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Keyword: balkans

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  • Russia Mothballs Trans-Balkan Oil Pipeline Project

    02/18/2011 11:22:01 PM PST · by bruinbirdman · 4 replies · 1+ views
    On February 17, the stakeholders and supervisory board of the Russian-led Burgas-Alexandropolis oil pipeline project shelved the project in all but name. The host countries, Bulgaria and Greece, had (each for its own considerations) recently suspended payments to the project company. The meeting decided to lay off staff and give up rented office space of the project company. Moscow has not given up officially on this project, and has scheduled a follow-up meeting for June. But Moscow does plan a pipeline via Turkey (the Samsun-Ceyhan project) as an alternative option (Interfax, Novinite, February 17). Led by a consortium of Russia’s...
  • Kosovo: Thug Life

    02/19/2011 2:12:22 AM PST · by bruinbirdman · 5 replies
    Foreign Policy ^ | 2/17/2011 | WHIT MASON AND BRONWYN HEALY-AARONS
    Think Mubarak was bad? Kosovo's leaders are accused of being organ-smuggling, drug-dealing goons -- and the United States is looking the other way. Amid fireworks and celebratory gunfire, Kosovo -- Europe's newest country -- turned three years old on Thursday, Feb. 17. But behind the scenes of revelry in the capital, Pristina, it's clear that it will take a lot more than flag-waving for the fledgling country to grow out of its terrible twos. For all the hope that was once showered upon this young democracy, it still faces an enormous uphill battle: the country has no international postal or...
  • The hidden crimes of Kosovo

    01/08/2011 11:35:48 PM PST · by americanophile · 24 replies
    Washington Post ^ | January 8, 2011 | Chuck Sudetic
    Americans should feel betrayed by the contents of the Council of Europe's report on organized crime in mostly Albanian-populated Kosovo, a country that owes its existence to the United States. The report, authored by Swiss prosecutor Dick Marty, includes allegations that Kosovo leaders have committed heinous crimes and allegations that American and European diplomats and U.N. officials in Kosovo overlooked wrongdoing to preserve "political stability." Kosovo's leaders have waged an ugly media campaign to discredit Marty and his findings and have threatened to launch a witch hunt against Albanians who aided the inquiry. Washington's voice is needed now to stop...
  • Criminal Kosovo: America’s Gift to Europe

    01/13/2011 5:45:12 AM PST · by Ravnagora · 7 replies
    www.nspm.rs ^ | November 12, 2011 | Diana Johnstone
    U.S. media have given more attention to hearsay allegations of Julian Assange’s sexual encounters with two talkative Swedish women than to an official report accusing Kosovo prime minister Hashim Thaci of running a criminal enterprise which, among almost every other crime in the book, has murdered prisoners in order to sell their vital organs on the world market. The report by Swiss liberal Dick Marty was mandated two years ago by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). Not to be confused with the European Union, the Council of Europe was founded in 1949 to promote human rights,...
  • Turk Detained in Kosovo Organ Trafficking Probe

    01/11/2011 12:21:03 PM PST · by markomalley · 1 replies
    See BS ^ | 1/11/11
    Police on Tuesday detained a Turkish doctor suspected of carrying out dozens of operations as part of an alleged international network involved in the trafficking of human organs in Kosovo, Turkish media reported. Yusuf Sonmez, 53, is among at least nine people who were indicted in the case in Kosovo, which declared independence in 2008 and has struggled to shake off organized crime and corruption under international supervision. Interpol had issued a notice requesting the arrest of Sonmez over the Kosovo case, though he has been detained in Turkey in the past. A warrant issued by the district court in...
  • UN knew about Kosovo organ trafficking, report says

    02/16/2011 7:57:43 PM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 54 replies
    By FRANCE 24 ^ | 16/02/2011
    A classified document obtained by FRANCE 24 suggests the United Nations knew about organ trafficking in postwar Kosovo as early as 2003, five years before prosecutors in The Hague first raised the issue. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was expected to deliver a report on the situation in Kosovo to the Security Council in New York on Wednesday, reaffirming UN support for investigations into human organ trafficking during Kosovo’s postwar period. But a classified document obtained by FRANCE 24 indicates the UN knew of trafficking well before the issue was first raised by Carla del Ponte, a former prosecutor at...
  • Croatia: Zagreb looks to the euro

