TIRANA, Albania (AP) — An international animal welfare group was locked in a dispute with the Albanian government Thursday over three lions that were removed from a private zoo but not been taken...
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian opposition parties rallied Saturday in Tirana, calling for the Socialist government to resign and for the country to hold an early parliamentary election. Some...
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Prosecutors have confiscated public land on the western Albanian coast that was illegally sold or owned by a former lawmaker and other officials.
Albanian military sent in to airport after cash heist
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — The Albanian Defense Ministry on Wednesday sent in the military to secure the country's only international airport after heavily armed men stole a large sum of cash as it...
Man shot dead after robbery at Albania’s airport
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian police report that a man has been shot dead after a group of unidentified individuals robbed money at the country's international airport.
Kosovo-Serbia tensions disrupts climate conference
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — An international climate conference in the Western Balkans has been disrupted over tensions between Kosovo and Serbia.
Albanian opposition denies getting Russian secret funds
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian prosecutors say they have questioned opposition Democratic Party leaders about suspicious spending abroad of $650,000 during parliamentary elections two years...
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...
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
Thousands of Albanian students step up rally against fees
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Public university students protesting the cost of tuition fees have gathered for the largest rally to date, threatening to escalate it unless their demands are met.
Thousands of students on Tuesday held posters, blew vuvuzelas and shouted "Lower the tariffs!" in front of the Education Ministry. Students from other cities and Tirana high schools joined them in a peaceful protest.
Albania: University students spurn talks with prime minister
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — The prime minister of Albania has failed to convince protesting public university students to sit down to talk about their demands.
Students said on Monday their demands must be met first. Those include cutting tuition fees in half, doubling the budget for education and a greater student presence on decision-making boards.
Albanian students say no talk with PM unless demands are met
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Public university students protesting in the Albanian capital have rejected an offer from the country's prime minister to hold talks on their demands.
Thousands of students blocked a main street in front of the Education Ministry on Friday saying their demands — a halving of tuition fees, better accommodation and student involvement in decision-making bodies — are not negotiable.
Annual tuition fees for bachelor courses range from 20,000 to 45,000 leks ($180-410).
Albanian students demand cut in tuition fees
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — The Albanian government on Wednesday gave in to demands from students and canceled a double charge for repeated exams but said it could do nothing about the level of tuition fees because these are set by the individual institutions, which are partially self-supporting.
Thousands of students of public universities have blocked a main road in the capital, Tirana, protesting in front of the Education Ministry. They say they will boycott school until their demands are accepted.
Albanian protesters clash with police, injuring 12 officers
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Several hundred Albanian protesters have scuffled with police as they tried to force their way into Parliament to protest against a government decision to demolish their buildings for a new road.
A police statement Thursday said 12 policemen and three protesters were injured.
Hundreds attend funeral of man killed in Albania shootout
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Hundreds of Greeks have turned out for the funeral of a dual Albanian-Greek citizen who was fatally shot in a gun battle with Albanian police during an annual celebration.
Konstantinos Kacifa died Oct. 28 in an exchange of gunfire with police during an event to celebrate Greece's entry in World War II against Italy. He initially shot in the air, apparently as a celebratory gesture, but later fired at approaching police cars.
Late Albanian dictator’s widow calls govt plan ‘fascist’
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — The widow of the late Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha has described a government decision to tear down her apartment building for a road as "fascist."
Dita daily newspaper quoted 97-year-old Nexhmije Hoxha on Monday saying occupants were told to vacate the building within days. Dita says Hoxha called the order "a typical fascist act."
Man killed in shootout with police in Albania
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Police in Albania fatally shot a man in a gunbattle with officers Sunday during an annual event to celebrate Greece's entry in World War II against Italy, prompting a strong reaction from Athens.
Konstantinos Kacifa, a 35-year-old dual Albanian-Greek citizen, first started shooting in the air in the village of Bularat, 255 kilometers (160 miles) south of the capital, Tirana, police said in a statement. Then the man fired at approaching police cars before running away.
Animals removed from Albanian zoo over malnourishment fears
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian authorities forced their way into a private zoo on Sunday and removed 12 animals because of fears that they were malnourished.
Police and conservation officials pried open the main gate at the Safari Zoo Park in Mbrostar, 100 kilometers (60 miles) south of the capital, Tirana. The zoo had been closed by owners after criticism emerged about the treatment of its animals.
74 years on, 7 UK WWII airmen laid to rest in Albania
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — It was Sgt. John Thompson's ring that enabled searchers to locate his remains and those of six other British military personnel from a plane that crashed in Albania during World War II.
Seventy-four years after they were killed carrying out a supply mission over Albania, the seven airmen were finally laid to rest in an official funeral ceremony Wednesday in the Albanian capital of Tirana.
Top ex-Albanian official arrested on suspicion of corruption
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian police say that a former head of the prison department has been arrested on suspicion of corruption.
Authorities announced the arrest of Arben Cuko in a statement on Sunday.
Cuko, who previously was head of the National Guard and also is an ex-lawmaker of the governing Socialist Party, was fired in September as prisons chief after little more than a year in the post.
Turkey asks Albania to close US-based cleric’s businesses
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says he expects Albania to close all businesses owned by Fethullah Gulen, the U.S.-based Turkish cleric Ankara blames for an attempted coup two years ago.
Cavusoglu, in the Albanian capital of Tirana on Friday, said Ankara has formally asked Tirana "to close all the institutions that hold anti-Turkey activity in Albania," considering them "a serious threat for Turkey and Albania too."
Albania to relocate casinos, betting shops to city outskirts
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's government says it will relocate all casinos and betting shops out of residential areas to curb their spread, especially in the capital Tirana.
