Kosovo has been back on the front pages in recent weeks with lurid allegations against its prime minister and dominant politician, Hashim Thaci, accusing him of involvement in organised crime and even harvesting human organs for sale for profit. Mr Thaci has denied the allegations.
The prime minister has also been in the news as his party was accused of vote rigging in last month's parliamentary elections which were the first organised by the Kosovo government. This week, the vote had to be rerun in some of Mr Thaci's strongholds and a new government should be formed in the next few weeks.
Why is this interesting to people who don't follow affairs in south east Europe closely?
This is a question I have been asked given The World Tonight has followed the Kosovo story more consistently than many other news outlets.
The answer I give is that Kosovo is unfinished business which has implications that range far wider than this small territory in the former Yugoslavia.
The European Union has its largest ever civilian mission in Kosovo. Known as Eulex, it is a police and justice mission designed to help build the rule of law there as Kosovo is blighted by corruption and organised crime and a major source of trafficking in drugs, people and arms into the EU. EU officials will tell you off the record that the mission is needed so the drugs gangs can be tackled on the streets of Kosovo, rather than the streets of Paris, London or Berlin.
In addition to paying for this mission, European taxpayers have also funded a huge aid programme totalling several billion euros over the past decade aimed at reconstructing Kosovo after the conflict between Serbian Security Forces and the rebel Kosovo Liberation Army in the late 90s and Nato's intervention in 1999.
Another reason Kosovo matters is that its declaration of independence from Serbia three years ago - encouraged by the United States, Britain, France and Germany - highlighted the tension between self-determination and territorial integrity in world affairs that is at the root of several conflicts around the world. In addition to the Kosovo conflict, these competing ideas helped cause the short war between Russia and Georgia in 2008 and the long running civil war in Sudan which this week's referendum there is aimed at settling peacefully.
Kosovo is also important precisely because it is unfinished business. The EU is attempting to supervise the development of a functioning state along European lines, but despite the support of the US and leading EU countries, Kosovo as an independent state has struggled to achieve international acceptance. To date 73 countries have recognised Kosovo, but the rest of the world's 192 UN members still regard Kosovo as part of Serbia, including the world's major emerging countries from China to Brazil to South Africa.
The luridness of the allegations against Mr Thaci provoked a renewed focus on Kosovo in the media and a slew of articles have appeared in Britain and the US in recent weeks questioning Nato's intervention in 1999 and the wisdom of the supporting Kosovo independence and Mr Thaci, as one of the leaders of the independence movement, in particular.
The offensive against Serbia in 1999 was presented by western leaders as a humanitarian act to prevent widespread ethnic cleansing of Kosovo's Albanian population by Slobodan Milosevic's forces. This was widely accepted by western commentators at the time and since then reporting of the conflict in western media has been largely been framed as a story of Albanian victims and Serb aggressors. But some of the recent commentary (you can read examples here and here) has challenged this account and questioned whether the intervention and support for independence were misguided.
Like most conflicts, Kosovo has never been black and white. Albanians and Serbs have been involved in a struggle for control of Kosovo on and off for well over a century and there have been times when one side or the other had the upper hand and sought to drive the other out of the territory. So when NATO intervened to stop ethnic cleansing in 1999, it was also siding with the Albanians and this culminated in the declaration of independence in 2008 with American and European encouragement (although five out of 27 EU states did not back the move).
On The World Tonight we talked to the former senior UN official Jerry Gallucci, who now writes an informative blog, about whether this unwelcome publicity will damage Kosovo's prospects of achieving full international recognition. His take is that having the criminal allegations and the electoral fraud in the headlines casts Kosovo in a negative light and will probably keep the process of international recognition bogged down and that means the fate of Kosovo remaining unresolved and, for us, newsworthy.
Alistair Burnett is the editor of The World Tonight.