Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Laid-back station attendant prevents robbery with chair (VIDEO)

A laid-back gas station attendant has warded off an attempted robbery with a chair and an easygoing attitude.

The 29-year-old Ivo Gulin was working at the Tromilja Benz gas station near the Dalmatian town of Sibenik when two armed robbers entered the store around 4am on Friday morning.

Gulin greeted the first would-be attacker comfortably seated in his chair. After he explained to him that the register was not worth the trouble, the second robber entered the store, took the metal rod that his friend was wielding and started approaching Gulin.

Gulin deflected the attack with a chair, after which both attackers fled, the daily Jutarnji List writes.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Protests in 15 Croatian Cities

Anti-government protesters in a peaceful march through Zagreb
Some 10.000 people rallied in the Croatian capital on Saturday to demand the government resign, AFP reports.  ”Everyone, on the streets!”, “We are Croatia!”, shouted the protesters amid the noise of whistles as they marched from a central Zagreb square to the headquarters of the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) party. 

Since February 22 similar protests, first called through social networking site Facebook, have been organised every other day in the capital, but other towns followed. ”Jaco, just go!” protesters shouted referring to Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor as they approached the HDZ seat, secured by a heavy anti-riot police presence.  The protestors marched for three hours, blocking the traffic in the city centre and stopped briefly in front of the agriculture ministry in a sign of support to the country’s farmers who for days have rallied in several regions to demand state subsidies. 

Police said around 1,000 policemen had been deployed throughout the capital. Students, pensioners, workers and young people took part in the march, demanding early elections to be held and threatening a general strike.  Similar protests were held in several other Croatian towns. ”I hope more people will join us to send a clear message to the corrupt government that it is time to leave,” Zdenka Bosnic, a 62-year-old pensioner, told AFP.

Zeljko, a 34-year-old translator who did not want to give his last name, said he only wanted “the government to quit”.  Elections are due later this year or in early 2012. Kosor has pledged to hold them by the end of this year but says calling polls now would jeopardise Croatia’s bid to join the European Union, with talks in the final stages.

Croatia won independence from communist Yugoslavia in a 1991-1995 war that, with fraudulent privatisations in the 1990s, deeply hurt its economy. It was later hit hard by the global downturn, with unemployment now at an eight-year high of around 20 percent.  Revelations of corruption reaching the top levels in politics, including Kosor’s predeces

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Croatian Police Ties up an Epileptic!

This Saturday (March 19th), police in Zagreb apprehended one of the supporters of the football club Dinamo (Bad Blue Boys) and tied up his hands and feet. They ignored the pleas of a girl who claimed the boy had epilepsy and could have a seizure.

The boy pleaded to the policemen to allow him to stand on his feet instead of carrying him, claiming he had no part in the football riots earlier. Ignoring that, they left him lying on the floor, where he started having a seizure (thrashing on the floor).

During the seizure the police SWAT team proved incompetent while simply standing around the young man and exchanging puzzled glances. The only form of "assistance" they could think of was putting up a live wall to prevent filming and photographing (YouTube link in the bottom of the post) and waiting for an officer in charge.

In the meantime, the epileptic was helped by a passer-by and a doctor who happened to be close. It took the ambulance 20 minutes to arrive.

During the evening the police apprehended 17 supporters, 11 Torcida and 6 Bad Blue Boys, mostly for intoxication and harassment of policemen.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Catholics in Croatia protest in support a homophobe

The "Stop Christianophobia" Logo
Croatian Catholics are not accustomed to being able to hold public demonstrations, but this week they took to the streets to protest Christianophobia in their country.
In a note sent to ZENIT, Vincent Batarelo, a layman with the Internet community Vigilare, reported that this peaceful demonstration took place on Monday in front of a Zagreb courthouse where a Catholic religious education teacher was being sued by a lesbian organization. Vigilare helped to organize the demonstration.
The lesbian group, Kontra, filed a lawsuit against Jelena Mudrovcic for allegedly stating that "homosexuality is a sickness."
The teacher denied the allegations and stated that she only taught what is written in the religious education textbook.
The student who reported Mudrovcic was not enrolled in the class, but commented on it to her mother, Marina Vukusic, who in turn made the accusations against the teacher to the lesbian activist group.
In the allegations, Kontra invoked a law on anti-discrimination that was implemented a couple of years ago in Croatia; at the time, Church leaders protested that this law would be used to suppress religious freedom, Batarelo noted.
The public education system currently allows religious education classes as elective courses, but Kontra affirmed its intention to try to change this.
More than 200 Catholics stood in front of the courthouse with signs urging, "Stop Christianophobia."
Batarelo explained that this is a "historic moment, as it is the first time that Catholics in 20 years of Croatia's independence have taken to the streets."
"The aim was fulfilled and a template for future action was created," he added.
Batarelo explained that this news is "especially pertinent to Catholics and Christians in Eastern Europe (former communist countries)" to encourage them also to stand up for their beliefs. (Source: ZENIT)

Who is Azra Bašić, the suspected war criminal?

