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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.

China Has 843 Five-Star Hotels

At the end of 2018, there were a total of 10,249 star hotels in China, 843 of which are five-star hotels, according to a report by the country's Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Total revenue for star hotels exceeded 209 billion yuan ($ 30 billion) last year, with room sales and dining services accounting for 44.67 and 40.03 percent of total revenues, respectively. The sector employed more than 1 million people in 2018, and nearly 24 percent of star hotels are state-owned.

The report also said that last year there were 598 hotels with different stars in China's southern Guangdong province, most in the country. It is followed by Zhejiang Province with 548 and Shandong with 544 hotels.

Today Is the International Tolerance Day

On this day, November 16, we celebrate the International Tolerance Day.

In 1996, the UN General Assembly called on Member States to honour the date of the Day of Tolerance by spreading the idea of ??understanding among peoples through activities. 
On this date in 1995, the UNESCO Member States adopted the Declaration of Principles of Tolerance.

In 1995, to mark the United Nations Year for Tolerance and the 125th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, UNESCO created a prize for the promotion of tolerance and non-violence. The UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence rewards significant activities in the scientific, artistic, cultural or communication fields aimed at the promotion of a spirit of tolerance and non-violence.


5.3 Magnitude Earthquake Registered in Japan

An earthquake of magnitude 5.3 was recorded off the coast of Japan at 176 km. from Katsuura City, Tiba Prefecture, BGNES reported.

The quake struck at 05.51 Bulgarian time.

It was at a depth of 10 kilometers.

There is no information about victims, devastation, tsunami threat or injured people.

What are the Most Common Items People Forget to Pack for Vacation?

Tourists have shared the most common items they forget to pack for vacation.

Analysts of the company Ostrovok.ru. conducted a survey of over 1,500 social network users.

They could choose different answers to the question of what they most often forget to take while packing their luggage for vacation.

It turns out that a quarter (24%) of tourists leave their sunglasses at home.

Almost the same number (23%) of the respondents go on holiday, forgetting to put their medicines in their bags. One in five (18%) do not take their toothbrush and toothpaste, and the other 16% do not use bath accessories and cosmetics.

The necessary additions to mobile devices - chargers and headphones - garnered 14% of the vote.

About 12% of respondents forget slippers or umbrellas, while 6% of consumers leave money at home. About 4% of the respondents leave for a trip without a passport, the same amount - without a swimsuit.

The Rise in the Pork Price Has Accelerated China's Inflation

According to the National Statistical Office, in October the consumer price index in the country increased by 3.8% on an annual basis. At the same time, the growth is 0.8% more than last month.

In a comment, State Statistics Office spokesman said at a press conference yesterday that the change was mainly due to rising food prices. In November, they rose by 15.5%, contributing 80% to the growth of the index.

The State Statistics Office spokesman said the biggest increase was observed in the price of pork, which increased by 101.3% and affected the overall rise in the consumer price index. Local authorities are paying close attention to current problems in the pig sector and production is gradually recovering, the spokesman said, adding that the price will gradually stabilize.

BNR: Bulgaria to Have Possession of 1/5 of the Assets of LNG Terminal near Alexandroupolis

Within the frameworks of the 4th summit in Thessaloniki, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov met with the US Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt.

Boyko Borissov and Geoffrey Pyatt discussed the diversification of the sources and routes of natural gas supply to Bulgaria and Southeastern Europe as well as Bulgaria’s participation, as shareholder, in the construction of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal near Alexandroupolis in Greece. The Bulgarian side has decided to take part with 20 percent in the capital of the project company for the construction of the terminal. Bulgargaz is currently making an analysis of the quantities of liquefied natural gas it will book within the frameworks of the second binding phase of the market test, BNR reported.

