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Cops Seek Parents of Blonde Girl Found in Gypsy Camp

Couple now facing kidnapping charges

(Newser) - Greek police are looking into the identity of a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, little girl they spotted living with a Roma couple at a settlement in central Greece. The cops believe the girl may have been kidnapped—DNA tests show she is not related to the couple, and authorities say the pair... More »

What Would a US Response Look Like? Think 1999

US officials say NATO airstrikes on Kosovo could be a guide for Syria

(Newser) - A government backed by Russia is accused of killing its own civilians. That applies not only to the current situation in Syria but to the 1999 situation in Kosovo. And as the New York Times reports, top US officials are keeping Kosovo very much in mind as they weigh their... More »

No Motive Yet in Killing of US Airmen in Germany

Suspect is a 21-year-old Kosovo citizen

(Newser) - Hours after a gunman killed two US airmen on a bus outside the airport in Frankfurt, Germany, more questions than answers are in play. Some wire highlights:
  • The suspect: He's identified as 21-year-old Arif (or Arid) Uka, a Kosovo citizen who worked at the airport. His relatives tell AP that
... More »

Kosovo PM Linked to Organ Trafficking

Rights watchdog accuses KLA of killing civilians for kidney trade

(Newser) - Kosovo Liberation Army leaders—including Prime Minister Hashim Thaci—ran a Mafia-style crime ring that trafficked in drugs and harvested organs, according to a Council of Europe probe. The human rights watchdog's 2-year inquiry found that men under Thaci's command shot civilians after the 1999 Kosovo war so their kidneys... More »

Kosovan Mass Grave Unearthed in Serbia

Site contains bodies of ethnic Albanians

(Newser) - The bodies of hundreds of people believed to be ethnic Albanian victims of atrocities in the late '90s have been found buried under a parking lot in Serbia. The site near the Kosovan border is believed to contain the bodies of 250 Kosovo Albanians, according to Serbian authorities. The bodies—... More »

60 Years On, NATO Faces Identity Crisis

Alliance struggles for meaning after end of Cold War

(Newser) - Barack Obama is in Strasbourg for a NATO summit, but on the 60th anniversary of the alliance's founding, its future seems increasingly muddy. Founded on a mutual defense pact against the Soviet Union and its satellite states, NATO now stretches as far as Turkey and provides most of the peacekeeping... More »

UN Acquits Serb Leader

Five others convicted of roles in Kosovo violence

(Newser) - A UN tribunal acquitted former Serbian president Milan Milutinovic today of war crimes during the late-1990s conflict in Kosovo, the BBC reports. Milutinovic, the titular leader of Serbia in 1997-2002, did not have direct control of the Yugoslav army during the campaign of violence committed against Kosovar Albanians, the tribunal... More »

Kosovo Mediator Wins Nobel

Former Finnish president has supervised peace talks for decades

(Newser) - This year's Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Martti Ahtisaari, the former president of Finland who mediated peace talks in Indonesia and Kosovo. Ahtisaari has also mediated conflicts in Namibia, Northern Ireland, and Iraq, often working on behalf of the United Nations. In its citation the Norwegian committee praised his... More »

In Kosovo Visit, Gates Walks a Fine Line With Russia

But defense sec says US troops will remain

(Newser) - The US will maintain its current troop levels in Kosovo until at least the end of 2009, according to Defense Secretary Robert Gates. His trip to Kosovo is the first by an American cabinet member since the republic declared independence in February. The move of support is meant to show... More »

Invasion Shows Putin's Clout

Ex-president retains control

(Newser) - Russia’s military campaign in Georgia is a clear signal that Vladimir Putin is neither gone nor forgotten, reports the Wall Street Journal . Domination of the Caucasus region has long been a central tenet of Putin’s foreign policy, and the PM was especially visible this week, supporting the invasion... More »

Gift Cows Give Hope to Kosovo War Widows

Aid group helps heal the wounds of war in Europe's fledgling country

(Newser) - A Dutch organization is helping steer Kosovo's war widows toward a brighter future, Radio Free Netherlands reports. Many were left to fend for themselves after losing loved ones in the war against Serbia; now the Dutch group The Bridge is giving them cows to put food on the table and... More »

NATO Warns Russia Over Georgia Buildup

Moscow sends troops to breakaway regions; peacekeeping role doubted

(Newser) - NATO chided Russia today for sending additional troops into the breakaway Georgian provinces, saying the show of force “undermined Georgia’s territorial integrity,” the BBC reports. The alliance also warned Tbilisi against exacerbating the situation: Georgia has warned against Russian intervention, and, according to Moscow, also increased troop... 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 »

Former Kosovo Leader Acquitted of War Crimes

Ex PM cleared of attacks on ethnic Serbs

(Newser) - The UN's tribunal in the Hague has acquitted a former commander of the rebel Kosovo Liberation Army of all charges of war crimes. Ramush Haradinaj, who also briefly served as the breakaway province's prime minister, was cleared of murder, persecution, rape and torture of Kosovo Serb civilians. The verdict threatens... More »

Kosovo Eager for Freedom's Ring

New nation resents being stuck with Serbian dialing code

(Newser) - Kosovo has won recognition as an independent state from three dozen countries, but a call to the world's newest nation is a reminder of its history. Telephone numbers in Kosovo still begin with the old Serbian dialing code, and the breakaway republic now wants its own international prefix. It's not... More »

Clinton, Obama Both Inflate Senate Records

From laws to peace deals, candidates' roles appear to grow in hindsight

(Newser) - Barack Obama didn’t take part in meetings on immigration legislation in 2006, recalls Arlen Specter, one of the handful of senators who did, but Specter just shrugs when the Illinois Democrat says he did. “It’s not an unusual matter for senators to take a little extra credit,... More »

UN Cop Killed in Kosovo Riots

More than 100 injured as Serbs battle UN, NATO with guns and grenades

(Newser) - A Ukrainian UN police officer has been killed and at least 40 UN or NATO personnel were injured as Serbs continued to exchange gunfire with NATO and UN forces, reports AFP. Some 70 Serbs were also wounded as yesterday's fighting in ethnically charged Mitrovica spilled over to today, including a... More »

UN Forces Withdraw From Kosovo Town

100 hurt in battle to retake courthouse

(Newser) - UN police trying to retake a courthouse were forced to withdraw from the Kosovo city of Mitrovica after clashes with ethnic Serbs, reports the BBC. NATO troops were left in charge of security after the worst violence since Kosovo declared independence; AFP reported at least 100 police and protesters were... More »

Serbs Storm UN's Kosovo Courthouse

Angry crowd clashes with UN police, occupies buildings in divided town

(Newser) - Hundreds of Serbs smashed down gates at two United Nations-run courthouses in northern Kosovo yesterday and stormed the buildings, AFP reports. The mob, opposed to Kosovo's independence, hauled down the UN flag and hoisted the Serbian one. They clashed with UN police, pelting them with rocks and metal objects. NATO's... More »

Serbia Set for Snap Elections After Kosovo Spurs Collapse

Most important vote in decade called for May

(Newser) - The president of Serbia dissolved parliament today, paving the way for early elections on May 11 that many are calling the country's most critical vote since the fall of strongman Slobodan Milosevic. Serbia's government collapsed over the weekend due to infighting over the fate of Kosovo and the country's prospect... More »

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