The man the myth Martin Scorsese got a rapturous reception at Trinity

first_img 17 Comments Martin Scorsese has arrived! He is in @tcddublin to receive the @tcdphil Gold Medal of Honorary Patronage— TCD Alumni (@tcdalumni) February 24, 2017 Finally he’s here. The man, the myth, the legend. Martin Scorsese now addressing us.— 𝐍𝐣𝐚𝐛𝐮𝐥𝐨 (@N_jayMaz) February 24, 2017 Read: The Charleton Tribunal has an official (different) name, and its opening statement is due next MondayRead: “They shouldn’t be allowed to use sources unless they use somebody’s name”: Trump attacks media Share Tweet Email3 Source: Brian Hutton/Twitter Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 17,102 Views Source: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ieHe joins illustrious company with the likes of Al Pacino, Helen Mirren and Brian Cox in receiving an Honorary Patron award.Speaking ahead of the awards ceremony this evening, Scorsese said: “When I received the news that I had been selected as an Honorary Patron by the University Philosophical Society of Trinity College, I was both surprised and moved.Trinity College is one of the world’s greatest and most venerable institutions of learning, and the University Philosophical Society has welcomed an illustrious list of Honorary Patrons and former members. I accept the honour with gratitude.The award was presented by the president of the University Philosophical Society, Matthew Nuding, who said: “This award is given to exceptional individuals who have excelled in their given fields. In this case, for Mr Scorsese’s outstanding contribution to film.In a career that spans over 50 years, his influence over the film industry cannot be overstated. He is without a doubt one of the most significant and influential filmmakers in cinematic history.The video below shows the crowd waiting in anticipation for the director to arrive, and the rapturous reception he got when he did (in the last minute or so of the video). MULTI OSCAR AWARD-winning director Martin Scorsese said he was both “surprised and moved” as he attended a ceremony in Trinity College today where he was made an Honorary Patron by the University Philosophical Society.The 74-year-old, who has directed films such as Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Gangs of New York and Wolf of Wall Street, attended a ceremony in Dublin today to accept the gold medal award.He spoke at a Q&A session afterwards in the Debating Chamber of the Graduate Memorial Building where crowds packed in to ask the legendary director questions.There were large queues to try and get into the venue, and Scorsese received a rousing reception when he entered. Source: TCD Alumni/Twitter By Sean Murray Short URL Martin Scorsese says “it’s a real honour” arriving at Trinity College Dublin to accept an award from Philosophical Society. @PA— Brian Hutton (@magicbathtub) February 24, 2017 Friday 24 Feb 2017, 7:04 PM ‘The man, the myth’: Martin Scorsese got a rapturous reception at Trinity College tonight Scorsese joins the likes of Al Pacino and Helen Mirren in receiving the Honorary Patron award. Source: Njabulo/Twitter Feb 24th 2017, 7:04 PM last_img read more

Man due in court after bag of drugs found in Carlow house

first_img By Cliodhna Russell Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Sunday 5 Mar 2017, 11:43 AM Short URL No Comments 11,237 Views A MAN IS due to appear before a special sitting of Carlow District Court today in relation to a drugs seizure in Carlow.Seven kilos of cannabis herb and 100 cannabis plants were discovered at a house at Borlum Wood, Green Road on Friday.Two men in their 50s and a man in his 30s, all Lithuanian nationals, were arrested at the scene.The two other men who were arrested have been released without charge and a file will be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.The man is due to appear in court at 4pm today.Read: Youth Defence to Citizens’ Assembly: ‘Sex traffickers and child molesters love abortion’> Mar 5th 2017, 11:43 AM Man due in court after bag of drugs found in Carlow house The two other men who were arrested have been released without charge. Share30 Tweet Email1 last_img read more

They can be in bed next to their partner gambling away the

first_img‘They can be in bed next to their partner, gambling away the rent’ It’s four years since new gambling legislation was put in train – and experts say it can’t come soon enough. Monday 16 Jan 2017, 6:15 AM We are at the coalface – we can see the effect it’s having; we can see the risk of suicide, we can see the impact on mental health.She said that the focus in the bill needs to be on research, data, treatment, and “creating a fund where people can access treatment to gambling and that is fair and accessible across the country”.Leahy wants the bill to focus on advertising and sponsorship “so we are protecting vulnerable and young people”.“We would regularly hear stories from people who come in for treatment that say they started gambling underage,” said Leahy.“Whenever we do a piece like this we get calls from parents worried about children aged 13 – 15 years. We have to ask the question – how are they getting access? And online is a huge problem in that respect.”It’s changing so fast, the access is there 24/7, the younger generation are the first generation growing up with social media as an integral part of life. They are becoming completely desensitised to it and on top of that then it is advertised everywhere – there’s no escape, 24/7 it’s involved in sport. That combination is like petrol.There is only one centre in Ireland that treats under-18s for addiction, but at the Rutland Centre Leahy said they “would regularly see young men in particular in their 20s and 30s who have got into significant debt, lost jobs, resorted to crime, these lads are from ‘good families’ there’s no stereotyping.”A total of 13% of people last year that came in for treatment to the centre had a gambling problem.“I can see already this year and we are only at the 11th of January, that we have a higher proportion of gamblers currently in treatment at one time that we had last year. Whether that pans out or is a bubble I’m not too sure – I think it’s only going one way to be honest with you.”She added that it is seen across the country, and is not an isolated issue.“We are not anti-gambling by any means, what we are about is protecting young people and protecting vulnerable people.”As for the delay with the bill, Leahy said: “I think it’s really disappointing to be honest with you because it’s a bill that’s needed and I think the longer that we stick our head in the sand the bigger the problem is going to be, and the harder it’s going to be to resolve it”.The costs, suicide and mental health, will just keep spiralling out of control. I would urge Minister Stanton and Minister Fitzgerald to prioritise and enact the bill fully.Leahy said she applauds anyone that comes forward with their story, but that she wouldn’t want people to think that gambling addiction only happens to high-profile sports people.The risk of suicide is “higher in the gambling population than the normal addicted population and that alone should be ringing alarm bells with government”, said Leahy.“I think the burden of responsibility rests with industry – they need to be proactive, they need to be compelled to act.”Social media sitesTD Anne Rabbitte says that gambling legislation is one of her key focuses in the new year – and she hopes to get representatives of the major social media giants like Facebook and Twitter around the table to discuss betting advertising on their sites.She said that gambling ads should not be accessible by the under-18s.Rabbitte believes that the gambling industry and online industry “have all the analytical supports that government could use to turn a really negative into a positive”.She said she believes Deputy Stanton wants to get the bill moving. “I think they are not going to bring the bill through the way it is drafted because it is too complex,” she said.Taoiseach Enda Kenny was asked by Rabbitte when the bill would be brought before the Dáil, and he replied that digitisation was an issue. Rabbitte said that digitisation isn’t the core aspect of the bill.“Digitisation could be sorted by bringing the main players into the room,” she said.“I think there’s a role for everybody here. Parents have a role to play here; social media giants have a role to play in it.”Read: Self exclusion and age checks – new legislation to curb gambling habits in Irish children> Jan 16th 2017, 6:15 AM Short URL Image: Shutterstock/wavebreakmedia 27,130 Views Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article By Aoife Barry IT’S BEEN ALMOST four years since the general scheme of the Gambling Control Bill was published by Alan Shatter – but legislation still hasn’t been enacted. Meanwhile, more and more stories of the impact of gambling addiction are being put into the public sphere.Now moves are being made towards pushing the bill out of legislative limbo, with the Minister of State David Stanton at the Department of Justice and Equality taking it in hand.Stanton has begun to review the regulation of the gambling sector in Ireland with a view to early legislative action based on the 2013 general scheme, his department has confirmed.As part of this review, the Department of Justice and Equality commissioned a research project on developments in the gambling area since the general scheme was published.The report is being examined at the moment and the Minister of State has also asked his Department to examine whether there are any “individual pressing areas of concern”, intended to be dealt with in the Bill, which could be dealt with sooner in 2017 by separate legislative measures.Experts in the addiction treatment area told that they feel it is unlikely the legislation will be enacted this year – and that meanwhile, people’s lives are being affected by gambling.A number of high-profile sports stars have come forward in recent years to speak about their experiences with gambling addiction. They include the Galway hurling star Davy Glennon, who went on RTÉ’s Claire Byrne Live to describe how he funded his addiction with loans and even selling his car.“My life was turned into a gambling rut, and I couldn’t get out… There were so many lows. I isolated myself. I became a compulsive liar,” he said. David Stanton Source: Rolling News Barry Grant is the CEO and founder of Problem Gambling Ireland, which he set up due to his experiences as an addiction counsellor in private practice.He has been working with the Union of Students of Ireland and the Rutland Centre (which provides therapy for people with addictions) to lobby the government to bring in wide-ranging legislation on the issue. They are also working on raising awareness of gambling.“Most international research would show that fewer than 5% of people with a gambling problem ever seek help,” he pointed out.‘Online gambling is 24/7′“In the beginning I was just seeing people who are going into traditional bookies shops but more and more now it’s nearly all online gambling,” said Grant.He described this as particularly worrying, “because at least a bookies shop or casino or another bricks-and-mortar gambling service has opening and closing times”. Whereas with online gambling it’s never-ending sport going on 24/7 around the world, and even if there isn’t sport going on you can gamble on roulette games, online poker and countless other gambling services.The ubiquity of smartphones means that people can be “basically carrying around a bookies’ office 24/7 in your pocket”.He said that in his experience he has seen people affected “across the age groups”.I’m even seeing people in their 40s and 50s going to race meetings and gambling on football on their phones at meetings because they’re not getting a buzz out of race meetings anymore.In addition, betting advertising is something that is “relentless” with sports such as soccer, he said.In bed gambling away the rentGambling addiction is “a silent addiction and invisible addiction – usually the point at which people seek help is way, way down the line when they’ve gotten into serious trouble,” said Grant.I am working with gambling people in bed with their partners, pretending to play [a game] on their phone while gambling away the week’s rent.He noted that people can be gambling in an unproblematic or ‘pro-social’ way, but for others it becomes a problem that they can easily hide – until the bailiffs are at the door.He described the proposed legislation as “a huge step in the right direction” and has made recommendations to the department on the issue.He said that within the general scheme of the bill there is the capacity to limit advertising to watershed hours, which he would be in favour of.“What I would love to see is an opt-out or opt-in option from social media sites,” said Grant. “If people could opt out or choose the types of ads you want to see in your timeline or your feed that would be progress from our perspective, however the revenue stream that comes from gambling advertising is substantial even in a small market like ours. I would imagine that the social media operators might be reluctant to do that.”Grant believes that the legislation might not arrive in 2017.“Even with the best intentions I don’t think that would happen, but as long as it keeps moving in the right direction,” said Grant.Lives turned upside-down Source: Shutterstock/GeorgejmclittleMaebh Leahy, CEO of the Rutland Centre, said she is concerned the legislation “will focus on money laundering and the taxation end and it won’t focus on the harm end and the social funding”.What we see here on a daily basis is people coming in for a treatment and their lives have been turned upside-down, in a state of chaos and their families are in the same position, and because of the nature of gambling by the time they come to us normally it’s a very serious problem. 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Police investigating shooting close to Glasgow primary school

