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Latvia Weekly

English, News, 1 season, 273 episodes, 3 days, 13 hours, 54 minutes
About
A weekly podcast that discusses the latest happenings in Latvia, hosted by Otto Tabuns and Joe Horgan
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LW #222: Northern Lights, International Success, and News from April 1st-14th, 2024

The "ziemeļblāzma" (northern lights) shining above Latvia last weekend seem to have been a good sign, with singer Dons securing Latvia's best Eurovision result since 2016 and a string of victories to open the 2024 International Ice Hockey Federation Championships. Otto and Joe discuss these and other issues including more headaches for Rail Baltic, important international meetings, common sense behavior when visiting forests, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
5/15/202436 minutes, 35 seconds
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LW #221: As the Winter Tire Turns and News from April 16th - 23rd, 2024

Those who took their winter tires off might have done so too soon as winter returned with a vengeance early this week. Otto and Joe discuss the strange weather along with new developments in the plan to move away from Russian as a second foreign language in schools, Minister of Culture Agnese Logina surviving a no confidence vote, military training for hunters, a possible new football stadium, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
4/25/202440 minutes, 11 seconds
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LW #220: New Foreign Minister and News from April 1st - 16th, 2024

As Latvia's likely new foreign minister gets introduced to the public, Latvia's previous foreign minister deals with the continued fallout from a questionable amount of state and EU funding being used on private jet flights. Otto and Joe meet to discuss the newest developments to this story as well as going through good news for animal rights activists and environmentalists, possible exciting developments in Liepāja, a farewell to a regional mayor who became a household name for all the wrong reasons, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
4/17/202448 minutes, 47 seconds
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LW #219: The Trouble with State-Provided Transportation and News from March 18th-30th, 2024

While Krišjānis Kariņš has resigned from the post of foreign minister after mounting criticism over his use of private jets while prime minister and the announcement of criminal proceedings for those involved with arranging them, Mayor of Jelgava District Madars Lasmanis hangs onto his position despite a widely spread video of seemingly indecent behavior during an online meeting led from his state-provided car. Otto and Joe meet to discuss these issues and a number of others including a dangerous 240 kph joyride though Tinuži, the moving ahead of new restrictions on alcohol, difficult times for rapeseed farmers, major steps forward in Latvia's defense sector, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
3/30/202457 minutes, 29 seconds
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"Go and (Don't) Burn (Grass)" and News from March 1st - 11th, 2024

Otto and Joe explain the difference between the Latvian words "degt" and "dedzināt," especially in the context of one dangerous tradition, before discussing major stories of the week such as the rapid approval and beginning of border defense construction, a major resignation in the wake of passenger rail difficulties, criminal proceedings for a former parliamentarian, a unique chance to celebrate Spring Equinox, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
3/11/202449 minutes, 12 seconds
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LW #217: A Heavy Day and News from February 16th - 24th, 2024

On a gloomy day that marks two years since Russia's unprovoked wide-scale invasion of Ukraine, Otto and Joe discuss major stories of the week such as Latvia's massive assistance to Ukraine, a new depth to Rēzekne's financial governance troubles, a farewell to one of Latvia's most controversial members of parliament, and much more! Photo: Valsts kanceleja / Evija Trifanova, used with a Creative Commons BY 2.0 DEED Attribution 2.0 Generic license Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
2/24/202454 minutes, 24 seconds
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LW #217: Somewhat Summer and News from February 6th - 15th, 2023

LW #217: Somewhat Summer and News from February 6th - 15th, 2023 by Latvia Weekly
2/15/202459 minutes, 18 seconds
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LW #215: Weather Fluctuations and News from January 6th - 11th, 2024

With temperatures fluctuating between around -30 and +5 degrees Celsius throughout Latvia over the past week, Otto and Joe discuss the effects on infrastructure as well as a number of other news stories from the week. Photo: Emilian Robert Vicol, used with a Creative Commons BY 2.0 DEED Attribution 2.0 Generic license Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
1/13/202446 minutes, 37 seconds
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LW #214: 2023 Year in Review and News from December 2023 - January 5th, 2024

After briefly discussing the bitter cold that's caused more than a few problems for Latvia's new electric trains, Otto and Joe count down the top 10 biggest stories of 2023 and announce the Latvia Weekly person of the year. "Auld Lang Syne" performed by Starlifter and Roots in Blue of the United States Air Force Band of Mid-America. Track 11 from the ensembles' 2020 album The Spirit of the Season.
1/7/20241 hour, 13 minutes, 12 seconds
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LW #213: On One Train and News from November 22nd - December 28th, 2023

It's an exciting time for Latvian passenger rail, as not only long promised new electric trains are finally in service, but daily train service to Vilnius has finally been reestablished! Joe discusses the exciting news along with a number of other news stories from the past month while he was recovering from illness including the ratification of the long-discussed Istanbul Convention, better than expected economic news, more trouble for Rezekne, pricier passports, and much more! Make sure to also let us know your nominations for the Latvia Weekly person and stories of the year here! https://forms.gle/VD2gBYiEqLWdHf9r9 Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8 Photo: Gatis Rozenfelds, Valsts kanceleja, used with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic license. https://www.flickr.com/photos/valstskanceleja/53423988023/
12/28/202347 minutes, 2 seconds
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LW Presents: The Holiday Season in Latvia with Musician Jöran Steinhauer

Every Saturday until December 23rd, German musician Jöran Steinhauer will be playing a series of free holiday season concerts at St. Peter's Church in Riga that all are welcome to attend. Joe sits down with Jöran to discuss German, Latvian, and American holiday traditions, the internationalization of the holiday season, and much more! Music: Jingle Bells, Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.
12/1/202348 minutes, 15 seconds
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LW Interviews: Artists Eamonn Shanahan and Katrīna Tračuma

Joe sits down with Eamonn Shanahan (IE) and Katrīna Tračuma (LV), artists of the international "Nua Collective" which will be opening an exhibition called "Blackout" about climate change and the energy crisis on December 9 in the Jelgava Old Town House. To find out more about the exhibition, you can visit their website here! https://nuacollective.ie/blackout/ Opening and closing music by Austra Apsīte
11/28/202330 minutes, 52 seconds
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LW #212: Frosty Windshields and News from November 16th - 21st, 2023

As temperatures drop to -10 Celsius in parts of Latvia, Otto and Joe discuss major stories such as Sigulda's renewed Olympic dreams, President Rinkēvičs' trip to Israel and the West Bank, the strangest police confiscation of white powder imaginable, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
11/21/202331 minutes, 20 seconds
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LW #211: Proclamation, Pause on Partnerships, and News from November 10th - 15th, 2023

Otto and Joe sit discuss the meaning of the 18th of November in Latvia along with some major stories from the previous week, such as the passing and then pausing of new amendments to the civil partnership laws, the announcement of major new transit infrastructure projects in Riga, sentencing for two badly behaved former parliamentarians, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8 Photo: ScAvenger. This image is used with a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike License v. 4.0: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ noteikumiem.
11/16/202346 minutes, 24 seconds
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LW #210: Commemoration, Controversy, and News from October 26th - November 9th, 2023

Otto is back with Joe to discuss commemoration of Latvia's most important military victory in its history, as well as other stories such as controversy over a new sign for Riga Central Station, Major new legislation projects over hot button issues, the dismissal of Rezekne's mayor, good news for regional train service, and much more! With Otto in America, Joe takes a look at some of the biggest stories of the week including new survey results regarding language, the opening of a new high speed road, troubles with teacher salary calculations, the shelving of a chaotic income declaration proposal, help from Estonia for Latvia's border situation, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8 Photo: Toms Norde, Valsts kanceleja, used with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic license
11/10/20231 hour, 10 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW #210: Commemoration, Controversy, and News from October 26th - November 9th, 2023

Otto is back with Joe to discuss some of the biggest happenings over the previous weeks, such as a controversy over the spelling of a new sign for Riga Central Station, the 2024 budget, major new legislation projects, the dismissal of Rezekne's mayor, and much more! Otto also explains the significance of the 11th of November in Latvia. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8 Photo: Toms Norde, Valsts kanceleja Used with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic license. https://www.flickr.com/photos/valstskanceleja/10807076385
11/10/20231 hour, 10 minutes, 43 seconds
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Winter Tire Time, Teacher Salary Trouble, and News From October 13th - 25th, 2023

With Otto in America, Joe takes a look at some of the biggest stories of the week including new survey results regarding language, the opening of a new high speed road, troubles with teacher salary calculations, the shelving of a chaotic income declaration proposal, help from Estonia for Latvia's border situation, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
10/25/202347 minutes, 35 seconds
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LW #208: A Dark and Stormy Night, Bomb Threats, and News From October 5th - 12th, 2023

With the first snow having fallen in Latvia as part of a weekend storm, Otto and Joe discuss seasonal issues such as the lowering of speed limits throughout the country along with other major stories like bomb threats to schools and kindergartens Latvia's support for Israel following Hamas' attacks, and more expensive alcohol taxes over the next few years. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
10/12/202354 minutes, 52 seconds
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LW #207: Speaker Surprise and News from September 15th - October 4th, 2023

Otto and Joe look back on the biggest stories of the last few weeks, including the surprise election of Daiga Mieriņa as the new Speaker of Parliament, major developments in the criminal processes for two long-controversial politicians, harsh new penalties for intoxicated drivers, a major honor for the town of Kuldiga, and much more! heme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8 Photo: Ieva Ābele, Saeima Used with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) license https://www.flickr.com/photos/saeima/53201228471/in/photostream/
10/5/202336 minutes, 18 seconds
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LW #206: New Coalition and News from September 6th - 14th, 2023

"Jauns" is the Latvian word of the week as Otto and Joe discuss the newly agreed upon coalition before taking a look at a number of important stories from regions all over Latvia, such as Valmiera's local government under investigation for corruption, an eye-raising 1.7 million euro playground in Ogre, a requirement for all municipalities to have their own local police forces, and much more! They also celebrate the Latvian men's basketball team's historic success at the FIBA world cup. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8 Image: Gatis Rozenfelds, Valsts kanceleja Used with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) license https://www.flickr.com/photos/valstskanceleja/53185930942/
9/15/20231 hour, 20 minutes, 6 seconds
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LW #205: New School Year, New Coalition, and News from August 22nd - September 5th, 2023

The first of September is "Zīnibu diena" (Knowledge day) in Latvia, and Otto and Joe are back in Jelgava for not just the beginning of a new school year, but also to discuss stories such as the formation of a new three-party coalition, Latvia's jaw-dropping performance at the FIBA World Cup, the planned resumption of rail service between Latvia and Lithuania, financial trouble in Latvia's eastern cities, good and bad news for Liepāja's industrial sector, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
9/5/20231 hour, 12 minutes, 7 seconds
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LW Interviews: "An Englishman in Latvia" Podcast Host Alan Anstead

Joe sits down with Alan Anstead, a former British diplomat who lived in Latvia in the 1990s and returned to live in Latvia last year and start producing the "An Englishman in Latvia" podcast. The two discuss connections between the UK and Latvia, how things have changed since the 1990s, some of the best places to visit in the country, and much more! Make sure to listen to Alan's podcast here! https://open.spotify.com/show/0FMLAT1VGPxKWn8RTQxUuH Opening and closing music: courtesy of Ausma Apsīte
9/2/202332 minutes, 10 seconds
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LW #204: Ķirsis Gets His Turn and News from August 17th - 21st, 2023

After years of climbing the ladder of Rīga city government, Jaunā Vienotība's Vilnis Ķirsis gets his turn in the big chair as the new chair, or priekšsēdētājs, of city council — but how long will he able to manage a rowdy coalition of factions already sharpening their knives ahead of the 2025 municipal elections? Otto and Joe break discuss his prospects as well as a number of other stories including the arrest of a suspected taxi driving spy, the planned closure of train stops, a deteriorating bridge near the border of Estonia, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8 Photo: Gatis Rozenfelds, Valsts kanceleja. Used with Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/valstskanceleja/51264097019/in/album-72157719453255107/
8/22/20231 hour, 8 minutes, 48 seconds
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LW #203: Kariņš steps back, Siļiņa steps forward, and News from August 9th - 16th, 2023

After making history as the first ever Latvian prime minister to last from one regularly scheduled election to another, Krisjānis Kariņš has finally announced his resignation while his party has put forward Minister for Welfare Evika Siliņa as their nominee to replace him. Otto and Joe break down the dramatic developments as well as the possible election of Vilnis Ķirsis as the new mayor of Rīga, the activation of "average speed" cameras throughout the country, more delays to new electric trains, the return of bears as permanent Latvian residents, and much more! Note: We apologize for a technical issue with Joe's microphone that lead to decreased audio quality when he is talking during this episode. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8 Photo: Gatis Rozenfelds, Valsts kanceleja. Used with Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) www.flickr.com/photos/valstskanceleja/53115872060/in/photostream/
8/16/20231 hour, 12 minutes, 47 seconds
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LW #202: Hail, Wind, Torrential Rain, and News from August 2nd - 8th, 2023

As much of Zemgale and Latgale starts cleaning up after an unusually powerful and devastating storm, Otto and Joe discuss the impact on residents, nature, and the agriculture sector along with a few other major stories from throughout the week. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8 Photo: Gatis Rozenfelds, Valsts kanceleja. Used with Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/valstskanceleja/53103238463/
8/9/20231 hour, 13 minutes, 12 seconds
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LW #201: The Worst Kind of Neighbors and News from July 24th - August 1st, 2023

"Kaimiņš" is the Latvian word of the week as Latvia's neighboring countries of Russia and Belarus continue to make life difficult for Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland with the arrival of Wagner Group militants close to the EU border. Otto breaks down the security threat and discusses a number of other important stories with Joe such as amendments to alcohol law that are moving forward, the possible distribution of Ukrainian grain through Latvia, two surprising breakouts by fugitives, more than 100 years of friendship between Latvia and the USA, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
8/2/20231 hour, 6 minutes, 30 seconds
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LW #200: Coming Full Circle and News from July 18th - 23rd, 2023

Otto and Joe celebrate 200 numbered episodes by getting back to the first topic they ever discussed on the podcast — a messy and complicated coalition building process, this time on Rīga City Council. They also discuss issues related to energy and food security, new scooter regulations, a proposal to unify high school entry requirements, the latest in the intractable conflict between the education ministry and teachers' union, and much more! Thank you so much to all of you who have been listening throughout the last 200 episodes! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
7/24/20231 hour, 14 minutes, 44 seconds
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LW #199: Daily Trains to Liepāja and News from July 10th - 17th, 2023

With Otto away in Argentina, Joe looks through some transit-related stories in Latvia such as the reestablishment of daily passenger train service between Rīga and Liepāja, the seizure of drunk drivers' vehicles, delay in implementing "average speed" cameras, penalties for reckless scooter drivers, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8 Photo credit: Jānis Vilniņš, via Wikimedia commons. Used with a CC-BY-SA-3.0 license. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:D%C4%ABze%C4%BCvilciens_pie_Gl%C5%ABdas.jpg
7/18/202332 minutes, 23 seconds
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LW #198: Latvia Sings and Dances, and News from June 27th - July 9th, 2023

As tens of thousands of Latvians perform impressive songs and dances in Rīga's capital and many tens of thousands more spectators take in the experience, Otto and Joe break down the biggest happenings of the XXVII Nationwide Latvian Song and XVII Dance Festival and other major stories from the previous week such as the inauguration of President Edgars Rinkēvičs, resignation of Mayof Mārtiņš Staķis, a deepening conflict between the teacher's union and the education union, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8 Photo credit: Gatis Rozenfelds, Valsts kanceleja, use with a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) license https://www.flickr.com/photos/valstskanceleja/53029436884/
7/9/20231 hour, 7 minutes, 23 seconds
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LW Presents: Continuing the ENGtegrationForUkraine project with head teacher Kris Akenfelds

Joe checks in with ENGtegrationForUkraine head teacher Kris Akenfelds as they prepare for a sixth round of free English courses for Ukrainian refugees in Latvia. Please help spread the word about our project, and share the donation link. Every bit helps. Thank you so much to everyone who has helped! https://gogetfunding.com/help-ukrainian-refugees-in-latvia-continue-learning-english/ Opening music by Austra Apsīte
7/7/202316 minutes, 18 seconds
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LW #197: The Shortest Night and News From June 14th - 26th, 2023

While much of the world was reeling from events in Russia that took place on the 23rd and 24th of June, Latvia celebrated midsummer Līgo/Jāņi festival — some more responsibly than others, unfortunately. With Otto away in Naples, Joe breaks down the biggest stories of the week here in Latvia including the latest developments in coalition talks, a failed vote of no confidence vote, more money allocated to health care, licenses finally to be required for electric scooters, more drought headaches for farmers, the upcoming Song and Dance Festival, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
6/26/202336 minutes, 50 seconds
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LW #196: Seeking Coalition Clarity and News from June 9th - 13th, 2023

As murky coalition negotiations drag on, Otto and Joe evaluate the overall situation and look at a number of other important stories such as increasing pain for the agriculture sector, a chronic lack of teachers, the return of the #11 tram, a larger footprint for Latvia in European Parliament, training Ukrainian soldiers in Latvia, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
6/15/202350 minutes, 13 seconds
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LW #195: President Rinkēvičs, "Widening" the Coalition, and News from June 1st - 8th, 2023

The election of Edgars Rinkēvičš as president has led to questions about the current coalition and whether or not it will stay as is, invite in opposition parties, or be replaced with a new alliance of parties that voted for the president-elect. Otto and Joe break down this political puzzle along with other major stories such as the largest ever pride parade, heat taken by the mayor of Rīga for displaying pride flags on public buildings, a possible measure to close supermarkets on Sundays, a threat from the teacher's union to call for Minister Čakša's resignation, and more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
6/8/202356 minutes, 48 seconds
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LW #194: Hockey Madness, End of the School Year, and News from May 18th - 31st, 2023and News from

