Forever Lazy The New Snuggie

first_imgI have a very fear real that, when we’re all long gone, archeologists will unearth a treasure trove of informercials and use them as the basis with which they reconstruct our culture. What if one day all of our great works of art and literature are gone and all that remains are long, eerily cheery ads for products like the Snuggie?On lazy days when it’s chilly, turning up the heat costs money, and wrestling with blankets is silly. This one’s too big, that one’s too small, and a blanket can’t cover it all? Is this the poetry of the 21st century poetry?It’s the opening line to a two minute ad for a new product called “Forever Lazy.” Consider it something of a Snuggie alternative. It’s an adult onsie. It was created by two Wisconsin dudes in their mid-20s attempting to nab a little piece of that sweet, sweet “As Seen on TV” cash.It’s the self-proclaimed “one piece, lie around, lounge around, full body lazy wear.”You can pick one up now from the Order Forever Lazy site for the low, low price of $19.95 (plus $9.95 postage and handling). Act now and they’ll throw in a neck pillow and matching footies.Remember, only 22 shopping days ’til Christmas. Snuggie-like ad after the jump.last_img read more

HTC to debut their own Facebook phone at Mobile World Congress

first_imgThis year’s Mobile World Congress seems like it will have a heavy Facebook presence. Earlier today, we already heard tell of INQ‘s two new Facebook phones, and now sources are telling the Financial Times that HTC will be releasing their own Facebook phone that will feature a dedicated button that will, at the very least, act as a shortcut to the world’s largest social network.The handset — which is likely an Android phone due to that operating system’s expandability — may offer deeper integration with Facebook than just a quick-launch button though. Although details are unknown at this point, it’s possible that HTC will leverage Facebook’s APIs to integrate the social network’s status, photo and video sharing functionality.One way they could accomplish this is through HTC’s Sense software, the modified UI they ship all of their Android phones with. This UI already has some degree of Facebook integration in the way it pulls status updates and allows users to publish messages to their profile from a central point. Perhaps HTC means to dramatically extend the Sense UI to more robustly handle Facebook functionality, and the new shortcut button is simply an external reflection of that software change. Either way, it seems very, very likely that HTC plans more than just slapping another hardware button on every phone, with one source telling the Financial Times that Facebook functionality remains “one of HTC’s main pushes for the year.”Read more at Slashgearlast_img read more

iPhone Nano Will Have No Builtin Memory Rumor

first_imgMore rumors about the rumored iPhone nano rumor. According to another rumor from more anonymous sources, the device, said to be due out this summer, will be completely devoid of built-in storage. In attempting to bring the cost of the device down, Apple has apparently stripped it of all manner of features, including one of the most pricey–flash memory.Yep, if the rumor is to be believed, the new iPhone nano will be a cloud-only device, which perhaps goes a ways toward explaining those MobileMe updates that are said to also be coming this summer. We may also finally see the cloud-based fruits of Apple’s purchase (and subsequent shut down) of Lala.One thing’s for sure, the carriers would no doubt love such a move–keeping users entirely dependent on streaming for, well, pretty much everything.last_img read more

BioShock Infinite demo dated first 2minutes video released

first_imgWe’ve got a couple of pieces of good news for BioShock fans today. The first is that Irrational Games has dated the BioShock Infinite PC demo. You’ll be able to download it on July 7 from GT.TV. It will be made available following a 30-minute preview special on Spike which will include guest Ken Levine, creative director at Irrational.As a prelude to that, Levine has posted the first two minutes of gameplay from the demo on YouTube for us all to watch. The footage, and the 15-minute demo being made available next week, were both shown behind closed doors during E3 last month.AdChoices广告Gamers have already been impressed by BioShock Infinite based on the 10-minute gameplay trailer that was released in September last year. The chance to finally play the game will surely put GT.TV’s servers under a lot of strain come July 7. You can understand why they decided not to make it available before the holiday weekend.Both the first two games met with great reviews and feedback from gamers, so Irrational has a lot to live up to with this third title. Where as BioShock 2 was set a decade after the first game and still within the confines of Rapture, BioShock Infinite takes you out of that environment and instead is set in 1912 on a floating city called Columbia. A civil war across the isolated city has left just two factions: the Founders and the Vox Populi. You, as disgraced agent Booker DeWitt, are sent to the city to rescue a woman named Elizabeth. In order to get her off the island expect the usual mix of BioShock FPS action.There’s still no definite release date for the game, and retailers like Amazon just have it listed as December 31. With a demo out next week, though, we hope it arrives a lot sooner than that on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.via Irrational Gameslast_img read more

Apple has more cash in the bank than the US Treasury has

first_imgIf you’ve watched the news at any point over the past couple of weeks you can’t fail to have heard about the U.S. debt ceiling. If no compromise and agreement is reached by the U.S. government, that debt ceiling will be hit at some point next Tuesday.What has been pointed out yesterday afternoon is the unlikely comparison of the severity of the cash shortage compared to the success of U.S. company Apple. Apple now has more cash in the bank than the U.S. Treasury has left to spend. The totals sit at $73.768 billion for the Treasury and $75.876 billion for Apple.Apple is certainly in the better position as their total is actually money in the bank. The U.S. Treasury on the other hand has that amount of debt left to use–it’s a negative number.While the comparison is certainly an attention grabber, it does highlight that even in tumultuous economic times there are companies that can weather the storm and be successful. The U.S. government is going to be dealing with the economic crisis for many years to come, where as Apple is laser-focused on refining its products and getting everyone deciding to spend what little free cash they have on Apple gadgets and feeling good about it in the process.The good news for Apple looks set to continue. Their share price has gone past $400 and the future looks very positive, especially if the iPhone 5 does appear this year. Apple may even become the largest company on the planet one day. It currently sits in second place with a market capitalization of $363.35 billion, while Exxon Mobil is still top with around $417.166 billion.Read more at the Financial Postlast_img read more

