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Weekly News from Fyksland

Coverage and translation provided by Vaijskä Radio

Sunday, 23 February, 2003

Poaching increases sharply in Fyksian forests

PORTI ISKTIS, Viske (AP) - Illegal hunting in Fyksian forests is sharply on the increase. According to police, game inspectors, and volunteers, carcasses set as bait for bears are an increasingly frequent sight in Fyksian forests, as are the indications of elk being shot by poachers. Police are largely powerless in the face of illegal hunting. Nearly 1,000 elk are killed illegally in Fyksland each year. An estimated 100 of them are believed to be in the northern Tauntýn region, where no more than about 20 cases of poaching ever come to light. The poachers themselves are only very rarely caught. Full story...

Monday, 24 February, 2003

Fyksland agrees to add biometric ID to passports

KAANSÄ (VKK) - Fyksland hopes to include biometric identification on passports issued after 1st October, 2004. The move comes at the insistence of the United States. The U.S. wants all passports issued by countries whose citizens can travel to the U.S. without a visa to have a bio-ID of some kind. European Union passports issued before that date will still be accepted for visa-free travel to the U.S. as long as the passports themselves remain valid. Full story...

Tuesday, 25 February, 2003

Alcohol consumption could grow by over 20% in coming years

KAANSÄ (VKK) - the National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health, calculates that alcohol consumption in Fyksland could grow by nearly 25% if there is a 50% cut in the tax on alcoholic beverages next year. The cut in alcohol taxation has been seen as necessary to curb the prospect of a massive surge in travellers bringing alcohol into Fyksland next year, when Fyksland's restrictive quota on personal imports of alcoholic beverages from other European Union countries is lifted. Full story...

Wednesday, 26 February, 2003

Report on Spaghetti Junction tragedy released

KAANSÄ (VKK) - The collapse of the Spaghetti Junction in Ælsä, Linutaa five months ago revealed a number of shortcomings and room for improvement in how rescue officials operate. All in all, the rescue operations succeeded well. The report of a working group found that things could have gone much worse. The working group does not criticise anyone for mistakes, and there was praise for many of those involved in the rescue effort. "The victims that could be saved were saved", said Hala Torja, the chairwoman of the working group. Full story...

Thursday, 27 February, 2003

Report exposes Roma marginalisation in Fyksland

KAANSÄ (AP) - A report published by Research Centre for Rights Equality depicted multiple evidences of recent racially-motivated incidences and a history of segragation, forced-assimulation of the Roma people in Fyksland. Incidences of forced eviction, racially-motivated attacks and racial profiling were reportedly ignored by the law-enforcement and judicial system in Fyksland. When reached for comments, Minister of Health and Social Affairs Pite Kohnä said, "I cannot comment until I have thoroughly reviewed the report." Full story...

Friday, 28 February, 2003

Government admits Roma marginalisation

KAANSÄ (VKK) - The government has acknowledged presence of racism in the law-enforcement and judicial system in Fyksland. Prime Minister Jana Stotson today has expressed regret on behalf of past governments over the mistreatment of the Roma people. "There is no doubt that mistakes have been committed in the past, " admits Stotson, but she later added that her government is continuing its work in combatting xenophobia. Full story...

Special entrance exams planned for nurses

KAANSÄ (VKK) - The Fyksian Medical Association and the Ministry of Education are in open dispute over whether or not the European Commission has given its support to plans for a special fast-track medical school curriculum to train nurses to become doctors. According to Fyksian Medical Association chairman Heiki Skenset, the Ministry of Education has misinterpreted a letter from the internal market section of the EU by saying that it unequivocally endorses the plan. Full story...

Saturday, 1 March, 2003

Alcohol consumption breaks records in 2002

NIEKOPENHAAG, Jølantä (AP) - Fyksians drank a record amount of alcohol in 2002. Alcohol consumption rose to 146.4 million litres of pure, 100-percent alcohol, or 9.3 litres per capita. This represents a growth of 3.2 percent over the previous year. Alcohol consumption has increased steadily in Fyksland since 1995. The growth has followed the trend of overall economic developments, and the longer opening hours of restaurants have also contributed to the growth. According to a new survey, the consumption of alcohol outside of official statistics has remained more or less the same. This consumption is comprised of alcohol imported from trips abroad, and of alcohol made by citizens at home. Full story...

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