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Ebola outbreak: NY doctor Craig Spencer tests positive

Ebola outbreak: NY doctor Craig Spencer tests positive

24 October 2014 | 08:27 | FOCUS News Agency
New York. A New York doctor who recently returned from Ebola-hit Guinea in West Africa has tested positive for the disease, BBC reported.
Dr Craig Spencer, who treated Ebola patients while working for the charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), came down with a fever on Thursday, days after his return, officials say.
He is the first Ebola case diagnosed in New York, and the fourth in the US.
More than 4,800 people have died of Ebola - mainly in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone - since March.
Dr Spencer, 33, left Guinea on 14 October, and returned to New York City on 17 October via Europe. On Tuesday he began to feel tired and developed a fever and diarrhoea on Thursday.
He immediately contacted medical services and was taken to the city's Bellevue Hospital, where he is being kept in isolation.
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First case of Ebola confirmed in Mali: health ministry

First case of Ebola confirmed in Mali: health ministry

24 October 2014 | 03:46 | FOCUS News Agency
Bamako. Mali's health ministry on Thursday said the country had its first confirmed case of Ebola after a two-year-old girl who had recently been in Guinea tested positive for the virus, AFP reports.
"Today Mali has its first imported case of the Ebola virus," the ministry said in a statement. The girl was diagnosed after she arrived at a hospital in the western town of Kayes on Wednesday, it added.
The child and those she has come into contact with have been put in isolation.
The identity of the infected girl was not released.
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WHO is against ban on international trips to Ebola-affected countries

WHO is against ban on international trips to Ebola-affected countries

24 October 2014 | 01:32 | FOCUS News Agency
Geneva. The World Health Organization (WHO) does not think it is necessary to impose a ban on international trips and trade with countries affected by the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak, experts of the WHO Emergency Committee concluded Thursday after Wednesday’s meeting of the committee.
“The Committee reiterated its recommendation that there should be no general ban on international travel or trade. A general travel ban is likely to cause economic hardship, and could consequently increase the uncontrolled migration of people from affected countries, raising the risk of international spread of Ebola,” the WHO said, as cited by Itar Tass.
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EU appoints Ebola czar

EU appoints Ebola czar

24 October 2014 | 01:28 | FOCUS News Agency
Brussels. EU leaders on Thursday named Christos Stylianides of Cyprus to coordinate the bloc's fight against Ebola which has claimed nearly 4,900 lives in west Africa, AFP reports.
Stylianides, who will serve as the new EU commissioner for humanitarian aid, was "named EU coordinator for fight against #ebola by #EUCO," European Union head Herman Van Rompuy said in a tweeted message.
During confirmation hearings in the European Parliament last month, Stylianides told MEPs that he was ready to go to west Africa to see the situation on the ground, winning plaudits.
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WHO “reasonably confident” Ebola has not spread beyond West Africa

WHO “reasonably confident” Ebola has not spread beyond West Africa

24 October 2014 | 00:23 | FOCUS News Agency
Geneva. The World Health Organization (WHO) is "reasonably confident" that the Ebola virus plaguing Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone in West Africa had not spread into neighboring states, Keiji Fukuda, WHO’s assistant director general in charge of outbreak response, said on Thursday.
"We are reasonably confident right now we are not seeing widespread transmission into neighbouring countries," he said at a news conference. "It remains a concern, but right now I think we are not seeing it."
He said the bulk of information the WHO was receiving about Ebola cases in various countries ultimately proved to be rumors. He said it was possible to conceal a few cases but it was impossible to conceal that many people were dying due to unknown reasons.
Ebola fever broke out in West Africa in December 2013. By now, at least 4,877 people are known to have died from Ebola, but the actual death toll may be three times as much. Some 10,000 are infected, according to the WHO statistics, quoted by Itar Tass.
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AU to send over 1,000 health workers to Ebola-hit west Africa

AU to send over 1,000 health workers to Ebola-hit west Africa

23 October 2014 | 21:07 | FOCUS News Agency
Freetown. African nations will send more than 1,000 health workers to Ebola-ravaged Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the head of the African Union Commission said Thursday, as cited by AFP.
"Several African member states have pledged to send in a number of health workers to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, including DR Congo which will send around 1,000 workers in three groups," Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma told reporters in Freetown.
"Though we are awaiting other responses, East Africa has responded and pledged more than 600 health workers," she added.
The medical personnel will receive training in their own countries first, she said.
Dlamini-Zuma, on a trip to the three countries at the epicentre of the Ebola outbreak -- Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea -- said the African Union bloc was responding to an urgent need for well-trained medical staff to help fight the worst-ever outbreak of the disease.
"We've... noticed that the international community is responding more to infrastructure and not much to health workers. And infrastructure is critical to have treatment centres and hospitals, but if that infrastructure does not have the staff, it will go to waste," she said.
Nearly 4,900 people have died from Ebola in west Africa, with almost 10,000 infected, according to the latest World Health Organization figures.
Health workers have been particularly affected, with 244 deaths out of 443 cases across the affected countries.
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Ebola-hit Liberia unveils strict border checks

