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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