Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency) Real time news provider in English that informs its readers about the latest Bulgarian news - economic, political and cultural, foreign media analysis on Bulgaria and world news.
An Ancient Thracian fortress from the Late Hellenistic Period (2th-1st century BC) has been discovered by archaeologists near the town of Izvor, Burgas District, in Southeast Bulgaria, after the site had been damaged by a treasure hunter.
Great news for all who seek adventures, mysticism and pleasant walks! The site of Peika.bg publishes a new book "Mystical walks around Bulgaria for extraordinary travelers"! It will be on the market in December!
Mysterious rock sanctuaries, ancient observatories, springs with healing water, temples of miracles, spooky villages, strong energy centers in Bulgaria - these are just some of the mystical walks in the book ... These and many more magical destinations, legends of local folklore and exciting meetings await you on the pages of the book "Mystical walks in Bulgaria for extraordinary travelers"!
Walks described in the book will take you on an unusual trip with wonderful stories, landscapes and emotions. They will introduce you with the kind-hearted local people in the most fabulous parts of Bulgaria. They will remind you of Bulgarian folklore and from here on, you will also become its guardians!
The thing that makes a place special is the story that hovers around it. It can pique your curiosity, reveal encrypted secrets, help us not only to see the places we visit but also to understand them, feel them...
The book "Mystical walks around Bulgaria for extraordinary travelers"! offers a different kind of journey through Bulgarian folklore. You will learn about the legends of strange objects that today are kept safe by few people in obscure parts of the mountain or in some deserted village.
In the book you will also find: accurate routes, useful information, GPS coordinates, curious facts about each site and tips for extraordinary travelers!
Author and photographer of the book is the chief editor of the site Peika.bg - Boryana Krasteva. She personally discovers and unveils wonders around Bulgaria for several months, searches for strange legends, meets with interesting local people who share mystical stories from their region.
Welcome to the premiere of the book Mystical Walks in Bulgaria for Extraordinary Travelers! on 07.12.2017 at 19:00 in the bar "Friday" (21 Gen. Yosif V. Gurko Str.)!
The journey is the ability to feel ... Feel the magic of mystical Bulgaria!
The European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the European Commission have reached a political agreement to eliminate the unjustified blockade of a geographical principle for Internet users, which is an important part of building a digital single market for Europe, the EC press service said.
"Removing unjustified blocking on a geographic basis is a huge step forward for consumers and for building a true Digital Single Market for everyone.After abolishing the roaming charges and portability of content, now EU citizens will be able to buy their new furniture online, to book a hotel or use their credit card across borders as if they were at home, "commented Digital Gabriel EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and the Digital Society, Maria Gabriel.
Geographic blocking is a commercially used discriminatory practice where online vendors refuse users access to a website based on their location or forward them to a local store with differing prices. Such blocking means that, for example, customers who hire a car in a particular Member State can pay more for the same car rental service for the same destination. The Regulation on the Elimination of Unjustified Geographical Blocking was proposed in May 2016. and was cited as a legislative priority in the joint declaration of the three European institutions this year. The new rules must be approved by the Council and the European Parliament and will enter into force nine months after their publication in the Official Journal of the EU.
Serbia will remain a military-neutral state. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said today during a meeting in Belgrade with Russia's Speaker of Russia's Upper House of Parliament, Valentina Matvienko, according to TASS.
"Serbia retains its position despite the pressure on the country, and I said this a few days ago in Brussels in NATO: Serbia has been and will remain a military-neutral country," Vucic said.
He thanked once again for the MiG-29 fighters, which Russia supplied to Serbia as military and technical assistance.
German police have arrested six Syrians suspected of terrorism in an operation in several cities across the country. This is reported by the national newspaper Die Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
The arrests are men aged between 20 and 28 and, according to the information circulated, are members of the Middle Eastern radical group "Islamic State". They have planned a terrorist attack on the territory of Germany. No data is provided for possible targets. The arrests were carried out after actions taken at 8 addresses in Kassel, Hannover, Essen and Leipzig, according to a statement released by the Federal Prosecutor's Office in Frankfurt am Main. Four of the suspects arrived in Germany in December 2014 as asylum seekers. The rest of them entered the country in August and September 2015. Mobile phones, laptops and documents were seized in the operation.
For the first nine months of the year, exports of goods from Bulgaria increased by 14% compared to the same period of the previous year and amounted to EUR 19.6 billion, which ranks us in the top five of the EU countries on this indicator.
Deputy Economy Minister Lachezar Borisov said at a round table "Is the Time of New Protectionism Coming?", Organized by the Higher School of Insurance and Finance, writes Investor.bg.
The topic of the discussion was the new protectionist tendencies in the world and their consequences for the Bulgarian foreign trade.
Deputy Minister Borisov pointed out that, according to Eurostat data for the period January - September 2017, exports of Bulgarian goods to European Union countries increased by 11% and for third countries by over 20%. According to him, the Ministry of Economy will continue to support exports as the export of goods has become one of the main sources of growth in the Bulgarian economy.
At least 28 suspects have been arrested across Turkey on Tuesday over suspected links to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), according to security officials.
FETÖ and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gülen orchestrated the defeated coup attempt of July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
In northern Samsun province, 13 people were arrested for using FETÖ’s encrypted smartphone messaging application ByLock, an official, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on talking to the media, told Anadolu Agency.
The app is believed to have been cracked by Turkish security agencies, allowing them to identify tens of thousands of FETÖ supporters within the context of last year's defeated coup attempt.
Six people -- some of them spouses of ex-police officers -- were caught after they were found to have used Bylock app, as part of probe launched by Zonguldak Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.
A former deputy tax inspector, whose arrest warrant was issued by Izmir prosecutor’s office, has been caught after he got involved in a traffic accident
Separately, six members of the terrorist organization, who were attempting to cross into Bulgaria from Edirne province, were arrested along with three Bulgarian citizens, who were accused of helping them.
In a joint operation in northwestern Kocaeli, five on-duty soldiers were arrested.
Meanwhile, the Ministry for Family and Social Policy shut down FETÖ-linked 45 preschools across Turkey.
In the Black Sea province of Kastamonu, a former police officer was sentenced to six years and three months in prison for using ByLock and “being member of a terrorist organization” by a high criminal court.
The 28th High Criminal Court in Istanbul convicted Oguz Güven, the editor-in-chief of cumhuriyet.com.tr, who was arrested on May 12.
Güven, who was accused of making terrorist propaganda, and disseminating terrorist publications, was sentenced to three years and one month in prison.
Zimbabwe’s parliament began an impeachment process against President Robert Mugabe on Tuesday that looks set to bring his domination of a country he has ruled since independence nearly four decades ago to an ignominious end, Reuters writes.
In the last week, Mugabe has clung on in the face of a collapse of his authority and a Monday deadline to quit.
The army seized power a week ago and there have been mass protests against him and calls to resign from many sides including on Tuesday from the ruling party's favorite to succeed him Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Parliament Speaker Jacob Mudenda said he received a motion to impeach and the parliament would adjourn to a hotel to start the proceedings on Tuesday afternoon. Zimbabwean law says a joint sitting can take place anywhere. Thousands or people demonstrated outside parliament urging Mugabe to quit.
Mugabe led Zimbabwe’s liberation war and is hailed as one of Africa’s founding fathers and a staunch supporter of the drive to free neighbouring South Africa from apartheid in 1994.
But many people in Africa and beyond also say he has damaged Zimbabwe’s economy, democracy and judiciary by staying in power for too long and has used violence to crush perceived political opponents.
Only 13 seconds were enough to blow up the whole structure of the largest indoor stadium in the world - the Georgia Dome. The 25-year-old stadium hosted US football and basketball games was one of the venues of the finals in the gymnastics event during the 1996 Olympics.
The demolition itself was planned 2 years ago. At the base of the stadium, 3000 holes were drilled and 2.5 tons of explosives were placed. First, the walls were blown, and then the rest.
Skype, Microsoft Corp’s internet phone call and messaging service, has been unavailable for download from a number of app stores in China, including Apple Inc‘s, for almost a month, New York Times reported on Tuesday, quoted by Reuters.
The removal led to complaints from Chinese users, who were unable to pay for Skype’s services through Apple, the Times reported, adding that the disruption started in October.
“We have been notified by the Ministry of Public Security that a number of voice over internet protocol apps do not comply with local law. Therefore these apps have been removed from the app store in China,” the report said, citing an Apple spokeswoman.
Skype is the latest addition to the list of internet platforms, including Alphabet Inc’s Google services, Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc, which has become inaccessible to Chinese users.
In recent years, Beijing has pursued a series of laws and regulations that have raised concerns from foreign companies trying to expand their user base across the country.
Last year, the Chinese government regulated online publication to rein in the internet as it perceives the web as a crucial domain for controlling public opinion and eliminating anti-Beijing sentiment.
Microsoft and Apple did not immediately respond to request for comments.
In the morning, Tajani had talks with Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, reported the Bulgarian National Television.
Antonio Tajani said he felt at home here in Sofia. It is thanks to the Bulgarian hospitality that a new and very good bridge is built between Bulgaria, the EP and the other European institutions, he added.
Tajani, together with Boyko Borissov and the chairpersons of all the EP groups, focused on the ways in which the migrant crisis could be resolved. Tajani supported the Bulgarian Prime Minister that it is high time for Europe to stop building borders within the Union and that it should strengthen the security at the external borders so that only those fleeing wars could pass through the checkpoints.
Borissov reiterated his thesis that it is high time for European leaders to stop being passive and participate actively in all summits on Syria and Iraq. This is usually done in the United States, Russia and even Iran, but Europe, he says, is waiting for ready solutions, and ultimately suffers only the adverse consequences and wonders where to relocate the refugees.
Antonio Tajani also backed Borissov on the most important foreign policy priority of the Bulgarian Presidency, namely the European perspective of the Western Balkans. He said that this topic is a priority across Europe.
Tajani also met with Bulgaria’s President Rumen Radev.
''The National Assembly and the European Parliament (EP) go hand in hand.'' This was announced by the Speaker of the Parliament Tsveta Karayancheva, BGNES reported.
"It is an honor for us to welcome the EP President Antonio Tajani to the building of the Bulgarian Parliament, which has been a symbol of democracy in the country since the end of the 19th century. On the eve of the first Bulgarian Presidency our slogan makes the strength more relevant than ever. That is why it was adopted as an official motto for the presidency, "said Tsveta Karayancheva.
"Your participation today is a clear sign between the excellent cooperation between the National Assembly and the EP. The National Assembly and the EP go hand in hand. I am confident that in the coming months it will become more intense and beneficial, "Karayancheva further said.
She pointed out that for the success of the presidency we will also need the support and commitment of the EP.
