Saturday, April 13, 2013

Serbian president “interferes in Bosnia’s internal issues”

BELGRADE, SARAJEVO -- Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić is interfering in internal relations and affairs of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croat Presidency member Željko Komšić has said.

Željko Komšić (Bosnia-Herzegovina Presidency, file)
Željko Komšić (Bosnia-Herzegovina Presidency, file)

Željko Komšić (Bosnia-Herzegovina Presidency, file)

He announced earlier that he would not come to a bilateral meeting on April 23 in Belgrade because of Nikolić’s statements.

“My two colleagues, (Serb Presidency member Nebojša) Radmanović and (Bosniak Presidency member Bakir) Izetbegović can confirm I was certainly a proponent of Bosnia-Herzegovina Presidency’s visit to Belgrade. Mr. Izetbegović even insisted that a trilateral meeting should first be held in Ankara and only then the visit to Belgrade,” Komšić told Belgrade-based daily Danas.

“We believed that we did not need a mediator, if it was about mediation in the first place, and agreed to go to Belgrade first and then to Ankara. Mr. Nikolić has had several statements since the beginning that we in Sarajevo considered very unacceptable but we still decided not to react, raise tensions and waited for the right moment to realize the bilateral meeting,” he explained.

When asked about relations between Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina and key problems between the two countries, Komšić that he could say that there was even a “relaxed atmosphere” in solving of open issues if there were no such disputable statements and stances on Nikolić’s part.

Parliament Ratifies Deal on Trans Adriatic Pipeline Project

By Hellas Frappe on 12.4.13

Greek parliament
Greek parliament (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Greek parliament (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Greek Parliament ratified the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between Albania, Italy and Greece on the construction and operation of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project. The IGA between the three countries, which was signed in Athens on February 13, 2013, confirms the host countries’ support for TAP and their cooperation for the project’s timely implementation.

The ratification of the IGA by the Greek Parliament continues TAP’s progress in the country, with the project now working on successfully completing the Host Government Agreement (HGA) with Greece. The HGA outlines the parameters of engagement between TAP and the Greek Government, such as permitting process, implementation of technical and safety standards and the land easement procedure.

At 1.5 billion Euros, TAP would constitute one of the largest current Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in Greece and is expected to create 2,000 directly related new jobs and a further 10,000 peripheral new jobs in the Greek market.

TAP is competing to deliver gas from Azerbaijan into Europe, with a final selection of the gas transportation route expected June 2013 by the Shah Deniz consortium in Azerbaijan. TAP is the only pipeline option that will go through Greece.

Kjetil Tungland, TAP’s Managing Director, said: “As the final decision for the Southern Route by the Shah Deniz Consortium draws closer, we thank the Greek Parliament’s ratification of the IGA. We maintain our confidence that the excellent collaboration with Greece will continue and that together we will provide Shah Deniz with the most compelling offer.”

Michael Hoffmann, External Affairs Director for TAP said: “This marks an important step towards the final decision by Shah Deniz and underlines the progress and advanced status of the TAP project. The ratification by the Greek Parliament emphasizes the common benefits TAP will bring and highlights our common values.”

Rikard Scoufias, TAP Country Manager for Greece said: ”The good relationship TAP has developed over the years with Greece continues with Parliament’s ratification and reiterates the fact that together Greece and TAP can and will produce the best bid for Shah Deniz. We look forward to our continued cooperation and thank the Parliament for its support.”

Albanian Islamic from Kosovo, fighting for Siria rebels  

10 Albanians have fallen alongside rebels

Published on 13.04.2013 | 15:56

Syrian lands are washed with the blood of the Albanians. 10 Albanians believed to have been killed so far in the fight against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Muhammad Koprova, 22 years, is the latest victim in Syria. Last week was killed fighting alongside the rebel forces.

Intelligence sources have pointed to "Daily Time" eight killed Albanians from Kosovo, the Presevo Valley and Albania, while the other two are Syrian nationals from Kosovo.

The source said earlier this week the young man from Mitrovica region has been part of a religious extremist group. There has gone from Sweden where he lived with his family.

"So far the results are said to have killed 10 Albanians. Of these two Albanians with Syrian citizenship - and Behlul Arnauti Arnauti Either way, "said the intelligence source.

He said that the first was killed Kosovar Demolli Naman, then Muse Ahmad, another Albanian from Kosovo Terrnoci East, Abu Omar al-Albani Muhammad Albania and Kosovo-born Kopriva.

"Four other Albanians from Albania were killed, but we do not have official confirmation of their identity," the source said.

The total number of Albanians involved in the Syrian war is believed 140. Are divided into two groups in Aleppo.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Killed a resident of Northern Epirus in Argjirokaster

Albania does not guarantee the Greek population lives in the South of Albania,

Himara and Saranda, systematically attacked by Albanian robbers, including Orthodox churches

 Pandeli Magllara 76-year-old lost his life after clash with looters apartment

Gjirokastra - One fatality occurred in the early hours of the day in the village Vodhimë Upper Dropull municipality. Two forcibly attempted to grab a flat, inhabited by both elderly man and woman.

Two robbers after they were introduced in the apartment they encountered resistance landlord, Pandeli Magllara, 76 years. In a fight, 76-year-old has fallen by finding death after slamming his head on the ground.

Thieves later clashed with the 76-year-old wife, Evanthi Magllara, which has got some head injuries and was sent to the city hospital emergency.

The police suspected that the robbers were two young men from Tepelena, who previously worked in the area.

The violence that has included looting of houses of the Greeks, has spread almost throughout southern Albania, know as part of Epirus, while Himara and Saranda, robbery perjetojjne not only for homes, but also Orthodox churches.

