Saturday, August 3, 2013

Tenet's secret for Mueller

Outgoing FBI Director Robert Mueller (C) delivers remarks at a farewell ceremony for him at the Justice Department in Washington, August 1, 2013. On Monday the U.S. Senate confirmed former Deputy Attorney General James Comey to replace Mueller, who has led the bureau since shortly before the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. Also onstage with Mueller are Deputy U.S. Attorney General James Cole (FROM L), U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, former CIA Director George Tenet and TSA Administrator John Pistole.

Tenet's secret for Mueller
August 1st, 2013
Former CIA Director George Tenet, right, hugs outgoing FBI Director Robert Mueller during a farewell ceremony at the Justice Department in Washington, Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013. Mueller is stepping down in September after 12 years heading the agency. AP Photo logo  
AP Photo 2 days ago
Former CIA Director George Tenet, right, hugs outgoing FBI Director Robert Mueller during a farewell ceremony at the Justice Department in Washington, Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013. Mueller is stepping down in September after 12 years heading the agency.
Outgoing FBI Director Robert Mueller (C) delivers remarks at a farewell ceremony for him at the Justice Department in Washington, August 1, 2013. On Monday the U.S. Senate confirmed former Deputy Attorney General James Comey to replace Mueller, who has led the bureau since shortly before the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. Also onstage with Mueller are Deputy U.S. Attorney General James Cole (FROM L), U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, former CIA Director George Tenet and TSA Administrator John Pistole. 

Washington (CNN) - Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Robert Mueller is known for his poker-faced demeanor, rarely betraying emotion as he led some of the most sensitive government investigations.
George Tenet, his friend and the former Central Intelligence Agency director, on Thursday offered a rare peek at Mueller battling to keep a straight face during public hearings. Mueller is leaving his post Sept. 4 after 12 years, and the Justice Department held a farewell ceremony to honor him.
News Photo: Outgoing FBI Director Robert Mueller laughs while listening…
Tenet, speaking in the Justice Department's great hall, described his efforts to make Mueller loosen up at congressional hearings.
"You know how before you start testifying witnesses usually cup their hands and everybody thinks we are saying something profound to each other at the moment. Well, Bob and I would be in the middle of the testimony and I would cup my hand and say something to Mueller like, `Bob isn't that the dumbest question you have ever heard in your life?'" Tenet said, getting laughs from a crowd of lawyers and FBI officials at the ceremony.
"Shut up!" Mueller would reply, Tenet said.
"'Here it comes Bob – Swim Bobby swim!'" Tenet says he whispered to Mueller.
"Shut up!" Mueller would say.
"And finally it would always be `Bob, are you really going to take that from this guy?'" Tenet would come back.
Officials, including Attorney General Eric Holder, told stories of Mueller's long record of service from his days as a decorated U.S. Marine to his extended tenure at the FBI. This included his lobbying that saved the FBI from being broken up into separated criminal and intelligence agencies after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and his move in the 1990s to abandon a better-paying white collar legal job to become a line prosecutor in Washington during the days when the nation's capital was enduring a spasm of drug violence.
Holder said Mueller upon retirement is leaving the nation safer than he found it.
James Comey, Mueller's successor at the FBI, has won Senate confirmation and takes over next month.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Russia’s Middle-East End Game, at the Hands of the Post-Soviet Grandmaster...

Vladimir Putin, now in power for over 13 years, has a history with the United States, his one-time opponent on the global chessboard.

