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Amanpour: The Srebrenica genocide was a defining moment

Not many took him seriously.But slowly the assaults built. And on July 11, 1995, a massacre in Srebr..

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Not many took him seriously.But slowly the assaults built. And on July 11, 1995, a massacre in Srebrenica would live in infamy. After years of indifference, the world could turn its head no more.It was the worst atrocity on European soil since World War II, and the numbers are staggering to this day.More than 7,000 men and boys were slaughtered simply for being Muslim — part of the approximately 100,000 who would be killed during the war, the majority of them Muslim.Just before the slaughter, Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb military leader, was seen laughing with his soldiers, handing out candy, telling civilians not to worry. It is one of the most chilling pieces of video I've ever seen in my life.To see Mladic sit before the court in the Hague now, facing justice for the brutality he meted out to others, is deeply satisfying.It took the slaughter of thousands and thousands of people — a genocide in the heart of Europe — to get the American and European governments to be serious about putting an ultimatum to Slobodan Milosevic, the Serbian leader who used the Bosnian Serbs as his lethal instruments.An enormous mortar attack on a Sarajevo market a month later was the final trigger. NATO bombed Serbian positions for two weeks. The Serbian forces were unmasked as brutal, but in the end became paper tigers — they quickly surrendered. The Clinton administration tasked the late diplomat Richard Holbrooke with bringing the warring parties to Dayton, Ohio, and negotiate a peace that's held to this day.

Best and the worst

For me, the war and what I witnessed changed everything. I saw the very best and worst of humanity.The worst was the Bosnian Serbs, armed and backed by Milosevic, slaughtering civilians — that meant women, little kids, old men.Let's not forget that this was a deliberate slaughter of civilians — not a war between two armies. The goal of the Bosnian Serbs was to terrorize and kill and ethnically cleanse these civilians from territory that they wanted to carve out as an ethnically pure statelet for themselves. They even had dreams of joining a greater Serbia.It was a completely unlevel playing field, right down to the fact that they were perched on the mountains surrounding Sarajevo, shelling and sniping the mostly Muslim residents of Sarajevo, Srebrenica and other besieged cities that nestled in the valleys below. Nothing was off limits: bread lines, water points, hospitals, schools; even road crossings made you a target.It was hard to recall that only a decade earlier, the ethnically mixed, sophisticated and liberal city of Sarajevo had been the venue for the 1984 Winter Olympics.Covering the war, it was hard to imagine the stadium where the British pair Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean ice-skated into the history books — because now it was an overflowing graveyard. It was hard to summon the music, "Bolero," that brought them a gold medal when all we could hear now was the pound of mortar fire and the whiz-ping of the snipers' bullets.But war also brings out the best in people.It brought out the best in those who resisted and those were survived, who clung to the belief that once this hell ended they could go back to living together again in their beloved multiethnic city, who, despite the depravity of this war, their abandonment by the world, still kept their dignity, their humanity and their hope.It was a privilege and a lesson for eternity to witness this heroic struggle and tell this story to the world.

Real objectivity

As a young reporter, Bosnia is where I found my voice. As a person who had been taught the values of freedom, democracy, human rights, religious and ethnic tolerance — to see all that under mortal threat in Bosnia — Sarajevo, Srebrenica and all the other villages, towns and cities — was formative. I resolved to do what I could to fight it — through my words, our pictures and our huge and powerful platform.And fighting it meant seeing clearly, knowing what I was watching and telling the truth about what was happening. It brought the golden rule of journalism into clear focus for me: objectivity. I understood then that objectivity means giving all sides a fair hearing, but it doesn't mean treating each side equally.Objectivity does not mean treating victim and aggressor the same. Objectivity doesn't mean ascribing a false moral equivalence. But that's what our governments were trying to do.Those officials from the United States and across Europe who didn't want to intervene to stop this were saying all sides are equally guilty when they weren't. And the massacre at Srebrenica finally proved it, finally proved our governments could no longer look away.

A confrontational moment

A year before Srebrenica, as the Bosnian War still raged, President Bill Clinton came to Atlanta to participate in a CNN-hosted global affairs forum. I was one of several correspondents stationed around the world for something like a global press conference.The moderator, our anchor Judy Woodruff, brought me in for a question from Sarajevo. I hadn't thought of, or planned it, as a confrontation. The President had been speaking about the great job America had done in providing humanitarian assistance, and I was finding it hard to stomach.All I could think of was "never again, never again."I asked a long question — I remember it like it was yesterday — why all the "flip-flops" on Bosnia by his administration, why not stand up to the Serbian war machine, and wasn't he afraid of setting a dangerous precedent?I made him angry. It was an awkward moment for me. It was probably an awkward moment for the President, but in hindsight, I think I did the right thing. We were in the pre-viral age, but this encounter ricocheted around the world.It was a serious and dramatic question about why the world wasn't doing anything to stop a genocide.This week Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in Moscow. Though ISIS ideology lives on, it has been almost totally defeated on the battlefield. I wonder how long it will take the west to confront Assad, whose brutality helped bring about ISIS and continues to fuel Syria's civil war.

