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Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva arrived at Franjo Tudjman Airport in Zagreb last night. She is on an official visit to the Republic of Croatia at the invitation of Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić-Radman, the Foreign Ministry said.
Highlights in the talks of Ekaterina Zaharieva in Zagreb will be the development of bilateral relations, as well as topical issues from the regional, European and world agenda.
In addition to Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić-Radman, during his visit, the Foreign Minister will also meet with Croatian Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandrokovic, as well as representatives of the Bulgarian community.

The danger is great in places with major landmarks.

A general strike in Catalonia was announced on Friday, the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The department reminds that tensions and opposition between protesters and law enforcement in the Spanish Autonomous Region and its capital Barcelona will escalate on 18 October.

A new wave of political protests is being added to the blockade of a number of highways and airports, resulting in student rallies, street fighting, and the erection of barricades. Prolonged demonstrations are also expected around government agencies, the location of which coincides with the major tourist areas of major Catalan cities.

There is a great danger that the places with the main attractions will become a scene of unrest and violence.

The ministry recommends that Bulgarian citizens do not urgently travel to Catalonia before and during the general strike announced on Friday, and that Bulgarian residents or tourists residing in the area avoid the areas where protest events are organized.

The previous warnings and announcements from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria remain in force.

Our Consulate General in Barcelona and our Embassy in Madrid are monitoring the situation and are ready to assist as needed. Bulgarian citizens can contact the Barcelona FC by telephone: +34 937 969 950, as well as by emergency telephone number: +34 619 217 097 and the Madrid Embassy by telephone: +34 913 455 761; +34 913 456 651 and on-call hotline: + 34 678 013 846.

EU leaders have failed to agree to launch accession talks with northern Macedonia and Albania. A major opponent of this idea is French President President Emmanuel Macron. He urges the Community to reform its membership rules before the accession of new Member States. Leaders are expected to try again on Friday to persuade Macron that Brussels should respect the efforts of Skopje and Tirana.

The Netherlands and Denmark are against pre-accession talks with Tirana.

Turkey's actions in Syria were condemned,  and consensus was reached on Brexit. The EU budget until 2027 and the composition of the new European Commission will be on the agenda today.

As of today, the United States is introducing duties on a number of European Union goods - from 10% to 25%, affecting goods and services totaling $ 7.5 billion.

Washington has received the green light for action after the World Trade Organization approved penalties against European countries that violated trade rules in subsidizing airline giant Airbus.

Aircraft customs duties will increase by 10% and various European goods by 25%. Most affected by this measure will be the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Spain.

The weather during the weekend will be wonderful. 

In the next days the weather will be mostly sunny. Mostly in Eastern Bulgaria, there will be low clouds and fog in places in the valleys. Both morning temperatures and daytime temperatures will be higher than usual in the second half and late October.

Morning temperatures are between 5 and 10 °, slightly higher - along the Black Sea coast.

In the next week, the daytime temperatures will be between 21 and 26 ° and the morning temperatures will be between 7 and 12 °.

t will be mostly sunny and calm today. In the morning, fog or low layered clouds expected in places in lowlands, valleys and around the water bodies.

The maximum temperatures will reach 22C to 27C, in Sofia – about 24C. Atmospheric pressure will remain close to the monthly average. This is the weather forecast of the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (NIMH), meteorologist Georgi Tsekov told Focus News Agency.

The decision comes after US Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Ankara.

Turkey and US agree to ceasefire in Syria. Vice President Mike Pence reported the news.

Expect more details!

President Rumen Radev launched an initiative to promote physical activity and sport among children and young people in Bulgaria. It is important to get out of talking about sports as an abstraction, it is time to show young people a personal commitment at all levels, said the Head of State оon October 17. He announced the launch of his "Sports with the President" initiative during a conference held at the National Sports Academy "Vasil Levski", BNT reported.

The initiative aims to promote the imporance of sport for health improvement, the development of motor skills and social interaction among young people. Radev noted that it is important for young people to get out of the dangers of the virtual network and to be connected to a network of like-minded people with whom they can exercise together.

The new initiative aims at building a network of partnerships with schools, sports organizations, institutions, parents, which, according the Head of State, play a leading role in improving the physical and health status of young people. The Head of State called on everyone to join forces for the health and physical activity of children.

During the conference, leading experts in the fields of medicine, psychology, pedagogy, physical education presented data on the deterioration of the health status of the children resulting from lack of movement, as well as decrease of the students' physical capacity. An emphasis in the lecturers’ reports was placed on the growing risk of becoming addicted to information technology. Good practices from other European countries and methods for promoting sports among children were presented.

From the beginning of the year to October 13, 2019, 50 720 refugees and migrants arrived in Greece, of which 39 775 by sea. This is indicated by official data in the country, almost identical to last year, when 50,963 people were registered. From October 7 to October 13, 1,649 people arrived in the Aegean islands, with the largest number being registered in Lesbos - 896 refugees and migrants, MIA reported.

According to official figures published by the Greek government, in the first half of October, as of 15 October 2019, 4 443 refugees and migrants had arrived in the eastern Aegean islands and 2 494 persons had been displaced from other islands in Greece.

The Greek islands near the Turkish coast accommodate 33,120 refugees and migrants and Lesbos remain the most affected by the wave. The island accommodates 16 066 people, 13 851 of which are in the 2 840-seat Moria Registration and Identification Center. In Samos, where serious incidents occurred several days ago, 5,851 were placed in a reception centrе for 648 people.

"The growing migrant wave from Turkey is putting Greece under increasing pressure," said Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who announced that he would raise the issue of immigration at the EU summit in Brussels today and tomorrow.

Condemning the decision of some countries' refusal to welcome migrants, Mitsotakis said there should be consequences for those who do not act in the direction of European solidarity.

"Europe needs to be prepared for the possibility of a 'new wave of immigrant and refugee flow through Greece," Mitsotakis said.

Tesla has been included in the government's list of approved carmakers, the Chinese Ministry of Industry announced today after authorizing the electric vehicle manufacturer to start production in the country, Reuters reported.

The list was published by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

That means Tesla is getting a green light for manufacturing in China, the head of Shanghai-based consulting firm Automotive Foresight said.

Tesla can start production at any time, he added.

Tesla is building its first car manufacturing plant abroad in Shanghai.

Earlier this month Reuters reported that Tesla plans to start work at its Chinese plant this month. It is unclear when it will meet its annual production target due to uncertainty over procurement, supply and labor.

Tesla plans to produce at least 1,000 Model 3 cars a week at its Shanghai plant by the end of the year, trying to increase sales in the world's largest auto market and avoid higher import duties levied on US cars , BTA informs.

The factory, which is the first fully foreign-owned company in China, also reflects Beijing's desire to open its auto market.

Shanghai authorities offered Tesla assistance to accelerate construction, and on August 30, China excluded models from the US company from a 10 percent car purchase tax.

The online video giant Netflix has already got more than 158 million subscribers worldwide, generating more than $ 5 billion in revenue in the third quarter of 2019, France Press reported.

The company's shares have risen with nearly 10 percent in e-commerce since the end of the regular New York Stock Exchange daily session.

The company, a pioneer in video streaming for movies and series, has grown 21 percent of its subscribers worldwide, slightly below its projections, but well below analysts' expectations which were that Netflix would have 161 million subscribers by now.

