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The week in brief

Here a rundown of the main news stories in Niceland this past week, completely random and totally subjective.

JÓNÍNA BEN E-MAILS DISCOVERED IN CALIFORNIA
Remember my post about Baugur and that rather nasty e-mail leak? The one that seemed to confirm an all-out political conspiracy and was – unsurprisingly – published by Fréttablaðið, a daily free newspaper owned by Baugur Group? The owner of the e-mails, Jónína Benediktsdóttir – who happens to be an ex-girlfriend of one of the Baugur bosses – leapt into action last August when the dastardly mails first appeared and had them confiscated from the Fréttablaðið editorial offices, pending court proceedings [currently underway]. Anyway. Those very same emails – and others reportedly not even seen by Fréttablaðið – suddenly turned up on a website in their entirety. Conveniently, the server on which they appeared is somewhere in California, hence outside Icelandic jurisdiction. But who would have it in for Jónína Ben to such a degree? Who would go to such lengths to expose her backroom machinations to the world at large? The plot thickens.

YT SHAKES IN HER BOOTS [A.K.A. HER OFFICE CHAIR]
We had an earthquake last Monday, 4.5 on Richter. YT was sitting at her desk, innocuously tap-tapping away, when there was sudden uncontrolled trembling [ohmigodohmigod!] and that awful deep rumbling sound that accompanies such calamities. Is there anything scarier than an earthquake?? I think… er, probably, but at that exact point there was not. Turns out the epicentre was in Krýsuvík, about a 40-minute drive from here. Let’s hope it’s not a prelude to the BigOne they keep saying we’re overdue for here in the south. Gulp!

NICELAND THE BANANA REPUBLIC
German DIY [or ‘building supplies’– take your pick] giant Bauhaus declared that opening an outlet in Niceland is a lot more difficult than opening a store in Turkey or Poland. Reason? Seems they’ve been jerked around a bit by the municipality of Garðabær [adjacent to Reykjavík] who promised them a big-assed lot for their operations after Bauhaus wooed them by inviting them on a pleasure trip tour of the company headquarters in Deutschland. However before you could say ‘nepotizmrules’ negotiations with Bauhaus were plötzlich terminated and one of the two main Icelandic DIY chains – BYKO – was allocated the coveted lot. By some outlandish twist, this coincided more or less with the Mayor of Garðabær suddenly taking over as CEO of BYKO. She claims all allegations of foul play are ‘absolutely false’ – but hey, we love our political intrigue up here [see no. 1 above] so we don’t buy it.

CRASH TAKES HOME BEST PICTURE OSCAR
[!]

IF IT AIN’T BROKE…
Íslandsbanki announced today – completely and utterly without warning – that they’re changing their name to ‘Glitnir’. I mean… wtf? What’s wrong with Íslandsbanki?? It’s a nice, patriotic name! Whereas ‘Glitnir’ just sounds… asinine. “What’s your bank?” “Glitnir.” Yeh right. Sounds like shop that sells used automotive parts if you ask me. [Although that impression may have something to do with the fact that Glitnir was previously the branch of Íslandsbanki that provided car loans. I mean – really.]

NICELAND GETS A FEW INCHES OF SNOW
Mostly last night and today. A moment ago it was coming down in big, luscious flakes and some of it is actually sticking to the ground. This is the first snow we’ve had in a donkey’s age and it’s always a bonus when it’s this pretty. Temps are currently 2°C and sunrise and sunset times are currently unavailable due to my extreme laziness to get up from the sofa and fetch the calendar. And now I must hit the sack as EPI and I are heading to Þingvellir tomorrow. EPI’s brother and sis-in-law just bought a summerhouse there and we’re going to give it the once-over. Yowsa.

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