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News digest: 20 February 2014

Albania Opposition to Rally in Tirana (Balkan Insight): "Announcing the rally in Tirana, Albania's former Democratic Party Prime Minister, Sali Berisha, said Edi Rama's new left-of-centre government had based "everything on deception, falsity and violence against the opposition and the people”."

BALKANS: Living Again With the Ways of Tito and Stalin (Inter Press Service): "One of the best kept secrets of former Yugoslavia is out in the open after the online release of the names of 16,101 inmates of Goli Otok, or the Naked Island, the country’s only gulag – a Soviet system of forced labour camps – created 65 years ago."

BALKANS: Regional whistleblowers lack protection, support (SETimes.com): "Lack of support and protection from authorities are the main reasons that whistleblowers do not come forward to report crime and corruption in public institutions, according to employees in the region."

Belgian Court victory for Ali Aarrass (International State Crime Initiative): "Excellent news for all the Friends of Ali Aarrass: a Brussels court has ordered the Belgian Foreign Affairs Ministry to provide Ali with the consular assistance he is entitled to expect as a Belgian citizen, which has been denied him throughout his ordeal."

BELGIUM: NSA and GCHQ spoofed LinkedIn to hack Belgian cryptography professor (Gigaom): "Jean-Jacques Quisquater says the Belgian federal police tipped him off that he had been hacked in an attack related to that on telco Belgacom, which fell victim to GCHQ last year."

BOSNIA: Protests continue in Sarajevo (dalje.com): "A small group of anti-government demonstrators blocked traffic in central Sarajevo again on Wednesday, reiterating their demands for resignations and seeking more social justice throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH)." See also: EU enlarg. comm. arrives in Sarajevo for talks with political leaders; USA warns Bosnian politicians not to manipulate protests; Bosnian journalists complain of police pressure (dalje.com); Plenum in Bosnian Capital Finalises Demands (Balkan Insight)

BULGARIA: 600 km of Razor Wire Needed for Bulgarian-Turkish Border Fence (Novinite): "The 30 km fence at the border between Bulgaria and Turkey will require 600 km razor wire, 12 000 posts, 4 000 m³ concrete and 30 km chain-link fence." See: Bulgaria Begins Construction of Border Fence with Turkey (Novinite) and Bulgaria is carefully weighing sums and time limits for construction of fence along border with Turkey: Interior Minister (Focus Information Agency)

BULGARIA: Interior Ministry Will Not Tolerate Racist Acts, Says Chief Secretary (Novinite): "No manifestations of xenophobia or racist agitation will be tolerated by the Interior Ministry, claims its chief secretary Svetlozar Lazarov."

BULGARIA: Number of Surveillance Requests in Bulgaria On the Rise (Novinite): "An increasing number of Bulgarians' phone calls and internet communications are of interest to Bulgaria's law enforcement agencies." See also: Bulgarian Wiretapping Agency Employee Arrested for Information Leaks (Novinite) and The use and misuse of telephone taps and communications data by Bulgarian intelligence by Alexander Kashumov (Statewatch Analysis, pdf)

BULGARIA: Sofia Blocked By Protests On Wednesday (Novinite)

Bulgarian Roma Protest as Appellate Court Releases Killer (Novinite): "Bulgarian guard accused of murder was released on bail Tuesday triggering off immense reactions among supporters and protesters outside the Sofia Court House."

CROATIA: Low turnout at protests in Zagreb, Osijek and Rijeka (dalje.com): "During a protest organised in Zagreb via Facebook on Saturday, police arrested 12 protesters, including a drunken protester who had attacked a police officer."

CROATIA: Number of Croatian complaints at European Court of Human Rights up 78% (dalje.com): "The number of complaints filed by Croatian citizens against the state with the European Court of Human Rights increased in 2012 by 45% from the previous year, and in 2013 it rose by 78%, Croatia's legal representative at the European Court of Human Rights, Stefica Staznik, said in Parliament on Friday."

CYPRUS: Our View: Immigration department appears to be accountable to no one (Cyprus Mail): "The Immigration Department’s arbitrary actions and other excesses have been well-documented over the years. The ombudswoman, deputies, immigrant support groups and the media have reported countless cases of the department’s heavy handedness and systematic abuses of power; there was even a public falling out between a former interior minister and the head of the department, over the handling of specific cases."