    02/05/2011 10:06:32 PM PST · by bruinbirdman · 5 replies
    Presseurop ^ | 2/3/2011 | Vjesnik
    “Croatia will join the Eurozone by 2017,” announces Vjesnik. The daily reports that for the first time, the country has received concrete information on its future accession to the EU: 2013 or 2014, if it succeeds in wrapping up negotiations this year. Thereafter, economists interviewed by the newspaper are confident that Croatia will fulfill the criteria for the adoption of the single currency. "Slovenia, which adopted the euro there years after its accession to the EU, "is a prime example of fast-track entry into the Eurozone." However Vjesnik warns "that achievement of the strategic objective of inclusion in the Eurozone...
  • Nedžad Balkan: The Face of Southeastern Europe’s Newest Radical Threat

    02/02/2011 1:04:43 AM PST · by bruinbirdman · 8 replies
    A Vienna-born Serbian Muslim named Nedžad Balkan (a.k.a. Ebu Muhammed) is believed to have been behind the most recent terror attack in the central Bosnian town of Bugojno, and his connection to Bosnia and Herzegovina signals the rise of a new and avowedly violent sect of Wahhabis that has regional intelligence agencies on alert. Nedžad Balkan Nedžad Balkan, born in Vienna, Austria, is the son of Bosniaks from Serbia’s predominately Muslim Sandžak region straddling the border of the Republic of Montenegro. A former boxer and night club bouncer in his younger days, Balkan, now in his mid-30s, is the leader...
  • BBC World Service Leaves The Balkans - Al-Jazeera to launch Balkan operations

    01/27/2011 2:46:51 PM PST · by Ravnagora · 14 replies
    Radio Free Europe - Radio Liberty ^ | January 26, 2011 | Daisy Sindelar
    A protester holds up a placard during a rally in front of BBC's Bush House in London on January 26. BBC World Service radio listeners throughout the Balkans this morning tuned in to some disappointing news. Citing budget cuts, the World Service announced that it was closing down radio programming in five of its broadcast languages -- Albanian, Macedonian, Portuguese for Africa, English for the Caribbean, and Serbian. The move effectively shuts down the last World Service broadcasts in the Balkans, after earlier closures of the Croatian, Bulgarian, and Slovenian language services. The departure of the World Service leaves RFE/RL,...
  • Report identifies Hashim Thaci as 'big fish' in organised crime

    01/25/2011 6:39:48 AM PST · by lizol · 3 replies
    The Guardian ^ | Monday 24 January 2011 | Paul Lewis
    Report identifies Hashim Thaci as 'big fish' in organised crime Kosovo's prime minister accused of criminal connections in secret Nato documents leaked to the Guardian Kosovo's prime minister, Hashim Thaçi, has been identified as one of the "biggest fish" in organised crime in his country, according to western military intelligence reports leaked to the Guardian. The Nato documents, which are marked "Secret", indicate that the US and other western powers backing Kosovo's government have had extensive knowledge of its criminal connections for several years. They also identify another senior ruling politician in Kosovo as having links to the Albanian mafia,...
  • China's new stealth fighter may use US technology

    01/23/2011 5:02:45 AM PST · by sukhoi-30mki · 30 replies · 2+ views
    Associated Press ^ | 01/23/2011 | SLOBODAN LEKIC & DUSAN STOJANOVIC
    China's new stealth fighter may use US technology SLOBODAN LEKIC and DUSAN STOJANOVIC, Associated Press BRUSSELS – Chinese officials recently unveiled a new, high-tech stealth fighter that could pose a significant threat to American air superiority — and some of its technology, it turns out, may well have come from the U.S. itself. Balkan military officials and other experts have told The Associated Press that in all probability the Chinese gleaned some of their technological know-how from an American F-117 Nighthawk that was shot down over Serbia in 1999. Nighthawks were the world's first stealth fighters, planes that were very...
  • European terror attack feared as al-Qaida fighters disappear from base in Lebanon

    01/13/2011 9:58:36 AM PST · by La Lydia · 4 replies
    The Guardian, UK ^ | December 26, 2011
    Intelligence services throughout the Middle East and Europe are scrambling to track down more than two dozen fighters linked to al-Qaida who have recently left their base in southern Lebanon. The missing men are thought to have gone to Europe by a newly established route through Syria, Turkey and the Balkans, and multiple intelligence sources in Lebanon warn that the group appears to be operational and could be planning attacks in Europe in the holiday season. "Yes, they have left the camp," confirmed Munir al-Maqda, a senior Palestine Liberation Organisation official in the Ain el-Hilweh refugee camp, where the fighters...
  • Amorality of US Kosovo Policy: Friends with the Snake