MES to Make a Strategy for Higher Education

The Ministry of Education and Science is preparing a Strategy for Higher Education after 2020, which will try to reduce the absence of students at state universities, and most likely resort to the introduction of dual-level education in secondary education, Minister Krasimir Valchev explained during a round table "Higher Education in Bulgaria - Challenges and Solutions" organized by Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski".

If we want to have a better quality education and to acquire more knowledge and skills, students need to be more involved in the educational process, the Minister addressed the youth. I realize that not many students can combine learning with work, but there are other non-attendance forms. "We do checks at several universities that show that the average attendance at lectures at state universities is between 15-20%,” Valchev said, quoted by BGNES.

According to him, the main challenge for higher education is how to make it more competitive in an increasingly globalized education market, and stressed that more science and investing in young teachers should serve to make that happen. He also added that the education should serve for the development of society.

China Showed an Experiment Simulating a Landing on Mars

China on Thursday unveiled an experiment simulating the process of a probe hovering, avoiding obstacles and descending to land on Mars.

The experiment was held on a trial ground, the largest in Asia for test landing on extraterrestrial bodies, in Huailai County, north China's Hebei Province, Xinhuanet reported.

China plans to send the probe to Mars in 2020. At the moment, one of the biggest challenges is how to get the machine to land safely because the red planet’s gravity is about one-third that of Earth.

Ambassadors and diplomats from 19 countries, including France, Italy and Brazil, as well as representatives of the European Union, the African Union and the Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization, attended the experiment.

NSI: The Employment Rate for Population Aged 15 - 64 Achieved 71.4%

The activity rate for population aged 15 - 64 was 74.2%, by 1.7 percentage points higher compared to the third quarter of 2018.

The employment rate for population aged 15 - 64 increased by 2.6 percentage points from the same quarter of 2018 and achieved 71.4%.

The unemployment rate was 3.7%, by 1.3 percentage points lower compared to the third quarter of 2018.

There were 61.4 thousand discouraged persons aged 15 - 64, representing 5.3% of the economically inactive population in the same age group.


In the third quarter of 2019 there were 3 299.2 thousand employed persons aged 15 years and over, of whom 1 771.3 thousand men and 1 527.9 thousand women. The share of employed persons in the total population aged 15 years and over was 55.3% (61.9% for men and 49.2% for women).

In the third quarter of 2019, most employed persons - 2 079.2 thousand (63.0%) worked in the service sector, 989.8 thousand persons (30.0%) worked in the industry sector and 230.3 thousand persons (7.0%) worked in agriculture, forestry and fishing.

Of all employed persons 3.6% (118.3 thousand) were employers, 6.4% (210.1 thousand) were selfemployed persons without employees, 89.5% (2 953.3 thousand) were employees and 0.5% (17.5 thousand) were unpaid family workers. Of all employees 2 262.3 thousand persons (76.6%) worked in private sector while 690.9 thousand (23.4%) worked in public sector.

The number of employees with temporary job increased by 14.5% in comparison with the third quarter of 2018 and achieved 159.7 thousand, representing 5.4% of all employees. In the third quarter of 2019, the employment in specific age groups was as follows:

There were 3 194.1 thousand employed persons aged 15 - 64 years. The employment rate for the same age group was 71.4% (75.7% for men and 67.1% for women).

The employment rate for the age group 15 - 29 years was 44.1% (49.2% for men and 38.8% for women).

The employment rate for the age group 20 - 64 years was 76.3%, 80.9% and 71.7% for men and women respectively. This rate was by 2.8 percentage points higher than in the third quarter of 2018. It increased by 3.3 percentage points for men and by 2.4 percentage points for women.

There were 620.9 thousand employed persons aged 55 - 64 years, representing 65.1% of population in the same age group (70.1% of men and 60.4% of women). In comparison with the third quarter of 2018, the employment rate (55 - 64 years) went up by 3.4 percentage points. 

The results are published in a NSI press release.

A New Rise in Water Is Expected in Venice

Water levels are expected to rise to 150 centimeters in Venice today - a new peak at a critical level of 130 centimeters, TASS reported, citing authorities in the Italian city.