Next month, Netflix will have two new competitors on the market - Apple TV + and Disney +.

A new substance is included in the drug list. This is clear from a Council of Ministers decision amending the Ordinance on the procedure for classifying plants and substances as narcotic.

The change puts a new substance under control by including it in Schedule I - "Plants and Substances at High Risk to Public Health due to the Harmful Abuse of Prohibited Use in Human and Veterinary Medicine".

The substance is from the group of synthetic cannabinoids and is controlled by a proposal of the Military Medical Academy, based on the opinion of the Expert Council of the National Council on Narcotic Drugs.

The expected outcome of the proposed change is to limit the risk of substance abuse, traffic prevention and distribution.

Laura Kovesi was finally confirmed as Prosecutor General of the European Union. The decision was announced by the European Parliament (EP). Earlier this week, the EU Council adopted its decision.

Today's decision of the leaders of the political groups and the EP President  begins the 7-year term of Kovesi. She will be the first head of the EU prosecutor's office.

The EU Prosecutor's Office is expected to start working by the end of next year. European prosecutors will investigate crimes involving the EU budget - fraud, corruption, VAT abuse.

It was also decided that the powers of the institution could be extended. So far, 22 EU countries have been involved in the European Public Prosecutor's Office, excluding the UK, Sweden, Hungary, Poland, Ireland and Denmark.

The EU Prosecutor's Office will be based in Luxembourg and will be composed of a panel of prosecutors from all participating countries, CNA reported.

Hundreds of people around the world have been arrested after a child pornography site in the Dark web was taken down by authorities in March 2018. The site has been selling child sexual abuse videos for Bitcoins.

The charges were brought against 337 users from 12 different countries. Among the accused is the alleged head of the site, 23-year-old South Korean Jong Woo Son.

More than 250,000 horrific videos, stored on a computer server in South Korea and available through a website called 'Welcome To Video', were sold to paedophiles around the world through the dark web, with more than a million clips downloaded, Daily Mail reported.

Authorities said there was a caption on the video upload page saying "Do not upload adult porn over the age of 15.” Officials from the United States, Britain and South Korea have identified the network as one of the largest child pornography ever to be encountered.

Assistant United States Attorney General Brian Benchkovski said: "The blackmail sites that profit from the sexual exploitation of children are among the most heinous and reprimanding forms of criminal behavior." At least 23 juvenile victims who were actively abused by users of the site have been rescued in the US, UK and Spain, the US Department of Justice said. Many children in the videos have not yet been identified.

The site has a huge library of images that have never been seen by law enforcement and is an example of what authorities say is an explosion of sexual abuse content online.

The site is one of the first websites to sell child pornography for bitcoins, allowing users to hide their identity during financial transactions. The site has raised at least $ 370,000 in bitcoins before it was closed in March 2018. Dark web sites such as "Welcome To Video" are designed to be impossible to find online and it is not yet clear how the authorities managed to find and take down the site.

International Monetary Fund Director Kristalina Georgieva commented on China-US trade mini-deal. She said a reconciliation between the two countries was not enough and that a trade peace was needed, BGNES reported.

"It's really good news that the US and China are talking to each other, but it's not enough.”

"What we need is to reach, not just truce, we need to have trade peace," so that trade can "return to its role of an engine of the world economy." Georgieva told reporters at the start of the International Monetary Fund's annual meeting. 

In connection with the China-US deal on Wednesday, US President Donald Trump said the deal I s being “prepared”. He recalled that China is engaging in greater purchases of American agricultural exports and made concessions because of economic pressure from Washington. "They want a deal. They have to make a deal. Their economy is hurt very badly by what we and the customs have done," Trump said.

Markets came to life on Friday when the deal was reached, which led to relief after a steady escalation in the US-China trade conflict. Last week, Trump welcomed a breakthrough on a "first phase" deal, which he said is significant and includes a spike in purchases of US agricultural products and also covers intellectual property, financial services and currencies.

However, comments from Beijing officials have raised skepticism about the significance of the agreement.

Britain's main opposition formation - the Labor Party - cannot support the Brexit deal agreed between the European Union and the British government today, said its leader Jeremy Corbyn, quoted by Reuters and France press.

“From what we know, it seems the Prime Minister has negotiated an even worse deal than Theresa May's, which was overwhelmingly rejected.

'These proposals risk triggering a race to the bottom on rights and protections: putting food safety at risk, cutting environmental standards and workers' rights, and opening up our NHS to a takeover by US private corporations.

'This sell out deal won't bring the country together and should be rejected. The best way to get Brexit sorted is to give the people the final say in a public vote”, Corbyn said.

It is unlikely that the British Parliament would accept the text.  

The Northern Ireland Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) is also against the deal.

The DUP is involved in a parliamentary coalition with the ruling Conservative Party, which no longer has a majority in parliament.

A Labor Party source said it would likely vote for a second EU referendum if such a vote were added to any deal proposed by Johnson.

Scotland is also against. The Scottish National Party will not endorse Parliament's British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Brexit deal because it represents a much “harder” exit from the EU, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said today, cited by Reuters.

"The Brexit envisaged by Boris Johnson is one which sees a much looser relationship with the EU when it comes to issues like food standards, environmental protections and workers' rights. That is not the future that I or my government envisage for Scotland.”, she said 

“It cannot be right that Scotland alone is facing an outcome it did not vote for - that is democratically unacceptable and makes a mockery of claims that the UK is in any way a partnership of equals.," Sturgeon added.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage said on Twitter that the agreement with Brussels by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson must be rejected, and that he would rather delay Brexit one more time than leave under Johnson’s plan, DPA and Daily Mail reported.

On the other side, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said it was a "fair and balanced agreement" - and suggested that it was the final deal on offer, saying there would be "no other prolongation".

Mr Johnson said the "great" new deal "allows us to get Brexit done and leave the EU in two weeks' time, so we can then focus on the people's priorities and bring the country back together again”, BBC reported.

Ursula von der Leyen will have to wait a month before heading to the next European Commission, as the European Parliament rejected three candidate-commissioners, the institution’s spokesman said Wednesday (16 October), Euractiv reported.

The Parliament is “willing to vote on time to allow new Commission to start December 1,” spokesman Jaume Duch tweeted. The new Commission had been due to take office on November 1.

Duch added a call for the “rapid appointment of the new three commissioners-designate”.

The new EC was due to take office on November 1, but but the rejection slowed the whole process, BTA recalls.

MEP David Sassoli and leaders of the various political groups met yesterday and decided not to include the vote on the approval of the new EC in its agenda for next week's plenary session.

The European Commissioner-designate candidates from France, Romania and Hungary are still missing.

The British television “Sky” is launching a new channel without news of Brexit, Reuters and France Press reported.

Three years after the start of the crisis with the UK's exit from the European Union, the television believes that some viewers are so fed up with the divorce drama that there is a market for a news channel that has nothing to do with Brexit.

A Reuters Institute for Journalism study this year found that more than a third of people surveyed were evading the news, with most citing Brexit as the main reason.

It is very important for the Balkans, the region and our relations with North Macedonia and Albania that these countries are given EU Membership perspective. It would be a historic mistake if they were not allowed to enter EU accession negotiations today. This was what Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said before the start of today's meeting of the European Council in Brussels. According to him, Bulgaria would not create obstacles at the beginning of talks, as decisions on controversial issues could be sought later, BNR reported.

