Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović at The Hague in June. Photo: Piroschka Van De Wouw/ANP/AFP via Getty Images

Appeals filed this week by two former Serbian State Security officials convicted of aiding and abetting war crimes in Bosnia and Herzegovina will mark the final stage of 18 years of international efforts to adjudicate crimes committed during the breakup of Yugoslavia.

Why it matters: "The closure and ending of trials signifies an end of an era — one that was a turning point for international law and goes far beyond the former Yugoslavia," Iva Vukušić, a historian and genocide scholar at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, told Axios.

Driving the news: Jovica Stanišić, the former head of Serbian State Security, and Franko Simatović, his former deputy, were the last of more than 160 defendants tried in The Hague as part of the UN’s International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). 

  • The case marked the first time that high-ranking wartime Serbian government officials had been convicted for crimes committed in Bosnia. Both were sentenced to 12 years and are appealing.
  • The prosecution also filed an appeal, asking that the scope of their convictions be expanded and their sentences increased.

The big picture: "The ICTY was the first post-Cold War UN tribunal and without it, we would not have seen efforts which led to the creation of the permanent International Criminal Court," says Vukušić, who expects the final trials to be wrapped up by 2023.

State of play: As to whether the UN trials were successful, Vukušić said this depends on what one defines as the court's job.

  • "If one has humbler goals — like individual responsibility for some important offenders, and fair trials, and some limited fact-finding — then it has been more successful than any other international court" in terms of the number of cases prosecuted, she said.
  • "We know what happened to victims, and communities, because of these trials," she continued. "This knowledge is crucial, to families and communities alike. These archives are precious to scholars."
  • "If one has more ambitious goals like reconciliation or a joint narrative, then it has largely failed," Vukušić said, adding that courts aren't an ideal venue for reconciliation efforts and that "history is by nature contested."

What's next: Although cases relating to genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes have wrapped up, the remaining trials of suspects will be delegated to national courts.

  • Yet few local governments in the Balkans have the appetite to deal with these thousands of remaining suspects.
  • In some cases, individuals suspected or even convicted of war crimes have run for public office.

The bottom line: Vukušić noted that after "any war" as long and brutal as the breakup of Yugoslavia, "most suspects won't be tried. That is the reality of it, there is no capacity, funding or resources to do it."

  • "The Syrians and victims of widespread atrocities across the world will find that out as well in the future.”

Go deeper

Sep 28, 2021 - Axios Denver

Colorado's violent crime rate hits 25-year high

Expand chart
Data: FBI; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

The estimated number of violent crimes in Colorado last year spiked to its highest level in 25 years and exceeded the national rate for the third straight year, according to statistics released Monday by the FBI.

Why it matters: The findings, some of which are approximates, bolster initial data showing a surge in violent crime in Denver and across the state throughout the pandemic.

White House unveils plan to "quickly" vaccinate kids ages 5-11

Charles Muro, 13, is inoculated at Hartford Healthcare's mass vaccination center at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, Conn. Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images

The White House on Wednesday released its plan to vaccinate children between the ages of five and 11, pending authorization from the Food and Drug Administration of the first COVID-19 shot for that age group.

The big picture: The White House said it has secured enough vaccine supply to equip more than 25,000 pediatric and primary care offices, hundreds of school and community health clinics, as well as tens of thousands of pharmacies, to administer the shots.

1 hour ago - Sports

Where it stands: Weed policies by U.S. sports league

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

With public support for marijuana legalization nearing unanimity, and more athletes using cannabis to treat pain, the four major U.S. sports leagues continue to reduce restrictions and punishments.

Driving the news: NBA players won't be subject to random marijuana testing this season, an extension of an agreement between the league and its players' union that began ahead of the 2020 Orlando restart.