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Theresa May has insisted the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in the UK will come to an end with Brexit, BBC reports.

As the government published new details of its position, the PM said the UK would "take back control of our laws".

But critics say it will be impossible to avoid European judges having a role in enforcing new agreements drawn up with the EU. Ministers say the two sides will keep "half an eye" on each other's rulings.

The promise to end "direct jurisdiction" in recent policy papers - a phrase not used by Mrs May - has raised questions about what "indirect" jurisdiction the EU court could be left with.

In the latest publication, about how to enforce disputes after Brexit, the government has outlined several models used by other countries that it says show there is no need for the ECJ to be the final arbiter.

But some of these involve the ECJ having an influence on the outcome of disputes, for example by interpreting EU law.

Government sources played down the significance of the word "direct", saying it meant ECJ rulings would no longer automatically apply to the UK and that it would no longer be able to strike down domestic UK laws where they are incompatible with EU law.

Mrs May said: "What we will be able to do is to make our own laws - Parliament will make our laws - it is British judges that will interpret those laws, and it will be the British Supreme Court that will be the ultimate arbiter of those laws."

Earlier Justice Minister Dominic Raab said there would be "divergence" between UK and EU case law after Brexit, adding: "t is precisely because there will be that divergence as we take back control that it makes sense for the UK to keep half an eye on the case law of the EU, and for the EU to keep half an eye on the case law of the UK."

The ECJ is in charge of ensuring member states abide by EU law.
Its rulings are binding on all member states, and it also settles disputes between countries and EU institutions. A paper being published by the government later on Wednesday will say it is not "necessary or appropriate" for the ECJ to have direct authority over UK law after Brexit, adding that it would be "unprecedented" for it to do so.

It will set out a range of alternative models for dealing with legal disputes with the EU - and argue that the UK is is in a "position of strength" to forge new arrangements suited to its own circumstances.

World's largest retailer, Walmart, joins forces with Google in an attempt to oppose Amazon's dominant position in the online market, US media reported. The deal concluded between the two companies will allow Walmart products to become available to Google Express online shopping service. Reports Sega.

The announcement of the partnership comes after Amazon announced they plan to acquire the chain of supermarkets Whole Foods. "By the end of September, we will be working with Google to offer hundreds of thousands of voice shopping commodities through Google Assistant, the largest number of products currently offered by a trader via a platform," said Mark Lore, Head of Walmart's online marketing department. The retail chain will integrate on its platform the Google Express service, which already allows the purchase of products from a large number of brands. "If you are a current Walmart customer you will be able to link your Google account and get personalized results for shopping based on your online purchases and at Walmart stores, Google said in a statement.

Third-quarter sales of Walmart, which were published this month, once again showed the lag behind Amazon, despite better-than-expected results. Walmart holds the largest share of the American food market, with the chain having nearly 4700 stores. However, it faces strong competition from Amazon, which wants to enter new markets with the purchase of Whole Foods. According to the US Department of Commerce, Amazon accounts for 38% of all online sales made in the second quarter. Nonetheless, it ranks behind "Walmart" in terms of distribution.

The chairman of the State Agency for Technical Operations Tsvetan Kitov was re-appointed to the position at today's Government meeting, reported BGNES.

The proposal for his dismissal was submitted by Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, who is directly responsible for the agency's work on the implementation of special intelligence means.

Tsvetan Kitov is a long-time employee of the Ministry of the Interior, he has worked on "Operational-technical information" and in the National Security Service. He joined SANS (State Agency of National Security) at its establishment in 2008. Since August 2013 he has been Deputy Chair of State Agency for Technical Operations - DATO, and since October 2013 he has been appointed as chairman.

In order to change the chairman of the DATO, a presidential decree is needed, and the government is making the proposal. 

A UN committee tasked with combatting racism has issued a formal "early warning" over conditions in the US, a rare move often used to signal the potential of a looming civil conflict, according to the Sun Daily News. 

The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination said it had invoked its "early warning and urgent action procedure" because of the proliferation of racist demonstrations in the US.

It specifically noted the unrest in Charlottesville, Virginia, in which a woman was killed after an avowed white supremacist ploughed his car into a group of anti-racism counterprotestors.

The racism committee, part of the UN human rights office, can issue a formal early warning to help prevent "existing problems from escalating into conflict" or to "prevent a resumption of conflict where it has previously occurred", according to the rights office website.

President Donald Trump has been widely criticised for his response to the Charlottesville clashes, after he said "both sides" were to blame for the violence.

The UN committee urged Washington, "as well as high-level politicians and public officials, to unequivocally and unconditionally reject and condemn racist hate speech", without mentioning Trump by name.

"We are alarmed by the racist demonstrations, with overtly racist slogans, chants and salutes by white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and the Ku Klux Klan, promoting white supremacy and inciting racial discrimination and hatred," committee head Anastasia Crickley said in a statement.

The committee monitors compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, which the US ratified in 1994.

The US warning marks the seventh such alert issued in the past decade.

They mainly concern countries gripped by ethnic and religious strife, including Burundi, Nigeria, Iraq and Ivory Coast.

The commander of the Seventh US Navy, vice-admiral Joseph Aucoin, was fired after two clashes involving US naval ships in Asian waters for less than three months, Reuters reported.

Admiral Scott Swift, commander of the US Pacific Fleet, relieved Aucoin of his position at the Yokosuka naval base in Japan, a spokesman for the US Navy said, adding that his deputy Rear Admiral Phil Sawyer took over the post. The decision to vacate Aucoin from office was taken "due to a loss of confidence in his command capabilities," the spokesman said. On Monday, an American squadron, armed with steerable missiles, ran into a commercial court in the Malacca East of Singapore, the fourth-largest US Pacific Navy accident this year.

The customs officers of the Anti-Trafficking Unit at Customs Airport Sofia detained EUR 85,500, which were not declared by the holder when they entered the country.

On Saturday 19 August, a Saudi citizen had been selected for thorough check up. The man arrived in the country from Istanbul.

In the course of the inspection, the customs officers discovered a sum of EUR 85,500 in the luggage of the man. The money was in a 500 euro denomination.

The currency is not declared within the meaning of the EU Directive on the control of the movement of money when entering and leaving the EU Member States.

Pre-trial proceedings have been initiated in this case. The investigation continues under the direction of the Sofia Regional Prosecutor's Office.

President Trump's administration has cut off nearly USD 100 million in military and economic aid to Egypt and postponed nearly USD 200 million in military funding until improvements in human rights and mitigation efforts for civilian and non-governmental organizations have taken place, referring to official sources.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has decided to suspend USD 65.7 million in military and USD 30 million in economic aid to Egypt, which has been blocked "on hold" from 2014. The money will be reprogrammed, which means redirected to other countries.

Nineteen forest fires merged into one huge fire in the western Canadian province of British Columbia, France press reported.

The fire, called "Plato", covered 4600 square kilometers and is the largest in the province's history, a spokesman for the fire department said. Its front is 130 km and will probably continue to grow despite the efforts of hundreds of firefighters to stop it from spreading. British Columbia is in a state of emergency since 7 July and is experiencing one of the hottest and driest summers in its history. There are now 134 fires in the province, which are stopped by 3900 firefighters and 200 planes and helicopters. Provincial authorities said that since April 1 they have responded to 1068 fire reports, ravaging 10,000 sq. km of forests.

Bulgarian producers of plant products can now export their products to Vietnam, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry announced.

This is possible after the Ministry of Agriculture and the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency have approved a model of phytosanitary certificate with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam. The document allows Bulgarian companies to export goods of plant origin - grain, fodder, flour, technical crops, flowers, seeds and others on the Vietnamese market. No other certification documents other than the agreed certificate are required for the realization of the export, is stated in the MAF message. The reached agreement will help to increase trade between the two countries. The main exported product for Vietnam is Bulgarian forage wheat, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food. The Ministry of Agriculture continues to work for the registration of Bulgaria as an importing country of goods of animal origin, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party has stepped up its anti-German rhetoric by declaring Warsaw has a right to billions of dollars in reparations for destruction inflicted by the Nazis in World War II, reported Politico. 

Despite doubts about the claim expressed by parts of the government — including the foreign ministry and President Andrzej Duda — PiS is waging an anti-German campaign via friendly media. Right-wing TV channel Republika’s website published an image of the slogan “Reparationen machen frei” photoshopped to look like the gate to the Auschwitz concentration camp, where the original inscription read “Arbeit macht frei.”

The campaign’s inspiration comes from the top: Jarosław Kaczyński, the leader of Law and Justice and the most powerful politician in the country, told a party conference in July: “Poland never renounced reparations for World War II. Those who think so are wrong.”

Top government officials followed through in early August, with Deputy Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz supporting the claim. Campaigners’ estimates of how much Germany “owes” Poland vary wildly, with the right-wing weekly Sieci Prawdy demanding trillion in reparations on its cover.

Berlin noticed the revival of the reparations debate and curtly rejected the claim. In a brief statement, a German government spokeswoman said the issue was “dealt with conclusively in the past.”

The Polish government has made a practice of looking for foes since coming to power in late 2015 — and those efforts have helped consolidate the one-third of the electorate that strongly backs the ruling party. Top government officials have demonized asylum seekers, attacked Brussels over its accusations that Poland is backsliding on democratic principles and accused opposition parties of betraying the country to foreigners.

The shift to hostility against Germany is the latest gambit for Kaczyński, who has long been suspicious of Poland’s powerful neighbor. PiS accuses Berlin of abusing its influence in Brussels to sway the ongoing debate about Poland’s infringement of EU rule of law standards, and Kaczyński is gearing up for an attack on German-owned media operations in Poland.

The last time the reparations debate flared up was in 2015, when former German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier — now the country’s head of state — said the issue had already been “legally and politically resolved.”

Reparations, however, are an emotional issue in Poland and talk of the country’s right to claim money from Germany is unlikely to disappear any time soon. A recent opinion poll found 63 percent of Poles backed the idea.

Germany is now a crucial economic partner for Poland, buying a quarter of all Polish exports, and was a key advocate of Poland’s accession to the European Union. Poland’s influence in the EU grew with Germany’s support and Chancellor Angela Merkel was a crucial supporter of former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s candidacy for the presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2014.

The compensation issue is opening fissures within the government and within Law and Justice.

BDZ - Passenger Transports Ltd for another year will provide the trip to the Black sea for children from the secondary school "St. St. Cyril and Methodius ", town of Pordim. At the initiative of the National Orphan Association in Bulgaria (NOAB), children will spend part of their summer vacation in Albena Resort, the company said.

Tomorrow, a train from Pleven to Varna will travel.

On the day after the end of the summer camp (31 August), the national railway carrier will also provide the children to travel back home for free.

The management of BDZ has always supported initiatives for social adaptation and integration of children deprived of parental care, respect for their rights as full citizens of our society and their right to a quality and dignified life.

At least 35 civilians have died as a result of a bombing in the Yemeni capital of Sana, carried out by Saudi-Arabia-led regional coalition aircrafts, TASS reports, citing information from the Al Mayadeen TV channel.

The air strike hit the northern part of the capital, FOCUS reported. In Yemen, since August 2014, there is a struggle between government forces and Shiites. Its most active phase was in March 2015, when the Arab coalition sent troops to Yemeni territory, identifying its actions as necessary to stop the conflict.

A suicide bomber took the lives of five civilians and injured at least 25 in southern Afghanistan, AFP reported, quoting a local source.

The Talibans took responsibility for the attack. This is the first major assault following US President Donald Trump's announcement that he would allow the deployment of additional US soldiers in Afghanistan. A suicide bomber blew up a car bomb in a parking lot near the police headquarters in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province, a spokesman for the province's governor said. He specified that among the victims there are women and children. 38 injured in the local hospital. Most of them are students from a mosque near the site of the explosion. Helmand province is a bastion of the Taliban. It produces 80 percent of the Afghan opium poppy, AFP recalls.

The increasing number of tourists and the prospect of Plovdiv to meet even more until 2019, when the city will be the European Capital of Culture, led to the idea of ​​restructuring in the municipality, BGNES reported.

At a regular municipal session on 14 September, the councilors will vote on the merger of the municipal enterprise "Tourism" and the "Old Plovdiv" Institute, as well as the application of the municipality for a license for a travel agent. In this way the information tourist centers will offer not only information about the sights and maps, but also tickets for the different sites from one place.

The new structure will also take on the business. Looking for a tourism specialist to take over the management, the current director of the Ancient Plovdiv Institute, Minko Caftanski, remains a substitute because his diploma does not correspond to this profile.

Chinese scientists have developed a robotic system that diagnoses a whole range of human diseases.
Artificial Intelligence analyzes the symptoms of the patient, and then sets the diagnosis and offers the optimal treatment. The accuracy of computer diagnostics is 20 percent higher than in standard diagnostics.

The idea of ​​the practical application of the development is for the computer to check the symptoms of the patient and make the diagnosis, then the doctor to confirm it.

The robotic system is capable for 4.8 seconds to diagnose 100 patients with an accuracy of 98 percent. It also offers the best treatment. The program combines data from tens of millions of clinical cases. Every two weeks it is trained to diagnose a new illness.

In the development of artificial intelligence, experts from the Chinese National Computing Center participated.

Phone 112 will not stop working for people. This was assured by Interior Minister Valentin Radev after the cabinet meeting (NOVA).

Of some 600,000 calls on 112 for the past month and a half, there was only 130 errors, the Interior Minister said.

"I stopped the public procurement, there was a defect in it. I feel pressed as a minister from those who have done so far under this contract. We are currently negotiating with a representative of the company that has done things so far to continue doing them without any negative effect to the citizens, "said Valentin Radev.

934 are the new police officers appointed up until 8 August, Interior Minister Valentin Radev announced after the meeting of the Council of Ministers. He is pleased that the Cabinet has fulfilled its commitment to hire 1,000 people by the end of 2017, news.bg reported. New police officers will be allocated to small settlements.

More than 30% of the services offered by the Ministry of Interior are already digital and thus the queues in the traffic police are reduced. We are trying to be more and more polite, Minister Radev reported. The experience in the Metropolitan Traffic Police will also be applied in the Territorial Directorates.

A week ago Minister Radev assured he would insist on more funds in and equipment budget. BGN 200 000 are planned for the purchase and full replacement of personal protective equipment for firefighters.

Dimitar Berbatov is now a player of the Indian "Kerala Blasters", announced his manager Emil Danchev in front of "24 hours". In the fan club on Twitter, a collage of the Bulgarian with team logo and a short statistics card appeared.
Berbatov has to join Kerala in Spain, where the team will be in preparation for the launch of the Indian Super League, which is on November 17th.

According to the site Sportkeeda, the Bulgarian will take about 75 million rupees for the whole season in India, which is equivalent to about 995,000 euros. This will be the third-biggest salary for a football player in an Indian team ever. Berbatov former teammate at Tottenham Hotspur, Robbie Keane who now plays Atletico de Colcata will receive 92 million rupees (1.22 million euros) and the record holder is Italian Alessandro del Piero, who in 2014 received from Delhi Dynamos a sum amounting to 1.37 million euros

Dimitar Berbatov has not played professional football since he left PAOK in June 2016.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson accused Russia of supplying weapons to the Taliban in Afghanistan. In a briefing for journalists, videos can be seen on the State Department website, he said: "Russia is really delivering weapons to the Taliban and this, of course, is a violation of international norms and a violation of UN Security Council rules. We would have opposed and would have shown to Russia (that this is wrong). If anyone wants to deliver weapons, he has to do it through the Afghan government. "

Tillerson spoke after President Donald Trump decided to increase US military presence in Afghanistan and change the US strategy by dropping deadlines to end the war that began in 2001. "I think the president spoke clearly," Tillerson said, - The Taliban will not defeat us on the battlefield. It is also possible for us not to be able to overcome them. So at some point we will have to sit down at the negotiating table."