Ebola-hit Liberia unveils strict border checks

23 October 2014 | 16:58 | FOCUS News Agency
Monrovia. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Thursday announced strict checks on Liberia's borders with neighbouring Guinea and Sierra Leone, the two other countries at the epicentre of the Ebola epidemic, AFP reported.
Liberia has been worst hit by the outbreak, with 4,665 recorded cases and 2,705 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.
"We will make sure that the immigration officers protect the borders, you know we have porous borders, in so many places where you can cross without going through the official point," Sirleaf said.
"We are going to ask them to monitor them carefully," she said on national radio.
"We also have to work with the leaders in Guinea and Sierra Leone because we leaders all talk to each other too and we work together," she said.
"So we hope that they do on their side what we are doing on our side, to put proper ETUs (Ebola Treatment Units) and proper health care," Sirleaf said.
Cuba meanwhile has sent 49 doctors and nurses to Liberia to boost efforts to fight the epidemic.
"We could not sit on the fence and watch while our brothers and sisters from Africa are suffering from the disease," Cuban ambassador George Nicholas told reporters.
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EU puts up 24 mn euros to find Ebola vaccine

EU puts up 24 mn euros to find Ebola vaccine

23 October 2014 | 14:31 | FOCUS News Agency
Brussels. The European Union put up 24.4 million euros Thursday in a "race against time" to find Ebola vaccines and treatments as deaths from the disease mount in the worst affected countries, AFP reported.
The funds will be fast-tracked "in order to start work as soon as possible," the European Commission said, with the latest figures showing nearly 4,900 dead and 10,000 cases in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
"We're in a race against time on Ebola and we must address both the emergency situation and at the same time have a long term response," Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso said.
The Commission, the EU's executive arm, said it was working with industry to develop vaccines, drugs and diagnostics for Ebola.
So far the 28 EU member states have offered 180 million euros ($234 million) in humanitarian and other aid to help deal with a health crisis which could shortly be producing 10,000 cases a week with a death rate of 70 percent.
The EU is meanwhile contributing medical staff and facilities on the ground, with Ebola likely to be a major talking point at an EU leaders' summit Thursday and Friday in Brussels.
A draft summit communique obtained by AFP said the EU would appoint an "Ebola coordinator" to work between Brussels, member states and international organisations.
The World Health Organization is coordinating efforts to tame Ebola, for which there is currently no vaccine nor cure, only therapeutic treatments.
The WHO is due to release its latest findings later Thursday amid hopes experimental vaccines now being tested could be available early next year.
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Cyprus president briefly hospitalised at EU summit

Cyprus president briefly hospitalised at EU summit

23 October 2014 | 12:19 | FOCUS News Agency
Nicosia. Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades was briefly hospitalised with high blood pressure on Thursday in Brussels after flying in for an EU summit, the government said, AFP reported.
"After prolonged nosebleeds the president of the republic was admitted early in the morning (Thursday) to a hospital in Brussels where it was found that the incident is due to high blood pressure," an official statement said.
The 68-year-old Greek Cypriot leader was discharged several hours later after receiving treatment and told to stay at his Brussels hotel to be closely monitored by a doctor, government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said.
At the summit, Anastasiades had been expected to condemn the entry of a Turkish survey ship into Cyprus's exclusive economic zone where Nicosia has licensed multinational firms to explore for energy reserves.
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Number of Ebola cases nears 10,000

Number of Ebola cases nears 10,000

23 October 2014 | 10:24 | FOCUS News Agency
Geneva. The number of people with Ebola is set to hit 10,000 in West Africa, the World Health Organization said, as the scramble to find a cure gathered pace, AFP reported.
The UN's public health body said 9,936 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone - the three countries at the epicentre of the world's worst-ever Ebola epidemic - have contracted the disease. In total, 4,877 people have so far died.
With experts warning the rate of infections could reach 10,000 a week by early December, researchers around the world are scrambling to beat the tropical fever, for which there is currently no licensed treatment or vaccine.
The figures were released as the WHO in Geneva on Wednesday held its third round of emergency talks on Ebola, discussing efforts to combat the tropical fever. A press conference will be held Thursday following the end of the talks.
The talks are expected to last two days.
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EU summit tackles climate change, Ebola

