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Icelandic girl denied passport because name is 'Harriet'

Authorities in Iceland have told a couple they will not renew their 10-year-old daughter’s passport on the grounds that she is called Harriet – which is not on a government approved list of names.

British-born Tristan Cardew and his Icelandic wife Kristin are appealing against the Reykjavik National Registry’s decision, which also does not recognise the name of Harriet’s 12-year-old brother Duncan either.

General image of Icelandic passport Credit: Reuters

According to The Telegraph, when the couple came to renew Harriet's passport ahead of a planned family holiday to France, authorities decided to enforce a law banning the issue of any official document to people who do not have an "approved Icelandic name".

Parents in Iceland must choose from a list of 1,853 female and 1,712 male sanctioned names when naming their children in order to preserve the language. If they intend to opt for something more adventurous they must apply for permission from the Icelandic Naming Committee .

Elfin safety gone mad as creatures delay road project

Elves allegedly living in Iceland received a pre-Christmas boost after a road project passing through their "natural habitat" was delayed pending a ruling by the country's Supreme Court.

Advocates for the mythical creatures, whose existence is deemed credible by many in Iceland, have halted the construction of a highway from the Alftanes peninsula to the capital Reykjavik.

In Iceland, an elf is not just for Christmas. Credit: Daniel Hambury/EMPICS Sport

The Friends of Lava group fear the new road would disturb what they say is elf habitat, containing an elf church. Their protests have delayed the construction project until the Supreme Court rules on the case.

A survey conducted by the University of Iceland in 2007 found that 62% of respondents thought it was at least possible that elves, or "hidden folk" as they are known, exist.

Icelandic singer Bjork also suggested in an interview last year that she "respects" elves.

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WikiLeaks: US serves Snowden extradition request

The US has served an extradition request on Icelandfor the fugitive Edward Snowden, according to the WikiLeaks anti-secrecy organisation.

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We can confirm that a US extradition request for Mr. Snowden has been served on Iceland. #snowden

Iceland is one of 21 countries where Mr Snowden is said to have applied for asylum.

Iceland elects new government

Bjarni Benediktsson
Bjarni Benediktsson Credit: REUTERS/Balazs Koranyi

Icelandic voters have removed the ruling Social Democrat party from power in the country's general election.

The country has elected a centre-right government that ruled over its financial collapse in 2008.

"We are offering a different road, a road to growth, protecting social security, better welfare and job creation," Independence Party leader Bjarni Benediktsson, the favourite to become the next prime minister.

Co-op tightens checks after horse DNA discovery

The Co-operative Group says tests of its own-brand burgers, supplied by Silvercrest, found traces of less than 1% horse DNA in three samples and 17.7% in one sample.

Our decision to withdraw these products at the first opportunity and cease taking further product from this site has proven to be the correct course of action.

Whilst there are no safety issues involved, it is now apparent that some of the withdrawn products have not met the high standards we and our customers expect. We apologise for this.

We specify that all meat in our frozen burgers should be 100% British but we now strongly believe that some of the meat used to produce these burgers came from outside the UK and was not British in origin, and as a result we have taken the decision to delist Silvercrest as a supplier with immediate effect.

In addition we are tightening our already stringent quality checks to ensure our products meet the high specifications that we set on behalf of our customers.

– Co-operative Group

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Burgers made from 'beef and horse offcuts'

Irish authorities believe that "filler product" found in contaminated burgers came from Poland and was a mixture of beef and horse offcuts, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has said.

The contaminated beef, which was sold in supermarkets, was in the form of blocks of frozen product from a Polish supplier that had been used for a year.

Investigations are going on into how long contaminated meat might have been in use, FSA chief executive Catherine Brown told the Commons Environment Committee.

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