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Tuesday 20.02.2018 | Name days: Smuidra, Vitauts, Smuidris

As Catalan parliament reconvenes, it elects pro-independence speaker

The Catalan regional parliament has in its first sitting since its ousting and snap December election elected a separatist-minded politician as its Chairman, which indicates that the attempts to break the region away from Spain would continue.

MEP: Europe continues strengthening its energy independence

«The European Parliament has voiced strong support towards Europe’s energy independence and moving its energy policy away from Russia’s monopoly by investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy resources,» said MEP Krišjānis Kariņš after the vote on Clean Energy Act’s first reading in Strasbourg.

Apple expected to pay additional 38 billion USD in taxes for money kept abroad

Motivated by the U.S. tax reform, Apple will pay about 38 billion U.S. dollars (31 billion euros) in tax on the roughly 250 billion dollars (204 billion euros) the computer technology firm keeps outside of its country of origin as it plans to focus more on its contribution to the American economy.

Russian sociologists fear closure, quit publishing election polls

Russian leading independent polling organisation Levada Center has stated it has quit releasing results of polls on the country’s spring presidential election citing concern that the authorities could close it down for what they see as meddling in politics.

McDonald’s to use unrecycled packaging for 7 more years

World’s largest catering chain McDonalds has set the aim of ensuring that by 2025 all its packaging would be from either from recycled or renewable materials, which would be an increase current proportion of a half.

Mass protests in Greece do not hold back new bailout reforms

The parliament of Greece has adopted a large set of reforms pushed for by international creditors in return for more bailout money, despite approximately 20 000 people protesting outside the parliament and brief clashes with riot police breaking out.

Estonia counts more residents for 3rd consecutive year

Registering an increase in the Estonian population for the third consecutive year, Estonian statisticians have estimated that the population has increased by 3,070 people to 1,318,700 residents. They have also warned that this is preliminary data, which could still change considerably as unregistered immigration has not been included.

Romania Prime Minister changed, second since June

Romanian head of government Mihai Tudose has lost the support of his own Social Democratic Party becoming the second Romanian Prime Minister to lose the seat in seven months.

Ilves suggests creation of world cyber-security alliance beyond NATO

Former Estonian President, cyber-security activist Toomas Hendrik Ilves has noted that world's democratic countries, starting from NATO, should form a common cyber security organisation.

French wish for baguette to be protected by UNESCO intangible heritage list

French President Emmanuel Macron has stated that the French long bread, baguette, should be added the UN's UNESCO intangible cultural heritage list which aims to save mostly cultural traditions from globalisation.

Alcohol ban for women upheld in Sri Lanka

An attempt by the government of the South Asian nation of Sri Lanka to lift a ban on buying alcohol has been rejected by the country's President Maithripala Sirisena reasoning that he has listened to criticism of the move.

FVS says it is too soon to conclude quality of EU products differs from country to country

It is too soon to claim that the quality of products sold in the European Union differs from country to country, said Director of Latvia’s Food and Veterinary Service (FVS) Ernests Zavadskis on the topic of dual quality of European goods.

Facebook to reduce visibility of public content on its news feed

The world’s leading social network Facebook plans to alter the principles of its news feed works with the aim of making time spent on the site «more valuable», by reducing the visibility of posts from businesses, brands and media.

After French Salmonella scare, supermarkets continued selling recalled baby milk

French government has suggested fining a number of the country’s large retail chains after it came to light that they had continued selling baby milk powder linked to a Salmonella scare.