"What we are gathering today is our common responsibility to European citizens, together to draw the path to a just and prosperous Europe," the National Assembly's president said. Previously a bilateral meeting between Karayancheva and European Parliament President Antonio Tajani was held.
A joint meeting of the Macedonian and Serbian government will be held early next year. This was announced at a meeting in Belgrade between Prime Ministers Anna Brnabic and Zoran Zaev, reported BGNES.
Before the meeting with Vucic, Zaev met with Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic at the Palace of Serbia.
Brnabic announced later that she and Zaev agreed to hold a joint session of their cabinets in late February or early March.
In addition, she stressed that his visit was "important for the entire region and the deepening of cooperation between the two countries."
"Regional cooperation and regional integration is very important, because without regional peace and stability there can be no European integration of the Western Balkans," Brnabic said after the meeting.
Zaev said that relations between Macedonia and Serbia are those of "partnership and good neighborliness," and said that Serbia and Macedonia are "now as before" linked many issues, which opens the potential for further cooperation.
Zaev also that he and Brnabic spoke about the regional cooperation, and that Macedonia supports the proposal to make Belgrade the seat of the Transport Secretariat, within the framework of the Berlin Process.
The first snow of the season in high places in Ankara, and torrential rains in the lower parts of the Turkish capital, confused the daily rhythm of life, Turkish NTV television reported.
There were intense snowfalls in the neighborhoods of Ahledalbell, Indjak and Oran. The strong wind also caused snow blizzards. Road visibility dropped to 100 meters. Snowmobiles travel around the capital and clean the snow. In some central areas of Ankara torrential rains last night flooded main streets.
During the night the rain passed into snow. In some places the snow cover reached 10 centimeters. The authorities reminded the drivers that they should only travel with winter tires and drive carefully. Precipitation is expected to continue until the end of the week.
French cinema is full of images of stars such as Bridget Bardo and Gerard Depardio, who impress with a cool vision, reinforced by a cigarette in one hand. But that may change as the debate about whether smoking needs to be displayed on the big screen is again discussed in the country, The Local newspaper quoted by Expert.bg has reported.
France's film industry has long been accused of "normalizing" smoking, and some of the politicians in Paris have gone even further, saying the industry is practically "advertising for tobacco use."
"Seventy percent of the new French films show at least one person who smokes," one of the senators warned, adding that these productions are being watched by children and adolescents and accordingly have an impact on them.
The French Health Minister agreed with the Senator. "I do not understand the importance of smoking in French cinema," adding that she would talk about the issue with the French Minister of Culture in an attempt to achieve "de-normalization of the image of tobacco in society."
The minister has promised a "strong action" against smoking on the big screen, but did not clarify whether she is considering introducing a total ban. Politicians, however, will have the difficult task of convincing the French if, judging by their social media reaction, the measure is unlikely to be imposed.
South Korea and Japan on Tuesday welcomed U.S. President Donald Trump’s move to put North Korea back on a list of state sponsors of terrorism, saying it will ramp up pressure on the reclusive regime to get rid of its nuclear weapons, Reuters writes.
The designation, announced on Monday, allows the United States to impose more sanctions on North Korea, which is pursuing nuclear weapons and missile programs in defiance of U.N. Security Council sanctions.
“I welcome and support (the designation) as it raises the pressure on North Korea,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters.
South Korea said it expected the listing to contribute to peaceful denuclearization, the foreign ministry said in a text message.
North Korea has vowed never to give up its nuclear weapons program, which it defends as a necessary defense against U.S. plans to invade. The United States, which has 28,500 troops in South Korea, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean war, denies any such plans.
In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said China had noted the reports on the U.S. decision.
“Currently, the situation on the Korean peninsula is complicated and sensitive,” Lu told a daily news briefing.
“We still hope all relevant parties can do more to alleviate the situation and do more that is conducive to all relevant parties returning to the correct path of negotiation, dialogue and consultation to resolve the peninsula nuclear issue.”
Trump’s re-listing of North Korea as a sponsor of terrorism comes a week after he returned from a 12-day trip to Asia in which containing North Korea’s nuclear ambitions was a centerpiece of his discussions.
“In addition to threatening the world by nuclear devastation, North Korea has repeatedly supported acts of international terrorism, including assassinations on foreign soil,” Trump told reporters at the White House.
“This designation will impose further sanctions and penalties on North Korea and related persons and supports our maximum pressure campaign to isolate the murderous regime.”
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull also backed Trump’s decision.
“Kim Jong Un runs a global criminal operation from North Korea peddling arms, peddling drugs, engaged in cyber-crime and of course threatening the stability of region with his nuclear weapons,” Turnbull told reporters in Sydney, referring to the North Korean leader.
Trump, who has often criticized his predecessors’ policies towards North Korea as being too soft, said the designation should have been made “a long time ago”.
North Korea was put on the U.S. terrorism sponsor list for the 1987 bombing of a Korean Air flight that killed all 115 people aboard. But the administration of former President George W. Bush, a Republican, removed it in 2008 in exchange for progress in denuclearization talks.
Experts say the designation will be largely symbolic as North Korea is already heavily sanctioned by the United States.
Twenty-First Century Fox Inc has reached a $90 million settlement of shareholder claims arising from the sexual harassment scandal at its Fox News Channel, which cost the jobs of longtime news chief Roger Ailes and anchor Bill O‘Reilly, reported Reuters.
The settlement, which requires a judge’s approval, resolves what are known as “derivative” claims against Fox officers and directors, including: Rupert Murdoch and his son Lachlan, who are Fox’s executive chairmen; James Murdoch, another son and its chief executive, and Ailes’ estate.
The defendants did not admit wrongdoing in agreeing to the settlement filed with the Delaware Chancery Court.
Monday’s settlement calls for insurers of Fox officers, Fox directors and Ailes’ estate to pay the $90 million to the New York-based company for the benefit of shareholders.
Fox will enhance governance and said it created the Fox News Workplace Professionalism and Inclusion Council to ensure a proper workplace environment, bolster training and further the recruitment and advancement of women and minorities.
The council has four independent members, including former federal judge Barbara Jones.
In a typical derivative case, shareholders sue in the name of a company to remedy wrongs inflicted by an alleged lack of oversight by a company’s officers and directors.
Ailes’ estate disputed many of the allegations in the settlement, which was reached before a complaint was formally filed, court records show.
“The Workplace Council gives our management team access to a braintrust of experts with deep and diverse experiences in workplace issues,” Jack Abernethy, co-president of Fox News Channel, said in a statement. “We look forward to benefiting from their collective guidance.”
Shareholders were led by the City of Monroe Employees’ Retirement System in Michigan. Their lawyer, Max Berger, said in a statement the accord would provide “meaningful benefits” for shareholders and Fox News employees.
The accord is not the first big derivative settlement involving a Murdoch-led company.
In 2013, former Fox parent News Corp reached a $139 million settlement of derivative claims that its board turned a blind eye to phone hacking at its London tabloids.
Two years later, the Delaware court approved a $275 million settlement involving “Call of Duty” videogame maker Activision Blizzard Inc over a stock sale by Vivendi SA.
The scandal at Fox began in July 2016 when former anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit accusing Ailes of harassment. O‘Reilly lost his job in April after being accused of harassment, and has denied wrongdoing.
Ailes died the next month. Fox faces other private civil litigation tied to the scandal.
The case is City of Monroe Employees’ Retirement System v Murdoch et al, Delaware Chancery Court, No. 2017-0833.
North Korea leader Kim Jong-un keeps his citizens under strict control as we judge in the stories of people fleeing the country, but now he tightens his control even further, forbidding even alcohol and songs, according to Fox News.
The North Koreans will no longer be able to participate in any "gatherings involving alcohol, singing or other entertainment," said the South Korean Yonhap agency quoted the US TeleCall.
The regime in Pyongyang will also tighten the control of the information coming from the outside world, which is entirely in the hands of the state machine.
The objective - to prevent the "possible negative effect" of the new set of sanctions against North Korea over its ongoing nuclear provocations.
Percussion checks are also being carried out in the North Korean Army Politburo, one of the largest (at least number of soldiers) in the world.
At least 50 people were killed on Tuesday in a suicide bomb attack at a mosque in northern Nigeria, police told CNN.
The attack happened in the town of Mubi in Adamawa State as worshipers were gathering for the "fajr" dawn prayer around 5:20 a.m. local time, Othman Abubakar, a police spokesman said.
The bomber was about 17 years old, Abubakar added.
Many more people were injured and taken to nearby hospitals. So far no-one has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Over the past eight years, northern Nigeria has suffered hundreds of deadly attacks in mosques, schools, markets and churches, carried out by the jihadist group Boko Haram. As many as 200,000 people are believed to have died in the carnage, according to western aid agencies. Boko Haram, whose name translates roughly as "western education is forbidden," frequently uses children to carry out the bombings.
Bulgarian companies have the chance to participate in the construction of the new Hungarian NPP Paks-2. As well as in the other nuclear power plants that Rosatom is developing all over the world.
This was made clear during the International Atomic 2017 nuclear energy suppliers conference held in Budapest by the words of Rosatom's first Deputy Director-General, Kiril Komarov, and the Hungarian Minister on Paks-2, Janos Sully. They noted that for the construction of the new two blocks in Hungary, a large part of the activities will be carried out by local and European companies, which also concerns a fair share of supplies of equipment needed for the construction.
According to Sully, about 40% of it is expected to be produced by Hungarian companies. At the same time, however, Komarov noted that all competitions for the Paksch-2 NPP project are being done both under the laws of Russia and Hungary and according to EU standards. For this reason, auctions are made through an electronic platform, information about them is also published in the media, transparent and open to absolutely anyone who wants to participate in them. From which it is clear that any Bulgarian company that is involved in the production of some nuclear power plant equipment or provides consultancy or other services to the NPP has the chance to fight off and participate in the NPPP-2 project. And there are actually two suitable types of companies in Bulgaria.
Two explosions and a subsequent fire erupted in a cosmetics factory in New York, Dailymail reported. One man lost his life in the blasts in New York and more than 30 people were injured. Among the injured there were firefighters who were in the building during the second blast.
The fire is blazing at the Verla International factory, located in the Hudson Valley, about an hour north of New York. The incident happened Monday morning about 10:30 local time.
The dead man worked in the factory. Twenty-seven workers and seven firefighters were injured.
Basketball star Lebron James becomes the next big name to make video content for YouTube, reports kaldata.
He will be an executive producer of the documentary series Best Shot, the history of a group of school basketball players under Mentor of former NBA player Jay Williams. The series follows the basketball dreams and the group's life obstacles. The series will have eight episodes, and the director will be Michael John Warren, who has previously made documentaries about Nicki Minaj and Jay Z.
