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Muslims form 'peace ring' around Oslo synagogue

More than 1,000 Muslims formed a human shield around Oslo's synagogue yesterday, offering symbolic protection for the city's Jewish community and condemning an attack on a synagogue in neighboring Denmark last weekend.

Muslims took part in a show of solidarity with Norway's Jewish community. Credit: REUTERS/Hakon Mosvold Larsen/NTB Scanpix

Chanting "No to anti-Semitism, no to Islamophobia," Norway's Muslims formed what they called a ring of peace a week after Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein, a Danish-born son of Palestinian immigrants, killed two people at a synagogue and an event promoting free speech in Copenhagen last weekend.

Zeeshan Abdullah, one of the organisers told the crowd: "Humanity is one and we are here to demonstrate that.

"There are many more peace mongers than warmongers. There’s still hope for humanity, for peace and love, across religious differences and backgrounds."

Norway's Jewish community is one of Europe's smallest, numbering around 1000, and the Muslim population, which has been growing steadily through immigration, is 150,000 to 200,000. Norway has a population of about 5.2 million.

Cruise liner resumes Norway tour after running aground

A cruise liner carrying hundreds of British passenger that ran aground in Norway has freed itself from the soft mud through high tides and its own engine power.

The 580ft Marco Polo ship later docked at a quay in Buksnesfjord and seemed to "function normally," rescue services said.

Marco Polo was chartered by British-based Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) and was carrying more than a thousand people when it ran aground in the Lofoten archipelago earlier today.

Cruise company: Passenger safety is 'top priority'

The British owner of the Marco Polo cruise ship has said the comfort and safety of passengers on board is its "top priority" after the vessel ran aground off the coast of Norway.

Tickets for the northern cruise can cost up to £2,749.

We are doing everything we can to ensure that Marco Polo can resume her itinerary and remain confident that she will continue to operate her Northern Lights cruise as planned.

The comfort and safety of our passengers is our top priority. Our passengers have been fully updated of the situation.

– Chris Coates, commercial director at Cruise & Maritime Voyages


Cruise ship on which pensioner died runs aground

A cruise ship on which a British pensioner was killed by a freak wave earlier this year has run aground in Norway with more than 750 mainly British tourists on board.

The 22,000 tonne MS Marco Polo became lodged in soft mud while trying to manoeuvre to drop anchor in high winds near Leknes in Norway's northern Lofoten Islands.

The Marco Polo cruise ship, seen in February, following the death of 85-year-old father-of-two James Swinstead. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Archive

British owner Cruise & Maritime Voyages has offered the 763 passengers on board the 14-night voyage to the Land of the Northern Lights to be transferred but said it expects the ship to be freed to resume the trip at high water this evening.

The ship hit the headlines in February when 85-year-old James Swinstead was killed and several other people injured after water crashed through restaurant windows as storms hit the English Channel.

Norway give debut to midfielder aged 15

Martin Odegaard has attracted interest from across Europe. Credit: Reuters

Martin Odegaard made European Championships history on Monday night by making his Norway debut aged just 15 years and 300 days.

The midfielder came off the bench in his country's 2-1 win over Bulgaria in Oslo, becoming the competition's youngest ever player.

Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Barcelona are all interested in signing Stromsgodset teenager Odegaard, who doesn't turn 16 until mid-December.

Goals from Tarik Elyounoussi and Havard Nielsen gave the Scandinavians the win.

Two players die at chess tournament in Norway

A prestigious chess tournament in Norway has been overshadowed by the deaths of two players participating in the tournament.

Kurt Meier, a member of the Seychelles team, collapsed in the middle of his match against a Rwandan player during the 41st Chess Olympiad competition.

He was taken to a hospital, but died later, the tournament organizers said.

Another player, thought to be from Uzbekistan, was later found dead in his hotel room.

The police in the Norwegian town of Tromso, where the tournament took place, said it was not treating the deaths as suspicious.

Norway: 'Syrian Islamist group planning attack'

An Islamist militant group with ties to Syria may be planning an attack in Norway, possibly within the coming days, Benedicte Bjoernland, the head of the Police Security Service (PST) said.

"The PST has received information that persons related to an extreme (Islamist) group in Syria may be planning to carry out a terrorist act in Norway," Bjoernland told a news conference.

"They may be planning to carry out the attack within a short period of time, probably within a few days. But we do not know how, when and in what manner," she said.

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