EU summit tackles climate change, Ebola

23 October 2014 | 08:11 | FOCUS News Agency
Brussels. European Union leaders meet at a summit in Brussels Thursday aimed at clinching a high-stakes deal on combating climate change and boosting efforts to fight the deadly Ebola virus, AFP reported.
The heads of state and government from the 28-member EU will also search during the two-day meeting for ways to foster economic growth and jobs amid fears of a triple-dip recession.
The main focus on Thursday will be on an ambitious package of climate change targets for 2030, but the leaders face 11th-hour differences over how member states share the burden.
Draft conclusions for the summit seen by AFP call for cutting greenhouse gases by 40 percent over 1990 levels, making renewables account for 27 percent of energy use and setting an energy savings target of 30 percent.
But there are objections all round the table, especially from coal-reliant Poland which says the cost of updating its power plants is too high, and from Portugal, which wants closer cross-border energy infrastructure.
"There are still difficult issues which need to be resolved. We will see if we manage to do that," a German government source told reporters on condition of anonymity.
But other European sources were more upbeat.
"There is no agreement yet but I think the differences of opinion have been narrowed down to a couple of outstanding issues which will be settled by the leaders on Thursday night," said one source.
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At least four months to contain Ebola: Red Cross chief

At least four months to contain Ebola: Red Cross chief

22 October 2014 | 10:57 | FOCUS News Agency
Beijing. The Ebola epidemic will take at least four months to contain even if all necessary steps are taken, the global head of the Red Cross said Wednesday, warning of "the price for inaction", AFP reported.
The deadliest-ever outbreak of the haemorrhagic fever has claimed more than 4,500 lives in West Africa, and experts warn the rate of infections could reach 10,000 a week by early December.
There is no licensed vaccine or cure for Ebola, which has also spread in several isolated cases among health workers in Spain and the United States.
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Ebola serum for Africa patients within weeks, says WHO

Ebola serum for Africa patients within weeks, says WHO

22 October 2014 | 06:04 | FOCUS News Agency
Geneva. Speaking in Geneva, Dr Marie Paule Kieny said work was also advancing quickly to get drugs and a vaccine ready for January 2015.
The Ebola outbreak has already killed more than 4,500 people, BBC reports.
Most of the deaths have been in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Dr Kieny, WHO assistant director general for health system and innovation, said: "There are partnerships which are starting to be put in place to have capacity in the three countries to safely extract plasma and make preparation that can be used for the treatment of infective patients.
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Spain nurse definitively cured of Ebola: doctors

Spain nurse definitively cured of Ebola: doctors

21 October 2014 | 18:38 | FOCUS News Agency
Madrid. A Spanish nurse who was the first person to catch Ebola outside Africa has been cured of the deadly virus according to definitive test results, doctors said Tuesday, as quoted by AFP.
"The criteria set by the World Health Organization for curing the Ebola virus have been fulfilled... She is now cured," Doctor Jose Ramon Arribas, head of the Carlos III hospital's infectious diseases unit, told a news conference.
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Ebola tops EU meeting with warnings crisis is at 'tipping point'

Ebola tops EU meeting with warnings crisis is at 'tipping point'

20 October 2014 | 06:13 | FOCUS News Agency
Luxembourg. European foreign ministers gather in Luxembourg Monday to try and formalise a joint EU response to combat the Ebola virus amid diplomatic warnings the crisis has reached a "tipping point", AFP reported.
The ministers will meet hours after it was announced that a Spanish nurse who was the first person outside Africa to be infected had tested negative for the virus.
Ahead of the talks, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the bloc should consider sending "a civilian EU mission" to west Africa.
"This would offer a platform to (EU) member states" to send medical staff to the region, he said at a health forum in Berlin.
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Spanish nurse tests negative for Ebola

Spanish nurse tests negative for Ebola

20 October 2014 | 02:50 | FOCUS News Agency
Madrid. A Spanish nurse who became the first person outside Africa to be infected with Ebola on Sunday tested negative for the virus, Madrid said, as Liberia's president made an impassioned plea for all nations to help fight the disease.
Teresa Romero, who was hospitalised in Madrid on October 6, will have to undergo a second test before she can be declared free of the deadly virus, the Spanish government said, quoted by AFP.
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The Times of Israel: PM says Iran poses greater global threat than IS

The Times of Israel: PM says Iran poses greater global threat than IS

20 October 2014 | 00:16 | FOCUS News Agency
Tel Aviv. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Sunday that the Iranian nuclear deal poses a greater threat to the world than the Islamic State group’s militants, The Times of Israel reports.
“We are facing the danger of an agreement with the world powers that will leave Iran as a nuclear threshold state, with thousands of centrifuges with which Iran will be able to make a nuclear bomb in a short time,” Netanyahu said at an event honoring former prime minister Yitzhak Shamir. “This is a threat to the entire world and especially Israel, far more serious that the threat of the Islamic State.”
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Spanish nurse cleared of Ebola: government

