Police have disclosed an internal report about its actions and organization during public demonstrations in the advent and aftermath of the 2008 ecomonic crash, including events related to the uprising known as the “kitchenware revolution”. This is in accordance to a ruling made by the Information Access Complaint Board last week. The board ruled that the report should be disclosed as demanded by author and activist Eva Hauksdóttir since 2012, while the identity, names and addresses of various individuals and officers involved should be withheld. After distributing three copies of the report to select media outlets, the Police were made aware that those names had remained legible. The police seem to have used a feature in document editors to cover those instances with black lines, rather than actually delete the information. The printed version then did not fully obscure the names, as they were lined over with a lighter shade of black than the text itself. It follows that the names and identities remained fully accessible to those with access to the report. The report covers 136 protest gatherings from 2008 to 2011. According to mbl.is, Police has called these copies back and will distribute an improved version, with identities hidden as demanded.
Vísir reports that, during 24 hours from Friday morning to early Saturday, 110 earthquakes were measured in and around Bárðarbunga. Seven of those measured at or over magnitude 4 on the Richter-scale. The biggest in the series was of magnitude 5.2 shortly before two o’clock Saturday morning. Bárðarbunga has been in eruption for close to two months now, or since August 29th. Twenty minor earthquakes were measured around mount Herðubreið, none over magnitude 2.
The Met Office predicts volcanic gas pollution around the Western, North-Western and South-Western coasts and inlands on Saturday. On Sunday gas pollution is expected on the Southern-East coast and inlands. The Met Office has introduced an online interactive visualizer of its gas pollution forecast model. The Met Office warns that this model is still in development and that predicted levels of SO2 output are imprecise.
Today, Adam Ibrahim Pasha concludes the fourth day of his hunger strike, which commenced Tuesday. The hunger strike is in protest of the Directorate of Immigration’s (UTL’s) recent decision not to review his application for asylum. Pasha says he will rather die than be deported. Earlier today, he said he felt weak and in need of hospital care. Social services will supposedly visit him today, but at the time of this writing it remained unclear if they would be accompanied by a doctor. [Update:] Pasha was visited by social services today, as well as medical staff, which arrived by ambulance. According to his lawyer, Kolbrún Garðarsdóttir, his medical condition is under strong surveillance. Campaigned for children’s rights Mr. Pasha is a Jewish citizen of Iraq. He grew up in the city of Kirkuk, in Iraq, later converting from Islam to Jewry. In Iraqi documents he is registered as a Jewish Kurd. Until 2010, before he fled Iraq, Pasha was employed as a teacher. He is said to have freely voiced his opposition to the employment and suffering of children at war, as well as publicly stating his religious views. Having converted from Islam to Jewry, Pasha is said to have little access to Muslim communities, while the conversion remains insufficient to make him fully accepted in Jewish communities, or secure him a residence permit in Israel. After public hangings of Jews in Iraq in 1969, the country’s Jewish population did not feel safe and most fled the country in the 1970s. Reportedly, less than ten Jews remain in Iraq. Pasha’s wife is an Israeli citizen. She has reportedly pleaded to the Israeli consulate in Iceland to assist him. [Update:] According to Páll Arnór Pálsson, the Consul of Israel to Iceland, Pasha has been allowed to visit Israel, but his application for a residence permit there has been declined. Death threats in Slovakia In 2010, Pasha fled persecution and torture he faced in Iraq. He stayed in Slovakia for a while where he, reportedly, met with repeated death threats for his religious views. He claims that Police authorities in Slovakia have been unwilling to intervene. Police reports accompanying his application in Iceland seem to support the claim. Pasha entered Iceland last July, four years after leaving Iraq, and applied for asylum or, if declined, then residence permit on humanitarian grounds. On October 17th UTL ruled that it would not review his application, referring to rights he supposedly should enjoy in Slovakia, where Pasha first settled after fleeing Iraq in 2010. According to Pasha’s application papers, prepared by lawyer Kolbrún Garðarsdóttir, Slovak immigration authorities have already refused Iceland’s request to refer his case back to Slovakia. Apart from that, deciding not to process the contents of his application seems to mean that Iceland’s ruling did not take any of Pasha’s claims about his perils in Slovakia into account. [Update:] In a phone conversation today afternoon, Kolbrún emphasized that UTL’s decision will be appealed on Pasha’s behalf and should not be regarded as
