Iceland Mag

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Iceland Mag

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  • Politics

    US Neo-nazis believe their "meme magic" caused the collapse of the Icelandic coalition government

    By Staff

    The Daily Stormer The site, which features various racist and antisemitic articles, including stories about "the Jewsh Problem" registered an Icelandic domain name after being denied registration by US internet companies. Photo/Screenshot

    On Friday the US Neo Nazi website The Daily Stormer registered an Icelandic domain name, effectively transferring the site to Iceland. The Daily Stormer found a home in Iceland after its previous registration was cancelled by GoDaddy in late August, following the Charlottesville Virgina "Alt Right" rally. A new registration was then denied by Google due to the Daily Stormer's promotion of racism and hate-speech.

    In addition to antisemitism and neo-nazi propaganda the site peddles incomprehensible conspiracy theories and nonsense. A good example is the site's story about the relocation to Iceland.

    Nazi website registered same day as government collapsed

    Daily Stormer
    Hate speech The site has been closed down and denied registration in the US for promoting hate speech. Photo/Daily Stormer screenshot

    On Sunday the site ran a story about the new domain, titled "Glorious Kek has Our Back on the Iceland Domain...!", featuring an antisemitic cartoon of a Jew pulling the plug on "the entire Worldwide Web" to silence the site.

    The story goes on to connect the registration of the Daily Stormer and the collapse of the Icelandic government:

    "So far, the only domain that Iceland has ever shut down was a literal ISIS recruiting site, and that by Parliamentary decree. We think it is likely that we will be the second site to get such a decree, even though we are not an illegal site, and are pacifists.

    But then, lo and behold, by the power of KEK: on the very day we made the transfer, Iceland’s government fell apart.

    On the exact day. Within hours."

    The Daily Stormer explains the broad outlines of the scandal which led to the collapse of the coalition government, arguing that the only conceivable reason the Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice tried to stop the public and media from discovering the Prime Minister's father had written a letter of recommendation for the pardon of a convicted child molester is that "he had information connecting the government to one of these high-level pedophile rings that they all appear to be involved in these days."

    "Meme magic"

    Daily Stormer
    Incomprihensible nonsense The Daily Stormer uses code and strange allegories or metaphors which appear to amount to a secret language. One of these is a magical toad Kek. Photo/Daily Stormer screengrabs

    The story then goes on to argue that the collapse of the government will mean the site should remain up for a long time. This, the story claims, is due to some "meme magic" and "the glory of Kek":

    "Now tell me, honestly: what are the statistical chances of this happening?

    Do you yet believe in the power of Meme Magic?

    Do you believe now in the glory of Kek?"

    Further research reveals that this "Kek" appears to be some kind of pagan toad which US Neo-Nazis worship. This "Kek" and the "meme magic" give the Neo-Nazis supernatural powers:

    "We have power now, that we don’t even understand. The internet has given us the ability to focus our psychic energies together onto very specific goals. The memes are what directs the focus.

    We can now do absolutely anything we want to do."

    The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service RÚV points out that the Neo-Nazis seem to have gotten their facts wrong on at least one crucial point in this story, namely their account of why and how the ISIS site was shut down.

    In 2014 two ISIS connected sites were registered in Iceland, khilafah.is and hilafah.is. The sites spread terrorist propaganda for the so-called Islamic State. However, these sites were not shut down by the Icelandic government, but by ISNIC, the Icelandic internet domain registry. Jens Pétur Jensen, the manager of ISNIC told RÚV the decision to shut these sites down was made to protect the image of ISNIC and the .is domain. He stressed that ISNIC does not take the decision to shut down domains lightly.

    Dailystormer.is under investigation

    At present the site remains open, but ISNIC is currently investigating whether there are any irregularities in its registration, or whether the site otherwise violates Isnic terms and conditions. If the site, dailystormer.is, violates the rules it will be closed Jens Pétur told RÚV.

    When a site is registered ISNIC verifies the registration information, among other things by contacting the person who is listed as responsible for the content of the site. The site was registered by a man identified as Andrew Anglin, who is said to live in Worthington in the state of Ohio. Wikipedia identifies Anglin as the editor of the Daily Stormer, but notes that his whereabouts are unknown. Jens told RÚV that ISNIC has received information indicating Anglin does not exist, and that if that is the case the site will be closed.

