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Friday 22.02.2019 | Name days: Rigonda, Adrians, Ārija

Russian warplanes intercepted four times near Baltic borders last week

Allied fighters from the NATO Air Policing Mission in the Baltics have been scrambled four times over the last week as Russian military aircraft neared the borders of the Baltic states as they moved between Kaliningrad and mainland Russia.

Estonian ex-Eurocrat convicted of rape in Brussels

A court in Belgium has found an Estonian man, who is a former high-ranking official of the European Union, guilty of rape and sentenced to four years in jail.

BTA: number of insurance claims up by more than a quarter

The number of insurance claims in Latvia at the beginning of 2019 has increased 28.4% when compared to the same month of 2018, and by 55.3% when compared to January of 2017, as reported by BTA Baltic Insurance Company representative Elīna Rasmane.

Latvia’s budget has received at least EUR 1.5 million paid in bail money in past five years

In the last five years, Latvia’s state budget has received EUR 1,535,000 in the form of bail money paid in different criminal cases, according to information from the Court Administration.

16 U.S. states oppose Trump's border wall emergency in court

16 U.S. states have opposed at a federal court the national emergency declaration over border security announced by the U.S. government as its President Donald Trump seeks to fund a border wall from military budget.

Minister: we need to reject the two basket healthcare system’s funding model

Currently the main topics in healthcare include rejecting the two basket healthcare system’s funding model and instead stick to a single basket system in which ‘doctors don’t have to take responsibility for playing with people’s lives’, said Latvian Healthcare Minister Ilze Viņķele in a phone interview to LTV programme Rīta Panorāma.

Russian state medium angered by blocking of its page on Facebook

Social network Facebook has denied access to a popular page run by Russian state TV channel RT, explaining the move with the requirement for pages to provide information of their countries of origin.

Minister: after MPC abolishment, Latvia will have to cultivate green energy more

Once the mandatory procurement component has been abolished, we will have to think about increasing green energy production, says Latvian Economy Minister Ralfs Nemiro.

Tele2 turnover up 5%; EUR 20 million to be allocated for investments

Turnover of mobile communications operator Tele2 in 2018 grew by 5%. This year the company plans to increase investment volumes by allocating an additional amount of EUR 20 million, of which EUR 15 million will be diverted to mobile network infrastructure, says Tele2 representative Oskars Fīrmanis.

More instability during Brexit in UK parliament as Labour Party loses members

More instability in the British parliament during the troublesome Brexit process has been created by seven legislators leaving the Labour Party in protest at its approach to Brexit and anti-Semitism.

Transport Minister: there is never anyone responsible for critical situations with ports

«To change the situation with Latvia’s port system, the most serious obstacle is reforming public associations into state capital associations. The problem is that in critical situations with ports, whenever we need someone responsible for decisions, we see the following – many duties and rights, but no responsibility...

February 18 in pictures

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

Control Service: Latvia’s focus solely on banking sector’s «cleaning» is not enough

Economic crimes are not crimes in which there are no victims. It is exactly the opposite – the entire society is the victim. Latvia’s focus on ‘cleaning’ the banking sector is absolutely not enough to sort things out – economic crimes are not possible without corruption, says Anti-Money Laundering Service’s Chief Ilze Znotiņa.

Competition for Lithuanian president increased by EU Commissioner Andriukaitis

Lithuanian politician Vytenis Andriukaitis, who is the current EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, has stated he would be a candidate in the Lithuanian presidential election.

Latvian oligarchs set their sights on Russian freight transit in Lithuania

It seems former Latvian political heavyweights Ainārs Šlesers and Andris Šķēle have set their sights on Kaliningrad with intention to make some easy money in spite of warnings from Latvian, Lithuanian and other countries’ security services regarding this territory owned by the Russian Federation. The two eccentric businessmen have founded a company that employs Lithuanian and Latvian railway company heads held suspect of corruption, as reported by TV3 programme Nekā personīga.

Estonian newspapers go against paid advertising in municipal publications

Estonian press, united by the Estonian Newspaper Association, is convinced there is a need for law prohibiting local governments from selling ad space in their informative publications and thus compete against local and regional newspapers. The chairman of the Estonian Newspaper Association added that the organisation signed an agreement in 2018 with the Association of Estonian Cities and Rural Municipalities.

Ex-KNAB chief’s criminal case develops – lawyer and ex-KNAB worker detained

Latvian police suspect ex-Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau’s chief Normunds Vilnītis, ex-KNAB worker Andrejs Vasiļevičs and lawyer Ieva Ramiņa of taking bribes, TV3 programme Nekā personīga.

Facebook has proved dangerous to democracy, believe British legislators

Social media giant Facebook and other large tech firms should be subjected to a compulsory code of ethics to combat the spread of fake news, the mistreatment of users' data and using their dominance over smaller firms, have suggested members of the British Parliament.

U.S. asks EU to admit back 800 Islamic State militants from Syria

As the U.S. announced «pulling back after 100% Caliphate victory» in Syria, U.S. President Donald Trump has said countries of the European Union must admit back their 800 fighters of the Islamic State terrorist group captured in north-west Syria and bring them to justice.

Latvian municipalities given until September to submit school network development plans

Latvian municipal administrations have been given time until September to compile and submit to the Education and Science Ministry their vision for the development of the country’s school network, says minister Ilga Šuplinska.

Weather in Latvia to be volatile this week – air temperature to drop below 0° C again

At the beginning of the week a precipitation zone will pass through Latvia’s territory, bringing rain and wet snow in eastern parts of the country. Wind will draw in from the west and north-west, reaching 15 m/sec.

Week in Lithuania. Lithuania to hold referendum on reducing number of MPs

A referendum on reducing the number of lawmakers to 121 from the existing 141 will be held on May 12 alongside the presidential election in Lithuania, the country's parliament has decided after 58 lawmakers voted in favour on Thursday, February 14, 42 were against and two abstained.

Photos of the week, 15.02.19

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

Latvian President: All should acknowledge constitutional values as their own

At the anniversary of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia, President Raimonds Vējonis, urged everyone in Latvia «to acknowledge the values of the Constitution as one's own and be ready to stand for the basic law both in big issues and in aspects of daily life».

Court rules EUR 200 thousand bail for criminal suspect of Riga transport firm

A court in the Latvian capital has set at 200 000 euros the bail money for ex-board chairman of the Riga public transport company Rīgas satiksme, who is a suspect in the criminal case over possible corrupt procurement dealings at the municipal firm.