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News digest: 12 November 2012

DENMARK: Government finalises war commission (Copenhagen Post): "Led by a judge from the maritime and commercial court, the commission will investigate Denmark’s war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan in the coming five years"

DENMARK: PET withheld alibi in terror trial (The Copenhagen Post): "Intelligence service's surveillance video does not show suspect left his flat the night of an arson attack against Greek embassy"

EU: European austerity protests far from revolution (AlertNet): "Even in the city whose revolutionary credentials date back to the 1789 uprising that began at the gates of its famous gaol, calls to build a European-wide popular front against the toughest budget cuts in a generation are falling on deaf ears."

EU: Press freedom under attack inside EU, advocates say (EUobserver)

FINLAND: HS: Immigrants over-represented in child custody statistics (Helsinki Times)

FRANCE: Former Tamil Tiger commander gunned down in Paris (France 24): "Former Tamil Tiger commander Nadarajah Mathinthiran, who was convicted in February of extortion and funding terrorism, was gunned down Thursday in Paris. Officials said they had no evidence his death was connected to his political activities"

French woman elected Interpol's first female chief (France 24): "The world’s largest international police organisation Interpol made history on Thursday when it elected top French police chief Mireille Ballestrazzi as its first female president. Ballestrazzi made her name fighting organised crime in Corsica"

GERMANY: Journalists to appeal defamation charges (Deutsche Welle): "Two German journalists are in court over defamation charges, and may have to pay four-figure fines. Journalist associations have criticized the case. Is press freedom in danger?"

GERMANY: Police competence questioned in neo-Nazi case (Deutsche Welle): "Suspected neo-Nazi terrorist Beate Zschäpe has been charged with murder. But accusations are also being made against authorities in Germany. Criticism includes claims of racism, missing documents and empty promises"

GERMANY: Prison violence in Germany a part of life (Deutsche Welle)

Greece's far-right party goes on the offensive (AlertNet): "Arm raised in a Nazi-style salute, the leader of Greece's fastest-rising political party surveyed hundreds of young men in black T-shirts as they exploded into cheers. Their battle cry reverberated through the night: Blood! Honour! Golden Dawn!"

GREECE: Coastguard denies New Zealand man's claims of assault (Athens News): "Greek authorities, specifically the coastguard, on Tuesday issued a lengthy press statement denying a New Zealand man's allegations of being beaten and robbed by police in the Crete port city of Hania last month"

ITALY: Gap widens between Italy's rising left sagging right (Gazzetta del Sud): "New polls ahead of spring general elections in Italy showed the gap widen between the first place centre-left Democratic Party (PD) and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) of comic Beppe Grillo, while former premier Silvio Berlusconi's center-right People of Freedom (PdL) party continued its slide amid a raft of scandals"

ITALY: Government replaces deputy police chief targeted by whistleblower (Gazzetta del Sud): "The Italian government on Friday appointed Alessandro Marangoni as replacement deputy chief of the police force. His appointment follows the resignation of Nicola Izzo, who is at the centre of allegations of corruption regarding interior ministry's contracts contained in a letter by an anonymous 'whistleblower'"

Poland Independence Day march turns violent (BBC News): "Clashes broke out in Warsaw as riot police confronted right-wing nationalists during a Polish Independence Day march." See also: Violence marrs Independence Day in Poland (euronews)

PORTUGAL: Military past and present protest Portugal's 2013 budget (euronews): "An estimated five thousand veterans and servicemen marched through the streets of Lisbon, to show their anger at planned austerity measures"

SERBIA: Occupy the military: Squatters struggle for the Balkans' derelict barracks (Balkan Insight): "Activists and the Serbian authorities fail to find common ground in a battle of ideals and real estate – unlike in Croatia and Slovenia"

SPAIN: Hundreds brave weather to protest in Spain (euronews)

SPAIN-MOROCCO: Sole survivor of tragic sea crossing blames police for death of migrants (Beating Borders): "On the night of Sunday the 28th October 2012 at least 14 people drowned in the Straits of Gibraltar between Tangiers, Morocco and Tarifa, Spain. They were Sub-Saharan Africans from various West African countries including Senegal and the Ivory Coast, including refugees registered with the UNHCR... all three boats were in fact dealt with by Moroccan police, who chased them across the border, outside their actual jurisdiction, allegedly without informing the Spanish police of the deaths of migrants"

UK will not extend Romania and Bulgaria migration curbs (BBC News): "Bulgarians and Romanians will gain the unrestricted right to live and work in the UK from December 2013, Home Secretary Theresa May has confirmed"

UK: Anti-terror laws face new human rights challenge at European court (The Telegraph)

UK: Azelle Rodney inquiry (IRR): "This week, the Azelle Rodney Inquiry heard from the police officer, known only as E7, who had shot 24-year-old Azelle six times, (including twice in the head), as he sat in the back of a car in Edgware, north London in April 2005"

UK: Children 'with no state' in UK (BBC News): "Hundreds of children living rough in London and other cities may have no nationality, the BBC has found. Inside Out London has uncovered stories of children who according to official records do not exist - some forced into sex work to eat"

UK: Forced evictions, racist attacks. Meet the new landlord, security company G4S (OpenDemocracy): "The UK government has created a new profit source for security giant G4S and its partners: managing housing for asylum seekers. John Grayson reports on a reckless experiment whose result is human misery"

UK: Ken Clarke defends 'secret court' plan (BBC News): "Ken Clarke has accused civil liberties campaigners of creating "fanciful conspiracy theories" over government plans for secret court hearings." See also: Activists step up campaign against secret justice bill (The Independent): "Human rights groups will start the firing gun on their campaign against Government proposals to allow national security evidence to be heard behind closed court doors under the so-called "secret justice" bill"

UK: Localism, populism and the fight against sites (IRR): "Action groups and ‘residents’ associations have, in recent months, been using all kinds of legal technicalities to stop Gypsy and Traveller settlements, in some cases with the express backing of local authorities"

UK: Man shot and tasered by officers "not guilty" of GBH (The Voice)

UK: Tories will change relations with European courts after prisoner vote row, says Justice Secretary (The Telegraph)

USA: Bradley Manning offers to plead guilty to partial charges, including leaking to WikiLeaks (Wired)



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