12/28/2003 07:00:00 PM EST -- BBC MONITORING INTERNATIONAL REPORTS
Lithuania to send 54 soldiers to Iraq as replacements
The Lithuanian Grand Duke Algirdas mechanized infantry battalion is holding a farewell party on Monday [29 December] for the soldiers about to leave for Iraq. The Ministry of Defence said that 54 soldiers from the Litcon platoon number three would first go to Denmark where they will be trained for six weeks ahead of their mission in Iraq.
The farewell party will be attended by Linas Linkevicius, minister of national defence, Maj-Gen Jonas Kronkaitis, the army commander, and Brig-Gen Valdas Tutkus, the ground forces commander.
Approximately 100 Lithuanian soldiers are currently serving in international peacekeeping missions in Iraq. [Passages omitted]
Source: Delfi web site, Vilnius, in Lithuanian 29 Dec 03
TUESDAY 27/01/2004 17:08:26 Man admits to NI (Northern Ireland) manslaughter
Two Lithuanians accused of murdering two other Lithuanian men in Newry in May 2002 have dramatically changed their not guilty pleas.
One pleaded to manslaughter, the other to assisting an offender.
The victims bodies were found in a ditch near Warrenpoint.
Lituaninans 20-year-old Julius Aguonis and 22-year-old Vitalius Sedovas were driven into Newry Crown Court for their murder trial.
The pair were charged with killing fellow country men 27-year-old Viadas Frankeviciuus and 30-year-old Vitalijus Jeisinkas in Newry in May 2002.
The bodies of the two victims were found, one on top of the the other in heavy undergrowth in a ditch at Mound Road just outside Warrenpoint by an elderly man walking his dog.
Both men had been stabbed repeatedly, badly beaten about the head and as a final insult their throats had been cut.
Just as the trial of the two accused was about to begin, their defence counsel asked that both be rearraigned.
The prosecution counsel said they accepted the pleas.
Aguonis and Sedovas fled Northern Ireland after the killings.
After months of detailed police work and a protracted investigation Aguonis was traced to Preston in England. A month later Sedovas was found in London.
Although the victims were found in Warrenpoint on May 15 detectives belive the killings were carried out at a house in Sandy Street in Newry in the early hours of May 13 and the bodies later dumped near Warrenpoint.
Earlier that day a group of Lithuanians had held a barbeque in Mayobridge where drink had been taken. A row started there which later spilled over to the house in Sandy Street.
It ended with two men dead.
Detectives say they have investigated a number of theories as to what caused the huge disagreement but have not been able to establish the cause of it definitively.
Chief Inspector Derek Williamson said both men had suffered particularly vicious and brutal deaths.
So far their bodies have not been returned to their loved ones in Lithuania for cremation as the coroner would not release them pending the trial.
we made a switch with DarPo1 and now i'm putting this post about the new members in EU..
A challenge to the new Europe: Digesting new and very different members
BRUSSELS, Belgium_When Lithuania and nine other nations join the European Union on May 1, Rolandas Paksas won't be leading festivities as planned.
Lithuania's parliament just booted him from the presidency for corruption.
Poland's first day in the EU will be the last in office for its prime minister, Leszek Miller. He steps down prematurely on May 2 _ a victim of high unemployment and unpopular spending cuts to get Poland ready for EU membership.
In veteran EU countries, meanwhile, labor unions, politicians and the public fret about job loss as industries shift from high-cost countries such as Germany to Slovakia, Hungary and other low-pay EU newcomers.
On May 1, the European Union swells to 25 countries in welcoming 10 new members, mostly from the former Soviet bloc. If all goes to plan, Bulgaria and Romania will join in three years.
The expansion, the EU's biggest, will create a trading bloc of 450 million people and, so Europeans hope, give the continent greater global clout in an era of U.S. dominance.
However, the payoff may take time. Huge disparities separate the rich, established Western democracies from nations recently liberated from the Soviet empire.
Those differences range from wages to the quality of roads to public attitudes about a citizen's relationship to the government.
Western European motorists cruise wide, well-maintained superhighways while easterners rumble along over narrow, potholed roads. Glitzy malls and boutiques in Prague and Warsaw offer pricey goods, but only to tourists and the handful of locals who can afford them.
