BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — The white supremacist suspected in the mosque shootings that left at least 50 people dead in New Zealand had traveled to the Balkans in the past three years, where he...
The Latest: Death toll in mosque attacks rises to 50
CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) — The Latest on shootings at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand (all times local):
Stoltenberg: NATO doesn’t want a new Cold War
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — NATO's secretary-general warned Friday that Russia's violation of a key Cold War-era treaty is one of the most pressing security challenges for the alliance.
Bulgaria proceeds with plans to build Turk Stream extension
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgaria's state-run gas network operator Bulgartransgaz is relaunching a 1.4 billion euro ($1.6 billion) tender to expand the country's gas transport system from Turkey to...
EU to help finance Turkish rail line to Bulgaria
ISTANBUL (AP) — A top European Union official says the EU will help finance the construction of a railway line connecting Istanbul to the Bulgarian border with a 275-million-euro ($314 million)...
Canceled World Cup race in Bulgaria will not be rescheduled
BANSKO, Bulgaria (AP) — The men's World Cup super-G that was canceled due to snowfall Saturday will not be replaced.
FIS men's race director Markus Waldner says "there is no more time" in...
Bulgarian nationalists march in honor of pro-Nazi general
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgarian nationalists have marched through Sofia, the country's capital, to honor a World War II general known for his anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi activities.
The annual Lukov March, staged by the far-right Bulgarian National Union, attracted hundreds of dark-clad supporters who walked through downtown Sofia holding torches and Bulgarian flags and chanting nationalist slogans.
World Jewish Congress concerned about neo-Nazism in Europe
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — The World Jewish Congress is voicing concern about the rise of far-right activities across Europe attempting to promote anti-Semitism, hatred, xenophobia, and Nazi glorification among young people.
Investigative group names possible UK poisoning suspect
MOSCOW (AP) — The Bellingcat investigative organization says it has established the identity of an alleged Russian military intelligence officer who was in Britain when a Russian former double agent and his daughter were poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok.
Bellingcat on Thursday identified the man as Denis Sergeyev, a graduate of the Military Diplomatic Academy, a training ground for intelligence officers.
Bulgaria freezes accounts receiving millions from Venezuela
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Officials in Bulgaria say they have frozen several bank accounts that received millions of euros transferred from Venezuela's state-owned oil company.
Chief prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov said Wednesday that the money was meant to be eventually sent to accounts abroad.
"All measures have been taken so that the funds that are still in the accounts ... will be fully under our control and not leave the country on false grounds," he said.
Bulgaria, UK to investigate possible poisoning links
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgaria and Britain said Monday they will jointly investigate possible connections between a poison attack on a Russian ex-spy in England that has been blamed on Russian military intelligence and the poisoning of the Bulgarian owner of an arms factory in 2015.
Bulgaria to investigate 3rd suspect in UK ex-spy poisoning
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgaria plans to investigate reports that a third suspect in the nerve agent poisoning of a Russian ex-spy in England allegedly was involved in a 2015 poisoning in Bulgaria, a Bulgarian party official said Sunday.
Tsvetan Tsvetanov of the ruling GERB party said the probe was being coordinated with foreign partners. He told Bulgaria's bTV channel that intelligence officials plan to present evidence on the topic Thursday to a parliamentary homeland security committee.
Macedonia’s leader hopes EU membership talks start in June
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Macedonia's prime minister says he hopes his country can launch membership talks with the European Union in June now that an agreement to end a dispute with Greece has been ratified.
Zoran Zaev negotiated a deal with his Greek counterpart last year that called for Macedonia to be renamed North Macedonia in return for Greece lifting objections to its neighbor joining NATO and the EU.
Bulgaria still hopes to adopt euro by 2022
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgaria's prime minister said Tuesday that his country still aims to adopt the euro by 2022 despite some opposition by some local businesses that fear greater scrutiny of the economy.
Bulgaria revokes citizenship for Russian millionaire Adonev
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — A Bulgarian official says the Bulgarian citizenship of Russian millionaire Sergey Adonev has been revoked over a 20-year-old fraud conviction in the United States.
