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The World Wide Web Foundation, founded by the creator of the Web, Tim Berners-Lee, places Estonia at 18th place among 81 states in the Internet freedom top list Web Index, reports Public Broadcasting. The rating took into account how general access is guaranteed in the state to the Internet, its openness and freedom, the content and effects of the Internet. Considering all factors, Estonia placed 18th, collecting 77.3 points. The top position went for the second year in a row to Sweden (100), followed by Norway (97.5) and the UK (95.6). Latvia and Lithuania are not in the list. The first such top list was compiled by the World Wide Web Foundation last year. Then no data on Estonia was collected.
President Toomas Hendrik Ilves commented on his Facebook account for the first time upon the culture newspaper Sirp scandal, that there are long-term problems in the Estonian cultural sphere, but freedom of speech or freedom of creation are not endangered in Estonia, reports Postimees Online. “I care very much about good Estonian culture and how it is doing,” the president wrote. “Unfortunately, there are long-term interaction and communication problems in how the state manages the culture life. The culture life cannot be organized with the help of an Excel table in a financial official style,” President Ilves wrote. “But, let’s be honest. Freedom of speech and freedom of creation are not in any way endangered in Estonia,” Ilves concluded. Estonian opposition parties held a no confidence motion against Culture Minister Rein Lang on Nov. 21, which failed. They said Lang had lost their trust due to a scandal of leadership change at the newspaper.
Prime Minister Andrus Ansip met with the premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, Li Keqiang, in Bucharest on Monday; good bilateral relations were confirmed and opportunities to develop educational and economic cooperation were discussed at the meeting, reports LETA. Prime Minister Ansip confirmed at the meeting that Estonia is interested in developing good relations. “In this regard, Estonia is also planning to open a new embassy building in Beijing,” Ansip said. Construction work on the building is in the final stages of completion and is planned to be opened already in the near future. Additionally, cooperation in the field of higher education was discussed at the meeting. “There are currently about a hundred Chinese students studying in Estonia, and Estonian universities are interested in students from China to study in English-speaking programs,” Ansip confirmed. According to him, the signing of an agreement on mutual recognition of higher education qualifications will help to contribute to the progress of cooperation. Estonian universities have actively introduced international study programs in China to increase the interest of students.