Category Archives: News

worldwide news

Greek Citizens Protest Proposed Law to Restrict Protests 

The Greek government is experiencing significant resistance as it seeks to pass a new law that would restrict the right to protest. Violence erupted Thursday as an estimated 10,000 people gathered outside parliament in Athens to protest the new bill as it went to a preliminary vote.  According to The Associated Press, a group of protesters hurled gasoline bombs at riot police as the officers attempted to contain the rally with tear gas and flash grenades.In total, more than 40 demonstrations were held across the country, many of them backed by a leading labor union affiliated with the opposing Greek Communist Party.  The largest public sector union, ADEDY, staged a walkout Wednesday and said it supported Thursday’s protests.  “We’ll do everything possible to make sure it won’t pass,” ADEDY member Odysseas Ntrivalas told Reuters. Protests have plagued the Mediterranean nation for more than a decade, starting in late 2009 with the onset of the worldwide economic crisis. Syntagma Square outside parliament became the scene of massive anti-austerity protests that continued during Greece’s three internationally backed bailouts and subsequent recovery period.  Schoolteachers dressed in black take part in a demonstration against a new protest law in Athens,  July 9, 2020.Despite falling turnout, the center-right government led by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis alleges that there were nearly two protests a day in May and June, and such actions disrupt economic productivity.  Civil Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis told lawmakers that the majority of Greek citizens wanted the demonstrations to be regulated.  The proposed legislation mandates restrictions on demonstrations and reserves the right of authorities to ban protests if they are deemed a threat to public safety. The bill also holds organizers responsible for any harm or damage caused by participants.  Greeks prize their right to protest, even going to so far as to include it in their national constitution. Many also believe that abuse of power by the political elite played a pivotal role in the Greek debt crisis, while older citizens fear the return of totalitarian policies that haunted country while it was under the control of a military junta from 1967 to 1974. 

your ad here

Erdogan Pushes to Reconvert Hagia Sophia into Mosque

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan faces a growing backlash over plans to convert Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia, the former Greek Orthodox cathedral that is now a museum, into a mosque. Once eastern Christianity’s greatest church, it was turned into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest in the 15th century and then a museum in the 1930s. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul on the latest battle over Hagia Sophia.Camera: Berke Bas   Produced by: Jon Spier 
 

