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  • 70th anniversary of end of World War II marked throughout Baltics
    Nazism and Communism The flower laying ceremony will take place at 11 a m participating will be Saeima Speaker Inara Murniece members of the Saeima Presidium and MPs Murniece will also participate in a commemorative event at Lestene Brethren Cemetery at 3 p m today Latvia has marked the end of World War II on May 8 in common with the rest of the EU since 1995 Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius and Parliament Speaker Loreta Grauziniene will pay tribute to victims of World War II at the Paneriai Memorial in the capital Vilnius Prime Minister Butkevicius is scheduled to attend the ceremony in Antakalnis Cemetery as well Later the prime minister will attend a concert In Memoriam commemorating the end of the war Lithuania s Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevicius will mark the occasion in the coastal city of Klaipeda where along with the city s mayor Vytautas Grubliauskas he will lay flowers in Klaipeda Sculpture Park by the monument to soldiers fallen in the Second World War President Grybauskaite and other leaders of European Union Member States paid respects to victims of World War II in Westerplatte Poland on Thursday According to the Lithuanian prime minister the end of World War II should be marked throughout Europe and the world and strengthen people s commitmentment to safeguarding and enhancing peace We must be principled protectors of peace and democratic values This is our duty for the future of the mankind said Butkevicius As previously reported this year Lithuania will be the only EU country not to send any official representatives to the Military Parade of 9 May in Moscow and Estonia and Latvia will send only their diplomats to Russia While this date is celebrated as Victory Day in Russia the Baltic countries see

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/70th_anniversary_of_end_of_world_war_ii_marked_throughout_baltics/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Building block for VEF Riga future wins
    net in the hypnotic tune of swish swish melody It might be hard to believe but the half empty arena gives you some advantages too Not only can you see the game but you can hear it For example it s pretty neat to witness how some of the big men of basketball grunt and pout while fighting for the position under the basket Monica Seles style Speaking about the giants of the game that s one area where VEF lacked some serious talent this season Of course compared with the good old days modern basketball is a much more guard driven game But nonetheless you ve got to have a quality big man on the floor at least for defensive purposes Take the Russian center Timofey Mozgov for example he s doing a terrific job with NBA Cleveland Cavaliers late this season and nowadays in the playoffs He makes ton of rebounds he blocks and changes people s shots he supports fast breaks he sets great screens All in all he makes a huge impact on the game even dominates it sometimes without scoring a single basket He s the type of player VEF could have really used this season But as the once famous Latvian center Andris Biedrins doesn t plan to make a comeback there are none around in Riga these days so VEF had to make do with its current roster of journeymen unproven rookies and a couple of declining veterans Considering the situation you can t blame the team and its rookie coach Nikolajs Mazurs for not trying On the contrary by finishing 10th and almost making the playoffs this VEF team kind of overachieved this year Ball wizard Gerald Robinson will hardly stay for next season But with the unlimited talents of 22 year old Janis Timma VEF might have itself its franchise player for years to come That is if they will be able to keep him It s too premature to call this two metre forward the LeBron James of the Baltics but if Timma keeps working on his game the sky is the limit for him Already having the mentality of a sports Nordic warrior Janis just has to grow in every part of his game step by step tirelessly spending extra time in the gym on his own In basketball terms it means not only score on offense but look for his teammates as well Not take any possessions off but always being active crashing offensive boards if the play is not designed for him And of course he could try to be an even better competitor on defense volunteering to guard the opponent s best perimeter and post players Too bad we couldn t see all this as Mazurs kept Timma on the bench the whole Zenit game which VEF subsequently lost 88 93 to finish the regular season with the record of 12 wins and 18 losses But prior to this contest VTB United League acknowledged the Latvian

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/building_block_for_vef_riga_future_wins/ (2016-02-13)
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  • The Russians are coming to occupy the Baltic States
    the then US Secretary of Defense James Forrestal The Russians are coming The Russians are coming They re right around I ve seen Russian soldiers In 1966 The Russians are coming was even used as a title for Norman Jewison s comedy film while in politics the phrase has become a by word for any unfounded threat mongering One should note however that it was in 1949 that NATO was founded and for no other reason than to counter the Sovie The article you requested can be accessed only by subscribing to the online version of The Baltic Times If you are already subscribed to The Baltic Times please authorize yourself Log In In case you don t have a subscription yet please visit our SUBSCRIPTION section Comments Related Articles Rhetoric at the Riga Conference what we talk about when we talk about war with Russia What refugees are running from What changes lie in store for Poland Subscribe Advertise Log In Please enter your username and password Forgot your password Login Related Articles The phantom of separatism in Latgale EDITORIAL The Baltic Security Question Baltics 2015 The long march to Paris Subscribe A subscription to The Baltic Times is a cost effective way of staying in touch with the latest Baltic news and views enabling you full access from anywhere with an Internet connection Subscribe Now About The Baltic Times The Baltic Times is an independent monthly newspaper that covers latest political economic business and cultural events in Estonia Latvia and Lithuania Born of a merger between The Baltic Independent and The Baltic Observer in 1996 The Baltic Times continues to bring objective comprehensive and timely information to those with an interest in this rapidly developing area of the Baltic Sea region Read more Our news analysis and commentaries