Spanish nurse cleared of Ebola: government

19 October 2014 | 23:46 | FOCUS News Agency
Madrid. A Spanish health worker who was the first person to catch Ebola outside of Africa no longer has the virus, according to medical test results Sunday, the government said, cited by AFP.
Teresa Romero, who was hospitalised on October 6 at the Carlos III Hospital in Madrid, has tested negative for the deadly virus, the special committee responsible for monitoring the virus in Spain said in a statement.
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Albania, Serbia postpone visit after brawl

Albania, Serbia postpone visit after brawl

19 October 2014 | 23:03 | FOCUS News Agency
Tirana. A planned visit this week by Albania's prime minister to Serbia, the first in nearly 70 years, has been postponed for next month, after political tensions soared between the two Balkan rivals following a soccer brawl, the Herald Sun learnt.
Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic and Albanian counterpart Edi Rama spoke on the phone and agreed to meet on November 10 instead of Wednesday, according to a statement issued by the Serbian premier's office on Sunday.
"The two prime ministers agreed that they must and will not let go of the opportunity to meet and work for regional stability and to turn a new page regarding the political and economic relations between the two countries," the statement added.
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Germany says Ukraine rebels downed MH17 with seized missiles: report

Germany says Ukraine rebels downed MH17 with seized missiles: report

19 October 2014 | 19:04 | FOCUS News Agency
Berlin. German intelligence has accused pro-Russian rebels of shooting down a Malaysian passenger jet over Ukraine using missiles captured from government forces, a media report said Sunday, AFP announced.
Kiev and the West have previously charged that Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was blown out of the sky in July by separatist fighters using a BUK surface-to-air system supplied by Russia, charges denied by Moscow.
But the head of Germany's BND foreign spy agency Gerhard Schindler said intelligence indicated the rebels had captured a BUK system from a Ukrainian base and fired a missile that exploded directly next to the plane, Spiegel magazine reported.
The Amsterdam-Kuala Lumpur flight crashed on July 17 as it flew over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board, 153 of them Dutch.
Schindler said Russian claims the missile was fired by Ukrainian soldiers and that a Ukrainian fighter jet was flying close to the Malaysia Airlines plane were false, according to Monday's edition of Spiegel.
He also said Ukrainian photos had been "manipulated", the magazine reported but did not elaborate on what the pictures showed, who had provided them or altered them.
Schindler presented his findings to parliament’s control committee overseeing German intelligence work on October 8.
An initial report by Dutch investigators issued last month found that the jet was hit by multiple "high-energy" objects but did not apportion blame.
The Russian-made BUK works by exploding directly outside the target and hitting it with a massive amount of high-velocity shrapnel.
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Albania flag burning in Belgrade aggravates tensions

Albania flag burning in Belgrade aggravates tensions

19 October 2014 | 15:01 | FOCUS News Agency
Tirana. Albania on Sunday condemned the burning of its flag during a football match in Serbia, the latest in a series of incidents aggravating political tensions between Belgrade and Tirana, AFP reported.
The Albanian foreign ministry urged Serbian authorities to bring the preparators to justice and called on "Serbian politicians to distance themselves from those acts that are... harmful for the future and stability of the Balkans."
The incident took place during the match between Serbian first division sides Partizan Belgrade and Red Star Belgrade on Saturday, when Red Star fans were photographed setting fire to an Albanian flag.
The incident further threw into doubt the forthcoming historic visit of Prime Minister Edi Rama to Belgrade, the first by an Albanian prime minister in 68 years.
Rama was due in Belgrade on Wednesday, but there were already questions over whether the visit would go ahead after the violent end of a Serbia-Albania football match on October 14.
The Euro 2016 qualifying tie in the Serbian capital had to be abandoned after a drone carried a pro-Albanian flag over the stadium, sparking a brawl on the pitch.
European football's governing body UEFA has opened a formal probe into both Serbia and Albania over the violence.
Serbian leaders labelled the incident a planned "political provocation."
Rama said on Friday he had decided to travel to Belgrade, but his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic was still undecided whether to allow the visit.
Belgrade accused Rama's brother of controlling the drone from his seat in the stadium's executive box. But Olsi Rama, who later returned to Tirana with the Albanian team to a hero's welcome, denied the claims.
Following the incident, hooligans attacked several ethnic-Albanian owned shops in Serbia, notably in the northern town of Novi Sad. A Molotov cocktail was thrown into one bakery, while several others had their windows broken, local media reported.
Rama's visit was made possible by improved ties between Serbia and its former province of Kosovo, populated mostly by ethnic Albanians.
The 2013 deal between Belgrade and Pristina on normalisation of ties was brokered by the European Union that the former foes, as well as Albania, hope to join.
Kosovo unilaterally declared independence in 2008 despite opposition from Belgrade.
Relations between Tirana and Belgrade have been sensitive over Kosovo and the ethnic Albanian minority in southern Serbia, which often demands more autonomy.
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Obama to name Ron Klain as Ebola czar

