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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.

SYRIAN CRISIS: The Kurds Have Struck a Deal with Damascus

New developments have complicated the situation in Syria. Kurdish officials have announced they have reached an agreement with Bashar al-Assad's government forces. The Syrian army marched north against Turkey's offensive in Kurdish-populated areas. This creates the risk of even greater conflict and direct clash between Syria and Turkey.

In confirmation of the announcement by the Kurds, trucks with Syrian soldiers headed north. According to information from the interior of Syria, parts of Assad have entered Manbij, Ain Issa and even the eastern city of Tel Tamer.

Syria's direct intervention comes after the Kurds were abandoned by their former allies, the Americans who used them in the fight against ISIL. Their commander said he did not trust Assad and the Russians, but had no choice in the Turkish offensive. The new alliance raises new concerns about the escalation of the conflict in a direct clash between Turkey and Syria.

The Turkish president has announced that the deal between the Kurds and the Damascus regime will not change anything and the offensive in Northeast Syria will continue as planned.

Turkey Rejects EU Decisions Regarding the Operation in Syria

Turkey's foreign ministry says it rejects and condemns European Union decisions to suspend arms exports to Turkey after the military operation in northeastern Syria and drilling operations in the eastern Mediterranean.

EU countries pledged on Monday to suspend arms exports to Turkey and agreed to draw up a list of economic sanctions against Turkish oil and gas drilling near Cyprus.

Ankara will seriously explore its cooperation with the EU in certain areas because of its "illegal and prejudiced" attitude, a foreign ministry statement said.

Elton John Calls Michael Jackson "Mentally Ill" and a "Disturbing Person to Be Around"

British singer Elton John calls Michael Jackson "mentally ill" in his new book and said it was "disturbing" to be around him, BTA reported.

72-year-old John first meets the future King of Pop in the early days of his career. The Rocketman singer does not hide that over time he began to worry about Jacko's condition, who died in 2009 at the age of 50.

In an excerpt from her new autobiography, “Me,” Elton John writes,"I’d known Michael since he was 13 or 14 ... He was just the most adorable kid you could imagine. But at some point in the intervening years, he started sequestering himself away from the world, and away from reality the way Elvis Presley did."

He goes on to say, "God knows what was going on in his head, and God knows what prescription drugs he was being pumped full of, but every time I saw him in his later years I came away thinking the poor guy had totally lost his marbles."

Then comes the big allegation, with Elton writing ... "I don’t mean that in the light-hearted way. He was genuinely mentally ill, a disturbing person to be around."

Elton John also remembers a case where he invited Michael Jackson to a party. John claims that Jackson left the party and was found playing with the housekeeper's son.

"For whatever reason, he couldn’t seem to cope with adult company at all." John wrote.

NSI: Average Annual Inflation Rate at 2,3% for September 2018 to September 2019

The National Statistics Institute on October 15 reported an increase in the prices of food and some services as at the end of September on an annual basis. On a monthly, there is a reduction.

The average annual inflation rate for the period is at 2.3%. This shows how much the Consumer Price Index has grown from September 2018 to September 2019.

While food and alcohol prices are rising, there is a sharp decline on a monthly basis in the prices of cultural entertainment, as well as clothing and footwear.

However, that the small basket of goods, which covers the most necessary for the poorest, shows an increase in prices compared to August.

BGN 86 Thousand Allocated for Archaeological Survey along the Europe Highway

The Road Infrastructure Agency has opened a tender process for selecting a contractor to carry out a rescue archaeological survey of a newly discovered archaeological site located at the 18th km along the Kalotina-Sofia ring road, the road agency said.

The deadline for submission is November 21, and the value of the public procurement is BGN 86 000 (VAT excluded).

The newly discovered object date as far back as ?ntiquity. Burned bones, fragments of earthenware and glass, as well as jewellery were discovered during the archaeological observation.

The archaeological site is along the route of the Dragoman-Slivnitsa section. Its construction began in May this year. The section is part of the Europe highway that will connect Sofia with Kalotina border checkpoint.

