Two asylum seekers from the Fit Hostel in Keflavík managed to board a plane bound for Denmark, but were discovered before the plane took off. RÚV reports that the stowaways in question are two young men who arrived in Iceland about a year ago as asylum seekers. While stating at the time that they were minors, an age test conducted later showed that they were over the age of 18. Nothing else has been revealed about the stowaways at this time. The two had somehow managed to board an Icelandair plane bound for Copenhagen, and locked themselves in the toilet. During a routine inspection before boarding, the toilet was found locked, and security was called to the scene. The two young men were apprehended and taken into police custody, where they remain. The incident reflects a serious breach of security, and Isavia – the company which runs the airport – bears the ultimate responsibility. Isavia director Björn Óli Hauksson told reporters that the entire security process will be examined, but that he could not comment on the matter at this time. Most stowaways trying to leave Iceland do so by ship, as was recently the case, when a pair of asylum seekers were caught on board an Eimskip ship in Sundahöfn harbour.
The numbers are in for the 8th annual seal census. In all 706 seals were spotted in a 100 km stretch of beach in northwest Iceland, reports RÚV. “We counted 706 this year which is similar to last year,” said biologist Sandra Granquist. “We counted 705-707 last year so [the numbers have] been pretty much the same in the last 3 years.” The census was conducted by employees of The Icelandic Seal Centre as well as a number of volunteers who arrived in the early hours of Sunday morning to help count. The census helps scientists keep track of how many seals are in the
A severe shortage of nurses in Iceland is expected in coming years, reports RÚV. Ólafur G. Skúlason, chairman of the Icelandic Nurses’s Association, estimates that roughly 900 of the 2800 nurses working today will retire within the next 3 years. At the same time only 400 nursing students will graduate and many seek other jobs due to the heavy workload and poor wages. Additionally, the demand for nurses is increasing quickly with the ageing population. To respond to the shortage Ólafur told mbl.is that it was important to encourage men to become nurses, not only to bolster numbers but because they
A single cruise ship in Reykjavík harbour releases as much pollution as 10,000 cars, in part due to a lack of necessary equipment on the part of harbour authorities. Vísir reports that 90 cruise ships, carrying over 100,000 passengers, have come to Iceland so far this year. The number of cruise ships is expected to increase to 100 next year. When a cruise ship docks in harbour, it leaves its generators running continuously. In a single 24-hour period, one cruise ship burns enough oil to equal the pollution from 10,000 cars. There is a common solution at hand – but
Iran and Iceland are currently exploring economic ties with each other, and looking for ways to broaden them. PressTV reports that Director of the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran Valiollah Afkhami-Rad and Iceland’s Accredited Ambassador to Tehran Gunnar Pálsson have been in talks to review what the two countries could offer each other. Afkhami-Rad, while indicating that Iran’s new government has help the country begin to build more trade partners, said that Iceland could be a viable country to do business with. In particular, he mentioned scientific collaboration over fisheries, hydroelectric power, green energy, geology and tourism. Pálsson reportedly has
It looks very unlikely that Iceland will cut political ties with Israel, going by what the previous and current Foreign Ministers have said on the subject. While the Foreign Affairs Committee will soon meet to discuss what the Icelandic government will do in response to the attacks on Gaza, one option is vanishingly unlikely: the cutting of political ties, despite public support for such a move. DV points out that the previous Minister of Foreign Affairs, Össur Skarphéðinsson, told parliament in November 2012 that he had met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and numerous foreign ministers from Middle Eastern countries.
Annie Mist Þórisdóttir finished 2nd overall in the 2014 CrossFit Games despite a back injury which threatened to keep her from competing as a Crossfit athlete for the rest of her life, reports RX Review. During a press conference after the win, Annie shared the story of her emotional recovery; how the injury left her legs numb for 6 months and unable to lift weights for a year. Despite all this plus a year and a half break from the Crossfit circuit she managed to finish just short of winner Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, showing the world Annie is still a force to be reckoned