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Iceland harnesses hot springs to power year-round farming
29 November 2018 - Iceland's volcanic origins have blessed the island of 350,000 inhabitants with abundant geothermal energy -- a renewable resource that, unlike solar or wind power, is unaffected by its unpredictable weather. Geothermal energy, which makes up a quarter of Iceland's electricity, has helped boost the year-round availability of fresh food. (more)

Companies in Iceland now required to demonstrate they pay men, women fairly
3 January 2018 - Starting this week, companies in Iceland are required to demonstrate that they pay male and female employees fairly -- without gender discrimination. Failing to do so can result in daily fines. The law, which was passed last year and went into effect on Monday, is believed to be the first of its kind in the world and covers both the private and public sectors. (more)

Iceland has largely kicked teen drinking. What can it teach other countries?
29 December 2017 - In the last two decades, Icelandic teens have embraced sobriety under a program that asks families and communities to rethink adolescent freedoms. Teen drinking -- as well as teen smoking, marijuana use, and abuse of other drugs -- has plummeted across Iceland in the past two decades as academics, policy makers, and parents joined forces to clamp down. And now cities around the world are looking to this tiny island nation for clues on how to tackle underage drinking. (more)

Newly founded Icelandic Wildlife Fund hopes to limit expansion of salmon farming
29 June 2017 - A newly founded Icelandic Wildlife Fund (IWF) intends to fight plans to dramatically increase the salmon farming industry in Iceland. A broad group of conservationists established the fund to fight for the protection of Icelandic nature, especially fjords and rivers which are threatened by industrial scale salmon farming in sea cages. (more)

Iceland: Reykjavík, the geothermal city that aims to go carbon neutral
3 October 2016 - Reykjavík used to be marketed as a place of 'pure energy', run on geothermal power -- and now Iceland's capital is trying to become the world's first carbon neutral city. It wants to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions from 2.8 tonnes per person in 2013 to zero -- largely by changing the shape of the city to reverse urban sprawl and encouraging Icelanders out of their beloved cars to walk, cycle or use public transport. (more)

Iceland: Reykjavik turns off its street lamps to give residents a better view of the Northern Lights
29 September 2016 - On September 27, the city of Reykjavik asked inhabitants in four of its major districts to turn off their lights between 10 and 11 p.m. in order to make the most of exceptionally clear conditions for viewing the Northern Lights. The local authorities said before the event, 'Residents are invited to join in by turning out the lights at home so as to maximise the darkness and minimise light pollution.' (more)

Climate change breakthrough as Iceland turns carbon dioxide into stone
9 June 2016 - A radical breakthrough in tackling climate change has been made after scientists found a rapid way to turn heat-trapping carbon-dioxide into rock. 'Carbon capture is not the silver bullet, but it can contribute significantly to reducing carbon dioxide emissions,' said Dr. Juerg Matter of the University of Southampton and the lead author of a study detailing the experiment. (more)

Icelandic people tell government to take more refugees from Syria
7 September 2015 - An Icelandic author's Facebook campaign that has helped to spark a surge of support for welcoming migrants. As much of Europe hesitates, Iceland -- which has just in recent years emerged from the effects of a devastating economic meltdown -- seems to be warming to the idea of taking in Syrians fleeing their war-torn homeland. It's a historic shift for an island that has long been reluctant to take in foreigners. (more)

More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
1 September 2015 - More than 11,000 families in Iceland have offered to open their homes to Syrian refugees in a bid to raise the government's cap of just 50 asylum seekers a year. They responded to a call by author Bryndis Bjorgvinsdottir, who set up a Facebook group with an open letter to the country's welfare minister, Eyglo Haroardottir, asking her to allow people to help. (more)

Iceland tops gender equality list
29 October 2013 - Women are more equal to men in Iceland than anywhere else in the world, according to a recent study. The study released on 25 October by The World Economic Forum, a Swiss foundation, contained the results of an annual survey of 136 nations measuring gender equality in economics, education, health, and politics. Iceland ranked Number 1 for the fifth straight year. (more)

