Slobodan Milosevic is being upstaged. For the past two years, the former Yugoslav president has noisily challenged the international tribunal that is trying him for war crimes, by pontificating, denigrating his judges and dismissing his trial as a mere anti-Serb farce. \nBut now a fellow Serb, the ultranationalist politician and warlord Vojislav Seselj, is outdoing Milosevic in insolence. Taken together, their behavior illustrates some of the difficulties this court faces. \nFrustratingly slow at times, it deals with Croat, Muslim and Serbian defendants accused of atrocities in the 1990s wars that broke up Yugoslavia. Seselj, who turned himself in a year ago, has sneered that the UN court is just an "American tool against Serbs," which he "will blast to pieces." \nKnown in Serbia for his rabble-rousing speeches and foul language, he has now brought these habits to the Hague. He has equated one judge with the Nazis and requested that all three of his judges be disqualified. He has accused the tribunal registrar of financial crimes, fired off motions that amount to insulting diatribes and managed to outwit his prison guards -- and his trial has not even begun. \nSome court officials wonder how a proper and fair trial of such an obstructionist defendant can be conducted. \n"Other accused have their ways of being difficult," said Jim Landale, the tribunal spokesman, "but we have not seen such extreme verbal assaults before." \nLike Milosevic, Seselj, 49, is conducting his own defense, which allows him to hold the floor in court, even now at preparatory hearings for the trial that may begin later this year. \nSeselj, a former Sarajevo University lecturer who founded an ultranationalist political party and his own armed militia, faces charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes in Bosnia and Croatia in the 1990s. His indictment states that he ordered persecutions, plunder and killings, and that he is accountable for the atrocities perpetrated by his gang, known as Seselj's Men. Prosecutors and witnesses contend that he often directed the fighters as they terrorized, robbed and killed non-Serbian civilians. \nSeselj's latest move that aggravated court officials came in December, when he managed to use the jail telephone to campaign for his Radical Party in the parliamentary elections of Serbia. Milosevic did the same for his Socialist Party. When the tribunal discovered they were broadcasting on Belgrade radio, it imposed a temporary ban on all calls except to family and lawyers. \nMilosevic reportedly respected the ban, a court official said, but Seselj gave another interview on Dec. 25 from a public phone near his cell. He told his listeners in Belgrade that he was able to trick his guards because "the fools are all busy celebrating Christmas." \nSeselj's party won almost 28 percent of the vote, making it the largest political force in the country. He tried to deliver a victory speech by telephone until his guards cut him off. \nThe telephone episode points up the challenge of trying to stop these two seasoned politicians from exercising their influence from their cells. \nCourt officials are even more concerned about the plans of the two to use their trials as political platforms. Milosevic, for example, is entitled to hold the floor for many months once his defense begins in May. \nProceedings are regularly broadcast to the Balkans, and while Milosevic's influence at home has waned, his past defiance and now Seselj's courtroom histrionics draw applause or amusement in Serbia. \nOne such story involves a computer, which the court gave Seselj to try to stop him from filing his lengthy motions scribbled by hand. He announced to his judges he would not touch this laptop because, he said with evident sarcasm, he did not want to get electric shocks. \nDuring one session he requested that the judges change their red-and-black courtroom robes because they caused him deep psychological problems. He said they reminded him of the Roman Catholic Inquisition.
FOX HUNT: To suppress dissent, Chinese living abroad that Xi Jinping sees as threats are told to either return to China or commit suicide, Christopher Wray said Chinese agents have been pursuing hundreds of Chinese nationals living in the US in an effort to force their return, as part of a global campaign against the country’s diaspora, known as Operation Fox Hunt, FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday. In a speech about the security threat posed by China, during which he said Beijing’s counterintelligence work was the “greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property, and to our economic vitality,” Wray gave the example of one Fox Hunt target who was given a choice of going back to China or killing themselves. Fox Hunt was launched
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‘SUICIDE’: Media reports said Park Won-soon went missing on Thursday after a staff member filed a sexual harassment claim against him this week Seoul mayor Park Won-soon, viewed as a potential candidate for the 2022 presidential election, was found dead of an apparent suicide hours after he was reported missing, police said, adding that he was the subject of an undisclosed investigation. In a note he is thought to have left behind on his desk, Park offered his apologies. “I thank everyone who was with me in my life. I apologize to my family for only making them suffer from pain,” according to the note that was released by his office yesterday. Park, in his letter, asked to be cremated and have his remains spread