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Tuesday 19.03.2019 | Name days: Jāzeps
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BNN summary of the week: CPCB visit to Saeima; ministers survive no-confidence votes; DTV case ends with mild penalties

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUBNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories: Ruling; Future; Trust; Measures; Calendar.

RULING: Milder penalties for the accused in digital TV case; idea’s authors get no prison sentence

Riga Regional Court has released a shortened ruling in the so-called digital television criminal case. With it, the court acquitted previously convicted former director of Latvia’s National Theatre Ojārs Rubenis. Nevertheless, some of the accused have been sentenced to fines and actual prison time.

Judges of Riga Regional Court acquitted Rubenis, former state trustee of Latvia’s State Radio and Television Centre Didzis Jonovs, business consultant Valdis Purvinskis and LVRTC state trustee Adrians Boldans. First instance court has sentenced them to a fine of EUR 18,000 each.

Jurģis Liepnieks has been applied with a fine of EUR 67,080, whereas the former director of LNT Andrejs Ēķis has been applied with a fine of EUR 40,850.

Former director general of Digital Latvia’s Radio and Television Centre Guntars Spunde has been sentenced to nine months in prison and a fine of EUR 26,230. Lawyer Jānis Loze has been sentenced to one year and nine month in prison and a fine of EUR 33,540.

Former head of Kempmayer Media Latvia board member Andrejs Zabeckis has been sentenced to two years and nine months in prison. Jānis Zips – also a former board member of Kempmayer Media Latvia – has been sentenced to one year and nine months in prison, as well as a fine of EUR 22,790. Jānim Svārpstonam will have to spend the next year and two months in prison and pay a fine of EUR 22,790.

Regional court’s ruling will be subject to appeal in the Supreme Court once the full text of the ruling is made available.

Full article here

FUTURE: Swedbank economist becomes new member of Bank of Latvia Council

On Thursday, 21 June, Latvia’s Saeima approved Mārtiņš Kazāks in his new post as member of Bank of Latvia Council, as confirmed by Saeima’s press-service.

It was necessary to approve a new member of the council because the term ended for the previous member of the central bank’s council Edvards Kušners. As reported, the majority of Saeima’s members decided not to re-approve Kušners for a repeated term.

Full article here

TRUST: Latvian Economy Minister endures no-confidence vote

Saeima declined opposition deputies’ request for dismissal of Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens.

34 deputies voted in favour of Ašeradens’ dismissal, whereas 48 deputies voted against. Two parliamentarians abstained in the vote. Members of Harmony and Latvian Association of Regions voted in favour of the minister’s dismissal. The majority of coalition politicians supported Ašeradens’ remainder in his post.

Saeima had previously received a request from opposition deputies to dismiss Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens. It was signed by deputies Artuss Kaimiņš (KPV LV), Jānis Urbanovičs and deputāti Andris Morozovs, Sergejs Mirskis, Jānis Ādamsons, Jānis Tutins, Artūrs Rubiks, Sergejs Potapkins, Ivans Klementjevs and Ivars Zariņš.

Full article here

MEASURES: CPCB officers detain Kaimiņš after Saeima meeting

Officers of Latvia’s Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau detained Saeima deputy Artuss Kaimiņš after the end of the parliament’s meeting.

Officers read his rights after detainment. Kaimiņš provided an interview to mass media outlets. CPCB officers waited for him several steps away. Kaimiņš was unable to comment on the charges against him, however.

He did tell journalists that CPCB has also called in the party’s accountant for interrogation. He said he has no idea why the bureau did that, considering KPV LV has no ‘black box’.

When asked about his association with Viesturs Tamužs, the deputy said he has friendly relations with him and nothing more.

As Kaimiņš told journalists that a CPCB officer walked over to him and showed him his badge. The officer then escorted Kaimiņš from the building and put him in the bureau’s minibus.

Full article here

CALENDAR: Pope Francis’ visit to Latvia will be a national holiday

Latvia’s parliament has approved in the final reading a law that makes 24 September – the day Pope Francis plans to visit Latvia – a national holiday.

Before Saeima’s approval, this proposal was discussed by committees. It was later approved in the first, second and third readings.

68 members of the Saeima voted in favour of this proposal, 5 voted against and 2 abstained in the vote. 8 deputies did not participate in the vote.

Full article here


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  1. Simon says:

    Wow, you had a hot week.. Go Latvia, entertain us!

Latvian residents become more optimistic about government’s work

In one month’s time Latvian residents’ opinion of Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš’s government has improved, according to data from SKDS study.

Dutch authorities arrest Utrecht tram shooter

According to Dutch authorities, the man who opened fire in a tram in Utrecht, killing three and injuring five, has been arrested.

Parliament: Latvian universities should be among 500 best in the world

Latvia’s leading universities have a clear vision for the future. It is topical for continued development of the country’s education and science sector.

Latvian minister to request police investigation in public transport company

Latvia’s Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry has finished its analysis of the audit performed in municipal public transport company SIA Rīgas satiksme. Soon the ministry plans to ask law enforcement institutions to provide their opinion on whether or not there had been fictive employment or other violations committed by the company, as reported by TV3 news.