    12/29/2010 8:48:06 AM PST · by montyspython · 8 replies · 1+ views
    Serbianna.com ^ | Dec 28, 2010 | Vojin Joksimovich
    Amorality of US Kosovo Policy: Friends with the Snake Dec 28, 2010 By Vojin Joksimovich | No amount of human rights violations against the Serbs; no amount of dead Serbs nor any amount of Serbs whose organs are gruesomely extracted by the Kosovo Albanian KLA terrorists is sufficient for Washington to at least re-examine its wrong policy in the Balkans. On April 17, 2008 I published article titled Bankruptcy of Moral Values: Butchering of Serbs Condoned by the West. It was written in response to the revelations in Carla Del Ponte’s book translated into English as Madame Prosecutor: Confrontations with...
  • Wahhabis threaten Serbia, officials

    12/29/2010 8:16:53 AM PST · by montyspython · 21 replies · 4+ views
    Serbianna.com ^ | Dec 28, 2010
    Wahhabis threaten Serbia, officials Dec 28, 2010 Kosovo Albanian independence declaration and organized crime are threats to Serbia but the most dangerous threat to Serbia’s security is the the Islamic Wahhabi movement in Serbia’s Raska region says Serbia’s top spy Svetko Kovac. “Besides the existing criminal and terrorist groups in that space there are secessionist demands and provocations and other extremist associations and groups,” said Kovac about the Raska region which Muslims call Sandzak. A Muslim Imam Zukorlic has been fanning violence in the region and rounding up various extremist Muslims demanding “autonomy” not just for that area but from...
  • UN in Kosovo Accused of Coverup of Organ Trade & Press Beating, Silent

    12/27/2010 4:46:17 PM PST · by Bokababe · 11 replies
    Inner City Press ^ | 12/27/10 | Matthew Russell Lee
    UNITED NATIONS, December 27 -- Accused of covering up the harvest and sale of organs of prisoners of war in Kosovo, the UN has had nothing to say for the past 11 days. Nor has it commented on reports of the beating of a journalist directly in front of its UNMIK headquarters in Pristina for the past five days. On December 27, the UN simply ignored the organ question altogether.....
  • Serbia is demanding the investigation of a top Danish diplomat to Kosova

    12/27/2010 4:40:14 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 35 replies · 3+ views
    Politiken ^ | 27. dec 2010 KL. 10.24
    Serbia has asked the International War Crimes Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) to open an investigation into a top Danish diplomat Sřren Jessen-Petersen, claiming that UNMIK covered up a report on the trade in human organs, according to the newspaper Blic. Jessen-Petersen headed the United Nations UNMIK operation in Kosova from 2004 to 2006. According to the report UNMIK representatives denied having seen a report on the subject, but Serbian authorities have now questioned the claim. “In 2008, our prosecutors came into possession of 16 pages from this report,” says Serbian Minister for Cooperation with the ICTY Rasim Ljajic,...
  • Kosovo Protestants tell of hardship, survival

    12/23/2010 10:47:22 PM PST · by Bokababe · 6 replies · 2+ views
    SE European Times ^ | 12/22/10 | Staff
    The small Protestant church in downtown Pristina has been around since 1985. Since then, its flock has grown to around 6,000 faithful, and 21 additional churches have been built around Kosovo. But the denomination faces ongoing barriers in a country where the majority religion is Islam, says the community's spiritual leader, Pastor Arthur Krasniqi. "In this part of the Balkans, among Albanians as well, religion has always played a role in, or [rather] has been abused by, politics for electoral or other purposes," he told SETimes. Protestants, he said, have to deal with an atmosphere of unease. "They are visited...
  • The big cleanup begins [Balkan corruption]

    12/25/2010 7:28:58 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 10 replies · 1+ views
    Press Europ ^ | 23 December 2010
    Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro: in the space of a fortnight, the leaders or ex-leaders of all three countries have been arrested or accused of wrongdoing. Meanwhile, reports a Montenegro weekly, the EU is paving the way for the accession of all three Balkan countries.Like something out of a political thriller, former Croatian prime minister Ivo Sanader was arrested in Austria [on 10 December] under a warrant issued by his own country. He is now waiting for extradition in a Salzburg jail and says he’s prepared to answer corruption charges. A day or two prior to his arrest, right before parliament lifted...
  • Kosovo’s Organized Crime Burden