Germans and Dutch would never think of bribing their way out of traffic ticket. In the east the practice is common.
Rather than propel Europe into global leadership, expansion could lead to a long period of introspection as the EU struggles to digest the newcomers.
"Ireland was roughly at the level that we are now when it joined the EU and it took 20 years to catch up," Miller, the outgoing Polish prime minister, told The Associated Press recently.
Most of the newcomers have only limited experience with democratic systems and market economies, and have had to enact extensive political and economic reforms, often over strong domestic opposition, to qualify for EU membership.
The average per capita GDP in the newcomer countries is only about 40 percent of the EU's current members.
In the bloc now, unemployment averages about 8 percent. Among the ex-communist newcomers, hobbled by obsolete and inefficient industries, the jobless rate is around 15 percent, said Katinka Barysch, chief economist at the Center for European Reform, a London-based think tank.
"In countries such as Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, only around half of all people of working age have a job," she said.
To narrow the gap, current EU members agreed to provide aid worth up to 4 percent of their GDP each year _ more than double what they spend on defense.
EU leaders, however, have set an effective cap of US$32 billion (?26.4
billion) on aid through 2006. By comparison, Germany has shelled out an estimated US$1 trillion (?828 billion) since 1990 to absorb former East Germany. Still, unemployment remains twice as high in the country's formerly communist east as it is in the west.
Nearly 50 years of Soviet domination have created political cultures still some distance from Western ideals of tolerance, respect for individual rights and the rule of law.
The ouster of Lithuania's Paksas cast the spotlight on the knotty problems of corruption and links between organized crime and state officials, a problem that has bedeviled former communist countries since the collapse of Soviet-era security systems.
Parliament removed Paksas after convicting him of illegally arranging citizenship for one of his chief financial backers, a Russian businessman allegedly linked to organized crime.
The Lithuanian newspaper Lietuvos Rytas proclaimed "a historic day of self-cleansing" that would bolster democracy. Another newspaper, Respublika, called it "a fiasco for democracy."
Poland's Miller is stepping down nearly 18 months ahead of schedule, pressure by his own party after a collapse in public support due to high unemployment, planned spending cuts and allegations of widespread corruption within the bureaucracy.
In Slovenia, a referendum this month raised questions over whether the country is prepared to adhere to EU goals of protecting minority rights.
Voters overwhelmingly rejected restoring permanent residency and other rights to thousands of ethnic Bosnians, Croats and Serbs who were stripped of citizenship when Slovenia broke away from Yugoslavia in 1991.
Nationalist passions may also scuttle EU hopes that Cyprus will enter as a united country. The Mediterranean island has been divided into Greek and Turkish sectors since 1974, and unless both sides approve a U.N.
reunification plan in parallel referendums April 24, only the Greek sector will enter the EU a week later.
Slovakia's resurgent nationalism and anti-foreign sentiment is also arousing concern. Former Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar's authoritarian ways and treatment of the Gypsy and Hungarian minorities put Slovakia's EU membership on hold until he left office in 1998. He is seeking re-election in a vote April 17.
Joining the EU on May 1: Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.
Present EU member states: Austria, Belgium, Britain, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.
GROZNY, Chechnya (CNN) -- There was confusion on Sunday as to the fate of Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov and the top Russian general in Chechnya, Valery Baranov, following a blast that rocked the republic's capital Grozny.
Interfax news agency initially quoted a source in the Russian command as saying Baranov had been killed in the attack on a packed stadium on Sunday morning.
But it later quoted an "official source" as saying the general had been seriously injured and was undergoing an operation.
Baranov was the most senior commander of Russian troops in the North Caucasus region that includes separatist Chechnya.
Earlier, officials had said the attack had killed the pro-Moscow president of Chechnya, Akhmad Kadyrov.
Fourteen people died in the explosion, ITAR-TASS news agency reported local officials as saying.
The explosion happened just beneath the VIP stand in the stadium in Grozny crowded with people celebrating Victory Day.
The Russian Emergencies Ministry said a journalist was killed and 25 people were injured.
Russia's Defence Ministry said Chechen separatists, fighting Moscow's rule in the region since the mid-1990s, were behind the attack.
