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News digest: 28 February 2013
with Albania's electoral roll alarm watchdog (Balkan
Insight): "A group of NGOs on Wednesday warned that Albanias
institutions are failing to notify voters of their presence on
preliminary electoral rolls ahead of the June parliamentary elections"
of human trafficking ring arrested (Austrian Times):
"Seven of the nine suspects have already been sentenced
to several years of imprisonment due to human trafficking and
being a member of a criminal organisation. Two further suspects
are in custody awaiting trial in the prison of Korneuburg (Lower
Austria). The police is still searching for further members of
and Bosnia Close to Border Deal (Balkan Insight):
"The Bosnian prime minister said there was only one disputed
piece of territory to be demarcated before the ex-Yugoslav states
sign a crucial border agreement"
Sannino presses Bosnia on rights ruling (Balkan Insight):
"The EU Enlargement Commissioner said Bosnia needs to
meet its obligations under the EU road map, especially in connection
with the Sejdic-Finci ruling"
and Bosniak nationalism may unite, report (Balkan Insight):
"New International Crisis Group reports says the danger
is growing of a politicised Islamic Community harnessing frustrated
Bosniak nationalism for its own purposes." See also:
Islam, nationalism - Bosnias dangerous tango (Tanjug)
and full report: Bosnia's
dangerous tango: Islam and nationalism (International
Crisis Group, pdf)
Bulgaria to hold early elections (Al Jazeera): "Bulgaria
will hold an early election on May 12, Rosen Plevneliev, the
country's president has said, as the government seeks a way out
of a political crisis that could undermine the Balkan country's
economic stability." See: Protests
continue in Bulgaria after PM quits (Balkan Insight);
winter of discontent (Novinite); Bulgarians
push for deep political changes (SETimes.com); Bulgarian
doctors to stage nationwide protests (Novinite) and Neo-Nazi
terror marked the protests in Sofia (People against Racism)
bought Croatian arms to help Syria rebels (Balkan Insight):
"Saudi Arabia has been supplying Syrian rebels with infantry
weapons from Croatia in its drive to topple the regime of Bashar
al-Assad, The New York Times has reported"
CZECH REPUBLIC: Judges
differ on decision to examine presidential amnesty (Prague
Daily Monitor): "Judges of the Constitutional Court (US)
differ on whether they can re-examine President Vaclav Klaus'
New Year amnesty, US chairman Pavel Rychetsky told the public
broadcaster Czech Television (CT) yesterday"
man accuses free speech group of hypocrisy (The Copenhagen
Post): "Jihad Taha says his Arabic name could be the
only reason Trykkefrihedsselskabet has excluded him from attending
denied access to documents behind new freedom of information
law (The Copenhagen Post): "Three political parties
and the Danish media have had little insight into how the new
controversial freedom of information law was drafted"
increased transparency of intelligence agency (The Copenhagen
Post): "Danes can ask new independent committee to see
if any illegal information is held about them by intelligence
agencies, but they can't get an answer"
battles European judges over privacy (Sky News): "European
judges are considering a case which could have significant implications
for how personal information on the internet is managed."
See also: Court
document says Internet provider cannot verify content
(Gazzetta del Sud)
use MiniDuke malware to attack European governments (Global
Post): "Hackers have targeted dozens of computer systems
at government agencies across Europe in an attack researchers
have dubbed MiniDuke"
religious leader slams EU for failing to tackle Roma marginalization
(Romania Insider): "A Hindu religious leader and statesman
Rajan Zed has spoken out against a Roma apartheid in Europe and
strongly criticized the EUs failure to address the problem.
Immoral, inhuman and a sin, is how Rajan Zed, President
of the Universal Hindu Society, describes the treatment of Roma
communities in 21st Century Europe. He insisted that the conditions
that Roma live in amount to apartheid."
