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 Sofia News Agency 
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.

A Case of Malaria was Established at a Refugee Camp in Harmanli

The infected was admitted to a hospital in Plovdiv. 

The case of malaria was established at the Harmanli Migrant Registration Center, the Health Inspectorate in Haskovo reported. It concerns a 14-year-old boy from Afghanistan, the institution added.

According to medics, the contamination is likely to have taken place before the teenager arrived in Bulgaria at the end of July. The infected was admitted to a hospital in Plovdiv, where the diagnosis was confirmed.

The RZI - Haskovo said that the tests carried out by the contacts at the Harmanli refugee camp were negative.

Temperatures in July This Year Were the Highest Ever Recorded Globally

Temperatures in July this year were the highest ever recorded globally. This was reported by the US Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, cited by France's press. Meanwhile, satellite data shows that polar ice has shrunk to record lows.

According to scientists, the average global temperature for the month was almost one degree Celsius above the average for the twentieth century of 15.8 degrees. Nine of the 10 hottest months in July were after 2005, with the five hottest in the last five years, according to data from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Ever since statistics have been kept since the 1880s, 2019 has been the hottest July in Alaska and Africa. High temperature records have also been improved in several countries in Europe.

There were also some regions with lower than average temperatures, including parts of Scandinavia and Western and Eastern Russia, where temperatures were at least a degree and a half below average.

Meanwhile, Arctic ice levels dropped to a historically low level in July - 1.9 million square kilometers, or nearly 20 percent below average. This finding has surpassed the previous historic low since July 2012.

UN: Refusing Meat Consumption Can Help Combat Climate Change

Changing the human diet in favor of plant-based products can help combat climate change, according to UN experts, quoted by the BNR.

A large-scale report on land use and climate change indicates that high consumption of meat and dairy products from western countries is fueling global warming.

But scientists and officials do not explicitly call for everyone to become vegetarian or vegan.

They state that more people can be fed by using less land if meat consumption is reduced.

The paper, prepared by 107 scientists for the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, states that land should be used more effectively to reduce the effects of human-generated emissions.

"We don't tell people to stop eating meat. In some places, people have no choice. But it is obvious that we eat too much in the West, "said Professor Pete Smith, a scientist at the University of Aberdeen.

The report also calls for vigorous action against soil and deforestation contributing to climate change.

The Canary Islands Are on Fire, more than 5,000 People Were Evacuated Urgently

Huge forest fires rage on the Canary Islands. Flames, up 50 meters high, covered 3,400 hectares, forcing authorities to evacuate more than 5,000 people urgently, the Associated Press reported.

1000 firefighters have been sent to Gran Canaria to fight the fire. 14 specialized aircraft will also be involved in the suppression of the flames. However, the large-scale quenching action is hampered by wind gusts that ignite secondary fires.

Bundesbank: German Economy Enters Recession

There was a 0.1% decline in GDP in the second quarter of this year.

The German economy will enter a recession in the third quarter due to the "sharp" decline in industrial production due to tensions in international markets, Bundesbank warned.

"The economy may shrink again this summer," the central bank said in a monthly report. The document shows that a 0.1% decline in gross domestic product was recorded in the second quarter of this year.

"According to current data, industrial production is expected to shrink in the current quarter," the financial institution said.

A New Case of African Swine Fever in Plovdiv and Lovech

The carcass of a killed wild boar has given a positive result for the disease virus.

"A new case of African swine fever has been discovered in a wild boar found in the territory of Perushtitsa." This was announced by the director of the Regional Directorate of Forests in Plovdiv, Miroslav Dimitrov, immediately after the meeting of the Regional Epizootic Commission, quoted by BTA.

A dead wild boar carcass was found on August 10, which tested positive for the ASF virus. An order was issued by the BFSA to declare a primary incident of the disease in Perushtitsa. In this regard, access to the forest territories in the infected area, covering an area of ??200 square kilometers, in the lands of the hunting-economic areas of Brestovishte, Hrabrino, Krichim, Perushtitsa, Skobelevo, Ustina and Petvar is prohibited. A search of the area for dead wild pigs is forthcoming.

"Hunting is forbidden in the declared areas," Miroslav Dimitrov said.

So far, 51 settlements have been inspected in the Plovdiv region, out of a total of 74, falling within twenty kilometers. "1092 sites have been inspected, 2184 backyard pigs have been slaughtered and 29 prescriptions for their voluntary slaughter have been issued. The remaining 23 settlements in the district will be checked by the end of the week," he said. also Dr. Chavdarov.

The African swine fever also came in the Lovech region. After studies of the killed wild boar, it was found to be sick with African swine fever. The pig was shot by the Hunting and Fishing Society, Apriltsi. The domestic pigs are not infected.

Owners voluntarily slaughter their domestic pigs so that they are not euthanized by the services.

Jean-Claude Juncker Won’t Attend the G7 Summit in France

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker won’t attend the G7 summit in France for health reasons, an EC spokeswoman said today, quoted by Reuters and BTA.

Commission spokesperson said Juncker had a successful and an urgent cholecystectomy over the weekend and doctors advised him not to take a trip.

“That surgery took place during the weekend and I can confirm that the surgery went well,” said Natasha Bertaud, the Commission’s deputy chief spokesperson.

Bertaud added that Juncker will discuss G7 issues before the Biarritz summit on Sunday and Monday with its host, Emmanuel Macron and European Council President Donald Tusk.

NIMH: Extreme Forest Fire Danger Index for 5 Bulgarian Regions

A warning for extreme fire danger is in place for five Bulgarian regions, the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (NIMH) said on its website, Focus Information Agency reported.

The warning includes the regions of Lovech, Veliko Tarnovo, Pleven, Dobrich and Pazardzhik. The extreme danger rating indicates possibility of fast-spreading fierce fires and occurrence of crown fires

Bulgaria - the Only EU Country in the World 20 Biggest CO2 Polluters Ranking

The Bulgarian thermal power plants near Galabovo and the industrial complex around Tuzla in Bosnia and Herzegovina generate highest pollution in Europe, the website Dnevnik announced, based on a Greenpeace report.  

Bulgaria is the world’s 19th biggest emitter of CO2. This country is the only EU member state in the world ranking of the 20 biggest polluters. It emits 350,000 tons of CO2 on an annual basis. All CO2 emissions come from coal thermal power plants, BNR reported.

More than 200 Bee Families Have Been Destroyed by the Spraying with Preparations in Varna

According to unofficial data from the association of beekeepers in Varna region, more than 200 bee families have been poisoned from the uncontrolled spraying with plant protection products.

Beekeepers are extremely concerned that they do not understand the large tenants who claim to have used selective varieties of plants that are self-pollinated and do not need bees.

The traditional bazaar of the producers of honey and bee products is held in Varna. Only about 10 are the producers who will offer their production at the entrance of the Sea Garden within 10 days.

The exhibition was organized by the Varna Regional Beekeeping Organization, Bulfoto announced.

Struma Highway Remains Closed for at Least a Month and a Half

The repair of the damaged area on the Struma motorway after Dupnitsa in the direction of “Kuala” will take up to 45 days. The finding is from a working group of the University of Architecture Construction and Geodesy, which examines fire damage on the pillars of the facility.

