Icelandic Coast Guard Bought 250 MP5s From Norwegian Army

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A spokesperson for the Norwegian army has confirmed that the Icelandic Coast Guard bought 250 MP5 submachine guns from them last December, contrary to official contentions that the guns were a gift. RÚV reports that Dag Aamont, a spokesperson for the Norwegian army, has confirmed that the Icelandic Coast Guard signed a deal with the […]

STEF Issues Injunction Against Telecoms

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Copyright holders interest group STEF has issued an injunction against many Icelandic telecoms to block access to Deildu.net and The Pirate Bay. MBL reports that The Performing Rights Society of Iceland (STEF) has already filed an injunction against telecoms Voda­fo­ne, Hringdu, Sím­inn, Tal and 365 Media, asking the court to rule in favour of ordering […]

More Priests Than Medical Clinics In Countryside

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Outside of Iceland’s capital, priests outnumber medical clinics, and some far-flung corners have no government offices at all. Vísir reports that, according to data from the Icelandic Regional Development Institute, priests are considerably easier to find than medical professionals in many parts of the countryside. While priests are absent from 12 municipalities outside the capital […]

Icelanders Object To More Machine Guns For Cops

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Many Icelandic citizens are voicing their opposition to the recent police acquisition of MP5 submachine guns, manifesting in protest and petition alike. Icelanders have long prided themselves as belonging to a peaceful, army-free country. This is being cited by many Icelanders on social media as amongst the reason why they object to recent news that […]

Iceland Gets Closer To 330,000 Mark

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Iceland’s population reached 328,170 at the end of the third quarter of the year, increasing by over a thousand in just three months. Statistics Iceland reports that there are more men than women in Iceland, at 164,710 and 163,460 respectively, and over two-thirds of the total population – or 210,660 people – live in the […]

Icelander To Take Virtual Trip To Mars

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An electric car salesman will soon be the first Icelander to take a virtual trip to the only planet inhabited entirely by robots: Mars. Nútíminn reports that Gísli Gíslason, the managing director of Icelandic electric car company Even, has received a special invitation from NASA to take a virtual trip to Mars. “Yeah, you have […]

Icelandic Police Receive Machine Guns, Glocks

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The Icelandic police force will soon be adding MP5 machine guns and Glock 17 semiautomatics to their arsenals. DV first reported on the matter early this morning. MBL reports that a “substantial number” of MP5 machine guns are in the hands of the police force, apart from the Glock handguns. While it was initially reported […]

Journalist Wins Case Against Icelandic State (Again)

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The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled in favour of Icelandic journalist Erla Hlynsdóttir in her case against the Icelandic state. Vísir reports the court found that the human rights of Erla Hlynsdóttir (shown on the right) were violated when the Supreme Court sentenced her to pay damages to the wife of Guðmundur […]

Heavy Volcanic Eruption Pollution In Southeast Iceland

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Residents of Höfn are being advised to stay indoors as SO2 levels from the Holuhraun eruption reach uncomfortable levels. The Icelandic Met Office reports exceptionally high levels of sulphur dioxide from the Holuhraun eruption washing over the southeast corner of the country. Höfn (pop. 2,166) is the most populated municipality in the area, where SO2 […]

Interior Minister: Call To Resign “Unbelievably Inappropriate”

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Minister of the Interior Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir has dismissed a Left-Green proposal that she resign as “unbelievably inappropriate”. Her criticisms that the proposal contains falsehoods, however, appear to contradict the facts. Last weekend, the Left-Green Party held a party convention wherein a number of proposals were bundled into a general platform. Amongst these proposals is […]

Management Wrong On Icelanders’ Working Hours

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A representative of management who contended that Icelanders do not need to work fewer hours has been corrected by the director of the Association for Sustainability and Democracy (ALDA). As reported, Þorsteinn Víglundsson, the director of Business Iceland (SA), recently dismissed a bill that was recently submitted to parliament on the subject of the definition […]

“Idiot” And Other Words Removed From Icelandic Penal Code

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The Icelandic Penal Code was recently revamped to remove some of its more out-dated word choices, and replace them with more modern equivalents. RÚV reports that amongst these proposed changes is to remove the word “idiot” and replace it with the phrase “individual with a developmental disorder”. The out-dated “idiot” is currently used in Article […]

