Parliament has set up a special commission to prepare for the 15th anniversary of Lithuania's defense. The commission has been tasked to prepare a commemoration marking the 15th anniversary of resistance against the Soviets, who tried to overthrow Lithuania's legal government in 1991. Parliamentary Speaker Arturas Paulauskas has been appointed as chairman of the commission. On Jan. 13, 1991, Soviet troops and special units stormed Lithuania's TV tower and national radio and television building, killing 14 people and injuring over one thousand.
The nation's contemporary art will be celebrated at the United Kingdom's academic center in Oxford, and in the city of Margate in October. There will be exhibitions, a retrospective of documentaries by Lithuanian directors, a play and a forum on the tendencies of the Baltic state's modern art. "This is one of the biggest presentations of Lithuania's art and culture in the United Kingdom. The variety of its events and topics will give Britons the possibility to feel the pulse of Lithuanian music, theater, contemporary art and movies, as well as get acquainted with one of the most interesting and talented Lithuanian artists of different generations," Lithuania's Ambassador to the United Kingdom Aurimas Taurantas said.
EU Budget Commissioner Dalia Grybauskaite has been nominated as a candidate for the European of the Year honor granted by the European Voice weekly. Grybauskaite has been nominated for the title along with 49 Europeans who had a major influence on Europe's agenda and decision making over the past 12 months.
Yukos banker Igor Babenko has appealed for political asylum. Babenko's lawyer Vitoldas Petravicius said that the application for political asylum was registered with the Interior Minister last week. Early this month a Vilnius court decided to extradite Babenko, a former manager of the Stavropol branch of a Yukos-owned bank, to Russia. Judges had decided they had obtained enough details from Russia to assume that the suspect has been involved in financial fraud.
Parliament amended the Administrative Code stipulating administrative fines for discrimination. Henceforth one will face a fine of 1,000 litas (290 euros) for discrimination by age, sexual orientation, disability, race or ethnic origin, religion and beliefs. Once the changes go into effect, an individual will face a fine of 100 's 2,000 litas and a legal entity 200 's 4,000 litas for violating the Law on Equal Opportunities.
An Arab horse worth some 6,000 euros was stolen from the Polish circus Fantazja in Siauliai on Sept. 23. The 11-year-old horse, Sapphire, was taken from an enclosure in the circus' territory. The theft was noticed by a handler at around 7 a.m. on Saturday. Algirdas Trakimas, circus manager, said he did not understand the thieves' logic, since the horse is not fit for either sports or being a beast of burden. It is impossible to take the horse abroad legally due to a microchip with an identification number implanted in its body.