Oprah places Surface tablet in Favorite Things list

first_imgMicrosoft’s newly launched Surface tablet certainly faces an uphill battle in its quest to take on the likes of the iPad and the myriad Android-powered tablets, but it has managed to impress at least one mogul with a pretty big megaphone — Oprah.The talk show queen has officially given her seal of approval to Surface by christening it in her annual list of “Favorite Things,” which help millions of Winfrey devotees decide what to buy for the holiday season. The Microsoft tablet chimes in at number 22 among the 49 hand-picked products.It is one of only a few electronic devices included in the list, standing out among the tons of makeup kits and fashion accessories.Her words are no doubt like fireworks going off in Microsoft’s office, with her calling it a “wowser” and saying it is the Mercedes-Benz of the tablet market. Not many people in the technology world were waiting to hear what Oprah’s tablet of choice would be, but for millions of other mainstream consumers, it could make an impact.Oprah‘s endorsement of Surface is not just about gaining a PR edge for the holiday season. It also helps with Microsoft’s storyline that the tablet is all about accessibility. Microsoft wants consumers to see that the iPad is for the enthusiasts, the Android tablets are for the geeks, and Windows RT is for the soccer moms and the mainstream consumers who want a user-friendly all-in-one device.That’s the company’s selling point. Now, whether or not that resonates with consumers will be the barometer of the platform’s success.via Oprah.comlast_img read more

This stained glass Master Chief desk lamp is perfect for your study

first_imgAfter finishing up Halo 4‘s single player campaign in your very classily articulated study, you might feel the need to make that study even classier. For the price of $840, you can add this intricately detailed stained glass Master Chief helmet desk lamp to your fancy wooden desk.Of course, if you don’t have a fancy wooden desk in your study — or a study in the first place — the lamp will fancy up any ol’ surface, Microsoft’s notwithstanding. The helmet-shade is full-sized, matching the size Master Chief’s head would be if he were real. The shade measures in at 9 inches tall by 9 inches wide, and runs 14 inches deep. The admittedly gorgeous glass was created with the Tiffany Glass Technique — copper foil and solder.Along with that hefty $840 price tag, you’re also to pay a $35 shipping fee — bumping the total price up to $875 — and the item only ships to the United States. The design comes from Etsy user 3rdEdgeStainedGlass, who unfortunately doesn’t seem to have any other items currently available, but we live in hope.At the time of writing, there is only one lamp available, so if you want the awe of Master Chief (or at least, his head) to grace the presence of whatever room you decide to fancy up, you should act fast. Make sure to check out the associated deviantART page, as it also contains some other very pretty stained glass works.last_img read more

The Quilt A poem before bedtime

first_img Marie Heaney – wife of the late Seamus Heaney – has edited a collection of poetry inspired by the night time, called All Through The Night. Here, she explains why it’s such a meaningful time, and includes a poem by Paula Meehan from the collection.We incline to think of night as a time of peace, rest and relaxation: a time that brings freedom from the cares of the day, a time to dream, to make love and to embrace blessed sleep which, in Shakespeare’s words, knits up the ravell’d sleeve of care. And this is, indeed, a reality; but night can bring with it other, less benign experiences.With darkness can come sleeplessness and its attendant sadness, anxiety and guilt, emotions that are often more intensely felt at night than during the day with all its distractions.A time when, to borrow a phrase from Keats, conscience burrows like a mole and we are haunted by fears and regrets. Both these aspects of the night, happiness and sadness, are explored by the poems in this collection.Lullabies, quiet songs to lull a child to sleep and other poems relating to children, form the opening section. The poems in the second part of the collection celebrate the various night-time pleasures as well as giving voice to the anxieties that beset us during the night.The poems in the night poems section are very wide-ranging in both emotional expression and subject matter, and they bring the reader to unexpected places. However, unsurprisingly, sleep is still a preoccupation – praise for it, the need for it, the desire for it and the lack of it – and is the subject matter of a number of these poems.The adult’s fear of insomnia replaces the child’s reluctance to go to sleep. Even Wordsworth, in his gentle poem, ‘To Sleep’, admits to counting sheep to no avail.The QuiltBy Paula MeehanIt was a simple affair – nine squaresby nine squares, blue on green – spots, stripes, bows –alternate with gold on red chevrons:my grandmother’s quilt I slept underthe long and winding nights of childhood.Above the bed a roundy window:my own full moon. I loved the weatherswheeling past, the stars, the summer suns;my aunties’ deep breaths, distant thunder.The Quilt is taken from the poetry collection All Through The Night, edited by Marie Heaney. It is nominated in the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards, in the Best Irish Published Book award, which is sponsored by The awards take place on 16 November and members of the public are invited to vote for their favourite books on the website. Photo of Marie Heaney by Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland.Read: These are the best books in Ireland right now – and you get to vote for your favourites> Oct 29th 2016, 10:00 PM 12 Comments 685 Views By Marie Heaney Short URLcenter_img ‘The Quilt’: A poem before bedtime Take a moment to read The Quilt, a poem by Paula Meehan taken from a new collection by Marie Heaney. Marie Heaney Share23 Tweet Email3 Saturday 29 Oct 2016, 10:00 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Column If Ethiopia started to develop its coffee industry it could trade

