A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘former yugoslavia

[LINK] “Poverty spurs mass migration from Kosovo”

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Euractiv notes the unsurprising fact that migration from Kosovo, arguably the poorest country in Europe, has recently spiked.

There is no precise information on the number of Albanians who ave left Kosovo. Estimates in early February cite several hundred leaving daily. According to data provided by security forces, over the past two months, more than 50,000 have left, while media estimate 100,000 since August 2014.

Such claims are dismissed by Kosovo government officials, who stress that even the smaller number they know of is cause for concern and is a heavy burden on Pristina.

This led the Kosovo Assembly to pass a special resolution on stopping illegal migration and to request that the Kosovo government earmark between 40 and 50 million euros, which would be used to create new jobs and solve social problems.

At the same time, Kosovo President Atifete Jahjaga started touring the municipalities from which the biggest number of illegal migrants had left, and spoke about the matter directly with the those she met on the street and in restaurants.

As one of the measures aimed at stemming the flow of migrants, on 5 February, the government decided to form a commission that would consider the possibility of writing off all of their debts to institutions and public enterprises created between 1999 and the end of 2008. The possibility of writing off interest on the debts of citizens and companies incurred after 2008 was also announced.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 23, 2015 at 11:58 pm

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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  • The Big Picture has photos of the winter snowtowns in New England.
  • blogTO has old photos of various Toronto intersections.
  • Centauri Dreams notes how atmospheres can break the tidal locks of close-orbiting planets.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze suggests Fomalhaut b is a false positive, speculates on the evaporation time of hot Jupiters, and wonders if planetoids impacting on white dwarfs can trigger Type Ia supernovas.
  • The Dragon’s Tales considers the status of the Brazilian navy, notes the Egyptian purchase of 24 Rafale fighters from France, and observes that Russia no longer has early-warning satellites.
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog looks at the sociology of the red carpet.
  • Far Outliers assesses the achievements and problems of Chiang Kai-shek.
  • A Fistful of Euros notes intra-European negotiations over Greece.
  • Joe. My. God. notes the progress of a same-sex marriage bill in Slovenia.
  • Languages of the World argues that of all of the minority languages of Russia, Tuvan is the least endangered.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the Confederate diaspora in Brazil.
  • Marginal Revolution suggests that the larger the American state the more likely it is to be unequal, notes that South Korean wages have exceeded Japanese wages for the first time, and looks at anti-Valentine’s Day men in Japan.
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  • Out of Ambit’s Diane Duane notes how a German translator of her Star Trek novels put subtle advertisements for soup in.
  • The Planetary Society Blog shares photos from Rosetta of its target comet.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer is skeptical about the Nicaragua Canal, wonders about Greece in the Eurozone, looks at instability in Venezuela, and suggests an inverse relationship between social networking platforms–mass media, even–and social capital.
  • Spacing Toronto wonders if the Scarborough subway will survive.
  • Towleroad notes popular American-born Russian actor Odin Biron’s coming out and observes that Antonin Scalia doesn’t want people to call him anti-gay.
  • Understanding Society’s Daniel Little looks at the forces which lead to the split of communtiies.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests that the non-Russian republics of Russia will survive, argues that Putin’s Russia is already fascist, and notes that Russians overwhelmingly support non-traditional families.

[LINK] “Bosnian-Americans shaken by indictment of six accused of supporting ISIL”

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Al Jazeera America’s Ryan Schuessler reports from the American city of St. Louis, home to a substantial Bosnian immigrant community.

St. Louis’ Bosnian community is reeling after the indictment of six Bosnian immigrants, three of them from the city, for allegedly sending money and military supplies to fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, including one from St. Louis.

“We are shocked by this,” said Murat Muratovic, who hosts a weekly Bosnian-language radio program in St. Louis. “We are just sad about it. That our people who survived the war and came here to seek a better future in life [could do this].”

Of the accused, Armin Harcevic and married couple Ramiz Hodzic and Sedina Hodzic lived in St. Louis County. Of the other three, Mehida Salkicevic and Jasminka Ramic lived in the Chicago area, and Nihad Rosic lived in Utica, New York.

They are accused of soliciting funds for and sending money and military supplies to fighters associated with radical groups, including Al-Qaeda, Jabhat Al-Nusra and ISIL. They are also accused of sending money to the families of fighters in Syria and Iraq who are from Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro.

The St. Louis area is home to the country’s largest Bosnian population — estimated at some 70,000 people, which makes it one of the largest Bosnian communities in the world outside the Balkans. The city is also home to many Muslim Kosovars who fled brutal ethnic cleansing campaigns during the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Bosnians in St. Louis are largely credited with rebuilding dilapidated neighborhoods in southern St. Louis after they arrived. Many are now business owners, and the community makes up a vital part of the region’s economic and social fabric.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 12, 2015 at 11:18 pm

[LINK] “Balkan wars: Serbia, Croatia did not commit genocide, UN court says”

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I didn’t link to this important news, reported by the CBC among many others. Is it too much to hope that this might lead to a thawing in intra-Yugoslav relations?

