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Why Iceland Is Fighting A COVID Surge Without Vaccine Mandates

Iceland has been one of Europe’s COVID-19 hot spots the past few months, but citizens' vaccination status doesn’t affect their access to public spaces. It is a conscious choice in a small nation to try to avoid conflict in society, and it seems to be working. But death rates are being kept down for one main reason: so many people were already vaccinated anyway.

REYKJAVIK — Iceland is one of the countries in Europe where, up until recently, everything seemed to be almost back to normal. The island nation celebrated its “Freedom Day” last autumn, and even before that was the envy of many other European countries, successfully navigating its way through various waves with relatively few restrictions and a low death rate.

Its isolated position in the North Atlantic wasn’t the only factor. Experts say the country’s effective contact-tracing system and testing strategy were key. Until Omicron arrived on the scene. The new variant sparked the country’s biggest wave since the start of the pandemic.

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Six Massive Clean Energy Projects That Offer A Shot Of Climate Hope

Last fall's COP26 climate summit showed the way to, not, move forward on tackling the climate crisis. But all's not lost. From the biggest solar farm in the world to a huge storage plant for C02, here are some of the largest renewable energy projects in the pipeline around the globe.

Following a decade-long fanfare of private and government pledges to combat the warming of the planet, last month’s United Nations COP26 climate summit in Glasgow painted a grim picture of the world’s climate progress. The takeaway: the world is on course to overshoot the goals of the 2015 Paris Climate Accords in all but the most optimistic scenario, which would require all announced targets to be fully implemented.

That scenario, however, seems distant today as the pivot to a sustainable energy market is unevenly distributed across the globe, with many fossil-fuel-dependent countries still struggling to close the energy gap as demand for power increases. What is worse, while some countries have improved their ambitions, others slipped backward at COP26 by retracting set climate targets.

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Public Sector Trolls? 7 "Institutional" Social Media Accounts That Let It Rip

The Ukraine government’s official Twitter account is using memes and GIFs to poke Moscow and draw attention to the risk of a Russian invasion. It is one of just a few institutional accounts that has decided not to be careful

From good humor to hate speech, you can find just about anything on social media. And it’s not just entertainers, or the anonymously angry: Our would-be public servants of the world have long since jumped into the fray, with provocateur presidents from Donald Trump to Jair Bolsonaro to Rodrigo Duterte.

But Twitter and Facebook and Instagram are also full of plenty of painfully careful (though sometimes very useful) accounts of public institutions, from offices of the prime minister to national weather services to local police stations.

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The Quiet Capital

Reykjavik isn't only the world's northernmost capital, it's also one of the quietest. Overlooking Iceland"s beautiful Faxa Bay, the unassuming city of then 110,000 souls looked very peaceful all these years later, with its peculiar-looking church rising in the distance.

food / travel
Philippe Chassepot

The Coolest Set, A Local Eye On Hollywood's Iceland Invasion

DJUPAVIK — About a century ago, farmers from the remote region of Arneshreppur didn't know the value of money. In general, bartering was still the only source of survival in this northwestern region, largely cut off from the rest of the island nation. Then, in 1934, a herring factory was opened in the small village of Djupavik.

Eventually more than 300 more people settled in the area over the subsequent ten years, before the fish became scarce, and the factory's inevitable closing in 1954 that sank the fjord region back into despair.

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Sadia Rao

5 LGBT Prime Ministers Around The World

As Germany legalizes gay marriage and Ana Brnabic becomes Serbia's prime minister, Worldcrunch celebrates openly gay heads of government around the world.

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Same Faith, Different Styles

The region I hail from in eastern France is a Lutheran Protestant enclave in a predominantly Catholic country. But the churches in my neck of the woods are considerably more subdued than Reykjavik's Lutheran Hallgrímskirkja in Iceland.

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The Edge Of The World

Though definitely not the most impressive watefalls I got to see, the Gullfoss cataract (not far from other popular Icelandic landmarks like Þingvellir or the "father of all geysers") gives the eerie impression that the water disappears into the earth.


No Bumps In Translation

A speed bump sign in Reykjavik, Iceland. When I don't understand the language, I'm always grateful to see road signs that translate across borders.


Extra! Iceland Stuns England In Euro 2016

Tuesday's edition of Icelandic daily Fréttablaðið features the national soccer team celebrating their historic win over England in the European Championship: "Iceland 2 - 1 England, where will this end?" Monday night's victory sends Iceland to the quarterfinals, where they'll face host nation France.

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At The Crossroads Of Continents

The Þingvellir rift valley, in southwestern Iceland, marks the the separation between the Eurasian and North American Plates, clearly visible in the canyon-like Almannagjá fault.