Vigil to Commemorate Nuclear Bombing Victims Will Be Virtual This Year

The annual candle floating ceremony to commemorate the victims of the US nuclear bombing of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will not take place in person at Tjörnin pond in downtown Reykjavík this year, Vísir reports. In deference to the more stringent social distancing measures now in place to quell a recent jump in community transmitted infections, organizers will record a smaller, more sparsely attended event and stream it online.

The victims of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings have been memorialized during the annual candle floating vigil every year since 1985.

This year’s online vigil will be streamed on August 6, although the event itself will take place at 11pm on the evening before, to mark the time that the nuclear bomb exploded in Hiroshima 75 years ago.

Iceland Ranked Most Peaceful Country Yearly Since 2008

Flatey

Iceland is the most peaceful country in the world, according to the 2019 Global Peace Index. The country has held onto the title since the first Global Peace Index launched 13 years ago. Iceland is also the only Nordic country that is more peaceful now than it was in 2008.

“Not a single deterioration was recorded in Iceland’s peacefulness over the last year,” reports Visions of Humanity. “In fact, 78% of Iceland’s indicators showed no change, and 22% improved. The falling homicide rate, the increase in funding to UN peacekeeping, and the decrease in the number of external conflicts are the most significant improvements over the last year.”

The article points out, however, that Iceland is “not immune to conflict and instability. However, the strong institutions, attitudes, and structures of peace that Iceland maintains has bolstered the country’s resilience against small internal shocks.”

Another far-flung island nation takes second place on the 2019 index: New Zealand. Portugal, Austria, and Denmark round out the top five most peaceful nations. The index is carried out by the Institute for Economics and Peace, an independent, non-profit think tank.