The Bottom line

  • 2000-08-10
Farewell, adios

According to a poll conducted among young women in Latvia, most would leave boyfriends and husbands to go on a date with Latvian actor Ivars Kalnins. Other men apparently worth leaving companionship for are Latvian Privatization Agency director general Janis Naglis, politician Andris Skele, pop/rock artist Renars Kaupers and hockey player Arturs Irbe.

A few good men

About 10 percent of the recruits in Aluksne Infantry Battalion have criminal records. Most of them received suspended sentences in court and sought shelter in the army. One can't help but wonder if there's to be a Latvian Foreign Legion now.

There's a limit

The five pilots from Latvia, who were convicted of arms smuggling in India and sentenced to life in prison, all received a $1,000 cash grant from Latvian brewery Aldaris upon their return after five years. However, Rolands Barenis, spokesman for Aldaris, said Aldaris has no plans on extending this courtesy to other prisoners in Latvia.

"It is practically impossible to support all prisoners," Barenis said.

No passport required

One French citizen tried to smuggle his German friend across the Estonian-Latvian border, but was detained by Latvian border guards. The car trunk, where Dietrich Georg, having no passport, was hiding, appeared to be not safe enough. But traveling in the car trunk without passport for sake of seeing the auto race is not the best of this story, but that to get into Estonia from Germany by car requires to cross at least three country borders.

Put it on

Even in the cold and dismal Estonian "summer," topless sunbathing is apparently still to be found. On the beaches of Tallinn, they can be fined up to 2,300 kroons ($134). Even those lying on their stomachs but "topless" could be fined, according to the Estonian daily tabloid Sonumileht.