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'Believe in miracles': Spiritual cures soothe Covid-hit Albania

- From Christianity and Islam to animal sacrifices and pagan charms, Albanians have all their spiritual bases covered when crisis hits.

In good spirits: Albania's beloved brandy boosts morale

Fishta - At the bottom of her garden, mother-of-five Vitore Lufi makes raki, a fruit brandy celebrated by Albanians and especially welcome this autumn to lift spirits during the coronavirus pandemic.

Chain reaction: virus darkens future of Albania's chromium miners

Bulqiz - With mountains of chromite piling sky high on the docks of the port behind him in the Albanian city of Durres, logistics manager Henri Kurti explains the hold up.

Nowhere to go: pandemic inflames Albania's scourge of domestic abuse

Tirana - Her face swollen and arms darkened by bruises, Ana's eyes dart anxiously around her flat in eastern Albania, where she is trapped with a violent husband whose blows have worsened during the pandemic.

Tourists travel secret tunnels of Albania's communist-era paranoia

Gjirokast - Snaking beneath a fortress in southern Albania, a covert tunnel network built during the communist era captures the secrecy and paranoia that defined the long rule of tyrant Enver Hoxha.

Albanians rush to enter Greece as virus rules change

Tirana - Thousands of Albanians formed an enormous queue of cars at the Greek border Friday as they rushed to re-enter the country for work ahead of new virus rules, police said.

Blue crab invasion spells doom for Albanian fishermen

Divjak - The blue crab may be pretty but it is a menace along Albania's coast.A source of daily anguish for Balkan fishermen struggling to make ends meet, the invasive species is upsetting the region's ecosystems.

One family's vigil to protect the memory of Albania's dictator

- Sabire Plaku gets short of breath when she climbs the hill that leads to the last intact statue of Albania's communist former dictator Enver Hoxha.Every morning, the 85-year-old checks that nobody has touched the effigy, which depicts him as a warrior....

'Our war was clean and just' says Kosovo's Thaci

Tirana - Kosovo President Hashim Thaci on Sunday defended his record, a day before flying to The Hague to be questioned by war crimes prosecutors over his role in the 1998-99 conflict.

Kosovo's Thaci accuses international justice of rewriting history

Tirana - Kosovo President Hashim Thaci on Friday accused international justice of "rewriting history" after he was charged with war crimes linked to the 1990s conflict with Serbia.

Coronavirus puts damper on Albania's blowout wedding tradition

Tirana - Elona Demollari does not know when her big day will come, but she is trying on wedding gowns anyway as Albanians yearn for the return of the big, brash weddings that are a cornerstone of social life in the poor Balkan country.

Albania protesters clash with police over theatre demolition

Tirana - Albanian police on Sunday clashed with protesters including opposition supporters angry over the demolition of the national theatre and detained nearly 40 people.

Birds in paradise: Albania's flamingos flourish in virus lockdown

Arta - With tourists home, boats docked and factories silenced under a coronavirus lockdown, Albania's pink flamingos and curly pelicans are flourishing in the newfound tranquility of lagoons dotting the country's western coastline.

For Balkan Roma, hunger is the first curse of coronavirus

Tirana - Inside a dark shack outside Albania's capital, 18-year-old Mirela tries to soothe her newborn with the only food she has: a can of powdered milk scrounged from a rubbish bin. "But what to do after that?

In Albania, Iranian dissidents plot a revolution

Man - In a gleaming compound built from scratch on an Albanian hillside, thousands of Iranians dedicate their waking hours to toppling the regime in Tehran 3,000 kilometres away. They believe the end of their exile is near.

Nexhmije Hoxha, widow of Albania's communist tyrant, dies aged 99

Tirana - The widow of Albania's former communist dictator Enver Hoxha, considered the power behind the throne and herself personally implicated in executions and deportations during his regime, died on Wednesday aged 99, her family said.

Albania quake exposes scourge of sketchy construction

Mamurras - When a powerful earthquake struck Albania more than two months ago, buildings collapsed like houses of cards atop sleeping families.

Albania will not 'cry at Europe's door', PM says

Tirana - Albania will not "stay at Europe's door and cry" for it to open, Prime Minister Edi Rama told AFP, stressing that the Balkan state must focus on its own future while Brussels sorts out thorny questions over its admissions process. The country of 2.

In Albania, a film follows communism's star-crossed lovers

Gjirokast - Inside the stone walls of a 13th-century fortress, Albanian and Russian actors are striving to re-enact a little-known but troubling chapter of their shared history for the big screen.

'Children are innocent': Albanians beg for return of IS youngsters

Tirana - After media interest helped mobilise the evacuation of an Albanian boy from northern Syria last month, families of other children of Islamic State fighters are pleading with Tirana to redouble its efforts and bring the rest home.
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