first_img Share207 Tweet Email6 720 Views Column: ‘If Ethiopia started to develop its coffee industry, it could trade its way out of poverty’ About 100 million people rely on coffee for their livelihood but they’re not always getting a fair deal, writes Killian Stokes. Mar 6th 2017, 6:30 AM 34 Comments Monday 6 Mar 2017, 6:30 AMcenter_img By Killian Stokes Short URL WHEN WE THINK about the products on supermarket shelves, there isn’t a level playing field. Take wine and coffee for example.The French don’t export green grapes. They export bottled and branded wine and consumers actually pay more for premium French brands such as Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne.As a result, more jobs, income and profits stay in France and France makes about €12bn a year from its wine exports.At the same time, a big coffee-producing country like Ethiopia only earns €760m from coffee. Both are premium products, so what’s the problem?Fairtrade FortnightFairtrade has been fantastic for raising awareness but it was supposed to address this imbalance.Fairtrade is marking Fairtrade Fortnight at the moment and after 20 years of Fairtrade products on our shelves in Ireland, has it achieved its aims of addressing poverty in developing countries?Short answer? Not really. Fairtrade in the UK announced sales of £1.64bn this week for products with their certification. That gave farmers £30m in “premium payments” for their products. After 20 years of campaigning, that’s not a lot of added value for producers.A Problem Worth Solving – A Look at Coffee Agegnehu and Genet in Moyee’s Roastery in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.Coffee has become the world’s favourite drink. It’s bigger than wine, beer and booze put together. Each day we drink 2 billion cups of coffee and the global coffee industry is worth almost €100 billion a year.Across the developing world about 100 million people rely on coffee for their livelihood, that’s the coffee farmers and their families. But these are amongst the poorest people on the planet. 90% of coffee farmers earn less than €2 a day while 90% of coffee growing countries still need international aid to survive.While 100% of coffee is grown in the coffee belt, 99.9% of all coffee we drink is roasted in Europe or America. Coffee is exported out of the coffee belt as raw green bean and so even if coffee farmers earn slightly more with Fairtrade premiums, most of the jobs, income and profits from coffee are exported out of the coffee belt. This has to change.Ethiopia, which I mentioned earlier, is the birthplace of coffee, the home of Arabica and the producer of some the finest beans in the world including Harrar, Sidamo and Yirgacheffe beans.It is Africa’s largest producer of coffee, coffee accounts for 30% of its exports. 1 in 4 Ethiopians rely on coffee for their income. That’s about 20 million people.Ethiopia should earn enough to power its economy, but as that value’s being added in the West, it has to rely on about €3 billion in foreign aid per year.A Better Deal for the Coffee Belt – Trade over AidIf Ethiopia started to develop its coffee industry, with roasting, packaging and quality control taking place at origin, it could create millions of jobs and triple the country’s income from coffee to €2.5 billion a year. It could begin to trade its way out of poverty.At Moyee Coffee we call this approach FairChain. We now roast 85% of our coffee in Addis Ababa, as well as packaging and quality control jobs. By roasting locally, we create more jobs and ensure more profit stays with the people who contribute most to the coffee chain.We think that’s an idea worth talking about this Fairtrade Fortnight. Let’s move the conversation beyond supporting farmers and look at supporting entire industries in developing countries.We believe this FairChain revolution can spread throughout the coffee belt and make a real difference in the fight to tackle poverty.Killian Stokes is an adjunct lecturer on Business and Global Development at the Quinn School of Business in UCD and the co-founder of Moyee Coffee Ireland (, the world’s first FairChain coffee.Good or evil?: McDonald’s and low cost airlines opened up eating out and travel to us all>Opinion: ‘Taxpayers who earn significantly less than Bus Éireann drivers are being asked to foot the bill’> Killian Stokes Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Donald Trump claims he has been totally vindicated by James Comeys testimony

first_img Friday 9 Jun 2017, 12:57 PM Share196 Tweet Email By Cianan Brennan Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Jun 9th 2017, 12:57 PM Donald Trump claims he has been ‘totally vindicated’ by James Comey’s testimony The US president has been tweeting for the first time in two days this morning.center_img 141 Comments Source: DPA/PA ImagesUS PRESIDENT DONALD Trump has had his first public say on former FBI director James Comey’s testimony before a Senate intelligence committee yesterday, and he’s done it via his favourite medium – Twitter.Trump had remained silent on the social media platform for two days, with his lawyer Marc Kasowitz instead releasing a statement last night suggesting that Comey’s submission to the committee (that Trump had asked him to stop investigating former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn regarding his ties to Russia) was false.There had been suggestions that Trump had effectively been sequestered in the White House with Kasowitz in order to prevent him from tweeting during Comey’s testimony.Now that silence has been well and truly broken.“Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication… and WOW, Comey is a leaker!” the President said on Twitter this morning. 22,372 Views Short URL Source: Twitter/Donald J. Trump Source: Twitter/Donald J. TrumpHe followed up that pronouncement by tweeting his appreciation for the news coverage of the Fox News channel with regard to Comey.Trump’s comment regarding Comey being ‘a leaker’ refers to the fact that the director admitted under oath that he had facilitated the leaking of classified information in the wake of his dismissal in an attempt to secure the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Trump’s connections with Russia – an appointment that has since come to pass.It’s not as yet clear how Trump understands himself to have been vindicated entirely by Comey’s testimony, which suggested that the former FBI director believed that Trump had directed him to stop investigating Flynn.Trump fired Comey from his position at the start of May, saying that director was ‘doing a bad job’.As head of the FBI, Comey had been the figurehead for the investigation into alleged Russian meddling in last November’s US election.Read: This is the Northern Irish party that will keep Theresa May as Prime MinisterRead: Catalonia is set to vote on independence from Spainlast_img read more