Greek Parliament Unanimously Agrees - Greece Must Ask Germany To Pay War Reparations

By Hellas Frappe on 12.4.13

For the first time in decades every single party in the Greek parliament is in unanimous agreement. Greece needs to formally ask Germany to pay back the money owed from the Second World War. This includes the war reparations as well as a forced occupation loan. A provocative statement made by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on Thursday noting that Greece should avoid the issue of war reparations and rather concentrate on reforms only ignited the flame which is now growing into a fire.

Schaeuble was referring to a top-secret report compiled at the behest of the Finance Ministry in Athens. Leaked by To Vima newspaper on Sunday, the report suggested that Germany owes Greece 162 billion euros in World War II reparations.

In essence, the political parties are urging the government to take the necessary legal steps to claim the 162 billion Euros (without the interest), that are due to Greece as a result of Nazi occupation and a forced war loan. (The 108 billion for Greece's infrastructure and 54 billion for the forced loan).

Responding to Schaeuble's statements, Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos said that the  reforms being carried out in Greece bear no relation – and can bear no relation – to the issue of German reparations, adding that the Greek state has been raising the issue for many years.
     “Whether this case has been resolved or not is determined by international justice, given that, by its nature, this issue concerns international law and the international justice organs,” Avramopoulos said.
    “Greece is not ‘losing its focus’ on the reform policy, despite the great sacrifices the Greek people are shouldering,” he added.
In comments made to Germany's Neue Osnabrucker Zeitung newspaper, Schaeuble said the issue of war compensations has already been “settled.”

Meanwhile, the German Tagersspiegel newspaper, slammed the Berlin government's stance on the issue noting that the Nazis did more damage in Greece than in any other country they occupied. The newspaper said that Hitler’s forces were responsible for the death of many men, women and children. Specifically it said 70,000 Jews were taken to concentration camps, 300,000 suffered frostbite and hunger because the German forces confiscated all food and fuel, 50 percent of Greece’s infrastructure and 75 percent of the country's industry were totally destroyed.

The issue of war reparations has been a contentious and legally complicated one for decades. Nazi Germany, which occupied Greece from 1941-44, forced Athens to extend it loans and give up gold reserves. There was also the question of the destruction of infrastructure and compensation claims filed by individuals who survived Nazi atrocities. As a result, Greece suffered greatly and unlike every other country Germany went to war with, only Greece has never been paid compensation.

Campaigners say the Paris Reparations Agreement of 1946 obliges Germany to pay Greece around billions of Euro.

There has long been a vociferous lobby calling for war reparations from Germany, with the so-called “National Council” calling for more than 500 billion Euros in war reparations (with interests), as well as the forced loan (with interest), but also for other commodities such as stolen art work and the loss of 50pc of economic output over almost four years.

The lobby claims that Germany’s debts were forgiven after the war at the London Conference in 1953 - including its debts to Greece - and that Berlin should remember that Germany’s Wirtschaftwunder was built with US Marshal aid and American help.

It is unclear what Athens hopes to gain by stirring up a highly emotional issue and it is certain to be viewed by German officials as a form of moral blackmail as tough talks continue over each stage of Greece’s EU-IMF Troika program. Some reports in Athens are even saying that it was prepared as a bargaining chip, but now the general feeling from all Greeks is that they want to vie for this money. (The people have indeed had enough!)

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is indeed in a difficult position. If Greece abandons this claim, then it might lead to waves of indignation throughout the country and if it decides to proceed with the claim then this could destroy the positive relations Athens now has with Germany.

Whatever the case, the important thing here is that our lawmakers finally came to a consensus. They placed national interests above their own and this is indeed historical. So what will happen? We don't know but we believe that deputy finance minister Christos Staikouras said it best when he stated:
"The matter remains pending. Greece has never resigned its rights."
Maybe this time Greece will!

Albania, is facing with the biggest problem of his modern history, the free elections

Podesta Group,an US NGO of The State Departament, that observes the Albanian government  is concerning about Central Election Commission, and the presence of OSCE in Albania

In Tirana voiced said for the removal OSCE Ambassador Eugen Wollfarth, before the end of the term, not left to prepare a report on the election

This clearly shows an e-mail distributed by the company on April 10, a day before the Albanian Parliament decide to postpone voting changes in CEC.

In the e-mail of John Anderson, the member of Podesta, can clearly notice that Berisha is trying to pass this opportunity without being drawn in Washington who wear.

"I want to bring to your attention what is happening in Tirana. Last week, on April 3, the Socialist Movement for Integration, a party in the ruling coalition, changed side and joined the coalition of the opposition Socialist Party. This change has dramatically affected the balance in the Central Election Commission, legally mandated, and in 89 regional election committees, whose members are elected by party affiliation. These committees play an important role in the validation of the results of the parliamentary elections of June 23.

This is an important development. There is nothing that a party ally change. But the decision comes after LSI is set membership in election commissions, which creates a dilemma, because the electoral code requires membership in committees to create a balance between the forces in power and those in opposition, " said the e-mail.

Anderson said that such a situation will create some fireworks.

"I do not know how to solve this issue, but given the harsh environment and disheveled in Albania, expect some fireworks. So see this e-mail and reply back if you need to contact someone from the Albanian government, " says Anderson.

Then he brings a historic election CEC, emphasizing more the problem of balance between political forces.

"The Central Election Commission has seven members, three from the majority, three from the opposition and the ruling party.

Commitment to a political balance is so strong, as amended election code to allow anyone, party, organization, even individuals, to nominate a member of the state and allow opposition candidates to eliminate, " said the e-mail.

