News Digest: round-up of news stories from across the EU (29.7.16)

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11 Police Robots Patrolling Around the World (Wired, link): "Law enforcement across the globe use semi-autonomous technology to do what humans find too dangerous, boring, or just can’t. This week, the Cleveland Police had a few nonlethal ones on hand at the Republican National Convention. But even those can be outfitted to kill, as we saw in Dallas earlier this month when police strapped a bomb to an explosive-detonation robot, and boom: a non-lethal robot became a killer. If that thought scares you, you’re not alone. Human rights activists worry these robots lack social awareness crucial to decision-making. “For example, during mass protests in Egypt in January 2011 the army refused to fire on protesters, an action that required innate human compassion and respect for the rule of law,” said Rasha Abdul Rahim of Amnesty International in a statement last year arguing that the UN should ban killer robots. More than a thousand robotics experts, including Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking, signed a letter last summer warning against machines that can select targets without human control. We wanted to find out just how many of these things are in use around the world. But law enforcement isn’t exactly forthcoming about the topic, so this list is not exhaustive. Here’s what we found."

EU-US: ARE THE TTIP NEGOTIATIONS TRANSPARENT? (Access Info, link): "We investigated what information is available and what is not. Here's what we found."

EU: Terrorism Scares Away the Tourists Europe Was Counting On (New York Times, link): "The shocks have come one after another: Islamic State killings of civilians in Brussels and Nice. A deadly outburst of terrorism in Germany. A fresh terror-linked atrocity in a small French town. Warnings abound that more may be on the way.

The surge of attacks in Europe has raised questions over whether a potentially durable new threat to stability is settling in. The political challenges for Europe’s leaders are stark, and the impact on the region’s economy may be just as profound."

FRANCE: French PM open to temporary ban on foreign financing of mosques (RT, link): "French Prime Minister Manuel Valls says he is considering a temporary ban on the foreign financing of mosques after a series of attacks reportedly perpetrated by Islamic State, including the recent Nice tragedy and the killing of a priest at French church.

Speaking to Le Monde newspaper, Valls said that France needs to re-think its relationship with Islam."

Germany deliberates anti-terror response (Deutsche Welle, link): "Following multiple terror strikes across Germany, Bavarian authorities plan to boost the police force and use the army to help secure borders. Soldiers, however, warn that the Bundeswehr is no "auxiliary police."

The Munich cabinet wants to have more experts "monitoring extremists," and to recruit more people for "special police forces," according to a strategy paper published on Wednesday.

Also, the state authorities want a bigger and better-equipped police force with electric Tasers, new weapons and batons, as well as "protective vests and titanium helmets that could withstand a shot from a Kalashnikov," they said in the 18-page document called "Law and Security Offensive."

Munich also expects "other states and the federal government" to boost their police forces."

ITALY: Mussolini's region votes to criminalize fascist souvenirs (The Local, link): "The sale of trinkets and souvenirs bearing the image of Benito Mussolini has been outlawed in the region of Italy where the fascist dictator was born and raised.

The regional government of Emilia-Romagna on Wednesday voted in favour of a motion which will see the sale of fascist souvenirs punishable with between six months and two years in jail.

The sale of items glorifying fascism is now classed as 'apologizing for fascism', an act which was criminalized in Italy in 1952."

UK: Complaint to police after officers put spit hood over man's head during arrest (The Guardian, link): "A young black man says he was left “bruised and shaken” after four police officers pinned him to the ground and placed a hood over his head during an arrest that was caught on camera by witnesses who said he was treated “like a dog”."

UK-POLAND: More Poles deported from UK: report (Radio Poland, link): "While in 2005 only eight Poles were deported and 47 denied entrance to the UK at its borders, in 2015 a total of 951 Poles were sent back home and 308 not allowed to cross the British border, the daily reported.

According to the paper, the number of Poles living in Britain has grown during the last ten years, but not at the same rate as the deportation figures."

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