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British activist gets $681,000 settlement after learning baby’s father was undercover cop

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British police are to pay compensation to woman who had a child with a man she did not know was an undercover agent, the Guardian and BBC reported.

The £425,000 ($681,000, 539,000 euros) payment follows a legal battle by several women who say they were tricked into having relationships with officers sent to spy on political activists.

Known only as “Jacqui”, the woman said she had received psychiatric treatment since discovering the true identity of her child’s father in a newspaper in 2012.

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“He presented himself as Bob Robinson, a long-haired leftwing radical,” the woman known as “Jacqui” told the Guardian.

“In reality he was a member of a secret police unit, the special demonstration squad, and was embarking on a five-year mission to infiltrate environmental and animal rights groups.”

The man disappeared from her life when the child was two years old, going back to his original wife, children and identity.

Now an academic, he was one of several officers who had undercover roles as part of the now-defunct special demonstration squad between 1968 and 2008.

He was confronted in 2012 at a conference by members of London Greenpeace, who said he had infiltrated their group in the 1980s as it campaigned on nuclear and environment issues.

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Police later acknowledged that he had been an undercover officer.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said the force “unreservedly apologises for any pain and suffering that the relationship” caused.

However, it added that it “never had a policy that officers can use sexual relations for the purposes of policing”.
In August, four former officers in the squad were told they would not face criminal charges for forming sexual relationships with women while undercover.

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Several other legal claims relating to undercover officers are ongoing.


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West Virginia mail carrier busted for helping GOP by tampering with absentee ballot requests

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A mail carrier in West Virginia is facing jail time after he was caught tampering with absentee ballot requests in a way that suppressed turnout in local Democratic primary elections.

BuzzFeed News reports that 47-year-old Thomas Cooper pleaded guilty this week to attempting to defraud the residents of West Virginia of a fair election when he switched West Virginia residents' ballot requests from Democratic to Republican ballots.

Cooper altered a total of eight different ballot requests, although he told investigators that he did it "as a joke" and didn't mean to cause any harm. Cooper's attorney, Scott Curnutte, similarly told BuzzFeed News that Cooper's actions had just been a "silly lark."

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France investigates report of bodies ‘left to rot’ at Paris research centre

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French investigating magistrates will probe claims that human corpses donated for science were left to rot and be eaten by rats at a university research facility, the Paris prosecutor's office said Thursday.

A probe into "violations of the integrity of a corpse" was handed over to the magistrates by prosecutors who handled the initial phase of the investigation after l'Express magazine reported the scandal last November.

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Dutch ‘golden age’ statue stirs ghosts of colonial past

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The statue of a Dutch 17th century colonialist has become a flashpoint for the debate in the Netherlands on its past of slavery and colonization in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests.

For some, the sculpture of Jan Pieterszoon Coen, a key official in the Dutch East India Company considered a national hero for colonising what is now Indonesia, is a memorial to the Dutch "Golden Age".

Traditionalists, like populist eurosceptic leader Thierry Baudet, have laid flowers at the foot of the statue in the port town of Hoorn to show support after several statues of historical figures were damaged in the Netherlands.

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