first_img Source: Linda Sinclair/Twitter Source: GlasgowSWPolice/Twitter VIDEO: Concerned mum Mary MacLeod says the man who was shot was dropping off his child at St George’s PS in #Penilee area of #Glasgow.— Radio Clyde News (@RadioClydeNews) January 16, 2017 Source: Chris McCall/Twitter Read: 26 dead as gangs behead inmates in Brazilian prison massacre >Read: Northern Ireland heading for elections if no deal done by 5pm > 5 Comments Monday 16 Jan 2017, 11:42 AM VIDEO: Anxious parents outside St George’s Roman Catholic School in Penilee area waiting to pick up kids after a gun fired outside.— Linda Sinclair (@lindajsinclair) January 16, 2017 Source: Radio Clyde News/Twitter Man shot outside Penilee Primary School in Glasgow had just moments before dropped off his child at school, eyewitnesses tell me.— Chris McCall (@Dennynews) January 16, 2017 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Police investigating shooting close to Glasgow primary school “Police officers are at the school and there is no threat to children or staff,” police said. Updated at 11.45amPOLICE IN SCOTLAND are investigating a shooting incident near a primary school in Glasgow.It happened in the Penilee area, in the southwest of the city, as parents were dropping their children off this morning.A reporter for the Scotsman said on Twitter that an eyewitness had told him a man had been shot. A spokesperson for the force told the BBC there was a report of a firearm being discharged in the area at around 9.05am.“Police officers are at the school and there is no threat to children or staff at the school.”Investigations are ongoing to try and establish the circumstances of what happened, the spokesman said. “I was just leaving my son off in the morning and I heard this loud bang – it sounded like a firework going off,” a local parent, Mary MacLeod, told Radio Clyde News.The local Council said it was aware of the incident and that all pupils and staff at St George’s Primary School were safe.“Police dealing with an incident which happened outside school grounds,” a tweet said. Jan 16th 2017, 11:42 AM 8,503 Views We are aware of a firearms incident in Penilee this morning. We do not believe there is any ongoing threat to any other person.— GlasgowSWPolice (@SWGlasgowPolice) January 16, 2017 Share1 Tweet Email “We are aware of a firearms incident in Penilee this morning,” Glasgow police said.“We do not believe there is any ongoing threat to any other person.”If you have any information or witnessed anything please contact us on 101 immediately. Short URL By Daragh Brophylast_img read more

Woman who developed back pain aged 18 left bed bound in agony

first_imgMcNicholas explained that no other consultant in the country will take on Elizabeth’s case as it’s so complex.“Her current consultant is the only person who can refer her for treatment abroad as the referral must come from a consultant who deals with the condition that the treatment is being sought for.“If we don’t stick with him, Elizabeth won’t have any consultant.”Elizabeth’s mother also explained that they can’t seek funding from their private health insurance provider as they don’t cover the hospital she has been referred to. “We would also have to pay up front and claim back at a later date which we just can’t afford to do”.‘Cries for the life she missed out on’Elizabeth has missed out on all her young life and been forced to put college on hold indefinitely while she watches all of her friends move on with their lives.McNicholas told this website how Elizabeth had her first operation in 2008 and started using a wheelchair intermittently, but has been in the wheelchair full-time for the past four years.However, she added that her daughter rarely uses the wheelchair now as she needs to be harnessed into it with her back brace as she can’t sit up independently.Elizabeth, who once had a bright future ahead of her, now faces a life of no hope and never-ending pain.“She has absolutely no quality of life, every minute is spent in unbearable pain. She is on a huge amount of medication but this gives her very little relief. Her condition is continuing to deteriorate.She cries for the life she missed out on. She sees no light at the end of the tunnel and at the moment, neither do I.Constant painElizabeth needs 24 hour care and is steroid dependent. Her family, including her two younger siblings Sean and Úna, help out in caring for their older sister. Úna won Dublin young carer of the year last year. Source: Mark StedmanMcNicholas said the pain Elizabeth experiences can be so intense that she needs to be left alone and can’t bear to have anybody sitting near her.She said that her daughter often spends the night curled up and crying in agony.Speaking about the operation, McNicholas said, “I would hope it would free her of some of the pain and that she could walk again.“The operation may get her back on her feet, if anything, it would stop further deterioration.At the moment it feels like she’s facing a life of no hope. She’s in constant pain and has no rest-bite.McNicolas added, “We are heart-broken at the condition she’s been left in, especially at knowing that there is something that can be done to improve her situation.”Read: ‘I see my daughter crying in pain, her body bending over. We can’t wait two years’>Read: Stories of people on hospital waiting lists are “absolutely inexcusable”, says Simon Harris> Woman who developed back pain aged 18 left bed bound in agony as HSE refuses to fund operation Her mother described how her daughter, who once had a bright future ahead of her, now faces a life of no hope and never-ending pain. Feb 11th 2017, 12:05 AM Saturday 11 Feb 2017, 12:05 AM By Cliodhna Russell “I HAVE BEEN left confined to bed with absolutely no quality of life. I can’t remember the last time I had fun or enjoyed myself.”Those are the words of 27-year-old Elizabeth McNicholas who was living a full and busy life until she started developing back pain in her Leaving Cert year.She has had numerous major spinal surgeries along with many procedures and treatments – all of which have been unsuccessful.Elizabeth has also developed a Hypothalamic Pituitary injury which has resulted in her developing narcolepsy with cataplexy and an adrenal insufficiency, which is a life threatening condition caused by the inability to produce the life-sustaining hormone cortisol, and she is also in severe neuropathic pain.She has run out of treatment options in Ireland and has been referred to the Royal National Orthopedic Hospital in London, which is a world-class centre and specialises in the treatment of her condition.Despite being referred by her consultant, the funding has been refused by the HSE. Her family has appealed the decision a number of times over the past two years but it has been repeatedly refused.‘I have been left to suffer and deteriorate’Elizabeth has been confined to her bed for the past three years and her pain, which she describes as ‘unbearable’, leaves her trembling and squirming through the days. Elizabeth with her assistance dog, Bart.She told that in the past year she has only been able to leave her house in Lucan a handful of times.For three years I have been left to suffer and deteriorate while waiting on urgent revision spinal surgery.“My life is now centered around hospital appointments and admissions, some of which could be avoided if I could just have the surgery.“Dealing with the effects of my condition and the complications I have suffered is difficult enough without having to fight for the treatment I so desperately need, all while struggling to breathe and dealing with never-ending, unbearable pain.Nobody wants to be told they need to undergo major spinal surgery but to then be made beg for that same surgery is beyond belief. There are no words to describe how desperate I am for something to be done.Elizabeth added that her mother’s days are spent making phone calls, writing letters, and trying to find a solution, all to no avail.Brenda McNicholas described to how the hospital in London is willing to do the operation but the problem is on the Irish side.“Unfortunately, Elizabeth’s consultant, the only one who can deal with her condition, no longer sits in the public sector and the HSE won’t accept referrals from consultants who sit privately.”The refusal letter McNicholas received from the HSE states:Your daughter is a private patient being referred from a private facility. Referrals from private hospital consultants are not eligible for consideration under the HSE TAS.Private patients should apply to their private health insurance provider in relation to accessing funding towards the cost of treatment abroad. 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Hed still win if the election were today 100 days in Dublin

