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Nikolai Vassilev examines the damages in Plovdiv region. The villagers in the Plovdiv region whose houses were damaged by the recent quakes will be partially compensated by the government. The money will be allotted from the funds for calamities, damages and accidents, said yesterday Vice-Premier Nikolai Vassilev during his visit to the village of Kroumovo, which is situated at the epicentre of the tremours. According to the Civil Protection Agency data, in Kroumovo 170 houses with fallen chimneys have been registered. The walls of 87 of them have cracked dangerously. For fear of new tremours villagers are spending in the open a third night already. "The prime-minister is very concerned over the affected families," Vassilev said.
Dr. Catherine Simpson of New York University receives an honorary doctor's degree of the SS. Cyril and Methodius University of Veliko Turnovo for contribution to the literary science and cultural studies. BTA photo by Naiden Naidenov
A Serb census data collector (L) gathers informations from an elderly ethnic Albanian couple (center and right) in front of their house in the village of Veliki Trnovac near the southern Serbian town of Bujanovac April 8, 2002. The multi-ethnic census commission made out of Serbs and ethnic Albanians is conducting the census without any major incidents. REUTERS/Stevan Lazarevic
Menduh Thaqi's Bodygards Gun Down Passer-by.
There was a shooting on a vehicle in motion at intersection of street JNA and street Jane Sandanski around 02,00h this morning. As a result, one person was badly injured, who was transferred in Tetovo Medical Center.
The bodygards of the deputy head of DPA Menduh Thaqi, opened fire on ethnic Albanian who was passing by Dora Restaurant.
As announced by the head of the Center's Surgery Dusko Mileski, the person's name is Mujdin Hasani (1953) from Tetovo, who had gunshot wounds in the chest. After he had been received, he underwent surgery.
Exhumation In Ljuboten Started.
Reality Macedonia - MakFax
photo by robert Atanasovski, Dnevik
Skopje, April 8 Today, bodies of Adbula Kaili, born 1963, and Rami Jasufi, born 1965, have been exhumed from the village of Ljuboten. The remains of the bodies, in metal coffins, were transferred to the forensic department in Skopje, where an examination will be conducted in the following two days. It will be determined in which way they were killed, and if those killings are under the jurisdiction of the Hague Tribunal. After ending of the procedure the bodies will be buried again, and the next two bodies will also be exhumed.
Human remains of two bodies have been exhumed from the graveyard in Skopje's nearby northern village of Ljuboten Monday, as a first step of the International War Crimes Tribunal at The Hague (ITCY) investigation into the allegations for war crimes committed by the Macedonian security forces over the ethnic Albanian civilians in this village during the last year August offensive.
The exhumation, first ever conducted in Macedonia regarding the war crime allegations over last year conflict in this tiny Balkan country, started under the watchful eye of the representatives of the International crime Tribunal for former Yugoslavia, NATO, OSCE, European Union, Macedonian Interior Ministry, forensic experts and examining magistrate.
"The forensic expert team completed exhumation today, but the other exhumation will continuing tomorrow", said to Makfax one of the experts, asking not to be named. It is not immediately clear how many human remains will be exhumed from the village graveyard in next days. Exhumed human remains were placed into two metal coffins and will be examined by Macedonian forensic experts to assure whether they had been executed. The villagers, ethnic Albanians, are accusing Macedonian security forces for killing 10 civilians of Ljuboten during last August operations in this village.
Human Rights Watch World Report on Macedonia pointed that "most serious violations by the government forces were committed during a three-day operations in a village north of Skopje".
Dead terrorist, killed near Radishani area, trying to slip trough disguised as a women.
"Following a land mine explosion that killed eight government soldiers, the Macedonian police launched a fierce attack on the nearby village of Ljuboten, which was heavily shelled for two days in August 10 and 11, 2001. On August 12, several hundred police entered the village and began a house-to-house assault, killing six ethnic Albanian civilians, burning scores of houses and terrorizing the village population. Two men were summarily executed and another three were shot dead after they attempted to flee their burning home. More than one hundred men and boys from the village were subjected to severe beatings", is said in Human Rights Watch (HRW) report.
"The police operation appeared to be motivated by nothing than revenge", says the HRW report.
Last year insurgency in Macedonia left several dozens dead and hundreds injured.
