Mass Grave found in Serbia - November 20, 2020
European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) experts announced that they reached the mass grave of the Kosovo war (1998-1999) in a quarry in the Kizevak region of the city of Rashka, Serbia. The skeletal remains are thought to belong to Kosovo Albanians and were transported to this area during the war. Kizevak is the fifth place in Serbia where mass graves have been discovered. Earlier, graves, with a total of 941 bodies, were discovered in Batajnica, Perukac, Petrovo Selo and Rudnica.
Serbian Orthodox Patriarch Irinej dies - November 20, 2020
Serbian Orthodox Church Patriarch Irinej, who has been on coronavirus treatment in Belgrade, Serbia, died at the age of 90. It is thought that the coronavirus was transmitted to Irinej at the funeral -where coronavirus measures were ignored- of the 82-year-old Metropolit Amfilohije Radovic, the highest-ranking clergyman of the Serbian church in Montenegro.
US Secretary Pompeo to visit Golan, West Bank settlement - November 13, 2020
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo plans to visit the Golan Heights and an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank next week in what would be an unprecedented move. Visits would be first by a US secretary of state to two sites, regarded as illegally occupied by international community. The West Bank and Golan Heights have been treated as occupied territory by all US administrations since 1967. Israel unilaterally annexed the Golan Heights in 1981, a move that was not recognized internationally. In March 2019, however, the Trump administration recognized the Golan Heights as part of Israel.
Iraq's camp closures leave 100,000 people in limbo! - November 9, 2020
The ongoing rapid closure of displacement camps in Iraq is rendering homeless more than 100,000 people in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic and at the onset of winter. The Norwegian Refugee Council is extremely concerned about the fate of thousands of displaced families living in camps across the country that are being closed down rapidly, including NRC-managed Hammam Al Alil Camp. People in camps in Baghdad, Kerbala, Divala, Suleimaniya, Anbar, Kirkuk, and Ninewa are being forced out with little notice, and are expected to return to their areas of origin. Many come from neighborhoods that are still totally destroyed and they also risk being blocked at checkpoints, or even arrested, because of lack of security clearance and perceived affiliation with armed groups. So far, based on instructions by the Iraqi authorities, some 600 households have left Hammam Al Alil Camp -- which is one of the largest displacement camps slated to close by next week.
3-week Quarantine in Greece - November 5, 2020
In order to prevent the re-increase of cases in the coronavirus epidemic in Greece, a 3-week quarantine decision was made across the country. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced that the three-week quarantine application, which will start throughout the country from 06:00 on Saturday, November 7, will be in effect until November 30.
Kosovo's Presiden Resigns - November 5, 2020
Kosovo President Hashim Thaci announced his resignation after the Special Court for War Crimes of Kosovo in The Hague accepted the war crimes indictment against him. Following Thaci's resignation, parliament speaker Vjosa Osmani will hold the presidency according to the constitution.
Georgian Opposition Party, Refuses Second-Round Participation- November 2, 2020
One of Georgia's opposition parties, European Georgia, has called weekend parliamentary elections unfair and says it will boycott runoff balloting to protest official results that handed the ruling Georgian Dream party its third consecutive electoral victory. One of the party's leaders, Davit Bakradze, told reporters in Tbilisi on November 2 that the elections held on October 31 "were neither free nor fair" and his party is refusing to accept final results announced by the South Caucasus nation's election officials. The move comes after the largest opposition party, United National Movement (ENM), also rejected the results of the vote, which international observers characterized as "far from perfect." Runoff elections will be held in 15 districts, all but ensuring the ruling party will secure a majority in parliament, on November 21.
Head Of Serbian Orthodox Church In Montenegro Dies - October 31, 2020
Radovic Amfilohije, the Metropolitan of Montenegro, who has great political influence in Montenegro and was also known as a Serbian nationalist, died of the coronavirus infection he was caught. Though the Archbishop died of the coronavirus, thousands of people attending the funeral kissed the dead body in turn. Amfilohije played a crucial role in the protests over the controversial "Law on Religious Freedom" over the church in Montenegro, a NATO member and candidate for EU membership, from last December to August this year.
Donor countries gradually withdraw their support for Palestinian budget - October 30, 2020
The average annual support for the Palestinian general budget fell from about $ 1.1 billion in 2013 to $ 500 million in 2019. Aid to Palestine came to a standstill this year as donor countries, especially the United States, withdrew their support for the budget and Arab countries reduced their grants to the Treasury. The United States and Saudi Arabia were the biggest backers of the Palestinian budget until 2016, according to data from the Palestinian Finance Ministry. The U.S. support for the Palestinian budget reached $ 350 million in 2013.
