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Whale Hunting Delayed Until Summer’s End

Whale Hunting Delayed Until Summer’s End

Published May 10, 2011

There will be no whale hunting conducted in Iceland this year until late August, although it won’t be due to complaints from whale watching companies.
Whale hunters and whale watching tour companies have long taken issue with each other, as they happen to both see their largest spike in activity in the summer time. Although whale hunting and whale watching areas have been more clearly delineated, whale watchers – among many other Icelanders – still maintain that the practice has a negative impact on Iceland’s image abroad.
One compromise that has been proposed in the past has been to allow for whale hunting in the fall or spring, instead of summer. This year, whale hunting will not kick off until late autumn, although the reason has nothing to do with concerns for Iceland’s tourists.
Rather, Skessuhorn reports, the delay is due to the devastating tsunami and earthquake which struck Japan last March. Amidst the destruction, a processing plant for whale meat from Hvalfjörður was badly damaged, and can therefore not receive any imports from Iceland.
Gunnlaugur Fjólar Gunnlaugsson, the project manager of the whaling station in Hvalfjörður, said that having to push back the start of whaling season to an undetermined time was a big disappointment for everyone, saying also that it has not just been the natural disaster itself but national grieving that has kept people for the most part indoors in Japan. Skessuhorn added that work at the Hvalfjörður plant has provided employment for 25 people in the region.



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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 Prime Minister 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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Icelandic Coast Guard Bought 250 MP5s From Norwegian Army

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A spokesperson for the Norwegian army has confirmed that the Icelandic Coast Guard bought 250 MP5 submachine guns from them last December, contrary to official contentions that the guns were a gift. RÚV reports that Dag Aamont, a spokesperson for the Norwegian army, has confirmed that the Icelandic Coast Guard signed a deal with the Norwegian army on December 17 of last year to purchase the weapons. According to the agreement, Iceland paid about 11.5 million ISK for the weapons. Dag would not offer more information on the matter, nor would he comment on statements from Icelandic officials that the

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STEF Issues Injunction Against Telecoms

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Copyright holders interest group STEF has issued an injunction against many Icelandic telecoms to block access to Deildu.net and The Pirate Bay. MBL reports that The Performing Rights Society of Iceland (STEF) has already filed an injunction against telecoms Voda­fo­ne, Hringdu, Sím­inn, Tal and 365 Media, asking the court to rule in favour of ordering them to block access to torrent sites The Pirate Bay and its Icelandic cousin, Deildu.net (now known as Iceland.pm). The injunction against Síminn fell through on technicalities, and the judge in the Tal case recused themselves as being unfit to hear the trial. While most

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More Priests Than Medical Clinics In Countryside

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Outside of Iceland’s capital, priests outnumber medical clinics, and some far-flung corners have no government offices at all. Vísir reports that, according to data from the Icelandic Regional Development Institute, priests are considerably easier to find than medical professionals in many parts of the countryside. While priests are absent from 12 municipalities outside the capital area, medical clinics are absent from 15 of them. Three municipalities – Svalbarðseyri, Stöðvarfjörður and Stokkseyri – have no government branch offices whatsoever. Reykjavík is home to the seat of government, the National Church, and the main offices of nearly all public service departments. Outside

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