your ad here

Bolsonaro Now ‘Poster Boy’ for Dubious COVID-19 Treatment

After months of touting an unproven anti-malaria drug as a treatment for the new coronavirus, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is turning himself into a test case live before millions of people as he swallows hydroxychloroquine pills on social media and encourages others to do the same.
Bolsonaro said this week that he tested positive for the virus but already felt better thanks to hydroxychloroquine. Hours later he shared a video of himself gulping down what he said was his third dose.  
“I trust hydroxychloroquine,” he said, smiling. “And you?”
On Wednesday, he was again extolling the drug’s benefits on Facebook, and claimed that his political opponents were rooting against it.  
A string of studies in Britain and the United States, as well as by the World Health Organization, have found chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine ineffective against COVID-19 and sometimes deadly because of their adverse side effects on the heart. Several studies were canceled early because of adverse effects.
U.S. President Donald Trump has promoted hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19 but chloroquine — a more toxic version of the drug, produced in Brazil — has been even more enthusiastically promoted by Bolsonaro, who contends the virus is largely unavoidable and, what is more, not a serious medical problem.  
“He has become the poster boy for curing COVID with hydroxychloroquine,” said Paulo Calmon, a political science professor at the University of Brasilia. “Chloroquine composes part of the denialist’s political strategy, with the objective of convincing voters that the pandemic’s effects can be easily controlled.”
Trump first mentioned hydroxychloroquine on March 19 during a pandemic briefing. Two days later, and a month after Brazil’s first confirmed case, Bolsonaro took one of his only big actions to fight the coronavirus. He announced he was directing the Brazilian army to ramp up output of chloroquine.  
The army churned out more than 2 million pills — 18 times the country’s normal annual production — even as Brazil’s intensive care medicine association recommended it not be prescribed and doctors mostly complied.  
The White House on May 31 said it had donated 2 million hydroxychloroquine pills to Brazil. Two weeks later the U.S. Food & Drug Administration revoked authorization for its emergency use, citing adverse side effects and saying it is unlikely to be effective.  
Brazil’s audit court on June 18 requested an investigation into alleged overbilling from local production of chloroquine, which it called unreasonable given the drug’s ineffectiveness and cited the FDA decision. Meantime, stocks of sedatives and other medications used in intensive care ran out in three states, according to a late-June report from Brazil’s council of state health secretariats.  
A former defense minister, Aldo Rebelo, told The Associated Press that he is concerned the army will be wrongly blamed for its involvement in production of a drug that most experts call ineffective against the coronavirus.
“All they did was to follow a legal order and produce the pills,” said Rebelo. “The problem is the health ministry and the decision that the president made.”
Brazil’s interim health minister, an army general with no health experience before April, endorsed chloroquine as a COVID-19 treatment days after assuming the post in May. His predecessor, a doctor and health consultant, quit rather than do so.  
As Brazil’s death toll continued to climb — nearing 68,000 on Wednesday, the second-most in the world — the health ministry distributed millions of chloroquine pills across Brazil’s vast territory. They have reached small cities with little or no health infrastructure to handle the pandemic and even a far-flung Indigenous territory.
“They’re trying to use the Indigenous people as guinea pigs to test chloroquine, use the Indigenous to advertise for chloroquine like Bolsonaro has done on his live broadcasts, like a poster boy for chloroquine,” Kretã Kaingang, an executive coordinator of the Indigenous organization APIB, said by phone from Brazil’s capital, Brasilia.  
In Brazil’s largest city, Sao Paulo, three doctors treating COVID-19 in different hospitals told AP that patients routinely requested chloroquine as the pandemic spread, often citing Bolsonaro. In recent weeks, inquiries about the drug were less frequent after scientific doubts arose about its effectiveness, two physicians said.  
All say they worry Bolsonaro’s cheerleading will spur a new wave of desperate patients and relatives clamoring for chloroquine.  
“I tell them that I don’t prescribe it because there’s no study proving it improves patients, that there are important risks with the indiscriminate use of this drug,” said Dr. Natalia Magacho, an attending physician at the Hospital das Clinicas. “Some even get angry at first. But all prescriptions are the doctor’s responsibility and, as the risk outweighs the benefit, I don’t prescribe it.”
Most doctors oppose any protocols for the use of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine, but some physicians continue to believe and have pressured local authorities to permit its use, said João Gabbardo, the former No. 2 official at Brazil’s health ministry.  
“This issue has been framed in a very polarizing, politicized manner,” said Gabbardo, who is now executive coordinator of Sao Paulo’s COVID-19 contingency center. “We are moving away from the discussion of science, of scientific evidence, toward a discussion of political positions.”
Bolsonaro’s supporters and aides have amplified his message. Eduardo Bolsonaro, the president’s son and a federal lawmaker, said his father will beat the disease because he is taking the anti-malarial drug.  
“Treatment with chloroquine is rather effective at the start of the illness (and should be available for any Brazilian who needs it),” the younger Bolsonaro wrote on Twitter, without distinguishing between the two types of the drug.
Margareth Dalcolmo, a clinical researcher and prominent respiratory medicine professor at the state-funded Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, said she has no objection to Bolsonaro and his doctor agreeing on hydroxychloroquine treatment. The problem, she said, is broadcasting that information to an impressionable public that, if he recovers, will believe a potentially dangerous drug was responsible.  
Dalcolmo treats patients and contracted COVID-19 herself. Before she bounced back, some friends asked if she would authorize administration of either chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine were she unable to grant consent.
“Over my dead body, dear,” she said. “I said if I’m in a coma, intubated, none of you are authorized to put me on chloroquine. I would never authorize its use on me. And I haven’t used it on my dozens of patients.”

