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In the "Catch-Up Index 2019", Bulgaria occupies 29th place with 36 points. The country performs best in the categories "Economy" - 28th place with 40 points and in "Governance" - also 28th place with 38 points. The worst performance is in the "Quality of Life" category, where this country ranks 30th with 29 points. In "Democracy" Bulgaria holds the 29th place with 35 points. When it comes to inequality, Bulgaria ranks 34th out of 35 countries.

The Open Society Catch-Up Index aims at answering the question to what extent the newer EU member states are catching-up with the “older” ones. The levels of cohesion in the categories of "Economy", "Quality of Life", "Democracy" and "Governance" are monitored./BNR

The 26th day of protests in Bulgaria continues with protesters demanding the resignation of the government and the chief prosecutor, as well as the introduction of machine voting. In the capital city, 3 key intersections – Eagles’ Bridge, the one near the Sofia University and the one between the Presidency and the Council of Ministers remain blocked by tent camps of protesters, BNR correspondent Daniel Inkov has reported.

Because of blockades, the routes of the public transport in the capital remain changed. Initiators of the protests from the so-called "Poison Trio" complained that their phones were being tapped.

The square in front of the Municipality of Varna is also expected to be blocked tonight. The blockade of the road between Stara Zagora and Haskovo, Southern Bulgaria, at the exit to the Trakia highway continues. The protest action started there at the end of the past week.

Bulgarians in Brussels, Prague, Birmingham, Sydney, Montreal and a number of other cities around the world are also organizing protests./BNR

204 are the new confirmed cases of coronavirus in Bulgaria for the past 24 hours according to the Unified Information Portal. The most infected are in Sofia - 51, followed by Varna with 42 and Dobrich - 19. The cured are 264.

The total number of registered is 12,159, of which 5,071 are active and 823 are hospitalized. 43 people are accommodated in intensive care units.

16 have died in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of victims of the disease to 404 people.

The results of serological tests conducted and analysed by the health ministry and statistics agency ISTAT suggest that 1.482 million people in Italy, 2.5% of the resident population, have developed antibodies for SarsCov2.

The estimate suggests that six times as many people have come into contact with the coronavirus than the number of confirmed cases identified so far.

The "provisional' analysis is based on 64,660 serological tests taken as part of a campaign to see how widely the coronavirus has spread in the Italian population.

The campaign failed to hit the target of doing 150,000 serological tests but the health ministry and ISTAT said the analysis was still valid. (ANSA).

The former pope Benedict XVI, the first pontiff in 600 years to resign instead of ruling for life, is seriously ill, a German newspaper has reported.

The newspaper, Passauer Neue Presse, cited Benedict’s biographer, the German author Peter Seewald, who met the 93-year-old emeritus pope at the Vatican on Saturday.

A Vatican spokesperson said Benedict’s condition was “not particularly worrying”. The former pope’s personal secretary, the archbishop Georg Gänswein, did not immediately return a call asking for comment.

Seewald said Benedict, who has been in poor health for some time, was suffering from shingles, a viral infection that causes painful rashes and is common among older people.

Seewald said Benedict’s voice was barely audible – something other visitors have said for months – and that the former pope told him he might pick up writing again if he regains his strength.

In June, Benedict, who lives in a former convent in the Vatican gardens, left Italy for the first time since his resignation in 2013 for an emotional farewell visit to his older brother Georg in their native Bavaria.

Georg Ratzinger died on 1 July aged 96. The two brothers were ordained priests on the same day in 1951.

Benedict, who was elected in 2005 to succeed Pope John Paul II after a reign of nearly 27 years, shocked the world and even his closest aides on 11 February 2013 when he announced he was stepping down.

He told a gathering of cardinals that he was too old and frail to lead an institution with more than 1.3 billion members.

At the time of Benedict’s resignation the Vatican was mired in financial woes, sexual abuse scandals, and infighting among bureaucrats that led to leaks of important documents.

