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Round-up of news stories from across the EU
12.2.16
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EU: Getting the details right: how Parliament scrutinises how legislation is implemented (press release, pdf): "As co-legislator, the European Parliament is fully involved in setting up general rules and making policy choices in areas as diverse as food safety, data protection and the fight against terrorism. How these rules are then put into practice also matters, as technical requirements can make a big difference to Europeans' everyday lives. That is why MEPs are focussing more and more on the delegated and implementing acts that set out how adopted legislation should be carried out."

GERMANY: Are Germans right to fear limit on cash payments? (The Local, link): "The government has announced plans to set a €5,000 limit on payments in cash - provoking a furious reaction from politicians, media and public alike."

GUANTANAMO: Ex-Guantánamo Detainee Is Freed From Moroccan Prison (The New York Times, link): "A Moroccan judge on Thursday ordered the release of a former detainee at the Guantánamo Bay prison who had remained in custody for nearly five months despite diplomatic assurances that he would probably be freed shortly after his transfer to Morocco.

Though the former detainee, Younis Shokuri, walked free for the first time in 15 years, he still faces the possibility of criminal charges related to allegations that he was involved with a Moroccan Islamist group before his capture in 2001; he has denied the allegations."

Irish journalists threatened by Dublin crime gangs (The Guardian, link): "A number of Irish journalists have been warned about threats made against them by the Dublin crime gangs involved in the recent deadly violence in the Republic’s capital."

NORTHERN IRELAND: Belfast, 9 June: How Public Order Policing Works in Northern Ireland - Launch of Guide (CAJ, link): "The Committee on the Administration of Justice is publishing a guide to how public order policing should work in Northern Ireland. In common with all aspects of policing, the PSNI adopts a human rights approach in relation to planning, operations and accountability for public order situations. This guide goes through the relevant standards to create a coherent narrative which is designed to identify decision points and the mechanisms through which the police are accountable for their decisions and actions."

Spain loses major 20th-century historical archive (El País, link): "A treasure trove of over 2,700 documents shedding light on the wars of the 20th century is to end up at Harvard University’s Houghton Library after the Madrid foundation that owns it was unable to reach an agreement to keep it in Spain."

SPAIN: Puppeteers accused of glorifying terrorism turn in their passports (El País, link): "Two puppeteers who are facing charges of glorifying terrorism appeared before the Spanish High Court on Thursday to turn in their passports as part of their prison release conditions.

Raúl García, 34, and Alfonso Lázaro, 29, refused to answer questions from reporters as they arrived at the court accompanied by a group of friends."

The article notes that "they used their glove puppets to hold a placard that read “Gora-Alka-ETA,” or “Long live Al Qaeda-ETA"." This was part of the performance: a puppet police officer planted the placard on the dead body of another puppet, in order to frame him.

UK: Commercial arm of the Ministry of Justice overseen by Epsom and Ewell MP Chris Grayling lost taxpayer over £1million (Epsom Gazette, link): " Epsom and Ewell MP Chris Grayling oversaw a loss-making commercial venture as Justice Secretary which lost the British taxpayer more than £1million, an investigation has found.

Just Solutions (JSi) was established in 2012 by Mr Grayling’s predecessor, Ken Clarke, and remained in operation until it was recently wound up by current Justice Secretary, Michael Gove.

Mr Grayling declined to comment. "

UK: Freezing undocumented migrants out of NHS care could pose health risks say medics (Migrants' Rights Network, link): "Writing for the British Medical Journal (BMJ), a group of medics and researchers warn that government plans to extend charging for migrants into some NHS primary care services and emergency departments could make the NHS the most restrictive healthcare system in Europe for undocumented migrants."

UK: If the government wants to tackle racism in the justice system, ditch joint enterprise (IRR, link): "If the government seriously wants to tackle racism in the justice system – and they are genuinely concerned about the disproportionate number of black men locked up in British prisons – then they need to tackle joint enterprise as a matter of urgency."

UK: UNDERCOVER POLICING: ‘How many more of us were tricked by police officers?’ (Hackney Gazette, link): "The activist deceived by undercover police spy Mark Jenner, who embarked on a five-year relationship with her while married with children, has warned hundreds of women may have been affected by the Met’s infiltration of left-wing political groups."

UK-USA: US drone operations centre to open in the UK? (Drone Wars UK, link): "In December 2015 the US announced plans to vastly expand its drone programme including increasing the number of drones to be purchased, doubling the number of drone operators and opening new drone bases.

According to a report in the LA Times, as part of these plans Pentagon officials are considering putting a drone operations centre at a USAF base in the UK – at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk."

USA: Donald Trump and Ted Cruz fail to understand that torture doesn’t work (The Guardian, link): "One of life’s enduring mysteries is how intent politicians seem to be on ignoring the lessons of history. One recent example involves torture. There was once a consensus that torture was immoral; even today, any sensible person knows torture is of little use if you want accurate information. Yet the current crop of Republican presidential candidates have been trying to outbid one another with promises of barbarism: Senator Ted Cruz confirmed that he favours simulated drowning, which he classifies as an “enhanced interrogation technique” (EIT) that falls short of torture. (The Spanish Inquisition was rather more honest, and called it tortura del agua.) “The Donald” immediately trumped his rival: he would “bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding”."

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