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Monday 22.10.2018 | Name days: Irīda, Īrisa

July 2 in pictures

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

Anyone can participate in compiling of our galleries of the week! Send your photos to our e-mail redakcija@bnn.lv, with «Photos of the Week» as the topic.


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NCP leader: we will make sure Union of Greens and Farmers is left in opposition

We will make sure the Union of Greens and Farmers is not in the government, leader of the New Conservative Party Jānis Bordāns categorically said in an interview to Latvijas Radio.

USA to pull out from Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

The United States of America plans to one-sidedly exit from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INFT), as announced by US President Donald Trump, who accuses Russia of violating this treaty.

Rain and strong wind expected in Latvia this week; possibility of wet snow remains

A deep cyclone will pass through Latvia at the beginning of the week. Because of that, weather in the country is expected to be windy and rainy. As air temperature drops below 0° C, there is a possibility of wet snow, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Week in Lithuania. Dual citizenship referendum to be held with presidential vote

The Seimas (Parliament) of Lithuania on Thursday, October 18, decided that a referendum on dual citizenship will be held on May 12 and 26 alongside the presidential election. 66 lawmakers voted in favour of this decision, and four abstained. Based on the adopted resolution, the binding referendum will be held on the adoption of such an amended text of Chapter 12 of the Lithuanian Constitution. Representatives of the opposition and former Constitutional Court judge Vytautas Sinkevičius have expressed doubt that the Seimas' decision to hold a referendum on two days two weeks apart might violate the constitutional principle of equality. Parliament changes party funding rules The Seimas of Lithuania on Thursday, October 18, adopted amendments to the law on party funding, thus paving the way for the Social Democratic Labour Party of Lithuania (SDLPL), which was established after the last general election, to get a state subsidy. The changes were backed by 72 lawmakers, one was against and one abstained. The Seimas had already tried to adopt this bill initiated by the ruling parties but failed to get a majority after the opposition blocked the bid and fewer than 71 lawmakers voted. SDLPL was founded earlier this year by a group of former members of the Social Democratic Party of Lithuania, who split from the party last year. MEP decides against running for Vilnius mayor Lithuanian MEP Antanas Guoga, earlier mentioned as the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union's potential candidate for Vilnius mayor, has announced its decision not to stand as a candidate in a direct mayoral election. He says he plans to continue work in Lithuania, developing and presenting abroad his fintech ambitions, attracting technology and education investment, providing ideas on closing the social exclusion gap. Guoga, 44, was elected to the European Parliament, being on the list of the Liberal Movement. He has funded Blockchain Centras Vilnius, a blockchain bureau, in Vilnius. EU support to Lithuanian farmers Direct support to Lithuanian farmers must reach the EU average or at least move toward that level, President Dalia Grybauskaite said on Thursday, October 18, criticising the bloc for not delivering on its promise. The president commented on a protest being staged by Lithuanian farmers in Brussels on Thursday to press their demand for higher EU direct payments. Lithuanian farmers held their protest together with their Polish, Latvian and Czech counterparts. MO Modern Art Museum opened in Vilnius MO Museum, a privately-owned new modern art museum built in place of a demolished Soviet-era movie theatre in Vilnius, was opened to the public on Thursday, October 18. Founded and financed by Danguolė and Viktoras Butkus, MO Museum displays a Lithuanian modern art collection dating from the 1960 up to the present day. Construction on the new, modern building, designed by Daniel Libeskind, was launched in the spring of 2017 after pulling down the Lietuva Cinema, which had stood there for more than five decades. Viktoras Butkus said last year that the total value of the project was estimated at 15 million euro. Liberals squabble The board of the Lithuanian Liberals Movement has annulled the Vilnius branch's decision to run in next March's municipal elections on the ticket of a newly-established public election committee. Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius resigned as the party's vice-chairman during the board's meeting. The mayor said he was sticking to plans to run for re-election as a public election committee's candidate. The opposition Liberal Movement's leadership also decided that any Liberal standing in municipal elections as a candidate of another party or a committee would have his or her membership automatically suspended. Ruling party's leader calls to resign Ramūnas Karbauskis, leader of the ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (LFGU), on Wednesday, October 17, threatened to initiate impeachment proceedings against MP Povilas Urbšys and called on members of the Chief Official Ethics Commission (VTEK) to resign. Karbauskis' statement came after an article in the Delfi.lt news website about the circumstances surrounding the dismissal of Mindaugas Šiaurys as head of the VTEK Prevention Department. He said the article completely discredits VTEK as an institution, calling on its members to resign. The ethics watchdog has repeatedly looked into Karbauskis' actions and has on several occasions ruled that he failed to declare his transactions within the time limit set by law. EBU warns Lithuania The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has warned that linking the mandates of public broadcasters' supervisory bodies to the terms of office of the appointing authorities may increase political interference. Monika Garbaciauskaite-Budriene, director general of the Lithuanian Radio and Television (LRT), turned to the EBU after the Seimas' ad-hoc investigative commission on the Lithuanian public broadcaster's activities had proposed to change the process of appointment of LRT Council members to link their mandates with the terms of office of the appointing authorities. Major drugstore chains in dispute with watchdog Limedika, Gintarinė Vaistinė and Norfos Vaistine, operating one of the largest drugstore chains in Lithuania, have turned to court with a request to order the Competition Council to return information which, they say, is not related to the ongoing probe into competition-restricting agreements, the competition watchdog launched earlier this year. The companies want the Competition Council to keep only information covering a period from Aug. 30, 2017. The dispute between the companies and the watchdog will be further heard by the court of first instance which had rejected the companies' appeal, the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuanian ruled last week. Lithuania plans exports to Japan Lithuania plans to export ready-to-bake food products and pets to Japan, the Agriculture Ministry said on Monday, October 15. The two countries' agriculture vice-ministers agreed in Tokyo last week to immediately begin talks on certification procedures. Lithuania's potential export products include pizzas, kibinai and similar ready-to-bake products containing poultry and cheese, the ministry said. The countries also expect to agree shortly on cat and dog export certification procedures, which will open the way for Lithuanian breeders to export pets to Japan. FCIS finds illegal Ukrainian employee at supermarket Lithuania's Financial Crime Investigation Service has identified a Ukrainian citizen illegally working at a supermarket in Vilnius. Investigators from FCIS' Vilnius Regional Board received information about alleged illegal employees providing cleaning services at a shopping mall near Vilnius Airport and inspected the facility last week. They found a man operating a cleaning machine at the Rimi shopping centre. The man was not officially employed and was doing all the work illegally. Based on the Code of Administrative Offences, such a offence carries a fine ranging from 1,000 to 5,000 euros.