The Hague International war crimes tribunal, as chief prosecutor Karla Del Ponte announced during the visit in Macedonia, will review at least three allegations for war crimes committed in last year insurgency in Macedonia.
Altough HRW aledged that Police atacked the villagers of Ljuboten, here on the photo (made on the day of battle) it is clearly visible the smoke comming out from the shelled houses and church in Ljubanci village. Ljubanci village (populated with Macedonians) is next to Ljuboten, which is mainly (but not exclusivelly) populated with Albanians.
Except for Ljuboten case, the possible investigations of the ICTY are the cases of four construction workers, ethnic Macedonians, tortured and sexually abused by ethnic Albanian insurgents, as well as the "Trebos" case, where three Macedonian soldiers were killed in November last year.
photo by Robert Atanasovski, Dnevnik
BODIES OF TWO PERSONS EXHUMED IN LJUBOTEN.
The bodies of 2 persons were exhumed near the Muslim graveyard in village Ljuboten. A total of ten bodies are to be exhumed, who were allegedly buried right after the shootouts between the so-called NLA and the local population, and the Macedonian security forces in August 2001.
According to unofficial information, the Macedonian TV reported that the bodies of Abdula Kaili (1963) and Rami Jusufi (1965) were exhumed.
Investigating judges Dragan Nikolovski and Saimi Bekir lead the exhumation, and the autopsy will be performed by experts from the Institute of Forensics and the Investigating Department of the Ministry of Interior.
The exhumation was monitored by two representatives of the Hague Tribunal and NATO, OSCE and EU missions.
According to announcements, the autopsy of these bodies will be performed in the Institute of Forensics in Skopje tomorrow, and the exhumation of another 2 bodies will be performed on Thursday.
Skopje Basic Court 2 issued an announcement, which states "the investigating judge agreed with the proposal of the Skopje Public Prosecutor's Office to undertake investigating activities- exhumation and autopsy, and issued suitable orders for that purpose".
"The objective of the exhumation and autopsy is determination of the identity and the causes of death of the 10 persons, who were buried in village Ljuboten in August 2001. The entire investigating activities are under the jurisdiction of the Macedonian judicial institutions", states the announcement, adding that the carrying out of the orders for exhumation and autopsy, which began today "will last until the gathering of the data, which will be needed for passing a suitable decision".
This exhumation is in connection to the investigation of the Hague Tribunal on alleged perpetration of war crimes. It has to end by April 20, while the Tribunal Chief Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte is to visit Macedonia on April 25.
Besides the "Ljuboten" case, there is a possibility for investigation of the case of molesting and sexual abuse of the 4 building workers by the Albanian terrorists, as well as the "Trebos" case, when 3 police officers were killed, after the deadline that was envisaged for the disarmament of the so-called NLA.
U.N. tribunal, Macedonian experts start digging in first war crimes probe in Macedonia.
By KONSTANTIN TESTORIDES, Associated Press Writer
SKOPJE, Macedonia - Two bodies were unearthed Monday as experts from the U.N. war crimes tribunal and Macedonian officials took the first step in a war crimes investigation initiated by the Netherlands-based court, a government source said.
The human remains were uncovered at a suspected burial site in Ljuboten, a village 5 kilometers (3 miles) north of the Macedonian capital, Skopje, while NATO troops secured the area and international monitors stood by, the government source told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The exhumation was the first conducted in this Balkan country with regard to a war crimes investigation, following fighting last year between Macedonian forces and ethnic Albania rebels who launched an insurgency in a quest for more rights for their community, a third of the country's two million population.
The two bodies were placed in metal coffins and transported to Skopje where forensic experts will try to determine whether they were executed, the same source said. The digging is to continue Tuesday, but it was unclear how many bodies were expected to be unearthed.
Reporters were banned from Ljuboten, and U.N. war crimes tribunal experts declined to comment on their investigation.
Ethnic Albanian residents of Ljuboten accuse Macedonian forces of having killed 10 villagers during a sweep-up operation there last August. The onslaught was triggered by a land-mine explosion that killed eight Macedonian soldiers near the village.
A report by the U.S.-based Human Rights Watch said that after the mine explosion, Macedonian forces shelled Ljuboten for three days in August 2001.
After the shelling, several hundred police entered the village, going house-to-house and killing six people on sight. Scores of houses were burned and the villagers terrorized, the human rights group said. Two men from the village were later executed and three others shot as they tried to flee their burning homes, the group reported.