 He began by mending ties with NATO, broken during the Kosovo conflict, and then actually applying for membership in the alliance that once faced off against the Red Army. In the wake of Sept. 11, Putin not only called George W. Bush, but also gave practical and substantive support to U.S. operations in Afghanistan—and tolerated a large U.S. military presence in former Soviet Central Asia. Putin also chose not to react strongly to the Bush Administration’s decision to withdraw from the ABM Treaty that Moscow had for decades called a key pillar of strategic stability, and managed to live with Bush’s invasion of Iraq and the enlargement of NATO—to include, among others, the three Baltic states. The early picture of Putin’s relations with the United States was therefore one of relative harmony.
What changed Putin’s largely positive attitude toward the United States were the “color revolutions” in Ukraine, Georgia, and Kyrgyzstan, which he saw as U.S. actions to displace Russia from its “zones of interests,” at best, or, at worst, as a dress rehearsal for a regime change in Russia itself. Putin then changed tack and left the West’s political orbit to reassert Russia’s role as an independent great power, helped by a decade of high and ever-rising oil prices. He fulminated against U.S. global hegemony in a speech in Munich, but to little avail, as Washington’s support for Ukrainian and Georgian bids to join NATO helped destabilize the situation in Eastern Europe. The whole thing ended in a brief war between Russia and Georgia, which Putin saw as a U.S. client state. Had the crisis also spread to Ukraine, or at least to Crimea, a direct U.S.-Russian collision would have been hard to avoid.
The global crisis and the change of presidents at the White House—Putin himself always stayed in control, even when he let his protégé Dmitri Medvedev formally run Russia—allowed for a new beginning in U.S.-Russian relations. Putin took Barack Obama’s “reset” in relations with Moscow as a correction of the flawed policies of the previous administration. He had one substantive face-to-face meeting with Obama when the latter was visiting Russia, and he permitted Medvedev’s closer engagement with the U.S. president. But the results of that engagement, in Putin’s view, were mixed. Obama showed no interest in the post-Soviet space, which was good; he scaled down U.S. missile defense plans, which was good; and he bombed Libya into a regime change, which was plainly bad.
By the time Putin formally returned to the Kremlin, he had become incensed over what he believed was blatant U.S. interference in Russia’s domestic politics. He accused the U.S. State Department of actually paying for and running the Russian protest movement that challenged his rule in a series of unprecedented demonstrations. Once in office, Putin lost no time in turning against those whom he described as foreign agents. Official anti-Americanism, heretofore a situational reaction to occasional U.S. military operations or human-rights campaigns, had become a key feature of the brand of Russian nationalism that Putin set about constructing in his new term. In foreign policy, Moscow stopped merely grumbling over U.S. actions it did not like, as in Kosovo, Iraq, or Libya; it started actively opposing U.S. policies, particularly in Syria.
It goes without saying that Vladimir Putin is a very conservative politician and statesman, and he is deeply cynical about domestic politics and international relations. He defends the status quo: domestically, because it suits him best; and internationally, because it is often the lesser evil. In his more than a dozen years in power, he has lost his early admiration for the United States and his once-strong empathy for Europe.
From Vladimir Putin’s perspective, U.S. policies in the Middle East since the beginning of the Arab Awakening have been misguided, unprincipled, and dangerous, and its record of prognostication and intervention has been abysmal. Obama had made veiled calls for change during his first visit to Cairo, but when the change in Egypt suddenly became a reality, he agonized before making a decision. Eventually, he pushed out one of America’s staunchest allies, Hosni Mubarak, and tried his luck astride the “wave of history.” Obama mistook that wave for democracy; in truth, its real name was Islamism. While publicly exhorting Egyptians’ readiness to embrace democracy, the United States was essentially trying to protect its geopolitical interests, including Egypt’s peace with Israel and the shipping along the Suez Canal. Using its leverage with the Egyptian military, the United States gambled on bringing Islamists to power, in the hope of domesticating them through the chores and challenges of governance. When they turned out to be incompetent and headstrong, the United States let the first democratically elected president of Egypt be ousted by means of a managed crisis; staged popular riots; and eventually a military coup. The U.S. government refused to see the coup for what it actually was, so that it could, hypocritically, circumvent a U.S. legal norm mandating cessation of U.S. military aid, a key U.S. instrument of influence. The new government in Egypt contains a number of U.S. friends, but its future is uncertain.
Putin himself has been rather skeptical on Egypt. After some persuasion, he did agree to ease the ban on dealing with Muslim Brotherhood leaders and even invited President Morsi to his court in Sochi in the spring of 2013. Putin may privately enjoy watching the Egyptians stop burning Russian flags over Syria and putting up instead his own portrait alongside that of Nasser. Yet, even then Putin sees little cause for short-term optimism when he looks at Egypt. The country is on the brink of a civil war, he commented on Morsi’s ouster in June 2013.
In Libya, Putin watched the U.S. president in 2011 decide on a military intervention in a foreign country against the advice of his own military, in order to be on the safe side in the forthcoming elections at home and to placate his allies in Europe and the Arab world. What was originally billed as a humanitarian operation to save lives in Benghazi was soon expanded to bring about a regime change in Tripoli, the U.N. Security Council resolution that Russia had allowed to pass notwithstanding. As a result, Putin commented, Libya ceased to be a functioning state; it broke apart into petty fiefdoms, turning Libyans into paupers. Even worse, the chaos that followed the toppling of Qaddafi released huge arsenals of arms and munitions, as well as thousands of trained radical fighters, into the neighborhood, from North Africa to the Middle East.

Published On: Fri, Aug 2nd, 2013

Albania grants dual citizenship for all Albanians in the Balkans except Kosovo

TanjugFind story with similar tags:
PRISTINA – New law came into force on August 1. The law considers dual citizenship and with the act “begins Albanization of the region”, reported Tanjug quoting Pristina daily Zveri, which also says that this is not possible for Kosovo Albanians.

Albania tourism destinations
Outgoing Prime Minister Salji Berisa initiated several months ago allowance of the Albanian citizenship to all Albanians in the region and citizens living in Kosovo, but few weeks later Kosovo Albanians were removed from the list of those who can apply for the dual citizenship.
The explanation was the beginning of the visa liberation process for the citizens of Kosovo.
Daily criticizes the decision of Berisa to disable dual citizenship for Kosovo Albanians and states that by the application of the law impression is created in Pristina that Kosovo Albanians are discriminated.
MP of the movement “Self-determination” (Samoopredeljenje), Redzip Seljimi, said granting Albanians in the region Albanian citizenship is good, but he believes that a “great injustice” was done to Kosovo Albanians.
He said that injustices to Kosovo Albanians are continuosly being done for the last 100 years. Since Albanians have paid for their freedom, and that their will is respected, he said, they do not have niether their freedom nor the respect of their will. The will of Albanians, said Seljimi, is that all of them are united and to have the same rights.
According to MP, Kosovo leadership is to blame for the situation, as it, as he said, laid the foundations for the creation of Kosovo nation and degradation of Albanian.