"Half of the second level committees elected 4-3 in favor of the majority and the other half 4-3 in favor of the opposition. Even counting teams are divided in this way, " says Anderson.

Then he shows that after April 3, "Socialist Party won control of the CEC, taking SMI member" .

"The Socialist Party has won control of half 4-3 and 5-2 CEAZs other half, after receiving SMI members," concludes the e-mail.

But while it is under fierce battle, the presence of the OSCE, as an institution that should take care to prevent such a breach, did not react cut, but has left almost up to the majority decision.

On the other hand, are rumors that the current head of the OSCE Presence in Tirana, Eugen Wollfarth, harshly accused by opposition to his views often in favor of soft power may be removed from office before his term expires determined by law. This can be done for not allowing him to have on hand to write the report for the June elections in Albania. .

Rally calls for early elections in Vojvodina

NOVI SAD -- A rally was held in Novi Sad on Friday under the slogan, "Stop the breaking up of Serbia", prompted by a proposed declaration on Vojvodina's rights.



Socialist Party (SPS) Provincial Board President Dušan Bajatović addressed the protesters today and called on Bojan Pajtić (DS) to resign as head of the province's government and schedule early elections in Vojvodina.

"We will give them very little time (to do this)," Bajatović warned, and added:

"I am calling on them to sit down urgently and agree on the manner in which provincial elections will be called, so that we can win, along with you."

Bajatović said in his address that no separatism will happen in Vojvodina - "not because the provincial authorities do not want it, but because the people will not allow it."

According to him, the provincial authorities - led by the Democrats (DS), who are in opposition on the state-level - now have only two choices: either to trigger early elections with Pajtić's resignation, or have Vojvodina Assembly President Ištvan Pastor schedule the polls.

The rally today started with the sounding of the national anthem, "God of Justice", and brought together supporters of the Serb Progressives (SNS), led by Novi Sad Mayor Miloš Vučević, and party vice-presidents Igor Mirović and Goran Knežević.

Movement of Socialists leader Aleksandar Vulin also took part, as did his party colleague Maja Gojković.

They were joined in front of the provincial government building by SPS and United Serbia (JS) officials, including Bajatović.

The rally was addressed and supported by members of several student and trade union organizations, as well as the coalition gathered around the SNS and the SPS, the Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS), the Dveri Movement, and the Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO).

The police were out in force, after announcing earlier in the day that they would undertake all necessary measures to protect the citizens and their property during the protest.

A banner has been put up in front of the provincial government HQ in the colors of the Serbian flag, with the words "Vojvodina Serbia" written in large letters. Underneath, the same message was written in the Latin script and in Hungarian and Slovakian - the languages of two of the province's many ethnic minorities.

PM: Kosovo negotiations won't continue

BELGRADE -- Serbian PM Ivica Dačić said on Friday that there would be no continuation of the dialogue "because no acceptable agreement had been reached so far."

Ivica Dačić in Belgrade on Friday (Tanjug)
Ivica Dačić in Belgrade on Friday (Tanjug)


Ivica Dačić in Belgrade on Friday (Tanjug)
When asked whether he would go to a new round of the negotiations, Dačić said:

“If we went to Brussels, we would go to the signing or to a final round and it is unknown when and whether that will be, although I do know that it is important that it is by April 16 because of the date. But I remind you that a decision on a date (for the start of the EU accession talks) will be made in June”.

At the 4th regional ministerial conference dubbed “The fight against organized crime, corruption and judicial cooperation in the region of Southeast Europe” in Belgrade on Friday the prime minister said that Serbia deserved to get a date for the start of the EU accession negotiations even if it did not reach an agreement with Priština.

He stressed that April 16, when Ashton will file her report to the European Commission, was not a D-Day for Serbia's EU integration.

“April 16 is neither D-Day nor will all of our dreams about the EU and Kosovo will fall apart. April 17 will come,” Dačić said.

“We want the continuation of the dialogue and believe that this should be accompanied by progress in the EU integration and that Serbia deserves to get the date,” he told a press conference.

The PM stressed that there was nothing new in the Belgrade-Priština dialogue and that Serbia requested an improvement of the offered deal on powers for the community of Serb municipalities in Kosovo.

The last round of the talks ended without an agreement on April 2 in Brussels. Belgrade was given eight days to inform Brussels whether it would accept the offer or not. The Serbian government rejected the proposal on April 10.

Meanwhile, B92 learned that EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton should visit Belgrade on April 17.

According to media reports, Ashton will visit Podgorica on Monday, April 15 and confer with local officials on the political situation in the country.

B92 has also learned that the Belgrade-Priština dialogue would not continue in Brussels on April 15-16 despite earlier announcements.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Weapons for Gadhafi. UN Accuses Albania of violating Embargo

Albania is mentioned in a UN report as a country suspected of breaking the embargo of weapons in 2011 against the regime of the Libyan dictator, Muamar Gaddafi.

The report is quoted by an article of Associated Press, part of which can be read below.

Libyan weapons are spreading at "an alarming rate" to new territory in west Africa and the eastern Mediterranean including Syria and the Gaza Strip where they are fueling conflicts and increasing the arsenals of armed groups and terrorists, a U.N. panel said.

In a report to the U.N. Security Council circulated Tuesday, the panel said cases of illicit transfers from Libya in violation of a U.N. arms embargo that have been proven and are still under investigation involve more than 12 countries and include heavy and light weapons such as portable air defense systems, explosives, mines, and small arms and ammunition.

Since the uprising that ousted dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, the panel said, "Libya has over the past two years become a significant and attractive source of weaponry in the region."

It said civilians and militias remain in control of most weapons in Libya, adding that "the lack of an effective security system remains one of the primary obstacles to securing military materiel and controlling the borders."

