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Human rights: persecution in Syria, Pakistan and Iran, censorship in Sudan, Iraq

Plenary Session Development and cooperation / External relations10-10-2013 - 16:49

Parliament passed three separate resolutions on Thursday, condemning violence and persecution against Christians in Syria, Pakistan and Iran, calling for protection for journalists and free access to the internet in Sudan and condemning acts of terrorism and sectarian violence in Iraq. (Read more: Human rights: persecution in Syria, Pakistan and Iran, censorship in Sudan, Iraq )

 
 

Protecting citizens against discrimination, defending their social and civil rights, especially at a time of economic crisis, free movement and safeguarding the environment are key concerns for the Parliament's Petitions Committee, says its 2012 activity report, approved on Thursday. Parliament received 1,986 petitions in 2012, mostly from German, Spanish, Italian, Romanian and British citizens. (Read more: Petitions: social issues, civil rights and environment top EU citizens' concerns )

 
 

US-led CIA rendition and secret detention programmes: impunity must end

Plenary Session Citizens' rights / Fundamental rights10-10-2013 - 12:50

The climate of impunity surrounding EU member states' complicity in the CIA's secret "rendition" and detention programmes has allowed violations of fundamental rights to continue unchecked, as revealed by mass surveillance programmes run by the US and some EU member states, said the European Parliament on Thursday. MEPs want Parliament's right to investigate such violations in the EU to be reinforced, and again urge EU institutions and member states to investigate the CIA operations in depth. (Read more: US-led CIA rendition and secret detention programmes: impunity must end )

 
 

MEPs ban cadmium from power tool batteries and mercury from button cells

Plenary Session Environment10-10-2013 - 12:47

A law banning the toxic substance cadmium from portable batteries and accumulators used in cordless power tools such as drills, screwdrivers or saws, was voted by Parliament on Thursday. This ban, already agreed with EU ministers, will apply from 31 December 2016. MEPs also inserted a clause banning mercury from button cells from autumn 2015. (Read more: MEPs ban cadmium from power tool batteries and mercury from button cells )

 
 

EU border surveillance: MEPs approve Eurosur operating rules

Plenary Session Judicial cooperation / Police cooperation10-10-2013 - 12:33
Frotex European Union Agency  

EU member states will be better equipped to prevent, detect and combat irregular migration, but also to save migrants' lives, thanks to the "Eurosur" border surveillance system, whose operating rules were approved by Parliament on Thursday. Eurosur will enable member states to share real-time images and data on developments at the EU's external borders. (Read more: EU border surveillance: MEPs approve Eurosur operating rules )

 
 

Malala Yousafzai - winner of the Sakharov Prize 2013

Plenary Session Human rights10-10-2013 - 12:21
Malala Yousafzai, a 16-year-old Pakistani girl who survived a Taliban attack, is pictured in The Hague, the Netherlands, on Sept. 6, 2013. ©ISOPIX  

Pakistani campaigner for girls' education Malala Yousafzai is the laureate of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2013, following today's decision of the Conference of Presidents (EP President and political group leaders). She will be invited to receive the award at a ceremony in Strasbourg on 20 November. (Read more: Malala Yousafzai - winner of the Sakharov Prize 2013 )

 
 

Lampedusa tragedy: MEPs call for solidarity and EU policy for legal migration

Plenary Session Citizens' rights / Immigration10-10-2013 - 09:00
Belga/Zumapress/F.Malavolta  

Finding ways to avoid further tragedies like that off the coast of Lampedusa on 3 October is a challenge not only for Italy but for the whole EU, MEPs stressed in a debate with Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and Lithuania's Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Vytautas Leškevičius on Wednesday. MEPs called for a common policy for legal migration, solidarity with member states most exposed to migratory flows and work on the roots of the problem with the migrants' countries of origin. (Read more: Lampedusa tragedy: MEPs call for solidarity and EU policy for legal migration )

 
 

Time to get serious about tackling right-wing extremism, MEPs say

Plenary Session Citizens' rights / Fundamental rights09-10-2013 - 18:35

The recent murder of a social activist in Greece dominated Wednesday's plenary debate on the rise of right-wing extremism in Europe. However, most saw the murder as only the latest symptom of a growing movement which does not spare any EU country. Many said the EU needs to pay more heed to citizens' concerns, as the prolonged crisis has left them more willing to turn to extreme views. (Read more: Time to get serious about tackling right-wing extremism, MEPs say )

 
 

MEPs call on Commission to boost Roma integration

Plenary Session European citizenship / Citizens' rights09-10-2013 - 18:22
Belga/AFP/D.Dilkoff  

The European Commission must make sure that local, regional and national governments are fully committed to making Roma integration strategies work, said MEPs in a plenary debate on Wednesday afternoon. A majority of speakers agreed that free movement should not be used as an excuse to avoid speaking about inclusion of Roma people. (Read more: MEPs call on Commission to boost Roma integration )

 
 

McAvan: "The aim is to stop tobacco firms recruiting new generation of smokers"

Plenary Session Consumers / Public health09-10-2013 - 18:04
MEP Linda McAvan  

Young people are less likely to take up smoking under new rules for tobacco products adopted by the Parliament on 8 October. Linda McAvan, a British member of the S&D group, will now be in charge of leading negotiations with the Council on a final version of the legislation. We talked to her about how the new rules could prevent young people from taking up the deadly habit and how it will affect people using e-cigarettes as an alternative. (Read more: McAvan: "The aim is to stop tobacco firms recruiting new generation of smokers" )

 
 
 
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