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News digest: 6 June 2013

Albania journalists pan campaign 'censorship' (Balkan Insight): "The Union of Journalists has criticised a decision of the Central Electoral Commission, CEC, which obliges TV stations to transmit tapes of campaign events, calling it a return to censorship"

ALBANIA: Experts refute nationalist party in Albania (SETimes.com): "The extreme nationalistic rhetoric from the Albanian political party Red and Black Alliance has damaged the state's relationship with the EU, analysts and experts said"

Bosnia's feuding leaders give ground on ID row (Balkan Insight): "Authorities announce temporary solution to ID dispute after haggling over law obstructed a baby's urgent departure for Germany for a life-saving operation"

Bulgaria names new security agency chief (Balkan Insight): "Vladimir Pisanchev, who was embroiled in the 'Galeria' spying scandal, has been appointed head of Bulgaria's State Agency for National Security, DANS"

BULGARIA: After Greece and Hungary, danegerous far-right party regains political strength in Bulgaria too (The Balkan Chronicle): "Ataka ('Attack' in Bulgarian), a Bulgarian nationalist party - which has openly protested against the Roma minority, and wants to nationalize foreign-owned firms - has emerged as a kingmaker following parliamentary elections in Bulgaria last Sunday. The far-right party captured some 7% of the popular vote, putting it in a position to dictate terms for the formation of Bulgaria's next ruling coalition as the winning party, GERB, didn't gain enough seats in the Parliament to form a government on its own"

Bulgaria's GERB alerts Brussels of poll 'breaches' (Balkan Insight): "Bulgaria's former ruling GERB Party has sent a report to European institutions contesting the results of the recent general election"

Czech field workers may help Vietnamese migrants (Prague Daily Monitor): "Field workers might help Vietnamese migrants staying in the Czech Republic to protect those in need from being hired for drug production, Czech anti-drug coordinator Jindrich Voboril said after talks at Vietnam's embassy in Prague Wednesday"

CZECH REPUBLIC: Anti-Roma demonstration takes place in Duchcov (Prague Daily Monitor): "Some 500 people demonstrated Wednesday in reaction to a Roma attack on a young married couple in mid-May and some of the participants headed for the Roma-inhabited houses, but the police barred their way and the event organisers called on them to disperse"

DENMARK: Supermarket chain lifts headscarf ban (The Copenhagen Post): "Dansk Supermarked ends its decade-long practice of barring employees from wearing headscarves"

EU arms export info revealed but huge gaps in data remain (Campaign Against Arms Trade, press release): "Every year EU countries export billions of euros worth of weaponry, ranging from small arms and ammunition to warships and military aircraft. But EU citizens know little about this deadly trade. For the first time, a new web app from Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) makes the existing data clearly and easily available to the public, politicians, civil servants and the media"

EU wants Russia to explain air passenger data demand (BBC News): "EU officials say they are very concerned about a new Russian requirement for airlines to transfer detailed passenger data for flights to Russian airports"

EU: EPP spokeswoman calls for suspension of Olaf chief Giovanni Kessler (Malta Independent): " The EPP Group spokeswoman on the European Parliament's Budgetary Control Committee Inge Grässle has called for the suspension of the head of the EU’s anti-fraud office (OLAF) Giovanni Kessler and for a far-reaching reform of this institution."

 EU: Germany sees 'revolution' if welfare model is scrapped (Ekathimerini): "German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble warned on Tuesday that failure to win the battle against youth unemployment could tear Europe apart, while abandoning the continent’s welfare model in favor of tougher US standards would cause "revolution""

EU: Northern League MEP ejected from EFD for black minister slur (Gazzetta del Sud): "Mario Borghezio, a member of Italy's anti-immigrant Northern League in the European Parliament, was kicked out of the Eurosceptics' caucus on Monday for racist remarks against Italy's first black minister"

EU: Number of Balkan asylum seekers to EU falls (Balkan Insight): "A report by the European Commission notes that the number of asylum seekers from the Western Balkans has dropped"

EU: Serbia offers Montenegro translations of EU 'acquis' (Balkan Insight): "Serbia will hand Montenegro more than 50,000 pages of EU "acquis" translated into Serbian with the aim of boosting the two countries' European integration"

