AUSTRIA (BBC) ““ Heavier than usual snowfall and high winds have caused chaos on roads and railways in many areas of Austria. Part of a major railway route has been shut down in the west of the country, while some villages and tourist resorts have been cut off. Up to four feet of fresh snow has been recorded in some areas since Thursday. The authorities say the probability of avalanches is extremely high and widespread. Nearly 2,000 homes have been without power and more heavy snow is predicted over the next few days.
ENGLAND (BBC) ““ Detectives investigating the murder of a young woman found on the Queen’s Sandringham Estate have named the victim as 17-year-old Alisa Dmitrijeva. Her body was found by a dog walker in woodland at Anmer, near King’s Lynn, on New Year’s Day. Latvian-born Ms. Dmitrijeva was identified by comparing detail from her palm with records held. Dmitrijeva, from Wisbech in Cambridgeshire, was last seen in Friars Street, King’s Lynn, on August 31st. Forensics experts had struggled to identify the body. A £5, 000 reward was offered for information about Dmitrijeva’s whereabouts in December, just over three months after she went missing.
NORWAY (BBC) ““ A call threatening a massacre in Norway was made months before Anders Behring Breivik’s attacks, but police were not told, Norwegian public radio reports. A government switchboard operator noted the conversation in which an unnamed caller spoke of shooting youth members of the ruling Labour Party. The caller, whose voice resembled that of Breivik, also talked of a manifesto. Police were not informed because the threat was not considered to be serious at the time, an official said. Breivik has admitted twin attacks on July 22nd in which he killed 77 people and injured 151, traumatizing the small northern European nation. He set off a bomb in Oslo, the capital, before traveling to the lake island of Utoeya, where he shot young Labour Party activists attending a summer camp. On the same day, he published on the Internet a lengthy manifesto in which he outlined his hostility towards Muslim immigration and multiculturalism.
NORWAY (BBC) ““ Police in Norway cut in half a traffic fine for a Swedish trucker on the grounds that Swedes earn less than Norwegians, Oslo newspaper VG reports. Ulf Ander Andersson, 61, was driving a truck for his Norwegian employer in March when stopped by police, who found his brakes were not in order. He was fined $1,323, but last month got a letter saying the sum had been reduced due to his nationality. Mr. Andersson told VG he was grateful, though he found it “very strange.” In their letter to Mr. Andersson, Norwegian police said they had taken the fact he was Swedish into consideration and therefore reduced the 8,000-kroner fine “with regard to your income level.” “I thank them for the rebate, but I find it very strange,” the driver said. “I actually make more than my Norwegian colleagues since the Swedish krona is weak and I live in Sweden. They should be able to figure that out.”
RUSSIA (BBC) ““ The head of the Russian Orthodox Church has said the Kremlin should heed the recent mass protests over ballot-rigging and adjust its policies. In a televised message, Patriarch Kirill said it would be a “very bad sign” if the authorities ignored the protesters. He added that he could not take sides in the dispute. However, the Church, which counts about 70% of Russians as members, has close links to the Kremlin. It is unclear whether this is the patriarch’s first comment on the election protests which gripped Moscow last month ““ Russian commentators said it was unexpected.