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"Bosnia's leaky customs system is to be overhauled to catch hundreds of millions of dollars in unpaid excise taxes, a top diplomat has said," BBC reports in a story posted at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/2753371.stm " 'Bosnia loses a staggering 1.4 billion marks ($770 million) a year to custom and tax fraud precisely because the divisions in the current system make it a playground for criminals,' Mr Ashdown told reporters."
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Seven years after the end of the war in Bosnia, more than 16,000 Bosnians are still classified as missing, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross. The ICRC's "Working Group on Persons Unaccounted For" met for the first time since 1999 last week to discuss progress exhuming and identifying victims' remains as well as how work will go forward. The Red Cross statement on the meeting is online at http://www.icrc.org/Web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/html/5JPD33?OpenDocument&style=custo_final
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More than a hundred thousand Bosnians returned to their pre-war homes last year -- most to areas where their own ethnic group is not a majority, UN officials report. In fact, last year was a record year for so-called "minority returns," with 102,000 out of a total of 110,000 returnees in 2002 heading back to regions where another ethnic group dominates. "We have come a really long way since the end of the war," Udo Janz, head of the UNHCR's Bosnia operations, told a news conference, Reuters reports, in a story posted at http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L05111081 The UN's refugee agency estimates that about half of those who fled or were evicted from their homes have returned. And, many who have not returned have established new lives abroad and have chosen not to go back, Janz said. By the end of last year, 170,000 homes had been reclaimed by their owners - 70% of all possible under new property laws, according to the UNHCR Web site. ...BUT ECONOMIC PROBLEMS CONTINUE. "Strikes and street protests are spreading across Bosnia fueled by discontent over plunging living standards," the Institute for War & Peace Reporting (IWPR) said in a report last month. "Bosnian workers blame much of their worsening plight on the country's clumsy privatisation process, which has led to heavy job losses, and has been accompanied by huge wage backlogs and a mountain of company debt." The article is online at http://www.iwpr.net/index.pl?archive/bcr3/bcr3_200301_397_3_eng.txt
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The seized documents are a ?treasure trove? and among other things indicate al-Qaida military leaders were at times paid salaries from Muslim charity proceeds and purchased weapons with money from charity leaders, prosecutors said in the once-secret court filing. Other evidence seized in March 2002 from the Bosnian offices of the Benevolence International Foundation, an Illinois-based Muslim charity, includes handwritten correspondence to and from bin Laden and documents detailing the origins, growth and expansion of his al-Qaida network in the 1980s and 1990s, the filing said. Though the original documents remain secret, the prosecutor described their contents and English translations for the first time in the filing unsealed this month in the case of the head of the Muslim foundation who reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors in Chicago. Enaam Arnaout pleaded guilty last week to illegally buying boots and uniforms for fighting forces in Bosnia and Chechnya under a deal in which prosecutors, in exchange for his cooperation, dropped charges that he aided bin Laden. In a pretrial document known as a ?proffer,? prosecutors said handwritten documents scanned into computer formats in the Bosnia office included a file titled ?Osama?s history? that contained ?a handwritten draft list of people referred to within al-Qaida as the ?Golden Chain,? wealthy donors to mujahedeen efforts.? ?The list contained 20 names, and after each name a parenthetical indicating the person who received the money from the specified donor,? the proffer said. MILLIONS SEIZED The list suggested at least seven of the donors gave directly to bin Laden, and six of the others were listed as giving to the founder of a Muslim charity, the court document said. U.S. officials declined to identify any of the 20 donors, but said the list is one of several pieces of evidence the government has obtained since the war on terror began after Sept. 11 that identifies spigots of money that have financed bin Laden and Middle Eastern and Asian terrorists over the past two decades. U.S. officials estimate they have frozen roughly $124.5 million in financial assets belonging to terrorist groups, including al-Qaida, since the Sept. 11 attacks. One letter found in the files instructed a charity leader to pay a monthly salary of 4,500 Saudi riyals each ? about $1,200 ? to two of al-Qaida?s top military leaders. The letter establishes ?that military commanders were salaried by the support organizations,? the prosecutors said in the proffer. Other documents discuss the purchases of weapons such as missiles, dynamite, fuses, rocket-propelled grenades and bayonets, the proffer stated. The documents found in the charity?s Bosnian office also chronicle the evolution of bin Laden?s movement from support of the once U.S.