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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.

World Day of Snowman

The snowman is the beloved symbol for the winter. He is one of the most popular figures worldwide. Wherever people know snow they know also snow formed figures and figurines. The snowman is apolitical and has no religious background. Two of many reasons to enjoy high sympathies everywhere.

Anyhow he himself belongs to threatened species. Due to his short lifespan the snowman symbolizes fugacity. Nowadays the global warming i.e. in Central Europe results that the snowman becomes rather rare. Less snow is falling. Snow is melting much faster, is remaining for short periods only. Often that short that time isn’t sufficient for construction of a snowman.

The Worldday of Snowman represents both aspects: On one side the snowman as a symbol for dangers impending him and us, especially by climate changes. On the other side the snowman as a leitmotif for friendliness and sympathy.

Obviously, this world day must be timed to the winter. It shouldn’t be too close to other holidays and celebrations like Christmas, New Year, carnival or Easter. Also the date may not be used for any other important event. And of course, a chance of snow must exist. Finally the date of the worldday has to noticed and remembered easily.

Is there a better number than 18 or 81 to stylise a snowman? Figure 8 looks like a snowman, figure 1 like his stick or broom. Date 81 isn’t possible, so 18 is the best choice.


Source: worlddayofsnowman.com

Varicella Boom throughout Bulgaria

More than 2,000 cases of varicella have been registered since the beginning of the year, NOVA reports. This is what health authorities say.

Human alphaherpesvirus 3, usually referred to as the varicella-zoster virus, is one of eight herpesviruses known to infect humans. It causes chickenpox, a disease most commonly affecting children, teens, and young adults, and shingles in adults; shingles is rare in children.

Italy Declared March 25 as Dante Alighieri National Day

The Italian government has set up a Dante Alighieri National Day or or “Dantedì” which will be celebrated annually on March 25, Italian media reported.

The decision was adopted by the Council of Ministers on the proposal of the Minister of Culture, Dario Franceschini.

According to Minister Franceschini, Dantedì will be “a day to remember in all of Italy and the world Dante’s genius with numerous initiatives involving schools, students, and cultural institutions.”

2021 will mark the 700-year anniversary of the death of poet Dante Alighieri.

Prosecutor's Office Launched an Investigation into Bobov Dol Thermal Power Plant

The District Prosecutor's Office in the town of Dupnitsa on January 17 launched an investigation into Bobov Dol Thermal Power Plant (TPP) for crimes against public health and the environment. Pre-trial proceedings for a commited crime have been initiated, BNT reported.

The alert was reported by the National and Economic Police, the Regional Directorate of the Ministry of Interior in Kyustendil, as well as representatives of the Regional Inspectorate for Protection of the Environment in Pernik.

It is believed that the TPP stores and burns hazardous waste without having the relevant permits. In turn, this could lead to possible environmental pollution and create a risk to human, animal health and plants.

The competent authorities have carried out an on-site inspection, collected numerous material evidence, witnesses have been questioned, written documents for the activities of the plant have been requested.

Three mobile laboratories are on site and conducting air tests.

Kozloduy NPP will be Mmodernized by The American Westinghouse Electric Company

The American Westinghouse Electric Company has signed a contract for the modernization of Kozloduy nuclear power plant.

Westinghouse announced it would upgrade the current information and control systems of reactors 5 and 6 to the latest standards so they may operate for a further 30 years, until 2049. This will ensure better competitiveness and efficiency in the way the reactors function, BNR reported.

The digitalization and modernization of the operating nuclear fleet is a key part of our client's long-term operations and a strategic priority for Westinghouse, said Tarik Choho, president of Westinghouse's Europe, Middle East and Africa operating plant services business unit. He added that the company has been working with Kozloduy NPP for over 15 years.

The contract signed is for the sum of EUR 32 million. 

Why Are Statistics Important?

 

If you’re considering what you might like to study at college, or you’re thinking of changing career later in life, and you want to achieve some additional qualifications to make this change easier, then it’s advantageous to learnmore about the courses available to you.

If you’re not sure of which career to begin, then it’s best to choose a well-rounded subject to open up a wide amount of opportunities, and statistics is one of these topics.

It may not seem like something that will have numerous applications, but read on to see what just some of the areas statistics can be used in are.

