The Bucharest Herald http://thebucharestherald.com Global News Now Fri, 24 May 2019 06:04:54 +0000 en hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.1 http://thebucharestherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/cropped-the-bucharest-herald-favico-3-32x32.png The Bucharest Herald http://thebucharestherald.com 32 32 Greece adopts OECD’s principles on artificial intelligence http://thebucharestherald.com/greece-adopts-oecds-principles-on-artificial-intelligence/ http://thebucharestherald.com/greece-adopts-oecds-principles-on-artificial-intelligence/#respond Fri, 24 May 2019 10:00:53 +0000 http://thebucharestherald.com/?p=8557   Greece is among the 36 member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and another six countries to sign up to the organization’s Principles on Artificial Intelligence at the OECD’s annual ministerial council meeting, held on Wednesday and Thursday in Paris. These five values-based principles have incorporated guidance from an expert […]

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Greece is among the 36 member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and another six countries to sign up to the organization’s Principles on Artificial Intelligence at the OECD’s annual ministerial council meeting, held on Wednesday and Thursday in Paris.

These five values-based principles have incorporated guidance from an expert group formed by more than 50 members from governments, academia, business, civil society, international bodies, the tech community and trade unions, and focus on the responsible deployment of trustworthy AI.

“They aim to guide governments, organisations and individuals in designing and running AI systems in a way that puts people’s best interests first and ensuring that designers and operators are held accountable for their proper functioning,” the OECD said in a press release.

“Artificial Intelligence is revolutionising the way we live and work, and offering extraordinary benefits for our societies and economies. Yet, it raises new challenges and is also fuelling anxieties and ethical concerns. This puts the onus on governments to ensure that AI systems are designed in a way that respects our values and laws, so people can trust that their safety and privacy will be paramount,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría.

“These Principles will be a global reference point for trustworthy AI so that we can harness its opportunities in a way that delivers the best outcomes for all.”

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Croatia in talks with Sweden, U.S. on fighter jets – minister http://thebucharestherald.com/croatia-in-talks-with-sweden-u-s-on-fighter-jets-minister/ http://thebucharestherald.com/croatia-in-talks-with-sweden-u-s-on-fighter-jets-minister/#respond Fri, 24 May 2019 10:00:09 +0000 http://thebucharestherald.com/?p=8560   Croatia is in talks with Sweden and the United States on buying fighter jets to modernise its air force, Defence Minister Damir Krsticevic said on Thursday. Zagreb was close to striking a deal on buying a squadron of used and refitted F-16 fighter jets from Israel, but eventually Israel informed Croatia it could not […]

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Croatia is in talks with Sweden and the United States on buying fighter jets to modernise its air force, Defence Minister Damir Krsticevic said on Thursday.

Zagreb was close to striking a deal on buying a squadron of used and refitted F-16 fighter jets from Israel, but eventually Israel informed Croatia it could not sell the planes as it could not secure an approval from the United States.

Israel had been in competition with several countries bidding for Zagreb’s business and its most serious competitor was reported to have been Sweden’s SAAB offering new Gripen planes. “The government is still determined to solve (this) strategic issue. We are in talks with Sweden and the United States and we will timely inform the public once we will have some concrete information,” Krsticevic told reporters.

Croatia joined the NATO alliance in 2009 and the EuropeanUnion in 2013. Its air force has a squadron of Russian-made MiG-21 jets dating from its past within old Yugoslavia, but they are outdated and only a few are operational at the moment.

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Ankara laments ‘anti-Turkey activities in US Congress’ http://thebucharestherald.com/ankara-laments-anti-turkey-activities-in-us-congress/ http://thebucharestherald.com/ankara-laments-anti-turkey-activities-in-us-congress/#respond Fri, 24 May 2019 03:00:35 +0000 http://thebucharestherald.com/?p=8551   “We observe that the anti-Turkey circles in the United States have recently intensified their activities in the U.S. Congress. The Draft Resolution, titled ‘Expressing Concern for the United States-Turkey Alliance’ is another example of this,” Hami Aksoy, the ministry spokesman, said in a statement. He went on to say that Turkey and the U.S. […]

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“We observe that the anti-Turkey circles in the United States have recently intensified their activities in the U.S. Congress. The Draft Resolution, titled ‘Expressing Concern for the United States-Turkey Alliance’ is another example of this,” Hami Aksoy, the ministry spokesman, said in a statement.

