WOW Air to Fly Again in October

Ballarin introduces WOW asset purchase.

USAerospace Associates plans to start flying between Iceland and Dulles, Washington under the WOW air brand, as early as next month. This was revealed at a press meeting held at Hótel Saga today by Michelle Roosevelt Edwards, or Michelle Ballarin as she is often known, chairman of the company.

Ballarin introduced the purchase of certain assets from the WOW estate, including uniforms, computers and marketing material, but will not disclose the price paid for the assets. She says the airline will operate under the WOW brand. According to Ballarin, WOW is a good brand despite the company’s bankruptcy in March this year. The new WOW airline intends to offer commercial passenger flights but also freight flights and Ballarin sees possibilities in transporting seafood from Iceland to the US.

The airline will operate two planes to start with but will increase the fleet to four soon and intends to have 10-12 planes next summer, with no further increases planned. The airline will operate on a US air operating license and have offices on both sides of the Atlantic. Both Airbus and Boeing planes will be used.

According to Ballarin, Iceland will be the main operation centre in Europe but Washington DC in North America. Destinations are currently being discussed but they will have a similar program to the late WOW.

85 million USD will be spent to get the airline up and running but Ballarin adds that the new airline is debt-free and will remain that way.

The Airline will hire Icelandic staff, as Ballarin considers Iceland’s people as one of the country’s greatest resources.

Ballarin made headlines in Iceland over the summer when she first introduced her plans to resurrect WOW air. At the time, her purchase of WOW’s assets was rescinded due to delayed payments.

 

Neo-Nazi Event Spurs Protest in Iceland

NRM neo-Nazis in Lækjartorg Reykjavík

A protest titled “Iceland Against Nazis” will be held tomorrow in Reykjavík in response to the appearance of a neo-Nazi group that waved flags and handed out flyers in downtown Reykjavík yesterday. Stundin reports that members of Icelandic nationalist group Norðurvígi were among the group, which also included Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish neo-Nazis, at least two of whom have been convicted in their home countries for violence and hate crimes.

Distribute flyers to homes

Norðurvígi is associated with the so-called “Nordic Resistance Movement,” which has members in various Nordic countries, some of which travelled to Iceland for yesterday’s event. On Wednesday, Icelandic police were made aware that members of the group were distributing flyers and putting stickers on lampposts in residential neighbourhoods in the capital area. On Thursday, the group appeared at Lækjartorg square in central Reykjavík, where they waved flags and distributed flyers.

Yesterday’s neo-Nazi gathering in Reykjavík was attended by Swede Simon Lindberg, the NRM’s leader. Lindberg has been convicted for hate crimes and violence against LGBTQ+ people. A video taken by Stundin reporters shows Lindberg calling bypasser Snæbjörn Guðmundsson a “race traitor” for ripping up one of the group’s flyers.

A few Icelanders were among the neo-Nazi group, including Arnar Styr Björnsson, who told reporters he was “very impressed by what the German National Socialist Party stood for. I don’t think everything that’s said about the Holocaust is true… I haven’t really acquainted myself with it in particular but I think it’s lied about a lot.”

Organisation banned in Finland

NRM has members in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland. In 2016, members of the organisation killed a bypasser who vocally opposed the group during a street event in Finland. The organisation was banned in that country in 2017.

Icelandic police were present at the neo-Nazi event yesterday, but did not interfere. Eyrún Eyþórsdóttir, Associate Professor of Police Science at the University of Akureyri, stated that there is no doubt that it is against general criminal law in Iceland to declare the supremacy of white men over others. “I really don’t understand why the police didn’t stop this. All of the movement’s messages focus on the superiority of the white man. The focus on Islamic terrorist groups has been so great that police haven’t paid as much attention to neo-Nazi groups.” Eyrún says Swedish police would have at least confiscated the flags being waved at Lækjartorg yesterday.

