Lietuva in brief - 2006-05-17

  • 2006-05-17
Aras Baskauskas, a yoga trainer living in California, won $1 million after becoming the winner of a CBS television reality show. Baskauskas, who has dual U.S.-Lithuanian citizenship, won the reality show Survivor on May 14. In order to accomplish that, Baskauskas, 24, had to survive 39 days in the wild on a remote island of Panama and defeat 15 competitors. The competitors were picked out of 70,000 candidates.

Lithuania suffered from a catastrophic number of fires in May, the consequences of which were described a national tragedy, Remigijus Baniulis, head of the Fire and Rescue Department, said. Fire claimed 10 lives in Lithuania, 7 more people suffered burns, smoke poisoning and other traumas. As many as 97 buildings were destroyed by fire. There were a total of 8,620 fires in open territories and over 900 forest fires so far this year.

Members of Parliament's Civil Democracy group joined the center-left Civil Democracy Party pledged to pursue moral politics, declaring creation of a civil society as their primary goal. Parliamentary Chairman Viktoras Muntianas, who recently left the Labor Party, was elected as the party's chairman. The Civil Democracy Party also has groups in the municipalities of Kedainiai, Vilnius and the Klaipeda. The conference was attended by 165 members of the former Citizens' Union and more than 227 persons who had left the Labor Party.

Vilnius will host the 30th session of the World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). During the session on July 8-16, the World Heritage Committee will consider environmental and cultural protection problems and discuss inclusion of new objects in the World Heritage List, the Foreign Ministry has reported.

The opposition Liberal Democratic Party, led by impeached President Rolandas Paksas, was renamed as Order and Justice during a May 13 congress. According to surveys of public opinion, if parliamentary elections were held at present, the Liberal Democrats would fail to cross the 5-percent threshold required to win elections and would only muster 3.8 percent of the vote. According to information presented to the Central Electoral Committee, the opposition Liberal Democratic Party has 4,624 members.

A 44-year-old woman from Telsiai gave birth to her 18th child. According to the daily newspaper Lietuvos Zinios, Danute Bagociene was highly concerned over her 18th pregnancy and feared it would be difficult for her and the baby. Nevertheless, the baby boy weighted 3.7 kilograms at birth and was heavier than Bagociene's other newborns. Bagociene has given birth to seven sons and 11 daughters. Her oldest son, Irinijus, is now 28. She said she does not plan to have any more children.