Archive for May, 2010

The coming days: The week ahead

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Relations with North Korea will loom large over regional elections in South Korea

• SOUTH KOREANS will get the opportunity to judge the government’s handling of fraught relations with its northern neighbour on Wednesday June 2nd. Mayoral elections in the country’s largest cities and elections for provincial governors will prove a test of the policies of President Lee Myung-bak and a measure of his popularity. Tensions are high after North Korea severed ties with the South and threatened military action over accusations that it was responsible for sinking a South Korean naval vessel. North Korea accuses Mr Lee of fabricating the incident to bolster his party’s support in the elections.

• CLIMATE experts from around the world are set to meet in Bonn for a two-week summit starting on Monday May 31st. The German city is the latest venue for difficult talks on a new international climate treaty to replace the Kyoto protocol in 2012. A UN climate conference in Copenhagen in December failed to produce anything beyond a non-binding political declaration. Hopes are low of significant progress that might end with a legally binding deal at the next important climate meeting in Cancun in November. Divisions remain between rich and developing countries over who should bear the costs and the biggest burden of reducing emissions. …

Crisis Makes Bulgarian EU Commissioner Head for Gaza Strip

Monday, May 31st, 2010

EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid, Bulgaria’s Kristalina Georgieva, will make a visit to the Gaza Strip sooner than scheduled after the crisis caused by an Israeli raid on 6 vessels carrying aid for the Palestinian territory.

Georgieva, who is in charge of humanitarian aid, international cooperation, and crisis response within the European Commission, confirmed Monday in the city of Veliko Tarnovo in Northern Bulgaria her intention to visit the Gaza Strip, but made it clear that the case with the Gaza-bound ships boarded by the Israeli forces will accelerate her planned trip to the Palestinian enclave.

The Bulgarian EU Commissioner revealed that two weeks ago she spoke to high-ranking representatives of the Israeli government in order to notify them of her intention to pay a formal visit to the Gaza Strip in order to become acquainted with the situation on the ground.

Source

Minister: Bulgaria, Croatia Prove Crime Crackdowns Possible in Balkans

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Bulgaria and Croatia have demonstrated clearly that strong actions against corruption and organized crime can happen in the Balkan region, said Bulgaria’s Foreign Minister in Zagreb.

Minister Nikolay Mladenov visited the Croatian capital Monday, where he met with his Croatian counterpart, Gordan Jandrokovi?.

“Bulgaria supports Croatia’s swift accession to the EU, including the opening of the remaining accession negotiation chapters….

Source

Bulgaria FinMin Mulls Budget Cap with Estonian Counterpart

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Bulgaria’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Simeon Djankov, is on an official trip to Talin, Estonia on Monday, the Finance Ministry informs.

Djankov met with his Estonian counterpart, Jurgen Ligi, to discuss Estonia’s candidature for Eurozone entry. Ligi presented his cabinet’s measures for their successful austerity fiscal policy regarding the budget deficit.

Source

Protests planned as oil spill threat widens

Monday, May 31st, 2010

VENICE, Louisiana (Reuters) – Oil from BP’s out-of-control Gulf of Mexico oil spill could threaten the Mississippi and Alabama coasts this week, U.S. forecasters said on Monday, as public anger surged over the nation’s worst environmental disaster.

Source

Bulgarian Journalists Unhurt During Gaza Aid Convoy Attack

Monday, May 31st, 2010

The two Bulgarian journalists, who were arrested after Israeli commandos stormed a convoy of ships carrying aid to the Gaza Strip, are safe and sound, the Bulgarian, Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov, informed.

Mladenov made the announcement minutes ago through his profile on the “Twitter” social network.

Svetoslav Ivanov, a reporter, and Valentin Vassilev, a cameraman, who work for the country’s biggest private national TV channel bTV….

Source

Israel PM Scraps US Visit over Gaza Crisis

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who is in Canada, has cancelled his visit to Washington on Tuesday to return to Israel, BBC reports Monday, citing Israeli officials.

Netanyahu, who was scheduled to meet with US President, Barack Obama, is going back home to deal with the crisis in the region caused by an attack of Israeli commandos, who stormed a convoy of ships carrying aid to the Gaza Strip, killing between 15 and 19 people.

The Israeli PM declared earlier his “full backing” for the military involved in the raid.

Source

Bulgarian NGOs Complain to EC of Health Care Rights’ Violation

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Several Bulgarian NGOs announced Monday they are filing a class action complaint with the European Commission over systematic violations of health care rights in the country.

The initiative belongs to the representations of the “Active Consumers” Association and the “Bulgarian Center for Gender Studies” Foundation in the second largest city of Plovdiv over restrictions in the issuing of doctor’s referrals. The claimants say there are many cases of discrimination because individuals who have the same health coverage are granted and denied referrals for same ailments without any grounds.

Source

Oil Spill Noticed near Bulgaria’s Balchik

Monday, May 31st, 2010

A signal about an oil spill in the Black Sea, near the northmen town of Balchik, has been received Monday on the 112 emergency phone line.

The spill is located near the pier wall of the freight port of Balchik. The authorities say it is from diesel fuel, but the source has not been established.

Source

Gulf Coast warned oil may leak until August

Monday, May 31st, 2010

VENICE, Louisiana (Reuters) – U.S. government and BP officials are warning that the blown-out oil well causing an environmental disaster on the Gulf Coast may not be stopped until August as the company begins preparations on a new attempt to capture the leaking crude.

Source

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