Newsletter: 2021 Brings Vaccinations and New Leadership

GP in Bodø municipality, Kine Kalstad received the first Covid vaccine in Bodø from Kari Snoen Viik. (Photo: Trine Jonassen)
GP in Bodø Municipality, Kine Kalstad (44) got the first Covid-vaccine in her town in North Norway. (Photo: Trine Jonassen)
Many drew a sigh of relief when the calendar turned pages into 2021 and the world was moving towards a new spring. A Corona-free spring with a new US President, and a world in which the world pulls in the same direction. Then came the blast.

One week into the new year we can clearly say that the chaos and unrest from 2020 is not over, not by far. Much of it is down to out-going president of the United States, Donald Trump, and his administration.

Only two weeks prior to leaving office at the White House, the Trump administration continues its controversial auctioning of drilling rights on the North Slope in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

Mike Pompeo.
Mike Pompeo firing verbal shots immediately prior to the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting in Rovaniemi, Finland. (Photo: Arne O. Holm)
Mike Pompeo has been Secretary of State since April 2018. (Photo: Arne O. Holm).

Earlier this week, Twitter caught fire after a series of retrospective tweets from Mike Pompeo, who looked back at his term as US Secretary of State with a series of highlights that by many were considered the low points.

China mistake

In addition, the US Navy managed to list China as an Arctic state in a press release about its new Arctic strategy. A sentence that was later corrected rather quietly.

Read more about the strategy here.

Elizabeth Buchanan at the Australian War College predicts an impressive development in Russia when it comes to the country’s Arctic region.

The rich suffer horribly

So, just one week into the new year it is already packed with news and the announcing of plans. However, a retrospective look is also required, and our Editor-in-Chief Arne O. Holm is crystal clear as ever in his first Friday commentary of 2021:

Arne O. Holm
Tided of the fortunetellers in suits: Editor in Chief of High North News, Arne O. Holm
Editor-in-Chief, Arne O. Holm.

If we disregard our joint despair over the USA for one second, the claim that the rich are suffering was one out of very few issues that managed to rank high on our national agenda in 2020.”

Arctic on clay

In Norway, a small town outside Oslo had to face the new year in deep grief. Ten persons lost their lives in a quick clay landslide just before New Year’s Eve, three of whom are still missing. Large parts of the Arctic are located on clay, and a scientist High North News has interviewed points out that thorough mapping efforts are needed before new constructions and developments in areas that may contain quick clay.

As for business, we can report that mining agreements are signed in Canada and in Norway, Rana Gruber has started moving on its road towards becoming the world’s first fully emission-free iron ore mine.

The pandemic continues raging with renewed strength after the Christmas holidays. However, given that vaccination has started in the Arctic too, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

This and more you can find at High North News during the first week of 2021.

We would love to hear what goes on in your part of the Arctic, and feel free to share our newsletter with others who you think may be interested in news from the top of the world.

Our best regards for the new year!

Trine Jonassen,

News Editor, High North News