He went on to say that Turkey and the U.S. have deep rooted allied relations, based on common values and mutual interests. They work together to contribute to the peace and security in various regions in the world.

“Resolutions as such, that undermine this fact and the rightful reasons behind the steps taken by Turkey for its national security, are inconsistent with the allied relationship between our countries,” Aksoy said, referring to the resolution which was approved by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives.

He also said that there is no need for concern by the American people and their representatives, whose friendship Turkey values. “In fact, friendship and alliance require to demonstrate a constructive and sincere effort by supporting the working group Turkey proposed,” the spokesman added.

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Burglars Steal €1 Million in Cinematic Heist in Metamorphosis http://thebucharestherald.com/burglars-steal-e1-million-in-cinematic-heist-in-metamorphosis/ http://thebucharestherald.com/burglars-steal-e1-million-in-cinematic-heist-in-metamorphosis/#respond Fri, 24 May 2019 03:00:24 +0000 http://thebucharestherald.com/?p=8554   The headquarters of a company based in the Athens suburb of Metamorphosis was robbed during the early hours of Thursday, according to Greek media reports. The sophisticated burglars managed to deactivate all the alarms that were placed in the building and they went straight to the floor where the financial department of the company […]

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The headquarters of a company based in the Athens suburb of Metamorphosis was robbed during the early hours of Thursday, according to Greek media reports.

The sophisticated burglars managed to deactivate all the alarms that were placed in the building and they went straight to the floor where the financial department of the company was based.

The unknown individuals found the company’s safes, which were storing more than one million euros in cash, and took the money and ran free.

The Greek police have not made any public comment on the incident as of yet, but police sources told Greek media that they are now investigating CCTV footage of nearby buildings to try to identify the perpetrators of the burglary.

They also intend to interrogate all of the company’s employees.

The way the incident was carried out could mean that the burglars had inside knowledge, and knew the layout of the building well.

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Kosovo considers extending 100% tariffs to Albanian products http://thebucharestherald.com/kosovo-considers-extending-100-tariffs-to-albanian-products/ http://thebucharestherald.com/kosovo-considers-extending-100-tariffs-to-albanian-products/#respond Fri, 24 May 2019 01:05:26 +0000 http://thebucharestherald.com/?p=8563   Kosovo could introduce a 100% tax on products from Albania within two months if Tirana does not remove barriers to Kosovan exports of flour, beer and potatoes, an Albanian official revealed following failed trade talks between the neighbouring countries. The plans were revealed on May 22 after trade representatives from Tirana and Pristina failed […]

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Kosovo could introduce a 100% tax on products from Albania within two months if Tirana does not remove barriers to Kosovan exports of flour, beer and potatoes, an Albanian official revealed following failed trade talks between the neighbouring countries.

The plans were revealed on May 22 after trade representatives from Tirana and Pristina failed to agree on how problems related to the export of the three products could be solved.

If trade is not facilitated within two months and protection fees for beer, potatoes and flour from Kosovo are not lifted, tariffs will be raised for all Albanian products, the chairman of the Tirana Chamber of Commerce, Nikolin Jaka, told RTK after the talks.

The problem in trade relations arose after the authorities in Pristina removed all barriers for Albanian exports to Kosovo, but Albania’s authorities have not yet fulfilled their part of the agreement, according to Jaka.

The two countries have been seeking to create a common market in several areas, for example by uniting their electricity markets, building new road infrastructure and reducing mobile roaming tariffs. However, progress appears to have stalled on removing barriers to trade.

