A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘kosovo

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait explains the potential discovery of an ancient rock from Earth among the Moon rocks collected by Apollo.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at what will be coming next from the New Horizons probe after its Ultima Thule flyby.
  • The Crux looks at the genetic library of threatened animals preserved cryogenically in a San Diego zoo.
  • Far Outliers looks at the drastic, even catastrophic, population changes of Sichuan over the past centuries.
  • Language Hat looks at translations made in the medieval Kingdom of Jerusalem.
  • Language Log tries to translate a possibly Indo-European sentence preserved in an ancient Chinese text.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the complexity of the crisis in Venezuela.
  • The LRB Blog looks at the Mexican-American border in this era of crisis.
  • Marginal Revolution notes a spike in unsolved shootings in Baltimore following protests against police racism.
  • Noah Smith reviews the new Tyler Cowen book, Stubborn Attachments.
  • Adam Shatz at the NYR Daily reviews what sounds like a fantastic album of anti-colonial Francophone music inspired by Frantz Fanon and assembled by French rapper Rocé.
  • The Planetary Society Blog takes a look what is next for China as it continues its program to explore the Moon.
  • Roads and Kingdoms interviews Monique Jaques about her new photo book looking at the lives of girls growing up in Gaza.
  • Rocky Planets takes a look at how rocks can form political boundaries.
  • Drew Rowsome interviews choreographer Christopher House about his career and the next shows at the Toronto Dance Theatre.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel takes a look at the seeming featurelessness of Uranus.
  • Frank Jacobs at Strange Maps looks at a controversial swap of land proposed between Serbia and Kosovo.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the controversial possibility of China contracting Russia to divert Siberian rivers as a water supply.
  • Arnold Zwicky looks at the origins of Uri and Avi, a photo of apparently showing two men, one Palestinian and one Israeli, kissing.

[URBAN NOTE] Five cities links: Hamilton, Boston, New York City, Pristina, Addis Ababa

  • Curbed takes a look at the innovative ways in which the city government of Hamilton has helped boost the city’s strengths.
  • Commonwealth Magazine shares a revived plan from the 1980s to protect Boston from sea level rise by building a great crescent-shaped dike in Boston Harbor.
  • CityLab takes a look at New York City’s seemingly-inexplicable decision to back down on a years-long closure of the L Train subway line for repair work.
  • Guardian Cities notes the controversy in Pristina, the capital of Kosovo, about the construction of a Turkish-funded mosque there. Is this but an element of a new Turkish sphere of influence in the western Balkans?
  • This fascinating CNN report takes a look at the sheer scale of Chinese influence in Addis Ababa, the booming capital of Ethiopia, on its own terms and as an example of Chinese influence in Africa at large. (The locals, incidentally, find its models quite relevant and wanted.)

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

  • Dangerous Minds notes a Brazilian artist who has gotten some controversy over turning religious figurines into superheroes.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that in the last five years, Japan’s population has shrunk by one million.
  • Joe. My. God. notes an Indonesian parliamentarian who has called for homosexuals to be put to death.
  • Language Hat looks at the multilingualism of medieval Europe.
  • Language Log notes tablets which have problems displaying Chinese documents.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes Donald Trump as a con artist.
  • The Map Room Blog considers if transit maps are too complicated for users.
  • Marginal Revolution notes declining labour force participation among middle-aged maps.
  • pollotenchegg looks at demographic changes in 2015 over Ukraine.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer wonders if Trump would wreck the relationship with Mexico and looks at the relatively moderate nature of his claims on his website, suggesting mockery is the best response to Trump.
  • Window on Eurasia notes Ukrainian claims that Russia is creating military units staffed by Ukrainian citizens, and notes reports on an ethnic clash between members of a military unit in Chechnya.
  • The Financial Times‘ The World notes the awkward position of Serbs and Albanians in Kosovo, the first wanting to join Serbia and the second wanting access to the European Union.

[LINK] “Former Yugoslav States, Albania Vow to Step Up Drive to Join EU”

Bloomberg’s Jasmina Kuzmanovic and Gordana Filipovic report on the renewed push in the western Balkans for European Union membership. Certainly it’s not as if the western Balkans have any other future.