"In the past 12 months, the proliferation of weapons from Libya has continued at a worrying rate and has spread into new territory: West Africa, the Levant and, potentially, even the Horn of Africa," the panel said.

"Illicit flows from the country are fueling existing conflicts in Africa and the Levant and enriching the arsenals of a range of non-state actors, including terrorist groups."

The five-member expert panel made 28 visits to 15 countries in Africa, Europe and the Middle East including 10 visits to Libya.

The 94-page report details arms trafficking cases that violate the embargo imposed after the 2011 uprising began as well as efforts to track down the financial assets of individuals and companies linked to Gadhafi and his regime that are on the U.N. blacklist.

The panel said it also examined evidence of the delivery of weapons and ammunition from Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to support the anti-Gadhafi revolutionaries during the uprising and considers that both countries violated the U.N. arms embargo, despite Qatar's denial that it transferred any military materiel.

It cited a case of the transfer of ammunition to Libya involving the United Arab Emirates, Armenia, Albania and Ukraine, a separate case involving Sudan, and the reported transfer of a drone to the Libyan opposition by a Canadian company which Canadian authorities say is under investigation.

Last month, the Security Council eased sanctions on non-lethal military equipment for the Libyan government but warned that the country is awash with illegal weapons.

The panel said the increased availability of Libyan weapons has empowered a variety of "non-state actors" engaged in conflicts against national authorities, and it expressed concern that extremist armed groups, who are the best financed, are strengthening their position.

“Shqip” Newspaper

Epirotes Of Europe Meet In Germany

By Margarita Papantoniou .

The fourth meeting of Epirotes of Europe will take place in the German city Gemeinde Ketsch am Rhein, situated on the right bank of the river Rhine, on May 25 and 26. It is organized by the Panepirotic Federation of Europe in cooperation with the Society of Epirotes in Ludwigshafen and Epirotic Societies throughout Europe will participate in it.

This fourth meeting is devoted to the 100 years commemoration of the Liberation of Ioannina. The established Economic Forum will be realized, accompanied with lectures and conversations concerning the development of Epirus and the probability to promote its products abroad. Producers and craftsmen from Epirus will be given the opportunity to present local products to the German and European markets.

In the event’s program, live music is included with the participation of Greek folk singers Petro-Loucas Halkias and Antonis Kyritsis. Greek folk dances will be presented by the Epirotic Societies of Europe.

"North Korea, Iran can't attack United States"

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has said that neither Iran nor North Korea have the capabilities to attack the U.S. with nuclear missiles.

Chuck Hagel (Beta/AP)
Chuck Hagel (Beta/AP)


Chuck Hagel (Beta/AP)
Hagel was responding to a question during a meeting of a U.S. House of Representatives committee, when said he did not believe that North Korea and Iran have long-range missiles carrying weapons of mass destruction that could reach the United States.

He, however, did not rule out the possibility that these countries could in the future have such weapons.

North Korea has admitted to working on producing missiles with nuclear warheads, and threatened to use them. A U.S. missile defense system has been deployed in the Pacific, in case of a possible North Korean attack in the coming days.

South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan Jin last week told lawmakers in South Korea's parliament that Pyongyang had moved its medium-range missiles to its eastern coast.

It is assumed that these are the "Musudan" missiles, which have the range between 3,000 and 4,000 kilometers.

There are also fears that they could be fired before April 15 - when North Korea marks the birthday of the country's founder, Kim Il Sung.

Greek Leadership Meets With AHEPA Delegation

By Hellas Frappe on 11.4.13

President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias met with visiting Hellenic American Educational and Progressive Association (AHEPA) representatives and called on them to urge US businessmen to invest in Greece and boost the tourism sector.

Welcoming the delegation at the Presidential Mansion, Papoulias noted that "big progress" has been made by Greece, underlining that "a lot more can be done by the end of the year".

President Papoulias said early signs indicate that "this year will be a good year for Greek tourism" and referring to American tourists he added that "our American friends will find no other country to be more beautiful". He also referred to the important intervention made by US President Barack Obama, who called on Berlin to help Greece in these crucial times.

President Papoulias also thanked AHEPA for the assistance offered to fellow Greeks in need in a very tough period for Greece.

Later on the delegation was received by Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos. The Greek FM congratulated the AHEPA president, John Grossomanides, on the initiatives undertaken by the organization soon after the economic crisis erupted in Greece. Talks focused on AHEPA's contribution in the efforts to promote the comparative advantages of the Greek economy, attract foreign investors from the United States and Canada and boost the tourist flow from those countries.

Two More Critical Media Close in Macedonia


Following the tragic death of their founder and owner, Nikola Mladenov, the weekly Fokus and the daily newspaper with the same name are to close.

Sinisa Jakov Marusic BIRN Skopje

Employees of the two publications received immediate discharge notices on Wednesday and were told that the newspapers, which were in financial difficulties, will cease to appear.

Fokus was under pressure from several ongoing, connected libel cases whose plaintiffs together demanded up to €100,000 from the weekly and the daily.

Following the death of the owner and publisher, Mladenov, in a car crash in late March, one businessman and diplomat, Srgjan Kerim, withdrew his demand for €25,000 from the newspapers.

Fokus, founded in 1995, was the oldest political weekly in the country while the daily was launched last year.

The closure of the newspapers comes at a time when concern is being expressed for the future of media freedom in Macedonia.

After the closure in February of the weekly Gragjanski, also for financial reasons, Fokus was one of the last remaining print media outlets that were critical of the government of Nikola Gruevski.

