Press freedom in Bulgaria, Hungary, and Malta ranks among the worst in the world, according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF), a Paris-based NGO. From journalists' murders to media take-overs by oligarchs close to state powers, the three EU states were portrayed as an embarrassment for the European Union.
UK universities have spent nearly £90m on payoffs to staff that come with “gagging orders” in two years, raising fears that victims of misconduct at higher education institutions are being silenced.
Russia's lower house of parliament approved the third reading of a draft law that aims to increase Moscow's sovereignty over its internet segment and defend against foreign meddling. The law will come into force on 1 November 2019. Some parts of the legislation: on cryptographic protection of the information and national system of domains — will come into force on 1 January 2022.
Starting in September, the parliament representing the German-speaking region of Belgium will hand some of its powers to a citizens’ assembly drafted by lot. It’ll be the first time a political institution creates a permanent structure to involve citizens in political decision making.
Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban has pledged to put up new anti-migrant posters, despite hopes in his centre-right EU family that he might "apologise and put an end" to the campaign.
Russian officials in Arkhangelsk have filed the country’s first police report against an individual for spreading illegal “fake news.” According to the news website 29.ru, the activist Elena Kalinina used her VKontakte account to promote an unpermitted protest against a local landfill.
An estimated 439,000 people were illegally paid below the hourly minimum wage in April last year, including 369,000 who are supposed to receive the “national living wage” because they are aged 25 or over.
In Prague and in other cities of the Czech Republic activists demanded an independent trial against the country's prime minister, Andrei Babish, who is accused of fraud over distributing subsidies from the EU budget.
In the first rally since First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she wanted another vote on Scottish independence, tens of thousands of people marched in support in Glasgow. The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said last month that she would introduce new legislation to stage a second independence referendum by May 2021, the end date of the current government in Holyrood.
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