Protest to reclaim space

Tomorrow’s protest will be held at Lækjartorg at 3.00pm “so that we can reclaim the space they took to spread their message of hate, violence and discrimination against oppressed groups,” organisers state in the Facebook event. As of publication, nearly 500 have replied attending to the event.

John McAfee’s North Iceland Hideout Revealed?

John McAfee, the founder of computer security company McAfee, appears to have been hiding in Dalvík in North Iceland. McAfee has been on the run from authorities since 2012 when he was accused of fatally shooting his neighbour in Belize. Along with this, McAfee has been accused of substantial tax fraud in the United States.

In late August, McAfee revealed that his position in Dalvík had been outed by the Twitter user AdamGuerbuez. According to Adam, McAfee and his wife stayed on the second floor of the building which houses the restaurant Á Gregor’s.

McAfee vanished earlier this summer after having been arrested in the Dominican Republic, along with five others. The sixsome was suspected of carrying high-calibre weapons, ammunition and military-style gear on a yacht sailing around the island. Following that, McAfee has been laying low, throwing out the occasional tweet to reveal his whereabouts. According to his Twitter feed, he was in Lithuania not long ago.

McAfee stated that he will miss Gregor’s, which refers to local restaurant Á Gregor’s, in Dalvík. When asked about McAfee’s visitin an interview with vísir.is, Á Gregor’s owner Gregorz Tomasz Maniakowski had no recollection of him. “I don’t know when he arrived, if he arrived at all. If I talked to him, then I’ve forgotten about it. There are many who want to come and chat. But I don’t remember anyone who went by the name of John.” When asked about McAfee’s possible stay in the house, Gregorz was unsure but he believes that the apartments are home to long-term renters rather than AirBnb, as two families have stayed there for some time now. Although he wasn’t aware of McAfee recently, he remembers his software well. “In the past, I opened my Windows computer and the McAfee antivirus software popped up,” he said and laughed.

Dalvík is home to 1381 people, situated on the western shore of Eyjafjörður fjord.

The 73-year-old McAfee has quite a colourful CV. Having founded the anti-virus company McAfee in 1987, he resigned from the company in 1994. In 2016, he missed out on the Libertarian Party nomination for President of the United States. Nowadays, he is on the run along with his spouse Janice McAfee.

The Facebook site of Á Gregor’s: https://www.facebook.com/%C3%81-Gregors-restaurant-North-Iceland-503752069654930/

Áslaug Arna to Become Second Youngest Minister Ever

Áslaug Arna

Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir, secretary of the Independence Party and member of parliament, will be the Minister of Justice in Katrín Jakobsdóttir’s government, RÚV reports. Bjarni Benediktsson, chairman of the Independence party notified his parliamentary party yesterday. Áslaug is the second youngest minister in Iceland’s history, and the youngest since the country gained independence in 1944. She is also the youngest woman ever to become a minister.

“Áslaug Arna is one of Iceland’s most promising politicians. She’s has taken parliament by storm and securely and resolutely led an important parliamentary committee,” Bjarni said when he announced the new minister. She’ll be taking over from Þórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörð Gylfadóttir who has been shouldering the duties of the Minister of Justice temporarily in addition to her role as Minister of Industry, Innovation, and Tourism. Þórdís took over as minister this spring after Sigríður Á Andersen was forced to resign over the incorrect appointment of judges to Landsréttur.

Áslaug Arna was born in 1990 and is 29 years old. She studied law at the University of Iceland and graduated with a master’s degree in 2017. She was elected to parliament in 2016 and has chaired several standing committees. Most recently she has been chairman of the Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee.

Áslaug Arna tweeted that she’s grateful for the trust and excited for the upcoming tasks. She will be officially instated at a government meeting at Bessastaðir, the President of Iceland’s residence at 4 pm today.

The youngest minister ever remains Eysteinn Jónsson, who was 27 years and eleven months when he became Minister for Finance in 1934.