Archive for July, 2016

Police Detain 15 Migrants in SW Bulgaria

Sunday, July 31st, 2016

Fifteen migrants were arrested on Sunday by police officers in the region of Blagoevgrad, Southwestern Bulgaria, the Interior Ministry reports.

The migrants were spotted in the morning as they were moving between the villages of Levunovo and Kulata, the latter being on the border between Bulgaria and Greece.

They were carrying no identity documents with them, and their country of origin is yet to be established, but some of them claim to be from Afghanistan, Focus Radio quotes police officials as saying.

Their direction was not immediately clear.

However, dozens of migrants are detained every week after crossing into the country from Turkey and sometimes Greece, heading for Western Europe. Serbia has accused Bulgaria of not applying good enough border controls and letting hundreds of people leave through its western border.


Tens of Thousands Attend Bulgarian Socialist Fest

Sunday, July 31st, 2016

As many as 50 000 reportedly joined the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP)’s leadership at the historic venue of Mount Buzludzha, the party itself estimates.

The meeting comes amid a leadership change, with Korneliya Ninova having become the first woman to take over the party in April.

Addressing a crowd of cheering supporters, Ninova asserted her party would work with an alliance of left-wing organizations against the candidate of GERB, the country’s senior government partner and the biggest parliamentary force, at the presidential elections.

Ninova did not announce the name of a candidate, according to daily 24 Chasa. 

Supporters wore hats marked by the hashtag “АзСъмБСП”, a Bulgarian-language version of #IAmBSP, a slogan that has sparked controversy among the public due to the party’s mixed record as heir to totalitarian Bulgarian Communist Party.

In 1891 on Mount Buzludzha the foundations of the Socialist Movement in Bulgaria were laid. Erected at the site and unveiled in 1981 on the occasion of the 1300th anniversary of the founding of the Bulgarian State, the monument resembles a UFO and is an easy target of jokes both home and abroad.


Turkey Restructrures Army, Seeks Changes to Intelligence

Sunday, July 31st, 2016

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an has announced changes to the armed forces’s organizational structure following the failed coup attempt on July 15.

Under the new regulations, the army, navy and air force will be directly answerable to the Defense Ministry, Anadolu Agency quotes him as saying in a live interview for a Turkish TV station.

Military schools and war academies will be shut down, and a universty of national defense will appear instead, alongside a gendarmerie academy. The size of the gendarmerie will be also cut.

Military hospitals will be assigned to the Health Ministry as well.

A possible move will be to make the General Staff and the country’s National Intelligence Agency (MIT) answerable to the presidency, but this is yet to be discussed with opposition leaders.

The announcements follow a Supreme Military Council (YA?) meeting on Thursday where reshuffles were made to the Turkish Armed Forces, including the dishonourable discharge of 1700 military servicemen. Two four-star generals stepped down prior to the meeting.

In a separate move, 1389 military personnel will be expelled over alleged links to the movement of US-based Islamic cleric Fethullah G?len, which Turkey blames for the coup attempt and regards as a terrorist organization (referring to it as FET?).

Some 66 000 civil servants have been dismissed and 50 000 passports have been cancelled in relation to the coup attempt.

As many as 142 media outlets have also been closed down over supposed links to G?len.

Turkey has been in a three-month state of emergency since July 20.


Bulgaria’s PM Says His Party ‘Has No Candidate’ for Presidential Vote

Sunday, July 31st, 2016

GERB, the party of Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, has abandoned its two options for a presidential candidate, Borisov has made clear.

GERB, the senior partner in Bulgaria’s coalition government, was exploring two names as possible candidacies for the presidential elections which are due on November 06, 2016, as lawmakers decided earlier this week.

However, the latest developments on the international scene and these candidates’ inability to handle a “critical situation” made Borisov change his mind, he has explained.

“I had two wonderful candidates up until two weeks. When I saw all the things happening across the world… these people with these qualities cannot do in a critical situation… In a moment they have to stamp their feet, to defend our interest – whether with the neighbors or in Europe… they do not have this kind of personality.”

“I am thinking of whether I can find such a person within the party,” Borisov has made clear while speaking to reporters.

His comments come as no major candidate for the presidential election has been announced by the big parties, with all of these refusing to do so before August, less than three months before the vote.

Speculation has been mounting about possible names (including Borisov himself). quotes Borisov as saying that “presidential elections are leaders’ elections” and once more stopping short of answering whether we would run, even though he has earlier hinted otherwise.

“What kind of a party are you if you recognize your leader is not fit to be President?”

The biggest opposition force, the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), is also to announce a candidate as it is in talks with left-wing parties to produce a joint nomination.


Bulgaria’s Budget Surplus Revenues ‘to Be Invested in Poorer Regions’

Sunday, July 31st, 2016

Surplus money registered in the current account balance for the first half of 2016 will be invested into regions that are less developed economically, Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said on Saturday.

He made the announcement while meeting mayors from three northeastern Bulgarian regions.