The Taliban responded with a decision "to continue the jihad". Their representative, Zibula Mujahid, said, "Instead of continuing the war, Americans should consider withdrawing their soldiers from Afghanistan."
The Russian Foreign Ministry has urged the US on August 14 to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan. Speaking to Izvestia newspaper, Director of the Asian Department at the ministry, Zamir Kabulov, said the US campaign in Afghanistan had failed. "Because the US Army can not do anything meaningful, it's better for the to leave Afghanistan," he said.

A day after this statement, on August 15, Bulgaria sent its 34th contingent to Afghanistan to participate in NATO's international mission "Resolute Support". At a ceremony in Karlovo, Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Velichkov and Deputy Chief of Defense Lieutenant General Plamen Atanassov gave instructions to the new contingent of over 100 servicemen, including five women. They are under the command of Colonel Svetoslav Halvadjiev.

According to media reports, the US plans to send an additional 4,000 soldiers to Afghanistan. There are currently 13,000 troops in the international coalition, of which 8400 are Americans.

Islamic group Boko Haram uses more and more children, mostly girls, as "human bombs" in northeastern Nigeria, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said in Geneva, cited by the France press.

According to the organization that protects children's rights, from the beginning of the year the number of children used as live bombs has increased almost fourfold compared to the whole of 2016. Since the beginning of 2017, 83 children have been used in attacks: 55 girls under 15 years old, 27 boys and even a baby attached to the back of a girl. UNICEF has identified childhood assaults as atrocities and stressed that these children are victims, not perpetrators of attacks. About 1.7 million people have left their homes in northeastern Nigeria because of the Islamist insurgency, which has killed at least 20,000 people since 2009. Because of the violence Northeast Nigeria is threatened with hunger, and children suffering from malnutrition this year are about 450,000.

The Council for Electronic Media (CEM) elected Konstantin Kamenarov for the new director general of BNT. Four of the five members of the CEM voted for him. Reported Mediapool.

Against was Ivo Atanasov. "I voted against the nomination of Mr. Konstantin Komenarov because I am not entirely convinced that he is the best option for the BNT management over the next three years and he should not be convinced that he has the best concept, he should be inclined to dialogue," said Atanasov.

Kamenarov is a journalist and former operational director of BNT. Documents for the competition were submitted by nine people, of which CEM admitted to the second phase six, whose hearings were held on Monday and Tuesday. They were Sasho Yovkov, Valeri Todorov, Toma Ivanov, Ivan Garelov, Emil Koshlukov and Kamenarov.

During his hearing at CEM, Konstantin Kamenarov focused on the program and the demand for additional sources of funding beyond the state budget. Other ideas include fixed teams of leading news, moving the Panorama broadcast on Saturday or Sunday and creating, as he called it, a bible with golden rules for domestic productions. According to him, in order to extend the influence of BNT, it must fulfill entire program with quality productions and in this must be concentrated all the human and financial resources. He listed several concrete ideas in that direction. One of it is an administrative reform that reduces morally obsolete units and reduces staffing in overcrowded directorates while at the same time strengthening other units with insufficient staff - for example in marketing and sales. Business units should focus their efforts on seeking European funding or social responsibility partnerships with large corporations that have large budgets for social projects. According to Kamenarov, parts of the BNT budget, which is now regulated, can be renegotiated and also directed to the program. In his opinion, product placement should be allowed outside movie production, and ad slots in prime time should be increased.

His first assignment as Director General would be to bring together a team of modernly thinking and capable people, and the second is to make an audit of the state of the television. The Future of the BNT Channels he sees with BNT1 as a polythematic flagship, accompanied by a group of profiled channels. For example, BNT2 should become cultural and educational, Kamenarov said. He added that it would completely change the philosophy of decision-making on programming. In his words, every channel of the Bulgarian National Television currently has a program director, but he would put a "hat" over all of them. Kamenarov has also promised a complete change of the morning blocks, which he believes are "fierce journalism", but must be background shows. According to him, BNT is in a position to set trends in media.

US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday in Phoenix, Arizona, that his aggressive rhetoric aimed at North Korea is working, and that his colleague, Kim Jon-un, "starts to" respect the United States. Reports Mediapool. 

"Some said it was too much, but it was not enough," Trump told a rally in front of thousands of his supporters."

"And maybe - probably not, but maybe something positive will come out of this," he added. The situation on the Korean Peninsula remains extremely tense in view of pro-active development of North Korea's missile program.

Moroccan authorities have arrested two people suspected of links to the alleged perpetrators of the van attack that killed 13 people in the Spanish city of Barcelona, state TV channel 2M reported on Tuesday, quoted by Reuters. 

One of the men, a 28-year-old detained in the Nador, close to the Spanish enclave of Melilla, lived for 12 years in Barcelona and is suspected of links to Islamic State and of plotting to attack the Spanish embassy in Rabat, the channel reported. It gave no details of the alleged plot.

No direct link has been identified between the suspect and the cell of mainly young Moroccans behind the Barcelona attack, but he had celebrated the attack on Facebook, the report said.

A second suspect was arrested in the town of Oujda, close to Morocco's border with Algeria, 2M reported. He was a resident of Ripoll, the small town in northeastern Spain where many members of the cell were living.

Both suspects were arrested on Sunday, according to 2M. Moroccan officials did not respond to requests for comment.

On Monday Spanish police shot dead 22-year-old Moroccan Younes Abouyaaqoub, whom they had identified as the driver of the van that plowed through crowds on Las Ramblas boulevard in Barcelona last Thursday, killing 13 people and injuring 120.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the van attack and a separate deadly assault, hours later, in the coastal resort of Cambrils, south of Barcelona.

Police have said that the imam suspected of leading the militant cell, Abdelbaki Es Satty, died when a house the group was using to build bombs blew up a day before the Barcelona attack.

At the remote northern Moroccan village of Tangaya, in the country's mountainous Rif region, security officials stationed near Es Satty's family home barred a reporter from approaching on Tuesday.

Residents said Es Satty, who was in his mid-40s and had been convicted for drug trafficking in Spain, had left more than 15 years ago and had not recently returned.

"The imam left a very long time ago," said one resident of the village, which is surrounded by cannabis plants that many families in the region grow to stave off poverty.

"Since he was convicted in Spain … he no longer came to the village, but met up with his family in Tangiers."

A Eurostat analysis of some cultural preferences of Europeans in 2016 shows that Bulgarians preferred going to the cinema to concerts, performances or other outgoing events.

Around 6,500 different films were screened in Bulgaria, of them almost 4,000 American, around 1,800 European and around 700 – Bulgarian.

Over the same period there were 1,000 live concerts, most of them pop, rock and folk.

Around 7% of Bulgarians are regular concert or live performances goers, the average percentage for Europe being 14%.

According to Eurostat, Bulgaria is shaping up as a cultural island on the Balkans.

Almost all neighboring countries have lower interest for going to cinema. Greece and Serbia - 6 per cent, Macedonia 3 per cent, Romania - 7 per cent.

Europe's biggest movie fans are in France - 30 per cent, Luxembourg - 26 per cent.

 Residents of Slovenia are the biggest  performance lovers - 28 per cent, Luxembourg - 27 per cent, Finland - 24 per cent and Austria - 22 per cent.

 

Source: '24 Chasa' Newspaper

The weather will be mostly sunny today, sometimes with increased clouds in particular areas, mainly in the northern and mountainous regions.

There will be light to moderate wind from West-Northwest.

Maximum temperatures are expected at between 24° and 29°, in Sofia around 24°, the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (NIMH) told FOCUS News Agency.

 

In a move to boost economic links between Bulgaria and Macedonia, Bulgaria's economy ministry has decided to re-launch the activities of its commerial and economy service in Skopje, which was closed in December 2015, its press office told BIRN in a statement.

A procedure to appoint Bulgarian representatives to be sent to the Macedonian capital has been launched, the ministry added.

The main functions of the commercial and economic service would be to encourage exports to Macedonia and help Bulgarian companies find Macedonian business partners and niches for their products and services.

The decision to restart the work of its business representation in Skopje comes after the prime ministers of the two countries signed a landmark friendship treaty on August 1.

This envisages Bulgaria supporting Macedonia's bid to join NATO and the EU, improving trade and transport infrastructure and easing customs and border formalities.

Bulgaria and Macedonia also signed memorandums to build a railway connection between Sofia and Skojpe and for a partnership in the supply of natural gas.

According to the Ministry of Economy, Bulgaria is the sixth largest foreign investor in Macedonia.

In 2016, Bulgarian firms invested 5.9 million euros in the Macedonian market. Macedonian investments in Bulgaria amounted that year to 2.5 million euros.

Bulgarian investments are concentrated in banking and insurance, metallurgy, the food industry, IT and telecommunications and the hotel businesses.

“The interest of Bulgarian companies to invest in Macedonia is constant, while we expect that now the political crisis in the country [Macedonia] has been overcome, the conditions for foreign investors offered by the Macedonian government will improve significantly,” the ministry commented.

Macedonian companies are also eying potential investment in Bulgaria, which offers them easy access to the European market.

The ministry added that opportunities exist to set up joint Bulgarian-Macedonian companies in the fields of agriculture, food, energy, transport, telecommunications, and construction.

Trade between the two neighbouring countries grew by 2.1 per cent in 2016 to a total of nearly 640 million euros, nearly 400 million euros of which was generated by Bulgarian exports to Macedonia.

“Macedonia is an important economic partner, considering the advantages of the Macedonian market for Bulgarian companies, such as low transport costs and requirements for goods that are similar to those of the Bulgarian market,” the ministry commented.

Bulgaria hopes to export more goods with a higher added value to Macedonia, such as computer elements, machines, electronic components and vehicles.

Source: Balkan Insight

Bulgarians and Romanians call for building a second bridge between the citie of Russe and Giurgiu, which would be the 3rd link between Bulgaria and Romania over the Dunabe.

Representatives of state and local authorities of the two cities expressed the opinion at a working meeting.

The new bridge is imperative because of intense traffic that has doubled over the years.

It is planned to be about 3 km. East of the current one, in the direction of Marten. Two options are being developed - road only for cars and combined only - for road and rail transport.

For the first eight months of 2016, some 750,000-760,000 vehicles passed the bridge, and for the same period this year their number is already 1,370,000.

The capacity of the existing Dunabe Bridge between Russe and Giurgiu is not sufficient for such a big number of cars since there is only one lane in each direction.

Congestion and huge queues are something common, especially during the summer season.

The participants in the discussion agreed on a new meeting in early October, to call on the EU commissioners of the two countries, ministers and other representatives of the highest echelons of state power.

 

 

Source: dunavmost.bg

The US has imposed sanctions on a dozen Russian and Chinese companies and individuals it accuses of helping North Korea's nuclear weapons programme, reported BBC.

It comes after the UN Security Council, including Russia and China, voted for further sanctions against Pyongyang.

The US Treasury said its actions would "increase pressure" on North Korea, but the move has angered China.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, meanwhile, praised North Korea for "a level of restraint" in recent days.

"We have had no missile launches or provocative acts on the part of North Korea since the unanimous adoption of the UN Security Council resolution," he said.

This, he said, could pave the way for talks between the two sides "sometime in the near future".

The US Office of Foreign Assets Control designated 10 companies and six individuals in its sanctions.

"[The] Treasury will continue to increase pressure on North Korea by targeting those who support the advancement of nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, and isolating them from the American financial system," said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
The action means American individuals and companies are no longer permitted to do business with these firms.

China responded swiftly, calling on the US to "immediately correct its mistake" of punishing its firms.

A series of missile tests by North Korea in recent months - along with its repeated threats to carry out a sixth test of a nuclear device - have increased tensions between Pyongyang and the US.North Korea has been angered, as it is every year, by scheduled US-South Korea military drills, and threatened to launch missiles near the US island of Guam in the South Pacific.

US President Donald Trump, meanwhile, threatened the isolated regime with "fire and fury like the world has never seen".

However, speaking at UN-backed disarmament conference in Geneva on Tuesday, a North Korean diplomat insisted that the weapons programme was "justifiable and a legitimate option for self-defence".

At a regular government meeting, ministers are going  to approve an annual report on the state of national security in 2016,BGNES reported.

It is also expected to discuss a draft decision on a proposal to the President to issue a decree appointing a chairman of the State Agency for ''Technical Operations''. The ministers will also decide to agree that the image of the Republic of Bulgaria's coat of arms be included in the State Newspaper. They will  consider also to approve a draft law on food.

The ministers will also approve a draft decision amending the Council of Ministers Decree No 115 of 2015 on the appointment of state representatives to the Supervisory Board of the National Health Insurance Fund.

 

French President Emmanuel Macron kicks of a European Union diplomatic blitz Wednesday seeking nothing less than to reshape the bloc’s stance on subjects ranging from cheap labor to defense and border controls.

During the three days in Austria, Romania and Bulgaria he will seek allies for reforms in Europe. Today in Salzburg, Emmanuel Macron will meet the Austrian Chancellor and the Prime Ministers of Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

Tomorrow in Bucharest, he will talk to the President and the Prime Minister of Romania. On Friday in Varna, there will be meetings with President Rumen Radev and Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.

There, he’ll press for tougher rules to limit employers’ use of workers based in other countries, as well as for greater European cooperation on issues including migration and defense. Next week he hosts fellow leaders of Germany, Italy and Spain, then meets Benelux premiers before heading to Greece on Sept. 7.

Macron is urgently looking for supporters to cut the unfair, competition and fraud.

Paris is fully aware of the tensions in Bulgaria due to the migration problem as well as Bulgaria's hopes for joining the Schengen area, Macron's advisers say, and indicate his readiness to discuss these topics on Friday.

 

Source: bTV/ Bloomberg

"I personally think that the privatization of Kremikovtsi copper smelter was the worst such deal in Bulgaria ever. The plant had enormous assets that were sold out at the lowest possible price of one US dollar, against a commitment on the part of the new owner to invest some BGN 400 million, without any guarantee of the investment," Economy Minister Emil Karanikolov told Blitz news agency, quoted by Standart News.

Minister Karanikolov said that the Prosecutor's Office should launch a probe into the dubious deal as soon as possible.

Back in 2009, Brazilian steel maker CSN (Companhia Siderurgica Nacional) planned to invest a total of USD 400 million in Bulgarian ailing steel mill Kremikovtzi over a four-year-period.

Among the other candidates were Ukraine-based Smart Group, a consortium between Czech investment company ML Moran and consultancy A.T.Kearney, Bulgarian Valentin Zahariev, owner of lead and zinc smelter OCK and Russian company Prominvest.

 

Danish police on Wednesday identified a headless female torso found in the Copenhagen waterside as that of Swedish journalist Kim Wall, who police believe was killed on a home-made submarine, The Independent reports. 

"DNA match between torso and Kim Wall," the police said on Twitter, declining to comment further until a press briefing later at wednesday.

Danish inventor Peter Madsen, charged with killing Wall on his home-made submarine, told the court she had died in an accident and that he "buried" her at sea, changing his previous statement that he dropped her off alive in Copenhagen.

The body was found on Monday by a passing cyclist and police said then it was too early to identify the body which was missing its head, legs and arms.

France’s interior minister says the government wants to involve psychiatrists in preventing attacks like the one in which a mentally unstable man drove into two Marseille bus stops, killing a woman, reported the Washigton Post.

Gerard Collomb said on Tuesday that about one-third of the thousands of people on a French watch list for radicalization are known to have psychological problems.

He said on television station BFM-TV, “We need to protect ourselves.”

Collomb didn’t provide details of how psychiatrists would be drawn into averting attacks.

He cited the 35-year-old man who rammed a van into the bus stops about 5 kilometers (3 miles) apart on Monday.

 Authorities ruled out terrorism as a motive. They said the suspect had been undergoing psychological treatment.

A week earlier, another driver with mental health problems accelerated into a pizzeria, killing an adolescent girl.

Scientists have created bacteria covered in tiny semiconductors that generate a potential fuel source from sunlight, carbon dioxide and water, reported BBC.

The so-called "cyborg" bugs produce acetic acid, a chemical that can then be turned into fuel and plastic.