Weather Forecasts

Those who are able to determine the weather and what it is most likely going to do in the upcoming days are not able to see into the future, they are using statistics to give the best guess as to what is going to happen.

In the past, weather forecasts were much more difficult to determine, and could often be wrong, but thanks to weather models and computer programs that use statistics at their core, weather forecasting is much more accurate, and is getting better all the time. If you think that understanding more about what the weather is going to do sounds interesting and you want to be able to predict it in your career, then a Masters in Statistics could be very useful indeed.

Preparing For Emergencies

It’s all very well and good determining what the weather is going to do, and to say that there is a hurricane coming or that floods are likely, but you will also need to know what to do when bad weather is on its way. Again, statistics can play a part in this, and in preparing for emergencies in general.

Statistics can help to determine where the worst of the problem is going to be, no matter what it is, and in this way organizers can ensure that there are enough emergency responders in the correct places in order to help as many people as possible, and to mitigate the destruction that a disaster can wreak.

Predicting Disease

If you read a newspaper or a news story online or on TV, you might notice that statistics are often reported when it comes to diseases. This can help people to take the right measures to prevent the disease from spreading.

Knowing how many people currently have the disease is one thing, but it’s not overly helpful. Knowing how the disease spreads and how many people it is likely to affect (and who they are) is something much more useful, and it is down to statistics that this can happen.

An example would be lung cancer. Knowing what percentage of lung cancer develops from cigarette smoking will show how likely it is that a smoker will develop lung cancer (dependent on how long they have been smoking, and how much they smoke).

Genetics

Some diseases are genetic, and statistics can help to determine how likely it is that someone related to another person who is suffering from a genetic disease will develop it themselves. They can also see whether it is likely that they could pass this disease on to their children.

This is hugely important, and if the disease is a fatal one, or one that will cause severe disabilities, the decision to have children at all could be affected by this information. Statistics can uncover the truth and give people the information they need to make their own decisions.

Political Campaigning

Even political campaigns can benefit from using the right set of statistics, and if you are interested in a political career, understanding those statistics is always going to be a useful skill to have.

Whenever there is an election happening, predictions will be shown (often on the news, but also on social media in various pages). These predictions are created using statistics. As well as this, statistics can provide invaluable information to the people running for office. If they can determine who is most likely to vote for them, they will be able to run their election campaign focusing on those people, ensuring the vote.

Alternatively, they can look to the sets of people who wouldn’t normally vote for them, and try to change their mind.

Insurance

Everyone will need to have some kind of insurance. It might be for a car, for a home, vacation insurance, or perhaps life insurance. Whatever type or types of insurance you might need, statistics will play a part, and will determine what rate you have to pay.

The insurance company will look into the likelihood of you claiming, and will set your premiums accordingly.

 

Code Yellow Warning for Fog has been Issued for 20 Bulgarian Regions Today

A Code Yellow warning for fog has been issued for 20 Bulgarian regions today, 17 January, according to the website of the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (NIMH).

The warning is in place for the regions of Vidin, Montana, Vratsa, Pleven, Lovech, Gabrovo, Veliko Tarnovo, Targovishte, Ruse, Razgrad, Silistra, Dobrich, Sofia district and city, Pernik, Kyustendil, Blagoevgrad, Pazardzhik, Plovdiv and Stara Zagora.

BNR: Prosecutor’s Office Investigates Gathering of European Extremists in Sofia

The prosecutor’s office is launching an investigation of the Bulgarian National Union. The union is organizer of Lukov March which takes place on 22 February, an event banned by order of Sofia mayor Yordanka Fandakova.

The investigation will look for evidence that a general crime has been committed and whether the event complies with the requirements of the Political Parties Act, BNR reported

Lukov March is a torch procession commemorating General Hristo Lukov, leader of one of the fascist organizations in Bulgaria in the years of World War II. The general is a highly controversial figure and the commemorative procession has, in recent years, been bringing together, in Sofia, neo-Nazis from all over Europe. Bulgarian NGOs and world media describe it as a far right extremist event

"Beverages and Tobacco" Sector Recorded the Largest Increase in the Exports of Bulgaria to the EU

In the period January - October 2019 Bulgarian exports to the EU grew by 3.4% in comparison with the same period of 2018 and amounted to 32 681.1 Million BGN. Main trade partners of Bulgaria were Germany, Romania, Italy, Greece, France and Belgium which accounted for 66.2% of the exports to the EU Member States . In October 2019 the exports to the EU increased by 4.8% compared to the corresponding month of the previous year and amounted to 3 632.0 Million BGN, the National Statistical Institute reported.

