Archive for the ‘World news’ Category

Bulgaria Parliament Bars Government from Signing Deals on Migrant Readmissions

Friday, July 20th, 2018

SOFIA: Bulgaria’s parliament voted on Friday to bar the government from signing bilateral agreements with other European Union countries on readmitting migrants who arrived in Europe via the Black Sea state.

The national assembly took the step after Prime Minister Boyko Borissov asked parliamentary groups to adopt a joint decision on curbing migration.

The resolution was backed by 177 lawmakers in the 240-seat parliament, which also decided that Borissov’s government should present a Bulgarian proposal by the end of September on reforming the Dublin Regulation on how European nations handle asylum requests.

Last month, EU leaders reached a hard-fought accord on migration, but the details were vague and the leaders agreed to share out refugees arriving in the bloc only on a voluntary basis.

Borissov said that it was no coincidence that the migrant crisis had “split Europe” and that no one had been prepared.

“There is an undeniable fact that to date Bulgaria is the only country in the EU to deal (properly) with migrants, there is almost zero (migrant) pressure, and it is seen as an example,” he said in parliament.

 

He said he had turned down an Italian plea to accept some of the migrants Italy helped rescue from an overcrowded boat in the Mediterranean on Saturday.

Bulgaria supports the immediate closure of the EU’s external borders to migrants and the setting up of centres for war refugees outside its territory at an EU weekend mini-summit on migration.

Borissov has already said centres should be set up in Libya and Turkey to deal with migrants before they reach Europe.

(Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

Source: Reuters

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EU Starts Legal Action Against Hungary for ‘Stop Soros’ Migrant Law

Friday, July 20th, 2018

The European Commission, the European Union’s legal institution, on Thursday sent a formal letter of notice to Hungary, the first step of an infringement procedure, over the government’s “Stop Soros” law.

The law, named after Jewish Hungarian-American billionaire and philanthropist George Soros, threatens aid workers and human rights advocates working with asylum-seekers with up to a year in prison, and was approved by parliament last month along with a set of constitutional amendments.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban has objected to the organization’s calls for greater tolerance of refugees and migrants. The move comes as Orban visits Israel, where he has been feted by the government, but faced protests.

Soros’ Open Society Foundations says it has spent over $400 million in Hungary since 1984, promoting “independent journalism, fighting corruption, supporting civic participation, and combating discrimination.”

Orban and far-right activists have attacked Soros for well over a year, waging a campaign that has involved billboards and other advertisements. Many, including Soros himself, say the campaign is anti-Semitic.

In May the foundation announced it was closing its operations in Hungaryand relocating to Germany in response to the “repressive” policies of Orban’s government.

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The Bulgarian Customs have Collected nearly BGN 4.6 Billion for the First Half of the Year

Friday, July 20th, 2018

In the first half of 2018, The Customs Agency has collected revenues from excise duties, VAT on imports, customs duties and fines amounting to BGN 4.596 billion, compared to BGN 4.345 billion for the same period of the previous year. The amount of the increase is BGN 250.9 million (5.8%) more than excise tax revenues, VAT on imports, customs duties and fines in the first half of 2017, the agency quoted by BGNES.

 

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EasyJet Still Keen on Parts of Alitalia

Friday, July 20th, 2018

MILAN (Reuters) – EasyJet (EZJ.L) is still keen on parts of Alitalia after an Italian minister said this week the government wants the majority of the carrier under state control, the chief executive of the British low cost airline told daily Corriere della Sera.

Italy’s new transport minister, Danilo Toninelli, said earlier this week there was a need for 51 percent of Alitalia to be kept in Italian hands “but with a strong investor next to it who has a mission to fly planes, because (Alitalia) needs to return to being a true flag carrier”.
 

Asked about the minister’s comments at the Farnborough air show, EasyJet CEO Johan Lundgren reiterated the company’s interest for parts of Alitalia, but has to speak with Italy’s new government, which came into power in June, to “understand what they are thinking,” he added.

 

Earlier this year, EasyJet, Lufthansa (LHAG.DE), and budget carrier Wizz Air (WIZZ.L) submitted expressions of interest in at least parts of Alitalia, but the lengthy formation of a new anti-establishment government in Italy delayed the process.

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South Korean Court Sentences President Park to Another Eight Years in Jail

Friday, July 20th, 2018

SEOUL (Reuters) – A South Korean court sentenced former president Park Geun-hye to eight more years in prison on Friday after finding her guilty on charges of causing loss of government funds and interfering in a 2016 parliamentary election.

Park has already been sentenced to 24 years in jail after she was found guilty by a lower court in April of separate charges including bribery, abuse of power and coercion.

All sentences must be served consecutively, a court spokeswoman said.

 

Park became South Korea’s first democratically elected leader to be forced from office last year when the Constitutional Court ordered her out over a scandal that exposed a web of corruption between political leaders and the country’s powerful conglomerates, or chaebol.

Park, 66, has denied wrongdoing and was not present in court. It was immediately unclear whether Park would appeal.

The Seoul Central District Court ruled that Park colluded with her former aides to cause the loss of government funds worth about 30 billion won (?20.35 million) from the National Intelligence Service (NIS).

The court ordered a fine of 33 billion won.

 

The money was from a “special activity fund” allocated to the spy agency, totaling 4 billion won every year but exempt from state audits or parliamentary reports. Two of the three former NIS directors involved were sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison last month, and the third to three years.

Park was also found guilty of interfering in the ruling party’s selection of candidates for the parliamentary election, breaching the president’s obligations to remain politically neutral.