MPs Want To Shorten Work Week

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A new bill has been submitted to parliament which would, if passed, legally define working full time to 35 hours per week instead of 40. According to the bill, which has been submitted by Pirate Party MPs Björn Leví Gunnarsson and Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson and Social Democrat MP Sigríður Ingibjörg Ingadóttir, changing the definition of […]

Christmas Goat Back To Tempt Fate

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The Christmas Goat has returned to IKEA in Garðarbær, despite facing both potential arson or high winds, which have defeated the giant straw ruminant before. Vísir reports that IKEA in Garðarbær is already beginning preparations for Christmas. While this means the store itself will be replete with holiday decorations, no IKEA in Christmastime would be […]

Eruption Likely To Last Until 2015

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At the rate the Holuhraun eruption is slowing, one volcanologist believes it will last until early next year. Vísir reports that there are a number of indications that the Holuhraun eruption will continue, but at a gradually slowing pace before reaching a complete stop. Volcanologist Haraldur Sigurðsson points out that the crater in Bárðarbunga is […]

Finance Minister Defends Raising Food Tax

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Minister of Finance Bjarni Benediktsson says it is “out of the question” that there will be any changes to his controversial food tax bill. RÚV reports that Bjarni dismissed any criticism of his new food bill, saying that the Ministry was not trying to set any consumption criteria for Icelandic households – rather, they were […]

Anti-Abortion Prayer Group “Harassment”

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A sociologist and gender studies expert told the Grapevine that an anti-abortion group which has recently gained attention is engaging in harassment of women. Vísir reports that a group of four have recently begun to assemble in front of the Women’s Ward of the National Hospital every Tuesday. What all of them have in common […]

Netflix Trying To Open In Iceland

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Icelanders may soon be able to legally access the popular streaming site Netflix, replete with Icelandic subtitles. Nútíminn reports that according to their sources, Netflix is already in preparations to open access to Iceland, but it is still uncertain when exactly that will happen. There are still two crucial details that need to be taken […]

Unemployment In Iceland Now At 3%

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Unemployment in Iceland is now the lowest it has been since the October 2008 economic collapse; lower than in both the European Union and the US. Kjarninn reports that unemployment in Iceland for the month of September was measured at 3%. At the same time, the average rate of unemployment in the EU is 10.1%, […]

New Batch Of Names Receive Name Committee Ruling

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The Name Committee has approved and rejected a new set of submitted names, and has also come up with an Icelandic translation for the English name Robert. RÚV reports that the Name Committee processed 15 applications for new names to be added to the Icelandic lexicon. As was to be expected, not all of them […]

Deildu.net Moves Overseas

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Icelandic file sharing site Deildu.net has moved their website abroad, in response to yesterday’s court ruling ordering some ISPs to block access to the site. Vísir reports that Deildu has taken up a new website, based in the small Atlantic islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon. Now called Iceland.pm, the site is the same in […]

Court Rules Icelandic Torrent Site Blocked

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Reykjavík District Court has today ordered ISPs Vodafone and Hringdu to block their customers from accessing the Pirate Bay and Icelandic torrent site Deildu.net. RÚV reports that this is the first time Icelandic telecoms have been allowed to deny access to a website due to violation of copyright. It is uncertain at this time if […]

No Connection Between Muslims And Violence Against Women

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An Icelandic criminologist says she has not been able to find any connection between the percentage of Muslims in a country and levels of violence against women there. Rather, education and gender equality are what have a direct effect on the matter. Margrét Valdimarsdóttir, who is seeking her doctorate in criminology from City University of […]

Ptarmigan Hunting Unsustainable

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An ecologist for The Icelandic Institute of Natural History (IINH) has released a report on ptarmigans, with one conclusion being that hunting them is unsustainable. Bæjarins Bestu reports that the ptarmigan population in Iceland has been on the rise, as have the number of nesting areas. At the same time, IINH ecologist Ólafur K. Nielsen […]

Pirate Party MP Criticises Shutting Down Islamic State Site

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Pirate Party MP Helgi Hrafn Gunn­ars­son has called the shutting down of khilafah.is “an irresponsible approach” to dealing with the Islamic State (IS) using an Icelandic domain name. ISNIC says it will “keep track of [.is] domains which seem Arabic”. “The public has the right to investigate and discuss openly some of the ugliest ideas […]

