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News digest: 18 February 2013
US memo pans Albania PM (Balkan Insight): "The
undated memo seems to have been sent to Prime Minister Sali Berisha
after Serbia took down a memorial to ethnic Albanian fighters
in the southern Serbian town of Presevo in January"
torture victims demand rights law (Balkan Insight): "Eighteen
years after the war, the Bosnian authorities must adopt an umbrella
law that will provide basic rights for some 200,000 people who
were tortured, victims groups insist"
revelations explode Hezbollah bombing "hypothesis"
(Inter Press Service): "When European Union foreign
ministers discuss a proposal to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist
organisation, Bulgarias Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov
will present his governments case for linking two suspects
in the Jul. 18, 2012 bombing of an Israeli tourist bus to Hezbollah"
CZECH REPUBLIC: MPs
want imprisoned lawmakers to lose pay, mandate (Prague
Daily Monitor): "The Chamber of Deputies, the lower house
of Czech parliament, supported two bills stripping imprisoned
legislators of their pay and those convicted and sent to prison
of their mandate, in the first reading Friday"
controls come with financial windfall for intelligence agency
(Copenhagen Post): "While five million kroner a year
will be set aside to keep an eye on PET, the agency itself will
receive more than twice as much money to respond to any concerns
raised." See also: PET
controls too weak, critics say
platform tracks lobbyists copy-pasting their way into EU legislation
(euronews): "A team of German journalists and developers
concerned about data protection legislation have launched an
online platform to expose the copy-pasting of lobbyists
position papers into EU legislation." See also: EU Commission
probed by ombudsman over lobbyists (BBC News)
immigration fears unfounded, experts say (Balkan Insight):
"European fears of a mass influx from Romania in 2014
were unreal, a Bucharest conference staged by the Balkan Fellowship
for Journalistic Excellence has heard"
Merkel wades into Amazon neo-Nazi row (The Independent):
"Chancellor Angela Merkels government demanded
an explanation from the online retailer Amazon Germany after
a television documentary showed seasonal workers being harassed
by black-clad security guards with alleged neo-Nazi links."
See also: Amazon
to probe German 'neo-Nazi' allegations (RTÉ News)
out: A Berlin family's eviction sparks violent protest (Spiegel
Online): "Violent protests broke out in Berlin's Kreuzberg
neighborhood on Thursday after a Turkish family was forced to
leave their apartment for refusing to pay higher rent. Cars were
set ablaze and demonstrators scuffled with police. The long simmering
conflict reveals continued tension over the city's rising rents""
orders administrative inquiry after left MPs claim they were
beaten up by police (Ekathimerini): "Public Order
Minister Nikos Dendias has ordered an administrative inquiry
into allegations that two leftist deputies were beaten up by
riot police during an anti-austerity protest Thursday"
hold protest outside Finance Ministry (Ekathimerini):
"Dozens of disabled citizens gathered outside the main
offices of the Finance Ministry in central Athens on Friday to
protest reductions to their salaries and pensions imposed as
part of a broader government austerity program." See
occupies Greek finance ministry office (Greek Reporter)
Gold site targeted (Ekathimerini): "A group of
about 50 unknown assailants attacked the Hellas Gold mining site
located in Skouries, in Halkidiki, northern Greece, in the early
hours of Sunday." See also: Arsonists
attack Hellas gold mine in northern Greece (BBC News);
arrested following arson attack at Skouries gold mine in Halkidiki
gold mine protesters' trial postponed until November (Ekathimerini)
publish photos of suspected racist attackers (Ekathimerini):
"Police on Friday published the names and photographs
of two men arrested on February 5 in the Athens neighborhood
of Haidari who are believed to have taken part in racially-motivated
assaults organized by the ultra-right party Golden Dawn"
police chief arrested for robbing migrant (Ekathimerini):
"In the second case in as many days relating to an officer
of the law intimidating migrants to make illegal gains, a high-ranking
officer of the police precinct in Rendi, southern Athens, was
arrested on Wednesday night after being accused by a Pakistani
man of robbing him"
Zeus sweep in Athens leads to 85 arrests (Ekathimerini):
"A police sweep in central Athens on Friday as part of
a crackdown on undocumented immigrants code-named Xenios Zeus
led to 611 people being detained and 85 of these being arrested
on a string of charges"
military blocked by protesting moms in Sicily (Gazzetta
