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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.

Big Number of Coronavirus Infections in North Macedonia and Serbia

North Macedonia has registered a new record number of daily coronavirus infections for the third consecutive day, with more than half the country’s 2.1 million people under an 80-hour near-total lockdown.

Health Minister Venko Filipce announced that 180 newly infected people and two deaths were recorded over the past 24 hours, a new record since the first case was registered in late February. The total confirmed cases in the country now stand at 2,790, and 149 people have died.

Filipce said about 90% of newly infected people are members and relatives of 15 families, and that the second wave of the epidemic in North Macedonia was the result of people ignoring the ban on mass gatherings. More than a half of the new cases are from the capital, Skopje.

North Macedonia’s government has imposed almost a near-complete curfew in four regions that started at 9 p.m. Thursday and will end at 5 a.m. Monday. People can only leave their houses to go to a hospital or pharmacy. Supermarkets and food stores are closed.

Filipce said he is confident that the new spike in infections is under control and announced that authorities would discuss on Sunday the next steps for dealing with the epidemic./apnews.com

The number of coronavirus infections in Serbia increased by 96 in the past 24 hours to reach 11,667, while the number of coronavirus-related fatalities climbed to 247, the national health ministry said Friday.

Over the past 24 hours, one person died from the virus-related causes. In a single day, 4,795 people were tested for the virus. The number of newly confirmed infections doubles, as Thursday’s figures showed 48 new infections.

Overall, 390 people are taken to hospitals after testing positive for coronavirus, while more than 265,000 people were tested nationwide.

Serbia reported its first coronavirus case on March 23. According to Serbian epidemiologist and a member of the national anti-coronavirus crisis center Predrag Kon, Serbia is coming out of the COVID-19 epidemic and is entering the phase of sporadic outbreaks.

Earlier, Serbia asked Russia for help to fight the epidemic. Between April 3 and May 18, a Russian unit fully disinfected medical facilities in more than 40 cities and towns across Serbia, disinfecting 376 buildings and constructions./tass.com




Worldwide Record - Last Month Was the Hottest May

Last month was the hottest May on record worldwide, a European climate agency has reported, with temperatures in Siberia rising 10 degrees Celsius (18 degrees Fahrenheit) above their normal levels.

Globally, May was 0.63 degrees Celsius warmer than the average May between 1981 and 2010, making it the warmest May in this data record, the Copernicus Climate Change Service said.
And when compared with pre-industrial figures, their recordings indicate that the world is creeping dangerously close to the temperature threshold that international organizations warn would be so devastating to the planet if exceeded.
May's increase follows a clear trend recorded by Copernicus over the past year. In the last 12-month period up to May, global temperatures were 0.7 degrees Celsius warmer than average -- matching the previous year-long high between October 2015 and September 2016.
Europe generally was slightly colder than average, but with sharp geographical differences, the report said.
The most striking spike was in Siberia, the typically freezing region that spans much of Russia, which was up 10 degrees Celsius on average levels.
Two thirds of Russia sits on permafrost, which is degrading rapidly, puncturing places with giant sinkholes.
It follows a remarkably warm winter in Russia, which would usually be blanketed in snow at the start of a year.
Instead, it saw the hottest winter in the 140-year history of meteorological observations, beating the previous temperature record from the winter of 2015-2016 by 1.3 degrees Celsius (2.3 degrees Fahrenheit), the country's state-run Hydrometeorological Center of Russia reported in March./cnn.com
Bulgaria's Establishment of State Oil Company is Approved at First Reading

Bulgaria’s MPs approved at first reading the establishment of State Oil Company. The opposition also voted in favor of the proposal. 148 MPs voted in favor, 1 MP voted against and 4 MPs abstained. The draft envisages the creation of nearly 100 state-owned petrol stations on state or municipal land. The petrol stations will be built in places where other market participants have no interest in building petrol stations or at places with concentration of several petrol stations with similar or same prices of petroleum products./bnr.bg

Protests Against Children's Sexual Harassement in Albania

Under the motto "For the stolen childhood", late this afternoon in Tirana, Durres and Vlora were held protest demonstrations with the participation of thousands of citizens, mostly women, accompanied by their daughters.

The protests were sparked by the discovery of sexual abuse of a 15-year-old schoolgirl by a 65-year-old school guard. The defendant, in addition to committing his crimes under duress and threats, allowed the girl to become a victim of a group rape. 

Former and current MPs, popular singers and artists took part in the protests. Participants carried placards reading "Death to Pedophiles" and "We Want Justice." 

Earlier in today's plenary session, MP Waltery called for the return of the death penalty to Albania, adding that "whoever touches a child should be hanged in the city center". 

In Albania, protesters say 12 percent of the children are sexually harassed and five percent are raped.

Prince William Advised Harry and Meghan to Return to the UK

Harry and Meghan moved to LA after completing their final royal engagements in the UK back in March. They left just before the UK was sent into lockdown, meaning Harry was miles away from Prince Charles when he tested positive for the coronavirus. Charles has since recovered and is spending lockdown in Scotland with Camilla, the duchess of Cornwall.

However, it seems living so far away from the Royal Family has not been the only concern for Harry.

Speaking to Us Weekly, a source, who was not named, claimed being in contact with Prince William has helped Harry with the many challenges with his life-changing move to LA.

They said: “Moving to a completely different country is never easy for anyone, including Harry.

"And he wasn’t expecting to be faced with so many obstacles,” says the insider.

As he settles into his life in the US, including the security challenges celebrities face in LA, Harry has been in touch with his older brother.

They are back on speaking terms after reportedly having a rift earlier on this year.

“William’s advised Harry to return to London or move elsewhere, somewhere safer,” the insider said.

