News Digest: Round-up of news stories from across the EU (9 items, 15.12.15)


BELGIUM: Threat level 3 to remain until after festive season (Flanders News, link): "The Threat Analysis agency OCAD has said at a meeting on the National Security Council that the terror threat level in Belgium will remain at 3 until after the Christmas and New Year period. The news appears in Tuesday’s edition of the daily ‘De Tijd’."

Bosnian Serbs to Reinstate Cooperation With State Police (Balkan Insight, link): "Bosnia’s Serb-led entity Republika Srpska will sign a new agreement with the State Investigation and Protection Agency after controversially cutting ties with the state police body last week."

EU diplomats warn U.S. over threat to end visa-free entry (Al Jazeera, link): "Diplomats from the 28-member European Union on Monday warned they could respond in kind if the United States makes good on plans to end visa-free entry for some EU nationals."

FRANCE: French teacher admits inventing ISIL school 'attack' (Al Jazeera, link): "A French teacher who claimed he was attacked in his classroom by an Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) supporter admitted to prosecutors on Monday that he invented the story."

Montenegro to Boost Counter-Terrorism Operations (Balkan Insight, link): "According to a new national strategy for combating violent extremism in 2016-2018, which BIRN has seen, Montenegro will set up a new intelligence-gathering unit to fight radicalism and a special team for flagging up terrorist and violent extremist content on the Internet."

Polish PM rounds on European parliament head over 'coup' remark (The Guardian): "Parliament’s German president, MartinSchulz, likens events in Poland to ‘coup d’etat’ after new rightwing government altered make-up of constitutional court"

SPAIN: Parents of jailed Venezuelan dissident granted Spanish citizenship (El País, link): "The Cabinet on Friday agreed to grant Spanish citizenship to the parents of Venezuelan political dissident Leopoldo López, who is in prison following a trial whose fairness has been questioned by international observers."

UK: Ex-civil service chief criticises government for attempts to curb FoI legislation (The Guardian, link): "The UK government’s reasons for curbing freedom of information laws have been challenged by Lord Kerslake, the former head of the civil service.

In a hearing with MPs, Kerslake questioned the claim of Sir Jeremy Heywood that FoI legislation has a chilling effect on the government. “If people are experiencing a chilling effect, it’s largely in their own heads, not the reality,” he said."


UK: The new immigration rules for Adult Dependant Relatives: out with the old… (Free Movement, link): "Following on from the earlier posts on the July 2012 changes to the Immigration Rules, this post looks at the situation for adult dependent relatives. It will come as no surprise that the new rules raise the bar substantially for those seeking entry under this category."

UK: UNDERCOVER POLICING: Activists Demand Lambert’s Sacking (Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance, link): "Four prominent activists have written to the University of St Andrews demanding the sacking of lecturer Bob Lambert, former Special Demonstration Squad officer and manager."

 

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