The remains of chess champion Bobby Fischer were exhumed last night from the Laugardælir Cemetery near Selfoss, according to Morgunblaðið. The Supreme Court of Iceland ruled last month to exhume Bobby‘s body in order to acquire DNA samples for paternity testing. Marilyn Young, a woman from the Philippines with whom Bobby had a relationship, claims he is the biological father of her daughter, Jinky. She is currently involved in a legal dispute between Bobby‘s American relatives and a Japanese woman who once married him over his 1.3 million pound (2 million USD) estate. The courts ruled that Jinky deserved to know her true patronage and that in order to determine who has rights to the inheritance, it was necessary to exhume his body. The exhumation was carried out according to the court‘s ruling and overseen by the Sheriff of Selfoss, Ólafur Helgi Kjartansson. Members of the Parish, medical professionals and several lawmen were present as well to oversee the procedure. Fischer moved to Iceland in 2005 and gained citizenship in order to avoid deportation to the United States, where he faced charges for breaking international sanctions. He died in a Reykjavík hospital of kidney failure in 2008.
A tourist operator stumbled across a family wandering around on Langjökull glacier yesterday. Langjökull is quite dangerous for those unfamiliar with the area and has whirlpools reaching 100-200 metres down into the glacier. “I asked [the father] what he was doing,” the director of ICE Explorer, Arngrímur Hermannsson, told RÚV. “He answered: Am I maybe doing something I shouldn’t be doing?” The family of five, two adults and three children, had driven onto the glacier in a rented car and on roads typically used by tour companies driving eight-wheelers equipped for extreme weather. “This is the best way to get on Langjökull glacier and
Intense earthquake activity continues around Bárðarbunga volcano and Vatnajökull glacier, reports RÚV. Just passed midnight an earthquake measuring 5.3 on the Richter scale hit Bárðarbunga and an earthquake measuring 4.5 hit Askja caldera, the largest quake in Askja since 1992. An additional two strong earthquakes hit Bárðarbunga around 3 am. Seismic activity has been intensifying further in the past few days due to pressure changes resulting from the movement of magma, which is now making its way to the Askja caldera. Almost 500 earthquakes were measured last night overall. According to the Met Office, going forward there are three possible outcomes. The first
Former Mayor of Reykjavík Jón Gnarr plans to appeal a decision by the National Registry which prevents him from changing his legal name to Jón Gnarr. Vísir reports that Jón recently filed a formal request with the National Registry to change his name from Jón Gnarr Kristinsson to just Jón Gnarr, as he has been known for decades. The Registry rejected the request, saying in part that “it is illegal to take up a new surname in Iceland.” Jón says that this is not true in practice, pointing out that foreigners who receive Icelandic citizenship are allowed to keep their
A group of Icelanders hopes to educate the general public on how to avoid buying products from Israel. DV reports that the group, called BDS Ísland, hopes to bring to light which Icelandic companies are importing and selling Israeli goods. The “BDS” in the group’s name stands for “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions”. The movement is an extension of the Facebook group “We don’t buy products from Israel”, wherein Icelanders post Israeli goods that they find on store shelves here in Iceland. Sema Erla Serdar, the chairperson of BDS Ísland, hopes to assemble and organise this information, and then make it more
Interior Minister Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir reportedly threatened the former police commissioner with an investigation of her own, and her assistants tried to influence his statements to the press. This and more has come to light in a new letter from the Parliamentary Ombudsman. Parliamentary Ombudsman Tryggvi Gunnarsson today published another letter to Hanna Birna, asking for more information in light of her answers to his previous letter and his conversations with former Commissioner of the Capital Area Police Stefán Eiríksson. In the course of the Ombudsman’s interview with Stefán, the former commissioner says that Hanna Birna had, on many occasions,
After the big reveal of The Knife’s Iceland Airwaves performance last week, the festival has released 40 new additions for the 2014 edition. The announcement includes a fine selection of local artists, including Grapevine’s band of the year Sin Fang, the Ólafur Arnalds/Janus Rasmussen techno partnership Kiasmos, emerging nu-electronica maestro M-Band, and bearded musical polymath Mugison. From abroad, the UK indie label Domino Records will send over two of their finest, with virtuoso guitarist Anna Calvi bringing her dramatic sound to Reykjavík, alongside label-mate How To Dress Well. They’re joined by Bella Union’s indie-psych band Horse Thief, Canadian noise-rock outfit