"The trials have begun. Basically, we have a task, as they say, to diagnose the patient, after which these test data will be provided to the designers of the bridge equipment, who will take their constructive measures to restore the design load capacity, reliability and durability, engineer Dimitar Nazarski, a member of the task force, told the BNR.

There are several columns on which concrete and, respectively, reinforcing steel, are more severely affected by the fire. Apparently the temperature has passed 800 degrees. Fortunately, this thermal effect is less in the bridge system of the bridge, but we will continue to investigate it. The problematic situation is strongly expressed in the columns towards “Kulata”. The others are in better condition. Whatever it is, as there are technological points and it has to be done with great precision and accuracy. My humble opinion is that the restoration of this bridge, which is heading towards “Kuala”, will take at least a month and a half, maybe even two." Nazarski said.

The specialist estimates that the traffic towards Sofia will be launched soon, “maybe within 2-3 weeks”.

For the First Time, a Jordanian Foreign Minister is Arriving in Bulgaria

At the invitation of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ekaterina Zaharieva, the Jordanian Foreign Minister arrives in Bulgaria for the first time, the Foreign Ministry said. Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Ayman Safadi will visit Bulgaria from 19 to 21 August.

Ekaterina Zaharieva will receive Minister Safadi at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on August 20, 2019 for a four-eyed conversation, followed by plenary talks between the two delegations.

The two ministers will sign a visa facilitation agreement for holders of diplomatic and service passports. Ekaterina Zaharieva and Ayman Al-Safadi will make a statement to the media.

Ekaterina Zaharieva was invited by Jordan Safadi to Jordan in December 2018. The two ministers have also met in various international forums in recent months - the European Union and the League of Arab States, at the Middle East Summit in Dublin, at the UN.

Jordan is a key partner of Bulgaria, the European Union and NATO in the Middle East region. The trade between Bulgaria and Jordan for the first 4 months of this year. amounts to $ 9.7 million, an increase of more than 21 percent over the same period in 2018. For 2018, bilateral trade amounts to $ 25.2 million.

A Major Breakdown Left All the Southern Quarters of Sofia Without Water

The halt will continue until 8:00 pm tonight. 

A major plumbing breakdown left all the southern quarters of Sofia without water. Due to the water supply problem in the Simeonovo Quarter, the districts Dragalevtsi, Malinova Dolina, Kinocentar, Boyana, Knyazhevo, Vladaya and Gorna Banya remain without water in the evening.

Full information:

Dragalevtsi quarter - from 14:00 to 20:00;

Malinova dolina - 2:30 pm to 8:00 pm;

Cinema Center Quarter - 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm;

Vladaya - the area between the railway line Sofia-Pernik, ''Leskovets'' Street, ''Voinishko vustananie'' Street, ''Lyubomir Milanov'' Street, ''Acad. P. Stainov ", ''Ravishte'' Str. - from 14:00 to 20:00 pm;

Priplat- from 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm;

Boyana quarter - from 16:30 to 20:30 pm;

Belovodski Road - from 17:00 to 21:00 pm;

Mala Koria - 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm;

Knyazhevo Quarter - the area between Panoramic Road, ''Prof. Derzhavin'', ''Tsar Boris III'' Blvd., ''Gen. Mikhail Kutuzov'', ''Karamfil'' Street, ''Boina Slava'' Street, ''Klek'' Street, ''Srebrista lipa'' Street and ''Byal Ravnets'' Street - from 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm;

Knyazhevo Quarter, the area between ''Tsar Boris Blvd''. III and ''Knyazhevska'' Street, Sofia - Pernik railway line and ''Vladaysko vustanie'' Street - from 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm;

Gorna Banya quarter - from 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm.

H.E Emma Hopkins: We Want the Bulgarians to Stay in the UK

On Sunday, the Sunday Times published a document saying the UK would be hit by "shortages of fuel, food and medicine if it left the European Union without an agreement and also threatened to disrupt ports and a hard border with Ireland." This is shown by documents of the British Government / so-called. Operation Yellowhammer.

Her Excellency Emma Hopkins, Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Bulgaria since 2015, commented to BNR forecasts published in the publication that talk about traffic delays under the English Channel due to customs checks, the return of the hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, fuels, etc.

"What the Sunday Times reports reflects the current work of the British Government on the issue of the agreement, and I must tell you that all aspects, not only of trade but of everything else, are treated very carefully and precisely. Of course, no one knows exactly what conditions will emerge, but we would like to prevent every possible bad result, because really what is needed is to consult both the business and the people on how to act. In addition, there is a need for secondary legislation to wrap everything in the right frame of mind. "

Ambassador Hopkins does not expect a twist on the subject of Brexit because of a poll made by the Independent shows that only 34% want Prime Minister Johnson to do Brexit without an agreement on October 31, and 49% call for either postponing or canceling Brexit altogether, or hold a new referendum on:

"Our government, now headed by Boris Johnson, has made it very clear that on October 31st we are leaving, leaving the European Union with or without a deal. Of course, it is preferable to leave it with a deal, but we think this is a question that has been going on for quite some time. "

On July 23, 140 years of diplomatic relations between Bulgaria and the United Kingdom have been completed. Asked if diplomatic history would matter about what would happen to the rights of Bulgarian citizens in Britain after Brexit, Ambassador Hopkins commented on Horizon's "Before All" program:

"We really have a deep and very rich relationship. I am pleased to say that we can contribute to strengthening, consolidating, deepening and enriching them, whether we are in Brussels or not. We want the Bulgarians to stay and we take this very seriously. We are currently working on a scheme that allows all Bulgarians who have benefited from this scheme to continue to use the situation. We want the Bulgarians to come because every year many of them who come make some contribution. We would like to continue this trend in 2020-2021. We are working very seriously with our Bulgarian colleagues (on the rights of British citizens in our country - BR) and they have introduced a legislation under which British citizens can enjoy of the same rights and the same situation. We are very pleased because this is a mutual agreement of mirror relations. "

The investigation into the poisoning of Emilian Gebrev, which announced in February that a British team is being included, is continuing, the ambassador said. Regarding the hacking attack on the NRA, she stated:

"One of the things we are dealing with is supporting every country to solve such problems from its own perspective. We fully rely on our Bulgarian colleagues. They can also fully rely on our assistance in terms of expertise and the opportunities with which we can assist them. Bulgaria is not the only country where infrastructure is threatened and we will do everything we can to help this threat not come out and, for example, threaten our citizens as well. "

The United Kingdom appreciates Bulgaria's response to the Skripal case, the diplomat said, pointing out that Sofia "very much supported the Hague Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. In order to continue in the same direction, we needed this support. Not to mention that Bulgaria also backed United Nations sanctions in the case of Russia. "

Prior to becoming Britain's first female ambassador to Sofia, H.E Emma Hopkins led the British government's campaign to end sexual violence in war zones. She commented on the first World Press Freedom Conference held in London recently:

"Our position is that freedom of the media is critical to democracy. This means that governments, individuals, and businesses must make an impact

August 19 - World Photography Day

August 19 marks the 179th anniversary of photography being recognized by the French Academy of Sciences and Fine Arts.