In the period January - October 2019 in comparison to the corresponding period of the previous year the largest percentage increase in the exports of Bulgaria to the EU distributed according to the Standard International Trade Classification was recorded in the section ‘Beverages and tobacco’ (10.3%). The most notable decrease was observed in the section ‘Manufactured goods classified chiefly by material’2 (5.0%).

Bulgarian imports from the EU in the period January - October 2019 increased by 2.6% compared to same period of 2018 and reached 34 112.7 Million BGN (at CIF prices)1. The largest amounts were reported for the goods imported from Germany, Italy, Romania, Greece and Spain. In October 2019 the Bulgarian imports from the EU Member States increased by 6.2% compared to the corresponding month of the previous year and amounted to 3 903.0 Million BGN.

In the period January - October 2019 compared to the corresponding period of the previous year the largest growth in the imports from the EU distributed according to the Standard International Trade Classification was reported in the section ‘Beverages and tobacco’ (27.3%) while the most notable fall was observed in the section ‘Crude materials, inedible (except fuel)’ 3 (16.7%). The foreign trade balance of Bulgaria (export FOB - import CIF) with the EU in the period January - October 2019 was negative and added up to 1 431.6 Million BGN. 

Sofia in the Top 300 for the Most Expensive Cities in the World

Sofia is ranked 297th among the 4440 cities the list of the most expensive cities in the world. Our maritime capital Varna ranks 333rd, Plovdiv - 339th and Burgas - 358th.

This is according to the crowd-sourced global databaseNumbeo index, which publishes a ranking of the most expensive cities in the world. As stated on the website of the service, the "cost of living index" is calculated on the basis of prices in shops and restaurants, transport tariffs, utility bills and purchasing power of the local population.

For comparison, Bucharest (Romania) ranks 304, Belgrade (Serbia) 308, Tirana (Albania) 314, followed by Sarajevo (BiH) 315.

Zurich is a leader in the cost of living index this year.

The most expensive cities to live in are Zurich, followed by Basel, Lausanne, Geneva and Bern.

The top ten also include Stavanger, Oslo and Trondheim (all in Norway), Reykjavik (Iceland) and Bergen (Norway).

Summary about cost of living in Sofia:

Four-person family monthly costs: BGN 3,054.72 without rent.

A single person monthly costs: BGN 870.60 without rent.

Cost of living index in Sofia is 60.02% lower than in New York.

Cost of living rank 297th out of 442 cities in the world.

Sofia has a cost of living index of 39.98.

Eurostat: Lowest Rate of Prisoners in the EU since 2000

In the EU in 2017, there were on average 116 prisoners per 100 000 people, a rate which is the lowest since 2000, Eurostat reported.

Among the Member States, the highest rate was observed in Lithuania (232 prisoners per 100 000), followed by Czechia (209), Estonia (207), Poland (196) and Latvia (193), and the lowest in Denmark (59), Sweden (57) and Finland (56). On average in the EU, 5% of prisoners were women.

More information can be found here.

Elevated Levels of Fine Particulate Matter is Sofia

Elevated levels of fine particulate matter have been registered in Sofia, airsofia.info reported. According to the map, the air is polluted in almost the entire city. 

Most polluted residential areas are Knyazhevo, Gorna Banya, Karpuzitsa, Boyana, Ovcha Kupel, Studentski grad, Krasna Polyana and parts of Mladost 2.

The map is provided by airsofia.info

 

Ukraine's Prime Minister Resigned

Ukraine’s prime minister Oleksiy Valeriyovych handed his resignation letter after an audio of him reportedly criticising President Volodomyr Zelenskiy’s understanding of the economy leaked earlier, The Guardian reported.

“To remove any doubts about our respect for and trust in the president, I have written a resignation letter and handed it over to the president,” Oleksiy Goncharuk wrote on his official Facebook page.

He said the audio “artificially created an impression that my team and I do not respect the president”.

“This is not true,” he said. “I came to this post to carry out the president’s programme.”