first_img 12,559 Views Source: Evan VucciLAST OCTOBER, LESS than two weeks prior to America’s presidential election, spoke with residents of Dublin, California, a small town with a population of 50,000, as to what the election, one of the most divisive in history, meant for them.It would be hard to argue that California itself was divided on the issue of Trump versus Clinton. The most liberal state of them all, the Golden State had been a shoo-in for the Democratic candidate from the get-go, to the extent that neither candidate even bothered campaigning there to any extent.Dublin itself, considering the overall left-leaning nature of its parent state, has a reasonable representation of Republicans – the third highest of any region in its county (Alameda).That didn’t stop Alameda County plumping for Clinton with a whopping 79.3% of the vote – versus just 14.9% for Trump.But now the Trump administration has been in place for 100 days. The world feels like a different place to what it had been prior to 20 January. Russia, the travel ban, Sean Spicer – words, names, and phrases that have become part of the popular lexicon in just over three months. And there are many more.From this side of the Atlantic, Trump’s first 100 appears to have been the most relentlessly loud, divisive, and downright angry century of days imaginable. But how have they been for the people of Dublin?Shy voters“The Republicans in Dublin have gone awfully quiet,” says Brian Petoletti, a 53-year-old independent who voted for Clinton. The result of the election proved a shock for him – he had expected his candidate to win, and win heavily.Brian may be more right than he knows about Dublin’s Republicans. In October, we struggled to find anyone who would speak to us in the town who was voting for Trump, or at least who would acknowledge doing so. Six months later, that task proved even more difficult again.“The single biggest thing was everyone behind him had been going on about how great things were going to be,” he says. “Now you could hear a pin drop. No one’s on social media, no one has a comment. And he’s flip-flopped on so many things. He hasn’t been effective in any way. I feel like throwing out a fish hook, you know? ‘Hey, we can’t hear a word from you guys now, where are you?’”Petoletti sees the country as “kind of being on hold now for four years”.That’s not something that Dublin council member Abe Gupta would agree with.“It’s a bit more complicated than saying let’s wait for four years. A lot of people were waiting for the world to end, and well, that didn’t happen did it?” he says.Prior to the election, Gupta (another registered independent) told us that the polls (which at that time were predicting a clear Clinton victory) should be taken “with a pinch of salt”. Brian Petoletti“The reason I said that is people are often scared to tell you how they feel, they give the answer they think people want to hear.”“The sense I had was that there are things going on in the world that people don’t like. It’s not even an American thing, you can see it with Brexit, the French election. Folks are saying, ‘we’re not sure what we want, but this isn’t it’.”For this reason, Gupta reckons that Trump would still win if the election were held today.If it were held today he’d still win, I feel. Those were big forces that got him where he is. They haven’t gone away. The tech industry here in California was strongly opposed to Trump. But the reality is tech has done extremely well under him. A lot of how people feel is tied to the stock market. And it’s doing well. By Cianan Brennan Short URL It may bring out the worst emotions, but it is entertaining.“Other presidents have been Harvard law graduates, very eloquent, they use big words. But that’s not America. And Trump knows that.”Travel BanA recurring theme of the 100 days has been Trump’s struggles with legislation. His Obamacare repeal failed. He’s struggling to bring about his signature promise of a Mexico border wall. And he’s had not one, but two, travel bans stalled by the courts.The ban in particular upset Brian Petoletti.  He takes a deep breath when the subject is raised. Abe Gupta Source:“I was just lost for words by it, as to how he thought it would be effective policy in any way,” he says. “If he listened to the pulse of the American people, people are more concerned with terrorists that are already here, of people being radicalised here.The premise is just wrong, it’s Constitutionally wrong.“It was particularly disheartening,” agrees Steven. “As cliché as it sounds, it’s just not who we are as a people.”It was embarrassing and shameful, and the only glimmer of hope was the fact that people showed up in their thousands to protest at airports.One thing Steven says has “sickened” him however, is Trump’s aggressive foreign policy manoeuvres, including the dropping of the largest non-nuclear bomb in world history on Afghanistan.“The general celebration happening around the use of these bombs, and the missiles launched at Syria, and the associated loss of life has really sickened me. Even if these weapons did land on some real assholes it’s still a tragedy that it had to happen.”However, he sees those moves as a) more to do with “Trump giving more leeway to the military and the military taking the opportunity to play with its toys”, and b) “to be frank, I could see Clinton making many of the same moves”.What about a subject dear to many Californians’ hearts – climate change. Trump’s moves to curb the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as his championing the likes of coal and oil, are well-documented.Gupta doesn’t see it as a cause for concern. “How much could he, or really any president, actually do?” he asks.I think people need to stop thinking that the world is going to end. As long as what drives California is strong, as long as he doesn’t come in and muck things up, I don’t see his approach to climate change being a pro or a con. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Apr 29th 2017, 12:05 AM Share Tweet Email ‘He’d still win if the election were today’ – 100 days in, Dublin, California, adjusts to Trump’s ‘new normal’ revisited our capital’s namesake, population 50,000, in mid-west California. Source: Evan VucciSo is the president entertaining? Certainly, a huge amount of coverage of him has been of the ‘distractions’ that emanate daily from the White House – twitter spats, comical gaffes. Sean Spicer’s daily press briefings are now streamed live, something unthinkable in previous administrations. And it isn’t because of Spicer’s eloquence. People expect something off-the-wall to happen. And it frequently does.“I find moments of his behaviour entertaining but I really shouldn’t,” is Steven’s take.It’s kind of like driving by a car crash or something, you shouldn’t look but you do and then you hate yourself after. I did enjoy all the pictures of him aping about in that truck at the White House. Mostly because the Obamacare repeal failure was happening as he did that.“At the end of the day, the hardest thing is communicating with your constituents,” says Gupta. “With this Trump has tapped into something powerful. He will rewrite the rules for how politicians communicate.”We televise our Congress. I would rather get my wisdom teeth out than watch it, it’s excruciatingly boring. Like him or not, Donald Trump is entertaining. It was a ‘none of the above’ kind of vote. What we’re seeing now is disruptive politics, people saying ‘let’s try something different’.Entertaining?“You know, he hasn’t been as bad as I thought he would be,” says 28-year-old Steven*, a wine worker in nearby Livermore who also spoke to us in October. “That doesn’t mean he has been great by any means but rather all the awful things he said he wanted to do during the campaign are turning out to be harder to implement than he thought.”Perhaps Trump’s way of doing things is the ‘new normal’ we suggest?“I believe that Donald Trump has been the norm for quite a while now it just took his election for a lot of people to realise it,” he says.If Bob Dylan was the 60s in America, Trump is the politics-as-entertainment culture of this decade. Saturday 29 Apr 2017, 12:05 AM And he has achieved one other thing: the notion that you need to pick one party, one way of thinking, that’s disappearing. It’s happening in France too. People are saying ‘well I like that, but I don’t like that’. It’s the case with Trump. Because anyone who says he is a Republican, well I would very much question how they think that is the case. He has feet in both camps, and both ways of thinking.Wine-worker Steven is less sure about the American economic renaissance.“I think a good amount of the stock market growth is based on the assumption that he will be able to rewrite the tax code,” he says. “Personally, I see the economy deflating if he goes through with withdrawing from Nafta (the North American Free Trade Agreement, Trump’s current bugbear of choice).”The wine industry in California’s largest export destination is Canada. A withdrawal from Nafta would significantly affect sales, and, from that, profits. That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how interconnected trade is between us, Canada, and Mexico.So, after 100 days it seems Trump’s report card is a long way from being stamped. And that his international reputation doesn’t necessarily reflect the feelings of middle America.Given the man’s inherent unpredictability, nothing is certain. But if the next hundred days are anything like the first, who knows what conversation the world will be having in three months’ time.* Steven, a pseudonym, has asked not to be made identifiableRead: What words does President Donald Trump most like to tweet?Read: Trouble for Le Pen as her replacement steps aside amid allegations of Holocaust denial 41 Comments Trump supporters at a rally in north Carolina, the day before he was elected president last November Source: SIPA USA/PA ImagesThe economy, stupidPetoletti agrees. “I wouldn’t say his approach is dangerous, I’d say it’s ineffective.”“At the end of the day, he’s like a salmon swimming upstream. We’re not going to turn around here and start burning coal. You gotta wonder how informed he is.”He could’ve been a hero if he’d recognised the science. I think there’s a lot more jobs in green than in coal.Given the high-profile failures of the first 100 days, the average Irish person might consider that Trump is doing badly. But there are two other factors. Trump has far from lost his base – it still very much believes in him, for now at any rate. The second is that the American economy remains resurgent. And that matters. Our interviewees can see some grounds for optimism.“(Neil) Gorsuch being nominated to the Supreme Court was ok,” says Brian. “He’s highly qualified and we need a full Supreme Court. And regulation is something he (Trump) could get consensus on. But the way things began just alienated everyone. Winning is not everything, you need to win well, be mannerly.”“Look, the presidency is a huge ship, but a small rudder,” says Abe Gupta. “This isn’t a king we’re dealing with. In reality there is a very strong limit to how much you actually can do.”Trump’s tweeting, the way he does it, that’s not great for sure. But it’s hard to judge an unconventional leader by conventional metrics.last_img read more