In lab experiments, the bacteria proved much more efficient at harvesting sunlight than plants.

The work was presented at the American Chemical Society meeting in Washington.


Researchers have been attempting to artificially replicate photosynthesis for many years.

In nature, the green pigment chlorophyll is key to this process, helping plants to convert carbon dioxide and water, using sunlight, into oxygen and glucose.But despite the fact that it works, scientists say the process is relatively inefficient. This has also been a big problem with most of the artificial systems developed to date.

This new approach seeks to improve that efficiency by essentially aiming to equip bacteria with solar panels.

After combing through old microbiology literature, researchers realised that some bugs have a natural defence to cadmium, mercury or lead that lets them turn the heavy metal into a sulphide which the bacteria express as a tiny, crystal semiconductor on their surfaces.

"It's all very simple, mix-in-a-pot-chemistry."

These newly boosted bacteria produce acetic acid, essentially vinegar, from CO2, water and light. They have an efficiency of around 80%, which is four times the level of commercial solar panels, and more than six times the level of chlorophyll.
"We prize these cyborg bacteria and their ability to make acetate because they produce a substrate that we can already use to produce more valuable and more interesting products," said Dr Sakimoto.

"We have collaborators who have a number of strands of E. coli that are genetically engineered to take acetic acid as their food source and they can upgrade it into butanol and a polymer called polyhydroxybutyrate."

Dr Sakimoto believes that these bacteria offer some advantages over other approaches to generating green energy from biological sources.Other techniques for artificial photosynthesis require expensive solid electrodes.
The cyborg bug approach really only needs large vats of liquid to be kept out in the Sun - the bacteria are self-replicating and self-regenerating, making it potentially a low waste technology. It might work best in rural areas or in the developing world.
The research work was carried out at the University of California, Berkeley in the lab of Dr Peidong Yang.

"The thrust of research in my lab is to essentially 'supercharge' non-photosynthetic bacteria by providing them energy in the form of electrons from inorganic semiconductors, like cadmium sulphide, that are efficient light absorbers," Dr Yang said.
"We are now looking for more benign light absorbers than cadmium sulphide to provide bacteria with energy from light."
The researchers believe that while their approach has taken an important new step, it might not ultimately be the technology that prevails.

"There are so many different designs of these systems coming out and really we've only begun to explore the different ways we can combine chemistry and biology," said Dr Sakimoto.

"And there's a real possibility that that there will be some upstart technology that will come out that will do better than our system."

’One of the main priorities of the Bulgarian Ministry of Environment and Waters is clean air.’’

This was announced by the Minister of Environment and Waters, Neno Dimov, at a press conference aimed at presenting environmental priorities in the government’s program for the period 2017-2021, reported BGNES. 

An online information system for providing real-time air quality data will be launched, it was reported.

‘’ We know about the findings of the World Health Organization and other international institutions that air cleanliness is closely related to human health - with respiratory diseases and especially allergies in adolescents "

Legislative changes are also being prepared to limit the use of coal with high sulfur and ash content for domestic heating.

Another priority in the management program is sustainable waste management.

‘’This is the main problem in 21 out of 25 cities, where air pollution is above the norms’’, the Minister has said.

Another important focus in the program is to reduce the regulatory burden on businesses and citizens. Changes in 14 laws and 16 regulations are planned.

 

This year has been very successful for the development of village tourism, which has grown by 15-20%, surpassing the forecast 10-15%, the chairman of the Association of Bulgarian Villages (ABV), Borislav Borisov, according to Inews. 

Data for August-September are very positive and perhaps the 20% growth will be surpassed in some places, Borisov commented.

‘’The boom in demand for properties in Bulgarian villages by foreigners, which was observed in the period 2004-2006, has been reviving’’, he added.

Foreigners have been looking for both houses and farmland. The interest is mainly from UK citizens, as in the first boom in the demand for Bulgarian rural properties, but also from Germany and Austria.

‘’In the last 5-6 years we can say that there is also a positive trend related to the return of many people to the villages and this is not about people who are retired and those in active working age ", Borisov noted.

In his words, this is related to the increase of different investments in the villages and the fact that people want a new type of way of life, different from the one provided by the big cities.

While Britain toils over its messy divorce with the European Union, France's president Emmanuel Macron is embarking on a drive to deepen the economic integration of a bloc he says needs to be more protective of its citizens, reported Reuters.

The French leader this week embarks on a three-day tour of central and eastern Europe, where he will seek to win backers for his push to tighten labor rules over 'posted' workers, a sensitive issue that has exacerbated an east-west rift.

Days later, euro zone reforms, defense cooperation and immigration will be in focus when Macron hosts the leaders of Germany, Spain and Italy for talks, as he seeks to enhance France's leadership in Europe.

Paris has long complained that central and eastern Europe gains an unfair advantage from the "social dumping" of cheap labor, arguing the posting of low-paid workers hurts local jobs and erodes labor protections in higher-wage member states.

Although posted workers make up less than 1 percent of the EU workforce, with many employed in the haulage and construction sectors, the issue has deepened a divide between the poor east and rich west.

Macron will visit Romania, Bulgaria and Austria, where he will also meet the leaders of Czech Republic and Slovakia, but is skipping Hungary and Poland, whose right-wing governments he has accused of spurning the bloc's values.

An Elysee Palace source said Macron was visiting countries who were "the most attached to their European anchoring".

The source dismissed suggestions that Macron is seeking to drive a wedge between central and eastern European countries staunchly opposed to reform and those that see scope for compromise.

 "This is not about dividing in order to better rule," the source said in a briefing to reporters earlier this month.

Just for this year the French authorities have prevented 9 terrorist attacks. This was declared by the French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb on BFM television, cited by BTV. The terrorist threat in France remains high.

The Interior Minister explained that the data of the ministry's database shows nearly 18,000 suspected residents of France with radical views. According to the latest data, 217 fighters from armed groups operating in Syria returned to France.

This requires even more diligence in the fight against terrorism," the minister said.

Following the attacks in Paris in November 2015, a state of emergency took place in France. It should remain until November this year. The French authorities do not intend to review their plans to lift the emergency situation in connection with the terrorist attack in Barcelona on August 17th.

Iran could be in a position to create nuclear weapons within five days if the US ends a major agreement on uranium enrichment, the country’s atomic programme head has warned, quoted by the Independent.co.uk. 

Ali Akbar Salehi, one of Iran’s vice presidents, made the comments on state TV in apparent reaction to increased sanctions imposed by America this month.

“Definitely, we are not interested in such a thing happening,” Mr Salehi said. “We have not achieved the deal easily to let it go easily. We are committed to the deal and we are loyal to it.”

Mr Salehi said the US would be surprised by how quickly Iran could rebuild its stocks if the 2015 nuclear deal was dropped.

“If we make the determination, we are able to resume 20 percent-enrichment in at most five days,” he said, referring to the amount necessary to create a bomb. Iran’s permitted uranium enrichment is currently capped at five percent.

President Hassan Rouhani, a relative moderate who began his second term earlier this month, has also warned of the speed with which Iran could increase its nuclear capabilities. Last week he said US “threats and sanctions” would give Iran reason to build up nuclear resources.

“In an hour and a day, Iran could return to a more advanced level than at the beginning of the negotiations” he said.

Criticising the US as not a “good partner,” Mr Rouhani added: "Those who are trying to go back to the language of threats and sanctions are prisoners of their past hallucinations… They deprive themselves of the advantages of peace."

During his US presidential campaign, Donald Trump dismissed the 2015 nuclear agreement as “the worst deal ever.” 

The leader has since accused Iran of violating the “spirit” of the nuclear deal, which the countries entered into along with five other world powers - France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany.  

This month, his administration introduced new economic sanctions against Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and people involved in its ballistic missile programme, after Iran conducted missile tests.

Last week, US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said Iran could not “use the nuclear deal to hold the world hostage,” adding: “Iran, under no circumstances, can ever be allowed to have nuclear weapons.”

All trains from Sofia to northwestern Bulgaria and vice versa have been suspended following an accident on the Sofia-Vidin railway in which a woman was killed, the Bulgarian national radio has reported, quoted by Standart News. 

She was crossing the railway at Sofia's Iliyantsi residential district at 6 am today, when she got hit and killed on the spot by a passenger train traveling from the northwestern town of Mezdra to Sofia.

It is not clear when the traffic on the Sofia-Vidin railway will be renewed, as forensic scientists and investigators are still working on the scene.

It is still unclear whether the woman committed suicide, or failed to notice the oncoming train.

 

At least 42 civilians were killed on Monday in an air strikes in the Syrian province of Raqqa by an aircraft from the US-led international coalition against the Middle Eastern radical Islamic State.

This is reported by the AFP, referring to data from the Syrian Human Rights Watch.

Nineteen children and 12 women were among those killed in the bombings that hit several neighborhoods in the city of Raqqa, according to data from a London-based human rights organization quoted by FOCUS.  

The Russian President Vladimir Putin appointed the Deputy-minister of Foreign Affairs Anatoly Antonov as an ambassador in the United States, reported world agencies.

Antonov takes the place of Sergey Kislyak who was accused by American media that he conspired with representatives of the Trump election committee in order to ease his way to the White House, notes France Press.

The new ambassador is born in 1955. From 2004 until 2011 he is head of the department of security and demilitarization of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He has a reputation of an experienced diplomat and negotiator. He also played a major role in the conflict with Turkey in 2015 when a Turkish fighter jet shot and destroyed a Russian bomber plane over Syria. At the time he accused the Turkish President Recep Erdogan and his family for being involved in traffic of oil to jihadists from ISIS.

Analysts describe Antonov as a loyal figure to the policy of Kremlin but also add that he is not prone to believe conspiracy theories unlike many of the leading staff of the Russian army and Intelligence community.

It is claimed that Antonov has an attitude for calming the Russian-American relations as long as Moscow benefits from it. According to the Russian media he was elected for the position even before Trump won the Presidential election in the US last year. 

In the second quarter of 2017, 1 149.8 thousand Bulgarian residents made tourist trips, according to the National Statistical Institute (NSI)

The majority (83.6%) of them travelled only within the country, 13.5% - only abroad and 2.9% - both in the country and abroad. Compared to the same quarter of 2016 the total number of the travelled persons aged 15 and over increased by 26.5%, as the number of the Bulgarian residents travelled only in the country increased by 31.1%, travelled only abroad - by 8.9% and the number of persons travelled both in the country and abroad - by 0.3%.

In the second quarter of 2017, the most tourist trips (43.5%) were realized by Bulgarians aged 25 - 44 year. In all age groups predominated the share of the trips in the country, as the highest was this share among persons aged 65 and over - 86.8% from the travelled in this age group. About the trips abroad, the share of residents aged 45 - 64 was the highest - 16.5% of travelled in the respective group.

The majority of tourist trips of persons aged 15 and over in the country as well as abroad were for ‘holiday and recreation’, pointed out respectively by 45.0% and 71.4% of them.

In the second quarter of 2017, 1 577.7 thousand or 89.3% of the total number of the private tourist trips were registered as an independent. The relative share of the independent travels without booking of the trip in the country was 93.9%, while those abroad - 55.8%.

In the structure of the expenditure by type with highest relative share was the expenditure on food in domestic trips - 38.2%, while in outbound trips were on transport - 32.9%

In the second quarter 2017, a person aged 15 and over spent on the average for private trip 183.41 BGN in the country and 497.67 BGN for private trip - abroad.

At the same time, the average expenditure per person for professional trip was 154.76 BGN for domestic trip and 1 099.35 BGN for professional outbound trip.

Four men accused of belonging to the cell behind the terror attacks in and around Barcelona last week are appearing at the high court in Madrid, reported BBC. 

The judge questioning them is deciding what charges to press over the vehicle attacks that left 15 people dead and more than 100 injured.

Eight other members of the alleged cell are dead - some killed in an explosion, others shot by police.

The last suspect was killed in a vineyard west of Barcelona on Monday.

A 22-year-old Moroccan, Younes Abouyaaqoub, is thought to have been the driver of the van that rammed into crowds in Barcelona on Thursday.

He was wearing a fake explosives belt and shouted "Allahu Akbar" ("God is Greatest") before he was shot dead by police, said reports.

The surviving suspects were moved, under high security, from Barcelona to Madrid for Tuesday's hearing.

Investigating judge Fernando Andreu is expected to read out the charges against them, likely to span counts of terrorism, murder and possession of arms.

If they agree to testify, they will be questioned on their statements.

The hearing is likely to conclude with the suspects being remanded in custody for the duration of the investigation.

The demolition of illegal Roma homes in one of Sofia’s Neighbourhoods ‘’Zaharna fabrika’’ has begun.

More than 143 shacks and 6 houses will be pulled down.

The operation started early this morning and is currently underway, there is a heavy police presence.

There is no tension for the moment.

The order to pull down the buildings was issued at the end of last year and the Roma were informed of today’s operation in advance.

Options are being looked into for putting up the people from the illegal buildings at municipal hostels. According to address registrations, over 500 people live in illegal buildings

People who are not registered in Sofia will be sent back to their birthplaces, said the Mayor of the Residential area.

The neighbourhood has been taking shape as such, in the course of 80 days.

The action will continue at a time when the other occupants of the buildings will be accommodated, reported bTV. 

Iran's new communications minister said Tuesday that negotiations were underway with Twitter to unblock the service, which has been banned for years despite being used even by the country's supreme leader, according to The Jakarta Post.onl

"(Twitter) has announced that it is prepared to negotiate to resolve problems," Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi told the Iran daily newspaper.

"Considering the current situation there are grounds for such negotiation and interaction. Twitter is not an immoral environment needing to be blocked," he added.

The 36-year-old Jahromi became Iran's youngest-ever minister this week, and the first to be born after the 1979 Islamic revolution.

His selection has been criticised by rights groups over his involvement in surveillance during and after the mass anti-regime protests of 2009.

But Jahromi is also seen as a critic of online censorship in Iran, where sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter remain banned even if millions use them daily through easily available privacy software.

There was no immediate response from Twitter to his comments.

He said officials were also looking at ways to unblock YouTube while still censoring "immoral content" on the site, and that a pilot project was being run, allowing universities to access the site.

Jahromi added that the final decision on unblocking Twitter did not lie with his ministry, but with the Supreme Council for Cyberspace, which includes members of the hardline judiciary.

Twitter was banned at the time of mass anti-regime protests in 2009, that followed allegations of massive rigging in the re-election of president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

But despite the ban, the US messaging service is widely used by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has official accounts in several languages, as well as President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Even Ahmadinejad joined the service this year.

Separately, Jahromi rejected allegations he was involved in interrogations during the 2009 protests.

"I wasn't responsible for surveillance -- I was in charge of the technical infrastructure for the surveillance industry, and I consider it an honour," he said in a meeting with lawmakers this week, according to the Shahrvand newspaper.

In the wake of the 4.0 magnitude earthquake which hit the Italian island of Ischia, the Bulgarian Embassy in Rome has announced that, for the time being, no Bulgarian nationals have been reported injured in the region.

The information was confirmed by the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior, reported BGNES.

The biggest destruction in the Casamicciola municipality.

 The Italian authorities provide transport for tourists wishing to leave the island.

The Bulgarian Embassy is in contact with local authorities and monitors the situation.

 All Bulgarian citizens wishing to receive up-to-date information or to report their relatives and acquaintances can do so on the embassy's duty-free phone numbers in Rome: +39 06 322 4640 and +39 06 322 4643.

For the moment there are two casualties of the earthquake and 39 have been injured, one of them in critical condition.

A seven-month old baby has been pulled alive from the rubble. 

Joint teams of the Ministry of Interior and the Directorate of “Automobile Administration” are conducting inspections on 22nd of August to check if vehicles and drivers adhere to the road traffic rules, according to the Bulgarian National Television. The checks are focused on the most frequent offences such as speeding, use of alcohol and narcotic substances.

The inspectors also check the tachographs of heavy goods vehicles as the drivers are obliged by law to rest several hours a day. The police also launched a speed enforcement operation, which runs across the European Union from 21-27 August.