The investment is for BGN 117.3 million and is from the national budget. The deadline for completion of construction works is 2021.

PM Borissov Convenes Security Council due to the Situation in Syria

Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borissov has convened a meeting of the Security Council on October 15 in reference to the deteriorating situation in Syria, said the government press office. The consultative and coordinating body with the Council of Ministers will discuss the situation in northern Syria and the related regional and international security processes.

Last week, Prime Minister Borissov and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Krasimir Karakachanov declared that the state was ready for immediate action in case of a refugee stream.

"Bulgaria has perfect relations with Turkey. The pressure from the Turkish border is currently zero," Prime Minister Borissov said.

Typhoon Hagibis Death Toll Rises to 56

56 have already died in Japan as a result of typhoon Hagibis, according to DPA.

15 people are missing and over 200 are injured.

About 30,000 people in shelters.

Rescue and search activities are hampered by floods and landslides.

On Saturday, typhoon Hagibis  has invaded Japan, causing record rainfall over vast areas of the country. Meteorologists have warned of more rains as well as flooding and mudslides.

UK to End Free Movement of EU Citizens in 2021

Today, the British government said it will stop the free movement of EU citizens in 2021 as part of immigration reforms after Brexit, BTA reported.

Queen Elizabeth delivered s speech (written by government officials) in which she stated that ministers plan to block freedom of movement between the UK and the EU and replace it with a points system modelled on one used in Australia. EU citizens coming to the UK after January 2021 would lose their automatic right to settle in the country.

The proposals envisage that all 3.4 million EU citizens now living in the UK will be able to stay.

The plans depend on whether the UK will leave the EU with a deal - something that remains uncertain.

60% of Women in Europe Are Victims of Sexism at Work

60 percent of women in Europe have suffered abuse or sexual harassment in the workplace, according to a study in five countries. The French research group IFOP found that 21 percent had reported such cases in the last 12 months, and more than 40 percent of the victims are under the age of 30.

More than 10 percent of the 5,000 respondents - nine percent in France, 15 percent in Spain - said they were "forced into" unwanted sex by someone at work. The study authors said that figure "highlights the grey area that may exist around consent" when it can "be extorted in a context of subordination, intimidation or manipulation".

In addition, nine percent of women said they had at least once been "pressured" by a colleague to perform an "act of a sexual nature" such as sex in exchange for job or promotion. While about 18 percent say they have been touched inappropriately, such as a hand on the bottom, a forced hug or an unwanted kiss. The study was conducted in France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and Spain. It also found that sexual abuse which includes whistling, gestures, rude comments or leering, was the most common attack with 46 percent of women affected. The situation in Germany is quite "tough", as far as 56 percent of women are affected.

The study's authors say that "a very small minority of victims of workplace harassment manage to break the wall of silence" and speak out. Only 13 percent of women who have been inappropriately touched, and 16 percent of those who have been sexually abused, said they had talked to someone, such as a superior or a trade unionist, to resolve the issue. The IFOP study was conducted with an online questionnaire in April this year for the Fondation Jean Jaures think tank and the European Foundation for Progressive Studies (FEPS)

BGN 950 Wage - Still Unattainable for Bulgarian Nurses

At this stage, the demands of the nurses for starting salary of BGN 900-950 will not be satisfied. This was stated by Dr. Vasislav Petrov - Chairman of the Association of Regional Hospitals for BNR.

"We did an analysis in the regional hospitals again. In many of them, the funds currently being earned as clinical pathways and given by the Ministry of Health under Ordinance 3, ie activities not paid for by the Health Fund - the funds with what we have is not enough to raise wages of that size, "he said.

According to him, many of the Bulgarian hospitals give over 60-65% of the earned money for wages. Increasing the percentage of wages above these limits would already lead to instability of hospitals and they would collapse.

Veselina Gancheva, who is a representative of the Nurses Association, noted that there is not enough nurses and due to this fact they are working more, but for less money. Currently, one nurse is covering three vacant jobs.

"We are currently burying healthcare in Bulgaria," Veselina Gancheva concluded. According to her, Bulgaria's national security is in jeopardy, because within 1-2 years healthcare will collapse.