your ad here

Erdogan Faces Backlash Over Plans to Convert Hagia Sophia Into Mosque

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan faces a growing backlash over his plans to turn Istanbul’s iconic Hagia Sophia into a mosque.The sixth-century Byzantine cathedral served as a mosque for 400 years before it was turned into a museum. More  recently, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1985.Throughout the Hagia Sophia’s 1,500-year history, its status has reflected the rise and fall of empires.For nearly a millennium, the Hagia Sophia was eastern Christendom’s greatest church. But in 1453 when Ottoman forces led by Sultan Fatih Mehmet conquered Constantinople, now Istanbul, his first act on entering the city was to pray in the cathedral and declare it a mosque.In 1935, the founders of Turkey’s secular state turned the Hagia Sophia from a mosque into a museum as a symbol of modernity. (Dorian Jones/VOA)In 1935, the founder of the modern Turkish republic, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, turned the building into a museum symbolizing Turkey’s new status as a modern Western-style secular society.  For 80 years, symbols of Islam and Christianity have harmoniously coexisted in this architectural marvel, once the largest building in the Byzantine empire.Now, Erdogan is vowing to turn it back into a mosque.Political interestsThe Hagia Sophia’s reconversion has long been a demand of the most ardent elements of Erdogan’s religious and nationalist base.Last year’s celebration of the Muslim conquest of the city saw hundreds of people praying outside the Hagia Sophia as part of a campaign to convert the building into a mosque.Turkey’s Birlik Foundation says more 2 million people have signed its petition calling for the Hagia Sophia to be made a mosque again.Mehmet Alacaci, chief executive of Turkey’s Birlik Foundation, says the campaign to turn Hagia Sophia into a mosque is about reclaiming an important symbol of religious identity. (Dorian Jones/VOA)”The question of its reopening to prayers has been in the heart of Muslims since it was closed to prayers and converted to a museum,” said Mehmet Alacaci, chief trustee of the Birlik Foundation.”The will and bequest of Fatih Sultan Mehmet, who conquered this city, is to have Hagia Sophia as a mosque. And we are in the spirit of taking back this inheritance and property of our ancestors,” he added.Erdogan has long flirted with the Hagia Sophia’s conversion through his nearly 20 years in power, first as a prime minister and then as president.”You know, they changed Hagia Sophia from mosque to museum a while ago. God willing, after the election, we will change Hagia Sophia’s name from museum to mosque,” Erdogan said last year during a campaign rally ahead of  local elections.With the economy hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and the president’s ruling AKP Party poll ratings sliding, Erdogan needs to consolidate his base quickly and appears ready to push ahead with Hagia Sophia’s conversion.Professor Istar Gozaydin, an expert on religion and the state, says the move to convert the Hagia Sophia to a mosque is an effort to consolidate the president’s religious and nationalist base amid sliding support for his AKP Party. (Dorian Jones/VOA)”The AKP is suffering in current times. In order to change the agenda in Turkey, they need a [new] subject to be worked on,” said Istar Gozaydin, a professor and expert on religion and the state. “To convert it into a mosque apparently means something for the grassroots of AKP in Turkey and supporters abroad,”  she said.But the gesture that Erdogan is offering to his base is coming at a high price.Protests”The conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque will disappoint millions of Christians around the world,” warned the leader of the 300 million Orthodox Christians, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.”The Hagia Sophia, which, due to its sacredness, is a vital center where East is embraced with the West, will fracture these two worlds,” he added.Bartholomew, who is based in Istanbul,  aware of the delicate situation facing Turkey’s small remaining Orthodox community, usually refrains from openly criticizing Erdogan.The Ecumenical Patriarchate is receiving growing international support in its fight to avert a transformation of the landmark. The United States urged Ankara not to change the Hagia Sophia’s status.”We urge the government of Turkey to continue to maintain the Hagia Sophia as a museum, as an exemplar of its commitment to respect the faith traditions and diverse history that contributed to the Republic of Turkey, and to ensure it remains accessible to all,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement last Wednesday.Russia, despite its competing interests in Turkey, voiced concerns similar to those of the United States.A nationwide petition calling for the Hagia Sophia to be turned into mosque has been launched. In Sanliurfa, people queue to add their names. (Birlik Foundation)”Hagia Sophia, in addition to its tourism value, has a very deep sacred spiritual value,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said this week.Protests have also come from the government of neighboring Greece.Erdogan defiantThe Turkish leader has dismissed all international criticism.”Accusations against our country about Hagia Sophia directly target our sovereign rights,” shot back Erdogan last week.A recent opinion poll found most Turkish respondents backed the Hagia Sophia’s conversion. However, the same survey also recorded a larger number of people viewing the issue as an attempt to distract voters from the current economic malaise.There are now growing concerns for the Hagia Sophia’s magnificent interior. Large mosaics depicting Christ, the Virgin Mary and Byzantium rulers adorn the massive walls and ceilings of the onetime cathedral.”It’s not practical, and it’s illogical to convert into a mosque again,” said professor Zeynep Ahunbay, who spent 25 years working on the Hagia Sophia’s restoration and preservation.She alluded to Islam’s traditional ban on divine images.”When you pray, you don’t want to be in the presence of some images, which can be considered like icons, et cetera. It is against the Islamic creed,” she said.”And what will happen? How will [they] be covered during prayers?  Can you imagine a curtain hanging over the mosaics? I think it’s not acceptable.”WATCH: Erdogan Pushes to Reconvert Hagia Sophia into Mosque Sorry, but your browser cannot support embedded video of this type, you can
download this video to view it offline.Download File360p | 10 MB480p | 15 MB540p | 20 MB720p | 41 MBOriginal | 227 MB Embed” />Copy Download AudioThe judges who sit on Turkey’s high court, who invariably accommodate Erdogan’s wishes, are due in the coming days to rule on whether a conversion of the building would be legal. Turkish newspaper columnists close to Erdogan are predicting the court will decide in the president’s favor.There is a growing expectation in Turkey that it may not be long before Hagia Sophia’s minarets rejoin the chorus of surrounding mosques’ calls to prayer.

