Saturday, July 30

To Pedro : July 30, 2011, 20:48 quote

Pedro wrote: Kosovo will never be a serbian land dont even dream about that Ivan, why the NATO bombed Serbia becous of war crimes killing children and inosent people, lets face the trouth , Slovenia dident want to be with Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Macedonia, what you think just you people are smarter then others pffff serbia will lose Vojvodina too that is Hungarian part just watch by time Serbia will not exist will be just as the historians say " Beogradski Pasaluk" thats mean just small area. By the way RT needs to send some reporters inside Kosovo and to ask serbes who lives there how they live there ect 70 % of serbs in Kosovo they dont like Serbs from Serbia , go take a story ask them they will tell you haow they treat in serbia , in serbia they live in Tends in Kosovo goverment they have made hous for them , but i will tell you one thing who have hands with blod they cant live in Kosovo thats a trouth, there is no forgivnes for them, and who is clean he can live like any other nationalitys there, in middle of Prishtina you can find Serbs having there own busnes ect but they have clean hands they are not nationalists by the way they are serbs from Kosovo, and who do those trubles are those serbs from serbia and they are not welcome no where not just in kosovo cous they hate EU, USA, they like just NAZI from Russia "means nationalists". About Kosovo Special Forces they have done what they have need to do before 10 years ago, this one is just a LEASON for serbs from serbia to show them that they can stop Drug and Criminal acts entering in Republic of Kosovo.

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Answer to Pedro: this political pamphlets of yours, maybe convincing for Albanian terrorists in Kosovo and some semi educated readers from UK and USA, but for all other readers, with even elementary school, it is simple propaganda. Go back to your history teacher, ask him (her) to give you back the money from their salaries, because they have learned you nothing. The same thing for your English language teacher. With the God will, it would be appropriate if your country and your people experience the same happenings as Serbia and Serbs did in last 60 years. In that case your opinion could be respected.

USA: Congress wants to spy on everyone's Internet

Goodbye, civil liberties! The government is using a bill disguised as anti-child pornography legislation to allow them to start monitoring Web-usage of everyone.
The Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011 (H.R. 1981) is aiming to keep the Web safe for children, but in the process it will treat any user logging on to the Internet as a potential criminal. Bill sponsor Lamar Smith, House judiciary committee chairman and Representative from Texas, says that pedophiles have been able to avoid prosecution in the past because vital records linking them to web usage were never required to be retained. Under H.R. 1981, Internet Service Providers would have to hold onto those records for 12 months. Those records, however, won’t apply to just suspected child pornographers and pedophiles. Instead, ISPs will be doing data retention on all of their customers. If passed, the bill will keep the names, addresses, phone numbers, credit card numbers, bank account numbers and temporarily-assigned IP addresses of everyone on the Internet on file for a full year. Smith says that the law is similar to what telephone companies are currently required to do by keeping phone records of their customers. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), however, says it’s just an attempt to pry even deeper into the public lives of citizens. “This is not about child porn. It never has been and never will be,” Issa said. “This is a convenient way for law enforcement to get what they couldn’t get in the PATRIOT Act.” Issa further added that he is “offended” that lawmakers would use the issue of child pornography to gain leverage in passing the law. Fellow California Democratic Representative Zoe Lofgren shared the same sentiments as Issa. “This is among the most astounding increases in the power of the federal government to gain access to private information,” she said.
“The bill is mislabeled,” Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) tells CNET. "This is not protecting children from Internet pornography. It's creating a database for everybody in this country for a lot of other purposes." Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) proposed an amendment to H.R. 1981 which would limit the data retention to only cases involving child pornography or terrorism. Despite that being why backers claim the bill exists, it ended up being withdrawn. When he tried another amendment to reduce the time that data is retained from one year to 180 days, it failed to win on the voting floor. Rep. Smith responded that doing so could undermine current cases regarding other issues. In a statement issued by the Center for Democracy & Technology out of Washington DC, the non-profit advocacy group says that the passing of H.R. 1981 would “fundamentally violate users’ rights to privacy and free expression.” The CDT adds that telephone companies that offer Internet service to customers will be faced with an enormous burden of handling the request of data retention, which will be a costly mandate to wireless carriers. “In other words, the data retention provisions in H.R. 1981 would threaten our civil liberties, create significant economic burdens for small businesses and wireless carriers, and put consumers at a greater risk for identity theft and other privacy invasions,” writes the DCT. In addition to receiving backing from Rep. Smith, H.R. 1981 is also receiving praise from Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the National Center for Victims of Crime, the National Sheriff’s Association, the Major County Sheriff’s Association, the International Union of Police Associations and the Fraternal Order of Police.

NATO IN KOSOVO

Dopo anni di apparente gelo, la rivalità etnica tra la popolazione serba e quella kosovara ormai diventata indipendente, inizia nuovamente a farsi sentire. Ieri sera alcune unità speciali della polizia kosovara sono state inviate a presidiare due punti molto importanti lungo il confine con la Serbia, per mettere in atto il tanto criticato blocco doganale deciso la scorsa settimana dal governo kosovaro. L’ intervento da molti considerato strategico, non è piaciuto affatto ai serbi residenti nella zona, che muniti di pietre e granate, hanno dato vita ad una serie di forti scontri con la polizia locale. Quattro gli agenti kosovari feriti. Nel frattempo l’ Unione Europea si è prontamente affrettata a smentire ogni forma di coinvolgimento nell’operazione, dichiarando più volte che la questione dovrebbe essere risolta tramite la diplomazia. Anche il presidente serbo Tadic (odiato più che mai dai nazionalisti serbi per la cattura del generale Ratko Mladic) ha invitato il proprio popolo alla calma, avvertendo che ogni iniziativa unilaterale rischia di minare completamente il processo di dialogo tra Belgrado e Pristina, controllato ormai da Bruxelles. In questo momento la situazione è in qualche modo gestita da alcune truppe della Nato.

NOTES: Today a NATO convoy in the north of Serbia has had to turn back from its intended route after a crowd of Serb protesters blocked its path on Friday. Hundreds barricaded the road in response to the alliance taking control of two checkpoints at Kosovo’s border with Serbia on Thursday. NATO troops had moved in after a series of clashes between Kosovar police and Serb protesters, over control of the crossings.

«Mi vuole morto». E stavolta non è una metafora!

Dev'essere però successo qualcosa se Berlusconi in questi giorni si è mostrato più nervoso del solito, se - affrontando l'argomento - ha sostenuto di sentirsi davvero «nel mirino» del Colonnello e di temere non solo per sé ma «anche per la mia famiglia». Per interpretare lo stato d'animo del premier bisognerebbe decrittare un inciso del suo ragionamento - «l'ho saputo da mie fonti certe» - che lascia intuire come stavolta la notizia non gli sia arrivata attraverso i canali ufficiali dell'intelligence: «Sono in pericolo di vita, e purtroppo non solo io ma anche i miei figli. L'ho saputo da mie fonti certe che Gheddafi ha dato disposizione di farmi fuori. "Lo dovete ammazzare", così ha detto».

Non è dato sapere quali siano queste «fonti certe», è certo che Berlusconi è parso scosso, e la confidenza è stata quasi liberatoria, se è vero che il suo ragionamento era partito dall'analisi della situazione politica interna, dai motivi della crisi di consensi del Pdl. «Tra questi motivi c'è anche la guerra in Libia», secondo il Cavaliere, che a sostegno della tesi può vantare i dati riservati degli amatissimi sondaggi. L'inquietudine però non era legata stavolta alle vicissitudini di partito, quanto alle informazioni che gli erano giunte, non si sa per quale via, da Tripoli: «L'ho saputo da mie fonti certe. Quello mi vuole morto».

Ed è per certi versi singolare l'atteggiamento di Berlusconi, che - parlando del caso - al timore per la propria incolumità unisce il cruccio per aver visto saltare le relazioni con la Libia, che definisce ancora «il mio capolavoro diplomatico»: «A Tripoli c'erano manifesti giganti che mi ritraevano con Gheddafi mentre ci stringevamo la mano. E lui ha preso il nostro intervento militare come un tradimento». Che fosse contrario al conflitto è noto, «a suo tempo - ha ricordato - avevo messo in guardia i nostri partner internazionali, e anche in patria avevo spiegato che l'operazione non sarebbe stata facile, e che ci avrebbe potuto danneggiare».

Fin dalle prime fasi della missione aveva manifestato il proprio scetticismo: «Non penso che la guerra sarà breve e temo anche che sarà difficile interporre una mediazione con Gheddafi. Dopo essere stato il leader di una rivoluzione, non credo sarà disposto ad andare in esilio. Perciò non vedo una soluzione. E a dir la verità nessuno sa come andrà a finire». Prima di schierarsi a fianco della Nato, il suo atteggiamento dilatorio gli aveva attirato critiche in Italia e all'estero: «Poi, davanti alle pressioni degli Stati Uniti, alla presa di posizione di Napolitano e al voto del nostro Parlamento, che potevo fare? Non sono solo io a decidere. Ma vai a spiegarlo a chi è abituato a comandare, come Gheddafi. Le regole della democrazia non le capisce».

Il generale Younes, capo dei ribelli libici, non era stato ancora ucciso quando Berlusconi ha rivelato le proprie paure personali e ribadito riservatamente le proprie critiche sulla missione. E non c'è dubbio che l'Italia continuerà ad aiutare gli insorti, «nulla può farci recedere dal nostro impegno», ripeteva ieri il ministro degli Esteri, Frattini: «Certo, la morte di Younes dimostra che la situazione non è semplice, che Gheddafi ha ancora delle energie. Ma la pressione militare, unita alle iniziative diplomatiche, continuerà. La strada è ormai tracciata, e prima o poi il regime crollerà dall'interno».

Sarà, ma il Cavaliere si interroga sulla piega che hanno preso gli eventi in quell'angolo di Mediterraneo, e si chiede cosa ne sia oggi della «primavera» che dal Cairo si era propagata in Africa e in Medio Oriente: in Egitto le donne manifestano perché i loro diritti sono spariti dalla nuova Costituzione; in Tunisia è stato prorogato «a tempo indeterminato» lo stato d'emergenza; in Siria la repressione non si ferma davanti ai documenti di condanna della comunità internazionale. E in Libia, quattro mesi dopo l'inizio degli attacchi aerei, non solo gli insorti non riescono a controllare il territorio, ma il Raìs - che doveva essere processato all'Aja per crimini di guerra - si permette di rifiutare l'exit strategy propostagli dalla Gran Bretagna.