Former Yugoslav republics and neighboring Albania vowed to resuscitate their drive for European Union integration after the migrant crisis rocked the region and created the worst political rifts between Balkan states since the civil wars of the 1990s.

The heads of state for EU members Croatia and Slovenia and EU outsiders Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Kosovo and Albania signed a joint commitment to strengthening the stability and prosperity of the region. They also aim to strengthen ties to the U.S. and seek an expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization deeper into the Balkans.

[. . .]

The western Balkans has been stretched by the flood of hundreds of thousands of migrants escaping the violence in Syria as well as refugees from as far away as Afghanistan and Northern Africa. Slovenia and Croatia strained their EU ties after Slovenia declared its intention to build fencing along the two countries’ shared border. The dispute is being echoed across the EU as governments grapple with a crisis on a scale not seen since the 1940s.

Written by Randy McDonald

November 26, 2015 at 3:02 pm

[LINK] “How an America-loving country became a jihadi hub”

Michael Petrou of MacLean’s notes the relative success of the Islamic State in finding recruits in Kosovo.

An April report by the Kosovo Center for Security Studies (KCSS) reveals that as of January, some 232 Kosovars have joined Islamist militant groups in Syria and Iraq, a rate of 125 recruits for every one million people living in the country. This is well ahead of Bosnia, which comes in second with 85 recruits per million, and of Belgium, the third-ranked country, with 42 recruits per million.

[. . .]

According to Shpend Kursani, an external research fellow at KCSS and author of the report, most Kosovars still have a positive view of America and NATO. And yet, he says, the majority of Kosovars fighting in the Middle East have joined Islamic State, a militia whose goals include waging war on the West—raising disturbing questions about Islamic State’s ability to penetrate communities that, being broadly secular and pro-Western, would seem to have little reason to support it.

Islamic State’s recruiting success in Kosovo upsets Kosovars who are not sympathetic to the group, or to their fellow citizens who join it. “There’s a sense that people joining Islamic State are betraying in many ways the very nation,” says Florian Bieber, professor of southeast European studies at the University of Graz.

The per capita numbers don’t tell the whole story. Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra, the al-Qaeda affiliate from which it split, are Muslim supremacist outfits. Non-Muslims could never join them. When the percentage of recruits is calculated based exclusively on a country’s Muslim population, Kosovo falls lower in rank. It sends about 130 volunteers per one million Muslims in its population—far below several Western European countries, including Finland, which sends some 1,667 recruits per million Muslims, and Belgium, which sends 690.

By this calculation, Kosovo is similar to Bosnia, another Balkan nation with a large Muslim population, which sends 211 recruits for every one million Muslims living there. But Muslim Kosovars are still much more likely to join jihadist groups than Muslims in Albania and Turkey, both Muslim-majority countries. Turkey, which borders Syria and Iraq and is a major transit point for foreign fighters joining Islamic State, sends only eight recruits per million Muslims, barely six per cent of Kosovo’s rate.

Written by Randy McDonald

June 17, 2015 at 10:36 pm

[LINK] “Poverty spurs mass migration from Kosovo”

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 Wednesday links

  • blogTO notes that a party celebrating the end of Rob Ford’s term as mayor is being planned for election night at City Hall.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the discovery of secondary targets for New Horizons after it passes Pluto.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper that looks to examine the oblateness or otherwise of some exoplanets discovered by Kepler.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to one paper examining underwater archeology and links to a series debating the question of whether or not there was a human presence 30 thousand years ago at a site in Uruguay.
  • Eastern Approaches reports on the aftermath of a failed claim by Radek Sikorski that Russia made a 2008 proposal on partitioning Ukraine.
  • Joe. My. God. notes a Costa Rican survey suggesting that up to a fifth of Costa Rican police think that harassing GLBT people is OK.
  • Language Hat notes the etymology of the Egyptian title of “khedive”, apparently obscure for a reason.
  • Language Log notes a contentious issue in Chinese translation: “rule of law” or “rule by law”?
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer looks at the aftermath of a stunt at a Serbian-Albanian football game.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog considers estimates for Russian losses in Ukrainian fighing.
  • Towleroad notes that Argentina has granted asylum to a Russian GLBT claimant.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests that Ukrainian events have awakened Belarusian nationalism.