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Norway MP plays PDA game during war debate

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Credit CNN.com

OSLO, Norway (AP) -- While parliament hotly debated the actions of Norwegians fighting in Afghanistan, one lawmaker passed the time by playing a war-game of his own on his handheld computer.

What Conservative lawmaker Trond Helleland, chairman of the justice committee, didn't know was that national television was taping Wednesday's heated debate and zoomed in on him from behind as he played.

Helleland and the game made national television news Wednesday and major papers on Thursday, drawing furious responses.

"A member of parliament sitting and playing war-games in the meeting hall when such serious questions as war and peace are being discussed puts us all in a bad light," Marit Nybakk of the Labor Party told Norway's largest newspaper, Verdens Gang.

Among the topics debated was the use of a Norwegian fighter plane supporting coalition forces in Afghanistan. The plane dropped bombs during fighting Monday, the first time since World War II that Norway, a country of 4.5 million people, has been involved in combat. Lawmakers also debated what stand the NATO-member nation should take on a possible U.S.-led war against Iraq.

Helleland said he had intended to check his schedule on his Palm personal digital assistant but couldn't resist a round of Metalion, a war-game set in space that lets players shoot laser cannon at targets. He played it for about seven minutes in full view of cameras.

"This is, of course, very embarrassing and should never have happened," said Helleland, who claimed he followed most of the debate while he played the game.
 

Maxx

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At least he didn't break out a Gameboy Advance :D
 

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