Benedict said his resignation was exclusively because of health reasons.

Hardline conservatives in the Catholic church who have been alarmed by Pope Francis’s progressive moves have looked to Benedict as their standard-bearer. This forced the former pope on several occasions to remind them there is only one pope – Francis. / theguardian.com

An unnamed British lawmaker and former minister was arrested on Saturday after police received allegations of rape, sexual assault and coercive control, the Sunday Times reported.

A woman in her twenties reported to police she had been assaulted and forced to have sex, the newspaper reported. The woman was a former parliamentary employee, it said.

London’s Metropolitan Police said it had received on Friday allegations relating to four separate incidents between July 2019 and January 2020.

“A man in his 50s was arrested on Saturday, 1 August on suspicion of rape,” the police statement said.

Late on Saturday, the police said the lawmaker had been released on bail after being held in custody in an east London police station, and that he was to return in the middle of this month.

The police did not confirm any further details about the man’s identity or occupation. / reuters.com

646 Bulgarian children have been adopted abroad in the last 2.5 years, according to data from the Ministry of Justice. An average of 200 children find a new home and parents each year.

In 2018, the consents given by the Minister of Justice for the adoption of children by foreign nationals are 221 for 290 children. This includes 71 consents for 104 children through special measures for the adoption of older children and/or children with special features in health and/or development.

In 2019, the Minister of Justice gave 197 consents for the adoption of 273 children, including 70 consents for the adoption of 101 children through special measures.

From the beginning of 2020 to July 15, there are 66 consents for the adoption of 83 children, including 14 consents for the adoption of 23 children during the state of emergency declared on March 13 this year. Until May 13 this year "The given consents for adoption of children are under procedures with a given start in 2019. In view of the restrictive measures introduced and the closure of borders worldwide, the new adoption procedures were resumed on July 13, 2020, "said the Ministry of Justice.

What is special about children who are available for international adoption is that most of them are older, some of them have peculiarities in their health or development. A significant proportion of them are in groups of 2, 3, 4 or 5 siblings for whom one adoptive family is sought - for example, the children for whom the Minister of Justice has given consent for adoption in 2019 - a total of 273, are 136 alone and 137 part of groups of siblings. The children for whom the Minister of Justice has given consent for adoption in 2018 - a total of 290, are 164 alone and 126 are part of 57 groups of siblings (including 48 groups of 2 children, 6 groups of 3 children and 3 groups of 4 children). The number of children themselves, distributed by age, is from 0-4 years - 82 children, from 4 to 9 years - 44 children, over 10 years - 38 children, and in terms of health - only 48 children are in relatively good health. / monitor.bg

India's apex drug regulatory body has granted approval to Serum Institute of India (SII) to conduct phase II and III human trial for the COVID-19 vaccine developed by the University of Oxford. The permission was given on Sunday after an evaluation based on the recommendations of the Subject Expert Committee on COVID-19, a health ministry official told.

"The firm has to submit safety data, evaluated by the Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB), to the CDSCO before proceeding to phase 3 clinical trials," a senior official told the news agency PTI.

The officials said that the SII had submitted a revised proposal on Wednesday after the expert panel on Tuesday had asked it to revise its protocol for the phase II and III clinical trials.

The panel had recommended that the human trial sites for the study should be distributed across the country. Around 1,600 people will participate in the clinical trial. Volunteers must be above 18 years old to take part in the study. Serum Institute has selected 17 institutions to conduct the the advanced trials. These sites are AIIMS-Delhi, B J Medical College in Pune, Rajendra Memorial Research Institute of Medical Sciences (RMRIMS) in Patna, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh, AIIMS-Jodhpur, Nehru Hospital in Gorakhpur, Andhra Medical College in Visakhapatnam and JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research in Mysore.

"As per the study design, each subject will be administered two doses four weeks apart (first dose on day one and second dose on day 29) following which the safety and immunogenicity will be assessed at predefined intervals," the official told PTI.