Emiliano Sala tragedy sparks unsavoury legal wrangle

first_img Image: SIPA USA/PA Images THE TRAGEDY OF the plane crash that killed Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala has now entered an ugly aftermath as Premier League club Cardiff City and French side Nantes threaten to go to court over his £15 million (€17 million) transfer fee.Sala, who was buried at the age of 28 in the Argentine village of Progreso on Saturday, never played a game for Cardiff. The plane carrying the striker and pilot David Ibbotson came down in the English Channel en route to the Welsh capital on 21 January, two days after he completed his transfer from Nantes.Cardiff have so far refused to pay the first instalment of the club record fee, believed to be £5 million, as they await the results of an Air Accidents Investigations Bureau (AAIB) investigation into the causes of the crash.The Telegraph reported on Sunday that Cardiff believe that if the AAIB find Ibbotson did not hold the necessary licence to carry passengers on a commercial basis, then a negligence claim could be launched against whoever arranged the flight.That would point the finger at agents Willie and Mark McKay, who were hired by Nantes to secure the transfer.Willie McKay has accused Cardiff of “trying to throw me under the bus” in an attempt to avoid paying the transfer fee.Speaking to The Times, Willie McKay said his son Mark arranged the fateful flight carrying Sala and Ibbotson, just as he had organised several flights for brokers of the deal in the weeks previously, including Cardiff manager Neil Warnock.Willie McKay also rejected a statement from Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman that the club were unaware of who made Sala’s flight arrangements.In his published timeline of events, Willie McKay said: “Emiliano was due to be met by the Cardiff City player liaison officer who was waiting for him to arrive at the Signature Flight Support building at Cardiff Airport on Monday evening (21 January). Cardiff City knew of the flight and who organised the flight.”Cardiff have also reportedly questioned Willie McKay’s practice of trying to inflate transfer fees by fabricating interest in players from clubs.“It was us who put in the media about other clubs wanting you — West Ham, Everton etc — to create an interest on you that’s what we do,” Willie McKay wrote in a letter to Sala that has now been made public.However, that is a common, if dubious, practice among football agents and Cardiff’s case to use that as a reason for avoiding any part of the transfer fee is unlikely to be met with favour should the case proceed to court.Nantes believe the McKays’ work for them ended when Sala’s move was transfer was completed, therefore absolving them of any responsibility over the arrangements of the flight.What happens next?The Guardian reported on Wednesday that Nantes will take their case to Fifa this week if the £5 million instalment is not paid.“Fifa has not been contacted on this matter,” world football’s governing body said when contacted by AFP. Nantes defender Nicolas Pallois, second right, and family and friends carry Sala’s coffin during his funeral in Progreso, Argentina. Source: Natacha PisarenkoA resolution via Fifa’s players’ status committee or even the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is likely unless Cardiff relent on their current stance.“There are, in my opinion, two possible solutions,” sports lawyer Gianpaolo Monteneri, who was head of Fifa’s Players’ Status Department from 1997-2005, told the Press Association. Wednesday 20 Feb 2019, 3:06 PM Emiliano Sala tragedy sparks unsavoury legal wrangle The late footballer was buried at the age of 28 in the Argentine village of Progreso on Saturday. By AFP 28,746 Views Feb 20th 2019, 2:07 PM Deposit of wreaths and flowers in memory of Emiliano Sala.center_img The first one is that the parties have established to go to Fifa and, in such a case, the matter is submitted to the players’ status committee in the first instance, with the possibility of an appeal to CAS.“But it is also possible that the parties have decided to skip Fifa and go direct to CAS.”Should Cardiff be found to have failed to comply with their contractual obligations without due cause, a range of sanctions are on offer to Fifa, according to Monteneri.“If certain deadlines, which are mentioned in the transfer contract, are not met then these may trigger consequences for the club in question.“This can be from an admonishment right up to a withdrawal of league points.”Subscribe to our new podcast, The42 Rugby Weekly, here: Subscribe Short URL Share3 Tweet Email 18 Comments Deposit of wreaths and flowers in memory of Emiliano Sala. Image: SIPA USA/PA Images Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Icy conditions across the country following an evening of snowfall

first_img Share142 Tweet Email Big drop in temperatures overnight. Please think about vulnerable family, friends and neighbour this morning. How did they get on through the night? Do they have enough supplies? Give them a quick ring or text to see if they are okay.— Dublin Fire Brigade (@DubFireBrigade) March 4, 2019 Monday 4 Mar 2019, 10:19 AM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Source: Dublin – Wicklow MRT/Twitter 37 Comments Icy conditions across the country following an evening of snowfall A status yellow snow-ice warning was in place nationwide this morning until 8am. Updated Mar 4th 2019, 10:19 AM MOTORISTS ARE BEING warned to be careful this morning following reports of icy conditions around the country.A status yellow snow-ice warning was in place nationwide this morning until 8am.  57,438 Views Mar 4th 2019, 7:21 AM center_img AA Roadwatch said earlier this morning that icy conditions had been reported this morning around Carlow town, Naas, Portlaoise, Tullamore, Mullingar, Thurles and Wicklow town. This comes after an evening of snowfall across the country yesterday, which affected a number of road routes. A number of counties still remain affected by icy or slushy conditions, particularly Kildare, Laois and north Tipperary. It will be frosty and foggy with lying snow in places this morning, according to Met Éireann. There will be sunny spells in eastern areas, but heavy rain and hail showers will occasionally hit western counties. These showers will become widespread throughout the morning. Some snow is expected on higher grounds in the west and north with isolated thunderstorms. Temperatures will range between 4 and 8 degrees Celsius this morning.  Tourists and locals experience a heavy snow shower on O’Connell Street in Dublin yesterday afternoon Source: Sam Boal via RollingNews.ieDublin Fire Brigade is asking the public to think about vulnerable friends, family and neighbours this morning following the drop in temperatures last night. “How did they get on through the night? Do they have enough supplies? Give them a quick ring or text to see if they’re ok,” Dublin Fire Brigade said.  It takes longer to stop a vehicle in snow or on icy roads so slow down and allow extra distance between you and the vehicle in front.Keep a sharp lookout for pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable road users.Keep your windows clear of snow during your journey.Manoeuvre gently – avoid harsh braking, acceleration or steering as these can induce a skid.Use the highest gear possible to reduce the engine revs as this will help avoid wheel spin.When travelling downhill, especially through a series of bends, select a low gear as early as possible and allow your speed to reduce using the brake pedal gently.In Wicklow, the Sally Gap has been closed due to dangerous road conditions, according to AA Roadwatch. Driving conditions on routes throughout the Wicklow Gap are also poor. Slippery conditions have been reported on the N80 on the Stradbally side of Portlaoise in Laois. In Kildare, motorists are being advised that the M7 northbound between Newbridge and Naas is icy.Gardaí are reporting slippery conditions in north Tipperary, especially on the N62 between Thurles and Templemore, and on the Birr side of Roscrea, according to AA Roadwatch.  By Hayley Halpin Warning to motoristsAn Garda Síochána last night issued advice to motorists as a result of the icy weather. Motorists are being asked to exercise caution and reduce speed on the roads. They are being reminded:  Short URL Source: Dublin Fire Brigade/Twitter ROAD IMPASSABLE signs have been placed on the Sally Gap. After consultation with @GardaTraffic, severe weather protocol has been put in place due to heavy snowfall on high ground. Please use alternative routes and avoid upland roads. This picture was taken today on the Sally Gap.— Dublin & Wicklow MRT (@DWMRT) March 3, 2019 last_img read more

