Category Archives: Europe

French man who kept porn on work computer loses privacy appeal

Judge said employer had acted properly because files had not been marked private

A man who kept a stash of pornography on his work computer has failed to convince judges his right to a private life was infringed when his employer opened the personal files containing the material without his knowledge.

Eric Libert was fired by the French national rail operator SNCF in 2008 after his boss discovered the pornographic files and a series of forged certificates. He asked the European court of human rights to rule on his case after he was unsuccessful in the French courts.

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Source: gad

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny detained in Moscow

Anti-corruption campaigner and Vladimir Putin adversary faces 30 days in jail ahead of election

The Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been detained by police then released a short while later weeks ahead of a presidential election in which he has been barred from running.

The 41-year-old anti-corruption campaigner has been repeatedly jailed for organising some of Russia’s biggest protests in recent years, railing against what he says are the gilded lives of Vladimir Putin and his inner circle.

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Source: gad

Dutch effort to charge tobacco firms with attempted murder fails

Prosecutors refuse to open criminal investigation into firms as it ‘would not succeed’

Dutch public prosecutors have refused to open a formal criminal investigation into four major international tobacco companies on charges of attempted murder or manslaughter, saying there is too little chance of a conviction.

Anne Marie van Veen, a Dutch lung cancer patient, and an Amsterdam lawyer, Bénédicte Ficq, filed a criminal complaint in 2016 accusing major tobacco companies of intentionally aiming to turn smokers into addicts and of causing “deliberate damage to public health”.

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Source: gad

EU27 rule out UK's preferred approach to future trade deal

‘Three basket approach’ would breach agreement to prevent cherry-picking, says Brussels

The EU has ruled out the UK government’s preferred approach to a future trade deal, describing it as a risk to the European project, just as Theresa May is seeking to strike an agreement on the way forward within her cabinet.

The inner cabinet is meeting at Chequers on Thursday to try to find an agreement among warring cabinet members on an approach sketched out to ministers by the prime minister’s Brexit adviser, Olly Robbins.

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Source: gad

MEPs call for power to tackle 'vexatious lawsuits' targeting journalists

Proposed directive would allow journalists to request the expedient dismissal of lawsuits designed to intimidate them

A group of European MEPs is seeking to turn the tables on companies that they allege are targeting investigative reporters with “abusive” lawsuits and other legal threats as a way to silence critical journalism.

Under a new proposal put forward by six MEPs, who called for the creation of a new EU directive to tackle the problem, firms involved in so-called vexatious lawsuits could face financial fines if they pursue abusive behaviour towards journalists.

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Source: gad

‘We lose 1,400 girls a year. Who will our boys marry?’: Armenia’s quandary

Sex selection may have been outlawed, but a shortage of women threatens the very survival of a country where boys are traditionally seen as an investment and girls as a loss

Sometimes it seems there are so many ways to destroy women that the methods become invisible to us. There are some women you will never see because they will never be born.

Amartya Sen talked of “missing women” in his famous 1990 essay because of technologies that enable prenatal sex selection.

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Source: gad

The fascist movement that has brought Mussolini back to the mainstream

Italy’s CasaPound has been central to normalising fascism again in the country of its birth. Now they’re trying to enter parliament. By Tobias Jones

On the night of 27 December 2003, five men broke into a huge, empty office complex in Rome, just south of the city’s main railway station, Roma Termini. A few days earlier, the men had put up fake fliers, appealing to the public for help to find a lost black cat called “Pound”. It was a way to avoid suspicion as they surveyed the building before breaking in.

Nothing was left to chance: the date, between Christmas and New Year, was chosen because there wouldn’t be many people around. Even the name and colour of the cat wasn’t casual: “Pound” was a nod to the American poet and fascist evangelist Ezra Pound. And black was the colour associated with their hero, Benito Mussolini. They planned to start a radio station from inside their new building called Radio Bandiera Nera – “Black Flag Radio”.

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Source: gad

Man dies in grenade attack on US embassy in Montenegro

US citizens are warned of ‘active security situation’ at embassy in capital Podgorica after man blows himself up with second device

An unknown man threw a grenade at the US embassy in Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro, before blowing himself up with a second device, government officials have said.

The attack happened just before midnight on Wednesday, with people in the area hearing two explosions. No one else was hurt and there was no major damage.

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Source: gad

German court to rule on city bans for heavily polluting diesel cars

Federal court set to announce whether Stuttgart and Düsseldorf can use vehicle bans to try to improve air quality

One of Germany’s top courts will rule on Thursday whether heavily polluting vehicles can be banned from the urban centres of Stuttgart and Düsseldorf, a landmark ruling which could cause traffic chaos and dramatically hit the value of diesel cars on the country’s roads.

Related: First fall in car sales since 2011 blamed on fears over diesel ban

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Source: gad

Emmanuel Macron unveils plans to crack down on immigration

Activists say proposals to speed up requests threaten rights of asylum seekers in France

Tough proposals to crack down on immigration and asylum in France have been unveiled by Emmanuel Macron’s government amid complaints from human rights groups and street protests by some public agents in charge of asylum procedures.

The legislation is aimed at speeding up the process for asylum requests and for expelling migrants who aren unable to claim asylum. It would also double to 90 days the time a person without papers can be kept in a holding centre.

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Source: gad