Great Firewall of Europe - European Commission website blocks
Tor users , just like Iran or China (Spy Blog): "If
you want to know how it feels to be a political dissident under
a repressive regime, you do not have to travel to China or Iran
or Russia or Saudi Arabia etc. Just try to access the main European
Commission website using the Tor Browser Bundle anonymity (and
web browsing security) software. "
Roma evicted in Bordeaux (New Europe): "French
media reported today that the authorities in Bordeaux have expelled
around 350 squatters from their illegally inhabited homes. According
to the available information, the majority of the people living
in miserable conditions were Bulgarian citizens of Roma ethnicity"
opposition party blames explosion in Paris thefts
on Romanians (Romania Insider): "Some politicians
in France are attributing a so called explosion in thefts in
Paris to Romanian criminals. The number of thefts reported in
January 2013 compared to the same month last year increased dramatically
up 41.7 percent in the greater Paris area and up 58.9
percent in Paris intra-muros (the 20 arrondisements in central
Paris), according to French newspaper Le Figaro"
Hessel, father of indignados, dies aged 95
(ROAR): "French resistance hero, co-drafter of Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, and author of pamphlet that helped
inspire a global youth uprising, dies." See also: France's
spirit of resistance, Stéphane Hessel, dies at the age
CSU member seeks return of visas for Bulgarians, Romanians
(Novinite): "Wilfried Scharnagl from Germany's Christian
Social Union (CSU) has argued for an urgent reinstatement of
the visa regime in order to stop a flood of poor immigrant Roma
families from Bulgaria and Romania"
military has long experience of Mali (Deutsche Welle):
" The planned non-combative mission by the German Bundeswehr
will not be the first of its kind. Since 2005, German soldiers
have trained Malian engineers and Germany has donated large amounts
of military hardware"
NPD loses state subsidies (Deutsche Welle): "
Germany's National Democratic Party is notorious for its far-right
slogans and racism, but it still received state party financing
- until it fell foul of a clerical error"
for review of ECJ decisions rejected by Parliament (Ekathimerini):
"New Democracy MPs were among those who on Tuesday rejected
a draft law prepared by Justice Minister Antonis Roupakiotis
that would oblige Greek courts to review cases for which the
European Court of Justice had issued rulings challenging verdicts
arrived at by judges in Greece."
unity to be tested by motion for 'Greeks only' military (Ekathimerini):
"The coalition governments unity is set to be tested
Thursday when MPs will be asked to vote on a motion put forward
by about two-thirds of New Democracy lawmakers who want only
those of Greek ethnicity, as defined by blood and birth, to serve
in the military"
in Bangladesh to discuss fight on illegal immigration (Ekathimerini):
"Officials from Greece and Bangladesh have agreed to
sign a bilateral agreement outlining closer police cooperation
in fighting illegal immigration, reports said Monday."
See also: Figures
show 537,237 migrants living in Greece legally
policemen attacked in Agrinio (Ekathimerini): "Five
officers of the motorcycle-riding DIAS squad were on Monday attacked
by unidentified assailants wearing masks and helmets in Agrinio,
western Greece, police said"
Golden Dawn launches child indoctrination courses (euronews):
"Greeces far-right Golden Dawn party has started
courses on what it calls national awakening for children
from six to 10 years old. About 20 children attended the first
such meeting with their parents. The party said it was
held on Saturday, Feb. 23, at its offices in Artemis Attica."
See also: Golden
Dawn vows to continue national awareness tutorials
for children and Golden
Dawn begins 'national awareness' tutorials for schoolchildren
press childrens Greek citizenship (Greek Reporter):
"Immigrant children livingimmigration in Greece made
their case for citizenship on Feb. 27 at a news conference held
at the offices of the Journalists Union of the Athens Daily
Newspapers, under the title Citizenship for All Children."
See also: Migrant
groups slam government over Greek citizenship law (Ekathimerini)
protest against plan to overhaul Greek universities (Ekathimerini):
"Greek university students will on Thursday stage a protest
against a controversial plan to overhaul the country's higher
education system that has come under fire from many academics
and several politicians." See also: School
teachers, students to hold protest rally on March 2
farmers end highway blockades, at least for now (Ekathimerini):
"Farmers demanding tax breaks and cheaper fuel began
driving their tractors back to their fields on Wednesday morning,
ending some 50 highway blockades that have restricted traffic
flow for over 30 days all over Greece." See also: Farmers
end blockades, but gear up for protest rally
Constitutional Court strikes down church law (Jurist):
"The Constitutional Court of Hungary on Tuesday struck
down a law that outlines how churches are given official designation,
finding that it was too political"
access: Journalist welcomes ruling (Irish Times): "The
journalist who sought information on Nama under a statutory instrument
known as the Access to Information on the Environment Regulations
last night welcomed the High Courts dismissal of Namas
appeal." See also: Judge
rejects 'absurd' claim by Nama
700 inquire about Magdalene fund (Irish Times): "More
than 700 women have contacted the Department of Justice about
eligibility for supports and the fund to be established for survivors
of the Magdalene laundries, the Minister for Justice has said."
