Protesters taking part in the global Occupy movement in Reykjavík say they have permits to erect tents and camp in front of parliament. As reported, last weekend Occupy Reykjavík kicked into full swing, but was soon disrupted by police when they took down a large tent that several protesters had been sleeping in. They have since claimed that the police have purposefully damaged the tent by slicing it with a knife. Undaunted, the protesters returned, setting up four smaller tents in front of parliament. They also claim they have obtained the necessary permit to camp on the site. Assistant to the mayor Björn Blöndal had advised the protesters that if they wanted to occupy the space in front of parliament, then they should apply for a permit to do so from city environmental officials. It now looks like they have obtained such a permit, but chief of police Geir Jón Þórisson said they are still looking into the matter. If it turns out they do not have such a permit, he said, their tents will be removed immediately.
More than 1.000 Reykjavík apartments are listed on the short-term rental site AirBnB, reports RÚV. It is estimated that between 1.500 and 2.000 apartments are now being used to accommodate tourists in need of short-term rental. This includes apartment hotels which rent out 340 registered short-term apartments. The new numbers show staggering growth as just last year 600 apartments in Reykjavík were listed on AirBnB. Related Reading Help! I Need A Place To Live
New Police Commissioner of Reykjavík, Sigríður Björk Guðjónsdóttir, could possibly be in charge of investigating the Interior Minister Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir’s role in the now-infamous leaked memo case despite the fact that she personally appointed the new Police Commissioner, reports RÚV. As reported, Sigríður Björk Guðjónsdóttir was appointed Police Commissioner of Reykjavík yesterday. She is the first woman ever to hold the position. Meanwhile, the standing Police Commissioner, Stefán Eiríksson, who has been investigating the leaked memo case, announced he would be taking up the job as Director of Welfare for Reykjavík City. Although the leaked memo case has reached the State Prosecutor’s desk, RÚV reports
The Directorate of Health says it has had to deal with a virtual explosion of diarrhoea cases caused by campylobacter, a bacteria spread mostly by the poor handling of meat. In a statement posted on the Directorate’s website, about 100 cases of campylobacter-caused diarrhoea have been reported over the past year. The afflicted come from many different backgrounds, making it difficult to find the cause of the outbreak. The most common form of campylobacter, Campylobacter jejuni, is often connected to poultry, as the bacteria lives in the digestive tracts of many different bird species, and poorly handled raw chicken is
An Icelander hoping to sell group trips to North Korea has pulled the plug on the operation, citing negative press of the regime as being the major cause. Vísir reports that Egill Örn Arnarson Hansen, the original organiser of the trips through his travel office Trans Atlantic, claims 20 people had signed up for the trip to North Korea since he first announced the trips last December. This was just under the amount that would be needed for a group trip, despite the 600,000 ISK per person price tag. “We had a complete group, but when news stories about concentration
The Environment Agency of Iceland will be paying Iceland’s most sparsely-populated regions for the hunting of foxes, which the agency says have been experiencing a population boom. In a statement posted on the agency’s website, the agency says the number of foxes in Iceland has increased by tenfold over the past 30 years. Foxes in Iceland, as elsewhere in the world, can often be the bane of farmers. The agency hopes to reduce the damage to livestock caused by foxes, albeit within guidelines of what constitutes humane and sustainable hunting. The 3-year plan offers hunting subsidies to rural communities, with
To decrease the speed of drivers on Bergstaðarstræti, actress Vigdís Hrefna Pálsdóttir has been placing flower pots in the middle of the road as traffic calming devices, reports Vísir. “Usually it’s small things – more often than not, flower pots, bags or buckets with flowers in them – that I place in the middle of the street, with more than enough room on either side so that people can drive without hitting them,” said Vigdís. “It’s getting a lot of attention, most people like it and are happy but then the odd black sheep loses it over the flowers.” These odd