Archive for the ‘World news’ Category

Syrian Government to Attend U.N. Talks in Vienna: U.N. Deputy Envoy

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

The Syrian government will attend U.N.-sponsored peace talks set to take place in Vienna next week, the United Nations deputy Syria envoy said on Thursday, quoted by Reuters.

At a press conference in Damascus, Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy said Syria’s deputy foreign minister, Faisal Meqdad, had informed him of the government’s plans to attend. The United Nations has invited the Syrian government and opposition to a special meeting next week in Vienna, Austria.




Romania Does Not Really Follow Recommendations on Fighting Corruption: Council of Europe

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

In a report published today, the Council of Europe’s anti-corruption body (GRECO) stresses that Romania has satisfactorily implemented or dealt satisfactorily with only two of the thirteen recommendations contained in the Fourth Round Evaluation Report adopted in December, NewEurope reported.

The report notes that the main initiative taken in Romania with regard to MPs is the adoption of a code of conduct in October 2017, aiming to regulate gifts and other benefits, and the management of conflicts of interest.

This Code now also aims to regulate gifts and other benefits, and the management of conflicts of interest arising ad hoc; despite these positive developments, the rather broad wording of the Code and inconsistent rules for its enforcement prevent it from providing a fully satisfactory framework in those areas. One of the tasks of the National Integrity Agency (NIA) is to control declarations of assets and interests but although its working methods and data processing capabilities are progressively being improved, GRECO has not received any evidence demonstrating that proper consideration was given to improving NIA’s commitment and pro-activity in this specific area.

Despite this positive development, GRECO points out that the broad wording of the code and inconsistent rules for its enforcement prevent it from providing a fully satisfactory framework.

GRECO finds that Romania has not yet given proper consideration to improving the National Integrity Agency’s performance in controlling MP’s declarations of assets and interests, although its working methods and data processing capabilities have been improved.

The legislative process remains an area of particular concern for GRECO given the persisting controversies and allegations of improper consultation, the excessive use of the expedited procedure, and the lack of transparency.

Regarding reforms for judges and prosecutors, GRECO observes the same limited decisive action. Measures to make the justice system more responsive to integrity risks are at an early stage. GRECO stresses that the Supreme Council of Magistracy (SCM) and the Judicial Inspectorate should play a more active role in terms of analysis, information and advice. Measures are also needed to reinforce the role and effectiveness of those performing managerial functions at courts and prosecution services.

GRECO also regrets the absence of tangible action to ensure that the appointment and revocation for the most senior prosecutorial functions are based on a transparent process based on objective criteria, and stresses the need for the SCM to play a stronger role in this procedure.

2017 was market by a number of proposals and counterproposals concerning appointments, the disciplinary procedure and other aspects, some of which were perceived as an attempt to undermine the independence of the judiciary.

The report was adopted on December 8 2017 during a plenary meeting in which Greco also decided to carry out an ad hoc urgent evaluation of three draft laws concerning the judiciary registered for adoption by parliament on October 31 using the expedited procedure.


A Total of BGN 2.91 billion will be Paid to the Bulgarian Farmers

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

A total of BGN 2.91 billion  will be paid to the Bulgarian farmers from the state and the EU as direct area payments, market measures under the Rural Development Program and the Maritime and Fisheries Program, the government’s press service announced.

Today, the annual accounts for the EU funds of the Agriculture State Fund for the year 2018 have been approved. Of these, BGN 2 636 703 700 are paid by the EU and BGN 275 890 800 from the national budget.

BGN 857.9 million are earmarked for rural development. Direct payments amount to BGN 319.8 million, which will cover agri-environment and climate, organic farming and Natura 2000.

BGN 1,551 billion have been set under the single area payment scheme as well as coupled payments for animals, fruits, vegetables and others. Under the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Program 2014-2020, BGN 38.3 million is estimated.

BGN 145.2 million are earmarked for market measures, including the National Beekeeping Program, the School Fruit Scheme, the School Milk Scheme, the National Program for the Support of the Viticulture Sector, the Restructuring of the Vineyards, the Promotion Programs , export refunds and other schemes.


Deadly Storm Causes Dutch and German Transport Chaos

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

Three people have been killed by falling trees or debris in the Netherlands as a fierce storm tears across northern Europe, according to BBC.

Storm-related accidents killed three people in Olst, Vuren and Enschede.

Gusts of up to 140km per hour (90mph) caused transport chaos.

Flights are slowly resuming after being suspended at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport – one of the busiest in Europe – and trains have been halted in three big regions of north-west Germany.

Dutch Twitter users have posted photos of trucks and trees blown over by the gales. Many trees have come down on railway lines.

Police temporarily closed the centre of Almere, a city with about 200,000 residents lying just east of Amsterdam.

They tweeted an alert warning people to stay at home because of risk from the storm.

Dutch people in the storm’s path are using the hashtag #coderood to tweet photos of the storm damage.

A national transport website, VID, reported 17 trucks blown over by the strong winds.

The Dutch Railways (NS) and operator ProRail said overhead power lines had been damaged by the wind, as well as some railway tracks.