Best Shot will be broadcast on YouTube Red in 2018
German archaeologists have discovered rock paintings of 8,000-year-old dogs in Saudi Arabia, the Daily Mail reported. On one of the drawings is of a bow hunter surrounded by 13 dogs. This painting, found in the Arabian desert, is the oldest known image of a dog, as well as a strap to control it. So far the earliest known drawing of a dog was from Egypt. It was made on a wall of about 5500 years.
Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Human History Studies in Jena cataloged more than 1,400 rock drawings. They processed nearly 7,000 images of animals and humans, of which 349 were dogs. The drawings are from two objects - 156 by Shuameymis and 193 by Juba. The hunting scene is from Shuayimis - a hilly area in northwest Saudi Arabia, where rivers have formed from the rains and there was vegetation alongside. Dogs have eared ears, short snouts and curved tails, indicating they are rather domesticated.
According to experts, they resemble Canaan dogs, who now live in freedom in the Middle East. Hunters may have used occasions to keep the valuable dog tracers nearby or to train their new animals. It is also possible for the drawings to be symbolic, thus showing the relationship between man and animal. Dogs are domesticated 20,000 to 40,000 years ago in Eurasia, a genetic study by scientists from Stowe Brook University found. They drew DNA from skeletal remains of Neolithic animals from archaeological sites in Germany and Ireland.
Google restricted access to Russian media news Sputnik and RT. This was said by Alphabet CEO Eric Schmidt, the parent company of Google - largest internet search engine.
"At the moment, we are working on breaking down these websites," said Sputnik and RT ("Russia Today"), said Schmidt at the International Security Forum in Halifax, Canada. Google will limit the impact of propaganda and are currently trying to build a system that will block similar content from reaching the general public, but Schmidt said he has opposed the ban on these websites.
The US Department of Justice is blocking a billions of dollars deal for the merger of Time Warner with the AT & T communications concern, Bloomberg reports.
Late Monday, the ministry filed a lawsuit against the proposed merger at a federal court in Washington. "The proposed acquisition of USD 108 billion will significantly reduce competition and ultimately lead to higher prices and fewer innovations for millions of Americans," the agency said.
AT & T subsequently announced its plans to fight for the proposed acquisition. According to the ministry's reports, the transaction should reach USD 108 billion.
Last October, AT & T reached an agreement to take over the media group. Time Warner includes HBO, Warner Bros movie studios and CNN news channel. AT & T intends to become more independent than the mobile business, where smaller competitors such as Deutsche Telekom T-Mobile and Sprint are exerting strong pressure.
Fully autonomous vehicles with no pedals, steering wheel, exterior mirrors and cab driver will appear on the UK roads in 2021. Corrections to the relevant laws are currently being prepared, initially referring only to test prototypes, reports The Guardian.
Mike Hose, executive director of carmaker and trader organization, said they all fully supported the government's efforts to make the UK one of the world's best places to develop, test and sell autonomous vehicles.
"These machines will transform both our roads and our society because they will greatly reduce the number of accidents. In this way, they will also bring billions of pounds into the economy of the country. We are looking forward to the beginning of cooperation with the government in this area, "said Hose.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) moved to Amsterdam and the European Banking Authority (EBA) - in Paris. This is the final outcome of the EU Council meeting, which lasted until late Monday, where the 27 member states (naturally without the UK) have decided where to move the two agencies. They have to leave London because of Britain's decision to leave the EU, reports capital.
In the final, Amsterdam defeated Milan in the race for medicines agency's home, involving 16 EU countries, including Bulgaria. Sofia was a clear outsider for the EMA, and the decision Bulgaria to take part in the race was taken at the last minute, aiming to get the country into the game. In the EMA study, and in the European Commission's report, the Bulgarian capital collects the least points as a desired place to host the medical agency.
Paris will host the European Banking Authority, for which eight countries competed - Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Poland and Luxembourg. The second round came to Frankfurt, Dublin and Paris, but during the vote, the German favorite city dropped out, and in the final the French capital prevailed over the Irish.
The decision is also in favor of Paris's desire to replace London as the EU's financial center after Brexit.
Turkish Coast Guard teams rescued six crew members from a Russian cargo ship Tuesday after the vessel issued an emergency call off the Black Sea coast, Daily Sabah reported.
A helicopter crew plucked the six seamen from Nefterodoz 29 ship, adrift by strong winds 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) off the coast of Bartin province, said a security official, who asked to remain anonymous due to restrictions to speaking to the media.
The rescued crew members were brought to the Bartin port.
The vessel was carrying iron and had set sail from Russia's Rostov Port.
Residents on the Greek island of Lesbos went on strike on Monday to protest against European policies they say have turned it into a “prison” for migrants and refugees, reported Reuters.
Islanders shut businesses, shops, municipal offices, nurseries and pharmacies and dozens rallied on a central square, calling on the government to transfer asylum-seekers to the mainland.
“Lesbos is not a place of exile,” a banner read.
Just a few miles from Turkey’s coast, Lesbos has borne the brunt of Europe’s migrant crisis. In 2015, nearly a million people - most fleeing Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan - landed on its shores before heading north, mainly to Germany.
It is now hosting some 8,500 asylum-seekers in facilities designed to hold fewer than 3,000.
“Lesbos is not an open prison, nor will we allow anyone to view it as such,” Mayor Spyros Galinos was quoted as saying by the Athens News Agency.
Thousands of asylum-seekers have become stranded on Lesbos and four other islands close to Turkey since the EU agreed a deal with Ankara in March 2016 to shut down the route through Greece.
Some have been moved to camps on the mainland, but authorities say the terms of the agreement prevent asylum-seekers from traveling beyond the islands.
Rights groups have described conditions in camps across Greece as deplorable and unfit for humans. On Lesbos, violence often breaks out over delays in asylum procedures and poor living standards.
“The message (today) was that we can’t take it any more,” Galinos said. “Lesbos is in a state of emergency.”
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani declared the end of Islamic State on Tuesday in an address broadcast live on state TV, reported Reuters.
A senior commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Major General Qassem Soleimani, also declared the end of Islamic State in a message sent to the country’s supreme leader Tuesday which was published on Sepah News, the news site of the Guards.
Videos and pictures of Soleimani, who commands the Quds Force, the branch of the Guards responsible for operations outside of Iran’s borders, at frontline positions in battles against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria have been posted frequently by Iranian media in recent years.
Last week, Iranian media published pictures of Soleimani at Albu Kamal in eastern Syria, a town which Soleimani said Tuesday was the last territory retaken from Islamic State control in the region.
The Revolutionary Guards, Iran’s most powerful military force which also oversees an economic empire worth billions of dollars, has been fighting in support of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and the central government in Baghdad for several years.
More than a thousand members of the Guards, including senior commanders, have been killed in Syria and Iraq.
''I took part in a meeting with the delegation headed by EU Parliament Speaker Antonio Tajani.During the meeting, we discussed the priorities of the upcoming EU Council Presidency in the context of the theme of the future of Europe, the challenges of the migration crisis and the need to restore the sense of security and stability of the citizens.'' This is what Deputy Prime Minister for Justice Reform and Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva announced in her Facebook profile.
''My colleagues united on the understanding that Europe's stability and future goes through the European perspective and the connectivity of the Western Balkans, which is not a risk but an opportunity for the Union. Energy connectivity, investment in infrastructure and the development of the region are key to achieving this'', she pointed out.
New Bond Street in London is the most expensive shopping street in Europe. According to the 29th edition of the Main Streets Across The World report of the global Cushman & Wakefield consulting company, the British location is shifting from this position to Avenue des Champs Élysée in Paris.
Globally, New Bond Street climbed to third place with 1,350 euros / sq. month rental, confirming the position of the British capital as a first-class trading venue. The first and second place for a consecutive year remain unchanged and occupy, respectively, from the top of 5th Avenue in New York with 2 355 euro / sq. m per month and Causeway Bay in Hong Kong with 2,140 EUR / sq. The fourth position is Via Montenapoleone in Milan with a 12.5% ??rental growth and an average of 1,125 EUR / sq. m per month, while the Avenue des Champs Élysée in Paris lags to fifth in the rankings, although the average rent remains unchanged at the level of 1 105 EUR / sq. m per month.
Vitosha Blvd is also on the list, according to Forton, a strategic partner of Cushman & Wakefield, the average monthly rent remains unchanged at € 46 / sq. m. In the global ranking, the most popular trading venue in Sofia fell by one place - from 50th to 51th position in 2017. The report included 451 commercial streets in the world.
An asteroid that visited us from interstellar space is one of the most elongated cosmic objects known to science, a study has shown, reported BBC.
Discovered on 19 October, the object's speed and trajectory strongly suggested it originated in a planetary system around another star.
Astronomers have been scrambling to observe the unique space rock, known as 'Oumuamua, before it fades from view.
Their results so far suggest it is at least 10 times longer than it is wide.
That ratio is more extreme than that of any asteroid or comet ever observed in our Solar System.
Using observations from the Very Large Telescope in Chile, Karen Meech, from the Institute for Astronomy in Honolulu, Hawaii, and colleagues determined that the object was about 400m long, rapidly rotating and subject to dramatic changes in brightness.
These changes in brightness were the clue to 'Oumuamua's bizarre shape.
"Looking at the asteroid light curve database, there are five objects (out of 20,000) that have light curves that would suggest a shape up to an axis ratio of about 7-8 to 1," Dr Meech told BBC News.
"Our errors are very small, so we are confident this is really elongated. Also, one has to realise we don't know where the rotation pole is pointed. We assumed that it was perpendicular to the line of sight. If it were tipped over at all, then there are projection effects and the 10:1 is a minimum. It could be more elongated!"
But in other respects, 'Oumuamua (pronounced oh MOO-uh MOO-uh), appears to resemble objects we know from closer to home.
"We also found that it had a reddish colour, similar to objects in the outer Solar System, and confirmed that it is completely inert, without the faintest hint of dust around it," Dr Meech said.
These properties suggest that 'Oumuamua is dense, comprised of rock and possibly metals, has no water or ice, and that its surface was reddened due to the effects of irradiation from cosmic rays over long periods of time.
Although 'Oumuamua formed around another star, scientists think it could have been wandering through the Milky Way, unattached to any star system, for hundreds of millions of years before its chance encounter with our Solar System.
"For decades we've theorised that such interstellar objects are out there, and now - for the first time - we have direct evidence they exist," said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for Nasa's science mission directorate in Washington DC.
"This history-making discovery is opening a new window to study formation of solar systems beyond our own."
If planets form around other stars the same way they did in the Solar System, many objects the size of 'Oumuamua should get slung out into space. The interstellar visitor may provide the first evidence of that process.