The World Media Freedom Index 2013, published in January by the organisation Reporters Without Borders, ranked Macedonia in 116th place out of 179 countries in the survey, marking a hefty drop of 22 places from the previous year.

Four years ago, the country was ranked in 34th place in the same media freedom report.

While many accuse the government of targeting the pro-opposition media for their standpoints, the government denies claims of interference.

Meanwhile, the sparse police report into the car crash and its circumstances has fuelled suspicions in some quarters of foul play.

Police found Mladenov’s body on March 27 in an overturned car that had landed in a ditch near the highway at the entrance to Skopje.

The investigative judge in the case, Vladimir Tufegdzic, this week confirmed that Mladenov’s death was an accident and that his car was driving 160 kilometres an hour at the time.

But it still remains a mystery where Mladenov spent his last evening and who he last saw or talked to.

Mladenov, 49, will be remembered as a prominent journalist who built a reputation as a principled critic of the political class that has led Macedonia since independence.

Shpetim Idrizi: We have to get the Trojan horse of the Albanian parliament

Adem Demaçi stated that "There is not Albania without Kosovo and Çameria"

April 11, 2013,

President of the Party for Justice, Integration and Unity Shpetim Idrizi, during a protest organized today before parliament declared that parliament is already surrounded by the pressure of Albania.

"We have to draw the Trojan horse by the Albanian parliament and fill with members of Cham, from Kosovo of all territories where Albanians live," said Idris as he added, are the nation of Skanderbeg, Mother Teresa, Adem Jashari, freedom and democracy .

"It's time and the cause of which is based on the fundamental freedoms which seeks to remove the silence for the Cham issue and move to better neighborhood. We have offered to remove the law of war. They are afraid to say a really big that there is a war law ",  he underlined.

Dashamir  Tahiri MP, said that this majority has given its vote this resolution to the Cham issue in 2004 when the opposition today then ruling abstained.

Meanwhile, the activities of the national question Adem Demaçi stated that "There is not Albania without Kosovo and Çameria. There will be no Europe without chopped Albania. We will always have with you as you were. You do not have to give up your rights, you return to your lands. Become Cham people and not the people in exile, " he appealed.

Bomb thrown at Serb returnee’s home

ISTOK -- A bomb was thrown at Serb returnee Žarko Đurić’s house in the town of Istok last night, local Serbs told Radio Television of Serbia (RTS).


Nobody was injured in the incident but the blast caused damage to the front door, walls and the roof.

The bomb was thrown at 1:00 CET. Đurić and his wife were inside the house when the bomb exploded.

Police are at the scene and they do not allow the few Serbs who live in Istok to approach the house.

The attack has upset the Serb returnees because this is the first such case in Istok since they returned to the town in 2006.

Only nine Serbs live in Istok now.

Harassment continues, Office for Kosovo deputy director says
Serbian government’s Office for Kosovo Deputy Director Krstimir Pantić has assessed that the bomb attack shows that international forces do not want to protect Serbs in Kosovo.

He told Beta news agency that he saw the incident as a pressure on Serbia to “accept the ultimatum from Brussels”.

Pantić added that the government’s Office for Kosovo requested from the international organizations to conduct an investigation, stressing that it was hard to expect any results since not a single case of bomb attacks had been solved so far.

“Like always when there are no results in the dialogue, Albanians continue with harassment and persecution of Serbs, mostly south of the Ibar River where Serbs are a minority, in enclaves,” he concluded.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

US Can Intercept N. Korean Missile — Top Commander

Topic: Crisis on the Korean Peninsula (2013)

Situation on Korean Peninsula

WASHINGTON, April 9 (RIA Novosti) – The United States is capable of shooting down a missile launched by North Korea but may opt not to depending on the threat presented by such an action, the top US military commander in the Pacific said Tuesday.
“If the missile was in defense of the homeland, I would certainly recommend that action. And if it was defense of our allies, I would recommend that action,” Adm. Samuel Locklear, commander of US Pacific Command, told the US Senate’s armed services committee on Tuesday.
Locklear added that he would “not recommend” intercepting any missile launched by North Korea irrespective of its trajectory.
South Korean officials have said that North Korea might be planning to conduct a missile test launch as early as Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Japan said it has deployed missile defense systems around Tokyo anticipating a possible North Korean missile test.
Locklear’s testimony came amid a warning Tuesday from Pyongyang advising all foreigners to evacuate South Korea because the two nations are on the brink of a nuclear war.
White House spokesman Jay Carney called the warning “more unhelpful rhetoric that serves only to escalate tensions” on the Korean peninsula, while US State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said comments from Pyongyang have not prompted the agency to issue a travel warning for South Korea.
Pyongyang's latest announcement comes after months of mounting tension, culminating in North Korea’s threat last week to attack South Korea and the United States.
US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel last week ordered missile defense systems deployed to the western Pacific island of Guam, a US territory, following a pledge by North Korea to restart operations at its Yongbyon nuclear complex, including a uranium enrichment plant and a reactor.
Locklear said in his Senate testimony Tuesday that tensions on the peninsula had reached a level unseen since the immediate aftermath of the Korean War in 1950.
“The continued advancement of the North's nuclear and missile programs, its conventional force posture, and its willingness to resort to asymmetric actions as a tool of coercive diplomacy creates an environment marked by the potential for miscalculation that, and controlled escalation, could result from another North Korean provocative action,” Locklear said.
Locklear said the United States is ready to defend itself and its allies against a possible North Korean missile attack.

