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ERR News - An Amur leopard named Darla, a member of one of the most rare cat species in the world, gave birth in the Tallinn Zoo during the early morning hours of April 14.
One of the two male cubs was stillborn, but the other so far appears to be in healthy condition, the zoo has announced.
The occasion marks the third litter for Darla, who made history in 2007 when she produced the first Amur leopards ever born in captivity.

ERR News - The world’s first Skype telephone booth, which enables people to make free worldwide calls to other users of the popular internet telephony application, was opened to the public at Tallinn Airport on March 18.
Skype is a computer application that allows users to make voice calls over the internet free of charge. It was launched by three Estonian software developers in 2003 and has been one of the most popular online telephone applications, with an estimated 663 million registered users by the end of 2010.

Enticed by the action and higher salaries offered by private security contractors, dozens of professional Navy officers are quitting the national force, leaving at least one ship unmanned.
"One of the main reasons that people leave is money," said a Navy officer, who wished to remain anonymous, to ETV. "Maybe also the monotony of it. For example, people from the Scouts Batallion, who go on missions, come back and again start learning how to pull a weapon apart and put it back together - that's not suitable for them."

I recall attending a Latvian Independence Day celebration in Los Angeles.  As Estonia’s honorary consul in California I had a front row seat, visible to everyone in attendance.  The program lasted longer than expected – almost three hours.  Except for our introduction by the emcee, my brief remarks and the remarks of the Lithuanian honorary consul general, the entire program was in Latvian.  The principal speaker was from the Latvian Foreign Ministry.  He delivered what perhaps was an interesting speech – at least I think it may have been interesting based on intermittent translations whispered by the Latvian sitting next to me.

ERR News - American mining company Molycorp has bought up a 90.023 percent share in Estonia's rare earth metals producer AS Silmet, taking control of one of very few sources of the much-sought materials outside China.

The Colorado-based firm paid approximately 62 million euros for its shares, buying 80 percent of the company from former majority holder Silmet Grupp, owned by former prime minister Tiit Vähi, and the remainder of its shares from Austrian firm Treibacher Industrie AG. The deal leaves Silmet Grupp with just under 10 percent ownership, according to a release from Molycorp.

ERR News - At a press conference on April 7, the Estonian ski association announced that the level of growth hormone in Andrus Veerpalu's body was indeed found to be higher than permitted before the athlete decided to skip the Oslo world championships and end his career.
On February 23, Veerpalu announced he would end his skiing career and not compete in Holmenkollen because of a cold. The ski association announced today that the International Anti-Doping Agency had established a higher-than-permitted level of growth hormone in Veerpalu's body on February 14, and that the positive test results were confirmed by the German la-boratory on April 6 in a B-sample.

The event, the "Ehe Eesti Disainilaat" (design fair) was held in the month of veebruar. EHE is a beautiful, albeit slightly elusive word. Most people would say it means jewel. And they're right. Jewellery is usually spoken of in the plural (ehted). But in this case we're not talking about bling. If the ad reads "Eesti ehe", it would mean Estonian jewel(s), but ehe Eesti = genuine(ly) Estonia(n). Describing gems or jewels as pure or genuine (EHEDAD), is how they got their name. Ehe kuld = real gold; ehedad ehted = genuine jewels. The word for a gemstone, the ultimate ehe is kalliskivi, vääriskivi (precious stone) or briljant.


This title is from a New York Times feature story about junior tennis player Ingrid Neel on their sport’s page March 7, 2011. Ingrid is of Estonian descent, the granddaughter of Ingrid Vaga Neel, MD of Rochester, Minnesota, whose brother, Pastor Thomas Vaga of Lakewood, NJ is well known to Estonians. Tennis legend John McEnroe has offered Ingrid an opportunity to train at his new tennis academy, Sportstime club on Randalls Island, New York City.


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