The asteroid's name, 'Oumuamua, means "a messenger from afar arriving first" in Hawaiian.
''It is a great honor for us to be here. Bulgaria is one of the countries with the least Euroscepticism.'' This is what Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said at the beginning of the meeting between the government and the delegation headed by EP President Antonio Tajani, BGNES reported.
''And we are one of the countries that could have made a difference from being in the Warsaw Pact and the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and being in the EU. So it was a conscious choice and it is no coincidence that the Bulgarian people continue to believe in the EU, and you are the representatives of the will of all European nations, being in the EP'', he pointed out.
''That is why once again, welcome to Bulgaria'', added Borisov. ''Welcome to help during these months of the Bulgarian Presidency because we want to help, even with our modest possibilities, on basic topics - to move the union forward'', Borisov said.
The Taliban are controlling not less than a third of Afghanistan, the Pentagon has admitted, reports sega.
In order to limit their financial resources, US aviation launched bombings against drug production workshops.
The blows were in the southern province of Helmand, where eight opium labs were destroyed. American estimates of poppy cultivation and drug production make the Taliban earn about USD 200 million a year.
A week ago, the UN warned that opium poppy fields had reached a record high of about 3.3 million decares.
The Slovak and Finnish Ministries of Defense have agreed on a joint 8x8 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) development program, and Patria has been selected to deliver a new prototype version of AMVXP 8x8 chassis as part of the program.
The selected industrial partners are Konstrukta Defence a.s. (prime contractor), Patria Land Systems Oy (vehicle) and EVPU a.s. (weapon system) by the Ministries of Defence of both countries.
The IFV development program includes a testing phase in Slovakia, and after the Slovakian test period the vehicle will be tested in Finland during this winter. Based on the results of this development program and successful tests, Slovakia plans to procure up to 81 IFVs as part of their military modernization program to be delivered in 2018-2024.
Patria AMVXP 8x8 vehicle includes NATO and EU proven solutions which fulfill customer's requirements. “During this program, we will develop together with EVPU a new version of an amphibious AMVXP based on combat proven platform AMV. The machine will use the integrated Turra weapon system fulfilling requirements of both Slovakian and Finnish Defense Forces. The same weapon system was demonstrated in Bulgaria, December 2016, on the polygon ‘Tulbeto’. Patria has continuous production in our manufacturing network since 2003, which creates capability to short lead time deliveries. We have also a solid and strong experience of technology transfer programs. Slovakia envisages to buy 81 fighting machines and to produce them locally. This creates work and business opportunities and the majority of the investment will remain in the country. We propose to Bulgaria an identical approach of local production transfer for 150 fighting machines as part of the Army modernization project.” confirms Mika Kari, President of Land business unit in Patria.
Patria is a trusted provider of defense, security and aviation life cycle support services and technology solutions. Besides Finland, the Group has operations in Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Poland, the United Arab Emirates, the United States and South Africa. Patria employs 2,800 professionals. Patria is owned by the State of Finland (50.1%) and Norwegian Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace AS (49.9%).
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic thanked Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov for Sofia's support for Serbia's European road. This happened during a telephone conversation between the two, according to a report by the Serbian presidency.
Vucic said his country had huge expectations from the upcoming Bulgarian EU presidency in the first half of next year. He expressed the hope that "EU enlargement will be among the priorities of Sofia".
They also discussed issues related to the "infrastructure and energy projects of the two countries" that are part of the Berlin process. Among them is the highway between Belgrade and Sofia and the connection of the two countries through a gas pipeline. Vucic and Borisov also discussed the development of the railway line between Serbia and Bulgaria.
A lot of progress has been made in Macedonia, the European Commission and the EU member states are now seeing more positives about the country's situation and the opportunity to start the accession talks.
This was stated by EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn at a press conference in Skopje with Prime Minister Zoran Zaev.
"We want the European Commission to recommend starting negotiations next year, and we are now more convinced than last year that Member States will agree to such a recommendation. It's about to be the last kilometer and a half of the marathon, "said Johannes Hahn.
He thinks it is important for the opposition to assume its role and to be responsible.
"If the EU is a national priority, the goal can only be achieved when all go in the same direction. I therefore urge the opposition to be a constructive critic in order to meet all the deadlines and dates we have agreed upon, "he said.
Prime Minister Zaev informed about the actions taken on urgent priorities for reforms in the judiciary, intelligence control and more efficient administration. He stressed that local reforms, initiatives and activities in the field of foreign policy were never more dynamic and that intensive work was being done to improve relations with all neighbors, including Greece, working to resolve the dispute over the Macedonian name.
In connection with the announcement of the EU's strategy for the Western Balkans, the Commissioner said that all six countries from the region will be included in the strategy document towards full membership of the European Community.
Skoda Auto is going to produce models that run purely on electric at their Mlada Boleslav site.
As of 2019, the brand will also be manufacturing electrical components for plug-in hybrids. The production of electric vehicles and parts is a significant step in the implementation of the brand's future strategy. "Skoda's future will be electric," says CEO Bernhard Maier.
"By 2025, we plan to offer five purely electrically powered models in various segments. We are pleased that the first all-electric Skoda will be built in the Czech Republic. This decision underlines the Group's confidence in the Skoda workforce.
This is an important step for the future of the Skoda brand and the Czech Republic as an automotive location."
The inhabitants of Lozenets district are protesting against the construction of a 34-floor skyscraper next to their blocks. By project, the building will rise to 120 meters in height and will be ready in the next five years, reported bTV.
According to residents of the neighborhood, however, it will in no way correspond to the infrastructure, it will block the traffic and access to light in their homes.
Despite the protests, construction began and people have already complained of unbearable noise in recent days.
''For three days we woke up twice before 5 am'', people living in the region told bTV.
Local residents claim that there is no longer a valid building permit and is actually being built illegally. They have prepared a new complaint, with which they want the construction to be terminated. They also insist that the building's building plan be revised and its height reduced to 8 floors, as required by the master plan.
''Arteks'' - the Company, responsible for the construction, said the height has already been renegotiated and will be reduced by 6 floors
In 2016, almost half of the children in Bulgaria were at risk of poverty or social exclusion, European Union statistics agency Eurostat said in a report published to mark Universal Children's Day on 20th of November.
Bulgaria is followed by Romania, Greece and Hungary.
The lowest proportion of children at risk of poverty or social exclusion were recorded in Denmark, Finland and Slovenia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad to talk about the need to move from military operations to the search for a political solution to Syria’s conflict, the Kremlin said on Tuesday, reported Reuters.
Russia is actively trying to build an international consensus around a peace deal for Syria, over two years after Moscow began a military intervention that turned the tide of the conflict in Assad’s favor.
On Wednesday, Putin is to meet the leaders of Iran and Turkey, two other powers with major stakes in the Syrian conflict. He said he would follow up his talks with Assad with phone calls to U.S. President Donald Trump and to Middle Eastern leaders.
“We still have a long way to go before we achieve a complete victory over terrorists. But as far as our joint work in fighting terrorism on the territory of Syria is concerned, this military operation is indeed wrapping up,” Putin told Assad, in comments broadcast by Russian television.
“Now the most important thing, of course, is to move on to the political questions, and I note with satisfaction your readiness to work with all those who want peace and a solution (to the conflict),” Putin said.
The meeting, according to the Kremlin, happened on Monday evening in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, where Putin has a residence. However, the Kremlin did not release information about Assad’s visit until Tuesday.
The President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, and the presidents of the eight political groups in the European Parliament, will arrive on a working visit to Bulgaria.The occasion is the upcoming Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, reported BGNES.
Tajani will be accepted by the head of state Rumen Radev on November 21 to hold a meeting with the European Parliament's Conference of Presidents.
Minister Liliana Pavlova will accompany the President of the EP during all the meetings planned in his program in Sofia.
In addition to the President, the program includes bilateral meetings of President Tajani with Prime Minister Borisov and Tsvetka Karayancheva, National Assembly President.
The EP's Conference of Presidents will meet with the Bulgarian government, followed by a press conference by EP President Antonio Tajani and Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.
South Korea’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday the United States’ decision to put North Korea back on a list of state sponsors of terrorism is expected to contribute to the peaceful decentralization of the North, Reuters reported.
The announcement will not change the joint stance of South Korea and the United States in trying to bring North Korea to dialogue, the ministry said in a text message to reporters.
Russian authorities have confirmed that there has been increased radioactivity in the country, the Guardian reported. From the surveys it is clear that ruthenium-106 exceeds 986 times the performance compared to last month. This is an "extremely high concentration". The indicators were detected between September 25 and October 1 in the South Urals, the Russian meteorological office reports. There is the Mayak nuclear complex, which suffered one of the worst accidents in 1957. Today it is used for the processing of nuclear fuel waste.
Greenpeace requested the Rosatom Company to carry out a thorough investigation and publication of its results. In mid-October, Rosatom announced that except in St. Petersburg, no trace of ruthenium-106 was found.
In October, Moscow announced that there was no change in the radiation background.
On Monday, Roggromett announced that the isotope was found in Tatarstan and southern Russia, and eventually after September 29 reached "all European factions, starting with Italy and continuing to northern Europe," reports "Guardian"
About 3500 young teachers started work this school year, which is more than 4 times more than the previous one, when about 800 people were newly recruited.
The data is provided by the Syndicate of Bulgarian Teachers at the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria (CITUB) and were announced on Monday by the President of the Union, Yanka Takeva. She thinks young teachers are motivated to start work by raising wages, improving working conditions in schools and kindergartens, and hoping that public opinion on the profession will improve.
Takeva reminded that some 39,000 lecturers will retire in the coming years. The large number of teachers in retirement and retirement age can not be compensated for by young entrants in their system. The Ministry of Education and Science has previously announced that besides attracting more young people to education, there will also be work on retention of retired teachers
The DPRK can test a new intercontinental ballistic missile by the end of this year. This was revealed representatives of the National Intelligence Service (NIS) to members of the Parliamentary Intelligence Committee. They have informed the state agency Rönhåp about their findings, quoted by BGNES.
The NIS representatives also revealed that North Korea's Core People's Political Control (GPA) is being inspected in North Korea. As a result, "the head of the administration, Hwan Pchion So, and his deputy Kim Von Hon, were punished."
Lesbos residents rebelled against the high number of migrants and refugees on the island, the BNT said.
All arrived migrants remain in Lesbos, according to a decision of the European Union. At the same time, refugees themselves are unwilling to remain in Greece.
Today the inhabitants of Lesbos are in full strike. The shops did not open, they stopped transport, all state institutions were closed. The inhabitants of Lesbos fully support the Mayor of the island, Dimitris Galanos, who insists that most of the refugees and migrants move away from the island. A total of 8500 are migrants there, and there are camps for no more than 2,000 people.