On August 19, 1839, the official presentation of the photographic process by Louis Dager was made to the French Academy of Sciences and Fine Arts. The French Government purchases the patent and immediately makes it public.

Photography entered the consumer market widely in 1901 with the introduction of well-known camera models, and in 1925 the first Leica camera with a 35mm black and white film appeared.

Photography is called the process of creating images of real objects using light. The term is derived from the Greek words phos (light) and grapho ("writing").

Attempts at "photography" date back to the time of Leonardo da Vinci, but the first successful photo was from 1826 and was the work of the French inventor Joseph Nisefort Niepce.

It exposed for 8 hours in bright sunlight and used a polished tin-lead plate for a photographic plaque.

In Bulgaria, art photography was recognized as an art in 1957. In 1959 regular and part-time photography training was opened in the then Technical Graphic School (National Vocational High School of Polygraphy and Photography).

The first preserved photograph of Bulgarians is from 1842-1843. The portrait was photographed in Vienna by the revivalist Todor Minkov with his mother. The photo was probably taken by Bulgarian Anastas Jovanovic, experts say.

The pioneer photographers who set up and popularize photographic art in Bulgaria are Anastas Jovanovic, Atanas Stoyanov, Toma Hitrov, Georgi Danchov and Georgi St. Georgiev.

Since 1993, photography began to be studied as a separate specialty in the Department of Film and Television Operations and Photography at the National Academy of Theater and Film Arts (NATFA).

The Iranian Tanker Grace 1 Left Gibraltar

Gibraltar has rejected a request by the United States to retain the oil-filled Iranian tanker Grace 1. So the ship was released to sail. He raised the Iranian flag, changed his name, and left Gibraltar. On Thursday, a court on British territory ruled that the ship should be released after commandos seized it in early July, leading to an international scandal.

The day after the decision, the United States has demanded another arrest of the oil-carrying tanker for more than $ 100 million. Gibraltar refused on the grounds that the United States' sanctions on Iran do not apply to the European Union. The release came after Tehran guaranteed that the oil won’t be shipped to Syria. This would be in breach of the European Union embargo.

We recall that according to CBS News, the ship was detained for over a month in Gibraltar for allegedly attempting to breach European Union sanctions on Syria.

Russian and Korean Company with Interest in Belene NPP, China's CNNC Is also Expected

According to Horizont, the Russian company Rosatom and the Korean Hydro Nuclear Company have submitted applications to the Belene NPP strategic investor selection process to date. China's CNNC is also expected to submit documents by the end of the day.

A desire to participate in the construction of the plant was stated by the French "Framatome” and the American "General Electric", and a Bulgarian company has asked to buy shares from the future project. The application deadline expires today.

In an interview for BNR, Bulatom's executive secretary Stanislav Georgiev commented that there would be no changes in the terms of the procedure and the state would not provide guarantees for the purchase of electricity:

"The procedure was announced a few months ago. It involves 9 stages, and this is only the first one. This is not a tender. The first stage is simply statements "I intend to participate.” In my opinion, all three potential investors you mentioned will be in the short list, heated discussions will be launched, bids will be requested and, depending on what is specifically offered in the bids that are yet to come, there will be relevant discussions somewhere in the third or fourth stage of the procedure. As you know, the procedure was announced to take a little over a year."

Turkey's Lake Tuz Turned Pink

Lake Tuz, Turkey's second-largest, has turned pink, turning into an impressive sight for tourists, Turkish private TV NTV reported, quoted by BTA.

The unusual colour is due to the Dunaliella salina micro-algae and Halobacteria. Algae produce beta-carotene red in the summer months when the weather is hotter and the salt level of the lake water rises to protect them from the harmful effects of the sun's rays. That  kills off a large portion of the plankton that eat the color-changing algae in the lake. The algae's population grows and causes the water to change to its bright red or pink color. This was stated by Christopher Gobler, a marine ecology research professor for Stony Brook University's School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences in Stony Brook, New York, for ABC News. The normal colour of the water is restored when cooler and rainier weather occurs.

Lake Tuz (translated from Turkish "salt") is located within the three districts of the country - Konya, Ankara and Aksaray.

The lake attracts the attention of local residents and foreign tourists with its exceptional natural beauty.

In the spring and summer, the area shelters migratory birds. The Lake is also known as the "flamingo paradise" because of the flamingo birds that fly and nest there.

A Woman Survives a 1.5-Kilometer Fall in Canada. Her Parachute Failed to Open

A woman in Canada has miraculously survived after plummeting more than 5,000 feet (1,500 meters) during a skydiving accident. The 30-year-old, who has not been named, fell into a wooded area after her main and backup parachutes failed to fully open in Trois-Rivières, Quebec, on August 10., Newsweek reported.

The incident took place in front of many people in Trois-Riviera, Quebec. The 30-year-old jumped but her parachute did not open. Then she tried to activate the backup parachute, but it didn't work either.

The woman crashed into the trees with at least 60 kilometers per hour, which still saved her life, Radio-Canada / CBC reported.

She is currently in a hospital, with several fractures, but her life is not in danger.

"It's a miracle!" "I don't know how a person can survive a fall from an airplane like that" a witness told Radio Canada/CBC.

The "Golden Girls" of Bulgaria with Gold Medals from the World Challenge Cup

The "Golden Girls" of Bulgaria won the title in the hoop qualification and two pairs of bats at the World Challenge Cup rhythmic gymnastics tournament in Minsk, Belarus.

Simona Dyankova, Madeleine Radukanova, Laura Traats, Stefani Kiryakova and Erika Zafirova all played well and received the highest score of 28,600. Belarus finished second with 28.450, while Ukraine finished third with 28.100.

The girls of the coaching tandem Vesela Dimitrova and Mihaela Mayevska also took bronze in the finals in the group five balls with 29.450. The ensemble of Russia received the same points, but it deserved the silver medal because of its higher performance rating of 8.75 versus 8.65 of the Bulgarians. Italy became the champion with 29.800.

Organic Agriculture in Bulgaria is Already Monitored with an Electronic Register

An electronic register for all those who produce, process, trade, store or import organic products will offer comprehensive monitoring of organic production in the country in accordance with EU regulations, the press center of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forests announced.

The registry will be active from Monday 19 August. Information on the identification of areas, animals, apiaries and aquaculture units will be introduced there. Certification and control contracts, certificates, and other data related to organic production will also be entered.

The operators and subcontractors included in the register will have to confirm the information entered into the electronic system within 10 calendar days of the submission of the data by the companies with the permission for exercising control over the conformity of organic production.

In order to fulfill their obligations related to the register, they will need to use a qualified electronic signature (QES) or a personal identification code (PIC) issued by the National Revenue Agency.

A PIC number can be issued at any NRA office.

Bomb Attempt in Kabul Kills at least 63, Injures over 180. There Are Women and Children among the Victims

A bloody bomb attempt killed dozens of people attending a wedding in Kabul. The bomb was detonated in the hall of the party. 63 people were killed and over 180 were injured. This is one of the bloodiest attacks in Afghanistan

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack. The explosive device was attached to the body of a suicide bomber.

