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News digest: 20 August 2012

France considers easing Roma work restrictions (euobserver): "French minister of interior Manuel Valls announced on Thursday (16 August) that France might consider introducing a Roma work-related insertion programme when ministers meet next week to discuss the issue"

French police on high alert after riots in Amiens (BBC News): "Police throughout France have been placed on high alert after riots in Amiens earlier this week left 16 officers injured. The trouble has come at a difficult time for the country's new President, Francois Hollande, and the city is not alone in its problems"

GERMANY: Study: Violence is common in German prisons (Deutsche Welle)

GERMANY: Terrorism trumps military taboos in Germany (Deutsche Welle): "Germany's highest court issued a ruling allowing the military to be used - in some instances - within the country. The decision is the latest chapter in a debate that stretches back decades into German history"

GREECE: Operation to clear Roma camp continues (Ekathimerini): "Sanitation teams from the City of Athens on Monday continued an operation to clear debris and other material at a Roma camp in the western Athens district of Votanikos that was destroyed in a fire last week"

GREECE: Pakistanis allege police torture (Athens News): "Pakistani community leaders have condemned what they allege was the torture and racist taunting of Pakistani nationals by police"

Italian dies after setting himself on fire outside parliament (AlertNet): "A 54-year-old man died on Sunday after setting himself on fire outside the Italian parliament last week to highlight his struggle with unemployment, police said"

Italians rescue boat immigrants (euronews, with video): "Italian authorities rescued 231 people aboard a boat from Tunisia." See also: Italian coastguard rescues 357 migrants (euobserver): "Italy's coastguard rescued 357 African migrants over the weekend"

MALTA-SWITZERLAND: Switzerland formally accepts 19 refugees from Malta (Malta Independent): "The Swiss government yesterday authorised the resettlement of 19 African immigrants who had landed in Malta earlier this year following the political unrest in Africa"

NORTHERN IRELAND: UDA 'in death threat to Belfast journalist' (Belfast Telegraph)

UK: Airport-style screening to be considered for train and tube stations (Guardian): "Fresh consideration is to be given to the introduction of airport-style mass security screening at mainline rail stations and across London's tube network." See also from the Netherlands in June: Amsterdam considers using body scanners on the street (This Amsterdam)

UK: Police arresting homeless in Birmingham (Indymedia UK)

UK: Secret court proposals compared to superinjunctions (Guardian): "The government's plan to establish a new generation of secret courts has sparked fresh controversy after it emerged that the fact that a hearing is to be held behind closed doors may itself be kept secret"

UK: Theresa May qualifies a qualified right (Free Movement)

UK: Third detainee threatens to jump from detention centre rooftop (Unheard Voices)

UK: Torture claims handling criticised (Sunday Mercury): "Officials at an immigration removal centre were too dismissive of reports from detainees claiming to be victims of torture, inspectors have said." See: Report on an unnaounced short follow-up inspection of Dover Immigration Removal Centre, 3-5 April 2012 (HM Chief Inspector of Prisons)

US 'should hand over footage of drone strikes or face UN inquiry' (The Independent): "The US must open itself to an independent investigation into its use of drone strikes or the United Nations will be forced to step in, Ben Emmerson QC said yesterday"

US: These drones are made for watchin' (Electronic Frontier Foundation): "EFF recently received a trove of documents from the FAA in response to our Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, offering new insights into the public and private use of drones in the United States—including where they’re flying, why they’re being used, and what their capabilities are. These new documents include the never-before-released Special Airworthiness Certificates (SACs) from all private companies authorized to fly drones"