     

  • Crime

    Two travellers arrested in Keflavík for smoking on board airplanes

    By Staff

    Keflavík Airport Smoking on board airplanes is illegal in Iceland. Photo/Vísir

    Two passengers were arrested this week for smoking on board airplanes on their way to Iceland. According to the Police in Suðurnes district, which handles security at Keflavík Airport, the first incidence took place yesterday, the other early this morning.

    Read more:  Police assist a woman from Montreal locate her drunk boyfriend at Keflavík Airport

    According to a statement from the Suðurnes Police both individuals gave full confessions and can expect to be charged. The individual who was arrested this morning was flying from North America to Berlin. He was barred from continuing his flight. The airline will press charges against the man.

    Police has not revealed the nationality or any other details of the two offenders.

    According to Icelandic law smoking is illegal on board airplanes since the 1990s. 

  • Crime

    More details in Hagamelur murder case. Suspects in their 20s, 30s. Victim was in her 40s

    By Staff

    At the scene The two suspects will be interrogated today. Photo/Kolbeinn Tumi

    The two men who are under arrest, suspected of having murdered a woman in a private home on Hagamelur street west of downtown Reykjavík, are in the 20s and 30s, the Metropolitan Police has revealed. The victim, who lived at the address with one of the attackers, was in her 40s. 

    Read more: Third murder this year: Two men arrested yesterday evening. Woman dead after violent attack

    A short statement from the police gives the time of the emergency call to police, 21:38, and confirms that the victim and one of the attackers are foreign nationals who live in Iceland. Their nationality has not been revealed.

    The woman and one of the two men, an Icelandic citizen in his 20s, lived at the address where the attack took place. It is not clear whether the two people lived together or are neighbors. The house, where the attack took place, has several apartments.

    The other man, a foreign national in his 30s, was a guest at the address when the attack took place. Both men were arrested at the scene and will be interrogated today. Police has not released any information about the connection between the three people. 

  • Crime

    Third murder this year: Two men arrested yesterday evening. Woman dead after violent attack

    By Staff

    At the scene The incidence took place in a private residence on Hagamelur street in the Vesturbær neighbourhood, west of downtown Reykjavík. Photo/Kolbeinn Tumi

    Two men are in custody after a violent attack which led to the death of a woman yesterday evening. One of the men is suspected of being responsible for the woman's death. 

    UPDATE: More details in Hagamelur murder case. Suspects in their 20s, 30s. Victim was in her 40s

    Violent attack with a weapon

    Grímur Grímsson, Police Chief Superintendent
    In charge of the investigation Grímur Grímsson, Police Chief Superintendent. Photo/Anton Brink

    The incidence took place late evening at a private residence on Hagamelur street near Vesturbæjarlaug swimming pool, west of downtown Reykjavík. According to the local news site Vísir police received a call at ten yesterday evening that an aggravated assault had taken place. Armed police special forces as well as an ambulance were immediately dispatched to the scene. When police arrived the woman was still alive. She was taken by ambulance to the National University Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

    Grímur Grímsson, police chief superintendent, told the local news site Vísir that police suspects an object or weapon of some sort was used in the attack, and that the woman had suffered serious injuries, but would otherwise not comment on the investigation or cause of death. 

    The woman and one of the two men are foreign nationals who live in Iceland. The woman and one of the attackers live at the address where the attack took place. The other man is an Icelandic citizen. 

    Third murder this year
    This is the third murder in Iceland this year. Usually there is no more than one murder each year in Iceland. The high number of murders is not connected to a general increase in the crime rate, which has been dropping in recent years.

    Read more: Crime rate in Reykjavík drops, fewer thefts than at any time since 1999

    In January a 20 year old local girl, Birna Brjánsdóttir was murdered. Her disappearance and death, and the hunt for her murderer gripped the Icelandic nation. A Greenlandic sailor is currently standing trial for her death. A second murder occurred in June. This murder is believed to be connected to power struggles in the Reykjavík criminal underworld. 

    We at Iceland Magazine covered the story of Birna's murder in great detail. 

