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January 17, 2020            

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Today ambassador @AudraPlepyte was elected as Vice President of @UNICEF_Board for the upcoming year! Congratulatiā€¦ https://t.co/2TkO2TtfPw

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POLITICS
Seimas awarded the Freedom Prize 2019


Albinas Kentra, a chronicler of the Lithuanian history, member of the Lithuanian resistance and prisoner of the Soviet Gulag, was awarded the Freedom Prize 2019 in a solemn ceremony held in the Hall of the Act of 11 March.

At the award ceremony, the winner was presented with the Statuette of Liberty by Viktoras Pranckietis, Speaker of the Seimas, and with a Diploma of the Freedom Prize presented by Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė, Member of the Seimas and Chair of the Freedom Prize Commission.


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L. Linkevičius: European Union can and must play important role in de-escalating tensions in Iraq


On 10 January, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius attended the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels. The Council was briefed on the latest developments in Iraq, including through an exchange with the Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg, and discussed the role of the EU in de-escalating heightened tensions in the Middle East region.


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Czech soldiers from the #NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup Lithuania exercising in Pabradė polygon      |      Credits @ NATO Joint Force Command Brunssum - JFCBS

BUSINESS & SCIENCE
Scientists: circular economy is not only about recycling



Lithuania, like other small open economies in Eastern Europe, is often characterized by linear production and consumption. Despite the European Union (EU) initiatives to prompt practical implementation of the principles of the circular economy, the problems of insufficient production from natural resources, relatively short  product consumption term and small product reuse, limited waste recycling and new value creation from waste are still relevant.


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Global Technology Leader Rocket Software Opens Technology Centre in Vilnius


Invest Lithuania, the official agency for foreign direct investment and business development in Lithuania, today announced that Rocket Software has opened a new development centre in Vilnius and plans to hire more than 200 engineers and programmers in the next 2-3 years. RocketĀ®, which was founded in 1990 in Boston, Massachusetts, employs 1500 Rocketeers around the world. The company specialises in Z Systems, Power Systems, and Database & Connectivity, and helps the worldā€™s leading companies leverage open source, cloud, and artificial intelligence (AI) to support their ability to achieve legendary results.

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Investors are ready to invest in renewable energy in Lithuania without state support


Today the National Energy Regulatory Council (NERC) has confirmed the winner of renewable energy auctions. The price premium to the electricity exchange price offered by the successful investor is EUR 0 per MWh. This means that the project will be developed without state support.

ā€œIt is the breaking point in Lithuaniaā€™s renewable energy, since it is the first time that investments are made into wind farms without state support. Lithuania has evidently managed to create a particularly attractive environment for energy-related investments. It means lower dependency on electricity import, more jobs, and higher income for the state,ā€ says Minister of Energy Žygimantas VaičiÅ«nas.

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Lithuania must balance the benefits of fintech



"To attract more visitors to Siauliai region and provide more information on local tourists attractions, the new app will allow tourists to use the provided routes interactively and get acquainted with information about attractions using a mobile decide," Ruta Stankuviene, head of the local tourism information center, said in a statement.

This is the first app about Siauliai region and it will provide photos and descriptions of tourist attractions in four languages, including Lithuanian, Latvian, English and Russian.

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CULTURE & HISTORY
Vilnius Festival of Lights to illuminate the secrets of historic courtyards

Vilnius Festival of Lights will light up the city at the end of next week, highlighting the cityā€™s architecture and illuminating the most beautiful courtyards.

The festival on January 24-26 also coincides with the city's 697th anniversary, according to the municipality's press release.

ā€œWe have been celebrating the birthday of Vilnius [...] since the Festival of Lights came into existence," says Remigijus Å imaÅ”ius, the Mayor of Vilnius.

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Kaunas Full of Culture: The Yearbook of 2019 is out


The 200-page book offers last yearā€™s most exciting reads as well as a cultural event agenda for 2020.

Kaunas Full of Culture is a monthly magazine distributed free of charge. Now in its fifth year, the publication is  available in both Lithuanian and English. Together with the magazineā€™s first edition of 2020, the editorial office has just presented the yearbook of 2019.


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Ever had one of those priceless moments when after grey December days,
the sky finally glows with clear winter sun? The seaside of Lithuania's Curonian Spit
is the perfect place to catch one of these winter miracles
       |              Credits @ Lithuania. Real is beautiful

January 20
Ringing frames: performances and improvisations | MO

Two part programme will invite you to enjoy Fluxus inspired performance of Dieter Schnebel: MuseumsstĆ¼cke as well as impro music session at the Museum of Modern Art. The event is open to everyone.


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January 23 - February 9
15th French Film festival "Winter Screens"

The 15th anniversary celebrating festival will invite viewers to discoveries of present time and dive into charm of coincidences. More than 30 selected films will be screened across Lithuania.

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GLOBAL LITHUANIA
A piece of Lithuania in the heart of Chicago

A drab building complex in Chicago's West Lawn houses the offices of powerful Chicago Democrat Michael J. Madigan, aka the Velvet Hammer, speaker of the Illinois house. His office sits on the second floor of the somber edifice at 6500 S. Pulaski , its exteriors brown and gray and respectable.

This is, however, not the only thing at 6500 S. Pulaski. A Lithuanian flag at the door offers up a tantalizing hint to idle passersby. The Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture, the largest Lithuanian museum outside of Lithuania, is an unlikely neighbor for Madigan's chambers.

"When you go to another country, you don't lose your background, you add to the background," says Stanley Balzekas Jr., a 95-year-old Lithuanian American who founded the museum 50 years ago.

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Highlight of the Week
Minister Linas Linkevičius met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland Jacek Czaputowicz

Vilnius
Photo credits @ Jurijus Azanovas / MOD

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