Hepatitis A outbreak caused by fecal matter in swimming pool

first_img By Gordon Deegan MEDICS SUSPECT THAT a swimming pool in the HSE South area was the cause of an outbreak of Hepatitis A last year.A new paper in the current edition of the Irish Medical Journal (IMJ) shows that last summer five people, including three children – two aged 10 – fell ill with the disease.The disease is extremely rare here and there were only two other cases of the bug confirmed in the HSE South area in 2016, and both were people returning from travel overseas.However, the medics at the Public Health Office HSE South state that the outbreak could have been contained and illnesses prevented if there had not been a 13-day delay in notifying it of the first case.They stated that the case “illustrates the public health consequences of delayed notification”.“Timely notification would have facilitated prompt contact vaccination and may have prevented illness in subsequent contacts. Improved communication with clinicians and laboratory staff should improve the speed of notification in the future,” they said.The five Hepatitis A cases were notified over a four week-period between 9 August and 7 September last.The public health office there detected a link between two of the victims attending a swimming pool which had sub-optimal chlorine levels. People can contract Hepatitis A by swallowing water with fecal content.In very rare cases, it can result in death but, for the vast majority, the symptoms of fever, nausea, fatigue and jaundice usually last less than two months, although some people can be ill for as long as six months.Swimming pool linkIn the first case in the HSE South area, a 10-year-old child was hospitalised in July 2016 for investigation of jaundice, anorexia and vomiting and was diagnosed with Hepatitis A on 27 July. However, the public health office was not notified until 13 days later – on 9 August.The onset of symptoms for another 10-year-old going to the same school commenced on 6 August and the child was diagnosed on 8 August. The public health office was notified of the Hepatitis A case on 12 August. Prompt notification would have prevented the parents of the first child contracting the disease.The 38-year-old mother of the first child contracted the bug and was diagnosed on 22 August with the public health office notified the following day while the child’s 38-year-old father got the bug and was diagnosed on 29 August, with the public office notified the same day.A fifth case was confirmed on 21 August of a 13-year-old girl but there was an 18-day delay in the public health office being notified. The girl went to a secondary school in a different geographical area.However, the medics found a potential link between the first child to contract the bug and the 13-year-old girl “via a visit to a swimming pool with suboptimal chlorine levels”.InvestigationIn response to the suspected outbreak, the public health office launched a comprehensive investigation consisting of epidemiological, environmental and microbiological investigations.The investigators found that swimming pool attendance in early July 2016 was the only ascertainable link between the first child and the 13-year-old girl.To avoid contracting the bug, a vaccine must be administered within two weeks of exposure. However, the medics point out that the contacts of the first child’s case and the teenage girl’s “were outside the window of vaccination due to delayed notification”.Dr Helena Ferris, Specialist Registrar in Public Health Medicine, said yesterday: “A swimming pool with suboptimal chlorination levels was identified as one possible source.”She said the investigation by the outbreak control team included a site inspection and repeat water sampling at the pool.“The findings were discussed with the management of the swimming pool and the outbreak control team was satisfied that the sub-chlorination had been addressed and a satisfactory management plan put in place by swimming pool management to prevent a recurrence.”Read: Today’s the day: Leo Varadkar set to become TaoiseachRead: At least 30 injured as massive fire engulfs west London tower block File photo Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 48,926 Views Wednesday 14 Jun 2017, 7:30 AM 22 Comments center_img Share378 Tweet Email8 Image: Shutterstock/UnderTheSea File photo Image: Shutterstock/UnderTheSea Hepatitis A outbreak ’caused by fecal matter in swimming pool’ Five people, including three children, fell ill with the disease last year. Short URL Jun 14th 2017, 7:30 AM last_img read more

Clear similarities between both Boeing 737 MAX crashes French experts say

first_img Share22 Tweet Email1 An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737-800 parked at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa Image: AP/PA Images An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737-800 parked at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa By Hayley Halpin Mar 18th 2019, 4:44 PM ‘Clear similarities’ between both Boeing 737 MAX crashes, French experts say An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 went down minutes into a flight earlier this month. 26 Comments center_img Image: AP/PA Images Short URL Monday 18 Mar 2019, 4:44 PM 26,644 Views Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article THERE WERE “CLEAR similarities” between this month’s crash of an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX plane and a Lion Air plane crash last October, the French civil aviation investigation bureau has said. An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 went down minutes into a flight to Nairobi in Kenya earlier this month, killing all 157 people on board, months after a Lion Air jet of the same model crashed in Indonesia killing 189.This comes as Boeing said today that the flight stabilisation system under scrutiny following two deadly 737 MAX plane crashes met all US regulations.“The 737 MAX was certified in accordance with the identical Federal Aviation Administration requirements and processes that have governed certification of all previous new airplanes and derivatives,” Boeing said.“The FAA considered the final configuration and operating parameters of MCAS during MAX certification, and concluded that it met all certification and regulatory requirements,” Boeing added.Boeing and regulators are facing increased examination over the stall prevention system, MCAS, which authorities have said was likely a factor in deadly crashes in Indonesia in October, while the crash in Ethiopia earlier this month showed similarities.The French civil aviation investigation bureau BEA has concluded there were “clear similarities” between the Ethiopian Airlines and the Lion Air crashes. The French bureau said that black box data from the Ethiopian Airlines flight showed the links and will be used for further study.Since the Ethiopian crash, questions have been raised not only about Boeing, but also the FAA and its close relationship with the company.While it may take months for definitive conclusions, experts are asking why the MCAS was given the green light despite objections by American pilots who had voiced concerns with the system.Investigations into the Lion Air crash in October implicated the MCAS, which can erroneously force the plane down when the autopilot is engaged if it detects the plane may be at risk of a stall.Both crashes happened shortly after takeoff. Rescue workers at the scene of the Ethiopian Airlines crash Source: Mulugeta Ayene via PA ImagesComplaintsAmerican pilots had complained of the flaw.However, Boeing has been working on a software upgrade to the system and issued new instructions about how to override the issue in the meantime.The US Transportation Department’s inspector general is probing the FAA’s approval of the MCAS, the Wall Street Journal reported.The newspaper also said the criminal division of the Justice Department was looking into the development of the plane.The 737 MAX was certified as a variant of the 737 Next Generation, the plane it replaced, despite major differences in the engine and the MCAS, according to documents available on the FAA’s website.But because of budget constraints, the FAA delegated aspects of the approval process to Boeing itself, according to sources.Under a programme, known as the Organization Designation Authorization (ODA), employees of Boeing are accredited by the FAA to assist in approving the aircraft – including design, production, flight tests, maintenance and other systems – as well as signing off on the training procedures of pilots on new planes.Includes reporting by The Associated Press and © AFP 2019last_img read more

