Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday
Find out what’s going on in Norway on Thursday with The Local’s short roundup of important news.
Norway marks the tenth anniversary of July 22nd terror attacks
Norway will mark the tenth anniversary of the July 22nd terror attacks, in which 77 people lost their lives, with memorial events, wreath-laying and church services throughout the day.
At 9am Prime Minister Erna Solberg will speak at a memorial service at the government quarter, which was the target of a bomb attack by right-wing extremist Anders Behring Brevik. There will also be a wreath-laying, and Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit will also be in attendance.
Then at 11am, there will be a church service in Oslo Cathedral. Former prime minister and current NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg will also be at the event.
The afternoon will see a service at the Hole Church with a number of other places of worship holding events and sermons around the country at 1pm.
At 3pm there will be a memorial service on Utøya Island, where 69 people lost their lives in a mass shooting. Survivors of the attack will speak, and wreaths will be laid. Crown Prince Haakon will also speak.
In the evening, 7pm, the bells at town hall will be rung 77 times, once for each person who lost their life in the attacks, and all public transport will be stopped for a minute. Then at 7:55pm, the bells will ring again, and the national memorial service, which will be broadcast on NRK1, will begin. King Harald will be among several speakers.
NIPH expects Covid-19 infections to increase
Head of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH), Camilla Stoltenberg, believes that there will be an increase in coronavirus infections in Norway.
Part of this is due to the Delta Covid-19 variant, first identified in India, now being the dominant form of Covid-19 in Norway.
“We believe that there will be an increase in infection, and the Delta variant will play a role. In addition, the fact the society is more mobile, and people have more social contact and more and more are travelling both out of Norway and domestically,” Stoltenberg told news agency NTB.
The director of the NIPH has said she is currently unsure what this means for the country’s reopening strategy.
Increase in hate crimes in Norway over the past five years
The last five years have seen an increase in the number of hate crimes in Norway.
Last year, 744 hate crimes were recorded, an increase of 53 percent from 2016. However, despite the increase in incidents reported, there has not been a corresponding rise in people convicted.
The Anti-Racism Centre said this is because the threshold to be convicted of a hate crime in Norway is too high.
“We fail to prosecute some of the worst and most serious of statements,” Rune Berlund Steen, general manager of the Anti-Racism Centre, told state broadcaster NRK.
189 new Covid-19 infections in Norway
On Wednesday, 189 new cases of infection with the Coronavirus were registered in Norway. This is a rise of 13 cases compared to the seven-day average.
In Oslo, 22 new cases of Covid-19 have been recorded. The number the day before was 29.