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Flu epidemic declared in 14 Lithuanian municipalities

VILNIUS - An influenza epidemic has already been declared in 14 out of Lithuania's 60 municipalities as in the number of flu and acute upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) cases continues to rise in the country.  

The town of Alytus and the districts of Panevezys, Raseiniai, Salcininkai and Telsiai declared a flu epidemic on Tuesday and the city of Klaipeda plans to do so on Wednesday.

Other affected municipalities include the cities of Kaunas and Panevezys and the districts of Elektrenai, Prienai, Ukmerge, Ignalina, Kedainiai, Jonava and Trakai.  

The National Public Health Center recommended on Monday that the district of Kaisiadorys be added to the list, too.  

Lithuania’s overall flu and acute upper respiratory tract infection (URI) incidence rate reached 155.2 per 10,000 inhabitants on January 21 to 27, up from 127.7 a week ago.  

https://www.baltictimes.com/flu_epidemic_declared_in_14_lithuanian_municipalities/

Lithuanian civil servants obligated to report known cases of corruption

VILNIUS - Civil servants in Lithuania are obligated to report known cases of corruption to the Special Investigation Service (STT), prosecutors or other pre-trial investigation bodies under new provisions in the Law on Corruption Prevention in place since January 1. 

Ruta Kaziliunaite, head of the Corruption Prevention Department at STT, says civil servants must report known cases of corruption if they have indisputable evidence of such activity.

This obligation does not apply only if an act of corruption was committed by one's family member or other relative. 

"If there is a suspicion that a criminal act might have been committed and there is reasonable evidence to believe so, we encourage (everyone) not to hesitate to contact law-enforcement bodies so that they could do their job and confirm or dispel these suspicions," she told BNS. 

A civil servant who fails to report a known case of corruption may face a penalty ranging from a verbal warning to being barred from public service employment.

https://www.baltictimes.com/lithuanian_civil_servants_obligated_to_report_known_cases_of_corruption/

 

VILNIUS’ CHRISTMAS TREE STARTS THE COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS

The Lighting of the Christmas Tree Marks the Beginning of the Holiday Season in Lithuania’s Capital

Anticipation was high leading up to the annual lighting of the Christmas tree at Vilnius’ Cathedral Square this evening. Lithuania’s capital has received a lot of global attention over the years for its unique and stunning Christmas Trees, and this year’s creation, which looks like a giant clock from above, certainly did not disappoint.

Not a single tree was cut down to build Lithuania’s most beautiful Christmas tree yet. The 27-metre tall metal construction, which is made up of some 6,000 branches and over five kilometres of lighting, is definitely a sight to behold.

Looking from above, the 50-metre wide composition resembles an impressive clock with four snowflake cogwheels and 12 glowing tables that serve as clock numerals. The lighting of the giant Christmas tree clock means that the holiday season has officially begun and the countdown to Christmas is on. One doesn’t have to look too far to find the inspiration for the tree’s design; the clock hanging on one of Vilnius’ most iconic structures – the Cathedral Square Bell Tower standing right next to the Christmas tree – is said to be over 345 years old – older than Big Ben!

Vilnius transforms into a veritable Christmas wonderland during this festive month, and can be explored by taking a ride on the Christmas train, which makes its way through the city’s UNESCO-listed Old Town. Visiting the Christmas villages filled with souvenirs and festive food at the Cathedral and Town Hall Squares is an absolute must – both are open until 7 January. Moreover, a 3D tale of the birth of Jesus projected onto the walls of the Cathedral will make for an unforgettable experience for the whole family – the 15-minute story will be told four times a day starting at 5 p. m. from 25 to 29 December.

For all the romantics in the city over the holidays, the ice skating rink will awaken childhood memories of magical winters. And to top it all off, New Year’s Eve will be marked with a special interactive light installation on the Cathedral Bell Tower, reminding everybody about the power of time and the importance of history. For the most spectacular fireworks, staying at Cathedral Square as the clock strikes midnight is another must.

Visit vilnius-tourism.lt for more tips and activity ideas, including a complete programme for an enchanting getaway filled with markets, tours, activities, and tasty culinary experiences.

http://www.vilnius-tourism.lt/en/vilnius-christmas-tree-starts-the-countdown-to-christmas/

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