Actually, the title of the article is Gunrunner's Paradise but anyone who knows anything about Kosovo knows that it's the organized crime groups that run guns, drugs, and human trafficking in Kosovo. I'm happy to see a locally based news agency write about something like this when most all other media has been focused on the status issue (blah, blah, blah! Does anyone else ever get sick hearing about the failing negotiations and now how they failed???) So kudos to BIRN for reporting on something different and still viable in their Kosovo: Gunrunner's Paradise article!
The Strategy Page focuses on Who's Who in Kosovo, giving a brief summary of different groups in Kosovo from KPS to Serbian paramilitary groups (ie...Guard of Tsar of Lazar (that name truly trips me up when I try to say it!)) The article is very short and I would have liked to see a more in-depth look into the groups but it's a good start!
The trial of Ramush Haradinaj came to an end yesterday with witnesses still citing fear for safety as a reason for failing to testify against the former KLA-commander. The court has been criticized for failing to protect witnesses who have received death threats and in some cases suffer post-traumatic stress syndrome.
The recent spat of heavy rain and snow has caused substantial flooding in Kosovo. Four rivers have broke their banks and flooded surrounding villages. In the larger cities, residents are having to deal with overflowing sewers and raw sewage on the streets. Surprisingly, with the flooding officials have stated that there may be shortages of water as well as electricity (if readers recall the power plant actually flooded last spring and that caused all sorts of power problems).
And finally, my last tidbit today is self-promotion! With 44% living at or below poverty level and 14% living in extreme poverty, the winter and holidays can be difficult for families in Kosovo. For the past several years, through my alter-ego Dj Vegas, I have been holding a charity toy drive to help families in need around Kosovo. Toys and clothing, new or gently used, are being collected at my office and at several parties over the next few weeks. Thanks for your support!