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News digest: 6February 2013
law affects major events in Austria (Austrian Times):
"The recent spate of corruption scandals in ministries
as well as in companies associated with the federal government
in Austria have had an impact on event organisers. Before 2013,
so-called "generous gifts" to office holders were common
practice, including the provision of free tickets to major events.
However, a stricter anti-corruption law came into force this
men arrested after arson attack at asylum camp in Vorarlberg
'Making No Progress on Human Rights' (Balkan Insight):
"Human Rights Watch said Balkan states were still not
properly addressing issues like war crimes, the abuse of ethnic
minorities and refugees rights to return home."
Rights Watch World Report 2013 (pdf)
seekers transform sleepy Balkan villages (Balkan Insight):
"Serbia and Macedonia are struggling to cope with the
fast growing number of asylum seekers crossing their countries
on their way to Western Europe"
left-wingers demand ad-hoc committee on 'Buddha' scandal
(Novinite): "The oppositional Bulgarian Socialist
Party has demanded the establishment of a parliamentary committee
of inquiry that would discuss Prime Minister Boyko Borisov's
alleged past as a secret informant for the country's anti-mafia
unit back in the 1990s." See also: Bulgaria's
ruling GERB condemns 'Buddha' (Novinite)
security probes Bulgaria's faltering military plant (Novinite):
"The State Agency for National Security, DANS, has started
a probe at Bulgaria's heavily indebted State-owned arms manufacturer,
Croatian war veterans protest in Vukovar (Balkan Insight):
"The rally against the Croatian governments decision
to make Serbian an official language in the war-ravaged town
was followed by an alleged assault in a nearby village"
CZECH REPUBLIC: CR
may send 30 instructors to Mali (Prague Daily Monitor):
"The Czech Republic can send some 30 instructors to Mali
where the local military along with French units is fighting
against Islamists who still dominate the north part of the country,
Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg told journalists today"
closing education gap (The Copenhagen Post): "Female
descendants of non-Western immigrants are receiving an education
at the same rate as Danes, and male descendants are also closing
in on their Danish counterparts"
urges free and fair Albania elections (Balkan Insight)
prime minister slams half-century delay for EU admission
(The Independent): "The Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip
Erdogan, says it is unforgivable that Turkey has
been made to wait half a century to become part of the European
Union and it should be admitted without delay"
govt split on Romanian, Bulgarian migrants (Balkan Insight):
"Official talk of restricting the rights of Bulgarians
and Romanians to claim benefits in Britain next year has the
governments junior party worried." See also: UK hasn't
moved to curb Bulgarians, Romanians - Barroso and UK migrant
scaremongering puts at risk new ties with EU (Novinite)
activists punch out big brother's eyes (Wired): "Its
being called Grand Theft Auto for the surveillance generation,
only instead of being played out in the digital world, its
played out in the real world. And the object of the game isnt
to steal cars or pull off other underworld pranks but to take
out Big Brothers eyes by destroying CCTV surveillance cameras
spread across the city"
cities complain of high immigration (Spiegel Online):
"Immigration to Germany from southeastern Europe has
dramatically increased in recent years and the country's municipalities
are struggling to absorb the influx. Now, German cities are taking
a close look at the problem and may ask for help from Berlin
or even the European Union"
Security Conference likely to focus on Mali, Syria (Deutsche
Welle): "The Munich Security Conference has begun, with
conflict-ridden Mali and Syria most likely to top the agenda.
US Vice President Joe Biden has already arrived in Berlin ahead
of the annual conference"
in spring: Court approves neo-Nazi terror cell trial (Spiegel
Online): "NSU terror cell member Beate Zschäpe has
been charged with complicity in 10 murders. According to information
obtained by SPIEGEL ONLINE, the Higher Regional Court in Munich
has allowed the prosecution's charges against the suspected neo-Nazi
terrorist and four of her presumed accomplices to stand"
should improve migrant detention, UN group says (Ekathimerini):
"A group of United Nations independent experts on Thursday
said that Greece should improve detention conditions for migrants.
The experts also reported that the country should implement recent
legislation in view of enhancing screening procedures for asylum-seekers."
