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

Revised Constitution Being Drafted

Published May 9, 2011

Iceland’s new constitution is currently being drafted, and a number of changes are already being proposed.
As the Grapevine reported, elections for the 25-member constitutional assembly were ruled invalid on the grounds that the way the elections were conducted broke numerous voting laws. The issue has been a political one, as conservatives have been opposed to changing the constitution, while leftists greatly favour doing so. Last February, the government proposed appointing those 25 who had been elected onto a “constitutional council”, thereby getting around the court ruling. The measure passed, 30 votes against 21.
Vísir now reports that a number of changes are already being proposed. Among these is an addition to the chapter on human rights, which would forbid any Icelander from being conscripted into military service. Iceland has no military force at the moment, and the closest thing to it – the Icelandic Defence Agency – was abolished last January. However, should an Icelandic army be formed, for whatever reason, and this new article to the constitution be passed, no Icelander need fear being drafted.
Those curious about the constitutional council, its background, and its purpose can visit their English language page. News on their progress is still only in Icelandic.



News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Icelandic Police Receive Machine Guns, Glocks

by

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 that these guns were bought from Norway, and that squad cars are now equipped with them, neither of these contentions are true. The guns are, however, in possession of the police force. The Ministry of the Interior – which oversees the police – posted an

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Journalist Wins Case Against Icelandic State (Again)

by

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

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Heavy Volcanic Eruption Pollution In Southeast Iceland

by

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

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Bomb Squad’s 2003 Find Possibly Western Chemical Weapons

by

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

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Pirate MP Defies ISNIC By Opening Blasphemy.is

by

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

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Interior Minister: Call To Resign “Unbelievably Inappropriate”

by

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

Show Me More!