Latvia's traditional midsummer celebrations proved as popular as ever on the night of June 23 to 24, with generally benign weather conditions and centenary enthusiasm prompting hundreds of thousands to sing songs, eat cheese, drink beer and jump over bonfires - not necessarily in that order.
Governor of the Latvian Central Bank (Latvijas Banka, LB) Ilmārs Rimšēvičs has had his withdrawal of access to state secrets confirmed after Prosecutor General Eriks Kalnmeiers underlined the move June 22.
Some parts of Latvia are having some success coping with infestation of the highly invasive and toxic giant hogweed (known as Latvānis in Latvian), but many parts of the country are seeing it spread with frightening speed and persistence, reported Latvian Radio June 22.
It's official - tomorrow marks the start of the Midsummer celebration - Jāņi. The chief activities include drinking beer by the bonfire; grilling meat; eating the traditional Midsummer cheese (with lots of cumin!) and singing and dancing in the open air.
"It's raining as if it's Midsummer!" a Latvian saying goes. Nevertheless, this year people celebrating the most Latvian of holidays can be without fear of spending a night by the bonfire - there'll be little rain, except possibly for the eastern region of Latvia, known as Latgale, reports LSM's weather man Toms Bricis.
Saeima deputy Artuss Kaiminš was released from police custody late June 21. He emerged from holding cells in northern Rīga and quickly departed in a car, but appeared soon afterwards on social media with party colleague Aldis Gobzems from inside the vehicle claiming his detention was politically motivated.
On June 21 the Latvian parliament adopted higher fines for using the phone while driving, not using the turn signal, for not having one's seat belt fastened and driving children without booster seats.
On June 21 the Latvian parliament confirmed economist Mārtiņš Kazāks as a member of the Council of the Bank of Latvia.
On June 21 the Latvian parliament supported making September 24, 2018 a holiday. It's the day the head of the Roman Catholic church, Pope Francis is visiting the country.
Many cars in Estonia are decorated with Estonian and Latvian flags. Though at first glance a gesture of neighborly respect, it is actually a protest against the tax policy of the Estonian government. Some of Latvia's neighbors up north are so fed up with their government that they're planning to spend August 20 - the day Estonia reinstated its independence - in Latvia, reported LTV June 20.
The practice of lawyer and insolvency administrator Mārtiņš Bunkus has announced a €10,000 reward for leads in the case, the office said.
On June 20 the Saeima adopted amendments to the media law, stipulating that, should there be enough money, no ads are to appear on Latvian public media - LTV and Latvian Radio - starting 2021.
On June 18 the state real estate company Valsts Nekustamie Ipasumi gave a symbolic start for the construction of the New Riga Theater building, a spokeswoman for the company told the press.
Rīga Regional Court on June 20 delivered its verdict in the so-called digital television case, overruling the earlier conviction of former National Theater director Ojars Rubenis but giving fines and real jail sentences to other defendants in the case, though in some cases with slightly reduced penalties.
A failed no-confidence motion against Justice Minister Dzintars Rasnačs (National Alliance) took place on June 20 at the Latvian parliament.
A 60-strong detachment of mortar specialists from the Czech republic has joined NATO's enhanded Forward Presence (eFP) force in Latvia, the Czech Ministry of Defense has confirmed.
Latvian Health Minister Anda Caksa confirmed June 19 that she had been questioned by Lithuanian officials as part of the investigation into possible corruption at the Lithuanian National Blood Center.
The Progresīvie (Progressives) party has nominated Roberts Putnis as their candidate for Prime Minister in the upcoming October 6 election, reported Latvian Television.
On June 18 a dead brown bear was found on the beach between Uši and Ēvaži at the Slītere National Park, the Nature Conservation Agency told the press.
Latvia's anti-graft authority, the Corruption Prevention Bureau (KNAB) has sent the materials of a criminal case to the prosecutor’s office, asking to prosecute Bank of Latvia president Ilmārs Rimšēvics and businessman Māris Martinsons, LTV learned June 18.
The State Police and State Revenue Service have detained four people over large-scale contraband, the police told the press June 18.
Mārtiņš Bunkus, the insolvency administrator recently murdered in the Latvian capital, was linked to the construction business figure Andris Bojārs through an insolvency process, reported LTV's De Facto June 17. Bojārs went missing late last November after leaving his apartment in central Rīga. Police say the fates of the two may be linked.
Latvia's Defense Ministry said June 15 the National Armed Forces had signed a contract to buy 11 million euros' worth of "Outlander MAX 650XT Military Version" 6x6 vehicles from Finnish company BRP.
About 2,000 troops and 800 vehicles were moved from the Adazi military base in central Latvia to south-west of the country during the Saber Strike 2018 international military exercise, reported the LETA newswire.
On June 14 the fire at the Ādaži military zone was put out after it started June 10, the State Forest Service told LSM's Latvian-language service.
On the afternoon of June 14 a whirlwind ripped off two roofs in Jelgava, central Latvia, reports LSM via LETA news agency.
The local authority of the northwestern Latvian region of Ventspils has asked the Latvian government to declare a state of emergency in agriculture because of a prolonged drought, LETA was told at the local authority.
There will have to be at least 25 students per class in high schools in Riga and other large cities, and at least twelve per class in high schools in the regions, according to the Education and Science Ministry's draft regulation on the minimum and maximum student numbers per class in high school, reported the LETA newswire.
The Latvian parliament on June 14 interrupted a debate on opposition lawmakers’ calls for Justice Minister Dzintars Rasnačs’ (National Alliance) resignation and decided to resume the meeting on June 20.
A digital platform offering jobs has started in Liepāja, with attracting compatriots living abroad its chief goal. It was initiated in cooperation between the Liepāja Special Economic Zone and the Ar pasaules pieredzi Latvijā association, reports Latvian Radio June 14.