A man in his fifties died while kayaking yesterday in the Herdísarvík Nature Reserve near Selfoss, Mbl.is reports. A pedestrian who was taking a walk in Herdísavík alerted police around 15:00 yesterday afternoon. The pedestrian could see from the beach that there was an overturned kayak in the water with a man hanging off it who appeared to be in trouble. Police sent immediate assistance from the rescue squads from Þorlákshöfn and a helicopter from Eyrabakki. The teams arrived quickly, and the helicopter crew got the man out of the water. They performed first aid at the scene but could not revive him. The man was kayaking alone. It is unknown if he was a local or a tourist. UPDATE: The deceased has been identified as 52-year old Jón Þór Traustason of Reykjavík, Mbl.is reports. He was born on May 13, 1960 and is survived by a wife and three grown children.
The general police forces need 70 pieces of MP5 submachine guns as soon as possible, 150 soon, and at least 260 such weapons in the long term, to have the upper hand against terrorism, says Jón Bjartmarz, Chief Superintendent at the High Commissioner of the Icelandic Police. Interviewed by RÚV, Jón explained the immediate goal as having “two machine guns at each station house, and there are 35 of those.” One of the threats that Jón cites as a reason for acquiring the artillery is the Islamic State (IS). Jón says that IS is not simply a threat from outside,
A new linguistic area has developed at the University of Iceland, where Icelandic and English are used equally, says a professor, as reported by RÚV. The professor adds that this causes problems for a large number of teachers and students, which remain largely unspoken. Even if the majority of courses at the University of Iceland is still taught in Icelandic, in most departments, most of the reading material is provided in English. Meanhile, teachers also face growing demands to publish their research in English. Professors Hafdís Ingvarsdóttir and Birna Arnbjörnsdóttir investigated the use of English at the university, interviewing both
On the 3rd anniversary of Iceland recognising the state of Palestine, the Palestinian ambassador to Iceland (who resides in Oslo, Norway) will be speaking at a special event arranged by the Iceland-Palestine Association. The event which coincides with the UN’s annual day of solidarity with the Palestinian people, will start at 14:00 and is open to all. The ambassador, Mufeed Shami, Iceland’s ambassador to Palestine, María Erla Marelsdóttir, will be speaking at the event and singer Ragnheiður Ólafsdóttir will be performing. As reported, immediately following the meeting at Iðnó, a launch party for Fyrir Gaza will start. Fyrir Gaza is a charity
The Bárðarbunga caldera has sunk by only 50 metres since the Holuhraun eruption began three months ago, indicating that it will not erupt, reports RÚV. Holuhraun on the other hand, continues to erupt and shows no signs of stopping. Scientists with the Institute of Earth Sciences flew over Bárðarbunga and Holuhraun yesterday to collect new data and investigate the likelihood of an eruption at Bárðarbunga caldera. Currently the Holuhraun eruption is fed by lava from underneath Bárðarbunga volcano. “Yes we believe that it’s likely [there will be no eruption in the Bárðarbunga caldera] and that the results we collected on our
On Wednesday, amendments to the Law on civil protection were proposed on Alþingi, defining a Minister’s powers to rule by decree in case of emergencies. This was reported by RÚV. The Minister involved would be any minister in charge of civil protection. Traditionally, this would mean the Minister of the Interior. Currently, however, Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson resides over such affairs. According to the proposed amendments, when the Police’ Civil Protection unit declares a state of emergency, the Minister can temporarily presume direct control of any business or institution considered vital to secure basic services. That is, to ensure
Popular hamburger joint, Hamborgarafabrikkan (The Hamburger Factory) has taken foie gras off their menu following a complaint on their Facebook page, reports RÚV. The complaint asked the restaurant if they weren’t willing to stop participating in and promoting “one of the most damaging animal abuse practices in the world by taking it off the menu.” “French duck liver is definitely a very controversial food and we knew that when we put it on our menu,” said restaurant owner Jóhannes Ásbjörnsson. “The pairing of beef and duck liver is popular and accessible in restaurants across the world. However, in light of this