“He’s concerned about his brother’s well-being and safety.”/express.co.uk

1,690 Decares of Forests in Bulgaria Are Placed Under Protection

1690 decares of municipal centuries-old forests are placed under protection by defining them with the status of "forests in old age phase". They are located on the territory of the Kyustendil villages of Dozhdevitsa, Zhilentsi and Gyueshevo, the municipal administration in Kyustendil announced. 

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The area is part of the Natura 2000 sites, and the proposal was made by the Association "WWF - World Wildlife Fund, Danube-Carpathian Program Bulgaria" after a field study in the period 2017-2019. 

The oldest forests are 170 years old. Forest protection and timber extraction are not allowed in the protected areas, the municipal administration warns. 

"These forests are important for water protection, preventing erosion and floods, purifying the air and enriching the soil, which is why they are of great importance for people and for maintaining the living environment in the face of climate change.

However, in order to continue to provide these vital ecosystem services, urgent measures need to be taken to protect them, "said the World Wildlife Fund. 


Erdogan Wants to Convert the Hagia Sophia Church into a Mosque

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has asked his aides to conduct a comprehensive study on how to convert Istanbul's famous Hagia Sophia landmark, currently a museum, into a mosque, a Turkish newspaper reported on Friday.

During a top party meeting earlier this week, Erdogan noted that Hagia Sophia was reopened as a museum in 1935 after a cabinet decision, and said that it should be up to the nation itself to reverse that decision. The report published by Hurriyet daily said that Erdogan wants to maintain Hagia Sophia as a tourist attraction like the neighbouring Blue Mosque, but open it for Islamic prayers.

One senior ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) official disputed the report and said that Erdogan had not ordered the study. 

“We were discussing a similar court case before the Council of State that has opened the way for Islamic prayers in Chora Church,” the official said. “There were only expressions of wishes.”

Last year, the Council of State ruled that the Chora Church building in Istanbul was endowed as a mosque under special legal circumstances during the Ottoman Empire, and that it was the state’s responsibility to preserve its intended form as a mosque.

Hagia Sophia was also a foundation property under Mehmet II, the conqueror of Istanbul.

Erdogan has been taking several steps to convert the Hagia Sophia into a mosque since last year, when he declared his intention to change its current form during an election rally.

Last week, Turkish government celebrated the 567th anniversary of the Ottoman conquest of Istanbul with an Islamic prayer at the former mosque.

“The recitation of Quran’s Al Fath surah at the Hagia Sophia has been very popular among the voters across the policial parties,” said Abdulkadir Selvi, a columnist with good sources within the government.

Hagia Sophia, a Unesco world heritage site, was originally built as a Greek Orthodox church. It was converted into a mosque after the conquest of Istanbul by Mehmet the Conquerer in 1453, celebrated on 29 May every year.

In 1935, Hagia was converted into a museum by the founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, as part of his secularist reforms.

Religious conservatives have long called for the conversion of the building back into a mosque, a move  Erdogan has increasingly hinted at in recent years.

Greek officials have in the past accused the Turkish president of using Hagia Sophia as an electoral ploy to lure voters to his party.

The Greek Orthodox church traces its history to the Byzantine empire and its Patriarch is still based in Istanbul, which was formerly known as Constantinople./middleeasteye.net

Teenager Murdered in Sofia

The Sofia City Prosecutor's Office is investigating the circumstances surrounding the discovery of the body of a young man in the "Dimitar Milenkov" district of Sofia. At around 22:00 yesterday, 04.06.2020, a police officer on duty from the 08th Regional Department of the Ministry of Interior in the capital noticed on the cameras for constant video surveillance an unusual movement in the area of ??"Dimitar Milenkov" district. Police teams were sent to the scene and found the dead body of a young man.

Investigations and searches were immediately launched, as a result of which four people were identified, who were previously in the immediate vicinity of the victim at the time of the incident. They were taken to the Regional Directorate for interrogation.

It is now known that the deceased was sixteen-year-old B.B. His body was sent to the Department of Forensic Medicine to clarify the cause of death

The initiated pre-trial proceedings are for premeditated murder. There is a detainee - A.G. (28 years old), convicted. Work on the case continues.

A Man Wanted by Interpol is Detained in Sofia

During a specialized police operation conducted on June 4 by officers of the Search Sector, a 38-year-old man was found and detained in the capital. He has been declared wanted by a European arrest warrant, and a red bulletin has been issued by Interpol for his detention at the request of the authorities in Athens, Greece. 

The man is wanted as an organizer of illegal migration of third-country nationals through the territory of the European Union, for which the Court of Appeal in Thessaloniki has sentenced him to 10 years in prison and a fine of 50,000 euros.
?he cases were reported to the Sofia City Prosecutor's Office for comment on the issued European Arrest Warrant. He is currently being held with a prosecutor's order for up to 72 hours. Work on the case continues.
The Weather Today in Bulgaria - June 5th

Today, light to moderate, in Eastern Bulgaria and north of the mountains to strong winds will be carried warm air. Before noon it will be mostly sunny, but from the west the clouds will increase and thicken. In the evening, light rain will fall in some places in the western regions. It will also warm up and the maximum temperatures will be between 27 and 32 degrees, slightly lower - on the Black Sea coast, in Sofia around 27, according to the NIMH forecast. 

The atmospheric pressure is lower than the average for June and will decrease further during the day.

In the mountains the weather will be sunny, over the massifs in the western half of the country there will torn, in the afternoon significant medium and high clouds. A strong, temporary and stormy southwest wind will blow on the ridges. Maximum temperature at an altitude of 1200 meters will be around 19 degrees, at 2000 meters - around 13.

It will be mostly sunny over the Black Sea coast. A moderate to strong southwest wind will blow. Maximum air temperatures will be between 23-28 degrees. The sea water temperature is 17-19. The sea wave will be 2-3 points.  