Television showed scenes of pandemonium at the stadium, with people running around in panic and smoke rising from the wreckage of the stands.
One man could be seen carrying a young boy, unconscious and bleeding from the mouth, down the terraces.
Brief spurts of automatic gunfire could be heard.
Kadyrov was elected last October to build an administration capable of establishing full Russian authority in Chechnya.
Victory Day is a major national celebration in Russia.
The Grozny ceremonies were mirrored by festivities throughout the country, including a marchpast on Moscow's Red Square.
Chechen rebels have in the past targeted official events and public gatherings for attacks.
Russia has been fighting separatists in the mainly Muslim northern Caucasus region of Chechnya since it first tried to break away in the 1990s.
Moscow reimposed its rule in the capital Grozny in a 1999 invasion ordered by Putin but guerrilla resistance continues. Chechen rebels have also launched attacks in the Russian heartland, including Moscow.
MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
Brazil (Country threat level - 3): On 16 September 2004, public university workers clashed with anti-riot police near the local seat of government in Rio de Janeiro causing traffic delays in the area. Approximately 300 demonstrators had gathered to demand an audience with Rio's governor in order to negotiate salary hikes and budget reductions for the universities. According to reports, several demonstrators were injured during the clashes.
Caribbean Region: Hurricane Jeanne hit the Dominican Republic's northern coast on 16 September 2004, resulting in heavy rain and strong winds that damaged homes and caused mudslides. Thousands were evacuated to shelters and at least four people died. Jeanne lost strength as it moved along the Dominican coast and is currently a tropical storm. Jeanne, however, may regain hurricane strength as it moves toward the Bahamas and the southeastern United States.
Heavy rains caused by Jeanne continued to affect Puerto Rico on 16 September, blocking a number of roads, cutting off electricity and water to many areas of the island and forcing thousands to remain at shelters.
According to meteorologists with Wilkens Weather Technologies, as of 1500 UTC on 17 September 2004, Tropical Storm Jeanne is located near latitude 19.8 north and longitude 70.9 west, which is near the coastal Dominican city of Puerto Plata and approximately 115 mi/190 km south of Grand Turk island. Jeanne is moving west-northwest at a speed of 8 mph/7 kt. The storm has maximum sustained winds of 65 mph/55 kt with higher gusts. Tropical storm force winds extend outward to 70 mi/ 110 km.
A tropical storm warning remains in effect for parts of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. A hurricane warning is in effect for the southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos, while a hurricane watch is in effect for the central Bahamas.
Colombia (Country threat level - 5): A group of approximately 40,000 indigenous demonstrators, who departed from the Cauca department on 14 September 2004, arrived in Cali, Colombia's third largest city, on 16 September. The indigenous activists protested against the Free Trade Agreement with the United States, food shortages, health problems and demanded their exclusion from the 40-year long armed conflict. The march, which occurred along the Pan-American Highway, remained peaceful.
United States (Country threat level - 3): American Airlines flight 1374 was forced to make an emergency landing after takeoff on 16 September 2004 after experiencing engine failure due to multiple bird strikes at Chicago O'Hare International Airport. At approximately 1415 local time, shortly after takeoff, the MD-80 aircraft carrying 107 passengers from Chicago to Philadelphia struck a flock of Canadian Geese. Several of the birds were pulled into the left engine, causing the turbine to shatter and rain debris down over the area of Touhy and Harlem Avenue in Chicago. The pilot was able to shut down fuel lines to the engine and activate fire suppression equipment before making a successful emergency landing at Chicago O'Hare International Airport. No injuries were reported. (.... except for the birds
[MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA]
Iraq (Country threat level - 5): Two suicide car bomb attacks occurred in Baghdad on 17 September 2004. The first blast occurred at a security checkpoint near the Tigris River. Early in the morning hours of 17 September, U.S. soldiers monitoring the checkpoint opened fire on a car that refused to stop for inspection, igniting the bomb out of range of its intended target. No injuries were reported in that attack other than the driver of the vehicle, who was killed. A second car bomb exploded at 0830 UTC on 17 September 2004 near an Iraqi police convoy of six vehicles in a shopping district on Rashid Street. The blast killed up to 13 people and injured approximately 20 others. At the time of the explosion, the market area was mostly vacant.