In an interview with the private bTV channel on Sunday, Bulgarian Vice President Iliana Yotova said she had signed the final document revoking Adonev's citizenship in May 2018. According to Bulgarian law, her office has the final say about granting or revoking citizenship.
Bulgaria makes terror financing arrests across the country
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Police in Bulgaria says they have busted a suspected terrorism financing ring and detained 43 people in raids across the country.
Deputy Chief Prosecutor Ivan Geshev told reporters on Friday that one of the suspects was a Syrian citizen permanently residing in Bulgaria who allegedly transferred money to people abroad linked to international extremist groups.
Bulgaria’s parliament OKs talks with US on F-16 jet deal
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgaria's Parliament has approved a government plan to open talks with the United States on a deal for eight new F-16 fighter jets to replace its aging Russian MiG-29s and bring its air force in line with NATO standards.
Parliament on Wednesday approved the plan in a 130-84 vote after a long, heated debate. Supporters called it a strategic choice for the country, while opponents voiced fears that the jets would be too expensive.
Bulgaria’s oldest city honored as European culture capital
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Plovdiv, the oldest city in Bulgaria, has been officially inaugurated as the European Capital of Culture for 2019.
Some 50,000 people gathered on a main square Saturday to watch the opening show dubbed "We are all colors" with 1,500 local and foreign artists on several stages. The entertainment included traditional Bulgarian folk dancers, 200 choir singers, a brass orchestra and a musical and laser spectacle.
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.
Christians celebrate Epiphany across Europe
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Christians across Europe celebrated Epiphany on Sunday, with worshippers plunging into icy waters and parades being held in Poland and elsewhere.
At the Vatican, Pope Francis marked the Epiphany feast day by urging people to follow the path of "humble love" and care for those who can give nothing back.
The Latest: Hundreds of thousands in Polish Epiphany parades
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — The Latest on Epiphany celebrations (all times local):
Organizers say that hundreds of thousands of people have participated in colorful Epiphany processions in more than 700 locations across predominantly Catholic Poland.
Around 40,000 people of all ages, wearing paper crowns, walked in the procession in downtown Warsaw that included actors richly dressed as the three wise men, and a paper dragon.
Dimitrov, Raonic win 1st round matches at Brisbane
BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov and Canada's Milos Roanic ensured no slip ups in their final outing of 2018 by having straight-set victories in their respective first round matches at the Brisbane International on Monday.
Modric wins Balkan award ahead of Djokovic and Halep
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Croatia soccer star Luka Modric has been chosen Balkan athlete of the year.
Modric won the Champions League with Real Madrid and then guided Croatia to the World Cup final in July, where the midfielder was voted player of the tournament. He also won the prestigious Ballon d'Or for the first time earlier in December.
Tennis great Novak Djokovic of Serbia was second in the Balkan poll, and Romania's Simona Halep third.
UEFA fines 3 clubs for breaking financial fair play rules
NYON, Switzerland (AP) — UEFA has fined three clubs for breaking "Financial Fair Play" rules and threatened two of them with a one-season ban from the Champions League or Europa League.
European soccer's governing body says Vardar and Levski Sofia must each pay 100,000 euros ($114,000), and Sporting Lisbon 50,000 euros ($57,000).
Correction: Vatican-Bulgaria-Macedonia story
VATICAN CITY (AP) — In a story Dec. 13 about the pope's May travel schedule, The Associated Press reported erroneously that Bulgaria is a former Soviet republic. During the Cold War, Bulgaria was one of the Soviet allies that formed the Warsaw Pact.
A corrected version of the story is below:
Pope to visit Bulgaria, Macedonia in May in busy travel year
The Latest: Austrian police stop van with 22 Iraqis, Syrians
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — The Latest on Europe's migrant crisis (all times local):
Austrian police say they have found 22 asylum-seekers from Iraq and Syria in a van near the country's eastern border.
Police in Burgenland province said the Romanian-registered van was stopped Tuesday evening at Rattersdorf, on the border with Hungary.
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Bulgarian police seize huge amount of weapons during raids
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgarian authorities say they have seized a huge amount of weapons and munitions during police raids in the capital Sofia and a small village in central Bulgaria.
Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said the amount of high quality weapons confiscated by police exceeded that available to the country's special force unit.
Bulgaria won’t sign global migration pact
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgaria's government says the country will not sign a global pact to promote safe and orderly migration.
The government's press office said in a Wednesday statement: "At this stage, the Bulgarian government believes that the decision not to join the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration protects to the fullest extent the interests of the country and its citizens."
Bulgaria prepares to pump Russian gas to Central Europe
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgaria moved on Friday to revive a gas pipeline project that would pump Russian gas through its territory to Central Europe.
Parliament on Friday approved a new national energy strategy that includes plans for the construction of a new gas pipeline that could be linked to Gazprom's TurkStream project. Its two pipelines are designed to carry 15.7 billion cubic meters of Russian gas across the Black Sea.
Bulgarian miners protest to demand job security
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Hundreds of Bulgarian coal miners and energy workers protested on Thursday to demand government guarantees that their jobs will be preserved amid bids by the European Union to close mines and tackle climate change.
Buses carried protesters from across Bulgaria for the march in downtown Sofia, where some 2,000 demonstrators chanted "victory" as they marched to the headquarters of the EU offices in Bulgaria and rallied there Thursday.
Bulgarian Parliament replaces vice-premier over public anger
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — The Bulgarian Parliament has approved the resignation of Deputy Prime Minister Valeri Simeonov after a month of street protests over his remarks about disabled people.
In a 116-62 vote on Wednesday, the chamber approved Simeonov's resignation and elected Mariana Nikolova to replace him.
Simeonov stepped down last Friday after continuing protests by mothers of disabled children, whom he had called "shrill women with allegedly sick children."
The Latest: Bulgaria says it won’t sign UN migration pact
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — The Latest on Europe's migration crisis (all times local):
Bulgarian officials are signaling the country will not sign a global pact to promote safe and orderly migration, saying that it would harm national interests.
The floor leader of the main ruling center-right GERB party in parliament, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, said after a meeting of the ruling coalition that "the position of the Bulgarian government will be not to join the United Nations' global pact on migration."
4 Balkan countries to make joint bid to host 2030 World Cup
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — The leaders of four Balkan countries say they will make a joint bid to host the 2030 World Cup.
The prime ministers of Bulgaria, Greece and Romania and the president of Serbia say their countries will make an official bid to host the soccer event in stadiums across the four countries.
The idea was announced on the sidelines of a regional meeting in the Black Sea resort of Varna.
Israel’s Netanyahu warns Europe of possible attacks by Iran
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is calling Iran the "most potent force of militant Islam" and is warning Europe of possible Iranian attacks on its soil.
Speaking to reporters Thursday after talks with his Bulgarian counterpart, Netanyahu said radical Islam is a threat to the world, and that Israel has recently revealed a number of Iranian plots to carry out attacks on European soil.
Bulgarian authorities bust fraudulent passport scheme
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgarian authorities say they have busted a criminal ring run by state officials who sold fake documents to foreigners seeking to obtain Bulgarian passports that grant the right to live and work throughout the European Union.
Prosecutors on Tuesday pressed charges against the head of the State Agency for Bulgarians Abroad, Petar Haralampiev, who was arrested along with 20 other agency officials in police raids in offices across the country.
5.8 earthquake rattles Romania, felt in Ukraine, elsewhere
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.8 rattled central and eastern Romania early Sunday and was also felt in Ukraine, Moldova and Bulgaria. No significant damage was reported.
The temblor, which lasted for several seconds, occurred at 3:38 a.m. Sunday in the eastern quake-prone region of Vrancea at a depth of 150 kilometers (94 miles), Romania's National Earth Physics Institute said.
Bulgaria’s government survives no-confidence vote
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgaria's ruling coalition has survived a no-confidence vote called by the opposition, which accused the government of failing to reform the ailing health care system.
The 240-member parliament on Wednesday rejected the motion in a 133-99 vote. Eight lawmakers were absent.
Bulgarian money counterfeiters busted by authorities
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgarian authorities say they have successfully taken down an illegal counterfeit operation that was printing high quality bogus euro and U.S. dollar banknotes.
