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Kosovo Serb leader held in war crimes investigation

One of the main Serb political leaders in northern Kosovo, Oliver Ivanovic, was taken in for questioning on Monday on suspicion of involvement in war crimes during the Kosovo war, the EU said. Ivanovic was questioned then placed in custody "as an alleged suspect in an ongoing war crimes investigation, together with allegations of aggravated murder after the conflict" according to a statement from the European Union Rule of Law Mission (Eulex). Eulex is the EU's police and justice mission in the region. Ivanovic, can be held in custody for up to 48 hours.

UN tribunal cuts Serb sentences for Kosovo crimes

The Yugoslav war crimes court on Thursday reduced on appeal the sentences of three former top Serbian officials, convicted over atrocities committed during the 1998-99 war in Kosovo. The Appeals Court considers "a limited reduction in the sentences imposed by the Trial Chamber is warranted," International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) Judge Liu Daqun said. The four men cannot be held responsible for some of the worst horrors committed by Serb troops during the conflict, for which they were convicted almost four years ago, he said.

Kosovo Serb politician shot dead

A Kosovo Serb politician was shot dead in the flashpoint northern town of Mitrovica, police said Thursday, as the killing was quickly condemned by top government and EU officials. Dimitrije Janicijevic, a recently elected councillor of the local Mitrovica assembly, was gunned down in front of his house overnight, regional police chief Nenad Djuric told AFP. "We cannot say anything about a motive for this murder," he said.

Football: Kosovo allowed to play friendly matches

Kosovo was on Monday given permission by FIFA to stage friendly matches despite not being a member federation of football's world governing body. The decision, taken by FIFA's emergency committee chaired by FIFA president Sepp Blatter after talks between Kosovo and Serbian football chiefs last week, came with certain restrictions. FIFA said sides from Kosovo "may not display national symbols - flags or emblems - or play national anthems" but can "wear or display kit or equipment bearing the name 'Kosovo'" and a star symbol.

Kosovo adopts 2014 budget, eyes 4.1% growth

Kosovo's parliament approved on Thursday a 2014 budget that targets a deficit of less than one percent on economic growth of 4.1 percent. The budget, set at 1.59 billion euros ($2.18 billion), was adopted by a vote of 57 votes to 48 in the 120-seat parliament. The deficit is set at around 132 million euros, and is to be covered by issuing treasury bonds. The budget also includes public investment projects such as construction of a highway linking Pristina with Skopje, the capital of neighbouring Macedonia.

Human remains found in suspected mass grave in Serbia

Forensic experts have discovered human remains in a suspected mass grave in Serbia, believed to contain the bodies of Kosovo Albanians killed during the 1998-1999 war, officials said Friday. "During the site assessment at the Rudnica quarry in the municipality of Raska, Serbia," Serbian authorities, EU-led justice and police mission in Kosovo (EULEX) and Pristina's forensic experts "discovered human remains," EULEX said in a statement. "The work will continue, in coordination with Serbian authorities, in the upcoming days," the statement said.

Moroccan peacekeeper killed in Kosovo car accident

A Moroccan soldier died Thursday when a car with peacekeepers went off the road and fell into the Ibar river in northern Kosovo, NATO-led international forces (KFOR) and media said. "The soldiers were returning to their headquarters as part of routine troop movements when the accident occurred," KFOR said in a press release, adding "the cause of the accident is currently being investigated".

UN chief hails peaceful second round of local polls in Kosovo

UN chief hails peaceful second round of local polls in Kosovo UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon on Monday welcomed "the peaceful conduct of the second round of local elections" in Kosovo, calling on the parties concerned to "engage constructively" in the European Union-facilitated dialogue. Ban "is encouraged by the positive initial reports from local and international observers as well as the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo," said a UN statement.

Kosovo hardliners win top posts in local polls

Hardline nationalists took top posts in Kosovo's capital as well as the main Serb-populated town in the breakaway territory in local elections, preliminary results showed Monday. The electoral commission said the capital Pristina was won by Shpend Ahmeti of the nationalist Self Determination movement, which opposes the presence of the European Union and NATO in Kosovo as well as any talks with Serbia.

Kosovo lawmakers pass 2014 budget, avoiding early election

By Fatos Bytyci PRISTINA (Reuters) - Lawmakers in Kosovo on Thursday approved the proposed budget for next year, clearing the first hurdle in a process that could have triggered an early election for a coalition government struggling with an internal rebellion. A rebel faction within Prime Minister Hashim Thaci Democratic Party of Kosovo has sided with the opposition on several issues over the past months, setting up the possibility the government could have lost the budget vote.
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