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Italian investigators have called on former British Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd to testify about charges of bribery and embezzlement. The inquiry involves NatWest Markets, "when the bank advised on a controversial deal involving Telecom Italia and the Serbian telephone network in 1997." Some charge that money paid by Telecom Italia for a stake in Telekom Serbia actually ended up in the hands of "bank accounts and front companies controlled by Slobodan Milosevic and his associates," the Observer reports. Hurd was a staunch opponent of Western intervention in Bosnia to stop Serb atrocities there and "was perceived to have been sympathetic to the Serbs during the Balkans conflict," the Observer notes. He later served as deputy chairman of NatWest during the time of the Telekom Serbia deal.
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How nation building fares in Bosnia after September 11 "Even before September 11, Bosnia began to lose cachet," writes Natasha Hunter. "And as soon as the planes crashed into the World Trade Center, the nation-building project in Bosnia abruptly slid to the remote reaches of international (and especially U.S.) attention. ... "... [I]f we do not allow Bosnia to be complex, to have multiple allegiances, we not only betray our own values but risk encouraging an extremism that Bosniaks once eschewed. The United States would do well, in its new role as nation builder, here and elsewhere, to take a hard look at Sarajevo."
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A young Muslim was accused of murdering three Catholics celebrating Christmas in their homes. The suspect's father "told local media that his son deserved to be punished. 'Of course I judge him for what he has done and I want him to be severely punished for that," the father told the Sarajevo daily Dnevni Avaz on 28 December," Transitions Online reports. " 'But I also want the police to find and punish those people who made him what he has become. After he met one mujahedeen in Konjic three years ago, he changed completely and turned his back on our real faith,' Topalovic's father said."
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"A ground-breaking DNA program in Bosnia has identified more than 1,320 victims [of massacres found in mass graves] in the past year or so. The software was successfully used in New York after the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center."
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"We're always in a hurry to do everything; they enjoy sitting down and talking...about everything," Sgt. Shane Pulig says in describing the difference he finds between Americans and Bosnians. "Their mealtimes are an event, not something they rush through in order to get finished. ... Most of them love us being here, especially the kids."
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"An important part of living on this NATO base, which is headquarters to the American component of the international peacekeeping mission in Bosnia, is learning to appreciate the country's mix of religions," the Washington Times reports from Eagle Base in Tuzla. "At the end of Ramadan in November, Brig. Gen. John T. von Trott, the top officer at Eagle Base, invited Mohammed Lugavic, an imam from the Tuzla City Mosque, to address the troops and give them a 'better understanding of Ramadan and other holidays.' Gen. von Trott said he was impressed by the imam, who has organized a multifaith organization in Tuzla called 'the bridge' to improve communication among the city's Muslims, Roman Catholic Croats and Orthodox Serbs."
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"When history comes to judge the siege of Sarajevo, which went on longer than the siege of Stalingrad, they'll judge us very hard indeed for simply standing by and doing nothing. We have a moral responsibility here and I feel I would like to help," the high representative tells reporter Nick Hawton.
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War crimes tribunal will hear secrets of support for Milosevic's ethnic cleansing "It is what Hellenes have long feared: the shattering of a conspiracy of silence that has surrounded the role of Greek volunteers who proudly flew their flag at Srebrenica, after participating in Europe's worst massacre since the Second World War, when 7,000 men, women and children died."
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"Last night's superlative documentary, 'The Fall of Milosevic', will force us to totally rethink our views on the Balkan conflict. Not a moment too soon, says Allan Little . . . "Milosevic's own inner circle - hidden behind an impenetrable wall of silence until now - are talking at last. These include Milan Milutinovic who, when he steps down as president of Serbia this week, will lose his immunity from prosecution - and will almost certainly join his old boss in the dock at The Hague. These old Milosevic hands - many of them, in their own ways, guilty men - have so much to reveal."
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"Former Bosnia-Herzegovina coach and Yugoslavia international Faruk Hadzibegic was named coach of French club Troyes," AP reports. "Hadzibegic, 45, is expected to coach the team until the end of the season, European soccer body UEFA said."
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"Eronet has been awarded a licence to act as the country's third GSM mobile operator, alongside Sarajevo-based BH Telekom and Mobilna Srpske," EuropeMedia.net reports in an article posted at http://www.europemedia.net/shownews.asp?ArticleID=14415 . The company, 49% owned by Hrvatski Telecom of Croatia, had been offering unlicensed service in Croat-controlled portions of Bosnia- Hercegovina; the license will make that service legal, as well as allow the company to expand its offerings.
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Former Bosnian Serb president Biljana Plavsic, who has admitted a role in Bosnia's war crimes and awaits sentencing, has been ordered to testify in the trial of another Bosnian Serb nationalist. Plavsic was told she must serve as witness in the trial of Milomir Stakic, accused of overseeing killing and mass torture of non-Serbs in the Prijedor area, Reuters reports. "Stakic was a powerful member of the so-called Crisis Staff in Prijedor, which masterminded the seizure of the area in April 1992 and subsequently set up notorious detention camps such as Omarska, Keraterm and Trnopolje, prosecutors say," Reuters notes. Stakic, charged with genocide and crimes against humanity, belonged to the same Serb ultra nationalist political party as Plavsic.
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