The 9 at 9 Tuesday

first_img Tuesday 19 Jun 2018, 8:58 AM EVERY MORNING, brings you all the news you need to know as you start the day.1. #TUSLA: The head of child and family agency Tusla has warned staff, via email, to expect “further adverse media and political commentary for the agency” this week, ahead of the publication of a report sparked by the agency’s handling of a file pertaining to claims made against Garda Sergeant Maurice McCabe.2. #SHOT: Controversial chart-topping rapper XXXTentacion was shot dead yesterday in Florida in a possible robbery, authorities said.3. #TRUMP: China has accused US president Donald Trump of “blackmail” and warned it would retaliate in kind after the US president threatened to impose fresh tariffs on Chinese goods, pushing the world’s two biggest economies closer to a trade war.4. #ESRI: The Economic and Social Research Institute has said there is very little scope for cutting the overall tax burden in the next Budget, in their Quarterly Economic Commentary, RTÉ reports.5. #CANADA: Canadian MPs yesterday passed a bill that would allow free consumption of cannabis.6. #DEVINE: Sinn Féin senator Máire Devine is to return to Sinn Féin today after being suspended three months ago for retweeting a tweet about a prison officer killed by the IRA in the 1980s.7. #WEATHER: It’s set to be a cloudy day with some heavy rain this afternoon in the north and west. It will be cool in these areas, but warm and humid in the south and east with highest temperatures of 17 to 22 degrees, according to Met Éireann.8. #IMMIGRATION: Reporters have obtained audio from inside a US Customs and Border Protection facility, in which children can be heard wailing for their parents. The audio has been released by ProPublica.9. #APOLOGY: Men who were convicted of engaging in same-sex sexual activity in Ireland before it was decriminalised are to receive an official apology today in the Dáil and Seanad, RTÉ reports. Image: Shutterstock/Maxim Khytra Share2 Tweet Email 10,878 Views The 9 at 9: Tuesday Here’s everything you need to know as the day gets started. No Comments Jun 19th 2018, 7:58 AM By Cormac Fitzgerald Short URL Image: Shutterstock/Maxim Khytra Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Charleton says it would be absolutely futile to bring journalists who claimed

