Aegean volunteers battle to turn plastic waste tide | AFP

Volunteers on the the Ionian island of Zakynthos gear up and dive to retrieve plastic waste. Zakynthos one of Greece’s most pristine travel destinations, renowned for its azure waters and fabulous beaches, an environment clean enough to be a major Mediterranean nesting ground sought out by loggerhead sea turtles. But even here, plastic pollution poses a grave threat to wildlife.

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‘Urgent’ for Greece to improve miserable camps: UNHCR chief | AFP

Greece must take “urgent” steps to improve “miserable” conditions in its overcrowded island migrant camps, the UN refugee chief Filippo Grandi says after visiting camps on the island of Lesbos.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping is welcomed by Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos | AFP

Chinese President Xi Jinping is greeted by Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos in Athens. Xi touched down in the Greek capital on Sunday at the start of a three-day visit aimed at deepening cooperation with Greece. According to the Chinese foreign ministry, the visit to Athens will have “historical significance” for the development of China-Greece relations, and will also “inject new impetus” into the development of China-EU relations and Beijing’s “Belt and Road” initiative. IMAGES

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In Bulgaria, nature leaves green legacy along Iron Curtain route | AFP

Lush chestnut forests and verdant pastures cover the northern slopes of the Belasitsa mountain range in southwestern Bulgaria, part of a surprising legacy of the Iron Curtain which once cut across this region. Thirty years ago, barbed wire fences ran through here, dividing communist Bulgaria from neighbouring NATO member Greece as well as from the former Yugoslavia, which while also communist, had a more distant relation to Moscow.

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Get Outta Here! Podcast: The Last Flight of Thomas Cook

The 178-year old British tour operator Thomas Cook collapsed suddenly last month, scrambling travel plans for tens of thousands of travelers around the world. AP London correspondent Charles de Ledesma turns out to have been one of them. He and his wife left for southern Greece on a Cook flight just before the failure. He talks about his adventures, both in Greece and in getting the flight back two weeks later. On My Favorite Trip, we talk about the phenomenon of mystery travel, with a satisfied customer.

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Syrian Kurds protest Turkish offensive outside refugee camp in Greece | AFP

Dozens of Syrian Kurds gather outside the Ritsona refugee camp in Greece to protest against the Turkish military offensive. Turkey’s assault on northeastern Syria has displaced more than 60,000 people in under a day, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

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Climbers flock to Greece for the Kalymnos rock climbing festival | AFP

The 2019 annual Kalymnos Climbing Festival has attracted some 400 sport climbers from across the globe. The geography, the breathtaking views and the great weather conditions have made the Greek island of Kalymnos a top destination for international rock climbers of all levels.

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Greeks protest against Pompeo’s visit | AFP

Greeks throw red paint on the statue of former US President Harry Truman and rally in the streets of Athens in protest against US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to Greece.

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Pompeo denounces ‘harassment’ of US State Department in Trump impeachment probe | AFP

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denounces the ‘harassment’ of US State Department in the Trump impeachment probe during a diplomatic visit to Greece to underline support for a NATO ally and reinforce cooperation. SOUNDBITE

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Greece: 4 years later migrants plead freedom from “hell”

Four years after the start of the biggest migration crisis in the history of the European Union, migrants crossing to Greece are starting to pick up again. The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) announced that arrivals by sea from Turkey to Greece, mostly Afghan and Syrian families, increased to 10,258 in September. It said this was the highest monthly total since 2016, when the EU reached an accord with Turkey to stem the flow of arrivals.

Exarcheia: Greek police raid migrant district | AFP

Greece’s new conservative government has stirred controversy by mounting police operations in the bohemian Athens district of Exarchia. The Athens neighbourhood is known for student uprisings, intellectual activism and anarchists movements has not shifted its character in decades but residents feel some things need to change.

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Greece and Turkey Are Playing Dangerous War Games on the Aegean Sea

“It seems to me at times that whenever a top official from Turkey makes a statement, it is a statement that involves talk of war.”

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Israel navy seeks to boost Western profile with multi-national drill | AFP

Sailors from the United States, Greece and France join Israeli forces off the Israeli port city of Haifa for a multi-national naval drill, called Mighty Waves.

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Videographic shows location of 5.1-magnitude quake in Athens | AFP

Videographic shows the location of a 5.1-magnitude earthquake that shook the Greek capital of Athens. VIDEOGRAPHIC of the location of the quake in Greece

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Greece’s new conservative parliament convenes after elections | AFP

Greece’s new parliament is sworn in after July 7 elections that saw a broad conservative victory end over four years of leftist rule. The 51 members of the new government swore the oath of office on the Bible in a ceremony led by the Archbishop of Athens Ieronymos, in line with Greek tradition. That further underlined the break with the term of defeated leftist prime minister Alexis Tsipras, an atheist, who had taken the oath in a civil ceremony in 2015. Mitsotakis, a pro-business conservative, has vowed to ditch Tsipras’s proposals to separate Church and state. IMAGES

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Six tourists killed in fierce storms in Greece | AFP

Houses are damaged and roads are strewn with debris after strong winds and hail hit the popular tourist Halkidiki region, near the city of Thessaloniki. Fierce storms have killed six tourists and injured dozens of people in northern Greece.

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