In addition to speeding and use of narcotics, traffic police will also check for valid compulsory Third Party Liability insurance.

More than 800 people have died in the floods and landslides in the monsoon season in India, Nepal and Bangladesh, Reuters reported.
 
In Bangladesh, the victims are 115. More than 5.7 million people are affected. The floods covered more than a third of the densely populated and low-altitude country.
 
In Nepal, the victims are 143. Thousands are left homeless.
 
The remaining victims, over 550, are in India, with the most casualties, 253, in the northern state of Bihar. Affected are also the states of Assam, West Bengal, Himalaya and Uttar Pradesh.
 
Chinese authorities said today that more than 530,000 people suffered as a result of torrential rains and floods in the eastern and central parts of the country, TASS reported.

This year over 100 amateurs will take part in the International Danube Regatta, which takes place for the 62nd time. Reports BNT. 

The Regatta will finish on the Danube coast near Romania in early September. 

A US ship sailed with the first shipment of US coal to Ukrainian power stations, Moscow's Izvestia newspaper reported, citing a message from the US Embassy site. The Ukranian Ambassador, Valeriy Chali, attended the ceremony to send coal from the Baltimore port.

On July 31, the Ukrainian state-owned company "Centrenergo" signed an agreement with the US company Xcoal Energy & Resources to supply 700,000 tons of Pennsylvanian coal to the TPP by the end of the year. As the head of the Ukrainian company Oleg Kozenko announced, each delivery will have a different price, but the first one is guaranteed to cost 113 dollars per ton. Last year, Americans offered their coal to Ukraine at a price of 71 dollars per ton, Removina recalls.

The natural source of coal for Ukraine is Donbass, but because of the conflict there, their route passes through intermediaries, which makes them more expensive. But even then, they cost at most 75 dollars per ton, making them cheaper than the US ones. The chairman of the self-proclaimed Dondaska People's Republic Dennis Pushinin said at the beginning of July that Donbas is ready to fully cover Ukraine's coal needs. But Kiev refuses to buy Donbass coal directly, although the officials continue to regard the troubled area as part of its territory. They also rejected offers from Russia.

As a result of the terrorist attack that killed more than a dozen people on the popular Las Ramblas walking street in Barcelona, ​​Italy installed concrete barriers near some of its busiest tourist attractions. Reports Novini.

The authorities lifted them over the weekend in Milan on the streets leading to the famous Duomo di Milano cathedral, as well as the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the iconic commercial arcade of the 19th century city, reports The Independent.

The new security measures are a direct response to the attack in Barcelona on Thursday when terrorists used a van to crush pedestrians by killing 13 and injuring more than 100 people. Vehicle attacks have become increasingly popular terrorist practices in Europe, similar to those in Germany, Britain and France over the past 18 months. Bologna and Turin also installed barriers between their pedestrian zones and motor vehicle traffic near lively tourist centers. According to reports, Palermo plans to introduce similar measures.

The rocket fell and triggered an explosion near the heavily fortified diplomatic zone in the Afghan capital Kabul. Seconds before, the siren used by the US embassy in the city to alert citizens in the event of nearby missiles was triggered. "The rocket landed on the football field in Wazir Akbar Khan," the police chief told AFP. There is currently no information about victims.

The attack takes place hours before US President Donald Trump's special address to the troops and the American people about his administration strategy in Afghanistan and South Asia. It is expected Trump to declare the dispatch of an additional contingent of 4,000 US troops to the country who will join the remaining 8400 US soldiers dislocated there, but the Taliban who ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001 firmly opposed such a decision. According to unconfirmed sources it is exactly them behind today's attack as only a week ago they warned Trump not to send more of its troops in exhausted by conflicts country.

The Color Festival, which has become a summer tradition in Sofia, returns on September 10 to color and add new emotions in the last summer days of 2017, informs Nova.

The forthcoming edition will be held outdoors in a metropolitan mall. The entrance will be free of charge for all who want to bathe in rain by dyeing and to meet the autumn in color and smile.

Guest artists of the fourth edition of the Festival of Colors will be Grafa, Vesi Boneva and EVA.

Anyone who wants to get involved in the color explosions will be able to buy colorful dust packs on September 10 at the event venue.

The Color Festival is organized since 2014, with the idea of ​​color explosions borrowed from the Indian tradition of Holly, which celebrates the beginning of spring and serves to celebrate a new beginning, harmony, tolerance and love among people. Over the years the event in Sofia was accompanied by music, dance, sports, art and culinary workshops.

A cyclist in the Amager district of Copenhagen discovered a defiled woman's body, her head, hands and legs were missing. Police link the case to the investigation of the mysteriously missing Swedish journalist Kim Wall, for which a search operation has been running since last Friday.

The woman was last seen on August 10, when she sailed with the Danish entrepreneur and inventor Peter Madsen on his 17-meter submarine, YU 3 Nautilus. Last Wall worked on a project for Madsen and his machine.

The identity of the intended corpse for the moment is not officially confirmed. The body is examined and the results of the autopsy will be announced publicly, said Copenhagen police spokesman Jens Moller Jensen.
Madsen's drone sank last week but he managed to escape. Nobody else was found on board.

Madsen was arrested on suspicion of murder.

The Danish entrepreneur denies having committed a crime. Initially, however, he claimed to have left the journalist alive and healthy in Copenhagen, but later changed his testimony and now claimed that Wall had died in an accident, and he left her body in the sea south of Copenhagen.

Last week it became clear that over the past few months eight popular Chrome extensions have been compromised, which threatened nearly 5 million users. Reports Kaldata. 

Now there is information that Chrome will be integrated with a new function, especially up-to-date with these attacks. The new feature has been noticed in Google Chrome Canary compilations (v62.x), and if any extension is suspicious, the browser warns the user.

There is the appearance of special programming window that notifies the user if someone tries to change the proxy settings for forwarding traffic in an unknown direction (most likely to hacking server). The browser also displays a second message if an extension attempts to change the homepage. In this situation, the user is offered a return to the default settings and a waiver of suspicious changes.

Today the Chinese television channel CCTV showed shots of a devastating tornado that yesterday raided the city of Nenziang in northern China.

In principle, such phenomena are very rare, as the uneven terrain of the area prevents the formation of tornado.
Changes in the global climate, however, make these natural phenomena ever more frequent, even in areas where storms have never happened at all.

A week ago another tornado passed through the Chinese city of Chifeng, killing five and injuring 99 people, destroying more than 30 buildings.

World Champion Anthony Joshua's team reached a final agreement for a match with Kubrat Pulev, the contender for the IBF title, ESPN reported.

According to the information, the two sides agreed on Oct. 28, and the place is Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. The other option remains Las Vegas on Nov. 11, and in the coming days it will finally be confirmed where the match will take place.

As it is known, Joshua won the championship belt after a victory over Vladimir Klitschko. Joshua had to rematch Klitschko on Dec. 2, but the Ukrainian stopped his competitive career and Kubrat Pulev is the contender for the title.

A Russian tourist drowned in the sea in the ​​Kosata area, the Regional Directorate of the Ministry of Interior - Burgas announced.

Yesterday, at about 12.06 at the Police Headquarters in Pomorie, a message was received that a corpse of a 66-year-old Russian tourist was discovered at the sea near the sandy strip in the Kosata area between Pomorie and Aheloy. The man arrived in Bulgaria on 17 July at Bourgas Airport and stayed in Pomorie. No visible signs of violence were found during the inspection. Bicycles, personal belongings and fishing rods were found. The body was taken for an autopsy in "Forensic Medicine" at UMHAT - Burgas.

Today the Chilean Constitutional Court approved the partial abolition of the abortion ban. According to the information of the local radio "Bio-Bio" in favor of the bill, six of the 10 members of the court have spoken, informs the Bulgarian National Television.

The judiciary's decision was the final step towards the official introduction of mitigating measures that allow abortion to be carried out in cases where the child was conceived during rape, pregnancy puts the mother at risk or when the fetus is seriously damaged.

They were disputed by the Chilean government, which even filed a lawsuit with the court for its rejection.

In a deeply conservative country, the adoption of the law was a priority for President Michel Bachelet, the first female president of Chile and a pediatrician by education. It abolished the total ban on abortion, which has been operating for more than 3 decades in the country.

A man threatened with a knife a an emergency team in the Nadezhda district, DARIK informed.

The incident happened shortly after 5:00 am this morning.
 
A signal for a 48-year-old unconscious woman was filed. From the Metropolitan Emergency Medical Center, the ambulance arrived in the area for 18 minutes, seven of those were lost because of a given wrong address.

Upon arrival, the emergency medical staff were greeted by the son of the victim who had taken out a knife.
 
Immediately the police were summoned to the place, and the patient was hospitalized at a medical facility at the urgency of the doctors.

Grigor Dimitrov will be placed under No. 7 at the  US Open, which will be held in New York from 28 August to 10 September. The race is from the Grand Slam.

The main scheme of the US Open. In front of each player's name, it is indicated under which number will be placed in the tournament:

1. Rafael Nadal (1st in the world rankings)
2. Andy Murray (2)
3. Roger Federer (3)
4. Alekander Zverev (6)
5. Marin Chilich (7)
6. Dominic Team (8)
7. Grigor Dimitrov (9)
8. Milos Raonic (11)
9. Joe-Wilfried Tsonga (12)
10. David Goffen (13)
11. John Isner (14)
12. Roberto Bautista Agut (15)
13. Pablo Karenio Busta (16)
14. Jack Sok (17)
15. Nick Kirough (18)
16. Tomas Berdih (19)
17. Luca Puy (20)
18. Sam Quouri (21)
19. Gael Monfys (22)
20. Gilles Muller (23)
21. Albert Ramos (24)
22. David Ferrer (25)
23. Fabio Fonyn (26)
24. Misha Zverev (27)
25. Juan Martin del Potro (28)
26. Karen Khachanov (29)
27. Richard Gaske (30)
28. Pablo Quevas (31)
29. Kevin Anderson (32)
30. Diego Schwarzman (33)
31. Adrian Manarino (34)
32. Feliciano Lopez (35)

The government in Athens is planning to make farmers from migrants coming from conflict areas in order to integrate them into society, the Protoma newspaper reports. The Migration Ministry has drafted a broad program to enable migrants to start acquiring the necessary farming habits.

Athens is also taking this step to avoid losing money from the EU's financial resources for refugees, the newspaper notes.

Authorities in the country are considering providing state land for initially between 1,000 and 1,500 refugees. The aim is to create employment for refugees coming from conflict areas so that they do not pose a risk to society.
The authorities in Athens are looking at areas in Greek Macedonia or Boeotia that could be given to refugees for growing different crops.

At the same time, Greek representatives in the European institutions are alarmed by the danger that their country will lose up to 20% of the European funds that Greece expects for coping with refugees in its territory.
Local sources estimate the amount as fairly large and believe that it can be cut and that it will have consequences for the country.

Migration Minister Yannis Mousalas has already fought in this direction to prevent Greece from losing this financial resource.

Greek concerns arise from the fact that the refugee route through the eastern Aegean Sea was already partially closed, while the one through the Mediterranean pushed thousands of refugees and migrants to the southern shores of Italy and Spain.

Well-informed sources believe that everything would be solved by October, but by then the pressure from Rome and Madrid was so great that Brussels could hardly refuse new aid because of the influx of refugees and migrants to their countries.

A train trampled on another train in a suburb of the US city of Philadelphia, 33 passengers were injured, BTA reported.

The collision took place between the Noristown high-speed train entering the station and stopped empty train on the same line. The causes of the incident are being investigated. The wounded were taken to hospitals. Four of them are in severe condition.

976 grams of smuggled gold jewelery worth about BGN 66 000 was found by customs officials in a secret compartment of a truck at Lesovo customs office, the press center of the prosecution announced.

The truck traveling from Turkey to Romania was stopped for inspection at the Lesovo border checkpoint on 20.08.2017 around 5 pm. The driver of the vehicle was invited by Customs Mobile Group employees to declare goods, commodities and currency valuables. He said he did not carry such. In the follow-up inspection of the cabin, three black packages containing a total of 976 grams of gold products - rings, earrings, massive medallions spread out in transparent envelopes and marked with a 14-character mark were found in the dashboard behind a locker in the middle console. The Turkish citizen, a truck driver, has been personally inspected and has a total of 3,650 euros in different denominations. A pre-trial proceeding was initiated against the truck driver on the inventory of Customs Bourgas under the supervision of the Yambol Regional Prosecutor's Office. By a decree of the District Prosecutor's Office-Yambol of 21.08.2017 driver of the truck is detained for 72 hours, while a request for taking a permanent detention order is forthcoming in the court of law. The vehicle is also detained. According to the initial expert report, smuggled gold is worth around BGN 66,000. Work on the case continues.

Nearly BGN 1.5 million with VAT will cost the external and internal advertising of the Bulgarian presidency of the Council of the European Union, launched on January 1, 2018. The deadline for submitting offers ends today, BGNES reported.

The chosen firms will also provide branding to the Permanent Representation of Bulgaria in Brussels, which will play a key role in the six-month EU presidency. The winner of the public procurement must provide at least 18 billboards and 10 megaboards for the placement of vinyls with advertising of the Bulgarian EU presidency on the boulevards Brussels, Tsarigradsko shose, Bulgaria, Cherni Vrah, Evlogi and Hristo Georgievi, And in the area of ​​the National Palace of Culture. Advertising banners will be placed on the new pedestrian bridge at Tsarigradsko shosse Blvd at Sofia Tech Park. The facades of representative buildings (Council of Ministers, Presidency, Ivan Vazov National Theater) will also be dotted with promotional banners of the presidency. It is planned to place 100 vinyls on the electric pillars of the boulevards "Brussels", "Tsarigradsko shose", "Bulgaria". At least 20 will be the advertising facilities that the EU Presidency will engage in on the subway. A large part of the exterior facade of the National Palace of Culture will also be dyed by advertisements to the presidency. Branding is planned at Boyana Residence, Terminals 1 and 2, as well as at the VIP terminal of Sofia Airport. Branding is provided for the lobby and halls of the National Palace of Culture, where various councils, press conferences, briefings, as well as protocol pictures will be held, "John Atanasov" Hall in Sofia Tech Park. The winning company will have to ensure delivery of finished materials by 15 December 2017.

 Cloudiness will be decreasing from West today. In Eastern Bulgaria, the weather will remain mostly cloudy and rainy, but rains will stop there, too, by the end of the day.

The wind will be moderate, sometimes strong, from North-Northwest.

Maximum temperatures will stand at between 23° and 28°, in the northeastern regions between 20° and 22°, in Sofia around 23°.

The weather forecast was presented  from the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (NIMH), quoted by Focus News Agency.

Meanwhile, Yellow warning for strong wind has been issued for the entire Black Sea Coast, according to the website of the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (NIMH) with the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. Before noon there will be northwest wind with gusts of up to 20 m/s (Beaufort Scale Force 8).

There are good weather conditions for tourism in the western mountains but in the central Bulgarian mountains the weather is bad, the Red Cross’ Mountain Rescue Service (MRC) announced.

At Botev Peak the temperature is 3°C, there is fog. The weather in Pamporovo is also not good for tourism. Many places will see rain. All ski lifts are in operation except the one in Vitosha. 

No incidents with tourists have been reported in the past twenty-four hours.

More information about the situation and the weather in the mountains is available on the official website of the Mountain Rescue Service ( www.pss.bg/ ) and on the following phone lines: 02/ 9632000 and 088 1470.

One person died and two were injured in a road accident during the solar eclipse in the US state of Kentucky, TASS reported, citing the local internet media WLKY.
 
In the city of Hayden, 38-year-old Alice Noble lost control of her car and crashed into a group of people watching the solar eclipse. A twenty-three-year-old man has died on the spot, and another woman and the driver of the car who hit a lamp post have been injured.
 
Local police are investigating the incident.
 
The full solar eclipse on Monday was monitored by residents of a total of 14 US states. It became visible first from the Northwest Oregon state on the Pacific coast, and lastly it could be seen from South Carolina on the east coast.

