News Digest: Round-up of news stories from across the EU (2)

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BALKANS: Kerry's Serbia-Kosovo Tour to Focus on Security (Balkan Insight, link): "John Kerry will visit Belgrade on December 3 to take part in the annual ministerial council of Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, OSCE, organized by Serbia, the country chairing the organisation in 2015.

Serbia’s Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Ivica Dacic said the main topics during the two-day meeting will be security-related in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris that left 129 people dead."

CYPRUS: Fabricated news in the media stigmatise refugees and incite to racism in the Cypriot Society (KISA press release, pdf): "KISA is very saddened to realize that recently, and particularly following the terrorist attacks in Paris on 13/11/15, a segment of the media internationally, rather than acting as a pressure lever on the states to safeguard human rights, they act apologetically and pave the way for violations of refugees and migrants' human rights. Unfortunately, the Cypriot media do not constitute an exception, a fact that is proven through some publications of the last few days, which refer to alleged connections of refugees who live in Cyprus with terrorist organizations."

DENMARK-EU: No-side in the lead ahead of Danish referendum (EUobserver, link): "The No-side has taken the lead ahead of Thursday's referendum in Denmark on joining EU’s justice and home affairs rules. A Gallup poll published on Saturday showed 38% intend to vote No, while only 34% Yes. When the referendum was called in October the Yes-side lead by a large margin."

EU: Criminalize websites that refuse to delete terrorist content, say MEPs (CIO, link): "Companies that host or operate websites should be held criminally liable if they fail to remove content that incites terrorism, members of the European Parliament voted Wednesday. But they also want these companies to voluntarily cooperate with governments to promote "anti-radicalization messages.""

FRANCE: Ebrahimian v France: headscarf ban upheld for entire public sector (Strasbourg Observers, link): "On 26 November, the Court added a new chapter to its ‘headscarf’ jurisprudence, upholding the non-renewal of a contract in a public hospital on the ground of the applicant’s refusal to take off her headscarf."

Germany to send 1,200 military to the Middle East (EUobserver, link): "France and Germany have opened the door to a cooperation with the Syrian army in the fight against Islamic State (IS), while Germany is to send 1,200 military in the Middle East."

GERMANY: Justice Minister: No link between Paris attacks and Germany (Deutsche Welle, link): "German Justice Minister Justice Heiko Maas has said German authorities were unable to prove any links between Germany and the Paris attacks. He also rejected the coalition's demands for more security measures."

Italy spies on Playstation chat amid terror threat (The Local, link): "Scrutinizing communication among users of the ‘chat’ feature on the popular gaming console, Playstation, is among the measures Italy has adopted to detect potential jihadists across technological platforms."

Italy to crack down on 'secret' mosques (The Local, link): "The Italian government intends to close down clandestine mosques in the country as part of the fight against terrorism, Interior Minister Angelino Alfano announced Friday."

NETHERLANDS: Police in court over shooting of ‘drugs courier’ (Dutch News, link): "Two police officers are appearing in court after a suspected drugs courier was shot and wounded as he tried to flee a car chase on foot."

NETHERLANDS: Somali tribesmen to sue Dutch state over US drone strike (Dutch News, link): "Two Somali shepherds who were caught in a drone strike aimed at a terrorist convoy are to sue the Dutch state for war crimes, their lawyers said."

SCOTLAND: Spycops in Scotland Exempt from Inquiry (Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance, link): "Five of the exposed undercover political police were in Scotland, yet they are excluded from the Pitchford inquiry and the Scottish government is uninterested."

The terrorist in the data (The Economist, link): "All this suggests that, rather than attacking encryption, Western governments would do better to deal with a related but distinct problem: anonymity. On the internet users can adopt any name they want when they open an e-mail or social-media account, write comments on a web page or set up a website. People can buy and use a smartphone while giving flimsy or false personal details, or none at all. These freedoms are convenient and cherished. They allow people living under authoritarian regimes to mask their activities from the authorities. They allow people to experiment and play in private. But they also allow criminals and terrorists to hide."

UK could be prosecuted for war crimes over missiles sold to Saudi Arabia that were used to kill civilians in Yemen (The Independent, link): "Britain is at risk of being prosecuted for war crimes because of growing evidence that missiles sold to Saudi Arabia have been used against civilian targets in Yemen’s brutal civil war, Foreign Office lawyers and diplomats have warned."

UK: Appeal judges back legal aid residence test (The Justice Gap, link): "The Court of Appeal has unanimously ruled that the government’s proposed residence test for civil legal aid is lawful, overturning a judgment by the High Court last year which found the measure to be discriminatory and unlawful. The test, if implemented, will restrict public funding for legal representation in civil cases to individuals who can prove that they are lawfully resident in the UK and have been so for a 12 month period at some time in the past."

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