German automotive giant Volkswagen announced on Monday that it plans to invest 22.8 billion euros to improve the operations of its leading automobile production plants from 2018 to 2022 with a focus on electric vehicles , BNR reported.
The focus of the investments, which are part of the company's strategy, known as Transform 2025+, will be on the further development of modular production, the continuation of model production and further efforts in the field of electric cars. Volkswagen today presented a long-term cost program worth 34 billion euros, aimed at strengthening the company's position on the electric vehicle market.
The Council of the EU has approved the rules for introducing permanent controls for the crossing of the external borders of the Community, the news agencies reported. The new system, which also required changes to Schengen legislation, is expected to enter into force by 2020.
The system will include data on people crossing the EU's external borders as well as on cases of refusal of admission to the EU. The aim is to improve the fight against terrorism, as well as easier to detect overdue visas.
The system will apply to non-EU nationals. The database will store the identity of travelers, their travel documents and biometric data. The collected data will be stored for a period of 5 years for foreigners who have overdue their authorized stay in the EU and for 3 years for the others.
Bitcoin hit a fresh all-time high Monday above the ,000 mark after a wild week for the cryptocurrency.
On Monday around 12:25 p.m. London time, it hit a record high of ,121.56, according to data from industry website CoinDesk. Bitcoin first broke the ,000 handle on Sunday.
The rally comes on the back of a huge sell-off on Sunday, November 12, where the price of bitcoin fell to around ,500. That low, to the record high on Sunday, marks a more than 47 percent increase in the cryptocurrency's price.
Bitcoin's price dip last weekend came after a proposed upgrade to the bitcoin network, SegWit2x, which was planned for November 16, was called off. The aim was to increase the transaction speeds of bitcoin, which has increasingly slowed down over the years. If the upgrade had taken place, it would have caused what is known as a "hard fork," causing a new bitcoin spin-off to be formed.
Meanwhile, there has been a slew of positive news which has supported the bitcoin price. Favorable regulation in Japan has managed to offset the clampdown from regulators in countries including China and South Korea.
And there is also potentially rising interest from institutional investors and new products coming onto the market to allow new participants access to bitcoin. CME Group announced plans to introduce a bitcoin futures contract which could help more institutional investors get involved with the cryptocurrency.
Every Christmas, London's Heathrow Airport surprises its passengers with original commercials.
In 2016, for example, main characters in the video were incredibly sympathetic teddy bears, who were actually grandparents going to their grandchildren for the holidays. The video was viewed over 5 million times.
Today, the airport has also published its new advertisement, with sweet bear returning. This time, however, we are witnessing the birth of their love story. We track down how they met and created a family.
The video is really hilarious and will surely set you up on a festive wave.
The initiative is part of the campaign "Find the Treasures of the Underwater World"
20.11.2017, Sofia - Series of free video lessons start for children dedicated to the underworld magic. It is part of the Underworld Treasures - this year's educational initiative for children's multivitamins and immune-stimulating "Martians". Consultants of the project are Julian Nedev and his wife Plamena Mileva - professional underwater photographers who have won a number of prestigious awards for their work, including for their extreme models of underwater.
"The first video lesson is introductory and aims to introduce children to the formation of the oceans, their number and type. Then we sink deep into the waters of one of the most beautiful seas - the Red Sea. The frames that will the children and their parents will see are shot in the spring and the magic, color and diversity will leave them impressed with the magic of the underwater world, "says Nedev.
The project is a follow-up to last year's "See where Mars" campaign was when the Martians together with Ucha.se created free lessons for the universe with the help of NAO Director Rozhen Nikola Petrov. Then the video lessons were watched over 5,000 times only in the first few days, and the children had the opportunity to get a lot of useful knowledge about the planets, the Sun, and whether and when there could be life on Mars.
After the success of the joint campaign with Uca.se, the Martians consider that such campaigns have a huge meaning, as the information is presented in an accessible and intriguing way and the children understand and remember everything. This year's lessons are devoted to the other extreme, and from the cosmos, the kids will dive directly into the vast wonders of the underwater world. Stories of beautiful corals, rare animal species, and sunken ships and treasures will be told.
The first man-free music event organized in response to sexual offences at concerts in Sweden will be held at the end of next summer. Tickets will be available in just two weeks, according to an announcement ironically released on International Men’s Day, reported RT.
Swedish comedian Emma Knyckare came up with the idea of a man-free music festival in July after the cancellation of the Bravalla Festival amid reports of sexual assaults and allegations of rape. Back then, the comedian suggested having a “really cool festival where only non-men are welcome,” but did not imagine the support and fundraising success her idea would have.
Apart from women, the event, called Statement Festival, will also welcome non-binary and trans people, and will be held from August 31 to September 1 in Gothenburg. The date and venue of the event were disclosed on International Men’s Day – November 19.
Announcing the event on their official social media accounts, the organizers said they are presenting some “more important” dates than International Men’s Day.
“We thought it was an appropriate day to talk about it – a reminder of the issues women still face from men,” Knyckare told the Local.
Some organization details are still to be figured out, such as how to prevent men from entering. Still, the creators believe that it is important to allow trans men to come as they are “exposed to violence, hate and threats based on prevailing norms in our society.”
“We do not claim that Statement Festival is the solution to the problems with the sexual violence – it’s a reaction to it,” the event’s website says, adding that its team hopes the event will “not be necessary” in the future.
Sweden has faced a wave of sexual offence allegations at popular music events. In July, the annual Bravalla Festival was cancelled due to reports of four cases of rape and 22 cases of molestation. In August, Swedish police confirmed that four teenage girls reported being raped at a festival in the town of Emmaboda, and 11 other women experienced sexual abuse there.
The actor drove his car after the lady on Highway 126 when she lost control of the vehicle and got out of the way. At this point, Harrison and several other drivers stopped their cars to help the injured, reports BNT.
She suffered minor injuries and was examined by paramedics.
Meanwhile, it became clear that Ford's character in the new Star Wars movie, Solo, will continue to play a key role, even though he was killed by his own son in the previous section.
"Han's ghost will be present throughout the movie," director Ryan Johnson said.
The premiere of the next film in the series "The Last Jedi" will be on December 15th.
Exclusive interview of Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency) with His Excellency,Mr. Stefano Baldi, Ambassador of Italy to the Republic of Bulgaria.
CAREER / PROFESSIONAL ROUTE:
Stefano Baldi was born in Città della Pieve (Italy) on April 8, 1961.
Ambassador Baldi arrived in Sofia on 19th of September 2016.
He is a career diplomat in the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International cooperation. Before the appointment as Ambassador of Italy to Bulgaria he was a Training Director at the Ministry since 2011.
He was previously Head of the Science and Technology Cooperation Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2010 to 2011. From 2006 to 2010 he was First Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of Italy to the European Union, responsible for legal and financial aspects of the Common Foreign and Security policy as Relex Counsellor. He has also served at the Permanent Mission of Italy to the International Organizations in Geneva and to the Permanent Mission of Italy to the United Nations in New York in charge for disarmament affairs. He has been the first head of the Statistical Office of the Ministry from 2000 to 2002.
He works with many Italian universities (Roma La Sapienza, LUISS, Roma TRE, LUMSA, Trento, Pavia, Firenze) holding seminars and courses in international affairs, particularly in multilateral diplomacy. He held seminars on Soft skills applied to International careers.
His most recent research focuses on diplomatic management, Social media for International Affairs and Books written by diplomats. He is author of more than 15 books. His more recent publications include several books on the activities of diplomats (Diplomatici in azione, 2016) and a book on Management for diplomats (Manuale di management per diplomatici, 2016). He has published, both in Italian and in English, the results of a comprehensive research on Books written by Italian Diplomats (Through the Diplomatic Looking Glass, Diplo, 2007).
From 2013 to 2016 he has been producer and speaker of a weekly Radio Programme on Diplomats at Radio LUISS.
He has a personal website (http://baldi.diplomacy.edu) and he is responsible for the Blog on Training “Diplo Learning Corner” (http://diplolearn.wordpress.com).
1. What do you expect from the Bulgarian EU Presidency?
The Presidency of the EU Council is a unique opportunity for Bulgaria to increase its international visibility. Ten years after its accession to the EU, Bulgaria can foster its image as a "success story" of the EU enlargement policy with its achievements in terms of financial stability, economic growth and its successful path towards solid democratic institutions. In this respect, Bulgaria represents a good example for neighbouring countries, sending a concrete message on the European perspective of Western Balkans.
2. What do you believe should be the key areas of focus during the Presidency? Integration of Western Balkans, Cyber security? Or something else...?
Western Balkans represent a shared priority for us, and Italy is ready to support Bulgaria in its effort to increase the EU commitment towards the whole region.
Among the highest priorities of the Bulgarian Presidency I would also mention migration, both in its "internal” and in its "external" dimension. Internally we need to achieve an effective reform of the Dublin Regulation, which has proven dramatically inadequate to address the unprecedented migratory pressure coming from Africa and the Middle East. Externally we need to strengthen our cooperation with Countries of origin and transit of migratory flows, ensuring a human and effective management of the phenomenon.
These are extremely complex, sensitive and potentially divisive issues, thus the work of the Bulgarian Presidency will not be easy at all. But again, Italy will provide any possible support to Bulgaria in order to fulfill its task.
3. Do you think Bulgaria is ready to join Schengen and what would be the consequences of such an action in your opinion?
Let me be very clear about this. Bulgaria is absolutely ready to join Schengen, since all technical criteria are met. Italy has been among the strongest supporters of Bulgaria's accession to Schengen. It is a matter of applying the rules that the EU has set. Therefore we should be fair and act consequently. The sooner the better. I also think that the EU Commission president Jean–Claude Juncker was recently adamant in his State of the Union address saying that it is high time to bring Bulgaria into the Schengen Area.
4. How do you find life in Bulgaria?
I must confess that before coming to Sofia, I had very high expectations about Bulgaria, as I had got particularly positive feedback from my predecessors. After more than one year since the beginning of my mandate, I can say that all my expectations have been fully met. I find life in Bulgaria very nice and pleasant. Sofia, in particular, has positively surprised me with its rich cultural offer and its lively atmosphere. But also Bulgaria, in general, has a lot to offer, starting from the beauty of its landscapes and its cultural heritage. It's definitely a beautiful, interesting and safe Country.
5. How do you feel about the relations of your country with Bulgaria?
And is there anything specific you would like to be achieved in means of cooperation during the Bulgarian EU Presidency?
