The week at a glance ... Europe
Organ trafficker: Kosovar Prime Minister Hashim Thaci is battling allegations that his former rebel group was involved in heroin dealing, assassinations, and organ smuggling. The charges surfaced last month in a report by Swiss politician Dick Marty for the Council of Europe, the intergovernmental group that runs the European Court of Human Rights. Marty’s exhaustive report—based on interviews with intelligence analysts, U.N. war-crimes prosecutors, ex-prisoners, and ex-fighters—said the faction of the Kosovo Liberation Army that Thaci led in the 1990s acted as a “mafia-style” crime organization and even killed Serbian prisoners to harvest their organs. Western leaders, Marty says, “chose to turn a blind eye to the war crimes of the KLA.” Thaci said the allegations amount to “Nazi-style propaganda.”
Keep out: Aiming to stem a torrent of illegal immigration, Greece this week announced it would build a 9-foot-high fence along its border with Turkey. Most of the common border is demarcated by a river; the fence would stretch only along the 7.5 miles of land that sees most of the traffic. Last year alone, some 100,000 illegal migrants—mostly from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and African countries—crossed that border. Human-rights groups such as Amnesty International protested the plan, saying the fence would violate European Union principles. But the EU itself isn’t complaining. More than 90 percent of illegal immigrants to the EU in 2010 entered by crossing from Turkey into Greece, an EU member, and the EU has already sent troops to the border once.