Success of Maharishi's Programmes
Short Summaries of Top Stories

Consciousness-Based Education expert speaks to educators in Iceland
11 October 2012 - Dr Ashley Deans, Executive Director of Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment in the USA, spoke at several events in Iceland including a Boy Scout conference and gathering of educators. The Iceland Boy Scouts had heard of Maharishi School and were intrigued by its focus on Consciousness-Based Education and creating world peace. They invited Dr Deans to speak at their annual conference, the theme of which was peace. (more)

Iceland: Transcendental Meditation program for women contributes coherence in national life
3 July 2012 - In the past three years, nearly 850 women in Iceland have learned Transcendental Meditation, among a total of 1,400 Icelanders who have begun practising the technique. All were able to learn due to the generosity of the David Lynch Foundation, which established scholarships for a three-year period, with the aim of reducing problems and contributing to social coherence and prosperity in the nation. (more)

Iceland embraces Transcendental Meditation on a large scale
15 December 2011 - In the past few years, Iceland has embraced Transcendental Meditation on a large scale. Following a visit to Iceland by award-winning film director David Lynch, Transcendental Meditation teachers there have instructed more than 1,300 people in the last two and a half years. This large new group of meditators makes up about four tenths of 1% of the country's population, and contributes to the rise of social coherence in the nation. (more)

Many women learning Transcendental Meditation in Iceland
19 January 2011 - Through the activities of the Global Mother Divine Organization in Iceland in the past year, many women have been inspired to learn the Transcendental Meditation Programme. Interest in the technique has been growing steadily in Iceland in recent years, and 141 women have learned the technique since last summer. (more)

Iceland: 1,000 learn Transcendental Meditation, hundreds more eager to learn
15 September 2010 - Since the visit of renowned filmmaker David Lynch to Iceland in 2009, and with the subsequent support of the David Lynch Foundation, about 1,000 people have learned the Transcendental Meditation Programme, and many more are eager to learn. (more)

Iceland: Global Mother Divine Organization reports achievements during Third International Congress
23 July 2010 - The Global Mother Divine Organization (GMDO) in Iceland reported on its many achievements on the final day of the recent GMDO Third International Congress in MERU, Holland. Teachers of Transcendental Meditation in Iceland have continued to instruct hundreds of ladies this year, among the very large numbers of people who signed up to learn the technique after a widely reported visit by renowned filmmaker Dr David Lynch last year. (more)

Iceland: Upsurge of people learning Transcendental Meditation in 2009, plans for national invincibility in 2010
1 January 2010 - In 2009, Iceland saw a burst in interest in the Transcendental Meditation Programme, with large numbers of people learning the technique, and the establishment of a Maharishi Invincibility Centre. (more)

Iceland: Many continuing to learn Transcendental Meditation, inspired by Dr David Lynch visit
20 November 2009 - Inspired by the visit of Dr David Lynch to Iceland in May, a project is now underway in which many people in the country are learning Transcendental Meditation; Consciousness-Based Education will be starting in a school with 1100 students. (more)

Iceland: 1,000 learn Transcendental Meditation in Reykjavik
13 September 2009 - Renowned filmmaker Dr David Lynch visited Iceland several months ago, giving talks about the Transcendental Meditation Programme to one half of one per cent of the country's population. As a result, five Teachers of Transcendental Meditation have been very active teaching the technique to almost 1,000 people in a new Maharishi Invincibility Centre in Reykjavik, with many more people waiting to learn. (more)

Iceland, Ireland, Mongolia, Northern Ireland see progress in establishing Maharishi's programmes
30 July 2009 - In a recent report, Raja Tom Stanley, Raja of Invincible Iceland, Ireland, Mongolia, and Northern Ireland for the Global Country of World Peace, presented progress from the past year in establishing the programmes of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi within his domain. (more)