2627 Cases of COVID-19 in Bulgaria, 34 New Cases

34 new cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Bulgaria in the past 24 hours, or 9 more as compared to the previous day, the National Information Website on Covid-19 announced. 

13 new cases of the novel coronavirus were registered in Sarnitsa municipality. 149 of all patients diagnosed with Covid-19 are admitted to hospitals, of whom 8 in intensive-care units.

The total number of Covid-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic reached 2,627. The total Covid-19 death toll rose to 159 people. 68 people recovered from the virus in the past 24 hours.

A total of 1,390 Bulgarians were cured from the virus until now. Sofia, Varna, Plovdiv, Ruse, Burgas, Sliven, Pleven and Pazardzhik are the Bulgarian cities with highest concentration of people placed under quarantine.

So far, a total of 191,031 people have been placed under quarantine. 16,397 people are currently under mandatory quarantine./BNR

More Than 10,000 Arrested Protesters in America

More than 10,000 people have been arrested in protests decrying racism and police brutality in the wake of George Floyd's death, according to an Associated Press tally of known arrests across the U.S

The count has grown by the hundreds each day as protesters spilled into the streets and encountered a heavy police presence and curfews that give law enforcement stepped-up arrest powers.

Los Angeles has had more than a quarter of the national arrests, followed by New York, Dallas and Philadelphia. Many of the arrests have been for low-level offenses such as curfew violations and failure to disperse. Hundreds were arrested on burglary and looting charges.

As cities were engulfed in unrest last week, politicians claimed that the majority of the protesters were outside agitators, including a contention by Minnesota's governor that 80 percent of the participants in the demonstrations were from out of state.

The arrests in Minneapolis during a frenzied weekend tell a different story. In a nearly 24-hour period from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon, 41 of the 52 people cited with protest-related arrests had Minnesota driver's licenses, according to the Hennepin County sheriff.

Kath Rogers, executive director of the Los Angeles office of the National Lawyers Guild, said she was surprised by the huge number of arrests in that city. The office is calling on those arrested to be in contact so they can be part of the group’s mass defense. So far, they have heard from about 400 people, she said.

She said some people had been swept up in the arrests because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time, like a woman who was simply going for an evening walk and wasn’t part of the protest. Or a young man who was taking pictures of the looting with his phone and then was arrested for looting.

“I’ve been here for two years and we go to hundreds of demonstrations, but I’ve never seen rubber bullets flying like this, tear gas used this way,” she said.

Los Angeles Chief Michel Moore told the city's Police Commission Tuesday the bulk of the arrests, about 2,500, were for failure to disperse or curfew violations.

The rest were for crimes including burglary, looting, assaults on police officers and other violence, Moore told the panel, which functions as the police department’s civilian oversight board.

The only other U.S. city with an arrest toll that comes close to Los Angeles’ is New York, with about 2,000, according to AP’s tally.

A Los Angeles group called the Peoples City Council Fund as of Wednesday night had gathered more than million for arrested protesters there through the online fundraising platform gofundme. More than 46,000 people donated mostly small amounts, some just or .

Fundraiser organizers said hundreds of thousands of the dollars raised will go to Black Lives Matter LA as well as the National Lawyers Guild, a progressive group that has been defending civil rights activists since the 1930s.

Angela Merkel Decision's is Firm - She Will Not Stand for Re-Election

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday (Jun 4) she is "absolutely not" planning to stand for re-election to a fifth term despite her overwhelming popularity.

"No, absolutely not," Merkel told reporters from public broadcaster ZDF, saying her decision was "very firm".

The 65-year-old chancellor enjoys unparallelled popularity in her home country, with 71 percent of people saying they were satisfied with her performance in a poll for public broadcaster ARD also published on Thursday.

Her ratings have climbed as Germany has suffered comparatively less than some European neighbours through the coronavirus crisis.

Merkel's conservative CDU party is set to elect a new leader at the end of 2020 who would then become presumptive candidate to succeed her in the chancellery at federal elections in autumn next year.

Without a political office to keep him in the public eye, the star of her historic rival Friedrich Merz has lost some of its shine.

Other candidates include Armin Laschet, premier of Germany's most populous state North Rhine-Westphalia.

Meanwhile some observers have highlighted the strongman performance of Bavarian premier Markus Soeder through the pandemic, who as chief of the CDU's regional CSU allies could also throw his hat into the federal ring come next year./channelnewsasia.com

Dangerous Coronavirus Scam

Taking advantage of people's fears about the passing epidemic of the new coronavirus, online retailers are offering rubbing alcohol instead of disinfectant and this could endanger the health of consumers. 

The dangerous practice was established by an inspection of the law enforcement agencies and will be banned

Experts advise to carefully choose products for disinfection and not to use methyl alcohol, chlorine disinfectants. ?he alcohol in the disinfectants that kill the coronavirus, should be between 60 and 80 percent ethyl.  

According to the offer on the Internet - the product can be used for surface cleaning, although its label clearly says "burning alcohol".

The alcohol is available in three options - for BGN 2.99, 4.49 and BGN 19.99, depending on the size. Attractive prices quickly attract consumers and they would most likely buy such a product because it is cheaper than standard disinfectants.

The difference between rubbing alcohol and disinfectant products is that ethanol is used in disinfectants, while in rubbing alcohol - mainly methanol. 

The two ingredients have different properties and different effects. Methyl alcohol is highly toxic and can cause severe poisoning. Therefore, it is extremely inappropriate and dangerous to use for disinfection of hands or face.  


Essential Workers Are on the Covers of British Vogue

To celebrate essential workers during the coronavirus pandemic, British Vogue opted to highlight three key workers for their July cover feature.

The leading ladies of the July issue are Narguis Horsford, a train driver on the London Overground, Rachel Millar, a community midwife in east London, and Anisa Omar, a supermarket worker in King’s Cross.