Obama to name Ron Klain as Ebola czar

18 October 2014 | 10:30 | FOCUS News Agency
Washington. President Barack Obama ’s decision to name longtime Democratic aide Ron Klain to oversee the administration’s Ebola response creates a new White House position that will largely involve coordinating between agencies and messaging to an increasingly nervous public, not shaping policies to combat the crisis, The Wall Street Journal announced.
The establishment of a so-called “Ebola czar,” announced Friday by the White House, is Mr. Obama’s sharpest response yet to criticism of missteps in the government’s handling of the crisis since a Liberian man was diagnosed with and died from the virus earlier this month after he arrived in the U.S.
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Russia under fire over MH17 crash probe

Russia under fire over MH17 crash probe

17 October 2014 | 13:58 | FOCUS News Agency
Milan. Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop delivered a diplomatic version of the "shirt front" promised by Prime Minister Tony Abott as Russia came under fire over the fate of flight MH17 at the ASEM summit, AFP reported.
In an interview with AFP on Friday, Bishop revealed that she had taken her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov to task on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe gathering.
She said she had bluntly spelled out her government's frustration at what it sees as Moscow's hampering of the Dutch-led probe into the shooting down of the Malaysian airliner over eastern Ukraine in July.
All 298 people on board died, including 38 who were citizens or residents of Australia.
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Serbia: Investigation shows Albanian side wanted to cause disturbances, says interior minister

Serbia: Investigation shows Albanian side wanted to cause disturbances, says interior minister

16 October 2014 | 13:14 | FOCUS News Agency
Belgrade. Mini drone that flew a so-called Greater Albania flag during the football match between Serbia and Albania was found by the police, announced Serbian interior minister Nebojsa Stefanovic, as cited by Serbian online news edition Blic.
According to Stefanovic, the investigation showed the aim of the Albanian side was to cause disturbances in Serbia.
In his words, the only one to blame is the Albanian side that wanted to provoke the Serbian fans.
Stefanovic said further the plan envisaged for disturbances to take place at the stadium and the Albanian leaders’ statements spoke they had been aware a provocation had been in preparation.
”If Albania thinks Greater Albania is a European value, then Serbia cannot share these values in any way,” Stefanovic said.
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Greater Albania project not model of future: Serbia foreign minister

Greater Albania project not model of future: Serbia foreign minister

16 October 2014 | 11:54 | FOCUS News Agency
Belgrade. Belgrade deserves criticism over the organisation of the football match between Serbia and Albania but Tirana deserves to be most vehemently condemned over the open spreading of the Greater Albania project, commented Serbian foreign minister Ivica Dacic, Beta agency reported.
In a comment on Albanian PM Edi Rama Albania was a model inspired by the future, Dacic remarked he did not know that Greater Albania was a model of the future.
”This could only be a desire of the Greater-Albania politicians but for the EU, the USA and all countries in the region this is a project of the past,” the minister said.
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Serbia-Albania football match abandoned after accident (ROUNDUP)

Serbia-Albania football match abandoned after accident (ROUNDUP)

16 October 2014 | 01:09 | FOCUS News Agency
Belgrade. A mini drone carrying a so-called Greater Albania flag appeared over a stadium in the Serbian capital city Belgrade in the course of a Euro 2016 qualification match between the national teams of Serbia and Albania on Tuesday evening, which resulted in a brawl and the subsequent abandonment of the match.
The accident was widely covered by domestic and foreign media.

***
The brother of Albania's Prime Minister was arrested in Belgrade on Tuesday night, accused of starting the trouble that caused the abandonment of the Euro 2016 qualifier between Serbia and Albania, Serbian state television RTS reported, cited by AFP.
RTS cited the Serbian Interior Ministry to say that Olsi Rama, controlled a drone, from his seat in an executive box in the stadium, carrying a 'Greater Albanian' flag which flew over the pitch, triggering clashes between the two teams as some of the 20,000 home fans tried to assault Albanian players.
The incident, in the 41st minute of the Group I encounter at which Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic was also in attendance, led to its abandonment with the score still goalless. Serbian fans hurled smoke bombs and other missiles onto the pitch in protest in a game from which Albanian fans had been barred by the Serbian federation on Sunday.
This incident comes just days before the highly sensitive visit of Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, the first such visit in 68 years.