    12/23/2010 8:31:54 AM PST · by montyspython · 9 replies · 1+ views
    Serbianna.com ^ | Dec 20, 2010 | Ioannis Michaletos
    Kosovo’s Organized Crime Burden Dec 20, 2010 By Ioannis Michaletos | In Kosovo, the main managers of illicit drugs are the so-called “15 families,” which represent the core power of the region, because of their financial clout and political connections. In a 67-page report published in 2005, BND (German intelligence agency) analysts concluded that there is “close interaction between the leading members of the Kosovo-Albanian society and the domestic and international underworld currently domiciled in Pristina.” Moreover, “the criminal networks don’t support the creation of a stable political and economic environment, since that will reduce their clout.” What is more...
  • Another Great Clinton Foreign Policy Success

    12/16/2010 6:49:39 PM PST · by Ravnagora · 3 replies
    The American Spectator ^ | December 15, 2010 | Doug Bandow
    It was never easy to understand why the Clinton administration intervened in Kosovo. The U.S. had not made a habit of deciding which European state was obligated to grant independence to which disaffected minority. For instance, Spain told Basques to stuff it without much comment from Washington. And the U.S. never worried about its allies using brutality against guerrillas--the Turkish campaign against the Kurds destroyed thousands of villages and killed tens of thousands of people, while the U.S. provided Ankara with arms. However, the prospect of getting involved in a conflict with no conceivable relationship to U.S. interests drew the...
  • Holbrooke no hero to general

    12/17/2010 10:02:34 PM PST · by TheMole · 57 replies · 1+ views
    The Ottawa Sun ^ | December 17, 2010 | Michael Harris
    This week, the Globe and Mail asked General Lewis McKenzie (Retired) to write the obituary of American diplomat Richard Holbrooke. It was a good idea. The two men had crossed paths more than once on the global stage of the Great Game. McKenzie declined. Holbrooke had just died and the general knew that what he had to say would hardly produce the standard panegyric. When I caught up with McKenzie, he was shoveling snow after a spell away from home. I asked for an interview and to my surprise, he agreed. “I’m just going to tell you what I thought...
  • Sharks Wary of Drunk Serbs

    12/17/2010 12:10:17 PM PST · by montyspython · 73 replies · 4+ views
    Macedoniaonline ^ | Thursday, 16 December 2010
    Sharks Wary of Drunk Serbs Dragan Stevic of Serbia is the new Egyptian hero who killed a large shark which had previously terrorized numerous tourists (injured 4 and killed 1) at the famous Egyptian resort Sarm El Sheikh. The Serbian hero was too drunk to remember what had happened, though one of his friends who witnessed the incident explained it all for the Belgrade based media. Dragan Stevic was dubbed by the Egyptian media as "Shark El Sheikh" and thanked him for saving their tourist season. Milovan Ubirapa, one of Stevic’s friend who witnessed the incident explained that Dragan had...
  • Kosovo PM Hashim Thaci's crimes 'known to the West'

    12/17/2010 6:22:49 AM PST · by Ravnagora · 34 replies
    The Australian ^ | December 18, 2010 | The Times
    WESTERN leaders have been accused of turning a blind eye to murders, drug running and organ trafficking in Kosovo. The West elevated a man it knew to be a criminal boss to the rank of European statesman. Although Western intelligence agencies warned that Hashim Thaci ran an organised crime network in the late 1990s, Western political leaders backed his Kosovo Liberation Army, according to a report published by the Council of Europe. The report, adopted unanimously by the council's 47 member states, will add to pressure for an independent criminal inquiry into Mr Thaci, now Kosovo's Prime Minister. It also...
  • Kosovo must probe organ harvesting accusation, official says

    12/17/2010 5:50:34 AM PST · by Ravnagora · 16 replies · 1+ views
    CNN ^ | December 16, 2010 | CNN Wire Staff
    Paris (CNN) -- Authorities in Kosovo must conduct a "tough, independent investigation" into allegations of organ harvesting from prisoners of war, a leading European human rights activist demanded Thursday. "These things were known by intelligence agencies in various countries, by police, by many people," said Dick Marty, whose report into the allegations was approved by a Council of Europe committee Thursday. But people in Kosovo are afraid to come forward and give evidence, he said. "In private they said, 'Yes, we know,' but because of political opportunism they decided to keep quiet," he said. The report links Kosovar Prime Minister...
  • Report Names Kosovo Leader as Crime Boss