«Ora Gheddafi rischia di rimanere», ha commentato Berlusconi: «E quello che in quell'area era il nostro migliore amico è diventato il nostro peggior nemico. Un danno per l'Italia». Una preoccupazione in più per il Cavaliere, che già si sentiva braccato politicamente, giudiziariamente e finanziariamente, e ora sostiene di essere minacciato fisicamente: «Quello mi vuole morto. L'ho saputo da mie fonti certe».

Thursday, July 28

A walk in the forest with Russia’s Rambos

Federal aid won't cover 9/11-related cancer

New Yorkers in the area during the World Trade Center attacks now suffering from cancer will not be covered under federal aid, the National Institute for Occupation Safety and Health reported Tuesday.
NIOSH says that there is “insufficient evidence” to note a correlation between the September 11 and types of cancer, despite an influx in disease cases among first responders and Manhattan residents.
Senator Chuck Schumer tells The Associated Press that the findings are premature. "So many people have gotten such rare cancers — and at young ages — that it seems obvious there must be a link,” Schumer says.
In a release issued yesterday by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC quotes WTC Administration John Howard, M.D as saying that there is not an absence of a casual association between cancers and the exposure of the 9/11 aftermath. At this time, however, a casual association is not found in published scientific and medical materials, he says. As a result, “determination cannot be made to propose a rule to add cancer, or a type of cancer, to the List of WTC-Related Health Conditions at this time,” reads the press release.
"As new research and findings are released, we will continue to do periodic reviews of cancer for the World Trade Center Health Program,” adds Dr. Howard.
"Every time we bury a New York City firefighter: Cancer. Cancer. Cancer,” says Kenneth Specht to the Daily News. Specht himself is a firefighter who is fighting a battle with thyroid cancer.
“How can that not be included? It's absolutely unacceptable."
The DCD notes that data will be reviewed once again next year, signaling hope for those who suffer from various cancers. First responders and area residents have been lobbying for federal assistance for their disease but, even ten years after 9/11, must continue without aid.
Several congressmen involved in the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act responded to the news out of NIOSH by saying, “We are confident that studies on the effects of the toxins at ground zero . . . will ultimately provide the scientific evidence that Dr. Howard needs to make this determination. Thankfully, we know that today’s announcement is not the last word on the inclusion of cancers in the program.”

Grenzstreit mit Kosovo: Serbische Angreifer schießen auf Nato-Soldaten

Die Gewalt an der Grenze von Kosovo und Serbien eskaliert. Angehörige der serbischen Minderheit im Norden des Kosovo haben nach Angaben des staatlichen Fernsehsenders RTS einen der seit Montag umkämpften Grenzübergänge in Brand gesteckt. Außerdem beschossen die Angreifer den benachbarten Posten der Nato-Schutztruppe Kfor.
Anfang der Woche hatten Spezialeinheiten der kosovarischen Polizei die Grenzübergänge Brnjak und Jarinje besetzt. Ziel der Aktion war, ein Importverbot für serbische Güter durchzusetzen. Am Dienstag kam es zu gewalttätigen Ausschreitungen, bei denen ein kosovarischer Polizist getötet wurde. Starke Verbände der Kfor sicherten daraufhin die Grenze, während sich Angehörige der serbischen Minderheit hinter Straßenblockaden verschanzten.
Nun wurde der Grenzübergang Jarinje erneut angegriffen. Nach Berichten von Augenzeugen sollen Dutzende Maskierte den Posten mit Brandsätzen angezündet haben. Die Angreifer seien zudem mit Äxten, Knüppeln und Brechstangen bewaffnet gewesen. Zoll- und Polizeibeamte flüchteten zu einem benachbarten Kfor-Stützpunkt. Ob bei den Angriffen Menschen verletzt wurden, blieb zunächst unklar.
Die Kfor erklärte, auf ihr Personal sei geschossen worden. Kfor-Soldaten haben den niedergebrannten Grenzübergang inzwischen übernommen. Die Truppen an der Grenze würden verstärkt, um neue Gewalt zu verhindern, sagte der Kfor-Oberkommandierende, der deutsche General Erhard Bühler.
Der Sicherheitsrat der Vereinten Nationen will sich am Donnerstag mit dem Konflikt befassen. Die Europäische Union verurteilte die Gewalt an der Grenze scharf. Die jüngsten Ereignisse seien "inakzeptabel" und "untragbar", erklärte die EU-Außenbeauftragte Catherine Ashton. Sie rief Politiker in Belgrad und Pristina zu einer raschen Lösung des Konflikts auf.

Zwar forderte Serbiens Präsident Boris Tadic ein sofortiges Ende der Gewalt. Die Angreifer bezeichnete er in einer Erklärung als "Hooligans". Doch der politische Zwist zwischen Belgrad und Pristina geht weiter.

Kosovo-Regierungschef Hashim Thaci beschuldigte die serbische Regierung, hinter den gewaltsamen Ausschreitungen am Grenzübergang Jarinje zu stehen. "Die Gewalttaten sind bestellt, geplant und geleitet von den höchsten Ebenen der serbischen Regierung", sagte Thaci am Mittwochabend.
Hintergrund der Auseinandersetzungen ist der Streit um die Kosovo-Zollstempel, die Serbien nicht anerkennen will. Dadurch können Waren aus dem Kosovo nicht nach Serbien gelangen. Die kosovarische Regierung verhängte daraufhin vor knapp einer Woche ein Importverbot für serbische Waren. Serbische Güter dürfen seither nicht mehr eingeführt werden. Eine Spezialeinheit der kosovarischen Polizei sollte die neuen Regelungen an den Grenzübergängen durchsetzen, um dort "Recht und Ordnung" durchzusetzen - dagegen regte sich vor allem bei der serbischen Bevölkerung im Norden des Kosovos Widerstand.
Wegen des Streits ruhen die von der EU vermittelten Verhandlungen zwischen beiden Seiten. Serbien befürchtet, den Kosovo völkerrechtlich anzuerkennen, wenn es seine Zollstempel akzeptiert. Belgrad will die abgefallene Provinz wieder eingliedern. Kosovo ist jedoch inzwischen von mehr als 70 Staaten anerkannt. Darunter sind die große Mehrheit der EU-Mitglieder, die USA, Kanada, Japan, die Türkei und Saudi-Arabien. Die Regelung des Streits ist eine der Voraussetzungen, damit Serbien den Status eines EU-Beitrittskandidaten erhält.

Wednesday, July 27

Twentieth Anniversary.


Blackwater

Hiring private firms to do soldiers’ jobs is politically convenient for the US. However many say the many scandals those contractors provoke both at home and on foreign soil lead to all benefits lost, as they undermine America’s own strategic goals.

The private security firm formerly known as Blackwater is on trial in the US because two ex-employees claim the company overcharged Washington for protecting State Department staff in war zones. The firm, which is now called Xe Services, provides more mercenaries for the US in Afghanistan than anyone else, and has been implicated in a number of scandals. In 2007, its hired guns were accused of gunning down 17 unarmed civilians in Baghdad. Despite a lengthy legal process, no-one was punished over the alleged massacre. Mohammed Kinani’s nine-year-old son Ali was shot dead on that day by trigger-happy US professional killers, along with dozens of other innocent Iraqis, Kinani says. “It appeared they were trying to kill everyone they could see,” he recalls. Two other private American security companies were contracted to carry out interrogations at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Now the name is synonymous with horrific human rights violations including torture, rape and murder. The US Supreme Court recently threw out a lawsuit alleging abuse of prisoners by the contractors. In Afghanistan, it is alleged that human rights violations and even killings are committed by security firms on a regular basis to an extent said to undermine coalition forces’ counterinsurgency efforts. “They’ll start firing at anything that moves; they will injure or kill innocent Afghans and they’ll destroy property,” said Lt. Col. Jeff French, commander of 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment and Task Force Legion. “We’re getting fairly consistent complaints about them. Everybody knows somebody who’s been shot by the contractors,” said Captain Casey Thoreen. The lack of accountability has forced the United Nations Working Group on Mercenaries to push for specific international measures to regulate their activities. It is increasingly important now, because as the US military forces withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan, the number of contractors is set to grow dramatically. “The US government has outsourcers many of the military and security functions to these private security companies. They’re not regulated and they’re not controlled – this is what we are extremely concerned about. We’re calling for regulation on a national and international level, so that these companies are accountable,” Jose Luis Gomez del Prado from the UN Working Group on Mercenaries says. But Washington is reluctant to let an international body regulate their activities, saying it will find its own ways to hold contractors accountable. But so far, the US justice system has largely failed to do so. “We’re seeing around the world cases of kidnapping, rape, murder, and we see vary rare cases when there are criminal cases launched against them,” says Scot Horton, a New York-based attorney specializing in human rights law and the law of armed conflict. Experts say further privatization of war is convenient for the American government, because, among other reasons, it doesn’t have to justify the deaths of troops at home. “The president, whoever the president may be, can get us involved in conflicts only using the uniform forces to do the official fighting and thousands of contractors doing the unofficial fighting that is under the radar, that isn’t being covered by the media,” former Bush administration official Michael O’Brien explains. Here is what Senator Obama said before he became president: “We cannot win a fight for hearts and minds when we outsource critical missions to unaccountable contractors.” But apparently as a president he now thinks differently, with the contractors’ role in America’s wars bound to increase, and with the victims of their crimes still begging for justice.

Pristina wants to take Kosovo north with help of USA

It looked like war. Kosovo special units would appear at border checkpoints alternatively. At sound of siren people would run to access roads blocking them, says a Serb, one of witnesses of the incident provoked by Kosovo authorities in their attempt to take by force the checkpoints at administration border crossings of Jarinje and Brnjak.
The authorities in Pristina ordered the day before yesterday at 22.00 the action of conquering the checkpoints aimed to establish full control over all access roads to Kosovo. A well informed ‘Blic’ source from Pristina claims that Kosovo authorities got no green light for this action either from the KFOR or the EULEX, but that there is grounded suspicion that the USA Ambassador in Pristina Christopher Dell knew about the action.
 