North Korea to fire ballistic missile to Pacific. Iran unveils new uranium-processing facilities

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 9, 2013, 
North Korean soldiers out with trained dogs
Korean tensions again shot up Tuesday, April 9, with Pyongyang’s warning of a ballistic missile firing Wednesday, April 10 toward the Pacific and advice to foreigners in the South to evacuate: “We do not wish harm on foreigners in the South should there be a war,” said the statement.
Last week, foreign embassies were informed that North Korea would not guarantee the safety of their staffs after April 10.
Japan has deployed Patriot missile interceptors around its defense ministry headquarters in Tokyo and other key facilities including Okinawa, in the wake of North Korea’s move last week of two intermediate- missiles to its eastern coast, placing Japan, South Korea and the US bases at Guam within range.
In Tehran, meanwhile, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad unveiled Tuesday two additional uranium-processing facilities at Ardakan in the central province of Yazd. This was announced with the official disclosure by Iranian state TV of uranium mines operating in the town of Saghand, 120 kilometers from Ardakan, which are reported to have an estimated output of 60 tons of yellowcake for use in the uranium enrichment process.
In case this show of defiance was lost on the West, Tehran is now threatening to follow in the footsteps of its North Korean partner and withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in the wake of the failure of the latest negotiations between the Islamic regime and world powers (April 5-6) in Kazakhstan.
The meeting broke up without a date for resumption after Tehran refused outright to curb its enrichment program in exchange of the partial easing of sanctions, demanding that world powers acknowledge the Islamic Republic’s right to enrich uranium under the terms of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
To underline this refusal, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, chairman of the Iranian parliament’s Committee for Foreign Policy and National Security, came out with this argument: There is no reason for Iran to be in compliance with the NPT and IAEA regulations when the United States and European countries “disregard its articles such as article 6 [mandating the reduction of nuclear weapons] and article 4 [Iran’s nuclear rights].” Speaking to the Fars News Agency (run by the Revolutionary Guards), Boroujerdi concluded: “Therefore, there is no reason for Iran to remain a NPT member…”
Its exit would mean that the nuclear watchdog  would no longer have monitoring access to Iran’s known nuclear sites and like North Korea, which expelled the inspectors, could carry on enriching uranium and developing its nuclear weapons program without international oversight.
These steps, along with Pyongyang’s restart of its nuclear facilities at Yongbyon last week, will give the nuclear collaboration with Iran and North Korea a further boost.
However, neither Washington or Jerusalem appear to show any inclination to rein in either North Korea,  Iran or the dangerous ties between them. In Jerusalem, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday that world powers would pursue further talks with Iran to resolve their nuclear dispute, but stressed  that the process could not go on forever – which is exactly what President Barack Obama said a year ago.

Ivanov: 60 tons of heroine go over Kosovo annually

MOSCOW – Director of the Russian Federal Service for Drug Control Viktor Ivanov stated on Tuesday that Kosovo is the main transit path for drugs from Afghanistan to Europe, adding that 60 tons of heroine worth over EUR 3 billion get transported through Kosovo every year.

Ivanov and Serbian State Secretary in the Interior Ministry Vladimir Bozovic signed in Moscow the Plan on joint activities of the two services for the fight against drug smuggling.

The Serbian Interior Ministry filed the data on the suspect in the drug smuggling for whose arrest a warrant has been issued and called on the Russian service to provide assistance in their location, Ivanov said but he did not reveal the identity of the suspect.

He noted that over the past five years, Kosovo has become a transit path for drugs from Afghanistan destined for the European market and specified that 60 tons of heroine worth over EUR 3 billion gets transported across Kosovo on the annual basis.

The director of the Russian Federal Service for Drug Control said that in the light of the given facts, he can understand the efforts of the Serbian government to protect the Serb community in Kosovo.

State Secretary Vladimir Bozovic said that organised criminal rings in Kosovo are doing all they can to make EUR 1 billion worth of profits through drug smuggling, and stated that the profits are probably used to achieve political ends too.

Bozovic said that the dialogue between the Serbian government and Pristina in Brussels aimed to help ensure safety and fight against drug smuggling but it seems Pristina takes no heed of it.

The plan on joint activities of the two services in the fight against drug smuggling in the next two years signed by Ivanov and Bozovic defined the activities and modes of cooperation, including the exchange of data on suspects in drug smuggling cases, as well as the data on drug channels and ways.

FPO: Serbia rightfully rejected ultimatum

VIENNA -- After Serbia rightfully rejected the EU plan for Kosovo, EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton is facing "political failure".
This is according to Andreas Melzer, a member of the European Parliament from the Austrian Freedom Party.
In his opinion, this development is not surprising considering the fact the EU tried to make Serbs give up their legitimate interests by using ultimatums.

Brussels should have taken into account the fact Kosovo is the cradle of the Serbian nation and holds special significance for Serbia, believes Melzer.

"There is a reason Kosovo is mentioned in the Serbian Constitution as an inseparable part of Serbia. What country would voluntarily give up a part of its territory? What Ashton did is the height of political dilettantism," said the Austrian politician.

He urged the EU to finally take into account the legitimate interests of Serbia rather than just playing protector to Kosovo.

This means the Serbs in Kosovo must be fully protected and, if they have to live under Albanian sovereignty, they should at least enjoy the greatest possible autonomy, said Melzer.

He also noted that the Serb people live in several different countries.

"If Brussels wants to give guidelines for the integration of the Western Balkans, then it needs to take this fact into consideration. This is why cantonal organization is necessary for the Serbs in Bosnia or Kosovo, which means not only maximum autonomy, but also open borders to their homeland of Serbia," he added.

On Monday the Serbian government unanimously decided to demand an urgent resumption of the EU-facilitated dialogue between Belgrade and Priština.

