Posts published in Day: October 17, 2019

Lithuanian president leaves for his 1st EU summit to discuss Brexit, budget

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda is leaving on Thursday for his first EU summit that will focus on Brexit and the bloc’s next budget. In the last scheduled European Council before the UK’s October 31 departure day, EU leaders plan to discuss negotiations on the terms of Britain’s divorce from the bloc. The key stumbling block has been how to prevent the return of a physical border between Northern Ireland and…

Foreign Minister of Egypt to arrive in Latvia for official visit

Thursday, October 17, 2019

On October 17, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics will meet with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt, Sameh Shoukry, who will be in Latvia on an official visit, LETA learned from the Latvian Foreign Ministry. The Ministers shall be discussing bilateral relations between Latvia and Egypt and developments in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as signing an agreement on a mutual visa exemption for the holders…

Von der Leyen’s commission postponed after three commissioner candidates rejected

Thursday, October 17, 2019

The next European Commission is to begin its term in office later than expected as the November 1 coronation has been postponed so that three member states could offer new candidates to replace a trio rejected by the European Parliament. German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle reports, Germany’s former Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen was set to replace Jean-Claude Juncker as the head of EU’s top executive body, the EU…

Third night of violence in Barcelona after jailing of Catalan separatists

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Street violence escalated in Barcelona late on Wednesday, as protesters set cars on fire and threw acid at police officers in a third night of unrest following the imprisonment this week of nine pro-independence leaders for their roles in the failed 2017 push for regional independence. Officers from the Catalan force, the Mossos d’Esquadra, were reported to have fired teargas and run over two protesters during clashes that quickly spread…

Lithuanian parliament starts debating ‘spy swap’ amendment

Thursday, October 17, 2019

The Lithuanian parliament has started debating a draft amendment to the Criminal Code that would detail the president’s right to pardon persons convicted of espionage, reported LETA/BNS. “And now you propose to restrict that privilege. Don’t you think that this proposal is superfluous and that if there are Lithuanian citizens who need Lithuania’s help, it just needs to be given?” he said. Gaizauskas said no one was questioning the presidential pardon…

Virtual reality-heavy course speeds up Air Force helicopter pilot training by six weeks

Thursday, October 17, 2019

The first six new Air Force helicopter pilots to train on virtual reality flight simulators recently pinned on their wings at the Army’s Fort Rucker, Ala. Late last week, the pilots graduated a redesigned course that prepared them to fly the UH-1N Huey, HH-60G Pave Hawk and the CV-22 Osprey six weeks earlier than the 28-week traditional pilot training program run by the 23rd Flying Training Squadron. Called Rotary Wing…

Kazakhstan: Tokayev Shows His Hand on Domestic, Foreign Policy

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Two key speeches given in September by Kazakhstan President  Kasym-Jomart Tokayev provide a fairly good idea of what his foreign and domestic objectives will be: the Central Asian head of state addressed the 74th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations on September 24, only a couple of weeks after he delivered his first State of the Nation Address on September 2. Moreover, both speeches were momentous occasions,…

Three US diplomats held near Russian test site where mystery blast killed five

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Three American diplomats were briefly detained in Russia near the military test site where a mysterious explosion released radiation in August, several Russia state news agencies have reported. The US embassy has confirmed the incident, the Interfax news service reported, but said the three diplomats had filed the proper paperwork to travel in the area. The Russian foreign ministry said the diplomats had named a different city as their destination…

Defence Forces introduce mandatory Estonian classes for conscripts

Thursday, October 17, 2019

The Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) have introduced mandatory Estonian language classes to teach recruits who need to improve their speaking and grammar skills. It is estimated that about 300 recruits each year will need to undergo language classes, ERR reported. Classes are taught two days a week and in the conscripts free time. Conscripts will learn military vocabulary and Estonian grammar from A2 level upwards. Major Arvo Jõesalu, chief of…

Estonia: Public transport cards to become usable both in Tallinn, Helsinki in 2021

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Mayor of Tallinn Mihhail Kolvart and Deputy mayor of Helsinki Anni Sinnemaki concluded at a meeting held in Helsinki on Tuesday that the capital cities of Estonia and Finland should coordinate their efforts and develop a shared public transport ticketing system, according to the Postimees information reports LETA/BNS. “Interactions between our cities’ residents are becoming increasingly intense, from closer business operations to visiting a doctor in the other city,” the deputy mayor of…