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December 17, 2011

Iceland formally recognises Palestinian state with pre-1967 borders

Iceland formally recognises Palestinian state with pre-1967 borders

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

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Riayd al-Maliki (left) and Össur Skarphéðinsson (right) at the ceremony in Reykjavík, Iceland
Image: Jabbi.

This Thursday, following a vote two weeks ago in the Icelandic parliament, the country’s government granted formal recognition to the state of Palestine. The Althingi‘s move ratifies recognition of Palestine with borders as-before the 1967 Six-Day War.

In the vote taken by the 63 members of parliament, 38 voted for and 13 abstained. In passing the resolution Iceland became the first Western European state to formally recognise the Palestinian state. In late November Cyprus similarly recognised Palestine with 1967 borders.

The move by the Icelandic government comes as European states such as France, Spain, and Ireland have upgraded their countries’ Palestinian missions to full embassies recently.



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December 27, 2009

German jet bound for US searched in Iceland after suitcase loaded without owner

German jet bound for US searched in Iceland after suitcase loaded without owner

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Aviation

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Lufthansa jets in Frankfurt

A bomb squad searched a jetliner belonging to German flag carrier Lufthansa after it was found that the owner of a suitcase in the hold was not on the flight. The Airbus A330 diverted to Iceland but was later able to continue to the US.

The 160 people on board remained so while the luggage was inspected in Reykjavik. It was found that there were no security risks in the suitcase concerned. “It seems the passenger in question somehow missed the plane after having checked in,” explained Fridthor Eydal of Keflavik International Airport, which serves Reykjavik.

The flight from Frankfurt then completed its trip to Detroit. It is unclear how the aircraft was able to leave with a bag that had no owner. Detroit was the location of an attack attempt on Friday in which a man attempted to light a bomb as the plane carrying him approached the airport. A Lufthansa spokesman described yesterday’s incident as, “an unfortunate coincidence.”



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October 11, 2008

Iceland and United Kingdom in diplomatic dispute over financial crisis

Iceland and United Kingdom in diplomatic dispute over financial crisis

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Economy and business
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Relations between Iceland and the United Kingdom are deteriorating after the two nations fell out over the current financial crisis. When Iceland nationalised first Landsbanki and then Kaupthing Bank the Financial Services Authority only took on domestic assets, leaving British customers with subsidiary banks out of pocket. While Britain feels Iceland should also pay out to their citizens, Iceland blame the UK for triggering the crisis by using the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 to freeze the UK assets of Icelandic banks.

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown says Iceland should pay out up to €20,887 (£16,448) of UK investors’ money in the banks, particularly Icesave, an online company owned by Landsbanki which had around 300,000 accounts owned by UK customers. It will cost an estimated 2.4 billion pounds to compensate them, and it looks likely the UK will foot that bill.

Alistair Darling, the U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer, has said that individuals with accounts will see their money again but other accounts are not guaranteed – leaving governmental, corporate and charitable deposits at risk of being lost. UK local authorities could lose £799 million.

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“The prime minister made clear the behavior of the Icelandic authorities had been unacceptable, and we had found it very difficult to get information from them,” said Michael Ellam, a spokesperson for Brown. A delegation has been sent to Reykjavik from the UK to try and solve the dispute amicably.

However, fears that the crisis may escalate have led to the pound becoming heavily devalued. The pound hit its lowest level for five years versus the US dollar after Brown threatened to freeze the assets of all Icelandic companies in the UK, which employ around 100,000 people.

The last time the two nations had a dispute, dubbed the Cod Wars, was in the 1970s. Iceland declared an exclusive fishing zone and began to cut the nets of British trawlers entering the area. That dispute came to a head in 1976 when a UK naval vessel with nuclear arms rammed an Icelandic ship that had been cutting nets. After this a compromise was reached to allow a limited number of British ships in the area.

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May 29, 2008

Strong earthquake strikes southwestern Iceland

Strong earthquake strikes southwestern Iceland

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Iceland
Other stories from Iceland
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Location of Iceland

A map showing the location of Iceland

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A strong earthquake with magnitude 6.2 hit southwestern Iceland at 15:46 UTC. The epicenter was located 45 kilometers (30 miles) from the nation’s capital, Reykjavik.

At least 30 people are reported to have been injured, but so far there are no reports of deaths. Some buildings along the main road leading to the town of Selfoss suffered minor damage, leading to the closure of the road. Almost 6,400 people live in the town.

“People are mostly shocked and scared but no one is seriously injured so far,” said Soffia Sigurdardottir, a rescue worker assisting those in need of help.

“Everything was shaking. The glass in the windows shook and everybody was just really scared,” said Audbjorg Olafsdottir, an economist in Reykjavik.

Over 300,000 people live in Iceland. In June of 2000, a magnitude 6.6 quake struck the nation, which had been the country’s first major earthquake in 88 years.



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January 18, 2008

Chess master Bobby Fischer dead at 64

Chess master Bobby Fischer dead at 64 – Wikinews, the free news source

Chess master Bobby Fischer dead at 64

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Friday, January 18, 2008

Fischer in his younger days.
Image: Collinskids1912.

Dubbed as one of the world’s greatest chess players of all-time, Bobby Fischer has died at the age of 64 from kidney failure, according to his spokesman Gardar Sverrisson. He died in Iceland at a hospital in Reykjavík.

Fischer is most known for beating his opponent Boris Spassky from the then Soviet Union in 1972, to become the first and so far only American world champion chess player. He became a Grandmaster in August of 1958 at the young age of 15.

Fischer was also a fugitive of the U.S. after violating the terms of United Nations sanctions by going to an island of the former country of Yugoslavia in 1992 to play Spassky in a rematch, and won. He was detained in Japan for nine months through 2004 and 2005, accused of trying to leave the country on a revoked U.S. passport. After his detainment he was granted Icelandic citizenship and moved to the country in 2005, instead of being deported to the U.S. by the Japanese government.

“[Fischer was] the pioneer, some would say the founder, of professional chess. [His death is] very sad news,” said Garry Kasparov a former world champion of chess.

Fisher was born on March 9, 1943 in Chicago, Illinois.



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July 11, 2005

Temperature in east Iceland reaches 25 degrees Celsius (77°F)

Temperature in east Iceland reaches 25 degrees Celsius (77°F)

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Monday, July 11, 2005

This summer has brought a large amount of sunlight to Iceland. Temperatures have been soaring upwards in the eastern and north eastern regions of Iceland over the last few days, with the temperature reaching as much as 25 degrees Celsius (77° Fahrenheit) in Miðjarðarnesi.

At Egilstaðir, near to Landsvirkjun’s Kárahnjúkavirkjun dam construction site it’s been around 24°C (75°F).

The Icelandic Weather Agency is predicting continuing hot weather in east Iceland. The sun could even start shining in Reykjavík, the capital city of Iceland, later this week.

Much of western Europe has been experiencing particularly hot weather this week with much of Ireland enjoying temperatures between 24°C and 26°C (75-79°F) since Saturday afternoon.

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