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World Global

What if global warming isn't as severe as predicted?

17 DAYS AGO
What if global warming isn't as severe as predicted?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated in their most recent report that global surface temperature at the end of this century will probably be between 1.8 and 4 degrees Celsius warmer than it was at the end of the last century.

It's natural to question whether we and future generation...

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“Ukraine is not the new Yugoslavia”

6 DAYS AGO
“Ukraine is not the new Yugoslavia”

"The Ukrainian crisis was produced by the West and there can be no comparison with the 1990s Yugoslavia", said Bosnian writer and journalist Zlatko Dizdarevic who also explained the changed role of the former Yugoslavia.

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Serbia finally recognizes Kosovo passports

5 DAYS AGO
Serbia finally recognizes Kosovo passports

Kosovo continues to enjoy its independence, but still faces many obstacles as a country seeking its own place in the world community, that it has to pass. One of them was the issue of own passport and its recognition by some of its key neighbors, until now.

The most important Kosovo's neighbor, the...

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Economy

Romania Cuts Rates For Third Month; Lowers Reserve Requirement

17 DAYS AGO
Romania Cuts Rates For Third Month; Lowers Reserve Requirement

Romania's central bank on Tuesday reduced interest rates for the third consecutive session to a new low and lowered reserve requirements for foreign currency liabilities, as inflation remains low.

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Russian news agency to open Balkan center also

29 DAYS AGO
Russian news agency to open Balkan center also

After the recent visit to the region in search of the possibility to invest in information business by the former CIA director, David Petrus, now Russia announces it is coming to the Balkan region as well. The Russian international news news agency "Russia Today" (MIA Rossiya Segodnya) announced tha...

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Kuwait tries to play down oilfield dispute with Saudi Arabia

22 DAYS AGO
Kuwait tries to play down oilfield dispute with Saudi Arabia

Kuwait has played down a row with Saudi Arabia over its decision to halt production at an offshore oilfield jointly operated by the two Gulf neighbours.

Oil Minister Ali al-Omair said the dispute over operations at the Khafji field would not affect strong ties.

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Bulletin Board

German Journalist: ‘German politicians are US puppets’

8 DAYS AGO
German Journalist: ‘German politicians are US puppets’

"Now the Americans are even considering blowing up a nuclear power plant in Ukraine and then insisting that the culprits were either separatists or Russians," claims the German journalist Udo Ulfkotte, former correspondent from Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, one of the largest German newspapers. He...

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Balkans diplomacy at a standstill: between Kremlin and the EU

2 MONTHS AGO
Balkans diplomacy at a standstill: between Kremlin and the EU

The Balkans are now, more than ever, regarded half-way between East and West- and not only geographically.

What may initially seem old Cold War rhetoric, it actually has elements of diplomacy and geopolitics that might shape the region short term future.

The delicate balance that many Balkan count...

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Erdogan says Muslims 'discovered America' and hopes for a mosque in Cuba

7 DAYS AGO
Erdogan says Muslims 'discovered America' and hopes for a  mosque in Cuba

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan says the Muslim faith was widespread in America before the arrival of Columbus in the 15th century, and desires to errect a big mosque in Havana, once the city's grants a building permit.

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Special Interest

Education through Islamic History

21 DAYS AGO
Education through Islamic History

From the very earliest days of Islam, the issue of education has been at the forefront at the minds of the Muslims. The very first word of the Quran that was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was, in fact, "Read".

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) once stated that "Seeking knowledge is mandatory for all Mu...

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Montenegrin Church and Religion

9 MONTHS AGO
Montenegrin Church  and Religion

In the area of present-day Montenegro (formerly the Roman province of Praevalitane), Christianity started to put down roots early. The first episcopacy was formed in the fourth century when the native populace consisted of Romans and Romanized Ilirs. (See "Iz Povijesti Hriscanskih Crkava u Crno...

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Jewish scholar lectured on 'How Islam Saved the Jews'

6 MONTHS AGO
Jewish scholar lectured on 'How Islam Saved the Jews'

David J. Wasserstein, a professor of Jewish History at Vanderbilt University, lectured on "How Islam Saved the Jews" on Thursday, April 24, at the University of Alabama in Birmingham.

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Health

Fatness, Leptin and Leptin Resistance: Everything You Need to Know!

21 DAYS AGO
Fatness, Leptin and Leptin Resistance: Everything You Need to Know!

Many people falsely believe that weight gain (and loss) is all about calories and willpower.