Fifa racism measures could see teams expelled or relegated (BBC Sport): "Teams could be relegated or expelled from competitions for serious incidents of racism after tough new powers were voted in by Fifa"

FRANCE: Leftist activist brain dead after Paris skinhead attack (France 24): "An 18-year-old left-wing activist was left brain dead on Wednesday after an attack by a group of neo-Nazis in what police described as a "politically motivated incident" pitting the far right against the far left on the streets of Paris." See also: French leftist beaten in fight with skinheads (The Independent)

FRANCE: 'Lone wolf' attacks stir debate on both sides of Channel (France 24): "In many ways, the profile of a young suspect accused of stabbing a French soldier is similar to the London hacking suspects. The question, though, is how can authorities track potential lone wolf attackers before it’s too late"

French far-right MEP Marine Le Pen could face charges over comparing Muslims to Nazis (The Independent): "French far-right politician Marine Le Pen could be charged over comments she made comparing the sight of Muslims praying to the Nazi occupation of France"

GERMANY: 15 months of silence: Defense Ministry knew of drone problems (Spiegel Online): "Pressure on German Defense Minister Thomas de Maizière has increased this week on revelations that his ministry knew of problems facing Berlin's now-cancelled surveillance drone program over a year ago, but did nothing. NATO now fears that Germany will withdraw from the alliance's own drone project." See also: German defence minister Thomas de Maizière accused of covering up bungled Euro Hawk drone project (The Independent)

GERMANY: Berlin to provide $1bn for Nazis' Jewish victims (The Independent): "A fund for Jewish victims of Nazi crimes says it has reached an agreement for Berlin to provide $1bn (£655m) in homecare for victims"

GERMANY: Fate of African refugees strains Italo-German ties (Deutsche Welle): "The fate of African refugees is currently straining relations between Italy and Germany. Several hundred young men from Africa, who had originally emigrated to Italy, are living a rough life in Hamburg"

GERMANY: NSU trial testimony: defendant 'felt strong' as a neo-Nazi (Spiegel Online): "One of the co-defendants in the NSU trial, Carsten S., said on Wednesday that being a neo-Nazi made him feel strong and gave him a feeling of "belonging." He described how he had kicked victims and smashed the windows of Turkish snack stalls." See also: NSU murders trigger debate about structural racism (Deutsche Welle)

GERMANY: Protestors block streets to European Central Bank in Germany in protests over austerity (The Independent): "Anti-capitalist protesters blocked streets leading to the European Central Bank in Germany in protests over austerity cutbacks." See also: 'Blockupy' protesters surround ECB in Frankfurt (BBC News)

GERMANY: Report: US drone attacks via US bases in Germany (Deutsche Welle): " The US military’s use of unmanned aircraft to kill terror suspects in foreign countries has come under media scrutiny in Germany. US bases in Germany may be involved in drone killings." See also: Germany shies away from comment on possible role in US drone war

GERMANY: Victim of racist arson attack: 'Solingen is our home' (Deutsche Welle): "In the early hours of May 29, 1993, four young men set the house of the Turkish-origin Genc family on fire in Solingen. Five girls and women died. The family stayed in Solingen - despite their suffering"

GERMANY: Weapons exports reveal faults in German system (Deutsche Welle): "Germany prides itself on having "strict, even restrictive regulations" for the export of weapons of war. All the same, German weapons regularly show up in regions they should not be in"

GREECE: Attica landfill to close as search for migrant gets under way (Ekathimerini): "The capital’s main landfill at Fyli, northwestern Attica, was to remain closed on Friday as a search got under way for a migrant who entered the trash disposal area"

GREECE: 'Black Panthers' stand up to Golden Dawn (Ekathimerini): "The ongoing crisis in Greece has led to a considerable rise in racist attacks across the country and to a substantial rise in support for the extreme right Golden Dawn party. In an effort to defend himself against such attacks one man is fighting back according to a news report aired on Britain’s Channel 4 on Tuesday evening"