Greek Vessel Ikaria Visits Vlore

Click to view full size image
YEAR: 1999
LENGHT (m): 115,9
BREADTH (m): 15,3
DRAUGHT (m): 3,44
SPEED (kn): 16
POWER (kW): 7904

The Greek navy ship Ikaria, will visit the port of Vlorë, Albania, during a summer training program of the Hellenic Naval Academy, which will from Aug. 4-6.
The Albanian public will have the opportunity to visit the warship on Aug. 4 from 4-8 p.m. and the next day from 5-7 p.m. while the captain of the vessel and the crew members will visit the local authorities and the sea cadets will visit the Canine Castle.

The visit will take place in the framework of the bilateral military cooperation between Greece and Albania.

Kathimerini: New Albanian government without Northern Epiriotes

TIRANA. The composition of the new government announced yesterday the Socialist Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama, winner of parliamentary elections on June 23. The new government involving five ministers of the Socialist Movement Integration of Ilir Meta, the main government partner of the Socialists of Rama.

Greek-speaking party KEAD complained, however, that Mr. Rama chose not to include any Greek origin minister in his government, despite the existing electoral agreement, which provided for the return of a portfolio on Northern politician. The President of KEAD Vangelis Doulos yesterday had contacts with members of the socialists, but to announce a change in the composition of the cabinet.

According to statements made yesterday by Edi Rama, 90% of ministers has not been assigned in the past portfolio, while the cabinet has shaped the ranks of the country unprecedented number of women.

Important challenge government Rama is now tackling endemic corruption, linking the political leadership of the country to the drug trade, human trafficking (trafficking), the illegal gambling and smuggling fuel. Pleiades judges, police and journalists are the "payroll" criminal organizations as mentioned in a report from 2010 the American Embassy in Tirana. The embassy estimates that Albania loses every year 300 million dollars in unpaid taxes from fuel smuggling alone.

Edi Rama thus have to impose radical reforms in the public sector to deal with the cancer of corruption. This, however, will require alliances and support from the West, as noted in an article in the website «Huffington Post». The stated intention of Rama to fight corruption and organized crime should receive support from Europe, could offer its expertise to the Albanian police. Analyst «Huffington Post» cautions, however, that this should be done with care and constant monitoring to avoid errors such as that of the undivided support to Georgian President Saakashvili and the corrupt government he created.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Macedonia Urges Greece to Stop Abuse of Tourists

Skopje is sending a protest note to Athens, urging its neighbour to stop nationalists targeting Macedonian tourists in Greece with verbal abuse and vandalism.
Sinisa Jakov Marusic
The Macedonian foreign ministry has demanded an “immediate stop to the nationalistic rhetoric” directed towards Macedonians spending their summer vacations in Greece.

The incidents culminated last week when groups of Greek ultra-nationalists, reportedly members of the Golden Dawn movement, gathered at the two busiest border crossings, Bogorodica and Medzitlija.

They chanted “Macedonia is Greek” and handed out pamphlets with a similar message to Macedonians entering Greece.

In the protest note, Macedonia also expressed “worry” that attacks on Macedonian vehicles in Greece have also continued.

Macedonian police recently said that they received around 30 reports of such crimes from Macedonian tourists who had been staying in Greece.

The tourists mainly complained that their car numbers plates with the identifying letters ‘MK’ had been stolen or damaged. In a few of the cases, the cars were spraypainted with offensive slogans or damaged in other ways.

Such incidents “are not in the spirit of good neighbourliness”, Macedonia wrote to Greece, adding that this would not help the two countries to create a climate conducive to overcoming their bilateral differences.

So far Athens has been silent about the allegations.

Relations between Macedonia and Greece have been strained for two decades by the row over Macedonia's name. Greece insists that use of the name ‘Macedonia’ implies a territorial claim to its own northern province of the same name.

Citing the unresolved issue, Greece has been blocking Macedonia’s progress towards both EU and NATO membership. UN-brokered talks to overcome the dispute have so far failed to yield a solution.

Despite occasional complaints about nationalistically motivated incidents from both sides, Greece has remained one of the top summer destinations for Macedonians.

European Separatism - EU Unity Remains Fragile

By on 29.7.13

There are very real separatist pressures building in Catalonia and in Scotland, and national unity remains fragile in Belgium. But there is almost no chance that any of these issues grows into an actual crisis in 2013.

Catalonia will take the first steps toward holding a referendum, but a vote is unlikely until 2014, and a new fiscal deal with Madrid could even contain the push for self-determination. Following regional elections last year, a new center-left coalition was created to push for a referendum in the next two years. However, the coalition is not unified on economics with the center supporting austerity, while the left remains fundamentally opposed.

2013 will see growing debates around the effects of independence of Scotland from the United Kingdom, which will generate considerable noise. But Scotland’s referendum will not happen until 2014. In terms of the eventual outcome of the vote, polls show that most scots actually oppose a ‘yes’ vote, fearing tough negotiations over defense and oil revenues, among other issues. Moreover, an independent Scotland could be forced to reapply for EU membership and move toward euro adoption, both of which are highly unpopular.

