Archive for September, 2018

Huge Heroin Bust in Bulgaria

Sunday, September 30th, 2018

Bulgarian customs officials have seized 712kg of heroin from inside two Iranian trucks entering Bulgaria from Turkey.

Officials on Friday valued the record heroin haul at NZ million.

The drugs were found in two Iran-registered trucks at the Kapitan Andreevo checkpoint on the Turkish border.

They were carrying construction materials and were bound for Austria.

Haskovo region prosecutor Ivan Stoyanov said the heroin was hidden in sealed bags stashed between the officially declared goods.

The two drivers, both Iranian citizens, were detained and could face up to 20 years in jail if convicted on drug trafficking charges.

APTN

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The Zorbas Storm Heads to Bulgaria

Sunday, September 30th, 2018

On Sunday, a yellow code for dangerous weather was announced in the southeastern part of Bulgaria, which is on the periphery of the storm “Zorbas”.

The powerful cyclone “Xenophon” hit South Greece with hurricane winds and torrential rains.

Most islands in the Aegean Sea are cut off from the world not only by sea but also by air. It is expected that 3/4 of the territory of our southern neighbor will be affected by the cyclone, NOVA informs.

Yellow code for strong wind and heavy rainfall has been declared for 11 districts in the country. This is the reference of the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (NIMH).

“This is a Mediterranean cyclone, and it has passed through Bulgaria before.

Through the Aegean Sea the storm will go to the straits. The worst day of rainfall in Bulgaria will be tomorrow, “explained Anastasia Stoycheva of the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology.

Synopsis from the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology announced a yellow code in the districts of Pazardjik, Plovdiv, Stara Zagora and Sliven, where rainfall of up to 25 liters per square meter is expected. Twice as much rain and storm winds are expected in the districts of Burgas, Yambol, Haskovo, Kardzhali and Smolyan.

In southeastern Bulgaria rainfall has already begun, it is expected to pour about 50 l / sq. m.

After the cold, however, a good weather is expected.

Maximum temperatures in October will reach 28 degrees, and the lowest temperatures will be between minus 1 and 4 degrees.

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Syrian Opened Fire with a Gas Pistol in Sofia, Three Detained

Sunday, September 30th, 2018

Syrian citizen shot with a gas pistol at people in downtown Sofia. There are no data for victims yet.
 
The shooter was in a car together with two other compatriots. He told police officers he was shooting in the air because of people who passed near the car.
 
The shooting took place around 8pm in front of the telephone hall in the capital. The police have detained the three Syrians in the car.

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Macedonia Votes on New Name to End Greek Row

Sunday, September 30th, 2018

AFP – Macedonians went to the polls Sunday to vote on whether to re-name their country North Macedonia in a bid to settle a long-running row with Greece and unlock its path to NATO and EU membership.

Macedonia has struggled for recognition of its name since its birth in 1991 when the landlocked country declared independence from Yugoslavia.

Athens protested immediately, accusing Skopje of stealing the name of its own northern province also called Macedonia.

The dispute stretches back nearly three decades, with both countries claiming links to Alexander the Great’s ancient empire of Macedon, which spanned the territories.

A grandiose “antiquisation” project under Macedonia’s former government that plastered Skopje with neo-classical facades and statues of Alexander the Great added fuel to the fire.

But in June Macedonia’s new premier Zoran Zaev and his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras reached a landmark compromise under which Greece would drop its objections to Macedonia joining the EU and NATO in return for the name change.

Polls opened at 7am (0500 GMT) and are to close at 7pm in the referendum on whether to accept or reject the deal.

Only a trickle of voters showed up at a polling station set up in the high school Josip Broz Tito in downtown Skopje in the first hour of polling.

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Typhoon Trami Injures 56, Readies Direct Hit on Japan Mainland

Sunday, September 30th, 2018

AFP – A powerful typhoon hurtled toward Japan’s mainland Sunday after injuring dozens on southern islands, as weather officials warned that fierce winds and torrential rain could trigger landslides and floods.