"Beigas" is the word of the week as the end of the school year coincides with not just the presidential election, but the dramatic end of the IIHF Championships in which Latvia's National Men Hockey Team won their first even bronze metal. Joe discusses these stories along with a number of other important happenings from throughout the week. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
5/31/202344 minutes, 55 seconds
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LW #193: Karaļauči, Election Excitement, and News from May 13th - 17th, 2023

With the presidential election campaign season having begun in earnest, Otto is back in Latvia to discuss with Joe the latest developments both in the election and throughout Latvia! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
5/19/202351 minutes, 16 seconds
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LW #192: Levits' Dramatic Decision and News from May 4th - 12th, 2023

With Otto on a trip for his work with the Baltic Security Foundation, the Latvian word of the week is "vientuļš" as Joe covers the major events of the week by himself — including President Levits' dramatic decision to not run for a second term after all, harsher sentences planning on being introduced for stalkers in the wake of the tragic murder in Jēkabpils, a relatively calm 9th of May, and much more! (Note: We apologize for an uploading error with a previous version of this episode Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
5/12/202352 minutes, 10 seconds
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LW #191: Outrage, Independence, and News from April 20th - May 3rd, 2023

"Sašutums" is the word of the week as outrage is expressed by teachers during a three-day strike, protesters picketing a perceived lack of action by police in preventing a murder, and government officials in response to controversial comments by a Chinese diplomat questioning the Baltic countries' sovereignty. Otto and Joe sit down to discuss these issues and more, as well as looking ahead to 4th of May re-establishment of independence celebrations. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
5/3/202343 minutes, 31 seconds
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LW #190: Sunny Days and News from April 13th - 19th, 2023

"Saule" is the word of the day as the weather becomes sunnier and as Otto heads off to the sunny city of Rome for a conference before sitting down with Joe to discuss the looming teachers' strike, political drama in Ogre, the upcoming presidential election, and more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
4/19/202332 minutes, 50 seconds
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LW #189: Change coming and News from March 30th - April 12th, 2023

"Mainīt" (to change) is the word of the week as Otto and Joe discuss major stories related to the changing of seasons and other important changes such as the re-introduction of mandatory military service, amendments to language requirements for Russian nationals living in Latvia with residence permits, the expansion of NATO, and much more!
4/13/202337 minutes, 48 seconds
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LW Interviews: Checking in with Kris Akenfelds, head teacher of ENGtegrationForUkraine

With the fourth round of the ENGtegrationForUkraine project's English lessons for Ukrainian refugees underway thanks to generous donors like you, it's time for Joe to check in with head teacher Kris Akenfelds to see how the courses are going and the overall situation in Latvia's Ukrainian refugee community. Opening and closing music: courtesy of Ausma Apsīte
4/1/202319 minutes, 5 seconds
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LW #188: Spring (and Kūla smoke)is in the Air and News from March 23rd - 29th, 2023

Spring has returned, and so has the dangerous time-honored tradition of burning old grass (kūla). Otto and Joe remind people of why this is not only dangerous but illegal, and discuss major stories from the previous week such as an emergency in Latvia's spruce forests, a statue vandalized in Bauska, controversy over public media reorganization, a possible higher age limit on smoking, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
3/30/202335 minutes, 57 seconds
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LW #187: Finding Money for the Health Sector and News from March 2nd - 22nd, 2022

After a contentious budget process, questions remain about funding for the health and education sectors in Latvia, with potential protests on the horizon. Otto and Joe discuss the latest developments in the government's attempts to address these concerns, along with updates to a number of other important stories from the last few weeks. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
3/22/202336 minutes, 59 seconds
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LW Presents: Bridging Latvia and Ireland with Noel Lyons and Skarleta Feierabends

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, Joe sits down with Noel Lyons and Skarleta Feierabends, authors of the poetry collection "Voices on the Bridge", for a wide-ranging conversation about the pains of immigration, parallels between the difficult situations in Latvia's and Ireland's countrysides, translating cultural ideas, and the value of poetry in both societies. Opening and closing music: Irish Washerwoman by Howie & Ann Mitchell is licensed under a Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Image credit: Groubani, used with a Creative Commons License https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ireland_Latvia_Locator.png
3/19/20231 hour, 6 minutes, 22 seconds
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LW #186: A Solemn Anniversary and News from February 22nd - March 1st, 2022

"Gads" is the word of the week as Otto and Joe discuss Latvia's commemoration of one year of Russia's illegal full-scale invasion of Ukraine, along with other important stories of the week. If you would like to help Otto and Joe's project ENGtegrationForUkraine continue providing free English lessons to Ukrainian refugees in Latvia, you can do so here: https://gogetfunding.com/help-ukrainian-refugees-continue-learning-english/ Photo: Raimond Spekking, used with a Creative Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wheat_fields_in_Ukraine-5961.jpg Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
3/2/202332 minutes, 28 seconds
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LW #185: Danger on K. Valdemāra iela and News from February 10th - 21st, 2022

"Bīstams" is the word of the week as Otto and Joe sit down to discuss major issues of the week, such as the partial closing of K. Valdemāra iela in Rīga due to buildings in dangerous condition, the conceptual approval of mandatory military service by Saeima, the postponement of mandatory eID cards until 2031, Joe Biden's surprise visit to Ukraine, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
2/21/202343 minutes, 59 seconds
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LW #184: Budget, Beetles, Busses, and News from February 3rd - 9th, 2023

"Iesniegt" is the word of the day as the 2023 budget is submitted by the ministry of finance for discussion and approval by Saeima. Otto and Joe discuss the new coalition's very first budget creation process along with a number of other important stories such as the troubling spread of beetles lethal to Latvia's spruce trees, potential conscription for Latvian citizens abroad, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8 Photo credit: Ernests Dinka, Saeimas kanceleja, used with a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)license https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Flickr_-_Saeima_-_2013.gada_valsts_bud%C5%BEeta_projekts_Saeim%C4%81_%287%29.jpg
2/9/202355 minutes, 57 seconds
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LW #183: Disharmony in Daugavpils and News from January 25th - February 2nd, 2022

"Saskaņa", or "harmony", is the word of the week, and something that Daugavpils now lacks as Mayor Andrejs Elksniņš and the rest of the Saskaņa party's city council members quit the faction. Otto and Joe discuss the latest drama for the fragmenting political force along with other major stories like alleged embezzlement at Daugavpils University, criminal charges for parliamentarian Glorija Grevcova, an increase to university lecturers' salaries, the installation of "average speed" cameras, and much more! If you would like to donate to the ENGtegration for Ukraine project, you can do it here at the Baltic Security Foundation's webpage here: balticsecurity.eu/support/ Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8 Photo credit: Dāvis Kļaviņš, used with a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)license www.flickr.com/photos/davisklavins/51849442921
2/2/202359 minutes, 12 seconds
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LW #182: Bus Cartel Busted, Diplomatic Drama, and News from January 18th - 24th, 2023

Otto and Joe discuss some of the biggest stories of the previous week such as a hefty fine levied on badly behaving bus operators, the downgrading of diplomatic relations between Russia and Latvia, more defections from a Conservative party on life support, potential new language requirements for political campaigns, stabilizing water levels in Jēkabpils, and more! If you would like to donate to the ENGtegration for Ukraine project, you can do it here at the Baltic Security Foundation's webpage here: balticsecurity.eu/support/ Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8 Photo credit: Dāvis Kļaviņš, used with a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)license https://www.flickr.com/photos/davisklavins/51849442921
1/24/202337 minutes, 15 seconds
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LW #181: Jēkabpils flooded and News from January 4th - 17th, 2022

As floodwaters finally recede in Jēkabpils, Otto and Joe sit down to discuss the biggest stories of the last week and a half. If you would like to donate to the ENGtegration for Ukraine project, you can do it here at the Baltic Security Foundation's webpage here: balticsecurity.eu/support/ Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
1/18/202334 minutes, 46 seconds
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Latvia Weekly Presents: 2022 Year in Review — Stories and People of the Year

Otto and Joe take a look back on the top 10 biggest stories of 2022 and name the Latvia Weekly person of the year, as well as their runners up. Music: Auld Lang Syne, performed by the U.S. Navy Band Ceremonial Band https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Auld_Lang_Syne_-_U.S._Navy_Band.ogg Picture credit: Marco Verch, used with a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)license https://www.flickr.com/photos/160866001@N07/51896956126
1/11/202339 minutes, 29 seconds
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LW #180: A Little Early, Quite Late, and News from December 13th, 2022 - January 4th, 2023

"Agri" and "vēlu" are the words of the week as this first episode of 2022 comes later than expected. Joe and Otto take a look back on some of the biggest happenings of the last month, such as the swearing in of the new cabinet, the lack of support for a proposed civil union law, the acquittal of former Mayor Ušakovs in lower court, the changing of street names related to the Russian occupation, increased minimum wage, a medical workers' strike on the horizon, Latvia's own lying lawmaker, and much more! To nominate people and stories for our year in review episode that will be recorded next week, please submit your choices here! https://forms.gle/U8XzFeL2Aq32opJW7 Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
1/5/20231 hour, 3 minutes, 38 seconds
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LW Interviews: ENGtegration for Ukraine head teacher Kris Akenfelds

Australian-born Latvian Kris Akenfelds joins the show once again, this time to discuss his experience as head teacher of the ENGtegration for Ukraine project that provides free English lessons to Ukrainian refugees in Latvia, a project organized by Otto and Joe that's administered by the Baltic Security Foundation and generously funded with a grant from the US Embassy, Riga. If you are would like to donate in order to help keep the program going in 2023 after our current grant money runs out, you can do so here! https://gogetfunding.com/help-ukrainian-refugees-in-latvia-learn-english/
12/16/202217 minutes, 40 seconds
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LW #179: Blizzard in December and News from November 17th - December 12th, 2022

As Latvia hunkers down for an early winter blizzard, Joe and Otto take a look back on the almost complete coalition formation process and a number of other important stories from the previous month, including the de-licensing of a Russian language TV channel, more heating aid to Latvian households, the potential end of Russian language as a "second foreign language" in schools, and more! To donate to the ENGtegration for Ukraine project: gogetfunding.com/my-dashboard/ Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
12/12/20221 hour, 2 minutes, 39 seconds
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LW #178: Preparing for Latvia's 104th Birthday and News from November 1st - 16th, 2022

Joe takes a look back through the first half of October including significant potholes in the road to a coalition, major changes to Riga's public transit ticketing system, a shortage of antibiotics, ever-increasing energy prices, and more! To donate to the ENGtegration for Ukraine project: https://gogetfunding.com/my-dashboard/ Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8 Picture: Ernests Dinka, Saeimas Kanceleja. Used with a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License(CC BY-SA 2.0)
11/17/202244 minutes, 13 seconds
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LW #177: An Energy-Focused New Coalition and News from October 2022

Otto and Joe are back to celebrate the fourth anniversary of the podcast and to break down the major stories of the last month such as the three-party coalition formation process that seems to be in its final stages, major energy initiatives, average speed cameras, the dismantling of more monuments, HIMARS for Latvia, and more! If you would like to donate to the ENGtegration for Ukraine project, you can do it here at the Baltic Security Foundation's webpage here: https://balticsecurity.eu/support/ Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
11/1/20221 hour, 15 minutes, 13 seconds
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LW Presents: The Results of the 2022 Saeima Election

With the 2022 Saeima (parliament) election finally in the books, Otto and Joe sit down for an extended discussion on the results and the many implications for the election's winners and losers, as well as the first steps towards building a new governing coalition. Opening and closing music: "Epic Cinematic" by Scott Holmes Music is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Scott_Holmes/cinematic-background-music/epic-cinematic/
10/4/20221 hour, 41 minutes, 42 seconds
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LW #176: Turning Down the Heat and News from September 14th - 30th, 2022

On the eve of the 2022 Saeima election, Joe and Otto take a look back on some of the most important stories of the last few weeks such as a narrowly avoided teachers' strike, new energy saving measures, major decisions adopted by the outgoing parliament on education, a look at the regional security situation, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
9/30/202253 minutes, 29 seconds
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LW Presents: Students on the 2022 Saeima Election

With just a few days to go before the 2022 Saeima Election, Joe sits down with some of his 12th grade students, many of who are about to vote for the very first time in their lives, to find out what issues are most important to them and how they feel politicians are doing at engaging with people their age. Here is a link to the Election Guide spreadsheet and Otto and Joe created that is mentioned in the episode: docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1F…/edit?usp=sharing Opening and closing music: "Epic Cinematic" by Scott Holmes Music is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. freemusicarchive.org/music/Scott_Ho…pic-cinematic/
9/27/202221 minutes, 41 seconds
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LW #175: Strike on the Horizon and News from August 29th - September 13th, 2022

As a teacher's strike seems imminent, Otto and Joe sit down to discuss major new stories such as the potential elimination of "budget seats" at universities, legal independence for Latvia's Orthodox Church, the demise of Rīga's microbusses, new party polling data, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
9/13/202250 minutes, 35 seconds
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LW Presents: A Guide to the 2022 Saeima Election

With Latvia set to vote on a new parliament in less than a month, Otto and Joe sat down for a marathon-length episode to discuss all 19 of the competing parties, as well as a brief introduction to how Saeima (Latvian parliament) works and is elected. If you would like to skip to a specific part of the episode, you can choose a part below: 3:24 What is Saeima (parliament)? 8:56 How the Prime Minister is chosen 14:56 - The guide to the 19 parties 17:54 - 1. Jaunā Vienotība 23:59 - 2. Latvia’s Krievu Savienība 29:22 - 3. Zaļo un Zemnieku Savienība 35:10 - 4. Tautas Kalpi Latvijai 40:28 - 5. Suverena Vara 45:57 - 6. Kristīgi progresīvie partija 50:24 - 7. Saskaņa 1:00:15 - 8. Stabilitātei! 1:10:31 - 9. Tautas Vāras spēks 1:17:05 - 10. Partija "Vienoti Latvijai" 1:19:54 - 11. Nacionālā apvienība 1:28:16 - 12. Latvia pirmajā vietā 1:38:02 - 13. Konservatīvie 1:47:22 - 14. Katram un Katran 1:53:35 - 15. Progresīvie 1:58:53 - 16. Attistībai/Par! 2:04:35 - 17. Apvienība Latvijai 2:08:40 - 18. Apvienotais saraksts 2:15:21 - 19. Republika 2:20:09 - Overall analysis Here is a link to the Election Guide spreadsheet and Otto and Joe created for the episode: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1FnCznxvsmc6X-6qOXpZoEvHwwUEFEOHOd-9X6VG4M5w/edit?usp=sharing Opening and closing music: "Epic Cinematic" by Scott Holmes Music is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Scott_Holmes/cinematic-background-music/epic-cinematic/
9/11/20222 hours, 28 minutes, 11 seconds
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LW #174: A Monumental Week and News from August 9th - 28th, 2022

Joe returns back to Latvia to discuss with Otto the literally ground-shaking demise of the controversial Soviet Victory Memorial in Rīga, along with a number of other important stories from the previous few weeks! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
9/1/20221 hour, 10 minutes, 55 seconds
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LW #173: Burning Bridges and News from August 4th - 8th, 2022

With a parliamentary committee labelling Russia as a "terrorist state", visas being denied to almost all Russian citizens, and the seemingly imminent demolition of the country's most controversial landmark, the era of Latvia as a "bridge between east and west" seems to have officially drawn to a close. Otto and Joe discuss the newest low in diplomatic relations between Latvia and it's largest neighbor as well as new energy saving plans, potential lower VAT on food, the first appearances of monkeypox and NFT art galleries in the country, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
8/9/20221 hour, 9 minutes, 12 seconds
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LW #172: Russia's Gas Games and News from July 27th - August 3rd, 2022

Concerns grow in Riga about a potential winter gas shortage for certain sectors, while Gazprom announces that it will no longer supply gas to Latvia. Otto and Joe discuss the implications along with a number of other stories, such as a picket protest by representatives of the medical sector, the long-awaited opening of an embassy in Australia, poorly planted trees in Riga, and an exciting "simtgade" (centennial). Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
8/4/202243 minutes, 32 seconds
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LW #171: Expensive Energy and News from July 19th - 26th, 2022

As energy costs continue to soar throughout the region, Latvia gets serious about conserving fuel and finding alternatives to unreliable Russian natural gas. Otto and Joe discuss the ongoing international energy crisis as it relates to Latvia, along with other important stories such as continued inflation, new measures against speeding, urban bee farms on the roofs of cities, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
7/27/202256 minutes, 42 seconds
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LW #170: Blocked-off Beaches and News from July 10th - 18th, 2022

"Pludmale" is the word of the week, with many of Latvia's most popular beaches closed to swimmers due to low water quality amid a series of heatwaves. Otto and Joe discuss this and a number of other stories including high costs for the planned Soviet monument demolition, possible changes to Latvia's parental leave system, the trashiest criminal in Jēkabpils, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8 Photo credit: Latvijas armija, used with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)license www.flickr.com/photos/latvijas_armija/38526906252
7/19/20221 hour, 13 minutes, 34 seconds
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LW #169: Plans for Conscription and News from June 28th - July 9th, 2022

"Iesaukt" (conscript) is the word of the week as Minister for Defense Atis Pabriks announces plans for obligatory military service that could be introduced as soon as next year. Otto and Joe discuss the implications for Latvia's society and security situation along with other major stories from the previous week such as cyberattacks on Latvian infrastructure, new poll data on attitudes towards Russia's invasion of Ukraine, a walrus vacationing in the Baltic sea, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8 Photo credit: Latvijas armija, used with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)license https://www.flickr.com/photos/latvijas_armija/38526906252
7/8/20221 hour, 17 minutes, 27 seconds
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LW #168: A Sweltering Midsummer and News from June 11th - 27th, 2022