Asked by journalists about the events in northeastern Syria, Prime Minister Borissov said: “We have always supported Turkey when it had problems with migration, with camps, and that is why we had given money. But when it is leading a war; when it is leading military actions, I cannot support this,"the Prime Minister said, adding firmly that the war should stop.

Authorities in Kurdish-controlled areas in Syria have accused Turkey of using unconventional weapons such as white phosphorus and napalm during its offensive in the northern areas of the country, AFP reported.

The agency says it has failed to independently verify these allegations against Ankara forces or Syrian fighters who support them.

Since the start of the offensive against Kurdish militia, Turkish troops and their Syrian allies (part of rebel groups fighting the Bashar al-Assad regime) have seized a 120-km-wide border in northern Syria and fighting is now under way in the city of Ras al Ain.

"The Turkish aggression is using all available weapons against Ras al-Ain," the Kurdish statement said." the semi-autonomous Kurdish administration said in a statement today.

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has an extensive network of on-field informants, could not confirm that such weapons were being used. However, human rights activists have registered people with burn injuries that have arrived at the Tell Tamer Hospital in the past two days, the NGO director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

Kurdish officials posted footage on social media showing children with burns, who, according to a Hasaka province doctor, may confirm that such weapons were used.

"Faced with the obvious failure of his plan, Erdogan is resorting to weapons that are globally banned such as phosphorus and napalm," the statement added.

"There are a lot of fears that prohibited weapons are being used in Sari Kani. Wounds we treat at the hospitals are not normal injuries at all," Dr. Manal Mohammed, head of the Rojava Health Board, told Rudaw on Wednesday night.

"Our health board is currently investigating to find out what type of weapon is being used against us. Like I said, wounds we treat are not normal at all,” the doctor said, Rudaw reported.

"We urge international organisations to send their teams to investigate some wounds sustained in attacks," Mustefa Bali, spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces (UDF), Kurdish-Arab Coalition, said on social media.

Greece has announced a campaign against plastic pollution and promised to end the use of single-use plastics by June 2020, AFP reported.

"39 tonnes of plastic waste end up in the sea in Greece (every day) and a lot of it turns into fish food," Environment Minister Kostis Hatzidakis said at a press conference.

"The fight against plastic pollution is a government priority."

Greece has a coastline stretching over 130,000 kilometres, and plastics in the oceans affect its wild marine life along the entire food chain.

The minister said that the European Commission directive to ban single-use plastics by July 2021 will be quickly incorporated into Greek law. Hatzidakis said he hopes to phase out the use of single-use plastics by 2020, a year before the EU ban enters into force.

Hatzidakis called for an alliance between the state, the private sector, non-governmental organizations and citizens.

He also announced a plan for collaboration with the charitable foundation A.C. Laskaridis, a private environmental group. Last year, the foundation worked with the Greek island of Sikinos in the Aegean to ban plastic straws that are widely used in the summer.

According to the group, Greece imports about 700,000 tonnes of raw plastics each year and discards 40,000 tonnes of plastics, 70% of which are ashore. In the summer, the percentage reaches 76, of which only 8% are recycled.

Greece is lagging behind its EU neighbours in recycling waste, especially plastics. The country was late to adopt a plastic bag fee in stores in January 2018.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will go to Russia on October 22 to meet with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, the Turkish presidency announced.

The meeting will be in the resort city of Sochi, after which, the same day, Erdogan will return to Turkey.

The announcement of the meeting comes a week after Turkey launched a military offensive in northeastern Syria against the Kurdish People's Defense Force. These militias are supported by Western countries but are considered terrorists from Ankara.

Feeling abandoned by the US, following the withdrawal of US troops from the area into which Turkey invaded, the Kurds signed an agreement with the Damascus regime with Moscow's support, which led to the deployment of Syrian troops in the northern part of the country.

The death toll of yesterday's 6.3 magnitude earthquake in the Southern Philippines, has increased to five people and dozens have been injured, authorities said.

The quake shook North Cotabato and neighbouring provinces and caused landslides and a fire at the mall.

Two 2 and 7 year old girls and a mother with a child were killed and one man suffered a heart attack.

Last night, another 5.3 magnitude earthquake struck the eastern province of Davao. Philippine seismologists said it was not a secondary earthquake and so far there is no evidence of casualties or damage.

The refugee centres in Bulgaria are filled to 9% of their capacity, with 454 residents, Dimitar Kirov, Director of Quality of the Procedure for International Protection at the State Agency for Refugees, told Focus Radio.

In his words, the trend continues and this country does not expect a mass migration wave, as evidenced by the applications for international protection submitted this year. "Since the beginning of the year, 1,870 applications have been submitted, and last year their number was 2,563. The total capacity for accommodation in the local units of the agency is 5,160 persons, if necessary it can be increased to 6,000 accommodation places. Crisis response plans have been adopted at national level. At present, the migration situation in the country is calm and the implementation of such plans is not in sight," Kirov said. He further said that the deadline for the State Agency for Refugees to rule on application for international protection is six months. In addition to shelter, food and health care, the agency provides Bulgarian language courses, mediation and contact to labour offices, he said.

US President Donald Trump sent a letter to Turkey's President Recep Erdogan on October 9, the day the Turkish operation in Syria began, asking him not to "be a fool," CNN reported, quoting parts of the document.

“Let’s work out a good deal!”, Trump started.

“You don’t want to be responsible for slaughtering thousands of people, and I don’t want to be responsible for destroying the Turkish economy – and I will,” he wrote.

“History will look upon you favorably if you get this done the right and humane way,” Trump continued. “It will look upon you forever as the devil if good things don’t happen.”

“Don’t be a tough guy. Don’t be a fool!” he finished, adding: “I will call you later.”

On October 9, Turkish President Recep Erdogan announced the launch of Operation "Peace Spring" in northern Syria against the PKK and IDIL. Turkish aviation attacked the city of Ras al-Ain and several other Syrian cities on the border of the two countries. The start of the ground operation was later announced. On Saturday, the Turkish Defense Ministry announced that the Turkish army and the Syrian armed opposition were taking control of Ras al-Ain.

The government approved the allocation of BGN 2 429 511 for physical education and sports for municipal kindergartens and schools and for public schools funded by the Ministry of Education and Science.

The funds are provided to support the activities related to the preparation and participation in the educational and sports activities and are determined for the budget year on the basis of projects developed by the municipal and state kindergartens and schools to support the physical education and sports of children and students, the government press service announced.

The purpose of the projects is to improve the attitudes and to create motivation among children and students for systematic exercise and sports activities.

These funds provide the financial resources for the payment of the approved projects for physical education and sport for 2019.

Turkey's military operation against Kurdish forces in northeastern Syria forced 300,000 people to displace in eight days. This was reported today by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, quoted by the AFP.

"More than 300,000 civilians have been displaced since the start of the offensive," on October 9, the NGO director Rami Abdel Rahman said.

According to him, most of these people were forced to flee the fighting in Al Hasakah province and around the cities of Kobane and Tell Abyad.

Many displaced have found shelter with their loved ones in safer areas, while others have spent the night in open vines in vineyards.