According to our source it is still not certain to which extent the American administration in Pristina was acquainted with all details of the action including the fact that Kosovo authorities were determined in not to withdraw even in case of serious conflict. ‘However, it is very well known that Hashim Thaci does very little on his own and without American Ambassador’, our source adds. As ‘Blic’ learns Dell has a strong influence in Pristina but also interests of his own in Kosovo. He is a diplomat who directly influenced election of Atifeta Jahjaga to the post of Kosovo President. According to our source the KFOR and the EULEX have not given approval for the action. Recall of General Director of Kosovo Police Reshad Malici only speaks in favor to that claim. ‘Malici was not recalled because he was against the action. Prime Minister Thaci recalled him because Malici informed the EULEX about action the police were intending to undertake prior the action had actually begun’, ‘Blic’ source from Pristina says. The special unit called ROSU was involved in the action. As ‘Blic’ learns this unit has between 180 and 200 members. For the first time after foundation of the unit its members crossed the Ibar River and entered the north of Kosovo in an attempt to take over Jarinje and Brnjak. Our source claims that in the first attempt only one third of the unit took part, what means about 60 people. The aim of Kosovo Government was to take over the border crossings at the administration line, introduce total embargo and position itself in the north of Kosovo. The action undertaken the other day was preceded by visit of Kosovo minister Bajram Redzepi to the north of Kosovo. He arrived by a helicopter to yesterday attacked border crossings and talked there with representatives of the KFOR. However, events indicate that the KFOR did not want to play a game of Pristina and the only thing that the KFOR yesterday took part in was pulling of injured ROSU members out of the north. The EULEX condemned the action and warned authorities in Pristina to stop it. However, the most serious incidents in villages near Zubin Potok began yesterday at about 13.00 just when it was expected that members of special Kosovo unit would withdraw from the part of the territory with Serbian population. Within half an hour about ten jeeps came to the village of Stioce. Fire was opened and members of the special unit withdraw to the south again, a Serb from Zubin. ‘It seems they have gone, but they appeared again moving towards the village of Zupce. Members of the ROSU unit were opening fire from automatic guns to everything that was moving, but we managed to push them back again’, a local Serb says. According to the latest information local Serbs are concentrated at all entrances to villages near Zubin Potok. At about 20.00 the KFOR Commander ordered the Portuguese soldiers prevent ROSU unit enter the village of Zupce.

The Soros Fund currently holds onto around $1 billion from outside investors but will be returning it before 2012.

If you have a million dollars to throw towards marijuana legalization, you probably are doing pretty well off.
It shouldn’t come to a surprise then that, after practically bankrupting the UK and earning billions of dollars without flinching, George Soros is throwing in the towel in regards to the investment circuit.
Apparently Soros has had enough of the regulations that are making the money-making game not quite as fun anymore. Now he’s giving money back to investors.
Hedge fund magnate, philanthropist and old rich guy George Soros announced today that, from now on, he will only be managing money for his family and himself. The unexpected announcement marks the end of a nearly four decade career in investing that allows him to currently sit on around $25 billion.
In a letter from sons Jonathan and Robert Soros, both deputy chairmen of Soros Fund Management LLC, the brothers write that “An unfortunate consequence of these new circumstances is that we will no longer be able to manage assets for anyone other than a family client as defined under the regulations.”
The Soros family adds, “We wish to express our gratitude to those who chose to invest their capital with Soros Fund Management LLC over the last nearly 40 years. We trust that you have felt well rewarded for your decision over time.”
The Soros Fund currently holds onto around $1 billion from outside investors but will be returning it before 2012.
One billion might seem like a lot, but is only a fraction of what Soros is worth. In 1992 he bet against the British pound and made that much just through short selling sterling. He’s also contributed another $8 billion to various charities and organizations during the last 30 years. In 2010 he gave one million towards support of California's Proposition 19, aiming to legalize marijuana.
Under new regulations, hedge funds worth more than $150 million will have to report more information to the Securities and Exchange Commission and be subject to periodic inspections. The Soros sons respond to this by noting that, until now, they had relied “on other exemptions from registration which allowed outside shareholders whose interests aligned with those of the family investors to remain invested in Quantum,” referencing its trademark Quantum Endowment Fund. “As those other exemptions are no longer available under the new regulations, Soros Fund Management will now complete the transition to a family office that it began eleven years ago.”

Russia has joined the EU and US in condemning Kosovo's decision to send Special Forces to seize border crossings along the shared frontier with Serbia. Moscow says it threatens to destabilize the region.

"The dramatic deterioration of the situation in northern Kosovo causes our serious concerns," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement published on its website on Wednesday. Russia is worried by growing tensions in northern Kosovo and authorities’ decision to send special forces to seize crossings along the shared border with Serbia, it is said a statement made by the Russian Foreign Minister on Wednesday. Moscow says it threatens to destabilize “the already fragile situation” the region. NATO-led peacekeepers have been deployed to the area to help control the situation which is stoking ethnic tensions. Hundreds of people blocked main roads in response to Kosovan police seizing two disputed border crossings. One police officer was killed in overnight clashes. Kosovo says it is trying to enforce a ban on Serbian imports in response to a similar boycott of Kosovan goods. "We believe that the Kosovo-Albanian authorities' provocative actions destabilize the already fragile situation in the region, escalate tensions and undermine the negotiating process between Belgrade and Pristina," it said.  NATO-led peacekeepers have been deployed to the area to help control the situation, which is stoking ethnic tensions. Hundreds of people blocked main roads in response to Kosovan police seizing two disputed border crossings. One police officer was killed in overnight clashes, two policemen have been wounded.  Kosovo says it is trying to enforce a ban on Serbian imports in response to a similar boycott of Kosovan goods.  Around 60,000 Serbs live in the north and do not recognize Kosovo's independence, which it unilaterally declared in 2008

Monday, July 25

Preparing for Nuclear Terrorism

There are any number of reasons why we should be concerned about the menace of so-called "dirty bombs," says nuclear terrorism expert Graham Allison, director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University and former Assistant Secretary of Defense under President Clinton. Among them: Radioactive substances are everywhere; anyone can build a dirty bomb; and Al Qaeda has sought to make or acquire one. There is also one reason why we shouldn't be so concerned, Allison says, and that's because a far more threatening sword of Damocles hangs over our heads—a potential terrorist attack with a nuclear bomb. To better grasp the scope of these very different threats, NOVA interviewed Allison in his office at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Graham Allison feels that the extent to which the nuclear danger has fallen off most people's radar is remarkable—and doesn't square with the frightening reality of the threat. Enlarge Photo credit: Courtesy of the J.F.K. School of Government

How prepared are we?

NOVA: Do you think the U.S. is well prepared to deal with the dirty bomb threat?

Allison: No, but it is complicated because the supply side of the dirty bomb threat is so mammoth that it is virtually impossible to imagine coping with it adequately. The number of actors who might conduct such an attack is also extremely large. And while you might like to try to make people aware of the threat and the fact that it's got a heavy psychological as well as physical component, it is difficult to do so without also suggesting opportunities for people to do things, mischievous things that they might not have thought of. So in the array of threats, it's a particularly complicated one to try to deal with.
And while there have been some preparations in the U.S. government to try to be capable of decontaminating sites in the same way that buildings were decontaminated after the anthrax attacks, that part has not been overly publicized and probably needs to be more so.
"The first-ever dirty bomb attack would be a dramatic event, I suspect, because people wouldn't know quite what to make of it."

What kind of response would there be if a dirty bomb attack occurred, say, here in Boston?

There would be alarm, of course. I think we need to give people an idea of what constitutes a dirty bomb. A dirty bomb is a blast caused by some bomb, and then there is a dispersal of radioactive material that may be more or less toxic, more or less harmful. Then there are the psychological consequences among the people, who are terrified.
With memory of the anthrax attacks and subsequent decontaminations of Senate offices (seen here) and other sites fresh in mind, the U.S. government has teams on 24-hour standby, prepared to clean up after any dirty bomb attack. Enlarge Photo credit: © Corbis Images
If the blast is very small, let's say a stick of dynamite, and the material is not highly radioactive, the impact would be relatively small. Say you and I were in this room, and one stick of dynamite went off under my chair. I probably would be blown up, and you probably would be harmed, and you would get some amount of rads. But you get a certain amount of rads everyday from walking around in the sun or from getting a medical procedure.
So I think the question would depend on the strength and intensity of the various items. The first-ever dirty bomb attack would be a dramatic event, I suspect, because people wouldn't know quite what to make of it. Lots of people are confused about what is a dirty bomb and what is a nuclear weapon. They might mistakenly think that a nuclear weapon had gone off.
But since the major action would be physical consequences—which for most people would be small, involving probabilities of diseases contracted at some future date—people's behavior in time, I think, would adapt in the manner that it adapts when people live near a place that has, say, pollutants or chemical effects. Given the choice, you and I would prefer not to live by Love Canal or some other place that has some additional degree of risk to ourselves or our families. We already live in a world that is full of enough risk.
If a dirty bomb event took place in this or any other country, very few people among the general public would be adequately equipped to cope with it, either materially or psychologically, Allison says. Enlarge Photo credit: © Corbis Images

So if a fairly sizable dirty bomb went off in the center of Boston on a windy day, and a lot of people were exposed to its radiation, would people be at all equipped to deal with it?

I suspect not, because they probably haven't been well-informed. They would quickly go to a website to try to see what they could learn about it. Some people would go out and buy a book about nuclear terrorism, and other people would take sodium iodide, thinking, "I heard that that had something to do with this or that." But there would be general confusion, as unfortunately there would be for most counterterrorist acts at this stage, given on the one hand the absence of an effective education process for people, and on the other the desire not to know too much about this.

Is there anything average citizens should or could do to prepare for a dirty bomb attack, or should they just be informed?

