Planet Watch
Ghana soldiers

Growing police-state measures in face of COVID-19

As nations across the globe remain under lockdown, more sweeping powers are being assumed by governments in the name of containing the COVID-19 pandemic. Facing demands for relief from poor barrios running out of resources under his lockdown orders, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to shoot protesters in the streets. Police have opened fire on lockdown violators in Nigeria, Ghana and Peru. In Tunisia, remote-controlled wheeled robots have been deployed to accost lockdown violators. States of emergency, including broad powers to restrict movements and control the media, have been declared from the Philippines to Serbia. Amnesty International warns that the restrictive measures could become a “new normal.” (Photo: Pulse, Ghana)

Europe

Kosovo PM resigns to face war crimes court

The prime minister of Kosovo, Ramush Haradinaj, resigned after being called in for questioning by a war crimes court in The Hauge. The court is investigating ex-members of the Kosovo Liberation Army for actions during the war from 1998-9 that led to Kosovo’s independence from Serbia. Haradinaj was a KLA commander in that war. Although technically a body of the Kosovo government, the war crimes court is based at The Hague and made up of foreign prosecutors and judges—an unusual arrangement pointing to the limited sovereignty of ostensibly independent Kosovo.  (Photo of Kosova Liberation Army via IBNA)

Europe

Kosovo adopts laws allowing formation of army

The Parliament of Kosovo approved a package of bills that will allow Kosovo to form a military and defense ministry. All three bills—one establishing a Defense Ministry, one that converts the limited Kosovo Security Forces (KSF) into a professional army, and another that regulates service in the forces—garnered convincing majority votes in Kosovo's 120-seat legislature, with 101, 98 and 96 yes-votes respectively. Notably absent for the vote, however, were the Parliament’s ethnic Serb MPs. Serbia will seek an urgent session of the UN Security Council over Kosovo’s decision, holding that the adoption of these laws amounts to a violation of the Kosovar Constitution. (Photo of Kosova Liberation Army via IBNA)

East Asia

China factor in the Trump world order

Xi Jinping is weighing whether he will be invited to join the authoritarian New Order—or whether Putin will desert him for Trump, and the two of them will gang up on China.

Europe

Serbia: court clears accused Nazi collaborator

A Serbian court officially rehabilitated Dragoljub "Draza" Mihailovic, a World War II-era royalist executed nearly 70 years ago on convictions of collaborating with the Nazis. 

Europe

Mineral struggle in new Kosova violence

Street-fighting in Kosova's capital Pristina was portrayed as more Serb-Albanian "ethnic hatred," but it came as workers occuiped the Trepca mining complex to resist privatization.

Europe

Sarajevo at 100: ready for World War 5?

As the 1914 assassination of Archduke Ferdinand is commemorated in a bitterly divided Sarajevo, the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria show grim potential for a new world war.