Boris Johnson: London Does not Support Turkish Operation in Syria

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that London cannot support Turkey's military operation  "Peace Spring" in Syria by offering him assistance in peace talks, TASS reported. This was announced by a spokesman for the British prime minister after a telephone conversation between Johnson and Erdogan.

He said Johnson was deeply concerned about the ongoing military operation in northern Syria, which he said could further aggravate the humanitarian situation there and undermine progress made in fighting the Islamic State.

Johnson said Turkey was an important partner for Britain and an ally in NATO, and noted Turkey's role in the fight against the Islamic State and its generosity in support of Syrian refugees. He stressed, however, that Britain could not support its military operation, and called on Erdogan to end it and to engage in a dialogue on a truce that the UK and international partners are ready to support.

Turkey launched operation "Peace Spring" in northern Syria on October 9, targeting Syrian Kurdish fighters from the People's Defense Forces, who according to Ankara, are affiliated with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party. The operation aims to create a buffer zone to serve as a buffer zone for the Turkish border.

Handelsblatt: Merkel Will Allow Huawei to Supply Components for the Entire German 5G Network

The German government has decided to allow Chinese technology giant Huawei to supply components for the entire German 5G network, business daily Handelsblatt reported today, citing informed sources.

The decision, taken after months of debate, is expected to be announced in the coming days.

The latest draft on security requirements for telecommunication networks does not include a clause restricting Huawei's market access, although it was initially discussed, BTA reported.

The Office of the Chancery did not allow a drastic revision of the document. Chancellor Angela Merkel fears straining relations with China, according to government sources, even though Berlin opposes warnings from the US government that Huawei is an uncontrollable risk, Handelsblatt notes.

Porsche and Boeing with a Flying Car Prototype

Aeronautical vehicle manufacturer Boeing and sports car company Porsche are working in partnership to create an autonomous flying vehicle suitable for urban transportation. Its innovative concept was officially unveiled on Thursday.

The flying car will be powered entirely by electricity, thus expected to solve one of the major problems of any metropolis - the need to reduce harmful emissions. Its prototype is capable to travel up to 80 km in a single charge and fits up to 4 persons. The first test flight was made in January this year. An analysis of the market and urban mobility is also to be carried out to determine the potential of such premium vehicles.

Airbus also participated in the urban airspace race, which earlier announced that it had partnered with Audi, another Volkswagen car group giant, to design a car capable of driving on asphalt but also flying.

Eating Healthy Reduces Anxiety and Improves People's Mood

Children often hear the same recommendation - "Eat your veggies to grow big and strong". Eating healthy can also make us happier, according to an Australian study cited by BTA.

It covered 76 students between the ages of 17 and 35 who did not eat well and had moderate to severe symptoms of depression. Several weeks later, participants who switched from unhealthy to healthy eating reported that they were less anxious and in a better mood. "There is evidence that eating a large amount of processed foods increases the risk of depression," said Head of Research Heather Francis, of Macquarie University in Sydney.

At the beginning of the study, all participants stated that they consumed processed foods, products containing sugar and saturated fat. Participants also said that the previous week they were moody, less able to enjoy pleasures and less motivated.

Half of them were encouraged to add fruits, vegetables, fish and olive oil to their diets and reduce their consumption of processed foods. The rest received no instructions and continued to adhere to their regular diet. Three weeks later, those who ate healthy, found themselves in a much better mood, were not depressed, and were less anxious than participants who had not changed their diet.

Bulgaria Is Taking Measures to Prevent Migrant Pressure

The fight against terrorism and radicalism in the Balkans and in Europe will be a major theme during the Aqaba Process which will be hosted by Bulgaria in 2020. This was made clear after Prime Minister Boyko Borissov's one-day visit to Jordan. According to Borissov, the war in Syria is a reason to pay more attention to migrant pressure.

