Tag Archives: Latvia

A Latvian Supermarket Collapsed, Therefore Latvia’s Government Must Collapse Too

Latvian PM

According to Latvian logic, when a supermarket collapses, the government must follow suit!

Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis announced his resignation after accepting political responsibility for the collapse of a supermarket roof in Riga that killed 54 people. Dombrovskis’ resignation means that his centre-right government will automatically fall and the president must appoint a new government to tide over the country until the October 2014 elections.

“Considering the tragedy and all related circumstances… a new government is needed that has the clear support of parliament,” Mr Dombrovskis told reporters.

Resigning as the head of a country over a supermarket incident? Seems a little extreme, but the collapse of the Maxima supermarket was the worst disaster since Latvia declared its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 and considering their population is only 2 million, I guess 54 people is a lot. Still, there must be something more to it…

Maybe a closer look at Dombrovskis’s four-year tenure as Prime Minister can shed some light on why he feels politically responsible for the supermarket disaster, which was caused by design flaws and poor construction.

After taking office in 2009, Dombrovskis made some harsh budget cuts and relied on a series of painful austerity measures to pull the Latvian economy out of crisis. While widely credited with preventing the small Baltic country from going bankrupt, Dombrovskis made a few decisions regarding government oversight of construction projects that he would come to regret. In 2009 Dombrovskis voted in favour of phasing out the nation’s Building Inspectorate and passing it off to the municipalities as part of the widespread austerity measures.

And apparently that move was enough for his government to take full responsibility for the tragedy. Still, even though he didn’t prevent the collapse of a supermarket, at least he prevented the collapse of the Latvian economy. That’s got to count for something, right?

Via: The Wall Street Journal

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The Steubenville Rape Case Isn’t Over Yet… And Other News

Steubenville Trent Mays, Ma'lik Richmond

If you thought the Steubenville rape case was over when two teenage boys were convicted of the crime, you were mistaken.

Now four new charges have been filed in the Steubenville case against four school employees, including the school superintendent. The superintendent, Michael McVey, was charged Monday with tampering with evidence, obstruction of justice, and falsification in the alleged 2012 rape of a 16-year-old girl. Also in the hot seat are assistant volunteer football coach Michael Belardine who has been indicted on charges of allowing underage drinking, obstruction, falsification, and contributing to unruliness, Steubenville elementary school principal Lynnett Gorman who has been indicted on a charge of failure to report child abuse, and wrestling coach slash teacher Seth Fluharty, who has also been indicted for failure to report child abuse. Moral of the story: don’t try to help rapists – even if they are Steubenville high school football players. CNN

Riga supermarket foor collapsePlot twist: Latvian president Andris Berzins is calling Thursday night’s supermarket collapse MURDER. The shopping mall roof collapse in Riga, Latvia, left 54 people dead and seven missing. The collapse, which took place when the mall was packed with after-work shoppers, is thought to have been caused by the garden being constructed on the roof of the mail. Apparently, the weight of the soil was too much for the roof. Following the collapase Andris Berzins called on foreign experts to investigate the situation. “We cannot call it a natural accident, because nature wasn’t involved. The evening was calm and silent with a little fog. This is our own made disaster,” Berzins said. BBC News

Saudi JulietA modern day Romeo & Juliet: Middle Eastern style. A Saudi woman illegally crossed the border to Yemen to be with her Yemeni lover. The two lovers, who have been living in an immigration detention centre since their arrival, decided to elope and flee to Yemen after the girl’s family rejected the idea of marriage. The woman, known as Huda, has now been given UN protection on the grounds that she could face mistreatment, even death, at the hands of her family if returned home and is now likely to get refugee status. In Yemen, the case is being celebrated as a modern-day Romeo and Juliet story, but over in Saudi Arabia, the government is calling for her to be deported. BBC News

Morocco RapeSpeaking of tragic love stories (minus the love), Moroccan activists are trying to repeal a law that exonerates rapists who marry their victims after another Moroccan teen committed suicide after her family forced her to marry her rapist. According to Article 475, a rapist can avoid a prison sentence by marrying his victim. After the latest victim ,a 16-year-old, was raped by another minor, her family, not wanting their daughter to be thought of as damaged goods, negotiated with the rapists family and proposed the two get married. Apparently this didn’t sit well with the young victim and she decided that taking her own life was a better option. Solid choice. Al Jazeera

Adam LanzaAfter a nearly year long investigation into last year’s shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, no clear reason has been found as to why 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed 20 first graders, six adults, his own mother and then himself. The exhaustive 48-page report released by Connecticut police, reveals that investgiators are still stumped over Lanza’s motive. All they could come up with was a history of mental-health issues, a “strong interest in firearms” and a “preoccupation with mass shootings.” Lanza apparently enjoyed violent video games, including one called “School Shooting” – but he also liked “Dance Dance Revolution” so that kind of cancels the shooting game out… The report wasn’t a total loss though. Investigators did determine that Lanza acted alone – so at least we know there aren’t any more crazy child shooters out there roaming the countryside of Newtown, Connecticut. For now. New York Times

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