In a survey conducted by local think tank the GAP Institute among Kosovan businesspeople on the trade climate in the region, Albania was ranked second behind Serbia for the high trade barriers it applies to Kosovo. Trade barriers in Albania are considerably higher than those in fellow Balkan states Croatia, Montenegro and North Macedonia, found the report, based on data from Kosovo’s Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Kosovo imposed 100% tariffs for Serbian and Bosnian products in November 2018 for political reasons. According to GAP’s research the tariffs have not resulted — as forecast by local officials — in stimulating local production, but in a reorienting of the country’s main sources of imports.

Imports of goods from Slovenia, Israel and Turkey in particular have increased. Meanwhile, according to GAP, there are suspicions that products without visible labelling are being registered and imported through other countries of the region, such as Bulgaria, Croatia, North Macedonia and Albania.

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Croatia to Open Care Centres for War Veterans http://thebucharestherald.com/croatia-to-open-care-centres-for-war-veterans/ http://thebucharestherald.com/croatia-to-open-care-centres-for-war-veterans/#respond Thu, 23 May 2019 12:00:44 +0000 http://thebucharestherald.com/?p=8536   The Croatian Veterans’ Affairs Ministry and local authorities in the towns of Daruvar, Petrinja, Sinj and Sibenik signed agreements on Monday to set up new centres for people who fought in the 1991-95 war. The centres in the four towns will provide care and assistance, basic physical rehabilitation and sporting, recreational and educational activities […]

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The Croatian Veterans’ Affairs Ministry and local authorities in the towns of Daruvar, Petrinja, Sinj and Sibenik signed agreements on Monday to set up new centres for people who fought in the 1991-95 war.

The centres in the four towns will provide care and assistance, basic physical rehabilitation and sporting, recreational and educational activities for Croatian veterans.

Veterans’ Affairs Minister Tomo Medved said that, with European funds, the ministry will improve the system of care for veterans and victims of what is known as the Homeland War in Croatia.

According to Croatian broadcaster Nova TV, almost 330 million kunas (around 44.5 million euros) of European Union funds is being spent on the project. The facilities are due to open in a year and a half.

“We will assume that at least 500 war veterans could be accommodated in our centres at one point,” Medved told media.

Experts have said that many Croatian war veterans still need therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder.

According to a study from 2015, ‘Suicide of Croatian Veterans in Zagreb and Croatia’, by conflict psychology expert Zoran Komar, a total of 2,734 veterans committed suicide from the beginning of the war to the end of 2014.

According to government data from 2012, there are some 500,000 former fighters from the 1991-95 war. There is no information on how many have been diagnosed with PTSD.

Medved was criticised this month because nearly a quarter of a century after the end of the war, it emerged that Croatia has granted 1,687 more people war veteran status, which critics said would incur new costs for the state.

Medved said however that this did not necessarily mean that all of them will get a veteran’s pension and insisted that the ministry had planned for the development in advance and secured the finances to fund it.

The Croatian government adopted a new War Veterans Law in December 2017, which said that people who did not already have veteran status could apply for it, even though the original deadline for applying was in 2009.

The law gave Croatian veterans and the children of killed or unemployed veterans an advantage over other candidates when applying for jobs in the public sector, which attracted criticism domestically.

Croatian veterans also have a minimum guaranteed pension which is higher than the pension of other retired citizens.

Croatian veterans’ organisations have political influence and have often sought to use it.

They were at the forefront of protests in 2013 against the introduction of bilingual Croatian and Serbian signs in Latin and Cyrillic script on official buildings in the wartime flashpoint town of Vukovar, and staged a high-profile 18-month long sit-in demanding the resignation of the veterans’ minister, which ended in April 2016.

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“Serbia-Croatia important for stability of region” http://thebucharestherald.com/serbia-croatia-important-for-stability-of-region/ http://thebucharestherald.com/serbia-croatia-important-for-stability-of-region/#respond Thu, 23 May 2019 10:05:24 +0000 http://thebucharestherald.com/?p=8547   Brnabic pointed out that the relations between Serbia and Croatia are important for the stability of the region, and that, consequently, it is necessary to improve the dialogue and intensify cooperation in resolving open issues. The Croatian ambassador assessed that the Western Balkans’ accession to the European Union is crucial for the prosperity of […]

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Brnabic pointed out that the relations between Serbia and Croatia are important for the stability of the region, and that, consequently, it is necessary to improve the dialogue and intensify cooperation in resolving open issues.