As Latvia suffers through a massive heatwave, Otto and Joe discuss some of the biggest stories of the week including a looming teacher's strike, trouble with KNAB for Ainārs Šlesers LPV party, new electric trains (finally!) and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8 Image: Kārlis Dambrāns, used with a Creative Commons 2.0 license, https://www.flickr.com/photos/janitors/19144575731
6/28/20221 hour, 4 minutes, 45 seconds
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LW #167: A Trip through the News from May 16th - June 9th, 2022

Now that Otto and Joe are back from a number of "komandējumi" (business trips) and the busy school year is over, they sit down and take a look back through some of the biggest stories of the past few weeks! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
6/10/20221 hour, 20 minutes, 21 seconds
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LW #166: Time Running Out for Soviet Memorials and News from May 7th - 15th, 2022

"Skriet" (to run) is the word of the weeb in honor of Otto's and Olevs's participation in Riga Marathon events. Before running to go run his distance, Otto joins Joe via audio call to run through the biggest stories of the week including planned demolition of Riga's major Soviet war memorial, political fallout from events on the 9th and 10th of May, promised electric train deliveries, Liepāja being tipped as a European Culture Capital, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
5/15/202251 minutes, 33 seconds
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LW #165: Celebrating Renewed Independence, Securing Energy, and News From April 26th - May 6th, 2022

"Atjaunot" is the word of the week as Latvia celebrates 32 years since the restoration of independence. Otto and Joe discuss the meaning of the 4th of May in Latvia along with other major stories such as alternative heating and electricity to Russian gas, the dismantling of more Soviet monuments, donated bussed to Kyiv, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
5/7/202245 minutes, 20 seconds
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LW #164: (A)typical Latvian Spring and News from April 16th - 24th, 2022

As the typical smell of grass fires fills the spring air despite the unusually cold weather, Otto and Joe discuss some of the biggest stories of the week such as new cycling routes, the establishment of natural gas reserves, war supporters potentially being stripped of citizenship, possible dismantling of "victory" monuments in Ogre, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
4/25/202253 minutes, 8 seconds
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LW #163: Monumental Safety Concerns and News from April 6th - 16th, 2022

"Nojaukt" is the word of the week as the governing coalition begins seriously discussing proposals to take down the controversial Soviet war memorial in Rīga which has been temporarily blocked off for "safety concerns". Otto and Joe discuss this issue along with new party ratings, liquid natural gas plans, bridge closure headaches for rīdzinieki, a whale of a tale, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
4/16/20221 hour, 4 minutes, 15 seconds
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LW #162: Switching Off the Gas and News from March 31st - April 6th, 2022

"Piegāde" (delivery) is the word of the week as the Baltic states lead the way in ending natural gas imports from Russia. Otto and Joe break down this major action as well as amendments banning "Z" and "V" symbols, the end (for now) to most COVID restrictions, speed cameras checking for expired technical certificates, the closure of Russian consulates, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
4/6/202249 minutes, 41 seconds
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LW Interviews: Mike Collier, Editor of Latvian Public Media's (LSM) English news service

For the show’s 200th total episode, Joe sits down with none other than Mike Collier, editor of the English language version of Latvian Public Media (eng.LSM.lv) to discuss a range of topics including the role of humor in the news, comment section soap operas, the hierarchy of mushroom pickers, countryside living, killer beavers, and his experience integrating into Latvian culture. Opening and closing music: courtesy of Ausma Apsīte
4/5/202249 minutes, 59 seconds
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LW #161: Ferries, Trains, EVs, and News from March 26th - 30th, 2022

"Vējš" is the word of the week as wind causes trouble all throughout Latvia, including for the crew of a ferry blown into Ventspils port's promenade. Otto and Joe discuss this along with potential plans for an LNG terminal in Latvia, signs from the national government that large 9th of May gatherings could be banned, pre-election political intrigue in the governing coalition, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
3/30/202245 minutes, 28 seconds
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LW #160: The Complexity of "Victory" and News from March 23rd - 25th, 2022

"Uzvarēt" (to win) is the word of the week, as the controversial 9th of May "Victory Day" celebration of Soviet victory over Nazi Germany has come into question after statements from the newly politically independent Mayor of Rīga Martiņš Staķis as well as State Police Chief Armands Ruks. Otto joins Joe back in person to discuss the possible implications, as well the latest developments in Latvia's response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine and other important stories. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
3/25/202246 minutes, 22 seconds
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LW Interviews: Fabrizio Marciante, Host of the Kūla Podcast

Joe sits down with fellow English language Latvia-based podcaster Fabrizio Marciante to discuss the challenges of interviewing, national identity in an increasingly global world, and life in Lativa. You can find the Kūla podcast here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCR85s1UcKcGFginjLz_-v5w Opening and closing music: courtesy of Ausma Apsīte
3/24/202241 minutes, 10 seconds
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LW #159: Assisting Refugees and News from March 11th - 22nd, 2022

"Uzņēmt" is the word of the week as Latvia takes in thousands of refugees fleeing the horrors of war in Ukraine. Otto calls into Joe from Vilnius to discuss the process of providing refugees with shelter, measures to ensure safety in the Baltics, the continuing fallout from Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
3/22/202252 minutes, 30 seconds
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LW Presents: St. Patricks Day in Latvia with Ambassador Eimear Friel

Sveicam Svētā Patrika dienā! For this year's special St. Patrick's Day episode, Joe sits down with Ms Eimear Friel, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ireland to Latvia, to discuss the meaning of St. Patrick's Day, how people can celebrate it across the world, some interesting connections between Latvia and Ireland, and much more! Opening and closing music: GalwaySession1 by Gaillimhcommon, via Wikimedia Commons. Used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:GalwaySession1.ogg
3/17/202226 minutes, 10 seconds
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LW #158: Defense Commitments, Energy Security, and News From March 4th - 10th, 2022

"Saistības" is the Latvian word of the week as NATO allies reaffirm their commitments to collective security as well as their commitment to providing supplies to the Ukrainian army. Otto and Joe discuss the flurry of diplomatic visits in Latvia as well as the continuing fallout from Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, as well as a few other local stories. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
3/10/202249 minutes, 41 seconds
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LW Presents: Latvians in Ukraine with Journalist Kristaps Andrejsons

"The Eastern Border" podcast host Kristaps Andrejsons once again is back on the show, this time calling in from the border of Ukraine and Poland where he has been spending the last few days reporting on the situation for Latvian media and working together with Latvian relief workers providing aid for the countless refugees seeking safety. Kristaps tells about the situation he's been seeing on the ground, as well as the ways that Latvians can continue helping the people of Ukraine. You can check out The Eastern Border Podcast here: http://theeasternborder.lv/ Opening and closing music: courtesy of Ausma Apsīte
3/4/202219 minutes, 9 seconds
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LW #157: Support, Reaction, Defense, and News from February 28th - March 3rd, 2022

As the shocking invasion of Ukraine by Russia continues, Otto and Joe break down Latvia's support measures for Ukraine, reactions against supporters of the Russian regime, and measures to defend the Baltic states from further aggression. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
3/3/202254 minutes, 18 seconds
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LW #156: Unity on Ukraine and News From February 18th - 24th, 2022

Otto and Joe discuss the shocking actions taken by Russia in launching a seemingly full-scale invasion of Ukraine and the response by Latvia and the rest of the western world. They also call expat lawyer Rick Jacobus to discuss ways that Ukrainian refugees can seek safe haven in Latvia before discussing a few other important stories from the last week here in Latvia. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
2/24/202245 minutes, 48 seconds
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LW#155: Regional Uncertainty, School Reorganization, and News from February 11th - 17th, 2022

While the world holds its breath as the situation in Ukraine unfolds, Otto and Joe discuss the latest developments as well as other important stories closer to Latvia such as more school closures, a new Eurovision challenger, relaxation of COVID restrictions, and much more! Joe then calls into expat lawyer Rick Jacobus to discuss red flags to look out for when reading through job postings, as well as why employers shouldn't ask for "native speakers". Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8 "Better Call Rick" theme: Lava Spout by Blue Wave Theory, used with a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license freemusicarchive.org/music/Surf_Mus…ue_Wave_Theory
2/18/202251 minutes, 50 seconds
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LW #154: Relaxing Restrictions and News from February 4th - 10th, 2022

Despite record case numbers, the Latvian government seems to be signalling that most COVID-19 restrictions could be lifted in the next few months. Otto and Joe discuss the implications of this potential decision as well as the other most important stories of the week. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
2/12/202249 minutes, 48 seconds
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LW #153: Container Deposits, Civil Unions, and News from January 26th - February 3rd, 2022

"Pārstrādāt" is the word of the week in honor of Latvia finally kicking off its long-discussed container deposit system. Otto and Joe discuss this along with other stories such as a draft civil union law, a step forward towards an acoustic concert hall, a potential loosening of COVID-19 restrictions, and much more before calling into expat lawyer Rick Jacobus in Lipeāja to find out what first-time renters in Latvia can do to protect themselves. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8 "Better Call Rick" theme: Lava Spout by Blue Wave Theory, used with a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license freemusicarchive.org/music/Surf_Mus…ue_Wave_Theory Image by Europaportalen, used with a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Collecting_waste_for_recycling_in_Romania.JPG
2/4/20221 hour, 4 minutes, 55 seconds
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LW #152: Latvia Masks Up, Better Call Rick, and News from January 14th-25th, 2021

As Latvia implements major changes to its making requirements, Joe and Otto call expat lawyer Rick Jacobus to clarify what people can and cannot wear. They also discuss major stories such as sky high energy costs, the situation in Ukraine, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8 "Better Call Rick" theme: Lava Spout by Blue Wave Theory, used with a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Surf_Music_Month_Challenge/Surf_Music_Month_Challenge/Lava_Spout_Blue_Wave_Theory
1/26/202253 minutes, 27 seconds
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Latvia Weekly Presents: 2021 Year in Review — Stories and People of the Year

With 2021 in the rear view, Otto and Joe take their annual look back at the top 10 biggest stories of the year as well the Latvia Weekly staff and listeners' choices for "Person of the Year".
1/22/202228 minutes, 6 seconds
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LW #151: A Strategy of Self-Testing and News From January 1st - 13th, 2022

After an extended holiday break, Otto and Joe are back to break down the government's new COVID mitigation strategy as well as other stories such as goodwill compensation for Holocaust victims, potential new emissions regulations in Riga, support for a ban on fur farming, a bananas cocaine bust, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
1/13/202253 minutes, 4 seconds
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LW #150: An Icy Holiday and News from December 14th - 17th, 2021

Otto and Joe sit down for the 150th time to discuss the latest news of the week and to look forward to the upcoming holidays here in Latvia. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
12/17/202148 minutes, 46 seconds
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LW #149: Vaccination Progress and News From December 7th - 13th, 2021

"Pilnība" is the word of the week, with 75% of Latvia's adult population fully vaccinated just as child vaccination starts throughout the country. Otto and Joe break down the current situation along with other stories such as proposed solutions to the energy crisis, legal troubles for two parliamentarians, an international war memorial controversy, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
12/13/202141 minutes, 13 seconds
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LW #148: Winter Wonderland and News From November 25th - December 6th, 2021

As Latvia lays blanketed in snow, Otto and Joe discuss the latest stories of the week including the wintry cold, major updates to corruption cases, Omicron variant in Latvia, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
12/7/202147 minutes, 27 seconds
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LW #147: Budget Approved and News from November 14th - 24th, 2021

"Pieņemt" is the word of the week after Saeima accepts the 2022 state budget following a relatively quiet debate. Otto and Joe discuss the major takeaways as well as the latest from the Belarussian border and updates to the COVID-19 situation in Latvia. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
11/26/202139 minutes, 17 seconds
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LW #146: Border Solidarity, Life After Lockdown, and News From November 6th - 13th, 2021

With Latvia's lockdown lifter and things returning to the way they were before the strict three-week measures, Otto joins Joe back in person in the studio to discuss the deepening crisis at the Belarusian border, the banning of St. George's ribbon at public events, a new potential future for Congress Hall, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
11/15/202159 minutes, 59 seconds
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LW Interviews: Anete Germane, Your Irregular Latvian Teacher

Joe sits down with Anete Germane from the Irregular Latvian YouTube channel to discuss the origin of her videos, life as an Latvian in France, intercultural customer service, and much more! You can check out her YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/c/GermaneAnete Opening and closing music: courtesy of Ausma Apsīte
11/14/202147 minutes, 59 seconds
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LW #145: Otto's Midnight Train and News from October 27th - November 5th, 2021

Otto calls into Joe from an overnight train in Finland to discuss the latest major stories of the week, including more layoffs at Latvian Railways, Aivars Lembergs' first place poll finish, the latest COVID updates in Latvia, and much more! With the situation in the health care sector reaching a new critical point, Health Minister has called for the emergency mobilization of health workers. Union leaders have responded by calling for his resignation. Otto and Joe break down this situation and other major news stories including a law to streamline border construction, populist leaders potentially changing their tune, naming future train stations, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
11/6/20211 hour, 16 minutes, 58 seconds
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LW #144: Mobilizing Medics and News from October 23rd - 26th, 2021

With the situation in the health care sector reaching a new critical point, Health Minister has called for the emergency mobilization of health workers. Union leaders have responded by calling for his resignation. Otto and Joe break down this situation and other major news stories including a law to streamline border construction, populist leaders potentially changing their tune, naming future train stations, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
10/27/20211 hour, 9 minutes, 50 seconds
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LW #143: "Lokdauns", remembering Ojārs Kalniņš, and News from October 9th - 22nd, 2021

As Latvia implements its strictest COVID-19 measures yet, Otto and Joe remember the life of statesman Ojārs Kalniņš after his sudden passing last week and discuss other important stories that have happened here in Latvia. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
10/21/20211 hour, 15 minutes, 51 seconds
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LW #142: Another State of Emergency and News from October 3rd - 8th, 2021

Otto and Joe break down the newly declared state of emergency and COVID-19 related restrictions along with a few other important stories from the week here in Latvia. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8 Image courtesy of the Office of the State President, used with a creative commons license: www.flickr.com/photos/149617228@…71/in/dateposted/
10/8/202138 minutes, 38 seconds
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LW #141: New Season, New Restrictions, and News from September 24th - October 2nd, 2021

Joe discusses the newest COVID-19 safety measures and restrictions along with a controversy involving the president's influence, a legal challenge to a mural, increases to energy costs, and a number of other stories from the last week and a half. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8 Image courtesy of the Office of the State President, used with a creative commons license: www.flickr.com/photos/149617228@…71/in/dateposted/
10/2/202131 minutes, 23 seconds
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LW #140: Levits in America, Šlesers in the Spotlight, and News from September 12th - 23rd, 2021

While President Egils Levits visits the US and the UN General Assembly, Ainars Šlesers continues his comeback to Latvian national politics with a number of controversial actions. Otto and Joe discuss these stories and more, such as Minister of Health Daniels Pavļuts surviving a vote of no confidence, the merger of universities, potential new COVID restrictions, and more! Joe's 11th grade students also join in at the end to discuss the new school year. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8 Image courtesy of the Office of the State President, used with a creative commons license: https://www.flickr.com/photos/149617228@N08/48777329871/in/dateposted/
9/25/20211 hour, 16 minutes, 21 seconds
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LW #139: Back to School and News from August 31st - September 11th, 2021

As yet another strange school year begins amid the ongoing pandemic, Joe breaks down the biggest stories of the past week and a half. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
9/13/202136 minutes, 37 seconds
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LW #138: A Deepening Border Crisis and News from August 25th - 30th, 2021

As the migrant situation on the Latvian-Belarussian border becomes more complicated and critical, Otto and Joe sit down to discuss the biggest stories of the week from Latvia and the region. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
9/1/202149 minutes, 58 seconds
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LW #137: Hijacking the Baltic Way and News from August 18th - 24th, 2021

Otto and Joe discuss the 32nd anniversary of the Baltic Way, this year marked with a protest against obligatory vaccination, along with other important stories from the week such as a controversial mural in Riga, hope for better management of bus ticketing, and much more!
8/25/20211 hour, 4 minutes, 30 seconds
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LW #136: The Afghan-Latvian Connection and News From August 10th - 17th, 2021

As the world watches Afghanistan fall back under control of the Talbian, Otto and Joe discuss the long historic connection between the two nations and the possibility of fallout from the new situation being felt as far away as the Baltic region. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
8/19/202149 minutes, 5 seconds
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LW 135: A Successful Olympics and News from July 23rd - August 9th, 2021

After a small summer break, Otto and Joe are back to talk about Latvia's results in the 2020 summer olympics, as well as some of the biggest other stories of the week!
8/11/20211 hour, 24 minutes, 2 seconds
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LW Interviews: Expat Lawyer Rick Jacobus

Joe sits down with expat lawyer Rick Jacobus who discusses some of the most common issues that new arrivals to Latvia might fact, along with his own experiences living in Liepāja.
8/9/202130 minutes, 30 seconds
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LW #134: The Winds of Liepāja and News from June 17th - 22nd, 2021

Joe calls into Otto from the windy amber coast of Liepāja to discuss the latest vaccination debate in parliament, some major infrastructure plans on the horizon, an escaped wallaby on the loose, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
7/23/20211 hour, 5 minutes, 34 seconds
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LW #133: The Consequences of Heat and News from July 9th - 16th, 2021

As temperature records are smashed across Latvia, effects such as forest fires and increased hospitalizations are being seen throughout different parts of the country. Otto and Joe discuss the heatwave along with the updated plan for mandatory vaccinations in some professions, the thrilling conclusion to a trashy three-year waste saga, and more!
7/16/202150 minutes, 5 seconds
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LW #132: Carrots, Sticks, and News From July 2nd - 8th, 2021