"According to the application, it would conduct an observer-blind, randomised controlled study to determine the safety and immunogenicity of 'Covishield' on healthy Indian adults," the official said, according to PTI.

The COVID-19 vaccine candidate has been developed by the Unversity of Oxford and British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca. At present, phase II and II clinical trials of the Oxford vaccine candidate is going on in the United Kingdom, phase II clinical trial in Brazil and phase I and II clinical trials in South Africa. AstraZeneca has partnered with SII to develop COVID-19 vaccine for India and low-to-middle income countries.

All eyes are on Oxford's coronavirus vaccine as it has already shown promising results in the first phase of clinical human trial. The researchers said that they found their experimental COVID-19 vaccine produced a dual immune response in people aged 18 to 55. “We are seeing good immune response in almost everybody," said Dr Adrian Hill, director of the Jenner Institute at Oxford University. “What this vaccine does particularly well is trigger both arms of the immune system," he said.

Indian drugmaker Wockhardt Ltd will supply millions of doses of multiple COVID-19 vaccines to the UK, including the one being developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, it said. The company has reserved fill-and-finish capacity — the final manufacturing step of putting vaccines into vials or syringes and packaging them - as part of an agreement with the UK government, it said. / livemint.com

A single-engine airplane crashed into the facade of a house in the village of Proti in Serres, northern Greece on Monday morning; no injuries among the residents were reported.

The 19-year-old pilot of the small airplane emerged with minor injuries and was transported to the Serres General Hospital.

Police have cordoned off the area where ​​the accident occurred, while firefighters remain on the spot in case the aircraft catches fire from residual fuel which may be leaking from it.

Speaking to interviewers from the voria.gr news website, Amphipolis Mayor Stergios Frastanlis said that the single-engine training aircraft which belongs to the Civil Aviation Authority took off from Alexandroupolis and was flying low over the village for several hours, causing concern to residents. / greekreporter.com

Ukrainian border patrol personnel seized up to 40 kilograms (88 Pounds) of radioactive blueberries from two men in the exclusion zone of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, the country's State Border Guard Service said on Sunday.

"The border guards of the Zhytomyr detachment, together with the police officers, found two people who were picking blueberries in the radiation-contaminated territory. The men, residents of the village of Berezovo, Rivne region, illegally entered the territory of the exclusion zone to collect 'gifts of nature' with the aim of their subsequent sale," the service wrote on its website.

The men will be slapped with administrative offences for violating radiation safety regime requirements, the service wrote, explaining that the radiation background levels in the exclusion zone were at least four times higher than the permissible norm.

"The collected blueberries with a total weight of almost 40 kilograms were seized," the civil service added.

About 1,000 square miles in the area have been completely depopulated and left for nature to reclaim following the 1986 nuclear disaster at the Chernobyl NPP. / urdupoint.com

The Polish antitrust regulator announced that they are fining Gazprom for refusing to cooperate in a case related to the construction of Nord Stream 2.

The fine amounts to 50 million euros and is the largest possible, explained the Polish side. The investigation is related to the financing of the pipeline. The regulator asked the Russian company for documents related to its construction, but they did not provide them. The case dates back to 2018, and in addition to Gazprom, it concerns one Swiss and four Dutch companies.

Nord Stream 2 is to deliver gas from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea. A number of countries have spoken out against the project, including Poland, which says it will strengthen Russia's monopoly on the European gas market. Gazprom said it could complete the construction of the pipeline on its own. / bnt.bg

An 89-year-old woman died at the Vazrazhdane Home for the Elderly in Ruse.

She had a positive PCR test for coronavirus and was hospitalized in the separate COVID-19 sector of the Ruse hospital. This is the third death case of a resident of the home.

There are no new cases of coronavirus infection in the home for the elderly. The total number of people infected with the coronavirus infection in the affected social institution remains 90 people, of which 83 residents and seven staff members.