A photo of Azra Basic getting arrested
American authorities arrested Azra Bašić yesterday (17.3) in the state of Kentucky. She faces trial for war crimes commited in Bosnia and Hercegovina during the Yugoslav war.

Azra Bašić, who was a resident of Stanton, Kentucky, appeared in court today before Robert E. Wier, a federal judge of that district. He made arrangements to question Bašić on the first of April. In the meantime, Bosnian authorities issued a extradition request for the alleged war crimes against Serbian civilians in the period from April to June of 1992.
She is suspected to have committed at least one murder, and tortured a great number of people.

According to the Lexington Herald Leader, Patrick Nash was appointed as her lawyer. The documents now in possession of the court have detailed descriptions of extremely cruel torture as well as a murder while she was still a commander of a Croatian war brigade.
Witnesses Radojica Garić and Dragan Kovačević stated that Bašić killed Blagoje Djuras, who was beaten unconscious, by slitting his throat. She then forced other prisoners to drink the blood of the slaughtered man.
According to the documents, another prisoner, Sreten Jovanović, was forced to drink gasoline and burned by Bašić.
Vice Skracic, deputy chief of mission of the Embassy of Croatia in Washington, D.C., said that Bašic is not listed in the register of Croatian war veterans and was not part of any Croatian military unit. He said she was a Croatian citizen, "but as of 1996 had no abode in Croatia."
In federal court in Lexington on Thursday, Bašic provided a few more details about her time in Kentucky, saying she had been working at a Nestle plant.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Croatian wanted on war crimes charges found in Kentucky

A woman wanted in Bosnia on torture charges stemming from the war following the breakup of the former Yugoslavia faces extradition after being arrested in Kentucky.

U.S. Marshals arrested 52-year-old Azra Basic (BOSH), who lives in Stanton, earlier this week.

The Croatian-born Basic is wanted in Bosnia on charges of committing war crimes against ethnic Serb civilians in 1992. Assistant U.S. Attorney James Arehart wrote in a complaint requesting extradition that Basic is wanted in Europe on charges of murder and torture.

Arehart says Basic is accused of killing at least one person and torturing others at three camps from April to June 1992.

Basic's attorney, Patrick Nash of Lexington, was not immediately available for comment Thursday morning.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Protesters in Croatia stop at Japanese embassy to commemorate victims

Croatian antigovernment protesters stopped by Japan embassy in Zagreb and lit candles for people that died in last earthquake and tsunami. It was a touching moment! I give you two videos. First is the viral one and the second has more visual quality.

Comments from Japan soon followed, thanking for the protesters support (most in japanese but some also in translated croatian and english).

My heart was very moved . I appreciate your kindness. Thank you and respect the people from Croatia.

Being Japanese, I am very moved by this clip. I thank and respect the people from Croatia, who care about the disaster in Japan even at a time when they have their own issues. Once again, thank you to all the Croatians who sent their prayers and warm thoughts. Thank you.

Hvala lijepa svem, mi japanci smo pravda za vas. Hvala opet i živimo zajedno.

I wish to express my gratitude as one of the Japanese for your acts.

This is amazing. The crowd of this size stopped and paused with nothing but pure sympathy and love. It is the demonstration of hope and humanity. Your prayers will live in our hearts for ever. Thank you so much for thinking of us in your own difficult times. We will remember this for generations to come.

Japanese people will never forget your kindness. Hvala. Arigatou. from Tokyo

Thank you from Japan. We can believe we are not alone.

Thank you ! ! from Osaka Japan
We will remember your "kokoro".

Tako impresioniran. Hvala ti, svatko u Hrvatska. Iz Japana
Spremanje novac i otići na putovanje Hrvatska.

thank you so much for your great kindness.
Japan will always remember about this behavior.
Hvala vam Toliko

Made me cry. Thank you so much from Tokyo, Japan.