The Croatian ambassador assessed that the Western Balkans’ accession to the European Union is crucial for the prosperity of all countries in the region, and announced that this would be one of the important issues during the presidency of Croatia to the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2020.

He informed the prime minister that the goal of Croatia is to organize the EU-Western Balkans Summit during its Presidency, in which the European perspective of the region and the enlargement of the EU would be an important topic.

The officials emphasized the importance of improving relations in the field of minority rights, so that all citizens, regardless of their ethnicity, noting the importance of cross-border cooperation and the use of IPA funds.

When it comes to infrastructure cooperation, Brnabic concluded that cooperation between the two countries in the improvement of rail transport is in the interest of both countries, explaining that in 2020, in the area of ​​infrastructure projects, the focus of Serbia will be precisely on the railways.

They also discussed the cooperation between the chambers of commerce of Serbia and Croatia and plans for organizing the economic summit of the two countries during 2019.

Brnabic and akota concluded that the visit of Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic to Serbia in the coming period would be a good signal for further improvement of cooperation and interstate dialogue

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Antetokounmpo funds basketball court in fire-ravaged Greece http://thebucharestherald.com/antetokounmpo-funds-basketball-court-in-fire-ravaged-greece/ http://thebucharestherald.com/antetokounmpo-funds-basketball-court-in-fire-ravaged-greece/#respond Thu, 23 May 2019 10:00:55 +0000 http://thebucharestherald.com/?p=8533   Greek NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo has agreed to fund the construction of an indoor basketball court in a fire-ravaged area outside Athens where at least 100 people were killed last year. The mayor of the Rafina area where the fire occurred last July said on Monday the local authority received the offer from the […]

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Greek NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo has agreed to fund the construction of an indoor basketball court in a fire-ravaged area outside Athens where at least 100 people were killed last year.

The mayor of the Rafina area where the fire occurred last July said on Monday the local authority received the offer from the Milwaukee Bucks player to build the court at a new recycling park that is being planned in the area. The mayor, Vangelis Bournous, gave no details of the construction cost but said the venue would be ready at the end of this summer.

The blaze gutted the seaside resort of Mati, east of Athens, and other coastal areas, destroying more than a thousand homes.

“Antetokounmpo, the well-known Giannis Antetokounmpo, has made a donation at the site to build an indoor court — I’m announcing this for the first time,” Bournous said at a campaign event ahead of local elections on Sunday.

“It will be built with a modern method using a steel building frame so it can be ready by the end of the summer.”

Antetokounmpo’s Bucks are leading in the NBA Eastern Conference finals 2-1 over the Toronto Raptors.

The forward, the son of immigrants from Nigeria, was born and grew up in Athens and moved to the United States in 2013 to join the Bucks. He has a huge following in his home country, with fans following his games in the middle of the night.

Antetokounmpo maintains close ties with Greece and has taken part in campaigns to promote a Greek airline and tourism, as well as recycling. His older brother, Thanasis Antetokounmpo, lives in Athens and plays for local club Panathinaikos, coached by Rick Pitino, formerly of the Boston Celtics and the Louisville Cardinals.

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Recycling of Plastic Products a Priority for Croatia http://thebucharestherald.com/recycling-of-plastic-products-a-priority-for-croatia/ http://thebucharestherald.com/recycling-of-plastic-products-a-priority-for-croatia/#respond Thu, 23 May 2019 03:05:35 +0000 http://thebucharestherald.com/?p=8542   Addressing a conference on plastic as a challenge of the circular economy, Croatian Environment and Energy Minister Tomislav Ćorić said on Tuesday that the recycling of plastic and other materials was a priority while the head of the Croatian Greenpeace office, Zoran Tomić, said that the country’s presidency of the EU in 2020 provided […]

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Addressing a conference on plastic as a challenge of the circular economy, Croatian Environment and Energy Minister Tomislav Ćorić said on Tuesday that the recycling of plastic and other materials was a priority while the head of the Croatian Greenpeace office, Zoran Tomić, said that the country’s presidency of the EU in 2020 provided an opportunity “to show leadership in that area as well.”

