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Sunday 22.10.2017 | Name days: Irīda, Īrisa
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Week in Lithuania. Lithuanian satellite launched to space

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

LituanicaSAT-2 without outer cover

Lituanica SAT-2, a satellite developed by scientists of the Vilnius University (VU) and NanoAvionics company, was launched to space on a rocket from India on Friday, June 23.

The satellite was successfully launched shortly after 7 a.m. (Lithuanian time), NanoAvionics said on social media. The launch is part of the QB50 project aimed at launching a group of small satellites to space to study the lower layers of the thermosphere. Led by the von Karman Institute in Belgium, the project involved scientists from 23 countries and about 50 universities for more than six years, VU said. QB50 should launch 37 satellites. The Lithuanian satellite stands out for being fuelled by chemical fuel, which is tested for the first time on the tiny satellite.

Married men to become deacons for 1st time in Lithuania

Lithuania’s Catholic Church will for the first time ordain married men as deacons. All in all, five men will be ordained as deacons. They are required to have jobs and income for their families to be able to engage in the deacon activities with their family and work commitments.

President calls for more sanctions for Russia

The West should expand sanctions for Russia amid the situation in eastern Ukraine, Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaitė stated on Thursday, June 22. In her words, the situation in Ukraine is worsening.

Lawyer appointed to head election watchdog

The Lithuanian parliament has appointed Laura Matjošaitytė, deputy to incumbent chairman of the Central Electoral Commission, to head the election watchdog. The commission was approved two members short of its full line-up.

Lithuania hands note to Belarus

Lithuania’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday, June 22, handed a diplomatic note to Belarus over violation of its airspace, calling to explanation over the incident and urging to prevent such incidents in the future.

Traffic offenders will have to pay fines to obtain driving licenses

The Lithuanian parliament on Thursday, June 22, passed amendments to tighten sanctions for traffic offenders who fail to pay fines. Under the amendments to the Law on Road Traffic Safety, people will have to pay all of their outstanding traffic fines in order to be issued with a new driving license or have the existing one replaced. Almost 343,000 traffic violations were registered in the country last year and fines for these violations totalled around 15.2 million euros.

Reform of forestry firms postponed

After about 100 employees of forestry companies and representatives of trade unions gathered outside the Lithuanian parliament on Wednesday, June 21, in protest of the planned reform, Parliamentary Speaker Viktoras Pranckietis announced that the approval of the reform would be postponed until fall.

Vilnius cheaper for foreigners than Riga, Tallinn

Vilnius is the cheapest capital among the Baltic states for foreigners, shows the annual survey conducted by the Mercer consulting company.

Transparency International urges President to veto lobbyism law

Transparency International Lithuania on Tuesday, June 20, urged President Dalia Grybauskaitė to veto the law on lobbyist activities adopted by the country’s parliament earlier in the day.

Conservatives to openly pick mayoral candidates

The opposition Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats (conservatives), TS-LKD, decided at its council meeting that the party would pick mayoral candidates in open elections in the country’s three largest cities of Vilnius, Kaunas and Klaipeda prior to the 2019 elections to local governments.

Defence minister notes increased military activity

Military activity in the Baltic Sea region has recently heightened, however, the situation is under control, says Lithuania’s Defence Minister Raimundas Karoblis.

EU must invest more in its defence

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė says that the European Union must invest more in its defence and do so more efficiently.

Belarusian, Russian arms inspectors in Lithuania

A group of arms inspectors from Belarus and Russia completed an inspection of a selected district in Lithuania, the Lithuanian Defence Ministry said. The inspectors looked into whether Lithuania develops its capabilities in a transparent manner and conducts no undeclared military activities. The inspection was performed within the framework of the Vienna Document of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

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Professor: by taking money away from science, the state shoots itself in the foot

The matter regarding insufficient funding for science has recently become more topical in the public space. President of Latvian Academy of Sciences Ojārs Spārītis is rather critical of the situation: Latvia has lied to the European Union and European Commission about making sure that funding for science reaches 1.5% of GDP by 2020.

To prevent fraud, audit of MPC recipients to be performed in Latvia

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Rail Baltic procurements to be processed using Electronic Procurements System

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Estonian construction price index pushed up by wages

The construction price index in Estonia has in July-September of 2017 increased by 0.9% in comparison to second quarter this year and by 1.7% from July-September of 2016, Estonian statisticians have estimated.

Surplus of Latvia’s government budget reached 9.5 million euros in 2016

In 2016 general government budget surplus accounted for EUR 9.5 million or 0.04 % of the Gross Domestic Product, whereas general government consolidated gross debt amounted to EUR 10 091.6 million or 40.6 % of the GDP.