GREECE: Brutal racist attacks in Thessaloniki (Enet): "Street vendors from Rwanda and Iraq were brutally attacked with knives in Thessaloniki, according to a number of antiracism groups. The attacks come after a rise in threatening behaviour towards migrant street vendors in the northern city"

GREECE: Coalition peers mull stance on citizenship law (Ekathimerini): "The government Friday sought to play down differences between the three coalition partners over the country’s new citizenship law, currently under debate"

GREECE: Foreign minister tells American Jewish Committee forum 'Greece will never allow hate to grow' (Ekathimerini): ""Greece will never allow hate to grow and spread," Foreign Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos told the American Jewish Committee Global Forum in Washington on Monday, at which he was a keynote speaker"

GREECE: Golden Dawn airport gun firing (Greek Reporter): "Panic prevailed at Athens International Airport, Eleftherios Venizelos, shortly before three in the afternoon of May 30 when the gun of Antonis Gregos, Golden Dawn deputy, went off while he boarding Aegean’s flight 510 to Thessaloniki"

GREECE: Minister sees compromise over bill on racist crimes (Ekathimerini): "Justice Minister Antonis Roupakiotis, who last month introduced a draft law foreseeing stiffer penalties for racially motivated crimes that has strained the unity of Greece’s coalition government, suggested on Monday that a compromise solution is likely." See: Golden Dawn submits own anti-racism bill to fight discrimination 'against Greeks'; ND submits own proposal in row over anti-racism bill; PASOK and Democratic Left to submit anti-racism bill to Parliament on their own [Update] and Human Rights Watch calls for antiracism bill amendments (Enet)

GREECE: More checks for underclared labor (Ekathimerini): "The Labor Inspection Corps (SEPE) and the Special Monitoring Service (EYPEA) will start conducting joint checks to combat undeclared labor in Greece, placing more emphasis on holiday destinations, Labor Minister Yiannis Vroutsis and Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias announced on Wednesday after a meeting"

GREECE: More than 500 migrants returned to homelands in May (Ekathimerini): "A total of 565 undocumented immigrants were returned to their countries of origin last month, the Greek Police said in a statement on Monday"

GREECE: Muslim association receives second threatening letter (Ekathimerini): "The Muslim Association of Greece said Thursday that it had received the second threatening letter in as many weeks, a terse message written in English and Greek on a document bearing the logo of the ultra-right Golden Dawn"

GREECE: Police to review all gun licenses in wake of MPs’ row (Ekathimerini): "In the wake of the debate over MPs carrying firearms in Parliament, the police are to form a three-member committee to check all the gun licenses issued in Greece. Police chief Nikos Papayiannopoulos said on Friday that the panel will assess whether the gun owner has the necessary skills to use the weapon"

GREECE: Several Facebook users in Greece allegedly asked to confirm ID (Ekathimerini): "A number of Greek Facebook users were reportedly asked on Wednesday to confirm their identity by providing a scanned copy of their official ID"

GREECE: State Department terror report notes 'small-scale' hits in Greece (Ekathimerini): "The US State Department's terrorism report for 2012 referred to a series of «small-scale attacks» by self-styled anarchist groups, noting that the hits «did not aim to inflict bodily harm but rather sought to make a political statement""

GREECE: Syrians accuse Greece of 'pushing back' migrant boats (BBC News): "Some of the Syrians fleeing the conflict in their country have crossed Turkey aiming for Greece, in order to claim asylum in the European Union. But to get there they have to take to boats - and there have been persistent reports of Greek officials pushing them back into Turkish waters, sometimes with fatal results"

Greek NGO’s says Turkish dissident kidnapped (Greek Reporter): "Groups helping Turkish activist Bulut Yayla apply for asylum in Greece said that he was abducted from an Athens neighborhood on May 30 and they believe he may have been illicitly returned to Istanbul where he said he had been tortured by the government before fleeing." See also: UNHCR concerned about missing asylum seeker and Police, SYRIZA clash over alleged abduction of Turkish activist (Ekathimerini)

Greek water company to seize jobless man home due to € 831 debt (Keep Talking Greece)

