Anti-addiction Group Questions School Trips to see Let Me Fall

The Root, Association on Women, Addiction and Mental health has formally questioned the preventative value of Let me fall when it comes to children and youth addiction problems, Vísir reports. The Baldvin Z and Birgir Arnar Steinarsson film deals with two girls and their struggle with addiction. Several people have praised the film and consider it a valuable part of the fight against drug addiction. Town council of Árborg, a municipality of a little over 9,000 inhabitants, recently agreed to send all students between the ages of 14-16 to the cinema.

The Root sent a formal inquiry to the Government Agency for Child Protection, the mayor of Reykjavík, the Directorate of Health, the Ministry of Education, and the Ombudsman for Children last Friday, regarding the preventative measures of Let me fall. It states: “Several groups, including elementary and secondary schools, plan organised trips for children and teenagers to see the film Let Me Fall. The film is rated unsuitable for children under 14 but for younger children, parents have been asked to give their permission. The trips are organised as preventative measures in the fight against addiction.” The Root doubts that this kind of preventative measures is based on the newest research. In the inquiry, the Root asks if these agencies consider

Fear-based propaganda and/or a fear-based approach to preventative measures, such as tragic stories of addiction and drug use to be successful?
If the anti-drug events the schools are organising are based on any results of Icelandic or international research?
What sort of consequence do they think it will have for children and teenagers to watch the film Let me Fall?

Magnús Stefánsson, who has spent a lot of time educating kids on the dangers of drugs, agrees with the doubts the Root has made public. In a radio interview, he claimed that the film on its own has limited preventative effects. He considers the film to be a good one and that the spotlight it’s brought to the subject of addiction is positive but that viewing the film has to be followed by discussions in order to be effective in the fight against teen drug use.

Stundin Editor Plans Further Reporting From Glitnir Files

Jón Trausti Reynisson, editor of Stundin media outlet, has stated that Stundin will publish more reports from the Glitnir files,RÚV reports. A little under a year ago, Glitnir HoldCo ltd., which handles the remaining assets of Glitnir bank, requested an injunction against Stundin for their reporting based on leaked documents from the bank. The Reykjavík capital area district commissioner approved the request in part but both the district court and appeal court Landsréttur have found that Stundin will not have to give up the Glitnir files. Yesterday, Landsréttur also found that further reporting from the files couldn’t be forbidden. The ruling states that Stundin’s coverage had focused on the business dealings of then prime minister Bjarni Benediktsson, as well as people connected to him. There can be no doubt that the reporting was important to the public, especially leading up to elections. The court did not accept that the files could be used to report on financial matters of individuals that didn’t matter to the public.

The Stundin editor is pleased with the results. “If they don’t appeal, we’ll soon start releasing the reports we had yet to make public. We’re already talking about the next steps and will soon start working on more material,” Jón Trausti told RÚV.

Licenses For Salmon Farming Revoked

fish farming iceland

The operational license of salmon farming companies Arctic Sea Farm and Fjarðarlax for a combined 17,500-ton sea pen farming in Patreksfjörður and Tálknafjörður has been revoked, RÚV reports. The license had been granted last Dec. 13 and was in addition to their operations in other parts of the Westfjords. The Iceland Nature Conservation Association, along with other conservation groups, had brought the charge against the license to the Environmental and Natural Resources Board of Appeal, because they consider it certain that the farmed salmon will spread into fishing rivers around the country, as recent experiences show, in addition to sea lice, diseases and feed pollution.

The companies in question have stated that they’re worried about the situation and request that the authorities step in. “It’s clear that salmon farming in Iceland won’t be developed further without the requisite permits.” The companies have already hired some of the staff that was to work on the Patreksfjörður and Tálknafjörður salmon farming for which the license has now been revoked.

The mayors of Vesturbyggð municipality and Tálknafjörður met with the chairmen of the government parties this weekend to discuss the severity of the issue. According to the mayor of Vesturbyggð, revoking the permits will have consequences for 3-400 people in the area. “This will affect many jobs and many families and it’s intolerable that the government can’t set clear rules for companies to follow.” The two municipalities have just under 1,300 inhabitants combined and they claim around 165 of them work for the salmon farming companies in the area, as well as a number of contractors and service companies. Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir, in a Facebook post, announced that the mayors were informed that the ministers of fisheries and the environment were figuring out ways to give the companies a fair amount of time to fix the flaws that caused their license to be revoked and that the matters would be handled competently.

Óttar Yngvason, the lawyer for the nature conservation groups that made the complaint, claims that the result of the case would be that plans for sea pen salmon farming in Patreksfjörður and Tálknafjörður are history. He also told RúV that he thinks the number of people working for the salmon farming companies has been greatly exaggerated and that it’s more likely that the number is around 30 people. He’s pleased with the verdict of the Environmental and Natural Resources Board of Appeal since it’s already become clear that smolt in Patreksfjörður sea pens is infected with kidney disease.