Short Summaries of Top Stories

Iceland's leader resigns, first casualty of Panama Papers
5 April 2016 - Iceland's Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson resigned on Tuesday, becoming the first casualty of leaked documents from a Panamanian law firm which have shone a spotlight on the offshore wealth of politicians and public figures worldwide. According to media that have seen Mossack Fonseca's files, more than half of the 200,000 companies set up by the firm were registered in the British Virgin Islands, where details of ownership do not have to be filed with the authorities. Panama is one of the most secretive of the world's offshore havens and has refused to sign up to a global transparency initiative. U.S. President Barack Obama said the Panama Papers showed tax avoidance was a major problem and urged the U.S. Congress to take action to stop U.S. companies from taking advantage of loopholes allowing them to avoid paying taxes. 'We've had another reminder in this big dump of data coming out of Panama that tax avoidance is a big, global problem,' President Obama told reporters. 'It's not unique to other countries because frankly there are folks here in America that are taking advantage of this same stuff. A lot of it's legal, but that's exactly the problem.' (more)

'Massive deaths' in seabird colonies blamed on climate, oceanic changes
27 August 2014 - Iceland, circled by the food-rich currents of Atlantic, Arctic and polar waters, is the Serengeti for seabirds. Its rocky coast, hillocky fields and jutting seacliffs are breeding grounds for 23 species, hosting an indispensible share of Atlantic puffins, black guillemots, great skuas, northern fulmars, razorbills, black-legged kittiwakes, and more. But the nests have gone empty in the past few years, and colonies throughout the North Atlantic are shrinking. The suspected culprits are many: The leading candidates are the profound changes underway in the world's oceans -- their climate, their chemistry, their food webs, their loads of pollutants. Warming oceans and earlier thaws are driving away the seabirds' prey, unleashing deadly, unseasonal storms and knocking tight breeding schedules off-kilter. Mounting carbon dioxide absorption and melting glaciers are acidifying and diluting the aquatic balance, jeopardizing marine life and creatures that depend on it for food. Alarmed scientists have returned from fieldwork throughout the North Atlantic with sobering descriptions of massive chick die-offs and colonies abandoned with eggs still in the nests. (more)

Iceland's vanishing glaciers: Land of fire and ice is losing half its identity
18 December 2013 - Iceland, lying just below the Arctic Circle, is one of the fastest-warming places on the planet -- as much a four times the Northern Hemisphere average. The 300-some glaciers that cover more than 10 per cent of the island are losing an average of 11 billion tonnes of ice a year. The annual volume carried away from Iceland's glaciers and not replaced by new snow would fill 50 of the world's largest trucks every minute for the entire year. Subject of ancient myth, a proud literary tradition and a lucrative tourist draw, Iceland's majestic white mountains -- jökull in Icelandic -- are crucial to the nation today. Glacial rivers generate hydropower that provides most of the country's electricity. Glacier ice stores water for its 320,000 residents. Some of the country's glaciers have vanished already and several others will be gone within a decade or two, said glaciologist Helgi Bjornsson, one of the leading scientists to quantify the link between glacial loss and greenhouse gas-induced warming. (more)

No solution in dispute over Iceland deposits
29 January 2010 - Talks between Icelandic, British, and Dutch officials ended Friday with no immediate solution to a dispute over compensation for funds lost when Iceland's banking system collapsed. Iceland is seeking a way to avoid a potentially damaging referendum over repaying the $5.7 billion that Britain and the Netherlands spent to compensate their citizens' depositors in Icesave, an internet bank that collapsed with its parent Landsbanki in October 2008. Iceland's Parliament agreed late last year to set terms for repaying the money, but President Olafur R. Grimsson earlier this month invoked rarely used powers to refuse to sign the legislation. His action triggered the national poll, which is scheduled for 6 March. Opinion polls suggest Icelanders will vote against the bill. If the referendum votes down the Icesave bill, the Icelandic Parliament will revert to an earlier version of the law. That could delay a solution to the dispute, endangering vital funding promised to Iceland by the International Monetary Fund and Nordic countries. (more)

