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Stefan Velkov is training at Carrington in hope of securing a deal

Former PM shot dead in Bulgaria

The air of crisis in Bulgaria intensified yesterday when a former prime minister, Andrei Lukanov, was shot dead in front of his home in Sofia. As police launched a search for the killer, parliamentarians across the political spectrum condemned the murder, describing it as the first political killing since the overthrow of communist rule in November 1989.

UN man says Bulgaria tried to murder him

The curse of the poisoned umbrella tip returned to haunt Bulgaria yesterday after the country's top diplomat to the United Nations accused his own government of deploying dirty tricks against political opponents similar to those allegedly used against former dissidents.

Royal return lifts spirits in nation starved of hope

No 28: Simeon Coburg-Gotha

Familiar faces back in business

1 Borislav Mikhailov Reading

Bulgarians hail 'Tsar' Simeon

The man who still likes to describe himself as "Tsar of all the Bulgars" returned to the land of his birth yesterday, almost 50 years after he was sent into exile, writes Adrian Bridge, Central Europe Correspondent.

On the ridge above us a frieze of Zulu warriors appeared in full battle dress

South Africa today is much more than wide beaches and game parks: it is a tonic for the disillusioned spirit. We wanted to visit the homelands; particularly the Transkei of President Mandela, but the poverty and uncontrolled industrial development has left little of the traditional Xhosa life and culture. So it was to Mandela's chief headache, the Zulus, that we went. They have had a bad press and are certainly a fierce and nationalistic people, but this has enabled their unique culture to survive.

Hiss in the grass gives referee derby shivers

Coins, bottles, rotten fruit and other assorted missiles are all in a day's work for referees around the world, but Bulgarian fans came up with a football first when they showed their displeasure with the man in the middle by propelling a live snake in his direction.

Boro beckon Danish striker

Middlesbrough were yesterday reported to have paid pounds 5.1m for the services of the Danish striker Mikkel Beck from Fortuna Cologne of Germany.

The night George lost it all

PEOPLE

Ministers double EBRD's money

Western finance ministers yesterday agreed to dig deeper into their pockets to finance economic development in eastern Europe. At the annual meeting of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development meeting in Bulgaria yesterday, they formally agreed to double the bank's capital base from ecu 10bn (pounds 8.2bn) to ecu20bn.

LETTER : Forced back into Moscow's arms

Sir: In your leading article on 3 April ("Back in the USSR"), you acknowledge the right of Belarus and others to forge closer links with Russia yet, with regard to Bulgaria, you state that Western leaders should remind Boris Yeltsin that "the independence of Eastern Europe is absolutely not up for discussion".

Hijackers hold out 'for homeland'

Chechen gunmen stepped up the war against Russia last night, hijacking a Turkish Cypriot airliner with 101 people on board.

Climbers fear curbs on their freedom

A European proposal may limit access to crags. Stephen Goodwin reports

Past failure is the spur for Rangers

Football

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