Thursday, February 02, 2006

A bit of a roundup

Some items from here:

--It hasn’t been all that cold here for the past few days. Only around 32ºF. That’s quite balmy compared to what it was. Maybe we’ll go for a swim.

--589 people died and 3,874 were hospitalized in January on account of the cold.

--557 apartment buildings in Alchervsk are without heat still. (Details here. “Houses” means apartment buildings.) Yuschenko said the mayor ought to resign for it. I’m sure Yanukovych will have a fix for it when his party’s in power. Whatever that fix its, it will make a new millionaire.

--Alchervsk children are on their way to the Crimea along with their teachers. Hope they enjoy it.

--Apparently, Ukraine agreed with the EU to refuse to import steel and other products from the Transdniestria region of Moldova. That was meant to bolster the EU’s efforts to affect a solution in the area. But these products are still being imported into Ukraine. (Can you say “smuggled”? Here that means putting it in a truck and driving it across the border through customs checkpoints. What’s the difference between that and importing? What you have to give up in exchange at the checkpoints.) Are they surprised in Brussels? This now undermines EU policy. Meanwhile, in Kiev, the government still agrees to refuse to import steel and other products from the Transdniestria region.

--Russia refuses to allow the importation of dairy products from Ukraine. The prohibition extends even to European originating dairy products too. The EU and Ukraine have protested. In response, Russia has presented a list of information about the products that needs to be turned over to comply with their phytosanitary regulations. One item purported to be required is information on company output and profits. Apparently, an unprofitable cow is an unsanitary cow.

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