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Pollution In West Fjörds Becoming Serious Problem

Published January 4, 2011

A member of parliament has asked that the Environmental Committee convene to address evidence of highly toxic dioxin gas being released by a garbage incinerator near Ísafjörður, which has caused both environmental damage to the region and possibly contributed to health problems among the residents. The incinerator was shut down permanently on January 1, following the discovery.
Eyjan reports that Social Democrat MP Ólína Þorvarðardóttir has called for the meeting, pointing out that the incinerator Funi, in the West Fjörds town of Ísafjörður, has been damaging the environment for years with the release of dioxin gas. People living in the area have also reported health problems associated with dioxin.
Strangest of all, the matter was not brought to light by health officials but actually by a regional dairy manufacturer, which found highly poisonous levels of dioxin in cow’s milk. Following up on this, it was discovered that emissions from Funi have never been accurately gauged, and that dioxin levels in the area were up to 20 times over the safe limit.
Ólína has asked the committee to get to the bottom of how this could have been allowed to continue for as long as it has, and what steps must now be taken.
Dioxins are a group of chemicals with varying levels of toxicity, damaging to liver and kidneys, and can have serious long-term health effects. TCDD, the poison that was used against former Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko, is for example a dioxin, and was also an active ingredient of the infamous Vietnam War-era pesticide Agent Orange.



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Police Fail To Withhold Names And Identities

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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

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110 Earthquakes In 24 Hours

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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.

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Gas Pollution Blows West on Saturday, East on Sunday

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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.

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Pasha’s 4th Day on Hunger Strike

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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.

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Former PM Regrets 1968 Racist Remarks

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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

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Blacked Out Street Lights For Better View Of Northern Lights

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An employee of a travel service recently extinguished all street lighting by Kleppjárnsreykir, in the inlands of Borgarfjörður, by aiming a flashlight at their light-sensor controller. Apparently he did this to give a group of tourists a clearer view of the northern lights at play. According to Skessuhorn, a local news medium, this created great danger for the people who stood on the road to observe the sky, insufficiently visible to drivers, in the dark. Police authorities in Borgarfjörður received a complaint about the incident. The rhapsodic tourist guide told police that he had taken care that the travellers did

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