As Latvia reels from the tragic loss of hockey goalie Matīss Kivlenieks in a 4th o July fire accident, more serious discussion begins about what measures should be implemented to bring school back to the classroom in fall. Otto and Joe break all this down along with other major stories from this week in Latvia! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
7/9/20211 hour, 14 minutes, 13 seconds
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LW Interviews: Musicians Masaki Nakagawa & Jöran Steinhauer

Joe finally sits down to chat with Japanese musician Masaki Nakagawa and German-born Jorän Steinhauer, both of whom write songs in the Latvian language and are well known throughout the country. Find out how they first came to Latvia, how they were able to learn the language, and the interesting ways they write songs — including their latest track "Es lepojos ar tevi" which you can hear as the opening and closing music for this episode!
7/6/202153 minutes, 49 seconds
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LW #131: Disrespecting Holocaust Victims and News from June 23rd - July 1st, 2021

As Latvia marks an important holocaust remembrance day, member of parliament Aldis Gobzems uses the infamous Star of David that persecuted Jewish people were forced to wear as a tasteless way to make a point about COVID restrictions. Otto and Joe discuss the fallout from this as well as other stories included a bold new plan to upgrade roads, the completion (for now) of territorial reform, the latest updates on COVID, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
7/2/202158 minutes, 49 seconds
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LW #130: Midsummer Heat and News from June 17th - 22nd, 2021

Līgo! Līgo! Happy midsummer! Otto joins Joe on one of the shortest nights of the year to talk about stories such as planned urban meadows in Rīga, new debt relief for the needy, some promising COVID-19 related numbers, and much more! Opening music: "Kas to Līgo ielīgoja" performed by Ernests Elks-Elksnītis. Available in the public domain. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kas_to_L%C4%ABgo_iel%C4%ABgojaX-2-62932.wav
6/22/20211 hour, 8 minutes, 13 seconds
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LW Interviews: Baltic Homesteader Gary Dickenson

Back in mid-March, Joe interviewed Gary Dickenson from the YouTube channel Baltic Homesteaders about his experience moving from the UK to northern Vidzeme and setting up a completely new, self-sufficient life with his family. Opening and closing music by Austra Apsīte, used with permission
6/22/202130 minutes, 21 seconds
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LW #129: Vaccine Slowdown and News from June 9th - 16th, 2021

With less people getting vaccinated week-on-week but only 23% of the country vaccinated so far, the government might be running into a wall in terms of convincing more people to get the shot. Otto and Joe discuss this development along with the further reopening of the Latvian economy, some public works dramas in Rīga, the murky future of Aivars Lembergs, and more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8 otos/valstskanceleja/50932447422/
6/17/20211 hour, 9 minutes, 29 seconds
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LW #128: Local Election Results, KPV.LV MIA, and News from June 2nd - 8th, 2021

The 2021 municipal elections have resulted in strong showing for older guard parties like the Union of Greens and Farmers and the National Alliance, while big winners from the 2018 national election such as the New Conservative Party and KPV.LV had a much rougher go. Otto and Joe break down the results and implications, along with some other important stories from the week in Latvia! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8 otos/valstskanceleja/50932447422/
6/9/20211 hour, 9 minutes, 51 seconds
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LW #127: Less Restrictions, More Vaccinations, and News from May 26th - June 1st, 2021

As a bizarre constitutional drama unfolds out east with local elections just days away and KPV LV clutches at its last grasp on power in the coalition, Latvia slowly strips away more COVID restrictions with infections decreasing and vaccinations on the rise. Otto and Joe unpack these stories and more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8 otos/valstskanceleja/50932447422/
6/2/20211 hour, 2 minutes, 54 seconds
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LW #126: Showdown with Belarus and News from May 17th - 25th, 2021

Following the Belarusian government's shocking grounding of a Ryanair plane in order to arrest an opposition journalist, Latvia has become embroiled in a diplomatic standoff with not just the Lukashenko regime, but also the International Ice Hockey Federation, whose championship is being hosted in Rīga right now. Otto and Joe discuss these stories along with others such as Latvia's Eurovision woes, new and advanced "average speed cameras," the next episode of the economics ministry soap opera, and the latest COVID-related updates.
5/25/20211 hour, 12 seconds
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LW #125: The Languages of Latvia's Youth and News from May 8th - 16th, 2021

With the 12th grade centralized English exams over but outdoor for cafes and restaurants all tightly booked, Joe joins Otto in his garden to discuss major stories of the week such as a debate over young people's use of Latvian, the further disintegration of what was left of the KPV LV party, a possible one computer per student policy by 2025, the latest COVID updates, and more!
5/17/20211 hour, 4 minutes, 53 seconds
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LW #124: A Return to Outdoor Dining and News From April 29th - May 7th, 2021

Days after white tablecloth celebrations marking 31 years since independence, diners return to outdoor restaurant and cafe terraces. Otto and Joe discuss these stories and a number of others, including updates to investigations into two tragic fires, increases to state family benefits, a reorganiziton of the vaccine bureau, and more!
5/9/20211 hour, 42 minutes, 39 seconds
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LW #123: Two Tragic Fires and News From April 21st - 28th, 2021

Otto joins Joe remotely from Rīga to discuss the wide-reaching implications of two very different but equally tragic fires that happened in Latvia over the last week. Other stories include the latest chapter in the endless KPV LV soap opera, good news for Latvia's aviation agency, outrage over Russia's suspected actions in NATO ally Czechia, blooming cherry blossoms, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8 otos/valstskanceleja/50932447422/
4/29/20211 hour, 14 minutes, 35 seconds
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LW #122: Step Right Up For a Vaccine, and News From April 14th - 20th, 2021

In a longer than usual episode, Otto and Joe discuss major events of the week such as live queues for the covid vaccine, illegal alcohol deliveries, disappearing bus stop roofs, new party polling, and much more!
4/20/20211 hour, 30 minutes, 55 seconds
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LW #121: Joe Gets Vaccinated and News From March 31st - April 13th, 2021

After a bit longer gap between episodes than usual due to a few side effects, Joe is back, vaccinated, and ready to discuss the biggest news stories of the last two weeks with Otto. Items they discuss include the reopening of stores, the limited return of 12th graders to school, the rise of fraudulent COVID tests, and more!
4/14/20211 hour, 17 minutes, 37 seconds
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LW Interviews: Otto Tabuns and Olevs Nikers, Founders of the Baltic Security Foundation

For the show's overall 150th episode, Joe turns the tables on co-host Otto Tabuns and frequent guest host Olevs Nikers and interviews them about their work in leading the Baltic Security Foundation.
4/10/202136 minutes, 36 seconds
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LW #120: Grass Smoke in the Air and News From March 23 - 30th, 2021

Spring is back with all its traditions, including the dangerous burning of the previous year's grass throughout the country. Otto and Joe discuss this along with other important news updates from Latvia, including a new vaccine timetable, a sunnier economic forecast, another new political party, and much more!
3/31/20211 hour, 10 minutes, 57 seconds
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LW #119: A Quick Pause to Vaccines and News from March 15th - 22nd, 2021

Although Joe and Otto are unable to meet in person, they separately bring you takes on some of the biggest stories this week, such as the brief pause to use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, more pothole headaches, and the implications of US President Biden's words about his Russian counterpart. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8 otos/valstskanceleja/50932447422/
3/23/202138 minutes, 4 seconds
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LW Interviews: Irish Dance Studio "Ceili Rue" director Ruta Kapustaite

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, Joe talked with Lithuanian-born Ruta Kapustaite about her experience directing the Rīga-based Irish Dance Studio "Ceili Rue" and some insights into Irish, Lithuanian, and Latvian culture. Intro music: https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Aislinn/Aislinn/03_-_Aislinn_-_Morrissons_jig_-_Leslies_march Morrisson's jig - Leslie's march by Aislinn is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives (aka Music Sharing) 3.0 International License.
3/17/202133 minutes, 49 seconds
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LW #117: Vaccine Logistics and News from March 6th - 14th, 2021

Promises by the government of mass vaccinations by April look increasingly dubious after a series of major missteps by both private and public institutions that came to light during the week. Otto and Joe go on another socially distanced walk to discuss these stories and a number of others, including the buyout of another local brewery, a rejected proposal to legalize euthanasia, the entry of another low-cost chain store into the Latvian market, and more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8 otos/valstskanceleja/50932447422/
3/15/202146 minutes, 39 seconds
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LW #116: Breaking the Ice, and News from February 25th - March 5th, 2021

As Latvians watch in wonder as ice jams break up throughout the country's rivers, the government's vaccination actions come under heavy criticism by investigative journalists. Joe and Otto go on a socially distanced walk through Jelgava to discuss these stories and important happenings throughout Latvia this week, including the shutdown of a major international bakery in Riga, more corruption allegations in Ventspils and Ikšķile, a proposed zero tolerance alcohol driving policy, and much more!
3/6/20211 hour, 4 minutes, 5 seconds
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LW Interviews: Cian Guckian

Our revived weekly interview series kicks off with a chat between Joe and our "story of the day" editor Cian Guckian, who has lived between Ireland and Jelgava over the past few years. Cian talks about his experience working as a freelance journalist for the Baltic Times, as well as adapting to life in Latvia. Opening music by Austra Apsīte
3/4/202133 minutes, 19 seconds
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LW #115: Five Years for Lembergs and News from February 19th - 24th, 2021

A dramatic, 15-year criminal process has resulted in a five-year prison sentence and massive property confiscations for oligarch Aivars Lembergs, but is this truly the end of the road for one of Latvia's most infamous political operators? Otto and Joe break down this court decision as well as other stories, including an increasingly worrying bird flu situation, more bumps on the road toward better cycling infrastructure in Rīga, an international basketball heartbreak, and the latest COVID-19 updates. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8 otos/valstskanceleja/50932447422/
2/25/20211 hour, 19 minutes, 30 seconds
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LW #114: €500 per Child and News from February 13th - 18th, 2021

Among other measure to fight the public health and economic effects of COVID-19, the Krišjānis Kariņš-led government has announced its support for a one-time 500 euro per child payment for families in Latvia. Otto and Joe discuss the implications along with other stories such as record low approval ratings for said government, a plan to vaccinate Latvia's seniors, a visit by Estonia's foreign minister, commemoration of the country's worst ever rail disaster, and more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
2/18/20211 hour, 3 minutes, 36 seconds
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LW #113: Vaccine Hopes, Bird Flu Fears, and News from February 6th - 12th, 2021

As Latvia' s ministers attempt to lead by example and get vaccinated against COVID-19, Latvia' s poultry farmers have yet another deadly virus to worry about. Otto and Joe break down these stories and others on this week' s episode! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8 Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/valstskanceleja/50932447422/ Credit: Valsts kanceleja
2/13/20211 hour, 9 minutes, 22 seconds
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LW #112: Vaccine Registration and News from January 30th - February 6, 2021

The online manavakcina.lv portal is up and running without much of a hitch, but the end of the pandemic is still over the horizon, with the state of emergency being extended until the 6th of April. Otto and Joe break down what this all means, along with some other important domestic and international stories throughout the week. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix http://audionautix.com​ Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0 Free Download / Stream: https://bit.ly/_think-tank​ Music promoted by Audio Library https://youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
2/6/20211 hour, 10 seconds
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LW #111: Trains to Bolderāja, Jēkabpils Drama, and News from January 19th - 29, 2021

Otto and Joe discuss the latest developments in Latvia related to COVID-19 and other stories such as a possible restoration of passenger rail to Bolderāja, a political crisis in Jēkabpils, scammers targeting DPD customers, a reduction in the amount of exams students must take, another development in the KPV LV soap opera, and more!
1/29/20211 hour, 19 minutes, 31 seconds
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LW #110: New Minister, New Party, and News from January 6th - 19th, 2021

Otto and Joe discuss the news of the week including the first actions of the new health minister, a new party founded by populist deputy Aldis Gobzems, the latest COVID19 updates, and more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (creativecommons.org/licenses/...) Artist: audionautix.com/ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
1/21/20211 hour, 1 minute, 53 seconds
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LW #109: The Hot Potato Ministry and News from December 31st, 2020 - January 5th, 2021

With Latvia Weekly' s 2020 person of the year Ilze Viņķele unceremoniously fired just days into the new year, it's not surprising that people aren't falling over themselves to become the next health minister as the pandemic enters its most critical stage yet. Otto and Joe discuss the fallout from Prime Minister Kariņš' momentous decision as well as other important stories from the week. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (creativecommons.org/licenses/...) Artist: audionautix.com/ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
1/7/20211 hour, 3 minutes, 25 seconds
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Latvia Weekly Presents: 2020 Year in Review — Stories and People of the Year

Otto and Joe take their yearly look back and count down the top 10 stories of 2020 (9:43), the "people's choice" person of the year (1:05:17), and the official Latvia Weekly person of the year for 2020 (1:20:48).
1/3/20211 hour, 26 minutes, 20 seconds
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LW #108 New Year Curfew, People of the Year, and News from December 25th - 30th, 2020

As Otto and Joe get ready for the strangest New Year's Eve of their lifetimes, they take a look back on some of the most important stories of the week and your nominations for the 2020 "Person of the Year" here in Latvia. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (creativecommons.org/licenses/...) Artist: audionautix.com/ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
12/30/20201 hour, 10 minutes, 33 seconds
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LW #107: "Klusie Ziemassvētki" and News from December 17th - 24th, 2020

"Kluss" (quiet) is the word of the week as the government institutes a "quiet three weeks" of the strictest measures Latvia has seen yet during the COVID-19 pandemic. Otto and Joe take a socially distanced walk through Jelgava to discuss the deteriorating situation as well as other stories including more than 400,000 euro raised to fight domestic violence, the passing of a Latvian rock legend, and the legend of the world's first Christmas tree decorated hundreds of years ago in Rīga! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (creativecommons.org/licenses/...) Artist: audionautix.com/ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
12/24/202055 minutes, 58 seconds
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LW #106 A SNOW-VID Winter and News from December 9th - 16th, 2020

Snow is finally in the air, but so is the COVID-19 virus which continues to spread through the country at an alarming rate. Joe and Otto discuss the latest updates and decisions as well as other stories such as a major fire at a home improvement store, a surprising potential new supporter of expanded LGBT rights, another postponement of controversial changes to health care, and more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission
12/17/20201 hour, 10 minutes, 9 seconds
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LW #105 Restriction Backlash and News from December 2nd - 8th, 2020

Otto is back with Joe to discuss public backlash against controversial new restrictions such as limits over what cannot be bought in supermarkets and distance learning from grades 5-6. Other important stories include the passing of the 2021 budget, mandatory national defense classes, and a further disintegration of the KPV LV party. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission
12/9/20201 hour, 15 minutes, 9 seconds
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LW #104: "Friends, it's not good" — News from November 25th - December 1, 2020

As Prime Minister Krišjānis so succinctly put it in a phrase that has gone viral all over the Latvian speaking web, the country's COVID-19 situation is growing increasingly grim. TV24's Kārlis Streips joins Joe to discuss the latest restrictions as well as a few other important stories from the week, such as a call by the teacher's union for Minister of Education Ilga Šuplinska's resignation, a potential Kaliningrad - St. Petersburg rail line, and a new opportunity to watch some of Latvia's best films for free online. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission
12/1/202053 minutes, 58 seconds
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LW #103: 500 Euro Minimum Wage and News from November 17th - 24th, 2020

Join Joe as he covers the biggest stories of the week, such as a forthcoming increase to minimum wage, a suspected human trafficking scheme at the Baltics' largest baking company, Latvia's placement on a questionable international English proficiency ranking, and the latest COVID-19 updates. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission
11/24/202048 minutes, 34 seconds
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Latvia Weekly Presents: A Socially Distanced Proclamation Day Special

For those of you who were unable to join Otto and Joe on Facebook live for their 18th of November special, you can listen here on their and others' reflections regarding the importance of proclamation day here in Latvia.
11/23/20201 hour, 11 minutes, 39 seconds
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LW #102: Pūce's Parking Predicament and News from November 9th - 16th, 2020

After continuing to use his Rīga City Council parking privileges years after no longer serving on local government, Minister of Environmental Protection and Regional Development Juris Pūce has paid what might be the most expensive parking ticket in city history — one that has cost him his job, and a path to the prime ministership. Otto and Joe break down this story and a number of others such as a major court victory for Latvia's LGBT community, a daycare scandal, and the latest in the COVID-19 situation. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission
11/16/20201 hour, 27 minutes, 39 seconds
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LW #101: Lāčplēša diena lockdown and News from November 1st - 8th, 2020

As we all continue fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, Latvia remembers the brave people who fought in the War of Independence 100 years ago by celebrating "Lāčplēša diena" on the 11th of November. Otto and Joe discuss the importance of this day in history and cover the latest updates to the COVID-19 situation and other news stories throughout Latvia. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission
11/8/20201 hour, 34 minutes, 55 seconds
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LW #100: A Centennial Special and News from October 27th - 31st, 2020

Olevs (Baltic Security Foundation), Kārlis (Rīga TV24), and Kristaps (Eastern Border Podcast) join Otto and Joe to discuss the news of the week and to celebrate Latvia Weekly's 100th episode! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission
11/2/20201 hour, 14 minutes, 29 seconds
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LW #99: Clocks Fall Back and News from October 21 - 26, 2020

As Latvia switches its clocks and hour back for the fall, the amount of new COVID-19 cases in Latvia continues to skyrocket. Joe explains all of the newest restrictions and reflects on life in Latvia during the pandemic, while also covering stories such as new environmentally friendly busses for Valmiera, the introduction of young pike to Juglas ezers, and a moose on the loose in the middle of Riga! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission
10/26/202042 minutes, 1 second
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LW #98: The COVID "Second Wave" Arrives in Latvia, and News from October 9th - 20th, 2020