You know about the Berlin process, it will be in Bulgaria, it concerns the Western Balkans, their integration. In 2015, the Aqaba process was created. The King of Jordan himself promotes it. His panels, topics are two: the fight against terrorism and the fight against radicalism. This is a process that is supported by Europe, the US, Australia, Japan, Canada, the UN. We decided to hold both forms in Sofia ?nd Bulgaria will be a host.”

"This is a process supported by Europe, the US, Canada, Australia, Japan and the UN. It is extremely important and vital on the agenda, because the war in Syria, in Libya, is simply extremely complicated. This war, which is in Syria -tens of thousands of fighters of the Islamic State and their families - we must be very prepared. At the UN, King Abdullah set Bulgaria as an example for a country with a Muslim population, and not a single Islamic fighter detected worldwide. This is due to the work of our special services, the prosecution, ” the Prime Minister commented.

Study: Even Small Amounts of Alcohol during Pregnancy Boosts Diabetes Risk for the Baby

Even low alcohol consumption during pregnancy can increase the risk of diabetes for the baby. This was determined by scientists at the University of Queensland, reported the Mirror newspaper and BTA.

No matter what the occasion - a wedding or birthday celebration, some pregnant women drink one or two glasses of champagne. While this may seem harmless at first glance, the results of a new study suggest the opposite.

The study mimicked 'special occasion drinking', such as a family barbeque or birthday party, where a pregnant mother might be encouraged to have one or two alcoholic drinks and tracked the effect on the offspring. The results showed that when the mother's blood alcohol concentration was even only 0.05 percent, her male offspring insulin levels were higher than normal and almost became diabetic as a result. Strangely enough, the effect was only observed in male offspring. Although the reason for this is unknown, scientists note that during pregnancy, the placenta may adapt differently to prenatal stress, depending on whether the fetus is male or female. This can affect growth and development.

However, new research will be needed to confirm that rodent findings also apply to humans.

Donald Trump: Kurds May Be Releasing Some ISIL Fighters

US President Donald Trump said today that Kurdish-led forces in Northeast Syria could release detained fighters from the ISIL group to force the US to return its troops to the area, BTA reported.

Turkey's operation in Syria has raised concerns that ISIL fighters detained by Kurdish-led US allies may flee and rebuild the group. It is claimed that many fighters have already escaped.

"Kurds may be releasing some to get us involved. Easily recaptured by Turkey or European Nations from where many came, but they should move quickly. Big sanctions on Turkey coming! Do people really think we should go to war with NATO Member Turkey? Never ending wars will end!"

We are not going into another war between people who have been fighting with each other for 200 years. Europe had a chance to get their ISIS prisoners, but didn’t want the cost. “Let the USA pay,” they said, Trump wrote in a tweet.

Erdogan: Foreign Media Misinform about the Military Operation in Syria

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan praised the US decision to withdraw from Syria. He noted that there was a discrepancy between the positions expressed by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and those of some Member States regarding Ankara's actions.

Erdogan told reporters that Turkey was ready to implement its decision regarding Manbij. 

“Terrorist organizations were supposed to be cleared from Manbij in 90 days. It’s been over a year, but Manbij is still not cleared of. Turkey will not enter Manbij if it gets cleared,” he said.

"Foreign media, as always, is seriously misinformed about Turkey's military operation in Syria,"

"They are always using the same tactic," the Turkish leader told a news conference in Istanbul before leaving for a meeting of Turkic countries in Baku. Erdogan added that he had informed German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the reality during his telephone conversations with them.

550 is the number of Kurdish fighters killed, Turkey's military ministry reported in its latest release.

Pupils at 53 schools in two southern Turkish border provinces are on a three-day vacation for security reasons.

The Turkish lira continues to slightly lose value against major currencies due to political uncertainty caused by the operation.

Syrian government forces have entered the city of Tell Tamer as part of an agreement reached with Kurdish forces. The city is located near Ras al-Ain and has been a Turkish army’s target since the start of the operation.

Bulgaria - Last in the Stem Cell Transplantation in the EU Ranking

Bulgaria ranks last in the European Union for stem cell transplants, Eurostat reported.

A total of 139 Bulgarians have undergone a similar type of transplant for the year. Only Romania, Malta and Slovenia rank after Bulgaria. No stem cell transplants have been performed in Malta and Slovenia.