In Belgium, the rise of the separatist new Flemish alliance (N-Va) will make negotiations on further devolution and finances difficult, but even an eventual collapse of talks won’t lead to the partition of the country. The victory of the N-VA in local elections puts the federal government under pressure. Two of the three Flemish parties present in the six party federal government--the Liberal Open VLD and the Christian democrats (CD&V)--need to deliver a credible alternative to the separatists in order to quell public demands for separation. Therefore, the Belgian government will face important challenges to its unity, but the next real challenge for the territorial integrity of the country will be the federal election scheduled in 2014.


Italy Express Its Support For Greece

By on 29.7.13

In an upbeat message that stressed Italy΄s support for Greece, visiting Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta on Monday said that Greece is emerging from the crisis and Italy will be by its side. The Italian premier, in Greece on a working visit, gave a joint press conference with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras after their meeting at the government headquarters in Athens.

Samaras referred to the potential for cooperation with Italy, particularly emphasising the importance of the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) and its selection to carry natural gas from Azerbaijan to Europe, which he said was a "massive success" for both countries, AMNA reported.

Samaras stressed that the construction of the pipeline put Greece on the global energy map and showed that the two countries were able to achieve great things together. Letta said the pipeline was "good news" for both countries and would have a positive impact for the next 20 years, bring jobs and lower prices.

During their meeting, which was carried out in a very good climate, Samaras and Letta discussed the economic crisis in Europe, the Greek European Union presidency in the first half of 2014 and the TAP pipeline.

The Greek prime minister started off the meeting by expressing his support for the tragic tour bus accident in Campania and the families of the victims.

With regard to economic affairs, Samaras underlined the need for policies that combine reforms to eliminate deficits with action for growth and stressed that recession only made the problems worse. While Greece was making steady progress on the path of fiscal adjustment and reforms, "we cannot achieve growth when Europe is sliding into a recession," he explained.

The Greek premier underlined that growth was the primary goal for Greece and the countries of the European south struggling in the grip of the debt crisis.

The problems caused by illegal migration also figured prominently in the two premiers΄ discussion, with talks focusing on a joint approach to the problem by Mediterranean countries, including Malta, Cyprus and Spain.

Another key issue was the exploitation of wealth-generating maritime resources of Greece and Italy.

According to Samaras, "2014 will be landmark year for the future of Europe," during which Greece and Italy will successively take over the rotating EU presidency and need to establish common priorities. The Italian prime minister announced that they will work together and invited Samaras to visit Rome next October.

The fact that Greece was exiting the crisis was major news for Europe and Italy, Letta emphasised, stressing that his country will be at Greece΄s side. He also pointed out that Greece must meet the commitments and comply with agreements it has made, noting that the sacrifices of the Greek people "were not an end in themselves" but a tool for achieving growth, which was the ultimate goal.

Replying to questions, however, Letta was critical of choices made by Europe and the EU-IMF troika in order to tackle the crisis in Greece and referred to mistakes in the time-frames and tools employed. He suggested that the nature of the crisis would have been substantially different if Europe΄s initial stance had been different and so many jobs were not lost.

On this issue, Samaras underlined that Greece΄s foremost goal at present was to achieve a primary surplus so that the country was no longer dependent on loans.
      "Greece has the largest structural surplus and we could achieve extremely high rates of growth if we did not need to be constantly borrowing," he pointed out. 
Their meeting lasted an hour and a quarter and was followed by a working dinner, which was attended by Government Vice-President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos. The foreign minister will later have a meeting with Letta in private.

Fron Nahzi

Combating Corruption in Albania: Superman, Where Are You?

The newly elected prime minister of Albania, Edi Rama, has inherited a government and a country on the verge of financial and social collapse. The outgoing Democratic Party drained the state's finances dry, strengthened links between government and mafia, and created a state ruled by Democratic Party law. To quickly refill the country's depleted accounts and to attract much needed international investment, Rama has made combating corruption his top priority. But unless Rama is wearing a tight costume with a red cape, he will need immediate and sustained help from other governments. The US and EU, to which Albania aspires to join, must back up their complaints of corruption by getting actively involved. They must stop being sideline cheerleaders for good governance and join forces to cut the Albanian mafia's far-reaching tentacles.
Just how far do these tentacles stretch? Report after report link the country's political leaders and other elite to the narcotics trade, human trafficking, gambling, illegal construction, and illegal fuel adulteration. A host of judges, police officers, and journalists are on the payroll of one or more organized crime syndicates, evidence suggests. A U.S. embassy cable from 2009, released by Wikileaks, detailed corruption on the highest level, calling Albania's leaders "Law Breakers Turned Law Makers." It is estimated that Albania is losing $300 million in tax revenues per year to illegal fuel adulteration alone.
To disentangle this knot, Rama needs help. Bold and sweeping reforms, if he goes that route, will require strong international backing and public criticism when the reforms slow down. Critical is constant monitoring to ensure that a new corrupt regime does not replace the old. The experience of western support for Misha Saakshvili in Georgia is relevant here; Saakshvili came to power on an anti-corruption pledge and was recently voted out of office due to the same type of abuse.
The U.S. and European governments have provided billions of dollars to aid Albania's democratic development since the fall of communism about 20 years ago. This included assisting the Albanian government in drafting anti-corruption policies and laws that, if enforced, should have ended corruption and put many elected officials behind bars. But both the international community and Albanians were united in their naïve expectation of the outcome. Albanians believed that, like any investor who seeks to protect the investment, the international community would have a more direct say in the future of the country. They pinned their hopes on the West, a sort of Super Friends League of Justice, committed to social justice and to end tyranny in the world, to punish elected leaders when they stepped out of line. Western governments, on the other hand, hoped for active Albanian citizens who would demand transparency and accountability from their government. Unfortunately, the Super Friends remained nothing more than comic book superheroes and Albanians were alternately silent or screaming about corruption depending on their political views. Top officials and mafia bosses, meanwhile, raked it in.
The new leader Edi Rama has expressed a willingness to fight corruption and organized crime. Europe and the U.S. should not take a wait-and-see approach but rather hold Rama to his commitment and join him by taking a proactive public position against the organized crime bosses. This means they must drive the effort by utilizing their law enforcement and intelligence bodies to help the Albanian government identify and prosecute mafia bosses and their supporters in and outside of government.
Albania does not need superheroes. It needs committed, law-abiding public servants and funding for government services that improve the livelihood of citizens. Unfortunately, this can only be achieved if Rama can free Albania from the grip of organized crime. This is possible with help from friends.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

