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News digest: 1 February 2013
sentences sought for Albanian protesters' deaths (Balkan
Insight): "Prosecutors asked a Tirana court on Wednesday
to jail two former Republican Guard officers for a total of 48
years imprisonment for killing protesters in the January 21,
CZECH REPUBLIC: Labour
Ministry will have to change S-Card system (Prague Daily
Monitor): "The Labour and Social Affairs Ministry must
remove the mistakes in the project of electronic social cards
(sCards) by the end of June so that it does not violate the law
on the protection of personal data, the Personal Protection Data
Office (UOOU) said yesterday"
CZECH REPUBLIC: MfD:
Some prisoners wrongly freed under presidential amnesty (Prague
Daily Monitor): "Czech judges have by mistake released
minimally three prisoners to whom the amnesty that outgoing President
Vaclav Klaus announced on New Year's Day does not apply, daily
Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) writes yesterday"
Skype eavesdrop on your calls? (Sydney Morning Herald):
"Does Skype let police and authorities spy on users'
conversations? That's the question a wide group of advocacy organisations
including the Electronic Frontier Foundation as well as Reporters
Without Borders, and many activists and journalists, are asking
in an open letter published online." See: Open
Letter to Skype
for gay Afghan man sets precedent (The Copenhagen Post):
"For the first time ever, the refugee appeals board granted
asylum to a gay man because of the risk of persecution his sexuality
poses if he returns home"
to support border management in Libya (New Europe): "The
Council of Europe today approved the crisis management concept
for a new civilian Common Security and Defence Policy mission
to promote capacity building for border management in Libya."
See: Council of the European Union: EU
prepares support to border management in Libya (press
states unite to tackle EU asylum concerns (Balkan Insight):
"Six Western Balkan states have vowed to cooperate in
solving the problem of illegal immigrants to EU countries, following
threats to reintroduce visas to the region"
police 'smash people-smuggling ring' (BBC News): "Police
have arrested 103 people suspected of being part of a "major
people-smuggling criminal network", says EU police agency
Europol." See: Major
people smuggling criminal network dismantled across Europe -
103 suspects arrested (Europol)
Transparency Report for second half of 2012 shows European government
attempts to access private data at an all-time high (Privacy
International): "Requests by European governments for
the browsing history, email communications, documents and IP
addresses of Google's users have skyrocketed since the Transparency
Report was launched three years ago"
call for a post-accession monitoring of Croatia (euinside):
"A monitoring mechanism to be imposed on Croatia after
its accession to the EU to evaluate the track record of conflict
of interest, corruption and organised crime, as well as the implementation
of the plan for reform of the judiciary, Romanian MEP Monica
Luisa Macovei (EPP) proposes"
Neutrality: Neelie Kroes Yields to Operator Pressure
(La Quadrature du Net): "In an Op-Ed in Libération
(in French), Neelie Kroes, the European Commissioner for Internet-related
policies, can be found giving in to telecom operator pressure
and giving up on Net Neutrality. Ms. Kroes supports the creation
of a fragmented Internet, banning innovation and opening the
door to unacceptable censorship"
EU: PRESS FREEDOM: Greece
drops to 84th place in press freedom index (Ekathimerini)
: "Levels of press freedom in Greece have deteriorated substantially
over the past year, according to Reporters Without Borders, which
ranked the country 84th out of 179 in its 2013 Press Freedom
Index published Wednesday." See also: The
Netherlands second on press freedom rankings (Dutch News);
tops press freedom list in Balkans; Macedonian
media alarmed by falling freedom rating (Balkan Insight);
World Press Freedom Index: Dashed hopes after spring (press
report (pdf), and map
(jpeg) (Reporters Without Borders)
set to depot hard-line imams (France 24): "French
Interior Minister Manuel Valls has said that a handful of radical
imams will be expelled from the country in the coming days as
part of ongoing efforts to deport foreign-born preachers who
"refer to the need to fight against France""
report on arms exports reveals little (Deutsche Welle):
"Critics says the government's report on arms exports
lacks transparency: exporting companies are not named, and government
sales are merely summarized. Yet the government claims it's in-depth
an everyday phenomenon (Deutsche Welle): "As
Germany marks 80 years since the Nazis came to power, German
Jews still have to put up with anti-Semitism. Has calling Jews
names and telling mean jokes become socially acceptable?"
of the crisis: German schools struggle with wave of immigrants
(Spiegel Online): "Germany is experiencing a well-documented
boom in immigrants from countries hard-hit by the euro crisis.