5 Red Cross volunteers help the social workers in the home.

"The Red Cross provides us volunteers for the healthy people, so that the staff can be directed to those who have positive samples. We need nurses, as well as cleaners," said Spasimir Dimitrov, director of the Public Order Directorate and security "- Municipality of Ruse.

"Our volunteers will help on the territory of the nursing home, on the floors where there are only healthy residents. These are elderly people who have not given a positive result and are therefore healthy. Their help will be expressed in serving food. They will help the staff in the disinfection of the rooms ", explained the director of the Bulgarian Red Cross-Ruse Antoaneta Yabanozova. / BNT

Bulgarian citizens traveling from Bulgaria to Ukraine must now submit a PCR test with a negative result, performed within 48 hours before entering the country, or undergo a 14-day quarantine, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced.

The Ukrainian authorities have introduced a new method that determines the risk of infection in all countries by including them in the "red" or "green" zone, respectively. Bulgaria's place is defined among the countries of the "red zone".

Bulgarian citizens traveling from Bulgaria to Ukraine are required to submit an insurance policy and provide self-isolation for a period of 14 days if don’t present a document for a PCR test with a negative result, performed within 48 hours before entering the country.

When entering Ukraine from a country in the "green zone" it is necessary for citizens to have only an insurance policy. / dariknews.bg



The United States and Poland have completed negotiations on an agreement on expanded defense cooperation, under which another 1,000 US troops will be sent to Poland, Pentagon chief Mark Esper said. 

"The agreement allows for an increase in the permanent US rotational presence by about 1,000 people. They are added to the 4,500 US troops already deployed in Poland on a rotating basis," Esper said.

The US Secretary of Defense pointed out that the agreement with Poland "will strengthen Russia's deterrence, strengthen NATO and reassure US allies." "Our presence in Poland, on NATO's eastern flank, will enhance our strategic and operational flexibility," Esper said. / dariknews.bg 

The best Bulgarian tennis player Grigor Dimitrov got into a serious offense with the police in Monaco. Police officers in Monaco confiscated the driving licenses of Bulgarian tennis player Grigor Dimitrov and Russian Player Daniil Medvedev after they caught them speeding, Russian media reported. However, the news has not yet been officially confirmed and has been spread on social networks.

According to the information, a total of 10 cars were seized, which were driven recklessly, and among them were the tennis stars’. They drove at between 160 and 180 km/h with a permitted 110 km/h in the given section.

In addition to the confiscated driver's licenses, fines of 750 euros were imposed. The violation took place between 4 and 7 pm local time. It happened on a road that connects the academy of coach Patrick Muratoglu near Nice and the place where Grigor lives - Monte Carlo. The famous tennis players were not initially recognized by the police, but their identity became clear later. / gong.bg



Wearing a protective mask in busy open spaces is now mandatory in more than 20 of Romania's 41 regions, after the government authorizes county emergency committees to decide when and where to apply additional restrictions as part of the country's ongoing situation.

Mandatory outdoor mask wearing has been introduced so far in the following regions: Arad, Arges, Botosani, Brasov, Buzau, Constanta, Dambovita, Dolj, Galati, Giurgiu, Gorj, Hunedoara, Iasi, Prahova, Satu Mare, Sibiu, Teleorman, Timi, Wolf and Vrancea. In Calarasi region, this measure is only recommended.

At sea coast, the mask is mandatory in all resorts in the time interval between 18.00 and 24.00 on the promenades and pedestrian areas. In addition, in the whole of Constanta region, outdoor restaurants and clubs must be closed between 11 pm and 6 am.

Not wearing a mask in open spaces such as markets and marketplaces, tourist sites, bus stops and stations in the respective districts can be sanctioned with fines between 500 and 2500 lei, and the same sanctions are provided and for not wearing a mask indoors, in shops or on public transport, which is mandatory throughout the whole country.

Romania reported a slight decline in new coronavirus infections today, with less than 1,000 new cases registered for the first time in 13 days.

