5 Fast Facts About Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Iceland’s New Prime Minister

Getty Images
Getty Images

In November 2017, Katrín Jakobsdóttir became the new prime minister of Iceland as part of the country's Left-Green Movement. In addition to being only the second woman to ever hold the position, the 41-year-old is a staunch environmentalist who is hoping to make the country carbon neutral by 2040. Here are some facts about Iceland’s new PM.

1. SHE’S AN EXPERT IN CRIME FICTION.

Before entering politics, Jakobsdóttir attended the University of Iceland, where she received her bachelor’s degree in Icelandic while minoring in French in 1999. She got her masters in Icelandic literature at the same school, where she wrote her dissertation on Arnaldur Indriðason, a popular crime author in Iceland.

2. SHE IS ICELAND’S FORMER EDUCATION MINISTER.

After the 2008 financial crisis led to Iceland’s first left-leaning government taking power, Jakobsdóttir served as the country’s Minister of Education, Science and Culture. She continues to tout the importance of those subjects by promising to put more money from the country’s current economic upswing into health and education.

3. SHE IS ICELAND'S FOURTH PRIME MINISTER IN TWO YEARS.

Jakobsdóttir’s tenure as prime minister begins as the country’s political system deals with a series of scandals from the past few years, including fallout from government officials being named in the Panama Papers. This has led to constant shuffling of the prime minister position, and Jakobsdóttir, as part of the Left-Green party, will be the fourth since 2016. The previous prime minister, Bjarni Benediktsson, saw his coalition collapse in 2017 after a scandal occurred involving his father, which prompted a snap election in October.

Though a coalition with the Progressive Party and Benediktsson’s Independence Party led to Jakobsdóttir becoming PM, she must still work with Benediktsson, who is now the country’s Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs. The three ruling parties will all have a hand in different aspects of the government, but the situation between them could be tenuous, as no partnership of this nature has lasted a full term in the country.

4. A POLL NAMED HER THE “MOST TRUSTED ICELANDIC POLITICIAN” AHEAD OF THE COUNTRY’S PRESIDENT

In 2016, an Icelandic market research poll named Jakobsdóttir the country’s most trusted politician, with 59.2 percent of people saying they trusted her. This was ahead of then-president Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson at 54.5 percent. Other polls suggest that most of Jakobsdóttir’s support comes from voters aged 18 to 29, with many of them being women.

5. OH, AND SHE WAS IN A MUSIC VIDEO

Before Jakobsdóttir entered politics, she popped up in the music video for "Listen Baby” by the Icelandic pop rock band Bang Gang. What’s her role in the video? Well, she runs. A lot.

“Two friends of mine asked me to play that role, and it's mainly doing the running bits,” Jakobsdóttir told USA Today. She understands, though, the importance of trying her hand in many different areas of Icelandic culture, telling the site, “So, we all have to play a lot of different parts, not least [of all] in a small society like Iceland."

Schindler's List Is Returning to Theaters for Its 25th Anniversary

Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures

Schindler's List was first released on December 15, 1993, and it's still regarded as one of the most important films about the Holocaust ever made. In honor of its 25-year anniversary, Steven Spielberg's classic is returning to theaters for a limited engagement beginning Friday, December 7, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The film follows Oskar Schindler (played by Liam Neeson), a member of the Nazi party who used his influence to covertly save the lives of more than 1000 Jews during World War II. Though the events of the film took place about 75 years ago, Spielberg emphasized in a recent interview that the story is still relevant—perhaps even more so today than when it premiered in the 1990s.

"I think this is maybe the most important time to re-release this film," the director said in a recent interview with Lester Holt on NBC Nightly News. Citing the spike in hate crimes targeting religious minorities since 2016, he said, "Hate's less parenthetical today, it's more a headline."

Spielberg thinks there's an important message he hopes today's audiences will take away from the film: "Individual hate is a terrible thing," he said. "But when collective hate organizes and gets industrialized, then genocide follows."

The 25th anniversary re-release of Schindler's List will be the same version viewers saw in 1993—only the sound has been remixed to accommodate new theater technology. The movie will be playing in the theaters from December 7 through the 13th.

[h/t The Hollywood Reporter]

George H.W. Bush's Service Dog, Sully, Will Fly to D.C. With the Former President's Casket

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Former president George H.W. Bush died Friday, November 30, leaving behind five children, 17 grandchildren, and one loyal service dog. Sully H.W. Bush, the yellow lab who served as Bush's companion for the last several months of his life, will accompany his late owner's casket to Washington D.C., CNN reports.

George H.W. Bush brought Sully (named after the pilot who famously landed a damaged plane on the Hudson River) into his home following the death of his wife Barbara in April. Trained by America's VetDogs, a charity that connects service dogs to veterans with disabilities, Sully can respond to a list of commands, including answering the phone. On Sunday, December 2, George H.W. Bush spokesman Jim McGrath shared a photo on Twitter of the dog lying in front of the president's casket with the caption "Mission Complete."

In addition to serving as the 41st president from 1989 to 1993, George H.W. Bush was a World War II veteran, businessman, and congressman. He passed away at his home at age 94, following struggles with numerous health conditions, including a type of Parkinson's disease.

Sully will be accompanying his owner's casket when it makes its way to Washington, D.C., where the former president will lie in state under the Capitol Rotunda before he's brought to his final resting place at his presidential library in College Station, Texas. The service dog's next job will be helping military veterans in the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland.

[h/t CNN]

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