***
Brother of Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, Olsi Rama, who had been arrested over a Serbia-Albania Euro 2016 qualifier match that ended in a scuffle between players, was freed and left the country, Serbian online news edition Blic reported.
Blic informed Olsi Rama was arrested last night at the executive box at the stadium of FC Partizan during the match.
Upon being arrested, he told the police officers he was an American citizen and they could do nothing to him.
He is accused of causing the accident that led to the abandonment of the match.
It is reported a mini drone carrying a so-called Greater Albania flag appeared over the stadium in the course of the match.
While arresting Rama, the law-enforcement officers also found the remote control that navigated the drone.
A fight between the football players of the two teams also broke.

***
The Greater Albania flag that flew over the stadium in Belgrade was seen by Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic and 7 million Serbs, the Presheva Jone newspaper of Novi Pazar writes, as cited by Serbian online news edition Telegraf.
According to it, all the Albanian-language media in the region criticised Serbia over the accident.
Most of them published a photomontage which depicted Nikolic looking at the Greater Albania flag with concern.

***
The sportspeople involved in the brawl were also cited.
The Albanian football players said their reaction of wanting to save their own flag was normal, Serbian online news edition Mondo reported.
Mondo informs Albanian players Etrit Berisha and Bekim Balaj were the only ones that wished to speak with journalists.
”We do not fell well in this difficult situation but everything is now alright and we are looking only ahead,” Berisha said.
Bekim Balaj, who was the first one to attempt to save the flag, said he had not been afraid at any point.
”Everyone would do that for their flag,” Balaj said.
The news edition says the flag depicts territories of neighbouring countries, including such of Serbia.
The accident occurred when a Serbian player pulled down the flag flown on the mini drone and Albanian footballer attempted to take it.
Fans reacted to this and rushed into the pitch.

***
The accident also attracted politicians’ attention.
Serbia left a bad impression during the match in Belgrade. Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama made the comment, after the match came to a halt, Serbian radio station b92 reported.
B92 also said Rama, whose brother caused the accident by navigating the mini drone over the stadium, is due to visit Belgrade next week.
”We take pride in the red and black [players], [it was] until there was football and chance [were stood]. Unfortunately, the neighbours left a bad impression,” Rama said.
A Serbian official also commented on the accident.
The accident during the match between Serbia and Albania is a meaningful and planned in advance political provocation, said Serbian foreign minister Ivica Dacic, b92 radio station reported.
In his words, Serbia bears no responsibility for the halting of the match.
”This has not happened at any football match so far. It was prepared in advance. How the EU and UEFA would react is a main matter for me as if anyone from Serbia waved a Greater Serbia flag in Pristina or Tirana, this would be an item on the agenda of the UN Security Council. The fact in the case the brother of the Albanian Prime Minister, who was supposed to be a guest, is concerned, is particularly controversial. All that makes the case a political one and it concerns a political provocation,” Dacic commented.
A Macedonia MP referred to the accident, too.
Serbia is responsible for the clashes during the football match in Belgrade. This was stated by Artan Grubi, Macedonian MP and Head of the Cabinet of the governing party Democratic Union for Integration, reported the electronic edition Telegraf. Grubi who was at the stadium, announced that the Serbians were shouting “Kill the Shqiptars”. The situation was quite tense, said Grubi. On the question how he would comment the flag of Great Albania waved at the stadium, Grubi emphasized: It’s not flags that evoke hatred but people. He further pointed that there were more people than it was expected and some were unable to enter the stadium.
These people were there to make provications; they were shouting “Kill the Shqiptars’’ and ‘’Slaughter the Shqiptars”. Fortunately, there were no Albanians at the stadium, concluded Grubi.

***
The match might have been an unfortunate one but it caused joy in at least 2 countries – Macedonia and Albania.
Albanians from Tetovo and Struga celebrated the accident in which footballers and fans fought, Macedonian online news edition Plus Info reported.
It informs Albanian flags were noticed and there were chants of ”Greater Albania”.
No accidents occurred during the celebrations.
After the interruption of the match between Albania and Serbia, the Albanian national team set off to the airport in good spirits, reported the electronic edition Blic. The players reached the airport escorted by the local police and officers of the Special Forces. The edition further commented that the team was welcomed by thousands of fans in Tirana.
The Sverceri fan club from Skopje waved the flag of the so-called Greater Albania during the match, Macedonian online news edition reported Utrinski Vesnik reported later although it has not been yet officially announced who is responsible for the accident.
According to it, they flew the mini drone over the stadium.
They posted on Facebook: ”Greetings from Skopje, deeds [are needed], not words”.
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Palestinian official likens Netanyahu to IS leader