Horsford has worked for Transfer for London for ten years and says she's now feeling love and respect from passengers.
"We have seen a tremendous amount of community spirit, acts of kindness and unity throughout this pandemic. People have been smiling more at me and I’ve received a few thank yous!" the train driver explained.

She's chosen to distance herself from her family during this time as she's on the front lines and dealing with people every day. She says, "This has certainly shown us that life is short. And we can’t take anything for granted. I can’t see myself doing anything else.”

Millar, who has been a midwife for three years, has not been moved to care for COVID-19 patients and is still working with moms and moms-to-be. The midwife had her bike stolen during the start of the pandemic. However, due to the sudden onslaught of support for healthcare workers, a friend who started a fundraiser for her raised more than £500 to help get her "back on the road." She said "another colleague tweeted the story and within an hour, a local company had donated a brand new electric bike."

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“After the 8pm clapping fades, I hope the NHS won’t be forgotten.” For the July 2020 issue of #BritishVogue three front-line heroes star on the cover, photographed by @Jamie.Hawkesworth. In east London, Rachel Millar, a community midwife, has been cycling around the borough, attending to soon-to-be and new mothers, delivering babies and assuaging anxieties. Meet Rachel and a host of other inspiring workers – from labour ward co-ordinator Philippa Crisp to the director of vaccine development, Melanie Saville – in the new issue, on newsstands and available for digital download Friday 5 June. Click the link in bio to read more about the three key worker cover stars.

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Omar, who has worked as a supermarket assistant at Waitrose for a year, now feels that patrons have respect and compassion for her. She explained, "Before the pandemic, people would look at us as service assistants – we’re there to show them where the eggs are or if they want to complain about something. But now they’re a lot more understanding. They understand that we’re here all the time, and they don’t have to leave their houses. People are a lot nicer, they’re warmer."

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For the July 2020 issue of #BritishVogue, three front-line heroes star on the cover, photographed by @Jamie.Hawkesworth. Millions are waking every morning, saying goodbye to their families and getting on with their day to ensure that the cogs of the country continue to turn. Supermarket assistant Anisa Omar is one such key worker who can be found on the tills in Waitrose, in London’s King’s Cross. “Before the pandemic, my job was not really that big a deal, but now it’s like we’re important,” she tells Vogue. Meet Anisa and a host of other inspiring workers in the new issue, interviewed by British Vogue’s Features Editor @OEMarks, on newsstands and available for digital download Friday 5 June. Click the link in bio to read more about the three key worker cover stars.

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Scientists Have Revealed Dinosaurs Last Meal

Researchers have revealed what a 2,800-pound armor-plated dinosaur ate for its last meal before it perished around 110 million years ago.

In 2011, miners accidentally uncovered the fossilized remains of a dinosaur specimen representing the species Borealopelta markmitchelli—a type of nodosaur—at a site near Fort McMurray in Alberta, Canada.

Following the discovery, a team of Canadian scientists began investigating the extremely well-preserved specimen, whose fossilized stomach contents have survived to this day as a soccer-ball-sized mass.

"The finding of the actual preserved stomach contents from a dinosaur is extraordinarily rare, and this stomach recovered from the mummified nodosaur by the museum team is by far the best-preserved dinosaur stomach ever found to date," Jim Basinger, one of the scientists from USask, said in a statement.

When people see this stunning fossil and are told that we know what its last meal was because its stomach was so well preserved inside the skeleton, it will almost bring the beast back to life for them, providing a glimpse of how the animal actually carried out its daily activities, where it lived, and what its preferred food was."

In a study published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, the researchers reveal that the dinosaur's last meals were composed almost entirely of ferns, providing the most detailed insight yet of the diet of large herbivores living more than 110 million years ago.

"The last meal of our dinosaur was mostly fern leaves—88 per cent chewed leaf material and seven per cent stems and twigs," David Greenwood, another author of the study from Brandon University, said in a statement.

Analysis of the stomach contents suggested that the dinosaur was a picky eater, mostly choosing to eat certain types of ferns—known as leptosporangiates—over others that would have also been common in the animal's environment at the time, according to the study.

"This new study changes what we know about the diet of large herbivorous dinosaurs," Royal Tyrrell Museum palaeontologist Caleb Brown said in the statement. "Our findings are also remarkable for what they can tell us about the animal's interaction with its environment, details we don't usually get just from the dinosaur skeleton."

In addition to the plant material, the authors also detected an abundance of charcoal in the stomach contents of the dinosaur, suggesting that the animal lived in an environment that was prone to regular wildfires.

"This adaptation to a fire ecology is new information. Like large herbivores alive today such as moose and deer, and elephants in Africa, these nodosaurs by their feeding would have shaped the vegetation on the landscape, possibly maintaining more open areas by their grazing."

The analysis of the stomach contents has even shed new light on the animal's death, indicating that it must have occurred shortly after the last meal.

According to research featured in the CBC documentary Dinosaur Cold Case, the dinosaur may have drowned in a flood and its body was washed out into the vast inland sea that once cut right through the North American continent, covering the area that is now Alberta.

Once the dinosaur had sunk to the seafloor, it became coated in mud, helping to preserve it in exceptional condition for more than a hundred million years until miners accidentally uncovered the remains during work at the Suncor Millennium open pit mine around 17 miles north of Fort McMurray in April, 2011./newsweek.com

14-Day Quarantine for Persons Arriving in Bulgaria from Northern Macedonia, No Quarantine for Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro

The Minister of Health issued Order which introduced a 14-day mandatory quarantine for persons arriving in Bulgaria from the Republic of Northern Macedonia.

The same order lifted the 14-day quarantine for citizens arriving from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro.

Both changes were proposed by the Chief State Health Inspector after assessing the epidemiological situation and the risk of spreading COVID-19 in Bulgaria.

