AFTER THE WORST storms Ireland has experienced so far this winter, Met Eireann has lifted all national weather warnings.Showers and gale force winds lingering after stormy conditions last night are to pass by this afternoon, it has been forecast.Isolated showers will persist for the rest of the day.A yellow weather warning was in place along south and south west coasts last night but was lifted, although the same level of Marine Weather Warning persist this morning.The Government Task Force on Emergency Planning will reportedly meet today to discuss the clean-up operation after storms that left thousands without electricity and caused damage to coastal areas.Fianna Fáil last week criticised the government’s response to the weather, noting that the UK’s equivalent group, COBRA, met to discuss similar weather events.“Emergency service workers are doing a great job in very difficult circumstances but the Government’s response has been non-existent,” Spokesperson on Environment Barry Cowen said.“In previous years the Task Force on Emergency Planning met regularly to respond to snow and freezing weather conditions.”“However this year, despite Defence Minister Alan Shatter and Environment Minister Phil Hogan launching a ‘Be Winter-Ready’ campaign the government doesn’t seem to have taken any notice of warnings issued by Met Éireann.”Speaking yesterday, Public Expenditure Minister Brian Hayes said he believes it is ‘inevitable’ that more flood relief funding will be released for areas that need it.Read: Road Safety Authority urges caution while driving in stormy weather >Read: Coast Guard warns people to get away from the sea as man injured at Howth pier >More: We thought that earlier pothole was big but then we saw this one… >
PEOPLE IN PAKISTAN are praising a teenage boy who residents and police say died this week while trying to stop a suicide bomber who was targeting his school in the country’s violence-prone north-west.Local police official Raheem Khan said today that 17-year-old Aitzaz Hasan died on Monday in a remote village in Hangu, a district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.A teacher at the school told investigators that he saw Hasan chasing the attacker and then saw the attacker detonate the bomb that killed the teen, Khan said.Pakistani media reported that Hasan was late for school and that’s why he was outside when the attacker approached the building.The English-language Express Tribune newspaper reported that Hasan’s father, Mujahid Ali, was living and working in the United Arab Emirates when the attack occurred. Many men in the impoverished region are forced to move abroad, especially to the Gulf, to provide for their families.‘A hero’Ali told the newspaper that he had returned not to mourn his son but to celebrate his life.“My son made his mother cry, but saved hundreds of mothers from crying for their children,” he told the newspaper.Hangu in north-west Pakistan. (Image: Google Maps) Local resident Miqdar Khan said people in the district were hailing the teen as a hero, and hundreds of people attended his funeral to pay their respects. He said the teenager was known for openly criticising militants.“Aitzaz Hasan used to tell all that one day he would capture some suicide bomber, and his class fellows used to laugh,” he said. “But this boy proved what he said, and I am sad that he left us too early.”The area where Hasan lived is home to many members of the minority Shiite Muslim sect who have often been killed by militants who view them as heretics.Twitter reactionSuicide bombings and killings have become an everyday fact of life in many parts of Pakistan.A study by the Islamabad-based Pak Institute for Peace Studies found that terrorist attacks in 2013 increased by nine per cent over the previous year while the number of people killed in such incidents jumped by 19 per cent. The number of suicide attacks climbed by 39 per cent in the same period, the report found.In the face of such unremitting violence the image of a teenager giving his life to save his classmates captured the imagination of many in Pakistan.Hasan’s death led to an outpouring of emotion on television and on social media, where the hashtag #onemillionaitzazs quickly became a favorite among Twitter users.Pakistan’s former ambassador to the United States, Sherry Rehman, tweeted that Hasan should be given a medal: “Another young one with heartstopping courage.”(@sherryrehman/Twitter) Chaudhry Mohammed Sarwar, the governor of the eastern Punjab province, told Pakistan’s Dunya news channel that Hasan should be honored.“He is the hero of the whole nation as he has saved many lives by giving his own life,” Sarwar said.Read: Death toll from Russian suicide bombings rises to 33 > Column: Considering Benazir Bhutto’s mixed legacy, six years on >
Updated 23.10pmTRIBUTES ARE BEING paid to Dr Edward Haughey — Northern Ireland’s richest man — after he was killed in a helicopter crash in England last night.Two pilots and a site foreman at one of Haughey’s companies were also killed when the twin-engined AgustaWestland AW139 came down near the town of Beccles in Norfolk.The 70-year-old, who was named as Lord Ballyedmond in 2004, was founder and chairman of Norbrook, a veterinary pharmaceuticals company. He was also a former member of Seanad Éireann, and a sitting member of the House of Lords.Haughey owned Gillingham Hall, a stately home near the crash site. His personal fortune was worth around a billion euros, according to The Sunday Times newspaper’s Rich List 2013.Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore described the businessmen as “a leading employer who brought many high-quality jobs to Newry in particular” whose influence “spanned both sides of the border”.He took a great interest in Northern Ireland where he made his home and, whilst a member of Seanad Éireann, acted as a member of the British Irish Inter-Parliamentary Body and on the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation.Edward Haughey pictured alongside former Taoiseach Charles Haughey at an event in 1996 [Photocall Ireland]Cathaoirleach of the Seanad Paddy Burke said that alongside his success in business, Haughey “will be fondly remembered for his tireless work in securing peace on the island of Ireland”.The Louth-born businessman and politician was appointed to the Seanad by Albert Reynolds in 1994, and again by Bertie Ahern in 1997.Current Fianna Fáil leader Michéal Martin said this afternoon that his work in the lead up to the Good Friday Agreement in particular marked him out “as an important figure in the progress of peace and prosperity on the island of Ireland over the past two decades”.CrashNorfolk Constabulary received a call at about 7.30pm yesterday from a member of the public who reported hearing the noise of a loud crash.Police were deployed to the scene and began searching the area, with air assistance. All four occupants on board the helicopter were pronounced dead at the scene.Police at a cordon on the A146 this morning. (Image: Chris Radburn/PA Wire/Press Association Images)The BBC is reporting this evening that the