Hungarian justice minister blasts EC commissioner Reding for “extreme bias against Hungary” (Politics.hu): "Justice Minister Tibor Navracsics on Monday criticised European justice commissioner Viviane Reding for “extreme bias against Hungary” reflected by her recent statements published in Austrian daily Der Standard"

Hungary updates strategy for Roma inclusion, state secy says (Politics.hu): "Hungary started drafting an updated version of its strategy for the social inclusion of the Roma community, state secretary at the Human Resources Ministry Zoltan Kovacs said in Berlin on Saturday evening"

HUNGARY: Budapest mayor proposes withdrawal of anti-Semitic street name (Politics.hu): "Mayor Istvan Tarlos will propose the withdrawal of a decree to name a street in Budapest after early 20th century author Cecile Tormay at a city council meeting on June 12, daily Nepszava said on Tuesday"

HUNGARY: EU's Reding says Hungary constitution 'not a toy' (Politics.hu): "EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding criticised Hungary for treating its constitution like "a toy" and called for more effective measures to sanction EU treaty violations in an interview with Austrian media on Saturday"

HUNGARY: Police deport activist, break up Uighur-Magyar youth meeting (Politics.hu): "World Uighur Congress (WUC) vice-president Ümit Hamit was detained by Hungarian police on suspicion of terrorism and expelled from Hungary last Thursday"

HUNGARY: Parliamentary committee tables changes in line with president’s recommendations on access to public data law (Politics.hu): "Parliament’s constitutional committee on Monday submitted law amendments prior to a final vote to incorporate recommendations by the republic’s president"

HUNGARY: Trial of four in 2008-2009 Roma killings reaches final phase (Politics.hu): "The trial of four men accused of murdering Roma people in 2008 and 2009 is drawing to the close at the Budapest Regional Court"

IRELAND: Boys abscond from detention centre (Irish Independent)

IRELAND: City alert as racist campaign continues (Irish Independent): " Messages of hate daubed in graffiti and printed on posters around the capital city must be tackled, a migrant body has warned." See also: Anti-Semitic graffiti at bank ex-HQ (Irish Independent) and ‘Messages of hate’ appearing around Dublin, says immigrant group (The Journal)

IRELAND: Reforms 'will destroy prison law' (Irish Independent): "Plans to drastically cut legal aid for convicted criminals will destroy prison law, a Catholic agency has warned."

IRELAND: UK security 'linked garda to crime' (Irish Independent): "British security services tried to frame a Garda sergeant over the murder of two senior police officers from Northern Ireland to distract attention from their own collusion, an inquiry has heard"

ITALY: 21 Pakistani migrants picked up in Puglia (Gazzetta del Sud)

ITALY: Alessandro Pansa named Italy's new national police chief (Gazzetta del Sud): "Former Naples prefect Alessandro Pansa was named Italy's new police chief on Friday, replacing Antonio Manganelli who died in March. Pansa, 62, worked closely with the highly respected Manganelli and their then-commander Gianni De Gennaro at the command centre of the Italian police force"

ITALY: Berlusconi's party targets 'politicised' prosecutors (Gazzetta del Sud): "A member of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PdL) party on Tuesday sparked an uproar Tuesday when he presented a bill in the Senate that would punish prosecutors found guilty of being moved by political motives, suspend the trials they are working on and have them transferred"

ITALY: Five doctors sentenced for death of man in police custody (Gazzetta del Sud): "A Rome court on Wednesday sentenced five doctors from Rome's Pertini prison hospital for the death of Stefano Cucchi, a 31-year-old surveyor's clerk who died on October 22, 2009 while in police custody"

ITALY: Kyenge's daughter was victim of racist insults (Gazzetta del Sud): "Congo-born Integration Minister Cecile Kyenge said that her Italian-born daughters had experienced more racism in the country than she had"

ITALY: Lazio governor gets threat letter signed Red Brigades (Gazzetta del Sud): "Italian police were investigating on Friday after Lazio Governor Nicola Zingaretti received a threatening letter claiming to be from the Red Brigades left-wing terrorist group"

ITALY: Sailboat with 121 migrants arrives in Calabria (Gazzetta del Sud)

