Eesti in brief - 2006-07-19

  • 2006-07-19
British police have charged a 22-year-old man with the murder of an Estonian woman in London. The body of Egeli Rasta, 27, was found in some bushes near the Mitcham Common, an area where she regularly jogged. Her body, dressed in running clothes, was discovered by a local dog-walker following an intense police search that involved pond divers and helicopter searches. Rasta had lived in London for two years, working various jobs including as an assistant at Harrods department store. She was last seen on July 4 as she set off for a jog. Concerns were raised when she failed to meet an Estonian friend at Gatwick Airport on July 8. Garath Davies, charged with murder and perverting the course of justice of south London, is due to appear in the Wimbledon magistrate's court this week.

Firefighters continue to battle forest fires across northeast Estonia. After another week of hot and dry conditions, an estimated 1,000 hectares of forest was ablaze as of July 17. The fires sent clouds of smoke across the Baltic Sea to Finland, where emergency call centers were flooded with calls complaining about the smoke. About 30 Finnish rescue workers traveled to Estonia to join the firefighting effort, along with some 100 locals. A Latvian defense force helicopter also flew in to assist. Residents were temporarily evacuated from their homes due to threats posed by heavy smoke and wind. They have been allowed to return, but have been warned of the risks involved.

The government endorsed a bill on the creation of an Estonian National Broadcasting Corporation, signifying a merger of Eesti Televisioon (ETV) and Eesti Raadio. The aim of the bill is to establish the foundation, aims and duties of the national broacasting corporation. When the bill enters into force a joint national broadcasting corporation is formed, ETV and Eesti Raadio will wind up their operations and the national broadcasting corporation will continue as their legal successor. Joint activity will make it possible to more flexibly use the financial resources necessary for the operation of ETV and Eesti Raadio, to better use opportunities of the new media and find the synergy opening in the merger of the two organizations and later joint development, according to the authors of the bill.