A Grapevine service announcement Pay attention: The Holuhraun eruption is at it again

Iceland’s Next Prime Minister Still Undecided

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Published April 29, 2013

The final decision of who will be the next prime minister of Iceland rests with President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, who will meet individually with the leaders of all elected parties this afternoon, Vísir reports.
Both Bjarni Benediktsson, the leader of the Independence Party, and Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, leader of the Progressive Party are candidates for the title as each party won 19 seats in Saturday’s parliamentary elections.
While the Independence Party won the largest share of the popular vote by 2% over the Progressive Party, the big victory is considered to lie with the Progressives, who have more than doubled their representation in Parliament since the 2009 elections, when they won nine seats, which was an increase from the seven seats they won in the 2007 elections. Meanwhile, the Independence Party has only gained three seats since the 2009 election and despite the increase, this still remains the second worse results in the party’s history.
Although it is likely the two parties will form a majority coalition government, Sigmundur Davíð has stated that he will only work with a party that will help him deliver on his promise to lower mortgage rates by 20%.
The promised mortgage reduction was the main carrot dangled by the Progressives in the election race as a proposed universal flat tax rebate. However, economist Jón Steinsson from Columbia University has shown that it is likely to benefit high-income earners and wealthy property owners at the expense of those living outside the Reykjavík area, who were not as affected by the real estate bubble. Jón told Vísir that “75% of the flat tax rebate would run into the pockets of those who are not in any financial trouble.”



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Icelandic Drug Market On Facebook

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The Icelandic drug market has made a move to social media. “Really well cut and good coke for the weekend,” one Facebook ad boasts. “You’ll feel it on the first line and won’t need another bump after 15 minutes – 15.000 ISK. Don’t buy coke off any old person, make sure you taste it first.” According to Vísir, drugs, pharmaceuticals and steroids are readily available and advertised through Facebook and other online mediums. “Far more people have access to [drugs through social media],” said Detective Chief Superintendent Friðrik Smári Björgvinsson. “A sign of changing times and a new reality. The police

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What To Name The New Lava Field

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As the Holuhraun eruption has spead lava over a wide swath of the country, Icelanders now ask themselves: what should we name the new lava field? As reported, magma pouring from the kilometres-long fissure in Holuhraun has now spread over an area comprising some 4 km2. When all is said and done, a new lava field will be born, which raises the important question of what to call it. Numerous suggestions have been brought up in the Icelandic media lately. MBL reports a number of suggested new names for the lava field. On the more obvious end of the scale,

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Little Change In Party Support, High Voter Dissatisfaction

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Two separate polls show little change in party support, although large numbers of voters are either undecided or dissatisfied with any of their options. Two polls have recently measured levels of support for the different political parties in parliament; one from Gallup (G) and one from Fréttablaðið (F). Their results are comparable, and while they show little change in support for different parties since the last poll, they also show a significant level of voter dissatisfaction. The Independence Party is the party with the greatest level of support in the country, at 28% (G) and about 31% (F). Both polls

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Most Icelanders Not Happy With Summer Of 2014

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In terms of the weather alone, most Icelanders have been unhappy with this past summer, with one notable exception. According to a new poll from Market and Media Research, only 45.4% of Icelanders nationwide have been satisfied with the weather this past summer. This is up slightly from 44.9% for the summer of 2013, but way down from 96.3% for the summer of 2012. The trend can be attributed to what have been relatively cool, cloudy and rainy summer both this year and last, while the summer of 2012 was decidedly warmer and sunnier. Regionally, not all Icelanders were of

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Two Women Attacked In Downtown Reykjavík, Appeal For Witnesses

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Two women were first harassed and then assaulted in downtown Reykjavík in the early hours of Saturday 30th August. A man started accosting them in Hverfisgata, outside Bar 11, at about 4.45am, in both Icelandic and English. When his drunken advances failed, he started following and aggressively coming on to the two, resulting in him being slapped. He then attacked both women, hospitalizing one with facial cuts and two black eyes. One of the women was artist Rosalie Smith, who was on her last night in Iceland and has now returned to the United States. She has sent out a

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Holuhraun: 4 Square Kilometres Of Lava

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Lava exuding from the Holuhraun eruption stretches 3.5 kilometres from the centre of the fissure and measures approximately 1.6 kilometres at its widest point, reports Vísir. According to the Icelandic Met Office the Holuhraun fissure is 1.5 km long with continuous eruption taking place in a 600-800 m long central section. The area of the lava is roughly 4 square kilometres. Currently, none of the tributaries of the river Jökulsá á Fjöllum touches the lava edge. A white blueish cloud has been rising from the eruption but its white colour does not suggest that it is an ash cloud. The

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