During the last 24 hours, 823 new cases have been confirmed, with 8045 tests performed. However, these data do not give cause for reassurance, noting that the number of active cases is over 19,000, and 419 patients are currently being treated in intensive care units.

The total number of confirmed cases in the country is over 54,000, and the number of death cases has increased to 2,432, with 19 people dying in the last 24 hours. / NOVA

A man has head and body injuries after falling under a bridge in the capital's Knyazhevo district. The cause of the accident was a hole in the sidewalk, which is not visible from bushes and grass.

The fire department team had to pull the man out of the Vladayska riverbed.

The rescue operation was filmed by residents of the area. It turns out that this is not the first such incident in the area. / NOVA

Most of the latest cases of COVID-19 in Bulgaria are in Varna, where 61 people tested positive for COVID-19. 58 of them are from the St. George Home for the Elderly. So far, three people have died there. Two more are in serious condition.

The two wards of Varna University Hospital "St. Marina" are fully occupied by patients with COVID-19. There are more than 70 beds in total. In order to be able to take other patients in serious condition due to the coronavirus, a total of 32 places are opened in two more health facilities in the city - 20 at the Naval Hospital and 12 at St. Anne's.

262 are accommodated in the Home for the Elderly "St. George" near Varna. Of these, 82 tested positive for COVID-19. Among those, infected are six staff members - a doctor, nurses and a cleaning lady. The condition of the doctor is the worst, as well as that of one of the residents of the home. They are being treated at St. Marina University Hospital in the city. The rest of the infected from the home are in relatively good condition and do not need hospital treatment, but are isolated from other elderly people.

"They are on a separate floor. I think that's better than moving them and separating them in hospitals. In this type of institution, people are immobile, over 80, with at least one concomitant disease, so we took decision of the headquarters to stay there ", said the regional governor of Varna Stoyan Pasev.

Due to the increasing cases of infected elderly people accommodated in social institutions, a prosecutor's inspection was carried out in 6 districts of Northern Bulgaria. Violations were found in the St. George Home in Varna.

"I think that we are currently in dialogue with the owners of the nursing home and everything is going as it should, adequate care should be taken for these patients with COVID-19." , added Pasev.

In Varna there is a woman infected with coronavirus in another nursing home - "Gergana". Her condition is not serious. She is out of the home and is being treated by her relatives. The tests of all contacts will be ready by the end of the day. / BNT

Only about 10% of people have been infected with COVID-19. This was stated at a briefing by the expert of the World Health Organization (WHO) Maria Van Kerhove.

The outbreak was registered in the end of 2019 in Central China, spread to most countries and was recognized by the WHO as a pandemic on March 11.

There have been 18 million reported cases of coronavirus infection worldwide today.

At least 18,011,763 infected with the coronavirus have been officially registered worldwide so far, and the incidence of infections continues to accelerate. More than half of the new infections have been reported in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean.

The United States continues to be the most affected country in the world with 4,657,693 cases, including 154,793 deaths, followed by Brazil with 2,733,677 cases and 94,104 deaths

The third most affected country is India with 1,750,723 infected and 37,364 dead since the pandemic began. / NOVA

Greece extends the requirement for a negative PCR test for those arriving from Bulgaria until August 15th

According to information from our embassy in Athens, Greece is extending the deadline for submitting a negative PCR test when entering the country from Bulgaria. By August 15, our compatriots arriving in Greece by air and land will have to present a negative PCR test done up to 72 hours before their trip. The same condition applies to those arriving from Romania and the United Arab Emirates.

"We would like to draw the attention of those planning a trip to Greece to the fact that our southern neighbor has extended the term for the requirement to present a negative PCR test upon entering the country from Bulgaria,"the Foreign Ministry said./Nova TV

With a total of BGN 82.5 million, the state will support the Livestock sector. This became clear at a meeting between Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, Agriculture Minister Desislava Taneva and representatives of the sector. The funds will be allocated in two ways.