See also: Working
Group on Arbitrary Detention statement upon the conclusion of
its mission to Greece (21 - 31 January 2013) (UN Office
of the High Commissioner for Human Rights)
US embassy bomber passed through Greece, reports say (Ekathimerini)
mug shots spur probe in Greek police beatings (Retuers):
"A Greek prosecutor ordered an investigation on Monday
into whether four suspected bank robbers were beaten in custody
after police published mug shots that were altered to make their
injuries appear less severe." See also: Greek
police Photoshop away signs of brutality from mugshots
(Amnesty International) and Justice
minister 'chilled' by photographs of arrested youths
defends doctoring of suspects' photos, pledges punishment in
case of abuse (Ekathimerini)
Dawn in contact with Bavarian neo-Nazis to expand presence in
Germany (Ekathimerini) : "Golden Dawn
is attempting to establish a presence in Bavaria and is being
monitored by the states intelligence agency, according
to a report in Der Spiegel on Monday"
Dawn marches to US embassy over 1996 islet incident (Ekathimerini):
"More than 5,000 supporters of Greece's extreme-right
Golden Dawn party marched past the US Embassy in Athens on Saturday
night, chanting anti-Turkish, anti-US and anti-immigrant slogans
to commemorate a 1996 border incident that caused a crisis between
Greece and Turkey"
ponders civil mobilisation as sailors extend their strike
(Ekathimerini): "The government is examining the
possibility of issuing a new civil mobilization order to force
sailors to return to work after they decided on Sunday to extend
their strike into this week." See also: Greek
seamen's strike rolls on (Greek Reporter) and Dockworkers
extend their strike (Ekathimerini)
rights watchdog says racist violence in Greece 'a real threat
to democracy' (Ekathimerini): "Europes
top human rights watchdog on Friday urged Greek authorities to
take action against the burgeoning wave of attacks against migrants
in the country describing racist violence a real threat
to democracy." See: Racist
violence a real threat to democracy in Greece (Council
of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights)
dies during police operation in Athens (Demotix): "An
immigrant from Senegal died falling from a height, on the rails
of the subway in Thiseio station in central Athens, during an
operation of Municipal Police to remove peddlers from tourist
smugglers arrested at bus depot (Ekathimerini)
neo-fascists are on the rise... and now theyre going into
schools: How Golden Dawn is nurturing the next generation
(The Independent): "On a recent Thursday night, seven
teenage boys in the central Greek city of Larissa decided to
have what they described as fun. Armed with rocks
and wooden batons, the group of 15-year-olds attacked the shop
of a Pakistani resident. His son was treated for head injuries.
Attacks by children are rare, but there are fears that they are
on the rise as a harsh anti-immigrant rhetoric with undercurrents
of violence takes root in the malleable minds of patriotic youths
as they watch their country's sovereignty being eroded by foreign
police arrest two in terror group (Greek Reporter): "With
political violence and crime rising, Greek police said they have
arrested two of four suspects that authorities believe robbed
a bank and post office and said they are wanted members of a
domestic terrorist group"
kicked out FBI agents who flew in unannounced to investigate
Wikileaks operations in the country (The Cleveland Leader):
"According to the RUV, the Icelandic National Broadcasting
Service, FBI agents landed in Reykjavík in August 2011
without prior notification in an attempt to investigate WikiLeaks
operations within the country. However, their plan was interupted
when Home Secretary Ögmundur Jónasson learned about
the FBI's visit and sent them packing. The Icelandic government
then formally protested the FBI's activities with U.S. authorities"
laundries: Government knowledge of forced detention in workhouses
to be laid bare (Irish Independent): "Survivors
of Catholic-run workhouses in Ireland are awaiting an apology
from state and church over their forced detention in the institutions."
See also: Magdalene
report to be published today (RTÉ News)
Tribunal: Taoiseach Enda Kenny hits out at republicans who refuse
to give evidence (Irish Independent): "Taoiseach
Enda Kenny has hit out at republicans who have refused to give
evidence at the Smithwick tribunal into IRA-Garda collusion.
