Latvija in brief - 2007-05-02

  • 2007-05-02
The Latvian national hockey team has lost the first two of its games in the world championships in Moscow. In the first game, which took place April 28, Latvia lost 2 - 1 against Switzerland. All goals were scored in the second period. The second game saw Latvia playing against defending world champion Sweden on April 30. Latvia was unable to score until the third period and eventually lost the game 8 - 2. When The Baltic Times was going to press on May 2, Latvia was about to begin its third and final pool game against Italy.

A large fire covering approximately 400 square meters on a pig farm in southern Latvia has killed 555 pigs. Police think that the April 30 fire was most probably caused by a fusebox failure. The fusebox had been "improved" by using nails instead of covered wires to increase the output of the electric system. The woman who had been in charge of the farm while the owner was away did not know how to use a mobile phone to call firemen, who were eventually called by the neighbors, and as a result they were too late to save most of the pigs.

A manhunt began on April 28 for a man who attempted to break one of the windows of the parliament building. The man attempted to break one of the building's windows on March 6 using ball bearings. He was detained shortly after the incident in the vicinity of parliament. When he failed to respond to police requests to present himself at the station, police opened the search. This was the second time in as many years that the man had tried to break the window. An administrative case has been launched against him.

Police efforts will be stepped up in May in an attempt to reduce the number of offenses committed against tourists in Riga. Police plan to increase the number of patrolmen around the city and adjust their routes in order to pay particular attention to areas popular with tourists. The police will deploy officers with strong English language skills for the duty. The increased patrol activity is in response to last year's drastic increase in reports of tourist fraud both in night clubs and on the streets. The exact date that the changes will take effect depends on the weather and tourist activities.

Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga has so far granted pardons to 202 convicts during her eight years in office, the Presidential Pardon Service announced April 28. She had received 1,112 requests for pardons of which she has so far reviewed 962. The president uses her experience as a psychiatrist to personally review each case 's often requesting more information about them as she does. Convicts can apply for the presidential pardon after serving half of their prison term, after serving two thirds for serious offenses, or immediately after sentencing for minor offenses. In the case of a life sentence, a presidential pardon can be sought after 20 years in jail.