Bosnian Roman Catholic whitewashing of nazi criminals


This Associated Press video says about itself:

(18 May 2019) Thousands of Croatian far-right supporters gathered in a field in southern Austria on Saturday to commemorate the massacre of pro-Nazi Croats by communists at the end of World War II.

For Croatian nationalists, the controversial annual event near the village of Bleiburg symbolises their suffering under communism in the former Yugoslavia before they fought a war for independence in the 1990s.

However, Bleiburg’s mayor Stefan Visocnik has branded the event “a mask for the glorification of Nazism.”

Tens of thousands of Croatians, mostly pro-fascist soldiers and their families, fled to the region in May 1945 amid a Yugoslav army offensive, only to be turned back from Austria by the British military and into the hands of anti-fascists.

Tens of thousands [many hundreds of thousands, some estimate] of Jews, Serbs, Gypsies and anti-fascist Croats perished in [pro-Hitler Croatian party] Ustasha-run death camps during WWII and the Bleiburg massacre was seen by historians as revenge by the victorious communist partisan fighters.

Austria’s anti-fascist groups, waving the former Yugoslavia’s flags with the communist red star and signs “Death to Fascism”, held small protests during the event.

By David Ian Klein in Jewish daily the Forward in the USA, 13 May 2020:

Local Jewish community speaks out against Sarajevo Catholic Church’s nod to Nazi allies

Catholic leaders in Bosnia and Herzegovina are planning to say what many observers see as a mass for the perpetrators of World War II atrocities against Jews, a decision that has outraged the Sarajevo Jewish community.

The Bishops Conference of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Archdiocese of Vrhbosna, which oversees the Catholic faithful in the eastern region of Bosnia and Herzegovina, stoked the controversy last week when it announced its decision to host a mass on May 16 for the victims of the Bleiburg Repatriations.

“To learn that the Catholic Church, who are our friends these days, who are always present, especially the Cardinal, at Holocaust commemorations organized by the Jewish community, has made this decision is simply astonishing. It is not just against the Jews but all people who call this country their home,” said Jacob Finci, president of the Jewish Community of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

After the allies declared victory in Europe on May 8, 1945, the political and military leadership of the Independent State of Croatia, a Nazi puppet ruled by the brutal Ustaše party, fled Zagreb to Austria, along with their families and other assorted loyalists. They were hoping to avoid capture by the Yugoslav partisans led by Josip Broz Tito and to surrender to the British.

The Ustaše, whose rule covered both modern-day Croatia as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina, were never shy about contributing to the genocidal agenda of their German allies. It was the Ustaše and the NDH military which oversaw the Holocaust in Sarajevo, resulting in the murder of more than 7,000 of the city’s 10,000 Jews. The Ustaše then launched their own genocidal campaign against ethnic Serbs in the independent state.

“In Croatia were the only concentration camps in all of German-occupied Europe which were not established, run or even supervised by the Germans,” explained Dr. Eliezer Papo, a professor of Sephardic Studies and Balkan Jewish history at Ben Gurion University who was born and raised in Sarajevo. This included Jasenovac, the so-called Auschwitz of the Balkans, where more than 100,000 Serbs, Roma and Jews were killed.

“The Catholic Church Identified strongly with the Ustaša movement during the second world war,” said Papo. “In fact, one of the most notorious killers of the Jasenovac [camp], the Auschwitz of the Balkans, was Fra Majstorovic, a Franscsican monk.” Majstorovic was also known in Jasenovic as Fra Sotona, Brother Satan, due to his brutality.

When the Ustaše leadership arrived in Austria though, the British forces there were not as welcoming as they expected. Having made agreements with the Yugoslav partisans, they returned the NDH prisoners to them at a border town called Bleiburg. Though exact numbers vary, most experts agree that thousands were summarily executed by the partisans, while others were sent to forced labor camps in the newly founded Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Events honoring those killed at Bleiburg have in the past been held in Croatia and at Bleiburg itself in Austria, where they have often been criticized for displays of Ustaše, Fascist and ultra-nationalist symbols. However, they were canceled this year, due to the coronavirus fears and travel restrictions.

Instead the charge was given to Cardinal Vinko Puljic, the soon-to-be retired archbishop of Vrhbosna, to conduct the mass. Immediately the city erupted in controversy.