    12/16/2010 10:28:23 AM PST · by Ravnagora · 13 replies
    The New York Times ^ | December 15, 2010 | DOREEN CARVAJAL and MARLISE SIMONS
    PARIS — A two-year international inquiry has concluded that the prime minister of Kosovo led a clan of criminal entrepreneurs whose activities included trafficking in organs extracted from Serbian prisoners executed during the Kosovo conflict in 1999. The inquiry, prepared for the Council of Europe, names the prime minister, Hashim Thaci, as the boss of the Drenica Group, an organized crime network that flourished in Kosovo and Albania after the war and exerted control over numerous rackets, including the heroin trade, and six secret detention centers in Albania, some used in a black market in human organs.
  • Kosovo and the myth of liberal intervention

    12/16/2010 6:58:01 AM PST · by Ravnagora · 25 replies
    Guardian UK ^ | December 15, 2010 | Neil Clark
    Far from being Tony Blair's 'good' war, the assault on Yugoslavia was as wrong as the invasion of Iraq 'The United States of America and the Kosovo Liberation Army stand for the same human values and principles ... Fighting for the KLA is fighting for human rights and American values." So declared the neocon US senator (and current foe of WikiLeaks) Joseph Lieberman back in 1999 at the height of the US-led military intervention against Slobodan Miloševic's Yugoslavia. It would be interesting to hear what Senator Lieberman makes of the report of the Council of Europe – Europe's premier human...
  • Bosnia & Kosovo: radical Islam, organ trafficking, and media bias

    12/15/2010 7:14:39 PM PST · by Ravnagora · 7 replies · 2+ views
    Serbianna ^ | December 15, 2010 | Lee Jay Walker
    The conflict that raged throughout the former Yugoslavia was met by a wall of silence when it came to important issues. These important issues apply to America and the United Kingdom supporting Islamists in a brutal civil war in Bosnia and then installing a new nation by ignoring international law in Kosovo. Also, is it credible to believe that the vast majority of major news agencies and national governments did not know about thousands of Islamists in Europe who were sent to slit the throats and behead Orthodox Christians? Shoeless Holbrooke sits with Muslim Albanian gunmen that ran the organ...
  • Richard Holbrooke: An American Diplomat

    12/15/2010 7:04:17 PM PST · by Ravnagora · 11 replies
    Chronicles ^ | December 15, 2010 | Srdja Trifkovic
    A few hours before Richard Holbrooke’s death last Monday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told a group of America’s top diplomats gathered at the State Department for a Christmas party that he was “practically synonymous with American foreign policy.” Her assessment is correct: Richard Holbrooke’s career embodies some of the least attractive traits of contemporary American diplomacy. As assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs under Jimmy Carter, Holbrooke was instrumental in securing continued U.S. support for Indonesia’s occupation of East Timor. In 1997 he authorized arms deliveries to Indonesia in violation of the supposed U.S. arms...
  • Kosovo PM is head of human organ and arms ring, Council of Europe reports

    12/14/2010 1:24:44 PM PST · by headsonpikes · 23 replies
    The Grauniad ^ | Dec 14, 2010 | Paul Lewis
    Kosovo's prime minister is the head of a "mafia-like" Albanian group responsible for smuggling weapons, drugs and human organs through eastern Europe, according to a Council of Europe inquiry report on organised crime. Hashim Thaçi is identified as "the boss" of a network that began operating criminal rackets in the run-up to the 1999 Kosovo war, and has held powerful sway over the country's government since. The report of the two-year inquiry, which cites FBI and other intelligence sources, has been obtained by the Guardian. It names Thaçi as having over the last decade exerted "violent control" over the heroin...
  • Richard Holbrooke has died

    12/13/2010 4:59:54 PM PST · by Ravnagora · 234 replies
    ABC News ^ | December 13, 2010 | Jack Tapper
    ABC News has learned that Richard Holbrooke, the US Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, has died. On Friday, Holbrooke was rushed to the hospital with a torn aorta. He went through more than 20 hours of surgery. Earlier this evening, speaking at the US State Department, President Obama sang Holbrooke's praises and called him "a tough son of a gun." Holbrooke, 69, was a former ambassador to the United Nations and served as chief negotiator at the Dayton Peace Accords, which ended the war in Bosnia. The New Yorker's George Packer wrote a nice story about Holbrooke last year,...
  • US Envoy Richard Holbrooke Dies at 69