businessman’s company Haughey Air Ltd. lodged a writ against AgustaWestland last year over concerns about the in-flight mapping systems of a helicopter supplied by them.A spokesman for AgustaWestland said it could not comment on possible defects with the crashed helicopter, but that the company was investigating.InvestigationThe site of the crash was sealed off as police investigators carried out initial enquiries, while air accident investigators were also sent to the scene.Early reports suggested that the helicopter may have been heading to Northern Ireland, though police refused to comment on its departure point or its planned destination.Local resident Roland Bronk said it had been “very foggy” in the area at the time of the crash.The crash site is 72 kilometres from where a US military helicopter came down during a training exercise in January, killing four crew members.Forensic officers examine the wreckage [Chris Radburn/PA Wire/Press Association Images]A statement on the Norbrook website confirmed the death of the company’s CEO, and the identities of the other three victims of the crash:It is with sincere sadness and deep regret that the Company confirms our founding Chairman and CEO, Lord Ballyedmond, was one of four people who tragically lost their lives in an aviation accident at Gillingham, Norfolk, UK at approximately 7.30pm on Thursday 13 March 2014.Norbrook management and staff also mourn the loss of their friends and colleagues Declan Small (Site Foreman), Captain Carl Dickerson (Pilot) and Captain Lee Hoyle (Pilot).Our thoughts are with the immediate families and friends of the deceased who have requested privacy at this difficult time.We take enormous pride in our Chairman’s extraordinary legacy in establishing Norbrook as a global veterinary and pharmaceutical industry leader. Management will continue to advance his pioneering vision with a renewed vigor and determination befitting his memory. Additional reporting — Sinéad O’Carroll & AFP.Read: Two men injured in a shooting in BallyfermotMore: Teenager dies after car overturns, three other occupants uninjured
8. Colm O’Rourke – ‘Gary Sweeney is like little boy lost in the Galway back line’Pic: INPHO/Cathal Noonan7. Joe Brolly – ‘Galway are not serious about their football. All flash and no substance.’6. Colm O’Rourke – ‘Get off the stage Joe. Get off the soapbox’5. Pat Spillane – ‘Jamie Clarke is the Messi of Ulster football’Pic: INPHO/Ryan Byrne4. Joe Brolly – ‘Their manager (Paul Grimley) is cluelessPic: INPHO/Morgan Treacy3. Pat Spillane – ‘The real top teams would have gone on there to score 10 goals and 100 points’2. Colm O’Rourke – ‘Joe (Brolly) is like a cross between Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa’1. Joe Brolly – ‘You both picked Galway. Sweet mother of all the Brolly’s’And have some pity for Michael Lyster who was trying to referee for the afternoon…Your ‘Andy Moran Back In Action From Injury’ Pics Of The Day11 reasons we’re glad The Sunday Game is back
THE NEW MINISTER for Transport says that privatising bus routes will give a better service to customers.Paschal Donohoe has sent a letter to the heads of the National Bus and Rail Union, who have been vociferous in their opposition to privatisation.In the letter, the Minister says that it was his belief that the National Transport Authority will put around 10% of the routes out to tender.However, he says that Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus are not being privatised and “will not be over the lifetime of this government”.He said that the purpose of the tendering was “to secure a better service for bus users at the same cost”. For a larger version, click hereFor a larger version, click hereHe says that the 10% marks very little threat to the existing networks and can “improve efficiency. He adds that the staff of either company would be protected should they “not be successful in the competitive process”.The NBRU’s Dermot O’Leary says that the union met the NTA on Wednesday and outlined their stance on staffing issues.“Whilst we have agreed to attend at further engagements we would earnestly hope that the NTA would reflect on its position and realise that the pursuance of this policy will result in a bad deal for workers, commuters and the exchequer, maintaining a position of attacking our members jobs will inevitably lead to industrial conflict.”Read: Protests called off as bus routes privatisation row heads to the LRCRead: Network Noel reads mean tweets about himself
Throughout, I have emphasised that Ibrahim was only seventeen when the alleged offences took place, and that he planned to return to Ireland immediately if released.“In my contacts with Minister Shoukry, I stressed that while I was in no way attempting to interfere in the judicial process, it is the Government’s view that Ibrahim should not be tried as part of a trial involving a large number of defendants; that he should be advised of the specific charges to be laid against him, and be allowed to be defended in court by a lawyer of his choosing.I assured the Halawa family that our Ambassador to Egypt and our consular experts in the Department will continue to provide all possible assistance to Ibrahim and his family, both in Dublin and Cairo. Officials from the embassy in Ciaro – including the Irish Ambassador – have visited Ibrahim twenty times in the past year, with a further visit scheduled for this weekend. Ibrahim’s father, Hussein Halawa, is the Imam of the Clonskeagh Mosque. Wikileaks correspondence released in 2011 included suggestions that he is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.Open letter: Taoiseach and Tánaiste, fight Egypt’s jailing of journalists >Read: Cairo sentencing of Al Jazeera journalists a “ferocious attack” on media – Amnesty > FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER Charlie Flanagan has held a meeting this evening with the family of Ibrahim Halawa — the Irish citizen arrested in Egypt along with his sisters last summer.He said he had briefed the family on the latest developments in the case, and that he was continuing to take a close personal interest in it.Ibrahim Halawa, who is now 18-years-old, was imprisoned along with his three sisters last August after taking part in a protest calling for the reinstatement of ousted president Mohammed Morsi, which turned violent.Somaia, Fatima and Omaima were held for three months before they were freed and allowed to return to Ireland. However Ibrahim has been kept in captivity, and is expected to face trial next month.Speaking last month on RTÉ’s This Week programme, Somaia said she didn’t believe enough was being done to free her brother, who could face as long as ten years in prison.“This evening, I briefed his family on my conversation earlier today with the Egyptian Minister for Foreign Affairs, during which I again raised Ibrahim’s case,” Flanagan said in a statement.“I spoke to Minister Shoukry on my first day as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade and I subsequently wrote to him setting out the Irish Government’s concerns with regard to Ibrahim’s case.
