News from Russia, Liechtenstein and Malaysia

Tuesday's World Events   —   Posted on September 20, 2011

RUSSIA – Tycoon punches fellow billionaire on TV

MOSCOW — Russian tycoon Alexander Lebedev punched a fellow billionaire on a television panel show after a discussion on the financial crisis degenerated into petty name-calling.

Mr. Lebedev, a former KGB operative and owner of two major newspapers in the United Kingdom, wrote on his blog that property developer Sergei Polonsky had earned the clobbering by behaving abusively throughout the recording of the program.

In a preview clip posted on the NTV channel’s website ahead of the show airing Sunday, Mr. Polonsky is seen saying that he sometimes felt like “bashing [Mr. Lebedev] in the face,” prompting the newspaper owner to jump to his feet.

After sitting back down, Mr. Lebedev then swiftly delivered a sucker punch, sending Mr. Polonsky tumbling to the ground.

Punch-ups and heated exchanges between guests are common on Russian political discussion shows.

LIECHTENSTEIN – Voters reject legalizing abortion

Balzers Castle, Lichtenstein

GENEVA — Voters in the tiny principality of Liechtenstein have rejected a proposal to legalize abortion after the country’s prince threatened to veto any change in the law.

Opponents won the referendum with a majority of just more than 500 votes.

The official count Sunday put no-votes at 52.3 percent, ahead of 47.7 percent who favored the plan to decriminalize abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy or if the child is severely disabled.

Hereditary [heir apparent] Prince Alois of Liechtenstein said in a speech last month that he would use his veto power to block decriminalization because he feared it could lead to late-term abortions of disabled children.

Backers of the change accused him of discouraging people from voting.

MALAYSIA:  Government warns against travel to southern Thailand

KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysia warned against nonessential travel to southern Thailand on Sunday, after four of Malaysians were killed in bomb attacks in the insurgency-plagued region.

Thai police have said militants may have deliberately targeted tourists in bombings near two hotels and a Chinese-Thai cultural center in a coordinated attack in Narathiwat province Friday night.

Malaysia’s foreign ministry issued a statement Sunday advising travelers to avoid southern Thailand until the security situation improves.

Those killed in the attacks included a 3-year-old boy, the ministry said. The bodies have been returned to Malaysia.

A seven-year rebellion in Thailand’s Muslim-majority south has left thousands dead.

About 4,800 people have been killed in near-daily attacks since early 2004, according to Deep South Watch, an independent research group that monitors the conflict in three southern provinces near the Malaysian border.

(The news briefs above are from wire reports and staff reports posted at: World Scene and Briefly: Europe on September 18th.)



Alexander Lebedev is a former KGB operative.  Per wikipedia: The KGB was the national security agency of the Soviet Union from 1954 until 1991, and its premier internal security, intelligence, and secret police organization during that time.


LIECHTENSTEIN: (from wikipedia)