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News digest: 23 November 2012

CZECH REPUBLIC: Poll: More Czechs reject violence against Roma minority (Prague Daily Monitor): "The proportion of Czechs with a negative position on Romanies has slightly decreased over the past seven months, but it still makes up almost three-quarters of society"

CZECH REPUBLIC: Strasbourg court orders Prague to compensate man for mistreatment (Prague Daily Monitor): "The Czech state has to pay over half a million crowns of compensation to Milan Sykora who was repeatedly stripped of legal competence and was once forced to stay in a mental clinic against his will, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg decided." See: Judgment in the case of Sykora v. The Czech Republic (pdf)

DENMARK: Asylum seekers attempt group suicide (The Copenhagen Post): "Suicide attempts by four Afghan women may have been co-ordinated incidents that arrive in the wake of EU criticism over Danish involvement in a plan to return unaccompanied Afghan teenagers"

DENMARK: Calls to reduce number of unconvicted prisoners (The Copenhagen Post): "Police are increasingly successful at locking up suspects to prevent them interfering with investigations, though experts argue the practice is problematic"

DENMARK: Justice minister to seek more control over intelligence agency (The Copenhagen Post): "In light of the sensational revelations from double-agent Morten Storm, the justice minister wants PET to report to parliament about the use of civilian agents." See: PET criticised for involvement in weapons case (The Copenhagen Post): "Domestic intelligence agency sold AK-47s to three men suspected of terrorism, but no terror charges were ever brought against the trio"

EU: Cyber incident reporting in the EU (European Network and Information Security Agency): "We summarize different security articles in EU legislation which mandate cyber incidents and cyber security measures. In a single diagram we give an overview of Article 13a and Article 4 of the Telecom package, Article 15 of the proposed eID/eSig regulation, and articles 30, 31, and 32 of the proposed Data Protection regulation. We also look ahead to the EU Cyber security strategy and we raise a number of issues that we believe should be addressed in the near future"

EU: European Parliament warns against UN internet control (BBC News)

EU: European powers back Mali intervention (Magharebia): "European Union foreign ministers agreed Monday (November 19th) to send 250 military advisors to Mali to support an African-led intervention, AFP reported." See also: Algeria boosts combat units on southern border (Magharebia)

France ends final Afghan combat mission (France 24): "France's final combat mission in Afghanistan drew to an end Tuesday as part of President François Hollande's commitment to an early withdrawal of troops. Around 1,500 French soldiers will remain into 2013 to help train the Afghan army"

GERMANY: Beate Zschäpe 'Collaborated in All The Murders' (Spiegel Online): "In an interview with SPIEGEL, German Federal Prosecutor Harald Range, 64, talks about the charges filed against alleged right-wing terrorist Beate Zschäpe, the mistakes made by the security services and the difficult investigations leading up to what will be Germany's biggest neo-Nazi trial"

GERMANY: Neo-Nazis make inroads with 'ultra' soccer fans (Spiegel Online): "German football team Borussia Dortmund has inspired legions of hardcore fans known as 'ultras.' But as the team's fortunes rise, right-wing extremists have gained a foothold in its fan base, wreaking havoc during matches"

GERMANY: Taking a stand against neo-Nazis (Deutsche Welle): "The fall meeting of Germany's Federal Crime Office this year was dedicated to stopping far-right extremism. The upshot of the annual gathering: Above all, better research and information would help"

GERMANY: 'The NPD has no need for legal protection' (Spiegel Online): "In an effort to preempt a ban on its existence, Germany's far-right NPD party has taken the unusual step of asking the country's high court to confirm its constitutionality. The request isn't likely to be taken seriously, legal expert Martin Morlok explains"

Greece suicide rate skyrockets, police data shows (Ekathimerini): "Greece's suicide rate increased by 37 percent between 2009 - 2011, To Pontiki newspaper reported quoting police data"

GREECE: Bomb explodes at home of Greek judge in Athens (Ekathimerini)

GREECE: Czechs accused of spying in Greece not released on bail (Prague Daily Monitor): "The Greek judiciary has dismissed an application for the release of two Czechs detained on Chios Island over alleged spying, the two men's parents told journalists Friday, while the Czech Foreign Ministry said an appeal against the decision is being prepared"

GREECE: Golden Dawn linked to firebombs (Ekathimerini): "A 22-year-old man who was arrested in Volos, central Greece, earlier this month carrying a load of Molotov cocktails has allegedly told police that he was intending to firebomb a makeshift mosque following instructions from members of neofascist Golden Dawn, who had provided him with paid work"

GREECE: More than 400 migrants detained in latest sweep (Ekathimerini)

GREECE: Police special guard held for migrant muggings (Ekathimerini): "A 31-year-old police special guard believed to be behind a series of armed muggings on immigrants in the run-down central Athens district of Aghios Panteleimonas was being questioned on Friday"

ICTY: Hague verdict shows it is good to be a criminal (Balkan Insight): "The ICTY appeals chamber has issued a judgment acquitting Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac of crimes for which they were previously convicted. At first reading, the judgment seems to be a radical one that creates new law – and the new law it creates will be encouraging to military commanders who want to target civilians and to politicians who want to engineer the expulsion of civilians"

IRELAND: Claims of rising racism in Greece as young Egyptian tortured by employer (Irish Times)

ITALY: Attack on Spurs fans in Rome: questions asked over role of police (The Guardian): "Questions were being asked on Thursday night about how Italian police failed to prevent a bloody and unprovoked attack on Tottenham Hotspur football fans in one of Rome's most heavily frequented – and policed – squares"