Mormon church to allow baptism for children of LGBT parents

first_img Share32 Tweet Email1 Short URL By Garreth MacNamee Friday 5 Apr 2019, 2:27 PM Apr 5th 2019, 2:27 PM 60 Comments THE MORMON CHURCH has announced it will now allow the children of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender parents to be baptised, regardless of whether the parents are members.The decision is “effective immediately,” said the church, officially known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in a statement.The new policy allows a child to be blessed as a baby and baptised at age eight.“Previously, our handbook characterised same-gender marriage by a member as apostasy,” or a denial of faith, the statement said. “While we still consider such a marriage to be a serious transgression, it will not be treated as apostasy for purposes of church discipline. Instead, the immoral conduct in heterosexual or homosexual relationships will be treated in the same way.”The church added it wanted to “reduce the hate and contention so common today” — but insisted its overall teachings had not changed.“These changes do not represent a shift in Church doctrine related to marriage or the commandments of God in regard to chastity and morality,” it said. Founded in 1830, the Mormon Church, whose headquarters are located in Salt Lake City, Utah, has 16 million members and says its mission is to restore a true church in preparation for the return of Jesus Christ. Its informal name refers to the “Book of Mormon” — named after an old prophet — which followers believe is a restored version of the true word of Jesus, rather than traditional Christian scripture.In a handbook in 2015, the Mormon church – a denomination of Christianity with significant differences to Catholicism – outlined “same-sex marriage as a particularly grievous or significant, serious kind of sin that required Church discipline”. It led to a large population of the church’s membership leaving in protest at the time.  10,456 Views Mormon church to allow baptism for children of LGBT parents The church added it wanted to “reduce the hate and contention so common today”. Image: AP/PA Images Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Image: AP/PA Imageslast_img read more

Assange aide arrested trying to leave Ecuador

first_img By AFP Short URL 33 Comments Apr 12th 2019, 7:01 AM 15,033 Views Image: PA Wire/PA Images Friday 12 Apr 2019, 7:01 AMcenter_img Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Julian Assange arrives at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London. Image: PA Wire/PA Images Julian Assange arrives at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London. Assange aide arrested trying to leave Ecuador Assange was arrested yesterday morning. A COLLABORATOR OF WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested in Ecuador while trying to flee to Japan, the South American country’s interior minister said.Maria Paula Romo did not identify the person but told Sonorama radio he was very close to Assange, who was arrested yesterday in London on a US extradition request after spending seven years in the Ecuadorian embassy there.Channel Teleamazonas identified him as Ola Bini, a software developer focused on privacy, security and cryptography, but did not name its source.Earlier yesterday, the minister had linked the collaborator with alleged attempts to destabilise the government of President Lenin Moreno. He “has been detained simply for investigation purposes,” she said, adding he had taken foreign trips with former Ecuadorian foreign minister Ricardo Patino, who gave political asylum to Assange in 2012. “We have sufficient evidence that he was collaborating in attempts to destabilise the government,” she said.Romo’s announcement followed the arrest of Assange.British police moved in after Ecuador pulled its asylum for Assange and cancelled his citizenship, granted in 2012. He had been living in the embassy, fearing arrest, but the Ecuadorian government says that Assange ”repeatedly violated” the conditions of his protection.The US Justice Department said Assange was being charged with a computer hacking conspiracy relating to his work with former US intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning in March 2010.© – AFP 2019 Share1 Tweet Email1 last_img read more

Animals and plants are disappearing faster than at any other time in

first_img 97 Comments Share106 Tweet Email3 A LANDMARK REPORT that assessed the state of the world’s biodiversity was published earlier this week, which gave a grim account of the significant dangers facing plants and animals across the globe.The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) report shows that species loss on the planet is accelerating at a rate of tens or hundreds of times faster than in the past.The UN report – the biggest ever of its kind – concluded that more than half a million species on land have insufficient habitat for long-term survival and are likely to go extinct – many within decades – unless their habitats are restored. Close to a third of corals around and over a third of marine mammals are also threatened. Changes in nature caused by decades of poisoning the Earth’s forests, oceans, soil and air threaten society at least as much as climate change, was the message from the report’s authors. “We’re in trouble,” said Rebecca Shaw, chief scientist for the World Wildlife Fund, who observed the final negotiations that led to the 39-page summary. “This is the strongest call we’ve seen for reversing the trends on the loss of nature.”Biodiversity and climate change Biodiversity the variety of plant and animal life in the world or in a particular habitat. More biodiversity is associated with a healthier system. A Decline in biodiversity on the planet is bad not only due to the loss of certain animal and plant species, but also because of the danger it poses to human survival. Plants and animals are the building blocks on which human life depends. Threats like the ones now facing a huge variety of different species are also a long-term threat to human survival. One significant factor in the loss of biodiversity is human-made climate change – the warming of the Earth by human activities. Loss of biodiversity also speeds up climate change, as Earth loses its life support systems. Ireland and biodiversity loss Ireland is not immune from the losses in plant and animal life that are occurring across the planet. Environmental scientists, researchers and activists have all pointed towards a decline in certain plant and animal species across the country, with many others threatened. Of the 3,000 or so plant and animal species in Ireland that are subject to a conservation assessment (meaning, an assessment on how likely it is that they will go extinct), about a quarter are facing extinction. “And the big issue is we don’t know which plant or animal could be the source of our next medicine. It could be something that provides the air that we breathe or food for the next generation,” Noeleen Smyth, a conservation botanist with the National Botanic Gardens, told said that of about 1,200 plants in Ireland, 100 are threatened with extinction and 20 are critically endangered. Smyth said that it was of huge importance that the country worked toward conserving the species that remain. “I like to think of species in that same way: each species of plant and animal are holding together this big system and we don’t know which one is going to be the weak link, where the system might break,” she said.  Several species of the country’s wildlife are also under strain. Oonagh Duggan of Birdwatch Ireland provided with figures facing the nations habitats, plants and wildlife. These include:  May 11th 2019, 6:31 AM Saturday 11 May 2019, 6:30 AM Short URL Image: Shutterstock/TB studio By Cormac Fitzgeraldcenter_img Two-thirds of Ireland’s 202 regularly occurring birds are on the Red and Amber Lists of Birds of Conservation ConcernThe Curlew has declined by 96% since the 70s91% of Ireland’s internationally-important habitats (bogs, grasslands) have ‘bad’ or ‘inadequate’ statusOver a third of Ireland’s 99 bee species are threatened with extinctionButterfly populations have declined by 6% since 2008Data from 17 County Hedgerow Surveys show that just one-third of hedgerows are in good condition for birds and other wildlifeShifting attitudesDuggan is also a spokesperson for Environmental Pillar, a collection of different environmental groups in Ireland. She spoke to last week ahead of a hustings event in Dublin which brought together candidates in the upcoming European elections to be questioned by members of the public on climate change and biodiversity loss. Duggan said that she felt a tipping point had been reached in the public’s attitude around these subjects, with people demanding more action from their elected representatives.“I think climate change and biodiversity are really top of the agenda at this point in time,” she said. I think a tipping point has been reached. There’s been an awful lot of awareness recently [about these issues].Ireland has one of the worst records for responding to climate change in the EU and among developed nations.The country was ranked the worst in Europe in terms of climate action in response to global warming in the Climate Change Performance Index 2019. Ireland is certain to miss its 2020 targets for reducing harmful emissions as set under 2016′s Paris Agreement, and as things stand is on course to miss its 2030 targets also.  The Dáil on Thursday declared a climate emergency, a move that has been heralded as positive step, but one which has no actual binding targets attached. It also fully endorsed the recent report from the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action, which contained numerous recommendations aimed at curbing Ireland’s emissions. An All of Government Climate Plan is due to be published later this year, which will likely put to effect a number of these recommendations. In terms of biodiversity, it is likely that a Citizens’ Assembly will be convened to look specifically at how the State can improve its response to biodiversity loss. Following the publication of the UN report, Heritage Minister Josepha Madigan announced that she had received Cabinet approval to bring forward an amendment to the Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2018.The amendment – if passed – will oblige public bodies to report to the minister on the measures they are carrying out to promote the conservation of biodiversity and the National Biodiversity Action Plan.Madigan said the department was taking significant action to protect and enhance Ireland’s biodiversity. However, the above examples in biodiversity loss point to a worsening crisis facing Ireland’s plant and wildlife species. While moves over the past week point to a positive shift in Ireland’s attitudes to biodiversity loss and climate change, in the words of Leo Varadkar, Ireland is still a “laggard” when it comes to addressing the issues.It remains to be seen whether concrete actions will follow-up the commitments to restore Ireland’s biodiversity and address its contribution to climate change.  Animals and plants are disappearing faster than at any other time in human history, and it’s happening in Ireland too A recent UN report has pointed to the huge threats to biodiversity across the globe. Image: Shutterstock/TB studio 13,925 Views Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Greece celebrates Ohi Day

