Albanian leader denies corruption over indicted FBI agent
Albania’s prime minister has denied that he bribed or gave preferential treatment to a former high-ranking FBI counterintelligence official who has been indicted in the U.S. Edi Rama told Parliament Thursday that the opposition wanted “to politically exploit a legal process in the USA that has no links at all to Albania, the government or me personally.
Albanian police force open Iranian Embassy after expulsions
Albanian special forces police have forced the door of the Iranian Embassy in Tirana and officers have surrounded the compound in which it stands, shortly after the last staff members left the building following the government’s order to expel them.
Albania claims global leadership for women in government
Albania’s parliament is to vote late Thursday to approve the new, female-dominated cabinet of Prime Minister Edi Rama, with 12 of the 17 jobs going to women, making Albania a global leader in terms of the percentage of women holding government positions.
Merkel urges western Balkans to focus on EU membership
In her last trip in the western Balkans as a German chancellor, Angela Merkel visited Albania to urge the leaders of six western Balkan nations gathered there to strengthen their regional cooperation in their strive for European Union membership.
Economist who pulled Albania out of 1997 anarchy dead at 58
FILE - In this Wednesday, April 16, 1997 file photo, Albanian Prime Minister Bashkim Fino shakes hands with OSCE representative Austrian Franz Vranitzky, in Tirana. Bashkim Fino, who was appointed prime minister to shepherd Albania out of almost total chaos 24 years ago when fraudulent investment schemes collapsed and angry crowds looted military installations nationwide, has died aged 58. Fino's family and his governing Socialist party said the former prime minister died Monday March 29, 2021 in hospital, where he had been treated for several days after contracting COVID-19. The former prime minister's family and his governing Socialist party said Fino died Monday in a hospital, where he had been treated for several days after contracting COVID-19. Fino was a trained economist and former mayor of Gjirokastra, 230 kilometers (140 miles) south of the capital, Tirana.
Albania starts mass COVID vaccinations before tourist season
A man receives a dose of Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine in Tirana, Albania, Sunday, March 28, 2021. Albania started a mass vaccination campaign trying to inoculate half a million people opening the way to a more relaxed incoming summer tourism season. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)TIRANA – Albania started a mass inoculation campaign Sunday ahead of the summer tourism season after acquiring 192,000 doses of Chinese coronavirus vaccine Sinovac earlier this week. AdEarlier this week, Prime Minister Edi Rama went to Turkey and brought back the 192,000 Sinovac doses. The remainder of the 500,000 Sinovac doses Albania is due to receive will come in two months.
Albanian communist-era landmark reinvented as youth center
Bulldozers are parked outside a building known to Albanians as the Pyramid in Tirana, Albania, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021. A pharaonic landmark in central Tirana built as a posthumous museum for Albanias communist-era strongman, Enver Hoxha, is being transformed into a youth training and art center. Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama attended Thursdays symbolic start of work to radically transform the largely abandoned, 17,000-square-meter (180,000-square-foot) structure. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)TIRANA – A pharaonic landmark in central Tirana built as a posthumous museum for Albania's communist-era strongman, Enver Hoxha, is being transformed into a youth training and art center. Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama attended Thursday's symbolic start of work to radically transform the largely abandoned, 17,000-square-meter (180,000-square-foot) structure.
Conservationists: new airport gravely harms Albania wetland
TIRANA – Conservationist groups urged the Albanian government on Tuesday to rescind a decision to build a airport they say would seriously damage the country’s western wetlands. “Such an investment would bring about uncontrolled and unsustainable development models that would irreversibly damage the natural values and resources of the area,” the coalition of organizations said in a statement. The Narta lagoon and its surroundings comprising more than 19,000 hectares (47,000 acres) represent one of the largest and most important wetland ecosystems in the Mediterranean, recognized as a key biodiversity area with more than 200 bird species such as pelicans, herons, gulls and flamingos. The organizations said such construction violates a number of conventions ratified by Albania. The conservationist groups also warned of airplanes potentially sustaining bird strikes with “tragic consequences" because of the large number of fowl there.
Turkey invites rival Greece to resume talks on disputes
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks at a news conference in Madrid, Spain, Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. Turkey on Monday, Jan. 11 invited Greece to resume talks designed to reduce tensions between the neighbors, following this summer's dispute over maritime borders and energy rights in the eastern Mediterranean. Cavusoglu also extended an invitation to Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, for a meeting to discuss their troubled relations. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also extended an invitation to Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, for a meeting to discuss their troubled relations. “Today ... we want to extend an open invitation to Greece” Cavusoglu said.