"We will support you with BGN 56.5 million. We have such a tool. We will provide them through the Council of Ministers, "Borissov was quoted as saying by the Council of Ministers' press service.

The government's assistance is to improve the liquidity of farms that have postponed their loans and are unable to repay them in the context of the COVID 19 pandemic. Notification will be requested from the EC for this money.

Another BGN 26 million has been provided for de minimis aid for livestock farmers who suffer losses due to the drought.

Borissov stressed that support is also being considered for beekeepers, vegetable growers and fruit growers.

"The drought is all over Europe. You see there the harvest has never been so small. That is why I am surprised by those who, instead of so insistently seeking national consent on how to overcome the winter, are talking, ”Borissov said.

During the meeting, the breeders expressed satisfaction with the rapid disbursement of funds from the Agriculture Fund, despite the difficulties caused by the crisis with COVID-19. Prime Minister Borissov noted that the government will continue to work in support of all industries in the sector.

Tour operators and travel agents will be supported with BGN 10 million. They will be redirected by the Innovation and Competitiveness Program. The Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism Mariana Nikolova, the Minister of Economy Lachezar Borisov and representatives of the Future for Tourism Association agreed on this at a meeting.

"What I can do is to transform BGN 10 million from the Ministry of Economy, because there is such money set there that you can go and negotiate with the Minister of Economy," Prime Minister Borissov was quoted as saying by the government's press service.

The application criteria have already been set. Those wishing to receive the aid will submit a request to the Ministry of Tourism. They will not be able to use the services of intermediaries and consultants. They can apply for aid amounting to no more than 10% of the income for the previous year.

The Minister of Tourism announced that he expects the program to work in August.

"This money is not enough, but it is a breath of fresh air for them," Mariana Nikolova commented. "The application will be under a light regime and with fast deadlines."

Guides do not fall within the scope of this measure, they will be considered a social measure.

"There will be no subjectivism, there will be clear criteria and funds will be absorbed quickly. We plan to save 2 months from the application process ", added the Minister of Economy Lachezar Borisov.

"We are glad that the dialogue has started, we hope it will continue," said Pavlina Ilieva, Future for Tourism Association.

She stressed that they want BGN 150 million in aid from the industry. Importantly, however, it started with those 10 million.

Ilieva and her colleague Emil Abazov of the Future for Tourism Association said they would propose canceling the planned protest. "However, we remain on strike," Ilieva said.

At the meeting, Prime Minister Borissov also noted that the losses from tourism in Europe are huge and pointed out that the data on the economy are worrying.

The project for BGN 10 million to help companies in the tourism industry are part of the planned 1 billion and 800 million under European programs, added the press center of the Council of Ministers./Nova TV

The Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has introduced changes to the rules for international travel, according to which mandatory quarantine is introduced for passengers arriving from two regions in Bulgaria - the Northeast and the Southwest.

It is envisaged that those arriving from these parts of our country will be placed under a two-week quarantine - at home, if they have a permanent address in Belgium, or at a reception center. These passengers are also subject to mandatory testing for COVID-19, BTA reports.

For those arriving in Belgium from the North Central, South-East and South-Central regions of Bulgaria, the examination and quarantine are recommended. It is forbidden to travel from Belgium to the Northeast and Southwest regions in our country. It is recommended to travel with special attention to the North Central, Southeast and South Central regions in Bulgaria.

Since the beginning of August, Belgium has introduced the obligation for everyone arriving in the country to fill in an online form 48 hours in advance with their personal data and a description of the places they have visited in the last two weeks. This obligation also applies to those in transit through Belgium if their journey takes more than two days.