40 schools in Hasakah province have been turned into centers for displacement, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

The Japanese government has decided that the country will join NASA's program to colonize the moon, which moves the landing to the lunar surface in 2024, the Kyodo news agency said.

The decision will be formally announced by the end of this year. NASA has announced that the new moon assimilation program has been named "Artemis." It will consist of three stages.

Artemis 1 predicts an unmanned flight of the Orion spacecraft around the moon and its return to Earth, scheduled for the second half of 2020. The second stage - "Artemis 2" aims to fly around our natural satellite with crew on board in 2022. The Artemis 3 mission foresees the astronauts' moon landing in 2024.

Thirty-five people were killed and four were injured in a serious crash in Saudi Arabia, SPA reported. The incident took place in the province of Medina. The agency said, citing police sources, that a 39-passenger bus had collided with a truck.

The victims are of Asian and Arab nationality, the same source explained. More details about the incident are not reported.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has announced that Britain and the European Union have agreed on a new Brexit deal.

"Wherever there is a will, there is a deal - we have one! It is a fair and balanced agreement for the EU and the United Kingdom, and it demonstrates our commitment to finding a solution. I recommend the EU Summit (taking place today and tomorrow in Brussels) to approve this deal, "Juncker said.

In a letter to the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk recommended that the EU approve the deal, with Jean-Claude Juncker writing that "the negotiating parties have reached an agreement on a revised Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland and on the revision of the Political Declaration".

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also said Britain and the European Union have agreed on a "great" new deal for Brexit and called on British lawmakers to approve it over the weekend.

"We have a great new deal that will bring us back in control'', Johnson wrote on Twitter.

"Parliament must now approve the new Brexit deal on Saturday so that we can move on to other priorities such as the cost of living, the National Health, Violence and Crime Office in the country," he added.

However, the Northern Ireland Democratic Unionist Party has announced that it has not changed its position and cannot support the deal proposed by Boris Johnson and the European Union.


According to opposition Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbin, the people must have the final say on the issue in a new referendum. Corbin called on British MPs to reject the new deal.

The Liberal Democrats also declared a second referendum.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte described the news as "very encouraging". Now we have to look into the details, "he added.

His Finnish counterpart, Antti Rinne, has announced that the ball is now in the field of the British Parliament.

The Brexit deal is fair and reasonable, said EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

The Council of Ministers has decided the German research vessel (HHK) "PO-SEIDON" to conduct an oceanographic expedition to the exclusive economic zone of Bulgaria in the Black Sea from 3.11.2019 to 22.11.2019 inclusive, the government press service announced.

The international scientific team of 11 scientists who will be working on the board of "PO-SEIDON" during the expedition includes representatives of institutes from the Federal Republic of Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland and Slovakia.

The purpose of the expedition is to make a real assessment of the state of the environment in the Black Sea and to determine its ecological status.

A map of the Republic of Turkey, including territories from Bulgaria, was posted on a Facebook profile linked to Turkey's National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar.

Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva immediately ordered Deputy Minister Petko Doikov to contact the Turkish Ambassador Hasan Ulusoy, Bulgaria's foreign ministry reported.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed that the publication was reported to the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva on Wednesday afternoon.

The ambassador checked and confirmed that this profile had nothing to do with Minister Akar, assuming it was maintained by a group of people. Ambassador Ulusoy promised to provide additional information after the Turkish side makes further checks.

"We have no eyes on anyone's soil, we will only take back what is ours!"

The post was sent to Novinite.com from a reader.

In the days remaining until the end of the week, tensions and opposition between protesters and law enforcement officials in the Spanish Autonomous Region of Catalonia and its capital Barcelona are expected to increase. A general strike was announced on October 18, the Foreign Ministry announced.

The blockade of a number of highways and airports is adding a new wave of political protests, involving student rallies, street fighting, barricades and protracted demonstrations around government agencies, the location of which actually coincides with major tourist areas in major Catalan cities.

There is a great danger that the places with the main attractions will become a scene of unrest and violence.

It is recommended that Bulgarian citizens do not urgently travel to Catalonia before and during the general strike announced on Friday, and that Bulgarian residents or tourists permanently residing in the area should avoid the areas where protest events are organized.

The previous warnings and announcements from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria remain in force.

Our Consulate General in Barcelona and our Embassy in Madrid are monitoring the situation and are ready to assist as needed.

Bulgarian citizens can contact the Barcelona FC by telephone: +34 937 969 950, as well as by emergency telephone number: +34 619 217 097 and the Madrid Embassy by telephone: +34 913 455 761; +34 913 456 651 and on-call hotline: + 34 678 013 846.

Turkey's ambassador to Bulgaria gave a special interview to the BNT, discussing the Turkish operation in Syria.

H.E Dr. Hasan Ulusoy talks with Tsvetelina Yordanova.

Your Excellency, what is the purpose of the Turkish military operation in northern Syria and what do you expect it to be?

H.E Dr. Hasan Ulusoy, Turkish Ambassador to Bulgaria: The anti-terrorist operation, which Turkey launched on October 9, is on the principle of legitimate self-defense and protection of national security. The goal is to clean up the area in northeastern Syria, west of the Euphrates River from terrorist elements, and create a 30-35 km security zone in the area. This operation has a history. The Islamic State terrorist group was very active in northern Syria. In 2015, the fight against it included the Syrian wing of the Marxist-Leninist terrorist organization PKK, which in Syria is under the name of the People's Defense Force or the Democratic Union Party. From the beginning, we tried to explain, above all to our friends in the US, that they were the PKK's wing, that they were one and the same, but this did not change the understanding of one terrorist group to act against another in clearing the area.

Since the start of the current operation, posters and photographs of the PKK terrorist leader Abdullah Ocalan, who has been sentenced and imprisoned and the organic connection between the two organizations, have been uncovered in many places. Over the past year, the two terrorist organizations have jointly carried out more than 300 terrorist attacks on our territory or in border areas of Turkey. This is claimed to be a confrontation between Kurds and Turks. This is by no means true. This is a fight against the PKK Marxist-Leninist group and its branches in Syria.

The EU condemned the military operation, Washington imposed sanctions, how do you accept the reactions of the international community?

There will always be reactions. Imagine a country where almost every day at its southern border terrorist acts, border crossings, people die, young children are left behind by bombs. At the same time, separatist activities are taking place in the region, and territorial integrity is being attacked. Above all, millions of Syrian people fleeing instability and war are coming to the country - about 4 million people. In such a situation, what would the other countries do? I find unfounded fears that the fight against IS will weaken, as Turkey has so far neutralized over 4,000 fighters of this terrorist organization. Turkey is the only country fighting this organization on the ground.

Turkey will also assume its responsibility after clearing these areas in relation to foreign terrorists - those IS members who have been imprisoned and their families. From a legal point of view, it is appropriate for these terrorists to return to their countries. Also important is the return of their family members and their rehabilitation. Many of them came from EU Member States. I would like to emphasize here that, to my knowledge, there are no Bulgarian citizens among the foreign terrorist fighters.

How do you view Bulgaria's role in this situation and in the dialogue with the EU, for which our country insists and in view of tomorrow's EU Summit of EU leaders?