The Human Rights Watch report concluded that the crackdown was motivated by revenge.
During a visit to Macedonia in November, U.N. chief prosecutor Carla Del Ponte announced that the Ljuboten offensive would be investigated for war crimes committed by government forces against the ethnic Albanians.
The conflict in Macedonia ended after a peace agreement reached in August promised more rights for the ethnic Albanian minority and NATO troops arrived to collect rebel weapons and monitor the peace deal's implementation.
Exhumation Under Way in Macedonia War Crimes Probe.
LJUBOTEN, Macedonia (Reuters) - Forensic experts began digging up graves Monday in an ethnic Albanian village in northern Macedonia where a rights group says security forces killed nine civilians during last year's conflict.
The U.N. war crimes tribunal, which has launched an investigation into the allegations, said it was working with local authorities on the exhumations at a cemetery on the outskirts of the village of Ljuboten.
After investigating violence in Ljuboten last August, New York-based Human Rights Watch accused security forces of reprisal killings of civilians.
Macedonian officials have denied the allegation, saying the dead were ethnic Albanian guerrillas.
Macedonian experts, their mouths covered by white masks, unearthed two individual graves on the first day of the exhumations. Fellow villagers buried those killed in the August violence at the cemetery last year.
Reporters saw one body being put in a blue plastic bag and later lowered into a metal casket.
Officials from the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague were present at the exhumations, as were international monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
"We are working with the local authorities," U.N. war crimes deputy prosecutor Graham Blewitt told Reuters by telephone from The Hague. "It has been in the works for some months."
Quoting testimony from villagers, Human Rights Watch said security forces had shot dead six civilians, killed three in random shelling and beaten scores of detainees after 10 soldiers died in a land mine explosion near Ljuboten.
The government said the casualties were "terrorists" killed in battle, just days before a Western-brokered peace deal was signed to end a six-month guerrilla insurgency in the name of better rights for Macedonia's large Albanian minority.
MULTIETHNIC POLICE FORCES DID NOT PATROL IN VEJCE VILLAGE.
The multiethnic police teams did not patrol Monday in Tetovo village of Vejce, the Media Activity Center within the governmental Coordinate Crisis Management Body announced.
The patrols in the other crisis villages are carried out without any problems, according to the schedules. The police also patrol in Ribnica, Tanuse, Grekaj and Bibaj villages in Gostivar area.
According to the Media Activity Center, it was relatively calm without any armed incidents during the night in Tetovo and Kumanovo regions. However occasional violations of the public peace and order with smaller intensity were registered.
It is relatively calm in Tetovo crisis region with no shootings in the past few hours. Unlike the morning, frequent shootouts from various kinds of weaponry were registered Sunday night, MIA's special correspondent reported.
According to the Interior Department in Tetovo, the intensity of the shootouts was increased around midnight. Early in the morning, at about 02.00h, a 15-minute long shooting occurred in the settlement of Gorna Carsija, while some frequent shootouts were evidenced coming from other districts in the central area of the town.
Shots were registered in the village of Mala Recica, as well as in the locality of Rasadiste near Tetovo - Popova Sapka road, while repeated riffle and sporadic shots came from the villages of Lisec, Gajre and other Tetovo villages all night long until Monday morning.
It is relatively calm in Kumanovo - Lipkovo region with no violations of the public order and peace, MIA's special correspondent reports.
A total of 80 sporadic shots from infantry weaponry were registered Sunday afternoon up to 20h, coming from the villages of Vaksince, Matejce, Ropaljce, Vistica, Nikustak and the locality of Bukurica.
Shootouts were directed towards indefinite targets. The Macedonian security forces did not respond to the armed provocations.
PM GEORGIEVSKI: REQUESTS FOR MINISTER BOSKOVSKI'S DISMISSAL ARE UNACCEPTABLE.
Macedonian Prime Minister Ljubcho Georgievski said Monday in Bitola that the requests for dismissing Minister of Interior Ljube Boskovski "have not been acceptable" and that it is "complex issue."
"On one hand we have amnesty for all those who fought against Macedonia's sovereignty - the terrorists and their commanders, and on the other hand it is requested to discharge the head of the Ministry of Interior, If that happens it would be defeat for Macedonia and recognition that those who fought against it were right," Georgievski said.
