One more for the road
Two drunken Germans, apparently looking for a toilet during a conference at Frankfurt airport, got on a plane by mistake and flew to Moscow. The 20-year-old men were wandering round the airport when they found themselves on the tarmac, where they boarded a shuttle bus which drove to an aircraft bound for the Russian capital.
On arrival in Moscow, they noticed it was cold and realized they had no passports, let alone entry visas. Russian police put them on a flight back to Frankfurt, where they were met by Federal Border Police who have charged them with joyriding.
"They weren't even at the airport to fly anywhere. They were at a conference and had been walking around, evidently in a drunken stupor," said Frankfurt state prosecutor Job Tilmann.
Five Albanian first division players were taken to a hospital with severe dizziness and breathing difficulties, after lightning struck a metal crane close to their water-logged stadium. Flamurtari Vlore were leading Luftetari Gjirokaster 1:0 at the weekend, when several players in very wet areas of the pitch fell to their knees and held their heads in their hands.
Two Luftetari players were unable to speak and had severe breathing difficulties. Goalkeeper Erion Kristidhi lost his hearing.
Greens in the mood
A study on the sex habits of Germans found that supporters of the Green Party are in love with more than just the environment. The survey found the Greens were by far the most active in bed as well, a finding that put smiles on the faces of party leaders.
"We're always in the mood," Green party manager Reinhard Buetikofer said of a survey by the Emnid polling institute for the University of Landau that found their backers embraced each other as much as ecology: 71 percent had sex at least once weekly.
The liberal Free Democrats came in second, with 61 percent saying they had sex weekly. Only 56 percent of Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrats have sex at least once a week. Other parties have far less active backers. For example, about half of conservative Christian Democrats have sex at least once each week. The Cold War continues for supporters of the post-communist Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS). A mere 40 percent of PDS voters said they had sex weekly.
At a loss for words
Russia's new State Council set Josef Stalin's choice as anthem of the Soviet Union against capitalist Russia's current theme Wednesday, in the next round of the country's decade-long battle for a popular anthem.
"We listened to eight variations of the anthem and decided to propose two—the current, existing anthem and the anthem of the Soviet Union," said Vladimir Yakovlev, governor of Russia's second city, St Petersburg. "It should have new words naturally. There should definitely be new words written for the music," he added hastily about the Soviet anthem, which was written by Alexander Alexandrov.
This is not the first time Russia has been lost for words for its national song. After the denunciation of Stalin by his successor Nikita Khrushchev in the 1950s, the Soviet anthem was without lyrics until a new text was agreed upon in 1977.
Who's it gonna be?
With eight days to go before a presidential election, Moldovans have yet to learn the candidates' names. Officials said on Wednesday no one had registered to run in the 1 December election, in which Parliament, instead of the people, will for the first time choose the president. The deadline to register is Saturday.
Moldovan newspapers have reacted ironically. "Moldovans decided to show the world, shocked at the (stalemate in the) US presidential election, that they can compete with even the biggest, by failing to nominate a single candidate just three days before the deadline," weekly Moldavskie Vedomosti said.
The role of president has become increasingly ceremonial in Moldova, a trend intensified when Parliament earlier this year amended the constitution to scrap nationwide votes for the post.
Working against himself
Activists from Serbian resistance movement Otpor are to gather outside the Socialist Party of Serbia congress this Saturday under the slogan, "We won't let anyone take Sloba," activist Olja Obradović told Radio B92.
"I am calling on all citizens to gather spontaneously and support Slobodan Milošević as the leader of the Socialist Party, because that way Milošević will definitely be ruined," said Obradović. "There will be several speeches as well as a fitting cultural programme," she said, adding that buses would be decorated with photos of Milošević.
Dictator's guesthouse opens as hotel
Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu was executed before he got a chance to stay in his newest guesthouse, but more than ten years later its doors have now opened to visitors to Bucharest.
Some USD 150 million has been pumped into the project, partly to help modify the slab-like exterior typical of buildings Ceauşescu erected all over Romania in a mad, and ultimately ruinous, dash to turn it into a Communist workers' paradise. The amount is twice that of all investments in Romanian tourism last year.
It is located very near Ceauşescu's palace, for which a third of old Bucharest was leveled, and which by volume is the world's third largest man-made structure, after the Pentagon and the pyramid of Cheops.
Compiled by Robert L Salvato, 24 November 2000
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