NEWS ABOUT: Albania

Albania Goes to War With Pot Farmers

Hundreds of cops descend on lawless village

(Newser) - There's a new war in the Balkans: Albanian police versus the farmers who have made the country Europe's biggest producer of illegal marijuana. After years of turning a blind eye to the trade that rakes in billions of dollars a year—almost half the country's GDP—hundreds... More »

US' New Plan: Burn Syria's Weapons at Sea

Or rather, it might have someone else do it

(Newser) - Countries all over the world want Syria's chemical weapons destroyed—just not on their soil. Albania turned down a request to destroy the weapons there last week, after thousands of people took to the streets in protest, and Norway begged off an earlier request. So the US is pitching... More »

George W. Bush Gets Statue in Albanian Town

He was first to visit the country after its liberation

(Newser) - Take heart, George W. Bush. Sure, you left office to some pretty unflattering reviews, but a tiny village in Albania positively loves you. The town of Fushekruje unveiled a 9-foot-3 statue of the former president yesterday, in a square specially named in his honor, Reuters reports. A crowd gathered for... More »

Poland Deep Freeze Kills 30

Meanwhile, worst floods in a century hit Balkans

(Newser) - The death toll from a deep freeze in Poland has increased to 30 with a dozen more deaths occurring overnight, while some of the worst floods in a century devastated parts of the Balkans. Many of those who died in Poland are drunks or homeless people, and police canvassed the... More »

India Won't Hand Over Mother Teresa's Remains

Nuns from her charity call Albanian request 'absurd'

(Newser) - Mother Teresa isn’t going anywhere, say Indian authorities. Teresa’s parents were from Albania, and the country had requested her remains. Macedonia, where Teresa grew up, may also want the body ahead of the 100th anniversary of her birth next year. “Mother Teresa was an Indian citizen and... More »

Albania, Croatia Join NATO, Will Share Afghan Load

(Newser) - Albania and Croatia both officially joined the NATO alliance today, the BBC reports. The former Yugoslav republics will likely be asked to send troops to bolster NATO’s mission in Afghanistan. Insiders say NATO wanted to celebrate its 60th birthday by welcoming nations from a region recently wracked by bloody... More »

UK Cops Helped Cover Up Sex Abuse at Orphanage

Briton who ran Albanian facility found guilty of sex with minors; two others on trial

(Newser) - UK police helped cover up sexual abuse at an orphanage in Albania run by a Briton, the Guardian reports after investigating the scandal. The shelter’s director, 57-year-old David Brown, was convicted yesterday and sentenced to 20 years in an Albanian jail. British police were tipped off in 2004, but... More »

US Ambassador Implicated in China Arms Deal

Envoy to Albania hid aging, illegal munitions bound for Afghanistan

(Newser) - The American ambassador to Albania personally endorsed a plan to disguise the origin of munitions bought by a Pentagon contractor, according to Congressional testimony. The New York Times traveled to Albania during an earlier investigation of a shady 22-year-old arms dealer operating out of Miami Beach. But the Albanian defense... More »

Cat and Mouse Cause Massive Albanian Blackout

Cat-mouse battle leads to blackout in parts of Albanian capital

(Newser) - It’s an unlikely reason for a power outage: A cat and mouse engaged in a chase accidentally ran into high-voltage cables at the main power station in Tirana, frying themselves and causing a 72-hour blackout in some districts of the Albanian capital, Reuters reports. Outages are relatively common in... 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 »

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 »

Scores Feared Dead in Albanian Explosions

Aged ammunition supply bunker blows; human error possible cause

(Newser) - A series of massive explosions rocked an Albanian army base today, where teams were working to dismantle obsolete Soviet-era munitions, Reuters reports. More than 170 were injured, with at least four confirmed dead. “We do not know the exact number” of casualties, said the prime minister, “but we... More »

Eastern Europe: Charm for Less

Prague, Poland among adventurous destinations for thrifty travelers

(Newser) - The ever-pricier euro is sending determined travelers east, past the Eiffel Tower, to overlooked treasures like Prague's Old Town Square. Check out cheaper, Eastern European must-sees as recommended by Forbes:
  1. Peterhof State Museum-Reserve, St. Petersburg, Russia: These palaces and 18th-century gardens rival those of Versailles.
  2. Plitvice Lakes National Park, Plitvice
... More »

Alaska Town Is Home to Hail of Fame

Residents of tiny Bethel never have trouble finding a cab

(Newser) - What American municipality has the most cab drivers per capita? No, not New York. It’s Bethel, Alaska, a town of 5,800 that has 93 cabbies, or one for every 62 residents, the Los Angeles Times reports. With only 10 miles of paved road at their disposal, the cabbies... More »

Supremes Won’t Hear CIA Torture Suit

Earlier dismissals rested on concerns about national security

(Newser) - The Supreme Court declined today without comment to hear the case of a German citizen who claims he was kidnapped and tortured by the CIA. Lower courts had dismissed Khaled el-Masri's case on the grounds that a trial would expose state secrets. German authorities have said the US acknowledged abducting... More »

Bush Hailed as Hero in Albania

Staunch allies offered warm welcome after string of protests

(Newser) - President Bush, dogged by protesters through his tour of Europe, received a hero's welcome in Albania, where he touched down for just seven hours yesterday. The Albanian premier, a staunch ally on the war in Iraq, called Bush the "greatest and most distinguished guest we have ever had in... More »

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