The jihadists claimed responsibility through their Nashir news site. According to them, the attack was directed against a "gathering of On the IS-linked website it was said that a Pakistani IS fighter seeking martyrdom targeted a large Shiite gathering in Kabul.

The statement also claimed that after the suicide bombing, a car bomb was detonated in the attack but Afghan officials have not confirmed this, CBS News reported.

The attack comes just a day after the death of a prominent Taliban leader's brother.

"There are women and children among the injured," said Interior Ministry spokesman Narsat Rahimi, hours after the powerful explosion.

Iceland Honors the Loss of the First Glacier Due to Global Warming

Sunday in Iceland was a day to commemorate the loss of the first glacier due to global warming. Scientists warn that about 400 other glaciers on the island are threatened by the same fate. A bronze plaque was inscribed in memory of the glacier, which reads "Letter to the Future".

It aims to raise awareness of the effects of climate change. The rest of the inscription reads: "For the next 200 years, all our glaciers are expected to disappear as well. With this monument, we acknowledge that we know what is happening and what needs to be done. Only you know if we have done it."

According to scientists, Iceland loses 11 billion tons of ice annually.

UN: There Are 70 million Refugees Around the World

People are mostly fleeing wars, persecution and the consequences of global warming. 

The UN High Commissioner released a report saying that the world's refugees reached 70 million, a record number since World War II, the BNR reported.

People are mostly fleeing wars, persecution and the aftermath of global warming. The SOS Children's Settlements charity reports that 12,000 children were killed or injured in 2018. Thousands of children were abducted and recruited as child soldiers, and hundreds of thousands were seriously injured.

Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen have the highest number of killed and injured children.

Traffic on Bulgaria Blvd in Sofia is Restored

Traffic on "Bulgaria" Blvd in both directions will be restored this Monday, BGNES reported.

The renovation of one of the busiest boulevards in Sofia was completed this night. Sofia Mayor Yordanka Fandakova checked the readiness of the route.

The road will be set in two directions, but work will continue on the approach to ''Vitosha'' Blvd. The plan is to finish the work there by September 15.

About BGN 1.7 million is the cost of the repair and the money is from the municipal budget.

It will be decided on Tuesday whether the repairs to the boulevard will continue as part of the Southern Arc, in the direction of Boyana.

"Thank you very much for your patience. It was a difficult decision to repair Bulgaria Boulevard, but after considering the city's capabilities, we decided last year to start and work only in July and August, "said Yordanka Fandakova.

Mountain Rescuers were Looking for a Missing Person in Pirin

Mountain rescuers were searching for a lost person in the Pirin Mountain, the Bansko Regional Rescue Base (PSS) reported to the Bulgarian Red Cross (BRC).

The lost tourist in the Pirin was found in good health in the afternoon, BTA from the Mountain Rescue Service (PSS) in Bansko reported.

According to preliminary information, the tourist lost in the area of the hut "Malina". Mountain rescuers from Bansko with three dogs and a rescue team from Sandanski went out to look for him.

The Iron Church in Istanbul Flooded after the Torrential Rain

As a result of the torrential rain, water seeped through the belfry of the Iron Church "St. Stefan ”in Istanbul. This was announced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

According to Bulgaria’s Consulate General in Istanbul, the water reached the vestibule of the church but did not cause any damage. The interior of the church and the altar are not affected. Cleaning and drainage measures have been taken. Today, a construction company will go on site to assess the damage.

The torrential rain flooded many of the buildings in the neighbourhood around the Iron Church of “St. Stefan. "

Iran-Bulgaria Business Forum Slated for Late-August

An Iran-Bulgaria business forum is due to be held on August 24 in Tehran, the portal of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) said, reported Tehran Times

As reported, the event will be attended by senior officials and businessmen from both sides including Iranian Ambassador to Sofia, Seyed Mohammad Javad Rasouli.

In the forum which has been organized by the Iran-Bulgaria joint economic committee, the two countries’ private sectors will explore avenues of mutual cooperation and discuss expansion of trade ties.

As announced by the Iran-Bulgaria Joint Economic Committee, the Iranian businessmen attending the forum are representatives of companies active in a variety of areas including petrochemicals, plastic, building materials, glass and glass products, lighting industries, minerals, food, industrial cables, nuts and pharmaceuticals.

The Bulgarian companies participating in the event are also active in the fields of dairy products, crane and forklift, renewable energy, food industry, batteries, tobacco, agricultural machinery, industrial robots and switches, industrial washers, hydraulic pumps, PVC profiles and transformers.

Bulgarian Tol System Will Generate BGN 600 million Revenue Per Year

About BGN 600 million is expected as revenue from the TOL system. This was said by Professor Oleg Asenov of the National Toll Press Conference at the Research Construction Institute, BGNES reported.

,,The law says that by March 1, we have to start the payment system. The tariff we have set is the last tariff that was discussed at the public council, "Asenov said, adding that the first payment for the system had been made so far.

"The payment is 50% of the amount," the professor explained.

"As soon as we are ready, we will immediately start the interoperability procedure," he added, recalling that the new system would help carriers to analyze tariffs and freight rates. "For example, for a combined journey for 368 kilometers you pay BGN 73."

The Deadline For Submission of Applications For Belene NPP Expires

The deadline for submitting applications for the Belene NPP project expires. Today it will be clear who are the candidates for the construction of a second nuclear power plant in Bulgaria.

Bids are expected to be submitted by US General Electric, a Chinese, Korean and French company. Last week, Russia's Rosatom reaffirmed its desire to participate in the project.

Before BNT, Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova said she did not expect a reaction from the European Commission because of this. According to her, the realization of the idea of ??a second nuclear power is a guarantee for the energy security of the country. And the choice of a strategic investor for Belene NPP will be a fact within a year.

CCP with Tips on What to Do if an ATM “Swallows” our Card

The Commission for Consumer Protection  published tips on what to do if an ATM swallows our card. This may happen due to software, technical, and other issues with the device.

Here are some helpful consumer tips provided by Commission for Consumer Protection experts:

 · Failed to withdraw money from ATM? What to do?

 If the machine does not give you banknotes, the most important thing is to determine whether the transaction was reported or rejected as unsuccessful and the attempt to withdraw did not affect your account balance.

 · How do I know if a device has reported a failed transaction?

 Call as soon as possible in the call centre of the bank that issued your card, as soon as possible. The number is usually written on the back of your card.

 · What should I do if I cannot contact the bank?

 Visit your nearest branch and file an objection on the first working day.

 · What can we do if the withdraw from our account is  unauthorized?

 You must know that in this case too, we have a chance to recover the lost amounts. To this end, we should again address the bank with an objection to the problem that has arisen and obtain its opinion.

 · What is the bank's response time?

 By law, the bank is required to respond to your objection within 14 days of the date you filed it.

 · What is the next step?

 If the answer from your bank does not satisfy you, you can ask the Conciliation Committee for Payment Disputes, which functions with the Consumer Protection Commission.