14-Day Quarantine for Arriving in UK after June 8

The United Kingdom has introduced a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all passengers arriving in the country from June 8 in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. The presence of a negative coronavirus test is not a reason to avoid quarantine.

At the earliest 48 hours before the date of arrival in the UK, travelers must complete an electronic form. In it, they must provide contact details, travel plan and address where they will spend the quarantine. The form is published at the following address: https://www.gov.uk/uk-border-control.
A hard copy of the completed form printed on paper or stored in the telephone must be shown on arrival at the UK border.

Citizens who enter the country and refuse to fill in the form can be fined £ 100 and barred from entering the country. If the arrivals cannot indicate a specific address where they will spend the 14-day quarantine, they will be provided with accommodation at their own expense in housing provided by the British government. The authorities will carry out checks at the addresses indicated in the electronic forms for compliance with the quarantine.


Coronavirus (COVID-19) and entering or returning to the UK

If you’re a resident or visitor travelling to the UK on or after 8 June, you must:

You do not need to do these things if you’re travelling to the UK before 8 June. But you should check the latest public health advice on coronavirus before you travel, or if you’ve just arrived in the UK.

Once the rules come into place you may be fined £100 if you refuse to provide your contact details in England, £1,000 if you refuse to self-isolate in England, or you could face further action. You’ll be able to find more information on enforcement measures in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on this page soon.

Who does not need to provide their details or self-isolate for 14 days

You do not need to complete the form or self-isolate if you’re travelling from one of the following places, and you were there for 14 days or more:

  • Ireland
  • the Channel Islands
  • the Isle of Man

There are other reasons why you might not need to complete the form or self-isolate. Read the list of who does not need to complete the form or self-isolate.

47 Arrests in Varna Today

In the course of a specialized police operation conducted today in the Varna region, under the supervision of the prosecutor's office, the police from Varna revealed a total of eight crimes - for making and distributing counterfeit money, for producing drugs for distribution, for theft, for illegal connection to the electricity transmission network, for driving a motor vehicle after drug use and for driving a motor vehicle without registration plates.

Detectives searched a garage used by a 26-year-old man. It was established that the building had been adapted for counterfeit money. The man was detained for up to 24 hours.

Procedural and investigative actions were also carried out in an apartment in the regional town, inhabited by a 34-year-old man. There, detectives found a room adapted and equipped for a greenhouse for growing marijuana. 60 plants of different heights were found and seized. The man was taken into police custody, and work on proving and documenting the crime continues.  

During the operation, 875 people and 524 cars were checked. 47 people were detained, uncluding a criminal also wanted by the German authorities for crimes against property.  

9% VAT for Restaurants, Books and Children's goods in Bulgaria

Parliament's Committee on Budget and Finance adopted at second reading the proposal to reduce VAT on restaurants, books and food and diapers for children.

The deputies said "yes" to the fall of the tax from 20 to 9%, Nova TV reports.

The idea of ??reducing the VAT on low-alcohol beverages - wine and beer - was rejected.

The MPs also voted for the introduction of a minimum insurance threshold of BGN 610 for unqualified staff in restaurants. For other employees it must be at least BGN 800.

140 Years Since the Establishment of Bulgarian Lev

Today marks 140 years since the establishment of the Bulgarian lev.

On June 4, 1880, the Law on the Right to Cut Coins in the Principality of Bulgaria was promulgated and entered into force, the BNB announced. This law created the national currency "lev", divided into one hundred parts - "stotinki", and determined the weight, metal content and images of Bulgarian coins.

From the day of promulgation of the law, all governmental and municipal institutions in Bulgaria, as well as private individuals, are obliged to accept levs and stotinki (pennies) and to issue documents for monetary transactions with amounts in levs and stotinki.

PM Boyko Borrisov: How Difficult it is to Build a Bridge and How Fast You Cross It

"How difficult it is to build a bridge, and how fast you cross it. Do you remember when we came here in the mud?", This was stated by Prime Minister Boyko Borissov who inspected the new bypass road in Gabrovo, put into operation this morning.

The section is the largest reinforced concrete bridge structure built in Bulgaria so far with a length of 640 m and an opening of 160 m, built by the method of "cantilever concreting". This technology is used to build bridges with the largest openings, this is the third in our country after the viaduct 48th km of the Hemus Motorway and the viaduct on the Podkova - Makaza road.

During the inspection, Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev noted that with the new route, the crossing of the Balkans is shortened by half an hour. And Prime Minister Boyko Borissov stressed that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the construction of none of the country's important infrastructure sites has not stopped.

"We are also building the Hemus highway, next week we will show the people of Varna its progress. And from June 10 we will start the section from Veliko Tarnovo in both directions," added Prime Minister Borissov.

Turkey Will Resume Flights to Bulgaria as of June 10

Turkey will resume flights to Bulgaria as of June 10, the Turkish Transport Minister Adil Karaismailoglu has announced. According to him, flights to 40 countries will gradually be resumed in June, the correspondent of the Bulgarian National Radio in Turkey, Marian Karagyozov, reports.

On June 10, in addition to Bulgaria, flights to Greece, Bahrain, Qatar and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, recognized by Ankara only, will also be resumed./BNR
2585 Totat Cases of COVID-19 in Bulgaria on June 3

Twenty five new cases of coronavirus were confirmed in Bulgaria over the past 24 hours from 1174 PCR tests, the head of the coronavirus task force, Prof. Ventsislav Mutafchiyski said at the daily briefing on June 4. Seven were hospitalised.

Eight of the latest cases are in Sofia, 7 in Pazardzhik, 3 in Yambol, 2 in Sliven, 2 in Razgrad, 1 in Plovdiv, 1 in Vidin and 1 in Rousse.

The total number of coronavirus cases in the country is 2585, women being infected more than men.

Of the total, 141 are in hospitals, 8 of them are in intensive care.

