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Friday 09.12.2016 | Name days: Sarmīte, Tabita
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Week in Lithuania. National Cyber Security Centre launched

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Wary of cyber security risks, Lithuania has opened a new National Cyber Security Centre in the capital Vilnius. The Ministry of Defence will be in charge of it. The Centre will protect the country’s cyber security and containing attacks.

During the first quarter of this year there were over 12,000 cyber incidents in Lithuania up 13 per cent on last year. The Seimas, the President‘s Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as the Armed Forces Joint Staff HQ have all been hit by attacks. The Centre will also help other Lithuanian institutions when they are under attack and specialists at the Centre will make companies and institutions aware of attacks.

Lithuanian leaders extend condolences over Nice attack

Lithuania‘s president and prime minister have conveyed condolences over the Friday‘s attack in the French resort of Nice where a truck hit a crowd of people.President Dalia Grybauskaitė strongly condemned the unjustifiable violence, her press service said.Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius emphasized in his message that the act of terror was a meaningless and censurable way of achieving political goals, the government‘s press service said. «I express my deep condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims, all people of France who have been affected by the horrific attack committed on the National Holiday. I wish harmony in the difficult hour of loss, also health and fortitude to the injured,» said the head of the Lithuanian government.

Lithuania’s innovation index on EU‘s bottom but edging up

Lithuania ranks 5th from last on the list of innovation among countries of the European Union (EU), and its index is half of the EU average. Nevertheless, the European Commission (EC) said Lithuania was among the fastest-growing innovators. According to the EC’s consolidated innovation index, Lithuania ranks 5th and Latvia 4th from last, while Estonia’s indicator is close to that of the EU, putting it in the 12th place. The EC listed Sweden as the most innovative country of the organization. Lithuania‘s innovation index is just above 0.25, as compared with the EU average of over 0.5. Sweden’s index is about 0.7.

National swimming star slams FINA ruling

Rūta Meilutytė said that the International Swimming Federation‘s (FINA) decision to allow her greatest competitor Russian swimmer Yuliya Efimova to particiapte in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics FINA has broken the trust of the world‘s swimmers and fans. Efimova has been accused of doping by consuming meldonium. Between February 15th and March 5th this year five doping tests were taken from Efimova and four of them showed meldonium traces, but one was negative. In May, Efimova succeeded to convincing FINA to lift her temporary disqualification.

New chief to take command of Lithuanian Land Forces

Colonel Valdemaras Rupšys will take over command of the Lithuanian Land Force at a solemn ceremony on Friday, the Defense Ministry said. He will replace Major General Almantas Leika who had served in the post for the past four years.

Lithuania to inform Litvaks personally on citizenship applications

The Lithuanian Migration Department will informing Litvaks on re-applying for Lithuanian citizenship in writing or through embassies. Many Litvaks, Jews of Lithuanian descent, have been rejected the citizenship followingthe amendments to the country‘s Law on Citizenship, the Interior Ministry said on Thursday, July 14. According to information from the Migration Department, ten Litvaks were refused citizenship in 2014 and 76 in 2015. Ninety-seven received negative decisions in the first quarter of this year. The amendments allow restoring citizenship rights to persons who left Lithuania prior to Mar. 11, 1990, except those who changed their place of residence within the territory of the former Soviet Union after Jun. 15, 1940.

Mission Siberia 2016 to reach Russia‘s Arctic circle

Participants of the Mission Siberia 2016 project will this year visit graves of Lithuanian deportees in Igarka, a city in the Krasnoyarsk district above the Arctic circle. The expedition will include 16 participants. They will deliver postcards from Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaitė to the deportees still living in the region. Arnoldas Fokas, the leader of the expedition for the 8th time, says Igarka was chosen as the city that featured the biggest concentration of deportees from Lithuania. The Mission Siberia project turned ten years old in 2015.

Danish company to invest 50mn euro

Danish window and door manufacturer Dovista is to invest 50 million euro in a new manufacturing facility in Lithuania. The company will employ 300 people at the new facility in Marijampole free economic zone over the next three years with the possibility of that rising to 1,000 employees. It represents one of the largest foreign investments in Lithuania in the last 20 years and the total investment by the company could rise to over 100 million euro. Dovista belongs to the Danish VKR Holding, which employs more than 13,500 employees in 40 countries. This holding company is owned by Velux Group.

Minister: NATO-Russia meeting fruitless so far

Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius says that meetings between NATO and Russian diplomats have brought no real benefits so far. Such meetings are better than no communication at all, but when it comes to key issues, such as the conflict in Ukraine, the sides just state their opinions, he said after Wednesday’s meeting of the NATO-Russia Council in Brussels. According to Linkevičius, NATO and Russia continue to differ in their approach to the decisions of the Alliance’s recent summit in Warsaw.

