Latest News from Albania

Day 70 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Bombing of Lviv, Dozens of Civilian Casualties in the East

Here are the highlights of events related to the war in Ukraine over the past 24 hours:

Russia bombs Lviv

There are power outages in the city after a Russian air strike, Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadoviy said on Telegram.

"As a result of the missile strike, two power substations were damaged - there is no electricity in part of the city," he said.

Ukraine President Asks Albania to Limit Russian Tourists

Speaking to MPs in the Albanian parliament via a video link on Tuesday, Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelensky asked for the closure of Albania ports to Russian ships and for limits to be put on the number of Russian holidaymakers arriving in the country.

Media Freedom Remains Major Concern in Balkans, Watchdog Says

Reporters Without Borders' 2022 World Press Freedom Index, published on Tuesday, says that over the past year there has been a large increase in "polarisation amplified by information chaos" - a phenomenon that has also affected the troubled media environment in the Balkans.

Sold for Scrap: Albanian Town Rues Demise of an Oil Giant

This time, the "dead" thing is an oil refinery in the town of Ballshi, the seat of the southern Albanian region of Mallakastra.

Shijaku bought the refinery for scrap earlier this year with a loan of nine million euros from its owner, Credins Bank. Once it's picked apart, a solar park will rise in its place by the end of 2023, he says.

Albania Investment Law Branded Tool for Clientelism

In 2015, Albania's parliament approved a bill designed to attract major investments - but seven years on, it's clear that local businesses eyeing short-term profits have reaped most of the benefits.

Albania Urged to Ensure Proper Care for Psychiatric Patients

A report published by the Council of Europe's Committee for Prevention of Torture on Tuesday after a three-day visit to Albania said that there is an urgent need to establish a specialised forensic psychiatric facility in the country to accommodate and treat male and female forensic psychiatric patients.

The EU wants Bulgaria to lift the Veto on North Macedonia by June 2022

"I will come to Sofia as often as necessary in order to reach a decision (lifting the Bulgarian veto on North Macedonia's membership in the EU) by the end of June, we have no time, the war has shown us how important the European integration is."

Encrypted Phone Crack No Silver Bullet against Balkan Crime Gangs

When a French and Dutch-led police operation cracked the code to Sky ECC in February 2021, investigators gained access to a treasure trove of real-time evidence against a host of international crime gangs. 

Thousands of people have been arrested around the world based on the Sky ECC takedown; in the Balkans, Saric is the biggest, but he is far from alone.

One killed, several injured as 5.7 quake shakes Bosnia

A 5.7-magnitude earthquake rocked southern Bosnia late on April 22, killing one person and injuring several others, local media reports said.

A 28-year-old woman who was injured when a rock fell on her house in the town of Stolac, near Mostar, died in hospital, a medical source quoted by media said. Several others were lightly injured, including members of the victim's family.

Fugitive Albanian Ex-Police Officer Convicted of Drug Trafficking

Albania Special Prosecutors Office in Tirana. Photo: Albanian Prosecution Office.

Tirana's Special Court Against Organised Crime and Corruption found Sokol Bode, chief of police in the southern Albanian village of Dhermi, guilty in absentia.

Bode has been on the run since Italian police cracked a cannabis smuggling ring dubbed 'the Habilaj Brothers.'

War in Ukraine Hits Albania’s Hopes of Tourism Revival

Ukrainians made up a significant proportion of the holidaymakers visiting Albania before the pandemic - and with war keeping them at home, tourism businesses are worried.

North Macedonia Arrests Border Officer for Alleged Bribe-Taking

North Macedonia's deputy Interior Minister, Nazim Bushi told media that one officer at the Blace border crossing with Kosovo has been arrested after Albania's Klan TV published video footage that it claims shows how North Macedonian border officials there take bribes.

Powerful Albanian Businessmen Pick up Struggling TV Channels

Powerful, politically-connected businessman Shefqet Kastrati has entered Albania's crowded media market with the purchase on Monday of Euronews Albania, following in the footsteps of Samir Mane who bought TV SCAN last month.