Gaza unemployment rate reaches 70% - October 27, 2020
The unemployment rate in the besieged Gaza Strip has hit 70 per cent as a result of Israel’s ongoing siege of the enclave and the lockdowns which have resulted from coronavirus, the head of the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions, Sami Al-Ammasi, said. Al-Ammasi said 250,000 people are currently unemployed, with 140,000 of them losing their jobs due to the outbreak of coronavirus. This, he explained, was a loss of $40 million to the economy.
Historic Local Elections in Ukraine- October 25, 2020
Voters across Ukraine have cast ballots in local elections held under a new Electoral Code that decentralizes power from Kyiv to local governing bodies. The polls are considered the most consequential local elections in Ukraine's modern history, with all local officials up for replacement and the new local governments being granted expanded financial and political independence from the central government. The reforms have been lauded as a significant step away from the top-down administration the country inherited from the Soviet Union that has remained largely unchanged over three decades of independence. The vote has also been seen as an important test for President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who was elected in a landslide in early 2019, and his Servant of the People party. Recent public opinion polls show that about 70 percent of Ukrainians believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, while Zelenskiy’s personal approval rating has dipped below 50 percent.
Too many Afghans are dying! - October 15, 2020
Thousands have fled fighting between Taliban and Afghan forces in the southern province of Helmand, trapping civilians in the capital, Lashkargah, and disrupting healthcare. Local authorities say up to 35,000 people are displaced, though humanitarian assessments are still underway. Peace talks between the Taliban and government started in September but violence has risen. “Too many Afghans are dying,” the US envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, warned on 15 October.
Nearly completed barbed-wire fencing surrounds more than 700,000 refugees - October 19, 2020
In recent weeks, the Government of Bangladesh accelerated the construction of more than 17 miles (28 kilometers) of barbed-wire fencing around at least 25 interconnected refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar District.  According to aid-agency maps seen by Fortify Rights as well as firsthand testimony, fence construction around the Kutupalong-Balukhali Expansion Camp in Cox’s Bazar District is at least 90-percent completed. Bangladesh has intermittently erected fencing around refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar District since September 2019 when the government first announced plans to construct watchtowers, install video surveillance, and fence-off more than 30 Rohingya refugee camps. The Bangladesh Government says the fencing is in response to security concerns and to control the movement of Rohingya in and out of the camps. However it seems the barbed-wire fencing is restricting movement and creating psychological distress for the Rohingya refugee population.
Premier Tatar wins Presidential runoff in N. Cyprus - October 18, 2020
Prime Minister Ersin Tatar won Sunday's presidential runoff in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) with 51.69% of the votes, unofficial results showed. Incumbent Mustafa Akinci, who run independently, bagged 62,910 votes for 48.31%.
Over 50% of Israelis want Netanyahu to resign- October 17, 2020
A new poll indicates that 54% of Israelis want Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resign from politics, 35% want him to remain and 10% did not have an opinion. The poll, published by Israeli Hebrew newspaper Maariv, conveyed that 28% of Likud voters who took part in the last elections, and 57% of right-wing voters, want Netanyahu to resign from politics. If the elections took place today, the Likud party, which currently has 36 seats, would only obtain 28 seats according to the poll, and the right-wingers led by MK Naftali Bennett would acquire 21 seats.
Russia, Kazakhstan Replace Decades-Old Military Cooperation Agreement - October 19, 2020
The Russian and Kazakh defense ministers signed an agreement in the Kazakh capital on October 16 on bilateral military cooperation to replace a deal that has been in place since 1994. It is said to cover issues including military education and training, arms and equipment deliveries, participation in bilateral and multilateral drills and exercises. The Russian Defense Ministry called the agreement "an unprecedented document." In Nur-Sultan, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu called Kazakhstan "one of the few states, if not the only state, with which we have such broad military cooperation and such a profound and all-embracing agreement."
Greek Neo-Nazi Party Golden Dawn Convicted as a Criminal Organization - October 7, 2020
The Greek Neo-Nazi Party Golden Dawn, which became the third party of the country during the financial crisis in Greece, Convicted as a Criminal Organization. A Greek court, which announced its verdict in the case against the party administration for more than five years, found the party's top executives, including the party's founder Nikolaos Mihaloliakos, guilty of "criminal organization leadership".
