Albania fires coach after losing at home against Turkey
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian coach Christian Panucci has been fired a day after his team lost to Turkey in a European Championship qualifier.
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian authorities say they have arrested an Indian citizen wanted in his country for money laundering.
A statement Friday by Albanian police said the individual,...
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Several thousand opposition protesters tried to enter Albania's parliament building Thursday calling for the government's resignation and an early election.
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — The Albanian president said Wednesday he would be ready to resign from his post — or even to kill himself — if it would help resolve his country's political...
Albanian anti-govt protesters try to storm parliament
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian opposition supporters clashed with police while trying to storm the parliament building Saturday to protest the government, which they accuse of being corrupt and...
US urges Albania opposition to act peacefully at rally
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — The United States has warned Albania's opposition against using or inciting violence at a rally this weekend.
The center-right Democratic Party-led opposition is...
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — The leaders of both Albania and North Macedonia say they believe that the European Union will decide in June to open membership talks with them.
Expert urges UN remedies for lead poisoning victims
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — A human rights expert on Wednesday urged the United Nations to take "immediate action" to provide justice and remedies to displaced minority communities in Kosovo who were...
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — The Albanian soccer federation says matches may resume this week after a meeting with the government that pledged close cooperation to fight violence in...
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — The Albanian soccer federation says it has suspended league matches following the referee association's decision to boycott because of violence against one of their...
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Soccer referees in Albania plan to boycott league matches until they're satisfied they can do their jobs safely.
The referees' association issued a statement Thursday...
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Thousands of protesters supporting Albania's opposition on Tuesday surrounded the parliament, demanding the government's resignation and early elections and accusing the...
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Kosovo's president has rejected any idea of a land swap with Serbia.
Hashim Thaci said Friday in the Albanian capital Tirana that "a land swap would never...
Albania ex-minister denies drug traffic, crime charges
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — A former Albanian interior minister accused of links to drug trafficking has denied charges of being part of organized crime rings.
EU lawmakers: Albania opposition fight damages path to bloc
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — A group of European Parliament lawmakers on Thursday strongly denounced the resignation of Albania's opposition from parliament and violence in recent protests.
North Macedonia, Albania to support each other in EU bids
SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) — North Macedonia and Albania have agreed to support each other in their bids to join the European Union, with the neighbors hoping to open accession talks this...
Albania opposition protests against governing Socialists
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Supporters of Albania's opposition threw flares and torched a car tire outside the country's parliament Tuesday in an attempt to block ruling lawmakers entering the building...
Albanian military finds hand grenade cache in northern town
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's Defense Ministry says it has found scores of hand grenades in a northern city that are believed to have been looted from army depots in 1997 during civil unrest...
Albanian opposition holds anti-govt rally, demands new vote
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Thousands of protesters supporting Albania's opposition surrounded the parliament building Thursday and demanded the government step down, claiming it's corrupt and has...
EU, US call on Albania opposition to avoid violence in rally
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — The European Union and the United States have warned Albania's opposition against violence and its lawmakers not to boycott parliament over the government's alleged...
Opposition lawmakers plan to leave Albania’s parliament
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's center-right opposition party says its 33 lawmakers plan to resign from parliament over alleged corruption and inefficiency of the country's Socialist government.
Democratic Party leader Lulzim Basha said Monday the parliamentary group decided to hand in their mandates. Basha asked for a transition government to be put in place until an early election is held.
Opposition supporters clash with police in Albania
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Thousands of Albanian opposition supporters clashed with police Saturday at an anti-government rally protesting what they claim is a corrupt and inefficient Cabinet. The protesters demanded that the government resign and an early election be held.
Lawmaker throws ink, disrupts Albania parliament session
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's parliament on Thursday suspended a session on neighbor North Macedonia's accession to NATO after an opposition lawmaker threw ink at the prime minister.
Lawmakers were to vote to ratify North Macedonia's NATO accession. But the session was disrupted when Lulzim Basha, main opposition center-right Democratic party leader, harshly criticized the leftist government for corruption.
Albania police arrest Kosovar for terror groups membership
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian police say a Kosovo citizen has been arrested on suspicion of participating in terror groups.
A statement Wednesday said that the 32-year-old suspect, identified as F.D., was arrested while trying to leave Albania with a false Macedonian passport at the Vlore port.