first_imgMy submission is if a journalist is asked did you have ‘off the record’ conversations with Taylor concerning McCabe, and refuses to answer on a purported basis of privilege which does not exist, this tribunal is entitled to draw whatever inference is apposite from a failure to answer that question.McDowell said that Taylor was entitled to have the questions answered when he had waived his privilege.McDowell said he was not saying the tribunal should refer questions to the High Court as it would serve no useful purpose and delay the completion of this tribunal’s proceedings.“There is no need to refer to the courts because it is so blindingly obvious that journalistic privilege is not involved, and there is no reason the tribunal should be delayed or frustrated by lengthy court proceedings,” McDowell said.John Ferry BL for Taylor, said that some journalists had taken an “absolutist position” on journalistic privilege, and the interests of Taylor outweighed issues of privilege where no details have been given of what privilege was being claimed.Ferry said that Taylor had identified himself as a source and provided waivers, and no journalistic privilege applied.“The right of Superintendent Taylor to protect his good name trumps the claim of journalistic privilege in those circumstances,” Ferry said.Ferry said that similar to McDowell, he was arguing that an inference should be drawn that Taylor’s evidence, as the only evidence about his interactions with some journalists, was the version that should be accepted.Ferry said that in the event the tribunal did not draw an inference, Taylor was entitled to have all avenues exhausted.Chilling effectShane English BL said that irrespective of waivers given by Taylor and the former commissioners, his clients would not answer questions about their sources.English said that the journalists wished to preserve the free flow of information, and identifying a source would have a chilling effect. Journalistic privilege was a social good and essential to the right of free expression, and a basic condition of a free press.Waiving that privilege could deter future sources from coming forward, undermine the ability of journalists to provide accurate information, and put their livelihoods at risk.“They have appropriately invoked their lawful entitlement to journalistic privilege,” English said.Tom Murphy BL, on behalf of the Irish Daily Mail and Irish Mail on Sunday, said his clients were also claiming privilege. Murphy said that given other evidence available to the tribunal, it was not necessary for the tribunal to require journalists to answer any further questions.John Fitzgerald BL, on behalf of An Garda Síochána, said that for the tribunal to draw inferences from a refusal of journalists to answer questions would require it to leap to conclusions.He said that Taylor’s evidence was “utterly devoid of supporting evidence”, and there was no electronic or documentary evidence to support his allegations.One of the few details Taylor did provide was a list initially of nine journalists, which then grew to eleven, and which, on Wednesday, “extraordinarily” became twelve.Fitzgerald said that none of the journalists supported Taylor’s evidence, which eight denied and four claimed privilege.Fitzgerald said An Garda Síochána regretted the position taken by the journalists, which it believed was mistaken in law, but said it was not necessary for the chairman to go to the High Court.Tribunal barrister Diarmaid McGuinness SC said that the tribunal legal team will consider whether any witnesses need to be recalled, following which final submissions would be heard. The chairman said he would meet with his legal team on Monday to decide on the next steps to take.Judge Charleton also outlined 20 issues he had to consider in preparing his report, and which barristers should address in making their final submissions.‘Rumours among journalists’Earlier the tribunal heard from Tom Brady, a retired journalist formerly with Independent New & Media, where he worked as security editor from 1989 to 2014.Professor Colum Kenny said Brady was one of two journalists he spoke to at a Dáil committee hearing in 2014 about McCabe “to sound out their views”.Kenny said he was told that McCabe “was under investigation for alleged child abuse”. Kenny believed the encounter took place on 19 February 2014.“I wasn’t at that committee meeting, ” Brady told the tribunal. Brady said he was covering a murder story on that date, and the Irish Independent report on the Dáil committee that day was reported on by two other journalists.Brady said he rarely covered Dáil meetings, having done only three or four such stories in his life.Brady said that he had heard a rumour about McCabe which he checked out, and established it had been investigated and in 2007 the DPP had directed no prosecution in the case. The Garda investigation took place following an allegation of historic abuse from Miss D in 2006.The first person who told him the rumour “was probably a journalist”, Brady said. He said he could rule out any garda, past or present, as the source.Fergus O’Shea, the deputy head of news in the Irish Sun in 2014, said that journalist Eavan Murray went to him about a potential interview with Miss D in 2014.In her evidence, Murray said that the assignment was given to her by O’Shea, who told her the Independent was planning a large exclusive on the story.“First of all I don’t recollect that. It that was heard, it wasn’t me that heard it,” O’Shea said.O’Shea said it could have been someone else at the newsdesk who told Murray about Miss D. He said he did not hear that the Irish Independent was doing a story with Miss D.Robert Cox, who was deputy news editor of the Irish Mail on Sunday from 2013, said that he had never spoken to Callinan or O’Sullivan.He said he might have spoken to Taylor when he was press officer but could not be certain, but he definitely never spoke to any of the officers about issues before the tribunal.Journalist Debbie McCann had approached the family and spoken to Mrs D, the mother of Miss D, but the family declined to give an interview. No Comments Friday 22 Jun 2018, 4:25 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article By Gerard Cunningham 8,286 Views Share7 Tweet Email Short URL Journalists who refused to answer questions properly put as to whether they had such discussions do not have any state-able (sic) journalistic privilege which would justify such a refusal.“If there is no privilege, there is no rule against drawing inferences from a refusal to answer a question,” McDowell said. Jun 22nd 2018, 4:25 PM Charleton says it would be ‘absolutely futile’ to bring journalists who claimed privilege to High Court Four journalists have claimed privilege at the Disclosures Tribunal on the basis of protecting their sources. Supreme Court judge Peter Charleton arrives to deliver his opening statement of the Disclosures Tribunal, February 2017. Source: Caroline QuinnTHE CHAIRMAN OF the Disclosures Tribunal has said he will not go to the High Court to require journalists to answer questions where they claimed journalistic privilege because it would be “absolutely futile”.The tribunal is looking at allegations by Superintendent David Taylor, a former Garda Press Officer during 2013 and 2014, that he was directed to smear whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe. Former commissioners Martin Callinan and Nóirín O’Sullivan deny there was any smear campaign.On day 97 of the inquiry, barristers for some newspapers told Mr Justice Peter Charleton that journalistic privilege was a social good and essential to the right of free expression, and a basic condition of a free press.Shane English BL, on behalf of the Irish Examiner, said that identifying a source would have a chilling effect and waiving privilege could deter future sources from coming forward.Mr Justice Charleton said that if he was to order journalists to answer questions from the tribunal “there will be no change because the manner in which they resisted answering the question convinced me that any order I made would be absolutely futile”.Journalistic privilege was claimed by three Irish Examiner journalists, Juno McEnroe, Dan McConnell and Cormac O’Keeffe, and by Irish Mail on Sunday journalist Debbie McCann.In submissions to the chairman Michael McDowell SC, on behalf of Sergeant McCabe, said the tribunal had made every reasonable effort to inquire into whether there was negative briefing of journalists by Superintendent Taylor and the two former commissioners.last_img read more