“For [the Jewish Community] this is a small disaster,” said Finci. “The Ustaše government during their rule of Sarajevo between 1941 and 1945 killed 10,000 Sarajevans including almost 8,000 Jews. Now to celebrate a holy mass for them as victims is something utterly ridiculous.”

In a strongly-worded open letter Jakob Finci, and Boris Kozemjakin, president of the Jewish community of Sarajevo condemned the church’s decision urging them to call off the mass.

“This mass is for criminals against the citizens of Sarajevo,” the letter states. “It commemorates the executioners of our mothers, fathers, grandfathers, our compatriots and all other innocent victims of the fascist parastate NDH.”

“I see no reason why the bishops of the Bishops’ Conference in Bosnia and Herzegovina would discuss a possible cancellation of that holy mass. The church has always prayed for and will pray for the deceased and that should not bother anyone who has goodwill,” Ivo Tomasevic, secretary-general of the Bishops’ Conference, told the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network.

Later that week, Finci and Tomasevic held a public debate on the Bosnian show Face to Face.

The two Jewish presidents did acknowledge that, among the Ustaše, innocents did die at Bleiburg. But they still felt that positive remembrance of fascism should be unwelcome in the city.

“We pay tribute to the innocent victims, but their husbands, fathers and other family members, who committed all manner of atrocities against innocent people in the infamous camps and massacres throughout our country, do not deserve to have their name mentioned in Sarajevo,” their letter stated.

The Israeli embassy in Tirana, Albania, which also serves Bosnia and Herzegovina, also condemned any attempt to equate the killings committed at Bleiburg with those of the Ustaše regime.

“A clear distinction has to be made between the victims who without any guilt on their part were forced to concentration camps like Jasenovac and Stara Gradiška and killed there, and those who are responsible for those crimes even if they did not have the opportunity to stand a fair trial for them,” the embassy said in a statement.

In addition to the Jewish community, leaders of Sarajevo’s other major faith communities as well as its political establishment have all spoken out against the Bleiburg mass.

“Bosnia and especially Sarajevo has always been an anti-fascist town. Both between 1941 and 1945 and again between 1992 and 1995 we have always been victims of fascism, of different types of Nazis, that is why the average person is strongly opposing this”, Finci said.

David Ian Klein is a journalist based in New York and doing a fellowship in Sarajevo, where he is now sheltering in place.

See also here.

Austria officially bans memorial for executed Nazi allies.

Prize-winning film actor dies of poverty in Bosnia


This video says about itself:

AN EPISODE IN THE LIFE OF AN IRON PICKER Trailer | Festival 2013

13 August 2013

Acclaimed director Danis Tanovic won the Grand Jury Prize at the Berlin Film Festival for this unflinching exposé of the prejudices faced by Bosnia-Herzegovina‘s Roma minority, starring the real-life couple whose harrowing ordeal became a national scandal.

By Stefan Steinberg in Germany:

2013 Berlin Film Festival prize winner dies in poverty

26 February 2018

Nazif Mujić, winner of a Silver Bear award for Best Actor at the Berlin Film Festival in 2013, has died aged just 48. According to the first accounts of his death, Mujić died in extreme poverty in the hamlet of Svatovac in Bosnia. Mujić starred in the film An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker by Danis Tanovic at the Berlin Film Festival.

Mujić plays himself in the film, which recounts his real-life struggles as a scrap-iron collector whose wife suffers a miscarriage. The family seeks to obtain medical help, but are turned away from Bosnian hospitals because they are Roma. Tanovic’s film shone a spotlight on the extent of the persecution and discrimination of Roma in Bosnia after the break-up of Yugoslavia and the reintroduction of capitalism.

Following his success at the Berlin festival—Iron Picker won two Silver Bears, for Mujić as best actor and for the film itself—and after failing to find proper work after returning to Bosnia, Mujić lodged a claim in 2014 to reside in Germany with his family. Explaining his claim at the time, Mujić declared: “I don’t want to be rich. I just want an ordinary job, a chance to feed my family.” Expressing his disenchantment with Bosnia, he said, “Bosnia betrayed me…I will not go back. I would rather hang myself.

Around 75,000 Roma live in Bosnia, but according to the local NGO Atlantic Initiative just five percent have official employment.

In 2016, Human Rights Watch stated that Roma remain “the most vulnerable group” in Bosnia, facing “widespread discrimination in employment, education, and political representation.”