Latvian prime minister urges sorting the system, not raising taxes

A number of sectors require reforms to avoid raising taxes to increase revenue, said Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš during a meeting of Saeima’s Budget and Finance Committee on Monday, 18 March.

Stoltenberg calls NATO the most successful alliance in world history

NATO is the strongest, most successful alliance in history, wrote NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in an article dedicated to the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Heavy rainfall in Indonesia causes floods and landslides; death toll reaches 77

Approximately 77 people have been killed in mountain villages hit by floods and landslides caused by intense rainfall in Indonesia’s Papua Province, according to the latest information reported by Indonesian authorities.

Number of job vacancies in Latvia up 33.4% in 2018

In 2018, there were 22.7 thousand job vacancies in Latvia, which is 5.7 thousand vacancies or 33.4 % more than in 2017.

Swedbank: more than 1,400 Latvian families purchased property in regions last year

In 2018, Swedbank had issued more than 1,400 loans for property purchases within 50 km radius around Riga. This is an average of six loans issued every work day, as reported by Swedbank representative Jānis Krops.

Minister: Latvia may require radical image change because of finance sector’s problems

Considering the problems in the country’s finance sector, it will be necessary to work on radically changing the country’s image, says Latvian Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs.

Riga Mayor’s wife suspected of dubious employed in public water supply company

For eight years Riga Mayor Nils Ušakovs’ office manager Iveta Strautiņa-Ušakova worked as a consultant for municipal water supply company Rīgas Ūdens, as reported by LTV investigative journalism programme De Facto.

Latvian Centre Party to take part in European Parliament elections

A list of candidates compiled by Centre Party from Latvia has been submitted for European Parliament elections. The list is composed of fifteen candidates. This makes it the fifth list of candidates to be submitted for EP elections in Latvia so far, as reported by Central Election Commission.

Air temperature in Latvia to stay positive this week; more precipitation expected

Weather will be dominated by cyclone activity this week. Wind speed will also increase in the country’s western parts in the first half of the week. At the end of the week, air temperature to become chilly at night, as reported by Latvian State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Week in Lithuania. N-plant invites bids for repository construction contract

Lithuania's Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant, which was shut down a decade ago and is now being decommissioned, invited bids for the construction of a 100-million-euro near surface repository for low and intermediate level short-lived radioactive waste.

BNN summary of the week: when is Brexit? Estonia’s government worries; more problems with Rīgas satiksme

BNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories: Attempt; Decision; Investigation; Scandal; Legislation; Expectation.

Suspect in criminal case leaves post in Alkom-Trans

SIA Alkom-Trans chairman Aleksandrs Krjačeks, who is a suspect in a criminal case regarding SIA Rīgas satiksme’s procurements, has decided to step down, according to information from Lursoft.

Eurostat: Latvia had higher annual inflation than average in EU and Eurozone

In February 2019, Latvia’s inflation was higher than the average in European Union and Eurozone, according to data published by Eurostat on Friday, 15 March.

Harmony and New Harmony to compete for seats in European Parliament

Association of parties Alternative Party, which received only 0.34% support from voters in the recent Saeima elections, has decided to start in upcoming European Parliament elections with a new name – New Harmony, as reported by Latvijas Radio.

ABLV Bank’s liquidators recover assets worth EUR 37.938 million in February

In February 2019, liquidators of ABLV Bank had successfully recovered assets worth EUR 37.938 million, which is 21% less than a month prior, according to the annual account published in Latvian Herald.

Polish Catholic church reveals mass child sex abuse by clergy

The administration of the Polish Catholic Church has stated it has since 1990 registered child sex abuse affecting 625 underage victims by 382 clergymen. Poland's Catholic Church authorities revealed the data on Thursday, March 14.

Insurer: children receive 11% more injuries during school breaks

During school breaks the frequency at which children receive injuries is 11% higher when compared to the year’s average, according to data from BTA Baltic Insurance Company.

Survey: one-fifth of Latvian residents do not protect their data on mobile phones

Although modern smartphones have several security options that help protect user data, results of a survey by Samsung Electronics Baltics show that 19% of Latvian residents do not use any of those data protection options.

Estonia's Ratas rejects Verhofstadt's opinion on coalition with anti-migrant party

Belgian member of the European Parliament, Guy Verhofstadt, who heads the parliament's Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe group, has urged acting Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas not to build a government coalition with the anti-migrant Conservative People's Party of Estonia.

Opinion: Baltic residents have cooled down towards Russian-Ukrainian conflict

Ever since the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula five years ago it seems a ‘cooling process’ has begun among residents of Baltic States in relation to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, said University of Latvia researcher Mārtiņš Kaprāns in an interview to LNT programme Rīta Panorāma on Friday, 15 March.

New Zealand shaken by tragic terror attacks in mosques

40 people have lost their lives in New Zealand, where terror attacks have been committed in two mosques in the city Christchurch today, according to the country's government. The tragic events have taken place on Friday, March 15.