The active cases are 1116.

There is a new case of a child, a 17 year old from Sofia.

Two more medical professionals tested positive for the virus over the past 24 hours: two doctors, from Plovdiv and from Sliven. The total number of medical staff infected with the virus is now 270.

The death toll has risen to 147, including a 68 year old man who died last night in Blagoevgrad.

116 patients diagnosed with Covid-19 have recovered in the past 24 hours. The total recoveries since the start of the epidemic are 1322, i.e. 51% of all cases.

More than 190 000 tests have been conducted in Bulgaria so far, from which 85 000 were PCR.

Covid-19 patients have been treated in 77 in the country, the most being in Sofia, where 30% of all cases were admitted.

The total number of Covid-19 patients who have been hospitalised is a little less than 1300 people, 150 of whom were in intensive care.

Today’s briefing was the last one for the task force.

The task force will not be disbanded, it will remain operational until December 31, but will no longer hold daily briefings.

The updates on the coronavirus situation will be published electronically./BNT

No More Daily Briefings for COVID-19 in Bulgaria

The restrictions introduced in Bulgaria due to the coronavirus will probably be lifted on June 15. Wearing masks indoors will be a recommendation. For the time being, the 14-day quarantine for arrivals to Bulgaria from the 8 countries in the EU with high incidence of coronavirus is not expected to be lifted. The daily briefings of the National Coronavirus Task Force will no longer be held.

The Task Force will not provide data on the spread of the coronavirus at daily briefings at 8 am, but will continue to operate until the end of the year, Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said at the last daily briefing of the task force on June 4.

100 days after the establishment of the task force, Prime Minister Borissov said: “ We did a great job in a very serious contagion and pandemic. Physical distancing, self-discipline and disinfection gave us the opportunity to prepare our hospitals, protective clothing, medicines.”

He added that the patients diagnosed with Covid-19 in the country were treated with the most successful therapy in the world right from the very start of the epidemic.

I do not take credit, but what we did was a miracle, he added.

The Prime Minister announced that the daily briefings of the coronavirus task force are over.

Boyko Borissov, Prime Minister: Somehow this constant airing of the task force’s briefings creates a feeling of anxiety. I repeat, we must learn to live with this virus. It has not subsided. We want to return to a normal life purely psychologically.

The next steps towards a normal lifestyle are expected in the middle of June.

All measures in the orders of the health minister should be lifted except the recommendation for personal hygiene, disinfection, keeping safe physical distance and wearing a mask, the chief health inspector, associate professor Angel Kounchev said.

Everyone who wants to wear a mask should wear it. Those who are more timid - let them wear masks, PM Boyko Borissov said.

The PM warned the virus has not subsided, but that people need to learn to live with it. We want to return to normal life as soon as possible, the economy to start, and to think about mental health, Borissov added.

Physical distancing and disinfection are clearly proven to be effective in the fight against COVID-19. They must continue to be respected. Let's continue to wash our hands after June 15. Whoever wants, let them wear masks indoors. We have to be careful, to protect each other, there is no vaccine, no medicine, he said.

For now, we do not intend to lift the 14-day quarantine rule for those arriving from third countries (non-EU), he added.

From June 15 we hope to ease the traffic between Bulgaria and Greece. Mitsotakis doesn't want it sooner because they're afraid. He will visit us on June 24, Borissov added.

The PM noted that we should not make the mistake of neighbouring North Macedonia, which has lost control in recent days and cases of newly infected with coronavirus has risen sharply./BNT

The Weather Today in Bulgaria - June 4

Today it will be mostly sunny. Cumulus clouds will develop in the afternoon clouds but only in some places it will rain lightly. It will blow to a moderate west-southwest wind. Daily temperatures will rise and the maximum will be between 24 ° and 29 °, in Sofia around 25 °, according to the NIMH forecast.  

Atmospheric pressure will be lower than the average for June. During the day it will remain almost unchanged.

In the mountains it will be mostly sunny, in the afternoon cumulus and cumulonimbus clouds will develop and in some places it will rain and thunder. A moderate to strong west-southwest wind will blow. The maximum temperature at an altitude of 1200 meters will be about 17 °, at 2000 meters - about 9 °.

Above the Black Sea coast it will be mostly sunny, in the afternoon with cumulus clouds, but no precipitation. A moderate south-southwest wind will blow. Maximum air temperatures will be between 20 ° and 25 °. The temperature of the sea water is 16° -18°. The sea wave will be 2-3 points.

10 Reasons Why You Should Use VPN while in Bulgaria

Where the heck is Bulgaria, and why do you need a Bulgarian IP address?

Bulgaria is one of the oldest countries in Europe. It lies on the western shore of the Black Sea just north of Turkey. Bulgaria is a cultural melting pot with Greek, Slavic, Ottoman, and Persian influences. Once a part of the Soviet Bloc, Bulgaria has gradually moved to a constitutional government and is now a member of NATO and the European Union.

You don’t have to travel 6,000 miles to log into Bulgarian commercial and entertainment sites like BNT1 and BNT2. Also, the Bulgarian torrent website Zamunda.net is one of the world’s largest torrent websites. All you need is to get a Bulgarian VPN to access local Bulgarian services.

On the other hand, there are internal data privacy, freedom of the press, and censorship issues that the country is working out as it transitions from the old totalitarian regime to the EU standards of freedom and privacy protection. It is also illegal in Bulgaria to download torrented files of copyrighted material. While enforcement is somewhat lax, it is best to use a VPN server while web browsing and Bulgaria.

How a VPN works

When you log on to a VPN in Bulgaria, you add an encrypted layer to your internet connection. Your location is masked from outside observers and your connection to the net is encrypted. So long as you connect to a website with an address that begins with “HTTPS,” your connection and the data stream between you and that connection remains private.

Why use a VPN?