It is reported that the president is still considering weather he'll accept the resignation.

China with the Lowest Birth Rate since 1949

The end of "one-child policy" could not stop China's declining birth rate, the BBC reported.

The birth rate has dropped to its lowest level since the inception of the People's Republic of China 70 years ago - despite the elimination of "one-child policy".

The birth rate was 10.48 per thousand in 2019 - the lowest since 1949, the National Bureau of Statistics said.

The number of babies born in 2019 dropped by 580,000 to 14.65 million.

The country's birth rate has been declining for years and this is a challenge for the world's second largest economy.

Despite declining birth rates, China's population reached 1.4 billion in 2019, the statistics bureau said.

The death rate in 2019 was 7.14 per thousand - resulting in a "natural increase" of 3.34%.

In 1979, the Chinese government introduced a nationwide "one-child policy" - with various exceptions - to slow down population growth.

But politics has been blamed for the severe gender imbalance - men still outnumber women by more than 30 million, according to 2019 figures.

In 2015, the government abolished the "one child policy" and allowed the couples to have two children. But this reform failed to reverse the country's declining birth rate.

Experts say this is because the policy easing was not accompanied by other important changes that support families: financial support for child-rearing and increased maternity leave.

Most people can't actually afford more than one child, analysts say.

Italian PM Giuseppe Conte: EU May Send Troops to Libya

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said could send troops to Libya to maintain peace after the ceasefire between the parties.

Conte visited Algeria on Thursday, where he met with President of the Republic of Abdelmadjid Tebboune, RIA Novosti reported.

"Sending troops to Libya is one of the possibilities we will consider. But we should try to direct the situation to a peaceful solution by comparing our positions.”, the prime minister told Italian reporters, referring to the agenda of the upcoming Libyan conflict conference, which will be held in Berlin on January 19th.

“Once the military option is set aside, the efforts to send mediation and peacekeepers to Libya will become an option. We can say that we are open to this.” Conte added.

Hepatitis A Boom in Bobov Dol

Hepatitis A boom in Bobov Dol. According to official data from RHI-Kyustendil, epidemic outbreaks were registered in some places. There are 25 registered cases for the past three months in the region.

Parents of children from the city expressed their concern. They don't believe that the municipality is taking sufficient measures to curb the disease.

An epidemic has not yet been announced.

Hundreds of Kilograms Toxic Waste Found in Lukovit

Hundreds of pounds of hazardous waste were discovered a week ago near Lukovit. Municipality officials have detected a truck with a registration in Veliko Tarnovo to dispose of liquids and rubbish of unclear origin. The police and prosecutor's office intervened after a signal.

According to a prosecutor's decree, the waste - liquids of unclear origin, which emit an awful odor, were detained at the Lukovit landfill.

"The waste was seized by the prosecution." explained Lukovit Mayor Ivan Grancharov.

The waste is found to be dangerous and toxic. After that signal, the prosecutor's office, the police intervened. "Criminal proceedings are underway,” the mayor said.

The truck was caught on camera. The video footage clearly shows the truck's registration number.

Police are already working on the case. More information is expected later today.

Bulgarian Man Brutally Murdered in London

A Bulgarian has been found dead at his London home, a homicide investigation has been launched, Daily Mail reports.

Police were called to the scene of an ambulancein Croydon by the London Ambulance Service at around 8.50am on Monday morning after reports that a man had been found dead in his home. ?he victim is about 60 years old.

A post-mortem examination revealed that the Bulgarian native died of multiple injuries.. His relatives have been informed of his death.

Officers are urging anyone who may have information about the incident to contact the police.

Detective Chief Inspector Helen Rance, who is leading the investigation, said:

'Our investigation is moving quickly but we are keen to speak to anyone who saw or spoke to Krasimir after 4pm on the afternoon of Saturday, 11 January.

Weather Forecast: Fogs, Maximum Temperatures between 0C and 5C

Weather Forecast: Fogs, Maximum Temperatures between 0C and 5C

Today, in the flat part of the country, along the river valleys and in the plains, fog or low clouds will stay.

Visibility will improve for some periods in the afternoon. Mostly sunny weather over the mountains, with more clouds to the east. Light wind, in the east areas to moderate, from the north-northeast. Maximum temperatures between 0C and 5C, in some places in the mountainous areas of Western Bulgaria up to 9-10C.