Kārlis Streips joins Joe to discuss the worrying rise in COVID cases and new restrictions such as masks in public places and a return to distance learning for grades 7-12. They also discuss other stories from the week such as the new budget for 2021, a new president of the constitutional court, a Latvian-created robot that can do your weeding for you, and an international chess scandal in the tiny town of Valka. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission
10/20/202049 minutes, 1 second
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LW #97: New Council, New Restrictions, and News from October 4th - 8th, 2020

Otto and Olevs discuss important domestic and international news stories of the week, such as the re-introduction of COVID-related restrictions in Latvia and the first days of work of the new mayor of Rīga. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission
10/9/202031 minutes, 10 seconds
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LW #96: State Visit, the State of Education, and News from September 21 - October 3, 2020

Join Otto and Olevs as they discuss French President Emmanuel Macron's visit to Latvia along with a number of other important stories from the week, including a worrying rise in the amount of new COVID-19 cases and the implications. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission
10/4/202028 minutes, 52 seconds
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LW #95: Saskaņa Shakeup and News from September 15th - 20th, 2020

The fallout of the Rīga City Council election continues to settle, with former prime minister candidate Vjačeslavs Dombrovskis and fellow Saeima deputy Ļubova Švecova being kicked out of the struggling Saskaņa party in a crackdown on critical voices. Otto and Olevs discuss the implications of this move along with other important news items, such as yet another tragic murder of a lawyer, the future of a major Rīga skyscraper, and more developments with the situation in Belarus. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission
9/21/202035 minutes, 34 seconds
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LW #94: Train Traps, Constitutional Fun, and News from September 2nd - 14th, 2020

Otto and Olevs discuss the latest drama in the Rīga City Council as well as some interesting stories regarding passenger rail, constitutional issues, and much more!
9/15/202036 minutes, 57 seconds
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LW #93: Back to School in a Time of COVID and News from August 19th - September 1st, 2020

With school beginning again in person despite some uncertainty due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Joe invites three of his students and one of his colleagues to discuss how they feel about the new study year and a number of other important stories from throughout the last two weeks. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission.
9/1/20201 hour, 10 minutes, 24 seconds
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LW Presents: The Results of the 2020 Rīga City Council Election

Join Otto as he takes a special look at the results of the Rīga City Council extraordinary election, discussing the events of the last few days, breaking down how each party did, and predicting the future coalition which is expected to elect Mārtiņš Staķis as the new mayor of Rīga.
8/30/202018 minutes, 50 seconds
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LW #92: Belarus Protests and News from August 11th - 18th, 2020

Join Otto and Joe as they take a look through the week's most important stories such as the ongoing violence in Belarus, the opening of a self-driving bus route in Jelgava, a return of vehicular traffic to Tērbatas iela, an apparent pay raise for lecturers this September, and more!
8/19/20201 hour, 9 minutes, 12 seconds
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LW #91: Gentle Waves and News From August 5th - 10th, 2020

Although Latvia's COVID situation resembles more of the tiny waves seen in a lake on a breezy day than the large "second wave" people have long feared, not everyone agrees about the best way to move forward with the school year imminent. Kārlis and Patrīcija join Joe to discuss the latest situation as well as a number of other news stories from throughout the week including self-driving buses in Jelgava, large amounts of confiscated marijuana, and a surprise exit by one of Latvia's most famous athletes. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission.
8/10/20201 hour, 17 minutes
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LW #90: A Political Start to August and News from July 29th - August 4th, 2020

Kārlis Streips joins Otto and Joe on a rainy afternoon for a jumbo-sized episode where they discuss a number of different topics including brand new polling data in the Rīga City Council elections, a presidential proposal to move public media away from ad revenue, a new way to find fresh food, plans for a new major wind farm, updates to the COVID situation, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission
8/4/20201 hour, 23 minutes, 6 seconds
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LW Presents: Rīga Election 2020 Guide Part 2 — The Challenger Parties

Otto and Joe return for part two of their series breaking down the Rīga City Council elections, this time looking at the parties not currently in city council who are attempting to get elected into it. Parties covered in this episode include: Politiskā partija "Alternative" Politiskā partija "KPV LV" Jaunā Saskaņa Zaļo un Zemnieku savienība "Latvijas Krievu savienība" Partija "Vienoti Latvijai" Nacionālā Savienība TAISNĪGUMS Rīcības partija "Centra Partija" Music: "Prelude" by Yakov Golman: https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Yakov_Golman/Piano__orchestra_1/Yakov_Golman_-_Prelude
7/30/202044 minutes, 58 seconds
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LW Presents: Rīga Election 2020 Guide Part 1 — The Incumbent Parties

In the first installment of their guide to the 2020 Rīga City Council Elections, Otto and Joe take a look at the programs of the six parties who are already in the council, as well as explain a bit about their backgrounds. Parties covered: "Saskaņa" sociāldemokrātiskā partija Partija "Gods kalpot Rīgai" Jaunā konservatīvā partija Nacionālā apvienība "Visu Latvijai!"-"Tēvzemei un Brīvībai/LNNK", Latvijas Reģionu Apvienība Attīstībai/Par!, "PROGRESĪVIE" Jaunā VIENOTĪBA Music: "Prelude" by Yakov Golman: https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Yakov_Golman/Piano__orchestra_1/Yakov_Golman_-_Prelude
7/30/20201 hour, 3 minutes, 48 seconds
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LW #89 The ABC's of Returning to School and News From July 21st - 28th, 2020

Kārlis Streips joins Joe on a sweltering summer afternoon to discuss major happenings throughout Latvia such as the ministry's hot-off-the-press plans "A, B, and C" to return Latvia to school, the blockbuster new EU budget, another planned teachers' strike, renovations for train stations, and, of course, the latest COVID situation. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Weather theme: Smooth Jazz (am) by Backing Track Ninja Source: https://backingtrackninja.bandcamp.com/track/smooth-jazz-am
7/28/20201 hour, 10 minutes, 9 seconds
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Latvia Weekly Interviews: Journalist Kārlis Streips

Daudz laimes dzimšanas dienā! In honor of Kārlis Streips' birthday, we are uploading an interview Joe did with our esteemed co-host about the many hats he has worn in Latvian media, his experience moving to Latvia from America and then living in Rīga throughout the entire post-occupation period, and his work as a literature translator.
7/26/202042 minutes, 59 seconds
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LW #88 An Unpredictable Summer Continues and News From July 15th - 20th, 2020

The Summer of COVID in Latvia continues without any major spikes in cases so far, but the pandemic situation remains just as unpredictable as the upcoming Rīga City Council election, or the weather for that matter. Join Otto and Joe as they manage to talk through the latest developments while looking after Joe's newborn daughter, and find out why Koknese might be the best Latvian town worth visiting this summer! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Weather theme: Smooth Jazz (am) by Backing Track Ninja Source: https://backingtrackninja.bandcamp.com/track/smooth-jazz-am
7/21/202050 minutes, 51 seconds
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LW #87: A Small COVID Bump and News From July 7th - 14th, 2020

What was feared to be a COVID-19 spike here in Latvia seems to have been more of a bump or a blip, with reported daily cases back down to the low single digits after a worrisome few days of double digit positive cases. Otto and Joe discuss the ongoing situation and its effects on the economy and society, as well as a wide range of other stories including a potential year-round toll for visitors of Jūrmala, radars to trap drivers blowing red lights, a steep discount for people looking to buy a German manor, the first female colonel in Latvian history, and someone in a whole lot of trouble for illegally felling oak trees. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Weather theme: Smooth Jazz (am) by Backing Track Ninja Source: https://backingtrackninja.bandcamp.com/track/smooth-jazz-am
7/15/202059 minutes, 19 seconds
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LW #86: University Merger, Potholes of Doom, Giant Catfish, and News from June 29th - July 6th, 2020

Join Otto and Joe as they discuss the potential implications of a planned merger between Latvia's smaller universities in Jelgava, Daugavpils, and Liepāja, as well as other important stories from throughout the week. Please remember to stay safe as you go swimming this summer! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Weather theme: Smooth Jazz (am) by Backing Track Ninja Source: https://backingtrackninja.bandcamp.com/track/smooth-jazz-am
7/7/20201 hour, 2 minutes, 15 seconds
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LW #85: Pandemic Summer Travel Guide and News from June 22nd - 28th, 2020

With vacationing on the mind of many, Otto and Joe offer seven great places to visit here in Latvia this summer before discussing seasonal stories such as heat records, poisonous snakes, ferry travel, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Weather theme: Smooth Jazz (am) by Backing Track Ninja Source: https://backingtrackninja.bandcamp.com/track/smooth-jazz-am
6/29/202043 minutes, 24 seconds
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LW #84: The Pitfalls of Travel at Midsummer and News from June 13th - 21st, 2020

Joe is back with Otto just in time for the midsummer festival of Līgo/Jāņi and to discuss the dangers of traveling within and outside of Rīga, with more sinkholes opening throughout the city and the yearly risk of intoxicated drivers. They also argue about the future of a planned acoustic concert hall and talk through other important stories from the week such as a somewhat surprising increase to doctors' and teachers' salaries, a very suspicious shooting range, and a brand new prosecutor general. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Weather theme: Smooth Jazz (am) by Backing Track Ninja Source: https://backingtrackninja.bandcamp.com/track/smooth-jazz-am
6/22/20201 hour, 11 minutes, 37 seconds
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LW #83: Redrawing the Map and News from June 5th - 12th, 2020

After years of discussion, the map has officially been redrawn with 41 municipalities. Otto, Olevs, and Kārlis discuss the implications of this decision as well as the lifting of the emergency situation and other important items of news from the week. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission
6/14/20201 hour, 10 minutes, 42 seconds
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LW #82: Latvia Warms Up and News from May 29th - June 4th, 2020

As Latvia warms up for the summer, so does the push towards municipal and tax reforms. Kārlis, Olevs, and Otto discuss these issues along with protests in Rīga, more public transit issues, the latests news on upcoming city council elections, and the slow reopening of the country and loosening of COVID-19 restrictions. With Joe still on paternity leave following the birth of his new daughter, Otto and Kārlis discuss the planned end to Latvia's state of emergency in early June and other major news stories from the last two weeks. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Weather theme: Smooth Jazz (am) by Backing Track Ninja Source: https://backingtrackninja.bandcamp.com/track/smooth-jazz-am
6/5/20201 hour, 5 minutes, 40 seconds
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LW #81: Light at the End of the Tunnel (for now) and News from May 15th-28th, 2020

With Joe still on paternity leave following the birth of his new daughter, Otto and Kārlis discuss the planned end to Latvia's state of emergency in early June and other major news stories from the last two weeks. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Weather theme: Smooth Jazz (am) by Backing Track Ninja Source: https://backingtrackninja.bandcamp.com/track/smooth-jazz-am
5/29/202055 minutes, 44 seconds
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LW Interviews: The American-Born English Teachers of Tava Klase

Joe sits down with his fellow American-born colleagues Daira, Monika, Lauren, and Ingrida, who also taught English lessons as part of the Tava Klase educational TV channel during the COVID-19 crisis. They discuss their journeys from being born in the USA to ending up on Latvian national television, as well as their experiences initially adapting to life in Latvia. Opening music by Austra Apsīte
5/22/202050 minutes, 44 seconds
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LW #80: Snow in Spring and News from May 8th - 14th, 2020

Spring 2020 takes a turn for the even more surreal, with snow blanketing much of Latvia in mid-May. Otto and Kārlis discuss the "sniegs" along with major news about regional reform, the upcoming election, and the ongoing COVID-19 situation. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Weather theme: Smooth Jazz (am) by Backing Track Ninja Source: backingtrackninja.bandcamp.com/track/smo…h-jazz-am
5/14/20201 hour, 1 minute, 15 seconds
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LW Interviews: Expats in Latvia founder Roland Abou Younes

For our 100th uploaded episode, we are joined by Roland Abou Younes, the founder of the popular "Expats in Latvia" Facebook group where Latvia Weekly first began. Roland discusses the ups and downs of moving to Latvia, his philosophy on how to integrate into a new culture, advice for those thinking of coming to live here as well, and much more! Note — Joe apologizes for his low microphone quality at points, as his settings got messed up just before the episode began. Opening theme by Austra Apsīte
5/14/20201 hour, 1 minute, 18 seconds
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LW #79: Baltic Borders Reopening and News from May 1st - 7th, 2020

Kārlis Otto and Joe discuss the news of the week including the planned reopening of the Baltic States' borders with one another, a runaway drone, good news for Latvian hockey fans, and the meaning of the 4th of May. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission
5/8/20201 hour, 11 minutes, 49 seconds
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LW Interviews: Podcaster Kristaps Andrejsons on Censorship, COVID, and Spring in Latgale

Joe checks in with Eastern Border podcast host Kristaps Andrejsons after a rough month involving catching coronavirus and getting his podcast temporarily shut down by trolls. They also discuss the meaning of the 1st of May in Latvia and abroad.
5/1/202034 minutes, 55 seconds
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LW #78: Three Stars for Kārlis and News From April 24th - 30th, 2020

Join Otto, Oļevs, and Joe in celebrating Kārlis Streips being awarded the Triju Zvaigžņu ordenis (Order of the Three Stars)! The four also discuss important news items of the week including the long road to cancelling a controversial energy surcharge, more frustration for Rīga's cyclists, and the latest updates to the COVID-19 situation in Latvia. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission
4/30/20201 hour, 16 minutes, 19 seconds
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LW #77 End of the Road for Unregulated Electric Scooters and News From April 17 - 23, 2020

Otto and Joe are once again joined by Kārlis Streips to discuss new regulations for electric scooters, the final resolution to the Kristīne Misāne saga, more trouble for Latvian football, and the latest coronavirus-related news.
4/24/20201 hour, 19 minutes, 55 seconds
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LW #76: A Blustery Day in the CITY of Jelgava, and News From April 10th - 16th, 2020

"Brāzma" (gust) is the word of the week, with strong winds blowing throughout most of Latvia as Otto and Joe discuss all of the latest news. Topics include high hopes for Jelgava in keeping its "city" status, the kickoff of grass fire season, more headaches from the disgraced PNB Bank, and, of course, the latest COVID-19 updates.
4/16/20201 hour, 13 minutes, 21 seconds
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LW ##75: An International Easter and News From April 3rd - 9th, 2020

Joe and Otto are joined by two very special international guests to celebrate not only "Lieldienas," but also the 75th episode of the podcast! Listen and watch as they discuss the latest virus related and non-virus related stories from the previous week in Latvia. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Weather theme: Smooth Jazz (am) by Backing Track Ninja Source: https://backingtrackninja.bandcamp.com/track/smooth-jazz-am
4/9/20201 hour, 13 minutes, 25 seconds
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LW #74: Latvia Goes Remote and News From March 27th - April 2nd, 2020

Otto and Joe are joined by the legendary Latvian media personality Kārlis Streips, and discuss the latest COVID-19 measures and implications, as well as the cancellation of some Rīgas satiksme discounts, the confirmation of a new economics minister, a hefty fine for Aldis Gobzems, a real shooting star, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Weather theme: Smooth Jazz (am) by Backing Track Ninja Source: https://backingtrackninja.bandcamp.com/track/smooth-jazz-am
4/2/20201 hour, 16 minutes, 35 seconds
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LW #73: An Unusual Spring in Latvia and News From March 18th - 26th, 2020

Robeža (border) is the Latvian word of the week, with the year finally having crossed the border into Spring and borders being placed on regular services and personal contact due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Otto and Joe discuss the latest virus-related updates, including the infection of KPV LV Saeima deputy Artuss Kaimiņš and new limits being placed on shops, as well as other stories such as the series finale to the University of Latvia rector election soap opera, a WhatsApp fake news scandal, good news for Latvian food producers, and a sobering look at one of the most tragic events in Latvian history. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Weather theme: Smooth Jazz (am) by Backing Track Ninja Source: https://backingtrackninja.bandcamp.com/track/smooth-jazz-am
3/26/20201 hour, 14 minutes, 27 seconds
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LW #72: Life Under Lockdown, and News from March 11th - 17th, 2020

The world might seem as if it has stopped, but the news certainly hasn't! Attālināt ("to distance") is the word of the week as Kris Akenfelds joins Otto and Joe from Cambodia to discuss the pros and cons of government responses to COVID-19 and a few other non virus-related stories.
3/17/20201 hour, 19 minutes, 12 seconds
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LW #71: (A Bit of) Good News from March 4th - 10th, 2020

Although the COVID-19 coronavirus disease is dominating the news cycle throughout the world, Otto and Joe break down a bit of positive news as well such as a potential breakthrough in Rail Baltica bickering, half a million Euro seized under the Magnitsky Act, funding for renovating landmarks and more!
3/10/202054 minutes, 59 seconds
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LW #70: COVID-19 Comes to Latvia, and News from February 26th - March 3rd, 2020

"Nomazgāt" (wash) is the Latvian word of the week now that washing your hands is more important than ever with the COVID-19 novel coronavirus making its first confirmed appearance in Latvia. Otto and Joe discuss the implications of this story along with the first major Rīga city council election polling results, a bungled attempt at international espionage, and what looks like closure to the Kristīne Misāne affair. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Weather theme: Smooth Jazz (am) by Backing Track Ninja Source: backingtrackninja.bandcamp.com/track/smo…h-jazz-am
3/4/202059 minutes, 33 seconds
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LW #69: Students Discuss the News From February 19th - 25, 2020

Izglītība (education) is our word of the week, as three of Joe's media students join him to discuss the news of the week with Otto hard at work away in Israel. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Weather theme: Smooth Jazz (am) by Backing Track Ninja Source: backingtrackninja.bandcamp.com/track/smo…h-jazz-am
2/25/202056 minutes, 13 seconds
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LW #68: Stormy Weather Breaks in Rīga and News from February 12th - 18th, 2020

