Round-up of news stories from across the EU 8.7.16

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EU: Fraud allegations taint Slovak EU presidency (EUobserver, link): "The Slovak government has launched its EU Council presidency against a backdrop of street protests and opposition attempts to dismiss the prime minister and interior minister over alleged links to a tax fraud scandal.


On Wednesday (6 July), as prime minister Robert Fico in Strasbourg unveiled the priorities of Slovakia's six-month term at the EU helm, the country's national parliament was preparing to debate his own dismissal over opposition claims that he covered up corruption."

GERMANY: Anti-immigration party in Germany hits crisis over MP's antisemitism (The Guardian, link): "Germany’s anti-immigration party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) has been plunged into a leadership crisis over antisemitic views expressed by one of its MPs.

Thirteen members of the AfD, including the co-leader of the party that is currently polling between 9% and 14%, walked out of its parliamentary group in the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg on Wednesday in protest at the failure to expel fellow MP Wolfgang Gedeon.

Comments made by Gedeon in a book published in 2012 surfaced in the media after he entered state parliament following regional elections in March."

GERMANY: Public Insults of German Police Protected by Free Speech (, link): "Proclaiming "ACAB" ("all cops are bastards") publicaly is not directly punishable, as determined by freedom of expression. This was decided by the Federal Constitutional Court in two cases about football fans who held a sign reading "ACAB" or wore it on their trousers. Laws on defamation, such as section 185 of the Criminal Code, can limit the right to freedom of expression. However, the statement must refer to a manageable and defined group of people. The Court considered that the statements were not directed against certain individual officers."

Short film shows personal information you give away each time you 'like' a Facebook page (The Independent, link): "Customers baffled as they are given a free coffee – complete with their personal data written on the cup"

SPAIN: CATALONIA: El Parlament da luz verde a los Mossos para disparar pistolas eléctricas [Parliament gives the green light for the Mossos to fire electric pistols] (El Diario. link): The Catalan parliament has given permission for the Mossos d'Esquadra (the Catalan regional police force) to use Tasers, following four months of debate in the Catalan parliament.

UK Professor quit course over involvement #spycop John Dines (Undercover Research Group, link): "At long last, the Undercover Research wiki website has a profile of John Dines, the undercover officer who infiltrated London Greenpeace, animal right groups and local groups in Hackney in the 1980s.


We did some work on Dines’ current career as well, and found out that a UK professor teaching public order and crowd control to police forces at the course in India decided to quit when he realised Dines was one of the #spycops in the current undercover policing scandal – see below."

UK: UPDATE: ‘Woodhill Prison has blood on its hands’, say family of latest inmate to die there (Milton Keynes Citizen, link): "Woodhill prison has come under fire after yet another inmate was found hanged - despite desperate pleas from his family about his mental health.

Thomas Morris, 31, from Emberton, is the sixth person to die at the trouble-plagued jail in seven months."

UN condemns internet access disruption as a human rights violation (The Verge, link): "The United Nations Human Rights Council has passed a non-binding resolution condemning countries that intentionally disrupt citizens' internet access. The resolution builds on the UN's previous statements on digital rights, reaffirming the organization's stance that "the same rights people have offline must also be protected online," in particular the freedom of expression covered under article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights."

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