Twenty percent of Croatia’s GDP is generated by tourism and the country can beat its rivals only with a healthy and clean environment, Ćorić said, recalling that more than 37% of Croatia’s land territory was covered by the NATURA 2000 programme.

“That is why all types of recycling, not only of plastic… but other materials as well, are a priority and must be a priority in the period to come,” Ćorić said at the conference, organised by the Croatian Waste Management Association (HUGO), a member of the International Solid Waste Association.

Ćorić said that by entering the EU Croatia had assumed the obligation to start collecting separately 50% of paper, glass, metal and plastic waste by the end of 2020, that is, 60% of such waste by the end of 2022.

The Environment and Energy Ministry is fully committed to that goal, but achieving it depends on the behaviour of all social stakeholders, notably local government units and citizens, said Ćorić.

He recalled that every year Europe generated around 25 million tonnes of plastic waste, of which only 30% was collected while the rest stayed in the environment.

“We have to deal with that problem successfully in the future,” he stressed, adding that his ministry fully supported the EU’s policy of not using plastic in situations where it was not necessary.

“Croatia and its Environment and Energy Ministry support the goal of building into new products a minimum 10 million tonnes of recycled plastic by 2025, making all plastic packaging in the EU reusable and recyclable by 2030 and making the recycling rate exceed 50% as well as increasing the EU’s sorting and recycling capacity four times compared to the current capacity,” Ćorić said.

As for the EU directive on reducing the impact of certain plastic products on the environment and the plan to ban certain plastic products such as single-use plastic cutlery, cotton buds and straws, Ćorić said that long-term effects would definitely be positive.

He said that his ministry was working intensively with the Croatian Chamber of Commerce on modernising the secondary raw material market and defining technological requirements for individual types of waste to facilitate its sale and that work was underway on amendments concerning packaging waste in order to improve system efficiency.

The head of the Greenpeace office in Croatia, Zoran Tomić, underlined the importance of protecting the Adriatic from plastic waste.

Commenting on the charging of a fee on plastic bags in Croatia, he said that rules on collecting the fee were largely not observed, that there was no set price and that the thickness of bags was also a problem because the lightest bags were exempt from the fee.

“By introducing the mandatory fee in 2002 Ireland has managed to reduce the use of light plastic bags by 90%,” he said, adding that Greenpeace activists believed that with the current rules in force, Croatia would not be able to achieve the goal of reducing the use of plastic bags by the end of the year, which was why they had launched a petition to ban light plastic bags which had been signed by more than 40,000 people so far.

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Turkey launches diplomacy campaign in US http://thebucharestherald.com/turkey-launches-diplomacy-campaign-in-us/ http://thebucharestherald.com/turkey-launches-diplomacy-campaign-in-us/#respond Thu, 23 May 2019 03:00:29 +0000 http://thebucharestherald.com/?p=8530   Turkey aims at creating awareness about Turkey’s policies and theses in a series of panels in the U.S., Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said in a tweet on May 20. Altun said his office is launching a three-day campaign of panels on “Turkey-U.S. Relations: Same Origin/New Vision” from May 21 to 24 in line […]

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Turkey aims at creating awareness about Turkey’s policies and theses in a series of panels in the U.S., Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said in a tweet on May 20.

Altun said his office is launching a three-day campaign of panels on “Turkey-U.S. Relations: Same Origin/New Vision” from May 21 to 24 in line with Turkey’s understanding of effective global diplomacy.

The panels will be held at the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington D.C. and New York’s Harvard Club.

“The panel we organize in D.C., at the U.S. House of Representatives holds special importance since members of the Congress will join. In our panel at Harvard Club in New York, we will host representatives from the academia, political think tanks, civil society and the media,” Altun said.

Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Yavuz Selim Kıran, Turkish Presidency Security and Foreign Policies Council member Çağrı Erhan and CNN Türk General Director Bora Bayraktar will be among the speakers at the meetings.

The Turkish Presidency Directorate of Communications will also organize fast-breaking iftar dinners, according to the statement.

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