Albania carries out 1st vaccinations with donated doses
Albanian prime minister Edi Rama receives the first dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination center in Tirana, Albania, Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. Rama was among the first to take the COVID-19 vaccine which the country has received from an undisclosed European Union member country. The Prime Minister said he was "not authorized" to say which EU country had provided 975 vaccines. Prime Minister Edi Rama said he was “not authorized” to say which EU country had provided 975 doses to the Balkan nation. The vaccinations Albania gave Monday are sure to spark some envy in other Balkan countries.
The Latest: New Zealand visitors must show negative test
(AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand will soon require that travelers from most countries show negative coronavirus tests before they leave for New Zealand. Public health officials announced plans Monday to replace the state’s distribution plan and direct providers to concurrently vaccinate high-risk groups. State health officials report more than 13,000 coronavirus patients currently in hospitals statewide, and nearly 30,000 deaths since the pandemic started. ___ATLANTA — Georgia’s plan to expand access to the coronavirus vaccine for people over 65 is off to a rocky start. ___AMMAN, Jordan — Jordan has received its first shipment of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine before its vaccination drive kicks off this week.
Balkans feel abandoned as vaccinations kick off in Europe
North Macedonian epidemiologist Dragan Danilovski compared the current vaccine situation in the Western Balkans to the inequalities seen during the 1911 sinking of the Titanic. Serbia is the only Western Balkan nation to receive vaccine shots so far, getting deliveries from Pfizer-BioNTech and the Russian-developed Sputnik V vaccine. However, Serbia does not have enough doses to begin mass vaccinations, as only 25,000 shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and 2,400 of the Russian vaccine have arrived. “Throughout the pandemic, the EU has shown that we treat the Western Balkans as privileged partners,” said EU Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi. “I trust (the Russian vaccine), I don’t trust the commercial narratives that are coming from the West,” Milorad Dodik, Bosnian Serb's leader, declared before he was hospitalized with coronavirus.
Albanians hold a peaceful protest over police shooting
A protester holding a road sign makes his way with others during a protest rally in Tirana, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)TIRANA – The first peaceful protest in Albania's capital over the fatal shooting of a man by police enforcing a coronavirus curfew quickly faded away Monday following a strong police warning to avoid illegal gatherings because of the coronavirus pandemic. Those restrictions include a ban on public gatherings of more than 10 people, an overnight curfew, the mandatory use of masks and social distancing. Albanians have defied a coronavirus ban on public gatherings and there have been clashes with police in recent days after Klodian Rasha was killed in Tirana during a curfew early Tuesday. Prime Minister Edi Rama has apologized for what he called the “inexplicable” shooting of Rasha, and his interior minister resigned Thursday.
Albanians rally for 5th day after police kill man in curfew
Albanian protesters run away from teargas during a protest rally in Tirana, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)TIRANA – Albanian demonstrators on Sunday kept up their daily protests over the fatal shooting of a man by police enforcing a coronavirus curfew. Later some hurled stones at the Tirana police station, where police responded with tear gas and water cannons. Albanians have defied a coronavirus ban on public gatherings and have clashed with police in recent days after Klodian Rasha was killed in Tirana amid a curfew early Tuesday. The U.S. and the European Union have urged Albania's political parties to exercise restraint amid the protests.
Albanian police easily disperse smaller anti-police protest
Albanian protesters run away from teargas during a protest rally in Tirana, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)TIRANA – Albanian police swiftly dispersed a smaller crowd of demonstrators Saturday as part of their ongoing protests this week after a fatal shooting by police enforcing a coronavirus curfew. In the nearby western port city of Durres, demonstrators concluded their protest with fist-bumping with officers in front of a police station. Albanian politics has been mired by infighting since the shooting, with Rama accusing opposition politicians, including President Ilir Meta, of inciting the violent protests. The U.S. and the European Union have called on Albanian political parties to exercise restraint.
Albania: New protest over police shooting, minister resigns
Albanian police use a water cannon against protesters during clashes in Tirana, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020. Albanian protesters on Thursday renewed clashes with police over the fatal police shooting of a man during curfew hours despite the call from the authorities to respect a pandemic ban on public gatherings. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)TIRANA – Demonstrators clashed with police for a second day Thursday in the Albanian capital, Tirana, during a protest over this week's fatal police shooting of a man during curfew hours. In a televised address broadcast just as the protest started, Prime Minister Edi Rama apologized to the dead 25-year-old's parents, and the country's interior minister resigned over the shooting. A police statement said three alleged organizers of Wednesday's protest have been arrested, and another four people were freed after being charged.