UN Security Council meeting on Kosovo on August 28

NEW YORK -- A meeting of the UN Security Council where a report by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on the situation in Kosovo will be presented will be held on August 28.
(Beta/AP, file)
(Beta/AP, file)
Tanjug reported it learned this at the UN headquarters in New York.
Ban stated in his regular quarterly report for the period between April 23 and July 15 that the authorities in Belgrade and Pristina should work to find the truth about missing persons and war crimes.

Ban commended the efforts to bring the relations between Belgrade and Priština back to normal and added that the painful issues left after the war needed solutions, according to the report, which Tanjug had access to.

There are still 1,726 missing persons, Ban stated in the report, adding that international support to all sides and involvement in Kosovo were still crucial.

Besides operational support in the implementation of agreements, it is very important for the international community to remain determined in the process of reconciliation and healing of the wounds from the past, the secretary general said.

"The greatest challenge in Kosovo at the moment is the implementation of the agreement signed in Brussels by Serbia's Prime Minister Ivica Dačić and his Kosovo counterpart Hashim Thaci," Ban noted, calling on all international organizations in Kosovo to work with the UN.

"Strauss-Kahn isn't negotiating with Serbian government"

BELGRADE -- Former IMF Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn "might become an adviser to the Serbian government, the Belgrade-based newspaper Danas writes on Tuesday.
"Serb Progressive Party leader Aleksandar Vučić mentioned at Friday's meeting of the party's main board the possibility that a foreigner might be appointed to that important office in a reshuffled government," the daily writes, and adds:
"Informed sources told Danas that this expert, whose appointment, Vučić said, would come as a veritable bombshell, is Dominique Strauss-Kahn."

The daily described the article as "an exclusive report" and carried it on the front page.

But a source close to Strauss-Kahn on Tuesday spoke for AFP and denied that he was negotiating with the Serbian authorities.

Meanwhile, an unnamed source from the Serbian government told the news agency that the former IMF chief was offered a position.

"We talked... but nothing is certain. We made the first contact, but it's a lot of money," the source was quoted as saying.

On July 12, reports in Russia said Strauss-Kahn had received a place on the board of supervisors of the All-Russia Regions Development Bank, owned by Rosneft.

Strauss-Kahn, who was in 2011 accused in a separate sex scandal in the U.S., was on Friday indicted in France on pimping charges.

Koupa May Have Escaped to Albania


Greek police said they found the hideout of escaped fugitive Ilir Koupa in Kerasohori of Thesprotia, 500 meters from Polydrosso, near a house they said he had burgled to steal food and a sleeping bag and think he may have slipped across the border into his native Albania.

They said he broke the lock of the house, got toast and preserves found in cupboards and left two lenses on the table. There are fewer than 200 residents in Kerasohori and none reported seeing him, although police noted that many Albanians live there.

Police said they think he had accomplices there who got him into Albania and said the suspect it may have been the work of Albanian shepherds, who live and work legally in Greece.
“Koupa could not alone be moved to Kerasohori. It is impossible to make this distance on foot,” police said. He is the last of an Albanian gang to break out of Trikkala Prison, the rest being killed or captured. He was the target of one of the biggest manhunts in Greece.

Monday, July 29, 2013

One of Vlore tripple murder suspects caught

One of Vlore tripple murder suspects caught

One of Vlore tripple murder suspects caught Only 24 hours after the event that shook the city of Vlore, where three people were killed, the police identified the suspects and arrested one of them.

Leo Osmani, 18-year-old, was together with another person on the scene of the crime. This is confirmed by the weapon, found near the scene, which did not have Osmani’s fingerprints on it. The police suspect that the murder has been carried out by his friend, based on eye witness testimonies.