The Lebanese Interior Minister has revealed today that a plan by four Lebanese-Australian brothers to take down a passenger plane has been foiled in a joint operation of the Lebanese and Australian authorities, according to Standart News. 

Speaking at an exclusive news conference, Nouhad Machnouk told reporters the four brothers had plotted to blow up the plane with a bomb hidden inside a large Barbie doll and meat grinder.

He said the bombs did not make it onto the plane because the handbag they were placed in was 7 kilograms above the weight permitted by the airline.

Australian authorities have also said they thwarted a credible terrorist plot to down an airplane by smuggling a device onboard.

They have provided few details, including the precise nature of the threat or any airlines involved.

The United Arab Emirates' national airline said it is working with Australian police in the ongoing investigation.

But Etihad Airways, the smallest of three long-haul Gulf carriers that fly to Australia, refused to confirm if it had been targeted.

Machnouk said two other brothers are held in Australia while the fourth is a senior member of the Islamic State group based in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa.

 

DPS MP Delyan Peevski wrote an open letter to some media - mostly those owned by him, denying his business being related to the operations of the military-industrial complex. According to him, his name is used for false insinuations in the case of the withdrawal of the license of Dunarit and Emco.

Here is the text of Peevski's letter, without editorial intervention:

"In recent days and weeks, some print and electronic media, including televisions, have been using my name to make false suggestions and attempts to connect me with companies in the military-industrial complex, including Dunarit and Emco.

In this connection I firmly declare that I do not have, have never had and will not have in the future, nothing to do with companies in the military industry, including the aforementioned. I have never visited arms expositions in India, Sudan, Qatar, Dubai, or anywhere else, and I have not offered "blasts or shells" or any other military production. Unlike the tying of these and other such frank lies in some media, the activity of arms traders and enterprises is subject to state control so that any interest, deal or property in that area can easily be verified. So the tendentious and utterly false insinuations, as well as the attempts to create totally fake "news" related to my name, are in the first place doomed to total failure.

At the same time, I am aware that interfering with such ridiculous scenarios is obviously dictated by the drive to divert society's attention from the unlawful aims of a group of people whose actions are often the subject of investigations in the media in which I have property - and publications about the drain of the KTB and the continued plundering of assets acquired with depositors' money in it.

Apparently the media illumination of this group of faces and actions provoked them to compose lies about me. However, I assure the guarantors and contractors of these scenarios that, in spite of everything written against me, I will firmly follow my principles by making the utmost effort to make our society objectively aware of everything that is happening with KTB assets and of any wrongful acts associated with them, which damage the state.

In this sense, the desire of same people to conceal the plunder made by them, by printing such absurd statements in my address, will fail. "

143 illegal Roma barracks and 6 illegal houses in the Zaharna Fabrika quarter of Sofia are being demolished this morning, BTV announced.

There is no tension among the Roma at the moment - about 500 people live in illegal buildings. They are dangerous, they are built on a communal terrain.

"The order to demolish the buildings was issued last year. I thank the Ministry of Interior authorities because they are working normally and calmly. We have set up an organization to transport the luggage of people whose houses will be destroyed. And the gradual demolition of some of the sheds began. My priority is not to keep a child out on the street, "Ivan Bozhilov, mayor of the Ilinden district, told Nova TV.

"One of the families will be placed in a municipal home, but they filed their documents two years ago. Each family has 5-6 children. We will try not to let them sleep on the street, "added Bozhilov.

A 53-year-old Bulgarian woman was hit with a fine of 500 euros after she bathed in the waters of the emblematic Roman fountain at Republika Square, reported BGNES.

Two hours earlier at the other famous fountain Trevi 48- year-old Spanish woman also took a dip. She was also forced to pay the fine.

The new decree was announced this summer by Virginia Raggi, the mayor, after a spate of cases in which visitors stripped off and plunged into centuries-old Baroque fountains. 

“The beauty of Rome must be respected by everyone,” Ms Raggi wrote on Facebook. “We will not tolerate behaviour that contravenes decorum and we want to protect the historic, artistic and archaeological heritage of Rome.”

Tourists are also banned from eating or drinking while sitting on the edge of the fountains, clambering over them or allowing pets to drink from them.

120 buildings, of which 98 residential, were hit by a large fire in the city of Rostov-on-Don, southwestern Russia. Reports Mediapool. 

About 50 people have been evacuated and are in a temporary accommodation center where people left homeless continue to arrive. Medical assistance has helped about 45 people. The fire broke out in a wooden house in the historic center of Rostov-on-Don with a population of over 1 million people. The fire quickly moved into adjacent buildings, aided by the strong wind. At least 1,200 people have extinguished the flames. According to some Russian media, the fire is deliberate, as developers like to get the land in the center of the city.

According to TASS, Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn told this in an interview to Suddeutsche Zeitung. 

He remarked that Turkey’s interference in pre-election campaigns of the European countries, as well as requests for extradition of political opponents is unacceptable. 

“I think that it is high time for all EU countries to discuss the strategic consequences of such a behavior. It is aunacceptable to shrug our shoulders and admit this approach as a long-term political strategy,” Hahn said. 

Mediamax noted that Johannes Hahn stated in April of 2015 that Turkey's backlash against European countries that call Ottoman Turks' 1915 massacre of Armenians “genocide” will complicate Ankara's ambitions to join the European Union.

“This (Turkey’s harsh reaction – ed.) may be quite popular in parts of the country and among certain parts of the population. But I am really worried about the long-term consequences. The seeds of anti-European and anti-Western stance are thus sown, which from today's perspective makes a future (EU) entry very difficult,” Johannes Hahn told Der Standard back then.

A Bulgarian-Romanian working meeting in the Bulgarian town of Russe on the Dunabe will discuss the need to build a 3rd bridge over the Dunabe on the territory of the cross-border region of Russe-Giurgiu, reported BGNES.

MPs, representatives of state and local administration on both sides of the Dunabe, as well as other interested parties have been invited to attend.

The initiative came from the regional governor of Russe district Galin Grigorov

The initiative comes in response to the growing role of Pan-European transport corridors 7 and 9, the increased trade between Bulgaria and Romania and the huge traffic jams that from the region of Dunabe Bridge 1.

Spanish police have shot dead the main suspect in last Thursday's Barcelona attack, Younes Abouyaaqoub.

Police believe he was the driver of a van which careered down the Las Ramblas avenue, killing 13 and injuring more than 100 others.

He was killed some 25 miles (40km) west of Barcelona near a sewage treatment works following a tip off.

Abouyaaqoub, wearing a fake explosive belt, is reported to have shouted "Allahu Akbar" ("God is Greatest").

An extensive manhunt was already under way when police closed in on the Subirats area, close to Sant Sadurní d'Anoia.

A petrol station employee spotted Abouyaaqoub and called the police who found him hiding in vineyards.

After he was shot, bomb disposal officers used a robot to examine the fake explosive belt. This led to some delay before Moroccan-born Abouyaaqoub could be officially identified.

Local residents described seeing some 20 police cars heading for the scene and helicopters circling.

Police said the investigation was still international in scope.

At an earlier news conference, police described Abouyaaqoub's escape from the scene of the Barcelona attack on foot to the outskirts of the city where he hijacked a car and stabbed its driver.

The man murdered in the car was named as Pau Pérez, 34, from Vila Franca - the 15th victim of the Barcelona bloodshed and a later attack in the resort of Cambrils.

A woman died in Cambrils when a car was driven into pedestrians and five suspected jihadists were killed at the scene by police early on Friday.

Police have also confirmed that an imam, suspected of radicalising the young men who carried out the attacks, died in what is believed to have been an accidental explosion on Wednesday at a house in Alcanar, south of Barcelona, that was being used as a bomb factory.

The remains of one other person found at the house are still being examined.

The terror cell behind the attacks was 12 strong. Police say eight suspects are now dead and four are in custody.

The group had apparently been planning three co-ordinated attacks using home-made bombs, but were thwarted by the Alcanar blast. Police found about 120 gas canisters at the Alcanar site.

"The project for the purchase of a new fighter aircraft for the needs of the Bulgarian Air Force should by no means be dropped," Bulgaria’s President Roumen Radev said on 21st of August during a visit in Burgas, reported the Bulgarian National Television. 

According to the head of State, MIG-29, no matter how good maneuverability it has, does not provide modern combat capabilities.

President Radev, who is a former Commander of the Air Force, said that as a member of NATO, Bulgaria should have modern combat capabilities and therefore a new fighter jet model should be purchased.

"The money invested in MiG-29s will not give us modern capabilities, and will be commensurate with the cost of of procurement of a new aircraft until 2030," Radev said. “The other important thing is that defence spending should be effective. We must first decide what to do about the new aircraft and only then decide how long(depending on the deliveries) and in what way we will arrange the transition to it by maintaining the MiG-29s," the President noted.

President Radev was firm that it is important for our country to have strong navy forces to uphold our military sovereignty, but also to guarantee our economic and energy interests.

The President held a meeting with commanders and service members of the military units in Bourgas to discuss important matters related to the Bulgarian army. After the meeting he was firm that the defence budget should be increased.

Today will start the marking of dangerous, dry and rotten trees in Borisova Garden, reported bTV.

At the beginning of the month a branch of a tree in the Central Metropolitan park fell on a mother with a child and slightly injured the woman.

Even then, the Municipality of Sofia promised that within a few days the  marking of trees in Borisova Garden will start, and from the autumn - the cutting of those trees which are dangerous.

The work of Sofia Municipality will cover the section between the boulevards "Dragan Tsankov", "Peyo Yavorov", "Tsarigradsko shosse" and "Evlogi and Hristo Georgievi".

Each tree will be reviewed by a special committee.

A large part of the citizens of Sofia will be left without hot water from today and the inconvenience will last for 3 days, reported bTV.

The reason is a planned repair of Bulgartransgaz on the gas transmission network, which will not give natural gas to some of the heat sources of "Toplofikacia Sofia".

In addition, during the same period, the company will carry out planned repairs of TETS ''Sofia'', ''Zemljane'' and ''Lyulin''.

Until Thursday without hot water will be the neighborhoods ''Lyulin'', ''Nadezhda'', ''Obelya'', ''Ovcha Kupel'', ''Svoboda'', ''Iliyantsi'', ''Zaharna Fabrika'', ''West Park'', ''Serdika'', ''Razsadnika'', , ''Krasna Polyana'', ''Slavia'', ''Buxton'', ''Borovo'', ''Krasno Selo'', ''Beli brezi'', ''Strelbishte'', ''Gotse Delchev'', ''Lagera'', ''Ivan Vazov'', parts of ''Lozenets ".

Two women have died and 39 people were injured – at least one of them seriously – after a magnitude 4.0 earthquake struck the Italian island of Ischia, off the coast of Naples, reported The Guardian. 

One woman was buried under the rubble of her home in the town of Casamicciola, some 3km (2 miles) north of the epicentre, while the other was killed after being hit by debris falling from a church.

Aftershocks were felt as rescue teams worked through the night, pulling alive a seven-month-old baby from a collapsed home. Rescuers were still searching for the child’s siblings, aged four and six, on Tuesday morning. Their parents were reported to be alive.

The quake’s strength was revised up to magnitude 4.0 by the INGV, Italy’s seismic observatory, after initially being reported at 3.6.

The earthquake comes two days ahead of the first anniversary of an earthquake in central Italy in which almost 300 people died. Ischia’s deadliest quake occurred in 1883, killing 2,300.

On Monday, residents and tourists on the island, which is crowded at the height of the summer season, ran out on to the streets from homes and hospitals. News reports suggested the hardest-hit area was Casamicciola on the northern part of the island.

Television images showed about six buildings in the town as well as a church had collapsed in the quake, which hit just before 9pm, just as many people were having dinner.

At least one hotel and parts of a hospital were evacuated. Roberto Allocca, a doctor from a local hospital, told Sky TG24 television that at least 20 people were being treated for minor injuries at a makeshift emergency room set up on the hospital grounds. Allocca said the situation was calm and under control.

Most of the hospital had been evacuated and the injured were being treated outside.

Civil protection crews, already on the island in force to fight the forest fires that have been ravaging southern Italy, were checking the status of the buildings that suffered damage, while more were arriving from the mainland.

The television reports said the buildings that had collapsed appeared to have been inhabited and a number of people were still unaccounted for.

President Donald Trump has said a hasty US withdrawal from Afghanistan would leave a vacuum for terrorists to fill, rpeorted BBC.

He said his original instinct was to pull US forces out, but had instead decided to stay and "fight to win" - avoiding the mistakes made in Iraq.

He said he wanted to shift from a time-based approach in Afghanistan to one based on conditions on the ground, adding he would not set out deadlines.

However, the US president warned it was not a "blank cheque" for Afghanistan.

"America will work with the Afghan government, so long as we see commitment and progress," he said.

The Taliban responded by saying that Afghanistan would become "another graveyard" for the US if it did not withdraw its troops.

Mr Trump also warned Pakistan that the US would no longer tolerate the country offering "safe havens" to extremists, saying the country had "much to lose" if it did not side with the Americans.

"We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars - at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting," he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump made it clear he expects his existing allies to support him in his new strategy, telling them he wanted them to raise their countries' contributions "in line with our own".

Criticising previous administrations, he said: "We will not talk about numbers of troops or our plans."

However, Mr Trump said there would be an escalation in the battle against groups like al-Qaeda and so-called Islamic State.

Mr Trump has previously supported pulling troops out of the conflict, which began under President George W Bush in 2001 after the 9/11 attacks.

"We're not winning," he told advisers in a meeting in July.

Top White House officials have also been divided about the best way forward on Afghanistan.

Romania had a little over 326,000 bed-places in tourist accommodation establishments in 2016, slightly more than in 2015 (325,841 bed-places), but still behind neighboring countries such as Bulgaria and Hungary, Romania-Insider reported.

Tourist accommodation establishments include hotels, holiday and other short-stay accommodation, camping grounds, recreational vehicle parks, and trailer parks.

By comparison, Bulgaria had 328,264 bed-places in tourist accommodation establishments in 2016, up from 322,465 in 2015.

Meanwhile, the number of bed-places stood at 446,400 in Hungary in 2016, up from 440,449 the year before, according to data from EU’s statistical office Eurostat.

However, Romania is ahead of countries such as Finland – 252,902 bed-places in tourist accommodation establishments in 2016, Slovakia – 183,903, Cyprus – 84,239, Lithuania – 77,024, and Latvia – 47,083.

At EU level, there were 31.2 million bed-places available in 2015, Eurostat data shows. France had the highest number of bed-places in tourist accommodation establishments in 2015 – 5.1 million or 16.5% of the EU’s total, followed by Italy – 4.9 million or 15.6%, and Spain – 3.5 million or 11.3% of EU’s total.

The world has missed the chance to avoid dangerous global warming – unless we start geo-engineering the atmosphere by removing greenhouse gases, according to new research.

Scientists used computer models to assess what needs to be done to restrict global warming to between 1.5 degrees Celsius, the aspirational limit adopted by the Paris Agreement on climate change.

They found that the world was likely to overshoot this temperature but could bring it back down to 1.2C by the end of this century by using techniques to remove carbon dioxide from the air.

Giant biological machines could be created to do this by growing vegetation which absorbs carbon, then burning the resulting biomass in power stations that capture the emissions.

The researchers also said other techniques to remove carbon from the atmosphere would need to be developed.

Another team of researchers reached similar conclusions last month, finding that geo-engineering would be required to restrict warming to 1.5C but 2C could be achieved without it.

Scientists previously thought limiting global warming to 2C would avoid the most dangerous effects, but there is increasing evidence that allowing it to go much above 1.5C could lock in considerable sea level rise for the next few centuries.

So far the world has warmed by just under 1C in little over a century.

Writing in the journal Climatic Change, researchers from Switzerland said: “We find that, with our modelling assumptions, limiting global temperature to 1.5C is only possible when using direct air capture (DAC).

