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Friday 28.10.2016 | Name days: Ninona, Ņina, Antoņina, Oksana

In pictures: Lunar New Year celebrations in nine countries

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China, Korea and Vietnam celebrate New Year on February 8 this year. BNN offers you a selection of today’s pictures depicting Lunar New Year celebrations in nine countries.


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KNAB selection process concludes with no results

Members of the committee responsible for selecting the new head of the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau decided not to pick any of the available candidates, Martins Krievins, director of the state Chancellery and chairman of the selection committee, announced on Friday, 28 October.

Retail trade turnover up 0.5% in Latvia

Compared to September 2015, total retail trade turnover rose by 0.5% in September 2016. Turnover of retail trade in food products decreased by 1.8%, whereas the turnover of retail trade in non-food products increased by 1.6%.

16+1 business forum in Riga to gather around 300 businessmen from China

As part of the upcoming summit of leaders of state of countries participating in the 16+1 cooperation format between China and countries of Central and Eastern Europe in Riga there will also be a business forum. Participation in this forum has been confirmed by 150 high-rank state and business representatives from seventeen countries.

Moldova up for polarising presidential election

Voters in Moldova will on October 30 go to ballot boxes in order to express their support to the country’s foreign policy direction towards the European Union or to closer links with the Kremlin, by electing a president.

Latvia’s banking sector earned 374 million this year

In the first nine months of 2016, Latvia’s banking sector functioned with profits worth EUR 374 million. All sixteen Latvian banks and three out of seven foreign bank branches in Latvia worked with profits in this nine-month period.

Sakharov Prize awarded to Yazidi women activists

The European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize has been awarded to Yazidi activists Nadia Murad and Lamiya Aji Bashar, victims of sexual slavery under the rule of terrorist group «Islamic State».

Russian opposition: Putin has few supporters and just as many opponents

Russia’s weak spot is President Vladimir Putin’s built system, in which everything depends on a single person, said coordinator of Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s Open Russia foundation Vladimir Kara-Murza at a discussion organized by Konrad Adenauer.

Countries agree to establish world’s widest marine protected area in Antarctica

The European Union and 24 more countries have reached an agreement to declare Ross Sea in Antarctica a marine protected area – largest in the world.

Belgian regions agree on CETA changes to support EU-Canada free trade agreement

The political leaders of Belgian regions and communities have on October 27 agreed on a consensus to support the free trade agreement between the EU and Canada, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel stated.

Post-election flare-ups emerge in Lithuania, as winners build new government

Nearly a week after the second round of Lithuania‘s general election, the Lithuanian Peasant and Green Union, the holder of 54 mandates in the141-member Lithuanian Parliament, has not gotten a step closer to agreeing with other political parties on a new Cabinet.

Antane: we still need Russia in order to work with China

«There is nothing good I can say about the current state of Latvia’s transit industry – cargo volumes handled by the country’s ports continue to decline. The volume of coal cargoes transshipped by Ventspils port, for example, has dropped to 40%. The overall decline last year, when compared to 2014, reaches 20.5%. This decline has been continuing since 2012,» – Inga Antane, president of the Baltic Association –Transport and Logistics, said in an interview to

Construction costs in Latvia up 0.1%

Compared to August, the level of construction costs in Latvia increased by 0.1% in September 2016. Prices of building materials, as well as maintenance and operational costs of machinery and equipment did not change significantly, whereas labour remuneration of workers grew by 0.5%.

Think tank forum to assess the state and development of 16+1 format

Latvia’s Foreign Policy Institute will organize a forum for international think tanks for countries taking part in the 16+1 format in the Foreign Ministry in Riga on 4 November.

EP: 2017 budget should allocate more money to jobs and youth

The European Parliament has carried out a plenary vote to request more money to help young people find jobs, enhance economic growth and help third countries deal with the migration crisis. According to MEPs, the opinion of the EU Council in regards to budget cuts should be changed in the opposite direction.

EP approves million-euro assistance to Estonian laid-off industry workers

The European Parliament has backed the allocation of 1.1 million euros to assist people in north-eastern Estonia, who lost their jobs in mass lay-offs in shale oil production and chemical industry.

NATO confirms entry of two Russian warships into Baltic Sea waters

On Wednesday, 26 October, NATO confirmed the entry of two Russian warships into the waters of the Baltic Sea.

Italy hit by earthquakes again

A pair of powerful earthquakes have shaken central Italy on October 26, causing damage to buildings.

Changes to Handling of Alcoholic Beverages Law and other matters viewed by Saeima

On Thursday, 27 October, the Saeima will gather for a meeting to decide on the new legal draft On Public Procurements. New regulations for procurements provide a number of changes and additions to the current regulations.

Study: Wildlife populations have globally decreased by 58% since 1970s

The numbers of wildlife in the world have since 1970 decreased by 58%, it has been found in a study.

Fine applied to two Knauf Group plasterboard suppliers

On 30 September, Latvia’s Competition Council made the decision to punish Knauf and Knauf Group’s Norgips sp.z.o.o. from Poland for using a loyalty system that considerably restricted competition, thereby breaching the prohibition on abuse of market dominance.

Pharmacies in Sweden restrict sale of paracetamol

Restrictions should be put in place in the sale of paracetamol setting forth a ban to sell more than one pack of the drug to minors, decided Swedish pharmacies on October 26.

Ambassador: we are beneficial to the Chinese, but we can be even better

On 5 November, Latvia will not only be the host for the 16+1 format, but also the destination for the first official visit by the Chinese prime minister, said Latvia’s ambassador in China Maris Selga.

UK pledges to send drones and tanks to Estonia

British defence minister has this week outlined the country’s plans of its involvement in NATO’s push to increase the defence capabilities of Estonia.

Not all Roma happy about Lithuanian firm making tours to largest Roma village in Baltics

Lithuanian Roma representatives have been critical about a tour agency organising sightseeing tours to the village of Kirtimai promoted as «an extreme challenge» having a former drug addict as a guide.

Fifteen Syrian refuges arrive in Latvia from Greece

On Tuesday, 25 October, fifteen people, including nine children, arrived in Latvia from Greece as part of the European Union resettlement programme.