AS PART OF this month’s theme of Tourism and the SME, we’ve taken a look at Elizabeth Becker’s Overbooked: The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism.When the author’s mother took off on a late-life travel adventure, it was the mid-1980s and she was one of 250 million tourists travelling internationally every year.“Today that figure is one billion and growing,” writes Becker, as she sets off to examine how travelling became arguably the biggest industry in the world – and who can gain, or lose, from that phenomenon.Who should read this book?Anyone with a business on which tourist numbers impact – but also anyone in government who has the power to mould how tourism can shape a country’s culture, environment and economy, for better or worse.What will it tell me? How the tourism industry has grown by encouraging the notion of leisure travel from what was once a “privilege” to “a basic right”. (And how this should bring with it an increasing sense of responsibility from both tourists and the industry on the sometimes negative impacts of this growth, eg, environmental, exploitation, property prices for locals.)From an industry perspective, Becker’s illustration of various forms of tourism through case studies is fascinating and comprehensive. She looks at cultural tourism via France, Venice, Camobodia; consumer via cruises, Dubai; nature via Zambia, Costa Rica, Sri Lanka. And she looks at how the old giant of tourism – the US – compares to how it’s being approached in what she terms “the new giant”, China.Becker, as a prize-winning US journalist, has a particular interest in the effect of travel journalism on the industry. She finds the relationship between the tourism industry and travel writers to be insidious, with “rave reviews” the return for “free trips, meals, hotels and nights on the town”. This, she argues, serves neither overhyped destinations nor the traveller well.Instead, she points to the example of Costa Rica which she says “is a laboratory for ecotourism, trying to protect the wilderness and all the wild things that live there and still have a profitable tourism business”.This almost-400 page leap into the tourism sector concludes that sustainability has to be more than a marketing buzzword on a glossy brochure for countries to protect the very cultural, natural and other attractions that bring in visitors.In a nutshell: Both tourists and those who make a living from them have a stake in resisting ‘fast’ tourism and cultivating more long-term goals. Is it elitist to wish for ‘better’ tourism – or just good economic sense?If you liked this, you’ll love:The Naked Tourist: In search of Adventure and Beauty in the Age of the Airport Mall>The Economics of Tourism>No Frills: The Truth Behind the Low-Cost Revolution in the Skies>SME book club: How can habits impact on a small business?>SME book club: Why Kenyans aren’t good distance runners – and what it means for businesses>
Hey America,it’s time for Google’s annual Holiday present. Thesoftware giant is once again getting into the spirit of the season by offeringfree Wi-Fi to holiday travelers. The company is teaming up with Virgin America,Delta, and AirTrain, offering free Wi-Fi on all domestic flights from those airlinesbetween November 20th and January 2nd (so no free Wi-Fifor our ces trips. Boo).The promotion is officially being sponsored by the Chrometeam, though using the browser isn’t necessary to take advantage of the service–whichis good news for travelers, seeing as how the company’s market share in thespace is still well behind Microsoft and Mozilla.AdChoices广告 The free Wi-Fi willreach roughly 15 million air travelers. Last year’s sponsorship had a largerwindow–from Nobember 10th to January 15th. Google hasalso opted not to continue last year’s offering of in-airport free Wi-Fi.