Our bilateral relations are excellent, in political, economic and cultural terms. Politically, high level visits and meetings are increasingly frequent and we have excellent synergies in all multilateral fora. Our economic cooperation remains strong and solid: we have more than 5000 registered enterprises in Bulgaria, creating more than 50000 jobs and producing about 10% of Bulgarian GDP. Our cultural ties are also deeply rooted in history and continue to strengthen.
As for the Presidency, the best achievements we can hope for is to open a new phase of the European integration process, advancing in the most crucial dossiers and providing concrete answers to our citizens' concerns. We fully share and support the Bulgarian agenda and I think there is room for realistic optimism.
In this year's ranking of the Global Economic Competitiveness Index, Bulgaria ranks 49th out of 137 countries, thanks only to macroeconomic stability (this is our 25th position). From there on: According to the state of the institutions we are 98th, by level of infrastructure - 76th place, on the indicator "Health and primary education" - 68th place, as our previous ranking is 57th, according to the indicator "Higher Education and Continuing Education" - 54th place, which is also worse than the past ranking when we were 46th (at 46th last year).
There is a serious collapse of investment as a share of GDP - from 28.3% in 2007 to 18.6% in 2016, including: public investment fell from 5.2% to 2.8% , foreign direct investment - from 18.8% to 1.4%.
Growth is only the case with local private investment, which increased from 4.3% in 2007 to 14.4% in 2016.
Car drivers pass without restrictions through the ''Vitinya'' tunnel on the Hemus motorway. This was announced by the press center of the Road Infrastructure Agency. Today, at 12.00, the movement in the renovated tube for Sofia is restored, with new lighting and video surveillance and fire alarm systems.
With the completion of the planned activities, traffic from the capital to Northern Bulgaria is now unconstrained in the two pipes of the longest tunnel in Bulgaria ''Vitinya'' (1195 m).
The tunnel for Sofia on the "Vitinya" tunnel is already with energy-efficient LED lighting. 354 pcs. lighting fixtures. The facility is equipped with a new power supply system, video surveillance, fire alarm and alarm system. To improve traffic safety, a traffic light system and variable traffic signs have been installed.
Turkey's EU Affairs Minister Ömer Çelik on Sunday called for investigating the chain of command involved in the NATO drill in Norway during which the reputation of Turkish president and founder were tarnished, Anadolu Agency reported.
Turkey withdrew from the Trident Javelin exercise in Norway on Friday after a civilian Norwegian official depicted President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as an "enemy collaborator".
The Norwegian national was removed from the exercise following the incident; NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and Norwegian Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen also apologized to Turkey.
Speaking at the 9th annual Halifax International Security Forum in Canada, Ömer Çelik said the commander under whom the Norwegian civilian worked must also be investigated.
“Is there no any chain of command? Does he [the civilian contracted person] not have a commander?” Çelik said, underlining that this command chain should be investigated and necessary steps should be taken.
He added that NATO - an alliance that aims to ensure the security of its member states -- should ensure the security of its drills. Turkey would continue to monitor the investigation of the incident and would like to ensure that such incidents did not happen ever again, he said.
He said the incident was similar to the method used by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), an illegal network engaged in a long-running attempt to overthrow of the Turkish government and which also orchestrated a deadly defeated coup in Turkey last year.
In 2016, nearly 25 million children in the European Union, or 26.4% of the population aged under 17, were at risk of poverty or social exclusion, according to Eurostat, quoted by Investor.bg.
The share of children at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the EU has slightly decreased over the years from 27.5% in 2010 to 26.4% in 2016. However, conflicting trends are generally observed in individual EU Member States.
Very disturbing is that the share of children at risk of poverty or social exclusion is highest in Romania and Bulgaria.
In 2016, nearly half of children were at risk in Romania (49.2%) and in Bulgaria (45.6%).
At the other end of the list, the lowest share of children at risk of poverty or social exclusion is Denmark (13.8%), Finland (14.7%) and Slovenia (14.9%).
A large meteor made the night over Lapland into a day. The unusual phenomenon is captured by cameras that monitor the Northern Lights over the Finnish region, reports bTV.
The footages show a few buildings in a forest, initially in obscure darkness.
Gradually, the sky is getting brighter. At the end of the published video is also seen the meteor itself, which burns in the atmosphere of Lapland with bright light.
"As I sat in my house, suddenly I felt a great shake on the ground and I heard a great thunder. I thought it was an earthquake, but there was no earthquake in Lapland. My next thought was that a tree fell on the house. I went out but it was not a tree, "one of the locals tells.
It is only later when viewing the recordings of camcorders that revealed what happened.
The meteor was so bright that the phenomenon was observed in Russia as well as in northern Norway.
At the end of last week, it was reported that Google has added a new smartphone feature on YouTube that has been in talks for 5 years. The new business Android client found data about new dark-feature activation functionality. The new option is still being tested, but its name is already known - "Dark Watch" and for now it is only present in the developer's menu, reports kaldata.
If the new theme is enabled now, it's clear that the app's interface is still not a final version. Perhaps so far only the algorithm of work is realized and the design will be finished later. Users of iOS and Android smartphones for 5 years want this theme and now the internet giant seems ready with the new functionality. The new theme can only be activated from the developer's menu so far, but its emergence suggests that soon owners of smartphones, tablets and other Android OS devices will be able to use it.
YouTube's dark theme diminishes eye-load in the dark. In addition, the power consumption of smartphones with OLED screens will drop slightly as dark pixels consume less.
Winged Bear with the face of the Russian President Vladimir Putin was made by the sculptor Victor Kropachev. The work is called "Mind, Power and Soul" and has a hidden message, reports RT.
"The bear's body symbolizes Russia. This animal is hard to stop and it is not one to submit, "says the sculptor. The realization of his idea took about two months. At this time, no showroom has wished to exhibit the work of art. That is why the author plans to send it as a gift to the Russian President.
British Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh Philip, today celebrate a platinum wedding anniversary. They married 70 years ago at the Westminster Abbey, reports BBC.
On the occasion of the anniversary, bells will ring there for more than three hours today. The couple will celebrate with a dinner at Windsor Castle, and no public celebrations and events are scheduled.
Elizabeth II is the first monarch in the history of Britain to celebrate such an anniversary of the beginning of her family union.
More than 2,500 people protested last night in some of Romania's big cities against tax changes introduced by the center-left government, as well as against judicial reforms planned by the cabinet, according to Romania Libera newspaper.
Protests were organized in Timisoara, Brasov, Cluj-Napoca, Sibiu. Protesters with less participation - of the order of several dozen people - were also organized in Ploiesti, Oradea, Craiova, Alba Iulia, informs 24chasa.
From November 24, Bolivia will hold a fourth meeting of gas exporting countries that control 70 percent of global blue-fuel reserves, 40 percent of gas pipelines and 65 percent of global LNG trades, reports TASS.
The Forum of Exporters of Gas is an international, intergovernmental organization established in 2008.
Its members are Algeria, Bolivia, Venezuela, Egypt, Iran, Qatar, Libya, Nigeria, UAE, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, Equatorial Guinea. Observer countries are the Netherlands, Norway, Kazakhstan, Iraq, Oman, Peru and Azerbaijan.
Human disease caused by an alien virus sounds like a science fiction movie scenario. But this is a very real threat that has provoked NASA and scientists around the world to develop a plan to protect humanity from extraterrestrial bacteria, Engadget Online.
In fact, scientists have been working on the subject since 1958. In 1967, several countries signed a UN resolution to manage space missions and trips. Over the years, there are five categories that scientists have to take into account when designing spacecraft. The aim is to ensure that terrestrial microbes will not reach the remote worlds and disturb their balance even if there is no life there.
With advances in space programs, however, humanity is already looking at regular trips to Mars, for example. Previously, there will be missions to take and return samples to Earth. All this creates new risks - potentially unknown and undetected by the time extraterrestrial bacteria land on Earth.
That's why NASA has a dedicated team to take care of protecting the Earth from such uninvited guests. This also includes developing methods to ensure that samples arriving from distant worlds can be studied safely ain Earth Labs.
In a statement today, George Soros reacted for the first time to the campaign of the Hungarian government against him, saying the attacks against him contained "lies and distortions" and aimed to create a false external enemy, Reuters reported.
The American businessman and philantropist of Hungarian origin, whose views are in conflict with Prime Minister Viktor Orban's ruling Fidesz party, said Budapest "fueled anti-Muslim sentiment and used anti-Semitic clichés reminiscent of the 1930s."
He denied the seven statements in a "national poll" organized by the Orbán government, according to which he wants to house a million migrants a year in Europe, to force them to settle in EU countries and pay thousands of euros to everyone, Reuters said.
EU officials in Kabul, whose nationality is not specified, are accused of selling alcohol to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan where it is forbidden, the EU said on Sunday, quoted by the France.
According to the British newspaper Guardian, who first reported the case, officials were selling a double-bottled gin or whiskey bottle (for $ 50) and a bottle of vodka for $ 60 or six times the import price. Purchasers were Afghan businessmen, the newspaper said, adding that alcohol bottles were mainly exported in the evening from the site used by the EU mission in Afghanistan, hidden in old refrigerators or gas bottles.
Embassies and international representations are allowed to import alcohol in Afghanistan, but only for use by their fellow citizens living in the country. The European Anti-Fraud Office OLAF has answered a question from AFP that it has adhered to the presumption of innocence for now, and only after having become acquainted with the charges in detail will it decide whether to initiate an investigation.
Number of Migrants who have sought protection from the Bulgarian state has fallen five times since the end of October last year, the chairman of the State Agency for Refugees Petya Parvanov told BNT on Monday.
On the other hand, refusals to grant refugee or humanitarian status have increased twice. The employment of refugee camps is currently under 20%. It houses 931 migrants. The Agency has managed to catch up with the delays in responding to status claims and all delayed cases have already been completed. This year, there are 3,400 newly registered seekers of protection, and more than 12,000 are issued decisions that are in different phases of procedures. A total of 71 migrant children attend Bulgarian language courses and 126 go to school.
The Deputy Prime Minister of the Libyan Government of National Unity has announced that he has begun investigating reported cases of sale of migrants as slaves reported last week by US television CNN in a shocking documentary.
Ahmed Maiteeq expressed dissatisfaction with a message released on Facebook following the release of the film about "the new appearance of slave trade in the suburbs of Tripoli."
Ahmed Maiteeq said he would commission a committee of inquiry to investigate this media information to capture and sue the perpetrators, "said mediapool. The recent CNN report shows how migrants are auctioned in Libya, with a cost of just $ 400. This has provoked violent reaction to indignation in Africa and the United Nations.
''We must all strive for peace. War is worse than anything.'' This was announced by Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, who delivered a public lecture on "Bulgaria, the Balkans, Europe and the World" at UNWE, reported BGNES.