Less visible, however, are their children. They rarely have any
knowledge of German, and schools are struggling to meet their
zones: Map will detail Germany's neo-Nazi hotspots (Spiegel
Online): "A German nonprofit organization is set to launch
an interactive map that will show where neo-Nazi activities are
concentrated across the country. Designed as a research tool,
it also has relevance for the broader public, who may use it
in a manner similar to crime map websites"
Greek strikes on Jan. 31 (Greek Reporter): "Despite
the breaking of a Metro strike that quelled unrest for a time,
the Greek government is bracing for a 24-hour strike of transport
and health care workers on Jan. 31 to protest government plans
to reform the sectors"
protesters storm Athens office of labour minister (BBC
News): "Protesters in Greece have stormed the Athens
offices of a government minister in the latest demonstration
against austerity measures." See also: PAME
unionists occupy Labour Minister's office (Ekathimerini)
clash with protesters over waste processing tenders (Ekathimerini):
"Protesters clashed with police outside a department
of the Attica Prefecture on Tuesday morning, following the launch
of a tender for the management of the disputed Fylis and Ano
Liosia landfills in northwestern Athens"
to gain right to seize suspects' money (Ekathimerini):
"The government plans to pass a law that will allow it
to seize any money generated by corruption or other criminal
activity and transfer it to state coffers"
opposition leader seeks conference on debt (The New York
Times): "The 38-year-old leftist opposition leader in
Greece who could become its next prime minister on a wave of
simmering popular fury over the governments austerity measures,
called on Friday for a European summit meeting to ease the crushing
debts that threaten not only his country but all of Europe"
as homeless occupy vacant building (The Budapest Times):
"Police made 28 arrests on Saturday night after protesters
ignored repeated warnings to vacate an empty council-owned property
on Csányi utca (street) in District VII"
for advertisers to boycott right-wing newspapers (The
Budapest Times): "FedEx, Erste Bank, Ikea and Vodafone
are among 15 major firms that were asked this week by a coalition
of NGOs not to advertise in the right-wing newspaper Magyar Hírlap.
The move is a response to an opinion piece published by the paper
on 5 January in which columnist Zsolt Bayer described a significant
part of Hungarys Roma population as animals"
kicked off Roma murders trial (The Budapest Times): "The
deputy defence lawyer for one of four men accused of the serial
murder of Roma villagers has been taken off the case after it
was revealed he is the son of a judge who had dealt with the
case at an earlier stage"
judicial reform has 'loopholes' (EUobserver): "Hungarian
reform proposals designed to revamp controversial judiciary legislation
Donaldson: fresh inquiry into murder of British spy within Sinn
Féin (The Guardian): "A new inquiry has
been opened up into the murder of top Sinn Féin administrator
and British spy Denis Donaldson. Donaldson was a key aide of
Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams even though he was secretly
working for the British state inside both the IRA and the party"
plan mass demonstrations over 'last chance' for a debt deal
(Irish Independent): "Up to 100,000 demonstrators are
expected to hit streets across the country next month in a last-ditch
appeal to Europe to ease Ireland's debt burden"
mixed feelings about Fascism (BBC News): "The
ghost of Benito Mussolini, Italy's 20th Century Fascist dictator
and Duce, dead and gone now for almost 70 years, is still stalking
the country's politics"
crisis: 330 UK military personnel sent to West Africa (BBC
News): "The UK is to deploy about 330 military personnel
to Mali and West Africa to support French forces, No 10 has said"
opens new border posts (Magharebia): "The new
Rosso border post will help security... The new post is one of
eleven financed by the EU, in partnership with the International
Organisation for Migration (IOM) and Mauritania's Territorial
court ruling means 111 psychiatric prisoners may be released
(Dutch News): "Some 111 people currently held in
secure psychiatric clinics may have to be released when their
four-year detention is up because of a ruling by the European
Court of Human Rights, according to justice ministry research."
