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ERR News - February 24, 1918 was the day when the Estonian Declaration of Independence, issued by the Maapäev (National Council), was printed and proclaimed in Tallinn. "In the course of centuries, never have the Estonian people lost their desire for independence. From generation to generation, they have kept alive the hidden hope that in spite of enslavement and oppression by hostile invaders the time will come to Estonia 'when all splinters, at both ends, will burst forth into flames' and when 'Kalev will come home to bring his children happiness.'"

I have been in Tallinn for a week to get some things done when my wife’s son Uku called to invite us to The Estonian Television Studio where he was rehearsing for the Estonian Song competition  which will take place on the 19th of February coming up. Uku is performing a Rein Rannap song which he has arranged „Jagatud  öö“ .

On January 24, Bombar-dier Aerospace delivered the first of three CRJ900 NextGen regional jets ordered by Estonian Air in 2010. The transaction included options on two additional CRJ900 NextGen aircraft.
The handover to the Tallinn, Estonia-based airline was celebrated at Bombardier Aero-space’s facility in Mirabel, Québec, where the CRJ900 NextGen aircraft is manufactured alongside the CRJ700 NextGen and CRJ1000 NextGen regional jets.

There are lots of relevant political discussions and interviews in the newspapers, on the radio and television lately defining the differences between the party platforms. Winter is always a good time for country people to visit, get together and discuss what is happening.  Naturally prior to an election, it is important for everyone to know what the issues are.  Who deserves or does not deserve our support.  Most of the local people I have talked with, feel …you don’t change horses in midstream.

In 2001, approximately 86 percent of the world's energy was obtained from fossil fuels. While fuel reserves are sufficient to support an energy demand expected to triple by 2100, the more immediate problem lies in stabilizing excess atmospheric carbon dioxide -a key contributor to global warming -by adopting and developing more carbon neutral power sources. Our sun's vast energy is the ultimate and ideal power source.
 I remember a prominent politician comment to me last summer when I asked him about the future of solar energy in Estonia. 

The Estonian Students Fund in USA was founded in 1961 to provide scholarships and grants to students of Estonian heritage.   While we gladly support Estonian students no matter what part of the world they live in, we are hoping to reach greater number of 1st, 2nd and 3rd generation Estonian-Americans in the coming years.  

Have you ever noticed that in movies where someone suddenly comes into a large fortune, whether a lottery win or a fabulous unexpected inheritance, the rest of the storyline centers on the disappointment good fortune brings and the attempt to restore the previous pecuniary circumstances? Orson Welles’ Citizen Cane has the world’s richest man longing most for a simple gift from his childhood, a snow sleigh he had named “Rosebud”. A singer who suddenly gets famous overnight writes a song about how unhappy a famous entertainer really is and longs for his former simpler life.

ERR News - Estonian Parliament confirmed the final version of the 2011 national budget with a 55- 32 vote, increasing revenue by 2 percent to 5.7 billion euros.
A priority of the budget is education, for which expenditure rose by 8 percent. Costs for defense grew to 1.9 percent of GDP.
A government mandate to reestablish pension fund payments, made optional during the recession to relieve financial burden, as well as a growing population of old-age pensioners, also increased the costs.

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