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Weekly News from Fyksland

Coverage and translation provided by Vaijskä Radio

Sunday, 20 April, 2003

Lutherans, Catholics jointly commemorate special Easter

KAANSÄ (VKK) - This year's Easter holds special meaning to both Lutherans and Catholics across the country as congregations reflect on the past 210 years since the passing of the Act of the Church and State. Since the Act's passing in 1793, religious freedom has been guaranteed by law, and the role of the State Church defined for most aspects of life. Whilst three duchies were granted their rights to keep Catholicism as their official religion, the role of Lutheran Church as the State religion has been confirmed and concretely delineated. However, both the Lutheran and the Catholic Churches and other religious denominations face a steady decline in membership in recent years. Full story...

Relief official: Iraqi humanitarian situation improving

BAGHDAD, Iraq (VKK) - The humanitarian situation in Baghdad is "getting better day by day," a relief official said Sunday, but agencies say hospitals still face staffing and security problems and improvements need to be made to the water supply. "It's getting better definitely," Doctors Without Borders' Måti Röstrup said. "There are more hospitals open, but their capacity is reduced." According to Röstrup, a 30-year-old medical doctor from Jølantä, the major problem has been, in fact, security and also lack of staff, because people have not really come back to the hospitals to work. Full story...

Monday, 21 April, 2003

U.S. ties not broken: Stotson

KAANSÄ (VKK) - U.S.-Fyksian relations were not seriously damaged by the difference of opinions over war in Iraq, Prime Minister Jana Stotson has said. In an interview with newsmagazine Aktual published today she said there had been "exaggerated utterances" that she has "very much regretted," but she expressed confidence that differences could be worked out. "The difference of opinions, as serious as they may be, does not damage the trans-Atlantic relationship," Stotson said. Full story...

Tuesday, 22 April, 2003

Fyksland takes SARS test into use

KAANSÄ (VKK) - A test for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, the SARS virus, has been taken into use in Fyksland. The so-called PCR-test is based on genetic replication, and detects the corona virus responsible for the pneumonia-like disease. The SARS test was taken into service at the department of virology and laboratory diagnostics at the Kaansä University Hospital. The test was first used on Saturday to rule out SARS in a man admitted to Kaansä's Tudorøt Hospital for pneumonia symptoms. Full story...

Wednesday, 23 April, 2003

Church leaders to seek same-sex marriage repeal

KAANSÄ (VKK) - Leaders of the Lutheran State Church of Fyksland announced today that they are seeking to repeal the same-sex marriage legislation taken into effect since 2001. Backed by Archbishop of Straumkener, Christian Democrat MP Lori Þjelen said the State Church has never changed its ground towards the definition of marriage. Archbishop of Straumkener Hviliem Lietdig argued that 2001 legislation failed to recognise the essential role of the Church in the State institution of marriage. Full story...

Thursday, 24 April, 2003

Alþig opposed to proposals of European Convention Chairman

KAANSÄ (VKK) - Members of the Grand Committee of the Alþig are concerned about recent proposals by the Chairman of the European Convention, former French President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, for reform within the European Union. Ignoring objections by Parliamentarians of small member states, as well as those of a few big ones, Giscard continues to offer a model in which the EU would have a president elected for a term of two and a half years. On Tuesday Giscard put forward his draft on how he would like to see the power and responsibilities of the EU redistributed in the future. Full story...

Same-sex marriage repeal sparks old debate

KAANSÄ (VKK) - Following yesterday's announcement of the State Church's intention to repeal the 2001 legalisation of same-sex marriage, equal rights activists expressed dismayed but said they were not surprised. State Church leaders are hoping a greater Christian Democrats representation in the current goverenment may prove advantageous in the repeal of the legislation that has been initiated by 1998-2002 coalition government. Christian Democrat MP Lori Þjelen said the government and proponents of the repeal are not afraid to reopen the old debate on same-sex marriage. "We expected [the debate] to resurface again even after the legislation has passed, but why has it taken two years?" said Liberal MP Krooni Värgas of Niekopenhaag-Søntrum. Full story...

Friday, 25 April, 2003

Fyksians sharply criticise modified proposal for EU reforms

KAANSÄ (VKK) - Fyksian decision-makers have not warmed to modifications to a proposal by European Convention Chairman Valéry Giscard d'Estaing for reforms in the institutions of the European Union. The Presidium of the Convention released its revised proposals on Thursday. The whole Convention will probably get a chance to discuss the proposals for changes in the EU institutions and in the distribution of power in May, as other issues are on the agenda at Friday's meeting. Full story...

Saturday, 26 April, 2003

Håhla Skandinaviena shows off returned relics

KAANSÄ (VKK) - Director for the Department of Culture has unveiled five celtic antiquities -- dating back thousands of years -- that were returned from North America, including a serpentine dagger an unidentified American woman gave it back because she felt a demonic curse had entered her house. At the unveiling ceremony Saturday, the head of Fyksland's Cultural Property Agency announced the country would also recover a prehistoric mummy, which was smuggled out of the country more than 100 years ago. The celtic relics will become a part of permanent collection displayed at the Håhla Skandinaviena in Kaansä. Full story...

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