"Vētra" ("storm" is the Latvian word of the week. While the storm "Dennis" continues to menace most of continential Europe, the gathering storm clouds have finally burst above the recently dismissed Rīga City council. Otto and Joe discuss the implications of these stories along with other topics such as President Levits' proposed reduction of non-EU TV content, an interesting new look for Latvian trains, oil pollution in the River Venta, dramatic updates in the Kristīne Misāne case, and much more!
2/19/20201 hour, 16 seconds
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LW #67: Rīga City Council Goes Supernova and News from February 4th - 11th, 2020

"Tiešraide" is the Latvian word of the week as Otto and Joe "go live" for the first time ever and discuss major stories such as Mayor Burovs' acceptance of early elections, Aldis Gobzems' potential new party, a "soda tax," more drama with Denmark, and Latvia's unexpected role in Donald Trump's investigation of Hunter Biden. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Weather theme: Smooth Jazz (am) by Backing Track Ninja Source: backingtrackninja.bandcamp.com/track/smo…h-jazz-am
2/11/20201 hour, 5 minutes, 2 seconds
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LW #66: Otto and Olevs in Poland, and News from January 29th - February 4th, 2020

With Otto and Olevs on the road again as part of their work with the Baltic Security Foundation, Elizabete Dreimane once again joins Joe in Jelgava to discuss domestic issues such as the increasingly convoluted political soap opera that Rīga City Council has become, more trouble for former ABLV board members and employees, Latvia's gender wage gap, and much more!
2/4/202043 minutes, 5 seconds
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LW #65: Blackout for Mayor Burovs and News from January 22nd - 28th, 2020

"Notumse" ("blackout") has been chosen by the Riga Latvian Society as the "word of the year," as chances of Mayor Olegs Burovs holding onto power look increasingly dim. Otto and Joe discuss the latest on Rīga City Council's game of thrones as well as Prime Minister Kariņš' first year in office, another ABLV Bank bombshell, Latvia's response to the Wuhan coronavirus, the surprising new head of the Latvian Basketball Association, and a somber remembrance of 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Weather theme: Smooth Jazz (am) by Backing Track Ninja Source: backingtrackninja.bandcamp.com/track/smo…h-jazz-am
1/28/20201 hour, 3 minutes, 47 seconds
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LW #64: Railway Reductions and News from January 15 - 21st, 2020

"Samazināt" is unfortunately our Latvian word of the week, as Latvijas dzelzceļš announces major workforce reductions as well as a decrease in the amount of rail cargo over the last few years. Otto and Olevs join Joe in Jelgava to discuss the fallout from this news as well as the importance of constitutional changes in neighboring Russia, a mixed economic outlook for 2020, irresponsible visitors to Latvia's forests, and more bobsleigh glory for the legendary Mārtiņš Dukurs. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission
1/21/202047 minutes, 49 seconds
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LW #63: Central Market Demolition and News from January 8th - 14th, 2019

As the walls continue to crash around Mayor Burovs' fragile coalition, Mr. Burovs has sent the walls literally crashing down in one of Rīga Central Market's most notorious sections. Otto and Joe discuss this watershed moment in the history of Centrāltirgus along with Artuss Kaimiņš' final exit from the KPV LV party he founded, a showdown between environmentalists and the logging industry over proposed looser regulations, an international family legal drama, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Weather theme: Smooth Jazz (am) by Backing Track Ninja Source: backingtrackninja.bandcamp.com/track/smo…h-jazz-am
1/14/202055 minutes, 1 second
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LW #62: Warm Winter, Calling Ventspils, and News from January 3rd - 7th, 2019

"Klusums" is our Latvian word of the week, with the news cycle unusually quiet here in Latvia compared with the rest of the world's head-spinning past few days. Otto and Joe talk through a few major domestic stories and updates before getting into Latvia's connection with some of the recent major international events, and also call to Sophia in Ventspils to discuss the unusually warm weather and life in the beach city's "quiet" off-season. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Weather theme: Smooth Jazz (am) by Backing Track Ninja Source: backingtrackninja.bandcamp.com/track/smo…h-jazz-am
1/8/202053 minutes, 26 seconds
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LW Interviews: "The Eastern Border" podcast host Kristaps Andrejsons

Kristaps Andrejsons is a man on a mission to tell the west the true story of not just what happened in the Soviet Union, but what's happening in the region today. His "The Eastern Border" podcast has attracted hundreds of thousands of listeners and become his primary source of income, but such success has also lead to death threats that have cost him relationships, and a journey that has brought him to some of the most dangerous places in the world, and into contact with people's heartbreaking personal stories. Joe sits down with him first at Jelgava's "Flower Power" cafe and then outside the railway station to discuss topics such as Soviet history's most important lessons, the west's and east's greatest misunderstandings about one another, and how the Latvia of today might be remembered by historians of tomorrow.
1/5/202059 minutes, 3 seconds
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LW #61: A New Year in Latvia, Calling Ludza, and News from December 28th 2019 - January 2nd, 2020

With Otto still on his way back from Italy, journalism student Elizabete Dreimane joins Joe to discuss new year's traditions here in Latvia, along with a few important news stories that took place throughout the week. They also call fellow podcaster Kristaps Andrejsons from "The Eastern Border" program to hear about life and the weather in Ludza, a town just 30 km from the Russian border in the culturally unique region of Latgale. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Weather theme: Smooth Jazz (am) by Backing Track Ninja Source: backingtrackninja.bandcamp.com/track/smo…h-jazz-am
1/2/20201 hour, 8 minutes, 10 seconds
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LW #60: 2019 Year in Review and News from December 21 - 27, 2019

Happy new year everyone, and thanks to everyone who voted in the 2019 "person of the year" readers'/listeners poll! Otto and Olevs join Joe in Jelgava to reveal your choice along with the staff's "person of the year," the top 10 "stories of the year," and a few important stories and updates from the previous week. Crack open a bottle of champagne and settle down for a look back at the year gone by, and join Latvia weekly in getting ready for the coming decade!
12/28/20191 hour, 45 minutes, 42 seconds
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LW #59: "Person of the Year" Nominations and News from December 14th - 20th, 2019

With the end of the year in sight, it's time for YOU to choose the most important person of the year here in Latvia who made a difference for better or worse. Join Otto and Joe as they reveal the top 10 nominations from listeners like you, and cover the week's most important news stories such as strict new anti-drunk driving measures, new regulations designed to protect journalists, a "zero waste" experiment in Viļani, and major updates about the ongoing crises in Rīga and Ventspils. Kris Akenfelds joins in from Liepāja at the end to discuss the holiday season on the amber coast as well as the depressingly slim prospects of a white Christmas. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Weather theme: Smooth Jazz (am) by Backing Track Ninja Source: backingtrackninja.bandcamp.com/track/smo…h-jazz-am
12/21/20191 hour, 9 minutes, 2 seconds
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LW #58: Pūce's "Nuclear Option," Lemberg's America Problem, and News from December 7th - 13th, 2019

"Atkārtot" (to repeat) is the word of the week, with Rīga once again on the brink of re-do elections thanks to Environmental Protection and Regional Development Minister Juris Pūce's decision to use the "nuclear option" and initiate the dismissal of city council. Meanwhile in Ventspils, oligarch and mayor since 1988 Aivars Lembergs is on the brink thanks to being included on a US sanctions list. Otto and Joe discuss the implications of these major stories and more, including a scandal in the welfare ministry, major changes to the country's rail service, an early flu epidemic, and the country's president being "honored" by America's favorite sketch comedy program. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission
12/13/201958 minutes
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LW #57: Pūce Prepares to Dump Rīga City Council and News from November 28th - December 5th, 2019

"Apsaimniekošana" (management) is the word of the week as Minister of Environmental Protection and Regional Development Juris Pūce reveals plans for potential early Rīga City Council elections in February due to the city's lack of a satisfactory waste management plan. Otto joins Joe from Rīga for a jam-packed episode where they discuss this among many other important domestic, international, and historical stories from the week. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Weather theme: Smooth Jazz (am) by Backing Track Ninja Source: backingtrackninja.bandcamp.com/track/smo…h-jazz-am "Future" theme by zerolagtime, used with a Creative Commons 3.0 attribution license Source: https://freesound.org/people/zerolagtime/sounds/29625/#comments
12/5/20191 hour, 13 minutes, 51 seconds
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LW #56: Ķekava Calling and News from November 22nd - 27th, 2019

"Atlaist" is our first ever "Latvian word of the week," with growing movements to dismiss both Saeima (parliament) and Rīga City Council. Join Otto and Joe as they discuss these ongoing situations along with a new plan for medical workers' salary raises proposed by Health Minister Ilze Viņķele, major legal troubles for Rīga Central Market, yet another diplomatic row with Moscow, a bold proposal to solve traffic problems caused by electric scooters, and a major battle in Jelgava that was commemorated during the week. International Meet-up coordinator Zane Reiter also joins via phone to discuss life and weather in Ķekava, and the process of moving away from Rīga to the suburbs. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Weather theme: Smooth Jazz (am) by Backing Track Ninja Source: backingtrackninja.bandcamp.com/track/smo…h-jazz-am
11/26/201950 minutes, 31 seconds
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LW Presents: The Healthcare Funding Crisis, a Special Report

With Latvia's health care workers calling for the dismissal of parliament, the sacking of the health minister, and the rejection of the 2020 budget, Joe and Otto sit down for a special report on how we got to this point and what the most likely next steps and repercussions will be. Intro and outro music: "Looking Back" by Lee Rosevere, used with a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License https://archive.org/details/Music_For_Podcasts-18452/Lee_Rosevere_-_04_-_Looking_Back.mp3 Heartbeat sound effect by HerbertBoland, used with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License
11/24/201939 minutes, 47 seconds
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LW #55: A Brief History of the Rīga City Council Mess and News From November 14th - 21st, 2019

Quarantined away due to illness, it's up to Joe alone to untangle the mess of intricacies that has led Rīga City Council to the brink of extraordinary elections that would take place barely a year away from the regularly scheduled 2021 ones. Otto chimes in with international stories and a look at the life of the recently departed legendary Guntars Gedulis. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Weather theme: Smooth Jazz (am) by Backing Track Ninja Source: backingtrackninja.bandcamp.com/track/smo…h-jazz-am
11/21/201946 minutes, 11 seconds
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LW Presents: The 18th of November, a Proclamation Day Special

In honor of the 18th of November, Otto and Joe come together to discuss Latvian Proclamation Day (often called "independence day") including how it came to happen, how it has been celebrated in the past and present, what it means to Latvians today, why people wear ribbons and carry torches, and the peculiar reason why the more than 30,000 people named Aleksandrs are especially important on this day. Opening and closing theme: "Div' dūjiņas gaisā skrēja" performed by Lizete Iesmiņa-Mihelsone in 1908 Latvian traditional folk song, gramophone recording in the public domain Courtesy of the National Library of Latvia https://audio.lndb.lv/68084/
11/16/201930 minutes, 2 seconds
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LW #54: Soldiers and Artists Remembered, and News from November 7th - 13th, 2019

Kris Akenfelds joins Joe to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Latvia's defeat of German and Russian forces in Rīga, remember the life of legendary artist Džemma Skulme, and discuss major stories such as protests by medical workers and regional reform opponents, the death of LNT, the Latvian Green Party's expulsion from the European Green Party, and more. Otto and Olevs also join from New York to discuss international stories and discuss the important of Lāčplēša diena. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Weather theme: Smooth Jazz (am) by Backing Track Ninja Source: backingtrackninja.bandcamp.com/track/smo…h-jazz-am
11/13/20191 hour, 29 seconds
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LW #53: CO2 Panic, Driving Exams, and News From October 29th - November 6th, 2019

While Otto and Olevs cover major international stories from far away in New York City, Joe and Matīss discuss questionable journalism about potential CO2 regulations, the blacklisting of a popular Russian singer, the challenges of Latvian language and driving exams, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Weather theme: Smooth Jazz (am) by Backing Track Ninja Source: backingtrackninja.bandcamp.com/track/smo…h-jazz-am
11/6/201958 minutes, 27 seconds
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LW Interviews: Latvia's Honorary Consul to Texas Peter Ragauss

Listen to Olevs and Otto interview Peter A. Ragauss, who serves as the Honorary Consul of Latvia to Texas, U.S., and a board member at the Baltic-American Freedom Foundation. He is an American Latvian with a strong connection from Latgale — the easternmost and arguably the most distinct part of Latvia. Find out how American, Latvian and Latgalian identities have formed Peter's personality, his way to success in America as a second generation immigrant and ways how he nowadays contributes to Latvia and Latgale in particular. You can also hear Peter's take on the development of Latvia since regaining independence and some ideas of the right way forward.
11/1/201941 minutes, 11 seconds
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LW #52: Birthdays, Bottle Deposits, and News from October 24th - 28th, 2019

Otto, Olevs, and Kris join Joe and Līga in Jelgava to celebrate the Latvia Weekly Podcast's first birthday and discuss a range of issues including a new bottle deposit system, a change at the top of Saskaņa's leadership, President Levits' visit to Japan, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Weather theme: Smooth Jazz (am) by Backing Track Ninja Source: backingtrackninja.bandcamp.com/track/smo…h-jazz-am
10/27/20191 hour, 2 minutes, 8 seconds
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LW #51: Super Strawberries and News from October 17th - 23rd, 2019

Otto and Olevs join Joe all the way from Berlin to discuss their most recent Baltic security initiatives as well as frost-resistant strawberries, Latvia's aging and CO2-happy car fleet, Jelgava's unhappy mayor, great achievements by Latvia's star female athletes, and much more! Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Weather theme: Smooth Jazz (am) by Backing Track Ninja Source: backingtrackninja.bandcamp.com/track/smo…h-jazz-am
10/25/20191 hour, 2 minutes, 9 seconds
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LW #50: Budget Bagged and Delivered and News from October 11th - 16th, 2019

As they celebrate their 50th episode with a new theme song by sports correspondent Jorens Šteinhauers, Otto and Joe discuss the topsy-turvy week that Latvia's ministers had, with Finance Minister Jānis Reirs handing in the 2020 budget, Education Minister Ilga Šuplinska surviving a vote of no confidence and continuing her fight against Univeristy of Latvia rector Indriķis Muižnieks, Environment and Regional Development Minister Juris Pūce giving more way on regional reform, and Defense Minister Artis Pabriks finding himself in hot water over comments about the Latvian Legion. Theme song "Mēs esam ārzemnieki" by Aarzemnieki, used with permission Weather theme: Smooth Jazz (am) by Backing Track Ninja Source: backingtrackninja.bandcamp.com/track/smo…h-jazz-am
10/16/20191 hour, 17 minutes, 48 seconds
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LW #49: A Bad Week for (Former) Mayors and News from October 3rd - 10th, 2019

With Otto busy preparing for the important yearly Riga Conference, Joe covers domestic drama such as the arrest of former Mayor of Daugavpils Rihards Eigims, renewed charges against current Mayor of Jurmala Gatis Truksnis, a football match fixing scandal, a possible solution to Rīga's trash problem, and much more! Otto and Joe did get a chance to discuss some major international stories together such as President Levits' visit to Estonia and Latvia's Brexit position, and Jöran and Oliver join us as usual to talk about the latest in sports. Opening and closing music by Anna Veisa
10/10/201958 minutes, 27 seconds
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LW #48: Minister Šuplinska's Rough Week and News from September 25th - October 2nd, 2019

This jam packed episode starts with a slate of bad news for Minister of Education Ilga Šuplinska and her Jaunā konservatīva partija but hardly ends there, with major stories including changes to citizenship law, a worrisome climate study, dramas both backstage at the legendary Dailes Theater and on Ķekava City Council, minimum income and pension increases, and the introduction of Burger King to the Baltic States. Segments also include a call to Daugavpils, Latvia Sports Weekly with Jöran and Oliver, the week in history, and more!
10/2/20191 hour, 12 minutes, 42 seconds
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LW #47: Calling Liepāja and News from September 18th - 24th, 2019

Otto and Joe make a call to new Liepāja resident Kris Akenfelds to discuss newly announced plans for increased rail service to "the city where wind was born," while sports correspondents Jöran and Oliver call in to discuss the latest happenings in Latvian football. Major stories discussed this week include updates to the kindergarten food poisoning scandal, a potential major development in language policy, a change of tack for Rīga's new mayor, Baltic Unity Day, and much more! Opening and closing music by Anna Veisa "Cauri Grobiņai" by Aarzemnieki Weather theme: Smooth Jazz (am) by Backing Track Ninja Source: backingtrackninja.bandcamp.com/track/smo…h-jazz-am
9/24/20191 hour, 6 minutes, 32 seconds
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LW# 46: A Change of Seasons and News from September 12th - 17th, 2019

Otto and Joe are back together in Jelgava to discuss a fickle forecast for both the weather here in Latvia and the Krišjānis Kariņš-led government as autumn has arrived in dramatic fashion. Meanwhile, sports correspondents Jöran and Oliver retell an exciting KHL hockey match between Dinamo Rīga and Amur Khabarovsk. Other topics this week include the Baltic states' first solar farm, good and bad news for the country's economic outlook, tragic food poisoning in Sigulda, and Latvia's bid at this year's Oscars. Opening and closing music by Anna Veisa Weather theme: Smooth Jazz (am) by Backing Track Ninja Source: backingtrackninja.bandcamp.com/track/smo…h-jazz-am
9/17/20191 hour, 2 minutes, 33 seconds
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LW #45: Budging Budget and News from September 3rd to September 11th, 2019

