News Digest (22 stories, 20.11.15)

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Bulgaria to Stay Out of anti-IS Military Coalition, PM Says (Novinite, link): "Bulgaria will not be part of a military intervention targeting the Islamic State (IS) group, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has asserted. In his words at the opening of a swimming pool on Thursday, "when you send airplanes and missiles to the other side, you cannot expect peace from the other side.""

BULGARIA: Press Freedom NGO Urges Bulgaria PM to Stop 'Harassment of Journalists' (Novinite, link): "An international press freedom organization has sought to raise Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov's awareness of instances of harassment of journalists working with an independent investigative website."

France’s interior minister calls on EU to ‘wake up’ to terrorist threat (France 24, link): "French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve warned Thursday that the European Union must "wake up" to the threat posed by terrorists in the wake of the attacks in Paris last Friday."

Hungarian police detain suspected British terrorists (, link): "Hungarian police apprehended two British nationals who were terrorism supporters with prison records, the national police headquarters ORFK said. The arrest was made last Saturday on an international train at Lökösháza on the Romanian border, it said."

HUNGARY: Prime minister and NATO Secretary-General hold talks in Budapest (, link): "The terrorist attacks against France highlight the need to take the arrival of migrants from war zones seriously, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said. European Union member states are, to varying degrees, at war with countries from where such migrants originate from, Orbán said after meeting NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg."

HUNGARY: The Budapest Beacon: Orbán is resorting to fascist rhetoric says Lajos Bokros (The Budapest Beacon, link): "Lajos Bokros, chairman of the center-right opposition party Movement for a Modern Hungary (MOMA), says Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has resorted to using “fascist themes to illustrate how global conspiracies are causing Hungary’s suffering”."

Italy to ban drones amid Jubilee terror threat (The Local, link): "Airspace over Rome will be closed-off to drones during the upcoming Catholic Holy Year, or Jubilee, over fears that the remote-controlled aircraft could be used by the Isis militant group in a terror attack."

ITALY: Security toughened for Juventus vs AC Milan (The Local, link): "Authorities in Turin said tough new security measures will be introduced for the Juventus vs AC Milan Serie A fixture on Saturday following the failed attempt by suicide bombers to gain entry to Paris's Stade de France."

KOSOVO: Violence Flares Again in Renewed Kosovo Protests (Balkan Insight, link): "New protests erupted in Pristina for few hours on Wednesday evening with protesters throwing stones at the government building and burning cars after an opposition MP was detained for setting off tear gas in parliament."

NETHERLANDS: Defence ministry email accounts caught up in world's biggest data hack (The Amsterdam Herald, link): "Nearly 400 email addresses at the Dutch ministry of defence were compromised as part of a massive worldwide hack operation, the government has revealed."

NETHERLANDS: Police staff suspended over inquiry into €500 million squad cars contract (The Amsterdam Herald, link): "Five police personnel have been suspended from duty as part of a long-running corruption investigation into contracts to buy police cars." Tracks Content Takedowns by Facebook, Twitter, and Other Social Media Sites - New Project Will Gather Users' Stories of Censorship from Around the World (Electronic Frontier Foundation, link): "The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Visualizing Impact launched today, a new platform to document the who, what, and why of content takedowns on social media sites. The project, made possible by a 2014 Knight News Challenge award, will address how social media sites moderate user-generated content and how free expression is affected across the globe."

Reimagining security by Celia McKeon (video, openDemocracy): "Does security mean defence: tanks and barbed-wire fences? Or can it mean building relationships, confronting inequalities and recognising each other's humanity?"

Romania Parliament Backs New Experts' Govt (Balkan Insight, link): "Romanian MPs have approved the formation of a new technocratic government under Dacian Ciolos, which will steer the country until elections take place next year."

Romania to Help France Counter Terrorist Threat (Balkan Insight, link): "As France seeks military support from EU allies in the war against Islamist terrorists, Bucharest has expressed willingness to help."

SPAIN: Civil War Legacy Continues to Divide Spain’s Politics and Its Streets (The New York Times, link): "In Valencia, Spain’s third-largest city, the accuser and the accused of the Spanish Civil War are still honored side by side, at least on its street map."

UK: Axe 'grossly disproportionate' £150 court charges, Michael Gove told by MPs on Tory dominated committee (The Telegraph, link): "The new charges, unveiled by former Justice secretary Chris Grayling and introduced this year, force offenders to pay 'relevant court costs' ranging from between £150 and £1,200 to cover the costs of the proceedings"

UK: Police chiefs say cuts will severely affect UK's ability to fight terrorism (The Guardian, link): "Leaked letter from senior police chiefs to home secretary reveals security fears over reduction to officer numbers"

UK: Surveillance of MPs and the Wilson Doctrine: no inherent legal force but applies anyway (Covert Policing Law Blog, link): "The case of Caroline Lucas and others v Security Service and others [2015] UKIPTrib 14_79-CH in the Investigatory Powers Tribunal considered as a preliminary issue the status, meaning and effect of what is known as the Wilson Doctrine. The Doctrine originates in the statement to the House of Commons on 17 November 1966 by the then Prime Minister Harold Wilson."

UK: Tory MP Philip Davies says more women should be sent to prison to achieve equality with men (The Independent, link): "During a parliamentary debate Philip Davies said men were being discriminated against in the British justice system because they tended to receive longer and more frequent custodial sentences than women for the same category of crimes."

UK: Understanding Staff in IRCs (University of Oxford Faculty of Law, link): "Professor Mary Bosworth and I recently completed two months of fieldwork in which we sought to understand the daily life of staff in immigration removal centres (IRCs). The two sites we visited had recently become one, at least in theory. IRCs Harmondsworth and Colnbrook, previously run by GEO and Serco respectively, came under the central management of Mitie in September 2014. They are now known as Heathrow IRC, though they are still physically separate buildings. Having done observations, much informal chatting, and formal interviews, what did we find?"

USA: Leaked NSA doc reveals ‘sheer luck’ needed to find useful info in sea of surveillance data (RT, link): "The NSA didn’t know it was already sitting on a “goldmine” of data on one of its targets until one of its analysts discovered it by “sheer luck,” according to an internal newsletter entry leaked by Edward Snowden."

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