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News digest: 7 January 2013

AUSTRIA: CCTV usage to be extended in underground (Austrian Times)

AUSTRIA: Votivkirche protest continues (Austrian Times): "Asylum seekers currently occupying the Votivkirche in Vienna, Austria, have now criticized the humanitarian organisation Caritas that has been supporting them"

BELARUS: One-armed man arrested for clapping (Lowering the Bar)

CZECH REPUBLIC: Presidential amnesty to affect 7,416 people (Prague Daily Monitor): "The Justice Ministry estimates the number of prisoners who will fall under the amnesty declared by Czech President Vaclav Klaus at 7,416, Justice Ministry press department told CTK yesterday." See also: Over 6,000 inmates leave prisons within presidential amnesty (Prague Daily Monitor)

EU urged not to reinstate visas for Balkans (Balkan Insight): "The European Stability Initiative, a think tank, says the EU does not need to reintroduce visas for the Western Balkans in order to reduce the flow of asylum seekers from the region"

EU: Video surveillance: what's trending in 2013? (Info 4 Security)

FRANCE: Mali crisis paving way for militant attacks on France - judge (AlertNet): "The insurgency that has seized the north of Mali is paving the way for attacks on France as more French Muslims of African origin are finding a cause in the conflict, Paris's top anti-terrorism judge warned on Sunday"

German weapons register to trace guns' 'life' (Deutsche Welle): "Germany's national gun register came into effect on January 1. Now we know that there are 5.5 million legally-owned weapons in Germany. But we know little about their "life-cycle." That could soon change"

GREECE: Battle lines drawn over Lagarde List probe (Greek Reporter): "A showdown is building over a pending investigation of former finance minister George Papaconstantinou’s handling of a list of 2,000 Greeks with deposits in secret accounts in a Swiss bank between the government and the major opposition party Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) which wants the probe expanded to other political leaders." See also: SYRIZA to make own proposal on Parliament inquiry into Lagarde list (Ekathimerini)

GREECE: Migrant teenager dies after knife attack (Ekathimerini): "An 18-year-old unidentified migrant died in the early hours of Sunday at a central Athens hospital after suffering fatal injuries during an attack"

GREECE: Officers among drug racket suspects facing magistrate (Ekathimerini): "Twenty-seven of the 29 suspected members of a massive drug dealing racket, including three police officers, faced an investigating magistrate in Thessaloniki on Wednesday." See also: Police drug racket suspects allege frame-up and Three policemen linked to drug ring (Ekathimerini)

IRELAND: Prison officers' union was ready to provoke prison riots, said official (Irish Times): "A Department of Justice official believed the Prison Officers’ Association (POA) was prepared to provoke prison riots during a dispute over proposed cutbacks in overtime in 1982"

Kosovo slaps visas on 87 countries (Balkan Insight): "Pristina says new regime will improve internal security and ease the path leading to eventual EU membership"

MALTA: Disabled inmates 'live at mercy of other prisoners' (Times of Malta): "Prisoners’ rights campaigners have backed up claims by lawyer Tonio Azzopardi that the Corradino Correctional Facility is “totally unprepared” for physically disabled inmates"

NETHERLANDS: Amsterdam's plan to resettle "antisocial tenants" in containment camps set to begin this month (Truthout): "Amsterdam is famous for liberal policies such as those that help it attract tourists who want to buy sex and smoke pot in coffee shops, but now it has announced an illiberal social containment and human disposability scheme to house what the Dutch are calling "antisocial tenants""

NETHERLANDS: Prosecutors, police unions criticise fast-track New Year trials (Dutch News): "Police unions are disappointed in the result of super fast-track court hearings for people arrested during the New Year festivities, after judges handed down lower sentences than called for by prosecutors"