Prime Minister Ivica Dačić said the government cannot accept the principles that have been verbally conveyed to its negotiating team as they do not guarantee full security, survival and protection of human rights of the Serb people living in Kosovo.
SP: Draft resolution for Chameria

SP: Draft resolution for Chameria
The Socialist leader, Edi Rama, declared that the SP will include the Cham issue in their program.

Rama said that it is time to give an end to the hypocrite silence about the Cham case, and also to the primitive nationalistic approach.

“This is the time to look forward. The time of nationalisms and extremisms, which dominated the region, now belongs to the past. We propose a new step, on behalf of our future. We propose an alternative draft-resolution for the Cham case”, Rama declared.

The SP leader underlined that the Cham case is a political issue that should be addressed to in full accordance with the international norms. He added that this issue should also consider the good neighbouring relations, for a mutual interest.

“This alternative draft resolution addresses to this issue by bringing the Albanian politics out of this inertia which is not that decent, and by stabilizing the terrain of an unreasonable conflict between the political forces of this country, which have the high interest of representing different communities, making sure that this issue will not feed hate, but it will serve to the good neighbouring. We consider the Cham case a political issue and to be treated between the two countries, it should be included in the political agenda between Albania and Greece. We ask the Council of Ministers to report twice a year at the Albanian Parliament about the progress of the Cham case”, Rama declared.
The Greek Independence Anniversary Day in Boston, USA


Opinion - REZOLUTA CAME, PRO DHE KUNDER! - 8 prill 2013 

Stavri Marko, Panajot Barka, Andri Nurellari, Mentor Nazarko

Shooting spree in Serbia kills 13

From Mira Adjana-Polak, For CNN
April 9, 2013 -- Updated 1217 GMT (2017 HKT)
Serbian police officers guard entrance to a yard in the village of Velika Ivanca, on April 9, 2013.
Serbian police officers guard entrance to a yard in the village of Velika Ivanca, on April 9, 2013.
  • Murder is rare in Serbia
  • The man goes house to house, killing occupants
  • Six women, six men and one child die
Belgrade, Serbia (CNN) -- A gunman went on a shooting spree in the Serbian town of Velika Ivanca on Tuesday, killing at least 13 people, including a small child, according to Police Chief Milorad Veljovic. The town lies roughly 25 miles south of the capital, Belgrade.
The man, in his 60s, entered five houses and shot six men, six women and one child dead.
The motive is not yet known, Veljovic said.
Veljovic said the gunman attempted to kill his wife and take his own life, according to Serbian news agency Tanjug.
The couple's condition wasn't immediately clear.
Serbia has a low murder rate, nearly on par with that of Sweden, according to the World Health Organization. With 1.2 intentional homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in 2010, Serbia's murder rate was one-quarter of that of the United States.


Navy Deploying Laser Weapon Prototype Near Iran

A prototype shipboard laser will be deployed on a converted amphibious transport and docking ship in the Persian Gulf, where Iranian fast-attack boats have harassed American warships and where the government in Tehran is building remotely piloted aircraft carrying surveillance pods and, someday potentially, rockets.
The laser will not be operational until next year, but the announcement on Monday by Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, the chief of naval operations, seemed meant as a warning to Iran not to step up activity in the gulf in the next few months if tensions increase because of sanctions and the impasse in negotiations over the Iranian nuclear program. The Navy released video and still images of the laser weapon burning through a drone during a test firing.
The laser is designed to carry out a graduated scale of missions, from burning through a fast-attack boat or a drone to producing a nonlethal burst to “dazzle” an adversary’s sensors and render them useless without causing any other physical damage.
The Pentagon has a long history of grossly inflating claims for its experimental weapons, but a nonpartisan study for Congress said the weapon offered the Navy historic opportunities.
“Equipping Navy surface ships with lasers could lead to changes in naval tactics, ship design and procurement plans for ship-based weapons, bringing about a technological shift for the Navy — a ‘game changer’ — comparable to the advent of shipboard missiles in the 1950s,” said the assessment, by the Congressional Research Service, a branch of the Library of Congress.
The study found that the new high-energy laser “could provide Navy surface ships with a more cost-effective means of countering certain surface, air and ballistic missile targets.”
Among the limitations, according to the research service, is that lasers are not effective in bad weather because the beam can be disturbed or scattered by water vapor, as well as by smoke, sand and dust. It is also a “line of sight” weapon, meaning that the target has to be visible, so it cannot handle threats over the horizon. And enemies can take countermeasures like coating vessels and drones with reflective surfaces.
Navy officials acknowledge that the first prototype weapon to be deployed is not powerful enough to take on jet fighters or missiles on their approach. That capability is a goal of researchers.
Among the advantages cited in the study for Congress was the low cost — less than $1 per sustained pulse — of using a high-energy laser against certain targets. By comparison, current short-range air-defense interceptor missiles cost up to $1.4 million each.
The laser weapon also has a limitless supply of ammunition — pulses of high energy — so long as the ship can generate electricity. The beam can reach its target at the speed of light and can track fast-moving targets.
Rear Adm. Matthew L. Klunder, the chief of naval research, said the high-energy laser system was developed as part of the Navy’s search for “new, innovative, disruptive technologies.” In essence, the Navy is trying to harness technological advances in battling adversaries that are thinking of inventive ways to counter American power.
Admiral Klunder said the weapon had destroyed targets in all 12 of its field tests.
The laser prototype cost just under $32 million, officials said. But if the weapon proves itself during its sea trials, and the order is given to buy the laser system for service across the fleet, the price per unit is expected to drop.
Rear Adm. Thomas J. Eccles, the deputy commander for naval systems engineering, said the first laser device would be deployed on the Ponce, which serves as a floating base for military operations and humanitarian assistance in the waters of the Middle East and southwestern Asia.
Iran has two navies: a traditional force of large older ships and a rival one run by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps that consists of fast-attack speedboats with high-powered machine guns and crews that employ guerrilla tactics, including swarming perilously close to American warships.
A significant confrontation between the United States and the Revolutionary Guards occurred in 2008, when five of Iran’s armed speedboats made aggressive maneuvers as they approached three American warships in international waters in the Strait of Hormuz. Pentagon officials said the commander of a Navy destroyer was on the verge of issuing an order to fire when the speedboats pulled away; no shots were fired.