I think they should be informed and aware. It is not the greatest risk for life, and it is not the greatest risk for most people. Anybody who smokes should put the dirty bomb threat in perspective and say, "Wait a minute. I am already living dangerously." Anybody who drinks and drives, or anybody who drives recklessly—there are a lot of foolish behaviors that we human beings do.
In the dirty bomb arena, I would say that one should be aware of anyone who is seeking radioactive materials in a medical facility or a food-processing facility or nuclear power plant. Generally we're aware of people who are seeking dynamite or hand grenades or other explosives. I think this is part of the general "Be aware."
If there were a dirty bomb blast, you would obviously hope not to be hurt by the blast, and then you would hope not to be in the immediate vicinity. The more distant you are from the site, the better off you will be for some period of time, depending again on how radioactive the material is that is dispersed.
Altogether, I think for most of us it's a smaller risk in the spectrum of things that we have to be concerned about.
The 1995 bombing of the Murrah Federal Office Building in Oklahoma City by American-born Timothy McVeigh was a harsh reminder that terrorists can be home-grown. Enlarge Photo credit: © Corbis Images

Prospects for an attack

You and others have argued that acquiring the materials for a dirty bomb and building and detonating one is, relatively speaking, not a difficult prospect. With this in mind, why do you think a dirty bomb attack has not yet occurred?

Great question. I think it is a puzzle, because it's a simple fact that people don't have to look very far on the Web to find information that would give them a reasonable picture of the issue. That's just there. I don't want to give anybody bad ideas, but at the same time you don't want citizens to be unaware of what exists. I prefer that it wasn't there, but it is there, that's a fact.
How then given such availability has there not been such an event? If you try to think, well, how hard was it to blow up the Federal Office Building in Oklahoma City? Not very. Timothy McVeigh takes a van and fills it with fertilizer-based explosive. How hard is it to get fertilizer and a trigger? Not very. And there it happened. Fortunately, there are fewer nuts of that sort than one might imagine, or they don't think of doing such horrible things.
"I think it is a great puzzle—and a happy fact—that we haven't had such attacks."
We've been very blessed in not having lots of people actually doing terrorist acts within the U.S., which they are not prohibited by any physical encumbrance from doing. If you had come into this building today with a gun in your briefcase and decided to shoot up 50 people in a classroom or a dorm, there would not have been a guard to stop you. Similarly, if you had a small dirty bomb in your briefcase, and you decided to set it off here at the Kennedy School or in Harvard Square or in a building downtown... There are a few buildings where you have to pass through a guard, but mostly you don't. Anybody can get on the subway; there aren't too many people inspecting. And so on.
Graham Allison suspects it's only a matter of time before a dirty bomb attack occurs. Enlarge Photo credit: © BBC/WGBH/NOVA
So I think it is a great puzzle—and a happy fact—that we haven't had such attacks. In the case of Israel, it becomes even more puzzling, because there you have people carrying out suicidal attacks. They clearly have the bombs and for whatever reason haven't gone to this next stage. I would suspect that is just a matter of time.

What do you think is a likely scenario for a dirty bomb attack in the United States or Israel?

A plausible scenario would be simply the explosion of a bomb that you are already seeing used in terror attacks but that happens to get wrapped in some radioactive material.

I've read that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission receives nearly 300 reports a year that radioactive materials have gone missing. Where do you think they've ended up?

I suspect most of them have just been lost. It is interesting to think of the Iraqis, who are ostensibly trying to give an account of everything they have (though I do believe they have weapons of mass destruction and are trying to hide them), and then to think of the U.S., which doesn't give a very good account of everything it has. It is not because we're hiding it. It is because in large, complex systems a lot of stuff goes missing. Whether some people have taken some of this material home, imagining that they're going to do something mischievous with it—well, it would seem implausible that that wouldn't have happened in some cases.

You mentioned Timothy McVeigh. Is it just as likely a domestic terrorist could pull off a dirty bomb attack as, say, Al Qaeda?

I think, unfortunately, that if somebody wants to do a terrorist act, and if they are trying to make a splash in order to impact people, they might simply just shoot somebody, or they might have a bomb and blow up a building, or they might decide to wrap the bomb in something that would have further consequences. So, yes, I could imagine that could happen.
As bad as it would be, a terrorist attack using a dirty bomb (simulated here) would be child's play compared to that using a nuclear bomb. Enlarge Photo credit: © BBC/WGBH/NOVA

Nothing like nuclear

You believe that we have a much more serious threat to worry about than a dirty bomb—namely, the possibility of a nuclear weapon attack.

Well, if you look at 9/11, and you look at Al Qaeda and their M.O., and you look at what they said, you know that they like big, spectacular events that kill large numbers of people. The press spokesman for Mr. bin Laden put out a rather chilling statement which said that they're required to kill four million Americans, including women and children, in order to balance the scale of the atrocities that we and the Israelis have visited upon the Arab population. If you are trying to kill a lot of people at one time, you're at the high end of violence, which is nuclear. There is something almost like the moth to the flame with respect to the nuclear threat.
"A single nuclear weapon would have more explosive power than all the bombs dropped in all the wars in all of history."
Technically, nuclear weapons are not like any other weapons. A single nuclear weapon—that is, any one of many weapons in the U.S. arsenal—would have more explosive power than all the bombs dropped in all the wars in all of history. So you're not on the same scale. It is so quantitatively different that it becomes a qualitative difference. I have compared the difference between a dirty bomb and a nuclear bomb to the difference between a lightning bug and lightning. They are both kind of similar, but the difference is obviously enormous.
If terrorists, God forbid, had had a weapon of a size that would have fit in the mini-van that Mr. Youssef parked in the World Trade Center when he tried to blow it up in 1993, but had had in it not the fertilizer kind of explosives that McVeigh had in Oklahoma City but a small nuclear weapon, the blast of that would have destroyed everything within a mile's radius. So if such a bomb had gone off at the World Trade Center in 1993, you would have seen not just the World Trade Center crumble but the whole southern tip of Manhattan disappear. You wouldn't have seen anything there; it would have vaporized. And you would have seen buildings up to Gramercy Park—that is, up to 30th Street or so in New York City—looking like the Federal Office Building.
Here in Boston, if you imagine such a relatively small nuclear bomb going off at City Hall, basically Boston would cease to exist as a modern city.
If the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center had involved a nuclear device instead of a conventional bomb, it would have obliterated all of Lower Manhattan. Enlarge Photo credit: © Corbis Images

What do you mean by small?

Small would have a 15-kiloton explosion. In terms of size, this is a weapon that fits into a van.
Your question then is: Is anyone motivated to do such a horrible thing? That was an academic debate before 9/11. After 9/11, that debate is kind of over. Secondly, if they are so motivated, could anyone acquire a nuclear weapon or the materials with which to make a nuclear weapon? Well, where could they get a nuclear weapon? How many nuclear weapons are in Russia?

Tens of thousands.

Tens of thousands. Has anything been lost or stolen in Russia? Why not? Would it be possible for some guards, who are guarding these weapons, to decide to enrich themselves by becoming thieves? It would be possible. If they stole the weapon, could they transport it out of Russia? Russian borders are fairly porous. You don't even need a visa to go to Kazakhstan; just walk across the border or get in a plane and go. Same with many other territories of the former Soviet Union. And if you are in Kazakhstan, it is easy enough to go to Iran or Iraq.
So could they get it out of Russia? Yes. Could they sell it to bin Laden or Saddam or to some other terrorist group? Why not? If they were able to do that, could they bring it into the U.S.? Well, what percentage of the containers that come on container ships are opened? The answer is fewer than two percent.
Unfortunately, acquiring unsecured radioactive substances and sneaking them into the U.S. would not be that difficult, Allison says. Enlarge Photo credit: © BBC/WGBH/NOVA
And how much of our own border is nobody guarding? I mean, there was this fellow from Canada who recently drove into Maine to buy some gasoline on his way to go hunting in Canada. He had the gun in the back of his car, and he drove across the border, the way all Canadians living near Maine evidently do. He was arrested as a terrorist, because he had a gun in his car for hunting. The borders provide lots of opportunities for people to come in.
"I would not say it's inevitable that there will be a nuclear terror act. But I would say it is highly likely."
Once a terrorist is in the city, say here in Boston, is there a magic shield that would go up that would set off a buzzer so we would know about it? I wish there were, but of course the answer is no. So I would say that this could happen.

If it's so possible, why hasn't it happened already?

Again, that's absolutely the right question. Why didn't 9/11 happen before 9/11? The answer is we were fortunate. I would not say it's inevitable that there will be a nuclear terror act—though, interestingly, Warren Buffet, who's a pretty good judge of risk, at least when it comes to investing, says he thinks it's essentially inevitable. But I would say it is highly likely.

Taking action

Are there things the U.S. could do that would substantially reduce the risk of a nuclear terrorist attack?