-based muhajedeen warriors fighting Soviet occupation of Afghanistan to a global terror network that posed threats to the United States and rest of the Western world. In one letter, an unidentified author writes to bin Laden asking for help for followers in the African country of Eritrea. The letter identifies as its top goal ?facilitating the travel of the youth to the field of Jihad so they can benefit from the training possibilities, by providing them with tickets and entry visas,? according to the government translation. Another letter from bin Laden ?explains the time has come for an attack on the Russians,? the court documents said. AL-QAIDA?S HISTORY Other correspondence describe money transfers and weapons purchases showing that al-Qaida often facilitates such transactions with a simple letter from bin Laden or a top lieutenant asking the recipient to provide money to the bearer of the letter. For instance, one letter instructed the recipient to send 400,000 rupees of Pakistani money ? about $7,200 ? ?to the owner of the weapon for delivery in Parachinar ... for security reasons,? the proffer said. Another used an alias to refer to bin Laden and his request that a charity leader ?give 500,000 rupees to the man bearing the letter,? the proffer said. That?s about $9,000. While most of the documents were a decade or more old, they provided U.S. authorities with significant insight into al-Qaida and helped confirm many suspicions about its finances, structure and evolution, U.S. officials said. Some details in the documents ?were not known to the public,? the proffer said. Handwritten notes detail the original formation of al-Qaida, including minutes of an Aug. 11, 1988, meeting bin Laden held to discuss ?the establishment of a new military group.? Those notes record bin Laden?s own statements on the efforts to recruit members from Saudi Arabia for his network and to raise money. The notes quote bin Laden as saying ?we took very huge gains from the country?s people in Saudi. We were able to give political power to the mujahedeen, gathering donations in very large amounts, restoring power,? the court document states.
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Following the great success of the first and the second Sarajevo Fashion Week B&H, organized in April 2001/2002, we are in the process of organizing the third consecutive Sarajevo Fashion Week which is to take place the first week of April 2003 in Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina). Each year immense media and public interest followed our fashion shows. After the war, events, such as this one, have become of extreme importance to our city as they, in great part, contribute to reintegration of our city and society. Sarajevo Fashion Week symbolizes the need to contribute to further development of this city. This manifestation stands for the strength, beauty, and youth, all that enriches our life. This project received overall support from the Cantonal Ministry of Culture, Chamber of Commerce of the Federation of B&H, Chamber of Commerce of B&H, international institutions, embassies, and renowned world companies. The fashion week is one of the most prestigious events held within the last few years. At this occasion, which is certainly one of the most important ones in Bosnia and Herzegovina, various designs, from our national and the eminent international creators, will be presented. Numerous journalists, professionals from the fashion world, as well as many prestigious companies will take part in this event. It is with great honor that we invite you to participate in the Sarajevo Fashion Week the first week of April 2003. Many local and international journalists will cover this event, as well as numerous VIP guests from the international diplomatic community and prominent international organizations and companies. We invite you to visit our web site at www.fashionweek.ba for further reference, as we are certain you will notice that this is extremely significant event organized in the utmost professional manner. We are confident that we can provide for an exceptional presentation of your work at our fashion show. Looking forward to welcoming you at this great event and in our city stressing that your support of our project will be greatly valued and appreciated. Respectfully yours, Rusmir Arnautovic
