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  • 2000-10-26
KALLAS CLEARED: Estonian Finance Minister Siim Kallas was finally cleared from all charges related to a seven-year old investment scheme where $ 10 million got lost. "Courts have acquitted Kallas in four cases, and I have no reason not to trust the Estonian judicial system," the chief prosecutor of Estonia Raivo Sepp said. Kallas, the ex-president of the country's central bank, together with then central bank adviser Urmas Kaju, were accused of misprision in connection with the deal.

MISSING 80: To date Estonia has no diplomatic relations with 80 countries of the world, although most of them are members of the United Nations and many have recognized Estonia's independence. Of the 80 countries with which Estonia has no formal relations only the Pacific island state of Tuvalu has neither directly nor indirectly recognized independent Estonia, it appears from a survey of diplomatic relations issued by the Foreign Ministry.

CONDEMNED BY PRESIDENT: The Lithuanian President, Valdas Adamkus has strongly condemned anti-Semitic writings in the daily Lietuvos Aidas. The president thinks that anti-Semitic manifestations are "morally unacceptable" to the Lithuanian public, the president's press service reported Oct. 20. On Oct. 19 the paper published some articles questioning the need to prosecute war criminals, and accused Jews of inventing and implementing Marxism.

MORE THAN 100: Multi-cultural Lithuania embraces people from over 100 ethnic groups as of today, Remigijus Motuzas, director general of the Department of Ethnic Minorities and Lithuanians Living Abroad said at the presentation of a book, "Ethnic Minorities in Lithuania," Oct. 21.

RUNNING OUT OF TIME: Lithuania's outgoing Conservative-led government has one week to implement a law passed by its own MPs which requires negotiations with Russia by Nov. 1 on compensation for damage caused to Lithuania by half a century of Soviet rule. An ad hoc governmental commission estimated the damage caused by the Soviet occupation at $80 billion and presented the calculations to the Cabinet early in October.

PILGRIMS TAKE BREATHER: Lithuanian pilgrims have postponed their trip to the Holy Land due to the disturbances in the Middle East, the 2000 Jubilee Committee of the Lithuanian Bishops' Conference said. The journey by more than 200 Lithuanian pilgrims initially planned for Nov. 6 to Nov. 13 has been moved to Dec. 4 to Dec. 11 in the hope that the situation in the region will stabilize.

HACKER ATTACKS ESTONIA: Estonian Internet servers became the victim of a serious cyberattack possibly originating in China. The attack was discovered at 3:20 p.m. Oct. 23. The target was a Virunet server, a Delfi on-line subscriber, which was bombarded by a powerful flow of packages, Neeme Takis, board chairman of KPNQwest, an Internet services mediator, said.

EMBASSY IN ANKARA: The Estonian government decided Oct. 24 to open an embassy in the Turkish capital Ankara to ensure permanent representation of Estonian interests in the country. Estonia intends to open the embassy in Turkey even by the end of this year, the Foreign Ministry press service reported.

PLANNING CONGRESS: Moscow is planning to hold the first congress of Russians residing in the Baltic countries and the Commonwealth of Independent States in the first half of next year. Boris Pastukhov, head of the Russian state Duma committee in charge of relations with compatriots in the CIS, said, addressing the Russian Writers' Union which opened Oct. 22, that the present Russian leadership has set strengthening of the CIS through a common economic space as one of its priorities, Interfax reported.

KEEPING FREE TRADE OUT: The Latvian government Oct. 24 decided not to demand retention of the Baltic countries' agreement on free trade in agricultural goods should the three countries not join the EU simultaneously.

COP STUDENTS FALL ILL: The Police Academy, located near the National Defense Academy in Riga, is experiencing an outbreak of an as yet unidentified disease from which a total of 55 first-year students have fallen ill. The symptoms are sore throat, backache and eye pressure. They are all running a fever, Police Academy spokesman Andrejs Filipovs said.

GROWS POORER: The poverty level in Latvia's small towns and rural districts has increased three times during the last three years. This is the reverse of the situation in big towns, where the poverty level is declining, United Nations Development Program permanent coordinator in Latvia, Jan Sand Sorensen, said.