Absolutely. We know what those things are. We know how to do them. We're just not doing them. If I compared and contrasted with the dirty bomb case, I'd also agree that there are a number of important things we can be doing to take better care of dangerous material. We can learn to do it for radioactive material, and we can learn to do it for biological agents.
But we are not going to learn to do it until we get smarter, and it will probably take two or three more instances of terrorists beating us over the head before we wake up and say, "This is crazy to allow such material into the hands of people who might want to do horrible things."
The United States, Allison argues, should take a leadership role in securing "loose nukes"—everything from industrial devices containing radioactive substances to aged nuclear weapons. Enlarge Photo credit: © IAEA
In the nuclear weapons case, there is only a finite amount of fissile material, either highly enriched uranium or plutonium, and it is almost impossible for anyone to make plutonium or highly enriched uranium unless they are a state that has a big, visible, complicated technical production process. What's needed is a concerted effort to contain the spread of existing material, in which the U.S. takes the initiative by leading the rest of the world. This material and these weapons are too dangerous for the rest of us to be left to the individual predilections of whoever happens to have them.
Securing all such weapons and materials would be a vast undertaking, because, oh my God, that means securing 70,000 to 80,000 real or potential nuclear weapons in Russia. And you'd have to do the same in Pakistan and elsewhere. And then there are research reactors. In Belgrade, Yugoslavia, despite the fact that we were bombing that city in the war, there had been left a research reactor with enough highly enriched uranium to make three nuclear weapons. That was only extracted by a joint Russian-American initiative in August of last year. That's nuts. And there are plenty of other places where such things exist.
So I would say if we had a nuclear terrorist event tomorrow, God forbid, we would all wake up and say, "Well, this makes no sense. We shouldn't leave nuclear materials unsecured." Let's simply say now, "This is not going to happen," and go about doing it now. If I could have my chief wish, it would be that President Bush would say, "Wait a minute, the real threat is terrorists getting their hands on the worst, most destructive mechanisms. We can do something about that. We can cause it not to happen."
"The extent to which nuclear danger has somehow fallen off of the radar is remarkable."
I think if President Bush would take this up as a cause he would have President Putin as his ally in a heartbeat, so that part's easy. China is easy. France and Britain are easy. Pakistan is hard but if China supports it, they'd go with it in Pakistan. And then going and rounding up the rest, I think it becomes a vast, complicated, and expensive but quite doable job.
The chance of an accidental launch of one or more of Russia's nuclear missiles has risen as the systems that safeguard them have declined. But with everyone's minds on terrorism, few people think about that fact, if they're even aware of it. Enlarge Photo credit: © IAEA

The forgotten threat

With all this talk of terrorism, it is easy to forget that Russia and the U.S. have ICBMs trained on each other. Is there is a danger of an accidental launch on either side?

Absolutely. We've all kind of tuned out about that. The extent to which nuclear danger has somehow fallen off of the radar—either because people are saying "Oh, that was the Cold War" or "That's over"—is remarkable.
I was in Washington last week with Senator Sam Nunn and my colleague Andrei Kokoshin, and we were making the point that if you were a Martian nuclear strategist, and you only got pictures, you didn't get any words, you'd never know the Cold War is over. The arsenals look almost the same, except that the situation is such that neither side means to threaten the other. It is a fantastic anachronism. It's just this dead hand of the past.
But you would think something funny had happened in the former Soviet Union. Because clearly there's a lot more activity in the capitals of these places that used to be part of the Soviet Union. You'd see, for example, borders with guard houses appearing with Latvia, and in Poland, all the troops from the Soviet Union that used to be there have left. If you looked at the nuclear arsenal of Russia and the U.S.—the number and status of the ICBMs, the activities of the submarines—you the Martian strategist would say, "Well, I guess something is happening in Russia. They look to be poorer or something, because they have fewer satellites than they used to have for command-and-control."
And the truth is some of the Russians' early-warning and command/control systems have degraded. So therefore you would say yes, the chances of accidents happening in most complex mechanical processes there have become greater. And that's an unsettling thought to say the least.
This feature originally appeared on the site for the NOVA program Dirty Bomb.

Sunday, July 24

La memoria mi funziona ancora, quel nome "Giuseppe Scelsi" mi diceva qualcosa, e quel qualcosa lo collegava a Massimo D'Alema.

Sempre un caso chiaramente, anche perchè dichiarare il contrario sarebbe a rischio denuncia come dichiarato da D'Alema stesso.
Allora, la situazione attuale, il giudice Giuseppe Scelsi è colui che indagava sul caso Berlusconi a Bari, ed era anche PM allora quando ci fu l'archiviazione per un reato di tangenti per D'Alema. L'altro PM di allora, il giudice Maritati, è diventato senatore del PD prima DS e appena nominato, allora, diventò sottosegretario all'interno nel primo governo D'Alema.

Quei PM che archiviarono la tangente presa da D'Alema il quale, a distanza, ammise di averla presa. Un reato archiviato con tanto di reato.

Settembre 1994: un imprenditore confessa un contributo illecito, il futuro premier conferma, un giudice archiviaper prescrizione. E il pm, cinque anni dopo aver condotto gli accertamenti, va al governo. Con l'ex indagato.
Forse è per la cifra irrisoria del finanziamento illecito: appena 20 milioni, in una busta consegnata da un imprenditore. O forse perché l'indagato, su richiesta dello stesso pubblico ministero che lo aveva messo sotto accusa, venne prosciolto dopo nemmeno 12 mesi. Sta di fatto che a Bari, tra 1994 e 1995, si è svolta un'inchiesta che è stata sorprendentemente cancellata dai mass media: per anni nessuno ne ha mai parlato in televisione, nessuno ne ha scritto sui giornali. Come se nessuno se ne fosse accorto. O non avesse voluto accorgersene.
Eppure, l'inchiesta dimenticata è assai interessante. Perché ha riguardato l'ex segretario del Pds ed ex presidente del Consiglio Massimo D'Alema. Perché D'Alema venne prosciolto, ma soltanto per la prescrizione del reato. E, soprattutto, perché D'Alema qualcosa aveva ammesso. Sì, insomma, quel piccolo finanziamento c'era stato. Un altro dato interessante della storia riguarda il magistrato inquirente, Alberto Maritati, nominato nel 1999 sottosegretario da Massimo D'Alema.
Tutto era cominciato a Bari alla metà del 1994, nel periodo più aggressivo di Mani pulite. L'indagine era partita dalle dichiarazioni rese agli inquirenti da Francesco Cavallari, «il re delle case di cura riunite»: un piccolo impero della sanità privata, con 4 mila dipendenti. Cavallari, arrestato nel maggio di quell'anno per truffa, reati contro la pubblica amministrazione e associazione mafiosa, era stato il motore dell'inchiesta: in settembre, dopo mesi di reclusione, afflitto da problemi cardiaci, aveva deciso di collaborare con i magistrati. E con un fiume di confessioni aveva scatenato l'apocalisse: nel marzo 1995 i suoi interrogatori avevano aperto le porte del carcere per decine di consiglieri regionali e assessori. Erano finiti nei guai perfino due ex ministri, Vito Lattanzio e Rino Formica, accusati di corruzione e di finanziamento illecito, imputazioni da cui sarebbero stati poi assolti nel maggio 1999. La Tangentopoli pugliese aveva colpito duro soprattutto gli esponenti della Dc, del Psi e degli altri partiti di governo. Alla fine Cavallari se l'era cavata con un patteggiamento a 22 mesi.
Ma l'imprenditore aveva parlato davvero di tutti. «Ho avuto rapporti anche con l'opposizione in regione» aveva precisato Cavallari in un interrogatorio davanti al pubblico ministero Maritati, il 19 settembre 1994, «e cioè con il Msi e con il Pci». Era spuntato allora il nome di D'Alema, che alla metà degli anni Ottanta, prima di essere eletto deputato nel 1987, era stato segretario del Pci pugliese e consigliere regionale. Cavallari, nella deposizione, aveva accennato a un ottimo rapporto con l'esponente dell'opposizione: «Quando era in regione, ero solito recarmi da lui e prospettargli le nostre iniziative...».

Maritati, viceprocuratore nazionale antimafia, una fama di mastino, aveva chiesto se si fossero verificati illeciti. E l'imprenditore aveva dichiarato: «Non nascondo che in una circostanza particolare ho dato un contributo di 20 milioni al partito. D'Alema è venuto a cena a casa mia, e alla fine della cena io spontaneamente mi permisi di dire, poiché eravamo alla campagna elettorale 1985, che volevo dare un contributo al Pci». L'accusa era stata ripetuta il 7 ottobre. Gli inquirenti avevano chiesto a Cavallari i riscontri: «Quella sera, con D'Alema, eravamo presenti in tre: io, il mio cuoco Sabino Costanzo, e il nostro amministratore Antonio Ricco, che era in grande rapporto d'amicizia con lui».
Stesso trattamento, una busta con 20 milioni per le spese elettorali, secondo Cavallari era stato riservato nel 1987 a quello che allora era un esponente di spicco del Msi pugliese, Giuseppe Tatarella, morto nel 1999, e che nel momento degli interrogatori era nel governo presieduto da Silvio Berlusconi, come vicepresidente del Consiglio.
Poi, fino al 28 marzo 1995, l'inchiesta barese era andata avanti, con interrogatori e accertamenti: non solamente su quei due episodi, ma su decine di altre vicende, tutte rivelate da Cavallari. Quel giorno i pubblici ministeri titolari dell'inchiesta, accanto a Maritati anche Giuseppe Scelsi, Giuseppe Chieco e Corrado Lembo, avevano chiesto di prosciogliere una settantina di indagati dall'accusa di associazione per delinquere. E avevano chiesto l'archiviazione «per intervenuta prescrizione» per altri indagati di solo finanziamento illecito: fra questi, D'Alema e Tatarella.

Gli inquirenti ritenevano «intrinsecamente attendibili» le accuse dell'imprenditore. Ma si vedevano costretti ad archiviare per il troppo tempo trascorso dal reato: 10 anni. I magistrati avevano descritto così Cavallari: «Ha cercato di accattivarsi con promesse, contribuzioni in denaro, assunzioni di favore e altre illecite lusinghe il ceto politico dominante di Bari; e ha tentato di assicurarsi l'appoggio dell'opposizione allo scopo di neutralizzare o ridurre l'ostilità nei momenti cruciali della vita e dello sviluppo del gruppo imprenditoriale».
La richiesta di archiviazione era finita sul tavolo del giudice Concetta Russi, che il 22 giugno 1995 aveva ordinato il proscioglimento: «È superfluo ogni approfondimento». Ma il giudice barese aveva colto l'occasione per aggiungere qualche considerazione: «Uno degli episodi di illecito finanziamento riferiti, e cioè la corresponsione di un contributo di 20 milioni in favore del Pci, ha trovato sostanziale conferma, pur nella diversità di alcuni elementi marginali, nella leale dichiarazione dell'onorevole D'Alema, all'epoca dei fatti segretario regionale del Pci». E aveva aggiunto: «Con riferimento all'episodio riguardante l'illecito finanziamento al Pci, l'on. D'Alema non ha escluso che la somma versata dal Cavallari fosse stata proprio dell'importo da quest'ultimo indicato».

