In brief - 2006-04-05

  • 2006-04-05
U.S. Senator John McCain said Washington should respond harshly to Russia's undemocratic behavior. McCain told U.S. television that President Vladimir Putin was repressing Russians and Russian media and was supporting Belarus dictator Aleksandr Lukashenko. What's more, he said Russia was not cooperating with the United States in dealing with Iran's suspected development of nuclear weapons. Commenting that "glimmerings of democracy are very faint in Russia today," McCain said Washington must respond to Moscow.

The ombudsmen for sexual equality in Sweden demanded that the nation's soccer club pull out of the World Cup in Germany as a sign of protest against the extra brothels that are being established to cope with the wave of visitors. "I'm a soccer fan myself, but the point is that the World Cup in soccer is an opportunity for men to show our abhorrence of the trade in human beings," ombudsman Claes Borgstrom was quoted as saying. "Other countries might follow our example." EU lawmakers have warned that thousands of women could be forced into sexual slavery by gangs in order to meet the increased demand during the World Cup, reported Reuters. Twelve German cities will host soccer games this summer, and the red-light districts in these areas are bracing themselves for a boom in business.

Russian veterinarians descended on Norway last week together with Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov as part of a massive inspection of the country's fish farms. On Jan. 1, Russia banned imports of Norwegian salmon, claiming that they had found dangerously high levels of cadmium. Fish is one of Norway's largest export items, and the move has hurt the industry. Recently Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg quipped that Norwegian salmon was perfectly healthy, and he often feeds it to his children.

Nokia, the world's largest producer of hand-held phones, announced that the first deliveries of six of its new smartphones had to be delayed due to snags in the software. The phones were supposed to have gone out by the end of the first quarter. The premium music phone, the N91, will reportedly be shipped out this week. It will have a 4-gigabyte memory and be able to store up to 3,000 songs.