    Read more: Trial of Greenlandic sailor who's accused of murdering 20 yo local girl begins with fantastical testimony

    Iceland Magazine coverage of the Reykjavík underworld murder:

    Read more: Iceland's second murder this year: Police arrests 6 people for Reykjavík underworld murder

    Read more: What we know of the attackers in the Reykjavík underworld murder

  • Travel

    The Telegraph names Reykjavík as one of 20 greatest cities for an autumn break

    By Staff

    The Northern Lights Capital One of the reasons you should visit Reykjavík: You have great seats to one of mother nature's greatest displays. Photo/Snorri Þór Tryggvason.

    The Northern Lights, Iceland Airwaves music festival and the coziness of Reykjavík cafés are some of the things that make Reykjavík one of the greatest cities to visit in the autumn, according to the UK newspaper The Telegraph. The Northern Lights capital shares the list with nineteen other cities, including some of the greatest metropolises of Europe, and popular tourist destinations like Dubrovnik and Venice.

    Read more: 12 reasons you should visit Iceland during the off-season

    The list of the 20 greatest cities to visit in the fall includes Amsterdam, Barcelona, Bruges, Berlin, Budapest, Copenhagen, Dubrovnik, Edinburgh, Florence, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Marrakech, Paris, Prague, Rome, Seville, Venice and Vienna. And of course Reykjavík:

    There are many great reasons to visit Reykjavik in autumn. For one thing the crowds are thinner, but it’s also the season where prices for hotels and car hire fall, the coziness of the city’s cafés and bars begins to emerge, and there’s more chance of seeing the Northern Lights too. Don’t miss The City Being exhibition at Nordic House (nordichouse.is; until Nov 5), which explores various aspects of our modern cities, with Reykjavik as the main focus, or visit during the annual Airwaves music festival (icelandairwaves.is; Nov 1-5) which showcases new Icelandic and international talent.

    We at Iceland Magazine agree. While there is really no "off-season" in Iceland any more there are significantly fewer tourists in Reykjavík during the fall and winter. A major reason is fewer stopover passengers who take a one or two day break in Reykjavík, as well as the fact that visitors who come during these seasons tend to spend more time outside Reykjavík.

    Read more: Iceland Airwaves teams up bands and street artists to transform Reykjavík walls into giant artwork

    But, as always: If you want to avoid other travellers you need to venture a bit off the beaten path, perhaps find restaurants, cafés or bars which are not situated along the busiest streets. 

    Read more: Five “hidden” Cafés in Reykjavík

    It is also true that autumn is great for Aurora hunters, but the Northern Lights are fickle, and the frequent autumn storms bring with them overcast skies. If you want to catch the Northern Lights in the Autumn you need to be patient. 

  • Animals

    Worst whale hunting season in more than a decade: Only 17 whales killed this year

    By Staff

    Posing by the harpoon Gunnar Bergmann Jónsson, the manager of IP-Úgerð hf, one of the two companies engaged in the whale hunt this year. Photo/Vilhelm.

    Thanks to poor weather conditions this summer the whales of Faxaflói bay were spared the full force of the Icelandic whaling fleet. Minke whale hunters were able to catch only 17 animals this summer, compared to 46 animals last year. The whaling industry has not seen a worse year since whaling started again in 2006.

    Read more: Whaling is not an Icelandic tradition

    Only two whaling vessels participated in the hunt this year, Hrafnreyður KÓ and Rokkarinn KE. The two vessels hunted minke whales in Faxaflói bay in West Iceland, as well as Skagafjörður fjord in the north. The season started poorly, with the first animal caught in mid-June. Scientists had determined that 220 animals could be caught without the hunt becoming unsustainable. The population of minke whales in Icelandic waters is believed to be upward of 40,000 individuals.

    Whales appear to be changing their behavior
    The problems faced by the whalers have included bad weather which has kept the boats away from the hunt, as well as unusually few minke whales in their traditional habitat. Captains of whaling vessels, as well as whale watching vessels, who spoke to the local news site Vísir said that far fewer whales had been seen this summer than in previous years. 

    The manager of one of the two whaling companies told Vísir that the whales were hiding somewhere:

    "There are clearly fewer minke whales in these waters, for whatever reason. These 40,000 animals are here somewhere, they didn't all just disappear or die at once, but they might be spending their time somewhere further north, or along the eastern coast of Greenland."

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