Gálgahraun Case To Go To Human Rights Court

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Those opposing road construction through the protected Gálgahraun lava fields will be appealing to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to hear their case. According to a statement from the Icelandic Environment Association (Landvernd), two of the convicted protesters and the environmentalist group Lava Friends have, with the support of Landvernd, filed an appeal […]

Government Concludes Each Meal Costs About 250 ISK

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A new bill on the VAT bases its proposals on the conclusion that each Icelander can live on about 750 ISK worth of food per day. Vísir reports that Minister of Finance Bjarni Benediktsson has submitted a bill to parliament that proposes raising the VAT, amongst other changes. A great many of these changes are […]

News In Brief: October

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 Anyone with a favourite pet knows how hard it is to be apart when travelling. One man who tried to  enter Iceland with three Madagascar hissing cockroaches can attest to this. Despite his professed love for  the creatures, customs authorities informed him that Icelandic law prohibits bringing pets to Iceland—  even pets as adorable as […]

Islamic State Using Icelandic Domain Name

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The Islamic State (IS) has a website registered under a .is domain name, and Icelandic government officials are looking for a way to shut the site down. The website in question, khilafah.is, features news, photos, and videos from the Islamic State, primarily in British English. A “whois” search on the site shows it is registered […]

More People Leaving Church Than Joining

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The number of people de-registering from the National Church has exceeded the number of people joining it, new data reveals. Kjarninn reports that 636 Icelanders de-registered from the National Church from July 1 to September 30 of this year alone. During the same period, 94 people joined it. The church is especially unpopular with Icelanders […]

Likely Shortage Of Whale Meat This Winter

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Whale hunters have fallen far under quota, making it very probable that there will be a shortage of whale meat in Iceland this winter. RÚV reports that minke whale hunting season will be drawing to a close on October 30. Only one launch of the whaling fleet was taken this year, but there were three […]

Trial Of Interior Minister Assistant Will Go On

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The trial of former Interior Minister assistant Gísli Freyr Valdórsson will continue, as the presiding judge has refused the defence’s request to dismiss the case. Vísir reports that Gísli’s defence attorney tried to have the case dismissed in Reykjavík District Court. He argued that the charge against Gísli was unclear, and argued again that the […]

Benefit Concert For Gálgahraun Nine In The Works

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Numerous musicians will soon be holding a benefit concert to pay the fines of the Gálgahraun Nine. Vísir reports that musician Bubbi Morthens is spearheading the event, with the hopes of getting as many different musicians as possible. All proceeds will go towards paying the fines of nine protesters, who were yesterday sentenced to pay […]

Interior Minister Assistant Wants Prison For Journalists

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An assistant to the Minister of the Interior is seeking to press for prison time for two journalists who briefly but erroneously reported on her involvement in the Tony Omos memo leak case. DV reports that Þórey Vilhjálmsdóttir, an assistant to Minister of the Interior Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir, is taking DV journalists Jón Bjarki Magnússon […]

Former Muslim Society Chair: Mosque Poll “Pointless”

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The former chairperson of the Muslim Society of Iceland called a recent poll on whether a mosque should be allowed in Iceland “pointless”, as human rights are not up for debate. “Personally, I find these kind of polls pointless,” former Muslim Society of Iceland chairperson Salmann Tamimi. “You might as well ask [in a poll] […]

Gálgahraun Nine Sentenced

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All nine protestors who halted road construction through the protected Gálgahraun lava field have been sentenced to pay fines or face jail time. Vísir reports that all nine suspects were found guilty of refusing to obey police orders to leave the premises. As such, they were sentenced to either pay 100,000 ISK each within four […]

Whale Beer Should Have Been Stopped

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The Ministry of Industries and Innovation has ruled that the sale of whale beer should be banned – some eight months after the supplies of the beer ran out. RÚV reports that the Ministry has ruled that it was right for the West Iceland Health Supervisory Authority to place a ban on the beer, which […]

