ROUND UP  At just before 6:00 AM on a Sunday morning, I drove north to the Svarfaðardalur valley – to attend a roundup. This roundup had nothing to do with a certain carcinogenic pesticide, nor did it involve the hasty collection of suspects during a police raid. The word roundup, when translated from Icelandic, implies the gathering […]

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Ukraine War: Humanitarian Aid to Be Increased Next Year, PM Says

Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir has told RÚV that the government will increase its expenditure on humanitarian aid next year as a result of the war in Ukraine. Katrín has condemned Russia’s invasion and recent missile strikes on Ukrainian cities.

Nuclear threats “entirely unacceptable”

After Russian President Vladimir Putin launched missile strikes on several Ukrainian cities on Monday – in response to Saturday’s attack on a bridge linking Russia with occupied Crimea – political leaders in the west have expressed their condemnation. At least 11 people have reportedly been killed and scores more have been injured, the Guardian reports.

Following news of this attack, Ukrainians in Iceland congregated in front of the Russian embassy in Reykjavík to protest. The protest’s organiser stated that “it was like the war was beginning again.”

Speaking to RÚV this afternoon, PM Katrín Jakobsdóttir observed that the war in Ukraine was obviously escalating. “We’re seeing threats of nuclear attacks, which is, of course, entirely unacceptable; we’re seeing attacks on civilians, which is, of course, also completely unacceptable. The war is intensifying.”

When asked how the government would respond to this escalation, Katrín began by saying that her cabinet had always been vocal in its condemnation of Russia’s illegal invasion on the global political stage.

“We’ve also contributed through humanitarian aid – and will continue to do so. We’re drafting plans for next year, as we don’t foresee the conflict coming to an end,” Katrín remarked. It is unclear at this time how much the government will earmark for humanitarian aid next year; according to the government’s website, Iceland has thus far contributed ISK 1 billion of humanitarian aid to the war in Ukraine.

In addition to humanitarian aid, Katrín added that Iceland has offered assistance in the form of training, with regard to the location and disposal of explosive devices, in addition to participating in other comparable projects directly related to the conflict. Katrín also mentioned Iceland’s reception of Ukrainian refugees.

Two Suspects Released, Murder Not the Case in Laugardalur

police station Hlemmur

The two men arrested yesterday for their suspected involvement in a murder in Reykjavík have now been released, reports. The police no longer believe that the victim’s death was the result of a punishable offence.

The forensic pathologist concludes

After a woman was found dead in her car Saturday morning (in the 105 district of Reykjavík, near Laugardalur), two men in their forties were arrested suspected of homicide. The men, both of whom were in their forties, were said to have known the victim.

The police withheld details during the initial stages of the investigation, prior to releasing a public statement yesterday evening:

“The forensic pathologist has concluded that the woman’s injuries did not lead to her death; there is no longer any reason to believe that the woman’s death was the result of a punishable offence.”

The police clarified that during the initial stages of the investigation, the forensic pathologist and the police were confronted with many “questionable aspects” that required further examination. For this reason, two men connected to the woman were arrested, and the police intended to keep them in custody until October 13. But they have now been released.

Lögreglan á höfuðborgarsvæðinu hefur meðal annars til rannsóknar hvort einhver hafi veitt konu, sem fannst látin í Laugardal um helgina, áverka sem fundust á líki hennar. Áverkarnir urðu til þess að lögregla hóf rannsókn með það í huga að konunni hafi verið banað og handtók tvo menn tengda henni.

The investigation is still ongoing, with the police currently investigating whether someone was responsible for the woman’s injuries.

Updated at 1.37 PM

Ticket to the World Cup Up for Grabs Tonight (Women’s Football)

The women’s national football team could qualify for the World Cup for the first time in its history. The team faces Portugal in the second round of the qualifying play-offs tonight in Paços de Ferreira, Portugal

Heartbreak during extra time

It was heartbreak in Utrecht on September 6; aware that a draw would suffice for its first-ever ticket to the World Cup, the women’s national football team fought hard to keep the score line at 0-0 after regulation time had elapsed – despite the patent superiority of the Dutch.

During the 91st minute, Dutch forward Esmee Brugts delivered a bullet pass into Iceland’s box, which sailed past her teammate Stefanie van der Gragt and Icelandic defender Glódís Perla Viggósdóttir – before winding in the far corner of Iceland’s goal.

It was a painful defeat – but all hope wasn’t lost.

Transforming feelings of loss

The women’s national team will face off against Portugal in the second and final World-Cup qualifying round at the Estadio Capital do Movel in Paços de Ferreira, Portugal at 5 PM tonight. A win will secure a historic ticket to the 2023 FIFA World Cup.

Speaking to Vísir, midfield Dagný Brynjarsdóttir stated that this would be the team’s third “big match” of the year. “We played against France and the Netherlands and neither of those games went our way. But hopefully, this third game will be different.”

Dagný hopes that she and her teammates will harness the feeling of losing against France and the Netherlands. “That’s a feeling that we don’t want to experience again. It’s up to us to do everything in our power to transform that feeling into something better and more fun.”

Iceland is currently ranked 14th according to FIFA; Portugal is ranked 27th. Nevertheless, Portugal has been in fine form, beating Belgium (ranked 19th) in early October; Turkey and Serbia in September.

The 2023 FIFA World Cup will be jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand: the first time that the tournament will have two host nations. It is scheduled to take place from July 20 to August 20 2023.