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Albania and Greece at odds over ethnic Greek’s death at shootout with Albanian police

The Albanian and Greek foreign ministries held opposing stands on Monday morning after 35-year-old Konstantinos Katsifas was shot dead a day earlier during a crossfire with officers of the Renea Special Force in Gjirokastra’s Bularat village.

The Greek foreign ministry announced it had been made aware of the Greek citizen’s death and that it is following the case’s developments alongside Albanian authorities.

“Our condolences for the death of the Greek minority member, the loss of a person’s life is unacceptable under any circumstances. We express our regret for the Greek citizen’s death,” the foreign ministry’s announcement read.

In response to the Greek reaction, the Albanian ministry of foreign affairs expressed disappointment Greek officials did not condemn the armed attack against Albanian police forces, but rather spoke of “unacceptable loss of lives.”

Further on, the Albanian ministry’s announcement called for maturity in handling this clear and unprecedented case without giving it…

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China rolls back ban on tiger, rhino products in medicine

China says it will allow trading in products made from endangered tigers and rhinos under "special circumstances," reversing a previous ban and bringing condemnation from conservation groups.

A notice from the Cabinet issued Monday avoided mentioning any change in the law, saying instead that it would "control" the trade and that rhino horns and tiger bones could only be obtained from farmed animals for use in "medical research or in healing."

"Under the special circumstances, regulation on the sales and use of these products will be strengthened, and any related actions will be authorized, and the trade volume will be strictly controlled," the statement said.

Tiger bone and rhino horn are used in traditional Chinese medicine, despite a lack of evidence of their effectiveness in treating illness and the effect on wild populations. Chinese demand for ivory is also blamed as a driver behind the slaughter of African elephants, despite Beijing banning …

Trump plans to terminate US birthright citizenship for non-immigrants

President Donald Trump is intensifying his hardline immigration rhetoric heading into the midterm elections, declaring that he wants to order an end to the constitutional right to citizenship for babies born in the United States to non-citizens.

With seven days to go before high-stakes elections that he has sought to focus on his fearmongering over immigration, Trump made the comments to "Axios on HBO." Trump, seeking to energize his supporters and help Republicans keep control of Congress, has stoked anxiety about a caravan of Central American migrants making its way to the U.S.-Mexico border. He is dispatching additional troops and saying he'll set up tent cities for asylum seekers.

The president has long called for an end to birthright citizenship, as have many conservatives. An executive order to revoke the right would spark a court fight over whether the president has the unilateral ability to change an amendment to the Constitution. The 14th Amendment guarantees that…

Bosnia races to launch shelters for EU-bound migrants before harshBalkan winter

With winter knocking at the door, Bosnia is racing to avert a humanitarian crisis for thousands of EU-bound migrants crossing its mountainous terrain and sleeping without proper shelter as temperatures drop.

The poor Balkan state has become a well-trodden stop on the new route to the European Union for migrants escaping war and poverty in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa.

Some 20,000 have traversed the rugged country this year, headed for EU member state Croatia, according to authorities.

But Bosnia, saddled with its own economic and political problems, is not eager to host the newcomers and has been slow to open reception centers -- especially in the northwest region, where most are gathering near the Croatian border.

Last week authorities unveiled two new facilities, one in the northwest and the other near Sarajevo. Together, they double the total number of available beds for migrants to around 1,700.

That still leaves more than 1,000 others in fragile conditions that could turn in…

Extinct ancient foal in pioneering cloning experiment is older thaninitially believed

Radiocarbon dating shows baby horse is 42,170 years old: bid to restore the species will 'pave the way for return of woolly mammoth'.

The light ginger-coloured carcass of the long-gone species of horse was found in the permafrost in Yakutia, the coldest region in Russia.

Experts initially said it was between 30,000 and 40,000 years old.

Now Semyon Grigoryev, leading researcher at the Mammoth Museum in Yakutsk, has revealed: 'The exact age turned out to be 42,170.’

Radiocarbon tests were carried out by South Korean professor Hwang Woo-suk with whom Siberian scientists are collaborating in efforts to clone a number of extinct species preserved in permafrost - including the woolly mammoth.




The Batagai foal, Semyon Grigoryev and the team that found the horse, the Batagai depression in Yakutia. Pictures: The Siberian Times, NEFU, Semyon Grigoryev

Achieving the return of the lost horse species is seen as a precursor for an attempt to restore the woolly mammoth.

A search is now underway…

Albania makes it to Lonely Planet’s top 10 affordable adventuredestinations

Albania has made it to Lonely Planet’s top 10 affordable adventure destinations for 2019 as one of Europe’s final frontiers that offers hiking amid beautiful mountain scenery, superb beaches and a unique history.

Albania ranks eighth on a top 10 list led by Egypt and Poland, but which also includes Maldives, two US destinations, Argentina, Bangladesh, Ecuador and Slovenia, being the sole Western Balkan country to make it to the list.

The rating is made by Lonely Planet, the world-renowned travel guidebook publisher that has long been a standard for backpackers, budget travelers, and people seeking off-the-beaten-path destinations.

“Albania has been Europe’s final frontier for a while. Here’s a pocket of great value hiding in plain sight, with some superb beaches, a unique history and none of the crowds of Montenegro to the north or Greece to the south. The country’s exciting food scene celebrates the fruits of its unique local flavours and offers seriously distinctive dining,” says the 2…

Hundreds of Salvadorans form new US-bound caravan

A group of around 300 migrants left the El Salvador capital on foot on Sunday heading for the border with Guatemala in the hope of eventually realizing the "American dream" and reaching the United States.

The group, made up mostly of men, has been inspired by the much larger Honduran caravan already in Mexico and striving to reach the U.S.

"We're a little more than 300 people, but as we walk we hope more compatriots will join us," Hernan Quinteros, a 48-year-old retired army sergeant, told AFP.

The new caravan ignored warnings from El Salvador's government on Friday not to put their lives in danger.

It's more than two weeks since a caravan of Honduran migrants set off in search of a better life, passing through Guatemala and now into Mexico, with its numbers swelling up to 7,000 according to U.N. estimates.

U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to deploy the military to halt them at the border with Mexico.

But while Quinteros, who took part in El Salvado…