Evidentemente, l'ex presidente del Consiglio aveva ammesso in un interrogatorio, o in una memoria scritta, di aver accettato quel finanziamento illecito. Certo, se si è trattato di un interrogatorio subito da D'Alema tra la fine del 1994 e la primavera del 1995, gli inquirenti devono aver faticato non poco a renderlo segreto. Panorama ha tentato in vari modi di entrare in possesso del verbale, o della memoria scritta che dovrebbe far parte del fascicolo, purtroppo senza riuscirci. Dai riferimenti tecnico-legali contenuti nel decreto di archiviazione, comunque, è certo che D'Alema ammise «lealmente» il reato commesso, presumibilmente qualificabile come un finanziamento personale: in ogni caso una «fattispecie delittuosa», secondo il giudice Russi, «meno grave e comunque depenalizzata».
Il pubblico ministero Maritati, il 27 giugno 1999, è stato poi candidato dal centrosinistra a Lecce, nelle elezioni suppletive rese necessarie dalla morte del senatore Antonio Lisi, di Alleanza nazionale. Maritati è stato eletto con il 53,7 per cento dei voti. E il 4 agosto 1999, fatto insolito per un parlamentare di freschissima nomina, è stato nominato sottosegretario all'Interno durante il primo governo D'Alema, vice di Rosa Russo Jervolino. Di lui, per quasi un anno, si è detto fosse il vero ministro dell'Interno. Oggi Maritati, la cui carica non è stata rinnovata da Giuliano Amato, è iscritto al gruppo misto del Senato.

Ci sta anche qualche altra considerazione da fare, diciamo qualche altro fattarello:

Bari - L’aveva detto l’altro ieri, il ministro Raffaele Fitto, che c’entrava Bari con le nuove “scosse” che, secondo il leader del Pd Massimo D’Alema, “doti di preveggenza” di D’Alema, Fitto aveva infatti individuato, “preveggente” a sua volta, la fonte di conoscenza delle possibili “scosse” a Berlusconi in “ambienti baresi in cui a partire dai primi anni Novanta, D’Alema ha improvvisamente (ma provvidenzialmente anche per lui) garantito più di una carriera politica a chi faceva tutt’altro mestiere”.

Riferimenti chiari, quelli del ministro e da lui stesso fatti più volte, a due ex magistrati, attuali esponenti del centrosinistra, il senatore Alberto Maritati e il segretario regionale del Pd e sindaco di Bari, Michele Emiliano, oggi candidato a subentrare a se stesso contro il deputato Pdl Simeone di Cagno Abbrescia: indagini di cui Maritati ed Emiliano si occuparono “a partire dai primi anni Novanta” hanno entrambe “sfiorato” in un caso D’Alema e nell’altro esponenti del suo governo. Vicende che, d’altro canto, il ministro aveva ricordato con durezza, insieme con altre, ancora nell’aprile scorso, esponendo il proprio pensiero su una questione giudiziaria che lo riguarda personalmente.

Maritati, due volte sottosegretario nei governi del centrosinistra (una volta con D’Alema premier, una volta con Prodi), nei primi anni Novanta fu tra i pubblici ministeri della cosiddetta “Operazione Speranza”, indagine che provocò in Puglia molte polemiche su più livelli. D’Alema e l’esponente dell’allora Msi-Dn Pinuccio Tatarella, imputati per contributi illeciti ai partiti, uscirono dalle indagini, senza che si fosse mai saputo che vi erano entrati, quando “scattarono” i termini della prescrizione, nella primavera del 1995. Un’altra ottantina di persone – tra i quali gli ex esponenti di Dc e Psi Vito Lattanzio e Rino Formica – sono rimasti imputati per anni.

Nel maggio 2003 nell’ultimo processo scaturito dalla “Operazione Speranza” le ultime assoluzioni (in primo grado) per una trentina di persone. Tra i quattro pm di “Operazione speranza” c’era anche il sostituto procuratore Giuseppe Scelsi, che oggi dirige l’indagine nella quale sarebbero emerse storie di “ragazze a pagamento” per feste con Silvio Berlusconi. Emiliano ha lavorato nella procura barese sino al 2003 e a Bari nel 2004 è stato candidato sindaco dal Pds ed è stato eletto. Per circa quattro anni, dal 2000 al 2003, Emiliano ha diretto indagini sulla cosiddetta Missione Arcobaleno, voluta nel ’99 in Albania dal governo D’Alema. Già nel 2003 Fitto stigmatizzò la scelta di D’Alema di candidare Emiliano, rimproverando a quest’ultimo di fare “campagna elettorale con la toga addosso”.

Fitto sottolineava allora che nell’indagine su ‘Arcobaleno’ erano “coinvolti componenti e funzionari di rilievo” del governo D’Alema “e parlamentari ed ex parlamentari proprio del partito dell’ex Presidente del Consiglio”. L’indagine su “Arcobaleno” si è conclusa solo pochi anni fa: nell’ottobre 2008, a quasi 12 anni di distanza dagli arresti disposti per lo scandalo legato alla gestione degli aiuti umanitari, ha condotto al rinvio a giudizio di 17 persone.

WANTED???? BY WHOM ????

Hadzic hiding and working in Russia

‘During those seven years he traveled to Russia on two occasions and spent there several years each time. He was working there, too. The money was being given to him by people whom he made it possible to earn large sums of money during war conflicts in the 90s by trading in the territory of the east of Slavonia, Baranja and the west of Srem. Those people then became war profiteers and also people of influence and during those seven years they were returning the favor to Hadzic’.
 

Help by Stanisic and Simatovic

According to the investigation, people close to Jovica Stanisic and his deputy Franko Simatovic helped Hadzic a lot at the beginning of his hiding.
‘Hadzic decided to go in hiding partly because of the fact that his arrest and appearance in the courtroom of the Hague Tribunal would make defense of Stanisic and Simatovic considerably more difficult. That is why people close to those two were helping Hadzic in hiding which was very professionally organized, much better than that of Ratko Mladic’, our source says.
 
Money starts to lack

Still money started to lack to Hadzic and the investigation made progress when it was revealed that he tried to sell a painting by the famous Amadeo Modigliani as yesterday confirmed by War crimes prosecutor Vladimir Vukcevic.
‘The painting was stolen during war conflicts and he was intended to sell it because he was lacking money more and more. He has not seen his family at all during those seven years. His guess that they all were watched was correct’, our source says.
 
Priests from Fruska Gora

As said by prosecutor Vukcevic during yesterday’s press conference Hadzic was very cautious and he was contacting just a few of his long time friends and priests from the area of Fruska Gora.
The last war crimes suspect was yesterday questioned by Investigation Judge Milan Dilparic. As confirmed Hadzic was ready to cooperate and according to his lawyer Toma Fila he shall not file a complaint to extradition order. It was Hadzic who during questioning mentioned hiding in Russia but he did not speak about it in details.
 
Ready to cooperate

Since the moment of arrest Hadzic demonstrated readiness to cooperate. It was clear to him that his hiding had come to an end. He confirmed his real identity immediately. He was given the indictment raised against him by the Hague Tribunal. He took it but said nothing regarding it.
 
Visit by family

‘He requested to meet with members of his family and the Judge approved their visit. Hadzic accepted my proposal that no complaint to his extradition is filed’, Hadzic’s lawyer Toma Fila, who shall represent him in Belgrade said for ‘Blic’ yesterday. Fila also mentioned that Hadzic was hiding in one foreign country.

Oslo Police Chief Rodger Andresen said. "He's not known by the police before.

The video, with the title "Knights Templar 2083," was posted by Anders Behring Breivik, who was identified by several Norwegian media outlets as the suspect, was arrested and charged with acts of terrorism. Police have not confirmed his identity. Police have confirmed that the video was uploaded by Breivik, according to Norway's TV2, but it has since been removed from the site. The man suspected of shooting and killing at least 85 at a summer youth camp in Norway, just hours after setting off an explosion in nearby Oslo that killed seven, posted a video on YouTube hours before the attacks denouncing "cultural marxism" and calling for conservatives to "embrace martyrdom."  "[If] the multiculturalist elites of Europe continue to refuse to voluntarily transfer political and military power to our conservative revolutionary forces ... then [the second world war] is likely going to appear as a picnic compared to the coming carnage," the video stated in captions. The 12-minute video attacks "multiculturalism" as an attempt to destroy European identity, and includes President Obama and the European Union as targets of criticism. Besides the video, a 1,500-page manifesto titled "2083.  A European Declaration of Independence" was posted by "Andrew Berwick," an English translation of "Anders Breivik," on the website www.freak.no, called "Freak Forum."
The manifesto describes Breivik's background and political viewpoints, according to the Wall Street Journal
Breivik had one post on his Twitter account, which was set up a few days ago: "One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100, 000 who have only interests." Still Several Unknowns in the Case
Some witnesses to the shooting at the youth camp told police that there may have been more than one shooter at the camp, but this has not been confirmed by investigators. Police also said there may be undetonated explosives in Oslo around government buildings. National Police Chief Sveinung Sponheim said at a news conference today that the suspect has been in "dialogue" with police, but the interrogations have been difficult.
Breivik, who was dressed in a police uniform during the shooting rampage, is described as a Christian fundamentalist and a member of "right-wing extremist groups in eastern Norway," and a farmer. "We have searched his flat and also the farm that he has been buying, but we've not concluded our investigation there," Acting Oslo Police Chief Rodger Andresen said. "He's not known by the police before, so we have not arrested him before or anything like that," Andresen said. An agricultural material supplier told police that Breivik purchased at least six tons of fertilizer several weeks before the twin attacks. Fertilizer could be used to make bombs, and was a key element in the bomb used by Timothy McVeigh in the Oklahoma City bombing. "This is beyond comprehension. It's a nightmare. It's a nightmare for those who have been killed, for their mothers and fathers, family and friends," Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg told reporters early today.
The suspect had been seen in Oslo earlier in the day, according to media reports. "This place where I have been every summer since 1979, and where I have experienced joy, commitment and security, has been hit by brutal violence -- a youth paradise has been transformed into a hell," Stoltenberg said. Officials said the death toll could rise, and four or five people are still missing from the camp.
Just hours before the shooting at the summer youth camp, which is run by Norway's ruling party on the island of Utoya, explosions ripped through a government building in the capital city of Oslo and left at least seven people dead.

