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8 October (BNS) - A team of surgeons under Tanel Laisaar at the University of Tartu Clinical Hospital on Thursday performed the first ever lung transplant operation in Estonia. The results of the operation are in line with expectations at this point, spokespeople for the hospital said.

ERR News - Local opposition politicians will now have a better chance of swaying presidential elections thanks to changes to the election law adopted by Parliament on October 27.
The amendment to the law that governs presidential elections, which passed 57 to 20 with one abstention, affects the way local government councils appoint representatives to the electoral body, a group that plays a large role in choosing the president, rus.err.ee reported.

The Estonian Students Fund in USA was founded in 1961 to provide scholarships and grants to students of Estonian heritage.  Since the mid-1990s, the Fund has seen increasing requests for support from students in Estonia and fewer requests for support from Estonian-Americans in the USA.  While we gladly support Estonian students no matter what part of the world they live in, we are hoping to reach greater numbers of 1st, 2nd and 3rd generation Estonian-Americans in the coming years. 

President Toomas Hendrik Ilves is inviting expats who have made it elsewhere to return to Estonia. I heard a local Estonian woman ask, “Why would they want to do that? What Ilves and all those Toompea troublemakers want is their money”.  Considering the present state of global financial affairs, it is a fair concern and a valid question. Estonia -in the past twenty years -has come about as far as it did in the first republic’s twenty years, all things considered equally, but instead of facing the Red Terror and occupation by Nazism and the soviet aftermath since the Second World War, Estonia is today facing only a global recession and possibly the cultural shock of the internet phenomenon.

 

I recently read in Renewable Energy: Ontario’s New Gold Rush By David LaGesse For National Geographic News Published September 30, 2010 how in Ontario, Canada, home of Niagara Falls, one of the biggest hydroelectric plants in the world, 23,000 farmers are switching over to solar farming. I have been writing and talking to our EU parliamentarians and local politicians for over a year trying to get Estonia to see the merits of this.

“Ontario gets considerably less sunshine than other centers of solar investment—about a third less than Nevada—but its renewable energy industry is booming due to a one-year-old government program. They're at the vanguard of a new gold rush—a race this time to capture the sun's golden rays.

On October 2, 2010 10 very special young men and women were confirmed at the Lakewood Pühavaimu Kirik in Lakewood, NJ.

Dean Vaga conducted the ceremony and it was witnessed by a full house.  The service was followed by a party, which was organized by the 10 families, at the Lakewood Eesti Maja.  It was a wonderful celebration.  There was a short, formal “kava” which was led by Allan Laupa, Jr.,  the master of ceremonies.  It began with an introduction of each youth by Allan Laupa and then the confirmants took turns sharing stories of their time together at “leerilaager” and thanking many people who helped at the “leerilaager” and those who were responsible for organizing the confirmation service and celebration. Their godparents took turns speaking about each youth and sharing short stories and insights into their lives.  These speeches were sentimental and sweet and they were sprinkled with laughter and tears.  Afterwards the guests were treated to a traditional “külm laud” which was prepared by Karin Kärner and then they danced the night away with music provided by AJ Laupa.  It was a memorable day for all!

Laine Skonberg

The National D-Day Memorial Foundation has erred again, and badly. Its decision to remove the Stalin bust but to reinstall it in the future is a grave insult to the brave Americans and others who stormed the Normandy beaches on June 6, 1944 - no Soviet troops participated in D-Day operations. It is also a serious misreading of the history of World War II, which was launched following the Stalin-Hitler pact of August 1939.  There would have been no need for the D-Day invasion if there had been no cynical "non-aggression" agreement between the Soviet and German dictators.

Even if the Estonian population is used  having banknotes in their pockets, this custom is going to change by January, when the Euro will start filling (also) Estonian pockets with coins.

As published by the Estonian daily Eesti Päevaleht, this will also translate into a great loss for Estonian retailers.

Although banks expect that people are going to use more credit cards for payments, retailers are not sure about what is going to be better, and are unsure if they should recommend the payments with credit card or with cash.

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