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EU: Mass grave likely holds Albanians

PRISTINA, Kosovo -- The European Union's mission to ensure the rule of law in Kosovo said Friday that human remains that appear to be a mass grave of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo have been found in a disused coal mine in southern Serbia.

EULEX said it used aerial images to locate the site after some unsuccessful excavations in the Kizevak mine. EULEX's exhumation coordinator, Krassimir Nikolov said the process of identifying the remains will be complicated and time-consuming, and it needs a court order.

"The work in Kizevak is far from over," he said.

Kosovo's 1998-99 war, which ended with a 78-day NATO air campaign, left more than 10,000 people dead. More than 1,640 people are still unaccounted for in Kosovo. EULEX has conducted 662 field operations to locate missing people, resulting in the identification of 457 individuals. Around 300 bodies remain in the morgue.

"The discovery of the human remains in Kizevak is a very positive development and a reward for our continuous efforts," said EULEX deputy head Tarja Formisto.

Several mass graves with the bodies of Kosovo Albanians killed by Serb troops during the 1998-99 war have been discovered in various parts of Serbia. Moving victims from Kosovo to Serbia was part of a cover-up operation by Serbian authorities at the time to try to hide evidence of war crimes.

Pope account's model 'like' stirs inquiry

ROME -- The Vatican is investigating how Pope Francis' official Instagram account "liked" a photo of a scantily-clad Brazilian model.

A Vatican official said Friday that the "like" didn't originate from the Holy See, and as such, the Vatican was working "in close connection" with Instagram to get to the bottom of who "liked" the photo.

Francis' official Instagram account, which has the username "franciscus," has 7.4 million followers, but doesn't follow anyone. Earlier this month, franciscus was shown as having "liked" a photo of Natalia Garibotto, a Brazilian model whose Instagram account features dozens of photos of her in thong bikinis and provocative poses.

In the photo liked by franciscus, she is dressed as an apparent schoolgirl, wearing a short tartan miniskirt and white garter stockings leaning up against a school locker.

The purported papal endorsement generated smirks and jokes on social media.

Francis has a robust social media presence, with his Twitter account Pontifex tweeting out daily prayers in a variety of languages.

16 people indicted in collapse of buildings

TIRANA, Albania -- Albanian prosecutors indicted 16 investors, construction experts and local officials Friday on murder and other charges resulting from fatal building collapses after an earthquake a year ago.

Prosecutors in the city of Durres, one of the areas most-devastated by the 6.4-magnitude earthquake, charged the investors, engineers and officials of the local authorities with murder by negligence and corruption.

The investors and engineers were accused of violating the use of the proper construction studies and certification, using substandard building materials and violating building codes.

The local officials were charged with corruption after they were accused of issuing fake documentation to the investors or engineers.

The Nov. 26, 2019, earthquake killed 51 people, 23 of them in Durres. It also injured hundreds and left 17,000 people homeless.

Criminal investigations are ongoing in three other cities affected from the quake.

Albania is rebuilding tens of thousands of private homes, schools and public buildings around the country, largely with more than a billion euros pledged by international donors.

Tech firms threaten to leave Pakistan

ISLAMABAD -- Internet and technology companies have threatened to leave Pakistan after the government granted blanket powers to authorities to censor digital content, a move critics say was aimed at curtailing freedom of expression in the conservative Islamic nation.

Thursday's warning from the Asia Internet Coalition, which represents global technology giants including Google, Facebook and Twitter, comes after the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan granted enhanced powers to government media regulators Wednesday.

The coalition said it was "alarmed by the scope of Pakistan's new law targeting internet companies, as well as the government's opaque process by which these rules were developed."

Under the new regulations, social media companies or internet service providers face a fine of up to $3.14 million for failure to curb the sharing of content deemed to be defamatory of Islam, promoting terrorism, hate speech, pornography or any content viewed as endangering national security.

The coalition said the "draconian data localization requirements will damage the ability of people to access a free and open internet and shut Pakistan's digital economy off from the rest of the world." It said the new rules will make it difficult for its members "to make their services available to Pakistani users and businesses."

There was no immediate comment from Khan's government.

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