Schmidt needs to find answers after record hammering by England

first_img Schmidt needs to find answers after record hammering by England The Ireland head coach insists his team are working towards peaking at the World Cup. By Murray Kinsella Short URL 39,337 Views Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 75 Comments Tactically, we only saw glimpses of what Schmidt had intended for Ireland to do in Twickenham, as they failed to launch off the crumbling lineout.There was another twist on their exits as Rob Kearney used his left boot, there was some interesting shape in phase play with decoy runners coming very close to the ruck and Conor Murray playing out the back, while Jordan Larmour’s try on turnover possession saw Kearney passing over the top of edge defender Cokanasiga in encouraging fashion.Kearney offloaded on a kick return early in the game too – a rarity for Ireland – as Schmidt looks to develop that side of his team’s game. But on other occasions, they reverted to one-out phases that struggled to make a dent in the powerful English defence.Defensively, Andy Farrell has lots to work on. At times, it looked like Ireland’s players didn’t know what system they were playing in.Their defence from set-piece was very poor on several occasions against an admittedly sharp English attack, while tries like the ones Maro Itoje and Tom Curry scored simply shouldn’t be conceded by a team with ambitions like Ireland. This was basic stuff that cannot be explained away by fatigue. Ireland will need to work hard to keep confidence in the group. Source: James Crombie/INPHOPerhaps most important for Schmidt, though, is shoring up his players on the mental front. They looked shell-shocked at the final whistle on Saturday and this heavy defeat will only add to the damage of this year’s Six Nations.Ireland have never given up on a game under Schmidt but looked beaten early in the second half at Twickenham.“It isn’t usually a problem for us,” said Schmidt of his squad’s mental state. “I have been incredibly lucky for the last six and a half years to work with a group of young men who, honestly, fight tooth and nail for their country. “They give up bigger contracts elsewhere to stay here and try and make sure they do that. I don’t foresee it being a problem in the future.”As Schmidt looks forward, he must hope this short-term pain yields long-term gain.center_img Aug 26th 2019, 6:01 AM Schmidt watches on in concern at Twickenham. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO“That is in four weeks’ time, but there’s pressure to make sure that we’re not too far off peaking over the next two weeks because we need to get a lot of our process elements up to speed.”It was a worry for Ireland to be outmuscled by England again, having been bullied during the Six Nations. Most teams will struggle to live with athletes like Billy Vunipola, Maro Itoje and Manu Tuilagi at their rampaging best but Ireland will need to find a way – particularly with another huge side, the Springboks, potentially waiting if they can reach the World Cup quarter-finals.“I think it’s not always bigger is better,” said Schmidt. “We saw Jacob Stockdale get around Joe Cokanasiga at one stage and but for his right heel going on the line, I think he gives that ball up, potentially, to Andrew Conway and we’re away to score, you know?“I’d like to think that a guy like Garry Ringrose, he’s such a good athlete, a smart player and he plays bigger than he is. His hit on Joe Marler today, now I think he was pretty sore afterwards, but that’s a willingness to put your body on the line. “You can line the players up and say, ‘Look, size, strength, numbers against numbers, how do we stay competitive?’ And yet over the last six years, it’s probably tit-for-tat against England. We’ve matched them and they’ve matched us.”Schmidt also has real injury worries over Cian Healy and Joey Carbery. Johnny Sexton sat out much of training last week and is unlikely to feature until the final warm-up game against Wales, while Conor Murray took a blow to the head/neck against England.On the technical front, it was concerning for Schmidt to see Ireland’s shortcomings, very much a continuation from the Six Nations.There were inaccurate passes which checked the receiver, poor defensive technique as Ireland missed 38 tackles, weak ball retention in contact, and sloppy clearouts, while the lifting, jumping and throwing at the lineout was shambolic at times.  Conor Murray, Rob Kearney and Will Addison after defeat. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO“It’s always a collective thing,” said Schmidt of the lineout, while indicating the defensive quality of England’s Itoje and George Kruis. “I think there were a couple of calls that we put ourselves under pressure on.“We put a bit of pressure on [lineout caller] Iain Henderson by being a bit slow with our process and they could see the picture early and then they can get into it.“I would have to say our lineout has been a massive strength for us and we have jumbled a few things around during this week and obviously Iain and Jean Kleyn have never played together, so you’re always going to be a little bit sticky from that perspective.” FOR SOME OF those supporters who went into Saturday with pessimistic concerns about Ireland’s World Cup prospects, that sense had twisted into full-scale panic mode by the end of a 57-15 hammering at Twickenham.It felt like the dark old days when Ireland were perennial whipping boys in the Five Nations and took a few hidings from the English along the way, including the previous record losing margin of 40 points in 1997, and the former record of points scored by England of 50 in the year 2000. Ireland had no answers for an excellent England performance. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHOOf course, this was different in being a World Cup warm-up, where the results are generally unimportant, but there is no sidestepping the fact that Ireland’s performance in London was worrying.Everyone expected England to show they are ahead of Ireland in readiness, having had two physically tough battles with Wales before Saturday’s encounter, but the scale of the gap between the teams was eye-opening and underlined that Joe Schmidt is now chasing the leading contenders. The Ireland head coach most likely expected to lose to England but he certainly wouldn’t have foreseen a 42-point margin between the teams. That kind of thumping can genuinely undermine confidence in a group and sow seeds of doubt in players’ minds – if they weren’t there already after this year’s Six Nations.Schmidt has a huge job on his hands on all fronts now – mentally, physically, technically and tactically.On the physical side of things, Schmidt pointed to Ireland’s heavy eight-day training camp in Portugal in an attempt to explain why his players looked so lethargic.He continued to assert that peaking for Scotland in their World Cup pool opener on 22 September is the real key.“When you have a volume of work in your legs, there’s only a degree where you can get mind over matter, and there’s a point at which your legs are a bit heavy and you’re a bit sluggish,” said Schmidt.“We’ve got to make sure that now we get our periodisation right, that we’re starting to temper [the workload in training] so that we can make sure we are peaking at the right time. Get the latest Rugby World Cup news and analysis, delivered straight to your inbox: Monday 26 Aug 2019, 8:55 AM Share3 Tweet Email last_img read more