Prime Minister Edi Rama said Tuesday that by Dec. 31 all casinos, including shops taking bets on sports and animal races, will need to be closed and move to city outskirts.
City streets in Albania, one of the poorest countries in Europe, are filled with sport betting shops.
Albania police arrest 2 US drug suspects
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Police in Albania say they have arrested two American citizens who allegedly were trying to produce and sell synthetic drugs through the internet.
Germany, France help Western Balkans get rid of illicit arms
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Germany and France have launched a project fighting illicit firearms trafficking in the Western Balkans as part of preparations for those nations to seek European Union membership.
International officials held a meeting on the arms project Thursday in the Albanian capital of Tirana.
Germany ‘skeptical’ on Kosovo-Serbia border correction idea
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Germany's foreign minister says that Berlin is skeptical about the idea of a border correction in the talks between Kosovo and Serbia.
Heiko Maas, visiting nearby Albania on Wednesday, said that "there exists the fear of a domino effect."
"We are skeptical and discreet on that issue," he said, urging both countries to "clarify and resolve it in a way that does not bring about other issues."
Albania coach Panucci sues country’s former president
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania coach Christian Panucci has filed a civil lawsuit against the country's former president for calling him a "charlatan" after losing a friendly soccer match.
Federation spokesman Gerti Carcani says Panucci filed a lawsuit in Tirana court asking for 100,000 euros ($116,000) for having his image damaged.
Albania’s first toll road opens 5 months after violence
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's first toll road has opened in the country's northeast despite calls for protests on social media.
There were no disturbances early Monday, when just a few vehicles passed through the toll station in Kolsh, 130 kilometers (81 miles) northeast of the capital, Tirana.
Local media reported that some protesters had convened in the nearby city of Kukes.
Albania hit by magnitudes 5.4 and 5.1 tremors; homes crack
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Northern Albania was struck Saturday by two earthquakes with preliminary magnitudes of 5.4 and 5.1, damaging scores of buildings, authorities said.
Albania's Defense Ministry reported that the stronger struck quake at 5:33 p.m. (1533 GMT) with a depth of five kilometers (3.11 miles) near the village of Vinjoll in Mat district, 120 kilometers (75 miles) north of the capital, Tirana.
Police arrest Albanian man accused of killing 8 relatives
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian police say they have arrested a 24-year-old man accused of shooting dead eight relatives for still unknown reasons.
A statement said Ridvan Zykaj was arrested early Saturday, miles away from his village of Resulaj, 90 kilometers (55 miles) south of the Albanian capital, Tirana, where a day earlier he allegedly killed his great-uncle, the great-uncle's wife and two sons, and other members of their extended family.
Albania: Police seek 24-year-old in slaying of 8 relatives
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Police in Albania say a 24-year-old man shot and killed eight relatives for reasons that still are unknown.
Police said Friday that the suspect in the slayings, who was identified as Ridvan Zykaj, fled and remained at large after the slayings in a village 90 kilometers (55 miles) south of the Albanian capital, Tirana.
They said the eight victims were Zykaj's great-uncle, the great-uncle's wife and two sons, and other members of their extended family.
NATO to modernize air base in Albania
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — The prime minister of Albania says the NATO has decided to build an air base in the country.
Prime Minister Edi Rama on Saturday wrote in his Facebook page that NATO's North Atlantic Council, the main political decision-making body, has decided to invest 50 million euros ($58 million) "to modernize the air base in Kucove," 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of the capital Tirana. The air base has been there for decades.
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian prosecutors say they have seized property from the country's former prosecutor general due to suspicions of corruption.
Prosecutors in the capital city of Tirana dealing with serious crime announced Monday in a statement the "preventive sequestration" of an apartment and just over two hectares (5.4 acres) of land belonging to Adriatik Llalla, with a total value of 98.772.000 Leks ($918,000; or 783,000 euros).
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — An Albanian citizen who was wanted on criminal charges in Serbia after he took credit for a drone that flew a nationalist banner over a soccer stadium and prompted fan violence said Tuesday that he has been released from prison.
Ismail Morina, aka Ballisti, was arrested in Croatia last year on a warrant from Serbia. He was moved this year to a prison in Italy, where he has residency through his marriage to an Italian citizen.
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.1 struck off western Albania Wednesday, authorities said. No injuries or damage were reported.
The Institute of Geosciences, Energy, Water and Environment reported that the quake occurred at 0901 GMT (11:01 a.m. local time) around 18 kilometers (11 miles) underground near Lalesi Bay, a spot frequented by tourists some 30 kilometers (18 miles) west of the capital, Tirana.
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian police are reporting that the driver for the interior minister has been found shot dead.
A police statement said Shkelzen Qordja, 31, was found dead at his vehicle Saturday morning with a shot in his head and a MP5 submachine gun at hand. Two other cartridges were found inside the garage at the National Guard premises in central Tirana, the Albanian capital.
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — The prime minister of Albania opened a bank account on Tuesday to allow his country's people to offer their "symbolic contribution" to pay the fines levied against two Swiss soccer players of Albanian origin.
The account, named "Don't Be Afraid of the Eagle," was opened at Raiffeisen Bank by Prime Minister Edi Rama, who urged Albanians "to pay FIFA's absurd fine on Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri."
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian police said Wednesday they have arrested two people accused of supplying fake documents to help people enter Britain, Germany and other Western European countries illegally.
A statement said authorities who raided the pair's homes found 16 counterfeit passports and many documents in Albanian and German.
The two detained Albanians, residents of the capital, Tirana, and the port city of Durres, were paid 10,000 to 16,000 euros ($11,700-18,700) for the fake documents.