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The seventieth anniversary of the Greek ‘no’ to the Italians and its victory over Italian forces in Albania was marked with commemorations and parades across Greece on Thursday.Ohi Day on October 28 is a national holiday in Greece, marking the anniversary of the country’s refusal of a 1940 ultimatum made by Italy’s Fascist leader Benito Mussolini to allow his forces to enter and occupy Greek territory. The action marked the start of Greece’s military participation in WWII.This year the national holiday was celebrated without tanks and jets as the Greek state scaled back the annual military parade because of the country’s acute financial crisis. “We have the historic duty to secure for the young generation the right to a dignified life,” President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias said in a message on the anniversary. The President of the Republic, who traditionally inspects the military parade in Thessaloniki on Ohi Day, was absent this year due to a viral infection that forced him to cancel his visit.In his message, Papoulias noted that Greece “is at a critical turning point”, and “crossing over is our duty to today’s 18-year-olds who are beginning their journey with the weight of the debt on their shoulders and are called on to pay a bill for which they have no blame”.“The faster we rid ourselves of this burden, the faster the collective conscience will ease,” he added.In his message on the anniversary, Prime Minister George Papandreou drew a comparison between Greece’s “resounding ‘NO’” to subjugation to the Axis forces, which led to the war with “today when Greece is once again waging a difficult battle”, stressing that “we are already starting to win this battle, with hard work, sacrifices and great difficulties”.Papandreou expressed his conviction that “as in every critical time in our history, we will succeed today as well.”Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras, in his own message, said that “in this difficult period of economic crisis, we are inspired by the example” of the events being commemorated. “We can take the country out of today’s gloom and ensure a new prospect of recovery and hope,” Samaras concluded.The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) said that 70 years after the historic Ohi, “the modern-day content of patriotism identifies with the organisation and battle of the working class and popular strata for the bankruptcy of the plutocracy, and not the people, for the popular alliance, in order to pave the way for popular authority.”The Coalition of the Radical Left (Syriza said that every era requires its own “Ohi”. “Today, we say Ohi to every kind of intervention, to the dissolution of the social state, to the razing of labor relations, to the Memorandum of social and economic bankruptcy, to racism and xenophobia, to the ecological destruction of the planet.”Defence minister Evangelos Venizelos, who represented the government at the Thessaloniki parade, said that the crisis is an opportunity and that, “through political stability, social cohesion and national unity, we will succeed and we will win the wager”.“Today, we honour and celebrate the Greece that deserves to be proud, the Greece that has proven historically that it knows what national sovereignty and national dignity is,” he said, adding that such anniversaries “also teach us, the present-day Greeks, and demand of us to be united, responsible and forward-looking.”Popular Orthodox Rally (Laos) MP Kyriakos Velopoulos, speaking after the parade, expressed conviction that “today, united, we can win this different ‘war’.”Source: Athens Newslast_img read more

Research links austerity to suicide

first_imgThere has been a direct link between fiscal austerity and a sharp rise in male suicides in Greece, according to research carried out by academics at the University of Portsmouth in the UK.The research by Nikos Antonakakis, a senior lecturer in economics and finance, and co-author Alan Collins, an economics professor, was published in the Social Science and Medicine journal and was highlighted by a report this week in The Guardian newspaper.According to the research, every 1 per cent fall in government spending in Greece led to a 0.43 per cent rise in suicides among men – after controlling for other characteristics that might lead to suicide, 551 men killed themselves “solely because of fiscal austerity” between 2009 and 2010, said the paper’s co-author Nikolaos Antonakakis.According to the authors of the report, there was a clear gender divide in the effects of austerity, with no obvious rise in female suicide rates. Men aged 45-89 faced the highest suicide risk in response to austerity because they were most likely to suffer cuts to their salaries and pensions, the research said.Antonakakis and Collins are considering work on the link between austerity and suicide rates in other countries most affected by the eurozone crisis, such as Spain, Portugal, Italy and Ireland.“These findings have strong implications for policymakers and for health agencies,” said Antonakakis. “We often talk about the fiscal multiplier effect of austerity, such as what it does to GDP. But what is the health multiplier?We have to consider the health multipliers of any fiscal consolidation and austerity. The fact we find gender specificity and age specificity can help health agencies target their help.”There were 508 suicides in Greece in 2012, according to figures published last month by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT). This represented a rise of 36 per cent since 2008, before the country’s economic crisis began. Source: The Guardian Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

New markets for Greek tourism

first_imgThanks to its improved image, Greece seems to be attracting an increasing number of visitors from emerging economies. Furthermore, tourism industry officials say that Brazilians, Koreans, Filipinos, Indians and Mexicans, among others, often spend more money than those from the so-called ‘traditional’ origin countries.Santorini is a case in point. Mayor Anastasios-Nikolaos Zorzos says the island has for years been a magnet for visitors from Asia throughout the year. The island expects about 20,000 Asian tourists this winter. Apart from the Chinese, Koreans also represent a growing clientele, reflected in the fact that a Korean film was partly shot on Santorini between July 22 and 25. Another film, Beijing Love Story, also shot on Santorini, opened at movie theatres in China on February this year.Athens is also a growing pole of attraction for visitors from emerging markets. Brazilians and Mexicans stop in the Greek capital while on cruise trips and stay up to three nights. They spend considerable sums on food and drinks in the hotels as well as on souvenirs. Brazilians and Mexicans also show a particular preference for trips that include the ‘classic tour’ of Mycenae, Epidaurus and Olympia. Most Latin American tourists are aged 50-plus. Indians usually travel with family as part of groups. They are demanding customers and prefer their own cuisine.A group of 29 Filipino travel agents were in Athens last week to be briefed and possibly to design tours for the Greek destination.Attracting visitors from Asia is seen as the biggest challenge for destinations around the world, including Greece. According to a study titled ‘Winning the Next Billion Asian Travellers – Starting with China’, carried out by Tripadvisor and Boston Consulting, more than 50 per cent of the increase in global tourism traffic up to 2030 will come from the Asia-Pacific region. A billion people are projected to have annual earnings of US$15,000 or more by then and the vast majority will come from China, India, Indonesia, Japan and South Korea.The Chinese are projected to make 1.7 billion trips in the intervening period and their spending is seen shooting up to US$1.8 trillion. They are distinct in that they prefer to travel in February, May and October, which are low-season months for many Western destinations.Source: ekathimerini Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Did Varoufakis have approval to plan parallel banking system