Former Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde says that regrets and feels ashamed by racist remarks he made in a school paper at the age of 17. Geir’s article, “Maladies in our Society” resurfaced earlier this year. Its final paragraphs consist of explicitly racist remarks, including: “… I want to mention the highly increased blood-mixing of people of color and Icelanders. I think that such mixing is, to say the least, highly undesirable and unhealthy. The results of mistakes made by nitwits in these matters can be horrendous.” And so on. When the paper came under public scrutiny, last January, Geir responded by saying that the words therein were stupid and indefensible. Among those who criticized Geir as well as those who found coverage of the almost half-century old writing unfair, was musician Unnsteinn Manuel Stefánsson (of Retro Stefson fame). He now hosts RÚV’s young adult-oriented show Hæpið . In an episode broadcast last Wednesday, Unnsteinn confronted and interviewed Geir, who now spoke about the issue at more length. In the interview, Geir said: “It is of course incomprehensible that this was put on paper less than 50 years ago. These remarks are ridiculous, they were then and they are now. Naturally I just feel ashamed for them. If I have hurt anyone by this, you or anyone else, I apologize.” He called the writing a “stupid act” by a teenager. “Of course I was not raised this way and I have not raised my children this way either.” He said that his whole political career contradicted these writings, and mentioned that he had partaken in amending laws, as well as the Constitution, to strengthen the legal position of victims of discrimination. “Prejudices are never to be tolerated and people must fight against them in any way they can,” said Geir. “It is the individual that matters, not the way he looks, his color, his sexuality, race or gender. This is not what matters. What matters is who a person is, what his character is like, and what sort of person he is.”
There are 220 bands playing Iceland Airwaves this year. That’s a lot of bands to keep track of. And some of their names aren’t exactly doing us any favours… Okay, So You Basically Have The Same Name East India Youth East Of My Youth Note: East India Youth are the band from the UK. East Of My Youth is the Icelandic one. Una Stef Uni Stefson They’re both from Iceland. They’re both in their early twenties. The former is apparently sometimes referred to as the “Icelandic Alicia Keys.” The latter you might recognize from a band called Retro Stefson. Kaleo Kelela The former band is from Iceland, and we hear they might become one of Iceland’s breakout bands of year. So perhaps you’ll see them in the States, where the latter musician lives. Sykur Gervisykur By the way, Sykur means sugar. Gervisykur means “fake sugar” like Sweet’n Low or other artificial sweeteners. Christ, Your Name Is Long! T.V. Thoranna Björnsdóttir & Valtyr Björn Thors Maybe it’s easier to remember TVTB&VBT? Maybe not. Your Name Is Pretty Long Too! King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizzard But at least it’s fun to say. If We Didn’t Know Better We Would Think You Were Icelandic Lindy Vopnfjörð He’s from Canada. But he’s sort of Icelandic. He’s what we call a “Western Icelander.” And You Pronounce That How? Nguzunguzu Tip: We hear it’s like En-goo-zoo en-goo-zoo. Also: Don’t mistake them for the band coming all the way from South Africa. These guys are from Los Angeles. The band from South Africa is called John Wizards. Go figure. We Speak Icelandic, But We Still Trip Over Your Name AmabAdamA Why is this so hard?? It’s like “Imagine an imaginary menagerie manager imagining managing an imaginary menagerie.” Or: “A skunk sat on a stump and thunk the stump stunk, but the stump thunk the skunk stunk.” If it helps, AmabAdamA means Amoeba Lady. You All Have Three-Letter Names That Start With V VAR Vio Vök Interestingly enough, Vio won this year’s annual Icelandic battle of the bands (Músíktilraunir) and Vök won it the year before. Coincidence? I think so. So Your Name Is A Little Bit Misleading Adult Jazz Ballet School Yeah, nope, not what you think. But You’re Actually A Boy Band? Girl Band Yeah, so this is that noise rock band from Ireland. It’s four dudes. Oh, You Aren’t A Singer Songwriter? Elín Helena This band from Selfoss is made up of six guys. They claim to play “punk punk,” or “two times as much punk as regular punk.” Fooled you too? Wizard What? King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizzard John Wizards Are wizards some Trans-Tasman thing? Moses Who? Moses Hightower Moses Sumney The former is a four-piece band from Iceland. The Grapevine voted their track “Háa C” best song of the year in 2013. The latter Moses is a singer-songwriter from the States. An Orchestra? Iceland Symphony Orchestra Unknown Mortal Orchestra Orchestra of Spheres The first one on the list is the only