Latvia in Brief podcast: March 06, 2017

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Here is the news in brief from Latvia, brought to you by Latvian Public Media.

Dinner in Dubai

Controversy surrounds a dinner in Dubai recently attended by Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis.

LTV's De Facto investigative news show reported March 5th that the dinner attended by Vejonis and high-ranking officials of the United Arab Emirates had been organized by the charge- d'affaires at the Latvian Embassy in the UAE, Rudolfs Bremanis, shortly before he left his position.

Bremanis left the diplomatic service to become an entrepreneur promoting investments from the gulf states into Latvia and used photographs of the dinner on social media to promote his new company.

The dinner had already proven to be controversial as the photographs show President Vejonis sitting next to former Transport Minister Ainars Slesers, a former politician widely regarded as one of Latvia's cadre of oligarchs.

Upon his return from Dubai, Vejonis urged the government of Maris Kucinskis to participate in the Dubai 2020 Expo event.

New network of service centers 

This year it is planned to establish a network of client service centers across Latvia to help residents access local and national government services more easily, according to the ministry for Environmental Protection and Regional Development.

Setting up the centers in 13 different municipalities will cost around 183,000 euros, the ministry said.

Triple jumper just misses medal

Latvian triple jumper Elvijs Misāns set a new personal best to claim fourth place in the European Indoor athletics Championship in Belgrade.

Misans broke his own personal best in the first round, with a jump of 17.02 meters and narrowly missed out on a podium place. The gold medal was won by Nelson Evora of Portugal with a jump of 17 meters and 20 centimeters.

Police warn speeders

State police are warning motorists to drive safely ahead of the introduction this summer of 40 mobile speed cameras in addition to the fixed speed traps already in operation.

Police say enforcement will be strict, particularly for repeat offenders and revealed that one car has been clocked exceeding the speed limit no fewer than 58 times, while another was recorded doing 148 km/h in a 50 km/h zone.

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