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ERR News - The Central Union of Estonian Farmers is protesting reforms in a new traffic law that would prohibit children from driving their parents tractors on farms.
Specifically, the measure requires driver's licenses even when operating a tractor on private property.
"This reform would take away the legal right for children of farmers to learn to drive machines and to help their parents with farm work," said the union in a statement.

ERR News - According to research by Pricewater-houseCoopers and the World Bank published November 19, Estonia has risen from 38th to 30th overall in the rankings for the ease of paying taxes.
The comprehensive international study Paying Taxes 2011 allows the taxation system to be assessed from a number of aspects. On one hand, Estonia's system is simple, innovative and business-friendly, but on the other hand, the rate for businesses is higher than in many other countries.
Estonia ranked ninth in the overall number of taxes, 14th in the time spent on paying taxes but 134th of 183 countries in total tax burden.
The average tax burden for companies in the EU is 44.2 percent; in Estonia it is 49.6 percent. The percentage is the highest in Italy (68.6), followed by France  (65.8) and Belgium (57.0). Spain, Austria, Sweden and Hungary also outstrip Estonia.

Every hour I hear blasting on the local Estonian Television stations, “Borrowing time is here again!” The holiday season is traditionally a time for giving, but these SMS loans are a form of legal stealing. The thought of people still naïve enough to get even more into debt that way is scary. Estonia usually prides itself on being smarter than that. Estonians like to feel they are in the forefront of the latest technologies, as with Skype and the Genome project. Estonia is even getting ready for some environmental solar and wind energy conservation breakthroughs with the help of Swedish investors. Estonia is constantly talking about the next Nokia.

While growing up in the United States, Estonia was always the lost pomised land stolen from our parents by the evil empire. Today Estonia is a free country, a member of NATO and the European Union, but we all know this already. Instead of whooping it up because Estonia gets a mention in the national press, we can accept our natural place on the world stage. I just read from the Russian press, ST. PETERSBURG, November 12 (Itar-Tass) -- Arctic glaciers have shrunk by an average of one and a half to two percent over the past decade due to global warming, Professor Andrei Glazov, of the Institute of Geography under the Russian Academy of Sciences, said on Thursday. He was speaking at an international scientific seminar Glaciers and Sea Ice in the Studies of Global Climate Change and the Environment, at the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute in St. Petersburg.

VES/ERR News - World-renowned conductor Neeme Järvi has announced that he is stepping down from his post as artistic director of the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra after just three months.
Järvi made the statement on November 18, from Florida, where he is vacationing, according to Eesti Päevaleht.
"I have been art director and chief conductor and principal conductor for three months, since September. Due to the  feeling of outrage that grips me, it is not possible for me to continue. Although I do not want to do so, I must step down as principal conductor of the National Sympony, which has been my life's dream." Mincing no words, Järvi again criticized Minister of Culture, Laine Jänes, who he said was personally responsible for his decision.

ERR News - After some leaders of the culture community went head-to-head in a fury over the firing of the National Symphony Orchestra's director, two more top officials in the Ministry of Culture have lost their jobs for unrelated reasons.
Meanwhile, the opposition coalition is discussing a possible vote of no confidence for the Minister of Culture, Laine Jänes.
Karin Hallas-Murula, director of the Museum of Estonian Architecture, will lose her job after having built the museum from scratch. "Murula's term as director simply came to an end, and she was not reelected in the new hiring process," Minister of Culture told Eesti Päevaleht.

American-Estonians, -Latvians, and -Lithuanians of New Jersey gathered at the Lakewood Estonian House on Saturday, October 9th , 2010 to renew and  enhance existing friendship ties among our nationalities. At the outset, Lakewood Estonian Society President and Master of Ceremonies, Priit Parming, extended a heartfelt welcome to all dignitaries and guests and said that he was pleased to note that after some passage of time, Balts had an opportunity to meet again in such large numbers. After the posting of US and national colors by Baltic youths, the audience joined in singing the National Anthem, accompanied by Luule Prima at the piano. 

On November 2nd in Estonia it is All Souls Day. In the United States Halloween marks the end of the harvest or summer period, and Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the traditional winter season.  If you have grown up in the United States as I had, most of my direct family was left behind in Estonia so I didn’t grow up  experiencing any of my grandparents, aunts, great uncle’s etc. dying.  All Souls Day didn’t have all that much meaning except for our older generation that had grown up amidst the horrors of revolutions, communism, Nazism and two World Wars. The idea of death for me was limited to accidents.


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