Ansar al Islam – aveva minacciato di morte alcuni politici locali nel caso in cui venisse approvata la sua estradizione verso il Kurdistan iracheno.


L’attenzione dei media si è subito focalizzata sul terrorismo internazionale di matrice islamica. La Norvegia è membro della Nato e ha partecipato agli interventi militari in Afghanistan, Iraq e – più di recente – Libia. Alle 4.30 di ieri pomeriggio un’esplosione ha gettato nel panico il centro di Oslo, colpendo l’edificio che ospita l’ufficio del premier Jens Stoltenberg e altri ministeri. Almeno sette persone sono rimaste uccise, ma il conto delle vittime potrebbe aumentare. Un evento senza precedenti nella “tranquilla” Norvegia, un dramma dalle cause ancora incerte. Terrorismo internazionale, al Qaeda, le minacce di un mullah che diventano realtà. Oppure un attacco rivolto direttamente contro il primo ministro. Dopo poco più di un’ora a Utoya – un’isola poco lontana dalla capitale – un uomo ha aperto il fuoco contro la folla in un campo estivo organizzato dalla sezione giovanile del partito socialdemocratico norvegese, di cui Stoltenberg fa parte. Anche in questo caso non è chiaro il numero delle vittime.
Secondo le notizie diffuse ieri dai media norvegesi l’esplosione di Oslo sarebbe stata provocata da un’autobomba, la cui carcassa è stata ritrovata al di fuori del palazzo del governo. Almeno quindici persone sono rimaste ferite, mentre in serata si parlava di diversi cadaveri ritrovati all’interno dell’edificio. L’ipotesi delle prime ore, secondo cui sarebbe esploso più di un ordigno solo, non ha trovato conferma.
Non è stato accertato neppure se l’episodio di Utoya sia collegato allo scoppio nella capitale. Secondo testimoni oculari, un uomo dall’aspetto “nordico” con addosso un’uniforme della polizia avrebbe aperto il fuoco sui giovani socialdemocratici che campeggiavano sull’isola, nei pressi del mare. Le testimonianze raccontano di persone terrorizzate che si lanciavano in acqua per sfuggire all’agguato.
Il campo estivo organizzato dal partito di governo accoglie ogni anno alcune centinaia di ragazzi di età compresa tra i diciotto e i trent’anni. Il primo ministro Stoltenberg avrebbe dovuto intervenire all’evento, ma non aveva ancora raggiunto l’isola al momento della sparatoria. «Non abbiamo un’ipotesi più forte di altre sulle ragioni dell’attacco – ha spiegato a caldo un ufficiale di polizia –. Non abbiamo nemmeno un’ipotesi che funzioni».
Nel dicembre del 2010 un altro attentato aveva colpito un paese scandinavo: due bombe erano state fatte esplodere nel centro di Stoccolma; le indagini si sono concentrate su alcuni cittadini svedesi di origini irachene e sui loro legami con i gruppi islamisti attivi nel Regno Unito. In passato la Norvegia aveva ricevuto numerose minacce da parte di gruppi islamisti, per il suo coinvolgimento nella “guerra al terrore”.
Nella serata di ieri su un forum jihadista è apparsa una prima rivendicazione, firmata Ansar al Jihad al Alam (“sostenitori della guerra santa globale”); l’autenticità del messaggio non è stata verificata.
Occhi puntanti anche su una vicenda che aveva trovato spazio sui giornali norvegesi dei giorni scorsi: il mullah Krekar – un cittadino iracheno residente in Norvegia e fondatore di un gruppo di islamisti curdi, Ansar al Islam – aveva minacciato di morte alcuni politici locali nel caso in cui venisse approvata la sua estradizione verso il Kurdistan iracheno. A seguito delle minacce, la settimana scorsa un pubblico ministero ha aperto un fascicolo sul mullah.
Rispetto agli attentati degli ultimi anni contro le capitali europee, tuttavia, le differenze sono molte. Gli obiettivi di ieri sono sedi politiche, non luoghi pubblici come a Londra, Madrid e Stoccolma. L’obiettivo dell’agguato – una riunione di giovani laburisti – sembra indicare la volontà di colpire direttamente il partito del premier Stoltenberg, più che il “popolo” norvegese. Se poi il metodo dell’autobomba ha dei precedenti nel mondo del terrorismo jihadista, la sparatoria di Utoya segue schemi diversi. Non solo, ma l’attentatore sarebbe norvegese.

Thursday, July 14

TRAFFICO DI ARMI E DROGA

Traffico di armi, è allarme rosso

Traffico di armi, è allarme rosso "Dalla Puglia verso Gheddafi"La rotta utilizzata è la stessa che oggi la Mafia serbo-montenegrina fà fare alla droga. L’ALLARME è stato lanciato dal II Reparto della Guardia di Finanza,  l’Intelligence delle Fiamme Gialle. E immediatamente è stato raccolto dai  Servizi segreti militari e dall'Antiterrorismo italiani. L’allarme è rosso. E riguarda la Puglia: dalle nostre coste, lungo i nostri abituali canali di smercio, forse anche per le braccia di alcuni dei nostri malavitosi, potrebbero passare in queste ore armi destinate al colonnello Gheddafi. Le armi per combattere una guerra. Kalashnikov (fucili d’assalto russi Ak-47 e cinesi Type 56). Pistole semiautomatiche Makarov calibro 9, visori notturni, mortai leggeri e munizionamento. Munizioni di provenienza di Paesi dell’ex Unione sovietica, Bielorussia in particolare. Ma soprattutto figlie della guerra della ex Jugoslavia e attualmente nelle mani della mafia serba-montenegrina, la più potente in questo momento in Europa proprio grazie all’arsenale e alla altissima capacità economica.


La rotta utilizzata è sostanzialmente la stessa che oggi i serbi fanno fare alla droga. La triangolazione è tra Serbia, Montenegro, Puglia, Campania, Calabria, Grecia, Turchia e Paesi del nord Africa. I traffici si sono intensificati notevolmente negli ultimi anni, come da tempo denuncia il procuratore di Bari, Antonio Laudati. E come hanno dimostrato una serie di inchieste che la Procura ha condotto negli ultimi anni e in particolare negli ultimi 24 mesi.

Il pallino del gioco è interamente nelle mani della mafia straniera che utilizza come porto principale dello smercio quello di Bar, Montenegro. E’ da lì che partono i container pieni di armi, bollati come fossero normale ferraglia. È lì che vengono allungate mazzette per evitare ogni tipo di controllo. La direzione di quei container spesso è Bari, dove la malavita locale offre (in cambio di prezzi concorrenziali sul mercato degli stupefacenti) una piattaforma logistica: la droga parte verso il nord Europa, le armi invece vengono smistate verso i porti della Grecia e della Turchia. I pugliesi sono specializzati in questo tipo di lavoro. Lo fanno da sempre, hanno imparato con le sigarette.

Lo ha raccontato anche Goran Stanjevic, ex rappresentante dell’Agenzia per gli investimenti esteri del Montenegro, proprio ai magistrati della Dda di Bari che da tempo indagano sui collegamenti tra la mafia pugliese e quella dei paesi dell’ex Jugoslavia. L’indagine era quella che ha portato al processo di otto persone per il traffico internazionale di sigarette e che ha salvato l’ex presidente del Montenegro, Djukanovic, solo per via dell’immunità diplomatica.

«Da quanto so — ha raccontato Stanjevic a verbale al sostituto procuratore Giuseppe Scelsi — a Bar ci sono magazzini pieni di armi. Le vendono alla Libia, alla Siria, ai Paesi arabi. E in quei magazzini so anche che lavorano anche trai 500 e i 600 italiani». Bar non è l’unico punto di partenza. L’intelligence atlantica sostiene che i porti di Durazzo e Valona, di fronte alla costa pugliese, ha uguale capacità di smistamento: Repubblica ha raccontato nei giorni scorsi come stipate nei container ci siano 100mila tonnellate di armi di fabbricazione cinese mal custodite nei vecchi arsenali di Enver Hoxha, sono un’altra ghiotta fonte di approvvigionamento. Appena un anno fa, per esempio, proprio da Durazzo partì un cargo con a bordo 150 mila proiettili da mortaio da 82 millimetri in direzione del porto libico di Ras Lanuf. Così come è un fatto che in questi ultimi anni, in praticamente tutte le guerre che hanno sconvolto i paesi del centro-Africa, siano state ritrovate armi di fabbricazione cinese arrivate direttamente dall’Albania e triangolate proprio da Gheddafi.

Libia, appunto. L’intelligence dei paesi atlantici ha ufficialmente ammesso che «ci sono prove di come il flusso illegale di armi verso la Libia sia un’attività che continua, e che anzi si sia intensificata proprio in questo periodo». Gheddafi ha bisogno di armi perché il tradizionale canale che si muove attraverso i deserti meridionali (Ciad e Sudan) e occidentali (Algeria) è in questo momento sostanzialmente fuori uso. Quindi l’unica via rimane al mare. E gli unici venditori possono essere serbi e russi. «Quello che non manca certo a Gheddafi è la capacità economica» spiegano gli uomini dell’intelligence. In questo momento il valore delle armi nella borsa del Mediterraneo è praticamente diventato dieci volte superiore. «E i broker dei Balcani hanno aperto i cancelli». Proprio l’esplosione dei prezzi ha sostanzialmente bloccato la rotta parallela che si era venuta a creare, e cioè quella che riforniva gli insorti di Bengasi, gli avversari del Colonnello. Le armi si vendono al miglior offerente.