Deputy chief prosecutor Ivan Geshev said Monday that counterfeit bills worth 11.5 million euros and US$2 million were seized in the "biggest illegal workshop dismantled in the last 11 years."
Suspect says he didn’t mean to kill Bulgarian journalist
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — A 21-year-old suspect in the rape and slaying of a Bulgarian television journalist said Friday that he killed Viktoria Marinova, but didn't mean to.
Handcuffed and surrounded by police officers, Severin Krassimirov spoke to reporters inside a courtroom where he appeared for a custody hearing.
"I regret it so much. I cannot believe I did it," Krassimirov said of Marinova's killing.
Germany extradites suspect in Bulgarian reporter’s slaying
BERLIN (AP) — German authorities say the suspect arrested in the rape and slaying of a Bulgarian television journalist has been extradited to Bulgaria.
Bernd Kolkmeier, a spokesman for prosecutors who had jurisdiction in the case, told The Associated Press on Thursday that the suspect was returned to Bulgaria on Wednesday.
The 21-year-old suspect was apprehended Oct. 9 near Hamburg on a European warrant.
Funeral held for slain Bulgarian journalist Marinova
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Hundreds of relatives, friends and colleagues of slain Bulgarian journalist Viktoria Marinova said their goodbyes at a funeral Friday in her hometown, just after German police announced that a suspect has acknowledged attacking her.
People queued at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in the northern border town of Ruse to pay tribute and lay flowers at the coffin of the 30-year old, whose body was found Saturday in a park near the Danube River.
Purported mother of suspect in Bulgaria slaying speaks out
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — The mother of the suspect arrested for the rape and killing of a Bulgarian television journalist has reportedly said her son admitted the murder to her.
Bulgarian private Nova TV station on Thursday broadcast an interview with Nadezhda Krassimirova, the purported mother of Severin Krassimirov, 21, who was arrested Tuesday in Germany on a European arrest warrant.
Suspect in Bulgarian journalist slaying arrested in Germany
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — German police have arrested a suspect in the rape and killing of a television journalist from Bulgaria whose work highlighted corruption in the East European country, officials said Wednesday.
Bulgaria's prosecutor general, Sotir Tsatsarov, confirmed the arrest of Severin Krassimirov, a 21-year-old Bulgarian citizen.
Being killed for their work is growing risk for journalists
NEW YORK (AP) — Journalists are familiar with the risks of reporting from war-torn lands, but the recent death or disappearance of three people in Turkey, Bulgaria and Mexico illustrates the growing dangers to reporters targeted for practicing their craft.
Man to be freed in slain Bulgarian journalist investigation
RUSE, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgarian authorities on Tuesday will release and won't charge a man taken into custody in connection with the slaying of Bulgarian television reporter Viktoria Marinova, whose body was found after she highlighted possible government corruption.
The man, who wasn't identified, would be freed "very shortly," said Teodor Atanassov, chief police officer of the northern town of Ruse. He declined to provide further details on the ongoing investigation.
The Latest: Man to be freed in Bulgarian journalist probe
RUSE, Bulgaria (AP) — The Latest on the slaying of a female journalist in Bulgaria (all times local):
A senior Bulgarian police officer says authorities will release a man taken into custody and he won't be charged in connection with the slaying of a journalist who highlighted suspected government corruption.
Bulgarian journalist killed after reporting on corruption
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Bulgarian police are investigating the rape and slaying of a female television reporter whose body was dumped near the Danube River after she reported on the possible misuse of European Union funds in Bulgaria.
Authorities discovered the body of 30-year-old Viktoria Marinova on Saturday in the northern town of Ruse near the Romanian border. Police said she had been raped, beaten and strangled and her body was found in a park near the river.
The Latest: UN’s Guterres notes violence against journalists
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — The Latest on the rape and slaying of a Bulgarian journalist (all times local):
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is calling on governments to ensure "accountability" for crimes against journalists such as the "grisly murder and rape" of Bulgarian TV reporter Viktoria Marinova.
U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Monday that Guterres was "very concerned" about Marinova's slaying and awaited the conclusions of the investigation into her killing.