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ERR News - Statistics Estonia said that per capita average annual potato consumption is 98 kilograms. The figure includes figures for homes and restaurants as well as for both locals and tourists, said the agency in a statement. Consumption of the starchy tuber is slowly increasing in Estonia. In 2009, the average consumption was 84 kg per resident and increased to 95 in 2011. Potato consumption is around 272 g per day. The worldwide average in the first decade of the 21st century was about 33 kg of potatoes, reported the UN Food and Agriculture Organi-zation in 2009. In comparison, the average Estonian resident consumes close to 5 kilograms of rice annually.


So we all know the Estonian language has 4 special dotted letters (täpi/tähed), that lie obediently in wait at the very tail end of the alphabet (tähestik). More precisely, they are topped with diacritical marks or diacritics (diakriitiline märk ehk diakriitik). But do you know what order they are in? Logic might say that they should mirror the order of the same letters without diacritics; in other words perhaps Ä, Ö, Õ, Ü? NO. They way I finally managed to remember the order is to acknowledge the particular uniqueness of the letter Õ. It definitely deserves to be the first täpitäht in the parade.


The Estonian American National Council (EANC )is pleased to announce that it will award financial support to selected young adults interested in attending the10th Joint Baltic American National Committee (JBANC) Baltic Conference on April 19-20, 2013. The Conference will be held at the Crystal City Marriott outside of Washington DC.  EANC will accept applications from individuals aged 17 to 30.


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

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

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


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


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


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