According to him, " the international community is not to be blamed, but some Macedonian politicians that started the campaign in close cooperation with certain media."
"It is daily politics. I cannot and there is no need to convince the people from the international community, but I do not know how to explain this to the Macedonian politicians and media that do not understand the security system.
Macedonian 'lions' played the crucial mission in defending the fatherland, and especially in defending Tetovo, Kumanovo and many other places," Georgievski said.
He denied that anyone from the Government had any relation with the "new owners" of "Lozar" and "CIP Produkt."
"The problem has legal epilogue and I think that it should be resolved in the Court of Law. We are familiar with the operations of the judicial institutions where many cases are awaiting their resolution and the communication between the Government and the judicial is not on the necessary level," Georgievski said.
He was decisive that after the dismissal of TAT's bankruptcy manager, the robbed money would be returned. Georgievski said that he would meet Monday afternoon with the representatives of the savers and they would agree on "concrete modalities."
Today, Georgievski opened the renovated street in Bitola "Sirok Sokak."
Georgievski reminded that 1,3 million were invested in the reconstruction that began in September 2000. The first stage of the project is realized and area of 14,000 square meters was covered with granite boards.
"In the past 20 years, two larger projects were realized in the field of cultural inheritance's protection - the reconstruction of 'St. Kliment' Church on Plaosnik in Ohrid and 'Sirok Sokak' in Bitola," Georgievski emphasized.
He said that every metropolis has a place where the most important cultural events take part, and Bitola has this street, which is not the symbol only of its citizens.
"Sirok sokak is reconstructed and the revived glamour from the end of 19th and the beginning of 20th century, when Macedonia and especially Bitola was center of the European influence is revived, means that the gate towards Europe is opened again," Georgievski said.
According to him, although Macedonia is in difficult situation, finances have been provided for the second stage of the reconstruction, which includes restoration of facades.
The Bureau for protection of cultural monuments in Bitola should determine the exact date for commencing the second stage of the project.
Clients of the bankrupted savings banks TAT, "Lavci" and "Alfa S" will receive a compensation for their losses, representatives of the clients' associations said Monday after their meeting with Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski in Bitola.
A project for reimbursement of the clients' deposits is ready, and the Government is to discuss it at its session on April 17. In the meantime, similar meeting will take place.
The suggested project is acceptable and requires determining of few details, representatives of the clients' association say.
PUTIN'S LETTER TO PRESIDENT TRAJKOVSKI.
Russian Ambassador to Macedonia Agaron Asatur delivered Monday a letter to Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski by his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
"Thank you for your warm message. I share your opinion about the reach and dynamic political dialogue between our two countries. I am sure that the bilateral cooperation will keep on developing successfully for the benefit of our peoples," the letter reeds.
"We shall continue to work on realization of the activities we have agreed at our last year meetings. It is very important to enforce the decisions, made at the first session of the Intergovernmental Committee for Economic and Scientific Cooperation. In this respect, we consider that Macedonian Vice-Premier Zoran Krstevski should Moscow. Recently, Russian Minister of Health Care Jurij Schevchenko has been appointed for co-chairman of the Committee, and is ready to work together with his Macedonian colleague.
We pay great attention to developments in Macedonia and the entire Balkans.
Russia will keep supporting Macedonia's territorial integrity and sovereignty and the efforts of its leadership for peaceful surpassing of the crisis.
Please accept my sincere gratitude for your invitation to visit Macedonia. I'll certainly do that when circumstances will allow it. The date may be set additionally by the diplomatic offices," Putin's letter reeds.
ECONOMIC CHAMBERS OF YUGOSLAVIA'S SUCCESSOR COUNTRIES TO HOLD MEETING.
President of Macedonian Economic Chamber Dusan Petreski told Monday the press conference that the fifth official meeting of the economic chambers' presidents of former Yugoslavian countries would be held in Skopje on Tuesday.
The presidents from all economic chambers of former Yugoslav countries will participate at the meeting expect the Croatian but the presence of guests from Bulgarian Chamber were announced.
The meeting will focus on the "higher levels of cooperation as precondition for accelerating the liberalization processes and as stability factor in the integration process." The other topics of discussion also include revitalization of the cooperation among the chambers in order to promote the economic and trade cooperation, stimulation of the liberalization as well as establishment of free trade zones.
Petreski said that Macedonia would have benefits from the openness of the Macedonian economy and the new relations through the free trade agreements, because according to him the closure leads to decline in the economy.