Latvia to invest EUR 5.9 million into formation of unified port network

Ports of Riga planning region and Kurzeme planning region have commenced an important tourism project. The goal of this project is creating a unified yacht port network in Latvia and Estonia with quality services that would allow developing sailing tourism and attract foreign sailing enthusiasts in the future, reports the regions’ representative Inese Ozoliņa.

Graft-suspected Tartu deputy mayors resign

In Estonia's second largest city, Tartu, Deputy Mayors Artjom Suvorov and Valvo Semilarski have stepped down from office, Estonian press reported, after the politicians were arrested under suspicion of graft.

Expert: workers of Latvia’s NGO sector have high ‘burnout’ risk

Workers of Latvia’s NGO sector have a high burnout risk, said once the director of Providus Dace Akule in an interview to Latvijas Radio.

Producer: many young people come to work in the film industry

Latvia’s film industry has been steadily growing these past several years, and it is especially gratifying that many young people are coming to work in the industry, says director and producer, representative of Film Angels Productions Jānis Kalējs.

Pollution blamed for every sixth premature death globally

Nine million premature deaths globally in 2015 are said to be related to pollution, a study has found pointing to presence of harmful matter in air, water and workplace as the three main risk factors.

Infectologist: influenza kills biologically the weakest, including children and pregnant women

Influenza is an infection that affects both children and adults. However, it kills those who are biologically weak, says Immunization State Council chairperson and infectologist of Children’s Vaccination Centre Dace Zavadska.

Investor activity made easier between Latvia and Vietnam

An intergovernmental agreement has been signed between the Republic of Latvia and Socialist Republic of Vietnam on prevention of double taxation and tax avoidance in relation to income tax.

Colder masses of air to enter Latvia in coming days; precipitation to be limited

Although high atmospheric pressure will be present above Latvia in the coming days, southern regions in Latvia will experience short-term precipitation on Saturday, 12 October, caused by the cyclone active above Poland. Colder masses of air will enter Latvia in the coming days.

Maltese journalist said to be killed by remotely-controlled explosive

Officials in Malta have unveiled it is assumed that investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was murdered by an explosive places under her car, which was detonated remotely.

Prime Minister: Latvia cannot accept additional asylum seekers

Latvia cannot afford to resettle additional asylum seekers, said Prime Minister Māris Kučinskis during his meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Thursday, 19 October.

Scandinavians purchase tourism company in Lithuania; changes expected in Latvia too

Dutch Otravo online travel organization has expanded and has purchased Lithuanian online travel agency Interno Partneris, thereby entering the Baltic market.

Ombudsman: non-citizen status matter should be resolved in next decade

The next ten years may be the transition period to ‘put an end’ to the non-citizen status in Latvia, said ombudsman Juris Jansons in an interview to LTV programme Rīta panorama.

Swedish Foreign Minister: harassment exists at highest political level

The Foreign Affairs Minister of Sweden, Margot Wallström, has commended the current sexual assault and harassment awareness campaign in social media and urged to fellow politicians to address the problem.

Latvenergo recognized as Latvia’s most valuable company for tenth time

Latvenergo has been recognized as Latvia’s most valuable company in 2017. Its value grew 34% in comparison with 2016, according to the TOP 101 list of Latvia’s most valuable companies compiled by Prudentia and Nasdaq Riga.

Number of births and number of deaths decline in Latvia

During the first nine months of this year 15,723 babies were born in Latvia, which is 1,113 children fewer than in the corresponding period of the last year.

CC applies binding conditions for the sale of MTG Broadcasting AB

Latvian Competition Council has decided to permit Bite Lietuva to purchase MTG Broadcasting AB group’s businesses in Latvia. CC has applied several binding conditions to prevent a possible impact on competition on the television services and advertisement market.

Eesti Energia warns: Limiting CO2 emissions on capacity could endanger energy supply

Estonian energy giant Eesti Energia has evaluated that a plan under discussion in the European Union to introduce a carbon dioxide release limit for capacity mechanisms to qualify for subsidies could adversely affect the security of supply in Estonia and the Baltic states.

Solidarity tax norm recognized as non-compliant with Latvia’s Constitution

On Thursday, 19 October, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Latvia declared the Solidarity tax norm as non-compliant with the country’s Constitution.

Survey: Riga residents go to the doctor’s the most often

34% of residents undergo regular health checks, according to Mana Aptieka & Apotheka health index. In addition, women are twice as serious about health checks as men.

LG cozies up with idea of rebuilding railway tracks to Reņģe, Latvia

Lithuania‘s Lietuvos Geležinkeliai has sent a mixed message as to what it intends to do next following an EC fine of nearly 28 million against it over the dismantling a 19-km railway stretch with the Latvian village of Rengė.