He added some projects that are “vital for mayors and the improvement of lives of people” would be funded by the surplus.

Borisov said the northwestern area of the country (which is the EU’s poorest region), the so-called “mixed regions” (much of southern and northeastern Bulgaria) and Hemus motorway would be funded as a priority.

The construction of Hemus was marked by scandals related to its tender procedure.

But the motorway is crucial for the development of Bulgaria’s north which lags behind the south in terms of economy and infrastructure.


Hot Weather Alert Throughout Bulgaria on Sunday

Sunday, July 31st, 2016

A Code Yellow warning has been announced for all of Bulgaria’s 28 regions, the national weather service says.

Maximum temperatures are expected to hit 33 – 38 degrees Celsius in the afternoon, potentially causing health problems for some people, according to the National Meteorology and Hydrology Institute (NIMH) with the Bulgarian Academy of Science.

This confirms the forecasts of Saturday.

In Bulgaria, the hottest days of the year are normally towards the end of July.

July 28, 29 and 30 in particular are called goreshtnitsi (hot days) according to tradition and were accompanied by religious celebrations which, however, were “rescheduled” as Bulgaria adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1916.


Greece’s PM to Discuss Cooperation in Energy, Transport on Bulgaria Visit

Saturday, July 30th, 2016

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will visit Bulgaria on Monday for talks expected to focus on energy and transport, Greek newspaper Kathimerini has reported.

In addition to cooperation in the energy sector Tsipras and his Bulgarian counterpart Boyko Borisov are expected to discuss the creation of a rail link between the Greek Aegean port of Alexandroupoli and the Bulgarian Black Sea port of Varna.

Bulgaria and Greece have already agreed to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal near Alexandroupoli.

A link between the gas transmission systems of Bulgaria and Greece is expected to enter into commercial operation in the middle of 2018. Bulgaria and Greece signed the final investment decision for the gas interconnection project last year.

Tsipras, who will be accompanied by several ministers on his visit to Sofia, “is also interested in the progress of Greek companies that have relocated to Bulgaria over the past few years due to the crisis in Greece”,

With new tax hikes having taken effect in Greece last month, the number of Greek companies relocating to Bulgaria has increased by an estimated 20-30 percent, news website reported earlier this week.



Plan for Big Events in Los Angeles and Atlanta This August

Saturday, July 30th, 2016


Los Angeles and Atlanta are the big destinations this August.

First, the #BlogHer16 Conference brings plenty of Hollywood star power. Just look below.

Headliners will include music legend Sheryl Crow, TV actresses Mayim Bialik and Sarah Michelle Gellar and comedian Aisha Tyler.

Then it’s onto the city of Atlanta for the Small Business Market Expo & Job Fair. You’ll be able to connect with small businesses like your own, market yourself and tap into an  incredible network.

Do you know of any other big events coming in August of interest to the small business community? Please let us know.

To see a full list or to submit your own event, contest or award listing, visit the Small Business Events Calendar.

Featured Events, Contests and Awards

#BlogHer16 Conference#BlogHer16 Conference
August 04, 2016, Los Angeles, Calif.

Join an exhilarating mix of content creators, social media stars, entrepreneurs, top brands, activists and fans at #BlogHer16! You’ll experience inspiring keynotes, up-to-the-minute educational tracks, and of course, fabulous opportunities to network with YOUR community!

Small Business Market Expo & Job FairSmall Business Market Expo & Job Fair
August 27, 2016, Atlanta, Ga.

Don’t miss the opportunity to connect with small businesses, market your organization and tap into a network of entrepreneurs, service providers, financial organizations, business coaches, and franchises.
Discount Code
VIP (25% off)

Content Marketing World 2016Content Marketing World 2016
September 06, 2016, Cleveland, Ohio

Content Marketing World is the one event where you can learn and network with the best and the brightest in the content marketing industry. You will leave with all the materials you need to take a content marketing strategy back to your team – and – to implement a content marketing plan that will grow your business and inspire your audience.

TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2016TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2016
September 12, 2016, San Francisco, Calif.

TechCrunch Disrupt is the world’s leading authority in debuting revolutionary startups, introducing game-changing technologies and discussing what’s top of mind for the tech industry’s key innovators. Disrupt gathers the best and brightest entrepreneurs, investors, hackers, and tech fans for on-stage interviews, the Startup Battlefield competition, a 24-hour Hackathon, Startup Alley, Hardware Alley, and After Parties.

September 12, 2016, Seattle, Wash.

Three days of forward-thinking, actionable sessions in SEO, social media, community building, content marketing, brand development, CRO, the mobile landscape, analytics, and more. MozCon speakers share next-level advice on everything from building a loyal community to making data-driven decisions in your marketing.

LeadpagesLeadpages’ Converted 2016
October 18, 2016, Minneapolis, Minn.

Converted 2016 will be an immersive experience taking place over two action-packed days in Minneapolis. We’ll share data-driven, practical tactics that will make a difference in the way you grow your business.