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/the_russians_are_coming_to_occupy_the_baltic_states_550467142554bdd46cf162/ (2016-02-13)
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  • News search
    Read More Haute cuisine the best French restaurants in Riga The last few years have been a belle epoque for French restaurants in Latvia with a growing contingent of bra Read More Lithuania marks 100 days since euro adoption On 9 April at a meeting of the Coordinating Committee on the Euro Adoption presided over by Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius th Read More Latvian President Berzins will not run for second term Latvian President Andris Berzins has announced after a period of consideration that he will not run for a second term Read More LIVESTREAM Containment or Reengagement The Future of Relations Between Russia and the West On April 10 the Latvian Institute of International Affairs in cooperation with its partners is organizing a public discussion Containment Read More Growth to accelerate in Latvia and Lithuania this year Russia s economic troubles in 2014 presented serious challenges to the Baltics however Latvia Lithuania and Estonia all proved their flex Read More Dealing with Minsk 2 Vytautas Landsbergis head of the Lithuanian state between 1990 and 1992 and a man who is rumoured to have great influence on the curren Read More Estonia PM our country s biggest challenge is increasing birthrate Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas said in a speech to the Riigikogu Estonian Parliament about his government s principles on Thu Read More Previous 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 Next Subscribe Advertise Log In Please enter your username and password Forgot your password Login Subscribe A subscription to The Baltic Times is a cost effective way of staying in touch with the latest Baltic news and views enabling you full access from anywhere with an Internet connection Subscribe Now About The Baltic Times The Baltic Times is an independent monthly newspaper that covers

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/search/jcms/start/1080/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Petty Politics and the Presidency
    he has declared that he will not be seeking a second term in office That of course means that Parliament the Saeima will have to come up with someone else And that is our topic this week Two of the Saeima s smaller parties the Alliance of Regions and the clumsily named From the Heart for Latvia have nominated Martins Bondars a former director of the Presidential Chancery under President Vaira Vike Freiberga and Gunars Kutris a former chi The article you requested can be accessed only by subscribing to the online version of The Baltic Times If you are already subscribed to The Baltic Times please authorize yourself Log In In case you don t have a subscription yet please visit our SUBSCRIPTION section Comments Related Articles Rhetoric at the Riga Conference what we talk about when we talk about war with Russia What refugees are running from What changes lie in store for Poland Subscribe Advertise Log In Please enter your username and password Forgot your password Login Related Articles The phantom of separatism in Latgale EDITORIAL The Baltic Security Question Baltics 2015 The long march to Paris Subscribe A subscription to The Baltic Times is a cost effective way of staying in touch with the latest Baltic news and views enabling you full access from anywhere with an Internet connection Subscribe Now About The Baltic Times The Baltic Times is an independent monthly newspaper that covers latest political economic business and cultural events in Estonia Latvia and Lithuania Born of a merger between The Baltic Independent and The Baltic Observer in 1996 The Baltic Times continues to bring objective comprehensive and timely information to those with an interest in this rapidly developing area of the Baltic Sea region Read more Our news analysis and commentaries provide readers