BNN summary of the week: transparent president for Latvia; Danske Bank’s problems and Merkel’s hope for Brexit

BNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories: Election; Competition; Reputation; Change; Education; Government; Hope.

Central Election Commission approves results of 13th Saeima elections in Latvia

On Friday, 19 October, the Central Election Commission approved results of 13th Saeima elections. According to approved results, Harmony received 19.8% of votes, KPV LV – 14.25%, New Conservative Party – 13.59%, Attīstībai/Par – 12.04%, National Alliance – 11.01%, Union of Greens and Farmers – 9.91%, and New Unity – 6.69%.

Bill Gates met by Estonian Prime Minister

Estonian head of government Jüri Ratas has met with Bill Gates, the co-founder and former head of the American software giant Microsoft to look into possibilities to support Africa through research and development.

Latvia’s general budget deficit estimated around EUR 155.7 million

In 2017, general government budget deficit accounted for EUR 155.7 million or 0.6 % of the Gross Domestic Product and general government consolidated gross debt at the end of 2017 amounted to EUR 10 806.8 million or 40.0 % of the GDP.

Latvijas Radio predicts to have 35.7% of radio market in the near future

In the next five years Latvijas Radio expects to own 35.7% of the radio market. Additionally, it is also expected that the audience listening over the internet and social media will increase significantly. «Eight out of ten listeners completely trust the content reported by public media,» as reported by Latvijas Radio representative Ieva Aile.

Producer price level in Latvian industry down 5%

Compared to August, level of producer prices in the Latvian industry fell by 0.4 % in September 2018. Level of prices of products sold on the domestic market reduced by 0.7 %, but of exported products – by 0.2 %.

ABLV Bank successfully pays 69% of all guaranteed remuneration amount

The liquidated ABLV Bank has repaid clients EUR 328.66 million, which is 69% of the guaranteed remuneration amount, as confirmed by Citadele Bank’s corporate communications manager Ieva Prauliņa.

CEC to approve and announce the final 13th Saeima election results

On Friday, 19 October, the Central Election Commission will organize a meeting, during which it is planned to approve the final results of 13th Saeima elections and announce deputies elected to the parliament, as reported by CEC representative Kristīne Bērziņa.

Corruption watchdog asked to look into Ventspils City Council’s and Ventspils nafta termināls’ EUR 2.5 million deal

Latvia’s State Audit has asked Finance Ministry and Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau to investigate the deal worth EUR 2.5 million between SIA Ventspils nafta terminals and Ventspils City Council, as noted in the report from State Audit’s inspection of the 2017 report on state and municipal budgets’ completion.

EU in favour of using sanctions against cyber-attacks, chemical weapons' threats

The member states of the European Union have in this week's summit decided to implement sanctions over threats of chemical weapons and expressed readiness to implement sanctions against cyber-attacks.

Canadian cannabis shops face shortages on 2nd day of legalisation

Cannabis stores in Canada have experienced shortages on the second day since the legalisation of recreational cannabis, as the demand is much higher than the supply of the drug.

Latvian parties’ talks with the president fail to outline a prime minister candidate

Parties that met with Latvian President Raimonds Vējonis on Thursday, 18 October, failed to name prime minister candidates they would support. Nevertheless, parties did confirm the desire to form as wide a coalition as possible by continuing talks with all parties except Harmony.

Putin: People in ex-Soviet Republics had more opportunities during USSR

Russia's President Vladimir Putin has asserted that people in Russia's neighbouring countries, once under Soviet occupation, regretted the end of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Autumn-like weather to end October’s unusually warm period

Soon enough, the warm weather that was present throughout this week and most of October will be replaced be colder weather. Air temperature will drop considerably at the end of the week. Wind will pick up in strength at the beginning of next week, as reported by Latvia’s Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Merkel finds Brexit agreement still doable, but time running out

German Chancellor Angela Merkel evaluated after this week's summit of the European Union, that there is not much time left for an agreement on the UK leaving the bloc, but it a deal should still be realistically attainable.

Lithuania opposition MP: «The ruling majority muddles through a «foxy» budget»

For the fifth consecutive year, Lithuania’s new budget, now for 2019, is described as «record» due to the size of surplus and the hefty allocations to education, health care, innovations and reduction of social inequality.

Majority of Latvian residents believe the government does not respect their opinion

The majority of Latvian residents are convinced their government does not respect society’s opinion on different matters, according to results of a survey by SKDS.

Minister: results of European Council talks on Brexit are not surprising

The fact that talks organized by the European Council regarding Britain’s exit and conditions have concluded with no real progress, is nothing surprising, says Latvia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs.

After Crimea college shooting, authorities look for accomplice

After a school in Russian-annexed Crimea suffered a shooting and explosive attack, with 20 people killed, the Russian occupation authorities have stated that a search is on for a possible accomplice to the attacker.

Number of newborns continues to decline in Latvia

The number of births registered over the first nine months of 2018 is 1,267 children or 8 % smaller than that registered in the respective period of 2017.

State Audit finds it difficult to follow use of funding for Latvia’s Centenary events

According to Latvian State Audit, it is hard to follow the use of funding intended for Latvia’s Centenary events.

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