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ERR News - The Foreign Ministry has provided 80,000 euros to ease the plight of Somalian refugees suffering from famine.
According to the UN, 11.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in East Africa due to the worst drought in 60 years and armed conflicts.

The Baltic Times:
A report indicated that in 2008, the ratio of Estonia’s spending on social protection benefits in GDP was the third lowest among the EU countries, reports Postimees Online.
The Report on Europe 2020’s Social Dimension stated that Estonia spent 15 percent of its GDP on social protection benefits. The EU average was nearly 25 percent in 2008, the highest in France (nearly 30 percent), Denmark and Sweden. According to the report, the share of people at risk of poverty has grown constantly during the past few years in Estonia and has reached nearly 20 percent.

During the first half of the year, the State Forest Management Center earned a net profit of 14.4 million euros, doubling last year's yield for the same period.
The agency sold 1.26 million cubic meters of timber for a total of 55.8 million euros, with the average price per cubit meter rising to 44.06 euros - up 17 percent since last year.
The forestry center also sold 150,000 cubic meters of wood chips, which brought in around 5.5 million euros.

The Tallinna Linnahall recreation center, which despite its closure in 2009 has served as a leisure spot for both locals and tourists, has not received enough support from the city government to keep its territory clean from garbage.
The seven employees hired to maintain the building and its surrounding area have to heat and clean the 4.2 hectares of land and an equal size underground territory with a total yearly budget of 440,000 euros.

The Social Democratic Party's youth wing is not impressed by the education minister's reforms for free higher education, asserting that there is no such thing as a free lunch.
The youth section of the party says that paid tuition is programmed into the reform even though Minister of Education Jaak Aaviksoo promised a universally free higher education. Not all university students who make it to the state-budget-funded slots will be able to fully complete the requirements of the curriculum.

A study conducted by the Baltic Research Center revealed that Estonia has failed to ensure social protection and integration for the 46 refugees residing in the country.
After eight months of waiting in the Illuka Reception Center for Asylum Seekers in Ida-Viru County, Afghanistan-born Azat was finally granted international protection by the state, ETV reported.
Nevertheless, when it came to learning Estonian, finding a job and a new home, Azat received no additional support from the government besides a friendly pat on the back.

As many as of 37 percent of 15- to 24-year-olds have tried marijuana, which is 11 percent more than the European average, a recent study conducted by the Saar Poll survey company revealed.
Young people can easily acquire marijuana (also known as cannabis), said Nelli Kalikova, project manager at the Aids Information and Support Center. "It's about the same as buying ice cream," she added.

The Thomas Keller Medal committee is delighted to announce that the 2011 Thomas Keller Medal, rowing's highest distinction, will this year be awarded to Estonian rowing legend Jueri Jaanson. The 18-carat gold medal shall be awarded on Sunday 10 July on the medal pontoon of the Samsung World Rowing Cup in Lucerne, Switzerland.
Throughout his long career Jaanson took part in no less than six Olympic Games. He holds five World Champion-ship medals, including one gold from 1990 in Lake Barrington, Australia and a silver which he won when racing in Finland in 1995. Driven by his urge to win an Olympic medal, Jaanson had to keep rowing until 2004 before reaching the Olympic podium, taking silver first in Athens in the single scull and four years later, in Beijing in 2008 in the men's double sculls.

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