    12/13/2010 5:57:52 PM PST · by La Lydia · 23 replies
    Voice of America ^ | December 12, 2010
    U.S. diplomat Richard Holbrooke has died. He recently underwent operations to repair a tear in his aorta, the large artery that moves blood from the heart to the rest of the body. Holbrooke, who had been serving the Obama administration as special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, was stricken on Friday during a meeting at the State Department with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He was rushed to the hospital for a 20-hour operation that was followed by an additional procedure on Sunday. Clinton said Monday there has been an "outpouring of support" for Holbrooke from around the world. Afghan...
  • Wikileaks: Imperial ambitions of Turkey (Translation)

    12/04/2010 3:35:07 PM PST · by kronos77 · 8 replies
    America's biggest strategic problem in the Balkans is the role of Turkey, through its pawn, Haris Silajdzic is trying to compete with neootomannic position in the Balkans and the Middle East - said in a dispatch of the U.S. ambassador in Ankara since January this year, which was sent to the State Department called " Ankara87 ", published on page Wikiliks. Comparing the Turkish efforts as "ambition" Rolls-Royce ', but with the resources of' Rover ', "the ambassador wrote that, being aware that they have their own resources for this policy, they must find" your own errand boy in the...
  • The forgotten Orthodox Christians of Bosnia and Kosovo

    12/01/2010 6:25:49 AM PST · by Ravnagora · 25 replies
    The Modern Tokyo Times ^ | December 1, 2010 | Lee Jay Walker
    Bosnian Islamic fighters during their Jihad which was blessed by President Bill Clinton I come from a member state of the European Union which is meant to uphold the rights of all religions, political ideologies, acknowledge national and cultural rights, and is meant to spread “European brotherhood.” However, it appears that this does not apply to the Orthodox Christians of Bosnia and Kosovo respectively because not only have they been abandoned but outside Islamic powers are stepping up their Islamization agenda in both Bosnia and Kosovo. In Kosovo the de-Christianization of the Orthodox Christian community continues and hundreds of Orthodox...
  • Mesic just one of 6,000 Croatian residents on Serbia´s pensions payroll

    11/27/2010 10:58:18 AM PST · by Ravnagora · 4 replies
    Croatian Times ^ | November 26, 2010
    The former Croatian president Stjepan Mesic is just one of some 6,000 Croatian retirees receiving pensions from Serbia, the Serbian press has reported. These people used to work in Serbia and have paid contributions to the country’s fund for pension and disability insurance (PIO Fond). The director of public relations sector of the PIO Fond Jelica Timotijevic says that all of those who had worked for the presidency of the former Yugoslavia, for example – and have later become state officials and politicians in their own countries – have a right to a Serbian pension based on individual agreements between...
  • U.S. Soldiers Feel Very Well-Received in Bulgaria

    11/27/2010 10:06:41 AM PST · by Ravnagora · 6 replies · 2+ views
    Novinite.com / Sofia News Agency ^ | November 26, 2010 | Ivan Dikov
    Mark Imblum Chief of the Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC) at the US Embassy in Sofia. Interview with Mark Imblum, Chief of the Office of Defense Cooperation at the US Embassy in Sofia, for the Bulgaria-US Survey of Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency)Mark Imblum, a Commander in the US Navy, is the Chief of the Office of Defense Cooperation at the US Embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria. He is a graduate of the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, and the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. A former helicopter pilot, he now serves the US Navy as a Foreign Area...
  • 7 charged in Kosovo-based organ trafficking ring

    11/19/2010 11:18:41 AM PST · by Dragonfly · 6 replies
    NYTimes ^ | 11/16/2010
    PRAGUE — At least seven people have been charged with participating in an international organ-trafficking network based in Kosovo that sold kidneys and other organs from impoverished victims for up to $200,000 to patients from as far away as Israel and Canada, police and senior European Union officials said Monday.
  • Israeli Professor Nails It: Obama was Right when he said America is not a Christian Country

    11/09/2010 8:56:00 AM PST · by Bokababe · 27 replies
    Republican Riot ^ | 11/8/10 | Julia Gorin
    .... Americans out there still think it’s merely a coincidence that everything we touch turns to Islam, think again. Anyone who finds it strange that 9/11 led not to increased restrictions on people, money and influence flowing into America from the Middle East but to increased openness to these will be interested to know that in 9/11 our government saw not a formidable enemy to be dealt with, but a new market to be tapped....
  • Bosnia: Muslims shelled own people, witness tells court

