Thousands of Macedonians protest name change

Defying freezing temperatures and snow, protesters, organized by a network of several civic associations, chanted ‘Long live Macedonia!’ and ‘Macedonians!’ (AFP)
Updated 27 February 2018
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Thousands of Macedonians protest name change

SKOPJE: Several thousand Macedonians took to the streets in capital Skopje on Tuesday to protest against a possible change of their country’s name, as required by Greece to end a long-running row.
Defying freezing temperatures and snow, the protesters, organized by a network of several civic associations, held umbrellas in the colors of the Macedonian flag and chanted “Long live Macedonia!” and “Macedonians!”
The protesters demanded an end to ongoing talks between Macedonia’s government and their Greek counterparts aimed at solving the 25-year dispute.
Athens, which has threatened to veto Macedonia joining NATO and can block its bid to join the European Union, argues its neighbor’s use of the name suggests Skopje has claims to the territory of Greece’s historic northern region of the same name.
But Macedonia has made significant progress recently and the EU has said it is “very confident” the dispute will be settled before July.
“The name of the state must remain unchanged,” Macedonian writer Eftim Kletnikov told the crowd that gathered in front of the EU headquarters in Skopje and marched to the parliament.
Political parties, including the main opposition nationalist VMRO-DPMNE, said they were not behind the protest.


Drones disrupt flights at Singapore airport for second time in a week

Updated 25 min 58 sec ago
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Drones disrupt flights at Singapore airport for second time in a week

SINGAPORE: Unauthorized drone flying caused the second spate of delays and flight diversions in less than a week at Singapore’s Changi airport on Monday night, the city-state’s aviation authority said.
Around 18 departures and arrivals were delayed and seven flights were diverted from the global transit hub due to “bad weather and unauthorized drone activities,” the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore said in a statement on Tuesday.
The disruption lasted about an hour, it said.
Last week Changi, one of Asia’s busiest hubs, closed one of its runways for short periods due to unauthorized drone flying, disrupting 38 flights.
It is against the law in Singapore to fly a drone within five kilometers (three miles) of an airport without a permit.
Authorities are investigating.
A surge in the availability of drones has become an increasing security concern for airports around the world.
In December, drone sightings caused three days of travel chaos at London’s Gatwick airport, resulting in the cancelation or diversion of about 1,000 flights at an estimated cost of more than 50 million pounds ($64 million).