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Corriere della Sera: Belgian judges exerted illegal & undue pressure on Eva Kaili

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Madrid Journal – Italian and Greek media seem to lose patience with how the Belgian authorities are dealing with corruption case in the European Parliamentary. The ill treatment of the Belgian judiciary became very obvious where the prosecution is practically employing blackmail as a tactic to get Eva Kaili to confess despite her pleading innocence from day one. According to the report of the Italian newspaper, the Belgian judges investigating the Qatargate scandal allegedly exerted illegal undue pressure on Eva Kaili, suggesting that she confess her guilt, with the promise that she will be released from prison.

It should be noted that after the conclusion of the last hearing, the lawyers of Eva Kaili complained that their client was kept in solitary confinement for six hours, speaking of torture reminiscent of the Middle Ages and a violation of human rights.

Today the Italian newspaper brings to light the aforementioned claim of the well-known criminologist Michalis Dimitrakopoulos.

“She has not agreed to confess to something she has not done” 
“From the first moment they suggested that Eva Kaili plead guilty and be released from prison so that she can finally hug her daughter again,” says Dimitrakopoulos, clarifying however that his client , who has been claiming innocence since day one, has always denied it.

“Despite the fact that being away from her little girl is the greatest psychological torture, she has not agreed to confess to something she has not done,” adds the Greek lawyer.

As also stated in the publication “she does not want her daughter to inherit the stigma that her mother was a corrupt female politician, because it is not true”.

The same publication also states that: “The former Greek TV journalist was immediately acquitted by her partner Giorgi, but the investigators did not believe the couple’s version, convinced that the woman belonged to Pantzeri’s network and tried to help him disappear the money from the funds. In fact, they accused her of bribery and of trying to hide the fruits of a crime.”

What will be her next move
The next moves Dimitrakopoulos plans for Eva Kaili are to build a profile of a woman deeply scarred by the month and a half she spent behind bars in Haren prison, the newspaper says.

“She was shaking as she told the judge, who was also a woman, about the torture she suffered, not in prison, but in a police cell. What he experienced – says the lawyer – is reminiscent of the movie ‘Midnight Express’, but unfortunately this is happening in the center of Europe”.

The indictment against the allegedly aggressive methods of the Belgian justice system ends with the announcement of the next legal move by Eva Kaili’s defense team: “Next week we will appeal to the Supreme Court, announces Dimitrakopoulos. When someone is arrested they are immediately protected by the law. I wonder if it was the same in Brussels.”

 

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The 5 best resorts and boutique hotels in Italy 2023

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Seehof Nature Retreat /Naz-Sciaves (Bressanone)

Adults-only resort overlooking the shores of a private lake, the Seehof Nature Retreat has 40 rooms, including suites and doubles, with lake view or garden view. The wellness rite to clarify ideas about what to do in the future is carried out in the spa, it is the Aufguss, the infusion of vapors with essential oils which is carried out by a sauna master. The swimming pool is heated and can therefore also be used in winter, while the lake is frozen, so only the bravest will go and get their feet wet after a session in the sauna. Those who can’t sit still can go skiing in the Gitschberg/Jochtal and Plose/Bressanone areas, on the way back, massage with alpine herb pads or with arnica and St. John’s wort to soothe the muscles. The stay is all-inclusive (with a four-course gourmet dinner); the half board is on request.

Langhe House / Cerretto Langhe (Cuneo)

The Alta Langa is a land of great reds and also of sparkling wines, hazelnuts, cheeses and castles. Heritage of biodiversity, it is a land that tries to defend its relationship with nature, limiting highways and new constructions.

The result is Casa di Langa, a five-star resort amidst hazelnut groves and vineyards, which renounces single-use plastic, focuses on energy independence and recycles water for the irrigation of its vineyards and biodynamic vegetable gardens which Luigi Merlo, the gardener, takes care of Daniel Zeilinga, the executive chef, with two years of experience alongside Enrico Crippa at the Piazza Duomo restaurant in Alba. Aromatic herbs, edible flowers, ancient varieties all that grows is needed at the Sorì Cocktail Bar, which favors infusions for drinks, the Fàula restaurant, which has just entered the Michelin guide, and the Spa.