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/petty_politics_and_the_presidency/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Will a Latvian Proposal Lead to an Internet Cattle Class?
    from expensive luxury cars to the smallest compact cars What is important for private Internet users is a critical matter for businesses Imagine a ferry where transport fees are calculated by the value of the freight Some goods would no longer be shipped because their value would make it unaffordable Now imagine a new Internet start up with no access to fast priority delivery trying to offer a service competing with established Internet giants that can easily afford it The barrier to access for small companies not only prevents competition but it also essentially prevents innovation in some areas professor Roman Beck says The needs of the industry In contrast the telecom companies claim that differentiated Internet speeds are necessary in order to protect innovation and competition In a press release from 20 March ITSPA the Internet Telephony Services Providers Association announced an award to the Latvian Presidency to show their support for the net neutrality proposal For several years telecoms companies have been lobbying intensively to convince European politicians that less regulation is needed calling for example for government to prioritize critical online services in the health sector prevent online queues and support the development of driverless cars Steven Tas chairman of the association Etno that represents some of the largest European telecoms recently said to the Register that any future regulation must recognize how networks function We need balanced rules on traffic management as well as measures that allow the development of specialized services and innovative offers The chief executive of Deutsche Telecom Timotheus Höttges shares this point of view In an interview with Bloomberg at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in March he argued that telecoms need less regulation in order to compete with new competitors such as Google and Facebook I m asking for a level playing field That we are operating the same business model sic This is what we are fighting for This is fair competition I love competition he said Professor Roman Beck recognises that the needs of the industry will be an important factor in shaping the future development of the Internet Politicians will have to find a balance between supporting competition and investment into the underlying structure of the internet while ensuring that smaller players for example startup companies and non commercial media have a fair chance of reaching an audience Essentially the basic right to access the Internet needs to be formulated as a human right Having access is not enough if bandwidth is not available At the same time investments into the internet need to be lucrative for telecom companies EU vs US Net neutrality is not only a hot topic in Europe Nearly four million commenters took part in the Open Internet event in the US organised by the Federal Communication Commission FCC On 26 February the FCC published a press release on the decision to enforce net neutrality against the will of the telecom companies Today the Commission once and for all enacts strong sustainable rules

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/will_a_latvian_proposal_lead_to_an_internet_cattle_class_/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Liepaja: a bohemian enclave bounded by beaches and crashing waves
    but on a nice day a walk by the lake is a pretty wonderful thing Interesting fact The Courland Pocket Although Latvia and the rest of the Baltic States were forcibly annexed by the Soviet Union in 1940 they did also undergo three years of Nazi occupation after the breaking of the Molotov Ribbentrop Pact and the German invasion of Russia the following year Riga and most of central and northern Latvia was recaptured by the Red Army in autumn of 1944 but aided by the remoteness and rural nature of western Latvia not to mention the fact that after the Soviet victory in the siege of Memel Klaipeda on the Lithuanian coast they literally had nowhere else to go apart from into the sea forces in the more distant reaches of Kurzeme around Liepaja continued to fight on until the German capitulation in May 1945 and longer so isolated were they from central German command that some sources say that a number of units there did not surrender until 10 May a week and a half after Hitler s suicide and a full two days after Germany s official capitulation What to do Liepaja Museum Kurmajas Prospekts 16 Just about every town and village in Latvia has a museum but most are a fairly dreary bunch boasting little but mediocre watercolours chips of pottery and poorly translated generalisations Liepaja Museum housed in an elegant Art Nouveau building five minutes walk from the sea is a cut above It gives a good overview of the town s development up to the 20th century where it rather breaks off There is also an interesting selection of temporary exhibitions mostly concerned with aspects of traditional Kurzeme life The sculpture garden outside is delightful if a little disordered Liepaja Occupation Museum Klava Ukstina iela 7 9 Being at the western edge of Latvia Liepaja has often been among the first cities in Latvia to fall to western invaders and the last to those from the east It was the scene of one of the most dreadful events of the Holocaust in Latvia when over 3 000 of Liepaja s Jewish community were executed in horrifying scenes on the beaches north of Karosta where a memorial now stands The museum also does a good job of collating everyday items and newspapers so you can track the changing zeitgeist in Liepaja There s a good selection of photos and accounts of the Latvian National Awakening in the 1980s as resistance to Soviet rule increased among the local population During the January events of 1991 Liepaja was one of only three Latvian towns where barricades were also constructed to protect sites of national importance from Soviet troops as they had been in Riga Karosta Then there s Karosta literally war port possibly the most visually stunning relic of Soviet occupation in all the Baltics It s like a palimpsest of all that the Russians have given to Liepaja originally constructed as a result of Tsar Alexander s determination to turn the Baltic into a Russian held sea then further strengthened reinforced and padlocked to outsiders under the Soviets The once fine turn of the century houses that line the main roads pay testament to the fact that it was once a place that the officer class were happy to live looking to contain at least twenty or thirty rooms although they re now mostly abandoned and almost all have been knocked around Some of the more mistreated ones seem almost to be gazing in astonishment at the walls of apartment blocks that the Soviet Union subsequently gifted the place These have if nothing else added a fierce incongruity to the area One of the most spectacular Orthodox cathedrals in the Baltics St Nikolai s Sea Cathedral is unmissable anchored right in the centre of the district The image of its gilded bulbs rising above Karosta s looming grey apartment blocks is one that is hard to forget The prison which was used in turn by Russians Soviets and under independent Latvia to punish errant sailors and at points political prisoners is a fascinating if horrifying experience A guided tour will illuminate as well as make you very grateful you were not one of those at the receiving end of this corrective treatment It also doubles as a hostel for those who are true gluttons for punishment Karosta is at the northern extreme of Liepaja and it takes a good half hour or so to get there by bus so do allow some time Beach Liepaja s wonderful beach may not be why the town developed in the first place but for most visitors especially in summertime it is their real reason for being there The city swells with visitors at this time of year and bars pop up in otherwise abandoned buildings on and around the strip of sand itself and Liepaja seems as laid back and easy going as a Latvian town could conceivably be It is more of an acquired taste in the winter when the sky seems like a mirror of the ghostly sands and the line of the horizon fades into conjecture but still has an eerie appeal More ragged round the edges than Jurmala but immeasurably more appealing Wooden architecture While there is a great deal of wooden architecture throughout the city the most dramatic and elegant examples can be seen within a stretched oblong that runs between Kurmajas Prospekts and Jurmalas iela and between Uliha iela and the sea including around the edge of the lovely Jurmalas Parks Here the waves are never out of earshot even if they are generally out of view Along Kurmajas Prospekts in particular you ll be treated to a fair few buildings that look like they ve spent a good while at the bottom of the sea and are none the less attractive for it Church tower Liela iela 9 While Liepaja s central square Rozu laukums is a functional creation unrecognisable from photos