Iceland's government topples amid financial mess
26 January 2009 - Iceland's coalition government collapsed Monday, leaving the island nation in political turmoil amid a financial crisis that has pummelled its economy and required an international bailout. Prime Minister Geir Haarde said he was unwilling to meet the demands of his coalition partners, the Social Democratic Alliance Party, which insisted upon getting the post of Prime Minister to keep the coalition intact. Mr Haarde, who has been Prime Minister since 2006, said he would officially inform the country's president, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, that the government had collapsed. President Grimsson, largely a figurehead, has asked Haarde's government to remain in place until a new administration is formed. Iceland has been mired in crisis since the collapse of the country's banks under the weight of debts amassed during years of rapid expansion. Inflation and unemployment have soared, and the krona currency has plummeted. (more)

Iceland minister quits, Prime Minister says government could fall
25 January 2009 - Iceland's Minister of Commerce quit on Sunday, calling into question the government's ability to rule until an early election in May and tackle the country's economic collapse. Prime Minister Geir Haarde, who has cancer, shocked Iceland on Friday when he said he would not seek re-election due to the pressures of dealing with the crisis. He called an early parliamentary election for 9 May. His commerce minister, Bjorgvin Sigurdsson, said he was resigning because of his role in the collapse that has prompted protesters to call for the government's immediate resignation. Thousands called on Saturday for the government to step down immediately. Many in the nation of 320,000 have been angry that until this week no senior officials have stepped down. (more)

Iceland's Prime Minister voices disbelief and contempt for Icelandic banks' actions
24 January 2009 - A day after saying he would quit, Iceland's Prime Minister voiced 'disbelief and contempt for some of the things that have been coming into the daylight in regards to the banks' that triggered the country's economic collapse. Prime Minister Geir Haarde shocked the island nation on Friday when he said he would not seek re-election and called for a vote on May 9. Meanwhile, protests against the banks turned violent in the early hours of Thursday, with demonstrators pressing for Haarde, the central bank governor, and other senior officials, to go. Police used teargas for the first time since 1949 against demonstrators. (more)

Iceland teeters on the brink of bankruptcy
8 October 2008 - Iceland, the volcanic island near the Arctic Circle, that last year,won the UN's 'best country to live in' poll, is on the brink of becoming the first 'national bankruptcy' of the global financial meltdown. The Government had earlier announced it had nationalized the bank under emergency laws enacted to deal with the crisis. Icelanders are watching helplessly as their economy implodes, their currency losing almost half its value, and their heavily exposed banks collapsing under the weight of debts incurred by lending in the boom times. The speed of Iceland's downfall in the week since it announced it was nationalizing Glitnir bank, the country's third largest, caught many by surprise despite warnings that it was the 'canary in the coal mine' of the global credit squeeze. (more)

Iceland: Britain threatens to sue to protect savers
8 October 2008 - Britain added to the financial chaos engulfing Iceland by declaring Wednesday it planned to sue over lost deposits held by thousands of Britons with Icelandic bank accounts. The promise of legal action by the British government to recover deposits belonging to 300,000 British account holders with the Icesave Internet bank came after its parent, Landsbanki, was placed in receivership. With the deregulation of its financial market in the mid-1990s and subsequent stock market boom, Iceland had transformed itself from the poor cousin in Europe to one of the region's wealthiest countries. But the new wealth was built on a shaky foundation of foreign debt, the country's top four banks now hold foreign liabilities in excess of $100 billion, debts that dwarf Iceland's gross domestic product of $14 billion. British savers have deposited millions in accounts through collapsed Landsbanki's Internet operation Icesave, which has suspended withdrawals. (more)

Iceland sees more Russian flights in North Atlantic
14 March 2008 - Russia has stepped up military activity over the North Atlantic in the past 18 months, Iceland's Prime Minister Geir Haarde told Reuters, sending long-range bombers through the region no less than 12 times. The move comes as relations between Russia and the United States and NATO remain uneasy due in part to US plans to place missile defense assets in formerly Soviet-allied territory and disagreements over security issues in central Europe and the Balkans. 'We consider Russia to be our friends, by the way,' Prime Minister Haarde said. (more)


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