However, modern obesity research disagrees... and scientists are increasingly pointing their fingers at a hormone called leptin.

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Cinnamon, Ginger and Onions Strongly Protect Us from Colds and Flu

10 MONTHS AGO
Cinnamon, Ginger and Onions Strongly Protect Us from Colds and Flu

In the fall as the weather gets cooler ailments tend to affect our Lungs in the form of coughs, sinus issues, colds and flu. In Traditional Chinese Medicine autumn relates to the metal element which corresponds to the Lungs. The taste that strengthens the Lungs is pungent: the spicy flavor of f...

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Puberty Before Age 10: A New ‘Normal’?

1 YEAR AGO
Puberty Before Age 10: A New ‘Normal’?

One day last year when her daughter, Ainsley, was 9, Tracee Sioux pulled her out of her elementary school in Fort Collins, Colo., and drove her an hour south, to Longmont, in hopes of finding a satisfying reason that Ainsley began growing pubic hair at age 6. Ainsley was the tallest child in her thi...

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Life and Style

Western IQs dropped 14 points over last century, researchers say

1 YEAR AGO
Western IQs dropped 14 points over last century, researchers say

A new study from researchers in Europe claims that the average IQ in Western nations dropped by a staggering 14.1 points over the past century.

"We tested the hypothesis that the Victorians were cleverer than modern populations using high-quality instruments, namely measures of simple visual re...

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Marriage is not a Bed of Roses, Marriage is a Responsibility from day one!

1 YEAR AGO
Marriage is not a Bed of Roses, Marriage is a Responsibility from day one!

Many people take the institution of Marriage as a Tradition and a family norm to get married, however, marriage is not just a symbol of getting authority with the community or family but a responsibility which has actually no equal.

Marriage is not a Bed of Roses as most people may tend to feel or t...

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The Sunnah Beard: the latest trend amongst non-Muslims in Philadelphia USA

5 MONTHS AGO
The Sunnah Beard: the latest trend amongst non-Muslims in Philadelphia USA

There's not a woman in Philly who would rock a burka just to make a fashion statement.

But when it comes to Muslim-inspired menswear, well, that's another story. Regardless of their religious affiliations, certain Philadelphia men, mainly African-Americans, have adopted the style of wearing lon...

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Technology

The Arabic Automata

16 DAYS AGO
The Arabic Automata

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the end of 5th century, the western and central part of Europe was swept down by many barbarian tribes and fall into so called Dark Ages for some five centuries. During this time, the centers of world's art and science moved to the east—to the eastern Ro...

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Honeybees trained to find Balkan land mines

1 YEAR AGO
Honeybees trained to find Balkan land mines

Mirjana Filipovic is still haunted by the land mine blast that killed her boyfriend and blew off her left leg while on a fishing trip nearly a decade ago. It happened in a field that was supposedly de-mined.{cmp_comments idkey='4729c'[url=http://www.balkanchronicle.com/index.php/tech%...

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Dire warning: Due to massive solar flare storm you could lose power, communications

2 YEARS AGO
Dire warning: Due to massive solar flare storm you could lose power, communications

The largest solar storm since 2005 is now in progress, causing fluctuations on the power grid and disruptions to the Global Positioning System. The ongoing strong proton storm is in full fury. And it's getting stronger; a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) impact also impacting us, traveling at 1,400 miles...

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Census stirs Balkan melting pot

melting
Stela Mustafaj pressed her finger to an official document charting her family tree as far back as 1875.

There, in black and white, her grandfather and other relatives, all bearing distinctly Muslim Albanian names, were listed as born in Greece.

"It's surefire proof we are Greeks," Mustafaj, 65, told Reuters in the village of Shengjergj in Albania's eastern Korce region.

"My father's name was Dionysus, but they renamed him Dervish," she said.

"I knew where my roots were but the (communist) system tried to change it. We're not trying to sell out our country or buy into another, we're just exercising our right to say who we are."

Statements like Mustafaj's are causing waves in Albania, where for the first time since communism was toppled in 1990 residents are being asked to specify their ethnicity in a national census.

In Shengjergj, a village of shiny new villas built with money earned in Greece, more than half of the 180 families told census officials that, despite their Muslim Albanian names, they are Greek.

Many complain the interviewers simply ignored them, while nationalists accuse them of trying to gain special minority benefits, or worse, aiming to sow ethnic strife.

In the Balkans -- a patchwork of ethnicities, disputed borders and rival histories -- identity can be a dangerous thing.

