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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 ^ | 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 ^ | 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 ^ | 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 ^ | 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...