16 Stories

Migrants' New Peril: Winter Is Coming

Border closings in Balkans will only make the situation worse

(Newser) - Governments across the Balkans are scrambling to locate empty buildings, while aid workers are boosting their stashes of coats, blankets, and tents in anticipation of a backlog of migrants who may soon be facing a treacherous winter as they work their way toward friendly Western European countries, the New York ... More »

New European Nation Declared

Thousands want to live in Liberland

(Newser) - There is a staggering amount of bloodshed associated with nationhood movements in the Balkans, but a Czech politician says the new country he has declared is a peaceful—and real—project. On Monday, Vit Jedlicka appointed himself president of Liberland, which sits on 2.7 square miles of what he... More »

Montenegro's Lone Hippo Goes on the Lam

Flooding lets 2-ton mammal elude her keepers

(Newser) - The only hippopotamus in Montenegro took advantage of flooding in the mountainous country to flee her zoo enclosure and camp out a mile away, zookeepers say. Nikica, a 2-ton female, swam away from her home south of Podgorica, the Adriatic country's capital, and is being aided and abetted by locals.... More »

US May Scrap Polish, Czech Missile Sites; Russia Pleased

Alternative sites in Turkey and the Balkans under consideration

(Newser) - The White House may drop sites in Poland and the Czech Republic where the Bush administration planned to build a billion-dollar missile defense shield, the New York Times reports. The alternative plans under consideration would please Russia and Germany but strain ties with Eastern Europe, where the Obama administration's review... More »

Biden Arrives in Bosnia

Set to meet with presidency, Bosnian and Serbian leaders

(Newser) - Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Bosnia today, the first stop of a three-day trip aimed at demonstrating intensified US engagement in the Balkans. Biden landed in Sarajevo, where he is scheduled to meet Bosnia's three-person presidency, address parliament, and meet separately with the country's two staunchest rivals—Bosniak leader... More »

EU Strikes Deal to End Russian Gas Freeze

Thousands of eastern Europeans left in the cold by Russia-Ukraine dispute

(Newser) - Gas could be flowing back to a frozen Europe within days after Russian and Ukrainian officials agreed yesterday to an EU-brokered plan to have independent observers monitor pipelines, the Guardian reports. Russia cut off all its gas supplies via Ukraine Wednesday over a pricing dispute, leaving hundreds of thousands scrambling... More »

Serbs Erect Bob Marley Peace Statue

Reggae legend a symbol of tolerance in Balkans

(Newser) - Eastern Europe may not be known for its reggae scene, but a small Serbian village has chosen iconic wailer Bob Marley as a symbol of peace for the Balkans. A statue of Marley, who died in 1981, was recently unveiled during a rock festival in Banatski Sokolac, reports the BBC.... More »

Russia's Saber-Rattling Puts NATO Into Rethink Mode

Bolstering neighbors' defenses one option as alliance tries to analyze threat level

(Newser) - The invasion of Georgia has NATO trying to figure out exactly how strong Russia’s rejuvenated military is, and what the alliance should do about it, Gordon Lubold writes in the Christian Science Monitor. It’s clear the military has rebounded from its 1990s malaise, but it doesn’t look... More »

UN Official: Guerrillas Killed Serb Prisoners for Organs

Former UN war crimes prosecutor alleges organ-harvesting happened during 1999 war

(Newser) - Kosovan guerrillas killed Serb prisoners and harvested their organs for profit during Balkan fighting nearly a decade ago, according to the former UN prosecutor for war crimes in Yugoslavia. Carla del Ponte alleges that guerrillas trucked 300 captured Serbs over the border to a makeshift clinic in Albania, removed their... More »

NATO Bars Former Soviet States in Blow to US

Ukraine, Georgia, Macedonia blocked

(Newser) - In a blow to the US, a divided NATO has refused to permit membership bids by former Soviet states Georgia and the Ukraine. The decision is an indication that Europe is wary of antagonizing an increasingly belligerant Russia, Bloomberg reports. Germany and France led the opposition to membership. In another... More »

Serbia's Future Depends on Kosovo

Looming declaration of independence may sway presidential voting

(Newser) - On the verge of declaring independence, Kosovo is the key in this year’s Serbian election, the Guardian reports. Tomislav Nicolic, a Russian-aligned Serbian nationalist, won the first round of the presidential elections last night, defeating moderate incumbent Boris Tadic 39% to 35%. Seven other candidates, many pro-Western, are out... More »

Hillary Was Adviser, Not Decider

First Lady didn't handle intel but was a presidential sounding board

(Newser) - Hillary Clinton spent her 8 years in the White House informally advising her husband and jetting around the world mediating social crises, the New York Times says, but the first lady had little direct experience with war or terrorism. She didn’t do “the heavy lifting of foreign policy,... More »

Serbs Threaten Kosovo War

Breakaway province might declare independence Monday

(Newser) - Serbia has prompted fears of renewed violence in the Balkans by threatening to go to war to prevent Kosovo from breaking away. After a four-month effort to resolve issues failed, Kosovo is set to declare its independence as early as Monday. In response, an adviser to the Serbian prime minister... More »

Still Hunting the World's Most Wanted Man

12 years later, architect of Bosnian massacre remains at large

(Newser) - He ordered mass murders, used gang-rape as a military weapon, and coined the term "ethnic cleansing" in the Balkans War, but a dozen years later Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic still roams the hills where he once wrought havoc. With Karadzic still a fugitive from international justice, the Guardian ... More »

Noah's Flood Transformed Agriculture

Melting glaciers inundated Black Sea, scattered farmers

(Newser) - The real-life inspiration for the biblical flood may have been responsible for the widespread adoption of agriculture in Europe, according to a new study. About 8,000 years ago, at the end of the last Ice Age, ice sheets melted, causing massive flooding in the Black Sea basin. That forced... More »

New Ex-Reb Prime Minister Vows Kosovo Independence

Promises independence from Serbia by Dec. 10

(Newser) - A one-time rebel leader promising independence from Serbia surged to victory in yesterday's parliamentary elections in Kosovo. Prime Minister-elect Hashim Thaci, formerly a head of the Kosovo Liberation Army, vowed as he cast his ballot that he will declare Kosovo independent "immediately" if United Nations mediation fails to deliver... More »

16 Stories