Discount Code
biztrends ($100)

Lean Startup ConferenceLean Startup Conference
October 31, 2016, San Francisco, Calif.

A gathering of thousands of thought leaders at Pier 27 for a week of keynote talks, interactive workshops, speed mentoring, industry dinners, bootcamps, and startup tours at the scenic edge of San Francisco. The conference unites intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs from government agencies, international conglomerates, boot-strapped startups, and civic organizations in their mission to create radical change in their industries.

More Events

More Contests

This weekly listing of small business events, contests and awards is provided as a community service by Small Business Trends and SmallBizTechnology.

Hollywood, LosAngeles photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Plan for Big Events in Los Angeles and Atlanta This August” was first published on Small Business Trends


10 Basic Strategies for Growing Your Business

Saturday, July 30th, 2016


It’s not uncommon for businesses to get a bit ahead of themselves when it comes to growth opportunities. But you need to have the basics covered before you can really experience success. The tips below include some insights from members of our small business community about some basic business strategies you may have overlooked.

Say Thanks and Build Engagement

Thanking your customers isn’t just good manners. It can also be a way for you to boost engagement. This Process Street post by Benjamin Brandall explains how you can use your company’s thank you page to boost engagement among website visitors.

Establish a Realistic Work Schedule

You need to establish a schedule that allows you to put your all into your business without burning yourself out. Take lunch breaks, for example. You need to take a long enough break to recharge your batteries, but not so long that your work suffers. You can share how long you normally take for your lunch break in the poll in this Small Business Trends post by Executive Editor Shawn Hessinger.

Write Persuasive Business Content

If you use content as part of your marketing strategy, you need to learn to be persuasive. In this Enchanting Marketing post, Henneke Duistermaat shares some power words you can use to spruce up your content. You can also see discussion surrounding the post over on BizSugar.

Make Sure Your Content Stays On Brand

Content marketing can be a great way to get the word out about your business. But if you want to create content that’s part of a strategy and doesn’t confuse your customers, you need to keep it on brand. Scott Pittman of Reef Digital shares thoughts on keeping content on brand in this post.

Simplify the Payroll Process

Payroll is essential if you’re running a business with employees. But the process doesn’t need to be overly complicated. In this CorpNet post, Charles Costa includes some tips you can use to simplify the process of setting up and managing your business’s payroll.

Avoid These Blogging Mistakes

Blogging has been a popular content marketing tactic for businesses for years. But plenty of bloggers and entrepreneurs still make mistakes when it comes to blogging. Here, Mike Brown of The Blogging Buddha lists some of the most common blogging mistakes made by experienced bloggers and entrepreneurs. And BizSugar members comment on the post here.

Get Started With CRO

CRO, or conversion rate optimization, is an important part of running an ecommerce business. But it doesn’t have to be complicated. Even newbie business owners can get started with CRO using the tips in this Search Engine Journal post by Andrew Raso.

Avoid Offering Review Incentives

Positive online reviews can be very beneficial to your business. But that doesn’t mean you should offer incentives to your customers to leave them. As Mike Blumenthal points out in this GetFiveStars post, there can actually be several downfalls of seeking positive reviews with incentives.

Don’t Underestimate the Appeal of Snapchat

Social platforms like Snapchat can gain popularity really quickly. And in those cases, you don’t want to realize the viability of a platform too late. In this Better Than Success post, Ileane Smith shares why Snapchat’s appeal is spreading beyond just millennials. And BizSugar members discuss the post further here.

Use Employee Referral Incentives to Build Engagement

Building a great team is an essential part of running many types of businesses. And if you want to build a team that’s actually engaged with your business, you might consider utilizing employee referral programs. McKenzie Stephens of Marketing Innovators details how those programs can benefit businesses here.

If you’d like to suggest your favorite small business content to be considered for an upcoming community roundup, please send your news tips to:

Steps Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “10 Basic Strategies for Growing Your Business” was first published on Small Business Trends


The government may clamp down on drunkeness at British airports

Saturday, July 30th, 2016

THERE are only a handful of occasions on which it feels acceptable to have a drink before the sun has reached the yard-arm. Christmas, weddings and funerals, and the Test match are all fine. So too, for some reason, is an airport.

I have never been entirely sure why the last one should count. Probably people think a quick snifter a legitimate way to calm pre-flight jitters. But there is also something stasis-like about airports; time feels suspended in the terminal building. Perhaps it is because everyone is either adjusting from, or waiting to adjust to, another time zone. Or maybe everyone is mentally preparing for a situation in which they will be stuck with nowhere to go, whether in the airport or on the plane, for hour upon hour. Whatever it is, the only purpose of an airport clock is to make sure you reach your gate with five minutes to spare.

On a recent trip to Russia, arriving bleary-eyed at the airport before seven in the morning, I found the duty-free shop carrying out a vodka-tasting session. The airport-headed Gulliver saw nothing strange about wee nip before breakfast. The normal-headed Gulliver would have found that…Continue reading

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