"The water level is expected to reach 150 cm by 11.20 (12.20 Bulgarian time)," a tweet said.

Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro urged residents and guests of the city not to go out if its not necessary. Water levels rose to 125 cm yesterday, BTA reported.

Italy's Civil Protection Service has announced the latest "red" climate threat in the Veneto region. There will be heavy thunderstorms in most of the country today. Schools in nearly 30 cities have been closed due to the expected new deterioration in weather.

Meteorologists have warned of snowfall in the Piedmont, Lombardy, Veneto and Trentino - Alto Adige regions. Up to 70 cm of snow cover is expected in places there.

Korneliya Ninova Met with United States Ambassador to Bulgaria Mrs. Herro Mustafa

BSP National Assembly Chairman Korneliya Ninova met with United States Ambassador to Bulgaria Mrs. Herro Mustafa at the party's headquarters, the party's press centr? reported.

During the meeting, which was attended by BSP Deputy Chairman Denitsa Zlateva, a number of issues were discussed related to the development of bilateral relations, the fight against corruption, the BSP's proposals for reform in the judicial system, control over the acts of the Prosecutor General and anti-corruption legislation, as well as the current political situation in the country and the region.

Korneliya Ninova congratulated Mrs. Mustafa for her appointment as Ambassador to Bulgaria and wished her a successful term of office.

More than a Tonne of Cocaine Was Found in a Banana Container in Italy

More than one tonne of cocaine was seized from a banana container at the port of Gioia Tauro in the southern Italian region of Calabria. This was announced by Italian carabinieri and the financial police, BTA reported.

The container was traveling from South America and had to reach Germany. The drug found in it, totaling 1.2 tonnes, could be sold for at least EUR 250 million. 

The narcotics were hidden in 144 packs in a refrigerated container designated to transport bananas, ANSA reported.

Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese congratulated the regional Mafia Directorate, Calabrian Carabinieri and local financial police agents for the action.

According to her, this is one of the largest quantities of cocaine seized in Italy.

Gioia Tauro is the largest cargo port in Italy and the 10th largest in Europe. Cocaine trafficking in the region is controlled by the Calabrian Mafia Ndrangheta, AFP noted.

President Radev: The Power of "The Bulgarian Christmas" Initiative Is to Unite our Society around Human Values

The charity initiative "The Bulgarian Christmas" shows that when there is a cause and dedicated people, even with minimal resources, a great effect can be achieved. This was stated by President Rumen Radev at a meeting with the partners of the donation campaign, which is being conducted under the auspices of the Head of State in aid of sick children.

The President thanked the donors who opened their hearts to the cause, the doctors who care for their young patients, the media partners for the campaign coverage, all the celebrities who supported the Bulgarian Christmas, as well as the team who performs a Christmas charity concert. "Thank you for taking Bulgarian Christmas as your cause. Let us not forget that nobility is a force, "Rumen Radev told campaign partners.

The president said that behind the campaign's fundraising data lies the huge moral dimension of the charity initiative, as well as its contribution to the long and complex treatment of children with serious illnesses. "The Bulgarian Christmas" shows that our society can unite around transient, universal human values, and that is the biggest strength of this initiative, said Rumen Radev.

The Head of State announced that a new, 17th edition of the initiative would be launched at the end of the month. "We will start the next campaign with the belief that there will be more rescued children, more baby smiles and more peace in many Bulgarian families," said Rumen Radev.

The meeting with the partners of the Bulgarian Christmas at the Central Military Club was attended by Vice President Iliana Iotova, wife of the Head of State Dessislava Radeva, representatives of the President's team.

Stoltenberg Thanked US President Donald Trump for his Commitment to NATO

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg thanked US President Donald Trump for his strong leadership and commitment to the Alliance in a meeting at the White House on Thursday (14 November 2019), NATO said in a statement on its website.