Typhoon Trami has already disrupted travel in the world’s third-biggest economy, with bullet train services in the west of Japan suspended, more than 1,000 flights cancelled due to the closure of a key airport and Tokyo’s evening train services scrapped.

The storm is forecast to smash into the mainland near the city of Osaka shortly after 6pm (0900 GMT) and churn across the Japanese archipelago, likely hitting areas still recovering from extreme weather that has battered Japan in recent months.

Trami tore through the southern island of Okinawa on Saturday, bringing winds strong enough to flip over cars. Several houses were flooded or damaged and 46 people on the island sustained minor injuries but no one was feared dead, local officials said.

Nationwide, authorities have issued non-compulsory evacuation advisories to 1.5 million residents, according to public broadcaster NHK. Nearly 500,000 households in Kyushu and Okinawa have lost power, local utilities said.

As the typhoon barrelled east, rail authorities took the highly unusual step of cancelling evening train services in Tokyo, one of the world’s busiest networks, urging passengers to shelter indoors when the storm hits.

The typhoon is not expected to hit the capital head-on but strong winds and heavy rain are still feared from later Sunday. Some businesses were already putting up shutters and hunkering down.

Trami is the latest in a string of extreme natural events in Japan, which has suffered typhoons, flooding, earthquakes and heatwaves in recent months, claiming scores of lives and causing extensive damage.

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Death Toll in Indonesia Quake-tsunami Tops 800

Sunday, September 30th, 2018

AFP – The death toll from a powerful earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia leapt to 832 Sunday, as stunned people on the stricken island of Sulawesi struggled to find food and water and looting spread.

The new toll announced by the national disaster agency was almost double the previous figure. Indonesian vice-president Jusuf Kalla said the final number of dead could be in the “thousands” as many regions have still not been reached.

“It feels very tense,” said 35-year-old mother Risa Kusuma, comforting her feverish baby boy at an evacuation centre in the gutted coastal city of Palu. “Every minute an ambulance brings in bodies. Clean water is scarce. The minimarkets are looted everywhere.”

Indonesia’s Metro TV on Sunday broadcast footage from a coastal community in Donggala, close to the epicentre of the quake, where some waterfront homes appeared crushed but a resident said most people fled to higher ground after the quake struck.

“When it shook really hard, we all ran up into the hills,” a man identified as Iswan told Metro TV.

Indonesian president Joko Widodo arrived in the region Sunday afternoon to see the devastation for himself.

In Palu city on Sunday aid was trickling in, the Indonesian military had been deployed and search-and-rescue workers were doggedly combing the rubble for survivors — looking for as many as 150 people at one upscale hotel alone.

“We managed to pull out a woman alive from the Hotel Roa-Roa last night,” Muhammad Syaugi, head of the national search and rescue agency, told AFP. “We even heard people calling for help there yesterday.”

“What we now desperately need is heavy machinery to clear the rubble. I have my staff on the ground, but it’s impossible just to rely on their strength alone to clear this.”

There were also concerns over the whereabouts of hundreds of people who had been preparing for a beach festival when the 7.5-magnitude quake struck Friday, sparking a tsunami that ripped apart the city’s coastline.

A Facebook page was created by worried relatives who posted pictures of still-missing family members in the hopes of finding them alive.

The disaster agency said it believed about 61 foreigners were in Palu when the quake struck, with most accounted for and safe.

Three French nationals and a South Korean, who may have been staying at a flattened hotel, had not yet been accounted for, it added.

Amid the levelled trees, overturned cars, concertinaed homes and flotsam tossed up to 50 metres inland, survivors and rescuers struggled to come to grips with the scale of the disaster.

On Saturday evening, residents fashioned makeshift bamboo shelters or slept out on dusty playing fields, fearing powerful aftershocks would topple damaged homes and bring yet more carnage.

C-130 military transport aircraft with relief supplies managed to land at the main airport in Palu, which re-opened to humanitarian flights and limited commercial flights, but only to pilots able to land by sight alone.

