It has come to light that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation came to Iceland in 2011 as part of a Wikileaks investigation, and were asked to leave shortly thereafter by the Minister of the Interior. Wikileaks spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson told Kastljósið the story of the event. “I can confirm that on the morning of August 25, 2011,” Kristinn said. “The US Federal Bureau of Investigation came to Iceland to work with the State Prosecutor and the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police as part of an investigation connected to Wikileaks.” Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson backed up the story for RÚV, adding that when he was informed of Icelandic law enforcement cooperating with the FBI in Iceland, “I asked that all cooperation be ceased at once.” He added that the Foreign Ministry also contacted the US embassy. Later on during the day that the complaints were lodged, the FBI agents boarded a private jet and left Iceland. US law enforcement authorities have had great interest in Icelandic activities in connection with Wikileaks. One of the more infamous examples is how the US Department of Justice once asked Twitter to hand over all their data on communications and private messages from MP Birgitta Jónsdóttir’s account. The investigation sparked a legal battle which still continues to this day.
Iceland’s puffin population has hit such low numbers that hunting the birds has sparked strong criticism. The Nature Office of South Iceland has released their findings of a detailed puffin census conducted around the country. Of the dozen nestings areas that were inspected, all of them showed a sharp decline in the number of young puffins. “The Nature Office of South Iceland condemns the decision made by the Westman Islands town council to allow for the hunting of puffins for five days this summer,” their statement concludes. “The office considers hunting puffins in these conditions to be unsustainable and unethical.”
The Association Iceland-Palestine has planned a peaceful protest outside the American Embassy on Laufásvegur today at 17:00, reports Vísir. The purpose of the protest is to demand the American government step up its efforts to end the conflict in Gaza and cut off support for the Israeli military through aid and ammunition. Although the White House condemned the shelling of a United Nations-operated school in Gaza on Wednesday news has broken that the Pentagon will supply the Israeli military with new ammunition to further their campaign on the war-ravaged city. According to the Association Iceland-Palestine’s Facebook page 830 people have confirmed they
It’s 15 degrees. Fahrenheit? No, Celsius. Shorts weather? Fuck you, it’s underwear weather. The sun bears down on a thick, humid Reykjavík day. The sunbathers in Austurvöllur have burnt to a crisp. You’re parched, you’re sweaty. Does anywhere in this country have air conditioning? You look out to the harbour, considering a dip, but no—with all those ships, it just doesn’t seem safe…Where do you go? What do you do? But then common sense kicks in. “Duh,” you think, and your feet follow. You thought you could get away with not wearing deodorant in Iceland? You stink. You’re a zombie
Police were called to the scene after a mother – who was letting her 16 month old nap outside her home in Vesturbær – found the baby had been taken from its pram, reports Vísir. Three police cars were sent to the scene though they quickly discovered that a relative had passed by and taken the baby, leaving a note in the pram to say where they had gone. The baby has been safely returned to its parents and is doing just fine. Recently the Icelandic habit of leaving babies outside to nap in prams, both at home, or in front
A Jägermeister commercial shot over 10 days in Iceland has been banned by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for being irresponsible, reports Vísir. The £3 million campaign featured a group of real-life professional surfers – including Oli Adams, Ben Skinner and Ritchie Fitzgerald – was shot without storyboards or scripts and features the group on a road trip through ice-covered landscapes, then surfing and drinking Jägermeister together. “The new ad was created in the true character of Jägermeister, using real friends and no scripts,” said Nicole Goodwin, the group marketing manager at Jägermeister UK. “So that the finished film focuses on those
Former Prime Minister of Iceland Geir H. Haarde will, effective January 1, 2015, serve as “an ambassador in foreign service” to an as-yet unspecified appointment. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced that Geir H. Haarde has been appointed as “an ambassador in foreign service”, along Left-Green MP and former Foreign Affairs Committee chairperson Árni Þór Sigurðsson. Their appointments go into effect on January 1, 2015. In 2010, parliament narrowly voted in favour of Geir standing trial for negligence and mismanagement while in office. The vote came in the wake of the 2010 Special Investigative Commission Report on the contributing