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Norway's oil fund could dump shares in fossil fuels

STAVANGER, Norway - Norway is considering excluding foreign oil and coal companies from its $860 billion sovereign wealth fund, which manages profits from Norway's own fossil fuel industry. In a shake-up of the fund that sharpens its environmental focus, Finance Minister Siv Jensen said Friday she had appointed a panel to assess the question on the grounds of possible damage to the climate. It will report back to the government in November. The move highlights Norway's ambition to be a climate leader globally, while continuing to hunt for oil and gas in its own waters.

Norwegian museum returns Matisse stolen by Nazis

A Norwegian art museum on Friday returned a precious Matisse painting looted by the Nazis in the Second World War to the American heirs of the French art dealer Paul Rosenberg. The 1937 painting by Henri Matisse -- "Woman in Blue in Front of a Fireplace" -- worth an estimated $20 million (14.5 million euros), was claimed by the Rosenberg family after it appeared in a temporary exhibition at the Paris Pompidou Centre in 2012.

Landscape memorial to Breivik victims sparks outrage in Norway

A controversial memorial project for the victims of Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik near the site of the massacre has sparked anger among relatives and locals. Called "Memory Wound", the project by Swedish landscape artist Jonas Dahlber carves a three-and-half meter wide slit through a small peninsula facing the island of Utoeya, where the right-wing extremist killed 69 people, mostly teenagers, on July 22, 2011.

Telenor reports 50% leap in net profits

Norwegian telecom giant Telenor announced a sharp rise in annual profits on Wednesday mainly due to increased profit margins. The company -- one of the world's largest mobile phone operators -- reported a 50% leap in net profits in 2013 to 13.2 billion krone ($2.16 billion, 1.58 billion euros). That compared with 8.8 billion kroner in 2012 while turnover grew 2.3 percent to 104 billion krone.

Telenor reports 50% leap in net profits

Norwegian telecom giant Telenor announced a sharp rise in annual profits on Wednesday mainly due to increased profit margins. The company -- one of the world's largest mobile phone operators -- reported a 50% leap in net profits in 2013 to 13.2 billion krone ($2.16 billion, 1.58 billion euros). That compared with 8.8 billion kroner in 2012 while turnover grew 2.3 percent to 104 billion krone.

Telenor and Ooredoo hail Myanmar telecom licence deal

Norway's Telenor and Qatari firm Ooredoo Thursday hailed a "milestone" for Myanmar after finalising telecoms licences expected to dramatically increase mobile phone use in the long-isolated nation. Only one in ten people in previously junta-ruled Myanmar are thought to have access to a telephone, offering a potentially lucrative pool of customers among the country's estimated 60 million people.

Fire rages in Norway heritage village

A large blaze on Sunday raged through a historic village in western Norway, destroying many of its famed 18th- and 19th-century wooden houses and forcing the evacuation of local residents, police said. The fire in the riverside village of Laerdalsoyri, some 200 kilometres (miles) northwest of Oslo, began in a house on Saturday evening. Fanned by strong winds, the blaze raged out of control overnight and it took firefighters until Sunday afternoon to extinguish it. Laerdalsoyri is located in the West Norwegian Fjords area, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Picassos may face wrecking ball in bombed-out Oslo buildings

OSLO (Reuters) - Five Picasso designs etched into concrete may face the wrecking ball at government buildings in Oslo that anti-Islam militant Anders Breivik bombed in 2011. Spread across two buildings, including the prime minister's 17-storey High Block office, the Picassos were etched in 1958. They are the first Picassos in concrete and four of them were especially designed for the site.

Chemical watchdog accepts Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo

The world chemical weapons watchdog accepted the Nobel Peace Prize Tuesday in Oslo, where it was praised for positive developments in Syria. "With this year's prize, we prompt those states that have not acceded to the (Chemical Weapons) Convention to do so," the chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Thorbjoern Jagland, said at the ceremony. nsb/ph/yad

Slow TV casts a spell on Norwegian audiences

Say goodbye to breathless intrigue and dramatic twists: "Slow TV" is attracting record audiences in Norway, with hours, even days, devoted to knitting, fishing and panoramic landscapes. Public broadcaster NRK has replaced some of its usual prime time drama and entertainment with long, lingering images of cruise liners touring fjords and hours of crackling log fires. With up to 134 hours of uninterrupted footage, this snail-paced entertainment has become something of a Norwegian speciality.
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