The statement said that Kosovo police had issued an international arrest warrant accusing the suspect of organization and participation in terror groups, without giving details.
Woman shares message of forgiveness after husband killed
NORWALK, Conn. (AP) — For four years, Elona Prroj's husband, Tani, spent his days hiding in their northern Albanian home. In 2010, Tani's uncle killed another man during an argument and the slaying sparked a "blood feud" between the families, an ancient conflict that involves retaliatory killings.
Elona and Tani, both pastors, found themselves leading church from their home. After four years in hiding, Tani felt the need to break free. The family decided to move to England.
Macedonia’s fugitive ex-PM claims he feared for his life
SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) — Former Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, who dominated politics in his country for a decade and is now a fugitive from justice, says he fled to Hungary fearing for his life.
Gruevski, 48, turned up at the Hungarian embassy in Tirana, Albania, last November, requesting asylum hours before he was due to begin serving a 2-year jail sentence for corruption.
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Albania police arrest 32 in counterfeit travel visa scheme
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian police have cracked down a suspected visa ring issuing fake documents to help people illegally go to Western European countries, Britain, the United States and Canada.
A police statement Saturday said 32 people, including a border policeman, were arrested and four others are still being sought. Police also seized four workshops with equipment to produce fake documents to traffic people through Albania, Montenegro, Italy, Greece, France or Norway.
6 Kosovars jailed for joining terror groups
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — A Kosovo court on Tuesday convicted a man for participating in terror groups in Syria and jailed him for five years.
The Pristina court said the man, identified only as M.D., went to Turkey with his wife and son in March 2013 and later crossed into neighboring Syria to join fighters of the Islamic State group.
In August 2017 he handed himself over to Turkish authorities, asking to be returned home.
It is not clear whether the verdict will be appealed.
Albania opposition leader fined for defaming ruling lawmaker
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — An Albanian court has convicted the main opposition Democratic Party leader of defamation over drug-related allegations he made against a senior governing lawmaker.
Democratic leader Lulzim Basha was fined 50,000 lek ($455) in a ruling by a Tirana district court judge on Monday.
Albania parliament backs government reshuffle
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's parliament has backed a government reshuffle in a vote called by the prime minister after the country's president refused to accept his nominee for the foreign minister.
The parliament, dominated by the governing Socialist Party of Prime Minister Edi Rama, on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly for the nomination of nine new ministers.
Kosovars remember 45 killed by Serb forces 20 years ago
RECAK, Kosovo (AP) — Thousands gathered Tuesday in the southern Kosovo village of Recak to mark 20 years since 45 ethnic Albanians were slain by Serb forces in a mass killing that sparked international anger.
The killings were a major factor in NATO's decision to launch an air campaign to end Kosovo's 1998-99 war.
Albania’s PM to hold foreign minister’s post
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's prime minister says he will take over the foreign ministry himself after the country's president refused to accept his nominee for the post.
Edi Rama on Monday tweeted that he will keep the post, and also threatened to take President Ilir Meta to the Constitutional Court.
Meta did not approve Rama's nominee, saying he does not meet standards, and also has not accepted the removal of the previous minister, without explaining why.
Avalanches, accidents bring Europe’s winter death toll to 21
BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Heavy snow paralyzed much of Europe for yet another day, cutting off mountain villages, sparking avalanches like one that crashed into a Swiss hotel and killing at least four more people Friday.
Earth quake rattles Albania, 5 homes damaged, no injuries
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian authorities say an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.8 has struck off the country's southwestern coast, causing material damage but no injuries.
Albania’s PM makes Cabinet reshuffle after student protest
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's prime minister has shuffled his Cabinet in response to a students' protest and complaints of corruption and inefficiency from the opposition.
Edi Rama's move on Friday replaced eight out of 15 members of the Cabinet — including the finance and foreign ministers — with other officials or lawmakers.
Rama also replaced his deputy Senida Mesi with Erjon Brace, a lawmaker.
Kosovo police officer, bank robber killed in shootout
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Police in Kosovo say that an officer and a bank robber have been killed during a shootout.
A police statement says a man identified as K.M., 50, opened fire on two police officers responding to a robbery Thursday at a bank branch in Istog, 80 kilometers (50 miles) west of the capital, Pristina.
The robber had also held two people as hostages during the robbery. Police found a hand grenade, a pistol and an AK-47 automatic rifle with him.