“Park’s private use of the funds weakened the principles of executing government funds, and barred the country’s chief spy agency from using the funds for its core duty of protecting the country and the people,” presiding judge Seong Chang-ho said as he delivered the verdict.

“However, the defendant has shifted blame to her assistants and refused to appear in court,” Seong said.

 

As the judge handed down the verdict, Park’s supporters attending the trial reportedly shouted “Release the innocent president,” and “Is this a law?”

Prosecutors had sought a 15-year sentence and a 80 billion won fine for Park.

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At Least 11 Drown as ‘Duck Boat’ Capsizes in Missouri

Friday, July 20th, 2018

(Reuters) – At least 11 people including children drowned when an amphibious “duck boat” carrying 31 people capsized and sank in stormy weather on a lake in Missouri on Thursday.

Divers will resume searching Table Rock Lake, near Branson, Missouri, for other victims on Friday, the day after the “Ride the Ducks” amphibious vehicle sank, Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader told reporters during a news conference late on Thursday.

Five people are still missing, the sheriff said.

 

Seven victims including two who are critically injured were treated at the Cox Medical Center in Branson, the hospital said on Twitter.

Officials opened Branson’s city hall to victims and family members and brought in clergy and the Red Cross to assist.

“The City of Branson may be small in size but it is big at its heart, which is why city officials wanted to extend a helping hand and a strong shoulder,” the city said in a statement.

Emergency crews responded to the incident shortly after 7 p.m. (0000 GMT) after thunderstorms rolled through the area, the fire district said on Twitter.

Duck amphibious vehicles are used on sightseeing tours around the world and have been involved in a number of fatal accidents in the past two decades.

The company that builds ducks, Ride the Ducks International LLC, agreed in 2016 to pay a $1 million fine after one of the vehicles collided with a bus in Seattle, killing five international students.

The company admitted to failing to comply with U.S. vehicle manufacturing rules.

 

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The Autumn Weather will Remain until the End of July

Friday, July 20th, 2018

According to mid-term forecasts by the end of July, we can not expect temperatures above 34-35 degrees, nor a particular change in weather, which is more typical for autumn than for summer.
 
July 19 was one of the coldest days this summer, in Sofia it was windy and with low clouds – a typical autumn atmosphere. Medium-term models show that this circulation over Eastern Europe and the Balkans will continue in the next 10 days.

Warming is expected over the weekend. It will be mostly sunny, except for the extreme eastern and northeast regions. Temperatures will rise from 27 to 34 degrees. On Saturday, it is possible to have more clouds over the northeastern regions and even pass, but for a short while.

A more serious worsening of the weather is expected early next week. On Monday in the late afternoon and mainly during the night on Tuesday weather over the country will worsen, almost all areas will have precipitation, which will continue on Tuesday evening and partly on Wednesday. This will be due to a low pressure center, which will be positioned south of Bulgaria. Daily temperatures will also be reduced, mainly in Western Bulgaria people will feel cooling, while in the lowlands of Southern Bulgaria will still be cool, but the temperatures will be typically summer. Then there will be more rainfall, thunderstorms are also possible. Precipitation on Tuesday may be more intense.

On Thursday and Friday, almost the end of next week in the afternoon will preserve the probability of thunder activity in various regions of the country, mainly in the mountainous part.
 
Wet weather is expected to last until the end of July and early August.

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EUR 17,000 were Stolen from a Man in a Train Traveling from Sofia

Friday, July 20th, 2018

17 700 euro, 170 leva and personal documents were stolen from a man traveling by train from Sofia to Lom. The report of the theft was filed by the victim himself.

Around 21.25 hours, on July 19, 112 received a signal from a 55-year-old man from Lom. He told the police that on the same day between 17.00 and 21.20 hours, while traveling on the train from Sofia to Lom, he was robbed. An unknown thief picked up his bag, inside were 17,700 euros, 170 leva and personal documents.

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Cyberattack on Singapore Health Database Steals Details of 1.5 Million, Including PM

Friday, July 20th, 2018

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – A major cyberattack on Singapore’s government health database stole the personal information of about 1.5 million people, including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, the government said on Friday.

 

The “deliberate, targeted and well-planned,” attack aimed at patients who visited clinics between May 2015 and July 4 this year, the Health Ministry said in a statement.

“It was not the work of casual hackers or criminal gangs,” the ministry said, adding that the attackers targeted details about Lee and the medicines he received.

“The attackers specifically and repeatedly targeted Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s personal particulars and information on his outpatient dispensed medicines,” it said.

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Clouds and Precipitation in Central and Eastern Bulgaria

Friday, July 20th, 2018

Today in many places in Central and Eastern Bulgaria will develop  clouds and there will be short-lived rainfall and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny over the western regions. It will blow a mild to moderate wind from west to northwest. The maximum temperatures will be between 26 and 31 degrees, in Sofia – about 26.

The atmospheric pressure will be lower than the average for the month and will remain without significant change.

In the mountains the clouds will be significant. There will be rainfall and thunderstorms in many places. It will blow a moderate northwest wind. The maximum temperature at a height of 1200 meters will be about 20 degrees, at 2000 meters – about 13.

The Black Sea coast will be mostly sunny before noon. Around noon will develop clouds and there will be short rains with thunder. It will blow to a moderate northwest wind. Maximum temperatures will be between 28 and 31 degrees. The temperature of the sea water is from 23 to 26. The excitement of the sea will be 1-2 bales.

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