In connection with the pandemic of COVID-19, as of August 1 this year, the Federal Office for Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Kingdom of Belgium, included parts of Bulgaria in the so-called "Orange zone" and "red zone", namely:

Orange Zone - The trip to Bulgaria / North Central, Southeast, South Central regions / should be done with caution;
Red Zone - Travel to Bulgaria / Northeast and Southwest regions / is not possible or allowed.
All Bulgarian citizens traveling from Bulgaria to Belgium are subject to mandatory quarantine and test if they have resided in the North-East or South-West regions and to recommended quarantine and test if they have visited the North-Central, South-East and South-Central regions.
These rules apply only to non-essential trips, incl. tourist.
Up-to-date information can be found at the following link at:
https://diplomatie.belgium.be/en

If they need assistance, Bulgarian citizens in the Kingdom of Belgium can contact the Bulgarian Embassy in Brussels at the following telephone numbers: +32 2 374 47 88; +32 2 374 08 66, as well as emergency telephone number during non-working hours: +32 473 981042. Inquiries can also be sent to the e-mail address of the Bulgarian Embassy in Belgium: Embassy.Brussels@mfa.bg.

At the beginning of the 26th day of protests in Sofia, three major thoroughfares remained blocked for traffic - at the presidency, in front of the main building of Sofia University and at Eagle's Bridge.
The protest on August 2 passed with processions in Bulgaria and around the world, blockades of thoroughfares and roads. The police have not registered any serious violations of public order, the Press Center of the Ministry of Interior announced.
The traditional march between the "Triangle of Power" and Eagle's Bridge took place in Sofia, demanding the resignation of the government and the chief prosecutor.
 
The international road E-79 was briefly blocked several times by protesters, which caused a 4-kilometer line of waiting cars in both directions - to Greece and to Sofia, the correspondent of BNR in Blagoevgrad Keti Trencheva reported.
 
The road Stara Zagora - Haskovo remains blocked for over two days. The protesting citizens there said they would stay on the spot to assert their rights. 
 
Hundreds of Bulgarians abroad also came out in protest on August 2 with the slogan "You are not alone!" sent to protesters in Bulgaria. There were protest marches of Bulgarians in Montreal, Munich, Oslo, Paris, Prague, Toronto, Stuttgart. For more information on the demands of our compatriots, see the publication of Radio Bulgaria./BNR

The new confirmed cases of coronavirus infection in Bulgaria per day are 119. They were found after about 1,500 tests, according to data from the Unified Information Portal.

Three more victims of the virus have been reported, and 46 patients are still being treated in intensive care units.

The number of infected since the beginning of the pandemic in our country is 11,955 people. 6,420 have been cured, 388 have died and 5,147 are currently active.

Travellers from countries where the infection rate is deemed to be high will be subject to compulsory testing on arrival at French airports and sea ports, Castex told reporters during a visit to Charles-de-Gaulle international airport, north of Paris.

The tests will apply to "French citizens who live in these countries or citizens of these countries with an established residence in France" who will be the only ones allowed to enter, the prime minister added.

France does not allow general travel to and from these countries, which include the United States and Brazil.

Travellers who test positive will be required to spend 14 days in isolation to prevent the spread of the virus.

Castex said some of the high-risk countries already require airline passengers to show a negative virus test before boarding. It was not clear if they would be re-tested upon arrival in France.

He also did not specify if people would have to wait for their test results before being allowed to leave the airport.

Along with the United States and Brazil, which are reporting tens of thousands of new cases each day, the countries include Algeria, Bahrain, Israel, India, South Africa, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Panama, Peru, Serbia, Turkey and Madagascar.

Morocco, which has reported rising cases in recent weeks, is not on the list for now but could be added later, an official in the prime minister's office said.

Coronavirus tests will be rolled out across France by August 1, and will also be carried out at French ports, Castex said.

The new measures come amid signs that the rate of infection is accelerating again in France more than two months into the country's gradual exit from lockdown.

On Friday, the health ministry said the number of confirmed cases had risen by 1,130 over 24 hours. It was the second consecutive day that new cases exceeded 1,000.

The ministry, in a statement, said the figures showed the need for people not to lower their guard while the virus continues to circulate.

