A Grapevine service announcement Pay attention: Holuhraun, still spewing lava. Bárðarbunga, still sinking.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sent Representative To Assist Icelander In Turkish Prison

Published March 13, 2013

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sent a representative to Turkey to assist Davíð Örn Bjarnason, the 28-year-old Icelander who has been imprisoned since Friday after being accused of attempting to smuggle antiquities from the country, RÚV reports.
For the past five days Iceland’s Consul General in Turkey has been attempting to determine when Davíð would be released, but no definitive date has been given by Turkish authorities. Davíð’s family had been told that the accused would be permitted to call them this week, however nobody has heard from him.
Of the decision to send a representative from Iceland, Minister of Foreign Affairs Össur Skarphéðinsson highlighted the benefit to Davíð just to be able to communicate his situation and state his case in Icelandic, as he has not ad the opportunity to do so to date. The Ministry is also securing legal representation for Davíð, though it may not be able to cover all the costs associated with a trial as and when that might take place.
Davíð and his girlfriend, Þóra Björg Birgisdóttir had been vacationing in Antalya, Turkey where they claim to have purchased a piece of stone from a market as a souvenir. Upon attempting to board their return flight to Sweden (where the Icelandic couple lives with their three young children) on Friday they were apprehended by Turkish police. Þóra was subsequently released and made to return to Sweden, while Davíð has been held.
Related:
Icelandic Man Still In Police Custody In Turkey
Icelandic Man Arrested In Turkey



News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Iceland, Now With Transgenic Mice

by

Genetically modified mice will soon be imported into Iceland and used to further cancer research, reports RÚV. The Environment Agency of Iceland has granted the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Iceland a license to import and use genetically modified mice for scientific purposes. Genetically modified, or transgenic mice have had their genomes altered through the use of genetic engineering techniques and are widely used for medical or scientific research. Where cancer is concerned, transgenic mice can be developed to carry cloned genes that have the potential to cause cancer. The disease symptoms and potential drugs

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Mentally Ill Inmate Kept In Solitary For 2 Months

by

An inmate with mental health issues has been in solitary confinement at Litla Hraun maximum security prison for the last 2 months, reports RÚV. The man has in the past spent years in the psychiatric ward of Iceland’s National University Hospital. Two years ago however, he was deemed mentally competent enough to serve out the remainder of his – undisclosed – sentence at Litla Hraun. The prison withheld therapy from the inmate – who was diagnosed with psychopathy – for a year and a half before granting him treatment this past spring. Recently the inmate began refusing to take his medication and as

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Defence Attorney: Facebook “Likes” Constitute Impartiality

by

A lawyer defending former Interior Minister assistant Gísli Freyr Valdórsson has asked the court to remove the prosecutor for “Liking” a news story pertaining to the trial. Gísli Freyr Valdórsson, a former assistant to Minister of the Interior Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir, was charged with breach of confidentiality and relieved of his position last August. He is now on trial in Reykjavík District Court and today, RÚV reports, the defence has offered a unique argument as to why the prosecutor, Helgi Magnús Gunnarsson, is unfit to participate in the trial. Ólafur Garðarsson, Gísli Freyr’s defence attorney, argued in court today that

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Iceland: A Good Place To Grow Old

by

A new report from Global Age Watch puts Iceland in 7th place amongst the best countries in the world to grow old. According to the report, Norway is officially the best country in the world to grow older, while Afghanistan is the worst. Iceland has held its position in the top ten due to the life expectancy and financial security, amongst other factors. Icelanders aged 60 years old today can expect to live another 25 years; 17.8 of those in good health. 100% of the population over 65 receives some kind of pension, with only 1.6% living in poverty. In

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

“Illska” Nominated For Nordic Council Literature Prize

by

Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl’s book Illska (“Evil”) has been chosen to be one of Iceland’s entries for the Nordic Council Literature Prize. Eiríkur shares the nomination with novelist Auður Jónsdóttir for her book, Ósjálfrátt (“Unintended”). Illska also bears the honour of having already won the Icelandic Literary Prize in 2012 and The Book Merchant’s Prize. Illska is a 500+ page novel about Agnes Lukauskas, an Icelander of Lithuanian descent, and her love triangle with Ómar Arnarson and Arnór Þórðarson. The story spans decades, through the height of World War 2, to Iceland’s recognition of Lithuania as a sovereign nation in 1991,

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

News In Brief: Late September

by

 Fortunately for us, the Holurhraun eruption (discussed here and here) has not produced airplane-choking ash clouds nor led to devastating glacial flooding. There have, however, been continuous plumes  of sulphur dioxide wafting through mostly North and East Iceland from the site of the Holuhraun  eruption, giving police another reason to cordon off a large swath of Iceland from public access. Not that  this hasn’t stopped a few idiots from blithely driving into an eruption site anyway. New forms of natural  selection ahoy! Minister of Health Kristján Þór Júlíusson is exploring the legalisation of drugs, going so far as to  agree

Show Me More!