With 19.8 stem cell transplants per 100 000 inhabitants, Luxembourg registered the highest rate among the EU Member States in 2017. It was followed by Germany (9.3), Italy (8.5), France (8.3), Sweden (8.1) and Lithuania (8.0).

At the opposite end of the scale, with no stem cell transplants in 2017, the lowest rates were recorded in Malta and Slovenia, followed by Romania (1.6), Bulgaria (2.0) and Cyprus (2.3).

More than Half a Million Bulgarians Are Going to Travel During Christmas and New Year Holidays

This is indicated by the statistics of the Institute for Analysis and Evaluation in Tourism.

More than half a million Bulgarians are expected to travel to celebrate the Christmas and New Year holidays. About 140,000 of them will welcome holidays outside Bulgaria, according to statistics from the Institute for Tourism Analyzes and Assessments.

The number of travelers traveling abroad is increasing every year, with neighboring countries such as Greece, Serbia and Macedonia preferred destinations.

There are also many Bulgarians who will welcome the holidays at longer distances such as Germany, Italy and Spain - countries with large Bulgarian diasporas.

By mid-October, most Bulgarians planned their holidays and made reservations. Statistics show that we usually bet on 4 and 5 star hotels. Package prices this year are about 11-12% higher.

"The organizers of these trips, whether it be head of family or business, have been making reservations since September. Around mid-October, everything worth it is already booked. Not only does it matter where you stay, but even the table at the restaurant. There is a difference between table 3 and table 23. That is why those who make the organization are in a hurry to take the best seats, ”commented Rumen Draganov of the Institute for Analysis and Evaluation in Tourism.

The New Concept For the Development of Industrial Zones Will Increase Investor Interest in Bulgaria

This was stated by the Minister of Economy during the Conference of Honorary Consuls of Bulgaria.

"We will be ready with the Industrial Zones Act very soon. Any investor who wants to come and do business in Bulgaria will be able to take advantage of it. " This was stated by the Minister of Economy Emil Karanikolov during the Conference of Honorary Consuls of the Republic of Bulgaria.

71 of the 75 Honorary Consuls representing our country in 45 countries participated in the forum.

The purpose of the conference is to review the activities of the Bulgarian Honorary Consuls abroad, to share good practices and to present current trends in the foreign policy, economy, trade and investment opportunities of Bulgaria.

During the forum, Minister Karanikolov recalled that at the end of October we are looking forward to the Brexit case with concern and hope.

"In the context of increased global uncertainty, the Ministry of Economy will continue to work to maintain economic and financial stability in the country, while taking active steps to achieve sustained high economic growth," he said.

Karanikolov: We are in talks with a large South Korean company for an investment of 1.5 billion euros

According to him, in the future the development of Bulgarian exports will remain strongly dependent on the recovery of the European economy. Under these conditions, a strong reorientation to third markets is likely to continue, which, unlike the European market, shows enviable growth. Since the beginning of the year, our total exports have reached record levels and amount to nearly BGN 38 billion.

The Minister of Economy pointed out that the latest data motivate to look for opportunities for export growth in the markets of the emerging economies, as well as to increase the market share of Bulgarian goods in countries that are our traditional trading partners and remain highly solvent.

In conclusion, Minister Karanikolov thanked the Honorary Consuls for presenting Bulgaria as a factor of stability and emphasized that they relied on their assistance in further expanding bilateral business relations and positioning Bulgaria as a preferred destination for investors

Queen Elizabeth II: Brexit on 31st October is UK Government Priority

The Queen's speech outlines the UK's legislative agenda.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson today outlined his government's priorities at a parliamentary pompous ceremony attended by the Queen, with Brexit at the top of the agenda.

The Queen's speech marks the first such address by a monarch since 21 June 2017. This year, the address outlines the UK's legislative agenda for the coming year. She announced in a speech to lawmakers a list of 26 new bills ranging from the implementation of the still unfinished divorce agreement with the EU to criminal sentencing and the environment.