Mr. Stoltenberg highlighted rising defence investment across European Allies and Canada, amounting to more than $100 billion extra in recent years, adding that Allies are determined to keep up the momentum.

The NATO Secretary General stressed the importance of the Alliance in the fight against international terrorism, including its training missions in Afghanistan and Iraq. He congratulated the US President on the operation in Syria, which killed the leader of the Islamic State group Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

After meeting with Trump, Stoltenberg told reporters at the White House that he welcomed the decision by the US and Turkey to begin negotiations to find a way out of the situation with Russian-purchased S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems, TASS reported.

Stoltenberg also participated in a meeting of the coalition fighting the Islamic State group in Washington.

PM Borissov: Greece-Bulgaria Interconnector Pipeline Is of Strategic Importance for Ensuring Energy Security in the Region

Prime Minister Boyko Borissov has met with U.S. Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt on the sidelines of the 4th Thessaloniki Summit, the government press office reported.

The focus of the meeting was the diversification of natural gas supply sources and routes for Bulgaria and Southeast Europe. Prime Minister Borissov highlighted the progress made in the construction of the Greece-Bulgaria interconnector pipeline, which is of strategic importance for ensuring energy security in the region. The prime minister emphasised the delivery of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the Bulgarian market since the beginning of 2019 – 396 million cubic meter (mcm), including 182 mcm from the U.S.
Prime Minister Borissov and Ambassador Pyatt discussed Bulgaria's participation as a shareholder in the project to build a LNG terminal near Alexandroupolis, Greece.

Bulgaria has decided to participate with 20% in the capital of the project company. At present, Bulgargaz is analysing the LNG quantities it has to reserve in the second binding phase of the market test.
Prime Minister Borissov and Ambassador Pyatt expressed appreciation for Bulgaria and U.S.’ cooperation in the field of security and defence as NATO partners.

The United States Proposes North Korea to Resume Blocked Talks on Denuclearization

North Korea announced today that the US has proposed blocked talks on denuclearization to be resumed in December as North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's deadline for US President Donald Trump's government to propose a mutually acceptable deal to save talks is approaching. BGNES reported.

In a statement released by state media, North Korean envoy to the talks Kim Myong-gil did not give a clear answer on whether Pyongyang would accept US proposals.

“If the negotiated solution of issues is possible, we are ready to meet with the U.S. at any place and any time?,” Mr. Kim said. But he added that North Korea had “no willingness to have such negotiations” if the United States merely planned to stall, as ?he said Mr. Biegun’s team had done in Stockholm?, The New York Times reported. The diplomat said Pyongyang did not want to negotiate on minor issues, such as possible US proposals to declare a formal end to the 1950-1953 Korean War that ended with a ceasefire rather than a peace treaty or the establishment of bureaus for liaison between the parties.

Kim Yong Chol said he hoped the comments “reflected the intention” of Trump, calling them “part of positive efforts” on the U.S. side to “preserve” negotiations.

“However, if this ends up with our naive interpretation and the hostile provocation is committed eventually to incite us, we will be compelled to answer with shocking punishment that would be difficult for the U.S. to cope with,” he said, reported by the Japan Times.

Denuclearization talks have been blocked after the failure of the Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump summit in Vietnam, on which the United States refused to fulfil North Korean demands for a significant lift in sanctions in exchange for Pyongyang's partial renunciation of its nuclear potential, the AP recalls.

Last month, talks at a working level in Sweden failed because, according to Pyongyang, the "outdated position and approach" of the United States, the agency said.

The EU Is Launching a Lawsuit against the UK for Refusing to Nominate a Commissioner-Designate

The EU is launching a lawsuit against London for failing to nominate a commissioner, despite Brexit's delay holding Britain in the Union, BTA reported.

The European Commission, the EU's executive power, "has today sent a letter of formal notice to the United Kingdom for breaching its EU treaty obligations by not suggesting a candidate for the post of EU Commissioner," a statement said.

