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News digest: 14 November 2012

Albania police chief arrested for corruption (Balkan Insight): "The Interior Ministry on Monday announced the arrest of a police chief in Gjirokastra, accused of taking bribes from a businessman"

BOSNIA: OSCE: Hate crimes threaten Bosnian society (Balkan Insight): "The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, OSCE, in the report titled “Tackling Hate Crimes”, warns that the Bosnian society, which is still recovering from the early 90's conflict, faces a challenge to rebuild trust amongst national groups because of hate crimes." See: Tackling hate crimes: An analysis of bias-motivated incidents in Bosnia and Herzegovina (pdf)

CZECH REPUBLIC: Exclusion of Roma may threaten social cohesion, report says (Prague Daily Monitor): "Social exclusion of a large part of the Romany minority is a serious social problem that may threaten cohesion of the Czech society, says a report on the Romany minority's situation in 2011 that the Czech government will discuss on Wednesday." See also: Responsible social policy can solve Romani issue, activist says (Prague Daily Monitor)

CZECH REPUBLIC: Former police president dismissed as head of police's security forces (Prague Daily Monitor): "Former Czech police president Vladislav Husak, 47, had to leave the post of the police protection service's head since his security vetting expired, Police Presidium spokeswoman Zuzana Souckova told CTK yesterday"

CZECH REPUBLIC: Insider: Human rights commissioner threatens to quit if government cuts staff (Prague Daily Monitor)

EU ban on Hezbollah may hinge on Burgas bombing (Novinite): "In deciding whether to list Hezbollah as a terrorist group, the EU will consider as a key factor the outcome of the Bulgarian inquiry into the July suicide bombing that killed five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver, French Ambassador to Israel Christophe Bigot told The Jerusalem Post on Monday"

EU: European workers stage austerity protests (BBC News): "Workers across the European Union are staging a series of protests and strikes against rising unemployment and austerity measures." See also: Europe hit by wave of austerity protests (Novinite); Pan-European protests tie up Milan and Rome police injured in clash with student protesters (Gazzetta del Sud)

FRANCE: 'Rising crime' piles pressure on French government (France 24): "Unofficial figures published in a French newspaper on Tuesday suggest crime rates, notably violent offences, have risen dramatically in France. The figures were seized upon by opposition parties and provoked a fiery spat in parliament"

Germany plans extensive arms deal with Algeria (Spiegel Online): "German arms sales to Algeria have increased dramatically in the last two years, SPIEGEL has learned. Whereas weapons manufacturers in Germany sold less than 20 million euros worth of materiel to Algeria in 2010, sales have jumped to almost 400 million in the two years since. Not all are pleased by the development"

GERMANY: Far-right attitudes increase in Germany (Spiegel Online): "Right-wing extremist attitudes are on the rise in parts of Germany, particularly in the east, according to a study released on Monday. Young people appear to be at the highest risk, the researchers warn. They are calling for greater social engagement and educational programs to combat the problem of xenophobia"

GERMANY: Keeping an eye on the police (Deutsche Welle): "German police have an outstanding reputation for incorruptibility. But the country lacks an independent body to monitor those allegations of police misconduct that do occur"

GREECE: Court casts doubt over migrant citizenship law (Ekathimerini): "The Council of State, Greece’s highest administrative court, cast doubt on Tuesday on recent legislation that granted citizenship and voting rights to second-generation immigrants living in the country"

GREECE: SAE chief condemns attacks on immigrants (Ekathimerini): "The president of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE), Stefanos Tamvakis, on Tuesday condemned a spike in attacks on immigrants in Greece during a speech to members of the Greek community in the Egyptian port of Alexandria"

GREECE: Three officers implicated (Ekathimerini): "Police in Crete Tuesday questioned 17 suspected members of a massive ring trading in drugs and arms, including three police officers, one of whom is said to be high-ranking"

HUNGARY: Government backpedals a bit on citizenship for wad of cash (Budapest Times): "A bill submitted by three Fidesz MPs aims to make it possible to obtain residence permits for EUR 250,000, Fidesz caucus leader Antal Rogán announced on Tuesday, correcting an earlier statement which had referred to citizenship as being available for this amount"

