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

New Law On Religion Introduced

Published January 23, 2012

A new bill submitted by the Minister of the Interior would make a number of changes to existing laws on religion, among them that its passage would make all religions and philosophical organisations equal before the law, and give greater freedom to those who choose not to register with any religion at all.
RÚV reports on some of the changes proposed in the bill. Among them, philosophical organisations such as the secular humanist group Siðmennt would be able to receive the “tithe tax” which normally goes to whichever religious group a person is registered in.
Such groups would also have the right to perform weddings and bestow names on children. The buildings which house them would also fall under the real estate tax category normally afforded only to religious organisations.
On an individual level, for someone outside any religious organisation, they would be able to choose to which organisation their tithe tax would be paid, instead of it just going straight into the national treasury, as it does now. In addition, while the current law states that a child born to a mother registered in the national church will be automatically registered in the church as well, the new law would eliminate automatic registration altogether. Instead, the parents would need to make a joint decision as to what, if any, religious or philosophical group to register their child in. In the event that the parents are no longer together, the decision would fall to the parent with full custody.



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Business Alliance SA Opposes Shorter Workweek

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Alþingi members from the Pirate party and the Social-democratic Alliance, have proposed a change to the Law on working hours, reducing the standard workweek from 40 to 35 working hours. This would shorten each standard workday by one hour. In the exposition attached to the proposal, the MPs argue cite OECD reports showing that workers in Iceland work relatively long days but somewhat erratically: Iceland, with an average 40-hour workweek, measures low on balancing work and leisure, and compares as the 27th of 36 countries listed. At the same time, total working hours in a year are below the OECD

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MPs Want To Shorten Work Week

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A new bill has been submitted to parliament which would, if passed, legally define working full time to 35 hours per week instead of 40. According to the bill, which has been submitted by Pirate Party MPs Björn Leví Gunnarsson and Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson and Social Democrat MP Sigríður Ingibjörg Ingadóttir, changing the definition of full time would be a matter of changing two numbers: a full work week would be defined as 35 hours instead of 40, and a full work day would be defined as 7 hours instead of 8. The bill points out that other countries which

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Christmas Goat Back To Tempt Fate

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The Christmas Goat has returned to IKEA in Garðarbær, despite facing both potential arson or high winds, which have defeated the giant straw ruminant before. Vísir reports that IKEA in Garðarbær is already beginning preparations for Christmas. While this means the store itself will be replete with holiday decorations, no IKEA in Christmastime would be complete with a six-metre-tall straw goat standing out front, also known as the Gävle Goat. This Swedish mini-tradition was started by Stig Gavlén in 1966, and seems to be a magnet for misfortune, even in Iceland. In both 2011 and 2013, unusually high winds tore

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Eruption Likely To Last Until 2015

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At the rate the Holuhraun eruption is slowing, one volcanologist believes it will last until early next year. Vísir reports that there are a number of indications that the Holuhraun eruption will continue, but at a gradually slowing pace before reaching a complete stop. Volcanologist Haraldur Sigurðsson points out that the crater in Bárðarbunga is sinking more slowly, telling reporters that Holuhraun reminds him of Kröflugos, which erupted from 1975 to 1984. “It’s natural that this lava flow continues, but it is quickly slowing down,” he said. “The crater has been slowing down its sinking from the beginning, but now

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Iceland’s National Gallery Turns 130

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Iceland’s National Gallery turned 130 yesterday, and the museum celebrated by opening a new addition called the Vasulka Room, reports RÚV. In honour of the birthday, entrance to the museum will be free until October 19. The National Gallery of Iceland was actually founded in Copenhagen in 1884 by Björn Bjarnason. Originally it consisted of donated works by mainly Danish artists. The collection came to Iceland in 1885 and has been housed in a few locations (including Iceland’s parliament) until eventually moving to its present location in 1987. The museum owns over 10.000 art pieces and the most valuable collection of

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Iceland Gears Up For 100th Anniversary Of Women’s Vote

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It has been 99 years since women gained the right to vote in Iceland and celebratory plans are already underway, reports RÚV. School events, concerts and museum exhibits dedicated to women’s suffrage have been planned for 2015 – which marks the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in Iceland. Even the Post Office has planned a commemorative stamp to mark the occasion. “It’s important that we honour the work that women put in to gain the right to vote a 100 years ago,” said Auður Styrkársdóttir, Director of Iceland’s Women’s History Archives. “And it’s important to remember that the rights that

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