This move, known as an infringement procedure, is the start of a lengthy process involving several warnings, but it can ultimately lead to a judgment against the UK's highest court on enforcement.

Ursula von der Layen has twice written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, urging him to appoint a commissioner.

"We have written to the EU to confirm that pre-election guidance states the UK should not normally make nominations for international appointments during this period," a UK official said.

The former German defense minister hoped to head a 28-member team of senior officials from each of the EU member states in time for her commission to take office on December 1st. But London notified the EU on Wednesday, after a long delay, that it would not appoint a British member of its senior team before the December 12th parliamentary elections. 

Putin Hopes Trump Will Visit Moscow on May 9th

Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed hope that his US counterpart, Donald Trump, will visit Moscow next year for the May 9 Victory Day celebrations and said Russia is ready for talks with the US, BTA reported.

“The presence of the leader of a country which made a major contribution to the fight against Nazism at a ceremony marking the end of World War II, even amid a pre-election campaign, would be a right step,” Putin told reporters in Brasilia on Thursday on the sidelines of a summit of BRICS leaders from Russia, India, China, Brazil and South Africa, Bloomberg reported.

But he added that he has no plans to meet Trump at the moment.

Speaking about Syria, Putin acknowledged that the United States and Trump have contributed to the fight in Syria, but added that any observer can appreciate Russia's role, TASS reported. He also said that Russia did not consider the US military presence in Syria legitimate.

Putin also said that Russia has fulfilled its goals by launching an operation in Syria - namely to prevent a large number of trained and prepared combatants from entering the Russian territory.

The Russian president said there is still much work to be done in the Syrian province of Idlib.

The Head of State expressed hope that the Geneva peace process for Syria will be successful.

Speaking about Ukraine, Putin said that if the Ukrainian units return to the contact line, then the forces of Donbass will do the same.

More globally, Putin has called for a concerted effort by different countries around the world to fight terrorism because everyone is in danger.

He also suggested expanding the range of countries involved in arms control negotiations to include, in addition to Russia and the United States, China, as well as France and the United Kingdom.

Putin also said that deliveries of C-400 systems to India are going according to plan.

He told Bolivia that Russia was ready to cooperate with the authorities of that country, which would receive a mandate from the people.

For China, Putin is confident that the increase in trade between the two countries to $ 200 billion a year is realistic.

13.8 Million People Have Watched the Trump Impeachment Hearings

13.8 million people have watched the first day of public hearings on the impeachment investigation of US President Donald Trump, the Associated Press reported.

The Nielsen company said 10 different networks aired live or taped coverage of the hearing, which stretched nearly six hours on Wednesday. The Fox News channel was the most-watched television network, although presenters are constantly ironing out the investigation.

Nielsen reports that 2.9 million people watched the Fox News hearings, 2.69 million on the BBC (MSNBC), 2.01 million on the ABC (ABC), 1.97 million on the BBC ( CBS), 1.84 million CNN (CNN) and 1.68 million CNB (NBC).

By comparison, Brett Kavanaugh's hearing for his Supreme Court nomination following sexual misconduct allegations in September 2018 drew 20.4 million viewers in September 2018.

Congressional testimony by FBI Director James Comey (19.5 million) and former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen (13.8 million) also attracted more viewers than the first day of the Donald Trump impeachment hearing, the AP noted.

The Official Visit of Deputy Prime Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva to Angola Has Begun

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva arrived from Windhoek in Luanda. She will be on a two-day official visit to the Republic of Angola at the invitation of Foreign Minister Manuel Domingos Augusto, the first of its kind since 1989, the Foreign Ministry said.

The purpose of the visit is to restore and strengthen political contacts between the two countries, as well as to promote business contacts and investments of Bulgarian companies in Angola.