Germany rejected Mujić’s application for asylum, declaring cynically that, for humanitarian reasons, the government would not deport Mujić and his family until after the Bosnian winter. Back in Bosnia, Mujić was forced to resume his former work of gathering scrap metal for a few euros a day.

Unable to pay for his family’s basic needs, Mujić sold his Silver Bear to a local tavern owner for €4,000 ($US4,930). “First I sold an old car, then some personal items, and then it was the Bear’s turn”, Mujić said at the time. He said the decision to sell the trophy was “very difficult” but “my children had eaten almost nothing for three days.”

According to the actor’s brother, Suljo Mujić, Mujić had been suffering from ill health in recent months and was very worried because of his financial situation. In January of this year, he tried to find a way to enter Germany again, but came back, the brother said.

Using some of the money he made from the sale of the trophy, Mujić purchased a bus ticket to Berlin, but was forced to return to Bosnia after being informed he was liable for a fine that he could not afford to pay, dating back to the time he and his family had applied for asylum in Germany.

It is clear that the inhumane asylum policy of the German government and the Berlin Senate … contributed to Mujić’s early death.

In a typical case, in mid-January 2016, the Berlin police deported eight-year-old Denica, who suffers from a heart condition, and her father back to Bosnia. The boy’s mother and Denica’s brother, who also has a heart condition, had received temporary permission to stay because of the severity of his condition, but then decided to travel back to Bosnia “voluntarily.”

In 2017, 2,028 refugees were deported from Berlin, of which more than 80 percent were sent back to Balkan countries, including 254 to Bosnia.

At the end of December, the Senate Department for Integration, Labor and Social Affairs assessed that there was a total of 11,754 migrants who had been denied asylum and were legible for deportation.

Dragonflies in Bosnia & Herzegovina


This video from the Czech republic is about the damselfly species Coenagrion ornatum.

From BirdLife:

By Shaun Hurrell, Mon, 15/02/2016 – 12:24

In Bosnia & Herzegovina, the Society for Biological Research and Protection of Nature are living up to their organisation’s name. In a project funded by the Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund (CEPF), the Society have first conducted a lot of biological research on freshwater biodiversity, and then are using that data to propose protected sites that are very important for nature in the country. …

“This project aimed to identify the most important freshwater habitats for the conservation of threatened dragonfly, mollusk and fish species in the Neretva catchment, and to ensure sufficient scientific data for their efficient protection and long-term survival,” said Dejan Kulijer from BIO.LOG (the short name for the Society for Biological Research and Protection of Nature).

The team have proposed four new Natura 2000 sites, and three of the sites would represent the first designated for threatened dragonfly species Coenagrion ornatum and Cordulegaster heros in Mediterranean Europe. …

For such a small country, Bosnia & Herzegovina supports a large number of dragonflies – over 50 species in all. These flying predators are fantastic ambassadors for freshwater habitat conservation: beautiful animals that rely on clean water in all stages of their life cycles. …

Having reliable data on threatened species is also a valuable contribution against impending dam threats too. The project also discovered that Neretva Softmouth Trout – an endemic fish species – has a significantly reduced distribution in the Neretva basin due to dam and reservoir construction. …

Top threats for dragonflies in Europe:

1. Dams and water management

2. Domestic and urban pollution

3. Droughts

4. Agricultural pollution

5. Tourism and recreational development

This video is about the emergence of a young female Cordulegaster heros dragonfly.

Four-year-old refugee child murdered in Germany


This video says about itself:

Out in the cold: Refugees in Berlin | DW News

14 October 2015

Many refugees who make it to Europe end up in Germany. And the government is struggling to register them all. That means long outdoor waits for people trying to get refugee status, at a time when the weather is getting cold.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Kidnapped refugee boy found dead

Today, 14:28

Police in Berlin have found the body of four-year-old Mohamed, who disappeared early this month from the registration center for refugees in the German capital. The mortal remains of the boy were in the trunk of a car. A man of 32 years of age was arrested; he is suspected to have kidnapped the child. …

Mohamed came to Germany from Bosnia with his mother and two sisters.

Why did the mother of little Mohamed lose sight of him at the registration center for refugees in Berlin?

NOS TV writes (translated):

At the State Office for Health and Social Affairs his family lost sight of him because of the pushing.

