A Grapevine service announcement Be patient: That eruption is expected to last until 2015

Poll: More Want Social-Dems for Mayorship Than Conservatives

Published April 23, 2010

According to a new Capacent poll, more people want Social Democrat city councilman Dagur B. Eggertsson to be mayor of Reykjavík again than want the current conservative mayor, Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir, to remain on.
With municipal elections coming up on 29 May, all parties are out in full force to drum up support. According to an earlier poll, the Independence Party came out on top with 39.4%, or seven seats. The Social Dems achieved 26.3%, equating four seats, and the Leftist-Greens came in at 14.2%, or two seats. The Best Party – a satirical party created by comedian Jón Gnarr – is expected to win two seats.
Despite coming out as the largest party, most of those polled would rather not have a conservative mayor. 53.6% said they would rather choose Eggertson over Kristjánsdóttir, with 46.4% saying they would rather see Kristjánsdóttir.
The Independence Party has recently been hit hard with a scathing indictment of neglect and mismanagement in the Special Investigative Commission (SIC) report, while on a city level, the party was most recently criticized for supporting the funding of the city golf course for 230 million ISK, at a time when numerous cuts to city services are being made. Conservative city councilman and former mayor Vilhjálmur Þ. Vilhjálmsson’s remarks that golf is a “fine hobby” for the unemployed were also not well received.


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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 Jónsson, who used to run the notorious rehab Byrgið. Specifically, Erla was sentenced to pay damages for a quote she included in a news article she wrote about the rehab, which was shut down in 2007 after allegations of fraud and sexual abuse came to

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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 levels reached as high as 1.8 ppm, or about 5100 µg/​m3. MBL reports that residents were sent text messages advising them to stay indoors, close their windows, turn up their heaters and be alert for signs of SO2 poisoning. Over the next 48 hours, the

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Bomb Squad’s 2003 Find Possibly Western Chemical Weapons

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A team of Icelandic bomb squad technicians may have found US-produced mustard gas in Iraq, during the 2003-invasion. This was reported by RÚV’s Kastljós, following last week’s coverage in the New York Times, of chemical weapons actually found during the invasion, but treated as classified due to their origins on the one hand, and relative harmlessness, compared with the hypothetical weapons declared to be in the hands of dictator Saddam Hussein in the advent of the invasion. “Old chemical munitions” In 2003, the Icelandic bomb squad’s discovery of potential chemical weapon warheads was covered on the front page of newspaper

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Pirate MP Defies ISNIC By Opening Blasphemy.is

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Pirate MP Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson registered the domain Guðlast.is, translatable as blasphemy.is, to point out what he claims is mistaken reasoning behind ISNIC’s closure of the Islamic State’s .is domain. Vísir quotes Helgi Hrafn as saying: “I wanted to show that if people wanted to refer to the country’s legislation as grounds for banning certain domains, they must realize that incredible things are forbidden in this country, for example blasphemy.” In its current form the website merely quotes the penalty law article on blasphemy: “Whoever publicly mocks or derides articles of faith or divine worship of a religious group legally

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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 that Hanna Birna resign, in part because “the Minister did not speak truthfully to parliament and the Minister directly intervened in the investigation [of her ministry].” Speaking on radio station Bylgjan, Hanna Birna was dismissive of the proposal, telling listeners: “I find [the proposal] unbelievable

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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 of “full time work”. The bill proposes that the definition be changed from 40 hours per week to 35. Þorsteinn, in an interview with Stöð 2, told reporters that the concerns raised in the bill were unrealistic, saying that Icelanders work on average about 37

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