Palestinian official likens Netanyahu to IS leader

30 September 2014 | 18:08 | FOCUS News Agency
Ramallah. A senior Palestinian official on Tuesday likened Benjamin Netanyahu to the leader of the Islamic State group, after the Israeli prime minister compared Hamas to the jihadist organisation, AFP reported.
"Netanyahu is trying to disseminate fear of the Islamic State led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, but Netanyahu forgets that he himself leads the Jewish state," said Saeb Erakat, the Palestinians' chief negotiator in peace talks with Israel.
"He wants us to call Israel the Jewish state and supports terrorist settlers who kill, destroy and burn mosques and churches... like Baghdadi's men kill and terrorise," Erakat told AFP.
Addressing the UN General Assembly on Monday, Netanyahu compared Israel's battle against Hamas to that of the US-led one against the brutal IS jihadists in Iraq and Syria.
With his speech at the United Nations, "Netanyahu finally closed the door on progress towards a two-state solution within the 1967 borders and rejected any serious political solution" in the peace talks, said Erakat.
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Families of German MH17 victims to sue Ukraine: lawyer

Families of German MH17 victims to sue Ukraine: lawyer

21 September 2014 | 14:09 | FOCUS News Agency
Berlin. Relatives of German victims of downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 plan to sue Ukraine and its president for criminal negligence for not closing the country's airspace, a lawyer said Sunday, AFP reported.
Elmar Giemulla, an attorney and professor of aviation law who is representing three German families, said he would file suit soon before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
"Every country bears the responsibility for the security of its airspace," he wrote in a statement sent to AFP.
"By keeping its airspace open for transit by aircraft from other countries, the state must ensure the safety of the flights. If this is temporarily impossible, it means that it should close its airspace."
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Experts identify a total of 224 MH17 crash victims

Experts identify a total of 224 MH17 crash victims

19 September 2014 | 17:09 | FOCUS News Agency
Moscow. Specialists have already identified 224 victims of the MH17 flight crash in Ukraine, Ukrainian agency UNN reported Friday.
“Malaysian Minister of Transport Liow Tiong Lai said Thursday that the Dutch forensic experts have identified the remains of 224 victims of the plane crash, and experts are working on identification of another 74 victims. Furthermore, he added that five Malaysians were among the recently identified victims,” UNN reported.
On July 17, Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in Ukraine's eastern region of Donetsk, killing all 298 people on board.
The reason for the crash is still a matter of debate. Kiev accuses independence supporters in eastern Ukraine of shooting the plane down, but cannot provide any evidence for this assertion. The local militia leaders say they do not have weapons capable of shooting down a plane flying at 32,000 feet.
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Palestinian teen shot by Israel forces dies of wounds

Palestinian teen shot by Israel forces dies of wounds

7 September 2014 | 17:19 | FOCUS News Agency
Jerusalem. A Palestinian teenager died on Sunday from injuries sustained when he was shot last week by Israeli border police in east Jerusalem, his family and a hospital said, AFP reported.
Mohammed Sinokrot, 16, was wounded by gunfire in the Wadi Joz neighbourhood on August 31.
Police said he was shot in the leg with a foam pellet while rioting, but his family said he was shot in the head on his way to the mosque.
"There were no clashes in the area, he went for night prayers at the mosque and was bringing bread back home," his uncle Muhtadi Sinokrot told AFP.
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Israel issues tenders for 283 homes in W.Bank settlement

Israel issues tenders for 283 homes in W.Bank settlement

5 September 2014 | 11:45 | FOCUS News Agency
Jerusalem. Israel said Friday it published tenders for 283 new homes in a West Bank settlement, just days after announcing its biggest land grab on occupied Palestinian territory for three decades, AFP announced.
The expansion of the Elkana settlement, in the northwest of the West Bank, was approved in January and the tenders published Thursday, Israel's Land Authority said on its website.
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Israel underestimated Gaza militants: top army official

Israel underestimated Gaza militants: top army official

3 September 2014 | 13:21 | FOCUS News Agency
Tel Aviv. A senior army intelligence official has admitted that Israel underestimated the tenacity of Gaza militants and did not expect a 50-day conflict to last so long, but he insisted they were soundly beaten, AFP reported.
The conflict, which ended with a ceasefire last week, killed more than 2,100 Palestinians, as well as 66 soldiers and six civilians on the Israeli side, in the bloodiest battle between the Jewish state and Gaza militants for years.
"If you'd asked me two months ago, I wouldn't assess that it's going to take us 50 days," the official told journalists in English at a briefing in Tel Aviv late Tuesday.
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US urges Israel to reverse Palestinian land-grab plan

US urges Israel to reverse Palestinian land-grab plan

2 September 2014 | 02:57 | FOCUS News Agency
Washington. Israel faced increasing pressure Monday, including from the United States, after saying it plans to expropriate 400 hectares (988 acres) of Palestinian land in the Bethlehem area in the south of the occupied West Bank, AFP reports.