Tuesday's meeting will also focus on the project "Southeast European Chamber Network - Mutual Information System of the Chambers in the Region," which is in its final stage and refers to information links of the mutually programmed activities for staff education and exchange of experience for technical and technological development of the chambers.
The booklet "Invest in Republic of Macedonia" was also promoted Monday in order to stimulate those who want to make investments in the country.
WORLD HEALTH DAY.
This year's motto of the World health Day "Move for Health" is a call to individuals, communities and states to unite the action for health, with the task of public health for prevention.
The secret for good health begins with systematic and good habits in nutrition, along with adequate physical activity. Antique science is the witness for this, but also the large number of epidemiological data, which suggest that nutrition habits and moderate physical activity can reduce the appearance of heart and brain defects, diabetes of type 2, as well as some malignant illnesses.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that by the year 2020, non-contagious diseases will cause more than 70% of the diseases.
Non-contagious diseases are the ones, which people acquire through time, as a result of the things they eat and their lifestyle. Individual behavior is only part of the problem. Poverty, violence, fierce social and economic changes, lack of education, non-adequate health services and lack of clear directions of politics also contribute to the increase in the number of malignant diseases, diabetes or cardiac-vascular diseases, along with AIDS and malaria.
WHO estimates that the lack of physical activity contributes to more than 2 million deaths per year. It is estimated that combination of inappropriate nutrition, lack of physical activity and smoking are the cause for 80% of early coronary heart diseases.
In countries with great diversity, such as China, Finland and USA, studies show that even the relatively moderate changes in the lifestyle are enough for prevention of the development of nearly 60% of the diabetes type 2 cases.
Probably one third of the malignant diseases can be prevented with healthy nutrition, normal body weight and physical activity. Inactivity significantly increases the risk of high blood pressure, circulatory disorders, osteoporosis, depression and anxiety.
In the USA, body overweight causes death to 300,000 persons per year, a number, which is only smaller from the number of deaths caused by smoking.
The high rate of body overweight is also seen in many countries of Latin America, Middle East and Asia. Some nations that live on the islands in the Western Pacific have a significantly high rate of body overweight. It is estimated that around 200,000 people can become overweight in China in the following decade.
Physical activity of any kind makes people feel better. Minimum amount of physical activity for prevention of a disease is at least 30 minutes of moderate activity per day.
Lack of physical activity is the most significant cause of death, diseases and defects. Preliminary data of the WHO study on different factors points to the fact that passive lifestyle is one of the 10 leading global reasons for death and disabilities. More than 2 million deaths per year are owed to physical inactivity.
Between 65%-80% of the adults in the world are not active enough.
The passive lifestyle increases all causes of death, doubles the risk of cardiac-vascular diseases, diabetes, overweight and significantly increases the risk of cancer of the large intestine, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, depression and anxiety.
The campaign on the World Health Day 2002 is one of the platforms that concern the changes in the high level policy. The world campaign will especially emphasise the ways in which individuals and communities can influence their health and welfare. It will also give a direction to the creators of the policy and health workers for investing, not only in healing, but also in prevention.
Due to bad weather conditions, the planned and scheduled manifestation for marking of the World Health Day in Skopje will not be realised today. This manifestation will be additionally scheduled.
Another Quake Registered Monday Morning.
Sofia, April 8 (BTA) - The Seismology Center with the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences' Geophysics Institute and the Civil Protection State Agency reported that an earthquake epicentered 130 km southeast of Sofia was registered at 07:38am on Monday.
According to preliminary data, the quake measured 3.4 on the Richter scale and was felt on the territory of the Plovdiv region. No injured or material damage were reported.
A total of 18 tremors have been registered on the country's territory since April 5. The strongest - 4 on the Richter scale, was epicentered in the village of Krumovo (in the Plovdiv region) and occurred at 16:14pm. No one was injured but the quake collapsed chimneys, cracked walls and broke windows. Three committees are assessing the damage.
Cabinet to Pay Affected by the Quakes.
Nikolai Vassilev examines the damages in Plovdiv region.