Our neighbor, friend and ally Bulgaria understands us very well, and we welcome it. The Bulgarian side is in favor of maintaining the dialogue between Turkey and the EU and is not positive about possible sanctions against Turkey. We are grateful as this is a sensible approach. Following the Security Council, a call was made to end Turkey's operation. One of the concerns is that a humanitarian crisis would arise that would create migration pressure. The opposite is actually the case, thanks to these operations, humanitarian crises are being reduced and by clearing these areas of terrorists, it will be possible, on a voluntary basis and in a safe way, between one and two million refugees to return to their homeland. And this will reduce migration pressure.

Will Ankara continue to comply with the EU refugee agreement and can Bulgaria expect increased migration pressure along its southern border?

I would like to reiterate that in this respect we have a wonderful cooperation with Bulgaria, which can serve as an example. Turkey will continue to comply with the agreement with the EU, as strictly as before, there is no doubt about it. But from the very beginning of this process, the EU has been a country that is not fulfilling its commitments in many areas - in the financial part, in visa liberalization.

Does Ankara intend to request the activation of Art. 5 of the Washington Treaty in the current military operation, and is there any reason for that?

This is an interesting question. The article 5 of the Washington Treaty has already been applied once in history in connection with the international fight against terrorism. As is known after the horrific Al Qaeda attack in 2001, our US ally relied on Art. 5 of the North Atlantic Collective Defense Pact. Following the call, allied countries, including Turkey, joined the operation in Afghanistan and gave the best response to the civilized and democratic world against international terrorism. With regard to the fight against terrorism, we expect from our friends and our allies a minimum of solidarity and understanding. If we can achieve this, getting our allies and friends to show solidarity with us will be a great success.

Known as chronic wasting disease, the fatal progressive neurodegenerative illness was first identified in the 1960s. Like mad cow, the disease is spread by prions, the zombie-like pathogenic proteins that aren’t alive and can’t be killed. When they infect an animal, they eat away at its brain, causing a cascade of symptoms that resemble dementia and eventually lead to death. While the disease is still rare, researchers believe it’s more widespread than ever due, in part, to how humans trade deer and other hoofed mammals. Unusual news that sounds more like a science-fiction story, confirmed by Michael Ocherholm - Director of the Scandinavian Center for Infectious Diseases, quoted by Vox. 

Researchers have long wondered whether the disease, like mad cow, can make the leap into humans. Late last summer, we got a preliminary and frightening answer. In a paper published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, researchers from Scotland and Canada showed via an experiment in a petri dish that prions from sick animals can indeed infect human cells.

Northwestern Bulgaria is among the 10 most uncompetitive regions in the EU. This conclusion is not new, but it is now confirmed by a study by the European Commission, which answers the question which areas of the Old Continent are most attractive to businesses and citizens.

For more on this topic and on the issues of absorption of funds from Europe, see Victoria Boyadzhieva and her special interview for Business.bg with Angel Beremliyski from the Directorate-General for Regional Policy in the European Commission.

Mr Beremliyski, we are meeting at a very crucial moment when the budget negotiations for the next programming period are underway. Can you remind the viewers of Business.BG what are the finances earmarked for cohesion policy for Bulgaria for the current programming period 2014-2020 and what funds are to be distributed?

Bulgaria receives a lot of serious assistance from the European Union in general, and especially from the EU's cohesion policy. For the current programming period (2014-2020) it is about 8 billion overall. In the next programming period an increase of this resource is envisaged, which is also a very important element, an important message to Bulgaria. Generally, for the future investment policies, in the next 10 years. This is an increase of around € 2 billion. That is, the total resource will reach € 10 billion.

At the same time, however, the Regional Competitiveness Index came out and the data show that in the last 3 years our regions have not developed much, which is still the weakest, poorest region in Bulgaria - Northwest. Your comment?

My observation is similar to yours that there are indicators in certain regions that have not improved in the last 3 years, even at times they have decreased. This is, for example, the Northwest Region. It is therefore an important element and is also the core and one of the main objectives of cohesion policy - to strike a balance between investment in general, the competitiveness of an economy, to develop the potential of that economy, but also to emphasize territorial disparities. Or rather, to smooth these differences. This was definitely a key element of the current programming period, where for the first time we had as many as 39 cities directly using the resource, setting their own priorities, their own development strategy and being given the opportunity to choose projects specifically.

However - data is data. Where is the problem? In insufficient funds reaching these regions, or insufficient absorption? Why during the years there is no development of the indicators of this index?

Of course there is development. That is, the country's approximation to the EU average is present. But of course there are still problems. These problems are related to both demographics and capacity, and the potential to develop these regions as well. And so it is important that in the next programming period we really emphasize this element. But this resource is limited. Therefore, what matters is what the Member State itself adds to this resource. Depending on the level of development of a particular region, the particular country, that is to say, the participation of a Member State increases and decreases. That is, in the Bulgarian case in particular, co-financing is minimal, since the country as a whole, as well as the regions themselves, are in a less favorable position than the other regions and the EU average.

It is noteworthy that among the factors used to measure the competitiveness index, there is one that stands out with good performance in our country for all regions even 3 years ago and now. And that is precisely "macroeconomic stability". At the same time, however, other indicators such as health, education, the labor market, innovation, technology are not good, we are not performing well and we are below the EU average.

Regions and the country generally enjoy such good macroeconomic indicators. This is clearly the limit of all. And macroeconomic stability is shifting from the national level to the regional level. This is on the positive side.

Isn't there too much emphasis on areas that can attract investors at the expense of areas that directly improve people's lives?

I think this is a necessary balance. That is why in the last programming period we invested in the renovation of some, especially in the country, healthy establishments. Recently, in 2018, we also approved a major project that also took a long time to prepare, but for good. This is a major ambulance project. The project in question is a European investment of around € 60 million alone. The total investment, I think, was about EUR 100 million. But it adds to the investment that is being made in improving the quality of the schools and the learning processes naturally, as well as in improving the living conditions in Bulgarian cities - energy efficiency, these are all projects focused on improving the environment in the cities themselves and settlements and also in quality of life.

The UN Security Council warned in a unanimous statement about the risk of "dispersal" of jihadist prisoners in Syria, but did not call for an end to Turkey's offensive against Kurdish forces there.

"Security Council members have expressed deep concern about the risks of terrorist spreading by UN-designated groups, including the Islamic State," the statement said.

All 15 Council members, including Russia, a key player in the conflict, have declared themselves "very concerned about the further deterioration of the humanitarian situation" in Northeast Syria.

US Vice President Mike Pence and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have left for Ankara, where extraordinary talks will be held with Turkish President Recep Erdogan.

The two US diplomats will try to persuade the Turkish head of state to suspend the military operation "Operation Peace", which has been underway in northern Syria for more than a week.

Late last night, the White House published a letter addressed to the Turkish president and sent on the day of the launch of the "Operation Peace," in which Donald Trump urged his Turkish counterpart not to be "stubborn" or "foolish" about the offensive.

The letter also contains a direct threat to the destruction of the Turkish economy. Earlier, it was reported that the United States had carried out a planned air strike in northern Syria, targeting ammunition depots and military equipment left over after the US military withdrew.

European Union leaders meet today and tomorrow for their regular autumn summit. The agenda today includes topics such as Brexit, the Turkish operation in northern Syria and the start of accession negotiations with northern Macedonia and Albania.

Prime Minister Boyko Borissov will also attend the meeting.

