Round-up of news stories from across the EU 17.3.16

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BELGIUM: Radicalisation in Molenbeek: 'People call me the mother of a terrorist' (The Guardian, link): "As anti-terror police raid a Belgian apartment, families in the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek say they are unable to stop their children joining extremist groups such as Isis and that authorities must do more"


EU: DiEM25 and the search for a European demos (Open Democracy, link): "A successful Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 (DiEM25) needs to redefine European citizenship by leading and shaping debates on the place of the individual in today’s European society."

IRELAND: Journalists ‘at risk’ after gardai seek photos (The Times, link): "Press photographers’ lives are being endangered by an increasing number of attempts by gardai to use images taken at protests for evidence, the National Union of Journalists has claimed.

Concern about the trend has led the NUJ to call for gardai to rely on their own resources to obtain photographic evidence.

Seamus Dooley, the union’s Irish secretary, said that he was alarmed by the growing tendency of gardai to regard photographers and journalists as “collecting agents”, given that there was established case law set down by the European and Irish courts on the issue."

NORTHERN IRELAND: Those living near peace lines more likely to have poor mental health (Queen's University Belfast): "People living close to peace lines in Northern Ireland have worse mental health than the rest of the population, according to researchers at Queen's University Belfast.

The study conducted by researchers at the Centre of Excellence for Public Health at Queen's, indicates that living in an area in close proximity to a segregation barrier, or peace line, increases a person’s likelihood of being on antidepressant medication by 19 per cent and on anxiolytic medication, which inhibits anxiety, by 39 percent."

UK: No one left behind: partial progress on detention campaigning, but not for all (Right to Remain, link): "Last night, in the Immigration Bill debate in the House of Lords, peers voted by 187 to 170 in favour of Lord Ramsbotham’s amendment on immigration detention.

If the amendment survives the House of Commons (where the Immigration Bill will go to next), it would mean improved judicial oversight for some people in detention, or who may be detained in the future."

UK: Six people arrested after protesters disrupt 'arms fair' in Cardiff (Wales Online, link): "Six people were arrested at a protest outside a defence industry event at Cardiff Motorpoint Arena on Wednesday.

A 51-year-old man from Pontypool and two women - a 25-year-old from Cardiff and a 54-year-old from Newport were arrested for public order offences.

A 32-year-old woman from Swansea was arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass and criminal damage, a 26-year-old man from Carmarthenshire was arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass and a 41-year-old man from Bristol was been arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer, South Wales Police said."

UK: Southampton University bans “controversial” Israel conference again (Electronic Intifada, link): "Southampton University has for the second year running banned an academic conference expected to include critical views of Israel, organizers say.

In a letter to the university’s lawyers seen by The Electronic Intifada, lawyers acting for Southampton academics Suleiman Sharkh and Oren Ben-Dor told the university of their intent to challenge the latest ban in court."

UK-NATO: Ministry of Defence military exercise will feature 'killer robots' (The Guardian, link): "The Ministry of Defence is organising its first-ever “Robo-Wars” exercise this autumn, using drones, seacraft and a host of other innovations as part of the growing trend towards reducing the role of humans in combat.

The large-scale event off the west coast of Scotland will form part of the regular UK-led Nato Joint Warriors exercise.

The navy, on its website, is billing the robotic part as “Unmanned Warrior 2016”, and says: “Recognising a commitment to innovation, the Royal Navy will host a large-scale demonstration in a tactically representative environment of maritime autonomous systems in the autumn of 2016.”"

USA: ‘Chilling Effect’ of Mass Surveillance Is Silencing Dissent Online, Study Says (Motherboard, link): "Thanks largely to whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations in 2013, most Americans now realize that the intelligence community monitors and archives all sorts of online behaviors of both foreign nationals and US citizens.

But did you know that the very fact that you know this could have subliminally stopped you from speaking out online on issues you care about?

Now research suggests that widespread awareness of such mass surveillance could undermine democracy by making citizens fearful of voicing dissenting opinions in public."

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