It’s not often we cover news of people passing away, but John Barry was a composer we have all listened to on a regular basis whether you realize it or not.The name may not mean much to you, but the movies he was associated with will. Barry was the man that helped create the James Bond Theme. He also composed 11 James Bond soundtracks including:Dr. No (1962) From Russia with Love (1963) Goldfinger (1964) Thunderball (1965) You Only Live Twice (1967) On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) Diamonds Are Forever (1971) The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) Moonraker (1979) Octopussy (1983) A View to a Kill (1985) The Living Daylights (1987)His music career spans 50 years with over 100 film credits to his name as well as musicals, TV themes, and hit singles. He also received 5 Academy Awards and 2 further nominations, a Grammy, BAFTA, BAFTA Fellowship, 2 Emmey nominations, and a Max Steiner Lifetime Achievement Award.It was a packed career, but unfortunately it came to an end at the weekend at the age of 77. He suffered a heart attack at his home in Oyster Bay.His memory will live on though, most notably for film buffs in his work for James Bond.Read more at Guardian.co.uk and Wikipedia
If you are blind or visually impaired, even the simplest task such as checking the time on your watch can be cumbersome and sometimes inaccurate. Current solutions include a watch which flips open to allow the wearer to feel numbers in Braille on the face of the watch in conjunction with its hands. A more accurate solution is a digital watch which announces the time, but it’s not practical in many situations and could disturb those around the wearer.That’s why David Chavez, an award winning product designer in San Francisco, has come up with the Haptica Braille Watch. The watch simply lists four numbers in Braille which will allow the wearer to know the time discretely and with better accuracy. Since the watch allows the wearer to check the time so discretely, it is even being marketed to those who are not blind or sight impaired since it only requires knowing how to read the numbers 0-9 in Braille.Chavez hopes to raise $150,000 through Kickstarter by March 4th to get the Haptica Braille Watch developed, sourced and ready for sale. Those who donate $25 will receive a t-shirt with a raised Braille print graphic on it and a special numeric Braille wristband so the wearer can practice reading the numbers on the watch. $250 or more will also get you an actual Hapitca Braille Watch while $500 or more gets you the watch and one or more donated to a charity for the blind. Contributors who donate $5,000 and up will also get a signed copy of the Why Design Now? exhibit catalog which features the watch.Read more at KickstarterKickstarter WristbandKickstarter WristbandKickstarter T Shirtscreen-captureBrian’s OpinionI’m a big fan of this watch design for two reasons. First, it has the potential of enhancing the lives of those who are blind and visually impaired in a big way. Second, it is not only beneficial to the blind and visually impaired, but for the able-sighted as well. That’s a great connection to have, especially since able-sighted wearers need to learn Braille to use the watch.I’m really surprised someone hasn’t though of this watch previously. Perhaps they have, but the technology didn’t exist or they didn’t have the vision to see it through like David Chavez seems to be able to do. Of course, Chavez can’t do it on his own, he needs the help of those who also share his vision.Unlike a new iPad case or iPod nano watch accessory, there is a greater good when it comes to making this Braille watch a reality. Let’s all do what we can to move it forward.
The scaling back of NASA‘s operations into space has left the door open for the private sector to take a more active role in future missions. One such private company taking full advantage of that is SpaceX, and it has just received approval for a mission to the International Space Station later this year.NASA has given SpaceX a launch date of November 30 which will see the Dragon spacecraft used to transport cargo to the ISS. The mission will combine two sperate missions SpaceX had planned called COTS Demo 2 and COTS Demo 3, with a dock at the ISS happening 9 days after launch.The mission will use the Falcon 9 two-stage liquid oxygen and rocket-grade kerosene-powered rocket in what will be its third flight. SpaceX intends to take full advantage of the launch by adding extra payload to the Falcon 9’s second stage, which is carried out after the Dragon capsule has separated. More testing after all, means more data and quicker developments for future missions.If successful, SpaceX will be the first private company to dock with the ISS. It will also fill an essential role for NASA in providing a transport service to the ISS as part of the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program.The Dragon space capsule can carry up to seven astronauts and sits on top of the Falcon 9 rocket. Once released outside of Earth’s atmosphere it has a hinged nose that opens to reveal a Common Berthing Mechanism used for ISS docking. If everything goes to plan that mechanism will be connecting to the ISS sometime early in December.Read more at SpaceX
Not wasting any time, Apple has released the first official update to iOS 5, which fixes the reported battery drain problems.In addition to fixing bugs related to battery life, the update to iOS 5.0.1 also adds multitasking gestures for the first iPad, resolves some bugs with Documents in the Cloud, and improves Siri’s voice recognition for people with Australian accents.Remember that with iOS 5 you can now install software updates over the air. So there is no longer any need to wait until you get home, grab a cable, and connect to iTunes on a PC in order to apply the update. Simply open your Settings app, choose General, and then Software Update to initiate the process. The delta update file is less than 40MB, and should only take a couple of minutes to install over WiFi.Apple was probably wise to get this update out early, as the battery drain issue was starting to get a lot of media attention. First thought to be attributed to the iPhone 4S, Apple’s support forums were flooded with pages of complaints about unusually short uptime on the latest handset. PC Mag’s testing then suggested that the issue was more likely connected to iOS 5 than specifically to the 4S. While most users didn’t appear to have terrible battery drain, some did–and few were reporting stellar uptime.Developers who had installed the beta version of 5.0.1 reported dramatic improvements in battery life, so this could be just what the doctor ordered to fan those flames. We’ll do some testing and report back, but if you’ve been having drain problems on any iOS device, we’d recommend installing this update right away.If you want to update the old fashioned way, you can find the corresponding link for your device below:iPhone: 4S, 4 (CDMA), 4 (GSM), 3GSiPad: 2 (WiFi), 2 (Verizon), 2 (AT&T), OriginaliPod touch: 4th gen, 3rd gen
