US President Barack Obama’s quick trip to Oslo to pick up his medal and return almost immediately to Washington has astonished, bewildered or irritated Norwegians. He signed the awardees’ guest book, met the Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and King Harald V, delivered an acceptance speech and joined the king and queen at an evening banquet. But he skipped other traditional activities including the royal luncheon, a news conference, the CNN interview, the “Save the Children” benefit concert and the Nobel honourees’ concert. Obama’s excuse was essentially, “my schedule made me do it”. Or, as he said, “I still have a lot of work to do back in Washington, DC, before the year is done.” Of course, there is that little matter of highlighting an honour for peace even as the president sends more troops off to war. For more, read the AP
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