Albania quake recovery conference raises 1.15 bn euros: EU chief | AFP

European commission president Ursula von der Leyen says international donors pledged 1.15 billion euros ($1.25 billion) to help Albania recover from a powerful earthquake last year, more than double the sum expected by Tirana. SOUNDBITE

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In Albania, a film follows communism’s star-crossed lovers | AFP

Inside the stone walls of a 12th century castle, Albanian and Russian actors are trying to make some movie magic as they reenact a little-known chapter of their shared history for the big screen. The historical drama is the first joint production between the two countries in more than 50 years and was co-written by Russian screenwriter Yuri Arabov and none other than Albania’s most acclaimed novelist, Ismail Kadare. Tentatively named “Gjirokastra” after the southern Albanian city it is based in, the love story is the first feature film to delve into the tragic fate of mixed couples who were persecuted by the communist regime. The trouble started after Tirana severed ties with Moscow in 1961, a diplomatic break-up that turned young Albanians with Soviet-born wives into suspected traitors overnight.

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Albania earthquake: several dead, dozens hurt

A strong earthquake shook Albania early Tuesday, killing at least four people, injuring 150 and collapsing buildings. The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude 6.4 quake was centered northwest of the capital, Tirana. (Nov. 26)

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Former home of Albanian author Kadare becomes a museum | AFP

Ismail Kadare draws the curtain to bring a shaft of light into the Tirana apartment where he wrote furiously during the dark days of communism — a space visitors can now explore first-hand after his former home was turned into a museum. During that time, the windows were covered with heavy drapes to shield their home from the paranoid eye of the communist regime led by former dictator Enver Hoxha, who painfully isolated Albania during his 40-year-reign.

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Police, protesters clash in demo against Albania PM | AFP

Thousands of Albanians protest against Prime Minister Edi Rama, throwing firecrackers and lighting flares at a rally in Tirana. Several police, a protester and a reporter were injured, according to authorities and witnesses. IMAGES

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Albania on fire: Thousands rally against alleged govt links to crime in Tirana

Tear gas has been fired and barbed wire put up in the capital of Albania, which is in the grip of intense anti-government protests. People want to get rid of the current cabinet alleging corruption and links to organized crime. Opposition MPs have resigned en masse, demanding new elections.

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RAW: Albanian opposition attempts to storm PM’s residence

Albanian police fired tear gas & stun grenades at protesters who attempted to storm their way into the government building in Tirana on Saturday, as thousands of opposition supporters flooded the streets of the capital to call for Prime Minister Edi Rama’s resignation. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/9ohv

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Albanian PM pelted with flour during parliamentary session

Members of the opposition protested against Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama by throwing flour at him during a tense parliamentary session in Tirana on Thursday. The opposition confronted Rama in the session, claiming they were unable to continue with their day-to-day work with the PM there.

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Albania Has Transgender Beauty Pageant

LGBT supporters cheered as seven competitors took part in a transgender beauty contest competition in a disco bar in the capital, Tirana. (Dec. 24)

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