World Bulletin/News Desk
The European Union started accession talks with the tiny Adriatic Sea state of Montenegro on Friday, in an effort to persuade other countries in the western Balkans that democratic reforms pay off.
Negotiations will likely take years before the former Yugoslav republic of 680,000 people can become an EU member, and will require Podgorica to make sweeping improvements to its judicial system and to curb corruption and organised crime.
"Montenegro already did a lot. But much more still needs to be done. This next phase ... will mean even more work in more areas, with continued focus on fundamental freedoms and judiciary," EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele said.
EU leaders gave formal approval to the start of talks at a summit in Brussels on Friday.
The economy of Montenegro, which split from Serbia in 2006, is largely based on tourism and real estate along its Adriatic coast. Its politicians have faced frequent accusations of corruption and links with organised crime.
Among other former Yugoslav states, Slovenia is an EU member and Croatia is due to join in July 2013. Others are far behind on the accession path, struggling to shake off the legacy of the ethnic wars that shook the Balkans when Yugoslavia disintegrated.
Noor Hassan – a 21-year-old from Nablus – died and two others were injured when an Israeli bus rammed into them, an eyewitness said.
NBA superstars Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash: 'System kills young black men under the mask of law.'
The move came following remarks made by Nevo in which he reportedly said that the Jordanian parliament had only cared about marginal issues.
Around 2,500 women still detained or missing, the Syrian Network for Human Rights says.
Around 80 protesters arrested for assaulting police, illegal assembly, disobeying injunction, and obstructing police work.
Greek-Cypriot and Turkish Republic of NorthernCyprus should be allowed to develop their relationship, says British former Foreign Secretary
Nusra Front, which is fighting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, killed and captured a number of Lebanese soldiers – including Shiite troops – in Lebanon's border town of Arsal
Streets of Sarajevo decorated with flags as people celebrate in Bosnian capital
Kenyan police used teargas to disperse demonstrators shouting "President, Stop the killings!" outside President Uhuru Kenyatta's offices
Turkey should impose sanctions on Russia and follow the example of European countries, Crimean Tatar leader and member of Ukraine’s parliament has said.
Critics call it discriminatory and anti-democratic, as legislation widens cracks in Israel's governing coalition
ISIL fighters were present in four of Baiji's 12 neighbourhoods, as well as areas on the perimeter of the sprawling refinery complex
A senior Russian official said Ukraine's president's referendum plans on NATO membership would increase regional tensions.
The Palestinian ambassador to Cairo met with protesters and said contacts were underway with Egyptian authorities to solve the problem
At least 270 Palestinian women were killed during this summer's devastating Israeli onslaught on the Gaza Strip, according to Palestinian government figures.
Two explosions by suspected suicide bombers hit Maiduguri in Nigeria's northeast