Keep in mind that withdrawing money from ATMs at resorts, carries greater risks of theft. It is possible for skimming devices to be placed somewhere in order to copy data from your card and steal the pin. According to experts, these are also some of the most common plastic fraudS.

Be careful and obey all financial security rules, both for transactions of ATM and POS terminals and for card loss or theft, the Commission for Consumer Protection advises.

For the First time in 20 Years, the Israeli PM is Visiting Ukraine

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is on an official visit to Ukraine. He said he was traveling at the invitation of recently elected President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, and Israeli media reported that this is the first visit by Israeli Prime Minister in 20 years.

In a video posted on the YouTube platform, Netanyahu said the two leaders will discuss "the creation of a free trade area, a pension agreement and a number of other issues that will further enhance good relations between the two countries."

More than a million people from the former Soviet republics came to Israel after the fall of the Iron Curtain. They are currently about one-fifth of Israeli society.

Netanyahu plans to visit the Babi Yar Memorial, a concentration camp where over 30,000 Ukrainian Jews were killed.

Physical Stores Remain Fashionable in Sofia

The progressive development of online commerce globally has not significantly affected the demand for modern commercial properties in the capital in the first half of 2019. On the contrary, it has reached record levels on a half-year basis since 2015. The total utilized area for the period under review is 21,900 sq.m. This is stated in the latest report by Colliers International.

Particularly high activity in the opening of new stores was registered in specialized trading formats such as "big box". Following in the lead in this regard are the food chains Lidl, Billa, Kaufland; dm drugstores and furniture and home goods JYSK.

In the first half of 2019 alone, the Polish brand Pepco opened 9 sites in the country. Apart from it, other international brands - Zara Home, Fjällräven, J.Wargas, Steve Madden and Ximivogue have entered the Bulgarian market.

Contrary to the direction of demand development, the supply of modern retail space marked a slight decline during the period considered. The reason for this is the change of designation of part of the premises at Galaxy Trade Center from commercial to office. Thus, the volume of the offered commercial properties in Sofia for the six months became 390,660 sq.m.

The period is also characterized by another record. Blvd. Vitosha has reached its highest employment levels in the last five years - 99%. At the same time, the rent of tenants on Sofia's main shopping street is only 1%. Overall, this indicator is characterized by a decrease in values ??from 6% to 3%.

During the period there are no significant changes in the rental levels of the retail premises under consideration, which will remain valid in the next half year. The redevelopment of vacant hypermarkets at The Mall, Bulgaria Mall and Paradise Center has led to higher levels of employment and enrichment of the tenant mix.

With the completion of the process by the end of the year, these projects will achieve better market positioning and will offer new opportunities to expand the store network to a number of international and local retailers. The favorable development of the modern retail space market will continue to attract investor interest in this segment.

Ankara Has Repeatedly Disrupted Greek Airspace

Greek defense services were on alert over the weekend after a series of violations of Greek national airspace by Turkish aircraft.

On Friday, a Turkish surveillance aircraft CN-235 entered Greek airspace in the southeast Aegean region, violating the Athens Flight Information Region (FIR). The Turkish aircraft was seized by Greek military aircraft in accordance with international rules.

The invasion came a day after a number of airspace violations were reported during Greece's national holiday on 15 August.

Two Turkish warplanes committed three violations of the Athens airspace and 33 violations of the Greek airspace in the northeast, central and southeastern Aegean regions.

Sunny with Temperatures Between 29C to 34C

 It will be sunny today, with some light cloud in the afternoon in the mountainous areas, meteorologist Martin Slavchev of the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (NIMH)told Focus News Agency. 

There will be light wind, increasing to moderate in the east areas, blowing from the east. Temperatures from 29C to 34C. 
Atmospheric pressure is and will remain slightly higher than the average for August.

It will be sunny along the Black Sea coast, with moderate east wind and temperatures from 27C to 30C, the sea water temperature is 25-27C.

19 People Were Injured in Car Crashes for the Last 24 Hours

One person was killed and 19 were injured in crashes in the country last night. This was reported by the Ministry of Interior press centre. A total of 15 serious road accidents have occurred in the country.

There have been 26 reported mild and two serious crashes in Sofia, in which two people have been injured.

The Tourists in Pirin Have almost Doubled

The number of tourists visiting the chalets in the mountainous regions of Razlog and Bansko has almost doubled in the summer, BNT reports. According to the owners of chalets in Pirin, dozens of organized groups from England, Germany and Romania made reservations for the month of August in the mountain tourist complexes already 2 months ago.

The most preferred routes are in the area of ??Vihren hut. These include, for example, the road to Fish Lake, which is reached after a 3-hour hike, the Koncheto shelter, the Jamdzhiev rim and the Vihren peak. Since the beginning of the summer season, the Vihren hut has been full of tourists and the hikers have even provided extra sleeping bags and beds.

Amazon's Rekognition Suite Can Now Detect Emotions

Amazon's facial recognition experts have boasted a breakthrough - their artificial intelligence software can now read fear on your face says.

The detection costs $ 0.001 per image, and maybe less if you need to process over 1 million photos.

Amazon’s Rekognition is already being used by a variety of clients - both police departments and private companies. What the latter use such software is unclear, and Amazon refuses to share.

The Rekognition software recognizes a scale of 7 emotions - "happy", "sad", "angry", "surprised", "disgusted", "calm" and "confused". There is already an eighth one - "fear".

Rekognition can analyze live images, and send the emotion attributes to Redshift for periodic reporting on trends for each store location.

Rekognition explained explicitly that their service “is not a determination of the person’s internal emotional state and should not be used in such a way." 

However, some experts pointed out that, while there is scientific evidence suggesting there are correlations between facial expressions and emotions, the way people communicate major emotions varies across cultures and situations. Sometimes, similar types of facial movements can express more than one category of emotions, and so researchers have warned “it is not possible to confidently infer happiness from a smile, anger from a scowl, or sadness from a frown, as much of current technology tries to do when applying what are mistakenly believed to be scientific facts.”, CNBC reported.

Leaked Cross-Government Study Shows No-Deal Brexit Worst Case Scenario

If Britain leaves the EU without an agreement, it will suffer from a shortage of fuels, food and medicines, the Sunday Times reported, citing Operation Yellowhammer, the cross-government study of the impact of a no-deal Brexit.

The documents say Brexit without a deal means the risk of a crisis in the operation of the ports, a firm border with Ireland, an increase in social costs, the newspaper said.

The unprecedented leakage of documents produced by the British government reveals specific gaps in contingency planning that would occur in the worst-case scenario.

For an example, 85% of freighters crossing the English Channel "may be unprepared" for crossing French customs. This can lead to interruptions in the operation of ports. They are likely to last for up to three months - until the traffic flow is regulated.

The British government also believes that in the absence of an agreement with the European Union, the planned measures to avoid border crossings between Ireland and Northern Ireland will prove impossible to implement - this is likely to lead to a firm border.

