in Europe, Norway — and other Nordic countries — have seen higher numbers of drug-related deaths per capita than the rest of Europe.

In recent years, 260 people have died annually from a drug overdose in Norway, according to a report published last year by the Norwegian Directorate of Health.

 

AFP

Norway Moves Mountains To Bring Skiing To The People

Picture taken on February 10, 2021 shows ski trails made of artificial snowin the Voldslokka park in Oslo, Norway. (Photo by Petter Berntsen / AFP)

 

Norwegians, the saying goes, are born with skis on their feet. But with a lack of snow and the pandemic this year leaving many in despair, authorities are bringing snow and ski trails to downtown Oslo.

For the past few weeks, big trucks have been dumping hundreds of cubic metres of fluffy white stuff, made by snow cannons perched on the hills outside the capital, in the city’s still-green parks.

Packed down or groomed with cross-country trails, the parks have transformed into winter wonderlands for skiing enthusiasts of all ages: little children on excursions with their daycare groups, active seniors, and office workers taking a break from their work-from-home schedule.

“For three months, we’ve had very strict corona restrictions in Oslo, but we can still go outside,” city councillor Omar Samy Gamal says, as a grooming machine behind him prepares a snowboarding hill in the Torshovdalen park.

“Since we haven’t had a lot of snow this winter, we’re doing what we can to bring it to the people. We’re bringing them a little bit of ‘marka’,” he says.

What’s marka?

The word refers to the wooded hills outside Oslo, popular among urban dwellers for long walks, or more frequently, skiing after work or at the weekend.

The first snowfall of the season in early January caused long traffic queues, and, more worryingly during the pandemic, crowded commuter trains.

“We don’t want people packed together. We want them to keep their distance from each other, and the best way to ensure that is to make use of local public spaces,” Gamal says.

Four Oslo parks — including that belonging to the royal palace — have already been or will be partially covered in artificial snow to quench locals’ thirst for sledding and skiing.

“It’s extremely important to keep people active without everyone having to take the same train to leave town,” says Miriam Heen Skotland, a psychologist out cross-country skiing in the Voldslokka park on her lunch break.

– White Christmas? –

Before working her night shift as a nurse, Karen Margrethe Igland has also strapped on her cross-country skis, just 10 minutes from her home.

“I try to limit how much I use public transport. If I want to go to the ‘marka’, I have to take the train. So it’s better to be able to come here on foot,” she says.

Climate change has made winters in Norway shorter.

According to the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Oslo has over the past 30 years lost 21 winter days, defined as days where the temperature dips below 0 degrees Celsius.

The city could lose another 26 winter days by 2050, the Institute has warned.

“When I was young, it wasn’t hard to predict the weather in winter: it was often cold and there was usually a lot of snow,” Norway’s Education Minister Guri Melby said in January when new climate measures were presented.

“But for Christmas this year I wasn’t sure whether I should buy my kids a sled, because the winters nowadays are much milder with a lot fewer snowmen and ski days,” she said.

And in an almost sacrilegious move, Norway opened its first indoor ski centre in early 2020. It is however currently closed to the general public because of virus restrictions.

With Oslo fighting its battle against the thermometer, is it really reasonable to transport tonnes of snow by truck?

The vehicles run on biodiesel, with hydrotreated vegetable oil, the city notes.

“Using these carbon-neutral trucks to bring snow to the people so that they won’t use their own car to drive to the ‘marka’, I think it’s a pretty beneficial equation for the climate,” says driver Tom Kjetil Tangen.

AFP