DENMARK: Asylum centres closing nationwide (The Copenhagen Post): "Six asylum centres around the country are now set to close. The two primary reasons behind the move is that asylum applications are being processed much faster and more rejected asylum seekers have voluntarily left the country."

DENMARK: Top officials leave PET (The Copenhagen Post): "Two of the highest-ranking board members of domestic intelligence agency PET resigned with immediate effect yesterday, Ekstra Bladet tabloid reports."

EU: Corruption across EU 'breathtaking' - EU Commission (BBC News): "The extent of corruption in Europe is "breathtaking" and it costs the EU economy at least 120bn euros (£99bn) annually, the European Commission says."

EU: Hungary preparing for potential refugee inflow from Ukraine, says spokesman (Politics.hu): "Members of the Visegrad Four grouping, including Hungarian authorities, are monitoring the situation in Ukraine, with special regard to the Hungarian minority living in Transcarpathia, Andras Giro-Szasz, the government spokesman, told MTI on Wednesday." See also: Tusk: Poland must prepare for Ukrainian refugees (The News)

EU: Libya refuses to cooperate with refugee workers in EU-funded mission (Malta Today): "Despite millions in funding to Libya to guard borders, refugees’ rights are not being respected"

EU: Merkel Warns Against Rush to Punish Switzerland for Immigration Vote (Novinite)

EU: Over 450,000 asylum applications in Europe in 2013 (EUobserver); Migrants risking lives in Mediterranean topped 45,000 in 2013: IOM (International Organization for Migration)

EU: The Netherlands, Sweden, Britain refuse to sign off EU 2012 books (Dutch News): "The Netherlands, Britain and Sweden on Tuesday voted against approving the EU's accounts for 2012 because of an increase in mis-spending."

EU: Victims unprotected as traffickers walk free (EUobserver): "The top suits in Brussels couldn’t be more in agreement: human trafficking is modern-day slavery and needs to be stamped out with force. Swedish prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt even made it the surprise topic of his annual Christmas speech. Yet the number of convictions for human trafficking turns out to be shockingly low. And while trafficking is on the rise, the conviction rate is actually declining."

FINLAND: ECHR: Photographer’s arrest did not breach right to free expression (YLE)

France accepts role in 'stolen children' scandal (The Local): "France finally accepted responsibility on Tuesday for its role in a dark chapter of the country's recent history that saw some 1,600 children taken from their homes and parents on the island of Reunion, and sent to live in the French countryside."

FRANCE: 'First ever' bill proposes legal cannabis in France (The Local): "France is no Amsterdam when it comes to marijuana laws, in fact it has some of the toughest possession statutes in Europe, but a first of its kind bill proposed this week could change that. The lawmaker behind the legislation tells The Local why marijuana should be legalized in France."

FRANCE: 'Foreign accents make it harder' to find French flat (The Local): "A new study published on Monday may strike a chord with those foreigners who have found it hard to find a flat. The research found that a person with a foreign acccent was subject to discrimination when enquiring about flats to rent."

FRANCE: Map plots French Jewish children taken by Nazis (The Local): "A new interactive online map has helped visualize the horror of the Holocaust for French Jews by marking the address of every one of the 11,458 Jewish children deported from France between July 1942 and August 1944."

FRANCE: Paris mayoral hopeful wants immigrant ID cards ‘like in New York'’ (France 24): "A pledge by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio to provide ID cards to undocumented workers has inspired a French left-wing candidate running for Paris mayor to make the policy a part of her manifesto."

FRANCE: Retiree stripped of French citizenship over technicality (France 24): "Sikhou Camara was naturalized a French citizen in 1966. Yet the recent discovery of a minute administrative error made 45 years ago means that he and his family may suddenly be re-classified as immigrants."

FRANCE: The Spindoctor Behind the New Front National (Spiegel Online): "France's right-wing populist party Front National stands to make significant advances in upcoming local elections and in the European vote in May. One reason for its current success is 32-year-old chief strategist Florian Philippot."

