News Laimdota Straujuma

The Baltic state of Latvia is poised to get its first female prime minister after the President and leading parliamentary parties agreed on a single candidate.

Ex-KGB man held

Latvian police have arrested a former KGB chief for his alleged role in carrying out purges after the Second World War. Alfons Noviks, who headed Latvia's pre-war interior ministry and later its KGB security police, was arrested on Wednesday, Reuter reports from Riga.

Baltic leaders warn Russia on troops presence

THE leaders of the three Baltic states yesterday condemned any suggestion that Russia could maintain a military presence in their countries.

Letter: Russian response raises concerns in Latvia

Sir: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia has officially apologised to the government of the Russian Federation for the unfortunate incident of 10 January (in which Latvian officials detained two Russian generals who tried to intervene in a dispute over property).

Moscow asserts authority over former empire

HAD President Clinton arrived in Moscow at the beginning of the week instead of last night, Air Force One would have flown straight into a military showdown as volatile as any crisis to convulse the former Soviet Union. For a few hours on Monday, it had seemed as if Russia and Latvia might stumble into armed conflict - at least this is the version of events presented on the eve of Mr Clinton's first official visit to Moscow.

Russia breaks off talks with Latvia

MOSCOW - Russia broke off talks on withdrawal of troops from Latvia after the arrest of two Russian generals in the republic, AFP reports. They were held after an argument with the mayor of a town near Riga over the future of a nearby Russian military base.

Basketball: Manchester fall to fast-breaking Latvians

Manchester Giants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .95

Basketball: Thames Valley get off to a flyer: Towers toppled by fast-moving Latvians

THAMES VALLEY TIGERS took leisurely first steps towards defending their World Invitation Club Basketball title at Crystal Palace last night, beating Basket Flyers Vienna 107-70 as the Austrians rarely forced them above the pace of a training session.

Sports Listings: This Weekend / Basketball: WICB Championships, Crystal Palace NSC

Four of the five leading clubs in the Budweiser League, including Thames Valley Tigers, the senior men title holders, are among the British entry at the world invitation club tournament, the Russell Athletic Championships, at Crystal Palace. Riga, from Latvia, and Solna, the Swedish club who finished third last season, lead the foreign opposition in the senior men's knockout competition. The semi-finals will be played tomorrow and Sunday, with the first play-off match for first-round losers tonight. The tournament also includes women's and junior men's championships. The finals are on Monday.

Russia: Baltic states see their worst nightmare come true

'TERRIFIED' was the word used by one observer to describe the mood in the Latvian capital, Riga, as the full extent of Vladimir Zhirinovsky's victory in the Russian election began to sink in. 'Terrified, anxious, concerned, upset - you bet we are]'

Latvia law will restrict Russians

THE LATVIAN parliament yesterday approved the first reading of a controversial law imposing strict restrictions on the hundreds of thousands of ethnic Russians pressing for citizenship of the Baltic state.

Crew rescued

Sixty crew members were rescued from a Latvian fish factory ship which was driven on to rocks below 100ft cliffs on the island of Bressay, Shetland.

Chess: Latvia leads world

TWO down, two to go. The PCA world championship in London and the Fide world championship in the Netherlands and Jakarta are over, but the women's world championship and the world team championships are still in progress in Monaco and Lucerne respectively.

Ice Hockey: Disaster for Devils: Cardiff eliminated from Europe

CARDIFF DEVILS were knocked out of the European Championship after an eventful weekend in Latvia where they finished in third place in Group D.

Latvians still haunted by fears of annexation: Two years after independence, Russian troops remain, writes Adrian Bridge in Riga

ONE evening earlier this year, as Valdis Pavlovskis was clearing his desk at the Latvian Defence Ministry and thinking of heading home, he was handed a message that set his hair on end.
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
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As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

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Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links