Even if you never get within a “seleska milya” (country mile) of Bulgaria, there are advantages of routing your internet connection to a VPN server outside the country. Those advantages are all about privacy and security, as well as bypassing geo-blocking.

10 principal advantages of using a VPN

1. Your connection is encrypted.

A VPN provides a “tunneled” connection between your provider and the VPN server. What VPN does best is making long-distance and secure connections between networks. Premium VPNs like Surfshark provide 256-bit encryption and the fastest connections.

2. Your web browsing becomes more secure.

The encryption shores up vulnerabilities in your browser. It secures your browser history from your nosy ISP. Internet service providers try to capitalize on tracking user data and sell it to marketers. When you see a barrage of ads on your browser for a product you recently bought, it is because your activity was detected and monitored.

3. You can use public wifi and escape MITM attacks.

A man in the middle (MITM) attack occurs when someone uses an unsecured public wifi service. The hacker gains access to the information you are passing and receiving to/from a third party and uses the strolen data for fraudulent purposes. The attacks can be live, or the hacker can leave malware that can awaken later.

Hijackers employ clever strategies to carry out their attacks. For example:

  • They use a “web pineapple” device to detect and access unsecured networks.

  • They spoof a Domain Name Server (DNS) to send the user to fake websites.

  • They steal session cookies--unencrypted login information.

  • They employ software to detect online activity and intercept data going to and from the user.

  • They use a spoofed web application to lure the victim into disclosing login credentials.

Us a VPN whenever logging into a public website.

4. Your web location and activity are hidden and masked.

The main purpose of a VPN is to mask the user’s online activity. It does that through deception and, as previously mentioned, encryption. Your location is hidden, because your ISP address is transferred to another server—in Bulgaria, for example. Your activity is masked because of the below described no-logs policy.

5. With a no-logs policy, you can further hide your activity.

In addition to location masking, a premium VPN like Surfshark has a “no-logs” policy. That means that the VPN server will not collect any records of the user’s web activity. ISPs could not, even under subpoena, produce any record of the user’s online activities. Those records do not exist.

6. You can by-pass geo-blocking and censorship.

Geo-blocking detects a user’s geographical area based on the ISP address. The user is then denied access to content available only to local users. Likewise, there are some authoritarian governments that block their citizens from accessing foreign websites considered subversive or controversial.

7. You can be a better shopper.

Some vendors have different price structures for more affluent geographical areas and choose to geo-block users seeking lower prices elsewhere. With a VPN like Surfshark, you can defeat geo-blocking by logging into a local server.

Hotels, airlines, ticketing agencies and car rental services also use differential pricing practices. For example, when shopping from certain IP locations, the customer could see a variety of ticket prices for the same trip. Smart shoppers can log into a VPN server at the travel destination and do some wise comparison shopping.

8. You can access unlimited entertainment.

Premium VPNs like Surfshark can successfully bypass local area restrictions to streaming services like Netflix. Because of copyright restrictions, for example, a certain popular movie or television program might not be available outside a certain area.

So, geo-blocking consists of local web restrictions. For example, Netflix programming often varies from region to region. Those programming differences are because of local licensing. So, what may be available in the U.S. is not always available for U.K. viewers, and vice versa.

Sports fans can likewise be denied access to their favorite local teams on the internet. Leagues and teams frequently blackout local games for a variety of commercial and licensing reasons. VPNs can bypass those blackouts.

9. You can have extra security in handling Bitcoin.

Bitcoin miners/investors access an encrypted blockchain network, but are still vulnerable to bots and malware that can steal encryption keys from their computers through so-called crypto jacking malware. VPN adds an additional layer of anonymity and deception by masking the user’s connection.

10 With a premium VPN like Surfshark, you can access some very nice extras.

Surfshark’s premium VPN service includes a web security feature called CleanWeb™ . This feature blocks intrusive ads, web trackers, phishing attempts, and malware.

What About Free VPNs?

There are a number of free VPN services available. They do not charge a subscription fee, but they exploit their users to make money in the following ways:

1. Free VPNs log and track your web business. This defeats the purpose of a VPN, which is to keep user data private. Free VPNs frequently load third-party trackers into the user’s browsers. Those trackers gather data and sell it to marketers.

2. Free VPNs can drag down the speed of the user’s internet connection. That slowdown can be caused by intrusive popup ads slowing browser performance or the user taking a backseat to the VPN’s paying customers.

3. Free VPNs can be a vector for hackers’ secondary attacks. Free VPNs are more likely to contain malware. Most of that malware has been detected as being embedded in advertising they push to clients.

Essentially, free VPNs are stripped down versions of premium and full-featured VPN services. Those free products should be used with caution and with the knowledge that the service provider may be monitoring the user’s data.

Premium VPNs Are Your Best Bet

A premium VPN like Surfshark:

  • can guarantee a “no-logs” policy where the user is never tracked, nor are any records kept of the user’s activity—This is the guarantee that the user’s activity cannot be easily traced.

  • provides the best state-of-the-art connection and high-quality, top-grade 256-bit encryption

  • prevents data leakage—Surfshark, for example, features a “kill switch” to close the user’s connection if the VPN server gets disconnected

  • is most effective in bypassing geo-blocking—When a streaming service detects a server as a VPN connection, Surfshark will move to another not detected by the service.

A Word of Caution

VPNs are neither malware- nor virus-hunters. Premium VPN services like Surfshark have encryption protocols with built-in security features. They do not provide full protection against virus injection through phishing or clicking on links in unsecured web sites. You should always rely on regularly updated anti-virus programs, along with web malware detectors and blocks like Surfshark’s CleanWeb™.

When comparing free VPNs to premium services, be aware that VPNs do not offer absolute protection against cyber-attacks. Again, a VPN cannot prevent a user from downloading a cleverly concealed piece of malware from an insecure website or compromising a password as a result of a phishing attack.

