Sunday, July 8, 2007
Monday, July 2, 2007
Under [the plea bargain] Mr. Katsav agreed to step down and plead guilty to charges of sexual harassment, indecent acts and harassment of a witness. He will pay damages to the complainants but he will not serve any time in prison.
Here's a nice picture of Israel's leaders. On the left we see Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, then in the centre we see President Itzki kissing Shimon Peres, the man who will replace her as president in two weeks.
New Nanny Appointed
The Federation of Bosnia and Hercegovina is a country that was was created by the Dayton Peace Accords of 1995 to stop everyone in the former Yugoslavia from killing each other. Their constitution is an extraordinarily elaborate maze of institutions designed to equally appease each ethnic group in the federation. Instead of one president, for example, they have three, so no one group is favored more than the other.
Anyway, B-and-H's sovereignty is not absolute. Since the country was established it has been actively supervised by the United Nations via something called the "Peace Implementation Council," which basically meddles in the country's politics as it sees fit, in order to ensure the terms of the Dayton Accord are honored. The Supreme Head of the Peace Council is the High Representative, who is appointed by the UN Security Council. The High Representative can fire anyone he likes, even the presidents if they are deemed to be acting improperly.
Since 2006 the High Representative of B-and-H has been Herr Christian Schwarz-Schilling, a former German cabinet minister. There was hope he'd be the last one ever, since the international community is getting tired of playing nanny. But no, the Bosnia-and-Hercegovinan politicians have failed to make some of the necessary reforms the Peace Council has been recommending, so more supervision is required until they finally do.
Today Miroslav Lajcak became the new High Representative. He's a former ambassador and bureaucrat from the Republic of Slovakia. Let's see if he'll be the last one.
Here's Mr. Lajack shaking hands with Herr Schwartz-Schilling. The flamboyant one is the German.