Villa Gelsomino / Santa Margherita Ligure

An 18th-century villa, Art Nouveau details and 5 sea-view suites, with original frescoes and Genoese grit floors. Villa Gelsomino is the project of three friends, who transformed the house into a boutique hotel reserved for adults only. The structure uses green energy, is plastic-free, and compensates for C02 emissions by planting trees around the world. You stay among a few guests and in the quiet, on request, there are private yoga and pilates lessons and you get around with electric scooters and e-cycles.

Gallicantu / Luogosanto (Sassari)

They are the new refuges for travelers who have already experienced everything; the pens, the rural settlements where the animals are rounded up, in the Sardinian Gallura are small treasure properties, created among the blocks of granite, sheltered from the confusion of the coast (but the beaches are always short range). Gallicantu, a micro-resort revisited by architect Jean Claude Lesuisse, with just five rooms and two suites, is close to Luogosanto (its name comes from the 22 country churches in the area), Tempio, where Fabrizio De André had chosen to live, and the beautiful Aggius, which is part of the authentic villages of Italy. If you wish, instead of reaching the Costa Smeralda, you can stop by the pool, among the olive trees. There is also a wellness area with sauna, Turkish bath, emotional showers. The pre-nuragic cave of the property is instead intended for the tasting of wines, cold cuts and cheeses.

Cape of Senses / Torri del Benaco (Verona)

55 lake view suites, three swimming pools, one of which is sports and two infinity, adults-only Spa, with fitness and yoga platforms, two restaurants, a 15,000-metre property among the retreats in Italy that will make headlines in 2023 is the Cape of Senses, which will open in July in Albisano, above Torri del Benaco, on Lake Garda. Designed by Hugo and Alessia Demetz, the hotel will be an oasis where you can stay for three days or more: upon request, you can sleep in a mobile structure, in direct contact with the stars. Two restaurants, At sunset, with gourmet à la carte cuisine, and La Pergola, with traditional cuisine served on the panoramic terrace.

This article was originally published on GQ (Italiana Edition)

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NGOs: Belgian authorities treatment of Kaili is inhumane

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Greek and European Human Rights organisations have organisations have criticised harshly the Belgian authorities treatment of Eva Kaili and described it as inhumane. The NGOs including Amnesty added that Kaili’s daughter was deprived of her mum for very long time due to the ongoing investigation.
Reports have suggested earlier that Haren prison where Kaili is jailed is one of the worst and most populated prisons in Belgium with very low staff maintaining it. In fact, Belgians have agreed under pressure to allow Kaili to see her daughter after a month of separation between the mum and her little daughter. Such treatment of the Belgian authorities can only be seen under oppressive regimes not in Europe.
After almost a month, Eva Kaili, the former Vice-President of the European Parliament who was jailed as part of the investigation into the Qatargate corruption case, was able to see her two-year-old daughter again.

Accompanied by her grandfather Alexandros Cailis by taxi, the little girl arrived at the Haren prison, according to the Italian newspaper Repubblica.  This is the new Belgian prison located a few kilometers from the center of Brussels and where the MEP is being held.

According to the same sources, Eva Kaili’s lawyer, Michalis Dimitrakopoulos said that the Greek politician was “happy to see her child again after a month”. Mother and daughter “played together for about two hours and twenty minutes. The room was very nice and I didn’t feel like I was in a prison,” he added. 

Then the well-known criminologist revealed that in the coming days the child will again return to Haren prison to see his mother.

It is noted that in the previous period the Eva Kaili had complained that they did not allow her to see her daughter, a claim denied by the Belgian authorities, stating that detained mothers can see their children at predetermined times, while they have the possibility – if they wish – to keep them in specially designed cells.

It is recalled that Kaili was arrested on December 9, for calling her father and asking him to come and pick up a suitcase from the house where she lived with her husband Francesco Giorgi, after learning that her partner had been arrested. A suitcase in which there were 750,000 euros. Kaili told authorities she knew her husband was holding something on behalf of Italian former MEP Antonio Pancheri, but claims she didn’t know the contents of the suitcase until that morning. 

However, the MEP’s entourage speaks of a plot of big interests on her back, while the documents that linked the Greek politician to bank deposits in Panama are still under the microscope.

It is recalled that Kaili was arrested on December 9, for calling her father and asking him to come and pick up a suitcase from the house where she lived with her husband Francesco Giorgi, after learning that her partner had been arrested. A suitcase in which there were 750,000 euros. Kaili told authorities she knew her husband was holding something on behalf of Italian former MEP Antonio Pancheri, but claims she didn’t know the contents of the suitcase until that morning. 

However, the MEP’s entourage speaks of a plot of big interests on her back, while the documents that linked the Greek politician to bank deposits in Panama are still under the microscope.

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