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173 allegations of misconduct against just TWO police officers… who are still on duty

Two police officers have had hundreds of complaints made against them by the public, it has emerged.

The pair have faced 173 misconduct allegations as serious as perjury, sexual assault and violence by people they have dealt with professionally.

Police chiefs have held 43 probes into each officer’s behaviour and between them they have been spoken to on four occasions and faced unspecified “management action” over four other incidents.

Their records were revealed in figures released by their force after a Freedom of Information request by the Daily Mirror.

Read more here.

Tom Pettifor| The Mirror| 3rd April 2012

‘Like China or Iran': Furious backlash over Government plans to snoop on emails and phone calls

David Cameron was hit by a furious backlash yesterday over his “Big Brother” plans to snoop on emails, texts, phone calls and social media sites.

The Information Commissioner warned the move would amount to “intrusion on a massive scale, unprecedented in history or geography”.

The watchdog also said there was a risk that private information of politicians and celebrities could fall into the wrong hands as a result of the unprecedented new spying laws.

Tory MP Dominic Raab yesterday released documents from the Information Commissioner’s Office obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, spelling out the fears of giving the security services such sweeping powers.

Read more here.

Jason Beattie| The Mirror| 2nd April 2012                                                                                           

Archbishop risks row with Israel after lobbying Hague over Christians ‘displaced by security barrier’

The head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales has risked a row with the Israeli government after it emerged he lobbied William Hague over the plight of Christians in the West Bank.

The Most Rev Vincent Nichols urged the Foreign Secretary to address the “tragic situation” facing of Palestinians displaced by the building of the Israeli security barrier in Beit Jala, a predominantly Christian town a little over a mile from the Church of the Nativity.

He said the “expropriation” of land by Israel had a “catastrophic impact” on the village and risked furthering the conflict. Much of the land has been owned by religious orders and Catholic families dating back 200 years.

The letter is one of the strongest indications yet of the Archbishop’s views on the Middle East conflict. Pope Benedict XVI has described the barrier as “tragic”.

The letter, sent in November and released under the Freedom of Information Act, also praised Mr Hague’s leadership as Foreign Secretary through the Arab Spring.

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Mathew Holehouse| The Telegraph| 2nd April 2012

Alex Salmond facing second inquiry into SNP donor links  

Alex Salmond is facing a second investigation into allegations of abusing the First Minister’s office to fund-raise for the SNP after questions were raised over his links with three more party donors.

SNP ministers are refusing a request under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act to release correspondence between them and Sir Brian Souter, the Stagecoach tycoon who has given the party more than £1 million.

They said it would be too expensive to publish the information despite Scotland’s information commissioner warning they had “failed to comply” with the law by blocking the release

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Simon Johnson| The Telegraph| 2nd April 2012

ACLU: Documents show questionable FBI intelligence gathering

FBI agents in San Francisco used “community outreach” as a cover to collect intelligence on Muslim individuals and organizations, the American Civil Liberties Union claims, based on new documents it obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

The advocacy group says that between 2004 and 2008, federal agents documented complaints from mosque congregants about delays in air travel, took notes on the contents of a sermon and used a meeting participant’s cellphone number to hunt for his Social Security information, date of birth, home address and more in government databases.

All of this was done, the ACLU contends, without clear evidence of criminal or terrorist activity. Files documenting the FBI’s outreach allude to agents starting conversations with Muslims by asking whether they have suffered from possible hate crimes, but subsequent notes are instead classified as “secret” and marked as “positive intelligence,” meaning the information may end up being kept among the FBI’s national security records.

Read more here.

G.W. Schulz| ABC|  2nd April 2012

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