Corruption squad finds hole in road repair contracts
The Latvian Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) has sent a criminal case to the Prosecutor General’s Office, asking to launch criminal prosecution against six persons for forgery of documents during repairs of Krisjana Barona Street in Riga, KNAB reported.
Almost half of fire deaths attributed to careless smoking
This year, fire accidents have claimed the lives of 74 people in Latvia, with reckless smoking causing nearly half of these deaths, Kristaps Eklons, deputy head of the State Fire and Rescue Service, said at a news conference on fire safety issues on December 13.
Baltic life a "super good product" but poorly promoted
A discussion that took place in Riga recently considered what the Baltic states have to offer when it comes to competing for highly-trained and talented individuals as part of migration policy. The conclusion: the Baltics should be an attractive proposition but seem very poor at communicating that attractiveness.
Anti-corruption chief says he can improve agency's reputation
Jekabs Straume, the recently-installed head of Latvia's dedicated anti-corruption agency, the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) told Latvian Radio December 11 that despite a decade of strife within the bureau, he is hopeful of improving its reputation and operational effectiveness.
Liepāja gets giant Latvian flag
People's eyes widened and their pupils shrank as the sun made a rare appearance just when a giant flag was about to be hoisted up in Liepāja's J. Čakste square on December 8. 
Doctors call off industrial action... for now

The Latvian Association of Family Physicians has decided to end a work to rule that began in July this year and has made new demands to the Health Ministry, warning that they may resume their action if the demands are not met, reported LETA December 1.

Latvia has highest number of new AIDS cases in EU, EEA

Also last year Latvia reported the highest number of new AIDS cases in the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA), but the situation has slightly improved from 2015, said Inga Upmace, the board chairwoman of the Baltic HIV Association.

Saeima goes ahead on new public healthcare bill

On November 30 the Latvian parliament passed the new healthcare bill in the second, non-final reading. The bill proposes that people paying social security taxes will have full access to public healthcare. 

Investigation raises questions about international adoption methods

A Latvian Radio investigation reveals a scheme in which agencies putting up Latvian children for adoption abroad may be earning millions a year for this service, offering privileged adoption for cash, with orphanages and institutions like the Riga Family Court possibly playing a role in the scheme. 

Latvia taps scientific expertise of diaspora

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said November 28 it has received the final version of a study by the University of Latvia’s Center for the Diaspora and Migration Studies (CDMS), entitled “Engagement and Cooperation with Diaspora Scientists”. The study identifies problems and possible solutions to promote engagement and cooperation with scientists from Latvia living abroad and scientists of Latvian descent.

Grave problems in Rēzekne

In a development that sounds like it is straight from the pen of Nikolai Gogol, officials in Latvia's eastern city of Rēzekne are struggling with a shortage of officially-sanctioned grave sites and a parallel problem of advance reservations for eternal rest.

Businessman out of jail and out on bail

Riga Regional Court has approved releasing businessman Boriss Rjazanskis, who in 2015 was convicted of bribery and handed down a five-year prison sentence - but appealed the verdict, on EUR 0.5 million bail, the LETA newswire reported November 23.

Unruly visitors get epic dressing down from Riga policeman

This is a video that needs little introduction save to say it involves an unwise flag theft by two Austrian visitors and an absolutely epic telling-off administered by Riga's municipal police force in fluent English - with a little bit of German at the end for good measure!