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News digest: 18 December 2012

EU-KOSOVO: Leaked phone tapes raise debate on wiretapping in Kosovo (Southeast European Times): "Leaked conversations of Kosovo officials, which were secretly recorded by EULEX as part of its continuing fight against organised crime, have prompted a debate on the use of wiretapping and how to deal with the resulting information"

France asks European Parliament to lift Le Pen immunity (EUbusiness): "French authorities have asked the European Parliament to lift the immunity of far-right leader Marine Le Pen so she can be prosecuted for comparing Islamic prayers to the Nazi occupation, officials said Tuesday"

French far right bans AFP in revenge for 'ugly' pictures (France 24): "France's far-right National Front banned the world's oldest news agency, the Agence France-Presse, from a party conference on Friday after accusing it of deliberately publishing “ugly” pictures of party leader Marine Le Pen"

GERMANY: Far-right successor to NPD waits in the wings (Deutsche Welle): "As German politicians debate banning the extreme right-wing NPD, a new right-wing party has crept onto the political scene. The Right appears ready to take over political leadership of the far-right"

Greece finishes border fence with Turkey (Novinite): "Greece has finished construction of a fence along the 12.5-km stretch of its land border with Turkey, according to media. The fence has been constructed in order to keep out thousands of migrants from entering the country. The construction of the razor-wire-topped 13-foot-tall fence took almost a year and cost the Greek budget an estimated EUR 3.2 M, RIA Novosti says." See also: Greece completes border fence with Turkey (Greek Reporter)

GREECE: African migrants face 'impossible' life in Greece (Ekathimerini): "Stuck in a small Athens flat all day to avoid being caught by police, earning another stint in prison and possibly a beating, 29-year-old Cameroonian Eugene Manaa rues the day he came to Greece"

GREECE: Apathetic Greek rally against Golden Dawn (Greek Reporter): "Hundreds of Greeks and activists from 19 other European countries took to the streets of Athens on Dec. 15 in protest against the Greek neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party critics said is behind some of the growing assaults against immigrants and is extremist and racist"

GREECE: Dawn of a new danger (Red Pepper): "The world’s media has gone into a panic about Greek fascists Golden Dawn. Here, Yiorgos Vassalos examines their neo-Nazi politics and the reasons for their support"

GREECE: Search for immigrants lost of Greece (Greek Reporter): "A Burmese survivor of the sinking of a ship off the Greek island of Lesbos in which 20 immigrants were drowned, included four children, told officials the boat overturned in bad weather"

GREECE: SYRIZA's Stratoulis says Golden Dawn attack him (Greek Reporter): "A member of Greece’s major opposition party, the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) claimed he was assaulted at a soccer game by three men who he says identified themselves as belong to the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party that has 18 seats in the Parliament and has reportedly been attacking immigrants and leftists." See also: SYRIZA MP attacked at soccer game (Ekathimerini)

Libya PM proposes border security summit (Magharebia)

MALTA: Immigration officer lands in court after 'good deed' (Times of Malta): "An Egyptian forged a stamp on his passport, with the help of an immigration officer and another two men, because he needed to leave Malta to undergo surgery in his home country, a court heard yesterday"

Mauritania hosts Maghreb migration forum (Magharebia): "Maghreb activists are working together to confront the issue of illegal immigration. Human rights organisations from Mauritania, Libya, Algeria and Italy recently met in Nouakchott to share their countries' experiences and brainstorm about new methods to cope with the phenomenon"

NETHERLANDS: Crime prevention cost €774 per person last year (Dutch News): "The Netherlands spent €13bn last year on combating crime and public nuisance, according to figures from the national statistics office CBS and quoted by RTL news"

NETHERLANDS: Ethnic minority youngsters do face jobs discrimination: new report (Dutch News): "Youngsters from an ethnic minority background with the same cv, accent and clothing as their white peers are far less likely to find a job through an employment agency, according to new research for the social affairs ministry"

NORTHERN IRELAND: 1,000 attend Belfast peace campaign rally (Irish Independent): "Peace campaigners in Belfast have staged a second rally in as many days to demonstrate their opposition to the recent unrest. Up to 1,000 people took part in the cross-community 'Peace Gathering' in the city centre"

NORTHERN IRELAND: Bullying rife in North's high-security jail (Irish Independent): "Prison authorities are not doing enough to protect prisoners from violent bullying and intimidation by fellow inmates inside the North’s high-security jail, inspectors have found"

UK: Baha Mousa army doctor found guilty of dishonest conduct (The Guardian): "A medical tribunal will on Monday consider whether a former army doctor is fit to continue to practise after finding that he acted in a misleading and dishonest way after the death of Baha Mousa, a Basra hotel worker who died in British military custody in Iraq in 2003"

UK: Joint Committee on Human Rights publishes Report on Defamation Bill (UK Parliament): "The Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) today publishes a Report on the Defamation Bill, ahead of the Bill's Committee stage in the House of Lords on 17 December." See: Report

UK: Police spy cameras switched on across Staffordshire (This is Staffordshire): "Dozens of police spy cameras designed to catch criminals on the move have been switched on across Staffordshire's roads. The first of sixty-five automatic number plate recognition cameras have now gone live as part of a joint scheme by Staffordshire Police and Staffordshire County Council"

UK: The hum that helps to fight crime (BBC News): "But how can the police be sure that the audio evidence is genuine, that it has not been tampered with or cleverly edited? Forensic scientists have come up with the answer: they can authenticate these recordings with the help of a hum"

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