Albania repatriating 5 family members of fighters in Syria
A few hundred Albanian men are known to have joined terror groups in Syria and Iraq in the early 2010s, and now many of them are dead and their family members are stuck in Syria camps, but will be repatriated via Beirut to Albania. (Albanian Prime Minister's office via AP)TIRANA – Albania's prime minister said Monday that four children and a woman, all related to Albanian nationals who joined Islamist extremist groups fighting in Syria and Iraq, are being repatriated from a Syrian camp. A few hundred Albanian men joined the Islamic State and other groups fighting in Syria and Iraq in the early 2010s. Rama could not give the exact number of Albanian nationals in the camps. He added that Albanian nationals who took part in the fighting would face criminal prosecution if they are detained and repatriated.
EU firms up Belarus blacklist as OSCE offers to mediate
Police in Belarus have dispersed protesters who gathered on the capital's central square, detaining dozens. Belarus authoritarian president of 26 years has faced weeks of protests since he was reelected to a sixth term on Aug. 9 with 80% of the vote. Asked whether the Belarus president will be hit by a travel ban and asset freeze, Petricek said he believes that Lukashenko should be on the list. Linkevicius said that we cannot exclude this invasion, and that the EU must also send a clear warning to Russia. For the country to move forward safely and as securely as possible will require mutual understanding and cooperation inside Belarus, Rama said.
Albania Holocaust memorial honors locals who protected Jews
Israeli Ambassador in Albania Noah Gal Gendler speaks during the inauguration of a memorial in Tirana , on Thursday, July 9, 2020. A memorial to the six million Jews murdered during the World War II and for the Albanians who protected them from the Nazis was inaugurated Thursday in the capital. (Xhulio Hajdari /Tirana City Hall via AP)
Albania Holocaust memorial honors locals who protected Jews
Israeli Ambassador in Albania Noah Gal Gendler speaks during the inauguration of a memorial in Tirana , on Thursday, July 9, 2020. A memorial to the six million Jews murdered during the World War II and for the Albanians who protected them from the Nazis was inaugurated Thursday in the capital. (Xhulio Hajdari /Tirana City Hall via AP)TIRANA Albania unveiled a Holocaust memorial in the capital on Thursday to honor the dead and the Albanians who protected Jews from the Nazis. Albanians protected their few hundred Jewish friends, and helped other Jews who fled from Germany and Austria by either smuggling them abroad or hiding them at home. A small Jewish community living in Albania left the ex-communist country for Israel just after the fall of the regime in 1991.
Albania PM calls Kosovo leaders indictment 'shameful stain'
PRISTINA Albania's prime minister on Monday called the indictment of Kosovo's president and other former rebel fighters a shameful stain" on world justice. Ramas unannounced visit to Kosovo, which also has a predominantly ethnic Albanian population, was a signal of support from neighboring Albania. He tweeted that the indictment was a shameful stain of 21st century" world justice. Thacis indictment also disrupted a White House meeting between Kosovo and Serbia leaders initiated by U.S presidential envoy Richard Grenell, which would have been the first official talks between Serbia and Kosovo in 19 months. Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, a move Serbia refuses to recognize.
New protest in Albania over National Theater demolition
26, 2019, file photo, people walk past the National Theater of Albania in Tirana. Albania demolished its crumbling National Theater, which opened during World War II, above which sparked protests by artists, backed by the opposition, who wanted the theater to be renovated and condemned the $32.4 million price tag to build a new facility. (AP Photo/Gent Onuzi, File)TIRANA Albanian artists and opposition party supporters gathered for a second day Monday to protest authorities' demolition of the crumbling National Theater building in the capital, which has triggered strong political tension amid a major heritage debate. Artists and intellectuals addressed the crowd, denouncing the theater's demolition and pledging to continue protests until Rama's government is overthrown. Artists belonging to the Alliance for the Theater Protection had pressed for the renovation of the old theater building which they consider a national heritage.
Albania struck by 5.6-magnitude earthquake, injuring at least 37
CNN Video(CNN) - At least 37 people were injured on Saturday when a 5.6-magnitude earthquake struck Albania. The earthquake struck along Albania's central coast near the port city of Durrs, according to the United States Geological Survey, about 35 kilometers west of the capital Tirana. A trauma hospital in Tirana reported 37 injuries, according to public broadcaster Albanian Radio and TV. Prime Minister Edi Rama canceled a trip to New York, CNN affiliate A2 reported, and he's expected to return home from Frankfurt. The-CNN-Wire & 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company.