The Bottom line

  • 2000-07-20
What's in a name?

In some cases brevity and precision of the one-word answers from the keepers of public-owned information is balanced by show-and-tell titles a paragraph long. Take as an example the title of state hygiene head Nikolajs Kirejevs: the head of the non-infection epidemiology and hygiene expertise division at the Jurmala territorial district of the Tukums region Environmental Health Center. Only 14 words.

Wet visit

On July 4 Lithuanian border police in Silute district, western Lithuania, detained a Russian teenager, Edmund Galdup, 17, who was drunk and lost his direction swimming in the Nemunas River from the Kaliningrad side and turned on Lithuanian shores, according to police reports. He was detained after a farmer told police that a soaking-wet youngster came to the farm wearing only swimming trunks. A resident of Prokhla-dnoye village, Galdup told the border police officers that after a couple of drinks he decided to have a dip in the river, lost his orientation and strength, and decided to swim to the Lithuanian side. He was returned and not charged.

Quote of the week

"Russian-Baltic relations remind me of a tennis game, where Russia always serves, and the Baltic states scamper around the court trying to return the ball, sometimes successfully, sometimes not," said The Economist Moscow correspondent, Edward Lucas, writing recently in the Estonian daily Postimees about Balts' reactions to Russian diplomatic attacks against them. Lucas said the Baltics should be more pro-active, particularly in calling attention to what he said was Russia's shameful defense of Stalin and Stalinist-era crimes.

That tears it

The Latvian border guard was right when he tore an Irish citizen's passport to shreds and fined him 50 lats ($83) before letting him enter the country, according to an impartial in-house investigation which found no evidence that the border guard was to blame for the incident. Is it possible to have a passport made in titanium in Latvia?


In a country where inhabitants admirably speak two to four languages fluently, the Latvian foreign minister has responded to demonstrations by speakers of Russian against the national language law by admonishing the press not to encourage bilingualism.

The policemen are our friends

A 16-year-old prostitute from Telsiai region in Lithuania has asked police to help her collect from deadbeat johns. According to reports, the young woman is a resident of the local children's home. The woman went with one man who promised to find her a job as a prostitute in a village near Kaunas. She ended up working in the garden during the daytime and sleeping with another man at night. She billed for her services. The man, 20, refused to pay up. She went to the police station and demanded her due for services performed. The prosecutor's office is deciding if there is a case.

Social progress

In Lithuania, six women have taken 10 percent of the slots in Lithuanian Military Academy in line with a Defense Ministry decree to provide conditions for women to study full-time at the academy. Ombudsman Ausrine Burneikiene found earlier that only men were enrolled full-time in a motorized infantry program. Women were permitted to take the instruction only on an extramural basis.