State Radio Station Not For Sale

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Minister of Education and Cultural Affairs Illugi Gunnarsson has confirmed that state radio station Rás 2 will not be sold. Illugi was asked in an interview published in today’s Fréttablaðið supplement, Markaðinn, whether selling the radio station was in the cards. “Where the sale of Rás 2 is concerned, I think it’s something that wouldn’t […]

About 42% Against Mosque In Iceland

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42.4% of respondents to a poll from Market and Media Research (MMR) say they are against The Muslim Society building a mosque in Iceland. According to the poll, respondents were asked how supportive or against different houses of worship they were. 42.4% said they were against a mosque in Iceland, while 29.7% said they were […]

Interpol Head: Iceland Proves Gun Ownership Does Not (Necessarily) Mean Violence

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Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble says Iceland is proof that it is possible to keep violent crime down, even with a large amount of guns in civilian hands. Vísir reports that Noble is reaching the end of his post, and came to Iceland as the last stop on his tour of all 190 Interpol-participating countries. […]

Music Teachers To Go On Strike

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The Association of Music School Teachers (FT) will go on strike October 22 if a collective bargaining agreement is not reached with the Icelandic Association of Local Authorities (SÍS). According to an announcement on the union’s website, the teachers have been in negotiations with SÍS for the past ten months now, and remain the only […]

Most Icelanders Against Free Plots For Houses Of Worship

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A new poll from Market and Media Research (MMR) shows that the majority of respondents are against free plots of land for the building of houses of worship. Respondents were asked how they felt about the practice of municipalities giving free plots of land to religious organisations for building houses of worship. According to the […]

Refugee Granted Asylum

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After over two years of waiting and nearly being deported, Afghan asylum seeker Ghasem Mohamadi will officially be allowed to stay in Iceland. Vísir reports that Ghasem has been awarded political asylum in Iceland. The news comes as a relief to the asylum seeker, who has struggled for over two years to make Iceland his […]

Man Ordered To Dig Up Deceased Pet And Remove It

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An Akureyri man received a call from the Health Supervisory Authority telling him to move the remains of his pet dog, which he buried in his own yard two weeks previous. Vísir reports that about two weeks ago, Ármann Örn Sigursteinsson of Akureyri laid to rest his pet chihuahua Prins, who had been his companion […]

Poison Gas Cloud Heads For Capital

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Sulphur dioxide emissions from the Holuhraun eruption are now blowing southwest, covering parts of Snæfellsnes and the greater Reykjavík area. The Icelandic Met Office reported that the poisonous gas will be moving west and southwest both today and tomorrow, with small amounts possibly moving over Reykjavík tomorrow afternoon and evening. The levels of SO2 should […]

Murder Suspect Says Victim Took Own Life

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A man in police custody under suspicion of having murdered his wife contends she took her own life. Sources close to Vísir report that the victim died as the result of a cord or rope constricting her windpipe. While the police suspect her husband may have strangled her, he has maintained in a statement to […]

Fines For Illegal Parking Doubled

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Double-parking, parking on the sidewalk and needlessly parking in a disabled-only spot will now get you double the fines as before. Vísir reports that Reykjavík City Council has approved a measure that doubles all categories of parking fines. The move is not designed to generate revenue, however, but to increase the amount of available parking. […]

MP Wants To Sell State Radio Station

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Progressive MP and Chairperson of the Budget Committee Vigdís Hauksdóttir wants to sell state radio station Rás 2, with the proceeds to go into government coffers. Vísir reports that Vigdís has called for a special meeting of the Budget Committee due to the dire financial status of state broadcasting network RÚV. Speaking to listeners on […]

Playschool Kids Kept Indoors Due To Eruption Pollution

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Playschool children were kept indoors in an east Iceland town after sulphur dioxide from the Holuhraun eruption began to affect area residents. MBL reports that residents of Breiðdals­vík in east Iceland discovered today clouds of SO2 darkening the skies. The gas caused some to experience burning eyes and difficulty breathing. This prompted Civil Protection in […]

Gideons Prevented From Giving Bibles To Children

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An Icelandic primary school reversed a decision to let Gideons International distribute Bibles to students, as it violates city regulations about separation of religion and school. Vísir reports that the original plan was for representatives of the Bible company to come to the Melaskóli primary school to give copies of the New Testament to children […]