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Netherlands Court rules state responsible for three Srebrenica deaths

srebrenica-675x439The Dutch Supreme Court that the Netherlands is responsible for the deaths of three Muslim men during the infamous Srebrenica massacre in 1995. More than 7,000 Bosnian Muslim boys and men were killed in the massacre, considered to be the worst on European soil since World War II.

At the time, Dutch peacekeeping forces had ordered the men to leave a United Nations compound when it was attacked by Bosnian Serb forces.

The final ruling comes after a long legal battle against the Dutch state whose peacekeeping force (Dutchbat) was stationed in Srebrenica in 1995 during the Srebrenica Genocide. Hasan Nuhanovic, former United Nations (UN) interpreter for the Dutchbat, along with the family of Rizo Mustafic, an electrician for the peacekeeping force, filed a case against the Dutch state claiming that it was liable for the deaths of Mr. Mustafic and Mr. Nuhanovic's father and brother.


Relentless racist attacks on Italy's only black minister continue

Cecile-KyengeItaly's first black minister, a target of racist slurs since her appointment in April, has condemned a spectator who threw bananas towards her while she was making a speech at a party rally.


UN court acquits 2 Serbs of Balkan war atrocities

Franko SimatovicA U.N. court on Thursday acquitted two former allies of late Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic of setting up and arming notorious Serb paramilitary gangs that committed atrocities in Bosnia and Croatia during the Balkan wars in the 1990s, a verdict that further distanced Belgrade from rebel Serb crimes elsewhere in the region.

The verdicts at the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal came just three months after appeals judges at the tribunal acquitted the former chief of the Yugoslav National Army of aiding and abetting atrocities by rebel Serbs in Bosnia. Both rulings support Belgrade's often-stated assertion that it didn't deliberately assist in atrocities committed by rebel Serbs in Bosnia and Croatia.

Serbia's prime minister, Ivica Dacic, quickly welcomed the acquittal.


Spaniards migrate to Morocco to seek better lives

inversemigrationsEmilio Rodriguez runs a small construction company in Tangiers in northern Morocco where, like many other Spaniards, he has moved in search of fresher professional pastures.

"In Spain at the moment things are going badly," he says.


Greece’s Balkan identity may obliterate Brussels link

greece slogansImagine an EU member state where the public service relied, for its efficiency, on bribery and corruption. Imagine a state where the hospital service was so underresourced that patients had to bring a friend or relative to undertake their feeding, washing and basic nursing. Imagine a state where shops that traditionally sold handcrafted goods now promoted Taiwanese dreamcatchers.

Are we talking about Greece? Well no, actually. These are the thoughts of novelist Donna Leon's Venetian detective, Commisario Guido Brunetti as he walks his native city, wondering how to bring to justice criminals whom the law and its administrators protect.

But they also apply to Greece, and one wonders whether they are true of the other "Pigs" – Portugal and Spain. In a sense it's a relief to read Brunetti's disillusionment with his environment, since it suggests that Greece's problems are not unique. Do all Europe's southern states really have these dysfunctional characteristics?


Germany-Turkey diplomatic row over EU bid

turkey eu germGermany has summoned the Turkish ambassador in a row over Turkey's bid for membership of the European Union, BBC reports.

Turkey's EU Minister, Egemen Bagis, has accused German Chancellor Angela Merkel of using the Turkey issue in her campaign for re-election.


Russian Extremists Held in Serbia and Ukraine Over High-Profile Murders

Jeremic-gorjacevTwo alleged Russian nationalists suspected of involvement in a number of high-profile murders, including the audacious 2009 shooting of a human rights lawyer in downtown Moscow, have been detained in Serbia and Ukraine, Russia's Investigative Committee said Monday. Some of the gruesome murders such as slaughter of Tajik Muslim were filmed and later released over the internet.

Ilya Goryachev and Mikhail Volkov had been on the international wanted list as part of the criminal case opened into the BORN (Battle Organization of Russian Nationalists) extremist group on multiple charges related to a string of killings.


European Governments in Crisis over US Spying Revelations

eu-prizmThe latest revelations regarding the extent of US surveillance of world communications traffic has led to a chorus of protest and expressions of unease in the European media and political circles.

According to the information released last Friday by former CIA employee Edward Snowden, the NSA has collected vast amounts of information based on a global sweep of telephone and internet communication. So-called “heat maps” of the spying operation make clear that the NSA had no qualms about tapping the communications not only of countries it defines to be its enemies, but also those regarded as its long-term allies.

The NSA heat map published in the Guardian newspaper reveals that no less than 3 billion pieces of data were collected from individuals, institutions and businesses across the continent of Europe in the course of March 2013 alone. Every European state was subject to surveillance, with the continent’s biggest economy, Germany, subjected to the most scrutiny.


Bugging Scandal Rocks Bulgaria, Cyprus Scrambles to Regain Russians’ Trust

rafa-sanudo-cartoon-eu-propagandaPlus, four-fifths of Croatian voters stay home on Euro-election day and Moscow threatens to close a vital transport link for migrant workers.

1. Bulgarian politics on the boil as new scandal breaks

Bulgarian authorities say a wiretap investigation initiated on a tip-off by Socialist Party leader Sergey Stanishev has turned up numerous violations, Balkan Insight reports.

At a press conference 15 April, Chief Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov said investigators had found evidence of official misconduct and improper use of wiretaps. Three Interior Ministry officials and one employee are under investigation.


IMF admits: we failed to realise the damage austerity would do to Greece

IMF And GreeceThe International Monetary Fund admitted it had failed to realise the damage austerity would do to Greece as the Washington-based organisation catalogued mistakes made during the bailout of the stricken eurozone country.


Euro-deputies back suspending Balkan visa-free regime as 'last resort'

eu-visa-freeA sudden increase in unfounded EU asylum claims from Balkan nations could see their visa-free regimes temporarily revoked, say euro-deputies.

The European Parliament's civil liberties committee on Monday (8 April) voted in favour of suspending visa-free regimes in case of "substantial and sudden increases" in irregular migrant numbers or unfounded asylum applications but "only as a last resort."

The so-called 'suspension clause' in the EU visa regulation was proposed by the European Commission after thousands from Balkan nations claim asylum in the EU. The countries could see their visa free regimes suspended up to one year or longer if necessary.