See also: Orders
made lots of money from laundries (Irish
parliament committee starts Finmeccanica 'graft' probe
(Gazzetta del Sud): "India's Senate agreed Wednesday
to establish a parliamentary commission to investigate a scandal-plagued
helicopter contract with a division of Italy's Finmeccanica defence
giant. A motion to set up the commission was hotly debated, after
Defence Minister A.K. Antony threatened to severely punish those
responsible for alleged corruption in the $750 million US contract
for 12 helicopters from AgustaWestland"
votes against austerity leaving EU in turmoil (The Guardian):
"Three years of German-led austerity and budget cuts
aimed at saving the euro and retooling the European economy was
left facing one of its biggest challenges as Italian voters'
rejection of spending cuts and tax rises opened up a stark new
fissure in European politics." See also: Northern
League looks to capitalise on Italy election success
Azzopardi's family claim damages in judicial protest over his
death (Times of Malta): "The father of a man
who died after allegedly having been beaten up at police headquarters
has presented a judicial protest holding his daughter-in-law,
her mother, the former minister for home affairs, a number of
policemen, a court expert, a social worker and a doctor responsible
for damages." See also: Nicholas
Azzopardi's family files judicial protest (Malta Independent)
Parliament to probe media wiretapping claims (Balkan
Insight): "A parliamentary committee has called a hearing
with the interior minister and special prosecutor following an
opposition daily's claims that its journalists were secretly
wait to serve jail time (Dutch News): "Convicted
criminals wait an average 14 months before they actually serve
jail time, according to research by RTL news"
court approves extradition of al Qaeda suspect to US (Jurist):
"Judge Gerard van Ham of The Hague District Court on
Tuesday rejected a request to block the extradition of suspected
al Qaeda terrorist Sabir Khan to the US. Justice Minister Ivo
Opstelten gave final approval for Khan's extradition in December
after the Supreme Court of the Netherlands ruled in April that
his extradition is legal"
guilty of inciting hatred and discrimination (Dutch News):
"The chairman of Dutch neo-nazi party Nederlandse Volks-Unie
has been given 40 hours community service and a two-week suspended
jail sentence for his role in an anti-foreigner demonstration
Ethiopians case to court (The Foreigner): "
Judges at Oslo District court are to hear the case of Nathan
Eshete and his family as they this week contest their forced
families leave to avoid CWS (The Foreigner): "
Several children and families are exiting Norway so as not to
have to deal with Child Welfare Service officials, reports say"
Norway spy facility to get upgrade (The Foreigner): "America
is to contribute almost USD 50 million towards maintaining Norways
Globus II radar in Finnmark Countys Vardø"
partnerships could clash with Polands constitution
(The News): " President Bronislaw Komorowski has said
that radical solutions to Polands civil partnership
legislative impasse might not be possible without changes in
youth becoming more nationalistic, claim sociologists
(The News): " The disruption of two public lectures at
Polish universities by young nationalists over the last fortnight
echoes a definite trend, sociologists claim." See also:
growing in Poland?
spends EUR 500 per inmate each month, while number of prisoners
grows steadily (Romania Insider): "Romania has
over 31,800 inmates in its prisons, and the number has been growing
since 2008. Over 5,000 new inmates were added in the last five
years to Romanias prison system. Out of the total, there
are 175 foreigners, mostly Turkish 35, Moldavians
26 and Bulgarians 11, according to a recent report from
the National Prison Administration. Half of the total inmates
are serving jail sentences of one to five years, around a third,
between 5 and 15 years, while only 150 people are serving life
sentences." See: Romania's
crowded prisons could improve, report (Balkan Insight)
regional initiative tackling Roma segregation in schools kicks
off in Bucharest (Romania Insider): "A new initiative
to improve access for Roma communities in Eastern Europe to education
is launching with a series of meetings in Bucharest. The Desegregation
and Action for Roma in Education-Network (DARE-Net) aims to tackle
serious problems in educational provision for Roma in Europe."
promises employment policy for Roma people in Romanian factories
(Romania Insider): "The PM admitted that previous policies
had proved ineffective and said that last summer he decided to
strengthen employment policy for Roma people in Romanian factories
and improve the integration of Roma children in the education
system, but also warned during the interview with the French
press that improvements would take time"
puts paid to Slovenias conservative government
(euronews): "Slovenia has dismissed its conservative-led
government and appointed an anti-austerity financial expert as
its first female prime minister." See also: Crisis-hit
Slovenia set to name first woman PM
lauds Mauritania security efforts (Magharebia): "Mauritanian
President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz welcomed a high-level Spanish
diplomatic delegation to Nouakchott on Monday (February 25th).
Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel García-Margallo
led the 2-day visit to Mauritania to co-ordinate security and
counter-terrorism efforts. "
Arrested on 1st day of strike at Spanish airline (Global
Post): "The first day of a strike by employees of Spanish
airline Iberia to protest a restructuring plan that includes
3,807 layoffs led to the arrest of five people at Madrid's Barajas
judge blocks eviction of 85-year-old woman (El Pais):
"A judge in Galicia has stopped the eviction of an 85-year-old
woman who was being forced out of her apartment in A Coruña
by the owners when she fell behind on her 126-euro monthly rent
last year. The case of Aurelia Rey has made news across Spain
when members of the Stop Evictions platform battled with police
who had come to evict the woman last week. Activists have been
guarding the building in the center of the city for the past
slams Sweden for guest worker policy (The Local): "The
United Nations has criticized Sweden for limiting trade unions'
right to join forces with guest workers, in a statement from
the International Labour Organization (ILO)"
of the clones: Supreme Court keeps its white male first eleven
(UK Human Rights Blog): "Baroness Helena Kennedy has
argued that judges have a tendency to clone themselves when choosing
successors. It is hard to avoid that impression in the Supreme
Court, which kept its white male first eleven in place yesterday
by appointing three new justices: Lord Justice Hughes, Lord Justice
Toulson and Lord Hodge. The sole woman amongst 12 justices of
our highest appeal court remains Lady Hale. There are no black
or Asian judges, not have there ever been"
can give military support to Syrian rebels after EU changes
(The Independent): "Britain and its allies will be
able to provide training for rebels fighting Bashar al-Assads
regime and supply them with military support, including armoured
cars, under major changes which are due to be made to European
Union sanctions rules on Syria"
Cameron: Migrants will be banned from automatic legal aid in
the UK (The Telegraph): "Mr Cameron this month
said he want to completely overhaul the benefits system for migrants
after saying that he believes the current system does not pass
the simple common sense test." See also:
vows tougher measures on immigrants (Novinite)
citizens in Britain will be charged for ID cards (The
Guardian): "A hint that ministers are close to forcing
millions of European citizens resident in Britain to sign up
for an identity card came when it was announced today that those
who register voluntarily are to be charged for the first time"
Court challenge over 17-year-olds custody rights (Law
Society Gazette): "The High Court will hear a legal challenge
to the practice of treating 17-year-olds detained in police custody
as adults, in a judicial review being brought by Just For Kids
Law next week." See: Thousands
of children denied basic right in police custody - historic legal
challenge (Just For Kids Law press release)
they send me back to Senegal, Im a dead man
(The Mancunion): "Senegalese student Tacko Mbengue faces
deportation unless he can prove he is gay raising questions
about societys attitude to homosexuality"
Clarke's plans for secret courts savaged by lawyers (The
Guardian): "Controversial government plans to introduce
a new generation of secret courts have been dealt a major blow
after hundreds of lawyers attacked them as "contrary to
the rule of law"." See also: Ken
Clarke: All 'right-thinking citizens' should support secret courts
inquest: Coroner examines secret files (BBC News): "The
judge due to preside over the inquest into the death of Russian
spy Alexander Litvinenko is to examine secret documents to decide
whether more information can be made public." See also:
inquiry pledged into UK murder (Al Jazeera) and Litvinenko
case: William Hague accused of dancing to Moscow's tune
cyclist demonstration CCTV footage released (BBC News)
failed to investigate sex attacks across six London boroughs
(The Guardian): "A man accused of rape was allowed to
walk free and later kill two children as a result of a "disturbing"
police policy to manipulate crime statistics by failing to record
sexual assault allegations a tactic that was employed
in several more London boroughs than was officially admitted
on Tuesday, the Guardian has learned"
7 of the Terrorism Act 2000: A police snooping tool to protect
private profit (Corporate Watch): "Corporate
Watch researchers Tom Anderson and Therezia Cooper have been
stopped and questioned under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act
2000 a total of five times between them at UK airports while
travelling to Egypt and returning from research trips in Palestine"
in Ukraine as EU gives May ultimatum (euronews): "EU
leaders say visiting Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich has
until May to show his nation has made progress towards political
court brands whale activists Sea Shepherd 'pirates' (BBC
News): "A court in the US has labelled conservationist
group Sea Shepherd "pirates". Judge Alex Kozinski said
the group's "aggressive and high-profile attacks" on
Japan's whaling fleet endangered lives, ordering them to stop."
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