Satellite imagery provided by regional relief teams showed the severe damage at some of the area’s major sea ports, with large ships tossed on land, quays and bridges trashed and shipping containers thrown around.

Hospitals were overwhelmed by the influx of those injured, with many people being treated in the open air. There were widespread power blackouts.

“We all panicked and ran out of the house” when the quake hit, said Anser Bachmid, a 39-year-old Palu resident. “People here need aid — food, drink, clean water.”

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Small Business Events Abound – Share Yours!

Saturday, September 29th, 2018

From a lead generating conference on Boston to a customer service summit in New York City, a variety of events geared toward small businesses dot the calendar over the next week — and several weeks.

Other upcoming events include a brand partnership forum in Nashville, a Gartner sales and marketing conference in Las Vegas and a workshop in Chicago about listening to the voice of the customer.

Look down the list of upcoming events to determine which might be most appropriate for your small businesses.

Oh, and if you have an event to promote to the small business community, consider making it one of our Featured Events. Here’s an example of how this might look!

If you have an event or contest you want us to know about please get in touch with us. See details below!



Featured Events, Contests and Awards

More Events

More Contests

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

You can see a full list of events, contest and award listings or post your own events by visiting the Small Business Events Calendar.
Images: Shutterstock

This article, “Small Business Events Abound – Share Yours!” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Want to Keep Learning in Your Small Business? Try These Helpful Resources and Tips

Saturday, September 29th, 2018

Successful business owners don’t have all the answers — they continue to learn and grow through the years. Sometimes that growth can come through personal mistakes, and sometimes it can come from helpful resources and expert guidance. If you’re interested in learning more to grow your business, check out some of these thoughts from members of the online small business community about learning new skills and gaining valuable insights.

Consider the Difference Between Reach and Impressions

When you’re looking at your analytics and the impact that your content is having on potential customers, there are plenty of different terms to know. Reach and impressions are two pretty common ones. And sometimes they’re even used interchangeably. But in this AMA Consulting Services blog post, Andrew Adderley offers an explanation of the two and explains why they are unique.

Hone These Marketing Skills to Survive in the Age of AI

Artificial intelligence is having a massive impact on the way people interact with companies online. So especially if you have a small brand that competes with companies that have far more resources, you need to have the proper skills. Neil Patel elaborates in this post on the Quick Sprout blog.

Use Data to Transform the Customer Experience

No matter what industry you’re in, it’s important that you never stop gaining valuable information to help your business. When you gather data about your customers, you need to be able to translate that data in a way that can actually help your business and your customers. Check out this Social Media HQ post by Steve Olenski for more thoughts on the subject.

Don’t Fall for These Startup Myths

Mistakes are a major part of learning as you run a business. But there are some mistakes that are common among the business community — so you can avoid them altogether by listening to expert advice. In this Noobpreneur post, Ivan Widjaya shares some of those common myths that you shouldn’t believe when running a business.

Learn About Increasing Organic Traffic

To grow your business, you need to be able to get more people to your website. You can become more of an expert on organic traffic by checking out this Pixel Productions post by Vaibhav Kakkar. Then visit BizSugar to see what members of the community are saying about the post.

Integrate Online and Offline for the Best Overall Result

Nearly every business now has some kind of online presence. But just because there are tons of marketing tools available on the internet, it doesn’t mean you should only exist online. In fact, Grace Kaye details some benefits of mixing online and offline in this Marketing Land post.

Find the Best Length for Your Content

Business owners often wonder — which is better, long form or short form content. But the answer actually varies depending on your business and your ability to create quality content. Learn more in this TopRank Marketing post by Lee Odden.

Pick Better Images for Social Media

Visuals are important for any marketing initiative. But some companies tend to overlook them when it comes to social media. In this Content Marketing Institute post, Manish Dudharejia dives into the world of social media images and explains how to make yours better.

Make Content Collaboration Work for You

Collaboration can be an effective strategy for building your content marketing reach and impact. But not all collaborations are able to get you those positive results. If you want yours to really help your business, consider the tips in this DIY Marketers post by Ivana Taylor.

