Government agrees modest pay rise for teachers
The government on June 18 adopted draft amendments to regulations for teacher’s pay providing for raising the minimum monthly wage for teachers from EUR 710 to EUR 750 for a 30-hour working week, the LETA newswire reported.
Authorities advise against swimming at Lucavsala and Pasta sala
After conducting bathing water quality tests last week, the Health Inspectorate does not recommend swimming in the “Lucavsala” bathing area of the Daugava river, Rīga, and the “Pasta salas peldvieta” on the left shore of Lielupe, where a high level of microbiological contamination has been detected, reported LSM's Latvian service on June 17.
Police are guarding a flower in one of Latvia's clearest lakes
The police of Carnikava are patrolling a small flower from June 1 to August 15. The precious plant is none other than Dortmann's cardinalflower (Lobelia dortmanna) – the only species of the rare and endangered Lobelia genus to be found in Latvia. One of its habitats is the Ummis lake in the Carnikava municipality. Latvian Radio caught up with the Chief of Carnikava Municipality Police Gints Dzirkalis and his colleagues on June 15. 
Two-tier health insurance system put on hold
The two-package national health insurance system, which was set up and intended to be implemented by the previous administration, is postponed until 2021 – the Saeima decided at the final reading on June 13. Until then, it is planned to launch a one package system and set a health insurance contribution of 1% for every wage-earner.
Spanish navy training in Latvian waters
Extensive military training, during which NATO allies train to overcome joint security challenges, has in recent years become a common practice in Latvia, reported LSM's Latvian service on June 13. In the days before the Jāņi festival, the Baltic Sea has become the site of ambitious naval practice program “Baltops 2019”, which marks 47 years since its inception. As part of the program, the largest ship of the Spanish fleet, “Juan Carlos I” is floating in Latvian waters. The operation is a novel experience for Spanish troops, as this is the first time the training is taking place so far from home waters.
Storm damaged municipalities turn to the state for help
The municipalities surrounding the town of Tukums will ask the state for funds to repair damage in the aftermath of a devastating storm, said Ēriks Lukmans, the chairman of Tukums Regional Council in an interview with Latvian Radio on June 12.
Tonsillitis on the rise due to heat
The drastic fluctuations in temperature, from the swelter in the streets to the cool air indoors, have increased cases of pharyngal inflammation, some of which require serious medical treatment, the LSM Latvian service's reported on June 12.
StratCom Dialogue and 'Moscow Rules' in Rīga
The annual Rīga Dialogue strategic communications conference winds up June 12, with another two days of academic, military and technological discussion having passed at the Latvian National Library.
Introduction of bottle deposit system edges closer
On June 11, the Saeima National Economy Commission has finished preparing amendments to the packaging law for the second reading. The law requires the establishment of a beverage packaging deposit system in Latvia. Talks about its establishment have gone on for around 20 years.
Journalists rally in support of Ivan Golunov
Ivan Golunov, one the most prized investigative reporters on the Latvian-based internet media “Meduza”, was arrested on June 7 in Moscow for drug possession with intent to sell. The media community believes this is simply a way for the Russian authorities to silence a journalist who has been probing into Russia's criminal activities.
Audit Office criticizes "toothless" state ICT policy
Despite costing the state 62 million euros per year in maintenance costs, since 2012 there has been "virtually no progress" in implementing the management policy of state-owned  Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure, the State Audit Office concluded in a report released June 10.
Drone threat set to rise
Drones - unmanned aerial vehicles - pose an increasing challenge to the security of critical infrastructure in Latvia, so the regulatory framework in this area needs to be improved, the State Security Service told the LETA newswire June 9.
Population declines everywhere except around Rīga
In 2018 population numbers rose only in Pierīga (the area immediately around the Latvian capital), with growth of 3,300 or 0.9 % according to statistics about regional populations trends released by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) June 7.
Latvian rye bread conquers America
For ten years now, American stores have been selling rye-bread prepared according to a Latvian recipe. The bread is baked in a bakery shop located in Brooklyn, New York. It was introduced to the bakery by a Latvian-born professor at the University of Maryland, Jānis Melngailis. Latvian Television caught up with him at “Rodman's”, a chain store situated on the outskirts of Washington. 
Latvian school pupils oppose "cramming" culture
Knowledge is not the only thing that pupils and their parents expect from schools – the importance lies in linking learning and knowledge to real life. This can be inferred from the results of a survey conducted last year, said Zane Oliņa, the director of “Skola2030” (a program that aims to update the school curriculum) in an interview on Latvian Radio on June 5.
Estonia offers way forward on teachers' pay
The three Baltic states share challenges in education such schools with a small number of students and the need to increase teachers’ salaries, but the capacity to address those challenges is notably different, it was admitted at the 25th Meeting of the Education Ministers of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Rīga STRATCOMCOE annual event coming up
NATO's Rīga-based Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence (STRATCOMCOE) stages its annual conference next week, though in fairness it is a bit more interesting and dynamic than most large-scale gatherings covering similar topics.
Possible corruption in Ventspils music school contracts
Due to suspicions of corruption, there is a risk Latvia will have to repay 10.95 million euros allocated from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to the project for construction of Ventspils Music School, according to comments from the Central Finance and Contracting Agency’s (CFLA) official Daiga Reihmane, reported by the LETA newswire.