In case you didn’t know it, the Global Positioning System (GPS) is a service of the US government. The government makes it accessible to anyone, but at the end of the day it’s their toy and they can do what they want with the former military project. That might not be an issue for you when you are trying to figure out the fastest way to get to Aunt Mildred’s house, but if you were a leader in China, Russia, India, or the European Union it might be cause for concern. For this reason other countries (and in the case of the EU, groups of countries) are building their own satellite-based navigation systems. China’s, which is known as COMPASS or Beidou, has recently become operational.Beidou, which translates to “Big Dipper”, will cover the southern Asia for the time being, but will expand outward to be a worldwide navigation system by 2020. At this point it’s composed of 10 satellites, out of a planned total of 35. For reference, the US’ GPS is an array of 32 satellites (at least 24 of which are always operational). At a given time a connection with four satellites is necessary in order to get accurate location data, and more satellites means benefits like better worldwide coverage and faster signal acquisition. The Russian equivalent, GLONASS, has 24 satellites. Work on Beidou began in 2000, which is quite late compared to the US, but development is happening quickly right now. By the end of 2012 China plans to have six more satellites in the array, bring the total up to 16. The current system, according to a BBC report, is accurate to 10m, which is rather poor compared to that of the US, but it should improve as the number of satellites grows. Beidou will be tested by the Chinese military who will apparently be able to get more accurate location data from the system. This is not unlike the US’ own Selective Availability program, which degraded location data for non-Department of Defense usage. Selective Availability was turned off in 2000 though, giving all GPS users full accuracy (generally considered to be 3-5m).Beidou is said to be compatible with other navigation systems. So the same way that the iPhone 4S and other smartphones can work with Russia’s GLONASS in addition to GPS devices might one day be able to work with Beidou, though it will take some time before this is possible.More at Beidou via Reutersand BBC
There’s a growing problem for anyone who appreciates having all their PC games available on a service like Steam. That problem is the inability to purchase certain high profile new titles from Steam. Mass Effect 3 is the perfect example of the issue that is surely only going to get worse. Publisher EA has launched its own digital games service called Origin, and in order to promote it the games launched by EA and its partners are being made Origin exclusive. That means regardless of whether you buy at retail or prefer digital downloads, you have to register an account with Origin to play the game. Developer BioWare has confirmed on its SocialNetwork site that this is the case for Mass Effect 3. You will have to purchase it digitally through Origin or another service that supports Origin’s use, or if you buy a boxed copy the game uses Origin to authenticate when installing. Steam is not going to sell the game because, as BioWare explains, the service has “restrictive terms.”BioWare also confirmed that there is only a one-time authorization required to play Mass Effect 3, so no constant checking or always-on Internet connection prerequisite. You can also install the game as many times as you like because it is linked to an Origin account, not the machine you play on.If more publishers adopt their own online service, we could see multiple service installs required in order to play games from different developers and publishers. In normal circumstances competing services mean lower prices and more choice. However, if each service is only offering certain games they have a vested interest in, there is no competition.Read more at BioWare SocialNetwork, via Destructoid
Short URL http://jrnl.ie/3272533 Mar 6th 2017, 7:27 AM Share305 Tweet Email Monday 6 Mar 2017, 7:27 AM By AFP 108 Comments 33,971 Views FBI DIRECTOR JAMES Comey has asked the US Justice Department to publicly refute President Donald Trump’s explosive, unsubstantiated accusation that Barack Obama tapped his phone during last year’s election campaign, US media has reported.Comey’s extraordinary measure questioning the president’s truthfulness provides an indication of the implications of Trump’s incendiary claim about his predecessor. The department has not made any statement.Trump’s aides were scrambling yesterday to limit the political fallout of Trump’s accusation 24 hours after it was made — admitting it was still unproven, and calling on Congress to investigate.Citing still undefined “reports” of “politically motivated investigations”, press secretary Sean Spicer said Trump was calling on Congress to “determine whether executive branch investigative powers were abused in 2016″.Trump spokeswoman Sarah Sanders echoed those comments.“If this happened,” she told ABC, “this would be the greatest abuse of power, and overreach, that has ever occurred in the executive branch”.Trump, who has returned to Washington from a weekend at his Mar-a-Lago estate in West Palm Beach, Florida, has not publicly commented further on his allegations.On Saturday, he tweeted: “How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!” He provided no evidence to back up the claim. Source: Twitter Source: TwitterWatergate is the generic term for the scandal that brought down president Richard Nixon in 1974. It began with the revelation of a secret wiretap in the offices of the Democratic National Committee at Washington’s Watergate Hotel.Obama, via a spokesman, denied Trump’s new allegation as “simply false”.US presidents can’t legally order such wiretaps, which require the approval of a federal judge and reasonable grounds for suspicion.Obama’s director of national intelligence James Clapper told NBC there was “no such wiretap activity mounted against the president-elect at the time as a candidate or against his campaign”.President ‘furious’ Trump’s comments appear to have been based on unverified claims made by the right-wing Breitbart News outlet. His chief strategist, Steve Bannon, used to run it.The New York Times, citing senior US officials, first reported that Comey believes Trump’s claim to be false.The FBI director made the request on Saturday because “there is no evidence to support it, and it insinuates that the FBI broke the law”, the paper reported the officials as saying.Previous media reports have indicated that US prosecutors investigated communications between a server registered to the Trump Organization and a Russian bank.In his