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ERR News - A 12-strong group of adventurers set off this week on a month-long journey to northern Siberia, where thousands of Estonians were deported during the Soviet era. The team will drive four specially built off-road vehicles first to Norilsk, then to Yamal Peninsula and the mining town of Vorkuta, reported ETV.


ERR News - Eesti Energia's Chairman of the Board, Sandor Liive, spoke on ETV  defending the energy giant's Utah venture after attacks from opposition members of Parliament. Liive said that Eesti Energia, or Enefit as it is known internationally, is on track in Utah and the project will take as long to complete as was first intended. “We are preparing the necessary measures for environmental licenses, we are conducting geological studies, we have done the first tests on the oil shale [found in Utah], so in reality we are doing great,” added Liive.


ERR News - Last week, the news broke that Scott Diel, a contributing editor for ERR News, and composer Eugene Birman are creating what has been called a "financial opera," recounting last year's Twitter duel between Estonia's president and economist Paul Krugman. ERR News interviewed Diel, the librettist, who is an American writer and lives in Estonia; and Birman, a Latvian-born, Juilliard and Columbia-educated composer whose works have been performed across the United States, Europe and Asia.


ERR News - The largest negative net migration of the past decade helped push Estonia's population down by another 7,915 people last year, according to preliminary figures released on January 18, by Statistics Estonia. Based on registered births, deaths and migration figures for the year, the agency put the nation's population figure at 1,286,540 as of January 1. The recent Population and Housing Census, which used December 31, 2011 as its reference date, had come up with a result of 1,294,455.


ERR News - Tõnis Lukas, appointed head of the National Museum yesterday, said he hoped to sign the building contract for the museum's new complex next week and that construction should start in March. It is Lukas's second time directing the museum, ETV reported. He praised the work of his predecessor, Krista Aru. “There is little sense in pushing through too many personal ideas in a permanent institution. The museum will continue with it's main functions.


A London-based classical music review website has, for the second year running, named Arvo Pärt the year's most-performed living composer. put the 77-year-old Estonian in 54th place overall in its "Concert and Opera League Tables 2012," a list created from a sampling of 12,597 concerts and 4,451 opera performances.  "[The] table contains the composers who featured in the greatest number of concerts during the year: a composer gets an entry if at least one work was performed in a given concert," the article accompanying the rankings said. 


At its 60th Anniversary Gala in September 2012, The Estonian American National Council (EANC) announced that it would distribute a portion of the Gala proceeds to the Long Island Estonian Children’s Summer Camp and the Estonian American Girl Guides and Boy Scouts. On December 15 at the “Järvemetsa” Christmas celebration in Lakewood, New Jersey,  EANC Board member Ilmar Vanderer presented checks to Leena Kangro and Tina Fischgrund for the Girl Guides and Boy Scouts.   The Long Island Estonian Children’s Summer Camp also received its special donation check from EANC last month.    


Have you considered popping some suir as part of a healthier New Year's regime? Or tried sõir as an appetizer (eel/roog)? They're both made for consumption with great care and love. When I first typed sõir into my internet search engine (otsingu/mootor), the only hits I got were for soir – evening in French. And I have to admit, I kept forgetting "that other word" (suir), that I've wanted to simultaneously introduce for a while, since it's so similar and most likely just as new to readers. Are they both fringe delicacies? Well, suir (bee pollen), also known as mesilaste leib (bee bread) is not eaten for its great taste. In fact it's kibe (bitter), some say hapu (sour) and magically, naturally hapendatud (fermented) by the bee's secret ingredient, an amazing lactic acid bacteria (piim/happe/bakter).


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