your ad here

Srebrenica Anniversary Prompts Reflection by Bosnian-Americans

Behidin Piric never had the chance to know his maternal grandfather.In 2009, the St. Louis, Missouri, resident received a phone call from his native Bosnia informing him that his grandfather’s body had been found in a mass grave with his hands tied behind the back with barbed wire. He had two bullet wounds in the back of his head.“I had the task of telling my mother who came home from work that they found her father, so that was a pretty tough thing to do,” said the 27-year-old American student.Piric’s grandfather was one of more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim civilians, mostly men,  who were killed in the town of Srebrenica during the Bosnian war.“The genocide began in Srebrenica in July of 1995 and was a catastrophic uprooting of multiple generations of Bosnian Muslim families,” said Ida Sefer, president of the Chicago-based Bosnian-American Genocide and Education center, in an e-mail interview with VOA.She said Bosnian Serbs backed by neighboring Serbia used torture, sexual assault, forced impregnation, concentration camps, rape camps, ethnic cleansing and murder against the Bosnian Muslim population in the three years after Bosnia declared its independence from the former state of Yugoslavia in 1992.A woman prays at the memorial cemetery in Potocari, near Srebrenica, July 7, 2020. Over 8,000 Bosnian Muslims perished in 10 days of slaughter after the town was overrun by Serb forces in the closing months of the 1992-95 fratricidal war.The International Criminal Court in The Hague convicted former Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, and sentenced him to life imprisonment in 2017. Former Bosnian Serb President Radovan Karadzic was convicted in 2016 for his war crimes and role in perpetrating the genocide.Officials from the Serbian Embassy in Washington did not respond to repeated requests for comment.July 11 marks the 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre. Decades later, survivors and other Bosnians still have a difficult time speaking about the calamities they went through.“We will never heal. Our loss is so huge, so enormous that we will never heal, especially my generation,” said Senada Pargan, a Srebrenica survivor and one of the more than 21,000 Gravestones are lined up at the memorial cemetery in Potocari, near Srebrenica, Bosnia, July 7, 2020.The purpose of the initiative is to record the culture and experiences of Bosnian genocide survivors through interviews, books, letters, and photographs.The Bosnian war was already underway when Piric was born in Srebrenica in 1992. His earliest memory is of leaving Tuzla, the third-largest city in Bosnia, with his parents and brothers after the war ended with the signing of the Dayton Accords by the presidents of Bosnia, Serbia, and Croatia in November 1995.“I remember being in the back of the U.N. truck and seeing soldiers and a bunch of other people,” he recalled. “After that, I have a lot of memories of the rebuilding of the country – the tensions that were still there in the city where I lived after the war. There was still a lot of religious tension, ethnic tensions.”Piric’s father was wounded during the war when a mine exploded, damaging his legs while he was farming potatoes. Besides his grandfather, Piric also lost his maternal grandmother, an uncle, and “countless cousins.”Like Pargan, he said that he and his parents still cannot heal from the tragic events at Srebrenica even though 25 years have gone by.“When I go back to Srebrenica to the memorial, it’s a strange feeling,” he said. ”There’s a feeling of dread. The hairs on the back of my neck stand up. I get goose bumps, so it’s difficult.”Retelling the story of Srebrenica to future generations and never forgetting all those who were lost has become a mission for the Bosnian community in the United States, especially as some Bosnian Serb officials continue to deny that a systematic genocide occurred during the war.“Remembering the 8,372 victims and their families during this time is an important part of preventing genocide in the future, meaning uplifting the voices of the survivors,” Sefer said.“Listening to survivor testimonials, reading the stories of their loved ones, humanizing the people who were murdered, is all a part of remembering.”

