From Iceland — News In Brief: Early September Edition

News In Brief: Early September Edition

Published September 8, 2017

News In Brief: Early September Edition
Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Nanna Dis

Our top story: someone has finally had to answer for what was found in the Panama Papers. Júlíus Vífill Ingvarsson, a former Reykjavík city councilperson for the Independence Party, is now being investigated for money laundering and tax fraud. As the leaked data from financial company Mossack Fonseca revealed, Júlíus’ company, Silkwood Foundation, had a Panamanian account with the Swiss bank Julius Bär. There, he hoarded money that he never reported to tax authorities. And that may be just the beginning. Well, someone had to pay the price for what the Panama Papers revealed. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer person.

Have you ever been in some peaceful part of Iceland, just enjoying a quiet natural setting, when all of the sudden the tranquility is broken by the distinct whining buzz of someone’s drone? Didn’t that fill you with rage? Icelandic geese understand. A pair of tourists recently lost their drone to a flock of angry swans, which remote footage revealed had been disturbed by the drone, prompting them to gang up and attack it. Training swans to attack drones may be an impractical solution to the drone problem. We recommend learning how to use bolas instead.

Bright Future, a political party in the ruling coalition that simultaneously puts forward frivolous parliamentary proposals and complains about getting made fun of for putting forward frivolous parliamentary proposals, has submitted a new parliamentary proposal: allowing pets in restaurants. It’s the kind of proposal that you could agree with, on some level, but nonetheless prompts you to ask if there aren’t maybe more pressing matters a ruling coalition party might have to deal with first. And you’d be right: they do. But Bright Future gonna Bright Future.

Are immigration authorities deliberately trying to incite the greatest amount of outrage with their recent decisions? You’d be forgiven for thinking so. Over the course of the past two weeks, they have denied asylum to a survivor of human trafficking and her family, a father and daughter on the run from Afghanistan, and a Hazara youth facing concerted persecution in the same country. This is all despite Iceland having passed laws and being a signatory country for numerous international agreements that are supposed to protect such people. Maybe immigration authorities didn’t get the memo about the rule of law? Who knows.

If your cat gets stuck in a tree, do not attempt to rescue it yourself. This point was made plain when a young woman climbed a tree to rescue her cat, only to get stuck herself. Police and the fire department arrived on the scene, and ultimately a cherry-picker was used to retrieve them both. Your cat might appreciate your efforts, but it needs you alive to fill the food bowl. Leave cat rescue to the experts.

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