"My government's priority has always been to ensure that the United Kingdom leaves the European Union on October 31," said 93-year-old Queen Elizabeth of the Gilded Throne, delivering a speech written by government officials. Speech is traditionally pronounced in the House of Lords.

"My government intends to work for a new partnership with the European Union based on free trade and friendly cooperation."

The scope of the policies outlined includes plans for an EU withdrawal bill with a deal that Johnson is still seeking to reach with Brussels ahead of the planned departure date at the end of the month. A few days of debate will follow the speech, the end of which will be the final formal vote to approve it.

The Conservative leader has repeatedly said Brexit is set to happen this month, more than three years after the British voted in a referendum in 2016 to leave the bloc after nearly five decades of membership. If it fails to reach a deal at the EU summit on Thursday and Friday, it risks asking Brussels to postpone it under a law designed to prevent a potentially harmful "no deal" exit.

40% of the Roads in Bulgaria are in Poor Condition

This is according to a report prepared by the State Agency for Road Traffic Safety.

About 40% of the roads in Bulgaria are in poor condition. This is according to a report prepared by the State Agency for Road Traffic Safety.

From the information presented, it is clear that the 19,500 km road network was built more than 20 years ago, which required the investment of financial resources for repairs.

It is also clear from the data that 25% of the Bulgarian roads are poorly paved, which puts road safety at risk.

Rosen Plevneliev: Northern Macedonia MUST Be in the EU, Macron is Wrong

,,I support the accession of Northern Macedonia and Albania to the European Union.'' This was stated by President Rosen Plevneliev. He opposed the actions of French President Emmanuel Macron, who is trying to block the start of talks on membership of both countries in the Union.

"I have always been opposed when EU Member States, in this case France, for internal political reasons block the enlargement of the Union and projects of common interest. We all know the importance of inviting northern Macedonia and Albania right now. At a time when there is a very strong geopolitical clash in the Balkans, the EU must show its strength and power'', Plevneliev comments.

He recalled that Bulgaria was also a victim of such a policy, but by the Netherlands.

Plevneliev urged France not to dependent to domestic battles and to consider a common rather than personal interest.

The Nobel Prize in Economics Awarded for Work on Poverty

Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer have won the Nobel Prize in Economics, the Royal Academy of Sciences said.

The trio was honored "for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty," the jury said.

"This year, the laureates introduced a new approach to delivering credible results from the best ways to tackle global poverty," a statement from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in a statement.

French  Esther Duflo of MIT becomes the second woman to receive this prestigious award. First in 2009 was American Elinor Ostrom for her analysis of economic governance: it showed that shared property, including resources, could be effectively managed by groups of people.

The prize was created by the Swedish State Bank in 1968 and does not count towards the top five prizes agreed to by Nobel in his will in 1895.

It is awarded annually by the Royal Academy of Sciences, with monetary compensation, as well as other premiums, of SEK 9 million (about $ 900,000).

The award is presented with the main prizes in Stockholm on December 10, the day of Alfred Nobel's death.

The Nobel Prize has been awarded since 1901 to the will of the industrialist and dynamic magnate Alfred Nobel. His quest to popularize the sciences and the advancement of humanity comes after his invention - dynamite used as a tool of war instead of his originally intended purpose of extraction.

The prize pool, about $ 900,000 in grants, is still largely funded by the wealth left behind.

Positive Reactions After the Premiere of a Bulgarian Sports Electric Car

A prototype of an electric sports car, developed by the Bulgarian company Theodosii Teodosiev, was presented in Sofia these days.

The prototype designer Kostadin Kostadinov told Radio Sofia how the idea for this project was born and how it became a reality. He also revealed many interesting details about the design process and his consultations with a well-known design specialist.

The base variant of the sports electric car will be 480 kW (644 hp) and 800 Nm of torque. This allows acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h in just 2.7 seconds, with team ambitions improving that time. More than 90 percent of the software that drives the car is written by the company's team, and more than 91 percent of the parts are also new.

The electric car will have three driving modes - normal, track mode, which will transmit telemetry data after driving, and environmental mode.