roles as a reality TV showman and presidential candidate, and now as president, Trump has repeatedly embraced conspiracy theories, including the suggestion that Obama was not born in America. Obama was born in Hawaii, a US state.Trump levelled the latest charges in a string of tweets early on Saturday, at the end of a week in which his administration was battered by controversy over links between his advisors and Russian officials.Trump was said to be furious that good reviews of his maiden speech to Congress on Tuesday were overtaken by a series of revelations about aides’ meetings with Russian officials.The president was also said to be angry that Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from any campaign or Russia-related investigations.Sessions’ recusal came after it emerged that, speaking under oath during his Senate confirmation hearings about campaign contacts with Russia, he failed to disclose two meetings with Moscow’s ambassador in Washington.Amid that and several other revelations of Trump aides holding meetings with Russian officials, the White House has denied allegations of collusion.Diversionary tactics US intelligence agencies have concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin approved a campaign to meddle in last November’s presidential election in a bid to tilt it in Trump’s favor.Former CIA director Leon Panetta yesterday accused Trump of diversionary tactics.“They are trying to obfuscate and trying to cover up. They are trying to somehow raise other issues,” he told CBS.In the end, it is going to be the truth that will determine what is involved here, and not tweets, but the truth.However, the Republican chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Devin Nunes, said his panel would look into Trump’s claims.“The Committee will make inquiries into whether the government was conducting surveillance activities on any political party’s campaign officials or surrogates, and we will continue to investigate this issue if the evidence warrants it,” he said in a statement.Democrats and a growing number of Republicans in Congress have called for the appointment of a special prosecutor and a bipartisan inquiry to look into the Russia issue.With approval ratings already low, Trump could do without another scandal in his young presidency.Republicans have largely stood behind him, hoping he will enact tax cuts and other policies they favor. However, some Republican lawmakers appear to be losing patience with the drama of Trump’s presidency.“We are in the midst of a civilization-warping crisis of public trust,” Senator Ben Sasse said, adding that Trump’s allegations of wiretapping “demand the thorough and dispassionate attention of serious patriots”.Read: Trump asks Congress to investigate whether his phone was tapped by ObamaRead: ‘Witch hunt’: How Russian media is covering the latest Trump controversy- © AFP 2017 Trump ‘furious’ as FBI rejects claim Obama tapped his phones Trump’s comments appear to be based on unverified claims made by the right-wing Breitbart News outlet. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
9,696 Views https://jrnl.ie/4566897 Friday 29 Mar 2019, 12:18 PM Agnés Varda in February of this year at the Berlinale festival. Image: DPA/PA Images Share56 Tweet Email1 THE PIONEERING FEMINIST filmmaker Agnes Varda has died, aged 90.The film legend, who effectively kicked off the French New Wave in 1954 with her debut film La Pointe Courte, died today, her family said.“The director and artist Agnes Varda died at her home on the night of Thursday, March 29, of complications from cancer. She was surrounded by her family and friends,” the family said in a statement.Varda was born in Belgium but lived in France, and was married to the late filmmaker Jaques Demy. She worked right up to the end of her life, with a new autobiographical documentary premiering at the Berlin film festival just last month.She won an honorary Oscar at 89 for her moving documentary Faces Places, which she made with the French street artist JR. In the film, the pair travelled around France to shoot portraits of people, pasting them onto large buildings. Though separated by over five decades in age, the pair bonded over a shared interest in the little details of people’s lives, and celebrating the ordinary. Source: TEDx Talks/YouTubeThroughout her career, Varda worked in whatever form she wished, from documentary to feature. Inspired by her love of and career in photography, her work reflected the passions of a woman deeply interested in both people but also how the world treats women. A lifelong feminist, she was a major player in the French New Wave, though at times was forgotten in favour of her male peers who made films after her.Varda’s breakthrough film was 1962′s Cleo de 5 a 7 (Cleo from 5 to 7), about a singer who spends the day in Paris while waiting for test results from her doctor. The subtle details in how Cleo is treated – and how she sees herself – reflect Varda’s view on how French society at the time viewed women.She won the Golden Lion at the Venice film festival and a host of other awards for her 1985 film Vagabond, which looked – backwards – at the journey of a homeless woman who is found dead in a ditch. The social realism served to show how women on the margins could be treated when most vulnerable.Varda also made a series of documentaries in the United States and Cuba, including Black Panthers (1968), Hi Cubans! (1971) and Far From Vietnam (1967).Born in Belgium in 1928 to a French mother and Greek father whose family had fled Turkey, Varda changed her first name from Arlette to Agnes when she turned 18 and began her career as a photographer.Varda was an uncompromising force in an industry which is only belatedly recognising the contribution of women. When she won an honorary Palme d’Or at the Cannes film festival in 2015, she became the first female to win the coveted award.She faced sexism in the industry – in Variety’s obituary today, it even notes that in its review of La Pointe Courte: Short URL Agnés Varda in February of this year at the Berlinale festival. Mar 29th 2019, 12:18 PM By Aoife Barry Image: DPA/PA Images 6 Comments Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Legendary filmmaker and French New Wave pioneer Agnes Varda dies aged 90 She continued making films right up to her death. In a sentence as sexist as it was curt, Variety dismissed it by saying that the “main aspect of this film is that it was made for $20,000 by a 25-year-old girl.”But no matter what critics may have said, Varda pursued her filmmaking with a vigour that didn’t let up even as she aged.As the Cannes festival said in 2015: “Her work and her life are infused with the spirit of freedom, the art of driving back boundaries, a fierce determination and a conviction that brooks no obstacles. Simply put, Varda seems capable of accomplishing everything she wants.”As the work of female filmmakers is being rediscovered and reappraised, figures like Varda will prove an inspiration to a new generation of filmmakers – and cinephiles. – With details from – © AFP, 2019