NORTHERN IRELAND: Belfast flags trouble: Fourth night of street violence (BBC News): "Police in east Belfast have faced a fourth consecutive night of loyalist violence over a decision to limit the days the union flag flies over City Hall." See also: Belfast counts the cost of flag protests (BBC News) and Police chief warns flag protest mob (Irish Independent): "Loyalist violence over the flying of the union flag will be firmly dealt with for as long as necessary, Northern Ireland's police chief declared after a fourth night of rioting"

POLAND: Security chief's resignation due to conflict with prime minister? (The News): "Prime Minister Donald Tusk has accepted the resignation of the chief of Poland's Internal Security Agency (ABW), General Krzysztof Bondaryk. Jan Krzysztof Bielecki, an MP on the parliamentary committee for special services, has suggested that there were “differences of opinion” between Bondaryk and Tusk regarding prospective reforms of the agency"

SPAIN: Military officials to face trial for diverting public funds (El Pais): "A court martial will try six military officials for allegedly diverting nearly 300,000 euros in Defense Ministry funds meant to buy cafeteria food for the San Hermenegildo student residence in Seville in the period 2005-2009. Two colonels, two majors, one captain and a sub-lieutenant, as well as two businessmen, face up to six years in prison"

TURKEY: US troops arrive in Turkey to man NATO Patriot missiles (Global Post): "US troops began arriving in Turkey to man the Patriot missile systems from NATO expected to help the country repel any missile attacks or aircraft from neighboring Syria." See also: Nato deploying Patriot missiles to Turkey-Syria border (BBC News) and Dutch Patriot missile systems leave for Turkey (Dutch News)

UK: Cameron wants 'restrictions' put on EU freedom of movement (EurActiv): "UK Prime Minister David Cameron said yesterday (6 January) that he would “look at arguments” to make it harder for nationals from EU countries to settle in Britain and claim social security benefits." See also: David Cameron says UK is "perfectly entitled" to reset EU limits (Global Post)

UK: Capita wrongly telling people to leave the UK (Institute of Race Relations): "Outsourcing of enforcement role causes confusion and distress as many are wrongly targeted"

UK: Deport first, appeal second (UK Human Rights Blog)

UK: Hillsborough: The end of the beginning for campaign for justice for the 96? (The Justice Gap): "I have never been able to view Hillsborough with the dispassionate eye lawyers are supposed to bring to bear, writes Mark George QC. That’s probably because long before I ever thought of becoming a lawyer I had already caught the football bug myself"

UK: Morton Hall concerns raised after Christmas disturbances (The Guardian): "Fears expressed over immigration detention centre in Lincolnshire following injuries to staff and detainees." See also: Morton Hall riot was 'exaggerated', independent board claims (BBC News)

UK: Protest vigil: Stop deaths in police custody (Institute of Race Relations)

UK: Scotland Gives ‘Landmark’ Rights to Homeless People (The Epoch Times): "Legislation aiming at effectively ending homelessness across Scotland has come into effect this week. Any Scot who has become homeless through no fault of their own can receive accommodation, the new law states, according to the Daily Record newspaper. In the past, it was only people with children and other priority groups who had that right." See also: ‘Dickensian’ proposals to outlaw begging in Aberdeen condemned (The Scotsman)

UK: Sussex police: “If you intend to quit protesting, then tonight’s the night to do it.” (Netpol): "A tweet sent by Sussex Police Liaison on New Years Eve has angered campaigners, as it appears to show a less than positive attitude towards the right to protest." See also: Anger over police's 'quit protesting' tweet (The Argus)

UK: 'We're happy to help MI5 - but coercing us to spy is unacceptable': British Somalis say intelligence agents asking for too much (The Independent): "It's not just Mo Farah who gets stopped at the airport – but, as prominent Somalis tell Jerome Taylor, the security services' 'use of threats' is alienating the whole community"

USA: Ex-officer is first from CIA to face prison for a leak (New York Times)

USA: Groups Decry Obama’s Failure to Close Guantanamo (Inter Press Service)



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