The Police Director, Artan Cuku, gave details of the investigation by confirming that none of the victims was the target and the dispute started on a conflict of the moment.

“We explain that there was a conflict of the moment for banal motives. The coroner’s preliminary report and that of other investigators suggest that two of the victims were hit by rebound bullets, and none of the three were in any kind of conflict with the author. The investigators have secured strong scientific evidence that have been seized by the police”, Cuku declared.

The Vlore Police, in cooperation with RENEA and the Immediate Intervention Forces of Fier are working for the arrest of the other suspect.

The tragedy took place this Sunday at 16:00, near the place called “Kalaja”, leaving three victims, Sokol Isufaj, 34; Diana Ademi, 53; and Servi Bajlozi, 17.

Putin: Kosovo is Serbian territory


MOSCOW, KIEV -- Vladimir Putin has told SPC Patriarch Irinej that Russia will continue to argue in the international arena that Kosovo is legally a Serbian territory.

(Beta, file)
During a meeting he had with the Serbian patriarch in the Kremlin last week, the Russian president said that Russia will not recognize the self-proclaimed republic of Kosovo created through a violation of UNSC Resolution 1244 and all norms of international law, Večernje Novosti, a Belgrade-based daily, reported.

Moscow will continue to consistently support Serbia in the righteous fight to preserve its territory, population and churches in Kosovo and Metohija, the Russian president said.

After speeches were given by representatives of delegations of Orthodox churches, including a speech by His Holiness Irinej, Putin spoke about ten minutes of troubles faced by the Serb people in Kosovo and Metohija.

The Serbian patriarch was very pleased with the talks, as he learned that the president of Russia is well informed about the sufferings of the Serbs and other non-Albanian population in Kosovo, Večernje Novosti reported.

"Putin confirms support"
Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić met with President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin on Saturday, and the Russian president reiterated the Russian government's full support for Serbia's efforts to finish the work that it has begun.

“I discussed all the issues with President Putin. There are no open issues - all are being dealt with, faster or slower, but we enjoy complete support and approval of Russia to finish the job we started in both our negotiations with the institutions in Priština and in our society reform,” said Nikolić.

Nikolić told Tanjug that he and Putin discussed all matters relevant to the relations between Russia and Serbia.

According to Nikolić, it is obvious that the Russian side is interested in Serbia succeeding, "since Russia is Serbia's huge partner”

Asked when Putin might visit Belgrade, Nikolić said that the Russian president will probably visit Serbia when the construction works on the South Stream gas pipeline section through Serbia begin.

“We have made arrangements for the visit, and now the governments of Russia and Serbia need to create the conditions for works on the South Stream to begin as soon as possible,” said Nikolić.

Nikolić met with Putin in Kiev, where they both attended the celebrations of the 1025th anniversary of Baptism of Kievan Rus', the medieval kingdom that laid the Orthodox foundation for modern-day Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine.
Berisha threatens: Election Transparency is crucial for the stability of the country!

The outgoing Prime Minister, Sali Berisha, has reiterated that the June elections were rigged.
Berisha happy 2

According to him, Rama pulled out revote in Lezha as this will reveal manipulation.

"Dear friends, Edi Rama widely accepted today that 1250 has stolen votes in Lezha. He suddenly withdrew the application submitted to the court for re-election in the district of Lezha after it was found that in 14 of the circuit box was stolen with violence, terror and drug money with 1250 votes and re-election of course, indirectly, he apologized citizens Lezha.

Of course, he did attract only because the repeat elections would bring exemplary punishment for stealing from Lezhjaneve vote on June 23 and will pave the way for their repetition in Shkodra where 700 votes were stolen and in other regions .

But despite this retreat, June 23 elections, the results remain rigged top to bottom. Investigation and transparency of elections where they are using crime and dirty money are crucial for stability. Prior to the free vote of the Albanians! " says Berisha on Face Book.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Totozani: Muslims have the right to have a mosque, but we will make verification for the site

Totozani: Muslims have the right to have a mosque, but we will make verification for the site
The Ombudsman will start an administrative investigation regarding the procedures followed by the Tirana Municipality for giving the construction permit to the mosque on the current park that is situated in front of the Parliament.

After the complaints submitted by the civil society, experts of this institution will ask the Tirana Municipality to see if this permit has been given in accordance with the rules. The Ombudsman says that he is protecting the right of the devotees to have a decent cult object.

“We will start working based on your complaint and by verifying the procedures that have been realized in this decision taken by the public institution. We also guarantee the Albanian muslim devotees that the Ombudsman supports a final and decent solution for building a mosque in Tirana, so that the Muslim devotees do not feel discriminated from the other religious communities”, Totozani declared.

The environmentalist association told the Ombudsman that their complaints are because of the Tirana Municipality has not made an environmental study before giving the permit for this area, and because together with it they have given the permit for the construction of a commercial center, which will damage the only old green park within Tirana.
Albanian Electo Mania

Electoral College recounts Kukes ballots

Electoral College recounts Kukes ballots
The Electoral College at the Tirana Court of Appeal turned into a ballot counting commission today, since the Socialist Movement for Integration claimed for vote manipulations that took one Parliamentary seat from them.

