Society
Asylum seekers complain of poor treatment at Mucenieki center
"They take away the television, punish by taking away food packs, and a family with an infant must live in a moldy room," such complaints have been received by asylum seekers in Latvia from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus at the accommodation center Mucenieki. The Citizenship and Migration Affairs Office (PMLP) under whose leadership the center is, denies these claims, Latvian Television reported on January 21.
18,000 extra Latvian language tests for Russians planned by September
Members of the Saeima's Citizenship, Migration and Social Cohesion Committee on Wednesday, January 18 addressed plans to make thousands of Russian citizens residing in Latvia sit Latvian language tests if they wish to retain their permanent residence permits, the Saeima press service reported.
Ivanovs, meet Bērziņš
In 2021, the most common surnames among permanent residents of Latvia were Ivanovs/Ivanova (11 thousand persons) and Bērziņš/Bērziņa (10 thousand persons), according to the data of the 2021 Population and Housing Census of the Central Statistics Office (CSB) published January 19 .
More abuse victims asked for help in Latvia last year
Compared to the situation before the pandemic, last year the Resource Center for Women Marta has doubled its assistance to women affected by violence, including women from Ukraine, Iluta Lāce, head of the association Marta, told Latvian Radio in an interview on January 19.
Are you e-ready for an e-address?
Members of the public in Latvia are being urged to sort out and use their 'e-adrese' (electronic address), 'eParaksts' (electronic signature) and 'eID karte' (electronic ID card) to benefit from easier access to a range of services and methods of official communication in future.
Donations help out Jēkabpils residents
A large number of people are prepared to help the victims of the Jēkabpils floods, with donations of EUR 50,000 collected so far, Latvian Radio reported on January 16.
Rich do relatively well in Latvia, compared to rest of EU
People in the top 20 % of income distribution received 38.2 % of disposable income across the European Union, but in Latvia that wealthiest slice of society does even better, according to data published by Eurostat January 13.
Mobile providers will have to sync emergency warnings
Mobile operators will have to send early warning messages to residents at the same time, as provided for by the amendments to the Civil Protection and Disaster Management Law, supported by the Saeima in the final reading on Thursday, January 12.
Charity shop launches campaign for free donation shipment
For many years, the “Otrā elpa” foundation has been helping people and animals in distress. Part of the donations they get are handed over to people in need, part is sold in charity shops. Throughout the month of January, everyone can send their donations free of charge through Omniva parcel machines, Latvian Television reported January 12.
Latvian volunteers make wood-gas stoves for Ukraine
The volunteer battalion “Carpathian Sich” and other units on the Ukrainian front have started testing the wood-gas stoves made by volunteers in Latvia, which have been given the name "Freedom Flame". The idea of the stove itself is not new, but volunteers in Latvia have come up with the idea that they could be useful for Ukrainians, Latvian Television reported on January 11.
1,260 more Ukrainians found refuge in Latvia in November
In November 2022, among the EU Member States for which data are available, Poland granted the highest number of temporary protection statuses to Ukrainians fleeing their country (40 370) as a consequence of Russia’s invasion. Poland was followed by Germany (36 385), Romania (10 745) and France (8 835) according to Eurostat figures published January 11.
Latvia plans to abolish current repatriation law(update)
With a view to addressing the growing interest of Russian citizens to travel to Latvia, the government on Tuesday, January 10, conceptually supported the termination of the Repatriation Law which is intended to facilitate the return of Latvian and Livonian-ethnicity people to their homeland, Latvian Television reported on January 10.
Telecoms issues across Latvia on Monday caused by 'human error'
On Monday, January 9, due to a technological problem, a large part of Latvia's society experienced interruptions both telephone and Internet communications. The crash was caused by a human mistake at the Latvian State Radio and Television Center (LVTRC), Latvian Television reported.
English police ask for help identifying possible Latvian man
Police in the county of Dorset in south-west England are appealing for help as they try to identify a man found with no memory. He may be Latvian or in some way connected to Latvia as he appears to speak Latvian, police said, but has not been able to give details of who he is or how he wound up in the seaside town of Weymouth.
Latvians knit tons of socks for Ukraine
Latvian residents have donated 5,100 kilograms of various knits to Ukrainian civilians, soldiers, and refugees between September 2022 and the end of December, according to  a release from the Latvian postal service (Latvijas pasts, LP) on January 5.
Doctors: Only severely ill non-citizens can skip Latvian language test
In order to receive a pass regarding the exemption from the state language proficiency test, 22 people have already applied to the Riga Psychiatric and Narcology Center. This will only be allowed in very severe cases, psychiatrists told Latvian Television on January 5. 
Morgue mix-up at Stradiņš Hospital shocks family
Following the death of a patient at Pauls Stradiņš Clinical University Hospital (PSKUS), a mix-up has allegedly happened and a different dead woman was brought to the cemetery. PSKUS assumes that the actual deceased woman has already been buried elsewhere, Latvian Television reported on January 4.
Russians' interest in Latvian citizenship has doubled, says authority
The war launched by Russia in Ukraine has not only created a wave of Ukrainian refugees, but also a significant wave of Russian emigration, and has also changed the thinking of many Russian citizens living in Latvia, some of whom have been here for years. Their desire to acquire Latvian citizenship has increased significantly, Latvian Radio reported on January 3.
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