“In our model, attaining this Paris target depends on the immediate reduction of carbon dioxide emissions and negative emissions after 2060, which require the use of additional mitigation technologies such as BECCS and direct air capture.

“A deep decarbonisation of the energy system and a strong reduction of final energy demands without complementary carbon dioxide removal are not enough to realise this Paris target.”

The world would have to bring about a “complete shift” to an energy system based on renewables, nuclear, hydrogen, and bioenergy-with-carbon-capture-and-storage.

They said that it was not “infeasible” to limit global warming to 1.5C, the world was likely to overshoot this figure during this century.

However their models showed direct air capture and other methods to reduce greenhouse gases could bring temperatures back down to within the Paris targets.

“Actual temperature change in the scenarios with DAC has an overshoot before reaching the target at the end of the century, particularly large in the 1.5C target scenario.,” the Climatic Change paper said.

The UK government has set out proposals to ensure trade in goods and services can continue on the day the UK leaves the EU in March 2019, reported BBC.

A position paper calls for goods already on the market to be allowed to remain on sale in the UK and EU without additional restrictions.

It also calls for consumer protections to remain in place.

The Brexit department aims to keep pressure on the EU ahead of the third round of talks in Brussels next week.

A second paper calling for a reciprocal agreement to ensure continued confidentiality for official documents shared by Britain with its EU partners while it was a member state has also been published on Monday.

Further papers are due in the coming days, including one on the crucial issue of the European Court of Justice - a sticking point in talks.
Brussels is refusing to discuss future arrangements, such as trade, until citizens' rights, the UK's "divorce bill" and the Northern Ireland border have been settled.

EU leaders reiterated their stance last week as the UK published proposals about new customs arrangements.

Mr Davis said the latest batch of publications would "drive the talks forward" and "show beyond doubt" that enough progress had been made to move to the next stage of talks.

David Davis said: "These papers will help give businesses and consumers certainty and confidence in the UK's status as an economic powerhouse after we have left the EU.

"They also show that as we enter the third round of negotiations, it is clear that our separation from the EU and future relationship are inextricably linked.

"We have already begun to set out what we would like to see from a future relationship on issues such as customs and are ready to begin a formal dialogue on this and other issues."

But European Commission spokesman Alexander Winterstein said the UK's position papers would not alter the framework for talks drawn up by chief negotiator Michel Barnier and approved by the other 27 EU member states.

Other papers expected this week will look at how to maintain the exchange of data with other European countries and future "co-operation" between the different legal systems.


As part of the visit of a Bulgarian parliamentary delegation in South Korea, the President of the Bulgarian Parliament Dimitar Glavchev has met with the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea Chung Sye-kyun.

During the meeting Glavchev has pointed out that Bulgaria hails Korean investments in Bulgaria in the automotive, electronics and high technology – sectors in which the Republic of Korea is a world leader.

Hopes have been voiced for expansion of cooperation in culture and education.

"For us, the Republic of Korea is a close country, a priority and long-term partner and friend. Bulgaria and the Republic of Korea share the common fundamental values of democracy, market economy and protection of human rights," Glavchev said, adding that the states should continue developing active political dialogue at the highest level’’, the press office of the Bulgarian Parliament said.

He called for working to stimulate more direct and intense contacts between people and to achieve goals in investment, commodity exchange and tourism.

One example of successful cooperation in these spheres are the Bulgarian language courses at the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul, and Korean language courses at the Center for Eastern Languages and Studies at St. Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia.

The Chairman of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, Chung Sye-kyun, has said that there is a good basis for cooperation in the field of defense, information and scientific technology and both countries need to deepen their contacts in these spheres.

‘’I am grateful that the Bulgarians love our culture and hope for future contacts to help them get to know the different faces of our country’’, he stressed.

Brigitte Macron, the wife of French President Emmanuel Macron, will represent the country and carry out charity work but not have the official status of First Lady, following opposition to giving her this title, the presidency announced on Monday (Aug 21), Channel News Asia reported. 

A proposal by Macron during campaigning earlier this year to create a new First Lady status has been shelved, but the presidency had promised to clarify her position and the resources at her disposal.

The former school teacher will have two presidential advisors and her own cabinet, paid for from Macron's budget, and will focus on working with charities helping children and handicapped people.

She will also "represent France at her husband's side during international summits and meetings" and work with the partners of other global leaders to highlight work to combat climate change or domestic violence.

An online petition against creating an official First Lady role - which would have required a change in the law or constitution - garnered more than 300,000 signatures in August.

An opinion poll in early August showed a majority of French people were also opposed, even though Brigitte Macron is a popular figure.



 

The Sofia Breathes urban culture festival will surprise its guests this August as organizers say its latest edition will be held on different streets than those used before.

Every Sunday of August for the past seven years, a different venue would be closed to traffic in the afternoon, turning into a pedestrian area for hours and giving way to art performances and vendors stalls with food, beverages and handicraft items. 

 

 

In 2017, the urban festival Sofia Breathes, which for the eighth consecutive year will close some of the central streets in the city for vehicles to open space for art and culture, will have a new model of conducting.

Traditionally, the festival was held every Sunday in August, and last year it covered green areas and park areas around its locations. This year, the organizers – Sofia Breathes Foundation and Sofia Municipality offer the summer festival to be held on the last Saturdays and Sundays in June and August – June 24 and 25 and August 26 and 27.

The idea is to broaden and diversify the scope of the festival in order to include it in the active cultural program for the preparation of the Bulgarian Chairmanship of the Council of Europe in 2018.

This year’s festival will once again focuses on the support and performance of young Bulgarian artists in the field of applied, visual arts, music and cinema. During Sofia Breathes 2017, the locations will be divided into thematic areas, which has become a successful model since last year.

“The Art Zone” will host the planned concerts, exhibitions and screenings of the festival program, in support of the creative talents of Bulgaria.

The ''Children’s Zone'' will host all the active events that educate, train and entertain our small visitors and their parents and will support the cause against child abuse.

“The Sports Zone” will have a variety of sports facilities and sports items, as well as demonstrations and outdoor trainings on different sports in support of the healthy lifestyle.

“The Bargarin Zone” will presents Bulgarian hand-made artists and designers, as well as exhibitions of the participating artists.

Hepatitis E can cause liver cirrhosis in vulnerable people.

Pork products sold by a leading British supermarket may have infected thousands of people with a form of hepatitis that can cause liver cirrhosis, according to health officials.

Public Health England (PHE) researchers attempting to pinpoint a link between 60 people with hepatitis E (HEV) found that they had all eaten own-brand sausages and ready-to-eat sliced ham from an unnamed retailer known as Supermarket X, The Times reported. The research was carried out between 2014 and 2016.

The study found that between 150,000 and 200,000 people in the UK are infected with HEV each year.

“Only Supermarket X, especially own brand, was significantly associated with HEV G3-2,” the report said, according to The Times. The report follows a 2011 PHE study, which also found that Supermarket X’s pork products contained the virus.

In response to the findings, NHS Blood and Transplant has tested blood donations for HEV and plans to screen donated organs and tissue for the virus found in pigs.

Pigs in the UK do not have HEV, but the virus has been detected in pork products from Holland, Germany and other mainland European countries. 

Sources told The Times that they believe Supermarket X was Tesco. However, a spokesperson for the supermarket told The Independent that it works closely with the FSA and PHE to ensure customers can be confident in the safety and quality of the food they buy.

“This particular research was carried out six years ago on a small number of people, and although it provided no direct link between specific products and hepatitis E, we always take care to review research findings such as this. Food quality is really important to us and we have in place an expert team to ensure the highest possible standards at every stage of our supply chain, as well as providing clear information to customers on how to handle and cook pork in the home to minimise the risk of hepatitis E,” the spokesperson added.

HEV is spread when faeces infected with the virus finds its way into the mouth, usually through food and water, according to the British Liver Trust website. Transmitting the virus from person to person is rare, but it is possible to be infectious for up to two weeks after symptoms show.

The majority of people infected with HEV experience mild flu-like symptoms, fatigue, abdominal pain, vomiting and aching joints and muscles, which last for a month. However, those with suppressed immune systems may struggle to fight the virus and can experience a chronic infection, liver cirrhosis and neurological damage.

"Ludogorets Arena" Stadium officially received UEFA permission to accept matches from the group stage of Europa League, the official website of Ludogorets announced, quoted by bTV.

The inspectors of the European football headquarters have found that all the recommendations for the construction of the facility are fulfilled and that the city of Razgrad will be able to host meetings of the European club tournaments.

The club's management is grateful to all those who have made the most of their efforts in recent months to make the ''Ludogorets Arena'' meet the requirements of UEFA.

The Romaninan coastal guard detained a boat carrying 70 migrants near the port of Mangalia, reports Agerpress.

On the boat there were 23 children, 12 women and 35 man from Syrian and Iraqi descent. One of the women was pregnant and had to be transported to the hospital in Mangalia. In the end of last week the Romanian coastal guard captured motor yacht sailing with Turkish flag that had 69 migrants and was again in the same area. Romanian media say that the Black sea is increasingly preffered and turning into alternative route for migrants fleeing to Europe. 

Google will on Monday reveal the 12th version of Android, the world's most prevalent mobile operating system, at roughly the same time as the solar eclipse in the US, according to Abs-Cbn News.

The internet giant teased "some super sweet new powers" with Android O in an eclipsed-themed countdown website. Google's latest will be revealed at 2:40 p.m. in the US (2:40 a.m. Tuesday in Manila).


Android operating systems have been named after deserts starting with 2009's Android Donut. Succeeding names have followed the alphabetical order, including last year's Android Nougat.

Tech websites have speculated that the newest Android version will be called Oreo. Google last used a brand name for an Android release in 2013's Android KitKat.

According to developer previews, Android O will introduce the ability to watch videos on a small screen on top of apps and notifications dots similar to those on Apple's iOS.

Android O will be revealed as Google and manufacturers like Samsung and LG prepare to unveil flagship devices to compete with Apple's 10-year anniversary iPhone.

The imam believed to be the ringleader of the Spain attackers had links with the 2004 Madrid bombers and recently travelled to Belgium, it has emerged.

Investigators are piecing together the background of Isis supporters who launched two deadly attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils as the driver of the van used to kill 13 people remains at large.

Police say they cannot rule out the possibility that Younes Abouyaaquoub, a 22-year-old Moroccan who could be the only surviving member of the terror cell, has escaped into France and travelled onwards through Europe.

The investigation into the attacks has spread to several countries recently visited by attackers, including Morocco, France and Switzerland.

Belgian media reported that the suspected ringleader of the attack, Moroccan imam Abdelbaki Es Satty, spent at least three months in the country.

The mayor of Vilvoorde, once a notorious jihadi hub, confirmed Es Satty lived in the city from January to March 2016 – the month that saw Isis’ attacks launched in nearby Brussels – but the Belgian immigration minister said he was not registered with authorities.

Hans Bonte said Es Satty attempted to work at mosques in the city but was refused by community members who reported his arrival to the police.

Belgian authorities said they contacted their Catalan counterparts for information but were told he was not known to be radicalised, De Redactie reported.

The imam is not believed to have been under surveillance by Spanish security services, despite his apparent extremist connections following a period in prison in 2012.

Acquaintances of Es Satty said he was not religious until being jailed for smuggling hashish and meeting Rachid Aglif, who was serving time for his part in the al-Qaeda inspired Madrid bombings.

In 2015 he started teaching at a mosque in Ripoll, the quiet Spanish town home to most of the Spain attackers.

Friends and relatives said the plotters, including a waiter and extreme sports instructor, appeared to lead normal lives until they started attending Es Satty’s sermons.

A woman who knew members of the cell said the imam repeatedly preached about jihad and killing “infidels”, adding: “I feel like I could have done something. I feel a little bit guilty now.

Leaders of Es Satty's former mosque denounced the terror attacks, but denied the preacher was anything other than "a normal imam".

At least three sets of brothers and cousins were among the cell's alleged members – a pattern previously seen among large groups of European foreign fighters joining Isis in Syria and in terror attacks including Paris, Brussels and Boston.

Only one, suspected van driver Abouyaaqoub, is known to remain alive after fleeing from the scene of the rampage that left 13 people dead and more than 100 injured on La Rambla.

Family members told Reuters that Abouyaaqoub started showing more religiously conservative behaviour within the past year, refusing to shake hands with women during a visit to his birthplace in Morocco in March.

They expressed shock and anger after discovering his alleged involvement in the Barcelona attack, with his mother, Hannou Ghanimi, telling reporters in she wanted her son to give himself up to police and would rather see him in prison than dead.

His brother, El Houssaine, and first cousins Mohamed and Omar Hichami were killed alongside Moussa Oukabir and Said Aalla by police in the second ramming attack in the resort town of Cambrils.

Es Satty was one of at least two plotters killed in an accidental explosion that destroyed a house they were using as a bomb factory in Alcanar on Wednesday night.

Turkey and Iran were in discussion about a joint military operation against “the kurdish terrorist groups” said the Turkish President Recep Erdogan today. Reports Frognews.

Kurdish forces are acting in effective manner agains ISIS in Syria and Iraq. However, neighoring countries are worried that this is just a step in their plan for forming a soverign state in the region.

The leader of the Iranin General Headquarters, Gen. Mohammad Bageri talked with Turkish representatives about exchange of intelligence data for the improvement and safety of the common border between the two countries. 

The US embassy in Moscow on Monday blamed the planned changes on the Russian government’s move to force US diplomatic missions in the country to cut staff by almost two-thirds, reported The Financial Times.

 Moscow’s decision, announced on July 28, was a political response to a new law codifying existing anti-Russian sanctions and adding new restrictions, but it was designed to mirror restrictions slapped on Russia’s diplomatic missions in the US in late December by the Obama administration as a punishment for Moscow’s alleged meddling in the US election.

Moscow’s counter-measures call for the US to reduce the total number of employees at its missions in Russia by 755 to 455, on par with numbers at Russia’s diplomatic missions in the US, by September 1. Russian and western diplomats have noted that the demanded cuts can be achieved at least partly by laying off Russian administrative and technical staff and does not call for the expulsion of hundreds of American diplomats. However, the necessary drastic reduction in staff is expected to slow down the embassy’s work and lead to a reduction in some practical bilateral exchanges.

“Russia’s decision to reduce the United States’ diplomatic presence here calls into question Russia’s seriousness about pursuing better relations,” the US embassy in Moscow said in a statement on its website on Monday. As part of the suspension of non-immigrant visa operations, interviews already set up for Russians’ visa applications between Wednesday and the end of the month will be cancelled.

After the resumption of services, only the embassy in Moscow will take and process applications and issue visas, a change likely to prevent many Russian citizens from far-flung parts of the country from traveling to the US.

At least 20 tourists, including foreign ones, were injured in a road accident in Antalya, local media reports quoted by BGNES.

The bus in which the victims traveled turned over at the exit of the tunnel on the highway from Antalya to Kemer.

The likely cause of the accident is that the driver has lost control of the vehicle due to wet pavement.

The nationality of the injured tourists has not yet been reported.

Donald Trump will announce his decision on America’s strategy in Afghanistan on Monday night in an address to US troops and the nation almost 16 years after the war began, according to The Guardian.

The US president will “provide an update on the path forward for America’s engagement in Afghanistan and South Asia” in an address to be delivered at 9pm ET from the military base at Fort Myer, southwest of the capital, the White House said in a statement.

Trump gathered top security officials on Friday at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland to weigh his options in the grueling conflict, saying afterwards that “many decisions” had been made.

Wary of international involvements but eager for progress in the drawn-out Afghan war, the Trump administration had originally promised a new plan by mid-July.

Trump was said to be dissatisfied by initial proposals to add a few thousand more troops in the country, and advisers were studying an expanded strategy for the broader South Asian region, including Pakistan.

The decision comes after the departure from the White House on Friday of Steve Bannon, Trump’s firebrand chief strategist, a nationalist who was said to be disinclined to see US forces more deeply mired in the troubled region.

