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Bosnia national museum closes due to lack of funding after staying open through civil war

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Bosnia’s National Museum, founded in the 19th century and home to a famed 600-year old Jewish manuscript known as the Sarajevo Haggadah, closed its doors indefinitely Thursday due to political disputes and a lack of funding.

“Such a complex institution cannot function by improvisations. The authorities must provide the funds for employees’ salaries and functioning costs,” museum manager Adnan Busuladzic said.

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About 60 employees of Bosnia’s oldest museum, founded in 1888 and situated in the capital Sarajevo, have gone unpaid for about a year, Busuladzic said.

They left the building unstaffed and nailed wooden boards saying “Closed” to the entrance, while several students briefly chained themselves up in protest.

Hundreds of students also marched along central Sarajevo streets demanding the museum’s reopening.

The institution needs some 60,000 euros ($78,000) per month for regular activities and functions, Busuladzic said.

Founded when Bosnia was part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire (1878-1914), the National Museum has never before closed its doors, even during the country’s bloody 1992-1995 war.

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Busuladzic warned of the “indifference” shown by the local authorities.

The management has already filed a legal complaint against the Bosnian government, accusing it of negligence towards the state institution.

“What happens nowadays, in 2012, 17 years after the war, is a humiliation, a shame and a sin,” said local historian Enver Imamovic, who ran the museum during the 1992-1995 war.

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After Bosnia’s inter-ethnic war that pitted Muslims, Serbs and Croats against each other, the Balkan country was divided into two semi-autonomous entities, the Muslim Croat Federation and Republika Srpska overseen by a weak central government.

The 1995 Dayton peace agreement ending Bosnia’s war failed to envisage a central ministry of culture. The civilian affairs ministry is in charge of the coordination of cultural projects and international cooperation.

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Bosnian Muslim, Croat and Serb political parties have still failed to reach an accord to finance the museum and other institutions through the central budget.

In January, the national library had its heating cut just as Bosnia was hit with freezing temperatures.

And the Gallery of Modern Art has closed its permanent collection to the public since September 2011.

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2020 Election

Trump impeachment defense team may be forced to change tactics to hold off GOP defections: report

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According to a report from Axios, Donald Trump's defense team is considering an attempt to shorten the president's Senate trial in order to get it over quickly as Democrats try to pry away Republican defectors.

The report states that "A truncated defense would likely reflect a decision not to contest facts or defend Trump point by point, but rather to try to diminish the legitimacy of Democrats' overall case and end the trial as quickly as possible."

Speaking with reporters, Trump attorney Jay Sekulow stated, "We’re not going to try to run the clock out," before adding that he hopes to warp up “Saturday or Monday or Tuesday."

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2020 Election

Fox News legal analyst bucks his network and lays out why Trump’s attack on impeachment is bogus

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Judge Andrew Napolitano has been one of the political wild cards at Fox News: like his colleague Chris Wallace — but unlike so many others at the right-wing cable news outlet — Napolitano doesn’t see it as his job to reflexively defend everything President Donald Trump says and does. And Napolitano, in an op-ed published on Fox News’ website this week, takes issue with Trump’s assertions that his impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate is a “hoax.”

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‘Your head will be on a pike’: GOP senators warned to stay on Trump’s side in impeachment trial

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Republican senators received a violently metaphorical threat before the impeachment vote.

One of President Donald Trump's confidantes said GOP senators were warned not to vote for impeachment -- or else, reported CBS News.

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