The summit will start as expected with Brexit. Negotiations to reach an agreement between Brussels and London continued into the night. European leaders will hear Boris Johnson initially, and then the British prime minister will leave the room.

Today, European leaders are expected to try to persuade French President Emmanuel Macron to change his stance on launching membership talks with Northern Macedonia and Albania. France was the only country to block the process and cause dissatisfaction not only in the two Balkan countries but also among a large number of Member States.

An important topic this evening will be the Turkish hostilities in northern Syria. European leaders are expected to call on Turkey to end hostilities.

At a Security Council meeting two days ago, Prime Minister Borissov also called for a peaceful solution, but declared sanctions against Turkey. President Rumen Radev has urged European leaders to discuss and adopt a common European action plan in the event of a sudden increase in migration pressure across European borders.

It will be mostly sunny today. In the morning, low clouds and fog in places in eastern Bulgaria and along the Danube are expected. It will remain calm. The prevailing maximum temperatures will reach 21C to 26C. Atmospheric pressure will be close to the monthly average.

This is the weather forecast of the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (NIMH), meteorologist Viktoria Kleshtanova told Focus News Agency.



Bulgaria does not support economic sanctions against Turkey over the military actions in Syria, this country’s Deputy Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ekaterina Zaharieva told the Bulgarian National Television, reported by BNR.

Over 140,000 people have already left Syria and over 400,000 do not have good access to clean water in this country, Minister Zaharieva added. Currently, there is no migration pressure at the Bulgarian borders and there is no reason to panic, Ekaterina Zaharieva added.

The delay of the start of the EU accession negotiations with North Macedonia will worsen and destabilize the situation in the region, Bulgaria’s Deputy Premier further said. Bulgaria supported the start of the negotiations. It will be a big mistake to delay the start of the accession talks for March 2020, Ekaterina Zaharieva added.

Romania is on the short list of countries where Volkswagen may open a new factory for the next generations of Volkswagen Passat and Skoda Superb, and discussions in this regard have already been initiated by the Bucharest government, Ziarul Financiar, a financial daily, reported today.

The newspaper recalls that the Volkswagen Group has delayed the announcement of a final decision on the construction of a car factory in Turkey amid a Turkish military operation in Syria. The company had chosen the Turkish city of Manisa, some 40 kilometers north of Izmir, and production was scheduled to begin in 2022.

"We have initiated new discussions with the Volkswagen Group this morning. Romania has very good technical conditions at the moment and no workforce problem. We have done research and there are a number of possible places where a factory can be built and we have the necessary infrastructure," said Ștefan-Radu Oprea, Minister for Business Environment, Trade and Entrepreneurship.

Sixth generation 6G telecommunications technologies may become available in the next 10 years. This was stated today by the founder and CEO of Huawei Ren Zhengfei in an interview with Kyodo.

"We have started research on the 6G network and in my opinion within 10 years it can be made available for practical use", he said.

At the same time, Zhengfei expressed concern that Huawei could lose its leadership position in 5G technologies if the US maintains restrictions against the company over the next three to five years, BTA reported.

Currently, Huawei has concluded more than 60 contracts with other countries to expand the fifth generation worldwide network.

Huawei was founded in 1987 and manufactures telecommunications equipment, consumer devices and smartphones. The Group's products and services are available in over 170 countries. But the company is threatened with international sanctions after the US and Australia accused it of technical espionage and the collection of classified information, TASS recalls.

Bulgaria is ready to double the subsidies it offers in order to secure the contract for the new Volkswagen plant, the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes in an exclusive material. "We have found a way to offer the Volkswagen Group 250 to 260 million euros instead of 135 million euros,” former head of state Rosen Plevneliev told F.A.Z. Currently, Plevneliev is chairman of the Automotive Cluster Bulgaria and is actively lobbying for his country.

Bulgaria offers VW a large industrial area outside the capital Sofia, near the airport. The former steelmaking plant belongs to the Bulgarian First Investment Bank and the Austrian real estate company Soravia. Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov has promised Volkswagen that the country will be "the most loyal partner of the largest car giant in the world".

The prime minister cited good conditions for German investors and very low taxes. The German carmaker has already set up a Turkish unit in the western city of Manisa in early October, laying the groundwork for its production start in Turkey. However, the controversial decisions of President Recep Erdogan and the resentment against them in Brussels have shaken the company.

"The decision to build a new plant was postponed by the Governing Council," VW said. "“We’re closely monitoring the situation and are concerned about the current developments,”  they added. Turkey has come under strong international criticism for its military offensive in Syria.

Every third Bulgarian lives at risk of poverty or social exclusion, Eurostat data for poverty level in the Member States in 2018 showed. About 2.3 million people in the country live below the poverty line, which in Bulgaria is officially BGN 350 per month.

In 2018, more than a quarter of the population was at risk of poverty or social exclusion in seven Member States: Bulgaria (32.8%) 

At the opposite end of the scale, the lowest shares of persons being at risk of poverty or social exclusion were recorded in Czechia (12.2%), Slovenia (16.2%), Slovakia (16.3%, 2017 data), Finland (16.5%), the Netherlands (16.7%), Denmark and France (both 17.4%) and Austria (17.5%)

The largest decrease was observed in Bulgaria (from 44.8% to 32.8%, or -12.0 pp), Romania (-11.7 pp) and Poland (-11.6 pp), followed by Hungary (-8.6 pp) and Latvia (-5.8 pp).

Across the EU Member States, more than 1 in 5 persons were at risk of income poverty in Romania (23.5%), Latvia (23.3%), Lithuania (22.9%), Bulgaria (22.0%), Estonia (21.9%), Spain (21.5%) and Italy (20.3%). In contrast, the lowest rates were observed in Czechia (9.6%), Finland (12.0%), Slovakia (12.4%, 2017 data), Denmark (12.7%), Hungary (12.8%), the Netherlands and Slovenia (both 13.3%) and France (13.4%). Compared with 2008, the proportion of persons at risk of income poverty has increased in sixteen Member States, for which data are available, and decreased in eight.

The average percentage for the EU is 21.

The basic foundations of the Brexit deal have been agreed, said European Council President Donald Tusk, adding that everything should be clear in the next seven to eight hours, BTA reported.

“The basic foundations of an agreement are ready and theoretically tomorrow we could accept this deal with Great Britain,”  Tusk told reporters.

In his words, "negotiations are continuing" and "everything is going in the right direction". 

“Yesterday evening I was ready to bet that it’s (the deal) all set and agreed, today there are certain doubts on the British side,” he said. 

“We’ll see, I’m still hopeful.” 

Turkey's alternatives to US F-35 fighter jets are available and “offers are coming in”, President Recep Erdogan said, quoted by BGNES.

Ankara and Washington clashed over Turkey's acquisition of Russia's C-400 missile systems, which the US says are not compatible with NATO defense and pose a threat to Lockheed Martin Corp’s F-35 stealth jets.

Washington has removed Turkey from the F-35 Joint Program after it took delivery of the C-400 system in July.

The USA’s new ambassador to Bulgaria, Herro Mustafa, and her family have arrived in Bulgaria.

Earlier today, the diplomat was sworn in at a special ceremony at the Washington State Department.

Mrs. Mustafa replaces Eric Rubin in this post. She is a career diplomat and was previously deputy chief of mission at the US embassy in Lisbon and Political Minister Counselor at the US Embassy in India.

