A Grapevine service announcement Pay attention: Holuhraun, still spewing lava. Bárðarbunga, still sinking.

Icelander Helped Bring Down Wanted American Gangster

Published October 10, 2011

A chance meeting in Santa Monica, California between fugitive gangster Whitey Bulger and former actress Anna Björnsdóttir helped bring him to justice.
Bulger had been wanted by the FBI for many years for his involvement in organised crime in the Boston area, facing charges ranging from extortion and racketeering to murder. But Bulger managed to slip through the cracks, escaping to California.
The Boston Globe now reports that one of the key people instrumental in bringing Bulger down was none other than actress Anna Björnsdóttir, who happened to be his neighbour, living near his Santa Monica apartment.
It all started with a stray cat named Tiger, which Bulger’s girlfriend Catherine Greig – known to her friends as Carol Gasko – used to feed and at one point took to the vet. Anna was touched by her love for the cat, and thought of her fondly. But then:

The Icelandic beauty, who gained minor fame decades ago starring in Vidal Sassoon and Noxzema commercials, was home in Reykjavik, Iceland, when she saw a CNN report on the FBI’s latest effort to track the 82-year-old Bulger and his 60-year-old girlfriend, Catherine Greig. Bjornsdottir recognized them immediately as the Gaskos, her former neighbors – Tiger’s benefactors – an ocean away on Third Street.
With a phone call to the FBI, Bjornsdottir ended one of the longest and most expansive manhunts in FBI history and brought Bulger home to face charges that he had killed 19 people, some of whose bodies were unearthed while the gangster was posing as a retiree in Southern California.

Anna, who now works as a graphic designer, ended up collecting $2 million of a $2.1 million reward for Bulger.
Bulger is currently in custody, facing at least 19 separate murder charges.



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Progressives Mock Muslims On Video

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Reykjavík’s two Progressive councilpersons showed up at a student party uninvited and held forth in an incident captured on video. Vísir reports that last Friday night, political science and economics students from the University of Iceland were holding a party at Hverfisgata 33. The upper floors of this building are home to a reception hall, as well as the offices of the Progressive Party. At some point in the evening, some of these Progressives decided to pay a visit. A student at the scene reported that the Progressives were having an event of their own on the floor below the

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Landowners Demand End To Smelter Pollution

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A group of landowners in Reyðarfjörður have told the Alcoa Fjarðaál aluminium smelter to stop the emission of fluoride in the area. Austurfrétt reports that the landowners’ group Landeigendur Áreyja has told the directorship to put an end to the omissions, which they say are far too high. Guðrún Kjartansdóttir, speaking to reporters on the matter, said that before the smelter was built, area residents were promised that they need not worry about any kind of fluoride pollution from the smelter. “We were told that this would be a very hi-tech and perfect smelter,” she said. “It is unacceptable to

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Immigrant Wins Work Permit Challenge Against Government

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An immigrant from Iran has won a court case against the Icelandic government, after he was denied a work permit on grounds the court found insufficient. MBL reports that the man in question came to Iceland from Iran in 2011, originally on a student permit. Later in the year, he bought an import company, taking a seat on the directorship and registering himself as the managing director. After buying the company, the man changed the company’s name, and began to import silk and carpets from the Middle East, as well as dates, nuts and other foodstuffs. However, in March 2013

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Volcano Watch: Bárðarbunga And Holuhraun Update

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Bárðarbunga caldera continues to subside at the same rate as before, roughly half a metre per day, reports the Institute of Earth Sciences. Large earthquakes are still being detected in the Bárðarbunga caldera, several with a magnitudes over 3, some over 5. The lava production at the currently active Holuhraun eruption continues to be strong. The lava flow is now around the centre of the lava field, which has grown to around 37 square kilometres. As reported, scientists in the field estimate that around 90% of the SO2 gas coming from the eruption originates in the active craters and only 10%

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Creditors Closer To Pay Out

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The outlook for hedge funds caught in Iceland’s $85 billion banking failure may be looking up, reports Bloomberg. The administrators overseeing claims against one of the three banks that defaulted in 2008, Glitnir Bank hf, say recent talks with a government committee indicate that it will now be easier to complete creditor settlements. “My impression is that the government had until now not been ready,” Steinunn Guðbjartsdóttir, head of Glitnir’s winding-up committee, told Bloomberg. “Now that they’ve got their processes in place, it will be possible to complete this sooner rather than later.” The main obstacle to repaying creditors has

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Poison Gas Cloud Heading Northeast

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The Icelandic Met Office predicts sulphur dioxide (SO2) gas from the Holuhraun eruption will move north and east over the next 24 hours. As can be seen, the Met Office has two maps for predicted areas where significant levels of SO2 will be present. Egilsstaðir and Reyðarfjörður are expected to be hit the hardest by the gas, which continues to pour out of the Holuhraun eruption site. However, levels of SO2 will vary from region to region, and even from hour to hour. A more detailed map allows one to see the forecast movement of SO2 concentrations through Tuesday. Simply

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