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News digest: 22 August 2012

CZECH REPUBLIC: Czech man arrested for Breivik-like plot (Epoch Times): "Police in the Czech Republic have arrested a man they believe was plotting an attack in a manner similar to Norwegian far-right terrorist Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people last year"

EU: The EU's proposed new e-identification regime (Out-Law.com): "The European Commission has proposed an update to the e-Signatures Directive. It wants to replace it with a new Regulation on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions. The e-Signatures Directive provides a framework for the conduct of electronic cross-border transactions within the EU. The proposed new Regulation aims to create a framework for mutual recognition and acceptance of e-identification and authentication relating to access to public services"

France must commit to ending forced evictions of Roma (Amnesty International): "French cabinet members must take action to halt forced evictions of Roma communities and set a housing policy that respects and protects their rights, Amnesty International said ahead of a high-level ministerial meeting"

FRANCE: Protests after two-month-old baby dies in Mayotte immigrants' centre (RFI): "Activists on the French Indian Ocean island of Mayotte called a protest Saturday after the death of a two-month-old baby in a camp for undocumented immigrants. France’s rights ombudsman is to investigate the incident as concern over conditions in the camp rise"

GERMANY: Golf tournament raises money for anti-Nazi projects (Spiegel Online): "Germany's eastern state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania has a longstanding reputation as a hotbed of xenophobic activity. Recently, a number of projects have sought to burnish the region's tarnished reputation. The latest is a golf tournament that raised thousands of euros to be given to groups that combat extremism in youth"

GERMANY: Right-wing terror cases offers authorities chance at redemption (Spiegel Online): "Prosecutors may widen the charges against Beate Zschäpe, the only surviving member of the neo-Nazi terror cell that murdered 10 people from 2000 to 2007. The trial will offer a chance to rebuild faith in the German justice system after authorities botched their investigation into the killings"

GERMANY: Why the rule of law burned down in Rostock (Deutsche Welle): "In 1992, the port of Rostock saw some of the worst xenophobic violence in post-war Germany, when a mob of young people attacked a building housing asylum seekers. The incident had serious consequences for the country"

Greece freezes public funding for NGOs (Ekathimerini): "On the orders of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, public funding for nongovernmental organizations was frozen on Tuesday as part of the effort to reduce waste"

ITALY-MALTA: Lampedusa and Malta take in African migrants (BBC News): "More than 400 African migrants have arrived on the Italian island of Lampedusa over the past three days"

Macedonia accuses Greece of dumping illegal migrants (EurActiv): "Greek authorities have been sending hundreds of migrants across the border mainly at two locations and usually during the night, Dnevnik writes. The authorities in Skopje, capital of EU-candidate Macedonia, have reportedly informed the European Union and its border management agency Frontex about the development"

NORWAY: Local man to fight authorities over Eritrean employee (The Foreigner): "A Norwegian baker fined NOK 300,000 (about USD 50,800) for employing a paperless Eritrean asylum seeker is to appear before Stavanger District Court, western Norway, after refusing to pay on humanitarian grounds. 'We must win this case. I don’t understand that a society that is based on humane principles can expel Sultan,' Bjørn Sverre Hagen, owner of company Solabakeren, tells Stavanger Aftenblad."

ROMANIA: Court reverses Romanian president's impeachment (Epoch Times): "The impeachment of Romania’s embattled president, Traian Basescu, was ruled unconstitutional Tuesday by the country’s Constitutional Court"

SPAIN: Valencia ties doctors' hands over free healthcare for immigrants (El Pais): "Doctors working in the public health service in the region of Valencia who object to the removal of free healthcare services for undocumented immigrants will have to attend to such patients outside their working hours and without using public facilities, the regional commissioner for health, Nela García, said Monday." See also: Five rebel regions pledge to go on treating migrants without residency papers (El Pais)

SWEDEN-SWITZERLAND: Swiss will press on with Swedish fighter jet deal (The Local): "Switzerland is planning to press ahead with its controversial purchase of 22 Swedish JAS Gripen fighter jets, despite a highly critical parliamentary report into the deal released on Tuesday"

UK: BBC and Royal Mail 'using terror powers to spy on public' (Belfast Telegraph): "A senior Cabinet minister has launched a strong attack on public bodies - including the BBC and the Royal Mail - that have powers to carry out secret surveillance on members of the public but are refusing to say how they're using them." See also: 'Absurd' surveillance ops slammed (Belfast Telegraph) and a report by Big Brother Watch: A legacy of suspicion: How RIPA has been used by local authorities and public bodies (pdf)

UK: Ian Tomlinson pathologist Freddy Patel guilty of misconduct and dishonesty (The Guardian): "Freddy Patel, the pathologist who conducted the first postmortem on Ian Tomlinson, has been found guilty by a medical tribunal of misconduct, deficient professional performance and dishonesty"

UK: Independent panel to work with IPCC on review of cases involving a death (IPCC press release): "A panel of experts has been assembled to work with the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) in its review of cases involving a death following police contact"

USA: VIDEO: Their mission: protect Guantanamo Bay's positive image (Troy Record): "It was the day many of the members of the New York Army National Guard 138th Public Affairs Detachment have been waiting for — their first deployment. Eight members of the division are headed to Guantanamo Bay where they will provide public affairs support for the Joint Task Force there. During a press conference held Friday at Hotel Indigo, Capt. Alvin Phillips said the soldiers will have a job to do and he expects them to return home safely"


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