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Fewer Children Going To Church

Published December 12, 2011

Fewer primary school and playschool children have been visiting churches for the holiday season, a Lutheran minister says, he believes in part because of a city ordinance banning proselytizing in city schools.
The law – long fought against by the national church, with even the bishop himself calling it “an attack on Christianity” – prohibits religious figures from visiting playschools and grade schools with the purpose to convince children to join a particular faith. Despite worries from numerous members of the clergy, Vísir reported that every grade school they spoke with said they intended to go on with Christmas celebrations this year as they have been done every year – children will go to church, sing psalms and hymns, and hold a nativity celebration.
Some schools, however, said they would elect to keep their children in school, and this has caused national cathedral minister Hjálmar Jónsson to worry, Vísir reports. He believes the lack of school-hours attendance is directly related to the city ordinance.
While the fewer school children attending concerns him, he does admit that there have been more children coming with their parents outside of school times – that parents who want their children to go to church bring their children after school hours.
In related news, a poll conducted by Stöð 2 and Fréttablaðið asked people if they supported or opposed limiting the access of church officials to visiting school children. 99% responded, and of those, 18% were very supportive, 13% were rather supportive, 16% were rather opposed, and 36% were very opposed. 18% had no opinion on the matter.



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110 Earthquakes In 24 Hours

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Vísir reports that, during 24 hours from Friday morning to early Saturday, 110 earthquakes were measured in and around Bárðarbunga. Seven of those measured at or over magnitude 4 on the Richter-scale. The biggest in the series was of magnitude 5.2 shortly before two o’clock Saturday morning. Bárðarbunga has been in eruption for close to two months now, or since August 29th. Twenty minor earthquakes were measured around mount Herðubreið, none over magnitude 2.

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Gas Pollution Blows West on Saturday, East on Sunday

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The Met Office predicts volcanic gas pollution around the Western, North-Western and South-Western coasts and inlands on Saturday. On Sunday gas pollution is expected on the Southern-East coast and inlands. The Met Office has introduced an online interactive visualizer of its gas pollution forecast model. The Met Office warns that this model is still in development and that predicted levels of SO2 output are imprecise.

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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 PM 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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