ITALY: Soccer: Jail terms for racist Italian fans (Gazzetta del Sud): "An Italian court on Wednesday handed prison sentences of 40 days to two months to six soccer fans who racially abused several black AC Milan players in a friendly match in January." See also: Soccer: Jail sentences sought for racist-abuse fans

ITALY: UN sounds alarm over 'precarious employment' in Italy (Gazzetta del Sud): "The International Labour Organization on Monday sounded the alarm about the number of Italians working on temporary contracts or with forms of employment that guarantee little job security"

KOSOVO: Citizen activism: a new way to protest in Kosovo (SETimes.com): "Albanians in Kosovo are embracing street protests as a way to oppose perceived corruption, failed privatisation schemes and controversial government policies, but the practice opened a debate about whether the activism is successful"

KOSOVO: 'Two Germanys model' suggested for Kosovo (Balkan Insight): "Veteran German diplomat says 1972 treaty between East and West Germany holds lessons for Kosovo and Serbia"

Macedonia's planned abortion curbs draw protests (Balkan Insight): "Government move to restrict abortions prompts protests from rights groups, some of whom fear the curbs are intended to pave the way towards a complete ban on terminations"

Macedonian journalists seek reporter's release (Balkan Insight): "A delegation of journalists, demanding the immediate release of their incarcerated colleague Tomislav Kezarovski, emerged unsatisfied from Tuesday’s talks with the court’s head." See: Macedonians protest over journalist's arrest

MALTA: New residence scheme for foreigners launched - thresholds drastically reduced (Times of Malta): "A new residence programme for foreigners (non-EU) was launched this morning, replacing the foreign residents' scheme which was controversially suspended in 2011"

MALTA: Prisons partial amnesty confirmed - Prisoners give enthusiastic welcome to minister (Times of Malta): "Home Affairs Minister Manuel Mallia confirmed to prisoners this evening that the government would be granting them an amnesty to mark the general election"

MALTA: ‘Revolutionary’ proposals for justice reform (Malta Independent): "The government this morning presented what has been described as a set of revolutionary proposals aimed to improve the administration of justice." See also: Justice Reform Commission makes 135 recommendations (Times of Malta)

MALTA: Soldier accused of murdering Malian praised by detainee (Malta Independent): " An army sergeant accused of being involved in the killing a Malian man in the custody of Detention Services and Armed Forces of Malta personnel was described favourably in court by a former resident at the Safi detention centre, who said that he had saved his life." See also: Witness confirms migrant had been 'causing problems' hours before his death (Times of Malta)

MONTENEGRO: Ambassador chides Montenegro's 'limited' EU progress (Balkan Insight): "The German ambassador told Vijesti that ensuring the efficiency and independence of the judiciary will be the toughest part of Montenegro's EU membership talks - noting 'limited' progress over the last 10 months"

NETHERLANDS: Detention policy criticised, people locked up too long says official report (Dutch News): "Failed asylum seekers and illegal immigrants awaiting deportation are being held too long in custody, according to the government’s foreigner affairs commission"

NETHERLANDS: Homeless refugees can stay in empty office says housing group (Dutch News): "A group of around 100 asylum seekers who have lost their claims for refugee status but say they cannot return home have taken over an empty office block in Amsterdam"

NETHERLANDS: Justice ministry comes up with sentencing app (Dutch News): "The justice ministry is devising a mobile phone application which will allow people to have more say in prison sentencing, the AD reports on Thursday"

NETHERLANDS: More violence against police reported (Dutch News): "The number of reported physical and verbal attacks against police officers rose to 4,757 in 2012, compared with 4,161 a year earlier, according to figures published by the police on Tuesday"

NETHERLANDS: Police apologise for another wrongful anti-monarchist arrest (Dutch News): "Police in Utrecht have apologised to an anti-monarchy protestor arrested during a visit to the city by king Willem-Alexander and queen Máxima on Thursday"

NETHERLANDS: The Netherlands wants to contribute to Mali military training mission (Dutch News): "The Netherlands wants to contribute 30 to 40 soldiers to take part in the European Union's training mission to Mali, defence and diplomatic sources have told the Volkskrant"