FRANCE: Ukrainian refugee activist ‘bound and stabbed’ in France (France 24): "A Ukrainian political refugee living in France has been attacked by a masked assailant who questioned him about his human rights activities and stole the hard disc from his computer, Amnesty International said Friday."

France's 'eternal inmate' released after 38 years (The Local): "One French criminal's prison sentence just kept growing until he became the longest serving inmate in the country's history. On Friday he was finally freed after spending most of the last four decades behind bars. But what did he do to deserve it and what now?"

French journalist "hacks" govt by inputting correct URL, later fined $4,000+ (ars technica): "A Google search turned up public files that Olivier Laurelli is accused of publishing."

French tycoon Dassault in custody for 'vote-buying' (France 24): "French industrialist billionaire and Senator Serge Dassault was detained Wednesday for alleged vote-buying in his former fiefdom south of Paris. He faces renewed questioning Thursday after having been released for the night."

Germany Considers Counterespionage Against US (Spiegel Online): "Unsatisfied with the lack of answers provided by Washington in the NSA spying scandal, officials in Berlin are considering a new approach. Germany might begin counterespionage measures aimed at allies." See also: 'Not shocked if Germany spied on us' (Deutsche Welle): "Americans would not be shocked if they found out that German intelligence services monitored them, former CIA Director John McLaughlin tells DW. He also explains why he feels mass surveillance is justified."

GLOBAL: Reporters without Borders: 'Security interests threaten press freedom' (Deutsche Welle): " Security authorities are increasingly hindering the work of journalists. Even Western democracies are no exception. Reporters without Borders warns that this gives the wrong signal to undemocratic countries." See: World Press Freedom Index 2014 (Reporters Without Borders)

GREECE: Another body found off Farmakonisi, taking total to 10 (Ekathimerini): "The bodies of three of the undocumented migrants who drowned off the Dodecanese island of Farmakonisi last month were located by coast guard divers late on Tuesday."

GREECE: Athens police think burned man was involved in migrant trafficking (Ekathimerini): "Police in Athens on Wednesday were seeking to establish the identity of a charred corpse discovered in the trunk of a burned vehicle in a remote part of Paiania, eastern Attica."

GREECE: British Government Funds Greece’s Project for Voluntary Return of Migrants (Greek Reporter): "The Greek Minister of Public order and Citizen Protection, Nikos Dendias, jointly with the British Ambassador, John Kittmer, announced the launch of a 2 million pound assistance program for the voluntary return and reintegration of undocumented migrants to their countries of origin."

GREECE: Gold Mine Protesters Injured after Confrontation with Greek Police (Greek Reporter): "A confrontation that took place between locals and Greek police on Thursday, February 19, in Skouries, northern Greece, resulted in injuries. The locals were protesting against the gold mining."

GREECE: Nine in 10 NGOs ‘problematical,’ says corruption watchdog (Ekathimerini): "Nine out of 10 nongovernmental organizations subjected to checks by tax office officials appear “problematical” but are not necessarily guilty of fraud, the head of the country’s public administration watchdog said on Wednesday in the wake of a scandal embroiling a de-mining NGO in a 9-million-euro fraud scandal."

GREECE: Police detain journalist for divulging 'military secrets' (Enet English): " Police detained journalist Popi Christodoulidou on the orders of a prosecutor, Panagiota Fakou, over a report claiming coastguard divers are involved in guarding sensitive sites along with the police, despite the fact that the law does not provide for that "

GREECE-TURKEY: Turkey, Greece increase anti-terrorism efforts (SETimes.com): "The arrest in Athens of Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) leader Huseyin Fevzi Tekin and three other Turkish citizens in a February 10th raid highlighted the importance of regional counter-terrorism co-operation, experts said."

Greek, black and proud: the village in Greece with African roots (Enet English): "The village of Avato, in the northeastern prefecture of Xanthi, is home to a unique community whose ancestors are believed to have come to Greece from Sudan during Ottoman rule."

Hungarian consul in Riyadh replaced after suspicious growth of issued EU visas (Atlatszo.hu)

Hungary again rejects asylum appeal by former Ukrainian deputy (Politics.hu): "Hungary’s immigration authority BAH has turned down for the second time an appeal for political asylum by former Ukrainian lawmaker Oleksandr Shepeliev and his wife, the couple’s attorney told MTI on Monday."

