The number of injuries and calls to the Emergency Medical Aid Service (EMAS) significantly increased during the New Year’s celebration this past weekend, says spokeswoman for EMAS, Ilze Buksa, reports LETA. Emergency medical services headed out for 1,300 to up to 1,600 calls every twenty-four hours. Operators also received up to an additional 1,000 calls from people with various health problems who needed a consultation. Still, there were not many serious injuries though the number of injuries due to intoxication increased. For the most part, injuries were characteristic of the winter period, including those from slipping on icy streets, hypothermia and frostbite. EMAS also registered three cases where people were struck by falling icicles or pieces of ice. In one of the cases a six-year-old boy in Riga was injured. Doctors also provided help to four males, aged 24 to 59, who were injured by fireworks.
The influential British business and world affairs magazine The Economist has compiled its global democracy index, with Latvia ranked 48th in the world and described as a “‘democracy with flaws,” reports LETA. The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Index of Democracy is based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture. Latvia received its best evaluation in the electoral process and pluralism, as well as civil liberties - 9.58 and 9.12 points (out of 10), respectively. However, the Economist Intelligence Unity rated the functioning of Latvia’s government with its lowest rating - 5.36, followed by political participation - 5.56, and political culture - 5.63. Compared to the 2008 democracy index, Latvia has slipped two places. Out of the three Baltic States, Estonia is rated highest, and is in 33rd place. Lithuania is 41st in the latest democracy index.
This year marks the 94th anniversary of the legendary ‘Christmas Battles’ during the First World War, reports LETA. Commemorative events will be held on Jan. 8. The First World War battles will be reenacted in Christmas Battles Museum, located on the former farm Mangali in Valgunde Municipality, Jelgava District. With support from the National Armed Forces, members of various Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian organizations will reenact the Latvian Riflemen’s clash with German soldiers. The reenactment will take place in the same historic place where, 94 years ago, Latvian Riflemen attacked German fortifications, part of which has been rebuilt. On Jan. 8, at 2 p.m., in Babite County, Pinki, St. Nicholas Evangelical Lutheran Church will hold a service commemorating the battles. At 2:45 p.m. junior Home Guards will give their oaths at the Latvian Riflemen Memorial; at 4 p.m., in Antinu Cemetery, a moment of silence for the fallen soldiers will be held; at 5 p.m. commemorative bonfires will be lit in Lozmetejkalns.