Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson intends to submit a bill to parliament which would, among other things, place a ban on internet gambling in Iceland. Gambling addiction is a matter Ögmundur has long concerned himself with. According to research conducted by the University of Iceland, some 4,000 to 7,000 people in Iceland between the ages of 18 and 70 – or about 2.5% of the population – suffer from gambling addiction. While the idea of filtering out gambling sites by default has been brought up in the private sector, it is still perfectly legal for any Icelander to visit sites such as Betsson to wager actual money. DV reports that Ögmundur wants to see that change. Ögmundur intends to submit a bill to parliament which would put into place stronger regulations for some forms of random lottery drawings in Iceland. However, it would also put into place a total ban on online gambling. Details of the implementation of such a ban – especially with the existence of easily available proxy servers – remain unknown. Ögmundur intends to submit the bill after the new year.
Scientists aboard the Coast Guard’s radar-equipped TF-SIF surveillance plane flying over Dyngjujökull are contesting the Met Office’s claim that an eruption has begun, reports RÚV. As reported, Kristín Jónsdóttir with the Icelandic Met Office confirmed that a small eruption at Dyngjujökull started around 2pm today. According to the Met Office, the eruption so far is subglacial and while the scientists in the TF-SIF plane claim that there are currently no signs of it from above, the Met Office maintains that a small eruption is underway beneath 150-500 metres of ice. Given the thickness of the glacier it remains uncertain how long it will take
A small eruption has been reported at Dyngjujökull glacier, northeast of Iceland’s subglacial Bárðarbunga volcano. RÚV report that Kristín Jónsdóttir with the Icelandic Met Office has confirmed that a small eruption at Dyngjujökull started around 2pm today. The aviation code has been escalated to “red” and air traffic around Bárðarbunga has been forbidden. Seismic activity in the area escalated considerably today and the Coast Guard’s radar-equipped TF-SIF surveillance plane put on stand-by. At time of writing all internet live-feeds are down. *****UPDATE***** The Coast Guard’s radar-equipped TF-SIF surveillance plane is in the air and will soon be flying over the glacier.
The Police in Mosfellsbær, a small town east of Reykjavík, received a call after two sheep at Árbæjarsafn made a run for it, reports Vísir. Árbæjarsafn, also known as Reykjavík City Museum aims to give its visitors an insight into the living conditions, work and recreational activities of the people of Reykjavík in earlier times. The sheep belong to the museum but saw an opportunity yesterday and took it by breaking free. Unfortunately for them, they did not make it far and were quickly rounded up by local, Ívar Óli Kristjánsson. Museum staff picked the sheep up, returning them to Árbæjarsafn.
The Iceland Symphony Orchestra made its Proms debut at the Royal Albert Hall yesterday, reports RÚV. The Symphony performed works by two homegrown composers, both inspired by Iceland’s geology. The slow-growing, primal Geysir by Jón Leifs balanced the shifting tectonics of Hauk Tómasson’s Magma. “We felt so great,” said Concertmaster Sigrún Eðvaldsdóttir. “We could have played on that stage for 50 years. There was no stress, it was just absolutely wonderful, I can’t explain it any other way.” The BBC Proms is a summer season of daily orchestral classical music concerts and events founded in 1985.
The City of Reykjavík is making preparations to set up mother tongue classes for primary school children of foreign origin. According to an announcement posted on City Hall’s webpage, the School and Recreation Council has passed a measure to set up a workgroup whose purpose it will be to outline how immigrant primary school children will be taught their native languages. The group will be comprised of representatives from all the parties in City Council, directed by Social Democrat vice councilperson Sabine Leskopf. The focus of the group will be to assess the need for children of foreign origin to
Over half the quota of fin whales has been culled so far this summer, showing a slight decline from the year previous. Since whaling season began last June 15, Vísir reports, 88 fin whales have been culled. The maximum quota is for 154 fin whales, which may only be hunted during a 3-month period. “It’s being going decently well,” Gunnlaugur Fjólar Gunnlaugsson, the plant manager of whaling company Hvalur hf. “There are a bit fewer animals than there were at this same time last year. It’s been a difficult time, but it’ll work out.” Greenpeace, amongst others, have pointed out