HUNGARY: Chief Rabbi: Left-wing seeks to “use Jews” for votes (Budapest Business Journal): "Those who found something slightly odd about Esztergom mayor Éva Tétényi’s claim that she could do nothing to stop the planned meeting of far-right wing party Jobbik in a former synagogue last week got some confirmation of the thought yesterday: In the estimation of Hungary’s Chief Rabbi Baruch Oberlander, Tétényi essentially encouraged the forum to go forth in an attempt to win Jewish votes for the left in Hungary’s upcoming parliamentary elections."

HUNGARY: Fidesz again torpedos law on communist-era spying (Politics.hu): "Ruling party Fidesz last week rebuffed a request by small opposition party LMP to put a proposed law on communist-era espionage on parliament’s agenda, index.hu reports. As the current term of parliament is now over and LMP is seen as unlikely to clear the 5% electoral threshold needed to enter the next parliament it is possible that efforts to enact such a law may be stalled indefinitely."

HUNGARY: Jewish leader condemns Jobbik politician’s Holocaust remarks (Politics.hu): "A Jewish leader in the east Hungarian city of Debrecen has protested against a remark by a radical nationalist Jobbik politician suggestive of Holocaust denial." See also: Hungary’s ambassador summoned to Israeli foreign ministry

HUNGARY: Minister’s Former Security Company Flourishes on State Contracts (Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project): "Sándor Pintér, Hungary’s Minister of the Interior, says he has no links with the private security firm that he sold in 2010 and that has continued to gain one lucrative government contract after another."

HUNGARY: Radical nationalists hurl EU flags through Parliament window (Politics.hu): "A deputy of the radical nationalist Jobbik party and an independent lawmaker removed two European Union banners from Parliament’s assembly hall and threw them out of the building through a window to Kossuth Square on Thursday."

HUNGARY: Supreme Court rules employee mobiles can’t be tracked without consent (Atlatszo.hu)

Iceland Among Countries Urged To Prosecute Assange (The Reykjavík Grapevine): "Iceland cited among countries pressured by the US and UK government to prosecute Wikileaks founder following the exposure of the Afghanistan war logs, reports The Intercept. "

ICELAND: Health Minister "Very Supportive" Of Decriminalising Drugs (The Reykjavík Grapevine): "Minister of Health Kristján Þór Júlíusson surprised many attendees at a meeting of young conservatives by expressing his support for re-examining Iceland's drug laws." See also: Drug De-Criminalisation Discussion Picks Up

IRELAND: Archbishop warns against racist ghettos proliferating in Ireland (Irish Independent): "Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin has warned Irish society it must be alert to the first signs of racism and xenophobia."

IRELAND: Garda Ombudsman headquarters reportedly bugged (breakingnews.ie): "The headquarters of the Garda Ombudsman Commission has reportedly been targeted by a secret bugging operation." See: Shatter orders report into bugging of Garda Ombudsman office (Irish Post); Watchdog's fears of bugging 'based on its feelings' and Insomnia boss Bobby Kerr 'shaken not stirred' over GSOC bugging controversy (Irish Independent)

IRELAND: 'No justice yet' for Magdalene survivors (Irish Independent): " Former Magdalene women laid wreaths at the gates of Leinster House yesterday in protest at what they called the Government's inadequate response to their plight."

IRELAND: PSNI not to disclose information relating to murder of prison office David Black as it could jeopardise investigation (Irish Independent): " The PSNI will not disclose material relating to the murder of Northern Ireland prison officer David Black because it could jeopardise the ongoing investigation into the killing, the Special Criminal Court in Dublin heard today."

ITALY: Renzi takeover is a 'blow to democracy' for Italians (The Local): "Italy's prime minister-designate Matteo Renzi has taken a battering in opinion polls even before he takes office, with many unhappy about his grab for power."

ITALY: Senate gives final approval to jail over-crowding decree (Gazzetta del Sud): "Italy's Senate gave final approval to a new law Wednesday aimed at reducing notorious overcrowding in the country's prison system by releasing some inmates early. By a vote of 147 to 95, the decree was approved on second reading but its measures have been controversial."