By Michelle Hennessy Source: Michelle Hennessy/Twitter Ruth Morrissey said it’s unfortunate she had to be the one to go through a full court action after the Taoiseach said women affected by the CervicalCheck scandal would not have to. pic.twitter.com/oi6lTVt5yY— Michelle Hennessy (@michellehtweet) May 3, 2019 65,441 Views Share100 Tweet Email Updated May 3rd 2019, 12:49 PM THE HIGH COURT has delivered its ruling in the case taken by Limerick woman Ruth Morrissey and her husband Paul over the alleged misreading of her cervical smear tests and the failure to inform her about it.They are to be awarded €2.1 million in damages the court ruled this morning, in what’s seen as a test case in the wake of the CervicalCheck controversy. Ruth is to be awarded €757,000 and her husband is to be granted €1.4 million. Speaking to reporters outside the court in Dublin today, Morrissey said she now wants to “move on and spend whatever quality time I’ve left with my daughter”. She thanked the judge for his compassion and her family for all of the support she and Paul have received over the 37 days of the case. https://jrnl.ie/4618105 Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie Short URL May 3rd 2019, 10:43 AM 41 Comments Ruth Morrissey: ‘I want to move on and spend whatever time I’ve left with my daughter’ Morrissey and her husband Paul took the action against the HSE and two US laboratories. What can I say? I didn’t think I’d be in this position because our Taoiseach told us that none of us would have to go through this. But unfortunately I’m the one that had to so I hope that’s a positive thing for the women left, that they don’t have to do this and fight for what is their right to have a good life, what they’ve left.She thanked her husband, who she described as “my rock”.Morrissey also encouraged women to continue to go for smears. Though she said the system had failed her, she said the screening “does save many, many lives”. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Friday 3 May 2019, 12:49 PM Responding to the judgement today, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar welcomed the fact that the couple won their action. “I know a year ago I said I didn’t want any woman to have to go through court, I still don’t and I know the Irish public don’t want [that] either,” he said.And I genuinely believed at the time that it would be possible to settle all cases by mediation and negotiation. While many have been, we know now that’s not possible in all cases but we have found an alternative, an alternative to court, and that’s a tribunal.Varadkar said legislation for the establishment of the tribunal is now being prepared and this process will mean women who want to take a case will have an alternative. He said these cases will be heard in private and the system will help to fast track those cases. The couple took the action against the HSE and two US laboratories, Quest Diagnostics Ireland and MedLab Pathology Limited over cervical smears taken in 2009 and 2012.The court had heard the woman was not told until May 2018 that a review of her two smears in 2014 had found they were incorrectly reported. In February last year she was diagnosed with a recurrence of her cancer and was told she had at most two years to live. The labs had both denied liability.Pain and distressIn his judgement, Mr Justice Kevin Cross said that her life had been “ruined”.He found the laboratory where her 2009 slide was read were negligent and in breach of duty. In the case of the 2012 slide, he found this lab was not negligent in its failure to determine it contained abnormal cells as the sample was not adequate.However he found that the failure of this lab to test the slide for adequacy was negligent and in breach of duty. He said if this test had been done, it would have been reported as inadequate and Morrissey would have been called back to be retested within one and three months. MedLab Pathology welcomed the judgement that its lab was not negligent in its review and interpretation of the 2012 slide. It said it was “surprised and disappointed” with the finding there was insufficient cellular material on the slide to meet the minimum threshold of 5,000 cells. “This is contrary to findings of a retrospective detailed actual cell count where it was proven there was in excess of 35,000 cells present on the slide,” the firm said in a statement. “This is over seven times the required volume of cells to deem a cervical sample as adequate.”The company said it will now review the judgement in full with a view to appeal.This evidence about the 35,000 cells on the slide related to a computer analysis of the slide – for the lab’s legal defence – using what is known as the Qupad system.However the judge was told by a medical expert hired by Ruth and Paul Morrissey that this analysis was irrelevant as the slide should have been assessed using the method in accordance with what is known as the Bethedesda system. This is the system the labs are suppose to use for carrying out tests, under their contracts with the HSE.“Mrs Morrissey has suffered a life sentence, of which she is fully aware, which is expected to take effect within two years and for which there is no reasonable prospect of reprieve.”He said the 37-year-old woman has “suffered a catastrophic injury, no less than that of a tetraplegic or someone with brain damage”. He said there is a high probability she would have been successfully treated using the non-invasive LLETZ procedure and she never would have contracted cancer in 2014. “She would have been spared the pain and distress of what followed and in particular, the cancer would not as a matter or probability reoccurred.”He said she would not be left with the knowledge she had only at most two yeas to live, her careers would not have been interrupted, she would not have had to stop having intimate relations with her husband and she would likely have had another child. She would have been spared the prospect and knowledge that her daughter and her husband will have to go through life without her care and guidance and in particular she will not live to see her daughter make her way through life and probably start her own family and of most importance, her life would not have been so tragically cut off. The HSE admitted it owed a duty of care to Ruth Morrissey in relation to the disclosure of the audits of her smear tests after she was diagnosed with cancer. The judge said that apart from the non-disclosure of the audits, the immediate cause of damages was the acts of omissions of the two labs.He said the HSE is entitled under contract to indemnity against the laboratories for all matters other than its own liability relating to the audits and has been ordered to pay €10,000 of the damages.