    10/18/2010 11:56:23 AM PDT · by Nachum · 35 replies
    Adnkronos ^ | 10/18/10 | staff
    The Hague - A witness for the prosecution testifying in the trial of wartime Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, told the United Nations war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), that the Bosnian Muslim army at least on one occasion fired at their own people to blame the Serbs during 1992-1995 war. Canadian general David Fraser, who served with the UN peacekeepers in Bosnia, told the tribunal that Bosnian Serbs shelled the capital Sarajevo “excessively and unselectively” during 44-month siege, But “at least in one case”, it was determined that a mortar fired from Muslim positions hit the centre
  • "Once Brothers"

    10/08/2010 1:28:41 PM PDT · by Bokababe · 7 replies
    ESPN ^ | 10/7/10 | Staff
    Drazen Petrovic and Vlade Divac were two friends who grew up together sharing the common bond of basketball. Together, they lifted the Yugoslavian National team to unimaginable heights. After conquering Europe, they both went to America where they became the first two foreign players to attain NBA stardom. But with the fall of the Soviet Union on Christmas Day 1991, Yugoslavia split up. A war broke out between Petrovic's Croatia and Divac's Serbia. Long buried ethnic tensions surfaced. And these two men, once brothers, were now on opposite sides of a deadly civil war. As Petrovic and Divac continued to...
  • Terror in the Balkans

    10/01/2010 2:22:37 PM PDT · by Bokababe · 10 replies
    National Interest ^ | 9/7/10 | Gordon Bardos
    ...In the somewhat intellectually perverse foreign policy salons of New York and Washington, the more ties a Balkan politician has to drug smuggling, human trafficking, and al-Qaeda, the bigger their fan club is likely to be.....
  • Serbfest celebrates century of Serbian culture in St. Louis

    08/08/2010 6:57:02 PM PDT · by Bokababe · 6 replies
    STLToday.com ^ | 8/8/10 | Paige Varner
    Serbfest celebrates Serbian traditions and Eastern Orthodox beliefs. But the priest at Holy Trinity Serbian Eastern Orthodox Church, which was established a century ago, also made a point Saturday to express his love of the United States. "The more you know about America, the more you love it," the Rev. Radomir Chkautovich, who fled socialist Yugoslavia in 1963, said with an accent. Chkautovich, a retired U.S. Navy lieutenant commander and chaplain, regularly leads tours of his church during Serbfest to explain its history and Serbian traditions....
  • Operation Storm victims remembered

    08/04/2010 6:34:26 PM PDT · by Ravnagora · 20 replies
    www.b92.net ^ | August 4, 2010 | Beta, Tanjug
    BELGRADE -- A commemorative service was held in Belgrade to mark 15 years since the Croatian military Operation Storm and the exodus of ethnic Serbs from that country. Serbian president Boris Tadic, right, attends the service (Tanjug) Serbian Orthodox Church Patriarch Irinej held the service before a number of officials, including Serbian President Boris Tadich, Deputy Prime Minister Jovan Krkobabich and General Secretary of the Serbian parliament Veljko Odalovich, as well as many people who gathered on the occasion. "We have gathered here today to remember in prayer the people killed 15 years ago, who were guilty first of being...
  • Baroness Ashton moves to take control of Bosnia

    07/31/2010 7:30:03 AM PDT · by Bokababe · 12 replies · 2+ views
    Telegraph ^ | 7/27/10 | Bruno Waterfield
    ...."In the case of non-compliance... for example challenges to fundamentals of the Bosnia and Herzegovina state, the [envoy] will be able to recommend to the EU High Representative [Lady Ashton] that Council impose travel bans and/or the freezing of assets in the EU," said the paper seen by The Daily Telegraph. "This option should be made more accessible by a Council decision to impose a travel ban on those individuals who have challenged key provisions." European diplomats have confirmed that the new measures will be used against "anyone deemed to be obstructive", including Milorad Dodik, the elected prime Bosnian Serb...
  • World court: Kosovo's independence was legal

    07/22/2010 8:04:04 AM PDT · by Kartographer · 39 replies
    AP/YahooNews ^ | 7/22/10 | MIKE CORDER
    THE HAGUE, Netherlands – The United Nations' highest court said Thursday that Kosovo's declaration of independence from Serbia did not break international law. The judges voted 10-4 to pass the nonbinding opinion, setting the stage for Kosovo to renew its appeals for further international recognition. The opinion, read by International Court of Justice President Hisashi Owada, says international law contains no "prohibition on declarations of independence" and therefore Kosovo's declaration "did not violate general international law."
  • Radical Islam in Macedonia worries Western observers