Hundreds of refugees are waiting there every day for registration. According to the German news agency DPA there every morning a few people get injured by the pushing when the office opens.

So, apparently, the registration office is too small and too few people work there for often traumatized refugees from wars to register comfortably and safely.

And if the waiting refugees at that office have bad luck, then they get beaten up by private ‘security’ mercenaries of mercenary corporations. Corporations who sometimes employ refugee-hating neo-nazis.

And now, the chaos at that office has made it possible for a criminal to abduct and murder a little child. Of course, the perpetrator of this crime is guilty. But the bad circumstances for registering refugees in Berlin are certainly also guilty to a certain extent.

Little Mohamed and his family are from Bosnia. Where there was bloody war, including NATO ‘humanitarian’ intervention. Where the wounds of that war have not healed yet. Where there is grinding poverty and hunger. However, German Minister De Maizière has said that he wants to send refugees from so-called ‘safe’ countries back to those so-called ‘safe’ countries. De Maizière named Afghanistan, where NATO has just bombed the only hospital of Kunduz city into bloody smithereens, a ‘safe’ country. He claims that Bosnia is safe too.

In the closed-minded view of De Maizière and his ilk, whenever NATO soldiers invade some country, that country miraculously becomes a ‘safe country’.

So, there is a sad probability that the Berlin authorities may reject the applications for asylum of the mother and sisters of little Mohamed. While they cry for their cruelly murdered son and sibling, they may be forcibly returned to the ‘safe’ place which they fled.

UPDATE: the German suspect of this crime has confessed having killed another little boy earlier.

THE QUESTIONS REFUGEES ASK WHEN THEY GET TO EUROPE “Connecting with family is a top priority for newly arrived refugees who want their loved ones to know they are safe. IRC staff direct people to cafes and restaurants that provide WiFi free of charge.” [HuffPost]

Cave salamander discoveries in Montenegro and Bosnia


This video from Slovenia is called A True Miracle in Postojna CaveProteus anguinus laying eggs in public.

From BirdLife:

Scientific breakthrough reveals evidence of ‘human fish’ locked away in cave system

By Shaun Hurrell, Mon, 09/02/2015 – 10:35

How do you find physical evidence of a rare species when most of its habitat (the subterranean waters of limestone cave systems in the Balkans) is inaccessible to humans? The ‘human fish’ is the largest cave animal in the world. Despite this, Proteus anguinus – a blind, entirely-aquatic salamander commonly known as the olm, and endemic to the Dinaric Alps – is incredibly difficult to find.

The answer was recently provided by the Society for Cave Biology (SCB; Društvo za jamsko biologijo) in a project funded by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) when they found the first physical evidence of the species in Montenegro using new techniques to sample its DNA.

In this region, activities such as water extraction, river damming and agriculture have increased the stress on Proteus and other aquatic cave animals. Limestone habitats like cave systems can be intricate and complex, having taken millions of years to form by natural processes. One wrong move can wipe out entire species, so urgent measures need to be taken in order to save them.

Nick-named the ‘human fish’ by locals because of its skin colour, Proteus are listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and in some localities the species is already extinct. However the extent of the decline cannot be estimated without an extensive survey of its distribution – in habitat where access is easy for the human fish, but not so easy for human beings. The purpose of the CEPF project was to solve this problem: to test a scientific method that safely, effectively and accurately determines Proteus presence.

Environmental DNA

SCB, experts in speleological (cave and karst) research, designed a solution based on so-called ‘eDNA’. During the process of skin regeneration, Proteus shed fragments of epidermal cells which are carried away by water. DNA dissolved in water is called environmental DNA (eDNA), and SCB successfully tested and perfected the sensitive and inexpensive technique of identifying Proteus eDNA from samples of water.

After many hours in the field and thousands of water samples, the team have discovered new localities of Proteus in Montenegro and in Bosnia and Hercegovina. This ground-breaking research will give SCB and partners the evidence to appeal and counsel the nature conservation authorities in Montenegro to start all necessary legal actions to protect Proteus in their territories, and to guide the management planning of authorities in Bosnia and Hercegovina.

