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Psychologist Questions MP’s Assertions

Published March 8, 2012

A psychologist has taken a member of parliament to task over an article he wrote contending that difficult economic times in Iceland have led to an increase in suicides, and could spur more violent crime. The psychologist says this argument is contradicted by actual data.
Last Tuesday, MP for The Movement Þór Saari made a blog post about the man currently in police custody for stabbing and severely injuring the director of a law office.
Þór said that while the attack might be hard to understand, it is not so difficult to fathom if one takes into account Iceland’s current economic situation. He then added that “countless” families have been split up and suicides have risen sharply due to the crash.
Criminologist Helgi Gunnlaugsson pointed out that violent crimes have actually decreased since the economic crash.
Engilbert Sigurðsson, a professor in psychology and medical director at Landspítali, also told RÚV that Þór’s points are not accurate. He pointed out that according to data from Statistics Iceland, suicides have not increased since the crash. “I have to admit I was a little alarmed,” Engilbert told RÚV. “Because here you have a member of parliament, pen in hand, playing fast and loose with the facts.”



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Iceland Demanded Secrecy Over Weapons Purchase

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The Icelandic Coast Guard demanded that its purchase of 250 machine guns from the Norwegian army would not be made public, according to RÚV. The request for secrecy was made as early as December 2013. This was revealed when RÚV asked the Norwegian Army to see the contract between the two parties. The Army replied, on Wednesday, that the Icelandic Coast Guard requested that the contract, and all documents involved in the exchange, would be kept confidential and away from public scrutiny. The Coast Guard’s highest authority, Georg Lárusson, had already refused to disclose the contract. The reason he cited

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FM Belfast Cover Ghostbusters Theme Song

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GGG is the title of an art exhibition devoted to three films from the 1980s, whose titles, fittingly, start with G: Gremlins, Goonies and Ghostbusters. Thirty artists take part in the exhibition. Among those are members of FM Belfast, who made a cover of the Ghostbusters’ theme song for the occasion: The exhibition will open in Cinema Bíó Paradís on Halloween, October 31. The cinema will duly screen the three films, during the exhibition, all in a row.

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Of Horses And Men Awarded Nordic Council Film Prize

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Wednesday night, director Benedikt Erlingsson and producer Friðrik Þór Friðriksson, received the Nordic Council Film Prize for the 2013 comedy Of Horses and Men (Hross í oss). This is the first time an Icelandic film wins the award, established in 2002. The award committee said that the director “demonstrates a profound understanding of the primal side of both horses and humans” and that he “combines powerful visuals, editing and music in a way that makes the film itself stand out as a force of nature.” They describe the film as “strikingly original” and find its “roots in the laconic humour

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Icelandic “Kokteilsósa” Origin Called Into Question

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Iceland’s ubiquitous kokteilsósa (“cocktail sauce”) did not come from Iceland, as was recently asserted, but variations of the condiment can be found across continents. Master chef Úlfar Eysteinsson told listeners on Reykjavík siðdegis last Wednesday that the pink sauce found on countless Icelandic burgers and sandwiches was “completely Icelandic”, allegedly first concocted by Magnús Björnsson. The initial recipe, he said, consisted of ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. When asked if the sauce has been copied elsewhere in the world, Úlfar agreed. “Yeah, you can find it all over,” he said. “It quickly took form in salad dressings such as

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Norway Wants Their Gun Money From Iceland

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Despite the repeated claims of Icelandic officials to the contrary, the Norwegian government wants Iceland to pay actual money for the guns they sent us. DV reports that Bent-Ivan Myhre, a spokesperson for the Norwegian Ministry of Defence, does not share the opinion of the Icelandic Coast Guard that, despite their being a signed sales agreement for a cache of semi- and fully automatic weapons between Iceland and Norway, that the guns were a gift. “We are sending an invoice,” Bent-Ivan told the Norwegian paper Dagbladet. “We signed an agreement for the sale of 250 MP5 submachine guns for 625,000

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Sulphur Dioxide Back In The Capital

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It looks as though our long-term friend sulphur dioxide will be spending a couple days in the capital area – starting tonight. MBL reports that there were low levels of SO2 from the Holuhraun eruption in the capital area today. The highest levels were recorded in the east Reykjavík neighbourhood of Grafarvogur, where sulphur dioxide hit 480µg/m3 at about 15:30 today. People are advised to stay in doors when SO2 levels exceed 600µg/m3. While SO2 levels in Reykjavík are now very low, this is expected to change tomorrow. Sulphur dioxide levels could approach the 600µg/m3 mark around noon tomorrow. However,

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