An alert on the NS website said: “A hurricane-force storm is raging over our country and causing a lot of damage to the rail network and stations.

“NS and ProRail therefore have to stop the train service until further notice. Only Arriva trains in Groningen and Limburg can continue running.”

Disruption in Germany

High winds have also toppled trees and caused structural damage in western regions of Germany, where the storm is called “Friederike”.

The national train operator, Deutsche Bahn, has suspended rail traffic in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), neighbouring Rhineland-Palatinate state and Lower Saxony.

NRW – the home of major Ruhr industries – is Germany’s most populous state. Trains still running elsewhere in Germany have cut their speed because of the strong winds.

Dozens of flights are also being cancelled in Germany – at Cologne/Bonn airport every fourth flight has been scrapped.




Bansko Ski Center is Shut Down Due to Hurricane Wind

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

Hurricane wind shut down Bansko ski center.

The facilities do not work for security reasons, as yesterday’s winds ranged between 120 and 150 km / h.

Tourists who have bought a card are the facilities without having used it, have received their money back.

Strong wind, as well as snowfall, caused problems in several regions of Bulgaria. In Smolyan and Karlovo, a state of emergency was declared.

The traffic on many roads in the country was limited, and dozens of settlements were out of power due to accidents on the power grid.

The weather forecasts expect the wind to begin to weaken at the end of the day.


The EU and Turkey are Preparing a Summit in Late March

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

The European Union and Turkey are planning a summit in late March, Mediapool reports.

The agency cites the German newspaper Welt, which refers to its sources in Brussels. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, European Council President Donald Tusk, European Parliament President Antonio Tajani and Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov are expected to take part in the talks. Currently, Bulgaria is the rotating EU president. According to Welt, the summit may take place either in Brussels or in Sofia.

The Bulgarian Prime Minister met with the Turkish president on January 7th at the opening of the renovated Iron Church in Istanbul. He then pledged to be a mediator for normalizing Turkey’s and EU’s relations. Our foreign minister, Ekaterina Zaharieva, also said that such a meeting could take place, although not foreseen. Normalizing relations with Turkey is one of the highlights of the Bulgarian Euro-Presidency.

Among the topics that are likely to be discussed are the fight against terrorism, energy, migration, student exchange. One of the key issues between Turkey and the EU is the agreement on refugees.


Grigor Dimitrov Will Play Tomorrow Against Russian Tennis Player Andrey Rublev at 6:00

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

Bulgaria’s best tennis player Grigor Dimitrov, will be on the court tomorrow at about 6:00 am Bulgarian time for his third round match of the Australian Open against Russian Andrey Rublev. The match is the third in Rod laver Arena, with matches between Luksika Kumkhum  (Thailand) – Petra Martic (Croatia) and Martha Kostyuk (Ukraine) – Elina Svitolina (Ukraine).

The only match between the young hope of Russian tennis and Dimitrov so far was in the second round of the US Open last year, when Rublev took a surprise win with 7-5, 7-6 (3), 6-3.


Emergency Situation Declared in Smolyan and Karlovo

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

As a result of the stormy wind in Smolyan this morning was declared a state of emergency because of closed roads as a result of uprooted and fallen trees and interrupted power supply. There is no electricity in Turian, Stanevska Mahala, River, Trebishte, the whole Ardensko river, Momchilovtsi, Sokolovtsi and Tikale, Taran. Closed for traffic are the roads for Mugla, Turian, Gabritsa and Levochevo.

Crisis headquarters is convened in Karlovo. There is a permanent connection with the mayors of the settlements, and a municipal commission traverses the most suffering places. Deputy Mayor Stoyo Karagenski said there were many trees that blocked the streets, and the rubbish containers moved by the wind. People are warned not to leave their homes. There are no reports of injuries. Many villages are still without electricity. Almost everywhere, school is suspended.


Emirates Airlines Ordered Aircrafts for USD 16 Billion

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

Emirates Airlines has signed a $ 16 billion deal for the purchase of 36 Airbus A380 aircrafts a few days after the European company reported that due to lack of orders it could stop producing those machines.

The company announced they have received rigid orders for 20 of the big planes with options for 16 more. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2020, reported BGNews.

Emirates is already the largest customer in the world for the A380 – the airline owns 101 such airplanes in its fleet.


Amsterdam’s Schiphol Scraps Flights as Storm Disrupts Public Transport

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport briefly suspended all air traffic on Thursday due to a severe storm, as gusts of up to 140 kph (90 mph) blew down trees and damaged buildings.

At least 260 flights were scrapped, while trains, trams and buses were halted across the country after the highest weather alert was issued.

Schiphol later said some flights would resume as the storm moved inland, but that there would be severe delays.

In Germany, railway operator Deutsche Bahn [DBN.UL] said it had suspended all services in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the country’s most populous state, leaving hundreds of thousands of travelers and commuters stranded.

“Since this affects many long-distance connections, there are effects on the entire rail services, also internationally,” Deutsche Bahn said.

In Munich, eight domestic flights from Lufthansa were canceled, the airport operator said.