"We have cancelled out much of the progress accomplished during the first weeks of exit from lockdown," the ministry said, citing reports that some people who test positive for the virus fail to self-isolate.

Catalonia travel warning

French authorities are also concerned about a spike in infections in neighbouring Catalonia, with Castex on Friday warning French citizens not to travel to the Spanish region.

"Concerning the situation in Catatonia, which is displaying worsened indicators for infection, we strongly encourage French citizens to avoid going there until the health situation improves," Castex said.

Regional authorities across Spain introduced fresh coronavirus restrictions on Thursday aimed at stamping out a surge in infections. France had said last weekend it had not ruled out closing the border between the two countries.

In Catalonia, nearly 8,000 cases were diagnosed in the 14 days up to Thursday – almost half of the 16,410 detected throughout the country – despite guidelines for residents of regional capital Barcelona to stay at home.

Castex also said Paris was in discussions with the government in Madrid to limit flows of traffic from Spain into France as much as possible./France 24

Tensions and clashes between police and protesters on the 24th day of anti-government protests last night.

After 10 pm, a bus with the inscription "The system is killing us" asked to join the people of "Orlov Most"/Eagle Bridge. After being passed by the police near Sofia University, meters down the bus was stopped by a second cordon in uniform. According to them, the vehicle could not reach the Orlov Most.

Five women from the "System Kills Us" initiative were in the bus. According to them, they were returning from the protest in front of the Prime Minister's house in Bankya and wanted to go to the tent camp in the center of Sofia. However, for reasons inexplicable to them, they were stopped.

Police say they did not allow any vehicle, outside the food delivery trucks for the shops in the area, to pass through the blocked routes. The stopping of the bus caused an escalation of tension between the uniformed and the protesters.

For 24 hours now, the approach of the Trakia highway near Stara Zagora has also been closed. Protesters from Stara Zagora, supported by people from other settlements, set up a tent camp on the road. They said they were blocked by police. Their request is to pass through the clover of the highway. They are urging the police to ensure the safe passage of the protest. However, the police refused to allow them with the argument that the speed of the highway is high.

146 are the new cases of coronavirus infection in Bulgaria when 3,955 PCR tests were performed in the last 24 hours. This brings their total number to 11,836.

77 are newly treated, two people have died, according to the Unified Information Portal. The most infected are in Sofia, Varna and Plovdiv.

Greece is set to open its first underwater archeological museum on Saturday, August 1st.

The underwater museum is located very close to the shores of the uninhabited island of Peristera and a stone’s throw from the east coast of Alonissos.

Visitors will be able to dive down and admire the exhibits that are on the famous 5th-century BC shipwreck at the bottom of the sea from Monday, August 3 to Thursday, October 2.

The dives are open to amateur divers or those accompanied by professional divers from diving centers.

The famous shipwreck, which is considered one of the most important in classical antiquity due to the large number of intact finds, was discovered in 1985 by a fisherman from Alonissos, near the western rocky coastline of Peristera, at a depth of 28 meters. It was a large merchant ship of that time, probably an Athenian vessel, which is estimated to have run into very stormy weather and sank there around 425 BC. The ship seems to have been loaded with thousands of wine amphorae from Peparithos (today’s Skopelos) and Mendi (the ancient city of Halkidiki), two areas well known in antiquity for their excellent wine.

Visitors are also able to stay on land and access the wonderful and mysterious world of the seabed, through a virtual ‘diving’ tour using XR technologies. / greekcitytimes.com

A 19-year-old died after being infected with a coronavirus. He was hospitalized in а critical condition in the hospital in Veliko Tarnovo. Doctors were unable to save him. It is alleged that the young man became infected during the prom celebrations in the old capital. The boy is also the youngest case of a person who died with the disease in our country.

The number of infected continues to grow. 270 are the new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours. The tests performed were 5,582. 778 people were hospitalized, 42 of them in the intensive care unit. Another 9 people died from COVID-19, and 146 recovered. / nova.bg








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