Listen to Otto covering the battles over the budget, new parties getting a stronger hold, trashy tango in the capital, presidential and vice-presidential talks, topical history and future events and more. Surprise sports correspondents join in to cover the downs and ups of the national athletes. Opening and closing music by Anna Veisa
9/12/201925 minutes, 36 seconds
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LW #44: Back to School in Jelgava and News from August 28th - September 2nd, 2019

Happy first day of school to Latvia's students and teachers! In honor of the new year, Joe is joined by one of his new colleagues and two of his media club students at Jelgava Spidola State Gymnaisum to discuss some of the changes taking place in education this year, as well as the top stories of the week including a new step towards municipal reform, fire safety violations, and a list by CNN of the top 11 destinations to see in Latvia. Start the new school year right, and don't be late for the bell! Opening and closing music by Anna Veisa
9/2/201954 minutes, 36 seconds
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LW #43: Baltic Brotherhood and News from August 19th - 27th, 2019

Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia celebrate 30 years since the important "Baltic Way" protest against Soviet occupation while Rīga inaugurates its third(!) mayor of 2019, PNB Bank's owner sues to stay open, and the Kariņš government tepidly supports Minister of Education Ilga Šuplinska (JKP) in her ongoing conflict with the University of Latvia. Otto and Joe not only discuss these stories and more, but also check in with correspondent Kris Akenfelds to see how his first month living in Liepāja has gone. Opening and closing music by Anna Veisa Weather theme: Smooth Jazz (am) by Backing Track Ninja Source: backingtrackninja.bandcamp.com/track/smo…h-jazz-am
8/27/201957 minutes, 31 seconds
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LW #42: PNB (Norvik) Bank Shutdown and News from August 12th - 18th, 2019

Joe and Otto are back in Rīga to celebrate the annual city festival and discuss the ECB's sudden closure of PNB Bank (formerly Norvik) as well as major updates to long-running stories such as the road to a new Mayor of Rīga, a compromise in regional reform, increased heat in the showdown between the University of Latvia and Minister of Education Ilga Šuplinska, and much more! Opening and closing music by Anna Veisa Weather theme: Smooth Jazz (am) by Backing Track Ninja Source: backingtrackninja.bandcamp.com/track/smo…h-jazz-am
8/18/201958 minutes, 53 seconds
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LW Interviews: Latvian Holocaust Historian Richards Plavnieks

The Holocaust will always be one of the darkest chapters of Latvian history, and it is up to historians like Richards Plavnieks, Assistant Professor of History at Florida Southern College, to chronicle this painful period. Joe sits down with Dr. Plavnieks to discuss his work studying the infamous "Arājs Kommando" as well as his experiences growing up as a Latvian-American on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
8/15/201935 minutes, 14 seconds
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LW #41: City Council Countdown and News from August 6th - 11th, 2019

With time ticking before an August 20th deadline set by opposition parties, in which Rīga City Council must agree upon a new mayor or face extraordinary elections, former Mayor Nils Ušakovs phones in from Brussels with an offer that key independent councillors seem eager to refuse. Joe and Otto discuss potential stalemate-breaking scenarios as well as a scandal-plagued bridge, a showdown over the University of Latvia rector's election, a major win for Latvian beach volleyball, and a fake will scandal straight out of Latvian soap operas.
8/11/201958 minutes, 23 seconds
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LW #40: Happy Birthday to Latvian Railways and News from July 30th - August 5th, 2019

Otto has returned to Latvia to celebrate a major anniversary with Joe! No, not the show's 40th episode, but the 100th birthday of Latvijas Dzelceļš, the country's rail authority! Other topics of discussion include major updates to the Kariņš government's plans, a drought in the south of Kurzeme, a new US ambassador to Latvia, and a bridge that belongs to no one in desperate need of repairs. Opening and closing music by Anna Veisa Weather theme: Smooth Jazz (am) by Backing Track Ninja Source: backingtrackninja.bandcamp.com/track/smo…h-jazz-am
8/6/201957 minutes, 15 seconds
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LW Presents: Akenfelds on the Road Pt. 2 — Cycling through Eastern Latvia

After 58 days and over 1500 km of cycling, Latvian-Australian Kris Akenfelds has brought his journey across Latvia to a close and joins Joe once again in Jelgava to tell stories from the eastern half of his journey as well as some of his major takeaways from spending summer all throughout the Latvian countryside. Photo Credit: Ivo Kruusamägi https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lake_Al%C5%ABksne.jpg Opening and closing music: Bicycle - Reunited by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) Source: incompetech.com/music/royalty-fre…isrc=USUAN1100870 Artist: incompetech.com/
8/2/201949 minutes, 13 seconds
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LW #39: Public Radio Predicaments and News from July 23rd - 29th, 2019

With Otto and Olevs still away in America, recently returned cross-country cyclist and regular contributor Kris Akenfelds sits down with Joe to discuss more trouble at Latvijas Radio, the country-wide blocking of a Russian news portal, countryside residents' opinions of regional reform, and whether to regulate parking of the newly popular electric scooters.
7/29/201956 minutes, 54 seconds
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LW Interviews: Latvian Debate Association Members Rasmuss Filips Geks and Edgars Klētnieks

With debate season in full swing back in his home country of America, Joe sat down this week with Latvian Debate Association "Quo Tu Domā?" board members Rasmuss Filips Geks and Edgars Klētnieks to discuss bringing critical thinking to the classroom, building logical arguments, evaluating information sources and much more. Take a break from arguing with your Facebook friends for an hour to listen in and improve your debating skills today! Opening and closing music by Austra Apsīte
7/28/20191 hour, 14 seconds
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LW #38: JKP's "Yellow Card" and News from July 15th - 22nd, 2019

As the New Conservative Party (JKP) signals that their willingness to cooperate with the rest of the Kariņš government coalition is running low, the government searches for a solution to the Latvian Radio funding crisis. Otto phones in from Washington DC to discuss these topics with Joe and much more, including a possible rise to minimum wage, a Latvian national being held captive by Iran, and great news for Latvia's rail network. All this, plus a final check-in from Latvian-Australian cross-country cyclist Kris Akenfelds — don't miss it! Opening and closing music by Anna Veisa Weather theme: Smooth Jazz (am) by Backing Track Ninja Source: backingtrackninja.bandcamp.com/track/smo…h-jazz-am
7/23/201959 minutes, 32 seconds
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LW Interviews: Freelance Journalist Anna Ūdre

For the first interview episode in some time, Joe sat down with freelance journalist and voice of "The Baltic Reports" podcast Anna Ūdre to discuss a wide range of topics including the pros and cons of working as a freelancer in Latvia, the relationship between politicians and media, the role of advertising in funding public media, and much more!
7/21/201951 minutes, 15 seconds
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LW #37: Bribes, Broken Bikes, and News from July 10th - 14th, 2019

Despite the short amount of time between episodes, there was plenty for Joe to discuss with Otto in his first time back on the show this month, with developments in the Baiba Broka bribery case, threats by Jaunā konservatīvā partija to sack Rīga city council altogether, major economic statistics released for the first half of 2019, and much more! They were even finally able to finally call Latvian-Australian cross-country cyclist Kris Akenfelds to hear about his latest adventures and misadventures throughout Eastern Latvia. This is one transatlantic discussion you won't want to miss! Opening and closing music by Anna Veisa Weather theme: Smooth Jazz (am) by Backing Track Ninja Source: backingtrackninja.bandcamp.com/track/smo…h-jazz-am
7/15/201956 minutes, 10 seconds
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LW #36: Levits Inaugurated, Broka in Custody, and News from July 3rd - 10th, 2019

After more than a month as "president-elect," Mr. Egils Levits was finally handed the keys to Rīga castle by outgoing President Raimonds Vējonis. On the other side of town, former Nacionālā apvienība mayoral candidate Baiba Broka spent time in very different accommodation — a jail cell in Čiekurkalns after being detained by KNAB agents over bribery allegations. Join Olevs and Joe as they break down these developments and others including major passenger rail contracts, new initiative proposals by the Kariņš government, sexist sports posters, and much more! Opening and closing music by Anna Veisa
7/10/201956 minutes, 1 second
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LW #35: Ušakovs Under Investigation and News from June 27th - July 2nd, 2019

As if there wasn't enough political drama this week with KNAB announcing a status of "suspect" for former Mayor Nils Ušakovs just days before assuming his duties as an EU parliamentarian, the resignation of the entire temporary supervisory board of Latvenergo as well as major developments in the ongoing green energy subsidy corruption debacle certainly kept things interesting. Join Joe and Olevs as they take you through these stories and more, including yet another pothole in the road towards a Rīga concert hall, a new "receipt lottery" scheme, and a massive windfall for Latvia's most famous athlete! Opening and closing music by Anna Veisa
7/2/201956 minutes, 5 seconds
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LW #34: City Council Confusion and News from June 20th - 26th, 2019

While Rīga City Council might be quickly running out of ways to avoid a messy early election, Otto and Joe certainly aren't in danger of running out of issues to discuss, with major topics such as the final 2026 Olympic decision, the rejection of a civil partnership bill, and the dismissal of the entire Latvenergo energy utility's board all happening throughout what was expected to be a slow news week following Latvian midsummer celebrations. CORRECTION: An earlier version of this episode claimed that the Ulmanis provisional government was "toppled by Baltic Germans" in 1919, which is not an accurate description of the events that took place. Opening and closing theme: Think Tank by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (creativecommons.org/licenses/...) Artist: audionautix.com/ Weather theme: Smooth Jazz (am) by Backing Track Ninja Source: backingtrackninja.bandcamp.com/track/smo…h-jazz-am
6/27/201955 minutes, 29 seconds
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LW Presents: Akenfelds on the Road — Cycling through Western Latvia

Join Joe as he sits down with Latvian-Australian Kris Akenfelds, who is halfway through a 2-month cycling journey along Latvia's entire border and a few places off the track. Kris recounts some of the most interesting places he's been to and people he's met, as well as a brush with the supernatural and a few life-changing moments along the way. Photo credit: Bhavishya Goel https://www.flickr.com/photos/103799582@N02/42450309940 Opening and closing music: Bicycle - Reunited by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1100870 Artist: http://incompetech.com/
6/25/201940 minutes, 16 seconds
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LW Presents: The 2019 Līgo/Jāņi Midsummer Special with Austra Apsīte

Līgo, Līgo! In honor of this year’s quickly approaching midsummer celebration, Joe sat down with 2x2 Latvian youth camp volunteer Austra Apsīte to discuss Jāņi traditions, clear up midsummer myths, and even share some traditional Līgo music. Whether you're a midsummer newbie or a lifelong "Jāņa bērns," you're likely to learn something interesting about this important time of the year for Latvian culture! Opening music by Austra Apsīte Photo courtesy of Austra Apsīte
6/22/201947 minutes, 39 seconds
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LW #33: Coalition Cracks and News from June 12th - 19th, 2019

With small cracks starting to appear in Attistibai/Par! and giants fissures widening in KPV LV, Joe and Olevs discuss the stability of both parties as well as the coalition as a whole. Other major topics include updates in health and financial reforms, an increase to teachers' salaries, a knockout performance by Briedis, and a sad day of remembrance for all Latvian people.
6/20/201958 minutes, 13 seconds
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LW Interviews: Archaeology Assistant Jānis Tomašuns

In this next installment of the summer interview series, Joe sits down with local archaeology assistant Jānis Tomašuns to talk about some of the surprises hidden throughout Latvia just a few centimeters below the ground as well as his experience going on digs throughout the country.
6/16/201945 minutes, 32 seconds
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LW #32: Tropical Troubles and News from June 5th - 11th, 2019

What began as Joe and Olevs' going away party for Otto ended in disaster thanks to the abnormally tropical weather overheating Joe's laptop and erasing the first ever episode all three had recorded together. Sadly, the loss of a podcast episode was far from the most serious consequence of the heatwave, with severe thunderstorms, hail damage, and drownings being reported throughout the country. Join Joe as he tries his best to recount the major domestic happenings of the week solo before calling Kris Akenfelds to hear the latest about his cross-country cycling adventure and then handing it over to Otto for international stories and the week in history. Think Tank by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (creativecommons.org/licenses/...) Artist: audionautix.com/ Weather theme: Smooth Jazz (am) by Backing Track Ninja Source: backingtrackninja.bandcamp.com/track/smo…h-jazz-am
6/12/201950 minutes, 39 seconds
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LW Interviews: Latvian Bible Society Gen. Secretary Valdis Tēraudkalns and Editor Ņikita Andrejevs

This week, Joe returns to the University of Latvia's Theology Faculty to sit down with Professor Valdis Tēraudkalns and lecturer Ņikita Andrejevs to discuss their work with the Latvian Bible Society in editing the most recent translation of the Bible to Latvian and the challenges of producing a work that can satisfy Latvia's diverse Christian community, as well as why theology is worth studying in the 21st century. Intro and outro music: Chill Day by LAKEY INSPIRED is licensed under a Creative Commons License https://soundcloud.com/lakeyinspired/chill-day
6/9/201930 minutes, 22 seconds
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LW Presents: End Of An Era — The Tenures of President Vējonis and Mayor Ušakovs

Now that the book has been closed on the presidency of Raimonds Vējonis and the mayoralty of Nils Ušakovs, it's time for Otto and Joe to look back and evaluate the time these men spent in two of the three most high-profile jobs in Latvian politics and what their legacies will likely be. Opening and closing music "Pane in the Glass" by Lee Rosevere is used with a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution license. http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Lee_Rosevere/Music_For_Podcasts_3/04_Pane_in_the_Glass
6/7/20191 hour, 4 minutes, 4 seconds
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LW #31: Hello President Levits, Hello Goodbye Mayor Turlais? News from May 29th - June 4th, 2019

Latvia has a new president and Rīga has a new mayor, but one of them might not be able to hold onto his job for very long. Before joining Kris Akenfelds by phone to hear about the latest on his 50-day his cycling trip across the country, Otto and Joe break down the latest drama both on Rīga city council and in the KPV LV parliamentary faction as well as good news for rail and air travelers, not so good news for the Latvian economy, positive trends in Latvia’s relations with Russia, and much more! Opening and closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (creativecommons.org/licenses/...) Artist: audionautix.com/ Weather theme: Smooth Jazz (am) by Backing Track Ninja Source: backingtrackninja.bandcamp.com/track/smo…h-jazz-am
6/5/201957 minutes, 54 seconds
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LW Interviews: LIAA Tourism Dept. Leading Expert Martiņš Enģelis

With travel likely on many people's minds now that the summer weather looks to be here to stay, we sat down one again with Leading Expert Mārtiņš Enģelis from the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA)Tourism Department and the Capital R blog, this time to discuss the state's tourism strategy, the explosion of "alternative tourism," Rīga's hotel building craze, and some advice on choosing your next Latvian travel destination. Intro and outro music: Chill Day by LAKEY INSPIRED is licensed under a Creative Commons License https://soundcloud.com/lakeyinspired/chill-day
6/2/201952 minutes, 22 seconds
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LW #30: Trains, Taxis, Bikes, and News from May 23rd - 28th

Before they get into major stories of the week including more corruption drama in Rīga, changes to airport taxi regulations, and Latvia's dumbest arms dealer, Otto and Joe are joined via phone by regular contributor Kris Akenfelds who has started a 2-month bike journey along the country's entire border. In addition to the regular weekly discussions of Latvian news, Kris will be calling in each week to tell about where he's been and what he's seen. Don't miss this weekly trip through both Latvia's roads and current events!
5/29/201952 minutes, 37 seconds
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LW Presents: The 2019 European Parliament Election Results Special

Now that the dust has settled on a much-hyped EU Parliamentary election, Otto and Joe discuss the results and their implications both here in Latvia and throughout Europe. Did the far-right/Euroskeptic "wave" that was predicted truly materialize? Does the shooting star populist KPV LV party have a robust future after coming in 10th place? How will the results effect Brexit? All of this and much more is discussed, so grab a good cup of coffee or tea and join us for a thorough discussion of what exactly did and didn't happen in the 2019 EU election. Note: For the normally scheduled weekly update episode where they discuss the news from the previous week, check back later today. Opening and closing music: "Ode to Joy" composed by Ludwig von Beethoven and arranged by Herbert von Karajan This recording, courtesy of nationalanthems.info, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
5/29/20191 hour, 3 minutes, 36 seconds
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LW Interviews: Zemgale NGO Center Director Uldis Dumiņš

Joe sits down with Uldis Dumiņš, director of the Zemgale NGO Center, to discuss the challenges of the NGO sector in Latvia as well as the role NGOs have had in anti-corruption activity and civic reform. Other topics include the potential effects of the EU Parliament election on the NGO sector both domestically and throughout Europe, the trouble with free municipal-funded newspapers, and hot air ballooning in Latvia. Intro and outro music: Chill Day by LAKEY INSPIRED is licensed under a Creative Commons License https://soundcloud.com/lakeyinspired/chill-day
5/25/201938 minutes, 58 seconds
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LW #29: Presidential Election Preview and News from May 18th - 22nd, 2019

With the presidential election just days away, Otto and Joe take a look back at the people who have been president and the people who might be next, with a special focus on coalition candidate Egils Levits and what could be expected from his potential presidency. Other major topics include the latest corruption drama in Rīga, a dramatic threat by the minister of transportation to liquidate the country's passenger rail company, Latvia's run at the IIHF World Championship, and more! Opening and closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (creativecommons.org/licenses/...) Artist: audionautix.com/ Sports theme song: "Makai Symphony - Dragon Castle" is under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-SA 3.0). Music promoted by BreakingCopyright: youtu.be/9gBTKiVqprE
5/23/201958 minutes, 33 seconds
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LW #28: Europe Day and News from May 8th - 17th, 2019