Austrian teenage girls want to leave ISIS


Samra Kesinovic and Sabina Selimovic want to come home

From the Daily Mirror in Britain:

Jihadi ‘poster girls’ want to come home from Syria after growing disillusioned with ISIS lifestyle

Oct 11, 2014 11:02

By Ben Russell

The girls left a note for their parents before they set off to Syria saying: “Don’t look for us. We will serve Allah – and we will die for him”

Two Austrian teenagers who became poster girls for Islamic State are now desperate to come home after reportedly becoming disillusioned with their jihadi lifestyle.

Samra Kesinovic, 17, and her friend Sabina Selimovic, 15, were persuaded to travel to war-torn Syria in April.

The girls, who are the children of Bosnian migrants, had started lecturing schoolmates in Vienna about their Islamic beliefs and left behind a note telling their parents: “Don’t look for us. We will serve Allah – and we will die for him”.

Once they arrived it is believed they were married off to local fighters and both the girls are thought to be pregnant.

Dutch NOS TV says they were married off not to local fighters, but to Chechen ISIS people. When they went to Syria, they were sixteen, respectively fourteen years old.

How Much Moral High Ground Does the US Have Over ISIS? Here.

Archduke shot in Sarajevo, World War I started 100 years ago


This video says about itself:

Was World War I the error of modern history?

Oxford historian Niall Ferguson reviews the world’s oldest motives for war, and concludes in his book, “The Pity of War” , that World War I was unnecessary. (Originally aired November 2000).

By David North in the USA:

One hundred years since Sarajevo

28 June 2014

Today marks the one-hundredth anniversary of the event that triggered the outbreak of World War I. On a Sunday morning, June 28, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand—nephew of the Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Josef and heir to his throne—was assassinated as his motorcade made its way through Sarajevo on the final day of a state visit to Bosnia. Despite the shocking character of the shooting, which also claimed the life of the Archduke’s wife Sophia, it was not expected that the killing of the scion of the Hapsburg dynasty would have particularly significant consequences.

However, in the course of July 1914 the crisis that followed the assassination steadily escalated. The response of the major European capitalist states was conditioned by tensions generated by conflicting geopolitical and economic interests that had been building up over the previous decade. The reactionary Hapsburg monarchy seized upon the assassination as a pretext for an attack on the Serbian regime, whose nationalist aspirations challenged the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s domination of the Balkans.

In Berlin, the regime of Emperor Wilhelm II gave the Austro-Hungarian government a green light to confront the Serbs with an all but unacceptable ultimatum that would lead to war. It took this action knowing that an Austrian invasion of Serbia would lead to an intervention by the Russian Empire to protect its interests in the Balkans. The German regime saw the prospect of a major war with Russia as an opportunity to establish its dominance in Eastern Europe and, thus, change the balance of power throughout the continent.

This prospect, however, frightened the ruling class in France, which had entered into an alliance with Russia to block the growth of German power. In the event of a war between Germany and Russia, the French bourgeoisie was convinced that it could not stand aside and accept a German victory. At the same time, the German regime had prepared, long in advance, detailed plans for an attack on France if war broke out with Russia.

The crisis led to a catastrophic denouement. By the first week of August, the major powers in Europe—Germany and Austro-Hungary on one side and France, Russia and Great Britain on the other—were in a state of war.

There have been countless volumes written analyzing the sequence of events that led from the assassination in Sarajevo on June 28 to a full-scale European war by the first week of August. Much of this literature has sought to establish which regime bore primary responsibility for the outbreak of war. But while the research has led to the discovery of important information related to the war aims of one or another government—such as, for example, the far-ranging ambitions of the German regime—the essential causes of the war require a deeper level of analysis.

The assassination in Sarajevo was no more than a spark that ignited the highly inflammable structure of European and international geopolitics. While it is possible that war might not have broken out in August 1914 if the Archduke had not been assassinated, some other event would have led—sooner rather than later—to a general war.

In fact, during the years preceding the outbreak of World War I, there had been a series of “war scares” arising from conflicts between the major capitalist powers over colonial and financial interests. The political climate of Europe had become increasingly tense. State spending on armaments had risen dramatically during the first decade of the twentieth century.

