Latvija in brief - 2006-11-29

  • 2006-11-29
A heated fight involving two NATO servicemen and local residents reportedly broke out at a nightclub in Riga's Old Town on Nov. 25. The NATO spokesman who confirmed the report did not identify where the victimized troops were from, nor did he provide any other information. The incident is currently under investigation.

A young man hung himself at the Riga Airport after flight attendants refused to let him board a plane to London because he was drunk. Riga Airport spokesman Andorijs Darzins told the Russian daily Telegraf that the incident was not related to increased airport security because of the NATO summit. Telegraf reported that, according to unofficial information, the man had not been heavily drunk, otherwise he would not have been allowed to enter the airport's transit area, where he killed himself. The National Border Guard also confirmed that, if a passenger is heavily drunk, he is stopped at passport control and handed over to police. An airport employee had reportedly heard the man say that he would hang himself if not allowed to fly to London. Police have launched an investigation.

The special minister for society integration in Latvia, Oskars Kastens, will meet with Irish Ambassador to Latvia Tim Mawe on Dec. 1 to discuss the Latvian diaspora in Ireland. The secretariat of the special minister has granted 5,300 lats (7,500 euros) to the Latvian community in Ireland. Funds have also been granted to the Latvian Society in Ireland for a Christmas celebration and an amateur photography show titled "Life of Latvians in Ireland." The Latvian Diaspora Support Program has established a weekend language school for Latvian children in Dublin "to maintain a Latvian environment and preserve the Latvian language and traditions." Ivars Lasis, first secretary of the Latvian Embassy in Ireland, has estimated that up to 40,000 Latvians might be living in the country.

An 82-year-old man and a 66-year-old woman were found dead in their Riga apartment on Nov. 27, the Internet portal Delfi reported. Police spokeswoman Ieva Reksna reported that the double murder occurred at around 4:40 p.m., and that the bodies contained scratches and knife wounds. The matter is currently under investigation.

Vandals in Jelgava have been targeting bus schedules. Since last spring, 30 of the 140 new bus schedules put up in the southern Latvian town have been destroyed. Many of the schedules were vandalized after just one day. According to the local paper, Zemgales Zinas, each sign costs about seven lats (10 euros). One third of the town's bus route maps have also been destroyed. In addition, a vandal threw a stone through the front window of a city bus last week.