Iceland

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Iceland's President Forced to Walk Back Pizza Comment

Backtracks after saying he'd ban pineapple as topping if he could

(Newser) - It's not every day that the president of Iceland's visit to a high school makes international news, but here we are: Guðni Th. Jóhannesson—a history professor in a former life—last week stopped at a school in the northern town of Akureyri and, during a... More »

Cops Stop Erratic Drivers, Hear an Awesome Excuse

'Under the influence of the aurora'

(Newser) - It turns out the northern lights can be hazardous to humans. Police in Iceland pulled over two different drivers near the airport in Keflavík because they were swerving between lanes, reports Iceland Magazine . Police thought for sure they'd made DWI stops until the drivers, both foreign tourists, explained:... More »

Woman's Body Found in Iceland in Rarest of Murders

Birna Brjansdottir, 20, was last seen alive on Jan. 14

(Newser) - The largest search and rescue operation in Iceland's history met a grim end Sunday with the discovery of a 20-year-old's body on a beach on the south coast. Birna Brjansdottir had been missing for 8 days, and the AFP notes the country reported on little else during that... More »

How Iceland Got Its Clean-Living Teens

A curfew and after-school programs are at heart of program

(Newser) - Teens in Iceland are a pretty clean-living bunch, especially when compared to their peers around the world. That wasn't always the case, but a clear shift has occurred over the last 20 years, explains a feature at Mosaic . Consider three stats: the percentage of 15- and 16-year-olds who have... More »

Iceland's First Baby of 1980 Pulls Off 2017 Longshot

She gave birth to the country's first baby

(Newser) - Cities and countries around the world take note of the first baby born in each year, but Iceland's 2017 case is rather exceptional. The country's first baby of the year was born at three minutes after midnight on Sunday to mother Katrín Guðjónsdóttir, who... More »

Country Sues Supermarket With Same Name

It's Iceland versus Iceland

(Newser) - It's Iceland vs. Iceland. The island nation of Iceland says is taking legal action against British frozen-food chain Iceland over the right to use their shared name. Iceland's Ministry of Foreign Affairs says it has challenged Iceland Foods at the European Union Intellectual Property Office. It says it... More »

Pirate Party Could End Up Ruling Iceland

They're in the lead a week before election

(Newser) - The country that puts misbehaving bank bosses in prison may become the first to be ruled by the Pirate Party. The party—described by the Washington Post as a "collection of anarchists, hackers, libertarians, and Web geeks"—has gained popularity rapidly in Iceland and could emerge as a... More »

Few Vacationed in Iceland. Then Things Went 'Bonkers'

Island's population is 332K; the country has seen 1.6M tourists so far this year

(Newser) - Iceland is hot, and no, this isn't a story about global warming. Since the tiny island country in the northern Atlantic began keeping tabs in 1949, the number of visiting tourists has climbed from roughly 5,000 people a year to, in 2010, more than 500,000. Then, in... More »

Reykjavik Swaps City Lights for Even Better Ones

Iceland's capital turns off lights for aurora borealis viewing

(Newser) - The capital of an entire country went dark Wednesday night to give residents a better view of one of nature's most stunning light shows. The BBC reports Reykjavik switched off street lights in the center of the city and in various neighborhoods for better viewing of the aurora borealis,... More »

5 Countries May Make Seniors Go Back to School

To keep their skills current and the Nordic region a major player in global arena

(Newser) - A recently published 36-page report outlining proposals to improve working life in the five Nordic countries—Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Sweden, and Norway—has a proposal that Quartz says contains a "startling" word: "mandatory." Poul Nielson, a Danish politician given the task last year of preparing a labor... More »

10 Most Peaceful Countries on Earth

Iceland, Denmark, Austria are on top

(Newser) - Congratulations, America: You sit 103rd on a list that ranks countries by their peacefulness, in a report compiled by the Institute for Economics and Peace . The ranking is based on 23 factors including involvement in conflicts at home and abroad, crime, terrorist activity, political stability, levels of militarization, and relations... More »

First Victim of Panama Papers: Iceland Leader to Resign

His offshore account was exposed in leak

(Newser) - A member of the Icelandic government says embattled Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson will resign amid the controversy over his offshore holdings . Agriculture Minister Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson told Icelandic broadcaster RUV that Gunnlaugsson was stepping down as leader of the country's coalition government. Opposition lawmakers say Gunnlaugsson's offshore... More »

Thousands Demand Iceland PM Quit Over Panama Papers

But Gunnlaugsson refuses to consider it

(Newser) - If the Panama Papers leak is going to bring down a big name, it's looking more and more like it will be Iceland Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson. About 10,000 protesters gathered outside Parliament in Reykjavik on Monday evening, and opposition parties are pushing for a no-confidence vote,... More »

Rhode Island Tourism Video Shows Wrong Country

'Rhode Iceland' officials admit blunder

(Newser) - Maybe the state should be called Rhode Iceland. Rhode Island officials yanked a new tourism video, designed to draw visitors to the state, off YouTube in embarrassment on Tuesday after eagle-eyed viewers complained it showed a scene shot in Iceland's capital, Reykjavik, the AP reports. The state's economic... More »

In One Day, 3% of Icelanders Offer to House Refugees

Hungary shuts main train station amid chaotic scenes

(Newser) - Amid scenes of chaos in Europe and fresh attempts to seal borders, the people of Iceland have asked if they can do more to help. Some 10,000 people out of a population of 330,000 have as of Monday joined a campaign to urge the government to accept more... More »

Greenland's Vikings Weren't Farmers, They Were Walrus Hunters

They apparently had a lucrative ivory trade going on: researchers

(Newser) - For a long time, scientists wondered why Vikings settled in Greenland as farmers, since livestock doesn't thrive there and the growing season is truncated, notes Hakai Magazine . But while speculation as to why they eventually abandoned the island territory range from climate change to soil erosion , researchers now think... More »

Now Legal in Iceland: Blasphemy

Pirate Party spearheads law's repeal

(Newser) - Iceland has repealed an anti-blasphemy law that has been on the books since 1940, meaning its people are now free to ridicule religion to their heart's content. The country's parliament, the Althing, voted almost unanimously to remove blasphemy from the Icelandic Penal Code yesterday, the Iceland Monitor reports.... More »

Does Creativity Up Your Risk of Mental Illness?

Iceland researchers say there's a genetic link, other scientists say it's flimsy

(Newser) - The "mad genius" is back in fashion with a new claim that there's a genetic link between creativity and genius, the Guardian reports. A study published in Nature Neuroscience analyzed 86,000 Icelanders to flesh out genetic variations that double one's risk of schizophrenia and more than... More »

7 Folks Named 'Gudmundur' Have Most Unusual Job

They're a 'human search engine' in Iceland

(Newser) - What do a washing machine, a crocodile, and glacial water have in common? Gudmundur of the West is on the hot seat to answer that question this week, and if he can't figure it out, maybe Gudmundur from the North or Gudmunda from Reykjavik can help him out with... More »

Iceland Erecting First Norse Temple in 1K Years

Membership in neo-pagan tribe has recently tripled

(Newser) - Norse paganism fell by the wayside in Iceland when Christianity swept through some 1,000 years ago. Now a modern movement—which views gods as metaphors with lessons to impart, reports the Guardian —is erecting the first temple to Norse gods since the age of the Vikings. "I... More »

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