The Bulgarian Catholic Apostolic Exarchate Elevated into Eparchy

Pope Francis has elevated the Bulgarian Catholic Apostolic Exarchate of Sofia Diocese into Eparchy in Bulgaria assigning it the name of “Eparchy of Saint John XXIII of Sofia for Catholics of Byzantine-Slavic rite in Bulgaria”.

Monsignor Hristo Proykov has been appointed as the first bishop. The new eparchy was erected on October 11, the day on which the Catholic Church celebrates the liturgical feast of St. John XXIII. Angelo Roncalli, who was later to become Pope John XXIII, was a representative of the Catholic church in Bulgaria from 1925 to 1934.

Thanks to his assistance, in 1926 Rome established the Catholic Apostolic Exarchate with its seat in Sofia. Roncalli is known as the "Bulgarian Pope". He arrives in the country during a difficult period of history and started extensive humanitarian work,  BNR reported.

Ministry of the Interior: TISPOL Truck and Bus Operation Starting Today

A special Truck and Bus operation will be taking place from today, 14 October, to 20 October, in Bulgaria and all other member countries of the European Traffic Police Network TISPOL, said the Ministry of the Interior in a press release.

Officers of the Criminal and Economic Police, as well as employees of the Automobile Administration Executive Agency will also take part in the checks carried out in Bulgaria. Truck and bus control operations are on the TISPOL calendar as in serious road accidents involving such vehicles, the consequences are much more severe. Among the main causes of such accidents are failure to observe resting hours; speeding; use of alcohol, drugs and/or their analogues; transportation of unsecured cargo; vehicle overload.

Three Bulgarians Were Killed in a Shooting in Chicago

Three Bulgarians were shot dead in their home in Chicago while eating dinner. An American was also killed. A fifth wounded fights for his life in hospital. It is reported that The incident happened Saturday around 5:30 p.m. in the family's apartment on West Irving Park in Chicago. Authorities continue to gather information about what happened.

All of the victims are about 40-years-old and know the shooter, Chicago Sundays writes.

According to Chicago police, the killer is a 67-year-old construction worker who knew the victims. He has lived in the same apartment complex for 15 years. On Saturday night he left his apartment and went to his neighbours home. "When he walked into his neighbours' apartment, four people were having dinner. “For reasons we yet don’t know, he opened fire on all four of those individuals, killing them all,” First Deputy Supt. Anthony Riccio told the media.

“It definitely wasn’t random. He lives in the building; he’s lived there for 15 years. He knows all the victims, but he’s not talking,” Riccio said.

Unconfirmed information states that the shooter is suffering from a mental disorder.

Typhoon Hagibis Killed 35 People in Japan

Tens of thousands of rescuers are searching for survivors of the powerful Typhoon Hagibis, two days after the storm hit Japan. There are at least 35 death cases reported.

Hagibis caused heavy rains before it burst into full force, causing landslides, floods and overflows of rivers.

More than 110,000 rescuers, including 31,000 servicemen, worked through the night today, searching for survivors.

Local media claim that at least 35 people were killed, with the Kyodo news agency reporting that nearly 20 people have disappeared.

The government's Fire and Disaster Management Agency, which tends to be conservative in its counts, said late Sunday that 14 people died and 11 were missing as a result of Typhoon Hagibis, while 187 suffered injuries. It said 1,283 homes were flooded and 517 were damaged, partially or totally, AP reported yesterday.

Opinion: Turkish Operation in Syria

The Turkish operation aims to establish a security zone by pushing Kurds out of those areas. However, the Kurds have concluded an agreement with Bashar Assad's army for joint action against the Turkish army. This was commented on by Yordan Bozhilov, chairman of the Sofia Security Forum, on BNT.

According to Bozhilov, this can turn into a conflict that will have consequences not only for the region but for the whole world. The operation will also have negative consequences for Turkey.

Syrian refugees currently in Turkey are expected to be displaced in Northeast Syria. This is similar to ethnic cleansing, those territories where hostilities take place are not deserted, they are inhabited, Bozhilov said.

