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ERR News - The Estonian Chess Federation signed an agreement on May, 14, in Tallinn with former chess world champion Garry Kasparov, now president of the Kasparov Chess Foundation, to initiate a chess program in Estonian grade schools. Twelve schools have so far confirmed participation in the chess program starting next fall. The president of the Chess Federation, Andrei Korobeinik, said bringing chess to schools has been a major goal of his organization. “The popularity of chess cannot grow if there are no opportunities to learn and play the game as a child,” said Korobeinik.


This was the theme for the 2012 Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies Conference held last weekend of April in Chicago. An interesting thought to ponder, when you consider the past twenty years. The conference had over 200 participants attending from as far as Japan and Australia. Sonoko Shima of the Showa Women’s University in Japan, discussed the state of Baltic Studies in Japan and their upcoming tour of the Baltic States.


One of Estonia's most internationally well-known politicians, Minister of Defense Mart Laar, has requested for resignation from his post as he recovers from a stroke. "I am used to doing my work with complete dedication; I am not capable of doing so right now. For that reason I have decided to leave my post," Laar said on Sunday evening. "It is now time to focus on myself, but I hope to continue to help develop the country with my advice and energy in the future."


Estonian municipal leaders were in Annapolis and met at the U.S. Naval Academy with Maryland counterparts and other friends of Estonia including the representatives of Maryland Maryland Estonian Exchange Council (MEEC) and JBANC. The Estonian delegation represented Pärnu, Haapsalu, Kuressaare, Sillamäe, and Tallinn. They were in the U.S. for a week via a program called “Waterfront Development” and visited Maryland to learn about local initiatives to rehabilitate and develop waterfront property for maximum economic and ecological gain. The delegation is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State through the International Visitors Leadership Program which is administered by the World Trade Center Institute in Baltimore.   Karl Alatu JBANC


(Nimi ei riku meest. Soeng ei riku naist.) It was no doubt in light of recent media flurry on the subject of a gender-neutral kindergarten in Stockholm that seeing this sign caught my attention and really stumped me. BBC News among others reported on the new pre-school Egalia (the Swedish word for equality) last summer, but it was on April 14 that the Estonian daily Postimees broached the subject locally under the headline "Poiss või tüdruk? (Boy or girl?) Ei, hoopis sootu. (No, genderless in fact). Sugude keelamine Rootsi moodi (Prohibiting genders the Swedish way)". 


Estonian American Fund for Economic Education, Inc. NEWS RELEASE April 23,2012 No one will be left behind whether on the battlefield or at home. Reinforcing that principle is the mission of the recently established Carolin Illenzeer Foundation in Estonia. The Foundation takes its name from the daughter of a Senior Warrant Officer Arre Illenzeer who was killed in 2004 in Iraq. The Estonian American Fund joined the initial Illenzeer fundraising effort with a $15,000 contribution. Thirty-six children are being reared by the families of the 10 soldiers killed and the 25 seriously wounded. The Foundation’s main concern is to cover the children’s educational expenses. For all of 2012, the Estonian American Fund is well underway to equal or surpass the 2011 record of $135,385 expended for charitable purposes in Estonia. For more information about the Fund, please consult our website. Contact: Telephone 301-587-9115, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , website


ERR News – Estonian national grid operator Elering and the Nordic Invest-ment Bank (NIB) signed a credit contract on April 26, for 15 million euros with the goal of funding the const-ruction of a new 330 kilovolt transmission line through Tartu, Viljandi and Sindi.  The total cost of the project will be 34 million euros. The new Tartu-Viljandi-Sindi transmission line is expected to increase the capacity of the Estonian power grid in the east to west direction and secure the energy supply in the Pärnu area, serving as a prerequisite for building a third Estonian-Latvian power line. 


ERR News - A project to digitize the oldest parchment documents in the country is now complete. The State Archives, Tallinn City Archive and History Museum led the effort, which started in 2010. The documents contain information valuable to studying the history of settlement and agriculture in medieval and post-Renaissance Estonia as well as political, military and cultural history, said the institutions. The oldest written historical sources are on parchment and date from the 13th century, the oldest one of all from 1237: in it, papal legate William of Modena communicates a decree from Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II regarding donations to the church. The original document is in the the Tallinn City Archive's magistrate's collection.


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