your ad here

Depp, At Libel Trial, Says Heard Relationship Was ‘Tailspin’

Johnny Depp denied assaulting ex-wife Amber Heard on a private Caribbean island and during a furious rampage in Australia in a third day of evidence Thursday in the actor’s libel suit against a U.K. tabloid newspaper that called him a “wife-beater.”
Depp is suing News Group Newspapers, publisher of The Sun, and the paper’s executive editor, Dan Wootton, over an April 2018 article that said he’d physically abused Heard. He strongly denies the allegation.
Under cross-examination by The Sun’s lawyer, Sasha Wass, Depp depicted a volatile relationship with Heard, during a period when he was trying to kick drugs and alcohol, and sometimes lapsing. He said he came to feel he was in a “constant tailspin” but denied being violent.
Depp rejected Heard’s claim that he subjected her to a “three-day ordeal of assaults” in March 2015 in Australia, where Depp was filming the fifth “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie.
“I vehemently deny it and will go as far as to say it’s pedestrian fiction,” he said.
He said his relationship with Heard was a “constant barrage of insults and demeaning footnotes and accusations of things that never happened.”
Depp and Wass sparred over disputed details of the Australia episode, which ended up with the couple’s rented house being trashed and Depp’s fingertip being severed to the bone.
Depp accuses Heard of cutting off his fingertip by throwing a vodka bottle at him. She denies being in the room when the digit was severed.
According to Heard, Depp snorted cocaine, swigged Jack Daniels from the bottle, smashed bottles, screamed at Heard, smashed her head against a refrigerator, threw her against a pingpong table and broke a window.
“These are fabrications,” he said.
He denied taking drugs but agreed that the couple had argued and at one point he “decided to break my sobriety because I didn’t care anymore. I needed to numb myself.”  
Depp agreed with the lawyer that the house was “wrecked” after the couple’s argument. The court was shown photographs of graffiti-covered mirrors, which Depp acknowledged he’d written on by dipping his bloody fingertip in paint.
But he said Heard was responsible for most of the damage to the house.
“That is completely untrue,” Wass said.
“Thank you, but it’s not,” Depp replied.
Wass also alleged that Depp had lashed out at Heard during an attempt to break an addiction to the opioid Roxicodone on his private island in the Bahamas in 2014.  
Wass said that at the time Depp praised Heard’s efforts to help him get clean. The lawyer read from a message Depp sent to Heard’s mother, saying “your daughter has risen far above the nightmarish task of taking care of this poor old junkie” and speaking of her “heroism.”
Heard alleges that Depp became violent towards her. He denied physical violence, but said Heard’s claim that he was “flipping” and “screaming” might be accurate.
“I remember that I was in a great deal of pain and uncontrollable spasms and such. … So flipping could be a word that was correct,” he said.
“I was not in good shape. It was the lowest point I believe I’ve ever been in in my life.”
Depp accused Heard of telling “porkie pies” — slang for lies — about his behavior. He acknowledged striking out at objects, saying it was better than “taking it out on the person that I love.”
Depp has acknowledged that he may have done things he can’t remember while he was under the influence of alcohol and drugs. But he denied he could have been physically abusive and not remember it.
“There were blackouts, sure, but in any blackout there are snippets of memory,” Depp said.
The Sun’s defense relies on a total of 14 allegations by Heard of Depp’s violence between 2013 and 2016.
The case is shining a light on the tempestuous relationship between Depp and Heard, who met on the set of the 2011 comedy “The Rum Diary” and married in Los Angeles in February 2015. Heard, a model and actress, filed for divorce the following year and obtained a restraining order against Depp on the grounds of domestic abuse. The divorce was finalized in 2017.
While neither Heard, 34, nor 57-year-old Depp is on trial, the case is a showdown between the former spouses, who accuse each other of being controlling, violent and deceitful during their marriage.
Wass read the court an email to Depp that Heard had composed in 2013 but never sent, saying he was “like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Half of you I love madly, and the other half scares me.”
Depp accused Heard of making up “hoax” abuse claims. He has acknowledged heavy drinking and drug use, but said Heard’s claim that drugs and alcohol made him a monster was “delusional.”
He also denied claims he hit Heard when she laughed at one of his tattoos, dangled her Yorkshire terrier, Pistol, out a car window and threatened to put the dog in a microwave.
Depp acknowledged having a “rather skewed” sense of humor and said the microwave comment was a running joke because the dog was so tiny.
Heard is attending the three-week trial and is expected to give evidence later.
Depp is also suing Heard for $50 million in the U.S. for allegedly defaming him in a Washington Post article about domestic abuse. That case is due to be heard next year. 