Cyprus talks slow progress and good will

first_imgCyprus’ rival leaders resumed reunification talks on Thursday after a month-long summer recess, each submitting compromise proposals aimed at nudging the slow-moving process forward.United Nations envoy, Alexander Downer, said President Dimitris Christofias, a Greek Cypriot, and breakaway Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat exchanged proposals to bridge differences on power-sharing under a future federation.The leaders “discussed bridging proposals… in relation to the election of the president and vice-president of the… united republic,” Downer said after the talks.President Dimitris Christofias believes that the second round of UN-led negotiations has begun in a good spirit, saying that discussion on procedural matters will continue at next week’s meeting. The President expressed the hope that events like the ones at Limnitis checkpoint, on the northwest, which led to the postponement of his meeting with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, will not be repeated. Speaking to reporters after the end of his meeting with Talat, signalling the start of the second round of the UN-sponsored direct talks, Christofias said next week, when the leaders will hold their next meeting, they will discuss further the procedure, stressing however that “the procedure will not change.” A pilgrimage from the village of Pyrgos in Paphos district to the church of Saint Mamas in the Turkish occupied area of Morphou, via the Limnitis checkpoint, was called off last week, due to long delays caused by the Turkish Cypriot side. This led to the postponement of the September 3 meeting between the leaders of the two communities. “We have said that the Limnitis incident should be set aside and we should look forward in the hope that from now on, we won’t witness similar events”, the President remarked. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Airline surcharges soar

first_imgFlying to Greece could be more expensive this summer as Emirates has bowed to pressure to raise airline surcharges and fares after jet fuel broke through $128 a barrel for the first time in three years, due to constraints on crude oil supplies. Due to the current volatility of oil prices, Emirates has introduced a fuel surcharge to reflect the substantial recent increases in fuel costs, Emirates Vice President Australasia Barry Brown told Neos Kosmos. “Emirates has already incurred substantial costs by absorbing the recent price rises, but the surcharge gives us the ability to respond faster to market conditions, rather than a lengthier process of incorporating them into fares,” Mr Brown said. “The changes will also give us the ability to decrease prices quickly, where appropriate.” Mr Barry said the company will review the level of the surcharge on an on-going basis, while remaining committed to providing customers with excellent service and a strong value-for-money proposition. Political unrest in the Middle East and North Africa has been one factor leading to constraints on crude oil supplies, while jet fuel supplies in Asia have also been constrained by a sharp drop in refinery production in Japan after the earthquake and tsunami last month. “Airlines are subject to the volatility of fuel prices in the same manner as motorists at petrol stations,” Mr Brown said. However with the Australian dollar surpassing $1.09 against the US dollar, Australian travellers have been provided with increased spending capabilities when it comes to travel, including accommodation, car rental and general expenses, he added. While the cost of airfares has increased this year in line with rising fuel costs, this has been offset by other factors in the market, such as the strong Australian dollar, making it an attractive time for Australians to travel, Mr Barry said. Virgin Blue, Qantas and Air New Zealand have also raised fares and fuel surcharges. Starting May 10, passengers on V Australia flights to Los Angeles will pay a $240 fuel surcharge one way, up from $165. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Killer Tsakmakis suspected of Willi Koeppen murder

first_imgTelevision chef Willi Koeppen – who disappeared on 29 February 1976 – has been connected with one of Victoria’s most well-known murderers, Alex Tsakmakis. The Keoppen family are requesting that police reopen the case, as facts discovered since the event have suggested that it could be solved upon further investigation. Testimony taken from Mark ‘Chopper’ Read, who was imprisoned at Pentridge with Tsakmakis, reveals that he spoke of Keoppens while behind bars. “I can’t remember whether Alex said he did that one or had it contracted out,” said Read. Read is not the only connection to Tsakmakis who has suggested his role in the disappearance. Koeppen’s son Andrei has admitted that Tsakmakis’ daughter came into contact with his mother to “kind of apologise…a year or two back”. After years of contemplation over the case, Andrei Koeppen has connected the disappearance with Tsakmakis as a result of the fact that six escorts arrived at his Cuckoo Restaurant the day after he disappeared. He claims that these women could be the link between his father and Tzakmakis. Although Tzakmakis has been convicted of only two killings – including that of professional runner Bruce Lindsay Walker in 1978 – he is suspected of being involved in eight murders. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Aussie Lego Acropolis off to Greece

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The Lego Acropolis that has attracted more than 100,000 visitors at Nicholson Museum in Sydney will now be seen by millions of people on the other side of the world in its new home, the Acropolis Museum. The Nicholson Museum has graciously donated the Lego piece to the Acropolis museum, after they themselves asked if they could borrow the work to attract younger visitors.“After a sleepless night, finding difficult to believe how honourable the Greek request was, I got back to the museum and said no, they couldn’t borrow it. We’d give it to them for free!” Nicholson Museum senior curator Michael Turner said. The mammoth Lego Acropolis took creator Ryan McNaught 300 hours to build and used more than 120,000 LEGO bricks.The piece has recreated what the Acropolis looked liked in its prime, with the Parthenon standing completed next to the Temple of Nike, all accessible from a Lego Propylaea.Throughout the maze of buildings and temples, you’ll find little Lego Oedipus, Lego Lord Elgin and Lego Theseus in the labyrinth facing a LEGO Minotaur.Some new additions will give someone with a good eye a bit of a chuckle, with a Lego Elton John performing in the Theatre of Dionysus.Mr McNaught is the only Lego-certified professional in the southern hemisphere and built the Nicholson Museum’s extremely popular Lego Colosseum that attracted 90,000 visitors in 2012. Curator Michael Turner says he wants to show an example with his gift. “Maybe the British Museum refuses to give back the Elgin Marbles but we will offer an entire Acropolis as a gift to the Acropolis Museum.”The Nicholson Museum will replace the space in January with a new model, this time a Lego Pompeii.Source: Greekreporter Australialast_img read more