Bulgaria's foreign trade relations with the region are part of the common trade and EU development cooperation policy towards sub-Saharan Africa, in which Bulgaria is actively involved. Bulgaria's foreign economic relations with these countries should be stepped up, given the traditionally good ties with a number of them and in view of the region's growing role in world politics and economy, its enormous economic potential and natural resources.

The restoration of the tradition of Angolan citizens to study at Bulgarian universities is also expected to be discussed. According to MES information, 40 Angolan citizens are currently studying in Bulgaria.

The Angolan country is also interested in exploring training opportunities for their military in Bulgaria. In 2017, a delegation led by Lieutenant General Antonio Fernandez, Head of Angola Artillery, visited the Vasil Levski National Military University, and Angola's Deputy Minister of Fisheries Mrs. Maria Antonio Nelumba visited the Naval Academy "N. Vaptsarov" ” in Varna.

Deputy Prime Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva received an invitation to visit Angola during her first meeting with counterpart Manuel Domingos Augusto in Pretoria in 2018. At that time, in the Republic of South Africa, the EU Council Presidency Chairman, Zaharieva, co-chaired the EU Ministerial Committee against South Africa - the Community of Africa. (SADC).

The Bulgarian Foreign Minister also talks by phone with the Angolan Minister of Economy, who has completed his higher education at UNWE. With both ministers, Zaharieva discussed the possibilities for various forms of cooperation in the fields of security, cross-border crime, trafficking in human beings and weapons, as well as illegal migration.

5.2 Magnitude Earthquake Registered in Bali

An earthquake with a 5.2 magnitude on the Richter scale has been registered near the Indonesian island of Bali, the Euro-Mediterranean Seismological Centre reported.

The epicentre of the quake is located 68 kilometers northwest of Denpasar, the administrative centre of Bali. More than 800,000 people live in this city.

The quake was registered at a depth of 10 kilometers.

Information on possible casualties or damage was not received.

No tsunami alert has been issued.

Italy Announced a National State of Emergency due to the Catastrophic Flood in Venice

The Italian government announced a national state of emergency on Thursday evening due to the catastrophic flood in Venice, world agencies have reported.

Floodwater levels in Venice reached the highest level in more than 50 years, DW reported.

Yesterday, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte was in the affected city. Conte also tweeted that the Italian Cabinet approved €20 million ($22 million) to help the city recover from the floods.

Today in Venice, the weather is good again, and the 50,000 residents of the historic centre have used it to take their possessions and goods out and try to dry their homes and shops.

The floodwater level registered in the city today is 1.13 meters. On Tuesday night, at the peak of the flood, it was 1.87 meters.

A special commission for Venice will meet on November 26 to discuss how to tackle the city in general. Then there will be talk of a plan for cruise ships to bypass the historic centre and the mega-project MOSE designed to protect the Venice Lagoon from flooding.

Current flood damage is estimated at hundreds of millions of euros. Once the government declares a state of emergency, EUR 5,000 will be immediately paid to the injured individuals and EUR 20,000 to the injured legal entities.

Germany Approved a Law that Will Make Vaccination Mandatory

The German Bundestag has approved a law that will make measles vaccination mandatory in kindergartens and schools from March 1, 2020, DPA reported.

The offenders will be fined 2500 euros. Enrollment in kindergartens and schools will only be done with a document proving that the child has been vaccinated. In this case, non-vaccinated children who already attend kindergartens will be excluded, but this does not apply to students already attending school.

The deadline for submitting documents is 31 July 2021. 

Vaccination will be also mandatory for kindergarten staff and schools.

Evo Morales Wants the UN to Mediate the Conflict in Bolivia

Former Bolivian President Evo Morales said he would ask the UN and likely Pope Francis to participate as mediators in the Bolivian conflict.

Morales was interviewed by the AP in Mexico, where he received political asylum. He said he was still considered president because parliament did not vote on accepting or rejecting his resignation.

Morales said he received information that some Bolivian military members were planning a riot against officers who called for him to withdraw.

