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Monday 23.07.2018 | Name days: Magda, Magone, Mērija

Chemical weapons watchdog expands mandate to point to perpetrator

The leading intergovernmental chemical weapons watchdog, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, has voted to grant itself new powers to assign blame for attacks, despite Russia opposing the move.

PHOTO: court decides to keep Vairāk saules IT specialist under arrest

On 27 June, Riga Regional Court decided to leave the existing security measure – arrest – in force for Vairāk saules restaurant network IT specialist Edgars Štrombergs.

Government Supports amendments to Social Integration Fund Law

To ensure compliance of the Social Integration Fund’s activities with goals detailed in policy planning documents and optimal monitoring, as well as provide budget funding transparency, the NGO and Cabinet of Ministers cooperation memorandum council supported further progression of Culture Ministry’s developed amendments to the law, as confirmed by the ministry’s public relations department head Lita Kokale.

June 27 in pictures

BNN offers you to take a look at topical, interesting and simply beautiful pictures of this week.

Construction costs in Latvia grew 4.1% in May 2018

Compared to April, the level of construction costs in Latvia grew by 0.5 % in May 2018. Labour remuneration of workers increased by 1.7 %, maintenance and operational costs of machinery and equipment – by 0.3 %, but prices of building materials – by 0.2 %.

72 stationary speed cameras to be installed on Latvia’s roads

Several new speed cameras will soon be installed on Latvia’s roads in Piņķi, Vitrupe, Vecstropi, Grenctāle, Lapmežciems, Klidziņš, and Šķibe.

Poland to U-turn on prison sentence for linking Holocaust camps with Poles

Poland government has called on the country's parliament to remove a prison penalty for linking the Polish nation to crimes committed against Jews in 1940s, when the Eastern European country was occupied by Nazi Germany.

Survey: real estate purchase is the most optimal form of investment

Latvia’s residents view real estate purchase as one of the best forms of investment. 46% of Latvia’s residents would invest in real estate. Other popular forms of investment include gold, which is considered reliable by 26% of residents, and life insurance – 18%, according to results of Swedbank’s survey.

Estonian economy to grow by 3.5% in 2018, central bank estimates

Estonia's economic growth would be at 3.5% in 2018-2019, but it would slow to 2.5% in 2020, according to forecasts by the Estonian central bank, Eesti Pank.

Lampa festival’s political arena: talks with politicians without masks

In preparation for the upcoming Saeima elections, Lampa festival will provide a special Political arena for the first time. Eight of Latvia’s political parties and party unions will be represented there with their own tents. Voters will be able to meet with politicians face to face and discuss matters important to them, festival organizers say.

Sputnik loses press ethics dispute in Estonia about army reporting

Deciding a media ethics dispute between Sputnik, the Russian state-controlled information agency, and the Estonian public broadcaster ERR, the Estonian Press Council established that ERR did not breach a media ethic code, when reported about Sputnik trying to spread fake news about the Estonian Defence Forces.

State Labour Inspectorate launches inspection of SIA Koblenz for possible fictive employees

Latvia’s State Labour Inspectorate has commenced an administrative procedure in relation to SIA Koblenz security firm’s possible fictive employment of security staff from other firms, as confirmed by SLI representative Megija Ekkerte.

French butchers seek protection from vegan hooligans

Butchers in France have asked the government for protection against militant vegans, accusing them of trying to affect the country's traditional meat-eating culture.

Spain trying alleged baby theft network – dark page from Franco dictatorship

In Spain, the first trial into the alleged system of thousands of babies being taken from their parents over decades under the Franco dictatorship has begun with a retired gynaecologist aged 85 standing before court.

Latvia’s State Children's Rights Inspectorate increases employees’ wages

Wages of employees and officials of State Inspectorate for Protection of Children's Rights have been increased one average by EUR 96, as confirmed by the chief of this institution Marianna Dreja.

Latvian government supports expanding Competition Council’s authority

On Tuesday, 26 June, Latvia’s government supported amendments to the Competition Law. Changes propose expanding the authority of the Competition Council when dealing with dishonest municipal businesses.

June 26 in pictures

BNN offers you to take a look at topical, interesting and simply beautiful pictures of this week.

Opinion: the reasons behind accusations against KPV LV are confusing

«On a basic level we have a feeling there is nothing there, because the reasons behind accusations are confusing,» said KPV LV board member Linda Liepiņa in a telephone conversation with BNN after her interrogation at Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau.

Macedonian President refuses to sign agreement on renaming country

The President of Macedonia, Gjorge Ivanov, has unexpectedly refused to sign an agreement on changing the name of the Former Yugoslav republic arguing it was in breach of the constitution.

Customs officers discover two million contraband cigarettes in furniture shipment

During a routine cargo inspection at Ventspils port, officers of Latvia’s State Revenue Service’s Customs Office intercepted a contraband shipment of 2,000,000 cigarettes. The ‘goods’ were stashed in a cargo carrying furniture, as confirmed by SRS.

Estonia joins eight EU members in building joint military intervention force

Estonia is the only Baltic state to have agreed to set up a European military force for rapid deployment in times of trouble, with the initiative being driven by French president, Emmanuel Macron.

Average electricity price decline in Latvia this week – 13%

The average weekly electricity price in Latvia has declined by nearly 14% – to 42.27 EUR/MWh – in Estonia and 45.72 EUR/MWh in Lithuania. The price decline in Latvia was 13% – to 45.72 EUR/MWh, according to information from Latvenergo.

Tourist favourite Ruhnu island in Estonia affected by broken-down ferry

Estonia's scenic Ruhnu island, which is located closer to Latvian mainland than to other Estonian territories, is affected by disrupted ferry traffic from the city of Pärnu and the romantic island in the heat of the tourist season.

Third African swine fever outbreak recorded for domestic pigs in Latvia

African swine fever outbreak has been recorded in a farm in Valgundes Parish of Jelgava County. 11 domestic pigs have been put down because of the disease. The pigs in the affected farm were not registered with the Agricultural Data Centre and the farm did not perform any bio-security measures – pigs were kept in outdoor enclosures, as reported by Food and Veterinary Service.

Island Bridge reconstruction enters second phase; traffic restrictions planned

From Tuesday, 26 June, traffic restrictions will be gradually introduced in order to commence the second stage of Island Bridge reconstruction. Drivers should keep in mind traffic restrictions when planning their route, as reported by Riga City Council’s Transport Department.