Mr Kenny criticised the decision by former Provisionals on the
back of renewed calls from Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams for a
truth and reconciliation forum to cement the Northern Ireland
watchdog gives briefing to Commons (Irish Independent):
"Press Ombudsman Professor John Horgan is to appear at
a UK House of Commons committee to discuss how the print media
is regulated in Ireland"
CIA chief in Italy sentenced to 7 years (Gazzetta del
Sud): "Milan's Court of Appeal on Friday sentenced the
CIA's former Italy chief, Jeff Castelli, to seven years in prison
for involvement in the abduction of Muslim cleric Hassan Mustafa
Omar Nasr from the city in 2003, while a separate court in Perugia
acquitted the former head of Italian secret services for illegal
spying charges in the case." See also: 12
years sought for ex-Italian spy chief in CIA snatch case
(Gazzetta del Sud)
Migrant Smugglers Arrested in Kosovo (Balkan Insight):
"The EU rule of law mission, EULEX, and Kosovo police
on Wednesday arrested three suspected smugglers as part of a
wider EU operation"
gay editors outed in Macedonia (Balkan Insight): "The
move to "out" gay journalists in Macedonia is only
the latest bizarre twist in the media - as a competition to outdo
a recent spoof interview in Serbia appeared to spiral out of
journalists hit back against 'forced apologies' (Balkan
Insight): "Macedonian journalists have issued a satirical
collective apology to the countrys leaders
after growing numbers of reporters were forced to retract their
articles or face big fines"
escapes from detention centre - two arraigned (Times
'frigate gate' is just a rumour for Dutch MoD (Campagne
page of Aleksandr Dolmatov's suicide note claims he struggled
with 'drugs and narcissism' (Amsterdam Herald): "The
controversy over the death of the Russian opposition activist
Aleksandr Dolmatov in Rotterdam has intensified after a website
published the missing page of his suicide note"
to digital patient records mounts, court case to go ahead
(Dutch News): "The family doctors association Vereniging
van Praktijkhoudende Huisartsen is pressing ahead with legal
action against the introduction of a new electronic patient records
system because its backers have failed to meet agreements on
internet security and privacy"
plan musical protest in the Paradiso (Dutch News): "A
group of failed asylum seekers, who are living in a former church
in the west of Amsterdam, are holding a concert in the citys
Paradiso venue to raise awareness of their situation"
Netherlands' top judge warns on legal system overload (Dutch
News): "The quality of the Dutch legal system is under
threat from the extreme pressure judges are being forced to work
under, according to the Netherlands most senior judge"
need to reduce Brussel's powers, says Dutch CDA leader (Dutch
News): "The Netherlands needs to get back a large part
of the powers it has handed over to Brussels, Christian Democrat
leader Sybrand Buma says in an interview with Tuesdays
NORTHERN IRELAND: Fermanagh
gets facelift ahead of G8 summit (Irish Independent):
"Parts of Co Fermanagh are set for a facelift ahead of
this summer's G8 summit. Environment Minister Alex Attwood has
released £380,000 to tackle dereliction in and around Enniskillen
before the arrival of the world's most powerful leaders in June"
rights court to declassify 'CIA prison in Poland' documents
(The News): "Justice Minister Jaroslaw Gowin told
Polish Radio on Tuesday that he was very disturbed
about the court's decision, announced Monday night, and that
it constituted a threat to Polish security."
president rejects law on MPs' immunity (Balkan Insight):
"The President has refused to promulgate a law that would
strengthen the immunity of MPs from criminal investigation and
critique of the new Immigration Rules' codification of Article
8 (UK Human Rights Blog): "The Upper Tribunal
has concluded that new Immigration Rules do not adequately reflect
the Secretary of States obligations under Article 8 of
gets bigger slice of UK immigration cake, chokes on first bites
(Corporate Watch): "Thousands of migrants received
threatening text messages over the Christmas holiday telling
them they did not have the right to be in the UK and should leave
the country immediately. But many of them reportedly had valid
visas, leaves to remain or even British passports. The texts
were sent on behalf of the immigration authorities by the outsourcing
giant Capita under a new £30 million contract to trace
and contact 'overstayers'. Was this the first of to-be-expected
cock-ups in this new 'bounty hunters' venture, or is it the shape
of things to come as Capita and other private companies take
over the immigration and asylum 'market'? Corporate Watch takes
Haven eviction (Schnews): "It took three days
and a huge security operation to evict the last of the three
camps on the route of the Bexhill bypass this week. The eviction
had been delayed by over a week because of the snow. Campers
used the extra time to build more defences including a tunnel,
barricades and more nets in the trees. Everything pointed toward
the eviction starting on Monday so Sunday saw hordes of people
arrive from all round the country. This included the Chief Executives
of Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, the Wildlife Trust and the
Campaign for the Protection of Rural England. Around 40 people
stayed (none of the Chief Executives alas) overnight to greet
the Shergroup bailiffs in the morning"
to asylum seekers' property (Institute of Race Relations):
"As if being detained for removal is not trauma enough,
asylum seekers in the North East are finding it impossible to
reclaim their property from their asylum hostels"
chief summoned to explain why police stole identities of dead
children (The Guardian): "Deputy assistant commissioner
Pat Gallan summoned before MPs to respond to revelations officers
used IDs of children"
firebombed London's oldest anarchist bookshop? (Vice
Magazine): "Staff at Freedom Press, Londons oldest
anarchist publisher and bookshop, woke last Friday to the news
that someone had tried to burn their shop down in the early hours
of the morning"
and cyberattacks target opposition in Ukraine (Global
Post): "The authorities here have generated headlines
by their dogged pursuit of what the opposition calls a political
witch-hunt against their rivals, chief among them the jailed
former Prime Minister and Orange Revolution heroine Yulia Tymoshenko"
2013 update: US covert actions in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia
(Bureau of Investigative Journalism)
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