In Albania, a film follows communism’s star-crossed lovers | AFP

Inside the stone walls of a 12th century castle, Albanian and Russian actors are trying to make some movie magic as they reenact a little-known chapter of their shared history for the big screen. The historical drama is the first joint production between the two countries in more than 50 years and was co-written by Russian screenwriter Yuri Arabov and none other than Albania’s most acclaimed novelist, Ismail Kadare. Tentatively named “Gjirokastra” after the southern Albanian city it is based in, the love story is the first feature film to delve into the tragic fate of mixed couples who were persecuted by the communist regime. The trouble started after Tirana severed ties with Moscow in 1961, a diplomatic break-up that turned young Albanians with Soviet-born wives into suspected traitors overnight.

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Albanians shelter in makeshift camp after deadly earthquake | AFP

In the wake of a deadly earthquake which killed more than 20 people and left scores injured, hundreds of people in the coastal city of Durres take shelter for the night in tents erected outside the city’s stadium, afraid to return home after a series of powerful aftershocks. IMAGES

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Police, protesters clash in demo against Albania PM | AFP

Thousands of Albanians protest against Prime Minister Edi Rama, throwing firecrackers and lighting flares at a rally in Tirana. Several police, a protester and a reporter were injured, according to authorities and witnesses. IMAGES

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Kosovo asserts statehood with vote to create army

Kosovo’s parliament passes laws to build an army, asserting its statehood in a move that has angered Serbia, who does not recognise the former province’s independence. In the capital Pristina, Kosovo Albanians celebrate the new pillar of statehood, which President Hashim Thaci hailed as “historic”.

Kosovo children learn about Bush as country mourns US leader

Kosovo schoolchildren learn about the late US President George H.W. Bush as they observe a day of mourning. Kosovo declared a national day of mourning for the late president, who was seen as an early ally of the ethnic Albanians in the former Serbian province.

Albanians turn spotlight on sites of dark communist past

Albania’s communist regime executed and imprisoned thousands during its half-century rule, but since its fall in 1992 the country has been slow to create memorials to those who suffered. That’s gradually changing, and victims and perpetrators are now part of efforts to turn key sites into memorials and museums.

‘Serbia, Russia, we don’t need EU’: Protesters booed Mogherini during speech to Serbian Parliament

Members of the Serbian Parliament belonging to the Radical Party booed High Representative of European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, as she gave a speech in the Parliament in Belgade, Friday. Leader of the Radicals Vojislav Seselj announced on Thursday that he would try to obstruct Mogherini during her speech on Serbia’s development towards the European Union, stating that she lobbies for Kosovo and Albanians, and that she is leading anti-Serbian politics. Radical party MPs also chanted ‘Serbia, Russia, we don’t need EU’. Besides the Serbian Radical Party, members of the political party ‘Dveri’ showed their hostility towards Mogherini by holding posters reading in Serbian and English ‘Serbia doesn’t trust Brussels’. Despite the protest, Mogherini completed her speech, although the booing out-voiced her. At the end of the speech, Radical party members booed Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, who was also present in Parliament during Mogherini’s speech.


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RT (Russia Today) is a global news network broadcasting from Moscow and Washington studios. RT is the first news channel to break the 1 billion YouTube views benchmark.

Serbia’s Growing Migrant Crisis: VICE News Capsule, February 12

The VICE News Capsule is a news roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: Serbia bolsters patrol of Hungarian border to stem flow of migrants from Kosovo, Sudanese troops accused of mass rape in Darfur, Tehran’s drop-in centers give the homeless and drug-addicted a safe haven, and a Cambodian minister wants to re-educate teenagers on the meaning of Valentine’s Day.

Border Patrols Increased to Stem Flow of Illegal Migrants
Thousands of Kosovo Albanians fleeing poverty are smuggling themselves across the border into Hungary.

Soldiers Accused of More Than 200 Rapes in Darfur Village Last Year. The Sudanese government has denied the allegations made by Human Rights Watch.

Help for the Homeless and Addicted in Tehran
Drop-in centers cater to hundreds of people hooked on heroin and crystal meth.

Share Love, Not Bodily Fluids, on Valentine’s Day
Education minister urges teachers to ask their teenage students not to give flowers and chocolate to convince girls to give up their virginity.

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VICE News Daily: Beyond The Headlines – June, 24 2014

The VICE News Capsule is a news roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: Pakistani riot police clash with supporters of anti-Taliban cleric, tensions escalate in northern Kosovo between local Albanians and Serbs, British MP says ISIS has recruited up to 1500 British Muslims, and Doctors Without Borders warns West Africa ebola outbreak is ‘out of control’.

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Police Clash With Cleric’s Supporters in Islamabad
The plane carrying Tahir ul-Qadri was diverted to Lahore due to security concerns.

Protest Reignites Ethnic Tensions in the North
The dispute is over the blockade of a bridge by Serbs refusing to integrate with the Albanian majority.

Politician Says ISIS Has Recruited as Many as 1500 Britons
Britain’s anti-terror chief initially reported the Al Qaeda offshoot had successfully recruited 500 Muslims.

Ebola Epidemic is ‘Out of Control’
Doctors Without Borders warns governments and aid agencies must spend massive resources to stop the virus from spreading.

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