Monday, April 8, 2013

SP: Draft resolution for Chameria

SP: Draft resolution for Chameria
The Socialist leader, Edi Rama, declared that the SP will include the Cham issue in their program.

Rama said that it is time to give an end to the hypocrite silence about the Cham case, and also to the primitive nationalistic approach.

“This is the time to look forward. The time of nationalisms and extremisms, which dominated the region, now belongs to the past. We propose a new step, on behalf of our future. We propose an alternative draft-resolution for the Cham case”, Rama declared.

The SP leader underlined that the Cham case is a political issue that should be addressed to in full accordance with the international norms. He added that this issue should also consider the good neighbouring relations, for a mutual interest.

“This alternative draft resolution addresses to this issue by bringing the Albanian politics out of this inertia which is not that decent, and by stabilizing the terrain of an unreasonable conflict between the political forces of this country, which have the high interest of representing different communities, making sure that this issue will not feed hate, but it will serve to the good neighbouring. We consider the Cham case a political issue and to be treated between the two countries, it should be included in the political agenda between Albania and Greece. We ask the Council of Ministers to report twice a year at the Albanian Parliament about the progress of the Cham case”, Rama declared.

Govt. officially rejects proposed Kosovo deal

BELGRADE -- The Serbian government met on Monday afternoon in Belgrade to officially reject the principles the EU proposed for an agreement with Priština.
(Tanjug, file)
(Tanjug, file)
Unusually, reporters were allowed to attend the session today during which the cabinet of Prime Minister Ivica Dačić concluded that the offered solutions, "which have been communicated verbally to our team", could not be accepted.
The said solutions "would not guarantee the human rights, survival and security to Serbs in Kosovo", it has been announced.

"Such an agreement would not be implementable and would not lead to a final and sustainable solution," Dačić stated.

The government also reaffirmed its commitment to finding a permanent solution by peaceful means, through dialogue, that will be a firm foundation for building a lasting peace.

The prime minister has been authorized to inform the EU of his cabinet's decision, reached unanimously.

Journalists were also told that the government was in favor of the urgent resumption of the dialogue with Priština, with EU mediation, in order to find the solutions for the contentious issues related to Kosovo and Metohija as soon as possible.

EU's Ashton reacts to Serbian decision

BRUSSELS -- Catherine Ashton issued a statement on Monday in the wake of the Serbian government's decision to reject a prooosal put forward in the Kosovo talks.
(Beta/AP, file)
(Beta/AP, file)
"Over the past six months I have met Prime Minister Dačić and Prime Minister Thaci eight times, sometimes in sessions that lasted more than thirteen hours," the statement reads, and adds:
"At the beginning we set ourselves a clear timeframe, so that the dialogue would stay focused and take into account the European Council's desire that Serbia and Kosovo move forward by the summer. I pay tribute to the two prime ministers and their teams for their hard work."

"After several rounds of discussions I believe that all the elements for an agreement on northern Kosovo are on the table. This needs to be an agreement between the two sides, it is not for the European Union to impose it. I regret the decision of the Serbian government to reject the proposals and call on them to make a last effort to reach an agreement, for the benefit of their people," the EU foreign policy chief's statement said.

"I believe in a bright future for Serbia and Kosovo and I know that, however difficult the process has been, it unlocked the potential for people - especially in northern Kosovo - to have a better life. I hope that Kosovo and Serbia will not miss the opportunity to put the past behind them and move forward into the future. I hope I will be leading the discussion in the EU over the next few days in support of a real step forward by both Serbia and Kosovo towards their European future," the EU official concluded in her statement.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

USS San Antonio, MEU Arrive in Souda Bay, Greece

Posted on Apr 5th, 2013

USS San Antonio, MEU Arrive in Souda Bay, Greece

The amphibious transport dock ship USS San Antonio (LPD 17), along with Marines from embarked 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), arrived in Souda Bay, Greece, for a scheduled port visit April 1.
San Antonio left its homeport of Norfolk, Va, March 11 for a scheduled deployment, and the visit to Greece was the first scheduled liberty port visit.
More than 1,000 Sailors and Marines went ashore to visit the city and participated in morale building activities as well as cultural exchanges.
“This was a very good port visit for us,” said Lt. Jay Weatherwax, a chaplain aboard San Antonio. “We took part in some community relation projects that will help build rapport between the Navy and the local community.”
Crewmembers also had the chance to participate in a variety of Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) tours around the city, including hiking, local dance lessons, wine tasting and beach tours.

“The Sailors and Marines have been working from sun up to sun down and completing multiple evolutions throughout this deployment,” said Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Teresa Kirkland, a Sailor on the MWR committee. “For us to get off the ship and see something different, besides each other and the blue seas, really raised morale. Being able to participate in tours, venture out in to town and engage in some Greek culture really helped prepare us for the rest of the deployment.”

San Antonio is deployed as part of the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group with embarked Marines from the 26th MEU, which is on a schedule deployment in support of maritime security cooperation efforts in the 6th Fleet area of responsibility.

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Naval Today Staff, April 5, 2013; Image: Wikimedia