Atmospheric pressure will stay higher than the average for the month.

This is the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (NIMH) weather forecast.

Consultations with President Radev on the Problems in the Election Process Continue

At the initiative of President Rumen Radev, a meeting on topical issues of the electoral process, as well as measures for overcoming the problems, will be held at 10 am today, the press centre of the Head of State announced.

Representatives of the executive and the legislature and the political parties are invited to participate in the conversation. The meeting is open to the media, the Presidency added.

Joshua Wong, the Face of Hong Kong's Democracy Movement: Why the World Will Keep the Spotlight on Hong Kong in 2020

Joshua Wong (Demosisto) is one of the most prominent faces of Hong Kong’s democracy movement and a leading figure in the “Umbrella Movement” which came into being in 2014. Together with hundreds of thousands of Hongkongers, the now 23-year-old is campaigning for free elections, reform of the voting system and democratization of the Chinese Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong. Sven Lilienström, founder of the Faces of Democracy initiative, spoke to Joshua Wong via FaceTime about the ongoing protests in Hong Kong, what he asks from the international community, and the future of the democracy movement in Hong Kong.

MR. WONG, WE WOULD ALSO LIKE TO ASK YOU, AS A PROMINENT FACE OF HONG KONG’S DEMOCRACY MOVEMENT: HOW SIGNIFICANT ARE DEMOCRACY AND DEMOCRATIC VALUES TO YOU PERSONALLY?

Joshua Wong: I strongly understand and realize the importance of democracy and democratic values. Democracy means that the people and their country or city can freely determine their own future instead of having their destiny dominated by the upper class elite. 

Under the hard line suppression of Beijing it is imperative for us to stand firm – to fight for freedom and to stand up for Hong Kong.

It also means that they can live free from illiberal rule and values. Under the hard line suppression of Beijing it is imperative for us to stand firm – to fight for freedom and to stand up for Hong Kong. Without democracy, people will live in fear, but what we hope to ask for is freedom from fear. That’s the reason we continue to fight for democracy.

2020 IS BEGINNING JUST AS 2019 ENDED. MASS DEMONSTRATIONS TOOK PLACE ONCE AGAIN IN HONG KONG AS EARLY AS NEW YEAR’S EVE. WHAT IS IT THAT MOTIVATES PEOPLE AND WHEN DO YOU THINK THE MOVEMENT WILL REACH ITS ZENITH?

Joshua Wong: Hong Kong has a population of 7.5 million and more than 2 million people took to the streets in mid-2019. I expect the mass demonstrations to continue, especially since 1 million people demonstrated on 1 January. 

We have just proved that Hong Kong people deserve democracy and we will continue to fight for freedom!

We have just proved that Hong Kong people deserve democracy and we will continue to fight for freedom. If the inhabitants of many major cities such as New York, London, Paris or Berlin can freely elect their mayor, why can’t Hong Kong? The only reason behind this is the regime in Beijing, which does not respect any democratic values!

THE DRIVING FORCES BEHIND THE PROTESTS IN HONG KONG ARE THE SO-CALLED “MILLENNIALS”. HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN THE HEIGHTENED POLITICAL COMMITMENT OF YOUR GENERATION, AND WHAT ROLE DOES THE YEAR 2047 PLAY IN THIS CONTEXT?

Joshua Wong: Well, 7 000 people have been arrested. The youngest was aged 11, the oldest 84. I think we have experienced cross-generational support and also realized that this is not just a matter for Generation X or “millennials”. 

We still hope that in 2047, Hong Kong can be a place that allows people to determine their way of living.

We stand as one with solidarity and unity. We have 50 years of unchanged policy and we still hope that in 2047, Hong Kong can be a place that allows people to determine their way of living. That’s the reason for encouraging and motivating lots of members of the younger generation to continue to fight for freedom.

KEYWORD REPRESSION: CHINA DOESN’T EXACTLY TAKE A SOFT APPROACH TO DEALING WITH CRITICS OF ITS REGIME. HOW SAFE DO YOU CURRENTLY FEEL IN HONG KONG AND HOW MUCH PERSONAL FREEDOM ARE YOU PREPARED TO SURRENDER FOR YOUR CAUSE?