The growing socialist movement of the working class—under the banner of the Second International—became increasingly alarmed at the dangers posed by capitalist militarism. The potential for war between the “Great Powers” had emerged from the nature of the capitalist system. As early as 1902, the Marxist theoretician, Rudolf Hilferding, warned that the “sharpening of the struggle for the world market cannot remain without consequences for the foreign policy of the capitalist nations.” He noted that “increase in armaments, growth of the navy, internal reaction, violence and threats to peace in foreign relations, those are the necessary consequences of the newest phase of capitalist commercial policy.” [Cited in Discovering Imperialism: Social Democracy to World War I, edited by Richard B. Day and Daniel Gaido (Chicago, 2011), pp. 348-49]

As the decade progressed and the disastrous implications of imperialism became more and more apparent, the struggle against war was placed at the center of the work of the Second International. At its congress in Stuttgart in 1907, the Second International denounced colonialism, declaring that it “must lead to enslavement, forced labor, or the extermination of the native population of the colonialized regions. The civilizing mission that capitalist society claims to serve is no more than a veil for its lust for conquest and exploitation.” [Ibid, p. 28]

Five years later, at its Congress in Basel in 1912, the Second International issued a manifesto in which it declared:

If a war threatens to break out, it is the duty of the working classes and their parliamentary representatives in the countries involved… to exert every effort in order to prevent the outbreak of war by the means they consider most effective… In case war should break out anyway it is their duty to intervene in favor of its speedy termination and with all their powers to utilize the economic and political crisis created by the war to arouse the people and thereby to hasten the downfall of capitalist class rule.

But when the war broke out less than two years later, the leaders of the Second International repudiated their solemn commitment. On August 4, 1914, the largest and most politically influential section of the International, the German Social Democratic Party (SPD), voted to grant financial credits to the government, enabling it to prosecute the war. This act of political treachery marked the end of the Second International as a revolutionary force. The task of rebuilding a revolutionary International fell to those who opposed the capitulation of the Second International to the national ruling classes and to imperialism. Vladimir Lenin played the leading role in this struggle. His opposition to the war and defense of socialist internationalism laid the foundation for the victory of the socialist revolution in Russia in October 1917.

In opposition to all those in the Second International who justified their betrayal by absolving their own governments of responsibility for the outbreak of war, Lenin insisted that the war had grown out of the politics and economics of imperialism, and that all the governments were guilty. Subsequent research has confirmed Lenin’s indictment. Each government was determined to defend the global interests of the capitalist class of its own country. As one historian has written, “For virtually all of them, war was no longer the worst option.” [ The Arming of Europe and the Making of the First World War, by David G. Herrmann (Princeton, 1996), p. 226]

The World War was not an accident, the unintended result of policy mistakes. It arose inexorably from the contradictions of the capitalist system and the system of national states. Shortly after the war began, another revolutionary opponent of the betrayal of the Second International, Leon Trotsky, explained the historical significance of the war:

The War proclaims the downfall of the national state. Yet at the same time it proclaims the downfall of the capitalist system of economy…

The War of 1914 is the most colossal breakdown in history of an economic system destroyed by its own inner contradictions.

One hundred years have passed since Sarajevo. In the course of a century, humanity has passed through two devastating world wars that cost the lives of tens of millions. The innumerable local wars incited by imperialism since the end of World War II have cost the lives of tens of millions more. And now, yet another global conflagration is being prepared.

Mankind cannot survive another world war, which would inevitably be waged with nuclear weapons. Such a catastrophe must be prevented.

Tepco messes up Fukushima clean-up


This music video says about itself:

Japanski Vjetar (Fukushima & Chernobyl – prog punk rock) – Sanjin

In March 2011 I wrote a song dedicated to the accident in Fukushima. It is in Bosnian and the text dwells on the topic of nuclear power, weapons and waste – in a punk poetic way. The music is composed by Mikael Edebro and the guitar played by Emil Rolof. I, Sanjin Đumišić, did the lyrics, song and video. For the lyrics in Bosnian and English, here is the link.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Fukushima clean-up suspended sagain

Tuesday 20th May 2014

THE operator of Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, Tepco, admitted today that it had again suspended a trouble-plagued system used to clean radiation-tainted water.

Tepco put its advanced liquid processing system (Alps) on standby mode after it found processed water was clouded and unusually high in calcium.

Why the levels had become elevated was not known, a Tepco spokesman said.

The system is intended to clean radiation-tainted water used to cool reactors at the Fukushima Dai’ichi plant.

Alps has three lines, one of which has already been stopped for the same problem while the third is not functioning properly.

