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News digest: 16 August 2012

CZECH REPUBLIC: Crime falling, number of prisoners rising (Prague Daily Monitor, link): "The number of prisoners has been rising year-on-year in the Czech Republic though the crime rate is decreasing, as Czech courts send perpetrators of minor offences behind bars more often than in other European countries"

FRANCE: French police make first arrests after Amiens riots (AlertNet, link): "French police arrested at least four people after riots this week in the northern town of Amiens in which 17 officers were injured, the first people they have detained so far, local authorities said on Thursday"

Germany targets Facebook's face recognition (The Epoch Times, link): "The data protection commissioner for the German state of Hamburg plans to file an injunction against Facebook in a US court. The commissioner claims that Facebook's face recognition function, despite recent changes, violates European and German data protection regulations, his office announced Wednesday"

GREECE: Migrants call for protection (Ekathimerini, link): "Racially motivated attacks against immigrants have intensified in recent months, a prominent member of the local Pakistani community said Tuesday, alleging that police have failed to respond effectively to protect the victims"

GREECE: Nearly 500 hate attacks carried out in the last six months (Ekathimerini, link): "Nearly 500 racially motivated attacks have been carried out over the past six months in Greece according to the Migrant Workers Association, as immigrants say that the rising wave of xenophobic violence has left them afraid to walk the streets."

GREECE: Frontex sea patrol intercepts ship with 58 migrants abroad (Athens News, link): "European border personnel have intercepted an Italian vessel with 58 undocumented migrants aboard off the northwen coast of the country"

MALTA: Four migrants dead as two groups are rescued (Times of Malta, link): "Two migrants drowned and another two were found dead aboard a dinghy whose occupants were rescued by a ship about 70 nautical miles south of Malta yesterday afternoon."

NORWAY: Police chiefs will meet to discuss critical measures (The Norway Post, link): "All of Norway's police chiefs have been called to a meeting to discuss different measures that should be immediately implemented following the July 22nd commission's report."

SPAIN: Courts step in to stop layoffs under new law after discovering abuses (El Pais, link): "Spanish courts have begun to step in to stop a rash of abuses companies are committing in trying to implement layoff schemes, which have skyrocketed since the government of Mariano Rajoy introduced its controversial labor reform earlier this year"

USA: The new totalitarianism of surveillance technology (The Guardian, link): "If you think that 24/7 tracking of citizens by biometric recognition systems is paranoid fantasy, just read the industry newsletters"

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