NORTHERN IRELAND: G8: DoJ allows PSNI seize land in preparations for G8 summit in June (Londonderry Sentinel): "Secretary of State Theresa Villiers has authorised the Department of Justice (DoJ) in Northern Ireland to seize land near Enniskillen for the G8 summit." See also: Garda chiefs draw up list of hardline G8 protesters and 'Fake shops' open up ahead of the G8 summit (Irish Independent); Media reports of fake shops are "wholly inaccurate" says Fermanagh Council (The Impartial Reporter); G8 leaders can’t be arrested (Londonderry Sentinel); Nothing left to chance as G8 security teams take to the water (Fermanagh Herald); Police preparing for G8 associated threats (News Letter); NI police chief says protesters will be allowed at the G8 and Aldergrove: security around airport stepped up for G8 (BBC News); UK Government to foot G8 policing bill (UTV); and 900 gardai drafted in to ensure G8 summit success (Irish Independent)

NORTHERN IRELAND: Prison officers to be retrained in vulnerable inmate procedures (The Detail): "Senior officers at Maghaberry Prison are being retrained in procedures to manage vulnerable prisoners"

Norway immigration authorities suggest easing working restrictions (The Foreigner): "Directorate of Immigration (UDI) officials propose improved rules for non-EU labour migrants"

NORWAY: Foreigners in Oslo subjected to most hate crime (The Foreigner): "Just under half of 47 reported hate crimes in Norway’s capital were directed against people of foreign origin last year, a new police report shows"

NORWAY: Russia-Norway immigration talks at political level (The Foreigner): "Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg will discuss ways to make Russian immigration to Norway easier"

Norway’s racism debate in focus (The Foreigner): "Youngsters in Istanbul demonstrate and youths in Stockholm suburbs are burning cars in protest, just like in Paris in 2005 and London in 2011"

POLAND: Anti-terrorist police charged over mistaken identity raid (The News): "Four Polish ant-terrorist policemen have been charged after mistakenly raiding an apartment that belonged to innocent bystanders"

POLAND: Poll - one-in-four Poles would prefer communist state (The News): "As Poland marks the 24th anniversary of the democratic elections of June 1989, a poll has estimated that 25 percent of the populace believe the country would be better off under a communist regime"

PORTUGAL: Armed forces need beefing up, says Defence Minister (The Portugal News): "“To fulfil priorities that are defined by the Strategic Concept for National Defence (CEDN) the Portuguese Armed Forces must reinforce their operational capacity”, said Portugal’s Minister for National Defence José Pedro Aguiar-Branco speaking during a ceremony in Lisbon"

PORTUGAL: Unions agree on general strike in late June (The Portugal News): "Portugal's two largest trades union federations have reached agreement on calling a joint strike for public sector in late June, to protest proposed cuts in pay and working conditions, union sources told Lusa News Agency"

Romania knuckles down to changing constitution (Balkan Insight): "The team in charge of changing Romania's constitution has got down to business - but there is no agreement as yet on exactly what should be altered"

ROMANIA: Agreement on cooperation in defence area between Romania and Republic of Poland Governments, signed in Warsaw (ACTmedia)

ROMANIA: Maior: Several foreigners expelled for terrorism (ACTmedia): "Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) director George Maior declared on Thursday that several foreigners had been expelled lately for terrorism to benefit Romania’s national security.Maior participated at Bookfest on Thursday in the launch of two books. There he was asked about the recent cases of foreign citizens suspected of terrorism who were declared undesirable"

ROMANIA: New referendum law divides Romania (Balkan Insight): "Opposition MPs and experts have criticised plans to lower the tournout needed for a referendum to pass in Romania, saying the change is designed purely to make life easier for the government parties"

Romania's Schengen accession, Roma Gypsies, the key subjects tackled by Romanian and French officials (ACTmedia): "Romania's Schengen accession, the problem of Roma Gypsies and police cooperation were the main subjects tackled by Secretary of State with the Ministry of the Interior (MAI) Bogdan Tohaneanu and a delegation of the France-Romania Friendship Group of the French Senate, headed by Group chairman Bernard Fournier, informs a MAI release"

