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Ceturtdiena 02.04.2020 | Name days: Imgarde, Irmgarde

State Audit: reform for re-socialization of convicts has not achieved its goal

The approach adopted in Latvia ten years ago for re-socialization of ex-convicts has not accomplished its goals and most of the ex-convicts tend to return to prison again, as concluded in a report from the State Audit.

Zelenskiy opens Ukrainian privatisation era

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has signed a law on the removal of the ban on the privatisation of state companies. Over 1000 state companies had been barred from privatisation for 20 years.

World Stroke Day: Stradins Hospital offers free health check-ups

Tuesday, 29 October is celebrated as the World Stroke Day. Pauls Stradins Clinical University Hospital new A-ward offers all those interested the option to undergo free health check-up between 10:00 and 13:00 today. The offer covers blood sugar level measurement, body mass index and blood pressure measurement, as reported by the hospital’s representative Janita Veinberga.

Lithuania: Russia still endangers Baltic region

Lithuanian Minister of National Defence, Raimundas Karoblis, has stated that Russia is still a threat to the security of the region and pointed to the importance of NATO deterrence policy in the Baltics.

Bank analysts: Latvia’s GDP may have increased 2.2 – 3.2% in Q3

When compared to Q3 2018 Latvia’s gross domestic product (GDP) may have increased 2.2 – 3.2% in the same period of 2019, bank analysts predict.

Georgia hit by large cyberattack

Georgian internet territory has been hit this week by a large cyberattack that has for some time paralysed the operation of the web sites of many government bodies, as well as media platforms and popular web sites of private companies.

Riga City Council’s budget for 2020: no money for new development initiatives

There will be no money for new development initiatives in Riga City Council’s budget for 2020, admits head of the city council’s Finance Department’s Municipal Budget Office Uldis Rakstiņš.

British Parliament rejects snap elections, but Johnson to try again

The British Parliament has rejected a proposal by the country’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson to call an early election, yet the government is to seek another vote on the issue this week.

Latvijas Radio urges media council to finance equipment purchase and repairs

Latvijas Radio urges Latvia’s National Electronic Mass Media Council to allocate EUR 271 800 to finance replacement of outdated radio equipment and repairs, as reported by Latvijas Radio Communication and Multimedia Office head Ieva Aile.

Minsk, reacting to U.S. tanks in Lithuania, to concentrate units near border

Belarus has voiced plans to send various military units close to its border with Lithuania, reacting to the U.S. army bringing 30 tanks and other equipment to the Baltic country as part of NATO’s efforts to deter Moscow’s military activities in the region.

Ratas against Estonian EKRE’s criticism of funding to LGBT+ organisations

Estonian government hotheads, the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE), have publicly criticised the increase in public funding to LGBT+ organisations, prompting a strongly worded statement from the Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre Party).

Unexpectedly, Riga City Council refuses to provide funding to Rīgas satiksme

On Monday, 28 October, Riga City Council’s Finance and Administration Affairs Committee supported amendments to the 2019 budget. At the same time, for the first time in years members of the committee approved no plans for additional funding allocation to public transport company SIA Rīgas satiksme.

Gas: Denmark allows its Baltic Pipe, decision pending on Russian Nord Stream 2

Denmark has allowed the construction of the Norway-Denmark-Poland gas pipeline via its territorial waters, while it remains the only country that has not decided to allow the works of the Nord Stream 2, the Russian gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea.

Opinion: Lembergs' pocket party prevents Latvia from breaking free of corruption

«As a deputy of Ventspils City Council it is clear to me – the Union of Greens and Farmers is the political power that fully submits to Aivars Lembergs, who is accused of committing serious crimes, and pushes Latvia the hardest towards oblivion. It is because of operations of parties like ZZS that our country is unable to escape from the mire of corruption,» Ventspils opposition deputy Aivis Landmanis explained his personal opinion in a conversation with BNN.

Software fraud reported in multiple Latvian state institutions

Fraud with suspicious software procurements may have taken place at Latvia’s Interior Affairs Ministry, as reported by TV3 programme Nekā personīga.

EU «flextends» Brexit to January 31, 2020

The European Union has approved the extension of the withdrawal deadline of the United Kingdom to January 31, 2020 or earlier, if the British parliament ratifies a withdrawal agreement earlier.

Minister: Latvia has prepared for Brexit as best as possible

«We have prepared for Brexit as best as possible in this situation,» said Latvia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs in an interview to public broadcaster LTV programme Rīta Panorāma on Monday, 28 October.

Russia arrests conscript after tragic shooting spree in army base

A Russian court has charged a conscript soldier over a recent shooting attack at a Siberia army base that left eight military personnel dead, Russian state news agency TASS reports.

Are law amendments in the works because of slow pace of Lembergs case?

Latvia’s Saeima has commenced work on amendments to the law to prevent time from being wasted with court debates and the accused person’s last word. Supporters of the initiative deny that amendments are specifically tailored for the so-called Lembergs’ case, but amendments may be used for it nonetheless, as reported by public broadcaster LTV programme De Facto.

Storm in Estonia leaves town without power

Estonia was hit by mass power cuts on Sunday after strong gusts of wind battered the southern part of the country, leaving tens of thousands of customers, including the town of Võru without electricity for hours.

Party leader says Saeima’s dismissal would not improve funding for healthcare

Even if the healthcare workers trade union could accomplish Saeima’s dismissal, which they have promised to do if politicians do not increase funding for healthcare, it would not help increase funding, said the leader of the National Alliance «All for Latvia/For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK» Raivis Dzintars in an interview to Latvijas Radio.

U.S. announces suicide of «Islamic state» leader in Syria

In Syria, the head of the «Islamic state» terrorist group Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has committed suicide fleeing during a U.S. operation, Washington has announced.

Weather to briefly become winter-like in Latvia this week

This week the sky in Latvia will be mostly covered by clouds. This means some precipitation is expected. As colder masses of air flow into the country, air temperature may drop as far as -5° C. Some regions may experience snowfall, as reported by Latvia’s State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Russian delegation boycotts Baltic speaker addresses at Council of Europe

In the Council of Europe human rights organisation, the addresses of the speakers of Baltic parliaments, have been boycotted by the delegation of Russia, which has been recently readmitted to the organisation despite years of aggression against Ukraine.

Week in Lithuania: Nausėda visits Japan, Interior Minister urged to resign, speaker survives no-confidence vote

Last week, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda visited Japan, Interior Minister was urged to resign, while Seimas speaker survived a voted no-confidence vote.

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