A Grapevine service announcement LOOK BUSY! Bárðarbunga Volcano Watch: The Afternoon Edition

Asylum Seeker Confesses To Starting Fire At Fit Hostel

Published February 7, 2013

An Afghan asylum seeker has confessed to having started the fire that caused significant damage to Fit Hostel in Reykjanesbær on Monday and sent one tenant to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.
The man had been taken into police custody following the fire’s outbreak on Monday and was officially charged on Tuesday to two weeks jail time, mbl.is reports. Police have also requested that the man be sent for psychiatric evaluation.
As was reported on Monday, a fire had broken out at Fit Hostel, causing damage to the top floors of the building. Fit Hostel is the designated holding area for all asylum seekers in Iceland while they wait for their applications to be processed, sometimes for years.


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Directorate Of Health Wants Junk Food Tax

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The Directorate of Health wants to see taxes increased on candy and soda, and decreased on fruits, vegetables and fish. MBL reports that the Directorate has grave concerns about the eating habits of Icelanders, and are particularly worried about a government proposal to lower the so-called “sugar tax”. The Directorate believes that reducing consumption of certain foods and increasing consumption of others requires government intervention in the form of how these foods are taxed. According to a report from a work group under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Welfare, about 21% of adult Icelanders have a BMI of 30

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Airline Row Going To EFTA

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A legal dispute between WOW Air and Icelandair will be appealed to the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). A decision from the Supreme Court reversed an earlier decision made by Reykjavík District Court, which ruled that the dispute would not go to EFTA. The original request to take the dispute to the international authority was made by Icelandair and Isavia, the company which operates Keflavík International Airport. WOW Air originally filed the legal complaint, against both Icelandair and Isavia, as well as The Competition Authority (ICA). The dispute centres around the parsing out of flight times between the two airlines,

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Killer Whales Playing Off Coast Of Iceland – VIDEO

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An alert journalist in the right place at the right time recorded killer whales frolicking off the coast of Bólungarvík, in northwest Iceland. Víkiari, the news website of Bólungarvík, reports that Guðbjörg Stefanía Hafþórsdóttir spotted three killer whales off the coast of Ósvör, just east of Bólungarvík. As they swam closer, they eventually made their way into Bólungarvík harbour. Guðbjörg managed to record two of the whales, swimming about 10 metres from shore, which you can see below. Killer whales only number in the hundreds around Iceland’s shores, and seeing them swimming so close to shore is an even rarer

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Bárðarbunga Volcano Watch: The Afternoon Edition

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Volcano watch is still in full swing, but no eruption yet. In the meantime, here’s a roundup of the day’s Bárðarbunga news so far: 13:23 – The closure of the area north of Vatnajökull glacier has already lead to significant financial losses for the local tourism industry, reports RÚV. In light of recent evacuations, mountain huts and guest accommodations at Kverkfjöll and Askja have had to close now for the winter, nearly a month earlier than planned, despite nearly full bookings for the remainder of the season. 12:53 – Should this eruption occur, Friðþór Eydal, a spokesman for ISAVIA, which

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RÚV Backtracks, Prayers Back On Air

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Iceland’s National Broadcasting Service, RÚV, have backtracked their recent decision to take prayers off air following a meeting with the Bishop of Iceland. As reported, RÚV planned to remove daily morning and evening prayers, plus programmes in which scripture is read out and replace it with a single once-per-week programme examining theology, the culture of religion and society.  Morning prayers and the nightly programme, Orð Kvöldsins (Evening Words) featuring scripture will remain on the radio’s roster. “It is important that words of prayer are heard in the media age,” said Bishop of Iceland, Agnes M. Sigurðardóttir, who welcomed the decision to keep morning prayers,

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Twitter Flooded With Cowabunga Bárðarbunga Jokes

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In anticipation of Bárðarbunga’s possible eruption, social media users have been busy sharing their thoughts on the volcano. Many of these tweets are helpful, pointing travellers to vital resources but an alarming number use Bárðarbunga as a segue into some kind of Cowabunga joke. Presented here is a selection of tweets collected by the Grapevine. Helpful Dear people, please stay updated through safetravel.is regarding #bardarbunga volcano. — I heart Reykjavík (@IheartReykjavik) August 19, 2014 Pretty cool visualisation of #Bardarbunga‘s seismic activity. Updated every minute. http://t.co/H7u0ic5fJW — Ómar Kjartan Yasin (@omarkj) August 19, 2014 Follow the development in #Bardarbunga at our Facebook page https://t.co/EeMH2MgxKB

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