first_imgFormer Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has claimed that he was authorized by Alexis Tsipras last December to look into a parallel payment system that would operate using wiretapped tax registration numbers (AFMs) and could eventually work as a parallel banking system, according to sources.In a teleconference call with members of international hedge funds that was allegedly coordinated by former British Chancellor of the Exchequer Norman Lamont, Varoufakis claimed to have been given the okay by Tsipras last December – a month before general elections that brought SYRIZA to power – to plan a payment system that could operate in euros but which could be changed into drachmas “overnight” if necessary.Varoufakis worked with a small team to prepare the plan, which would have required a staff of 1,000 to implement but did not get the final go-ahead from Tsipras to proceed, he said.The call took place on July 16, more than a week after Varoufakis left his post as finance minister.The plan would involve hijacking the AFMs of taxpayers and corporations by hacking into General Secretariat of Public Revenues website, Varoufakis told his interlocutors. This would allow the creation of a parallel system that could operate if banks were forced to close and which would allow payments to be made between third parties and the state and could eventually lead to the creation of a parallel banking system, he said.As the general secretariat is a system that is monitored by Greece’s creditors and is therefore difficult to access, Varoufakis said he assigned a childhood friend of his, an information technology expert who became a professor at Columbia University, to hack into the system. A week after Varouakis took over the ministry, he said the friend telephoned him and said he had “control” of the hardware but not the software “which belongs to the troika.”Recorded callYou can find extracts from the conversation below. Varoufakis was advised that the call was being recorded when it began.Varoufakis: “I have to admit we did not have a mandate for bringing Greece out of the euro. What we had a mandate to do was to negotiate for a kind of arrangement with the Eurogroup and the ECB that would render Greece sustainable within the eurozone. The mandate went a bit further, at least in my estimation. I think the Greek people had authorised us to pursue energetically and vigorously that negotiation to the point of saying that if we can’t have a viable agreement, then we should consider getting out.”“We don’t have a currency which we can devalue vis a vis the euro, we have the euro”“[Wolfgang] Schaeuble, the finance minister of Germany, is hell-bent on effecting a Grexit so nothing is over. But let me be very specific and very precise on this. The prime minister before he became PM, before we won the election in January, had given me the green light to come up with a Plan B. And I assembled a very able team, a small team as it had to be because that had to be kept completely under wraps for obvious reasons. And we had been working since the end of December or beginning of January on creating one. But let me give you if you are interested some of the political and the institutional impediments that made it hard for us to complete the work and indeed to activate it. The work was more or less complete: We did have a Plan B but the difficulty was to go from the five people who were planning it to the 1,000 people that would have to implement it. For that I would have to receive another authorisation which never came.”“But let me give you an example. We were planning along a number fronts. I will just mention one. Take the case of the first few moments when the banks are shut, the ATMs don’t function and there has to be some parallel payment system by which to keep the economy going for a little while, to give the population the feel that the state is in control and that there is a plan.”“What we planned to do was the following. There is the website of the tax office like there is in Britain and everywhere else, where citizens, taxpayers go into the website they use their tax file number and they transfer through web banking monies from the bank account to their tax file number so as to make payments on VAT, income tax and so on and so forth.”“We were planning to create, surreptitiously, reserve accounts attached to every tax file number, without telling anyone, just to have this system in a function under wraps. And, at the touch of a button, to allow us to give PIN numbers to tax file number holders, to taxpayers. So let’s take for instance the case the state owed 1 million euros to some pharmaceutical company for drugs purchased on behalf of the National Health Service. We could immediately create a digital transfer into that reserve account of the tax file number of the pharmaceutical company and provide them with a pin number so that they could use this as a kind of parallel payment mechanism by whichever part of that digital monies to any tax file number for whom they owed money or indeed to use it to in order to make tax payments to the state. That would have created a parallel banking system while the banks were shut as a result of the ECBs aggressive action to deny us some breathing space.”“This was very well developed and I think it would have made a very big difference because very soon we could have extended it, using apps on smartphones and it could become a functioning parallel system and of course this would be euro denominated but at the drop of a hat it could be converted to a new drachma.”“But let me tell you – and this is quite a fascinating story – what difficulties I faced. The General Secretary of Public Revenues within my ministry is controlled fully and directly by the troika. It was not under control of my ministry, of me as minister, it was controlled by Brussels. The general secretary is appointed effectively through a process which is troika-controlled and the whole mechanism within. It’s like the Inland Revenue in the UK being controlled by Brussels. I am sure as you are hearing these words your hair is standing on end.”“Ok, so problem number one: The general secretary of information systems on the other hand was controlled by me, as minister. I appointed a good friend of mine, a childhood friend of mine who had become professor of IT at Columbia University in the States and so on. I put him in because I trusted him to develop this.”“At some point, a week or so after we moved into the ministry, he calls me up and says to me: “You know what? I control the machines, I control the hardware but I do not control the software. The software belongs to the troika controlled General Secretary of Public Revenues. What do I do?””“So we had meeting just two of us – nobody else knew – and he said: “Listen, if I ask for permission from them to start implementing this program then the troika will immediately know we are designing a parallel system.” But I said: “That won’t do, we don’t want to reveal our hand at this stage.””“So I authorised him – and you can’t tell anyone that, this is totally between us…”Normal Lamont interrupts: “There are certainly others listening but they will not tell it to their friends.”Varoufakis (laughing): “I know. I know they are. And even if they do I will deny I said it, so we decided to hack into my ministry’s own software program in order to be able break it up to just copy just to copy the code of the tax systems website onto a large computer in his office so that he can work out how to design and implement this parallel payment system.”“And we were ready to get the green light from the PM when the banks closed in order to move into the General Secretariat of Public Revenues, which is not controlled by us but is controlled by Brussels, and to plug this laptop in and to energize the system.”“So I am trying to convey to you the kind of institutional problems that we had, institutional impediments we had to carrying out an independent policy for ameliorating the effects of having our banks being closed down by the ECB.”On Schaeuble“Schaeuble has a plan. The way he described it to me is very simple. He believes that the eurozone is not sustainable as it is. He believes there has to be some fiscal transfers, some degree of political union. He believes that for that political union to work without federation, without the legitimacy that a properly elected federal parliament can render, can bestow upon an executive, it will have to be done in a very disciplinary way. And he said explicitly to me that a Grexit is going to equip him with sufficient bargaining, sufficient terrorising power in order to impose upon the French that which Paris has been resisting. And what is that? A degree of transfer of budget making powers from Paris to Brussels.”Source: Kathimerini Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

The Cutting Edge approach to digital marketing

first_imgWith the pace of life increasing by the day, more people are taking the time to question what they want out of their work arrangements; so tired of feeling forever time-poor, and as though they are missing out on the important moments. Balance and flexibility have become the new buzz words. One such person taking matters into her own hands is Reeva Cutting (nee Vassilaros), who, after three years in the world of digital marketing decided to start her own business. “From a family point of view I’ve been able to attend [my child’s]school events and help out when I ordinarily would have been working and unable to get involved,” Reeva, who has been at the helm of her company Cutting Edge Digital for six months now, tells Neos Kosmos. “Being able to work around my life has been the biggest benefit of all. I love choosing where I work and what hours I work, as well as getting out and about meeting new clients and meeting up with my support network of other girl bosses.”Marketing has evolved over the last 10 to 15 years, and with greater value in online marketing where results are measurable and more affordable, new doors have opened for those in the industry seeking greater autonomy. In addition to TV, radio, and print advertising her clients have the option of purchasing Reeva’s online digital marketing packages which include search engine optimisation, Google AdWords, copywriting, and blogging services. Born in Durban, South Africa, to a South African mother and Greek father, Reeva initially pursued studies in film and history at the University of Cape Town. A free spirit at heart however, she admits to never having imagined living in South Africa long-term; looking at her familial history, perhaps this is something that runs in her genes:“My dad was actually born in Alexandria, Egypt, with his mother being from Cyprus and his father from Ikaria. They left Egypt during the Suez crisis and moved to Athens. They then moved to South Africa to start a new life when my dad was six years old.” After completing her tertiary studies, Reeva ventured to France before settling in the UK for 10 years. While there she met her now husband, and worked in the insurance sector as a business and process analyst – a career path far removed from her film and history aspirations, though perhaps serendipitous as an aptitude test she took at the age of 14 suggested it would be a good fit. Despite the test however, it really wasn’t meant to be, career-wise, and for the best it would seem. “After our son was born, we started to explore our options when it came to where we wanted to raise our family and after a very long decision-making process we settled on Perth, Australia,” Reeva says.It was with that new start that Cutting says she decided to take a different career direction, and landed herself a junior role in digital marketing. Over the next three years she worked her way up, learning everything there is to know about digital marketing from SEO and SEM to blogging and social media. “After three years in the same role I realised that what I really wanted to do was work for myself so I took the plunge and started my own business in 2016,” a decision that is already proving to pay off. While new businesses often struggle to promote themselves, she has already gained some loyal and passionate clients and they’ve been recommending her via word of mouth which she says “is the best compliment I could have so early on in my business,” and one that she puts down to hard work, passion, and a true understanding of her clients’ needs.“I feel it’s been because I am able to provide a quality service at an affordable price. I’m passionate about what I do and even though I might finish work on a client’s site, I’ll go the extra mile and continue to provide advice and support if they need it along the way.”One of the most common mistakes she sees businesses making when it comes to marketing is failing to measure online results.“So many people build beautiful websites and don’t bother to add Google Analytics to track how many visitors they have or what those visitors do on the website. Or people add Google Analytics but don’t add any goals to track. Even something as simple as a PDF download or a submission of a contact form should be tracked so you can easily see how much people are engaging with your website,” she explains.Now four years since the move to Australia Reeva is not looking back anytime soon. For the past two years she has been sharing the joy with others, primarily fellow South Africans, through her blog ‘Proudly South African in Perth & WA’ with helpful information for those looking to migrate to Australia, and now has her own sights set on applying for citizenship. “We love the outdoor lifestyle, the great weather and being so close to gorgeous beaches – I’m a beach girl at heart and believe a walk on the beach can truly change your mood.”For more information about the services on offer at Cutting Edge Digital, visit Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Tsipras tipped to venture Down Under in 2018 to visit Greek community

