A Grapevine service announcement Pay attention: Eruption Pollution Likely To Hit Whole Country

Wikileaks Court Case Begins Today

Published June 21, 2012

The company which handles financial transactions for whistleblower website Wikileaks promised to take credit card companies in Iceland to court, and today, the trial begins.
As reported, Wikileaks faced a number of financial obstacles in 2010. When Master Card and other companies began to block payments to the site, Icelandic hosting company Datacell began allowing Visa card-holders to donate to Wikileaks via the company.
However, Visa banned its card-holders from donating to Wikileaks, and Ólafur Sigurvinsson, the director of Datacell, was far from pleased. “I have confirmed today,” he told Mbl.is at the time, “that I can support Al-Qaida, the Ku Klux Klan, buy weapons and drugs and all kinds of porn with my Visa card. There is nobody investigating this, but I cannot support a human rights organisation which is fighting for freedom of expression.” Speaking to radio station Rás 2, Ólafur added, “This is a very serious breach, and not just of the contract that we have [with Visa] … now card-holders cannot decide for themselves where they spend their money.”
As a result of the ban, Datacell announced then that they were planning to take Visa to court for breach of contract; specifically, for not fulfilling the wishes of its clients.
DV now reports that Datacell’s lawsuit against Valitor, the company which handles Visa and Master Card in Iceland, has begun. Kristinn Hrafnsson, a spokesperson for Wikileaks, wrote an article for Vísir wherein he says that while the simple request of the suit is for Valitor to honour their contract, the trial also centres around questions of human rights and freedom of expression.



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PM Baffled By Union Criticism

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Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson told parliament he was very surprised by the harsh criticisms the proposed budget has received from labour unions. RÚV reports that Social Democrat MP Árni Páll Árnason asked the Prime Minister what his response was to yesterday’s statement from the Confederation of Icelandic Labour Unions (ASÍ) on the proposed 2015 budget. The Prime Minister said the response surprised him and “came out of nowhere”. He contends that the proposed budget was crafted with the aim of helping Icelandic households, adding that the response was especially surprising “considering ASÍ president [Gylfi Arnbjörnsson] expressed great displeasure throughout

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Foreign Minister Unsure About Sanctions Against Israel

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Minister of Foreign Affairs Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson told parliament that he was unsure whether now is the time to engage in sanctions against Israel. MBL reports that the Minister, responding to a question from Social Democrat MP (and former Foreign Minister) Össur Skarphéðinsson on whether or not Iceland should start sanctions or embargos against Israel, was hesitant at best about the idea. “Regarding whether the time has come to initiate sanctions or an embargo against Israel, I am not sure if this is the right thing to do at this stage,” he said. “I’m not sure about that.” However, the

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The cloud of SO2 emanating from the Holuhraun eruption is moving both further west and further south. The Icelandic Met Office reports that the SO2 from the Holuhraun eruption has already spread over a large portion of the country. Currently, it covers a large portion of central Iceland, extending northwest to Blönduós and east across northern Vatnajökull. Tomorrow, however, the distribution of SO2 is forecast to look a lot like the above illustration. As can be seen, the SO2 is spreading, and extending further south and west, and reaching the southeast coast. However, bear in mind that SO2 levels are

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Student Loans Beyond The Grave

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Motion To Subtitle All Icelandic Content

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Several members of parliament have table a motion to introduce subtitles on all visual media content, reports Vísir. Currently it is only compulsory to subtitle foreign language content in Iceland but the MP’s believe that all content, including Icelandic news, films and television programmes should be subtitled as well. The motion has been put together by MP’s from 3 different parties and aims to enhance media services for the deaf and hard of hearing. Additionally, the motion argues the subtitles would help foreigners and new residents learn Icelandic. This is the second time this motion has been put to Iceland’s

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Malaysian Airlines Did Not Fly Over Holuhraun

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Malaysian Airlines have slammed a satirical article claiming that one of their flights was forced to make an emergency landing after flying over the Holuhraun eruption, reports RÚV. On Monday, satirical news site, World News Daily Report, published a fake article claiming that Malaysia Airlines flight MH131 was forced to make an emergency landing in Iceland after the plane’s navigation systems were damaged by heat and debris from the eruption. The article added that the pilots of the Boeing 777 aircraft were instructed to fly almost directly over the volcano despite warnings from the International Civil Aviation Organisation. Malaysia Airlines,

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