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ERR News - Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee on March 12,  gave the green light for holding the next round of border treaty talks with Russia. Following an address from the Estonian foreign minister and ambassador to Russia, the parliamentary committee, which will be in Moscow from April 9 to 12, endorsed the current course of talks with Russia. The Estonian side has proposed, following a plan by Estonian Foreign Policy Institute Director Lauri Mälksoo, that the new border treaty focus only on the practical aspects of the border, excluding complicated disputes such as Estonia's historical continuity of statehood.

 (Washington, DC) - The Joint Baltic American National Committee, Inc. (JBANC) is pleased to announce that William Browder, the former employer of whistleblowing Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, will speak at its Tenth Baltic Conference, being held April 19-20 on the outskirts of Washington DC. William Browder is the CEO and co-founder of Hermitage Capital Management in London.

For the past 15 years there has been an annual gathering of Estonian families and friends in the Phoenix area of Arizona at the end of February.  As the year have gone by attendance has varied up and down as is common in America having a very mobile society.  In fact some of the attendees spend winters in Arizona and return to their summer homes in the Northwest and even Canada.  This year we did have the largest of turnout ever with 56 individuals in attendance. 


Estonia does not have any high mountains.  Munamagi, the highest point in the Baltic countries, reaches only 318 meters.  While many famous sea captains from Estonia are well known for exploring the distant shores, it is less known that the first ascent of Mt. Ararat (5,165 m) was made by Friedrich Parrot in 1829, a professor of physics in Tartu University.  More recently Estonians have done numerous major climbs in Caucasus, Himalaya and in the Alps.  Estonians have also explored remote wilderness areas, including crossing Tierra del Fuego without any outside support, Taymyr Peninsula that forms the most northern part of mainland Asia, and others.  


ERR News - US technology giant Intel and venture capital company Greycroft has bought shares of international mobile payment provider Fortumo, which is based in Estonia. “We have been impressed with Fortumo’s strong product focus and ability to execute,” said Dana Settle, a partner with Greycroft, in a statement. “What sets Fortumo apart from their competition is their focus on geographies where mobile payments will have the biggest impact and growth over the next few years,” reported TechCrunch.


ERR News - Two Estonian-owned companies have bought the Palace Hotel, a landmark institution on one corner of Tallinn's Freedom Square, from Sweden's Scandic Hotels. EfTEN Capital's real estate fund and Esraven AS each now own 50 percent of a new company set up to own and manage the hotel, EfTEN Capital said in a press release today. EfTEN Capital is owned by a group of Estonian businessmen that includes Hannes Tamjärv and the company's current CEO, Viljar Arakas, reported Postimees. Vello Kunman owns Esraven.


Most likely the first thing that comes to mind when you read mao is Communist China's late Chairman Mao Zedong. He would no doubt be celebrating right now as well, especially since he was born in a mao/aasta (year of the snake). Is that how he got his name?!... According to Chine-se astrology, people born on the year of the snake are said to be keen and determined. They know how to maneuver themselves toward their own destinies and destinations. (Mao tee (written as two words) also happens to mean the path of the snake. Tee is thereby a true-blue homonym, meaning both tea and road/path.) People born in this year are also said to be sophisticated, calm and not outwardly emotional, but they might have a touch of paranoia at times.


On March 27th, Estonia’s post-war independence exceeds the length of the pre-war one. Toomas Kiho, adviser to Prime Minister and editor of the Akadeemia magazine, has based his calculations on the fact that Republic of Estonia was founded on February 24th, 1918 and managed to last for one day, as on February 25th 1918 the German occupation set in. Authority of the Estonian state was re-established on the day the occupation ended – being November 11th 1918. From then on, Republic of Estonia, according to Mr Kiho’s calculations, lasted until occupied by the Soviet Union. As we know, the Soviet troops massively entered Estonia in the morning of June 17th 1940, the USSR’s corresponding ultimatum having come on June 16th.


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