Now that Joe is back to health, he joins Otto to belatedly celebrate Europe Day with a continent-sized episode discussing major domestic and international developments from the previous week and a half including threats of dismissals by Minister of Justice Jānis Bordans, the latest drama with Rīga City Council, surprising new EU election polls from the UK, a bittersweet run at the International Ice Hockey Federation Championships, and much more! Opening and closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (creativecommons.org/licenses/...) Artist: audionautix.com/ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8 Image courtesy of European Parliament via flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/european_parliament/13064833244
5/18/20191 hour, 6 minutes, 47 seconds
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LW Interviews: FIRST LEGO League Latvia coordinators Edgars Skruodis and Anna Skruode

Last month, Joe brought his middle school students to the FIRST LEGO League robotics competition in Valmiera and took the opportunity to interview founders Edgars Skruodis and Anna Skroude about their experience starting and running the program as well as student and teacher participants about their experiences during the weekend. This episode is part of a new series exploring some of the interesting work that people throughout Latvia are doing that might escape the attention of news camera but is having an impact nonetheless. Full disclosure: Joe Horgan is a board member of FLL Latvija. Intro and outro music: Chill Day by LAKEY INSPIRED is licensed under a Creative Commons License https://soundcloud.com/lakeyinspired/chill-day
5/13/201938 minutes, 42 seconds
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LW #27: KPV's Iron Throne and News from May 1st - 7th, 2019

KPV LV celebrates Game of Thrones' final season in style by sending party founder Artuss Kaimiņš to the wall, but with Aldis Gobzems already exiled and Atis Zakatistovs under investigation, is there anyone left to sit on the iron throne of what was one of Latvia's most powerful political forces just months ago? Otto, Joe and their guest producer Ivars discuss this and other major stories including the latest updates in the Rīga city government and public transit scandals, language and biking protests, online sale of alcohol, a major archaeological find in Ventspils, and much more! Produced by Ivars Bleidelis Opening and closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (creativecommons.org/licenses/...) Artist: audionautix.com/ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8 Image courtesy of Wicker Paradise via flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wicker-furniture/9162528732
5/7/201950 minutes, 58 seconds
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LW #26: Deglava Drama and News from April 22nd - 29th, 2019

The weather is heating up, and so is the growing conflict between the Saskaņa-led Rīga City Council and the national government. Join Otto and Joe as they discuss a major bridge closure, a phony contract scandal, updates in education reform and ongoing corruption cases, a possible concert hall in the Rīga Central Market meat pavillion, solar panels on Maxima supermarkets, and much more! Opening and closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (creativecommons.org/licenses/...) Artist: audionautix.com/ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
5/1/20191 hour
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LW #25: European Election Preview and News from April 15th - 21st, 2019

Listen to Joe and Otto discuss the current run-up to the election of European Parliament in Latvia, as well as the usual look at national politics, sports, history and ideas for what to see in Latvia the next week. Opening and closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (creativecommons.org/licenses/...) Artist: audionautix.com/ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8 Image Credit: Marco Verch (https://foto.wuestenigel.com/white-paper-with-european-elections-text-on-european-union-flag/?utm_source=32376266987&utm_campaign=FlickrDescription&utm_medium=link) Used with a Creative Commons 2.0 license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)
4/22/20191 hour, 15 minutes, 54 seconds
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LW #24: Public Television Turbulence and News from April 8th - 14th, 2019

Otto and Joe are back together at Rīga Central Station to discuss the latest drama at Latvia's public television and on Rīga city council, as well as a "vote of no confidence" against Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš, some ambitious plans by Minister of Environmental Protection and Regional Development Juris Pūce, smuggled daggers, and much more!
4/14/201953 minutes, 11 seconds
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LW #23: Jūrmala's Baby Seals and News from April 2nd - 7th, 2019

Otto is joined once again by Olevs Nikers to discuss outgoing politicians, ongoing reforms, incoming bans on tobacco and totalitarian uniforms, a surprise Olevs encountered during his first run in Jūrmala, and what exotic events to enjoy the next week in Latvia! Opening and closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (creativecommons.org/licenses/...) Artist: audionautix.com/ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
4/8/201948 minutes, 44 seconds
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LW #22: "Game Over" for Rīga's Casinos and News from March 25th - April 2nd, 2019

Otto is back from a hectic business trip to the US just in time to discuss major stories from last week with Joe, including the closing of casinos in Rīga, the fate of Mayor Nils Ušakovs, the fall from grace of one of the region’s biggest banks, more delays for new electric trains, and much more! Opening and closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (creativecommons.org/licenses/...) Artist: audionautix.com/ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8 Sports theme song: "Makai Symphony - Dragon Castle" is under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-SA 3.0). Music promoted by BreakingCopyright: youtu.be/9gBTKiVqprE Weather theme: Smooth Jazz (am) by Backing Track Ninja Source: backingtrackninja.bandcamp.com/track/smo…h-jazz-am
4/2/201957 minutes, 47 seconds
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LW #21: Running in Latvia and News from March 18th-24th, 2019

Otto is joined by the director of Baltic Strategy Project Mr. Olevs Nikers to discuss best advice to open the running season in Latvia, new ideas of tackling food waste, fights against mismanagement and gambling in the capital city, the most important elections in the last 30 years, and much more! Opening and closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (creativecommons.org/licenses/...) Artist: audionautix.com/ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
3/24/201939 minutes, 35 seconds
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LW #20: St. Patrick's Day and News from March 11th-17th, 2019

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Join Otto and Joe as they celebrate Ireland's big day while discussing the week's biggest stories in Latvia and abroad, including an English exam cheating scandal, more intrigue at Rīgas Satiksme, 16-year-olds being allowed to hunt, TTT Rīga's success at the womens' basketball championship, and much more! St. Patrick's opening theme: "Morrisson's jig - Leslie's march by Aislinn is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives (aka Music Sharing) 3.0 International License. Music promoted by the Free Music Archive http://freemusicarchive.org/ Sports theme song: "Makai Symphony - Dragon Castle" is under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-SA 3.0). Music promoted by BreakingCopyright: youtu.be/9gBTKiVqprE
3/17/201955 minutes, 24 seconds
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LW #19: International Women's Day and News from March 4th-10th, 2019

Otto and Joe are back at Rīga Central Station to discuss International Women's Day as well as major developments throughout the country in terms of the state's budget, ongoing corruption cases, and much more! Opening and closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (creativecommons.org/licenses/...) Artist: audionautix.com/ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
3/13/201939 minutes, 53 seconds
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LW #18: Ušakov's Ticket to Brussels and News from February 25th - March 3rd, 2019

Mayor Nils Ušakovs and Vice Mayor Andris Ameriks may be trying to escape Rīga for seats in European Parliament, but Joe and Otto are staying right here in Jelgava to break down the events of the week for you. Segments include domestic and international news, this week in Latvian history, "Deal or No Deal," weather, sports, and the week in the future! Opening and closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (creativecommons.org/licenses/...) Artist: audionautix.com/ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8 Sports theme song: "Makai Symphony - Dragon Castle" is under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-SA 3.0). Music promoted by BreakingCopyright: youtu.be/9gBTKiVqprE
3/3/201945 minutes, 53 seconds
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LW #17: Renovations for Uzvaras Parks and News from February 18th - 24th, 2019

Otto and Joe are back at Rīgas Centrālā stacija (Riga Central Station) to discuss the week’s major happenings such as Rīga City Council’s controversial €3.8 million plan to renovate Uzvaras parks, a potential teacher’s strike, plans to combine Latvia’s municipalities, abandoned health reforms, hidden tobacco, and much more! Segments include “Deal or No Deal,” “This Week in Latvian History,” sports, weather, “This Week in the Future,” and a surprise pop quiz! Opening and closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (creativecommons.org/licenses/...) Artist: audionautix.com/ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8 Sports theme song: "Makai Symphony - Dragon Castle" is under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-SA 3.0). Music promoted by BreakingCopyright: youtu.be/9gBTKiVqprE Quiz theme song: Firebrand by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/...) Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-... Artist: http://incompetech.com/ Weather theme: Smooth Jazz (am) by Backing Track Ninja Source: https://backingtrackninja.bandcamp.com/track/smooth-jazz-am
2/24/201950 minutes, 51 seconds
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LW #16: Trains of the Future and News from February 11th - 17th, 2019

Otto and Joe are live from Rīga Central Station for a train-themed episode, with major stories about new electric trains and the Rail Baltica project along with some developments in the European parliamentary and Latvian presidential races, clarifications about the status of British citizens in Latvia post-Brexit, major musical achievements, and much more! Opening and closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (creativecommons.org/licenses/...) Artist: audionautix.com/ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8 Sports theme song: "Makai Symphony - Dragon Castle" is under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-SA 3.0). Music promoted by BreakingCopyright: youtu.be/9gBTKiVqprE
2/17/201946 minutes, 8 seconds
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LW #15: KPV in Divorce Court and News from February 4th - February 10th, 2019

Although the ice sculptures might have melted at the international festival in Jelgava this weekend, support for Rīga's Mayor Nils Ušakovs among his voter base certainly hasn't, with thousands appearing at a rally in Rīga on Saturday to show their support for the embattled leader. Otto and Joe discuss the implications of the rally along with other key stories that include the increasingly messy divorce of Aldis Gobzems and the KPV LV party, millions misspent on public transit in Rīga, a funding threat to public media, and much more! Segments include "This week in sports," "Deal or no deal," and "this week in Latvian history," and a look at international stories that could affect things here in Latvia. Opening and closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (creativecommons.org/licenses/...) Artist: audionautix.com/ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8 Sports theme song: "Makai Symphony - Dragon Castle" is under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-SA 3.0). Music promoted by BreakingCopyright: youtu.be/9gBTKiVqprE
2/11/201946 minutes, 34 seconds
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LW #14: Ušakovs Under Fire and News from January 27th - February 3rd, 2019

The coalition talks may be over (for now), but the Latvian political drama has far from finished with Mayor of Rīga Nils Ušakovs' home and office being searched, JKP deputy Juris Jurašs losing his parliamentary immunity despite harsh words from party boss Jānis Bordāns, and the blocking of a major Russian state-sponsored TV channel. Aside from other major domestic and international stories, segments include sports, this week in Latvian history, and our weekly preview. Don't miss this action-packed edition of Latvia Weekly! Opening and closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (creativecommons.org/licenses/...) Artist: audionautix.com/ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8 Sports theme song: "Makai Symphony - Dragon Castle" is under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-SA 3.0). Music promoted by BreakingCopyright: https://youtu.be/9gBTKiVqprE
2/3/201945 minutes, 20 seconds
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LW Presents: The International Recognition Special

Join Otto as he interviews current Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkēvičs as well as former Minister of Culture and current National Library of Latvia Support Foundation director Karina Pētersone about the road to international recognition of Latvian independence as well as the new government's foreign policy goals, the status of British citizens after Brexit, and recommended reading for expats who want to get more acquainted with Latvian culture.
2/2/201939 minutes, 16 seconds
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LW #13: Kariņš' New Cabinet and News from January 20th - 26th, 2019

By gosh, they did it, they finally did it! Otto and Joe mark the end of the nearly 4-month formation process for the new government by dicussing the new cabinet and some of their upcoming challenges, with other domestic stories including even more drama in KPV LV, updates on the Rīgas Satiksme scandal, and some shake-ups in Latvian media. Other segments include international stories, "Deal or No Deal," and "this week in Latvian history." Opening and closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (creativecommons.org/licenses/...) Artist: audionautix.com/ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
1/26/201949 minutes, 49 seconds
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LW #12: Kaimiņš vs Gobzems and News from January 14th - 19th, 2019

Otto and Joe discuss major stories both here in Latvia and elsewhere, including more drama in the KPV LV party, an attempt to nationalize Latvia's ports, the government's attempts to predict and prepare for the outcome of Brexit, and more snow! Segments include the "Otto-correct" fact check, "Deal or No Deal," and "This Week in Latvian History." Opening and closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (creativecommons.org/licenses/...) Artist: audionautix.com/ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
1/19/201948 minutes, 6 seconds
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LW #11: Kariņš' Potential Premiership and News from January 7th - 13th, 2019

Despite a relatively slow news week, Otto and Joe still have plenty to discuss with major developments in the coalition talks as well as some potentially influential international stories worth keeping an eye on. They also reflect on the art of repectful Facebook discussions and introduce a new "Deal or No Deal" and "this coming week" segments to close things up. (Note: There was a problem with one of the microphones, so Joe apologizes for some less-than-perfect sound quality in certain spots) Opening and closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (creativecommons.org/licenses/...) Artist: audionautix.com/ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
1/13/201952 minutes, 32 seconds
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LW #10: 2018 Year in Review and News from December 31st, 2018 - January 6th, 2019

Otto and Joe are back from a New Year break with a giant-sized Latvia Weekly episode looking back on not only what happened over the previous week, but the biggest stories of the previous year as well. We've got updates on the coalition talks, the top 10 stories of 2018, and the 2018 Latvia Weekly "person of the year" choices from both listeners and from the blog/podcast staff. Settle in for one last trip down 2018 lane as we get ready for another exciting year here in Latvia! Opening and closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (creativecommons.org/licenses/...) Artist: audionautix.com/ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
1/6/20191 hour, 28 minutes, 55 seconds
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LW #9: Winter Comes to Latvia and News from December 17th - 22nd, 2018

Join Otto and Joe in snowy Jelgava as they discuss major developments in the Rīga satiksme bribery case, more roadblocks in the coalition talks, and the publication of the KGB archives along with "This Week in Latvian History," major international stories, and much more! Opening and closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (creativecommons.org/licenses/...) Artist: audionautix.com/ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
12/22/201849 minutes, 18 seconds
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LW Presents: The 2018 Christmas Special!

Merry Christmas from Latvia Weekly! Join regular host Joe Horgan and special guest hosts Mārtiņš Enģelis, editor of the "Capital R" blog and Nikita Andreev, lecturer at the University of Latvia Faculty of Theology, as they discuss the peculiarities of Christmas in Latvia and how traditions differ among the country's subcultures and from Christmas elsewhere in the world. Topics include grey peas, the Home Alone series, fortune telling, and a lot more! Cozy in by the fireplace and settle in for a festive discussion about holidays.
12/21/201855 minutes, 46 seconds
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LW #8: Public Transit Corruption and News from December 10th - December 16th, 2018

Otto Tabuns is back from his trip to America to help co-host Joe Horgan unravel an international web of bribery and corruption involving Rīga's public transit authority and firms in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Aside from our regular "This Week in Latvian History" and "Otto-correct" segments, other topics include a possible breakthrough in the government building talks, major happenings throughout Europe, and snow here in southern Latvia. It's finally beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Opening and closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (creativecommons.org/licenses/...) Artist: audionautix.com/ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
12/16/201846 minutes, 23 seconds
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LW #7: Otto in NYC and News from December 3rd - December 11th, 2018

Despite some technical difficulties and a few delays, Otto joins Joe from New York City as the two discuss major developments in the chaotic coalition building process as well as the week's top international and domestic stories that affected Latvia. Live from New York, it's Latvia Weekly! Opening and closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (creativecommons.org/licenses/...) Artist: audionautix.com/ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
12/11/201848 minutes, 18 seconds
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LW #6: Mr. Tabuns goes to Washington and News from November 26th - December 2nd, 2018

Join Otto and Joe for a very international edition of Latvia Weekly, as Otto calls in from Washington DC to discuss Aldis Gobzems' roller coaster week, major developments between Russia and Ukraine, a very somber event in Latvian history, our "Otto-correct" fact checking segment, and much more! Opening and closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (creativecommons.org/licenses/...) Artist: audionautix.com/ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
12/3/201845 minutes, 23 seconds
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LW #5: Talking Turkey about the Coalition Process and News from November 19th - 25th, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving all the way from here in Latvia! Join Otto and Joe as they discuss news stories that we can be thankful for as well as the ongoing political stalemate, Otto-correct, and this week in Latvian history. Opening and closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (creativecommons.org/licenses/...) Artist: audionautix.com/ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
11/25/201846 minutes
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LW#4: Latvia Turns 100 and News from November 12th - 18th, 2018

A very happy 100th birthday to the Republic of Latvia! Otto and Joe discuss the country's centenary as well as the ongoing search for the next prime minister, issues with taxis at Rīga's airport, darkness in Daugavpils, Otto's trip to America, and much more. Opening and closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (creativecommons.org/licenses/...) Artist: audionautix.com/ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
11/19/201845 minutes, 57 seconds
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LW #3: Lāčplēša diena and News from November 5th - 11th, 2018

Otto and Joe discuss the 11th of November and what it means in Latvia, as well as major political developments here and abroad, upgrades to the train infrastructure, the Livonian language and more! We have also added a "this week in history" segment in addition to our fact-checking "Otto-correct" portion. Opening and closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (creativecommons.org/licenses/...) Artist: audionautix.com/ Music promoted by Audio Library youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
11/11/201845 minutes, 21 seconds
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LW #2: A Trip on the Rīga-Jelgava Railway and News from October 29th - November 4th, 2018

All aboard this week's episode of Latvia Weekly, recorded on location from the 2:33 PM Rīga-Jelgava electric train! Topics include the lack of a new prime minister, controversies with transportation in Rīga, confusion with Ot(t)o's, Joe' and Olaine's names, and much more. We have also added a new segment called Otto-correct which will fact check claims in the news every week from here on. Next stop: Lāčplēša diena! Opening and closing theme song: Think Tank by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/...) Artist: http://audionautix.com/ Music promoted by Audio Library https://youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
11/4/201845 minutes, 40 seconds
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LW #1: Coalition Building Headaches and News from October 22nd - 28th, 2018

Major stories: The coalition discussions, trouble in Daugavpils, good news for the environment, and more! Opening and closing theme "Think Tank" by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/...) Artist: http://audionautix.com/ Music promoted by Audio Library https://youtu.be/mbV9t1Z0rA8
10/28/20181 hour, 20 minutes, 11 seconds