Wojciech's Feed
Nov 24, 2009

Norway opens world’s first osmotic power plant

TOFTE, Norway (Reuters) – Norway opened on Tuesday the world’s first osmotic power plant, which produces emissions-free electricity by mixing fresh water and sea water through a special membrane.

State-owned utility Statkraft’s prototype plant, which for now will produce a tiny 2-4 kilowatts of power or enough to run a coffee machine, will enable Statkraft to test and develop the technology needed to drive down production costs.

Nov 16, 2009

Cisco ups Tandberg bid, expected to win approval

OSLO/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Cisco Systems Inc <CSCO.O> raised its bid for Tandberg ASA <TAA.OL> 10 percent to 19 billion Norwegian crowns ($3.41 billion), a move widely expected to win over shareholders of the video conferencing company.

Cisco said on Monday its new bid of 170 crowns per share has the approval of holders of more than 40 percent of Tandberg shares, including the top two investors, OppenheimerFunds, which had opposed the original offer, and Folketrygdfondet.

Nov 2, 2009

Cisco defends Tandberg bid as “very good price”

OSLO/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Cisco Systems Inc <CSCO.O> said its $3 billion offer for video conferencing company Tandberg ASA <TAA.OL> is “a very good price,” defending the bid after some Tandberg shareholders demanded more money.

Investors holding 24 percent of shares of Tandberg had snubbed Cisco’s bid last month, hoping they could force the top U.S. network equipment maker to offer more.

Oct 29, 2009

Telenor ups 2009 margin goal after strong Q3

OSLO, Oct 29 (Reuters) – Norwegian telecom firm Telenor
<TEL.OL> posted a better-than-expected rise in third quarter
core profit and nudged up its 2009 efficiency target due to
tight cost controls and reduced investments.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation
(EBITDA) stood at 8.52 billion Norwegian crowns ($1.51 billion)
in July-September, against 7.45 billion a year earlier, beating
all forecasts in a Reuters poll of 18 analysts, which ranged
from 7.37 billion to 7.9 billion.

Oct 22, 2009

Strong Norway boosts DnB NOR Q3, Baltics a worry

OSLO, Oct 22 (Reuters) – Norway’s largest bank, DnB NOR,
beat forecasts for third quarter profits thanks to a strong home
market and said business prospects were improving, though the
outlook for the Baltics and its shipping sector clients remained
hazy.

DnB NOR <DNBNOR.OL> shares rose as much as 3 percent in a
falling market before shedding their gains. The stock has
enjoyed a months-long rally driven in part by the relative
strength of Norway’s oil-fuelled economy.

Oct 10, 2009

Obama says Nobel Peace Prize is “call to action”

WASHINGTON/OSLO (Reuters) – Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday in a stunning decision that honored the first-year U.S. president more for promise than achievement and drew both praise and skepticism around the world.

The bestowal of one of the world’s top accolades on Obama, who has yet to score a major foreign policy success after nearly nine months in office, was greeted with gasps from the audience at the announcement ceremony in Oslo.

Oct 9, 2009

Obama’s Nobel seen as “daring” bet on future

OSLO (Reuters) – Barack Obama is not the first Nobel laureate to win mainly for raising hopes of a better world, rather than achieving peace. But rarely, experts say, does a politician win so soon after gaining power and without a major foreign policy accomplishment under his belt.

“The Nobel Committee wants the prize to have an impact and it certainly can with Obama, although in many ways it’s premature,” said Kristian Berg Karpviken, head of the International Peace Research Institute in Oslo (PRIO).

Oct 9, 2009

Obama’s Nobel seen as "daring" bet on future

OSLO, Oct 9 (Reuters) – Barack Obama is not the first Nobel laureate to win mainly for raising hopes of a better world, rather than achieving peace. But rarely, experts say, does a politician win so soon after gaining power and without a major foreign policy accomplishment under his belt.

"The Nobel Committee wants the prize to have an impact and it certainly can with Obama, although in many ways it’s premature," said Kristian Berg Karpviken, head of the International Peace Research Institute in Oslo (PRIO).

"I can’t see another Nobel as daring as this — to present someone who is only at the beginning and is yet to have a significant impact," he said.

The long process of picking the laureate by the Nobel Committee meant that Obama had to be nominated for the prize by the start of February, just days after he was sworn in as U.S. president.

In its citation, the Nobel Committee said: "Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future."

Nobel Committee Chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said what Obama had already achieved since replacing President George W. Bush — including seeking nuclear disarmament and creating "a new climate in international politics" — made him a worthy winner.

But not all agreed, even in Norway, which cherishes the Nobel Peace prize as its most heard voice on the global stage.

Siv Jensen, the head of Norway’s biggest opposition party, said: "In the year he’s been president he has not achieved concrete things in peace work. I mean that should be the criterion in handing out the peace prize, not expectations."

Jagland compared Obama’s prize to the 1990 award to ex-Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and the 1971 prize to then German Chancellor Willy Brandt.

But Gorbachev won a year after the fall of the Berlin Wall — the main symbol of the ending of the Cold War — although the Soviet Union had not yet disintegrated. And Brandt, who won for opening up to the East, had been chancellor since 1969.

Often Nobels are given as a sort of lifetime achievement award for peace makers, such as former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, who won in 2002, and the 2008 winner, former Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari.

Some likened Obama’s prize to the 1978 award shared by Egyptian President Mohammad Anwar Al-Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, who negotiated peace between their countries which, at the time, provided much hope for security across the Middle East. Such peace still remains elusive.

Another prize based on hopes of achievement, rather than past success, and producing little impact was the 1976 award to Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan, co-founders of the Peace People who vainly sought reconciliation in northern Ireland.

(Editing by Mark Trevelyan)




Oct 7, 2009

Big Norway fund criticizes VW over Porsche dealings

OSLO, Oct 7 (Reuters) – Norway’s sovereign wealth fund,
Europe’s biggest equity investor, on Wednesday criticized
German auto maker Volkswagen <VOWG.DE> for plans to take over
some Porsche assets, which it called costly and
“unacceptable.”

The wealth fund, which at the end of 2008 held stock worth
$450 million in Volkswagen, did not openly threaten to sell its
shares but said it saw “little reason” to support the proposed
transactions if its concerns were not alleviated.

Oct 7, 2009

Nobel Peace prize seeks return to activist roots

OSLO (Reuters) – Wanted – a peace maker or rights activist engaged in a current conflict whose influence would benefit greatly from winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

That is who Norway’s Nobel Committee will choose for 2009 Peace Prize laureate if, as experts expect, it returns closer to Alfred Nobel’s notion of peace. Past prizes went to climate campaigners, life-long diplomats and grass-roots economists.