Ally Washington, the United Nations and Egypt all called for an urgent rethink after Sunday's announcement, which angered the Palestinians and alarmed Israeli peace campaigners, and comes days after a long-term ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinians took hold. According to the Israeli military, the land move was a political decision made after the June killing of three Israeli teenagers snatched in the same area, known to Israelis as the Gush Etzion settlement bloc.

"This announcement, like every other settlement announcement Israel makes, planning step they approve, and construction tender they issue, is counterproductive to Israel's stated goal of a negotiated two-state solution with the Palestinians," a US State Department official said. "We urge the government of Israel to reverse this decision."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's policy of settlement expansion on land the Palestinians claim for a future state is deemed illegal by the European Union and an "obstacle to peace" by the United States. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was "alarmed" by Israel's plans, his spokesman said.
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Israel to take over West Bank land

Israel to take over West Bank land

1 September 2014 | 08:01 | FOCUS News Agency
Tel Aviv. Israel has announced plans to expropriate 400 hectares (988 acres) of Palestinian land in the West Bank, BBC reports.
The decision to appropriate land south of Bethlehem is believed to be the largest seizure by Israel in 30 years.
The military-run local administration said it was a response to the kidnapping and killing of three Jewish teenagers in the area in June.
Palestinians said diplomatic action should be taken against Israel. The US urged Israel to reverse the move.
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Israel agreed Gaza truce to focus on jihadist threat: Netanyahu

Israel agreed Gaza truce to focus on jihadist threat: Netanyahu

30 August 2014 | 22:29 | FOCUS News Agency
Jerusalem. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel agreed to a permanent truce in its 50-day Gaza war with Hamas in order to keep focused on the threat from regional militants, AFP reported.
"We fought for 50 days and we could have fought for 500 days, but we are in a situation where the Islamic State is at the gates of Jordan, Al-Qaeda is in the Golan and Hezbollah is at the border with Lebanon," Netanyahu said in an address on public television.
He was referring to Islamic State jihadists in Syria and Iraq - both neighbours of Jordan - Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Nusra Front Syria rebels on the Israeli-annexed Golan and Lebanon's Shiite movement Hezbollah.
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Israel arrests almost 600 Palestinians in August: NGO

Israel arrests almost 600 Palestinians in August: NGO

30 August 2014 | 14:45 | FOCUS News Agency
Ramallah. Israeli forces detained 597 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem in August, raising the number of Palestinians in Israeli prisons to more than 7,000, the Palestinian Prisoners Club said, AFP reported.
The majority of the arrests took place in East Jerusalem and Hebron, which is situated in the south of the West Bank, the NGO, based in Ramallah, said in a statement.
Many were arrested during demonstrations in support of Palestinians in Gaza, which was the focus of a deadly 50-day war between Israel and Hamas, the de facto ruler of Gaza.
Since the June kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in the southern West Bank, at least 2,000 Palestinians have been questioned and detained, according to the NGO.
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Aid flows into Gaza after Israel-Hamas truce

Aid flows into Gaza after Israel-Hamas truce

28 August 2014 | 13:30 | FOCUS News Agency
Gaza City. Vital humanitarian aid was arriving in Gaza Thursday as residents began rebuilding their lives following a devastating 50-day war between Israel and Hamas that experts say left no winners, AFP reported.
Millions in and around the war-torn coastal enclave were enjoying a second day of peace after the guns fell silent following a permanent ceasefire agreement, allowing people to begin putting their lives back together.
The truce, which went into force on Tuesday evening, saw the warring sides agree to a "permanent" halt to seven weeks of bloodshed in a move hailed by Washington, the United Nations and top world diplomats.
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Israel PM: Hamas won none of its demands in Gaza truce

Israel PM: Hamas won none of its demands in Gaza truce

27 August 2014 | 21:18 | FOCUS News Agency
Jerusalem. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday that Islamist foe Hamas had achieved none of its demands in a truce ending 50 days of deadly conflict in Gaza, AFP reported.
"Hamas was hit hard and got none of its demands," Netanyahu said at a news conference in Jerusalem.
"Hamas wanted a port and airport in Gaza, the liberation of Palestinian prisoners, the mediation of Qatar and Turkey and the payment of salaries for its employees.
"But it got nothing."
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PICTURE OF THE DAY
Thick smog in the Chinese city Harbin.
Thick smog in the Chinese city Harbin.

VIDEO OF THE DAY
Trakia Motorway after the snowfall. October 25 2014.
Trakia Motorway after the snowfall. October 25 2014.
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