Joshua Wong: None of the activists in Hong Kong can ensure their personal safety. Repression and resistance are the true keywords in Hong Kong and when the state takes a hard approach to dealing with the critics of this regime, I think the people of Hong Kong really understand the difficulties and sympathize a lot. 

The riot police have turned Hong Kong into a war zone!

In the last 6 months, more than 30 000 canisters of tear gas or rubber bullets have been used; live rounds of ammunition have been fired at high school students and more than 7 000 people have been arrested. The riot police have turned Hong Kong into a war zone. However, we must each continue the battle and there’s no reason for us to surrender. We still continue our fight, even though it’s such an uphill battle!

IN SEPTEMBER 2019, BEFORE YOUR VISIT TO GERMANY, YOU WERE DETAINED AT HONG KONG AIRPORT AND HELD THERE FOR 24 HOURS. HAD YOU EXPECTED THAT? WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU WANT TO TRAVEL TO CHINA?

Joshua Wong: I never expected to be detained at Hong Kong airport before traveling to Germany for my visit. I think that just proves the hard line suppression being carried out by Beijing and also reveal the sources of tension because mass arrests are the tactics they are using to silence our voices. Whenever we hope to travel somewhere, they consistently prefer to arrest people at the airport since this has a short-term effect. 

It would put our lives at risk if we traveled to mainland China!

I don’t see any possibility for me to travel to mainland China before the day on which Hong Kong people and people in mainland China enjoy democracy. Since some of the Hong Kong protesters were detained and locked up in prison in mainland China without any legitimate reason, it would just put our lives at risk if we traveled to mainland China.

YOU SPOKE TO THE GERMAN MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, HEIKO MAAS, IN BERLIN AND HAVE WRITTEN TO THE CHANCELLOR TO ASK FOR SUPPORT. WHAT ARE YOU REQUESTING FROM GERMANY, EUROPE AND THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY?

Joshua Wong: We have to try to get people in European countries, especially in Germany, to support Hong Kong’s sovereignty. The regime in Beijing believes in the imposition of illiberal values and continued expansion of power, and never respects our universal values and liberal order at an international level. 

I hope that Germany can continue to be a defender of human rights that never remains silent wherever tyrannical values spread.

As a result, I think it’s really significant and important to have Chancellor Angela Merkel as well as the German Minister of Foreign Affairs support Hong Kong. Especially when we recognize that Germany is one of the leading countries in Europe. I hope that Germany can continue to be a defender of human rights that never remains silent wherever illiberal values spread and are on the rise.

We urge European countries, especially Germany, to stop exporting weapons which can be used by the riot police in Hong Kong.

We urge European countries, especially Germany, to stop exporting weapons which can be used by the riot police in Hong Kong to escalate their brutality and the civil unrest in Hong Kong. Parallel to this, it is time for them to consider how to introduce some of the central mechanisms similar to the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act in the USA for the global community and some of the European countries. Actions speak louder than words. We hope that Germany, a country that understands what it means to live under the rule of “tyrants”, will see that it’s time to stand up for Hong Kong.

MR. WONG, OUR LAST QUESTION IS ALWAYS A PERSONAL ONE: HOW DO YOU MOST ENJOY SPENDING YOUR LEISURE TIME AND WHAT WILL BE THE FUTURE OF THE DEMOCRACY MOVEMENT IN HONG KONG THIS YEAR?

Joshua Wong: Lots of friends have been arrested and prosecuted and may be locked up in prison again, so it’s difficult for us to think about how to spend our leisure time. I hope that one day the people of Hong Kong will be able to enjoy freedom and freely determine their way of living. In 2020 I believe that more and more people will continue to join this fight for democracy. 

We hope that Hong Kong can be a place of democracy!

This year, some of our friends might face prosecution and trial before a court, so the world must keep the spotlight on Hong Kong. We will never regret and step backwards – that’s the reason for us to be proud to be from Hong Kong and we hope that Hong Kong can be a place of democracy!

The interview was originally published on Faces of Democracy.

Croatia Has Lost Half a Million Workers in Ten Years

Croatia has lost 500,000 workers over the last ten years - from 2008 to 2018. This is what Davorko Vidovic claims, counselor for Labour Policy and Employment at CCE.