Tepco has repeatedly shut down the system because of a series of glitches since operations began last year.

The operator is struggling to handle the growing volume of contaminated water at Fukushima and thousands of gallons are being stored on site with no way of disposing of it.

Outcome of battle against radioactive water at Fukushima plant in doubt — Mainichi: here.

Record high radiation in seawater off Fukushima plant — The Japan Times: here.

Journalist makes documentary film after spending 2 years in Fukushima — Mainichi: here.

Number of Fukushima kids with thyroid cancer jumps by 17 from Dec — The Japan Times; Radiation exposure to butterflies — Smithsonian.com: here.

Editorial: Startling Fukushima testimony raises grave questions — The Asahi Shimbun: here.

Tepco pumping contaminated groundwater into the Pacific: here.

Manga about Fukushima cleanup operation becomes hit in Japan: here.

Government shows no intention of disclosing Fukushima disaster interviews — The Asahi Shimbun: here.

Tritium levels at Fukushima No. 1 well top Pacific dumping limit, Tepco admits — The Japan Times: here.

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Bosnian war crimes suspects arrested in the Netherlands


Bosnia and Herzegovina

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

War criminals arrested in the Netherlands

Thursday, May 8th, 2014, 12:06 (Update: 08-05-14, 12:43)

Two men suspected of war crimes in the Balkans have been arrested in Spijkenisse and Heumen. The Public Prosecutor reports this.

The two were arrested at the request of Bosnia and Herzegovina. During the 1990s, they are said to have committed war crimes against the civilian population.

Torture

The 43-year-old man from Spijkenisse has Bosnian citizenship. He is said to have been involved in murder, torture and psychological and physical violence against civilians.

The man served in the Bosnian-Croat army. According to the extradition request, he was camp commander in June 1992 in the Derventa region. There, civilians with Serbian backgrounds were held captive in a school.

A prisoner, said to have been accused of an attempted escape by the camp commander, was shot dead with an automatic weapon. Prisoners were beaten with rifle butts, their teeth were kicked out of their mouths and cigarettes were extinguished on their bodies.

Heumen

The man from Heumen is 52 years old and has both the Bosnian and Dutch nationality. He is said to have committed war crimes in 1992, as a member of an armed group during the Balkan war.

With other armed men, he is believed to be responsible for the death of an inhabitant of the Bosnian village Beslagici.

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New Bosnian film about poor people


This video is called An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker, Official UK trailer.

By Jeff Sawtell in Britain:

The bitter taste of ‘freedom’

Friday 25th April 2014

JEFF SAWTELL is moved by an honest Bosnian film about the economic degradation ushered in by ‘liberating’ capitalism

An Episode In The Life Of An Iron Picker (12A)
Directed by Danis Tanovich
5/5

As Nato advances in Ukraine, Danis Tanovich’s film reminds us of the aftermath of their destruction of the socialist federation of Yugoslavia.

Set in Bosnia-Herzegovina it follows the fortunes of an impoverished Roma family eking out a living in the midst of capitalist devastation.

Based on a true story and featuring the real-life Nazif Mujic and Senada Alimanovic it’s a fictional film designed to resemble a docudrama.

It’s aptly called An Episode, since every day is almost identical, with Nazril salvaging metal from wrecks that he sells to the scrap-dealer to survive.

Meanwhile, his pregnant wife Senada spends her days doing housework and looking after their two daughters, only to be struck by crippling pain.

She has to terminate her pregnancy to avoid scepticemia but is refused medical attention because they haven’t bought private insurance.

No matter their urgency and despite the help of friends Nazril scraps his car for salvage money.

All the time, they pass by the cooling towers of the electricity company which has cut off their supply, making life even more intolerable.

Winter is setting in and they have neither heat nor light and each day pictures the pain of their desperation.

This is not just social realism writ large — it’s a political parable about a society destroyed where people pay the price of capitalist “freedom.”

At one point Nazril rages at the darkening sky: “Oh my God, why do you pick on the poor?”

Then, as most working class people know, it’s up to themselves to be sufficiently resourceful to survive in a community committed to helping its members.

Dismissed by cynics as a miserablist movie, it’s almost modest in illustrating the travails of survival in a world of plenty.

As capitalism fails and the drive to war becomes urgent, we’re reminded that capitalism survives on an austerity imposed on the many.

Our future dystopia?

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