Kenya (Country threat level - 4): On 16 September 2004, approximatly 2,000 of students at the University of Nairobi rioted throughout the campus and surrounding area after media reports emerged that administrators were planning to increase tuition fees. The students assembled in front of the block containing most administrative buildings and began demonstrating against the increase, threatening to throw petrol-bombs at the buildings if the administration refused to hear their concerns. Students then obstructed roads surrounding the campus to block traffic into the area. Several roads, including University Way, State House Road, and Nyerere Road were closed for a number of hours. Uhuru Highway was also briefly affected by the disturbance. Reports indicate that students robbed and harassed motorists in the area. Riot police were called in to control the situation, and soon dispersed the demonstrators with water cannons. The university has been closed until further notice.
South Africa (Country threat level - 3): A group of approximately five armed assailants attempted to steal a cargo shipment of gold and diamonds from a guarded airport cargo terminal at Johannesburg International Airport on 16 September 2004. The shipment was being loaded onto a KLM flight en-route from Amsterdam. Three police officers guarding the shipment were shot during the attempted robbery. The assailants then fled the scene without the valuables. Airport authorities ordered the airport sealed and closed to flights after the robbery attempt, however the suspects have yet to be apprehended. Several dozen flight delays occurred as a result of the closure, however, the airport has since reopened.
This criminal incident is the latest in a string of robberies to occur in the area of the airport, and the second during the month of September 2004 to take place on the airport's grounds. At midnight on 5 September, a group of armed assailants robbed the Spur restaurant, a popular airport eatery that serves hundreds of passengers daily. According to reports, in that robbery, the assailants walked past a police checkpoint and past several dozen security cameras before the robbery took place. The Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) spokespeople indicated, however, in a later press conference on 11 September that the restaurant robbery was not the first such incident to take place at the airport. No details were provided at that time regarding the previous incidents.
Angola: National Hero's Day (Anniversary of the Birth of President Neto). Chile: Independence Day observed (Public holiday - Government and Business Offices close). San Marino: Foundation Day (Public holiday). Greece: Paralympic Games in Athens
San Marino: Foundation Day (Public holiday). Greece: Paralympic Games in Athens Burundi: Victory of Uprona Day. Chile: Independence Day. India: Ganesh Chaturthi/Vinayaka Chaturthi (Ganesh's birthday; Marathi Hindu holiday. Celebrated in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andara Pradesh and Karnataka. Celebrations last for seven days, culminating in processions). Myanmar: Anniversary of military junta takeover.
San Marino: Foundation Day (Public holiday). Greece: Paralympic Games in Athens Chile: Armed Forces Day (Public holiday - government and business offices close). Italy - Naples: Feast of St. Jennaro, patron saint of the city. Kazakhstan: Parliamentary Elections (Lower House). St. Kitts-Nevis: Independence Day (Businesses, banks, government offices and schools close. Gatherings expected).
San Marino: Foundation Day (Public holiday). Greece: Paralympic Games in Athens Indonesia: Presidential run-off election (Protests and violence are concerns) Japan: Keiro no Hi - Respect for the Aged Day. Timor Leste: Freedom Day - Anniversary of the landing of U.N. peacekeeping forces (Most government and business offices close).
San Marino: Foundation Day (Public holiday). Greece: Paralympic Games in Athens Belize: Independence Day (Businesses, government offices and schools close). Malta: Independence Day (Government offices, schools and some businesses close).
San Marino: Foundation Day (Public holiday). Greece: Paralympic Games in Athens Bulgaria: Independence Day Mali: Anniversary of the Proclamation of the Republic.
San Marino: Foundation Day (Public holiday). Greece: Paralympic Games in Athens Armenia: Independence Day. Japan: Autumnal Equinox (Bank holiday)
Greece: Paralympic Games in Athens Bolivia: Local holiday in Santa Cruz. Cambodia: Constitution Day (Public holiday). Dominican Republic: Our Lady of Mercies (Some schools and a few businesses close). Saudi Arabia: Unification of the Kingdom (Not a holiday). South Africa: Heritage Day (National holiday to commemorate the country's cultural diversity. Businesses and offices close) Sri Lanka: Opposition political party has called for a street demonstration in Colombo to protest the cost of living in Sri Lanka.