At 11:00, as announced, 15 ballot boxes of the Zonal Electoral Administration Commission no.9 in Kukes were transported from the Central Election Commission to the Court of Appeal in Tirana, where the recount started.

13 out of 15 boxes have been recounted so far and there has been no surprise, reconfirming what was written in the register of the Zonal Electoral Administration Commission . And the result of the right coalition has not deepened at all. In this moment the college is about to start the recount of the two last boxes, giving an end to the complaints of the June 23rd elections.

Russia Prepares For War After Obama-Bush-Clinton Meet

By on 28.7.13


A truly grim Federal Security Services (FSB) report circulating in the Kremlin on the weekend confirms that the July 13 snap military drills ordered by President Putin involving nearly 200,000 Russia troops was in “direct response” to information obtained from US fugitive Edward Snowden; information that further caused the historic meeting of three American Presidents in Africa during the past few weeks in their effort to hide the truth of our worlds nearing destruction.

According to this report, Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) tactical forces were able to extricate Snowden from Hong Kong on June 23 within hours of his planned assassination by a CIA “hit squad” sent by the Obama regime to silence this person who is now known as the most wanted man in the world.

The saving of Snowden’s life, this report continues, was ordered by Putin after the June 18 assassination of American journalist Michael Hastings whose vehicle was destroyed by a US drone strike in Los Angeles as he was attempting to flee to safety while preparing a story on information given to him by Snowden.

Further information relating to Putin’s decision to save Snowden, this report says, was the Obama regimes attack on two Los Angeles police detectives investigating Hastings assassination, and which has, so far, pushed them into silence.

Confirming Putin’s wisdom in saving Snowden’s life, FSB analysts in the report say, was the Obama regimes assassination of famed New Zealand hacker Barnaby Jack in San Francisco on July 25 just days before he was to appear before the Black Hat Briefings computer security conference in Las Vegas where he was set to prove “beyond all doubt” that the aircraft used in the September 11, 2001 attacks on America were being remotely controlled by US intelligence agencies.

The evidence provided to Barnaby Jack to confirm this fact, this report says, was given to this “white hat hacker” by Snowden after the first computer genius he, Snowden, had approached was likewise assassinated by the Obama regime.

In “deep background,” FSB analysts in this report say, Snowden, when he first became aware of the stunning facts behind the US governments actions against not only their own people, but the entire world, contacted the noted computer genius and Internet activist Aaron Swartz in early January (2013) to assist him in explaining the most highly technical aspects of the top secret reports he was seeing.

Within days of Snowden contacting Swartz, however, this report says, the Obama regime assassinated Swartz by “suicide” on  January 11, though US intelligence agencies weren’t able, at that time, to discover where Swartz had obtained his information.

Most stunning in this report is the absolute terror being exhibited by US President’s Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, all of whom rushed to Africa for a series of secret meetings on June 27 and July 1st after Snowden had been brought under the protection of the Kremlin just days before.

According to the GRU addendum to this FSB report, Clinton arrived in the African nation of Senegal immediately prior to Obama where the two held a series of secret meetings on July 27.  From Senegal, this report continues, Clinton traveled separately to Dar es Salaam (Tanzania's largest and richest city) where he met up with Obama and Bush for another series of secret meetings on July 1st.

As to the content of these historic meetings between three US Presidents in Africa kept from the American people by their propaganda media organs, this FSB report concludes, was how they were going to be able to contain the even more catastrophic information held by Snowden he has yet to release, but has vowed to do.

Important to note, the Obama regime is now in “full panic mode” over what is to come, and as evidenced this past week by the US Federal Government ordering all Web firms to immediately hand over the passwords of all American citizens.

Even more ominous for the American people, the Obama regime last Friday completely removed from the Internet Obama’s website he established in 2008 to lay out his promises, which, in fact, he never honored anyway.

And in a move this report calls “stunning,” the Obama regimes defense department told the US Senate this past week that neither the US Congress, nor the American people, had a right to know who their own country was at war with because it is “classified.”

The GRU addendum to this FSB report, however, cryptically states that for the “truest meaning” of Snowden’s information revealing who the US is really at war with, and the fears of Obama-Bush-Clinton, lies in the 9 December 2009 “Norway Spiral Warning” giving to our Earth on the eve of Obama receiving his December 10th, 2009 Nobel Peace Prize… a warning, mind you, that has not been heeded.

The same, however, cannot be said of Russia as the 5,000 additional bomb shelters ordered in 2010 by Putin to be built by the end of 2012 have now been completed, and with each passing day many more thousands of Russian troops are preparing for war.

Sorcha Faal

GEOPOLITICS - The unravelling of neo-Ottomanism

By on 28.7.13

hellenicantidote. - Turkey’s Islamist rulers’ nationalist ambitions for a revivified neo-Ottoman empire, which was cast by its leading ideologue current foreign minister Ahmet Davoutoglu as ‘zero-problems with Turkey’s neighbours’, has unravelled more quickly than anybody could have imagined.

Indeed, it seemed only last year with the outbreak of the ‘Arab Spring’ that a number of a nationalist and Baathist regimes – in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Tunisia – would be ousted and replaced by Islamists inclined towards closer relations with Turkey. However, in Syria, the Assad regime refused to fall while Egypt’s experiment with a Muslim Brotherhood government has come crashing down, causing great consternation in Ankara and a rupture in relations between Turkey and the new government in Cairo.

