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Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Monday

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Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Monday
The Color Line ferry Superspeed 2 has been sent to a shipyard in Denmark for an assessment after a collision on arrival in Hirtshals, Denmark. Photo: Dag G. Nordsveen/ Line

US Secretary of State to visit Norway, Liberals slam internet surveillance bill, avalanche blocks Nordland rail line, and ferry departures cancelled after collision. Here's the day's news from Norway.


US Secretary of State to visit Norway this week

The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to come Norway as part of a tour of Sweden, Norway and Finland taking place between Monday and Friday this week. 

The tour will culminate on Friday with a speech in Helsinki in which  Blinken will detail “all the ways in which Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has been a strategic failure", and lay out "our continued efforts to support Ukraine’s defence of its territory, sovereignty, and democracy". 

Liberal party slams planned internet eavesdropping bill 

The Liberal Party MP Ingvild Wetrhus Thorsvik has sharply criticised changes to the government's planned internet surveillance bill as "hard to believe", complaining that the bill brings Norway one step closer to being a surveillance state. 

In the final draft of the bill, which will be debated in Norway's parliament later this month, Norway's PST secret police will be able to intercept internet traffic in Norway whenever they believe it is "necessary".

This is even weaker language than in the draft bill sent out to consultation, according to which they could only do so if "there is a serious threat to national security that is real and current".

"It can scarcely be believed that the government is introducing even more problematic monitoring of citizens, and to an even greater extent than what was proposed in the consultation," Wetrhus Thorsvik told the VG newspaper in an interview.

"The strange thing is that the government does not explain why they have made this change for the worse. I really wonder what happened. This is an obvious weakening of the rights of Norwegian citizens." 

Norwegian vocabulary: et overvåkningssamfunn – a surveillance state


Traffic news: avalanche and landslide blocks road and rail line  

The Nordland Line or Nordlandsbanen has been closed between Trofors and Mosjøenafter stations after an avalanche, the track's operator Bane Nor said on Monday, promising an update on the closure at 4pm. 

At the same time, a large landslide has blocked the Fv570 road near Dyrdal in Alver, according to the Road Traffic Center.

In an update on Sunday evening the Norwegian Road Administration said that it would take until Thursday June 1st to clear the road. 

"It looks like a rather severe landslide, with massive boulders. We are going to need large machines to clear it," traffic operator Eirik Elnes told the Bergensavisen newspaper. 

No one was hurt in either incident.

Norwegian vocabulary: ras – avalanche


Denmark ferry cancel several departures after collision in Hirtshals

A Color Line ferry between Larvik in Norway and Hirtshals in Denmark was forced to cancel several departures over the weekend after it was involved in a collision on docking in Hirtshals in Northern Jutland. 

The Superspeed 2 ferry had to cancel all departures on Sunday while it was assessed for damage at a shipyard in Denmark. 

"The ship must now go to a shipyard in Denmark to have the damage assessed. Then we have to see if there is also a need for further cancellations," Color Line's group director Erik Brynhildsbakken told Norway's Dagbladet newspaper on Sunday. 

No one was injured in the collision, with all damage above the water line. 

Norwegian vocabulary: å gjøre inspeksjon – to carry out an inspection  


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