Representatives of Stígamót, an education and counseling centre for survivors of sexual abuse and violence, have expressed concern over the startling increase in gang rapes and the use of rape drugs in Iceland, RÚV reports. The centre’s 2012 annual report (PDF link, Icelandic only) was released yesterday and revealed that 24 victims of gang rape sought assistance from Stígamót last year, with one victim being male and the rest being female. Steinunn Gyðu- and Guðjónsdóttir, a representative of Stígamót said that this is the highest number of gang rapes to be reported in one calendar year. Moreover 22 cases of rapes that involved rape drugs were reported last year, which is the greatest instances of such attacks the centre has addressed. In total 288 new cases of sexual violence were brought to Stígamót in 2012. Only in 1995 were more cases brought to the centre.
A comprehensive round of testing of beef products across Europe has revealed almost no traces of horse meat in Europe beef and none in Iceland, reports Vísir. The European Commission described the results of the testing as encouraging following last year’s horse-meat scandal, in which millions of ready-made beef meals were pulled from supermarket freezers across Europe. European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, Tonio Borg, has said the results prove that there has been progress following the events of last year. According to the report, 10 tests were conducted in Iceland but none showed traces of horse DNA.
Members of parliament are sharply divided on how to contend with the news that Minister of the Interior Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir may have tried to influence the police investigations of her ministry. Shortly after news broke from DV that Hanna Birna had allegedly told then Commissioner of the Capital Area Police Stefán Eiríksson, both in person and over the phone, that she was unhappy with how investigations of her ministry were being conducted, Parliamentary Ombudsman Tryggvi Gunnarsson spoke with both Stefán and State Prosecutor Sigríður Friðjónsdóttir about the story. After his conversations with the two, Tryggvi sent a formal request
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