In Washington, she was an adviser to US Vice President Joe Biden providing counsel on issues related to the Middle East. She was Deputy Director of the Afghanistan Office in the State Department and the director of the National Security Council.

Herro Mustafa was born in 1973 in the town of Erbil, Iraq, and comes from a Kurdish family. Two years of her childhood she spent in a refugee camp. In 1976 her family was granted asylum in the United States.

A 6.4 magnitude earthquake occurred 69 km north-northwest of the city of General Santos on the Philippine island of Mindanao, according to Reuters, citing the US Geophysical Institute.

The initially announced magnitude was 6.7, with an epicentre 70 km southwest of Davao City with a population of 1.21 million.

There are no reports for casualties and destruction.

The government has approved additional expenditure in 2019 to fund activities for the country's accession to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), said the government press office. The amount is BGN 2,817,215 and will be spent on activities of 10 ministries, the National Statistical Institute and the Nuclear Regulatory Agency, in accordance with Bulgaria's OECD Accession Roadmap adopted by Decision No 789/2017 of the Council of Ministers.

OECD membership is one of Bulgaria's foreign policy priorities, and getting an invitation to begin negotiations is one of the government’s immediate objectives.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development was established in 1961 with the aim of promoting policies for sustainable economic growth and a rising standard of living of the population, while maintaining financial stability. Currently, the OECD is represented by 37 countries from Europe, North America, South America and Asia. The European Commission participates in the work of the organisation as an observer.

The second set for the ATP 250 tennis tournament in Stockholm.

Not before 7:30 pm the Bulgarian will play in the semifinal match on the central court against American Sam Querrey, # 50 in the rankings. Dimitrov has won all three matches with against him.

They last met in Shanghai in 2017, when Grigor won in two sets.

Dimitrov will participate for the eighth time in the Swedish capital.

Hello, Lorendana, can you tell us a little more about yourself?

I've been an actress for 20 years. I dreamed of becoming an actress since I was 7 years old. Now I also work as a director. Furthermore I am an activist and have been fighting for women’s and animal rights for many years. Thanks to my work, I can reach more people, which is great.


You are an actress and director. What role do you like more?

Definitely the work of a director. I love this job because as a director you can be more creative and when you are an actor someone tells you what to do. Directing is more energising. It is very strange that very few women still work as directors. This is a job that is mostly done by men. Maybe I'm a little tired of being an actress. I'm tired of someone telling me how to do my hair. I'm tired of being somebody else. I want to be myself. I want to express myself, and acting does not allow you to express yourself completely. I want more freedom.


How did you decide to become an actress?

It was my childhood dream. As a kid, I found a small photo of Marilyn Monroe and just fell in love. It was as if I recognized something in her. I still keep this photo and it was she who made me start dreaming of becoming an actress. Of course, my parents and many more told me that it was impossible and that it would never happen. But I believed in my dream and told myself "I want to try." So I didn't believe them, but I believed in myself. I said to myself, "If there are people who have succeeded, then so can I.".


Your career begins in theatre. How did you decide to start filming?

When you are an actor, you don't always "decide". You just accept the roles they offer you. After a while, sometimes you can say, "I don't want to play this role." But it's very difficult to find a job, so you can't always pick roles. Theatre is special to me because I have a Marilyn Monroe monologue that I wrote, played, and directed.


Is there a role that you categorically refused?

Yes. It was a police television series. In Italy, there is police which is involved in financial crimes. Both poor and rich people are scared of this police. And I said, "I don't want to play such a role, I don't think people will like it."


What emotions do cinema and theatre bring to you?

It depends on the character. Sometimes it can be really boring to play a role. Other times it can be amazing. When you have an interesting role and play it well, when you get home then you feel satisfied. But when I have to play a person who is depressed and sad, I always think "Oh my God, I have to stress myself and destroy my inner peace" and I don't like it. But it's great when you're working on a movie that will inspire people. Finally, you understand that it was definitely worth destroying your inner peace.


What is your favourite role?

The most beautiful role for me is that of Marilyn Monroe in the monologue I wrote myself. I used the things Marilyn said about herself in order to create it. It was a way to show the depths of the soul of this gentle being, and the monologue is really special to me.


What challenges have you faced in your career?

I am a free woman and an activist and these things are not always well accepted by the system. I don't like going to parties and places like that. The challenge was to leave this side of your career, because in this profession you need to know people and have a lot of contacts.


What do you think about CineLibri? Do you like the concept of the festival?

Oh yes, I love the idea. The level of the films is very high, they are so beautiful and well done. I like the organization and I am very happy to be able to reach such wonderful people. In addition, it is a real honour for me to be part of the festival as a jury member.


Is this your first time in Bulgaria?

No, I've been here many times. I even worked in Bulgaria back in 2001. I starred in an Italian series, together with Stefan Danailov and many other amazing actors. But the last time I visited Bulgaria was in 2009, so it was time to go back.


Outside of acting, what do you like to do?

Activism. This is what I do most of the time. I also like to travel, but I am very busy and rarely have time for vacation. Rather, I'm traveling to get something done for work. Besides, I just love to relax. I haven't rested for years ...


What is your advice to the young actors? What does it take to become a successful actor like you?

Don't be afraid to dream, imagine yourself playing great roles. Because everything you imagine and want strongly is more likely to happen. You also need to learn a lot. It is important.


The original interview can be found on Jenite.bg.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen is on a visit to Bulgaria. Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov discussed with the guest the possibilities for activating bilateral economic ties and promoting contacts between the businesses of the two countries, as well as developing bilateral investment activities.

The Bulgarian side stated its readiness for joint actions in the fields of regional development and public works, environmental protection, training of energy specialists, BNR reported.

The Canadian government announced on Tuesday that it is suspending the issuance of new export licenses to Turkey, mainly military equipment, in response to Ankara's attack in northern Syria, AFP reported.

The unilateral action threatens to undermine the fragile stability in the area, further damaging the humanitarian situation and damaging the achievements of the international coalition against the Islamic State jihadist group, in which Turkey also participates, the Canadian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"Due to developments, Canada is temporarily suspending new export licenses to Turkey" of "controlled products", mainly military equipment, the ministry said.

“This unilateral action risks undermining the stability of an already fragile region, exacerbating the humanitarian situation and rolling back progress achieved by the Global Coalition Against Daesh, of which Turkey is a member,” the statement read.

“We call for the protection of civilians and on all parties to respect their obligations under international law, including unhindered access for humanitarian aid.”

With this step, Ottawa joins several European countries that have announced similar measures.

According to the Foreign Office, in 2018, Canada sold weapons to Turkey for nearly $ 116 million ($ 80 million).

The media environment, the positive tendencies in the economic development of Bulgaria and the attraction of a large strategic investor from Germany. These were some of the topics that Prime Minister Boyko Borissov discussed with Deutsche Welle CEO Peter Limbourg.

"We discussed the activities of the media in Bulgaria. I firmly stated that the Bulgarian government is not involved in the work of the media. I introduced him to the positive development of the Bulgarian economy - record low unemployment, record high exports, GDP growth by 3.5%. I presented him to many German factories in the country and told him about the negotiations we are having on attracting a large strategic investor from Germany, " Borissov explained.