The top court of the United Nations ruled Tuesday that Serbia and Croatia did not commit genocide against each other’s people during the bloody 1990s wars sparked by the breakup of the former Yugoslavia.

[. . .]

The International Court of Justice said Serb forces committed widespread crimes in Croatia early in the war, but they did not amount to genocide. The 17-judge panel then ruled that a 1995 Croat offensive to win back territory from rebel
Serbs also featured serious crimes, but did not reach the level of genocide.

[. . .]

Tuesday’s decision was not unexpected, as the UN’s Yugoslav war crimes tribunal, a separate court also based in The Hague, has never charged any Serbs or Croats with genocide in one another’s territory.

Croatia brought the case to the world court in 1999, asking judges to order Belgrade to pay compensation. Serbia later filed a counterclaim, alleging genocide by Croat forces during the 1995 “Operation Storm” military campaign.

Rejecting both cases, court President Peter Tomka stressed that many crimes happened during fighting between Serbia and Croatia and urged Belgrade and Zagreb to work together toward a lasting reconciliation.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 9, 2015 at 11:19 pm

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • blogTO notes a running race this summer sponsored by Nike on the Toronto Islands.
  • Centauri Dreams argues that the sustainability of technological civilizations should be taken into account by the Drake equation.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that a F-117 downed by Serbia in 1999 ended up sparking a Russian technological revolution.
  • Joe. My. God. notes the release of Windows 10, while Wave Without A Shore‘s C.J. Cherryh is unexcited.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money makes an argument against law school.
  • Marginal Revolution notes Venezuela is massively in debt to China.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes 3-D printed houses are not yet economically competitive with conventional constructions.
  • Torontoist looks at now-demolished Stollery’s at Yonge and Bloor.
  • Towelroad notes that Chilean legislators have passed a civil unions bill.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests Russia sees Europe through the perspective of a pre-1914 imperialist, wonders if a Mongolian shift to the traditional script will cut off ties with Mongol peoples in Russia, and notes that a Belarusian national church is still some ways off.
  • Writing Through the Fog shares beautiful pictures from Hawai’i.
  • Zero Geography’s Mark Graham examines “informational magnetism” on Wikipedia.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • blogTO notes that Stollery’s at Yonge and Bloor could be demolished soon.
  • Centauri Dreams notes</a that gyrochronology–using a star’s spin rate to calculate its age–works.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze looks at the spacing of planets in exosystems.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that dogs crossed into the Americas only ten thousand years ago.
  • Joe. My. God. notes how Europeans overestimate the size of their Muslim populations.
  • Lanugage Hat considers the question of Timur’s languages.
  • The Planetary Society Blog explores the ESA’s upcoming JUICE probe to Europa.
  • Otto Pohl finds links between Soviet mistreatment of ethnic Germans and South African apartheid.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog notes that Chinese are moving en masse to Africa, not Siberia.
  • Towleroad shares video of a crowd bursting into singing John Lennon’s “Imagine” at the recent Paris march.
  • Transit Toronto notes the toll of extreme cold on streetcars.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes that Pride and Prejudice recently got cited in the US Supreme Court.
  • Whatever’s John Scalzi reflects on a cat and his box.
  • Window on Eurasia reflects on the vissicitudes of Karelian identity, ethnic and political, in Russia.
  • The Financial Times‘ World blog notes that reconciliation is still far off in the former Yugoslavia.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • D-Brief notes that American populations are much more genetically mixed than people would have it.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to one paper examining how the Square Kilometre Array could be used to detect extraterrestrial intelligence, and to another paper noting that atmospheric freeze-out on tidally locked planets could be more common than previously thought.
  • The Dragon’s Tales looks at Chinese outsourcing and notes Russian discontent with the Ukrainian purchase of American nuclear fuel.
  • Far Outliers notes the inertia of post-war Bosnia.
  • Joe. My. God. shares Dan Savage’s call to prosecute the parents of Leelah Alcorn for driving her to suicide.
  • Language Hat notes a new argument that the language of the Tartessians of ancient Spain was actually Celtic.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes thinks that things are very bad for lawyers.
  • Marginal Revolution bets Greece will leave the Eurozone and notes French economist Thomas Piketty’s refusal of the French Legion of Honor.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw notes likens immigration and refugee restrictions to a Great Wall, unflatteringly.
  • The Planetary Society Blog’s Emily Lakdawalla notes that 2015 will be a year when dwarf planets Ceres and Pluto finally get visited.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer argues that the Syrian government is coming to the end of its rope and notes Venezuela’s belated efforts to control air-based cocaine traficking by Mexican planes.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy looks at the implications of a recent American court case finding against North Korea.
  • Window on Eurasia argues that an extended Putin government in Russia will make things worse, looks at the visibility of the Chuvash language in Chuvashia, and notes warnings by a Crimean Tatar leader that Russia should return Crimea to Ukraine else risk catastrophe.
  • Whatever’s John Scalzi marks the ten-year anniversary of his Old Man’s War.
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