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DANAS, 12.06.2003. URED GRADONACELNIKA FORT WAYNE INDIANA JE SLUZBENO POTVRDIO SLIJEDECE: GRADONACELNIK FORT WAYNE INDIANA GRAHAM RICHARD CE 16.08.2003. GODINE SVECANO OTVORITI 6.KRAISKI TEFERIC I PROVESTI NEKO VRIJEME SA ZAPADNO BOSANCIMA KAKO BI IM LICNO UKAZAO DOBRODOSLICU U FORT WAYNE INDIANA. Fort Wayne dana 6-11-2003 OBAVJESTAVAMO SVE KRAJISNIKE I SVE LJUBITELJE TEFERICA DA JE ORGANIZACIONI ODBOR 6. KRAISKOG TEFERICA U FORT WAYNU DOBIO JOS JEDNO PRIZNANJE ZA SVOJ RAD NA PRIPREMI I ORGANIZIRANJU TEFERICA . 11. JUNA 2003. UKAZOM GRADONACELNIKA GRADA FORT WAYNE, INDIANA AUGUST 16. 2003. PROGLASEN JE ZA SLUZBENI DAN TEFERICA - BOSANKI DAN U FORT WAYNU. U SVOJOJ PROKLAMACIJI ( UKAZU) GRADONACELNIK JE POZVAO SVE GRADJANE FORT WAYNA DA SVOJIM PRISUSTVOM UKAZU DOBRODOSLICU SVIM GOSTIMA NA TAJ DAN. SVIM KRAJISNICIMA I SVIM LJUBITELJIMA TEFERICA - DOBRODOSLI NA 6. KRAISKI TEFERIC PREVOD UKAZA GRADONACELNIKA CITY OF FORT WAYNE URED GRADONACELNIKA PROCLIMATION 20 Augusta 1995, je dan kad je vise od 20,000 Zapadno Bosanaca I njihovih porodica izbjegli na sigurno u izbjeglicki camp u Hrvatskoj. Mnoge Zapadno Bosanaske izbjeglice provele su vise od deset mjeseci u neizvjesnosti, strahu, gladi I teroru. U 1996 godini USA, Canada I Australija otvorile su svoja vrata za Zapadne Bosance da zapocnu novi zivot I rad za bolju I srecnu boducnost. Ovaj skup se odrzava da se nezaboravi rat, nikad nezaborave one koji su dali svoje zivote, I nikad nezaboravimo tko smo I odakle smo. Zapadno Bosanski narod is cijele USA I Canada ce se sakupiti u Fort Wayne da podijele uspomene, sjete se proslosti I uzivaju u svojoj slobodi. Upravo zbog svega ovoga, Ja, Graham Richard, Gradonacelnik grada Fort Wayne, Indiana, PROGLASAVAM AUGUST 16, 2003, 6. KRAISKI TEFERIC - BOSANSKI DAN U Fort Wayne, I Ja pozivam sve gradane da dodu I zajedno da ukazemo dobrodoslicu Zapadno Bosancima na ovaj dan. Svojerucnim potpisom I pecetom grada Fort Wayne, Indiana, potvrduje se 16 dan Augusta 2003. GRAHAM RICHARD GRADONACELNIK Orginalni proglas mozete vidjeti na nasoj web stranici www.kraiskiteferic2003.org
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Balkans area always was a sort of a hot spot in Europe. Eighty-nine years ago, young Serb terrorist assassinated Austro-Hungarian prince and his wife and thus started the World War One. Twelve years ago, area was washed in blood during nationalist wars in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo. And now, in already troubled environment, racism rears its ugly face? On a football match Serbia and Montenegro vs. Wales, in Red Star Stadium in Belgrade, crowd abused three Wales? black players, Danny Gabbidon, Nathan Blake and Robert Earnshaw. Host team won the match, but lost a lot of face because of such behaviour by their supporters. And you should keep in mind that only 15 or 20 years ago University of Belgrade was practically crowded by black students, especially from the so-called ?non-allied countries?. Wales manager, Mark Hughes was rather embittered in his statements after the match: ?What happened there, and what Danny had to endure just shows what a fine performance he put in. We already had a similar problem, with Jason Brown, during the previous night under ? 21 game, and it just doesn?t feel right. We already put the wheels in motion to complain to FIFA and UEFA.? He also said: ? My players are very disappointed. They felt that Mark Delaney was fouled in the box when Serbia scored.? Neven Luledzija, Paris
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Rarely, if ever, the running disciplines of the World Championship in Athletics offered so many battles of the giants. On 100 meters for men, competition is really scary: Americans Maurice Green, Tim Montgomery, or winner of the U.S. trials, Bernard Williams; European champion Dwain Chambers from England; evergreen Namibian Frankie Fredricks; St. Kitts and Nevis? Kim Collins? Each and any of them can win the gold, but who will it be? On 200 meters for men, Greek athlete, Konstandinos Kenteris is on the brink of an unprecedented achievement. He has the opportunity to win a fourth consecutive world crown. Since his surprise victory on Sydney Olympics, the 200 meters King confirmed his reign by taking the world title in Edmonton, and last years European Championship in Munich, with his best result of 19.85. However, his rule is going to be contested by trio of young Americans: Joshua J. Johnson, Darvis Patton and John Capel, youths with plenty of talent, courage and ambition. World Junior Champion, Englishman Christian Malcolm, or Japanese prodigy Shingo Suetsugu will also be there for keeps? Another competition of prodigies awaits us on 400 meters for men. Americans are still in shock over their lost in Edmonton from Bahamian Avard Moncour, and are determined to prove that this is still their