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New Time in the World


A small tug can overturn a large load, it is said. Now neither New Time nor US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice is a tue or a load, respectively, but the saying still seems relevant given this week's events.

Rice's European tour this week was summed up in this way on Thursday by the non – radical newspaper Financial Times: "CIA claims casts shadow over Rice's European visit."

The increasingly extensive revelations of CIA planes at European airports meant that she could hardly talk about anything else on her diplomatic journey. And here, in fact, little Ny Tid has had a role, we must believe, among others, CNN.

Ny Tid's revelation on 11 November, that a secret CIA plane took off from Gardermoen airport on 20 July this year, means that international media have been able to increase the pressure on Rice before the visit to Europe. The reason is that the CIA's Gardermoen aircraft this summer flew directly to Le Bourget airport outside Paris. This immediately aroused the interest of French journalists, after they had apparently seen English translations of the NTB report on the New Age case.

It did not take long before TV1 France called to inquire about the CIA plane, which has frequently landed at the controversial Guantanamo Bay prison base in Cuba. And last Friday, the conservative French newspaper Le Figaro had a major case about the CIA plane from Oslo to Paris, with reference to "the Norwegian daily newspaper Ny Tid".

CNN was then able to report on its website that Le Figaro's CIA case "used the Norwegian newspaper Ny Tid as its source". And thanks in part to this international follow-up, Rice had to stand up for school and answer critical questions on his European tour this week.

This shows how important it is to exchange information across national borders, including within the press environment.

Following the announcement on 11 November, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the American ambassador to a meeting about the CIA planes. But the response from the USA was then only dismissive in that the plane was not on "assignment for American authorities". The pressure from France, among others, makes it easier to get a clarification of what these planes are actually used for. As Ny Tid wrote in October, CIA planes in Norwegian airspace have previously been used to transport terrorist prisoners from Italy, among other places.

Ny Tid is also arousing interest in the world in other areas. On Tuesday, The Hindu, India's leading newspaper with over three million readers, was able to tell its readers about the New Times' headline from November 26: Namely that the terror-stamped Tamil Tigers (LTTE) in Sri Lanka have received a total of 25 million kroner in state aid from Norway. The newspaper article was translated and distributed to a large number of Asian media.

In today's newspaper, we can say that Sri Lankan newspapers write that Sri Lankan authorities will now ask Norway to stop the money transfers to LTTE. Symptomatically, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not want to comment on the matter. Paradoxically, it is easier to get answers from Colombo than from Vika terrace when it comes to the use of Norwegian funds abroad.

This should not become a habit. It is to be hoped that the Norwegian authorities will soon take financially threatened newspapers such as Ny Tid as seriously as the foreign media do.


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