According to him, there are hundreds, even thousands, of Islamic State fighters in the conflict zone. Now they can start terrorist acts again.

Bulgaria to Propose EU Assistance to Refugees in Jordan

Bulgaria will host the Aqaba process in 2020.

This was agreed by Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and Jordan's King Abdullah II during Borissov's visit to Amman. The Aqaba Process was created in 2015 by the King of Jordan to strengthen international and regional cooperation against the dangers of terrorism, radicalization and violent extremism.

The forum will be hosted together with the Berlin Process, which will also be here next year. Bulgaria will propose to the Brussels European Council this week that the EU help Jordan, which has housed 1,500,000 Syrian refugees so far.

Boyko Borissov, Prime Minister: You know about the Berlin process, it will be in Bulgaria, it concerns the Western Balkans, their integration. In 2015, the Aqaba process was created. The King of Jordan himself promotes it. His panels, topics are two: the fight against terrorism and the fight against radicalism. This is a process that is supported by Europe, the US, Australia, Japan, Canada, the UN. We decided to hold both forms in Sofia ?nd Bulgaria will be a host.

Poland's Ruling Party Wins the Parliamentary Elections

Poland's ruling Conservative Nationalist Law and Justice Party wins the parliamentary elections held yesterday.

Exit polls suggest that governing is likely to retain an absolute majority. Justice and Justice Jaroslaw Kaczynski received 43.6 percent of the vote and 239 seats in the 460-seat lower house of parliament.

The main opposition force, the Civic Coalition, came in second with 27.4 percent of the vote, followed by the Union of the Democratic Left with 11.9 percent.

Turnout was 61.1 percent - the highest since 1989.

Mostly Sunny Today, with Temperatures From 23C to 28C

 It will be mostly sunny today. In the morning, in some places in the eastern areas and lowlands there short fog or low layered clouds expected, meteorologist Krasimir Stoev of the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (NIMH) told Focus News Agency.

It will stay warm with maximum temperatures between 23C and 28C. Atmospheric pressure is higher than the average in October; it will drop slightly.


Bulgarian Orthodox Christians Celebrate Petkovden

The Bulgarian Orthodox Church celebrates Petkovden on Monday, October 14, a day that marks the beginning of the winter in the country.

On this day, the Bulgarian Christian-Orthodox honor Saint Petka-Paraskeva Tarnovska. October 14 in Bulgaria is commonly known as Petkovden.

Reverend Petka was born near the Sea of Marmara in the 11th century. After leading a 'godly life' St. Petka's relics, which allegedly have a curative effect, became a symbol of the struggle to preserve Christian culture from Islamic assimilation.

Bulgarian Tsar Ivan Assen II took her relics to Veliko Tarnovo, where he kept them until his capture. After many travels the relics are now resting in the Romanian city of Iasi.

Petkovden is considered to be the end the summer and autumn, and thus the beginning of winter holidays. On this day offerings are traditionally made for health and fertility. Pitkas (Bulgarian flat bread) with honey and boiled lamb are usually served.

Prime Minister Boyko Borissov on a Working Visit in Jordan

Prime Minister Boyko Borissov arrives in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

The visit was at the invitation of King Abdullah Second bin al-Hussein.

In Amman, Prime Minister Borissov was greeted by Jordan's Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Sami Dawood.

During the visit, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov will meet with King Abdullah II and Prime Minister Omar Razaz. The focus of the talks will be to enhance political dialogue at the highest level and to look for new opportunities for expanding contacts in areas of mutual interest.

California Bans Leather and Fur Products

California’s governor Gavin Newsom has signed a ban on the manufacture of genuine leather and fur goods that are sold and distributed in the state, the AP reports.

The new law will enter into force on January 1, 2023.

The fur ban doesn’t apply to used products or those used for religious or tribal purposes. And it excludes the sale of leather, dog and cat fur, cowhides, deer, sheep and goat skin and anything preserved through taxidermy, AP reported.

“Today is a historic day for animals in California, including those who have been whipped into performing in circuses, or skinned alive for their fur or skin,” PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman said in a statement, reported by AP.

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