ITALY: Transport minister slams 'terrorist' threat against TAV line (ANSA.IT): "talian Transport Minister Maurizio Lupi on Wednesday condemned a "terrorist" threat against a high-speed rail (TAV) link between Italy and France, saying militant group NOA were besmirching the memory of northern Italian WWII Resistance fighters." See also: No TAV movement disassociates itself from militant threat and Militants threaten 'armed struggle' on rail link

MACEDONIA: Convicted paedophiles in Macedonia face chemical castration (The Guardian): "Macedonia's parliament has adopted a bill imposing chemical castration on repeat offenders convicted of sexually abusing children – but the country's leading child protection group says the law is still too lenient."

Macedonian Police Clash With Protesters Over Unpaid Bonuses (Balkan Insight): "A protest in Skopje by several hundred ex-workers in state firms that went bankrupt during the transition to a free market economy escalated after they received word that no one from the government was willing to talk to them."

MALTA: ‘No anti-Semitism case ever reported in Malta’ - Speaker (The Malta Independent): " Speaker of the House Ang.lu Farrugia today had a courtesy visit from John Mann MP, Chair of the UK’s All Party Parliamentary Group against Anti-Semitism and of the Steering Committee of the Inter-Parliamentary Coalition for Combating Anti-Semitism."

MALTA: Ministry: 230 more policemen needed (Times of Malta): "Some 230 extra police officers are needed to keep up with the challenges of crime and misdemeanour, according to the Home Affairs Ministry."

Montenegro Reopens Editor’s Murder Investigation (Balkan Insight): "Prosecutors in Podgorica have relaunched a probe into the unsolved murder of Dusko Jovanovic, editor-in-chief of the opposition newspaper Dan, who was shot dead ten years ago."

MONTENEGRO: 20 Arrested after Anti-Govt Protest in Montenegro Capital (Novinite): "9 police officers were injured and 20 were arrested during an anti-government protest in Montenegro's capital Podgorica." See also: Police disperse protesters in Podgorica (dalje.com)

NETHERLANDS: Dutch government kept quiet for months about intelligence agencies' role in data harvesting (The Amsterdam Herald): "Home affairs minister Ronald Plasterk has admitted he knew for months that Dutch intelligence agencies were harvesting data from international phone calls."

NETHERLANDS: Most Dutch councils ignore ban on marijuana sales to tourists (Dutch News): "Tourists are still able to buy marijuana in 85% of the Netherlands' cannabis cafes despite the national ban on selling soft drugs to non-residents, according to Tilburg University researcher Nicole Maalsté." See also: Appeal court upholds fines for Maastricht coffeeshops that flouted 'no tourists' rule (The Amsterdam Herald)

NETHERLANDS: Police arrest 13 after raid on Amsterdam spyware shop (Dutch News)

NORTHERN IRELAND: Top policing job criteria changed (The Detail): "The Justice Minister is set to change long-standing criteria for the position of Northern Ireland’s Chief Constable, potentially widening the pool of candidates to replace Matt Baggott."

Norway arms exports face tightening (The Foreigner): " Centre-Left politicians agree to ask government to restrict sales of Norwegian-produced components. Arms industry interest organisation players fear repercussions." See also: Norway ratifies UN Arms Trade Treaty (The Norway Post)

NORWAY: Progress party wants referendum on immigrants versus welfare state (The Norway Post)

Norwegian Immigration Appeals Board faces new court case (The Foreigner): "Deported asylum seekers are suing officials for allegedly contravening European legislation and abuse of power."

POLAND: CIA spy Kuklinski legacy still divides Poles (The News): " A new Polish film has prompted politicians and public figures to debate whether a colonel who defected to the US during the 1970s deserves to be honoured by his home country."

PORTUGAL: Lisbon: Thousands join anti-austerity march over 2014 budget (Euronews)

ROMANIA: New Romanian drone regulation raises questions among users (Romania-Insider.com): "Romanian authorities have decided that drones weighting less than 150 kilos should be registered and insured before being used in Romania."

Romanian journalists challenge EU opinion on media freedom (EUobserver): "The European Commission last week said Romanian media have made a “step forward,” but leading journalists disagree."