According to BBC, quoting the dossier leaving the EU without a deal could lead to:

  • Fresh food becoming less available and prices rising
  • A hard Irish border after plans to avoid checks fail, sparking protests
  • Fuel becoming less available and 2,000 jobs being lost if the government sets petrol import tariffs to 0%, potentially causing two oil refineries to close
  • UK patients having to wait longer for medicines, including insulin and flu vaccines
  • A rise in public disorder and community tensions resulting from a shortage of food and drugs
  • Passengers being delayed at EU airports, Eurotunnel and Dover
  • Freight disruption at ports lasting up to three months, caused by customs checks, before traffic flow improves to 50-70% of the current rate
Final: The Case of the Omani State Fund Against Bulgaria over the CCB has been Completed

The case filed by the State Oman Reserve Fund against the Bulgarian state over the bankruptcy of Corporate Commercial Bank (CCB) has been finalized, the finance ministry said. The foreign fund, which was a shareholder in the bank, claimed compensation for the refusal of the Bulgarian authorities to try to save it. Back in the spring, the Omani gave up their claim. The Washington Arbitration Tribunal has now dismissed their claims and ordered Bulgaria to pay the costs.

For some € 80 million

The Omani side claimed compensation of 80 million euros. The lawsuit was filed in late 2015, ie. more than a year after the CCB bankruptcy, which closed in the summer of 2014, the Omani Fund held 30% of CCB's shares.

The lawsuit stated that Bulgaria had breached the mutual investment promotion agreement between the two countries. As early as October 2014, a consortium of investors, including the Omani Fund, made a proposal to rescue the bank. A month later, the Bulgarian National Bank withdrew the license of KTB and thus left no chance of it being saved.

In the case, the Bulgarian side has submitted two written submissions, the finance ministry reports, as well as expert opinions and other evidence. According to their message last year, the refusal of the Omani side means that no other case can be brought in the same case before any arbitration.

It is unjustified

From the very beginning of the case, the Bulgarian side insisted that Oman's claims were unfounded. In October 2015, Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov stated that our country has experience in such cases, has hired lawyers and is not worried.

"We are not worried about this lawsuit, we consider it unfounded - a bank shareholder in bankruptcy to have claims against the state because of the mismanagement of the company and the bankruptcy," Goranov said at the time.

Half of Bulgarians Like Local Pop Folk Music Chalga

Almost 50% of Bulgarians like chalga. This is indicated by the results of a Trend poll. 48% of the participants answered positively whether they liked pop folk music. 41% of the respondents are of the opposite opinion.

Only people over 70 seek the meaning and message of music first, according to the data. For 56% of the participants in the study, the most important are the melody, the rhythm and the instrumental.

In our country folk music is listened the most, it is clear from the survey. 26% of those surveyed said that. 21% say they listen mostly to pop folk, and fans of pop music are 19%. 14% of the respondents listen to rock.

At the same time, people say they listen to music most often at home, with radio and television being the main sources. People in Sofia go to concerts much more often, as there are more such options, according to the study.

China Wins Women's Doubles at ITTF World Tour in Bulgaria

China's pair Gu Yuting/Mu Zi claimed the women's doubles title on Saturday evening at the 2019 ITTF World Tour Asarel Bulgaria Open in the town of Panagyurishte.

In the final match, Gu/Mu smashed the Japanese duo of Miu Hirano/Saki Shibata 11-7, 11-6, 11-5.

Earlier on Saturday, Jun Mizutani/Mima Ito of Japan won the mixed doubles title, beating Ma Te/Wu Yang from China 11-8, 12-10, 9-11, 11-9 in the final.

In the men's doubles final on Saturday, Jeoung Youngsik/Lee Sangsu of South Korea beat Japan's Kazuhiro Yoshimura/Uda Yukiya 4-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-8.

The men's and women's singles semifinals and finals are scheduled for Sunday.

Bulgarian Police Seizes 76 kg of Cocaine Hidden Among Fruits

Bulgarian law enforcement officers in the port city of Burgas seized nearly 76 kg of cocaine hidden among fruits coming from Ecuador via Italy, authorities said, Trend reports citing Xinhua.

The illicit drug was found in a warehouse, packed in four boxes, the Ministry of Interior and national Prosecutor's Office said in a joint statement.

The boxes were part of a shipment consisting of 20,626 boxes with fruits, which arrived in Burgas on July 29, the statement said.

The drugs were wrapped in lead foil, which made it difficult to detect them, it said.

Authorities estimated that the value of the cocaine on the black market would exceed 2.83 million U.S. dollars.


The investigation is ongoing.

Changes in Traffic in Sofia from Today, See Where

Traffic in the capital is changing on Sunday, the Sofia Municipality reported.

From 18.08.2019 to 14.09.2019 the entry of road vehicles on the southbound lane of Iskarsko Shose Street into the section from Tushe Deliyanov Street to Iliya Beshkov Street is prohibited, two-way along the northbound lane of the street in the same section.

For the same period of time bus stops ? 10, 14 and 88 on Iskarsko Shose Street in the section from Tushe Deliyanov Street to Iliya Beshkov Street are shifted.

From 04.30 hours on 18.08.2019 to 24.00 hours on 23.08.2019. it is forbidden to enter road vehicles first on the southbound lane on Ljubljana Street in the section of its intersection with Ovcha Kupel Blvd. along the northbound lane on Ljubljana Street in the section of its junction with Ovcha Kupel Blvd., the traffic is made two-way along the southbound lane on the street in the same section.

From 04.30 hours on 19.08.2019 to 24.00 hours on 23.08.2019. a temporary bus line ? 11-TM is opened with a route: West Park (bus stop No 72 and 77), West Street, Suhodolska Street, Kuban Street, Resurrection Blvd, Nikola Mushanov Blvd. Ovcha Kupel Blvd., Tsar Boris III Blvd., Alexander S. Pushkin Street, Banner of Peace Square.

Buses will stop at all existing bus stops along the route. The route of tram line ? 11 from Iliyantsi quarter to Krasna Polyana depot is shortened.

International Reed Boat Expedition Departs from Bulgaria’s Varna

The purpose of the expedition is to prove Herodotus' information about trade contacts between ancient Egypt and peoples along the Black Sea coast during the prehistoric era, reports BNT. 

The boat ABORA 4 will travel 3,000 kilometres in the next 3 months.

The sail will be aboard a 12-metre reed boat, which the crew has been building in the summer in Beloslav Lake under the supervision of two Bolivians living near Lake Titicata.

It is believed that the tribe they belong to has preserved the technique of building reed boats since ancient times. However, their ancestors also created the reed boat by which world-famous marine explorer Tour Heyerdahl crossed the Atlantic 50 years ago.

On August 16, 12 people from different countries, including the Bulgarian historian Theodor Rokov from the Archaeological Museum in Varna, will get on the board of the boat from Varna. The route of the vessel is Varna - Istanbul - Canak Kale (Troy) - Aegean Islands and Crete Island.

Hopefully the explorers will successfully complete their voyage and return with new insights into our ancestors' contacts with Mediterranean civilizations.

US Millionaire Donates Money for the Restoration of Cultural Monuments in Veliko Tarnovo

A US millionaire from Texas has been donating money to the Bulgarian city of Veliko Tarnovo. Edmund Beck has been buying and renovating cultural monuments in the former capital of Bulgaria for over 10 years.

