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Iceland police make first ever fatal shooting

Tear gas canisters were thrown through the windows of his Reykjavik home during the Monday-morning incident in an attempt to subdue the 59-year-old man when he failed to respond to police and continued shooting.

Iceland election looks set to turn the country back to the right

BRUSSELS — For a country as dependent on fishing as Iceland, the image is harsh but apt. “Memories like goldfish," says political analyst Silla Sigurgeirsdottir as she tries to explain why some Icelanders might on Saturday vote for the parties blamed for the 2008 banking collapse.

Iceland develops 'anti-incest' app for its tiny population

A new smartphone app has been developed to help Icelanders — whose country has a population of 320,000 — avoid accidental incest while navigating the dating scene.
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The Northern Lights are seen above the ash plume of Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano in the evening April 22, 2010. But Icelanders fear something else even more: accidental incest. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)
The app allows users to "bump" phones, giving them a warning alarm if they are closely related. "Bump the app before you bump in bed," says the app's cheeky slogan.

Iceland contemplates a ban on Internet pornography

Iceland may no longer be an amiable place to pornophiles: the government of the European island-nation is now contemplating a wholesale ban on Internet pornography, to be accomplished with the use of China-style filters.

Women to the rescue in Iceland

If Thora Arnorsdottir wins this weekend’s presidential vote, both of Iceland’s top jobs will be held by women — after men drove the country into bankruptcy.

Geir Haarde, ex-Iceland PM, on trial over financial crisis

Haard is thought to be the world’s first politician to face criminal charges over the crisis, and faces up to two years in prison if found guilty.

A loonie idea? Iceland considers adopting Canadian dollar

The Canadian ambassador to Iceland is ready to begin negotiations over the adoption of the Canadian dollar, the "loonie", to replace the krona in the tiny island nation of less than 400,000 people.

Iceland's debt rating gets a bump on strong recovery

The international ratings agency Fitch raised its assessment of Iceland's long-term debt rating from junk to investment grade.

Iceland: Six body parts to wash before entering pool

Icelanders baffled at the unwillingness of Americans to wash properly in public.
Shower naked! And if you’re not sure where exactly you’re supposed to be washing, please refer to the diagram hanging in the locker room. (I.Skoch/GlobalPost)

Shower naked!

That’s the sign hanging by the entrance of most of the amazing geothermal pools in Iceland.

Then you enter the changing room and there it is again, this time with a few more exclamation points: Shower Naked!!!!!

“What is it with Americans, and why do they refuse to wash properly before entering public pools?” a local friend asks me.

“Why do they insist on showering in their swim suits? You can’t wash properly if you shower in a bathing suit, you know.”

I tried to explain that Americans tend to be modest — not to mention self-conscious — about nudity.

“A lot of American kids haven’t grown up seeing their parents walking around naked, let alone seeing other people naked, definitely not in public places. America hardly has any nudist beaches. And they don’t even show breasts on T.V.," I patiently say.

This shocked him, especially the part about American modesty.

“Modest Americans? Isn’t it an oxymoron?” he asked and disappeared in the men’s changing room. That was good news. At least the changing rooms are segregated in most places.

Once I made it to the ladies’ changing room, I was committed to doing my pre-bathing wash properly. Fully nude and dilligently scrubbing.

As I opened my locker, there it was again to remind me: the “Shower naked!” sign. And to prevent all the Americans from cheating by simply “wetting their naked bodies” in the shower for two seconds to minimize their nude time, Iceland got even more specific with the showering requirements here.

This sign came — in several languages — with a diagram of all the body parts “to wash with shampoo” when showering: head, armpits, feet and genitals.

Essentially, any body part that has hair on it (or used to before waxing took off) needs to be scrubbed.

And let me tell you, locals pay close attention. Not to your nudity, mind you. They, mercifully, come in all different shapes and sizes there, too.

But they will make sure you are washing all the proper bits and pieces and don’t bring some awful foreign bacteria into their pool.


Former Miss Iceland tipped FBI to 'Whitey' Bulger

Former Miss Iceland collects $2 million for tipping FBI to "Whitey" Bulger.
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Members of the FBI and LAPD speak during a news conference to discuss the arrest of Boston crime boss James "Whitey" Bulger and his companion, Catherine Greig, at the Los Angeles Federal Building on June 23, 2011 in Los Angeles, Calif. A tip by a former Miss Iceland led law enforcement to the reputed mobster at his home in Santa Monica, Calif. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

A former Miss Iceland is collecting $2 million in reward money after tipping off FBI investigators to the whereabouts of Boston crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger and his longtime girlfriend.

The Boston Globe reported Anna Bjornsdottir lived next door to Bulger, 82, and his girlfriend Catherine Grieg, 60, in Santa Monica, Calif. She had gotten to know the couple, even working with Grieg to save a stray cat, before calling the FBI from Iceland on June 21 when she happened to see Bulger on a CNN report.

According to USA Today, Bjornsdottir split her time between Iceland and Santa Monica, and “she realized immediately that the couple she had known as Charlie and Carol Gasko were actually criminals on the run.”

Bulger and Grieg had been on the run for 16 years before being arrested at their Santa Monica home in June. Bulger, one of South Boston’s most notorious crime bosses, fled Boston in 1995 before he was to be indicted.

Out of the $2.1 million the FBI said it paid to tipsters in the Bulger investigation, Bjornsdottir, a 57-year-old yoga instructor and graphic designer, collected $2 million, according to Fox News.

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