SERBIA: Minority councils protest court ruling in Serbia (SETimes.com): "The question of minority rights in Serbia is one of the country's most important issues on its road to EU accession, but some say that a recent decision by the constitutional court threatens progress on the issue. "

Serbian Parties Warned Over Misuse of Voters' Data (Balkan Insight): "Serbia's Public Information Commissioner has warned that parties are breaking the law if they tap into official databases to target voters."

SPAIN: Brussels denies receiving Spain’s request for border help (El País): "Illegal immigration is once again affecting relations between the Spanish authorities and Brussels. After last week demanding explanations and threatening disciplinary action against Spain over the death of 15 sub-Saharans trying to enter the North African exclave of Ceuta, the European Commission on Tuesday poured cold water on a Spanish Interior Ministry request for help dealing with the migratory pressure on its borders." See also: Immigration law change in works: interior minister (El País); EU asks Spain for explanation over immigrant deaths (Reuters) and EU wants investigation into Spanish border guard shootings (EUobserver)

SPAIN: Popular Party moves to fast-track amendment of universal justice law (El País): "In doing so it wants to see a number of embarrassing universal justice cases — involving, for example, alleged genocide in Tibet, or the killing of Spanish cameraman José Couso in Iraq by US soldiers — shelved as quickly as possible in a bid to avoid diplomatic conflicts."

SWITZERLAND: Swiss Spring for Syrian Refugees Passes (Inter Press Service): "Switzerland facilitated family reunification for Syrians in September. So far, more than 1,100 Syrian refugees have benefited from the programme, while thousands are waiting at Swiss embassies in the region, hoping for a similar chance. Surprised by these numbers, Switzerland put an end to the programme."

UK: Arms money pumped into London universities’ research (London Student): "Universities in London are receiving millions of pounds from weapons manufacturers and government defence bodies to carry out research."

UK: BAE Systems joins the drones PR push with media briefing on Taranis (Drone Wars UK): "After the MoD’s PR push on the use of Reaper drones last month and David Cameron’s announcement last week of further funding for UK-France work on a future combat drone, this week its BAE Systems turn to push drones with a media briefing on their new Taranis drone." See also: UK reveals footage of 'top secret' drone (BBC News)

UK: British drone strikes in Afghanistan using borrowed US drones revealed – strikes not reported to Parliament (Drone Wars UK): "The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has admitted that British RAF pilots have borrowed USAF Reaper drones more than 250 times in Afghanistan, launching weapons on at least 39 occasions. However the numbers of strikes by RAF pilots using US Reapers drones is likely to be higher as the MoD are keeping secret the number of weapons launches by RAF pilots when they have been officially embedded with the USAF."

UK: Campaigners condemn Prince Charles' role as arms salesman for BAE (Campaign Against Arms Trade, press release): "Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) has condemned Prince Charles for using his ongoing visit to Saudi Arabia to secure an agreement between the Saudi Arabian government and arms company BAE Systems to secure price increases for the sale of 72 Eurofighter Typhoon jets to Saudi Arabia."

UK: Detailed note on Judgment: Das, R v Secretary of State for the Home Department - Victory for mentally ill detainees (Electronic Immigration Network): "The Court of Appeal has today allowed an appeal by a woman who was unlawfully detained by the Home Office despite being seriously mentally ill. The judgment gives importance guidance on when the Home Secretary can lawfully detain people with serious mental illnesses who are liable to be removed from the UK." See also: Mentally unfit refugees unfairly targeted by Home Office (The Guardian)

UK: Edward Snowden elected rector of Glasgow University (Global Post)

UK: EU migrants face new barrier to accessing UK state benefits (The Guardian): "European migrants will have to have been earning £150 a week for three months before they can access most UK state benefits, the work and pensions secretary has announced."

UK: EU to force Britons to publish details of wills and property (The Telegraph): "New legislation planned in Brussels is set to heap fresh costs and paperwork on families’ financial planning, as well as leaving their affairs open to unwanted public scrutiny."

