Iceland

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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 »

Pair of Quakes Rattle Iceland Volcano

Aviation alert issued after 5.1, 5.3 earthquakes

(Newser) - Two earthquakes measuring over 5 in magnitude—the biggest yet—shook Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano today after the country issued an aviation red alert warning that an ash-emitting eruption may be imminent. Iceland's Meteorological Office recorded earthquakes of 5.3 and 5.1 in the early hours. It said... More »

Iceland Raises Volcano Alert to Highest Level

Bardarbunga eruption begins, but it's all underground for now

(Newser) - It looks like Bardarbunga is getting ready to pop. That would be the Iceland volcano rumbling of late and threatening to disrupt air travel in the manner of Eyjafjallajokull in 2010 . Iceland officials say a "subglacial eruption" is now underway, reports AP , which quotes a volcano expert who says... More »

Iceland Volcano May Threaten Flights

Bardarbunga threat level raised to orange

(Newser) - Four years after Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano seriously disrupted aviation , another tongue-twister may be set to blow. Iceland's meteorological office says the area around the Bardarbunga volcano has experienced its strongest earthquake since 1996 and there is a chance the "current activity will result in an explosive subglacial... More »

Family's Problem: Daughter Harriet's Name 'Illegal'

But Hjörný, Haddý, Hekla, Hrafnhildur are just fine in Iceland

(Newser) - You might see why a government would be reluctant to hand Adolf Hitler a passport, but what's so bad about Harriet? A couple living in Iceland say the government has refused to issue their 10-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son new passports because their names, Harriet and Duncan, aren't... More »

Odd Murder Confessions From '70s Second-Guessed

Suspects weren't sure whether they'd been involved

(Newser) - In the 1970s, six people confessed to killing two men in Iceland, apparently explaining the victims' mysterious 1974 disappearances and ending what the justice minister called "the nation's nightmare." But the suspects, who were all convicted—with one sentenced to life in prison—at first didn't... More »

Missing Cat Back Home After 7 Years

He had left in a snit when a dog joined the house

(Newser) - The cat came back—after seven years. The unexpected reunion took place in Iceland, when Birkir Fjalar Vioarsson got a call from a shelter informing him that his cat Orvar had shown up, reports the Reykjavik Grapevine . Orvar bolted in 2007, apparently displeased about the family's addition of a... More »

Iceland Jails Bank Bosses

Execs inflated share price before financial collapse

(Newser) - Iceland has done something highly unusual with some of the bank chiefs blamed for the country's 2008 financial collapse: put them on trial and sent them to prison. Four former Kaupthing Bank bosses have been sentenced to between three and five years for market abuses relating to a deal... More »

For 1st Time in Iceland's History, Police Shoot, Kill

Gunman was killed after shooting at officers

(Newser) - Police in Iceland have shot dead a 59-year-old man who fired a shotgun at them—a tragic event in any country, but an unprecedented one for the island nation, which attained independence in 1944. The incident is believed to be the first time anybody has ever been shot and killed... More »

World's Oldest Animal Lived to 507

Ming was killed when scientists cracked open its shell

(Newser) - The oldest animal ever known lived from 1499 until the day researchers cracked its shell open, killing it in the process. Ming, an ocean quahog from the species Arctica islandica, was initially thought to be a record-setting 402 years old. But the scientists who found it on a seabed near... More »

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