Trump’s defense secretary, Jim Mattis, confirmed in Amman, Jordan on Sunday that the administration had agreed on a new strategy for Afghanistan after “rigorous” debate, but refused to provide any details about the decision.

“I’m very comfortable that the strategic process was sufficiently rigorous, and did not go in with a preset condition in terms of what questions could be asked and what decisions could be made,” he said.

“Everyone who had equity was heard,” he said, including budget officials responsible for funding the effort.

Trump had several options on the table that ranged from backing away from the country to stepping up US efforts to defeat the Taliban. In June he gave Mattis the power to increase troop numbers above the estimated 8,400 that have been in the country – close to 4,000 more, according to reports.

Mattis arrived in Jordan Sunday on the first day of a five-day swing through the Middle East, Turkey and Eastern Europe.

There are now about 8,400 US and 5,000 NATO troops supporting Afghanistan’s security forces in the fight against Taliban and other militants. But the situation has remained as deadly as ever, with more than 2,500 Afghan police and troops killed from January 1 to May 8.

 

"Having a strong and efficient navy is very important to Bulgaria, because it guarantees the country's military sovereignty, as well as its economic and energy interests," Bulgaria's President Rumen Radev said during his visit to the navy base near the coastal city of Bourgas today.

"Having strong naval forces implies new technical equipment and highly trained and motivated personnel. We should pay our navy the due respect, because the strategic importance of the Black Sea region is ever growing," he added.

Later President Radev will meet with the Mayor Dimitar Nikolov.

Later in the day, President Rumen Radev will visit the town of Samokov on the occasion of the city's official celebration. The festive program will take place at ''Zachary Zograph Square'' and will start at 19.30, reported BGNES. 

Man, 19, shot dead by police after knifing and axing seven people in Siberia's oil capital. Reports Siberia Times. 

The shocking attack led to five men and two women aged between 27 and 77 suffering stabbing injuries. A medical source said: 'The wounds vary but mainly they are to the head, neck and stomach.'

A chilling video from regional news agency K-Inform shows paramedics rush a blood covered shopper victim to hospital during Saturday's mayhem.  The attacker sipped lemonade in a local cafe minutes before entering Severny shopping centre, igniting an explosive device and apparently using a hand axe on a woman shopper close to an ATM. He then made random knife attacks in shopping areas. 

He was named by the Moscow media as Artur Gadzhiev, 19, from Dagestan, a Muslim region in the Caucasus. Police have not confirmed his identity. He was 'liquidated' after refusing to surrender to police. 

ISIS issued a claim of responsibility, but there appeared to be doubts from law enforcement chiefs that it was an ordered attack by the terrorist group.  The nature of the Surgut atrocity is being closely examined by the FSB, it is understood.  One local who knew the attacker's family said 'something was wrong with his head' from the age of around 14. It was also reported that the FSB had warned police and regional officials in advance over a possible outrage and additional officers were on the streets. Local sources said law enforcement was investigating the attacker's 'possible psychiatric disorders'.

 

Car ploughed into pedestrians at two stops in Marseilles, France - there were injured people. Reports BitTv. 

At the moment, the incident has not been declared a terrorist act. The Marseilles driver is detained, he is known to the police, the authorities are advising people to avoid the tourist area of the city.

Famous American actor, comedian and director Jerry Lewis died today from natural causes at his home in Las Vegas, surrounded by his family, said the family, quoted by Reuters.

Lewis began his career with humorous sketches, performing in clubs, radio and television. He became popular in the 1940s thanks to the comedy duet with Dean Martin, with whom he split in 1956, after ten years of joint work. He starred in Emir Kusturica's Arizona Dream (1993) and Martin Scorsese's The King of Comedy (1982). In 1960 he made his directorial debut with The Bellboy. Three years later he became a star with his most popular film (also a director and screenwriter) - The Nutty Professor. He has won numerous awards, including an Oscar. He has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The administration of the University of Texas has ordered the removal from campus  the statutes of General Robert Lee and other prominent personalities of the Confederation. The decision, announced by University director Greg Fenvos, argues that such monuments are "symbols of the modern superiority of the white race and neo-Nazism," Reuters reported.

In 2015, the university removed from its territory a statue of former Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Remnants of General Lee, General Albert Sidney Johnston, and Confederate Secretary of the Confederate, General John H. Reagan are now to be removed. Lee's statue will be exhibited at the US Dolphin Center for American History at the University. The nationwide debate over the public monuments of prominent Confederate figures became last week's hot topic for the United States after a woman was killed in clashes between white supremacists and counter protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia. The demonstrations there were against opponents and supporters of the removal of the statue of General Robert Lee.

With the initiative of TISPOL, the European Road Traffic Police network, from 21 to 27 August 2017, enhanced monitoring of compliance with the permitted maximum speed will be carried out in all Member States, the Ministry of Interior said.

Offenses related to over-speeding are a common occurrence in all European countries and recognized as the most serious cause of serious road accidents and road deaths in Europe, it is estimated by the European network. Excessive and inadequate speed continues to cause the largest share of crashes. According to this indicator, the data for Bulgaria is above the average level compared to the Member States of the European Union. That is why the implementation of enhanced control over the observance of the speed regimes is of utmost importance for the improvement of the traffic situation and the reduction of the road casualties, the Ministry of Interior notes. During inspections, except for exceeding the authorized traffic speed, checks will be carried out on a valid compulsory insurance for motorists.

Ventsislav Haladzhov said traffic through the Danube Bridge has increased twice in a year, and according to Ruse Regional Governor Galin Grigorov, the solution for the congestion of the facility is to build a parallel bridge that would connect to the future Rousse-Veliko Tarnovo highway. Rousse customs claim that the processing of documents takes 2-3 minutes and drivers complain that they have to wait for hours to cross the Danube Bridge, informs the Bulgarian National Television.

Galin Grigorov, District Governor of Ruse: "The congestion is almost daily. We took measures by introducing easier payouts. At the same time, Customs Agency processes and issues documents faster. They work very well and organized, but this does not reduce traffic. For me the only option with the congestion of the Danube Bridge is the construction of a parallel bridge to connect with the Rousse-Veliko Tarnovo Motorway. This is absolutely necessary."

Ventsislav Haladzhov, Rousse Customs Director: "We are seeing a steady increase in traffic. By way of comparison, I can give a few figures - before we entered the EU when there was full customs control, the heavy traffic was about 500 trucks per day. In recent years, the heavy truck traffic has reached 2,000. For 2016 traffic was about 700 thousand cars. For this year traffic has doubled - 1 370 000. The increase is mainly due to the light traffic due to the strong tourist season. Heavy traffic is relatively the same as volume.

Facebook is testing a new version of its News Feed, offering selected links to news and topics that fit the interests of individual users. All this happens while the company continues to look for ways to increase the time people spend using the largest social network in the world, Reuters reports.

Feature called "Featured Topic" is already being tested in News Feed. Each of the selected posts contains several sentences of text, a link to news, and a photo.

Facebook confirmed that the new feature is in a testing period and was created to help people find stories that fit their taste.

The company often makes changes to the News Feed, usually testing potential features long before making them official.

In May 2016, Facebook changed the procedures behind the "Topic" section after being accused of censoring conservative news, and a Republican senator in the United States insisted on greater transparency.

Electricity production in the period from January 1 to August 13, 2017, increased to 28,019,217 megawatt an hours, up 3.64 per cent compared to the same period in 2016. This shows the operating data of the Electricity System Operator.

An increase of 6.25% is also accounted for by the current consumption for the same period of time. Since the beginning of the year, 24 788 199 megawatts have been spent at 23 330 168 megawatt hours for the same time last year. Negative is the percentage (minus 12.80) for the export of electricity. For the first eight months of 2017, 3,231,018 megawatt hours of electricity were sold. Since the beginning of the year, the base plants generated 23,714,462 megawatt-hours of electricity, an improvement of 8.28% compared to this period in 2016. There is 8.63% increase in the share of renewable energy sources in the country's transmission network . Their share in the distribution network is plus 2.64%. The participation of hydropower plants (HPPs) in electricity generation has decreased - minus 28.48%.

The analyzes show that the pension system will be stable by 2040, but then reform will be needed to avoid a crisis, announced Social Minister Bisser Petkov on bTV on Monday.

He reminded that by 2037 the service and retirement age will gradually increase and then they will catch up with men and women. "Access to the system will be more and more difficult," the minister said. Biser Petkov also said that the current stability of the pension system is due to the reforms made in 2015. However, the next reform will be needed because of the shift in proportions between those who are working working and those who are receiving pensions. Now, for three employees, one pensioner is in the labor force, whereas in 2040 fewer than two workers will have to fund the retirement pension. Regarding the low unemployment in our country Petkov commented that the main problem of the labor market is the lack of qualified workers. In this regard, measures are taken to prevent dropouts and to encourage mothers to return to work early after birth, the minister said. He reminded that the state has provided BGN 20 million for the "state nanny". Under the plan, this measure should support about 2,000 families. They will be able to apply to hire unemployed people to look after their children for a minimum wage.

A new rail freight route from the northwestern Chinese province of Qinghai via Kazakhstan to Russia has begun to function today, Xinhua reported, quoted by TASS and DARIK.
 
The end point of the train with chemical products is the city of Perm, where the load has to be delivered for a maximum of 10 days, 30 days faster than by sea. The track is 6300 km long.
 
The Chinese authorities expect the increase in the competitiveness of their goods in Russia thanks to the new route.
 
Official statistics show that currently from China to Central Asian countries and Europe, including Russia, over Eurasian territory regularly travel over 20 freight trains.

Only 25% of the people in Bulgaria are ready to fight for their country, according to a global study by WIN / Gallup International, quoted by BGNES.

This result puts Bulgaria in 54th place, almost at the bottom of the sociological chart.

The survey shows that 61% of respondents in 64 countries would be ready to fight for their country. There are, however, significant regional differences. For example, sacrifice is at the highest level in the countries of the Middle East and North Africa, and lowest in Western Europe. The first two places are Morocco and Fiji (94%), followed by Pakistan and Vietnam (89%).

The history of these countries in recent conflicts gives an interesting comparison. Only 11% of Japanese feel ready for war, and only 13% would like to fight for their homeland, while the percentage is twice as high in the United Kingdom (27%) and France (29%).

It is an interesting fact that 52% of women and 67% of men on the global scale would sacrifice for their country. Those aged 18-34 are the most responsive in this respect - 66% of respondents said they would voluntarily step on the front.

As far as religious diversity is concerned, Muslims (78%) are most likely to fight for their home country. The international study of the WIN / Gallup International Association is a tradition initiated and developed by George Gallup in 1977. It is held every year in 64 countries around the world.

Five people were killed in a missile strike against the International Fair in Damascus, the Syrian Center for Human Rights said.

There are still no official information of the number of victims, although Syria's national television confirmed the incident and that there were injured. According to the state television, the rocket has fallen near the entrance to the Syrian capital's exhibition complex, where the fair was opened earlier this week. The number of injured and their condition is not yet known. It is not known where the rocket was launched from.

"We were preparing to welcome visitors when I heard an explosion ... then I saw smoke on the side of the entrance to the showroom," says an eyewitness. The Damascus International Fair is one of the most important economic events in the country, but because of the war that broke out in 2011, its conduct was stopped. This year's fair was held for the first time since the beginning of the conflict, with a ten-day schedule. In the words of the director of the event this year Perez al-Kartli, it was decided to conduct it because of Syria's "return to peace and stability in most regions".

The hunt for the driver who killed 13 people in last week's attack in Barcelona has been extended across Europe, Catalan officials say, quoted by BBC.

Police say they have now confirmed the driver's identity, but would not reveal his name.

But Catalan official Joaquim Forn told local radio: "Everything suggests the van driver is Younes Abouyaaqoub".

Authorities say they cannot rule out the possibility that he has slipped across the border to France.

New CCTV footage appears to show him fleeing the scene of the attack on foot.

Three images in El Pais newspaper allegedly show the man walking through La Boqueria market, wearing sunglasses, as he passes other people heading away from Las Ramblas.

Police say they are investigating the possibility that, some 90 minutes later, the suspect stabbed and killed a Spanish man and stole his car.

Yesterday, Catalan police chief Josep Lluis Trapero said that of the 12 suspects, only one - assumed to be Abouyaaqoub - remained at large.

Four were under arrest and there were two sets of human remains to be identified, he said. Five were killed during the second attack in Cambrils.

Serbia has withdrawn all of its embassy staff in Skopje. There is currently no employee in the building, according to BGNES. Macedonian Foreign Ministry officials said they "received a note from the Serbian diplomatic mission that said staff were called for consultations in Belgrade." They said that they "are not aware of the reasons for this decision and are currently in communication with the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Serbia in order to ascertain the reasons for this decision."

"According to the Vienna Convention, the institutions of the Republic of Macedonia take all necessary measures to protect the security of the Embassy of the Republic of Serbia in Skopje," the Macedonian MFA said. Serbian ambassador Dusanka Divik-Tomic sent SMS to Serbian journalists, stating that "he can not comment on the case and recommends that they call the Belgrade Foreign Ministry today." According to the Serbian state agency, "today Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic will report the reasons for the departure of Skopje diplomats."

Novinite reminds that there has been a great deal of tension between the two countries since the Serbian representative of the special services at their embassy in Skopje Goran Jivalevich invaded the Macedonian Parliament during the "Bloody Thursday" on 27 April. More than 100 people were beaten. Among them are the current Prime Minister Zoran Zaev. Immediately afterwards, Goran Jivalevich left Macedonia, and Ambassador Dusanka Divik-Tomic was summoned to the Macedonian Foreign Ministry. 

Last month, Ivica Dacic described "an error the recognition of the Republic of Macedonia under its constitutional name by the authorities in Belgrade." The statement was made during his visit to Athens.

A secret report of the Macedonian Security and Counterintelligence Directorate was released at the beginning of June, which was sent to Director of Security and Counterintelligence Director Vladimir Atanasovski. It has become clear that for the past 9 years the Republic of Macedonia has been the target of powerful subversive, propaganda and intelligence activity by the Russian embassy in Skopje. 

The documents outlined also detail the activities of Serbian agents in the Republic of Macedonia, and in particular the scandalous diplomat Goran Jivalevic , Serbian party leader Ivan Stoilkovic, as well as the deputy from the party of Serbian President Alexander Vucic - Miroslav Lazansky.

Cold weather will cross the country today. Moderate, sometimes strong wind will come from Northwest, bringing cold air. Clouds will continue to increase until covering the whole country in the afternoon.

There will be rains with thunders in many areas, more intensely in the western regions.

Day temperatures will decrease. Maximum temperatures will be 25°-30°, or lower in some areas in Western Bulgaria, in Sofia around 21°.

This is the forecast of the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (NIMH), quoted by  FOCUS News Agency.

The highest possible risk of fires has been declared for 4 regions: Blagoevgrad, Pazardzhik, Plovdiv and Haskovo.

Hundreds of workers at the Emko arms factory protest and threatened to block the Pass of the Republic in Stara Planina. Reports Vesti

The ammunitions company is the second such that the state has revoked work permissions in the last weeks, along with the Rousse "Dunarit".

There are about 1000 people working in Emko, mainly from Tryavna, who are afraid to lose their livelihood.

The plant has been revoked for trading due to discovered misconduct in ammunition storage and in the fire system. But according to employees, this is a targeted attack.

Danish archaeologists have discovered a fort of Vikings built in the late 10th century in Borgring, south of Stockholm, according to Science Magazine.
 
The unusual architecture of the fort shows that the Vikings were not primitive robbers and pirates but technologically advanced people.
 
The round fortress is the fifth one found in Denmark. However, construction like that has not been found in 60 years. Archaeologists have localized it with LIDAR laser technology, which provides a three-dimensional high-resolution map. It revealed the structure with a diameter of 144 m.
 
The ideal circular shape shows that the fort was not only a military fortification, but a political symbol and a sign of the king's might, Harald Sinsebbia, united Scandinavia.
 