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/bohemian_enclave_bound_by_beaches_and_crashing_waves/ (2016-02-13)
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  • Riga, Ritmi, and all that Jazz
    indeed fortunate to have been able to bring Anthony Strong to Riga for this years Riga Jazz Stage to perform at the closing Award Ceremony concert and to also be one of the Riga Jazz Stage competition jurors stated Maris Briezhalns founder and artistic director of both the Riga Jazz Stage and the Riga Ritmi Festival And there were many other fine performers present The Riga Jazz Stage also saw the 2014 vocal Grand Prix winner Kristine Praulina from Latvia perform the world premiere of her seven part interconnected musical composition A work which Praulina and her ensemble are currently recording and intending to release commercially in the near future The composition held a special place in Praulina s heart It has a linear idea of hope its free music and its about trying to discover oneself through music Praulina stated Asked about how winning the Riga Jazz Stage 2014 competition has assisted her budding performing career Praulina stated that it has been a artistically rewarding to work with the Latvian Radio Big Band with who I have performed twice with in Moscow as well as in Finland and will be travelling also to Brussels for performances If the audience attending the three day sold out event at Riga s luxurious varied neo rococo Splendid Palace a Latvian national monument built in 1923 which was filled predominantly with young jazz enthusiasts and the young world Jazz talent who had travelled to Riga to perform was any indication of the future of Jazz then Jazz s future indeed looks bright Jazz competitions such as the Riga Jazz Stage and Jazz festivals thoughout the Baltic States as the Riga Ritmi Festival the Kaunas Jazz Festival and the Tallinn International Festival Jazzkaar reach out to younger audiences to build newer and more sustainable audience bases The organisers of the Riga Jazz Stage were unwilling to reveal the operating budget for the event claiming confidentiality Transparency was however clearly evident with Jonas Jucas founder and artistic director of the Kaunas Jazz Festival who informed The Baltic Times that the Kaunas Jazz Festival s operating budget is 300 000 Euros Jucas was one of the international jurors who found this years competitors of the Riga Jazz Stage to be of an extremely high level The Kaunas Jazz was launched in 1991 and according to Jucas its 24 year long history beyond any doubt proves that its start was an important event for jazz music lovers and an exceptional happening in the cultural life of Lithuania The International Jazz Festival Kaunas Jazz takes place in Kaunas in late April and in Vilnius in early May The major jazz festivals in the Baltic states Jazzkaar festival in Tallinn Rigas Ritmi festival in Riga have been Kaunas Jazz partners for many years now said Jucas along with April Jazz festival in Espoo Finland Lotos Jazz Festival Bielska Zadymka Jazzowa in Poland This year s 26th Tallinn International Festival Jazzkaar which recently was staged from the 17 26 April

    Original URL path: http://www.baltictimes.com/riga__ritmi__and_all_that_jazz/ (2016-02-13)
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