He resigned on Sunday after widespread protests over allegations of election fraud last month, after which Morales announced he won a fourth consecutive term.

November - the Most Depressing Month of the Year

The most gloomy and “depressing” month from the point of view of meteorologists is November — at this time of reduced atmospheric pressure and cyclonic activity occurs, which forms clouds, TASS reported.

This was stated by Roman Vilfand, the acting director of the Russian Meteorological and Meteorological Center. He explained that the prolonged lack of sunlight contributes to the onset of depression in humans.

He noted that November and the first half of December are the most cloudy periods of the year.

As a way to "prevent" the bad mood in November and early December, the meteorologist recommends spending more time with family and loved ones, as well as attending theater performances, exhibitions and concerts.

Australian Airline Qantas Breaks a World Record with a Direct Flight from London to Sydney

Australian airline Qantas set a record. The carrier's plane flew from London to Sydney without making any intermediate stops.

The flight was part of a research study on ways to minimize the negative effects of long flights for passengers and improve crew health. So the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner flew 17,800 kilometers in 19 hours, and 50 passengers on board saw a double sunrise.

For the purpose of the test flight, the aircraft carried as much fuel as possible, and no excess cargo on board except passengers and crew.

This is the second time in history that a civil airline has flown without a stop. In 1989, Qantas operated a cargo flight between London and Sydney, which lasted over 20 hours.

Last month, again, a Qantas plane successfully completed the world's longest direct civil aviation flight from New York to Sydney. The 16,200 km route was completed in 19 hours and 16 minutes.

Qantas named the effort “Project Sunrise” after the airline’s endurance flights during the second world war, The Guardian reported.

UN: Over 11 Million People Need Humanitarian Assistance

The UN reports that more than 11 million people in Syria need humanitarian assistance. This is more than half of the country's population. Humanitarian organizations manage to reach only about 5.5 million people a month, bTV reported.

In northern Syria, the United Nations supports 4 million people with cross-border supplies. The resolution allowing the cross-border operation expires in December. According to the UN, there is no alternative to these supplies and the resolution must therefore be renewed.

7.4-Magnitude Earthquake Was Registered in Indonesia, a Tsunami Warning Was Issued

A 7.4-magnitude earthquake struck 134 kilometers northwest of Malaku, Indonesia, according to the United States Geological Survey, quoted by the Independent.

The tremor was at a depth of 62km, USGS reported.

A tsunami warning was issued but it was lifted two hours later.

The quake struck between the Sulawesi and Halmahera islands.

"Most likely a tsunami won't hit the land, but we still need to be on alert," Rahmat Triyono, a senior official at BMKG told the local Kompas TV, DW reported.

Indonesia is situated on the 'Ring of Fire an area in the basin of the Pacific Ocean which is vulnerable to frequent earthquake and volcanic eruptions.

NIMH: Mostly Sunny with Maximum Temperatures of 16C to 21C.

The Bulgarian National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (NIMH) is forecasting sunny weather today. Before noon, some places in plains and valleys will see low clouds and fog.

It will be fairly calm, with maximum temperatures of 16C to 21C. Atmospheric pressure will rise and be close to the average for the month.

The UN to Reduce the “Overly Expensive" Price of Insulin

The World Health Organization has announced a scheme to reduce the "overly expensive" price of insulin, BNR reported, citing the BBC. The UN agency wants pharmaceutical companies to produce generic versions of the insulin that it will then test.

Since its discovery in 1923, in America, the price of insulin has risen from $ 1 per vial to about $ 300.

About 20 million people are suffering from type 1 diabetes and need regular insulin injections in order to live a normal life, according to WHO. 54 million people globally have type 2 diabetes and use insulin only in critical cases.

Once the generic version passes the safety tests, it will be introduced to the global market at a lower price, driving down the price of the drug.

The WHO has successfully implemented similar schemes in the past, most notably antiretroviral drugs in 2001.

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