Up and down the region this year, countries bidding to join the European Union are holding population counts that elsewhere would be a simple matter of mathematics -- key to accurate national data, government spending plans and minority rights.

In the Balkans, much of it scarred by the ethnic cleansing of the 1990s during the collapse of Yugoslavia, they are opening old wounds and stirring controversy as rival groups vie for rights, influence and government jobs.

Macedonia last week abandoned its own census in a row over who should be counted.

Ethnic Albanians, who officially make up 25 percent of the population but say they account for more, complained the authorities were trying to bend the rules to keep their number down.

POWER-SHARING

In Macedonia, the figures should help determine the make-up of the delicate power-sharing balance in place since the country narrowly avoided civil war in 2001 in fighting between government forces and ethnic Albanian guerrillas seeking greater rights.

In Kosovo earlier in the year, the census process was marred by a partial boycott by Serbs who reject the majority Albanian country's 2008 declaration of independence from Serbia.

In Serbia, most ethnic Albanians in the south -- where Western diplomacy also helped end an insurgency in 2001 -- refused to take part in protest at the lack of Albanian-language questionnaires.

And in Bosnia, where ethnic coexistence under Tito's socialist Yugoslavia collapsed in war in 1992-95, Muslim, Serb and Croat communities have been unable to agree on how to hold their own count.

Bosnia's last census was in 1991, before the war killed an estimated 100,000 people and displaced around 2 million.

A new count could have ramifications for the unwieldy, highly decentralized system of ethnic power-sharing enshrined in the 1995 Dayton peace accords.

In Albania, ethnicity was taboo under the Stalinist regime of Enver Hoxha.

Now, nationalist critics are up in arms at efforts to provide an accurate picture of Albania's ethnic breakdown, seeing a plot to weaken the state.

Others argue the records are being manipulated by some Albanians trying to gain special benefits or a way to leave Albania for EU member Greece. Albania and Greece have long disagreed on the size of Albania's ethnic Greek population.

"Some artificial Greek minority is going to ask for special status, maybe for a percentage in parliament or government," said Kreshnik Spahiu, deputy head of Albania's Higher Council of Justice, a body chaired by President Bamir Topi to monitor the judiciary.

NEIGHBOURLY RELATIONS

Spahiu is leader of the Red and Black Alliance, a movement founded by soccer fans and which takes its name from the colors of the Albanian national flag.

The group has denounced the ethnicity section of the national census, and Spahiu warns the results could upset Albania's "good model" of ethnic and religious tolerance.

The alliance, whose members last week unveiled a huge flag of what they call the Ethnic Albania of 1912 before the Great Powers approved the country's current borders, has appealed to Albanians to boycott the ethnicity question and render the calculation impossible.

"I believe that this registration has the ultimate aim of turning Albania into another Lebanon," where sectarian tensions still simmer after the country's 1975-1990 civil war, said historian and former Albanian foreign minister Pellumb Xhufi.

In Shengjergj, Stela Mustafaj rejected the charge.

She insisted her family took refuge in Albania after the Italian invasion of Greece during World War Two, but was prevented from returning when Albania's isolationist regime closed the borders.

Mustafaj conceded, however, that there was also a financial motive.

"Those who have everything should not forget that our children are out of work," she said. "We want our children to get long visas and go to work there (in Greece)."

Outside the Greek consulate in Korce, there are queues to apply for 100-day visas, and many of those waiting said they hoped to obtain longer-term work permits despite the economic strife in Albania's southern neighbor.

The Greek consul, Theodoros Ikonomou Kamarinos, attracted attention in February when he said people who think they are of Greek ethnic origin should say so on the census and not hide it for fear of a backlash from nationalists.

"I wouldn't say that I agree with certain voices within Albania, which do not make the process of friendship between Albania and its neighbors any easier," he told Reuters last week.

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BOOK OF THE MONTH Zomia-women

The Art of Not Being Governed

The focus on Zomia is driven by the fact that the region is the largest remaining area that has not been integrated into a nation state. Indeed, for over two thousand years, the people living in the highlands of Zomia have lived outside the reach of the lowland government. The standard view of these "hill people" is that they are remnants of the pre-state period and represent a primitive form of living. Although book is focused on Zomia, it should be noted that governments and those involved in international development efforts tend to hold a similar view towards those living outside the reach of the state in other settings as well. Indeed, this view underpins the efforts to 'fix' the various institutions in societies around the world in the hope of bringing modernity to people who are viewed as primitive.

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