Tuesday, July 12

THE OTHER PART OF THE DARK MOON

We are checking the dossier of a drug dealer from Serbia. He is enigma to us. It is possible that Predrag Vukomanovic is a false name under which he has been suspected in France and then in Brazil, too. There is not such name in the files of Serbian Home Ministry. It is possible that we shall be requested to help in checking of identity of the arrested man’, a source from Serbian Home Ministry says. Predrag Vukomanovic (31) a Serb with French citizenship arrested in Brazil last Friday over suspicion to be a member of a gang of the well known French robber Antonio Ferrara is not known to our police. That indicates possibility that he had been arrested under false identity. Although Predrag Vukomanovic does not have a criminal file in Serbia he is very well known to the police in France. They have issued Interpol wanted list after him for drug smuggling. According to data of the police in France, Vukomanovic is the closest associate of Antonio Ferrara, one of the best known bank robbers in France, born in Italy. Vukomanovic was arrested in Sao Goncalo, a town near Rio de Janeiro. Brazilian police issued a statement on the occasion of his arrest announcing to believe that the Ferrara clan has become active in Brazil trying to smuggle high quality cocaine from Latin America to Europe. They intended to use mules which should have swallow cocaine packs shortly before plane take off from airports in Sao Paulo and Rio flying to European destination.

WHO'S THE CRIMINAL MIND BESIDE HIM ?

Rodoljub Milovic, Chief-of-Staff of the Police for Criminal Offences at the Serbian Home Ministry and Slavisa Sovtic, Chief of Operational Analytics of the Belgrade Police were spied by members of Podgorica criminal clan during their stay in Montenegro two weeks ago.

Information about jeopardized security of two Serbian police officials was given during heir visit to Dobrota, near the Town of Kotor, where Darko Saric a drug dealer has several real estates and close associates well known in criminal circles of Montenegro. Milovic and Sovtic traveled to Montenego privately to visit their families there. That is why no information about their stay was sent to the Montenegrin police. Nevertheless, the information about their crossing the border in some way was passed to people close to Saric.
Milovic led the complete police team who was investigating Saric’s drug-dealing clan and arresting his associates. Sovtic is one of the chief operational officers who took part in that job.
Sovtic was also involved in investigation of assassination of Premier Zoran Djindjic. He is leading investigations against Milos Simovic and Sretko Kalinic, members of the Zemun gang involved in that assassination of the Premier and other murders. That is why both Milovic’s and Sovtic’s safety is considered to be highly jeopardized.

The moment the information was received Milovic and Softic left Montenegro and returned to Belgrade.

Sunday, July 10

RAPPORTO DIFESA 2011 FONDAZIONE ICSA

Rapporto Difesa 2011- Definitivo 30 Giugno 20111(2)

Saturday, July 9

"Valorizzazione del turismo ambientale nei territori di Scutari, Niš, Kraljevo, Nikšić, Peć/Peja".

I dintorni di Nikšić, cittadina del Montenegro centro-occidentale non lontana dal famoso monastero di Ostrog, sono stati scelti dall’amministrazione comunale locale come sede di implementazione del progetto "Valorizzazione del turismo ambientale nei territori di Scutari, Niš, Kraljevo, Nikšić, Peć/Peja". Il nostro viaggio parte da qui, più precisamente all’interno della Nikšićka Polje (la piana di Nikšić), tra antichi ponti romani, laghi artificiali e una ricca vegetazione composta perlopiù di frutti di bosco (more e lamponi), alti pioppi e piante di rosa canina.

Accompagnati da due membri della municipalità - Momcilo Mićunović e Jelena Vujović – percorriamo ciò che diventerà un percorso cicloturistico della lunghezza di trentacinque chilometri, da collegare in futuro alla più ampia rete cicloturistica montenegrina. “L’alluvione di novembre ha colpito anche questa regione” ci racconta Momcilo Mićunović, “provocando danni e inquinando le rive dei laghi. Ora siamo al lavoro per ripulire tutto entro la fine dell’estate”.

Il percorso cicloturistico avrà una forma circolare: “Il punto di partenza sono i principali hotel cittadini, dove sarà possibile noleggiare bici ed equipaggiamento. Da qui si partirà a raggiera in entrambe le direzioni, percorrendo sia strade asfaltate che sterrate”. Passiamo dai laghi Krupac e Slano, tutt’intorno le alte montagne montenegrine che segnano il confine con il Kosovo. “Lì dove oggi sorge il lago Krupac, al posto di quell’isoletta un tempo vi era una collina su cui in passato si trovava una fortezza turca, posta a difesa delle incursioni provenienti dalla Bosnia e dalla costa croata” . Prima di rientrare in città c’è tempo per visitare una piccola chiesa ortodossa, nel cui giardino antistante sono presenti alcuni stećci bogumili, l’antica eresia cristiana sviluppatasi tra il X e il XII secolo nella regione.
Il palazzo del re Nicola

Dvorac Kralja Nikola (il palazzo del re Nicola) fu costruito tra il 1896 e il 1900 – lo stesso periodo della fondazione della chiesa di San Basilio di Ostrog, situata a poche decine di metri. L’edificio, in puro stile neo-rinascimentale, è stato fino al 1984 sede del ginnasio cittadino. Ospita oggi la biblioteca comunale, la galleria d’arte e il museo nazionale. Decidiamo di visitare quest’ultimo, incuriositi dal consiglio di un amico: “Andate a scovare la foto di Ljubo Čupić, partigiano montenegrino e simbolo della resistenza a Nikšić”.

Suddiviso in numerose stanze e composto per lo più di materiale fotografico, ripercorre la storia della città e del territorio circostante sin dai primi insediamenti romani, passando per il periodo turco – quando era conosciuta col nome di Onogost – sino alla sua storia moderna e contemporanea. Finalmente, nell’ultima stanza del museo dedicata alla seconda guerra mondiale, mi imbatto nella foto di Ljubo: la foto è stata scattata pochi minuti prima della sua esecuzione per mano dei collaborazionisti četnići: mani e polsi legati, lo sguardo fieramente rivolto all’obiettivo, un sorriso di sfida invade il suo volto. Un sorriso in faccia ai suoi assassini e alla morte che dopo pochi minuti lo avrebbe raggiunto inesorabile.
Il partigiano
Čedomir Ljubo Čupić

Merita di essere raccontata la storia di Čedomir Ljubo Čupić. Nato nel 1913 da una famiglia montenegrina emigrata in Canada e proveniente da Zagarać, un piccolo villaggio nei sobborghi di Podgorica, all’età di 14 anni torna con i genitori in Montenegro e si stabilisce a Nikšić. Terminati gli studi superiori, si trasferisce a Belgrado dove studia legge e diventa membro del Partito Comunista Jugoslavo.

Nel 1941, dopo la capitolazione di Belgrado, torna a Nikšić e si unisce alle formazioni partigiane che operavano nella zona, diventando in poco tempo comandante del battaglione Đuro Đaković. Nell’aprile del 1942, durante la battaglia di Kablen (una collina nei dintorni di Nikšić) viene catturato dai četnići e imprigionato nella prigione cittadina. Torturato ferocemente per settimane, impedisce ai propri parenti di muovere alcuna richiesta di grazia nei suoi confronti. Condannato a morte da un tribunale-fantoccio assieme ad altri giovani partigiani, alla fine di maggio viene fucilato a Trebjšje, appena fuori dalla città. Nell’osservare la foto appesa al muro del museo mi vengono in mente le ultime parole urlate fieramente contro i suoi carnefici, e così mi piace rircordarlo: "Živjela slavna komunistička partija!", “Lunga vita al glorioso partito comunista!”.
Il parco di mezzo

Da Nikšić ci spostiamo a nord verso il parco nazionale del Durmitor, diretti a Plužine. Qui ci attende Miles Davis, che per conto dell’Ong Cosv segue da due anni un progetto di valorizzazione e sviluppo territoriale che fa perno attorno ad un ex ospedale partigiano a pochi chilometri dalla cittadina situata al confine con la Bosnia-Erzegovina. Il mattino seguente Miles ci accompagna a visitare la sede del progetto. Per arrivarci entriamo nella “no man’s land” tra il territorio montenegrino e quello bosniaco. Dopo aver attraversato la frontiera del Montenegro – ma senza essere entrati in Bosnia Erzegovina – saliamo a mezza costa lasciandoci ai piedi il fiume Tara. Una luminosità tersa avvolge boschi e montagne ancora imbiancate di neve.

“L’edificio fu costruito agli inizi del novecento come scuola elementare del villaggio. Poi durante la seconda guerra fu utilizzato come ospedale partigiano, e attorno agli anni settanta la municipalità di Plužine lo fece diventare un centro multifunzionale con un piccolo museo partigiano e un centro di prima assistenza sanitaria per gli abitanti del villaggio. Un anno e mezzo fa era completamente distrutto. Il tetto presentava numerose aperture da cui entrava acqua, cosicché col tempo anche le parti interne si sono rovinate. Per prima cosa abbiamo rimosso il vecchio tetto e ne abbiamo costruito uno nuovo. Poi si è passati al drenaggio della parte interna, assicurandoci che tutta l’umidità fosse stata eliminata prima di iniziare i lavori strutturali: cambio delle murature, finestre, stipiti…” .

Agli inizi di giugno è stato inaugurato il nuovo centro multifunzionale, che ospiterà un “bed and breakfast” con circa quaranta posti letto e darà inoltre la possibilità ai turisti di affittare mountain bike durante l’estate e ciaspole in inverno. Seguendo l’anima originaria del centro, verrà aperto anche un centro di prima assistenza sanitaria e in futuro anche un piccolo museo storico.
Sentieri
Durmitor - flatworldsedge/flickr

Più incuriosito dal passato partigiano di questi luoghi, vengo a scoprire che nel villaggio vive Milan Nišić, ex barelliere dell’ospedale. Ultra novantenne, dopo aver cresciuto sei figli e numerosi nipotini oggi ha ancora la forza di alzarsi ogni mattina all’alba per mungere le proprie mucche. Mi riprometto di tornare ad intervistarlo accompagnato dal nipote Brano, che ha collaborato al progetto del Cosv.

Mi informo anche sulla possibilità di ripercorrere alcuni degli antichi sentieri partigiani che seguono le tracce della famosa battaglia della Sutjeska, ma purtroppo sono tutti in pessime condizioni e mal segnalati. Penso all'Italia, dove anche grazie a percorsi legati alla memoria sulla Resistenza si son creati circoli virtuosi di valorizzazione e riscoperta delle nostre montagne. Chissà che un giorno non nasca qualcosa anche tra questi boschi. La storia racchiusa in essi merita di essere narrata.