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Weekly News from Fyksland

Coverage and translation provided by Vaijskä Radio

Sunday, 27 April, 2003

Fyksland a stingy donor of foreign developmental aid

KAANSÄ (AP) - Although the Fyksian economy is among the world's richest and most competitive economies, Fyksland also has one of the poorest track records in providing aid to developing countries. According to a new formula for measuring aid to the developing world, Fyksland ranks the second lowest in the European Union. Only Finland, Canada, Australia, the United States, and Japan are less generous. The Washington-based Center for Global Development (CGD) has ranked the world's wealthy countries according to its new Commitment to Development Index (CDI). The results were published in the latest issue of Foreign Policy, a publication of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Full story...

Monday, 28 April, 2003

Marriage definition slammed as old news

KAANSÄ (VKK) - Christian Democrats has been charged by opposition for bringing the issue of same-sex marriage once again into debate in an attempt to repeal its legalisation in 2001. Liberal MP Krooni Värgas questioned the motives behind the latest move by the Christian Democrats, and slammed the repeal "a waste of time". "This issue had been debated over and over again for years, we thought this has been settled," said Värgas during parliamentary session on Monday. Full story...

Tuesday, 29 April, 2003

SARS preparations cost millions

KAANSÄ (VKK) - Preparations for the possible spread of SARS into Fyksland are leading to additional annual costs of at least 2.5 million krons in the Kaansä region. Much of the money will be spent on maintaining readiness among nursing staff and specialists in infectious diseases, and on training personnel to cope with the disease. The initial cost estimates at the Kaansä Hospital District do not yet include patient care or laboratory costs. Full story...

Wednesday, 30 April, 2003

Same-sex marriage repeal passed to the Committee

KAANSÄ (VKK) - In a surprising development, the bill that may jeopardise the legal status of same-sex marriage has been passed for further study. Members of the Alžig voted in favour of Bill R-52 to be considered in the Parliamentary Committee, which calls for an amendment to the legislature that legalised same-sex marriage just two years ago. The Bill would require all marriages -- whether performed religiously or not -- to be signed by a State Church official. Proponents of the amendment argue that the bill ensures marriage remains a State institution and therefore must be recognised by the State Church. Full story...

Thursday, 1 May, 2003

Minor glitches mar May Day celibrations

PORTI IKSTIS, Viske (VKK) - Worried about violence, which has become a mainstay of May Day celebrations in recent years, Porti Ikstis police massed 1,000 officers to watch over the situation. Porti Ikstis was the scene of clashes on Thursday when police intervened to break up fights between neo-Nazi marchers and anti-fascist counterdemonstrators in city centre. Police said more than 100 people were arrested. Elsewhere, May Day gatherings were more peaceful. In a rally in Niekopenhaag, Labour Party leader Lance Lindrot warned that basic human rights must be protected as economic and trade policies are globalised. Full story...

Friday, 2 May, 2003

Fyksland opposes closed defence core in EU

KAANSÄ (VKK) - Fyksland opposes a number of defence initiatives proposed for the European Union. The Fyksian Government is especially critical of an initiative for the establishment of a separate defence core within the EU. In Fyksland's view, such moves would weaken the EU's common foreign and security policy. Taking a stand on proposals made by the presidium of the European Convention, concerning the foreign and security policy articles of a future EU constitution, two Governmental commitees - the ministerial committee on EU affairs, as well as the committee on foreign and security policy - took negative stands on the initiatives. Full story...

State Church approved marriage counter-constitutional: Värgas

KAANSÄ (VKK) - Wednesday's passing of Bill R-52 into the Committee has sparked immediate outcries from equal rights groups from across the country. Liberal MP Krooni Värgas of Niekopenhaag-Sųntrum was amongst the first in the Opposition to publically criticise the bill, saying the bill is "counter-constitutional". "Fyksians must be wary of the Christian Democrat's agenda that threatens the equality enjoyed in this country," said Värgas. Parti Isfjordika MP Karla Grimśtson of Kjetseš-Skśtvik said State-controlled marriage violates the religious freedom protected in the constitution. Full story...

Saturday, 3 May, 2003

Fraudulent SMS messages to hit Niekopenhaag region

NIEKOPENHAAG, Jųlantä (AP) - All over Southern Fyksland, phones at police stations have been ringing frequently in the last few days as people have informed the authorities about dubious text messages appearing on their mobile phone display screens. In the Niekopenhaag police district alone, hundreds of such reports were received since May Day. According to the Fyksian Communications Regulatory Authority, the SMS messages were sent from Germany and have previously hit other European countries last week such as Finland. The sent messages contain something like the following: "A person whom you know and who has a crush on you has asked us to contact you." Full story...

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