''We live in an extremely difficult time'', he also pointed out. According to his words, in many countries, the formation of a government is already a problem, giving Germany for example.
On one hand, he says, the agreement with Turkey on migrants works well and is the right thing to keep migratory pressure out of the EU.
On the other hand, he believes that the rotating presidency of the EU Council shows the maturity of European countries.
''Schengen, in my view, will be fully redesigned because there are countries that simply do not have a place there. Free movement is a good thing, but the uncontrolled movement is not what Europe was expecting. For the euro area, every country without the UK has signed that it must adopt the euro. We do not pose any risk to the eurozone so I am optimistic about the eurozone waiting room as a first step, "said Borisov.
The Turkish capital Ankara has banned all gay festivals, screenings, forums and exhibitions on security grounds, reported BBC.
The governor's office said on Sunday that it also wanted to protect public order and sensitivities.
The announcement follows a move last week to ban a festival of German-language gay films also due to have been held in the city.
Homosexuality is legal in Turkey but activists say homophobia is rampant.
["From Saturday] 18 November until further notice, all film and theatre events, screenings, panels, colloquium, exhibitions, etc... have been banned," the city administration said on its website.
It argues that such functions in Ankara and its surrounding province are likely to "provoke reactions within certain segments" of society and are also at risk of being targeted by "terrorists".
The announcement is likely to increase concern among gay activists in Turkey that their rights are being curtailed under the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP), which is rooted in conservative Islam.
Gay activists says they have been subjected to various forms of discrimination including harassment, abuse and rape.
The popular annual gay pride rally in Istanbul has been blocked for three years by the authorities, who cited security concerns. In 2003 Turkey became the first Muslim majority country to allow a gay pride march.
The perceived erosion of civil liberties in Turkey has caused concern in the West following the failed military coup of July 2016.
More than 50,000 people have been jailed since then, many accused of having links to the plotters. About 150,000 people mostly working for the government have been sacked or suspended.
In a statement announcing the German film ban last week, the office of Ankara Governor Mehmet Kiliclar said the festival's content "could incite grudges and enmity toward a part of society".
Intelligence suggested that "terror organisations" were seeking "to attack dissident groups or individuals" and that the screening "could have been provocative".
In line with its space program, the Chinese space agency plans to build a reuseable missile, super-heavy rocket and space shuttle over the next 20 years.
The first goal is Next Generation Chanchion to be launched by 2020. Its purpose is to use it as a cheap light rocket to extract relatively small satellites in low-Earth orbit.
In 2025, it is planned to design and launch a reusable spacecraft that is very much like the American space shuttle. The new aircraft will probably also be used for space tourism. By 2035, it is planned to create a whole line of reusable carrier racks and by 2040 a major technological leap and the development of a multiple nuclear traction carrier are expected.
It is supposed to be used to reach asteroids and to implement mega-projects, such as building a space solar power plant.
UN climate talks in Bonn have concluded with progress on technical issues, but with bigger questions about cutting carbon unresolved, reported BBC.
Delegates say they are pleased that the rulebook for the Paris climate agreement is finally coming together.
But these technical discussions took place against the backdrop of a larger battle about coal, oil and gas.
It means that next year's conference in Poland is set for a major showdown on the future of fossil fuels.
This meeting, known as COP23, was tasked with clarifying complex operational issues around the workings of the Paris climate agreement.
One of the most important elements was the development of a process that would help countries to review and ratchet up their commitments to cut carbon.
Fiji, holding the presidency of this meeting, proposed what's being called the Talanoa Dialogue.
Over the next year, a series of discussions will take place to help countries look at the promises they have made under the Paris pact.
"A key element in Poland is this Talanoa dialogue, to make sure it doesn't result in just a talk show," said Yamide Dagnet with the World Resources Institute.
"In Poland, ministers will have to look each other in the eye and say they will go home and enhance their actions, so that by 2020 we end up with national plans that will be a much more ambitious set of climate actions."
Looming over these discussions in Bonn was the question of coal, oil and gas.
US coal and nuclear companies organised a presentation here arguing that fossil fuels should be a key part of the solution to rising temperatures.
How is it most profitable to heat in the winter? The final price depends not only on the heating method, but also on the type of dwelling, additional investments such as the renovation of the building as well as the initial investment. In general, heating of solid fuels is cheapest and electricity is the most expensive.
In front of bTV, energy expert Elenko Bozhkov pointed out that for the 100 square meter apartment in a renovated panel building with new joinery, an average monthly heating of the heating system is about BGN 150, with no additional BGN 17 for the building installation.
Heating is the most expensive. About BGN 350 per month for the same type of apartment. Bozhkov specified that if using air conditioners, that would lower the bill twice.
Natural gas is about BGN 146 per month. Here, however, the investment is serious - over BGN 4000 initially for the construction of the instalation.
The cheapest heating is that of solid fuel - just over BGN 100. However, it has a number of disadvantages, making it difficult to apply in an urban environment.
Nearly 300 machines have cleaned the Republican roads in the snowy areas at night, the press agency of the Road Infrastructure Agency reported, quoted by expert.bg
Most snow machines have worked in the Sofia region, followed by Smolyan, Pernik and Lovech.
The Road Infrastructure Agency recommends that heavy goods vehicles and passenger cars should only go on the road with suitable tires, safe speed and caution, following the instructions of the Traffic Police. Blocking the traffic from cars that are not prepared for winter driving, hinders the work of snow-cleaning equipment and hinders the travel of all other drivers.
The 27 regional road offices and snow-cleaning companies operate in 24-hour mode and are ready to support the republican network.
The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) has signed letters of intent with nine soybean processing companies in Bulgaria. The agreement will promote Nebraska soybeans and soybean products in their facilities.
“This is a great opportunity, which is growing demand for Nebraska soybeans,” said Gov. Pete Ricketts. “Bulgaria is a country with a high demand for quality protein and is a relatively untapped market.”
Ricketts said promoting Nebraska for quality agricultural commodities supports farmers and ranchers.
He said it increases “our global market share, and continue to grow Nebraska’s No. 1 industry.”
The companies want to maximize their output and are looking to source Nebraska and U.S. soybeans. They use about 2 million metric tons of soybeans per year. They have a total production capacity of 2.7 million metric tons.
The Bulgarian companies visited Nebraska this year to learn more about soybean production.
NDA used federal Emerging Markets Program grant funds to pay for the visit. A market research study was done to promote soybean sales in eastern Europe.
They visited a soybean farm in Geneva, the Aurora Cooperative and the grain storage and trading operations of Gavilon and Scoular in Omaha. They also visited a shipping container/loading facility in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and the ADM soybean processing facility and power plant in Lincoln.
They talked with members of the Nebraska Soybean Board as well.
“Good personal relationships with the owners and executives of several soybean processing facilities in Bulgaria are a tremendous asset for the future,” said NDA Interim Director Mat Habrock. “We share similar appreciation for people, culture and agriculture.”
Bulgaria has been a member of the European Union since 2007. The EU was Nebraska’s third-largest export market of soybeans and soybean products in 2015.
Trade is important to Nebraska agriculture. On Friday, the USDA reported that agricultural exports totaled 0.5 billion in FY 2017. That’s .9 billion more than the previous year and the third-highest level on record.
U.S. agriculture had a trade surplus of .3 billion. That was up 30 percent from the previous year’s .6 billion.
China was the U.S.’s largest export customer at billion. Canada was second at .4 billion. U.S. agricultural exports to Mexico totaled .6 billion. That’s a 6 percent gain from last year. Japan’s total increased by 12 percent to .8 billion.
The other top 10 markets were the European Union (.6 billion), South Korea (.9 billion), Hong Kong ( billion), Taiwan (.4 billion), Indonesia ( billion) and the Philippines (.6 billion).
U.S. bulk commodity exports set a volume record at 159 million metric tons. That was up 11 percent from FY 2016, while their value increased by 16 percent to .4 billion. Soybean exports reached a record 60 million metric tons, valued at billion.
Corn, wheat, and cotton exports also grew. Wheat exports were up 21 percent to .2 billion. Corn exports were up 6 percent to .7 billion.
U.S. dairy exports increased by 17 percent to .3 billion and beef exports were up 16 percent to .1 billion. Pork exports increased by 14 percent to .4 billion. Horticultural product exports increased by 3 percent to .9 billion. Exports of tree nuts reached .1 billion, the second-highest total on record. Processed food and beverage exports increased by 2 percent to .2 billion.
Exports are responsible for 20 percent of U.S. farm income, according to the USDA.
Iraq’s Supreme Federal Court ruled on Monday that a referendum held on Kurdish independence was unconstitutional and that the results of the vote were void, a court spokesman said, quoted by Reuters.
Kurds voted overwhelmingly to break away from Iraq in a referendum held on Sept. 25, defying the central government in Baghdad as well as neighboring Turkey and Iran who have their own Kurdish minorities.
The court is responsible for settling disputes between Iraq’s central government and regions including Kurdistan. The verdict cannot be appealed.
“The Federal Court issued the decision to consider the Kurdish region’s referendum unconstitutional and this ruling is final,” the spokesman said. “The power of this ruling should now cancel all the results of the referendum.”
The court had already ruled on Nov. 6 that no region or province can secede and the Kurdistan Regional Government said last week it would respect that verdict.
Iraqi government forces and the Iran-backed Popular Mobilisation Forces launched a surprise offensive on Oct. 16 in retaliation. Government forces managed to wrest back control of the oil city of Kirkuk and other disputed territories.
Internet giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd said on Monday it would invest HK.4 billion (.87 billion) for a major stake in China’s top hypermart operator, Sun Art Retail Group Ltd , part of a wider push into offline retail, reported Reuters.
As part of an alliance with Auchan Retail S.A. [AUCH.UL] and Ruentex Group, Alibaba would buy the stake from Ruentex while Auchan Retail would boost its stake, the three companies said in a joint statement.
The alliance would target opportunities in China’s 0 billion food retail sector, as Alibaba races to build big-data capabilities in the offline retail market where roughly 85 percent of sales are made.
“Physical stores serve an indispensable role during the consumer journey, and should be enhanced through data-driven technology and personalized services in the digital economy,” Alibaba Chief Executive Officer Daniel Zhang said in the statement.
Shares of Hong Kong-listed Sun Art, which were suspended on Nov. 13, resumed on Monday and were down 5.3 percent in morning trade, while the benchmark index was flat.
The deal would give French retailer Groupe Auchan SA, China’s Alibaba Group and Taiwanese conglomerate Ruentex 36.18 percent, 36.16 percent and 4.67 percent stakes respectively in Sun Art. Alibaba would replace Ruentex as the second-largest shareholder.
Alibaba has invested upwards of .3 billion in brick-and-mortar stores since 2015. It has launched many un-staffed concept shops in the past year, including grocery and coffee stores.