The great nation in Croatia.Your condolence will reach to all victims . Thank you very much from Japan.

Hvala, Hrvatska from Tokyo, japan

thank you , great croatian people.we believe the sun will rise again!!

Svatko u Hrvatska
Japanski nikada neće zaboraviti svoje radnje.
Hvala Vam.

Many thanks.
I have no words to express my gratitude.
from Tokyo

Thank you, Croatian people ! We Japanese will never give up, and be back again.

Thank you so much for your thoughtful heart!!!
I just had warm tears out of my eyes watching this vid.
I will tell my relatives who lives in the city where M9.0 quake hit when
I could make a contact with them!!
Again, Thank you sooooo much!!!
From Tokyo,Japan

Thank you so much for praying for us.
I received your kindness.
That is cheer up my heart.
We will do our best for recover our Country.
from Land of the Rising Sun.

(Forgive me though there might be a mistranslation because it is a machine translation. )
I am Japanese. It feels sorry though it is not personally struck.
However, I was impressed to see this animation. Tears have fallen in another meaning.
It did not so know the Croatia. However, it came to want to know.
And, a lot of this people's silent prayers are not forgotten.
Thank you for you.
I pray that your demonstration activities peacefully solve. Do your best.

the silence is the strongest voice reaches to my country Japan.
the power of citizen matters, after all.
from Kanagawa, Japan.

Ja sam japanski. Hvala vam na vašim molitvama. Hvala puno.
Suze u mojim očima.
Hvala Vam.
Hvala Vam.

Naši prijatelji u Hrvatska, hvala!

Hvala Vam. Mi ćemo naporno raditi! Od Japana.

I'll never forget about this ... till i die
I appreciate that, sincerely
from japan

Tank you so much for all of your compassion............
I pray for you, Croatian people, too......!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Several thousand anti-government protesters rallied in the Croatian capital Zagreb on Friday evening, demanding that the government of Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor step down.

As in previous protests this week, the demonstrators first tried to reach St Mark's Square, the seat of the government and parliament, but were turned back by the police because protests are prohibited in that square.

The demonstrators then headed for the headquarters of the ruling Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, party, chanting "HDZ thieves," "We want elections" and "We want change". They stayed there for about 15 minutes and then moved to Vukovarska Street.

The protesters also accused the Croatian opposition of failing to improve the situation in Croatia, saying that they were only concerned with their own self-promotion.

Croatia has faced a number of anti-government protests in recent weeks, including one on Saturday that saw violent clashes between police and demonstrators. More than 30 people were injured and dozens arrested in the rally, at which protesters called on the government to step down.

Friday's rally was also supported by Croatia's teachers' union, as well as several smaller opposition parties, including the nationalist HDSSB party of Branimir Glavas, a convicted war criminal.

The protest passed without incident, with only a small number of police providing security. The traffic along the march route was disrupted.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Gary Vaynerchuk Tastes 2 Croatian Wines

Gary Vaynerchuk tastes 2 white (Malvazija, Graševina) and a red wine (Plavac mali) from Croatia. He gets a little excited towards the end while trying the 2004 Zlatan Otok Plavac Mali

Protesters in Zagreb Burn the EU Flag on Wednesday, Unrest Continues

The EU and SDP flags burning
Protesters in the Croatian capitol of Zagreb (some 5.000 people reported) burned the flags of the two most prominent political parties in Croatia, HDZ and SDP (for international readers, imagine that American protesters burn the flags of the republican and the democratic party). Following those burnings the protesters also ripped apart and burned the flag of the European Union.

The protesters also camped outside the building where the PM, Jadranka Kosor is housed chanting "no sleep tonight".

There was no reported violence. New protests are announced for the weekend in most major Croatian cities.

A video of protestors burning the HDZ flag:

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

New Protests Planned for Wednesday - Unrest in Croatia Continues

Protest in Croatia are becoming a daily routine as the 5th protest in the last 10 days is about to take place tomorrow (Wednesday, 3/2/2011) at 18:00. The protests are said to be peaceful and currently Zagreb, Rijeka, Split and Osijek have all announced them. More cities are expected to have their minor protests. The protesters are asking for a new election because the elected prime minister Sanader is currently facing trial in Austria, while the acting PM Jadranka Kosor was not elected, but rather appointed by the accused PM.

The accused PM Ivo Sanader (left) and the acting PM Jadranka Kosor (right) appointed by him