Norway to ban gas-powered cars

Norway Aims To Ban Sales Of Gas-Powered Vehicles By 2025

Photo of Chris White

 10:56 PM 06/04/2016

Norway has decided to prohibit the selling of all gasoline-powered cars by 2025, according to Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv.

The ban, which has received support from political parties on the left and the right, is pegged to be the most aggressive anti-gasoline energy policies of its kind in the world – the irony, of course, is that Norway is one of the largest producers of fossil fuels in the entire world.

Norwegians produced and exported in 2013 more than 1.2 million barrels of oil, placing it 14th overall on a list of exporting countries, just below Qatar and Mexico.

India and Denmark have discussed the possibility of banning gas-powered cars as well, but India’s policy would begin five years after Norway’s, in 2030, and the Dutch parliament is heavily divided on their version of the ban, which would also start in 2025.

Read more:


No more cash in Sweden?

Swedes are blazing a trail in Europe, with banks, buses, street vendors and even churches expecting plastic or virtual payment
The Swedish banknotes issued last year: circulation of the krona has fallen sharply as electronic payment takes over.
The Swedish banknotes issued last year: circulation of the krona has fallen sharply as electronic payment takes over. Photograph: Fredrik Sandberg/EPA

In 1661, Stockholms Banco, the precursor to the Swedish central bank, issued Europe’s first banknotes, on thick watermarked paper bearing the bank’s seal and eight handwritten signatures.

Last year – as Britain did last week – Sweden launched a new series of notes, cheery affairs featuring 20th-century Swedish cultural giants such as Astrid Lindgren, the creator of Pippi Longstocking, Greta Garbo and filmmaker Ingmar Bergman. But like its Nordic neighbours Norway, Denmark and Finland, Sweden is fast becoming an almost entirely cashless society.

“I don’t use cash any more, for anything,” said Louise Henriksson, 26, a teaching assistant. “You just don’t need it. Shops don’t want it; lots of banks don’t even have it. Even for a candy bar or a paper, you use a card or phone.”

Swedish buses have not taken cash for years, it is impossible to buy a ticket on the Stockholm metro with cash, retailers are legally entitled to refuse coins and notes, and street vendors – and even churches – increasingly prefer card or phone payments.

According to central bank the Riksbank, cash transactions made up barely 2% of the value of all payments made in Sweden last year – a figure some see dropping to 0.5% by 2020. In shops, cash is now used for barely 20% of transactions, half the number five years ago, and way below the global average of 75%.


Discover Palermo’s street food!

Street food at famous local market Ballaro in Palermo, Italy — Photo by gregorylee

Street food at famous local market Ballaro in Palermo, Italy — Photo by gregorylee
I was utterly charmed by Palermo when I was there less than a week ago. I admit to have been somewhat wary of it last time I visited. It was a combination of the bumper-to-bumper traffic; the accommodation (which although pretty, was smack bang in the middle of the Palermo of old, with its rather run-down buildings and slightly sinister narrow sparsely populated streets); and the fact that I probably hadn’t done enough research (so ended up in the night time market in “la Vucciria” with all sorts of shady characters eyeing me off suspiciously). This time around has been quite the opposite. It was helped by the fact that I didn’t drive, my accommodation was in a smart part of town close to Teatro Massimo and I went on a walking tour with Giorgio from Palermo Street Foods, who not only showed me all the markets and hidden foodie parts of town, but allowed me to see first hand the open generous heart of the local Palermitani. Continue reading

Eritrean who fled to UK wins award for helping other refugees

Award for Seada Fekadu comes as number of Eritreans granted protection in the UK plummets

Seada Fekadu
Seada Fekadu’s world was turned upside down when her father was arrested for his work with the opposition in Eritrea. Photograph: Riffy Ahmed

A young Eritrean woman who fled to the UK after her father was arrested for his political activities in her home country will receive an award for helping and inspiring other migrants and refugees. Continue reading

Budapest Premier Kultcafé: Europe’s first and largest disability-friendly community and cultural space


Premier Kultcafé, located in the premises of what used to be the premises of the Vörösmarty cinema on Üllői út, just off Kálvin tér in central Budapest, opens today with a cinema, café, bakery and events hall all operated by employees living with disabilities. Initially, the 620 square metre venue, which is run by a foundation established by celebrated Hungarian actress Mari Törőcsik, will provide work to 8-10 people.

The former cinema underwent a HUF 150 million revamp, which extending to the renovation of the 55-seat grand hall and a variety room to host concerts and other cultural events. (…)

Premier Kultcafé was born to show that culture belongs to everyone and there are no obstacles by employing people with disabilities

– they wrote on their Facebook page.

photos: Facebook and