Serbia develops community policing (SETimes.com): "The new community policing strategy in Serbia aims to improve the security situation in the country, as well as to align police work with international standards and human right acts, Belgrade officials said"

SPAIN: Police may be given powers to install spyware under terms of draft bill (El País): "It is a powerful tool for security forces but problematic in terms of the Constitution and privacy laws. A draft bill drawn up by the Justice Ministry will allow judges to authorize police to install spyware programs on a suspect’s computer, tablet or smartphone in order to obtain potential evidence. The text states that this measure will only be used when a crime carrying a sentence of three years or more is suspected, and in cases of terrorism or organized crime"

SWITZERLAND: Asylum and cabinet reforms set for clear result (swissinfo.ch): "A reform aimed at tightening asylum laws is poised for approval at the ballot box next month, but a rightwing proposal to introduce a nationwide election of government members appears to stand very little chance"

SWITZERLAND: Tight security keeps Swiss happy (swissinfo.ch): "The Swiss feel safe at home and are optimistic about the future of their country, but don’t seem likely to give up their militia army anytime soon, according to an annual report published by Zurich’s Federal Institute of Technology"

UK human rights convention exit 'would be disastrous' (BBC News): "It would be a "political disaster" if the UK pulled out of the European human rights convention, the president of the European Court of Human Rights says"

UK: Afghans 'unlawfully held' by UK forces at Camp Bastion (BBC News)

UK: Al-Rahma Islamic Centre destroyed in 'hate crime' fire (BBC News); Islamic centre fire: Police investigate graffiti link to EDL (The Guardian)

UK: Anti-fascist protestors arrested and packed onto London buses following violent clashes with BNP outside Parliament (Daily Mail)

UK: Bilderberg 2013 delegates arrive in blacked-out cars for secretive summit (The Guardian): "Delegates for a private conference of top politicians and businesspeople from around the world have started to arrive at a luxury country hotel." See also: Bilderberg Group? No conspiracy, just the most influential group in the world (the Telegraph)

UK: Government to order internet firms to block terror sites and pornography (The Independent): "Internet and telecom companies will be ordered by the Government to block “harmful” content such as extremist material and pornography in the wake of the Woolwich terrorist attack and killing of five-year-old April Jones." See also: Phone and web companies called to summit on how to crackdown on images of child sex abuse (The Telegraph)

UK: MPs raise alarm over Chinese equipment in UK phone networks (The Guardian): "A group of MPs has lambasted the government for risking national security by failing to monitor the widespread use of Chinese equipment in Britain's phone and broadband networks"

UK: Prison reforms ‘will not cut reoffending’ (The Irish Post)

UK: Snoopers charter would protect from terrorist 'mayhem' on British streets, says Philip Hammond (The Telegraph): "British troops and citizens would be safer from terrorist "mayhem" if the Government gave spies more access to people's internet activities, the Defence Secretary said today"

UK: The Legal Aid avocado and human rights (UK Human Rights Blog)

UK: Theresa May demands crackdown on EU migrants who 'abuse' welfare system (The Telegraph): "The European Union must introduce tough new sanctions to deter benefits tourists who exploit Britain’s welfare system and have “no intention of working”, Theresa May, the Home Secretary, will say this week." See: UK faces European Court over benefits for EU nationals (BBC News)

UK: UKIP councillor wants someone ‘to slit Gerry Adams’ throat’ (The Irish Post)

UK-USA: Nazi war criminals got away with atrocities because of evidence hidden in UK and US archives (The Independent): "Nazi war criminals escaped prosecution because crucial evidence in Britain’s National Archives and in government archives in the United States was ignored for decades"

UN considers ethics of 'killer robots' (BBC News): "A report raising questions about the ethical use of so-called "killer robots" has been debated at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva"

USA: With money at risk, hospitals push staff to wash hands (The New York Times): "At North Shore University Hospital on Long Island, motion sensors, like those used for burglar alarms, go off every time someone enters an intensive care room. The sensor triggers a video camera, which transmits its images halfway around the world to India, where workers are checking to see if doctors and nurses are performing a critical procedure: washing their hands"

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