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21.3.16
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BELGIUM: Abdeslam's arrest raises terror fears (EUobserver, link): "The arrest of Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam in Brussels on Friday (18 March) has raised new concerns about the extent and readiness to act of jihadist networks in Europe.

Belgium has maintained a level-three alert, the second highest, and France has reinforced checks at its border with Belgium.

"We fear that Abdeslam's arrest activates other terrorists cells," Belgian interior minister Jan Jambon told Bel RTL radio on Monday morning." And background: Terrorism frames EU-Turkey summit on migration (EUobserver, link)

EU: Albrecht: We want digitalization and automation, if privacy is built in by design (Deutsche Welle, link): "No one wants to turn back the clocks of our technological development, says German Greens MEP Jan Philipp Albrecht. But privacy and data protection need to be built into the Internet of Things by design."

EU: Greece and Four Other EU Countries May Lose Visa-free Travel to the US (GTP, link): "The US Department of Homeland Security has given Greece and four other EU countries until the end of the month to act and meet new strict criteria or risk losing visa-free travel rights, Greek daily Kathimerini reported on Monday.

The visa exemption program allows citizens of 38 countries access to the United States for tourism or business without a visa.

The US Department of Homeland Security after an increase in the number of forged and stolen passports, which it says could facilitate the movement of terrorists. The number of illicit documents has doubled in the past six years.

France, Belgium, Germany, Italy and Greece were initially given a February 1 deadline to fix “crucial loopholes” or lose access to the U.S. visa waiver program. The deadline was then extended to the end of March."

NETHERLANDS: Leaked papers 'compromise' Wilders' right to fair trial (EUobserver, link): "The second trial against Dutch anti-immigration politician Geert Wilders commenced on Friday (18 March) in Amsterdam with a dramatic call for an investigation into leaked documents.

Dutch newspaper AD had announced on Thursday night it would publish excerpts of documents from Wilders' legal team that contained their legal strategy.

“Apparently someone has gained access to these documents,” said Wilders' lawyer Geert-Jan Knoops. He called the leak an “attack on this trial” and said it was a “breach of the right to a fair trial”. He said his legal team was now unsure if their lawyer-client communication can be conducted confidentially."

UK: Gove pledges action on youth custody safety (Children & Young People Now, link): "Appearing before the justice select committee, Gove said he has been working with Charlie Taylor, who is currently conducting a review of the youth justice system, and Michael Spurr, the chief executive of the National Offender Management Service, to address issues in the youth secure estate.

"[We are] making sure we have the additional investment, specifically in the youth estate in order to deal with some of these problems," Gove said."

UK: My two year stint inside Yarl's Wood (Bedfordshire on Sunday, link): "LAST year Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre burst into headline news after Channel 4 released footage of guards' aggressive behaviour.

Over the last twelve months whispers of life inside the controversial immigration centre have spilled into newspaper stories and human rights reports - but who are the women living at Yarl's Wood?

Over the next few weeks, I will be telling their stories.

Mabel Gawanas first arrived in Yarl's Wood in May 2014. Few immigration detention cases are straightforward but Mabel's file is a mess."

UK: National outcry as NUS Scotland officer detained, scheduled for deportation (The Student Newspaper, link): "A newly-elected National Union of Students (NUS) Scotland officer has been detained, separated from his children, and scheduled for deportation over an apparent procedural issue with his asylum status, the NUS has said, sparking outcry across the country and capturing the attention of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Lord Elias Mensah Apetsi, a Master’s student at Strathclyde University recently elected to NUS Asylum and Refugee Officer, was detained by the Home Office twelve days ago after a technical failure with a routine monthly asylum checkin, according to the NUS.

The detention occurred after a Leave to Remain application was submitted past the deadline, the NUS said, in what the organisation called a “human error, not of Lord’s making”."

UK: Nearly 4,000 people referred to Government's anti-extremism scheme last year (The Independent, link): "Almost 4,000 people have been referred to the UK government’s counter-terrorism scheme last year, including children under nine, new figures have revealed.

The rise in the number of referrals to the flagship Channel programme comes after the Government gave prisons, NHS Trusts and Schools a statutory duty to tackle extremism.

In 2015, 3,955 people were reported to Channel - up from 1,681 in 2014."

UK-USA: Pentagon to open major £200m intelligence centre in Britain (The Independent, link): "The Pentagon will announce a major new £200m intelligence centre in Britain this week, which would act as the headquarters for all US military data in Europe and Africa, according to US media reports.

Known as the Joint Intelligence Analysis Centre, the facility will be located at the RAF Croughton, a US Air Force base near Milton Keynes, which already processes about a third of US military communications in Europe.

The proposed ultra-secure data centre would be the US headquarters for European and African military communications, employing up to 1,250 staff analysing intelligence from more than 50 countries. It is due to be completed next year."

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