Kosovo to declare its independence at 2 p.m. GMT

Kosovo's ethnic Albanian leadership called a special session of parliament for 3 p.m. (1400 GMT) Sunday to declare independence. Prime Minister Hashim Thaci said lawmakers would vote on a declaration proclaiming the formation of the Republic of Kosovo as "an independent, sovereign and democratic state." "This is the will of the people," the former guerrilla leader said as the breakaway province prepared to shake off centuries of Serbian dominance as Europe's newest nation.