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram On his recent trip to Greece, President of the Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM) Bill Papastergiadis met with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras with the chance to brief the Greek leader on various issues concerning the GCM and the Greek community as a whole.“We had been allotted 15 minutes [on Friday]; he was in meeting after meeting, and [then our meeting] went for close to 40 minutes, so it was a very entertaining and stimulating discussion. I found him to be incredibly relaxed, very interested in the Australian story, engaging, and a lot of personality,” Mr Papastergiadis told Neos Kosmos while in transit to Australia.The meeting, arranged by Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Terence Quick and SYRIZA MP Chrysoula Katsavria-Sioropoulou, was the first between the president and Mr Tsipras, who was moved by the numerous activities and initiatives carried out by members of the Greek Australian community. “He was very impressed with the Cultural Centre, the size of it and the level of activity that the Greek Community of Melbourne is involved in,” Mr Papastergiadis said.“He was also quite taken aback by the size of our festival as well. When he saw photos and the extent of the event and the number of performers, he was really impressed by that because for him language and culture are really important.”High on the agenda was language education and the recommencement of student camp programs, which was given the green light by the PM and Mr Quick, in a bid to further ignite Greek Australians’ connection with the Greek language and culture.“We had a discussion around education and the programs that were set up for the children of recent arrivals from Greece, but he was as interested, if not more interested, in the educational needs of our children, the kids born in Australia, and what level of Greek they’re achieving,” Mr Papastergiadis said. “An immediate agreement [was] reached on the visitation by our kids on camps and cultural exchanges to Greece. That’s going to start from early 2018 – so in about six months time it should be up and running,” which the president says is a real achievement following years of discussion on the matter. While an initiative of the GCM, the study programs will be open to schools across Australia, twice a year in January and June, and will be available to senior primary school, secondary, and university students.“It’ll be quite a broad program. The major issue for us with that is the fact that it opens a door and the hearts and minds of young kids to language and culture and that’ll hopefully create new future leaders within our community as well. So he was all for that.” (L-R) Deputy Foreign Minister Terence Quick, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tspiras, GCM President Bill Papastergiadis, and SYRIZA MP Chrysoula Katsavria-Sioropoulou.Another issue brought to the PM’s attention was the satellite transmission of ERT programs to Australia, which was cut in 2013 and which Mr Tsipras said he would take upon himself to rectify. “He was taken aback by the fact that that was the case; he thought it was up and running back in Australia. So for him that’s a really big issue and an issue he wants to press and get some immediate action on,” Mr Papastergiadis said.The spotlight was also turned onto matters of investment and tax, with emphasis placed on the establishment of a bilateral tax agreement between the two countries to benefit current and prospective investors. “If the Greek government seeks investment from particularly Greek Australians then it needs a comprehensive tax agreement so that people aren’t penalised for that investment property, taxed twice, which is what we’re seeing at the moment and that is a disincentive not only to individuals who want to buy some assets but also businesses who are investing,” Mr Papastergiadis said.The pair also touched upon the vote for Greeks abroad, which Mr Tsipras supported, and also welcomed the GCM’s proposal for the opening of a Greek Tourism office at the Greek Centre.Meanwhile, the Greek PM expressed great interest in travelling Down Under to attend the next Lonsdale Street Festival in 2018.“He said he’d like to come in February and he looked forward to an invitation from the Greek Community of Melbourne to attend the festival; he was very interested in it,” Mr Papastergiadis revealed.“He’s really interested in Australia; he was quite interested in our own culture, how it’s manifested in Australia,” his interest further piqued with the gift exchange, with the president gifting Mr Tsipras a collection of historical books on Melbourne along with a boomerang. “It was a very positive meeting, and the point is that hopefully it will open the door to broader discussions. Certainly our access to senior ministers in Greece is really high and there are a lot of people interested in helping us to navigate our way through that.”Mr Papastergiadis and GCM General Secretary, Costas Markos also had meetings with the President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos, Minister of Culture Lydia Koniordou, Minister of Tourism Elena Kountoura, Mayor of Athens Giorgos Kaminis and various other political leaders.last_img read more

99yearold George Corones breaks world record in freestyle

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Thursday saw a new swimming world record break, this time by a 99-year-old Australian man of Greek descent.George Corones, who turns 100 in less than two months completed the 50 metre freestyle swim in 56.12 seconds at the Commonwealth Games trials on the Gold Coast.“We have just witnessed history in the making!” The Australian Dolphins Swim Team posted on Facebook while watching Corones touch the finish line.The champion swam alone in the 100-104 category.Corones always loved the sport and was an avid swimmer in his childhood and adolescence years but only started competing at the age of 80.Since then he has broken several records and he plans to keep swimming even after he turns 100.last_img read more

Raising Greek kids in Australia

first_imgEleni Exadaktylou is a mother of two young children, who, with her husband Yianni, decided to leave Greece and seek a better future in Australia.“When we initially discussed leaving, I was not at all convinced that this was indeed at all a good idea but my husband was certainly keen to migrate after the impact the financial crisis had on the corporate sector in which he worked,” Eleni tells Neos Kosmos.The decision generated a lot of emotional upheaval for their extended family as well as the couple themselves.“I thought long and hard and decided to support Yianni’s decision, but as a parent, you just worry about the children,” says the mother of eight-year-old Manos and five-year-old Iro.“Our biggest concern was whether the decision to migrate was the right one for our family and whether the children would be able to adapt easily in a new and completely foreign environment, and learn a new language, make new friends, and enjoy a carefree childhood.“Luckily, the children embraced the change, I took much longer to adjust and get used to the new life in Australia. Initially, I made the unjustified mistake of comparing Australia to Greece; in particular the education system, career opportunities, the different lifestyle, the climate, the beaches, the landscape, the food, and even the people we met.“I just couldn’t reconcile with my decision to leave home.”Eleni, who originates from the town of Argos, studied midwifery in Athens, and worked in a fertility clinic before she arrived in Australia, reveals that what helped her get through those hard times was the acceptance that the ultimate responsibility of making her family’s move worthwhile rested on her and Yianni.“I decided to stop comparing and start living. I consciously gave myself, my husband and our children the time and space to adapt to new environments, concepts and circumstances, a different country, a different language, different experiences, and different ways of thinking, and concentrated all my energy on making the most of what Australia had to offer.”It didn’t take long for Eleni to start appreciating the quality of life in Australia.“Australia is not like Greece but there are certain aspects of this country that I really enjoy such as the facilities, the sense of safety, the quiet lifestyle, and the level of respect for the individual.”Their extended family remain in Greece.Eleni Exadaktylou with her family in Australia. Photo: Supplied“Migrating wasn’t easy. Yianni and I didn’t have any relatives or friends in Australia and I can honestly say that there is a certain level of emotional pain and sadness in moving to the other side of the world.“We miss our families, especially yiayia and pappou. It definitely takes a while getting used to not having anywhere to go on a Sunday for family lunch, or nowhere to spend Christmas, Easter, and the children’s birthdays.“As a working woman and a young mother, it was also challenging not having the support necessary to fulfill my personal and professional aspirations.”Eleni admits that leaving her parents was one of the hardest things she ever had to do.“I felt awful. Like all of our parents, my mother and father are getting older and I am still coming to terms with the fact that I am no longer able to support them as I would have done if I was still living in Greece. At the same time, I definitely still struggle with the idea that I have deprived them from making long-lasting memories with their grandchildren.”As time passes by, Eleni realises that although her extended family is miles away, her own family unit is growing stronger.“The children have really amazed me. I love watching them grow into strong independent individuals and I am grateful to the truly amazing people we have met within our school community who made us feel really welcomed.“Despite our different upbringing and cultural diversity, ultimately as parents, we all share a common goal. To see our children happy,” says Eleni who admits that tables have now turned and her biggest concern revolves around maintaining her children’s ‘Greekness’ within a multicultural and diverse society like Australia.“It is such a contradiction really. We do everything in our power to help our children adjust to a new environment and at the same time we desperately try so hard to hold on to our ‘Greekness’ and ensure our children stay connected with their Greek heritage, without foregoing Greece and the Greek language.“This is yet another challenge, that like all newcomers, Yianni and I hope to overcome so that Manos and Iro grow up loving Australia without ever forgetting where they came from.“I pray for our children to always remember, love, and have a special place in their hearts for Greece.” Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more