Learn How Insanely Successful People Manage Their Time

Time management is a major issue for a lot of business owners. If you want to improve, it might help to look at what really successful people do. In this Mostly Blogging post, Janice Wald details the habits that can help you get better. And BizSugar members shared thoughts on the post 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: sbtips@gmail.com.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Want to Keep Learning in Your Small Business? Try These Helpful Resources and Tips” was first published on Small Business Trends

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What Does the EU’s Article 13 Mean for Small Site Publishers?

Saturday, September 29th, 2018

What Does the EU’s Article 13 Mean for Site Ownership?

On September 12, 2018, the European Union passed Article 13, a controversial Copyright Directive which will affect how companies and people in Europe use and profit from the internet. Despite intense opposition to the legislation and its divisiveness, Article 13 was passed in a 438 to 226 vote.

A Closer Look at Article 13

The Directive comprises of a whole host of legislation aimed at updating copyright law for the digital age. Article 13 forces social media platforms, such as Facebook, Google and YouTube, to have responsibility over unlicensed user-uploaded copyrighted material. Under the new legislation, such platforms must take proactive steps to prevent users from sharing unlicensed copyrighted material and to detect videos and content that are copyright-infringed before they are available.

The legislation will require content publishing sites to automatically filter copyrighted material, including images, songs and videos uploaded onto their platforms, unless the content has been specifically licensed.

This could be good news for those who hold rights to the copy, such as record labels, authors and artists. But it could also bring unexpected consequences for small content creators too. As Axel Voss, the EU parliamentary member who led the campaign to get Article 13 passed by the European Union, said when the vote was announced:

“This is a good sign for the creative industries in Europe.”

Not everyone, however, shares Voss’s enthusiasm of the passing of the highly controversial Article 13.

Opponents of the legislation believe it will stifle user-driven creativity, which dominates the World Wide Web, such as remixes and memes.

YouTube is expected to be hit particularly hard by the passing of the new bill, forced to tighten its rules related to the content users can upload onto the site. In a tweet, YouTube’s chief product officer Neal Mohan, voiced his concern:

“Today’s outcome in the EU copyright debate is disappointing and we’re concerned about the impact on the creative economy across the Internet.”

As well as the watering down of user-generated creativity across the Internet, other concerns about Article 13 are focused on the possibility of filters possibly accidentally blocking non-copyrighted materials as well.

There is also the worry that smaller websites will not be able to afford expensive filter software the likes of Google and Facebook and will therefore run the risk of failing to be Article 13 compliant.

Despite the flurry of concern and discontent circulating online about the potential damaging impact Article 13 will have on the web as we know it, some believe response to Article 13’s impact has been unfairly exaggerated.

As the UK’s Society of Authors posted on its official blog, prior to the vote being cast:

“The proposals ask Internet giants to follow the offline norm and pay a fair share for creative content used on their platforms,” the blog explains.

The Article 13 amendments passed so far are by no means definitive, as each amendment will need to go through another vigorous round of negotiations between politicians in Europe and EU member states before another vote takes place in January 2019.

Article 13 and Brexit?

As the British government is wrapped up in negotiations with the EU ahead of the looming official Brexit date in March 2019, it is uncertain what Article 13 and the Copyright Directive will mean to Britain when it exits the European Union. It is possible that since the legislation will only be applicable to the EU’s digital single market, the regulation may not even affect websites in the UK.

That said, since the UK has adopted other European-wide digital legislation in the past, namely the General Data Protection Regulation, the country could decide to adopt Article 13 — even after Brexit.

As with other issues related to Brexit, Article 13’s impact on UK sites, businesses and users, remains to be seen.

The passing of Article 13 in the European Parliament may be a disquieting sign of mass internet censorship. But it may also be a wake up call for site owners, not just in Europe but in the United States and around the world, not to fall victim to non-compliance.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “What Does the EU’s Article 13 Mean for Small Site Publishers?” was first published on Small Business Trends

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The week in energy: the wizard of oil

Saturday, September 29th, 2018

Opec’s influence, Big Oil and climate change, and Elon Musk’s joke

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