4 media organizations ask Albania to drop online media laws
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Four international media organizations have called on the Albanian government to drop two draft laws on state regulation and compulsory registration of online media to fight fake news.
Albania’s government fulfills demands of boycotting students
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's government says it has fulfilled the demands of public university students, who boycotted classes for more than two weeks this month.
A statement Wednesday said the Cabinet held an extraordinary meeting and decided to meet all the students' requests.
Students had boycotted lessons for more than two weeks, pledging to resume protests in January.
Albanian navy extends help for EU’s maritime border mission
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's Defense Ministry has extended for a year its navy's participation in the search-and-rescue operations of European Union border control force Frontex.
Defense Minister Olta Xhacka on Wednesday said the mission, mainly in the Aegean Sea, will continue in 2019. Albania's navy contributes one warship to the operations.
Xhacka said Albanian sailors have "saved thousands of human lives" during the last two years when refugees have tried to cross from Turkey to Greece.
Kosovo leader stands firm on land swap talks with Serbia
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Kosovo's government says that a proposed border swap with Serbia isn't negotiable.
Following a meeting on Wednesday, Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj said he would "welcome any idea or suggestion for the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue but a land swap never will be negotiated."
The European Union has told Serbia and Kosovo they must normalize their ties to have a chance to join the bloc.
Kosovo man charged with joining terror groups
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Kosovo prosecutors have charged a citizen for joining the Islamic State terror group in Syria as a foreign fighter.
A prosecutor's office statement Thursday said the man, identified only as M.D., went to the Turkish city of Istanbul together with his wife and son in 2013.
He moved to Kilis and then to Gaziantep, close to the Syrian border, where he joined IS.
Trump thanks Albania for expelling Iranian diplomats
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — U.S. President Donald Trump has thanked Albania for expelling the Iranian ambassador and another diplomat for allegedly engaging in illegal activities that threaten Albania's security.
Trump's letter to Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, dated Dec. 14, thanked him "for your steadfast efforts to stand up to Iran and to counter its destabilizing activities and efforts to silence dissidents around the globe."
Albania opposition ends boycott, eggs prime minister
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's opposition center-right Democratic Party has returned to parliament for the first time since July — and almost immediately one of its lawmakers threw an egg at the prime minister.
Opposition lawmaker Endri Hasa on Thursday was seen throwing the egg at Edi Rama's belly while he was speaking. The leadership expelled Hasa for 10 days.
The opposition has been boycotting parliament since the summer break.
Iran blames US, Israel after Albania expels diplomats
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran is blaming the United States and Israel for Albania's expulsion of two Iranian diplomats accused of engaging in criminal activities that threatened the small European country's security.
The official IRNA news agency quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi as saying "Albania has become an unintentional victim of the United States, Israel and some terrorists groups."
Albania expels 2 Iranian diplomats for security reasons
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania said Wednesday that it has expelled two Iranian diplomats for allegedly engaging in illegal activities that threaten the country's security.
A spokesman from the Foreign Ministry told The Associated Press that the two diplomats were expelled for "violating their diplomatic status." The spokesman said the move followed talks with other countries, including Israel.
Head of top Albanian court fired over unaccounted-for income
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — The head of Albania's top court has been removed after he failed to account for his income.
A vetting commission checking his personal and professional background decided Monday to discharge Bashkim Dedja from the position of head of the Constitutional Court.
The nine-member court is currently unable to function as eight of its judges have been removed from duty in the vetting process.
Kosovo PM: Independence fighters must not fear Hague court
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Kosovo's prime minister said Wednesday that former independence fighters should not humiliate Kosovo by hiding, impeding or avoiding justice.
Ramush Haradinaj, himself a former commander of the 1998-99 war for independence against Serbia, wrote on Facebook that the struggle was "clean and sacred."
The war ended with a 78-day NATO air campaign in June 1999 that stopped a Serbian crackdown against the ethnic Albanian separatists.
Kosovo’s plan to build an army revives old Balkan tensions
BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Kosovo is moving to build itself a regular army, angering neighboring Serbia enough to talk of military intervention — a seemingly empty threat.
In a vote set for Friday, Kosovo's 120-seat parliament is expected to approve draft government-submitted legislation to turn an existing 4,000-strong paramilitary force, known as the Kosovo Security Force, into an expanded, lightly armed army.