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.
Former Prime Minister of Iceland, Geir H. Haarde, has landed a pivotal ambassadorial post in Washington D.C, reports RÚV. Geir is most known for being prime minister during Iceland’s 2008 economic meltdown. In 2010, parliament voted in favour of Geir standing trial for negligence and mismanagement while in office. Geir was eventually found guilty of one of the four charges of negligence levied against him. As reported, the charge was that he either knew or should have known that he had to respond in some way to the information he had been receiving that the economy was unstable. Prosecutor Sigríður
Iceland, considered a global leader in gender equality, has announced it will send only men to a U.N. conference on women and gender equality, reports ABC. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson told the U.N. General Assembly of world leaders on Monday that the January “barbershop” conference will be unique, “as it will be the first time at the United Nations that we bring together only male leaders to discuss gender equality.” It won’t however, be the first time in history that male leaders get together to discuss women’s issues, without any women present. According to Gunnar Bragi, the
The chairperson of parliament’s Tax and Economics Committee believes the Icelandic government should buy evidence of tax evasion, a sample of which has already been offered to authorities. RÚV reports that Frosti Sigurjónsson, a Progressive MP and the chairperson of the Tax and Economics Committee, believes the government should pay to receive only legal documentation of Icelanders evading taxes. If the documents were illegally obtained, he added, this detail would certainly “complicate” matters. “If it’s true what I’ve heard, that the Germans have gone this way, buying this kind of information, than I believe we have no choice but to
The National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police confirms there is no evidence that any Icelanders have joined forces with the theocratic extremist group ISIS. Vísir reports that they sent a formal inquiry to the police on the matter, and were informed that – to the best of anybody’s knowledge – no Icelandic citizens have joined forces with ISIS. As far-fetched as the possibility may sound, European Union anti-terrorism chief Gilles de Kerchove told the BBC that over 3,000 EU citizens have already joined ISIS. Closer to home, Vísir adds that at the beginning of the summer, Danish secret services revealed
A 28-year-old man is in police custody, suspected of having strangled his wife. The suspect denies the charges against him. RÚV reports police were alerted to the scene shortly after midnight yesterday, at which time the victim had been dead for a few hours. It is also reported that the couple’s two children, aged two and five, were in the home at the time of death, but were asleep. Vísir reports that the suspect denies killing his wife, and was led into Reykjavík District Court yesterday for a custody hearing. He will remain in police custody until October 17. “These
The lava field created by the Holuhraun eruption is now 44.5 square kilometres, reports RÚV. By comparison, Lake Mývatn is 37 km2. Seismic activity continues to be strong with as many as 60 earthquakes reported in the Bárðarbunga area on Saturday. The largest earthquake reported yesterday had a magnitude of 5.2 and the subsidence of Bárðarbunga caldera continues. Since September 12, the caldera has subsided by 7 metres and the subsidence has now reached the caldera’s half-way point. Iceland’s Civil Protection and Emergency Management services have closed roads in the Northeast, north of Dyngjufall as well as some roads out