    07/08/2010 8:03:16 PM PDT · by Ravnagora · 17 replies · 2+ views
    WAZ.EUobserver.com ^ | July 8, 2010 | SVETLANA JOVANOVSKA AND BRANKO GJORGESKI
    Ramadan Ramadani, Imam of the Isa-Bey Mosque in Skopje (Photo: Maja Zlatevska, Dnevnik ) Western diplomats and religious experts have voiced concerns about the spread of radical Islam among Muslim communities in the Balkans, after it transpired that alleged Wahabist radicals are operating and increasing their influence in Macedonia. The foreign-inspired religious group is active in the area around Skopje, Macedonia's capital. It has tried to perform a putsch in the Islamic religious community (IRC) after an incident in the Isa-Bey Mosque in Skopje last week. The Isa-Bey Mosque has turned into a stronghold of radical Islam, Ibrahim Shabani, Skopje's...
  • Albanian trade in human beings (Video)

    06/17/2010 8:48:18 AM PDT · by Bokababe · 16 replies · 706+ views
    MSNBC ^ | June 2010 | Staff
    Forced to have sex with as many as 10 men every day, women clandestinely interviewed by MSNBC.com as part of a four-month investigation into the sex trade ran by ethnic Albanians, insisted that their real identities not be revealed. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/4138089#4138089 (Warning: Some of this testimony is pretty graphic)
  • Turkish Group Behind Gaza Flotilla Has Suspect Links, History [Balkans, Bosnia]

    06/11/2010 4:13:37 PM PDT · by Ravnagora · 3 replies · 236+ views
    CNSNews.com ^ | June 4, 2010 | Patrick Goodenough, International Editor
    The Israeli government is blaming IHH extremists for the violence that erupted onboard the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara when troops boarded it at sea on Monday. In this photo of the ship before setting sail, a white and green IHH banner is draped on the hull, between Turkish and Palestinian flags. (Photo: IHH) The Turkish organization responsible for the ill-fated attempt to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip is part of an Islamic “charitable” network that was designated by the U.S. government in 2008 for funding Hamas, the terrorist group that controls Gaza. Although the State Department points out...
  • Balkans: Two Bosnian Serbs given life sentences for genocide

    06/10/2010 7:08:14 AM PDT · by markomalley · 4 replies · 47+ views
    AKI ^ | 6/10/2010
    The Hague, 10 June (AKI) – A United Nations tribunal on Thursday sentenced two Bosnian Serbs to life in prison for committing genocide in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of Muslim civilians. The UN war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia found that Vujadin Popovic and Ljubisa Beara guilty for their role in the massacre of more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys in the eastern town of Srebrenica in July 1995. The court jailed five other defendants for between five and 35 years in jail. The case is the largest yet at the tribunal, set up to deal with...
  • Yugoslav Feuds Alive In U.S., Too

    06/04/2010 5:01:33 PM PDT · by Ravnagora · 3 replies · 294+ views
    The Chicago Tribune ^ | October 26, 1988 | Jessica Seigel
    <p>Looking back in hindsight, one can always find things that perfectly portended the future. Note the date of this article - 1988 - BEFORE any of the republics seceded from Yugoslavia and the wars of the 1990s began.</p> <p>A group of American-Croatians called a small but decorous press conference in the Bismarck Hotel last week to speak from the American heartland about strife in their homeland thousands of miles away.</p>
  • Vying For Influence In The Balkans

    06/02/2010 6:47:28 AM PDT · by fightinJAG · 2 replies · 113+ views
    Radio Free Europe ^ | June 2, 2010 | Anes Alic
    Over the past two years, Turkey has launched a massive political, social, and economic offensive across the Balkans, focusing primarily on Bosnia-Herzegovina. More than two decades after Turkey first formally applied to join the European Union, it now appears to be developing a two-pronged strategy: turning its attentions to its eastern neighbors (notably Syria, Iran and Russia), while at the same time seeking to enhance its prospects for EU membership by intensifying its influence in the Balkan countries, which are growing closer to Europe. Turkey's ambitions in the Balkans have forced the EU to pay more attention to political processes...