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EU: US hails 'important step' as missile defences go live in Romania (The Guardian, link): "A US missile defence system in Romania becomes operational on Thursday in a move welcomed by US officials as an “important step” but also one likely to infuriate Moscow.

The missile interceptor station in Deveselu, southern Romania, will help defend Nato members against the threat of short- and medium-range ballistic missiles – particularly from the Middle East, said US assistant secretary of state Frank Rose in Bucharest on Wednesday.

Russia has taken a dim view of the project, seeing it as a security threat on its doorstep. Rose said: “Both the US and Nato have made it clear the system is not designed for, or capable of, undermining Russia’s strategic deterrence capability.”"

UK: Construction firms apologise in court over blacklist (The Guardian, link): "Leading construction firms have formally apologised to hundreds of trade unionists for putting them on an illegal blacklist and denying them work.

The firms issued the “unreserved and sincere” apology in the high court to bring to an end a long-running legal action by workers who had sought to uncover the truth behind the secret blacklist.

The firms have agreed to pay sums understood to total about £75m to 771 blacklisted workers, under out-of-court settlements to avoid a trial that was due to open this week. Payouts to individuals range from £25,000 to £200,000."

UK: DRONES: Cross-Government Working Group includes police, Border Force and Surveillance Commissioner: Unmanned Air Vehicles: Written question - 36083 (, link)

UK: Short term migrants largely account for National Insurance data discrepancy (Office of National Statistics, link): "ONS has published the findings of work carried out to explain the differences between the number of long term migrants entering the UK, measured by the International Passenger Survey (IPS), and the numbers of non-UK nationals registering for National Insurance Numbers (NINos).

Using a range of administrative and survey data, we have analysed the reasons why the number of NINos being registered has been higher than the number of people estimated as migrating to the UK, and why in recent periods the gap between the two figures has grown.

The key findings are:

  • Short term migration (between 1-12 months) from the EU for work and study has been growing and largely accounts for the recent differences between the numbers of long-term migrants (over 12 months) and NINo registrations for EU citizens.
  • The International Passenger Survey continues to be the best source of information for measuring long-term international migration.
  • NINo registrations are not a good measure of long term migration trends, as they do not necessarily indicate the presence of an individual in the country, or how long they spend here."

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