President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson Makes Surprise Appearance at NBA Game

Icelandic President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson surprised fans at an NBA basketball game on Wednesday when he was spotted sitting in the stands with two of his sons and no visible security detail, Fréttablaðið reports. The trio were attending a game between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Boston Celtics.

Idle observers could perhaps be forgiven for wondering what would bring a foreign head of state to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but it was the lack of bodyguards that really got people talking.

Spotted on the Jumbotron, the President stood and gave a friendly wave to his fellow sports fans.

“The President of Iceland is out here watching Celtics vs Bucks and there isn’t any security around him,” sports blogger and Celtics fan Beewol Akandwanaho tweeted. A number of Icelanders were quick to reply, pointing out that although he may be President, Guðni still “waits in line at KFC in Iceland,” and does regular, everyday activities like go to the public swimming pool and grocery store just like anyone else.

Others seem to take more issue with Guðni’s choice of seats. “He’s just chilling in the seats with us norms?” tweeted @PnwToeknee. “He’s not even courtside,” someone else commented.

One of Guðni’s sons sported a jersey for Bucks forward and NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, also affectionately known as “the Greek Freak.” Happily for Antetokounmpo’s young fan, given how far he’d travelled to see the game, Milwaukee won, 131 to 125.

Will Smith Filming Secret Project in Iceland

Will Smith is currently in Iceland to film a TV series, RÚV reports, although information about precisely what show he’s working on is being kept tightly under wraps. All that is currently known is that the Academy Award-nominated star—known for roles in AliMen in Black, Bad Boys, and I Am Legend among dozens of others—has been spotted in the north of the country.

Icelandic production company Truenorth, which co-produced the Netflix series The Valhalla Murders, is assisting on the project, although again, it’s unclear in what capacity.

The film crew has been abiding by strict quarantine rules in order to maintain a safe set. New guidelines that go into effect tomorrow specifically allow for contact in stage rehearsals, music performances, and filmmaking.

Iceland and U.S. Discussed the Covid-19 Travel Ban

Minister Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarsson.

Icelandic and U.S. authorities have agreed to prepare co-operation regarding the effects of the travel restrictions placed by American authorities on European countries due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Icelandic Minister for Foreign Affairs Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson and State Secretary Mike Pompeo discussed the economic effects the ban will have and agreed in principle to co-operate once the pandemic has subsided. This discussion took place in a phone meeting yesterday. A face to face meeting had been planned in Washington DC last Thursday but had to be cancelled due to the travel ban.

The temporary travel ban affects all foreign nationals from China, Iran as well as European countries that are part of the Schengen agreement. People both from these countries, as well as those who have visited any of the countries in the last 14 days, are banned from entering the United States of America due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We had a good conversation and I expressed my disappointment at the measures taken by the US government, and now by the European Union. We have to explore all avenues to minimize the damage that these measures will cause. We will also have to come to terms with the position which we’re in right now, which is of course without precedent, and it is urgent that we stop the spread of the virus with significant scientific actions. All the while, it was important to emphasise the continuing good relations between the two countries, and we agreed on that,” said Minister for Foreign Affairs Guðlaugur Þór.

Passenger service to continue

Guðlaugur Þór placed emphasis on the effects on passenger-carrying operations between the two countries, especially due to Iceland’s position in between North-America and Europe. The pair also spoke of the importance of taking on the economic effects of the pandemic, not least for international air travel.

“The Minister for Foreign Affairs placed emphasis on the effects on Icelandair flights towards and from North America, and the need to review the state of matters once the pandemic has subsided. He and the State Secretary agreed to prepare co-operation between experts from the two countries regarding these matters, as well preparing further economic co-operation between the countries in a larger context,” a release from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs stated.