Political Crisis in Kyrgyzstan - October 8, 2020
After one group of parliamentary deputies on October 6 recognized a new prime minister, opposition politician Sadyr Japarov, and a Coordination Council of opposition parties named a new interior minister and security affairs chief, rival opposition members on October 7 sprang into action with their own council and nominee for prime minister as well as protests for “new” leadership. They declared they would not recognize Japarov’s government. Kyrgyzstan now contains at least six such Coordinating Councils, according to Ordo (The Horde) party leader Mirbek Miyarov, a member of the new People’s Coordination Council. Following the country’s October 4 parliamentary elections, protesters on the night of October 5-October 6 took over the building that contains Kyrgyzstan’s presidential administration, government cabinet, and parliament, prompting the Central Election Commission to annul the preliminary vote results. President Jeenbekov's exact whereabouts in the capital, Bishkek, are unclear.
Seasonal Flooding in East Africa affected 6 Million - October 6, 2020
Seasonal flooding in East African countries has affected 6 million people and displaced 1.5 million people from their homes. The figure showing flood victims in the region is on rise since 2016. According to related UN agencies, the number of people impacted from seasonal flooding has increased six-fold in the last 5 years. Sudan, South Sudan and Ethiopia have experience record flooding since July. Some scientists believe that warming of the Indian Ocean is causing increase in rainfall.
Covid lockdowns will leave 63% of Palestinian families unable to cover their expenses - October 5, 2020
The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) said the majority of Palestinian families – 63 per cent – will not be able to cover their expenses for up to a month, if the government re-imposes a new lockdown to combat the coronavirus. PCBS yesterday published a survey it had conducted on a sample of 9,926 households in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip which assessed the pandemic’s impact on the social and economic conditions in Palestine. According to the results, 42 per cent of families (46 per cent in the West Bank and 38 per cent in the Gaza Strip) had their income reduced by at least half during lockdown, compared to that in February.
Egypt executes 15 political prisoners - October 5, 2020
Egypt’s execution of 23 detainees, 15 of whom were political prisoners, over the weekend has ignited condemnation online. Of the 15 political prisoners who were executed over the weekend, at least two of them were members of the Muslim Brotherhood – Yasser Al-Abasiri, 49, and Yasser Shukr, 45. They were detained for taking part in the protests against the coup in the incident known as the “Library of Alexandria” - named after the demonstrations which took place in front of Alexandria’s library. Egypt often carries out mass executions. In February this year, eight were executed after being tortured to give false confessions. For years, rights groups have lamented Egypt’s judicial system which metes out death sentences in mass trials with little or no evidence.   
Amnesty urges Egypt to release detainees after rare protests - October 3, 2020
Amnesty International has urged the Egyptian authorities to release hundreds of people it said were arrested during anti-government protests last month. “Egyptian security forces have used tear gas, batons, birdshot and on at least one occasion live ammunition, and arrested hundreds of protesters and bystanders to disperse rare scattered demonstrations over several days,” Amnesty said in a statement on Friday. At least 496 individuals are currently imprisoned as a result of the crackdown, according to the London-based rights watchdog.  
Israeli tourism minister resigns in protest against Netanyahu - October 3, 2020
Asaf Zamir, Israel’s tourism minister has resigned from the fractious government, saying he does not have an “ounce of trust” in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, accusing him of putting his personal and legal issues ahead of the response to the COVID-19 crisis. Zamir is a member of the centrist Blue and White party, which battled Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud in three stalemated elections in under a year before forming an emergency government with it in May to combat the pandemic. Israel went into a second nationwide lockdown last month and is now grappling with one of the worst outbreaks in the world on a per capita basis. The emergency government has been roiled by infighting and has faced widespread criticism over its confusing and often contradictory response to the pandemic.
A joint meeting of the governments of Kosovo and Albania - October 2, 2020
A joint meeting of the governments of Kosovo and Albania will be held on October 2nd in the capital of Albania, Tirana. Three important agreements between the two countries are expected to be signed at the meeting. The first agreement will include the construction of a customs port [for Kosovo] in the Albanian city of Drach, the second agreement on the railway line and the third agreement on the construction of hydropower in Albania for Kosovo. The fact that the decisions taken in the joint ministerial meeting between the two countries in recent years have not been implemented creates doubts that the decisions of the last meeting to be held won't be implemented.