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The Melbourne Magistrate’s Court set July 6 as the date for the commital hearing where a rape charge against Victorian MP Theo Theophanous will be heard.Seven days have been set aside by the court for the commital hearing.Theo Theophanous is charged with the alleged rape of a woman in his parliamentary office more than ten years ago. The alleged incident happened on September 1988 after Mr Theophanous and his female accuser had a drink in the city. Mr Theophanous, who says he is innocent, resigned from his Ministerial portfolio as soon as he was charged with one count of rape on Christmas Eve of last year. The commital hearing will see the prosecution present their evidence before the court. The alleged victim, who is in her 40s and lives in Greece, will also give evidence. The evidence presented at the commital hearing will allow the magistrate to decide whether the case will go in front of a jury. The embattled Greek Australian politician, who has not resigned from his parliamentary seat expressed his belief that he will be exonerated outside the court house. “I’m confident the truth will come out in this case,” Mr Theophanous said to waiting reporters.
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram European Commission forecasts that Greece will slide into its first recession since 1993 this year do not reflect the Greek government’s latest efforts to boost the economy, Greek Finance Minister Yannis Papathanasiou said last week. ‘The Commission’s latest forecasts do not take into account the recent measures taken by the government to strengthen economic growth, such as the measures to boost construction, the car market and employment,’ Papathanassiou said. The Commission said in its spring forecast on Monday that Greek GDP may shrink by 0.9 percent this year due to slower private consumption growth and falling investment. That compares to the government’s most recent forecast of a 1.1 percent expansion. ‘As it has already stated, the government will evaluate in June the course of the economy and, if necessary, proceed to the required adjustments to implement the targets set,’ Papathanassiou said. The Greek government said earlier this month it wants to narrow the budget deficit to 3.7 percent of GDP this year and bring it below a 3-percent threshold for euro zone members by the end of 2010. Last week, the ministry said it will subsidize loans and increase tax benefits for property buyers in a bid to boost the construction sector after having announced recent cuts in registration tax for new cars. The Karamanlis government has also announced a 2.5-billion-euro program aimed at stemming rising jobless numbers in Greece.
Bourakis Industries is one of Melbourne’s foremost high-end residential designers and builders: a one-stop-shop for people wanting to build their dream home, guided by the creative vision and experience of the company’s founders, George and Rita Bourakis. I meet George and Rita outside one of their current projects in Port Melbourne: a relatively small house overlooking a park. It’s nearing completion and though shrouded by polythene and scaffolding its clean lines still reveal its pedigree: a cool contemporary feel, a hint of art deco: a unique design and build and the product of someone wanting more than the average. George, who was born in Leros, met Rita (of Italian extraction) in the late seventies when they were both studying building design at RMIT. A shared love of design brought them close, and as they attended lectures and nurtured each others’ creative passions, they fell in love. After graduating in 1981 they worked for different architectural firms before marrying two years later. “The same year we left our jobs to start our own business,” says Rita over a soy latte in a nearby Bay Street cafe, “though the company was called Mediterranean Design and Construction in those days. Within 12 months we’d also started a family – so we went full on into it.” George and Rita’s interest in design and construction had begun at early age. George arrived in Melbourne with mum and dad aged 14, along with younger brother Kon, in 1973. At school the young George shone for his drawing ability. One of the first incarnations of his prestigious talent came at Footscray Technical College where he won first prize in a drawing competition. The subject: the ancient church of Agia Kyriaki that he remembered vividly near his hometown of Merovigli in Leros. George’s father had been a carpenter and furniture maker and as a small child George helped in the workshop. Rita’s father worked in civil construction, and she remembers an early and uncommon interest for a young girl – exploring construction sites. After nearly 30 years in business, Rita and George put their success down to their ability to interpret and translate a client’s wishes. “It’s about understanding those needs and reading into your client’s brief what they’re really about, what they want to achieve,” says Rita. “We tell our clients that designing a house is about joint input, and we do listen; it’s about producing something that fits, says George. “We’ve never built the same project twice, every one is different.” With a swathe of top industry awards for his residential properties over the years, George, who is also President of the Lerian Club of Melbourne, works on commercial and community projects. He designed the new Greek Orthodox Church in Yarraville, and is working on a second Greek church project in Altona. With brother Kon as project supervisor since 1985, Bourakis Industries is very much a family concern. George’s cousin Anna is in the office, and both sons Andrew (25) and Emmanuel (27) and are involved in the business. Despite being in ever-greater demand, with an expanding client-base developed by word-of-mouth recommendation, Rita and George are keen to remain true to their original vision. “We consciously decided to keep it boutique, small, hands on, in touch with everyone, and it works,” says Rita. And works, it certainly does. With around seven residential projects on the go at any one time, often clients are prepared to wait in line. One recent $3m project customer waited 12 months for their turn.Bourakis Industries with its one-stop-shop is in high demand – the houses that George and Rita build have never been more popular. And what might it cost to get the Bourakis team to design and build your next home? Somewhere between $2,000 and $4,000 per square metre suggests George. “That figure will depend on what you put in it and the level of finishes,” adds Rita. As we parted, I began ‘doing the math’: perhaps out of my league right now. But, if you’ve got the cash, remember, put your name down early, you may just have to wait a while. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram