War In The Balkans: Briefing: Day 37

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The Independent Online
Families in the United States have offered to take in 1,500 ethnic Albanian refugees from Kosovo. The US agreed earlier this month to take up to 20,000 refugees.

Yugoslavia filed a World Court case against 10 Nato alliance members, claiming their bombing campaign breaches international law. Yugoslavia also asked the 15-judge court, the UN's highest judicial body, to call a halt to the campaign while the case is being considered - a process which can take years.

Austria has agreed to take 5,000 more refugees and speed up airlifts from Macedonia in a bid to help the problem of overflowing refugee camps. Austria has already admitted 5,000 refugees.

UNHCR has called for countries to cut down on bureaucracy and speed up evacuations from Macedonia, where refugee camps are overflowing. On Wednesday, 1,593 refugees were evacuated, with the largest groups going to France (592) and Turkey (263) but this falls well short of UNHCR's immediate target of 2,000 departures a day.

A small group of Kosovo Albanians in a Dutch refugee camp has launched a hunger strike in the hope of getting Albanian television broadcasts.

The Greek Foreign Minister, George Papandreou, says Athens opposes any Nato ground attack in Kosovo and would not participate in such an action.

Nato yesterday halted for two hours all flights to or from Tirana's Rinas International Airport after a sniffer dog found something suspicious in a package for Kosovo refugees.

Nearly a hundred journalists rallied in front of the Yugoslav Embassy in Croatia demanding the release of one of their colleagues jailed in Montenegro.

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