A proposal has been submitted on behalf of Mayor Jón Gnarr to end Reykjavík’s partnership with Moscow, on account of the Russian capital’s stance on gay rights. The proposal was put forth during a City Council meeting yesterday, Vísir reports. Should the proposal pass it would effectively terminate all political and cultural relations between Reykjavík and Moscow. “In light of the developments that have taken place in recent years in matters of gay, bisexual, and transgender people in Russia, the Human Rights Office and the Mayor’s Office have entrusted the deputy mayor to propose amendments to the existing agreement between the two cities or terminate it all together following consultation with the Foreign Ministry,” read the minutes from the City Council meeting. In 2007 Reykjavík and Moscow became sister cities, an agreement that would see the municipalities exchanging information, and cooperate on policies regarding youth and family. The termination of the relationship between Reykjavík and Moscow, while a big step that will require oversight by the Foreign Ministry, is a long time coming. Last August Jón Gnarr wrote a formal letter to his contemporaries in Moscow urging them to reconsider the city’s banning of Moscow’s gay pride parade.
Birta Líf Kristinsdóttir, a meteorologist with the Icelandic Met Office has posted a video of what a weather report might look like in Iceland in July 2050, reports RÚV. The video has been made in conjunction with the UN Climate Change Summit in New York next week. By 2050, Birta Líf predicts that Iceland will be much greener with summer temperatures reaching between 20-30 degrees celsius. She also goes over the ramifications of the warmer climate and how it might effect the acidification of the sea. Check out her video below, the first half is in Icelandic (subtitled) but stick
A stolen cardboard cutout of actor and comedian Pétur Jóhann Sigfússon has been taken on a Facebook adventure, reports DV. The cutout of Pétur, who best known internationally for co-writing and starring in Næturvaktin alongside Jón Gnarr, was stolen from Hagkaup supermarket in Reykjanesbær. Since then cardboard Pétur – or Pappír Pési (Paper Pete) as the cutout is referred to in the media – has been to the tanning salon, worked at a kiosk in Grindavík, and checked out a farm. Paper Pete’s extensive adventures over the past few days have been documented on a Facebook page though the police say
Icelandic Customs Officers recently seized 3 Madagascar cockroaches in a plastic container, reports RÚV. A foreign traveller brought them over and was stopped at the airport on his way into the country and informed the Customs Officers that they were his pets. His fiancé had convinced him to take them along so that he would not be bored while staying in Iceland. Importing living animals into Iceland is illegal, so the gentleman’s pet roaches were confiscated by the authorities.
Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson told parliament he was very surprised by the harsh criticisms the proposed budget has received from labour unions. RÚV reports that Social Democrat MP Árni Páll Árnason asked the Prime Minister what his response was to yesterday’s statement from the Confederation of Icelandic Labour Unions (ASÍ) on the proposed 2015 budget. The Prime Minister said the response surprised him and “came out of nowhere”. He contends that the proposed budget was crafted with the aim of helping Icelandic households, adding that the response was especially surprising “considering how very patient ASÍ president [Gylfi Arnbjörnsson] was
Minister of Foreign Affairs Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson told parliament that he was unsure whether now is the time to engage in sanctions against Israel. MBL reports that the Minister, responding to a question from Social Democrat MP (and former Foreign Minister) Össur Skarphéðinsson on whether or not Iceland should start sanctions or embargos against Israel, was hesitant at best about the idea. “Regarding whether the time has come to initiate sanctions or an embargo against Israel, I am not sure if this is the right thing to do at this stage,” he said. “I’m not sure about that.” However, the
The cloud of SO2 emanating from the Holuhraun eruption is moving both further west and further south. The Icelandic Met Office reports that the SO2 from the Holuhraun eruption has already spread over a large portion of the country. Currently, it covers a large portion of central Iceland, extending northwest to Blönduós and east across northern Vatnajökull. Tomorrow, however, the distribution of SO2 is forecast to look a lot like the above illustration. As can be seen, the SO2 is spreading, and extending further south and west, and reaching the southeast coast. However, bear in mind that SO2 levels are