Amnesty International: BG media freedom declines
Bulgaria's media was less free in 2022 thanks to lawsuits against media and journalists and frequent intimidation of reporters, concludes the annual report of international human rights organization Amnesty International.The report refers to last year's study, conducted by the Association of European Journalists, which suggests that every second journalist in Bulgaria was subjected to illegal pressure, and every tenth was threatened with court.
"Journalists and independent media covering topics related to organized crime, corruption or minority rights were subjected to constant threats and harassment and were often the victims of illegal lawsuits by government officials and businessmen," Amnesty said. The most recent case of such pressure is insurance company Lev Ins' lawsuit against Mediapool.bg because of an article from September 27, 2022, which simply quoted a transcript of a meeting of the Council of Ministers.
Schools face second day of bomb alerts
Dozens of schools across the country received bomb threats for the second day in a row, prompting the evacuation of students. Threats were sent to school emails early in the morning, claiming there were explosive devices on their grounds. There were a total of 102 alerts today, across Sofia, Varna, Burgas, Pleven and Sliven regions, stated the Chief Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Petar Todorov.
Acting Interior Minister Ivan Demerdzhiev revealed that the leading version for the false alerts was a hybrid attack linked to Russia. He added that these were false alarms and aimed at attracting media attention. He specified that Bulgaria has sought assistance from the partner services in Europe and the USA, which are working on establishing the source of the threats.
Kaufland and Lidl install recycling vending machines
Kaufland and Lidl supermarkets are the first businesses in Bulgaria to introduce vending machines for accepting used plastic bottles and beverage cans that are then recycled. For each returned bottle or can, customers will receive an eco-voucher worth 5 cents that they can then spend on groceries.
The installations accept plastic bottles with a capacity of up to 3 liters made of PET material, as well as metal cans. Bottles must be intact, uncontaminated and free of liquid.