your ad here

Bolivia Hospitals Treating Coronavirus Patients at Capacity

Hospitals treating coronavirus patients in Bolivia’s two largest cities, La Paz and El Alto, are overwhelmed by the demand.La Paz Mayor, Luis Revilla, said, covid hospitals in the city are full. The La Portada hospital is full, emergency is full, as well as the Cotahuma hospital.Revilla said, they are calling for the Sur hospital to be up and running as soon as possible.A protesting nurse in La Paz said the hospital has been overwhelmed for several weeks. Mary Ticona said, “We collapsed about two months ago. We are attending to our people as we can, in stretchers, wheelchairs, however we can attend to them. We have collapsed.”Ticona is urging Bolivia’s national health officials to get involved and make coronavirus tests available for the hospital staff, so they can determine who is infected with the coronavirus.Ticona said, some co-workers are already showing symptoms of the virus, which is still surging in one of Latin America’s poorest countries.So far, Bolivia has confirmed more than 42,000 coronavirus cases and more than 1,500 deaths. 

your ad here

Fugitive Mexico Ex-Governor Arrested in US on Corruption Charges

The ex-governor of the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua, Cesar Duarte, who was sought for more than two years on corruption charges, is under arrest in the United States.Mexico’s state prosecutor’s office announced Duarte was taken into custody by U.S Marshals in Miami on Wednesday, and preparations are being made for his extradition.Duarte, who governed the northern border state from 2010 to 2016, is accused of misappropriating at least $52 million in public money.The former state governor is expected in Miami federal court by Saturday for a hearing on the charges against him in Mexico.Duarte is among a dozen former Mexican officials arrested on corruption charges, and the first taken into custody since President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took office in 2018, following an anti-corruption campaign.Duarte’s arrest in the United States occurred as Lopez Obrador was making his first official visit to the U.S. 

your ad here

War Crimes Prosecutors to Interview Kosovo President 

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci will go to The Hague on Monday to be interviewed by international war crimes prosecutors.Thaci was a top commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army, which fought a guerrilla war for independence from Serbia in the late 1990s. He announced his appearance on his Facebook page on Wednesday.A special international court has indicted Thaci and other former fighters for alleged war crimes by the KLA, including murder, kidnapping and torture. Thaci has denied the charges.  “While my compatriots as well as me will face international justice with dignity and integrity, I call upon you to stand united in dealing with the challenges that our country is facing,” he said on Facebook. A pretrial judge in the Kosovo Specialist Chambers has yet to decide whether to put Thaci and the others on trial or throw out the case.Thaci has told Kosovars that if he is tried, he will “will immediately resign as your president and face the accusations.”Thaci’s indictment forced the cancellation of last month’s White House peace talks between Kosovar and Serbian leaders. Serbia has refused to recognize an independent Kosovo. NATO peacekeepers remain in Kosovo to prevent tension between the two sides from exploding into violence.

your ad here