What the papers say: Lessons from history and wildlife on the roads again

Selection of Estonian newspapers and periodicals (picture is illustrative).
Selection of Estonian newspapers and periodicals (picture is illustrative). Source: Andrew Whyte/ERR News

Estonia's no-show at the recent events marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, a new map which highlights road stretches which have a high risk of wildlife strike, and the most influential people in Tartu and Viljandi were in the daily and weekly newspapers and portals on Thursday, January 23. All links in Estonian.

What we can learn more important than who goes

Postimees took a look on the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, which sees world leaders as diverse as Prince Charles, Mike Pence and Vladimir Putin attending a memorial ceremony in Jerusalem, Israel. However, no Estonian representative will be there.

While Estonia's head of state is down in Antarctica, and Prime Minister Jüri Ratas has been at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, who the country could have sent is less important as the fact that, as a country which has had its own fair share of tragedies, and has memorial sites too – for instance at Maarjmäe in Tallinn, the memorial to victims of Communism which will soon be joined by another at Paterei, also in Tallinn, the need to remember remains strong, as well as the fact that inhumane acts like the holocaust are not merely down to the rulers of regimes, but many ordinary people too.

The salutary reminder of the effects of populism, mass psychosis, totalitarianism, xenophobia, power-madness and more that unleashed World War II is as crucial today as it ever was, the piece argues, even as the time elapsed since 75 years ago is practically a human lifespan, and never forgetting is perhaps the real lesson we can learn, rather than who attends what.

Also in the news…

Estonia's kingergarten care amongst cheapest in Europe, but costs still rising

Daily Eesti Päevaleht (EPL) points out that Kindergarten care in Estonia is among the cheapest in Europe, at around 15 percent of the minimum wage. The law sets a limit of 20 percent, so it is below this. The minimum wage in Estonia is currently €584 per month. However, here's the catch – both minimum wage and kindergaren fees are rising at a higher rate than average wages, the piece says.

Wildlife hazard spots on Estonia's roads

The Road Administration (Maanteeamet) in conjunction with a private sector environmental consultancy has come up with an interactive map highlighting stretches of road where wildlife hazards including deer, moose and other animals are most frequent, regional daily Pärnu Postimees reports. The emergency number to report incidents and accidents on the road involving wildlife is 1313. The number receives around 3,000 calls a year, the article says. The map is here.

Sildaru: Looking forward to X Games despite fatigue.

Estonian freestyle ski star Kelly Sildaru has spoken to daily Õhtuleht, ahead of her trip to the X Games in Aspen, Colorado, about her state of mind before the event where she first came to prominence in 2016.

The 17-year-old says she is looking forward to it despite being tired and achey, after winning gold in the freeski slopestyle event at the Youth Winter Olympics in Lausanne, Switzerland at the weekend. 

When will Estonia get killer drones?

Investigative weekly Eesti Ekspress looks at when Estonia is likely to get its first military drones, in the aftermath of the U.S. drone strike which killed high-ranking Iranian general Qasem Soleiman earlier this month.

Estonian cinema enjoys record-breaking year

On the back of the 2019 Oscar-shortlisted "Truth and Justice", Estonian cinema is enjoying a record-breaking year in terms of box office sales, according to daily Postimees.

Els Himma at 80

Agricultural weekly Maaleht takes a look back at the career of singer Els Himma, on the occasion of her 80th birthday.

Local news:

Migratory birds sticking out the Estonian winter

The unseasonably warm winter is seeing many birds staying in Estonia, which would normally have migrated for winter, according to regional daily Lõuna Postimees.

Popular Paide cafe to close and reopen

A popular cafe in Paide has been closed – with plans to reopen under a new name in mid-February, regional daily Järva Teataja reports.

Tartu, Viljandi, Lääne-Viru counties' most influential

Finally, the most influential people in Tartu, according to Tartu Postimees, has been announced. Despite the recent upheaval which saw the breakdown of the ruling Reform-Center coalition in the country's second city, mayor Urmas Klaas (Reform) still tops the table.

Local dailies Sakala (Viljandi) and Virumaa Teataja (Lääne-Viru County) have their own most-influential lists as well.

Of the above sources, EPL, Eesti Ekspress and Maaleht are owned by Ekspress Meedia, one of two major media companies in Estonia. Ekspress Meedia also operates the Delfi portal, and has a 50 percent stake in Õhtuleht, which it may be selling (link in English), according to some reports. Postimees and its regional variants are owned by the other major media concern, Postimees Grupp (formerly Eesti Meedia), which also runs TV2 television channel, radio channels and other concerns.

Editor: Andrew Whyte

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