Hadji Nikoli Inn situated on Samavodska Charshia is the pride of the eighty five-year-old former military pilot and veteran of the Vietnam War. The building constructed by the celebrated Bulgarian master builder Kolio Fitcheto in 1858 for the Bulgarian merchant Hadji Nikoli, who fought for church independence, is now a national cultural monument.

The restoration of the first Bulgarian hotel built after the Liberation from the Ottoman Rule “Tsar Boris” has also begun. So far Edmund Beck has invested over EUR 2 million in restoration of emblematic buildings in Veliko Tarnovo, BNR reported.

Nine of the Wealthiest Businessmen Lost $ 18 Billion in a Day

The nine richest businessmen in the world lost about $ 18 billion together on Wednesday, Forbes said, citing real-time ratings.

The publication explained the sharp decline in their fortunes with the fall of US equities after the Dow Jones Index hit its biggest drop in 2019 on Wednesday.

The leader on the Forbes list is Jeff Bezos, who lost $ 3.5 billion. Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has split 3.2 billion, and LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault about 3 billion.

According to the newspaper, the decline in the shares did not affect the condition of only one businessman - former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

In early August, as the financial markets plummeted, the world's 500 richest businessmen lost nearly $ 118 billion. Then Bloomberg explained the sharp collapse in the straining of trade relations between China and the United States.

Extreme Fire Danger in Three Municipalities in Bulgaria

The highest red fire hazard code is in place for three municipalities today, according to NIMH.

The index is valid for territories in the districts of Blagoevgrad, Pazardzhik and Plovdiv. This degree of danger means that very strong fires with involvement of tree crowns are possible.

Citizens must be vigilant and ready to take action to protect themselves in the event of a rapidly developing fire. They are also required to report immediately to 112 for any outbreak occurring.

Turkish Holding Wants to Buy UK's Second Largest Steelmaker

Turkey's Ataer Holding is the most likely buyer of Britain's second largest steelmaker, British Steel, which went bankrupt in May this year, according to British media.

The holding, which is a subsidiary of Turkey's Oyak state military pension scheme, confirmed strong interest in the deal, announcing today that it is in the "exclusive" talks to acquire British Steel. The deal is valued at between £ 60m and £ 70m.

Ataer Holding already owns a 49.3% stake in Turkey's largest steelmaker Erdemir.

British Steel went bankrupt after failing to receive a £ 30m financial injection from the UK government.

US Military will Come to Bulgaria for Joint Training

Joint Bulgarian-American training with the participation of the Special Forces of the Bulgarian Army and the Army Air Force formed by the US Army in Europe will continue from August 19 to 25 in our country. This was reported by the Ministry of Defense's Public Relations Directorate.

Up to 250 troops from the 68th Special Forces Brigade with the necessary equipment and equipment will be involved in the preparation, and up to 30 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters from up to 5 US Army Air Forces in Europe will be in attendance.

Parachute jumps will be performed in the area of ??Cheshnegirovo Airport during the joint preparation. For the purpose of preparation, US Army Air Forces helicopters in Europe are expected to be deployed to our country from 17 to 19 August 2019.

The purpose of the joint Bulgarian-American training is to enhance the skills of the Special Operations Forces for performing parachute helicopter jumps and the interoperability between the forces involved and the means in performing joint tasks.

Every Fourth Flight from Bulgaria Departed with a Delay in July

Every fourth departure from Bulgaria's three busiest airports is delayed. This is evidenced by the results of the inspection by the Directorate General for Civil Aviation Administration (DGSA), which was assigned to it by Transport Minister Rosen Zhelyazkov late last month. It was reached after many flights were delayed since the beginning of the year. The audit aimed to find out whether European legislation on compensation and assistance to passengers for delayed and canceled flights is complied with.

The Transport Ministry said that extraordinary checks were made at the airports in Sofia, Varna, Burgas, and Plovdiv. Data were collected from all flights in July and two teams, including inspectors and passenger rights experts, participated in the audit.

Sofia is a leader in delayed flights

The inspection shows that there are no delays of departure planes exceeding 30 minutes for Plovdiv Airport. No irregularities were found there in respect of the rights of passengers. However, this was mainly due to the small number of flights - three times a week.

Sofia Airport is the leader in delays in July. Of the 4797 completed passenger flights, which include scheduled and charter flights, 28.8% did not depart on time. 23.8% of the delays are within 1 hour, 3.2% - within 1 to 2 hours, and 1.8% - over 2 hours. For more than two hours, European legislation provides for compensation for each passenger, depending on the distance to the endpoint of the flight.

In July 1276 flights were completed from Varna Airport, with registered delays over 2 hours leaving 3.6% of all flights. One to two-hour delays were reported for 7.13% of flights and between half and one hour for 8.3%.

During the same period, a total of 2484 flights were performed from the Bourgas airport, with registered delays over 2 hours leaving 4.38% of all flights. 6.72% of all departures were delayed between one and two hours, and 9.94% of all departures between half and one hour.

Thus, out of a total of 8557 flights from Sofia, Varna and Burgas 2154 are delayed, which makes 25% of all flights.

The reasons for the delays

"The main reasons for delays to and from airports to be inspected, including long delays, are route restrictions related to air traffic management capacity and adverse weather conditions," the inspection report said.

Other causes of delays include delays in previous flights, technical problems (defect found, sudden damage to aircraft, delayed refueling, etc.), waiting for transfer passengers, bird strikes, delayed baggage loading, delays due to security checks, late submission of flight documentation, etc.

It is underlined that record levels of traffic and record delays of over 18 million minutes were registered in Europe last summer, which was the "major problem in some parts of the European airspace". The biggest delays in Europe are reported at the control centers in Karlsruhe, Marseille, Reims, and Maastricht, all of which have an effect across the European air network.

Air traffic is expected to increase by about 3.5% in the coming years, which is why the Governing Body of the European Air Network has already taken steps to reduce delays, the transport ministry said. Air traffic flows from the airspace of the busiest control centers have been shifted since late April to reduce delays at the European level.

Is the airport staff doing well

The audit found that employees of all ground-based operators at Bulgarian airports servicing airlines under contracts they have concluded: "have shown a high level of knowledge of the procedures and actions to be taken by them in the event of a major flight delay".

Problems with airlines and airports

The transport ministry stressed that at the time of preparation of the report no flight information had been received from 10 Bulgarian and 19 foreign airlines, therefore the data collection and processing will continue. The data collected from Bulgarian airlines shows that not all have published information on passenger rights on their websites. None of them applied their internal rules for passenger irregularities to their response to the airline.

The checks found that, as a whole, check-ins and airport lounges had information available to guide passengers on how to get to know their rights. However, with the exception of Plovdiv Airport, visualization is not sufficient and brochures are not freely available in more public areas of the airports.

Not all check-ins have a clear and legible message in the visible and accessible passenger area containing the rights of passengers in the event of a canceled or delayed flight.

"This is a recurrent violation, to which remedial measures will be prescribed to eliminate it," the ministry said.

