Details emerge from the case that shook the nation, as authorities reveal the formal charges brought upon Thomas Møller Olsen. Olsen was charged with the death of Birna Brjánsdóttir as well as smuggling cannabis. Birna’s parents claimed 10.5 million ISK each in damages, 21 million ISK (197,000 $) in total.
Thomas Møller Olsen pleads not guilty to both the murder of Birna Brjánsdóttir and the smuggling of cannabis in the Birna murder case.
A heat wave in May warmed the hearts of the nation as thermometers showed rare numbers in the northeastern part of the country, for the time of the year. Temperatures rose to 22.8° C (73°F) in Ásbyrgi canyon and the surrounding area. This was close to the highest temperature measured in Iceland in all of the 2016 summer, which was 24.9°C (76.8°F) at Egilsstaðir.
Prostitution was on the rise on in Iceland and this caught the eye of both Icelanders as well as the world. The number of registrations of individuals offering escort services, on websites where escort services are advertised, had increased five-fold in a year and a half. Iceland was reported as a destination and a transit country for sex trafficking.
Offensive slogans, as well as initials, were carved into a moss-covered hillside in the Nesjavellir geothermal area in the Southwest of Iceland. This vandalism of nature caught the eye of our readers as such destruction takes years, if not decades, to recover. The moss grows over centuries and individuals carving words such as ‘life’ and ‘send nudes’ are destroying delicate Icelandic nature.
The Icelandic authorities offered our neighbors in Greenland assistance after the west coast of Greenland was hit by a tsunami. The natural disaster affected the village of Nuugaatsiaq in northwestern Greenland. Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson, the Icelandic Minister for Foreign Affairs, offered any assistance that Iceland could muster.
Iceland was ranked the third most socially progressive country in the world in the Social Progress Index this June, out of 128 countries. Iceland was tied with Norway for the 3rd place, as Denmark and Finland were ranked 1st and 2nd respectively. Iceland's lowest ranking was in the overall category of Environmental Quality, mostly due to a lack of biodiversity and habitat.
Parts #3 and #4 of Year in Review will be posted in the upcoming days.