17 Stories

There's a Silver Lining to This Nation's Drunk-Driving Problem

Latvia is sending confiscated vehicles to Ukraine to help it in its fight against Russia

(Newser) - There's apparently a lot of drunk driving going on in Latvia, which claims some of the highest rates in Europe, and a good number of cars have ended up confiscated and languishing at state impound sites. That's thanks to a recently instituted law that allows for the government...

Pro-Russia Parties Fall in Latvia
Pro-Russia Parties Trounced

Pro-Russia Parties Trounced

War in Ukraine shaped Latvia's election

(Newser) - Latvia's government will remain in pro-Western hands after voters delivered a victory to Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins while firmly rejecting parties supportive of Russia. Official results released Sunday appeared to show that the Harmony party, historically backed by Russian-speaking voters, had not won a single seat in parliament. Harmony...

Plane Crash Follows Erratic Flight, Scramble of NATO Jets

Private Cessna aircraft plunged into Baltic Sea, off the coast of Latvia

(Newser) - A private plane that took off out of Spain on Sunday ended up in the waters off of Latvia, after an erratic flight path that drew NATO jets to track the aircraft. CNN reports the Cessna 551 registered in Austria took off from Jerez shortly before 1pm local time, with...

Former Soviet Republics Back Ukraine

US endorses shipment of anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles

(Newser) - The Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania plan to send US-made anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine, a move that the US fully endorsed Saturday. As tensions over Russia's intent at the Ukraine border escalate, the defense ministers of the three Baltic states said in a joint statement...

Lockdown Reimposed in European Country

Latvia has one of EU's lowest vaccination rates

(Newser) - With one of the highest rates of COVID infection in the world and one of the lowest vaccination rates in Europe, Latvia has returned to lockdown. Authorities announced a monthlong lockdown after a recent surge in cases, making the Baltic state the first European country to reimpose tough mitigation measures,...

2 Die of Blood Clots After Vaccine Dose

Both doses came from batch ABV5300 of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine

(Newser) - Denmark is suspending use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for 14 days from Thursday following reports of "severe cases of blood clots." Health Minister Magnus Heunicke stresses the move is a "precautionary measure" as the fatal or life-threatening blood clots reported in a handful of vaccine recipients have...

6 Nations Have Legal Equality Among Sexes. US Isn't Even Close

'A typical economy only gives women three-quarters the rights of men'

(Newser) - Women in Europe have it best, legally-speaking. Belgium, Denmark, France, Latvia, Luxembourg, and Sweden are the only countries that offer legal equality for men and women, according to a report by the World Bank. It looked at 35 indicators related to jobs, marriage, personal safety, property ownership, travel, inheritance, and...

Fastest-Shrinking Nations Are All in One Part of World

Eastern Europe, with Bulgaria in the No. 1 spot

(Newser) - The number of people living in Bulgaria is expected to drop by nearly a quarter by the year 2050—and its neighbors aren't going to fare much better demographically, per UN population projections cited by Quartz . Over the next 30-plus years, Bulgaria will see its population fall from around...

Where World's Tallest Women, Men Live
 Where World's Tallest 
 Women, Men Live 

Where World's Tallest Women, Men Live

Latvian women, Dutch men are tallest: study

(Newser) - Latvian women are tallest in the world, with an average height of 5-foot-7, according to a new study in the journal eLife . The same study, based on 2014 data, finds Dutch men tower over the rest at an even 6 feet on average, reports the BBC . The US—home to...

Irate Beaver 'Takes Man Hostage'

Cops thought his call for help was a prank

(Newser) - A rogue beaver struck terror into the heart of a man making his way home late at night in the Latvian city of Daugavpils, according to a local newspaper report picked up by Latvian Public Broadcasting . The man, identified only as Sergei, says the beaver ran out of some bushes...

Latvian PM Resigns After Worst Disaster in 2 Decades

Taking his government down with him in wake of supermarket roof collapse

(Newser) - Latvia's prime minister resigned yesterday after accepting political responsibility for the collapse of a supermarket roof in the capital that killed 54 people, including firefighters who rushed in to save shoppers, only to be crushed themselves when a second part of the roof collapsed. Valdis Dombrovskis' decision means that...

Supermarket Roof Collapse Kills 26

 Supermarket Roof 
 Collapse Kills 45 

Supermarket Roof Collapse Kills 45

Firefighters among the dead in Latvian disaster

(Newser) - Hordes of shoppers were picking up food after work in the Latvian capital when an enormous section of the supermarket's roof caved in. Firefighters rushed in to save them, only to be crushed themselves when a second part of the roof collapsed. The death toll from the rush-hour disaster...

Latvians on Making Russian Official: 'Nyet'

Voters overwhelmingly defeat measure to add second language

(Newser) - Latvians overwhelmingly rejected a proposal yesterday to make Russian a second official language there, along with Latvian, reports al-Jazeera . With voter turnout topping 69%, one of the highest ever seen for a referendum there, nearly 78% said "nope" to adding Russian. With one-third of Latvia's 2.1 million...

Ryanair Crew Fixes Pilot's Busted Window With ... Tape

Flight forced to turn around when it, shockers, comes loose

(Newser) - Ryanair crew members used tape to fix a pilot’s window before takeoff—only to turn around when the tape came loose 20 minutes into the flight, the Sun reports. “We were kept in the dark, and were terrified. I could see guys taping in the windscreen with what...

Movie Fan Killed for Eating Popcorn Too Loudly

Gunman goes round the bend during Black Swan

(Newser) - Don't mess with Black Swan fans. A moviegoer was shot dead in Latvia on Saturday night for eating popcorn too loudly during the film, according to witnesses. A 27-year-old Latvian was busted in the fatal shooting of the 42-year-old victim. The conflict erupted as the credits rolled, reports the Telegraph...

US Uses Aid Dollars to Keep Allies in Afghanistan

Counterterror funds serve as tacit incentive to continue unpopular fight

(Newser) - The Pentagon is pouring millions of dollars into equipment and training for its smaller partner nations in the Afghanistan war, a new effort aimed at encouraging them not to abandon the increasingly unpopular conflict. While the funding cannot be openly used as an incentive for NATO nations to send troops...

Latvian 'Matrix' Hacker Exposes Corrupt Gov't

'Neo' digging out damning documents

(Newser) - A hacker on a mission to expose greed and waste in high places is rapidly becoming a folk hero in recession-hammered Latvia. The hacker, who uses the name Neo from the hero in the Matrix film series, has exposed the salaries of top government officials online and revealed that managers...

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