The villagers in the Plovdiv region whose houses were damaged by the recent quakes will be partially compensated by the government. The money will be allotted from the funds for calamities, damages and accidents, said yesterday Vice-Premier Nikolai Vassilev during his visit to the village of Kroumovo, which is situated at the epicentre of the tremours. The Vice-PM was accompanied by Emergency Situations Minister Nedjet Mollov, head of Civil Defense Nikola Nikolov, District Governor of Plovdiv Dr Gyoka Hadjipetrov and NMS MP Nonka Matova.
Southern Bulgaria rattled by 18th earthquake in three days.
SOFIA, Bulgaria - A minor earthquake (news - web sites) rattled southern Bulgaria on Monday, the 18th to strike the southern part of the country in the last three days, the seismological institute reported.
The temblor, with a preliminary magnitude of 3.4, occurred Monday morning 130 kilometers (81 miles) southeast of Sofia, the institute said.
A total of 18 quakes with preliminary magnitudes between 2.6 and 4 have been registered in the region since Friday.
No injuries have been reported, but 700 houses suffered roof damage, fallen chimneys, broken window panes and cracked walls.
Parvanov to be Welcomed With Meeting in Kozloduy.
Advocates of the Nuclear Power Plant will protest against the early close-down of the reactors I and II in front of the Power Engineer's Center in Kozloduy today. The rally starts at 5 p.m. and is organized by the newly established National Round Table 'Kozloduy NPP Burial - Pro and Con'. The protest will precede the tomorrow's visit of President Georgi Parvanov to the power plant.
King's Emissaries to Hunt for Party Members.
The King's Politburo instructions envisage the NMS party to have representatives in every municipality.
Emissaries of the NMS party - which was established on Saturday, will start enrolling party members from all over the country as early as this week, Nikolai Bliznakov, NMS secretary said for "Standart". "Our ambitions are to enroll as many people willing to work for Bulgaria as possible," Bliznakov elaborated. The idea of the NMS is to have representatives of their own in each municipality.
MNS Registration To Face Failure.
The NMS party may not be registered by the court, jurists forecast yesterday. To them, there are technical omissions in the statute. Other procedure errors were made at the constituent congress on Saturday. The delegates laid their signatures only on one copy of the constituent protocol, and the court requires two sets of documents. We will not have problems with the registration, Kiril Milchev from NMS was flat.
MP's Office Transferred into NMS Headquarters.
NMS deputy Konstantin Penchev gave his office to the political party NMS. It was his former notarial office. It is on a street that crosses the Rakovski Blvd where the headquarters of the UDF are situated as well. "The Rakovski Blvd is about to become the Silicon Valley of Bulgarian politics," Finance Minister Milen Velchev elaborated.
BSP: Government is Narcissus.
The NMS government lapsed into the position of Narcissus. The rulers have problems with readability. If they do not take to solving the social issues of the people, the government won't survive, Sergei Stanishev - leader of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), forecast in Targovishte yesterday. More and more young people trust the left-wing coalition. 4,000 enrolled as members of the BSP only for the first trimester of 2002, Stanishev boasted.
Despite September 11, foreign investments in Bulgaria hit record US$ 194 Mln, Deputy PM Vassilev says.
During the last quarter of 2001, the influx of foreign investments in Bulgaria amounted to 194.4 million US dollars, up from 114 million dollars in the third quarter and 100 million dollars in the second quarter, Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Nikolay Vassilev said, addressing Parliament during Question Time on Friday. He added that GloBul actually accounted for half of the 279 million dollars reported as investments for the first quarter of 2001. The fourth-quarter record was achieved despite the September 11 attacks on the US and the deterioration of the international market situation, Vassilev said. In the first quarter of 2002, privatization has already brought in 189 million leva even though small enterprises were sold, Vassilev said.
BG and Foreign Firms to Build Up 'Belene' NPP.
Companies from Russia, Canada, USA and Europe aspire for the second nuclear plant.
"Belene NPP completion will go on for 7 or 8 years and will cost some $1.5 billion. The reactor could be put in operation in 2010," Eng. Petar Simeonov - CEO of 'Belene' Nuclear Power Plant said for the BNR (Bulgarian National Radio). He stressed that companies from Russia, Canada, France and Bulgaria are ready to invest in the power plant. Energy Minister Milko Kovachev added, that firms from Europe and the USA also show interest in 'Belene'. To Ognyan Gerdjikov - chairman of the National Assembly, consortium of Bulgarian and foreign investors is likely to finance the project. PM Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha said at the constituent congress of the NMS party, that the construction works of 'Belene' will be resumed. Some $1.5 billion have been invested in the construction project so far, which will guarantee the opening of over 10,000 jobs. The latest assessments envisage 904 million levs on the decommissioning of the reactors I and II in 'Kozlodui' NPP, while according to the hitherto assessments the sum was less than $350 million, Milko Kovachev said further. eA 40-year term is necessary for the safe close-down of the two Kozlodui reactors, Kovachev elaborated.
