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News digest: 12 February 2013

Albania activists protest fatal riot verdict (Balkan Insight): "Activists rallied on Saturday in front of Tirana's main court, protesting against the acquittal of senior officers accused of killing three protestors in the January 21, 2011 riots." See also: US pans Albanian verdicts on proteters' deaths and Albanian judges accuse US of interference (Balkan Insight)

Bulgarian charge of Hezbollah bombing was an "assumption" (Inter Press Service): "Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov’s dramatic announcement Tuesday on the Bulgarian investigation of the July 2012 terror bombing of an Israeli tourist bus was initially reported by Western news media as suggesting clear evidence of Hezbollah’s responsibility for the killings"

CZECH REPUBLIC: Lower house passes EU-Iraq partnership agreement (Prague Daily Monitor): "The Czech Chamber of Deputies, like the Senate in end-January, passed Thursday an EU-Iraq partnership agreement that contains a commitment to cooperate in fighting and averting terrorism"

CZECH REPUBLIC: Nova TV: Swastika spray-painted on Václav Klaus Jr's school (Prague Daily Monitor)

CZECH REPUBLIC: Presidential amnesty applies to suspended sentences for far rightists (Prague Daily Monitor): "The Brno City Court has remitted suspended sentences imposed on six ultra-right radicals for their statements at a May Day rally in Brno in 2009 since the presidential amnesty applies to them, Workers' Party of Social Justice (DSSS) deputy head Jiri Stepanek told CTK Friday"

EU: BNP and far-right parties could lose European funding (BBC News): "The BNP and other far-right parties in Europe could lose their funding from Europe after a move from socialist, liberal and green MEPs"

EU: Commission's backstop power to interfere in data protection law enforcement good for business, it claims (Out-Law.com): "It would be "bad for business" if the European Commission did not have "backstop" powers to intervene whenever it felt that regulators across the EU were enforcing data protection laws inconsistently, the Commission has claimed"

Germany weapons case pits man against gun clubs (Deutsche Welle): "Does the "right to life" outweigh the right to shoot guns recreationally? Germany's constitutional court will soon decide. The case pits one man against Germany's gun clubs - and centuries of tradition"

Gemany's drone conundrum: 'New wars' demand new mindsets (Spiegel Online): "Germany's government recently announced plans to do a 180-degree policy shift by deploying armed drones in combat. It argues that remote-controlled killing machines are no different than any other weapons, but experts say the "new wars" have completely different -- and revolutionary -- rules"

GREECE: Afghan man killed in central Athens, suspect arrested (Ekathimerini): "A 47-year-old Georgian man has been arrested in central Athens on suspicion of killing a 28-year-old Afghan man"

GREECE: CIA's Kiriakou expresses doubts about agency, Greek terrorism (Ekathimerini): "John Kiriakou, the Greek-American CIA analyst who was sentenced last month to more than two years in jail for revealing the identity of a covert operative, has revealed to Kathimerini his thoughts about the possible emergence of new terrorist activity in Greece and his concerns about the future of the US intelligence agency." See also: Kiriakou says Greek gangs criminal, not terrorist (Greek Reporter)

GREECE: Coalition split over plans to change law governing strikes (Ekathimerini): "A report that the government is considering making changes to labor regulations that would make it more difficult for unions to call strikes has threatened unity in the coalition government"

GREECE: Hospital director removed after allowing Golden Dawn to check personal nurses (Ekathimerini): "The director of a public hospital in Tripoli, the Peloponnese, has been removed from her position after allowing members of Golden Dawn to enter the premises and check the details of private nurses"

GREECE: Migrants face prosecution for minor riot (Ekathimerini): "Eight undocumented immigrants faced a prosecutor in the northern city of Orestiada on Friday after being implicated in a minor riot that broke out on Thursday night in a detention center in Fylakio, near the Turkish border"

GREECE: Police deny terrorist, heist suspects tortured (Greek Reporter): "Greek law enforcement officials have reiterated their assertion that four men arrested for bank robberies and believed to belong to a terrorist cell were not beaten while in custody, despite photos that show they were clearly bruised and injured"

GREECE: Racist rally outside aid group's clinic fuels tension (Ekathimierini): "The main leftist opposition party SYRIZA on Friday launched a scathing attack against the ultra-right Golden Dawn following reports that around 60 of the party's supporters staged an anti-immigrant rally outside the offices of the aid group Doctors of the World in the rundown district of Perama, near the port of Piraeus, on Thursday"

GREECE: Villa Amalia to be revamped with EU funds, mayor says (Ekathimerini): "European Union structural funds will be used to renovate Villa Amalia, the squat that was cleared by police last month, Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis told Skai on Friday"

IRELAND: Martin ups pressure over wrong details given to UN body (Irish Independent): "Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin has upped the pressure on the Government on the Magdalene Laundries issue by pointing out that it gave wrong information on its role to a key UN body"

IRELAND: Tesco staff forced to wear arm monitors that track work rate (Irish Independent)

Kosovo urged to work on EU visa 'roadmap' (Balkan Insight): "The EU has urged Kosovo to strengthen its battle against organized crime and corruption as part of its drive to secure an eventual end to visa requirements"

'Nato cannot act as the world's policeman' (EUobserver): "Nato head Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said that the alliance would only take action against Syria if Turkey is attacked. Speaking to EUobserver in his office in Brussels last week, the secretary general of what calls itself "the word's most powerful military alliance," said he feels "frustration" when he hears about the "outrageous" human rights abuses being committed by Syrian forces. He said Nato is not going in because the UN has not asked it to"

NETHERLANDS: Man jailed for throwing tea light holder at queen wants compensation (Dutch News): "The man jailed for five months for throwing a glass tea light holder at the queen's golden coach in 2010 is demanding €100,000 compensation from the state for wrongful imprisonment"

NETHERLANDS: Police shot dead five people last year (Dutch News): "Dutch police shot dead five people last year and injured a further 19 in firearms incidents, according to public prosecution department figures"

Romania and Hungary row over minority flag (Balkan Insight): "Romania and Hungary have exchanged diplomatic accusations after Hungary's ambassador to Bucharest and other Hungarian officials complained that ethnic Hungarians were being bullied about flying a local flag"

UK: Does the state owe a duty to inform the wronged? (UK Human Rights Blog): "The Court of Appeal dismissed this claim by a children’s NGO for an order that the Secretary of State provide information to certain children to the effect that the SoS and his contractors had unlawfully used bodily restraint upon them whilst they were “trainees” in Secure Training Centres"

UK: Iraq war activists to get £4,000 compensation over 2003 protest (The Guardian): "Anti-war protesters who were prevented by police from attending a mass rally outside an RAF airbase have been awarded more than £4,000 each in compensation"

UK: Scottish councillors join in condemnation of gypsies and travellers (Institute of Race Relations): "Community councillors in Scotland have accused Gypsies and Travellers of self-segregation, claiming that the younger generations have a ‘chip on their shoulder’"

UK: Warwick's foreign staff may now see London without telling 'Big Brother' (Times Higher Education): "A university has dropped "intrusive" plans to monitor the location of foreign staff via an email system after it was denounced by unions as "Big Brother" surveillance."

UK: Web publishers responsible for 'inevitable database rights infringement of users, says Court of Appeal (Out-Law.com): "Website operators can be held responsible for database rights infringement by their users if that infringement was "inevitable" as a result of actions of the site operators, the Court of Appeal has said"

UK-ROMANIA: The truth about Romania's gypsies: Not coming here, not stealing our jobs (The Independent): "New Neighbours of 2014, Part 1: Right-wing politicians and media are stoking fears that Romanian Gypsies plan to flock to Britain. But the reality is very different, the residents of the country's worst slums tell Jerome Taylor"


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