children in the Netherlands move home once a year (Dutch
News): "The children of asylum seekers move home on average
once for every year they are in the Netherlands, according to
a new report by refugee groups"
Ireland peace centre 'will generate £100m a year' (The
Guardian): "A new EU-funded peace and reconciliation
centre on the site of the former Maze/Long Kesh prison will generate
£100m per year for Northern Ireland, Martin McGuinness
NORTHERN IRELAND: European
peace money discussed at Brussels conference (BBC News):
"The first minister and deputy first ministers are in
Brussels attending a conference on the impact of European Union
peace money in Northern Ireland"
NGO concerned about child asylum-seeker disappeances (The
Foreigner): "Staff at PRESS Save the Children Youth Norway
expresses worry over what they see as substandard police work
regarding investigating minors who have vanished from asylum
doubts pace of Romanian judicial reform (Balkan Insight):
"Romanian leader Victor Ponta has downplayed the concerns
about judicial independence voiced in a European Commission report,
saying most of its points have been addressed." See
also: EU still
unhappy with Romania's rule of law (EUobserver)
inquiry to probe NATO bombing of TV (Balkan Insight):
"A new commission set up to probe killings of journalists
in the 1990s wants to re-examine NATO's deadly air strike on
Serbia's public broadcaster during the Kosovo war"
court convicts man for Hitler salute (The Local): "A
man who performed a Nazi salute in a park in southern Sweden
has been convicted of racial agitation by a Malmö court,
the first time in three years a local resident has been convicted
of a hate crime"
SWEDEN: 'Swedish foreign ministry not transparent
enough' (The Local): "Sweden's Ministry
of Foreign Affairs has been criticized for not respecting freedom
of information laws in a new overview by the parliamentary committee
on constitutional affairs"
breach of human rights: Court of Appeal rules CRB check law must
go (The Independent): "A major overhaul of the
criminal records regime could be required after three judges
ruled that the current system breached human rights. The Court
of Appeal today said that a blanket requirement for some job
seekers to supply details of all convictions - even minor offences
that were spent and went back decades - was unlawful and amounted
to a breach of the right to a private and family life."
See also: Judges
rule CRB checks 'incompatible' with Human Rights Act (BBC
News) and Judgement
moots blocking health access for EU migrants (EUobserver):
"EU migrants could be prevented from using Britain's
National Health Service (NHS) under government measures to dissuade
Romanian and Bulgarian citizens moving to the UK"
used by construction firms to disrupt environmental protests
(The Guardian): "Industry found to have files on
more than 200 activists, provided by security services or police
prompting calls for official inquiry"
to work with Algeria on counter-terrorism, says David Cameron
(The Guardian): "Britain will offer to work alongside
Algerian forces on counter-terrorism as part of a joint security
partnership announced by David Cameron in Algiers on Wednesday
evening." See also: Britain
forges new Algeria alliance to fight terrorism (The Independent)
Commonwealth Games organisers propose to ban asylum seekers from
volunteering (Migrants' Rights Network): "The
organisers of the Commonwealth Games, which will take place next
in Glasgow, have provoked controversy by announcing that asylum
seekers will not be eligible to act as volunteers when the event
is underway in 2014"
Clarke: Government 'opting back in' to 30 EU justice laws
(The Telegraph): "Speaking to BBC Radio 4s
Today programme, Mr Clarke, the Minister without Portfolio, announced
that ministers will opt back into 30 EU measures
that will impact the UKs justice system"
reserved in John Catt protester records case (BBC News):
"Judgment has been reserved in the case of a Brighton
man who wants records of his political activities removed from
a police "extremism" database." See also:
Catt takes protester records case to Court of Appeal
Judge 'troubled' by court camera plan (Law Society Gazette):
"The lord chief justice has voiced opposition to the
governments plan to allow the filming of sentencing in
the Crown court"
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