ITALY: Alcoa workers clash with police at Sardinian ex-mine (Gazzetta del Sud): "Alcoa aluminum workers clashed with police in anti-riot gear on Tuesday at the entrance to an ex-mine and mine museum in the depressed Sulcis area in southwestern Sardinia, where highly ranked representatives of the Italian government are attending a series of institutional meetings with local and regional government heads"

ITALY: Man threatens to cut wrists in front of labour minister (Gazzetta del Sud)

MALTA: AFM teams in Frontex patrols off Spain (Times of Malta): "AFM teams have returned from Spain where they participated in Frontex anti human smuggling patrols between Spain, Algeria and Morocco"

MALTA: Human rights 'concerns' over father's prison term (Times of Malta): "The imprisonment of a man who did not pay maintenance to his ex-wife because he was unemployed raises human rights concerns, according to legal experts in the field"

NETHERLANDS: Deadline to prosecute serious crime scrapped (Dutch News): "The senate voted on Tuesday to scrap the statute of limitations for crimes carrying a 12-year prison sentence, including those concerning serious child abuse"

NORTHERN IRELAND: David Black murder: New 'IRA' group claims it murdered prison officer (BBC News): "A group calling itself "the IRA" has said it murdered the Northern Ireland prison officer David Black. He was shot as he drove to work on the M1 in County Armagh on 1 November"

NORWAY: Foreign criminals may get fast-track courts (The Foreigner): "Norwegian police propose establishing quick courts to process criminal cases involving foreigners"

Poland welcomes first permanent US aviation detachment (The News): "The mission is meant to strengthen cooperation between the key NATO allies through regular joint training exercises and rotational deployment of U.S. military aircraft beginning in 2013"

POLAND: Police dismiss claims they caused rioting at Independence Day march (The News): "A police spokesman says claims that violence at an Independence Day march on Sunday was caused by “masked police officers” are “absurd”"

Serbia's rightists call for ban of NGOs (Balkan Insight): "A Serbian far-right movement SNP Nasi has called on the authorities in Belgrade to outlaw 17 NGOs, which it says have violated Serbia's constitution"

SPAIN: Police union to support officers who refuse to carry out evictions (El Pais): "On Sunday, the Unified Police Union (SUP) announced it would back officers who refuse to participate in an eviction on ethical grounds, even providing them with legal defense if necessary"

SPAIN: Voices: Independence for Catalonia from Spain (BBC News): "People in the north-eastern Spanish region of Catalonia head to the polls in an early election on 25 November. Regional leader Artur Mas has promised that if re-elected, he will organise a referendum on whether Catalonia should break with Spain and become an independent state"

SWEDEN: Children sold for sex and crime in Sweden: report (The Local): "More than 150 children, most of them foreign-born and some as young as three years old, have been victims of human trafficking in Sweden, according to a report released on Tuesday"

SWEDEN: Refugee kids faking mental ills: agency staff (The Local): "The head of Migration Board (Migrationsverket) operations in southern Sweden has slammed case workers for routinely hinting that refugee children are making false claims about their mental health in order to avoid deportation"

SWEDEN: Top Sweden Democrat quits after racist film (The Local): "Sweden Democrat MP Erik Almqvist will step down as the party's economic policy spokesman after revelations about racist statements he made on a film clip, party leader Jimmie Åkesson announced on Wednesday"

Transparency Report: Government requests on the rise (Google Blog): "This is the sixth time we’ve released this data, and one trend has become clear: Government surveillance is on the rise. As you can see from the graph below, government demands for user data have increased steadily since we first launched the Transparency Report. In the first half of 2012, there were 20,938 inquiries from government entities around the world. Those requests were for information about 34,614 accounts"

UK: Criminal Records Bureau is changing (UK Home Office): "On 1 December 2012, CRB is merging with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) to become the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). The DBS was established under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 and will provide a joined up service to combine the criminal records and barring functions"

UK: Criminal records check firm TMG CRB meets GB Group's acquisition requirements (Growth Business): "Publicly-listed GB Group has acquired tmg.tv to access what it calls a 'growing market' for Criminal Records Bureau disclosure checks"

UK: From MI6 Al Qaeda plot to kill Gaddafi to spying on domestic dissent: An MI5 whistle blower's story (The Real News/YouTube): "Annie Machon: British intelligence agencies considered themselves above the law"

UK: Police launch mugshots database to catch criminals who move around the country (The Independent): "The photographs of millions of people are being put on a national police database for the first time next year to try to stop criminals escaping detection simply by moving around the country"



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