ITALY: Former Italy secret service chief probed for corruption (Gazzetta del Sud): "Italy's former secret service chief Nicolo' Pollari, known for his role in the CIA abduction of Muslim cleric Hassan Mustafa Omar Nasr, is under investigation for alleged corruption"

ITALY: Journalists to strike on Monday over new libel law (Gazzetta del Sud): "Italian journalists will strike on Monday in protest over a new libel law currently before parliament, the national journalists' union said on Thursday. The protest involves all news media professionals and is in opposition to the so-called 'Sallusti bill' which ''seriously limits the independence of information,'' said Franco Siddi, secretary of the National Press Federation"

ITALY: Migrant found dead on Sicilian beach (Gazzetta del Sud)

ITALY: Napolitano renews call to relieve prison overcrowding (Gazzetta del Sud): "President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano on Thursday reiterated calls for action to improve conditions for detainees in the country's overcrowded jails"

ITALY: Swastikas daubed on northern Italian cemetery wall (Gazzetta del Sud)

Macedonian police law creating 'police state', watchdog says (Balkan Insight): "Macedonia’s new police law limits human rights while greatly extending the powers of the police and the room for their misuse, the local Helsinki Committee has complained"

NATO-TURKEY: NATO to consider Turkey's Patriot missile request (BBC News): "Nato says it will consider "without delay" Turkey's request to deploy Patriot anti-missile systems to protect its border with the unrest-torn Syria." See also: NATO, Russia clash over missile deployment in Turkey (AlertNet) and German Patriot missiles could defend Turkey (Deutsche Welle)

NETHERLANDS: Download ban back on the table (Dutch News): "Junior justice minister Fred Teeven is to revive plans for a formal ban on the illegal downloading of books, films and music from the internet, now it appears there is majority support from parliament"

NETHERLANDS: Justice ministry considering closing 11 jails in major shake-up (Dutch News): "Justice ministry plans to cut spending on prisons by €100m will lead to the closure of 11 out of 29 jails, 700 job losses and 800 prisoners being sent home to finish their sentences, according to documents in the hands of television show Nieuwsuur"

NETHERLANDS: Secret service was wrong to phone tap journalists, says EU court (Dutch News): "The Dutch secret service was wrong to tap the telephones of two Telegraaf journalists and demand the return of documents, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled. The Telegraaf took the AIVD to court after secret service officials tapped the phones and followed crime reporters Joost de Haas and Bart Mos to try and identify their sources." See: Judgment in case of Telegraaf Med Nederland Landelijke Media B.V. and Others v. The Netherlands (pdf)

NORTHERN IRELAND: PSNI has failed us, says family of murdered teen (Belfast Telegraph): "The family of a Catholic gunned down by loyalists 10 years ago say they will never give up their fight for justice after a new probe highlighted “serious failings” in the PSNI investigation into his death"

Norway tightens weapons export rules amongst rising trade (The Foreigner)

NORWAY: Oslo Roma forcibly removed (The Foreigner): "Police in Oslo today began forcibly removing an encampment by the side of the Sognsvann lake at which between 60 and 100 Roma people have been living"

Polish far right seeks to ban left-wing party (The News)

SLOVAKIA: The crooked judges of Slovakia (Respekt): "Almost a year after the so-called “Gorilla” file lifted the lid on corruption in Slovakia, a new documentary reveals a Slovak judiciary controlled by a clique of unscrupulous judges ready to thwart those who resist them. Its director, Zuzana Piussi now faces up to two years in prison"

SPAIN: Crunch time for Catalonia (euronews): "It is the final day of campaigning in the regional assembly elections in Catalonia, a campaign that has become increasingly acrimonious and personal. The stakes could not be higher for Madrid, as Spanish unity is on the line because the election could trigger a referendum on independence"

SPAIN: Extremists disguised as Samaritans (El Pais): "A sign outside the ramshackle house warns: "Area under guard." The social office of far-right party España 2000 in Valencia takes care of entire families who are in need of provisions. The group attends to the needs of desperate members of the community in much the same way as Golden Dawn in Greece, distributing food among people on the verge of ruin"

SWEDEN: 'Islam is like Nazism': top Sweden Democrat (The Local): "The Sweden Democrats' new justice policy spokesman, unveiled on Thursday as part of a reshuffle in the wake of a racist video scandal, has already made headlines for his comparison of Islamism to Nazism"

SWEDEN: Major integration reform slow to yield results (The Local): "Newly-arrived immigrants are still struggling to find work two years after a labour market reform to help them get established in Sweden, a new study has shown, but officials argue the programme will work as long as immigrants stick to it"

UK: Army disciplinary hearings condemned as 'kangaroo courts' (The Telegraph)

UK: Geo-Politics: Death at Harmondsworth detention centre covered-up by GEO (Schnews)

UK: MPs to hold inquiry into use of drones (The Telegraph): "MPs are to conduct an inquiry into Britain’s deployment of drones to target militants. Scrutiny of the use of the unmanned weapons could shed light on the “secret war” being waged remotely by the US against terror suspects in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, it is thought." See also: UK Defence Select Committee to investigate use of armed drones (Drone Wars UK)

UK: Safe to fly (euronews): "A fresh way of analysing security information is being developed with the help of Heathrow Airport. Known as TASS – it brings together different sources of data and offers security experts a single interface to see what is happening on the ground." See: European Commission: European R & D Projects: Total Airport Security System



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