The Directorate-General for Civil Aviation Administration will continue to exert ex-post controls on air and ground operators to enforce European legislation and respect for passenger rights, the Transport Ministry said in a statement.

More than BGN 12 Million for the New Bulgarian State-owned Dam Company

The government has allocated more than BGN 12 million for the maintenance of the new state-owned Dams Management Company.

It is under the auspices of the Ministry of Economy and for this reason, the funds are being transferred to its budget, the government release said.

The money will go to support another state-owned structure that will spend money in a questionable way, as it is unclear what happens to the $ 500 million allocated for emergency repair of dangerous dams.

The funds of BGN 12 140 000 are needed for the resource provision of the dam activity - payment of personnel costs for employees, administrative expenses, as well as the purchase of fixed tangible and intangible assets, the statement said.

Neither the Council of Ministers nor the Ministry of Economy announces who is the director of the new state-owned enterprise, whether the 7-member board of directors has been appointed, as well as the other 156 employees in the headquarters in Sofia and in the 8 regional offices in Sofia, Blagoevgrad, Plovdiv, Haskovo, Burgas, Varna, Veliko Turnovo, and Vratsa.

The allocation is significantly higher than estimated. They indicated that their wages and salaries would go beyond BGN 8.8 million for 2019 and 2020. Others over BGN 8.3 million were pledged to purchase materials, clothing, office equipment, computer configurations, software, high-altitude cars, rental and repair of premises, for business trips in the country to bypass dams.

Google Street View is Updating the Map of Bulgaria

The changing infrastructure and outlook of Bulgaria will be reflected in the Google Maps application. Google cars will be circumnavigating the streets and roads of Bulgaria by the end of the summer to capture the changes, this time including footage taken by pedestrians, the so-called trackers, in the app, the company said.

Street View is a popular Google Maps feature that is currently available in more than 85 countries around the world, as well as parts of the Arctic and Antarctica. Thanks to it, users can view 360 ° images on different streets and cultural and national heritage. It is available on both Google Earth and the mobile version of Google Maps.

Google says they are aware of the need for constant map updates, which helps users to better navigate and facilitates travel planning.

The stunning views of the Rila Lakes and Belogradchik Rocks, historic monuments such as the Ancient Theater of Plovdiv and the Tsarevets Fortress, iconic buildings such as the Ivan Vazov National Theater and the Ethnographic Museum in Plovdiv are just a few of the landmarks already included in Google Maps. Walking through the sea garden of Burgas or to Cape Kaliakra is also one click away for those who want to travel online.

The Street View Trekker, with which new images from Bulgaria will be added, is a special backpack with photographic equipment whose cameras are mounted on top of it. The tracker is worn by an operator who walks around pedestrian zones and automatically collects photos along the way. The backpack operator is free to move around and shoot areas inaccessible to vehicles.

Shots from both cars and pedestrians are mounted in the 360-degree panorama you see today on Google Maps. So far, trekkers have toured some of the breathtaking natural landmarks such as the Grand Canyon, the Taj Mahal, Angkor Wat, and the Galapagos Islands, as well as historic hiking trails in Venice. This is part of Google Maps' efforts to make our cultural heritage accessible to all the world's landmarks and elements. Google street view has for years helped tourists plan their trip, visit various landmarks, and choose the right accommodation.

In Bulgaria, trackers will tour 15 cities: Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna, Burgas, Ruse, Stara Zagora, Pleven, Dobrich, Shumen, Haskovo, and Blagoevgrad, with Pernik, Sliven, Pazardzhik, and Yambol.

Prior to each publication, the images undergo a special technology processing process. People's faces and license plates are blurred so that they cannot be identified, thus protecting their privacy. Street View offers an additional image removal feature. Users can use the "Report a Problem" button in the bottom right corner of each image.

Second Quarter of 2019: Total Income Average per Household Member in Bulgaria was BGN 1,547

The total income average per household member in the second quarter of 2019 was 1,547 BGN, a 4.9% increase compared to the same period of 2018, the National Statistical Institute (NSI) said in a press release.
The highest relative share of income was from wages and salaries (57.8%), followed by income from pensions (27.6%) and self-employment (6.2%).
In nominal terms, the income from wages and salaries increased from 835 BGN to 894 BGN ( by 7.0%) and the income from pensions increased from BGN 413 to BGN 427 (by 3.4%). 
The total expenditure per household member in the second quarter of 2019 was BGN 1,402, a 5.3% increase compared to the same quarter of 2018.
The greatest share in the total expenditure was expenditure on food (31.4%), followed by housing (15.5%), taxes and social security contributions (14.2%) and transport and communications (11.7%).
In absolute values, the types of expenditure per household member changed as follows:
- Expenditure on food and soft drinks increased from BGN 419 to BGN 440 (by 5.0%).
- Expenditure on alcoholic beverages and cigarettes increased from BGN 59 to BGN 61 (by 4.4%).
- Expenditure on clothing and footwear decreased from BGN 44 to BGN 43 (by 3.2%).
- Expenditure on housing (water, electricity, heating, furnishing and home maintenance) increased from BGN 213 to BGN 217 (by 2.3%).
- Health care expenditures increased from BGN 77 to BGN 96 (by 25.0%).
- Transport and communication costs increased from BGN 161 to BGN 165 (by 2.5%).
- Expenditure on recreation, culture, and education increased from BGN 53 to BGN 57 (by 7.0%).
- Expenditures on taxes and social security increase from BGN 182 to BGN 200 (by 9.5%).

About BGN 600 Million Expected as Revenues from Toll System in Bulgaria

About BGN 600 million is expected as revenue from the toll system, Prof. Oleg Asenov of the National Toll Administration said at a press conference at the Research Institute of Construction, Focus News Agency reported.
"The law says that by March 1, we have to start the payment system. The tariff we set is the last tariff that was discussed at the public council meeting," Asenov said. 
He said the first payment for the system had been made, 50% of the total amount. He further said that the money that has been allocated so far is partly related to the contract itself and partly to direct expenses of the toll administration. 
"As soon as we are ready, we will immediately start the interoperability procedure," he said, adding that the new system would help haulers to make a tariff analysis. "For a combined journey of 368 km, they will pay 73 levs”, he said.

Greenhouse for Marijuana Discovered in Southern Bulgaria

A greenhouse growing marijuana has been discovered in Kostandovo, said the press office of the Ministry of the Interior
The greenhouse was discovered Thursday by officers of the Rakitovo police department in an operation supervised by the prosecutor's office. The officers raided a property owned by a 49-year-old man from Kostandovo. In the yard, they found a greenhouse equipped for marijuana growing. It had 35 plants at different stages of development, from 0.5 to 3.35 meters in height. The total weight of the uprooted plants was close to 59 kilograms. In the house, the officers found two plastic bags filled with a total of 380 g of dry leaves and flowers that tested positive for marijuana.
In an SUV owned by the man, 19 12-gauge shotgun shells were found, for which he did not have possession and storage license. 
The drugs and the ammunition were seized.
The man was detained in the custody of the Velingrad Police Department for 24 hours.
The investigation is ongoing.

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