BIRN also reports that Lulzim Basha, the Foreign Minister, has invited Crown Prince Leka II to become an advisor on foreign affairs. I have to confess that I did not know that there was a Crown Prince. A brief search uncovered an entry on wikipedia, and a video from Vision Plus.
The Jewish Advocate carries a story about Bujar Veselaj, whose father, Refik, rescued Albanian Jews during the war and later founded the Albania-Israel Friendship Association. The son has been granted asylum in the US after expert testimony backed his claim that Muslim fundamentalists had threatened his life.
I'm not sure what to make of this story. On the one hand I think many Albanians - and outside observers - are complacent about the threat posed by Islamic fundamentalism. The Saudis and the Iranians are both active here spreading their unpleasant brand of religion. Young men, the future leaders of the Muslim community, are being educated - indoctrinated - overseas.
On the other hand, I find it hard to believe that the threat is as advanced at this stage as Veselaj's claims and those of his witnesses suggest. If threatening letters and broken windows were the criteria for asylum, there would be long queues outside every embassy in every country in the world.
There is a great story from the BBC about a project in Korca to collect and recycle rubbish, run mostly by the local Roma population. Along the way the reporter, Kieran Cook, meets Agron Deliu, a chemist trying to assess the toxicity of the piles of rubbish. Agron grew up with a love of philosophy but only had access to the 'philosophical' works of Hoxha - the same ones that now lie mouldering on the waste ground by the lake.
Now he relaxes in the evening by translating Bertrand Russell in to Albanian. This impressed me greatly. I once tried reading some of Bertrand Russell's stuff and it was incomprehensible to me even in English. So good luck Agron
Finally, two other stories appeared in which Albania gets a mention. The Scotsman is one of many newspapers that carried a AP story on the importance of remittances. The Wall Street Journal has a report on a group of select individuals who travel the world looking for new holiday destinations. One of these is John Stoll of Crystal Cruises.
As a result, in 2008, passengers on the company's Greek God's & Gondolas cruise and their Mediterranean Masterpiece cruise will be stopping off in Sarande. So, people of Saranda, get ready for lots of wealthy Americans coming your way on 10 June and 23 July. The 10 June visit - part of the Greek Gods & Gondolas cruise - is being marketed as the first ever visit by the cruise line, so this could be your opportunity to get in there and make some money.