Before that, Peter Limbourg gave a lecture to students at the Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communication at St. Kliment Ohridski Sofia University.

We must not allow а generalisation of Bulgaria as a racist state, President Rumen Radev told reporters, referring to the allegations of racism directed at the state, following the football game between the national teams of Bulgaria and England, Focus News Agency reported.
"It is extremely unpleasant that Bulgaria, which saved 50,000 Jews, which did not allow any of them to be sent to death camps during Europe's worst times, should be personified by racism. We must not allow this problem to get generalised. The state needs to implement draconian measures against football hooliganism. Unless politicians stop being tempted to use football fan groups in protests and counter-protests, such incidents will continue to happen," the head of state said.

The Egyptian Ministry of Cultural Affairs has announced that archaeologists have encountered at least 20 ancient wooden coffins in Assasif district on the west bank of the Nile River in Luxor, Egypt, the Associated Press reported.
The coffins were discovered in the Assasif necropolis. It includes graves from the Middle, New Kingdom of Egypt and from 1994 to 332 BC.
The ministry said the findings were among the largest and most significant in recent years.

The Embassy of Spain in Bulgaria and the Instituto Cervantes- Sofía, will hold a concert of the flamenco pianist Rosario Montoya, which will take place on Saturday, October 19 at 7:30 p.m. in the Municipal Art Gallery of Sofia (1 General Gurko str.).

Highly renowned in the flamenco scene and with extraordinary style, she will present in Sofia her new project “Passion for you”, accompanied by Manuel Zarzana (singing) and Samuel Cortés (violin).

The show is part of the “Cameralia” festival program

Tickets can be purchased at the box office “Bulgaria” Hall and in ticketsbg and in the Municipal Art Gallery of Sofia on the day of the concert.

Additional information can be found on Facebook Cameralia and Instituto Cervantes.

Turkey pledges to continue its offensive in Syria and condemn the "dirty deal" between President Bashar al-Assad's regime and Kurdish forces following the withdrawal of US forces from Northern Syria, Prof. Fahrettin Altun, Director of Communications at the Turkish presidency, said.

"Turkey will continue to combat all terrorist groups, including Daesh, whether or not the world agrees to support our efforts." he said.

For his part, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has indicated his intention to withdraw troops from northern Syria after the end of the anti-terrorist operation in the region. Russian Special Envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentiev told reporters.

“We didn’t agree with the Turks any questions about their presence in Syria and we don’t approve of their actions,” he said.

Lavrentiev also reported that Erdogan has warned everyone that he will carry out the “Peace Spring” operation, and that the purpose of the operation is to fight terrorist groups. Accordingly, once he accomplishes this task, Turkish troops will be withdrawn from northern Syria.  The Russian Special Envoy for Syria added that it could not be predicted when this could happen.

The Special Representative recalled Russia's position that only Syrian troops should be on the Syrian border with Turkey, which would be the best guarantee of protection against terrorist attacks stemming from Syria against Turkey, BGNES reported.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the global economy has been growing slowly during the global financial crisis. Experts see the reasons for this in trade conflicts and geopolitical risks.

According to the IMF, the global economy will grow by 3% in 2019. This is the worst figure since the 2008-2009 crisis. The conclusions are of the report "Prospects for the development of the global economy: a global downturn, growth in trade barriers", published by the IMF on Tuesday 15 October.

The global economy expects growth of 3.4 percent in 2020, the document said. At the same time, the IMF predicts a slowdown in most global economies. Thus, according to the report, the economy of the European Union (EU) will grow by only 1.2% in 2019 and 1.4% in the next year. Experts say the reasons for this development are trade conflicts between countries (primarily the US-China customs dispute), as well as "uncertainty related to geopolitical risks".

Growth is also being weighed down by country-specific factors in several emerging market economies, and by structural forces, such as low productivity growth and aging demographics in advanced economies, IMF reported,

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the current development of the situation "alarming" and the eventual unregulated exit of the UK from the EU as one of the factors influencing the current negative situation.

IMF emphasised that countries need to work together because multilateralism remains the only solution to tackling major issues, such as risks from climate change, cybersecurity risks, tax avoidance and tax evasion, and the opportunities and challenges of emerging financial technologies.

At least seven servicemеn in Afghanistan have been killed after the helicopter they were traveling with crashed, AFP reported.

According to the Afghan Ministry of Defense, the air force's MI-17 helicopter crashed due to "technical faults".

“All the seven crew members including four pilots were martyred in the incident,” the ministry said in a statement.

The helicopter was on its way to a training mission, traveling from an army base near the capital of Mazar-i-Sharif province, when it crashed on the outskirts of the city, officials said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin invited Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Russia during a telephone conversation, the Kremlin's press service reported, quoted by RIA Novosti.

"Putin invited Erdogan to a working visit to Russia in the coming days. The invitation was accepted," the statement said.

The telephone conversation was initiated by the Turkish side on the evening of 15 October.

An earthquake of magnitude 4.8 was recorded in California, United States. According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), the quake occurred on Tuesday at 19:42 GMT, at a depth of 9.7 kilometres.

According to the USGS, a magnitude 2.6 secondary earthquake hit the area less than 15 minutes after the incident.

The residents in California experienced series of earthquakes throughout the whole state, but the strongest earthquake was recorded approximately 10 miles from the town of Tres Pinos.

Negotiations between the European Union and the UK on Brexit continued throughout the night, but no breakthrough was achieved. The two sides will seek a compromise today, ahead of the EU summit tomorrow and for the second time, the AP reported.

"The discussions continued until late in the the night and will continue today," said a European representative, who requested anonymity.

The two sides hope that a divorce agreement can be reached in the coming hours after more than three years of false starts and sudden turnovers, the AP notes.

EU leaders gather tomorrow - just two weeks before the UK's planned exit from the union on October 31st.

Swiss International Air Lines stopped the flights of 29 Airbus A220 aircraft due to engine problems. This was reported by NOVA.

The reason for the decision was the incident on Tuesday of a flight by the company from London to Geneva, which was redirected to Paris due to technical problems.

The 29 aircraft come from the Canadian company Bombardier, which has sold its medium-range jets to Airbus, which is why the C series of planes is also called A220, Swissinfo reported.

The company will contact the affected passengers who will be rebooked on the best possible alternative at the airline’s expense.

Parliament officially goes on election vacation from today until October 25 inclusive.

During this time, only the standing parliamentary committees will meet, and only the transport costs associated with their participation will be credited to the deputies.

The first regular session of the National Assembly following the local vote will be held on 31 October.

Today Bulgaria is celebrating the feast of aviation and the Bulgarian Air Force.

On October 16, 1912, pilot Radul Milkov and observer Prodan Tarakchiev made the world's first combat flight by bombing the Edirne Fortress from the air.

During the Balkan War, it was considered unacceptable throughout Europe. The flight of the Bulgarians changed this view and opened a new page in the history of world aviation.

On the occasion of the anniversary, the Krumovo Aviation Museum announces an open day and visitors will be able to view the permanent exhibitions and enter the cabins of MiG-21 and Mi-24 helicopters.

It will be warm today with maximum temperatures between 22C and 27C, in Sofia – about 25C, meteorologist Hristo Hristov of the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (NIMH) told Focus News Agency.

It will be sunny again and calm. Low clouds or fog expected in many places in eastern Bulgaria before noon.


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