Premier Made Political Backtrack.
The aggravating crisis will further lower the credit rating of the prime-minister.
The second attempt of the National Movement "Simeon II" to transform itself into a party was a successful one. This, however, will only temporarily conceal the problems and differences among the rulers. The event, that took place on April 6, was a forcible and painful taking into consideration the realities in the NMS and this country. It was the first great political backtrack of Simeon Saxe-Coburg. The unfulfilled pre-election pledges that led to a sharp drop in the credit rating of the NMS and its leader were the main reasons for this act. What counts, however, is that the atmosphere within the NMS and the faults of its ruling are such that it would be very difficult to maintain the party unity. And if the inefficient state-running persists the personal authority of Simeon will be further undermined and will soon be insufficient to suppress the differences party strife within the newly established formation.
Bulgaria, India Talk Scientific Cooperation.
Sofia, April 8 (BTA) - An Indian delegation led by Minister of State for Department of Science and Technology Bachi Singh Rawat is currently paying a visit here. An intergovernmental program for cooperation in the development of science and technology for the 2002-2004 period is planned to be signed.
After meeting with President Georgi Purvanov Monday morning, Rawat said the two exchanged valuable views on bilateral relations and their future development.
"We have established a wonderful tradition in bilateral relations and we have appreciated highly the active contacts on all possible levels in the last couple of years," Purvanov said at the beginning of the meeting and added that relations with India are part of Bulgaria's foreign policy strategy together with EU integration.
Bulgaria can borrow from India's vast experience in science, education and technology, Purvanov noted.
PM Saxe-Coburg-Gotha Leaves for London to Attend Funeral of Queen Mother.
Sofia, April 8 (BTA) - Prime Minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha left for London by a regular flight Monday to attend the funeral of Queen Mother Elizabeth.
Upon his departure from Sofia Airport Saxe-Coburg-Gotha told reporters that by protocol he will attend the funeral in his capacity as Prime Minister and will represent Bulgaria. He added that this was how they agreed with President Purvanov.
After the funeral on Tuesday Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha will attend a dinner at Buckingham Palace as relative of the British royal family.
Asked by reporters whether he has personal impressions of the Queen Mother, the Prime Minister said: "Yes, and this is why I wish to attend the funeral because she was an exceptional person in terms of courage, vitality and optimism which was not easy as there were some very difficult times in her life.
She kept good memories of my Mother and Father from the time they paid an official visit to Britain."
Asked whether he will have any meetings in London, the Prime Minister said he will meet some acquaintances from the Middle East on Monday evening."
Foreign royals to attend Queen Mother's funeral.
LONDON (Reuters) - Buckingham Palace expects 25 members of royal families from around the world to attend Tuesday's funeral of Britain's Queen Mother, who died on March 30 aged 101.
Kings and queens of Spain, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, Brunei and Jordan will attend the ceremony in London's Westminster Abbey, the Palace said on its website.
Bulgaria's former King Simeon II, now Prime Minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg, will attend the funeral, the Bulgarian government press office said.
Former German President Richard von Weizsaecker will represent Germany at the funeral. A spokesperson for Irish President Mary McAleese said she would attend the service.
French diplomatic sources said France would be represented at the funeral by Bernadette Chirac, wife of President Jacques Chirac, and by Senate speaker Christian Poncelet.
Radanova Won Silver at 500-m Short-Track Race.
Bulgaria's top short-track athlete - Evgenia Radanova, won the silver medal at 500-m distance during the World Championship in Montreal (Canada). Radanova - reigning world champion in the same discipline, attained the result of 44.588 sec. Yang Yang A (China) took the gold at the final - 44.460 sec. Another Chinese representative - Jung Lu ranked third with 44.460 sec. In February during the Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City the three of them finished just like that. Radanova topped the standing in her qualification series. She reached 44.747 sec. at the quarterfinal, while at the semifinal her result was 45.202 sec.
Slavka Slavova Passed Away.
