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How Do You Solve A Problem Like Macedonia?

There is no better word for these people than 'Macedonians'Macedonia wants to join NATO, but it can't unless it changes its name. You see, existing NATO member Greece also has a province called "Macedonia," and it doesn't want anyone to get confused. Last month a U.N. special negotiator put forward a list of five names that Macedonia might want to consider, but the country turned up its nose in horrified disgust. What were these terrible alternate names?


"Constitutional Republic of Macedonia, Democratic Republic of Macedonia, Independent Republic of Macedonia, New Republic of Macedonia, and Republic of Upper Macedonia."

No wonder they didn't bite. Macedonia needs a new and exciting name, like "Barack Obama." And now time is running out on the beleaguered Balkan country because the NATO summit us under way, as we speak!

U.N. mediator says Macedonia, Greece willing to solve name dispute [AP]

NATO Could Block Macedonia Over Name [New York Times]

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Well, goddamn it, a wonderful person we'd never heard of until last night is dead. Lyra McKee was 29, an investigative journalist who specialized in looking at the legacy of "the Troubles" in Northern Ireland. She was murdered by someone shooting at police during rioting in Derry, or perhaps Londonderry, depending on who you want to piss off by using either name for the city. The rioting broke out after police "started carrying out searches in the area because of concerns that militant republicans were storing firearms and explosives" in advance of attacks planned to mark the anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising. Police are blaming the violence and McKee's death on the "New Irish Republican Army," a radical republican group formed a few years ago from several smaller groups. Despite the name, the group has no ties to the old Provisional Irish Republican Army, which renounced violence and disarmed in 2005 following the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which was supposed to have brought peace to Northern Ireland, and kind of did, at least much of the time.

McKee is being remembered by colleagues and readers as a promising journalist who was expected to go far. A year ago, McKee signed a two-book deal with Faber & Faber; the first of the books, The Lost Boys, an investigation of eight young men who disappeared in Belfast during the Troubles in the '60s and '70s, will be published next year. A 2016 Forbes profile said "McKee's passion is to dig into topics that others don't care about." For instance, CNN reports, McKee spent five years investigating a story about the only rape crisis center in Northern Ireland and its long struggle to regain funding after the government eliminated it.

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