Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Serbia Arrests Karadzic

After years of being one of the most wanted people in Europe, Radovan Karadzic was arrested late Monday evening in a suburb of Belgrade.  Karadzic served as president of the breakaway Republic Srpska.  His top general Mladic still remains at large after nearly 12 years on the run.  The arrest was welcomed a sign that Serbia is still willing to work with the West despite differences on Kosovo's independence.  Some wonder what comes next, if the arrest will help Serbia join the EU, if someone has a lot of explaining to do, or perhaps it's just too late to really make a difference.

Kosovo's corruption watchdog has released a damning report of the government's over-spending on non-essential areas, corruption, and conflict of interest.  One example of the government's lack of fiscal responsibility is the spending of Euro 1.3 million in three months on lunch/dinner by government officials.  The total yearly budget of the Kosovo government is a mere Euro 700 million.

MTCowgirl's Kosovo News
MTCowgirl's Interesting Articles/Commentary

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Belated Happy 4th of July

I couldn't help but chuckle at a recent article in the Kosov@ Post about 4th of July celebrations in Pristina. The author of the article talks about how many countries celebrate 4th of July to express their gratitude to the US and that Kosovo is one of those countries. Honestly, I don't think that anyone outside the US except other Americans celebrate the 4th of July and it's a bit interesting to see other people celebrating the Independence Day of my country. I'm sure that someone from Germany or South Africa would find it just as odd if I held a celebration for their independence days...but I can't say that I don't appreciate the vigor in which the Kosovar people appreciate the assistance that the US has provided over the years. Also mentioned in the article is something called the "American Corner in Pristina" which is located near the National Library (that funky building that supposedly looks like a human brain from the air). As an American, I never even knew we had a corner in Pristina or even what an American corner is...but I'll be checking into it when I get back that's for sure.
I again have to put a mention in for Pacific Rim Bistro & Wine Bar in Dragodan for providing a kick-@$$ American-style buffet for my friends on the 4th. They simply can't stop raving (and rubbing it in that I missed it!) about how good the food was and how much they enjoyed the meal. As I've been doing research for my articles (oops, I wasn't planning on tying this blog to the newspaper but it wouldn't be easy to keep it separated for long...I'm the restaurant reviewer for Kosov@ Post), I've been frequenting Pacific Rim to try the different food and so far, two thumbs way up for excellent food. I think that I won't need to feel homesick for American food anymore and Tom's Korean Kalbi is almost as good as Mom's (but you know no one ever does it as good or better than Mom!).

MTCowgirl's Interesting Articles/Commentary

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

UN Begins Re-Configuration

The new SRSG, Italian diplomat Lamberto Zannier, of UNMIK announced last week that the mission will begin reconfiguration and transition of the police and justice to the EULEX mission under the umbrella of the UN.  The Security Council has not ruled on changing the mission's mandate as outlined in Security Council Resolution 1244.  Serbia warned UN Secretary-General against any reconfiguration of the mission without the approval of the Security Council and Serbia.
I will be heading home to the US for a couple weeks on Friday but as I normally can't live without the internet for very long, you can count on a couple updates while I'm away :)  Smokey will be going back to the "doggy prison" as I call it and staying at the Kosovo Dog Shelter near the airport.  Volunteer vets Petra & Toni are again visiting for the summer so watch out for charity events to support the shelter and their efforts!

MTCowgirl's Kosovo News
MTCowgirl's Interesting Articles/Commentary