Melania Sculpture Commissioned by a Shoemaker Admirer Looks Awkward

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Sculptor Stevo Selak’s take on Melania
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Selak’s take on Putin

However, there is one more problem to be solved before the statue is ready to be displayed.

“Melania will weigh almost 300 kilos, so I must figure out how to make sure she doesn’t tip over wearing Bema pump heels,” said Selak.

Intelligence Agency Alerts Police about a Plot to Assassinate Minister

Bosnia’s intelligence agency dispatched an alert to law enforcement agencies about a plot to assassinate the country’s security minister, reported Žurnal. According to the OSA alert, criminal groups in Bosnia and in neighboring countries are plotting to assassinate minister Dragan Mektić.

It is a very much serious issue, a Žurnal source said.

Dragan Mektić

Minister Mektić briefly said he was informed about the OSA alert: “The law enforcement agencies’ directors contacted me and informed me of everything.”

The OSA alert was reportedly dispatched earlier this week to the directorate for coordination of law enforcement agencies, the state police and the entity police agencies in Republika Srpska and the Federation. According to Žurnal, the OSA dispatch said the agency had reliable information from at least three sources that the plot is real. The agency said that the criminal groups are pooling to find the right hit man.

Bosnians and Serbians Most Likely to Say Yugoslavia Breakup Was More Bad than Good

According to a survey, Bosnians and Serbians are the most likely to say that the Yugoslavia breakup was more bad than good. 77% of people living in Bosnia and as many as 88% living in Serbia said the demise of the socialist federation resulted in more harm than good, according to Gallup. In contrast, Croatians were much more likely to perceive the collapse of Yugoslavia as beneficial, 55%. Kosovans saw the historic development in the most positive light, with a strong majority, 75%, seeing a benefit.

Bosnians’ negative views may be linked to frustration with persistently poor government performance. More than the citizens of any other former Yugoslav republic, Bosnians said the country was headed in the wrong direction, 82%, and the economy was getting worse, 60%.

Adults older than 55 are more likely than those between 15 and 35 to say the collapse of the federation harmed their countries

 

When in a dominant ethnic group, former Yugoslavs are less likely to say the breakup harmed their country. Croats living outside Croatia were much more likely to think the breakup harmed their country than Croats living in Croatia. The same is true for Albanians in Kosovo, where they are the dominant ethnic group, compared with Albanians in Macedonia, where they are a minority. Serbs are a partial exception: they most often believe their country was harmed by the breakup regardless of where they live.

Adults older than 55 are more likely than those between 15 and 35 to say the collapse of the federation harmed their countries. Given the differences in opinions by age, it seems many people who can remember Yugoslavia view the past in a more favorable light compared with the present political and economic realities.

Commission Approves a Decade Postponement for Fur Farming Ban

The national parliament’s committee on compliance of laws with the constitution approved a legislation that will postpone the ban on fur farming by 2028. The current law on animal protection bans fur farming in Bosnia from 2018. However, an amendment drafted in the House of Peoples, and now approved by the commission, will postpone the ban for a decade.

“Given that there are currently a number of fur farms in Bosnia, it is clear that this ban, soon to come into effect, would end that industry,” said the House’s explanation of the draft legislation.

A member of the committee who was authorized by the House to defend the amendment, Ljiljana Zovko, said the ban should be postponed because of a significant number of fur farms in Bosnia: “When such bans were passed in other countries, (fur farmers) were either compensated or (assisted with) switching to another industry. (Bosnia) can’t compensate yet, or help them change their businesses.”

Bosnia’s animal protection law was considered one of the most advanced in Europe at the time it was passed. However, its poor implementation led to a number of problems, the most obvious one being the unmanageable population of strays in urban areas, due to the failure to implement the provisions on shelters and sanctions for abandoning pets combined with the implemented ban on killing strays.

Alien Brings Horror Back to Cinema City

In space no one can hear you scream. In theater they can and will. The latest installment of the Alien franchise will premier on Thursday in Cinema City. Alien: Covenant delivers another satisfying round of close-quarters deep-space terror, even if it doesn’t take the saga in any new directions, according to critics. This time, director Ridley Scott returns to the universe he created with a new chapter: the crew of the colony ship Covenant, bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world. When they uncover a threat beyond their imagination, they must attempt a harrowing escape.

A New York Times critic wrote: “To complain about its lack of ambition would be to misconstrue its intentions. Rather than setting out to conquer new worlds or excavate primal fears, this “Alien” is content to uphold a long-lived and well-regarded brand. Correcting some of the previous film’s mistakes — not enough alien! too much mythological mumbo-jumbo best left to movies with “Star” in the title! — Mr. Scott parcels out carefully measured portions of awe, wonder and terror on the established installment plan. This episode needs to satisfy you just enough to make sure you come back for the next one.”

Organization Presents Annual “Pink Report”

A Sarajevo organization of rights activists presented its annual report on the state of gay rights in Bosnia. The “Pink Report”, compiled by the Sarajevo Open Center, was presented at a press event organized in front of the Federation parliament in Sarajevo.

The organization’s executive director Emina Bošnjak told the reporters that there were positive developments in 2016, such as the amended anti-discrimination law, which now bans discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and sex traits, the criminal code that now sanctions hate crimes against gays, as well as the inclusion of LGBTI rights in some government policies.

The organization’s advocacy officer Vladana Vasić said the report documents cases that the organization recorded in 2016 and 2017. There was a spike in the number of domestic violence and peer violence cases, she said.

“In 2016, we documented 20 cases of homophobic and transphobic behavior, and 12 in 2017. Of those 12 cases, 5 happened in the family environment; close relatives have physically assaulted (their gay family members), deprived them of freedom of movement and forced them to undergo treatment,” Vasić said.

One of the recommendations in the “Pink Report” is to address the issue of same-sex unions and their legal recognition.

“This is one of the recommendations in the European Union progress reports, the ombudsman’s and the Council of Europe committee against racism and intolerance reports,” Bošnjak said.

Parties Make Lawmakers “Buy Themselves Out” before Quitting

It is not official, it could be not legal, but some lawmakers claim that political parties make election candidates sign a contract that they will “buy themselves out” if they decide to quit the party while in a parliament. N1 network spoke to several lawmakers who said they were asked to sign such contract before they were nominated to run in elections by their parties.

According to the regional news network, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) asks its members in parliaments in Bosnia to refund the election campaign costs in case they decide to leave the party mid-term. The costs include advertising, election fee paid to the state etc. The Party of democratic Action (SDA) does the same.

“In this country, (political) parties try and succeed in being the owners of everything: tax money, companies, the state, jobs, hospitals universities. They try to blackmail the lawmakers with contracts, which is completely wrong and illegal. It is clear that the mandate belongs to the lawmakers and it was given to them by the citizens. Democracy is just a form for (those parties),” said Sadik Ahmetović, a member of the national parliament who was recently excluded from the SDA.

Šemsudin Mehmedović, also a member of the national parliament and an SDA member, said lawmakers signed contracts with the SDA, bur he denied he signed one: “The party has (the contracts) signed by a notary, and (lawmakers) are obliged to pay a certain amount if they leave the party.”

However, Maja Gasal-Vražalica of the DF said her party didn’t sign such contracts with its lawmakers and added it was one of the reasons the party saw a spike in quitting members recently.