The 4 billion firm is taking more risks to secure offline, rural and overseas buyers as China’s urban e-commerce market shows signs of saturating, including purchasing extensive infrastructure which it had previously avoided.
“They’re getting into a territory that’s not their core strength ... for example securing a property, the licenses to sell certain products, paying tax, more labor and so on,” said Weiwen Han, managing partner for Greater China at Bain & Company.
The total income average per household member during the third quarter of 2017 is 1 431 BGN and increases by 9.4% compared to the same quarter of 2016. This was announced by the National Statistical Institute (NSI).
The highest relative share of income within the total income is this from wages and salaries (54.4%). The relative share of income from pensions is 25.9%, from self-employment - 7.7% and from social benefits - 3.1%.
The nominal income by source average per capita changes during the third quarter of 2017 compared to the third quarter of 2016 changes as follows:
Income from wages and salaries increases from 708 BGN to 778 BGN (by 10.0%);
Self-employment income increases from 85 BGN to 110 BGN (by 29.9%);
Income from pensions remains unchanged - 371 BGN;
Income from social benefits remains without change - 43 BGN.
The relative share of monetary income into the total income during the third quarter of 2017 is 98.2% and the share of income in kind is 1.8%. Household Expenditure The total expenditure average per household member during the third quarter of 2017 is 1 382 BGN and increases by 13.0% in comparison with the same quarter of 2016. Expenditure on food has the greatest share in forming the total expenditure - 30.1% as well as expenditure on housing - 17.7%, taxes and social insurance contributions - 12.0% and transport and communication - 11.2%.
The expenditure by group average per capita changes as absolute values during the third quarter of 2017 compared to the same quarter of 2016 as follows: Expenditure on food and non-alcoholic beverages increases from 387 BGN to 416 BGN (by 7.6%); Expenditure on housing (water, electricity, heating, furnishing and maintenance of the house) increases from 204 BGN to 245 BGN (by 20.3%); Expenditure on transport and communication increases from 132 BGN to 155 BGN (by 17.6%);
Expenditure on health increases from 64 BGN to 66 BGN (by 3.1%); Expenditure on alcoholic beverages and tobacco increases from 54 BGN to 58 BGN (by 7.3%); Expenditure on recreation, culture and education increases from 80 BGN to 87 BGN (by 7.7%).
The consumption of main food products average per household member is without considerable change during the third quarter of 2017 compared to the same quarter of 2016. Fruit and vegetables are an exception. Consumption of fruit increases by 0.9 kg - from 19.3 kg to 20.2 kg, consumption of vegetables decreases by 1.0 kg - from 27.2 kg to 26.2 kg
A moderate, sometimes strong northwestern wind will continue bringing cold air to Bulgaria. The rains will continue today, transforming into snowfall in the highlands of Western Bulgaria, the Pre-Balkan and the Ludogorie regions.
However, meteorologists do not expect the formation of a durable and substantial snow cover yet. In the afternoon, the rains will stop in the western regions and the clouds will scatter and decrease.
Maximum temperatures will stand at 3°C to 8°C, the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (NIMH) told FOCUS News Agency.
Romania is suing a local shepherd who interferes with the work of US military deployed at a military base near the southern city of Deveselu, wrote the electronic edition of Balkan Insight.
Shepherd Dimitru Blaia refuses to destroy the sheepfold that is in the security perimeter around a US military base where parts of the US Air Defense System (US) are located. He built his farm there in 2007 without an official permit for it, although the piece of land is his property. The Romanian Ministry of Defense won a first-instance case against the shepherd, but he appealed the decision and in January the case is due to be heard by the Supreme Court.
Dimitru Blaia acquired the plot in Deveselu in 2007 and built his cottage there in the immediate vicinity of the military base, which at that time did not operate. Three years later, Romania and the United States reached an agreement, with Bucharest agreeing to accept the US missile defense on its territory. The base started operating again in 2016.
It is clear from the documents submitted to the Court that in the spring of this year, a local court decided that Dimitru Blaia must demolish the pens and pay a fine of 700 euros. However, he appeals and the authorities have to await the Supreme Court's decision.
The US missile defense system in the Romanian city of Deveselu cost the US over 800 million euros. It consists of 24 controllable missiles and an anti-ballistic radar.
At the EU Council in Brussels by secret ballot today will be designated the cities that will host two European agencies - the European Medicines Agency and the European Banking Authority after Brexit, reports sega.
They are currently in London.
A total of 19 European cities were proposed to host the Medicines Agency. For now, Bratislava and Milan are the favorites. Of the eight candidates for the European Banking Authority with the most chances are Frankfurt and Vienna. Bulgaria has also submitted its application to the Medicines Agency, but received one of the lowest ratings from the European Commission.
At the suggestion of the Estonian Presidency, ballot papers will be burned after the election.
The roof of Hristo Botev primary school in Targovishte burned down late last night, bTV and Nova TV reported.
The fire signal was shortly before 2 o'clock in the morning. The building is under repairs.
Three fire trucks with 20 firefighters were sent to the site, including employees from Shumen. By 6 am the fire was localized. The roof of the building was burned, while the flames to the roof of another building nearby.
Charles Manson died at 83, the BBC reported. He spent the last 40 years in prison with a life sentence for ordering murders. A few days ago, Manson was moved from a prison to a hospital in California due to poor health.
In 1969, Manson sent his followers from the sect known as the Manson Family to kill seven people. Among the victims is Hollywood actress, at that time in advanced pregnancy, Sharon Tate - wife of director Roman Polanski. Four more people in their home are stabbed to death.
"The name of Manson has become a metaphor of terror," said Vincent Bouliosi, a prosecutor in the trial. Manson believed in an upcoming racial war after which he would become the leader of a new world with a new social order.
An undersea earthquake of magnitude 7.0 struck in the South Pacific on Monday, sending small tsunami waves towards New Caledonia and Vanuatu, british Daily Telegraph writes. The quake, initially reported as magnitude 7.3, struck 51 miles east of the Loyalty Islands and was the second major tremor in the same area in less than 24 hours and the third in the past month.
Monday's quake struck at 9.43 am local time (2243 Sunday GMT) at a shallow depth of six miles, east of the remote Loyalty Islands, the United States Geological Survey said.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said small tsunami waves were observed in New Caledonia and Vanuatu, but later said the danger had largely passed.
Waves may have reached up to one metre (three feet) above the high tide level in parts of New Caledonia and smaller in Vanuatu, the PTWC said.
"Minor sea level fluctuations...may continue over the next few hours," a statement from the agency said.
"Government agencies responsible for threatened coastal areas should take action to inform and instruct any coastal populations populations at risk," the PTWC said in an alert.
Nervous residents reported feeling several tremors throughout the night before the quake hit.
"Parked cars were shaking and everyone went outside," one official from Mare in the Loyalty Islands told AFP.
"I thought I was going to faint, I was very afraid and I rushed out of my building," said a resident of central Noumea.
Wayan Rigault, communications manager at Hotel Nengone Village on the island of Mare, said there was no immediate damage, but guests were on alert for a formal evacuation warning.
"We are a little bit scared, we have had an earthquake last night and today it was quite a big one," he said.
Vanuatu's National Disaster Management Office advised people in southern provinces to evacuate coastal areas for higher ground.
New Caledonia's civil security agency said it was still compiling data, and was not planning to evacuate immediately.
Authorities in Australia and New Zealand said there were no tsunami threats to either of those countries.
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has until noon (5.00 a.m. EST) on Monday to stand down or the ruling ZANU-PF will begin impeachment proceedings after the 93-year-old leader defied expectations he would resign, reported Reuters.
Mugabe stunned Zimbabweans in a rambling late night Sunday television address by avoiding any mention of resignation, pledging instead to preside over a congress next month of ZANU-PF, which had sacked him as its leader only hours earlier.
Parliament does not sit on Mondays so any impeachment would have to wait until Tuesday, although a vote may not necessarily take place the same day.
Zimbabwe’s liberation war veterans, who have been among the most vocal in calling for Mugabe’s resignation, will hold a media briefing at 9.30 a.m.
Moments after Mugabe’s address, war veterans leader Chris Mutsvangwa told Reuters they would lead public protests in the streets of Harare, cranking up the pressure on Zimbabwe’s ruler of the last 37 years.
Having been sacked by his party, Mugabe has run out of options but appears to be steadfastly clinging to the very last vestiges of power.
There was even speculation that he read the wrong speech in his live television address, or skipped over passages about standing down.
Anxious Zimbabweans have been trying to decipher a barely audible aside comment he made to military chief Constantino Chiwenga at the end of the address. In the audio, which is not clear, Mugabe refers to a “long speech” or a “wrong speech”.
ZANU-PF’s central committee had earlier named Emmerson Mnangagwa as its new leader. It was Mugabe’s sacking of Mnangagwa as his vice-president - paving the way for his wife Grace to succeed him - that triggered the army to seize control on Wednesday.
On Saturday, hundreds of thousands took to the streets of the capital Harare to celebrate Mugabe’s expected downfall and hail a new era for their country.
The huge crowds in Harare have given a quasi-democratic veneer to the army’s intervention, backing its assertion that it was merely effecting a constitutional transfer of power, rather than a plain coup, which would risk a diplomatic backlash.
But some of Mugabe’s opponents are uneasy about the prominent role played by the military, and fear Zimbabwe might be swapping one army-backed autocrat for another, rather than allowing the people to choose their next leader.
Armored vehicles manned by soldiers were still stationed on some street corners in the capital on Monday.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s efforts to form a three-way coalition government that would secure her a fourth term hit a major setback on Sunday after a would-be coalition partner pulled out of exploratory talks, citing irreconcilable differences, Reuters reported.
The pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) unexpectedly walked out of the talks with Merkel’s conservatives and the Greens, saying that the three parties could not find compromises on key issues like immigration and the environment.
Merkel could seek to form a minority government with the Greens, or new elections will be called.
“Today there was no progress but rather there were setbacks because targeted compromises were questioned,” FDP leader Christian Lindner told reporters. “It is better not to rule than to rule falsely. Goodbye!”
Merkel was weakened after an election in September as voters angry with her decision in 2015 to open Germany’s borders to more than a million asylum seekers punished her conservatives by voting for the Alternative for Germany (AfD) far-right party.
There is little appetite for a second vote, especially as the main parties fear that the populist AfD would win more than the almost 13 percent of votes it secured in September.
Failure to form a government in Europe’s largest economy could have implications for everything from euro zone reforms to European Union policy on Russia and Turkey.
Merkel has used her power to broker compromises on Greece within the single currency bloc and to keep in place EU sanctions against Russia over its backing of separatists in eastern Ukraine.