UK: Fracking camp: Salford's shock at Barton Moss policing (The Ecologist): "For Salford school half term, yesterday was designated Children's Day at the Barton Moss Community Protection Camp with crafts, balloons and games. In between the fun, local families witnessed the full force of the Greater Manchester Police Tactical Aid Unit." See also: Anti-fracking protester accuses policeman of lying in ‘trumped-up’ drink arrest video (Metro)

UK: Hillsborough families’ outraged by ‘unbelievable’ theories of drunkenness (Irish Post): "The brother of a second generation Irishman killed in the Hillsborough tragedy is maddened by the suggestion that drunkenness on the part of Liverpool fans contributed to the disaster."

UK: Immigrant Stories: The nurse, the detention centre & the women with bruises (politics.co.uk): " An occasional series of Immigrant Stories, shining a light on the people trapped in Britain's immigration system."

UK: Inquiry launched into prison deaths of young inmates (The Guardian): "An independent inquiry into deaths in prison of 18- to 24-year-olds in England and Wales is to be established, the justice secretary, Chris Grayling, has announced."

UK: Irish prisoners to remain in Britain despite EU deal (Irish Post): "An EU deal on the compulsory repatriation of foreign prisoners in Britain to their home territories will not include some 780 Irish prisoners in jail in England and Wales."

UK: Lockerbie victims' relatives to appeal over 'wrongful conviction' (Exaro): "Families of some victims of the Lockerbie bombing are to apply for a fresh appeal against the only conviction for the terrorist attack"

UK: Peterborough PCSO illegally checked files over five years (Peterborough Telegraph): "Police have launched an internal investigation after a PCSO made 900 unauthorised checks on Cambridgeshire police records."

UK: Police deny setting stop and search targets (The Voice): "Response comes after media reports claim Met orders officers carry out tactic at least 15 times a month or face disciplinary action"

UK: Policemen charged over claims they illegally arrested student protester (The Guardian): "Two police officers are facing criminal charges over claims they illegally arrested a student during protests four years ago."

UK: Revealed: GMP ordered report on police discrimination - then ordered a rewrite to dilute it (Manchester Evening News): "Police chiefs ordered a rewrite of a report on discrimination at GMP to remove the conclusion that the force is ‘institutionally racist’."

UK: Schedule 7 documentary: Travelling while Muslim (YouTube)

UK: Stradishall: Lauri Love re-bailed in US army, NASA, and federal agencies’ computer hacking inquiry (Ipswich Star): "A west Suffolk man charged in America with hacking the US army, NASA and other federal agencies’ computer systems has had his UK police bail extended."

UK: Twitter parody account critical of government closed down on same day gagging law passes (PRide's Purge)

UK: Wales ponders independence from Britain (Global Post): "Scotland’s looming referendum on leaving the UK is prompting the Welsh to question whether they want to follow."

UK-France declaration reveals new Reaper users club to rival European drones club (Drone Wars UK): "The final text of the Declaration on Security and Defence signed at the UK-France Summit last week has now been released and it reveals some details about future European drone projects."

UKRAINE: Death toll rising with at least 35 people killed, most by gunshots from police (live Feb. 20 updates) (Kyiv Post): "Police launched a raid on Independence Square at 8 p.m. on Feb. 18 .The Feb. 18-19 clashes killed at least 26 persons, including 10 police officers, and injured more than 1,000 people. Fighting resumed on Feb. 20." See also: ‘No Way Back’ for Kiev Protesters (Inter Press Service); This is how the Ukrainian government appears to be isolating protesters in Kyiv (Global Post); EU and US co-ordinating Ukraine sanctions list (EUobserver); Ukraine President Yanukovych sacks army chief amid crisis (BBC News) and Diplomatic pressure mounts on Ukraine leader (Al Jazeera)

Ukrainian Protesters Block Border with Poland (Novinite)

USA: If You Used This Secure Webmail Site, the FBI Has Your Inbox (Wired): "While investigating a hosting company known for sheltering child porn last year the FBI incidentally seized the entire e-mail database of a popular anonymous webmail service called TorMail."

USA: Reading Between the Lines of Redacted NSA Documents (Wired): "Sometimes the most interesting part of a classified document is what is blacked out. That’s where you can tell, by context, what kind of information is still considered too secret for public consumption."

USA: Skinny Puppy bills Pentagon for Guantanamo 'royalties' (BBC News): "A Canadian rock band has sent a bill to the US military after being told its music was used to torment suspected terrorists at the US prison at Guantanamo Bay, a member has said."

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