Think of a VPN as an invisible mobile shield. It hides the user’s IP address and spoofs the user’s location. A VPN is another bit of insurance, and the user should rely on anti-malware protection, a good password strategy, along with file encryption as commonsense security practices. Those practices should include using only secure websites. Also, remember that hackers rely on user trust, curiosity, carelessness, and gullibility.


Essentially, here’s what a premium VPN in Bulgaria can do:

  • bypass content locked out from a local access point—Some in-country content overseas is not available to U.S. IP address users.

  • encrypt all your connection and the data you transmit—Total privacy is guaranteed by encryption. Without the encryption key, an intruder sees only garbled gibberish.

  • hide the user’s browser history from prying ISPs, who frequently sell user data to marketers, who tailor usage data to call up annoying popup ads.

  • allow file sharing to be completely private and anonymous—Sensitive files and documents travel securely through a VPN “tunnel.”

  • add another layer of protection against cybersecurity attacks—Hackers and snoopers have to locate and detect before they can hack.


Mexican Zoo - Refuge for Animals During the Pandemic

- Kira, the tiger -

Kira, a two and a half year-old tiger, arrived at a zoo in Mexico's northeast in April after her owner could no longer feed her due to the coronavirus-induced economic collapse.

The imposing 130-kilogram tigress was sedated and transported in a cage by truck to her new home in Culiacan zoo in Sinaloa state.

Her owner had responded to a campaign by Mexico's Association of Zoos, Nurseries and Aquariums (AZCARM) to avoid abandoning wild animals during the lockdown.

"Abandonment happens when people can't cope with their animals any more, and in this pandemic, faced with the lack of economic resources and places to keep them, they prefer to get rid of them," AZCARM president Ernesto Zazueta told AFP.

Alongside the big cat, the Culiacan zoo also welcomed during the lockdown a python, a baby manatee and 14 green macaws, as well as 49 deer rescued from a sugar mill in Tabasco.

- Malnourished deer -

The deer arrived at the zoo suffering from malnutrition. Now they graze in a large enclosure alongside ostriches, giraffes and antelopes.

"The tiger was reported because they couldn't look after it; but as for the deer... it was an emergency because they didn't have any food or even anyone to look after them, on top of being in a place that was inadequate for the species," said Diego Garcia, Culiacan's director.

Mexican zoos have been rescuing illegally trafficked wild animals for years, and others from circuses since a 2015 ban on shows using live animals.

In these reserves, experts try to rehabilitate the animals and where possible return them to their natural habitat.
However, many are forced to live the rest of their lives in zoos because of the long-term physical damages they've suffered or because they've lost their wild instincts.

"When the animals arrive we evaluate them, we rehabilitate them ... Many cannot return to the wild because they don't know how to survive, they don't know how to hunt, nor how to defend themselves," said Zazueta.

- Magnet for illegal traffickers -

Mexican zoos are struggling, like many businesses, due to lockdown rules imposed over the coronavirus and depriving them of vital entrance fess.

AZCARM is asking the government for support in food donations and in allowing zoos to reopen in the first phase of the country's "new normality," which saw essential businesses including mining, construction and aviation reactivated from Monday.

Kira and other animals at the Culiacan zoo have been fed on a monthly donation of 3.5 tons of meat from a local company.
And despite the difficulties, all the animals "are being very well cared for and well fed," said Zazueta.

Mexico is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, according to the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre.

It is home to 10-12 percent of the biological species on the planet, is number one for reptiles and second for mammals, the government says./afp.com


New Evidence Suggests That Mars Indeed Had a Ring

Mars - glorious, dusty, complex Mars - may once have been even more dazzling. New research provides even more evidence that a rubbly ring once circled the Red Planet. The new clue lies in Deimos, the smaller of the two Martian moons. It's orbiting Mars at a slight tilt with respect to the planet's equator - and this could very well be the result of the gravitational shenanigans caused by a planetary ring. Ring systems aren't actually all that uncommon. When you think about ring systems, your mind immediately leaps to Saturn, no doubt - but half the planets in the Solar System have rings, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Jupiter.

In 2017, a pair of researchers theorised that Mars, too, once had a ring. They conducted simulations of the larger of the two Martian moons, Phobos, and found that it could have formed after an asteroid slammed into Mars, sending debris flying into space, forming a ring that then clumped together into an earlier form of Phobos that was much more massive than it is today.

Now this new research has added Deimos into the mix - and the findings are in total agreement with the previous model.

"The fact that Deimos's orbit is not exactly in plane with Mars's equator was considered unimportant, and nobody cared to try to explain it," said astronomer Matija Cuk of the SETI Institute.

"But once we had a big new idea and we looked at it with new eyes, Deimos's orbital tilt revealed its big secret."

Deimos' orbital tilt isn't huge - just 1.8 degrees off Mars' equator. Aside from that, its orbit is pretty normal - it swings around Mars every 30 hours or so, with extremely low eccentricity - so you can see why no one thought anything screwy was going on. But there is something screwy going on with Phobos. It's much closer to Mars, on an orbit of 7 hours and 39 minutes, and it's getting closer to Mars by 1.8 centimetres a year.

Within 100 million years, it's expected that Phobos will reach the Roche limit, the distance from Mars at which the planet's tidal forces tear the moon apart.

Much of the debris could form a ring that rains down on Mars; but some of it could re-form into a smaller, newer Phobos that gets pushed outwards as the ring is pulled in.

This, according to the 2017 research, could have happened several times in the past. 

The Japanese space agency, JAXA, is planning to send a probe to Phobos in 2024. This probe will collect surface samples and bring them to Earth.

Those surface samples could then be dated to estimate the age of Phobos' surface. If it's no more than a couple of hundreds of millions of years old, that would validate the team's prediction. /msn.com

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