Round-up of news stories from across the EU 9.9.16

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North Dakota becomes first US state to legalise use of armed drones by police (The Independent, link)


"Armed drones could be used by police in the US state of North Dakota after local lawmakers legalised their use.

While they will be limited to “less than lethal” weapons, tear gas, tasers, rubber bullets and pepper spray could all be used in theory by the remote controlled flying machines.

In a classic case of unintended consequences, the original sponsor, Republican state representative Rick Becker said he was unhappy with the way legislation turned out."

EU: Biggest companies now spend 40% more on EU lobbying than in 2012 (LobbyFacts, link):

"New research by LobbyFacts reveals that the 50 companies which declare spending the most on EU lobbying are spending 40 per cent more today than in 2012.

In July 2012, the top 50 biggest company spenders on EU lobbying declared a total of €76,213,190 but by 2016, the top 50 declared spending €106,379,583, a 40 per cent overall increase."

UK-EU: Brexit fatal threat to War on Terror, says Europol chief (RT, link):

"Britain’s departure from the European Union might prove fatal to international police efforts against terrorism, Europol’s director Rob Wainwright told the German press.

Europol’s latest regulations come into force in May 2017. But Westminster is yet to approve their use in Britain and Brussels fears Prime Minister Theresa May will soon pull Britain out of the European law agency too."

UK: Howard League challenges magistrates’ courts on unlawful detention of children (Howard League, link):

"The Howard League for Penal Reform is challenging the legality of a series of decisions by magistrates’ courts that led to a vulnerable and frightened child being held in police custody for two nights over the non-payment of fines.

The charity is seeking permission to judicially review the decisions and processes that led to the 15-year-old boy being detained, even though there is no legal power to jail a child for not paying fines."

UK: Private companies spending public money should be subject to Freedom of Information law, watchdog says (The Independent, link):

"Private companies delivering public services or in receipt of public money should be public to freedom of information rules, the Government’s new Information Commissioner has said. "

UK: Salford prison shake-up will put officers in danger warns whistleblower (Manchester Evening News, link):

"A shake-up of staff at Forest Bank prison will put officers in danger, a whistleblower has claimed.

The officer says the demotion of all senior officers to regular officers will mean they could ‘lose respect’ among prisoners.

The source said: “Not only are the demotions demeaning, when prisoners find out that former senior officers have lost their badges, these officers will be mocked and face taunting and verbal abuse."

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