Greece: Paralympic Games in Athens Chile: Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings in Santiago. Protests expected Mozambique: Armed Forces Day - Public holiday (Everything close - Commemorates the armed struggle for national independence - Also known as Popular Liberation Forces Day). Rwanda: Kamarampaka Day (Banks, govt. offices and business likely to close). Judaism: Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) In Israel all businesses and government offices closed. No public transportation. Begins at sundown on 24 September in 2004
Greece: Paralympic Games in Athens Chile: Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings in Santiago. Protests expected Belgium: French Community Holiday (Observed only by appropriate communities. Some businesses close). Eritrea: Meskel - Festival of the True Cross (Old Orthodox Calendar). Ethiopia: Meskal. Commemorates the revelation of the cross to Empress Helena, mother of Constantine the Great. In Addis Ababa, celebrations begin in the early afternoon when a procession bearing flaming torches approaches Meskal Square from various directions. United States: ASIS annual seminar in Dallas.
[ASI THREAT LEVEL DEFINITIONS]
1 - A minimum threat of physical harm. Petty crime is the most common threat.
2 - A low threat of physical harm. Petty crime and infrequent demonstrations are the most common threats.
3 - A medium threat of physical harm. Petty crime and demonstrations are common and violent acts do occur.
4 - A high threat of physical harm due to violent acts associated with crime, demonstrations or terrorism.
5 - A very high threat of physical harm due to violent acts associated with crime, terrorism, demonstrations or war.
European market for trading technology worth EUR11.2 billion - Kimsey Published:14 April 2005
The European market for trading technology is currently worth an estimated EUR11.2 billion according to a new report and analysis published today by the research and advisory company Kimsey Consulting. Trading related and back office technologies are worth a further EUR16.8 billion.
This new report and analysis, which focuses on providing detailed market size analysis for each of 25 European countries, is based on extensive primary and secondary research conducted by Kimsey Consulting.
Selected highlights from the analysis include:
The European trading market consists of around 147,000 positions
The UK is the dominant market, accounting for around 20% of trading operations
Approximately 42% of trading positions are to be found in trading operations with 15 positions or less - compared to around 42% in the largest trading operations (100+ positions).
The sell-side accounts for 78% of trading positions but only 32% of trading operations.
Derivatives (of all types) are traded by more than half of trading operations (51%)
The seven Eastern European countries covered by the analysis (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania) currently have more than 6000 trading positions across more than 700 trading operations.
A comparison between 2005 and 2003 analysis for the 17 countries covered by both studies, reveals:
An increase of around 15% in expenditure on trading and related technology
A marginal decline in the number of trading positions (down 1.2%)
A fall of around 6% in the number of firms with trading operations.
Stephen Kimsey, principal consultant at Kimsey Consulting, commented, "Although Europe accounts for more than one third of the global market for trading and related technology, it is largely heterogeneous. Our analysis provides a key tool for those requiring detailed and comparative market size information analysis for this important region."
This topic is interesting and I'm not being mean, but the title of this topic sounds so Lithuanian that I just have to interfere. Grammatically it's ok, but noone really says so, it should be "World today"
The ULEB Cup has a new champion and the Euroleague has a new team from Lithuania. It could be no other way after Lietuvos Rytas dominated for 30 minutes and then held off a furious Alfa Makedonikos rally to win 78-74 on Tuesday in the ULEB Cup Final in Charleroi, Belgium. Lietuvos Rytas came with a scoring reputation, but ruled on defense, holding Makedonikos to 26 points in the game's first 24 minutes. the Makedonikos shooters hit only 1 of their first 13 three-pointers.
When Makedonikos started making them, however, midway through the fourth quarter, things got really exciting. Slaven Rimac hit the last to make it 77-74 with 12 seconds left, but L. Rytas held on. Robertas Javtokas was voted MVP of the Final after scoring 14 points and pulling 5 rebounds for the winners. Their top scorers were Tyrone Nesby and Simas Jasaitis with 16 points each. The game's top gun was Pete Mickeal of Makedonikos, with 24 points. Slaven Rimac added 14 points, 10 in the final quarter. Congratulations to the new ULEB Cup champion, Lietuvos Rytas!