discipline. In last dozen years, anyhow, with the exception of Edmonton, the title was always held by Uncle Sam?s boys. Calvin Harrison, Tyree Washington and Jerome Young are American hopes here. But, opposition is also very serious: Jamaica?s Brandon Simpson and Michael Blackwood are ate least as eager to win as their American counterparts. As for the Europeans, German Ingo Shultz, reigning Champion of the Europe and Frenchman Marc Raquill, winner of the European Cup probably have something to say? Wonder-boy from Russian steppes, Yuriy Borzakovskiy, the World Indoor Champion from two years ago has skipped all the international meetings on 800 meters since in order to prepare for the World Championship. He has to reckon with a serious competition from Kenyans Joseph Mutua and Wilfred Bungei, and their former compatriot who flies Danish colours now, Wilson Kipketer. Moroccan Hicham El-Guerrouj has a double dream: 1.500 and 5.000 meters title. Can he become the most decorated athlete of all times on 1.500 meters? Currently, he shares that honour with Algerian Nouredin Mourcelli. Both of them have three world titles. El-Guerrouj?s rivals don?t deny his superiority, but they are aware that even ?Hicham The Great3 is not invincible. After all, he lost Olympic title, didn?t he? Chirchir brothers from Kenya, Cornelius and William, as well as Bernard Lagat are presenting silent threat. And European Champion, Mehdi Baala, is the French hope for the winning on the home-ground. On the other hand, El-Guerrouj is trying to do something nearly impossible: Since his youth, at least until this season, he hasn?t run 5.000 meters. But, his result of 12:50.24 shows that he means business. Can he do it? Is it humanly possible? Remains to be seen? By Neven Luledzija, Paris
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IAAF statement on Kelli White Saturday 30 August 2003 Paris - A sample provided by Kelli White, USA after the 100m Final in Paris has tested positive for Modafinil. The IAAF has not yet received the results of the analysis on her sample provided after the 200m Final. Today, we have received an explanation from the athlete to the following effect; Ms White has been taking the substance on prescription to treat a medical condition that runs in her family. As both the nature of the substance and the content of her explanation require further inquiry and investigation, the IAAF has taken the view that bearing in mind the very serious consequences for the athlete of being suspended and being removed from competition at this late stage, the most appropriate course of action is to allow her to compete pending the completion of the necessary scientific and factual investigations. Neven Luledzija, Paris
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Over 550,000 spectators attended the 9th World Championships in Athletics, putting an overwhelming seal of public approval on a hugely successful event. Prefect Jean Dussourd, President of the Organising Committee, was keen to thank all those who made the occasion so memorable. With enthusiastic fans who came out in massive numbers, a fabulous atmosphere in the stadium and a French team that made history by performing like never before, the Championships proved a runaway success in every way. At a post event press conference, Organising Committee President Jean Dussourd looked back over the nine days and was at pains to thank all those involved in the event: ?We have proved once again that when it comes to major events, we in France can always rise to the occasion. Many challenges were met. People wondered whether the Athletes Village would work but it did and it worked well. It was a hit and security was ensured. The stadium proved to be excellent from a technical perspective and demonstrated it is made for athletics. As for the transport, the service provided by RATP was extraordinary.? Jean Dussourd was full of praise for the 3,700 ?enthusiastic and efficient? Volunteers who worked tirelessly from start to finish. "From the welcome at the airport to accompanying athletes to the various venues, everyone was more than satisfied with the service the Volunteers provided ,? he said The figures all look better than expected too. ?At the end of 2002, we wondered whether we would fill the Stade de France®. We estimated we would need to sell 365,000 tickets to balance the books. At the D-100 mark we had reached that figure but we were still some way off full capacity. The last two months were excellent and during the competition itself we were selling up to 5,000 tickets a day." In all, 550,132 fans attended the championships, making 93% capacity. Almost two thirds of tickets were bought on the Internet. This success results from a number of factors relating to the organisation of these 9th World Championships. "An extensive ticketing network. A long term campaign in conjunction with the Ministry for Sport, the