The fortress had four main doors through which there were wood-paved roads. The outer walls are made of earth and wood.

The Vikings have not came up with the ideal circular shape of the fortresses. Most likely, they have seen them during their invasion of England, where they existed 100 years earlier. They decided to reproduce them because they could not conquer them.

A man driving stolen vehicle crashed in the arrival sector at Keflavik International Airport, located near Reykjavik, writes "Island Monitor".

According to the site, the police pursued the driver and stopped him at the intersection near the airport. He came out of the vehicle with his arms raised, pretending to surrender. However, he immediately hit a policeman who approached him, ran to other car and stole it with which he smashed it into a glass wall of the airport, TASS reported.

According to information provided by local authorities, the offender is about 20 years old. No victims in the incident.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel defended her decision to open Germany's borders to hundreds of thousands of refugees two years ago, AP cited by DARIK as saying.
 
"I still think my decision was right," Merkel said, after being asked in a pre-election TV interview if she would do differently if she were in the same situation. Earlier, the Chancellor defended her decision as a necessary response to an extraordinary humanitarian situation.
 
She said her government has taken many steps to ensure that the crisis will not happen again.

The surge of nearly a million refugees in Germany in 2015 has sparked criticism of Merkel from some right-wing politicians, including conservative allies in Bavaria.
 
Horst Seehofer, who heads the Christian Social Union, the Bavarian sister party of Merkel's Christian Democrats, seems to have retreated from its longstanding call to limit the number of refugees. Earlier, he insisted on a ceiling of 200,000 refugees per year.


Merkel told German TV station RTL that she will fight for a full four-year term if she is re-elected in September.
 
Asked whether she will run again in 2021, the Chancellor said: "This will be discussed again at the appropriate time."

The United States and South Korea have launched joint military exercises under the code name "Ulchi - a defender of freedom," which are expected to further exacerbate the tensions on the Korean Peninsula, global agencies said.

The maneuvers will continue until August 31 and will include computer simulations to prepare against a possible DPRK attack. These include 50,000 South Korean soldiers and nearly 17,500 US soldiers.

South Korean President Mun Gehin said the exercises are entirely defensive and not intended to provoke tension in the region.

North Korea, however, considered them a rehearsal for an invasion of their territory. The media in the Communist state yesterday described the teachings as "reckless" action, which could lead to a nuclear war.

The Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia took place Aug. 21, 1968, making this year the 49th anniversary of the event, The Daily Prague Monitor writes.

People over the weekend might have seen filming of a new movie about Jan Palach, with events being re-created around the city for the benefit of the cameras. The film should be released next year.

A public event to remember the invasion will take place at Wenceslas Square starting at 12:40 pm and run to 10 pm on Monday, Aug. 21. 

Several musical acts are expected to participate including the Primitives Group, Luboš Andršt Blues Band, and George & Beatovens with Karel Kahovec. 

The Primitives Group was a Czechoslovak psychedelic band active from 1965 to 1969. The group was forced to break up after the 1968 invasion. Some members have gotten back together in recent years.

Organizers of the event warn people not to let history repeat itself, and to be cautious against one-party rule.

Next year, for the 50th anniversary, some exhibitions are being planned including one at the National Gallery at Veletržní palác that will focus on art and culture from the communist era and 1968 in particular.

The Soviet led invasion took place to end the reforms of the Prague Spring (Pražské jaro) movement, which were meant to show “socialism with a human face.” Troops from other Warsaw Pact countries crossed the Czechoslovak border at 11 pm on Aug. 20 and tanks entered Prague at 6 am Aug 21. Tanks fired at the National Museum, mistaking it for a government building. There was heavy fighting at the main office of Czechoslovak Radio on Vinohradská Street. A plaque there marks the event.

After the invasion, Czechoslovakia was put under a process of “normalization” by the Soviet Union. It lasted until 1989.

President Rumen Radev will guarantee the security of banker Tsvetan Vasilev if he decides to return to Bulgaria and testify in the KTB case. This assured the head of state in Pomorie, said Nova TV.

Radev explained that by declassifying the two shorthand notes for the bank gave illumination in the scandal and hence it all now depends on the justice system.

In the words of the president, Tsvetan Vasilev can make a lot of contribution to clarifying the bank's bankruptcy, but this should be done in a transparent to the public process.

The head of state also commented on the noise checks at sea. According to Radev, there should be a conversation between the state and the owners of clubs. "The whole scandal around Sunny Beach is about some things we all know. I hope the government will initiate this dialogue. The rules must be clear in advance and not be changed in the middle of the season, "commented Rumen Radev.

The main mosque in Granada was attacked yesterday by a group of far-right youngsters who threw up smoke and chanted xenophobic and anti-Islamic slogans, Spanish media reported. At the time of the mosque attack, there were several hundred people.

"The one who financed this mosque has funded terrorism, why are the authorities silent?", said one banner. The police arrived 15 minutes after the start of the action and the protesters fled.

Inscriptions with threats against Muslims appeared on the facades of the mosques of Logroño (Rioja Autonomous Region), the Catalan city of Montblanc and Seville (Autonomous Province of Andalusia).

Spanish Muslims organize actions in honor of the victims of the attacks. Also yesterday evening, hundreds gathered in Puerta del Sol in Madrid. Similar events took place in other cities. The Spanish Islamic Commission has condemned the violence immediately after the attacks. About a hundred Muslim municipalities in Catalunya are planning a major anti-terror action today in Barcelona.

A specialized team in Burgas yesterday destroyed the naval mine which was found near the Coral beach in Tsarevo, the Ministry of Defense announced, quoted by BGNES.

The actions of the team were lead  by Captain lll rank Krasimir Ivanov.

The naval mine is from type ‘’mining defender’’ and was about 30 meters away from the coastline.

Historically, naval mines played an important role in maritime warfare in the Black Sea. Spurred on by lessons learned during World War I and World War II, the Soviet Black Sea Fleet deployed considerable numbers of offensive and defensive mines in the Black Sea littoral waters, particularly in the northwestern portion of this body of water.

Тhe northwestern sector of the Black Sea is economically important: its waters are crisscrossed by dense maritime shipping lanes, and it features several important Black Sea ports—Odesa (Ukraine), Constanza (Romania), Varna and Burgas (Bulgaria)—as well as the mouths of key water arteries (the Danube, Dnieper, Dniester and the Southern Bug) and a number of relatively large bays, writes the Jamestown.org. 

Novinite.com recalls, that yesterday, old unexploded naval mine was found near 'Coral' Camping.

 

 Russia's air force has destroyed a large column of Islamic State fighters on their way to the Syrian city of Deir al-Zor, killing over 200 militants, Russian news agencies cited Russia's Defence Ministry as saying on Monday, Reuters reported.

Islamic State is concentrating its forces around Deir al-Zor after being pushed out of the south of Raqqa Province and the west of Homs Province by Syrian land forces and the Russian air force, the ministry said.

It said its planes had also destroyed the militants' military equipment. It did not say when the strike took place.

An English tourist has died after falling from the third floor of a hotel in Sunny Beach, police said in Bourgas, cited by FOCUS News Agency.

The incident report was received on August 17th, in the evening. The 20-year-old was hospitalized in clinical death and died on August 19th. The causes of the fall are in the process of clarification. Pre-trial proceedings have been initiated in this case. In recent years, the resort has had many deaths caused by falling from balconies and windows. A particularly popular "sport" was the so-called "balconing" practiced by drunken tourists trying to jump in the hotel pool from their balcony.

A delegation of Bulgarian Parliament, headed by its President Dimitar Glavchev will pay an official visit to the Republic of Korea from August 21st to the 23rd at the invitation of Chung Sye-kyun, speaker of the country’s National Assembly.

The Bulgarian delegation will hold talks in parliament and will meet with the country’s Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon.

The delegation includes the Chairman of the Friendship Group Bulgaria - Republic of Korea Mihail Hristov, the Deputy Chairperson of the group Desislava Atanasova and the members of the group Nikolay Aleksandrov, Dzhevdet Chakarov and Krastina Taskova, the National Assembly announced, quoted by BGNES.

The President of Bulgaria’s National Assembly will lay a wreath at the National Cemetery, where Koreans who have laid down their lives for the national independence in the Korean and in the Vietnam War are laid to rest. 

Pope Francis on Sunday prayed that God will liberate the world from the "inhuman violence" of terrorism, in the wake of incidents over the past week in Burkina Faso, Barcelona and Finland that left a total of 34 people dead. The pontiff has long condemned terrorism, especially when it’s religiously-inspired, insisting that it’s “blasphemy” to kill in the name of God.

Referring to a string of terrorist incidents both in Europe and Africa last week, Pope Francis on Sunday prayed for the dead and injured and their families, and asked God to liberate the world from this “inhuman violence'', according to Cruxnow.com

“In our hearts, we carry the sorrow for the terrorist acts which, in these past few days, have caused numerous victims in Burkina Faso, Spain and Finland,” the pontiff said.

“We pray for all the dead, for the wounded and for their families,” Francis said, “and we beg the Lord, the God of mercy and peace, to liberate the world from this inhuman violence.”

He then led a crowd in St. Peter’s Square estimated at roughly 10,000 people by the Vatican Gendarmes in a moment of silence and then a prayer to Mary.

The pontiff was speaking during his traditional Sunday noontime Angelus address, delivered from a window of the papal apartments overlooking St. Peter’s Square.

The string of violence began Aug. 14 in Burkina Faso, when gunmen stormed a popular restaurant in Ouagadougou, the national capital, and sprayed patrons with bullets, leaving 18 people dead, including a family celebrating a nine-year-old’s birthday. The dead included nine foreigners and nine locals, and the count later rose to 19 when a police officer succumbed to injuries sustained in a gun battle with the militants who carried out the assault.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but in recent years Burkina Faso, part of French-speaking west Africa, has suffered a string of terrorist incidents by Islamic militants.

On Aug. 17, a van was driven into a crowd in the popular Las Ramblas area of Barcelona, eventually leaving 13 people dead, and another woman died in a second attack in the town of Cambrils. Spanish police now say there was a 12-member terror cell behind the operation, and they discovered 120 gas canisters in the cell’s possession it was planning to use in further vehicle attacks.

Barcelona marked the sixth time in just over a year that Islamic terrorists used a vehicle to inflict mass casualties on a major European city.

Then on Aug. 18 in Finland, a stabbing spree in the city of Turku, located on the country’s southwestern coast, left two people dead and eight injured, including a woman pushing a baby in a stroller. Police have arrested an 18-year-old Moroccan asylum-seeker and five others so far.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack, but police say they’re treating it as a terrorist incident.

Pope Francis has long condemned terrorism, especially when it’s religiously-inspired, insisting that it’s “blasphemy” to kill in the name of God. He routinely offers prayers and condolences for the victims when such incidents occur.

 

A young girl was found dead in an elevator in a resident building in the Burgas district of ''Meden Rudnik''.

A 15-year-old boy is detained for the murder, bTV learned.

The body was found by neighbors who called the police.

The prosecution is expected to give details of the crime. The police carry out a survey of the murder scene.

NASA is planning to make oxygen from the atmosphere on Mars when its next robot arrives on the mysterious red planet in 2020, writes The Independent. 

Scientists will send microbial life - possibly algae or bacteria - on the 2020 Rover mission in a bid to create air fit for human consumption.

They aim to feed the microorganisms in Martian soil in the hope that they will pump out oxygen as a byproduct.

It could then be made available for breathing or used as rocket fuel to power return flights to Earth.

If the experiment is successful it will mark a major step towards making Mars habitable for human colonies in the future. 
Mars's atmosphere contains just 0.13% oxygen, compared with 21% on Earth. 

Nasa Acting Chief Administrator Robert Lightfoot told Futurism: "Mars 2020, has an experiment where we are going to try and actually generate oxygen out of the atmosphere on Mars, clearly that’s for human capability down the road."

The US government department also has plans to build a magnetic shield around Mars and to install a nuclear reactor on the planet.

Ten US Navy sailors are missing and five have been injured after a US destroyer and an oil tanker collided near Singapore, the Navy says, reported BBC.

The guided missile destroyer USS John S McCain was sailing east of Singapore and preparing to stop in the port when the collision with the Liberian-flagged vessel occurred.

A wide-ranging search and rescue operation is under way.

It is the second collision involving a US Navy ship in recent months.

What we know so far?

It was reported before dawn at 05:24 local time on Monday (21:24 GMT on Sunday) and took place east of the Strait of Singapore, as the USS John S McCain prepared to perform a routine port stop in Singapore.

Singapore and US authorities said the destroyer sustained damage to her port side, which is the left-hand side of the vessel facing forward.

The tanker it collided with, Alnic MC, sustained damage to a tank near the front of the ship 7m (23ft) above the waterline, but none of its crew were injured and there were no oil spills.

The tanker has a tonnage of 30,000 which is about three times that of the USS John S McCain's, and at 600ft (182m) it is slightly longer than the 505ft-long US destroyer.

US military helicopters as well as the Singaporean and Malaysian navies and coast guards are currently conducting search and rescue operations.

Malaysian Navy chief Admiral Kamarulzaman said a message had been sent to fishing vessels along the Johor and Pahang coasts to keep a look out for missing sailors.

The US navy said four of the injured sailors had non-life threatening injuries and were medically evacuated to a Singapore hospital. The fifth person did not require further medical attention.

The destroyer is now sailing under its own power and heading to Singapore's Changi naval base. The Alnic MC is making its way to port in Singapore.

One crew member of the oil tanker told Reuters over the phone that the vessel sustained some damage to a valve. The ship was carrying nearly 12,000 tonnes of oil from Taiwan to Singapore, the news agency reported.

 

For the last seven days, more than 130 fires have been extinguished in the country.

This was announced by Chief Commissioner Nikolay Nikolov, Director of Fire Safety and Protection of the Population, reported bTV.

‘’ There is currently no fire that is not under control. There are three more serious outbreaks, but they were monitored during the night in Yambol, Stara Zagora and Haskovo’’, he said.

According to him, compared to August 2016, this year in August are registered so far 31 fires more.

More than 80 percent of them are in open country and forest areas and stubble fields. In the fires there are no dead and injured people.

And there is no heavy fire that we can not handle, he added.

''In the situation we are in - high temperatures and lack of rainfall, the number of accidents is likely to increase'', he warned.

‘’In over 90% of cases, the main cause of the fires is human interference’’, Nikolov further said.

Bulgarian Tennis Player Grigor Dimitrov have won his first Masters 1000 title in the finals in Cincinnati after stunning 6-3, 7-5 win vs Nick Kyrgios, Australia.

In order to reach the decisive match he went through four rivals - Feliciano Lopez, the ‘’black cat’’ Juan Martin del Potro, Yuichi Sugita and John Isner.

26-year old Dimitrov displayed patience and discipline throughout the entire tournament.

In the finals match he was in complete control of the game neutralizing Kyrgios’ powerful shots.

Before this match Dimitrov and Kyrgios have played against each other just once.

This is the first Masters 1000 cup for Grigor Dimitrov and his 3rd title for the season after the titles in Brisbane and in Sofia. 

On Monday, the sun will disappear - for a short time - across America, reported CNN. 

For a brief moment, day will turn to night. Animals big and small will go into their nighttime routines. Stars and planets will be visible, and streetlights will turn on in the middle of the day.

According to NASA, experiencing a total solar eclipse where you live happens about once in 375 years. So, unless modern medicine advances considerably in the next few years, you might not make it to the next one.

The last time anyone in the United States witnessed a total solar eclipse was almost 40 years ago, on February 26, 1979. It's been even longer - 99 years - since a total solar eclipse crossed the country from the Pacific to the Atlantic. The total eclipse on June 8, 1918, passed from Washington to Florida.

During a total solar eclipse, the moon and the sun both appear to be about the same size from the ground. According to NASA, this is a "celestial coincidence," as the sun is about 400 times wider than the moon and about 400 times farther away.

Then, it is just basic geometry. When the Earth, moon and sun line up just right, the moon blocks the sun's entire surface, creating the total eclipse.








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