“Once-feared Bosnian Serb leader, now convicted war criminal, Radovan Karadzic, on Monday launches his appeal before UN judges, seeking to overturn a 40-year jail term for abuses committed during Bosnia’s bloody 1990s conflict.

Karadzic, 72, was sentenced to four decades behind bars in 2016 for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, arising from the Balkan country’s three-year war which killed 100,000 people and left 2.2 million others homeless.

The former strongman — with his recognizable bouffant hairdo — was ‘at the apex of political and military structures” of the Bosnian Serb leadership and “at the forefront of developing and promoting its ideologies’, judges said at his sentencing in March 2016.” (Daily Times)

“The photographs showed more than a dozen tough-looking men posing in military fatigues, staring sternly at a camera, reportedly part of a pro-Russian paramilitary unit.

Taken on the streets of Banja Luka, the capital of the Serb half of Bosnia, the pictures emerged in January, prompting Bosnian intelligence authorities to begin an investigation amid claims of Russian efforts to destabilise the Balkans.

Three months on, the Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik sits back in his ornate office chair and calmly dismisses the claims about pro-Russian forces as ‘lies’.” (Yahoo)

“In August 2013, after Syrian government forces killed more than 1,000 civilians in a sarin gas attack, I went to Capitol Hill to ask every member of Congress I knew to support then-President Barack Obama’s request to authorize a military response. I was amazed to find that many members agreed privately that the United States should enforce a red line against chemical weapons attacks in Syria but would not give the president their public support. One told me: “If Obama thinks this is so important, why doesn’t he just do it? Why is he asking us?”

President Donald Trump’s missile strikes following the latest chemical attack in Syria have again sparked debate about whether presidents can wage war without congressional authorization. The Constitution is clear that Congress should have a say. But those who rightly champion this principle have to acknowledge that respect for it broke down years ago, during Democratic as well as Republican administrations — not just because presidents have done what they pleased but because Congress has willfully abdicated its responsibilities.

Virtually every U.S. military action since President Harry Truman went to war in Korea has been undertaken without explicit congressional assent. President Ronald Reagan sent Marines to Lebanon in 1982, invaded Grenada in 1983, and bombed Libya in 1986 without a vote of support from Congress. Congress refused to back President Bill Clinton when he launched airstrikes with NATO to end genocide in Bosnia in 1995 and to stop ethnic cleansing in Kosovo in 1999. When Clinton deployed U.S. troops to enforce the peace accord he negotiated in Bosnia, the House voted to support the troops but oppose the policy; he deployed the troops anyway. Many members complained, but Congress never withheld funding from these missions, tacitly allowing what it publicly questioned.” (Foreign Policy)

“The management board of Bosnia’s second largest power utility ERS have resigned over losses the company could not account for, the prime minister of Bosnia’s autonomous Serb region – where the utility is located – said on Friday.

Zeljka Cvijanovic said ERS had recorded a loss in 2017 that couldn’t be “objectively explained,” though ERS has not yet officially published its 2017 business results, SRNA news agency reported. A meeting of ERS’s supervisory board is underway.

Local media have reported the state-run utility suffered a loss of 47.8 million Bosnian marka ($30.3 million) due to suspicious power sale and purchase agreements, but no official was immediately available for comment.” (Reuters)