News Digest (18 stories, 17.11.15)

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Albania Warned to Take Islamist Threats Seriously (Balkan Insight, link): "Warnings about attacks by ISIS that were emailed to Albania’s interior minister and several media outlets should not be ignored by the Muslim-majority NATO member state, experts said."

Belgium and France announce extra measures in 4 areas (Flanders News, link): "Interior Minister Jan Jambon travelled to Paris on Sunday to meet his French colleague Bernard Cazeneuve, in order to discuss urgent measures to tackle terrorism and to avoid new attacks in the future. France and Belgium will intensify their cooperation, and are calling on other European member states to focus on 3 points of action: gunrunning, passenger lists for international flights and systematic border checks."

Belgium's heightens terror alert (Flanders News, link): "Belgium has increased the terror alert level from 2 to 3. The terrorist threat is now 'serious' instead of 'average'. The decision was taken by OCAD, the Belgian co-ordination team that analyses the threat of a terrorist attack."

EU: Europe’s response to the Paris attacks is different this time (The Economist, link): "The contrast was telling. In the aftermath of Friday’s attacks, which killed at least 129 people in locations around Paris, European leaders again issued statements of sympathy and outrage, while their citizens turned out en masse with flowers and candles to show solidarity. But where the “Je suis Charlie” demonstrators resisted linking terrorism to immigration or Islam, the mood this time has been more ambivalent. By targeting a well-known press outlet and a Jewish supermarket, the Charlie Hebdo killers allowed Europeans to frame their outrage around positive ideals: freedom of speech and of religion. But the latest attacks seemed to hit public spaces at random—a Cambodian restaurant, a football stadium, a concert hall. And some Europeans inevitably began linking the violence to the issue which has dominated their politics for the past six months: the wave of refugees streaming into their continent from the Middle East."

GERMANY: Trial opens against German intelligence officer who passed secrets to CIA, Russia (Deutsche Welle, link): "The trial against a German intelligence officer accused of passing secret information to the CIA and Russian consulate has begun in Munich. The defendant faces life in prison if convicted."

Hungarian Rightists’ Motives Remain Mysterious in Serbia (Balkan Insight, link): "Far-right Hungarian party Jobbik raised fears of extremist provocations by opening an office in Senta, a mainly ethnic Hungarian town in north Serbia, but locals know little about the party's agenda and local staff were reluctant to talk."

Ireland: Police back proposal decriminalising possession of heroin, cocaine and cannabis (The Independent, link): "Aodhán Ó Ríordáin proposed a 'massive cultural shift' in moving towards decriminalising possession of small quantities of certain narcotics "

Kosovo Opposition Force MPs to Flee Parliament (Balkan Insight, link): "Ruling party MPs were forced to adopt the 2016 budget while barricaded in an alternative hall, after opposition MPs again threw tear gas in the main chamber."

NORTHERN IRELAND: How detention affects my community: the view from Belfast (Right to Remain, link): "This piece was written for Unlocking Detention by the Larne House Visitors Group. Larne House is a short-term holding facility near Belfast. People are detained there for short periods of time before being transferred to another detention centre (in England, or Dungavel in Scotland)."

Poland's new government against introduction of euro (Radio Poland, link): "Henryk Kowalczyk, a minister in the new government, has argued that current conditions are not favourable for introducing the euro to Poland at anytime in the foreseeable future."

Spain ‘issues arrest warrant’ for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over 2010 Gaza flotilla attack (The Independent, link): "Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and seven other former and current government officials are at risk of arrest if they set foot in Spain, after a Spanish judge effectively issued an arrest warrant for the group, it has been reported."

Stock Prices of Weapons Manufacturers Soaring Since Paris Attack (The Intercept, link): "The Paris attacks took place on Friday night. Since then, France’s president has vowed “war” on ISIS and today significantly escalated the country’s bombing campaign in Syria (France has been bombing ISIS in Iraq since last January, and began bombing the group in Syria in September).

"Already this morning, as Aaron Cantú noticed, the stocks of the leading weapons manufacturers — what is usually referred to as the “defense industry” — have soared"

UK: Couple 'attacked by mob' as they closed their takeaway shop (STV News, link): "The couple claim the men involved in the attack repeatedly cited the Paris terrorist incidents, Islamic State (IS), terrorism and subjected them to racist abuse."

UK: George Osborne: Isis is plotting cyber warfare to kill people in UK (The Independent, link): "The Government is to invest nearly £2bn to create the country’s first “cyber force” to combat online threats from states and terror groups, the Chancellor George Osborne will announce today."

UK: Lord Carlile calls for ‘speedy confirmation’ of the investigatory powers bill (The Justice Gap, link): "Lord Carlile, a former independent reviewer of anti-terror legislation, has called for the investigatory powers bill to be fast-tracked through Parliament in order to protect London from terrorist attacks."

UK: Met police chief calls for more armed officers following Paris attacks (The Guardian, link): "But he tried to reassure Londoners that the number of firearms officers was being reviewed as a result of the attacks in the French capital, in which 129 people were killed. He said the Metropolitan police was proud to be a mostly unarmed force, but the Paris attacks showed the need for change."

UK Trade Union Bill: Latest in line of global attacks on right to strike (Global Labour Column, link): "The Bill is an assault on British trade unions, containing a raft of draconian measures designed to stifle their ability to protect workers’ rights. Although a continuation of the anti-trade union legislation passed since the 1980s by Conservative governments, the Trade Union Bill goes further than anything that Margaret Thatcher introduced."

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