Just as interesting are Turkey’s strained relations with Iran, another country Turkey had wanted to bring within its orbit. Indeed, in the article below, originally published here, the author (William Armstrong) suggests that anti-Iranian feeling is so strong in Turkey that there has been a surge in Sunni sectarian feeling that doesn’t bode well for Turkey with its large Alevi minority.

Not so many years ago, a strategic partnership between Turkey and Iran seemed to be developing into one of the region’s more unexpected modern developments. Turkey was vaunted as a mediator in negotiations between the West and Iran over the latter’s nuclear program, and the relationship was reinforced by crucial oil and gas sales from Iran to Turkey. Those days feel rather long ago.

The two countries now find themselves at loggerheads backing opposite sides of the bloody civil war in neighboring Syria, with fears of a regional sectarian conflagration steadily turning into an apocalyptic reality. A marker of the Syrian crisis’ deleterious effect on the Turkey-Iran relationship came with the diplomatic spat that followed the deployment of NATO Patriot missiles on Turkey’s southern border earlier this year, which lead the Iranian army’s chief of staff to declare that the move could be a prelude to ‘world war.’

Less spectacular, but also very important, is Iran’s clear unease with Turkey’s delicate ongoing peace process with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which involves the rebel group withdrawing its militants from Turkish soil to their bases in northern Iraq. Tehran is concerned that the withdrawal could result in the militants joining forces with the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK), which is the PKK’s offshoot in Iran.

The schism between Turkey and Iran widened to such an extent that Patrick Cockburn recently described relations between the two as ‘poisonous’ and this is increasingly being reflected in the rising levels of anti-Iran sentiment in Turkey’s Islamist press. In addition to countless pieces targeting Iran for supporting the al-Assad regime in Syria, it has also been striking to see the AKP media include Iranians among the dark ‘outside forces’ stoking the recent Gezi Park protests, supposedly out of discomfort with Turkey’s economic success.

In the early days of the demonstrations, it was eagerly reported in all government-supporting media outlets that an “Iranian agent” had been arrested on suspicion of being a ‘provocateur’ behind protests in Ankara. It later emerged in more sceptical news organisations that the individual concerned, Shayan Shamloo, was in fact a rapper who was living in Turkey as a refugee.

Soon afterwards – in one of those truly befuddling Today’s Zaman stories – Abdullah Bozkurt wrote a column titled ‘Iran plays a subversive role in Turkey,’ in which he argued with a straight face (pardon the pun) that Iran was using the protests to infiltrate Turkey with spies disguised as LGBT people in an attempt to bring down the government:
    ‘Recent protests exposed, among other things, the depth of Iranian infiltration into Turkey… [During the protests] about a dozen Iranian agents who were trying to turn rallies into violent anti-government demonstrations were caught by the police… Since it is difficult to distinguish legitimate non-Muslim minority or LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people from spies, Iranian intelligence often uses them as a cover to infiltrate Turkey and third countries.’
However weird, Bozkurt’s column wasn’t an outlier in pointing the finger at Iran for Turkey’s problems. Indeed, Zaman and Today’s Zaman have recently been publishing a steady stream of articles and columns critical of negative Iranian influence in the region, and it’s probably also worth noting here that the Today’s Zaman editor, Bülent Kenes, wrote a book on Iran’s links to international terrorism last year.

Much of the Iran-bashing in the Turkish press goes hand in hand with pieces on Turkey’s Alevi minority.

The Alevis are an offshoot of Shiism, (distinct from the Alawites in Syria), and have historically been associated by some in Turkey as dangerous fifth columnists with divided loyalties to Iran. Indeed, that association goes back as far as Bosphorus bridge-commemorated Sultan Selim the Grim, whose decision to kill tens of thousands of Alevis was taken during a military campaign against the Persian Safavid Empire in the 16th century.

Some of the most enthusiastic and unpleasant examples negatively associating Alevis with Iran come from the extreme Islamist daily Yeni Akit. For two consecutive days in June, for example, Yeni Akit carried front page headline stories claiming that Iranian authorities had invited Alevi religious leaders across the border to visit Ayatollah Khamenei in an attempt to foment sectarian war in Turkey.

The headline of the first day’s story, ‘Iran is playing with fire’ (Iran, atesle oynuyor), was a stomach-turning play on the Turkish term for ‘flame’ (ates), in reference the fire often used in Alevi rituals.

Of course, it should be stressed that Yeni Akit is far from representative of majority sentiment in Turkey, but it probably isn’t quite as marginal as most people like to think. In fact, a few months ago Erdogan even put two of its writers – including editor-in-chief Hasan Karakaya - on his ‘Wise Men Commission,’ charged with the august task of repeating whatever he said about the ongoing Kurdish peace process.

It all adds up to a worrying picture. With the Syrian crisis having exploded into a wider geopolitical struggle splitting the region on sectarian lines, it’s increasingly clear that the growing schism between majority-Sunni Turkey and majority-Shia Iran is more than just a temporary trend.