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

Help From Iceland Saves Thousands Of Lives

Published August 2, 2011

Assistance that Iceland has given to southern Somalia has already saved the lives of thousands, UNICEF reports.
Somalia is a country in the midst of a brutal civil war that has rendered it an effectively stateless society. Violence and famine are rife, and southern Somalia is under the control of extremists who have banned foreign aid agencies.
Nonetheless, UNICEF has been doing what they can to help people in the region, and Iceland has taken no small part in this. According to a statement on their website, Iceland has sent some 1,300 tonnes of material to the region. This includes 653 tonnes of nutritionally fortified instant porridge mix, distributed to some 800 centres in the area.
Material has also been sent to Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti, which are currently grappling with a drought.
About 8,000 Icelanders have given to UNICEF in the past few days, raising some 21.5 million ISK. Many Icelanders also donate on a monthly basis through their private bank accounts.
If you want to donate to UNICEF, and have a mobile phone in Iceland, you can do so by calling 908-1000, 908-3000 or 908-5000, which donates 1,000, 3,000 and 5,000 ISK to UNICEF respectively, directly from your phone bill. You can also deposit money directly into UNICEF Iceland’s bank account – make transfers payable to account number 515-26-102040, using the kennitala 481203-2950.



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Icelandic Police Receive Machine Guns, Glocks

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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

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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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