del Sud): "Roughly 100 protesters in Sicily on Friday
blocked vehicles for the second day in a row from entering the
construction site of a contested US military satellite communications
migrant 'slavery' (euronews): "There is something
important in the Italian election political campaign that some
critics claim the authorities are refusing to see: tens of thousands
of migrant agricultural workers. We focus on Calabria, where
they have been coming for years, yet their arrival is still treated
as a surprise an emergency"
asylum procedures far from adequate (Times
of Malta): "Procedures for child asylum-seekers detained
with adults to challenge the results of the age verification
process were far from adequate, according to the
Jesuit Refugee Service"
prisoners vow to continue hunger strike (Balkan Insight):
"Around 500 prisoners at a jail in Spuz, on the outskirts
of the capital Podgorica, launched the hunger strike in protest
against what they believe are overcrowded cells, bad food, poor
medical treatment and over-long trials"
back advisory referendums (Dutch News): "A majority
of MPs on Thursday evening voted in favour of draft legislation
which would sanction advisory referendums in the Netherlands"
to invest in central 'security hall' (Dutch News)
MPs will refuse to swear oath of allegience to new king (Dutch
News): "At least two MPs from the Socialist Party have
said they will not swear allegiance to King Willem-Alexander
at his investiture in April because they are republicans"
spy case company has dossiers on judges and politicians
(El Pais): "The detective agency Método 3, which
allegedly recorded a private lunch meeting between the head of
the Popular Party (PP) in Catalonia and a woman who has accused
the son of an ex-regional leader of laundering money in Andorra,
is the object of a number of ongoing investigations by the National
Police." See also: Catalan
PP leader files charges against detectives who spied on her
Checks Mercenaries, Partially (Inter Press Service):
"The Swiss government has presented a draft law regulating
the private military industry but critics argue the law is toothless"
Google be sued for the content of blogs on its platform?
(UK Human Rights Blog): "The Court of Appeal has ruled
that in principle, an internet service provider that allowed
defamatory material to remain on a blog hosted on its platform
after it had been notified of a complaint might be a publisher
of this material, although in this case the probable damage to
the complainants reputation over a short period was so
trivial that libel proceedings could not be justified"
PCC Resigns (Criminal Law & Justice Weekly): "Hertfordshires
Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Rachel Frosh, has resigned,
following a gaffe on Twitter. She had retweeted a post likening
socialists to Nazis."
Poverty Action protest brings Whitehall traffic to a standstill
(The Huffington Post): "Demonstrators brought traffic
to a standstill in central London today as they called on the
Government to do more to help households struggling with soaring
energy bills." See also: Anger
at DECC as fuel poverty hits millions (The Independent)
IPCC investigations (Criminal Law & Justice Weekly):
"Resources from police forces standards departments
will be transferred to the IPPC so that it can investigate all
serious cases, Home Secretary Theresa May has announced"
commander: baton use on protesters' heads was 'superbly restrained'
(The Meddler): "A police commander has described his
officers as superbly restrained after watching video
footage of them striking down at protesters heads with
batons during a student demonstration"
spies: Met police calls in outsider to take over investigation
(The Guardian): "The home secretary, Theresa May,
has said revelations that police used the identities of dead
children will be investigated by an independent police chief
with an expertise in corruption"
to Relocate Inquests (Criminal Law & Justice Weekly):
"Coroners can now relocate an inquest if it is in the
best interests of the bereaved and others, including witnesses,
the Ministry of Justice has announced"
UK sells arms to Sri Lanka's brutal regime (The Independent):
"Britain is selling millions of pounds worth of small
arms and ammunition to Sri Lanka despite the countrys dire
human rights record, The Independent can disclose today."
See also: Britain's
arms deals with Sri Lanka revealed (The Guardian)
Navy sends warship to Libya to showcase defence equipment
(The Guardian): "Britain is trying to boost defence
equipment sales to Libya by sending a Royal Navy warship to Tripoli
to act as a floating shop window for security firms, amid concern
in Whitehall that France and Italy are cashing in on the fall
of Muammar Gaddafi"
May criticises judges for 'ignoring' deportation law
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