The Melpomene's priestess played to her last gasp.
Today, the art world of Bulgaria, as well as the common people are to pay their last respects to great actress Slavka Slavova who died of heart attack on Saturday noon.
Skopje, April 8 (BTA) - A Bulgarian Cinema Week will be held here April 11-17 which will showcase the best Bulgarian animated, full length and documentary features of the past decade. The program of the event will then move to Bitolya April 18-24.
The event is co-organized by the Bulgarian National Film Archive and the Film Archive of Macedonia. It will be the biggest event ever held in Macedonia to showcase Bulgarian culture and will come as a response to the Days of Macedonian Cinema events recently held in Sofia and Plovdiv.
Each of the features that will be screened has already garnered international and domestic accolades.
In a related development, "Shooting party for wolves" recently became the first Bulgarian TV series to air on Macedonian television.
FAIR: Time Magazine Ignores KLA Drug Charges.
Reality Macedonia - Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting
ACTION ALERT: Time Magazine Ignores KLA Drug Charges.
Are Editors Following Contra Tradition?
May 17, 1999
Time magazine's May 17 issue ran a feature on the funding of the Kosovo Liberation Army, titled "A Fighting Chance," suggesting that the KLA is sustained by donations from ethnic Albanians outside of Kosovo. The article reports that the Republic of Kosova Fund holds "more than $33 million" in a bank in Albania, yet in a graphic titled "How the KLA Gets Its Money," Time cheerfully reports that the KLA gets its money from "fund raisers, mailings and other sources." What "other sources"? Bake sales? Time doesn't say.
Fortunately, there has been some investigation into the question. The London Times on March 24 cited an intelligence report that indicated as much as half of the funding for the KLA's guerrilla war comes from drug proceeds. And the San Francisco Chronicle on May 5 reported that European and U.S. law enforcement groups see officers of the KLA as "a major force in international organized crime, moving staggering amounts of narcotics through an underworld network that reaches into the heart of Europe."
According to the March 24 London Times piece, the police forces of three European countries and Europol are all independently investigating "growing evidence that drug money is funding the KLA's leap from obscurity to power."
The Times went on to say that "Albania--which plays a key role in channeling money to the Kosovans--is at the hub of Europe's drug trade," and that Europol is "preparing a report for European interior and justice ministers on a connection between the KLA and Albanian drug gangs." The San Francisco Chronicle reported that, according to Interpol, "the Balkan Route is a principal thoroughfare for an illicit drug traffic worth $400 billion annually."
Even the U.S. government has been concerned over KLA-drug ties for at least four years--the Chronicle cites a 1995 advisory by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration that "warned of the possibility 'that certain members of the ethnic Albanian community in the Serbian region of Kosovo have turned to drug trafficking in order to finance their separatist activities.'"
Ties between the U.S. government and the KLA are so close that, as Time reports (5/17/99), although "Washington is still shying away from directly arming the KLA, a senior administration official admitted a fortnight ago for the first time that 'we're in some respects now the KLA's airforce.'"
In light of that, one would think that investigating allegations of the KLA's drug smuggling activities--which, if true, imply a possible U.S. connection to the European heroin trade-- would be a top journalistic priority. Instead, Time sentimentalized its KLA story, ending with an anecdote about an ethnic Albanian farmer in Macedonia giving his entire life-savings of $8 to a fund for refugees. In return, the farmer received a receipt--with "no inscription of the collector's name or the purpose of the donation"--that "now holds pride of place in Bejadini's empty wallet, next to the picture of his wife."
Why didn't Time mention the ongoing international investigations of the KLA's suspected role in the heroin trade? A look back at Time 's Iran-Contra coverage sheds some light.
In a 1987 investigation into allegations of drug-smuggling by the Nicaraguan Contras, Time staff writer Laurence Zuckerman found serious evidence of Contra-cocaine links, but his story was never run. Why not? A senior editor acknowledged to Zuckerman: "Time is institutionally behind the contras. If this story were about the Sandinistas and drugs, you'd have no trouble getting it in the magazine." (Read "Time Suppresses Contra Drug Story" for more information.)
Too bad Serbia isn't the hub of the European heroin trade--it would have made a great story.
ACTION: Ask Time why its coverage has ignored charges that the KLA gets much of its funding from drug-smuggling. Urge Time to conduct a more skeptical investigation of where the KLA's money actually comes from.