As Vidovic explains: "In the past ten years, from 2008 to 2018, Croatia has lost 500,000 people in the working contingent, 200,000 naturally, meaning the aging of the population, leaving the working contingent and inflow of children into the working contingent, and about 300,000 have been lost to migration,"

The private sector also warns that the situation has been worrying for some time, with the biggest problem occurring during the tourist season. To mitigate tthe situation the quotas for foreign workers will be abolished. In addition, the plan plan is to include people in the labour market and prevent emigration, and the Croatian Employment Service is also involved in funding through the European Social Fund, Total Croatia News reported.

Bulgarians Honour St Anthony

The Bulgarian Orthodox Church honours Friday the memory of the Venerable Anthony the Great, on the holiday called Antonovden.

Anthony was born in about 250 AD in Egypt. During his life he spent 20 years in complete solitude in the desert. Sick and suffering people came to him for help.

At the alleged age of 104 he entered into an open dispute with supporters of the doctrine of Arianism and defeated them. His success is called the Triumph of Christianity.

The following year Anthony died and was buried in a secret place. Later his relics were re-discovered and officially transferred to Vienna.

In the popular calendar Antonovden is celebrated as a Saint helping prevention of diseases.
On this day, women do not spin or knit, do not boil beans or lentils since it is believed they might provoke the onset of plague or smallpox.

Traditionally, they knead sour roundbread, coated with molasses, to give to relatives and neighbors for health. One loaf is to be left in the attic "for the ache, for the aunt," in other words, the plague.

In folklore, twin brothers Anton and Atanas were blacksmiths who first invented the blacksmith tongs.

Therefore Antonovden and Atanasovden (January 18) are also celebrated as the holiday of blacksmiths, ironmongers, cutlers and farriers.

Names being clebrated today include: Anton, Andon, Doncho, Antonia, Donka, Tony.

Third Man Infected with the New Coronavirus Has been Hospitalized in Singapore

A third patient who is believed to be infected with the new coronavirus has been hospitalized in Singapore, TASS reported.

The Ministry of Health stated that the 69-year-old man had been hospitalized and quarantined. He is in stable condition.

Common symptoms include a runny nose, headache, cough and fever. Shortness of breath, chills and body aches are associated with more dangerous kinds of coronaviruses.

On December 31, Chinese authorities briefed the World Health Organization on the Wuhan Outbreak, located 1,000 km north of Beijing in central China.

An unknown type of coronavirus was discovered by local specialists on January 7th. All cases of suspected new pneumonia were subjected to laboratory testing. As a result, pathogens of respiratory diseases such as influenza, avian influenza, severe acute respiratory syndrome, and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome were excluded from the list of possible pathogens.

The WHO has said the new virus could spread and has warned hospitals around the world. Currently, there are about 60 registered cases, one person has died, more than 680 have been isolated.

Rain in Australia Caused Flooding (VIDEO)

Locals said that something like this this had not happened in several years.

After wildfires affecting vast forest areas, Australia was hit by storms. Although the rain is not enough to extinguish the fires, it was welcomed.

In some parts of New South Wales, there were even floods, and locals said it hadn't happened in several years.

 

The US Senate Has Opened Trump's Impeachment Process

The US Senate has opened the impeachment process of President Donald Trump.

House Democrats read the formal charges from the well of the US Senate before the swearing-in of all 100 senators as jurors for only the third impeachment trial in US history.

Senator Chuck Grassley, who chaired the meeting, invited seven accusers from the House of Representatives, led by Congressman Adam Schiff to enter the hall. Schiff then read the two accusations from the rostrum.

The Senate will summon Chief Justice John Roberts, the Chief Justice, to be sworn in by the 100 senators who will serve as jurors in the impeachment process.

Roberts will chair the process, which will essentially begin Tuesday, MBS News reported.

Last month, the House of Representatives voted in favor of Trump's impeachment for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress over the so-called Ukrainian scandal. However, it is unlikely that the required two-thirds of the senators will vote to remove the president.

Eight People Have Died Following Complications of a Flu Infection Greece

Eight people have died following complications of a flu infection in the last ten days in Greece.

24 people are hospitalized in Intensive Care Units. Most of the patients have other health problems.

The incidence rate is expected to remain high in the coming weeks, which is not uncommon for the season.




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