local authorities and the French Athletics Federation, along with a comprehensive and innovative communication campaign that stirred up interest,? explained Jean Dussourd. The atmosphere in the stadium and the entertainment laid on around it were very positive too.? The success of an event of this scale is also measured by the media coverage it receives. With 58 hours coverage over the nine days, France Télévisions has never broadcast so much athletics. And the viewing figures make for good reading. The event rewarded the channel with 24% market share, for an average of 2.7 million viewers. The women?s long jump, won so thrillingly by home hope Eunice Barber, was the most watched event, with 42% market share and 6.6 million viewers on France 2. In conclusion, the Organising Committee President wished to underline that the long term aim of these World Championships was to attract new would-be athletes to their local athletics clubs, particular young people from urban hotspots. Only then will the race have been won. Neven Luledzija, Paris
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Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand will be charged with deliberately missing his anti-doping test, leading to the possibility of a two-year ban. On the eve of the England's match against Turkey in Euro 2004 qualifications, one of the best defenders of the world simply refused to be tested against forbidden substances. Only days after this, the news about Dwain Chambers, another British top-rank athlete, shook the world of Athletics. During the unravelling of this story, some American sports stars were also found positive on the new super steroid tetrahydrogestrinone (THG). Is there a possible steroid-contamination of the football, as well as athletics? To add insult to the injury, some tabloids published Ferdinand's mobile-phone number. On the other hand, Football Association is taking it's sweet time regarding verdict on this case. The FA's complaining unit, led by Steve Barlow, is still examining the evidence, and is keen to ensure fairness to all sides following Ferdinand's failure to take a drug test on September 23rd ? that is the official version. Adrian Bevington, FA spokesman said: "In the interest of all parties concerned, and football in general, the FA will proceed through all the facts with due diligence before making any decision as to what further steps within the process may be taken. Therefore, we will not be setting any deadlines as to when the FA will make an announcement concerning their decision on reviewing the evidence. We have no plans to issue any further comment until this stage of the process is concluded." The England defender was selected at random by UK Sport anti-doping officials to take a drug test on United's training ground in Carrington. But, he left the place, claiming that he had forgotten, because he was moving from one house to another. He claims he tried to reschedule the test for later in the day by phone. The documents he and Manchester United submitted includes his mobile phone record, which could provide decisive evidence in this case. As the things are, Ferdinand is certain to face at least a charge of failing to attend an anti-doping test. It may become aggravated if the FA gathers evidence that he did it deliberately. In such a case, that would most probably mean a long ban from the green fields. On the other hand, United's manager, Sir Alex Ferguson is standing by his defender. At the same time, he claims that there will be no mercy for any player using drugs: " If there were any danger of one of our players dabbling in any kind of drug, be it to enhance his performance, or for his social life, he would quickly be gone from Manchester United," Ferguson said in his interview to the News Of The World. FIFA also took interest in this case. It's Anti Doping Committee will discuss the Ferdinand's case on Tuesday, and it is possible that they will hand the England defender its own punishment over the missed drugs test. "We will look at the case and how it has been addressed already. But, there will be no decisions announced or recommendations made until after the English FA meeting," said Dr. Michael D'Hooghe, chairman of the Committee. "There are a number of options available but I will not try to predict what is discussed. This meeting has been planne for a long time, and there are another 25 issues to be looked at. We will not be only talking about the matter of Rio Ferdinand and the issue of tetrahydrogestrinone (THG), although those are very important matters on our agenda." Neven Luledzija, Paris
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A Paris court has acquitted three press photographers who took pictures of Princess Diana and boyfriend Dodi Al Fayed on the night of their fatal car crash six years ago. The court found them
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