Mon April 29, 2013
The Two-Way

Iceland Elects Three Pirate Party MPs

Supporters of the German Pirate Party attend a meeting in Berlin in February.
Adam Berry Getty Images

Iceland has become the first country to elect members of parliament from the Pirate Party — an international online freedom movement.

Three Pirate Party MPs will take seats following historic polls in Iceland that saw a new coalition come to power on a promise of easing economic austerity measures.

According to The Associated Press:

"The conservative Independence Party and rural-based Progressive Party — who governed Iceland for decades before the 2008 [economic] crash — each had 19 seats in Iceland's 63-seat parliament, the Althingi. ...

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Thu April 18, 2013

App Helps Icelanders Avoid Dating Family

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 10:22 am



Good morning, I'm David Greene.

Dating can be tough in a small country like Iceland. There are only 320,000 people and many of them are distant relatives. So the government came up with an idea. They created a genealogy Web site. There's even a Smartphone app. Just tap phones with your date. And if you happen to share a grandparent, you'll get an alert. If a date is out of the question, the app does also track relatives' birthdays and so you can send them a card.

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Thu February 28, 2013
The Two-Way

Iceland's Plan To Ban Online Porn Spurs Outrage

Iceland's government is drafting plans to ban pornography online and in print. Supporters say it's an attempt to shield children.
Stoyan Nenov Reuters /Landov

File this one under Sisyphean tasks: The government of Iceland is drafting plans to ban pornography both online and in print.

Supporters of the ban, proposed by Interior Minister Ogmundur Jonasson, says it will shield children from harm.

Writing in the Guardian, Halla Gunnarsdottir, political adviser to Jonasson, said:

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Mon February 11, 2013
The Salt

Icelandic Herring Had A Tough Winter, But There's Still Herring Ice Cream

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 9:34 am

Lack of oxygen probably caused this mass herring die-off on Feb. 3 in an Icelandic fjord.
Brynjar Gauti AP

Icelandic herring have been having a very bad winter. But that may be just a blip in the fish's reinvention as a trendy Nordic nosh.

On Feb. 1, an estimated 22,000 tons of herring were found dead in West Iceland's Kolgrafafjordur fjord. Even more fish — as much as 30,000 tons — were found floating in the same shallow fjord last December.

According to Gudmundur Oskarsson, a senior scientist at Iceland's Marine Research Institute, this accounts for about one-eighth of the total population of Icelandic herring.

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Fri February 1, 2013
Planet Money

An International Battle Over One Of The Most Boring Things In Finance

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 9:26 am

Jeremy O'Donnell Getty Images

This week saw the end of a years-long, international, multi-billion-dollar battle over one of the most boring things in finance: savings accounts.

At the center of the battle was Iceland, a tiny country where the banks grew into international behemoths during the credit bubble.

The banks got so big partly by convincing foreigners to open up online savings accounts. In particular, lots of people in England and Netherlands opened up "ICESAVE accounts" with a bank called Landsbanki. During the financial crisis, the bank collapsed.

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