Three Lithuanians arrested in southeastern Latvia

Three Lithuanian nationals were detained in the south-eastern Latvian city of Daugavpils as they were trying to rob a jewellery store on Wednesday, police representative Anastasija Laizane said. The attempted robbery took place at the jewellery store in the city centre shortly before 3 p.m. when two men in masks ran into the store, sprayed tear gas in the shop attendant’s eyes and, brandishing a revolver, shattered glass showcases to access jewelry. They also tried to take money from the cash desk. The store’s staff, however, showed resistance, causing the robbers to leave their bags and loot and flee in an unknown direction. Police who were called to the scene promptly mounted a search for the robbers. Three Lithuanian nationals, aged 38, 33 and 21, were later detained in connection with the attempted robbery. The two older of them have previous criminal records. The oldest man has spent 17 years of his life behind bars.

Government drafts ban on alcohol ads online

Lithuania‘s Health Ministry proposed a ban of alcohol advertisements on websites, mobile applications for smartphones and tablets. Health Minister Juras Požėla said the changes had been drafted in accordance to the proposals prepared by a task force he had set up, adding they were subject to changes after discussion with relevant institutions. The Lithuanian parliament is currently discussing a number of amendments on restriction and full ban of alcohol ads. The minister could not say whether the bills would be adopted before the general elections scheduled for October.

Grybauskaitė vetoes another bill

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė has vetoed a bill proposed by Social Democrat MP Algirdas Sysas and adopted by the Seimas (parliament) that suggest that certain requirements for third-country nationals would only apply for their first application for residence permits in Lithuania, and that the permit would later be extended almost automatically. Grybauskaitė said the amendment paves the way for bogus businesses, while the State Security Department warned it would give dangerous persons access to the Schengen visa-free zone, presidential adviser Lina Antanavičienė told journalists at the President‘s Office on Wednesday, July 13.

Most households to have internet access by 2020

The vast majority of Lithuanian households will have internet access by 2020 according to a leading Lithuanian government committee. Some 85 per cent of households in Lithuania will have access to the Internet by 2020, the Information Society Development Committee forecasts. The level of access stood at 68.3 per cent last year. The committee‘s director Ramūnas Čepaitis said that Internet access among Lithuanian households was promoted by education of the population and investments in the RAIN project – broadband Internet cable in districts of Lithuania – over the past 15 years. Lithuania is among top 10 countries of the European Union (EU) in terms of the use of Internet. Some 94 per cent of the country‘s Internet users read news.

Lithuania‘s inflation rate up in June

Lithuania‘s consumer price inflation rate accelerated in June according to new figures from Statistics Lithuania. Lithuania‘s consumer price inflation rate accelerated in June after easing in the previous two months. The consumer price index rose 0.7 per cent year-on-year in June, faster than the 0.5 per cent climb in May. Prices have been rising since January. Prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages grew 0.9 per cent annually in June and those for clothes and shoes went up by 1.8 per cent.

New Nato deployment to boost economy

NATO‘s deployment of a multinational battalion to Lithuania will be an opportunity for local businesses to earn money by providing a thousand of German, Belgian, French and other allied troops with food, fuel and other supplies, boosting the local economy. Feeding 1,000 soldiers costs at least 2 euro annually. The deployment of allied troops to Lithuania is expected to begin early next year, most probably in February.

Lithuanian PM to attended Asia-Europe summit

Lithuania‘s Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius attended the Asia-Europe summit in Mongolia this week.The ASEM summit in Mongolia discussed efforts to boost cooperation between European and Asian countries said Butkutė-Lazdauskienė. The PM presented perspectives on developing transport and communications between the Baltic region and Asia, accentuating the increase of women’s role in all fields of life.

Lithuanian attacked in England over her origin

Laura Gudauskienė, a female of Lithuanian origin residing in Great Britain, was last week attacked in a small town in Eastern England last week by a local resident because of her origin. The Lithuanian, who works as an interpreter at the local police, also said that local authorities were highly responsive to complaints filed by migrants, encouraging fellow Lithuanians to turn to the police without doubts. Despite the attack, Gudauskienė said she replied she would not go anywhere, as she had been living in the country for 13 years, was paying taxes and had a job. In response, the man continued his insults and started pushing the lady around. The female said she still has a bruise after the incident. She reported the incident to the police, and the circumstances were confirmed by a few eye-witnesses.

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