Sinka decided to say Goodbye – Hungarians looking for a new President

Hungarian handballIvan VetesiLaszlo Sinka President of Hungarian handball Federation, Laszlo Sinka decided to resign from this position at the next General Meeting, which will be held at 24th of June. Former Secretary General of national handball organisation, spent 16 years on this position, after he became President in 2009.Hungary organised Women’s EHF EURO in 2004 and got the new Women’s competition in cooperation with Croatia – EURO 2014.For his successor, Sinka recomended Vetesi Ivan.Fotó: Czagány Balá ← Previous Story Robert Gunnarsson stays in Rhein Neckar Lowen Next Story → Lasse Boesen goes home to KIF Kolding read more

Damir Doborac leaves SC Magdeburg

Damir DoboracSC Magdeburg SC Magdeburg and Damir Doborac (32) didn’t agree about new contract, so experienced Bosnian playmaker will leave German team this summer. Doborac spent in Magdeburg last two seasons, where he came from Bosna Sarajevo. He had the most successful part of career in Slovenian Cimos Koper. Which will be the next destination of Doborac is still unknown writes sportsport.baphoto: ← Previous Story Dragan Tubic to HBW Balingen Next Story → Kentin Mahe to HSV Handball? read more

Buducnost Podgorica for fourth time in a row win Womens Regional League

Buducnost Podgorica are invincible in the Women’s Regional League. This time they have proved their domination by easily defeating Metalurg Skopje with 30:16 (20:8) in the final. After failing to defend the title in the Champions League, this title in the Regional League can come as a consolation.League’s best player was voted Milena Knezevic, while best coach deservedly goes to Dragan Adzic.The third place goes to Lokomotiva Zagreb after defeating RK Podravka with 28:27. bajramovskabuducnostBudućnost PodgoricalokomotivametalurgMetalurg SkopjePodgoricaPodravkazderic ← Previous Story ASOBAL (Round 29): Guadalajara and Academia Octavio win, last round to decide the final relegated team Next Story → Metalurg Skopje wins Macedonian Cup! read more

Ivano Balic to Meshkov Brest Is that possible

Belarus handballIvano BalicMeshkov Brest Ivano Balic (34) goes to Belarus! Is it possible? Many speculations are connected with the name of the best ever handball player these days, but the most serious one, which got from a few sources is that handball „Mozzart“ will play for Belarussian third-team last season and SEHA member, Meshkov Brest! Strongly in the background of team from Brest,  Oil gigant GASZPROM has no problem to pay for the service of the great Croatian player who finished with his deal with BM Atletico Madrid by the day, when Spanish team stop to exist.Meshkov Brest will be a real „Croatian collony“ next season as we know that new coach is Zeljko Babic, with whom Ivano Balic worked in the NT and RK C.O Zagreb. Team captain Ljubo Vukic was also Balic’s team-mate in Zagreb, but also NT, as Ivan Pesic between the posts. Two other Croats are David Milicevic and Robert Markotic.Balic was also a media target of German Fuchse Berlin, but that rumours were stopped by German team. Also, RK Vardar Skopje wants to see Balic in the squad for the upcoming season at the VELUX EHF Champions League, but even some infos from Skopje send Ivano to Meshkov.We won’t wait too long to find out the truth… ← Previous Story Junior WCh 2013: Hungarian disaster in second half, Denmark beat France Next Story → Marcin Lijewski to Plock: “Trophies, Cadenas and family…” read more

AUSTRIA Strong Hard for the first Bregenzs defeat

9.Union JURI Leoben5104137160-232 10.HC Linz AG5104126169-432 4.Moser Medical UHK Krems5302153143106 6.SG INSIGNIS Handball WESTWIEN520313813354 Alpla HardAustrian handballBregenz Handball ← Previous Story EHF CL: Vote for the best match of Round 2! Next Story → FRIENDLIES IN DOHA: Swiss NT beat Qatar 21:19 2.Alpla HC Hard5401149126238 5.Sparkasse Schwaz Handball Tirol530213312946 7.SC kelag Ferlach/I.5104141157-162 Last weekend was played the derby match of Austrian League in which the current champion Alpla Hard beat Bregenz 29:27 (17:15). That was the first defeat of Bregenz, who signed a new player Ivan Dimitrijevic, who was unavaliable for this match. The TOP scorer was Hard’s left back Dominik Schmid with 10 goals, while Bregenz’s line-player Filip Gavranovic scored 9.STANDINGS: 8.HSG RAIFFAISEN Bärnbach/Köflach5104132151-192 3.Bregenz Handball5401158137218 1.Raiffeisen Fivers WAT Margareten55001721343810 read more

WISLA TV Polish derby no surprise

handball tvOrlen Wisla PlockWisla TV ← Previous Story VIDEO: Have fun with Beach Handball in Australia! Next Story → Linnea Torstenson to Romanian CSM Bucuresti Orlen Wisla Plock suffered another defeat against the biggest rival at domestic scene, Vive Targi Kielce 30:38, but this time at EHF Champions League. Polish vice-champions will try to focus on the next rival – Hungarian Veszprem, but the main goal – TOP 16 is reached. Look how WISLA TV have seen derby in Kielce…Vive – Wisla – highlights read more

Bezjak and Weber stays in SC Magdeburg until 2017

German handballhandball transfersMagdeburgmarko bezjakmarko onetorobert weberSC Magdeburg SC Magdeburg struggling to find a way back to the TOP of German handball. Legendary team, twice a Champions Cup and EHF CL winner (2002) still is far away from the “TOP 5” of DKB Bundesliga.  “Gladiators” are currently on 7th position, far away from the battle for EHF Cl place, but still there are some players who showed that can play on the highest possible level.SCM Management has extended the contracts with Slovenian playmaker Marko Bezjak (ex player of Gorenje) and Austrian right wing, Robert Weber until 2017.Chilean line-player Marco Oneto will leave the team at the end of the season. Ex-Barca member came to Germany after season in Hungarian MVM MKB Veszprem. ← Previous Story Danish Cup F4 in Aarhus: KIF Kolding look for a trophy Next Story → TOP 10 stories on in February! read more

Vranjes has seen Elahmar – Egyptian star to SG Flensburg

← Previous Story Slavko Goluza resigns! Next Story → BCL continues in Viljandi, Riga and Dobele SG Flensburg will reinforce the squad before the second part of the season with one spectacular player from Egypt. A 30 years-old right back Ahmed Elahmar is coming from Qatari best team El Jaish as replacement for injured Holger Glandorf until the end of the season. It was pretty obvious that Flensburg’s coach Ljubomir Vranjes will try to find quality left-handed player for the rest of the season in which reigning EHF CL champions have high expectations.Destiny or not, Vranjes was a special analyst of Swedish TV network during the matches of the 24th Men’s World Handball Championship in Qatar. He had opportunity to see an outstanding performance of Elahmar in the match Sweden – Egypt, what was probably the first step in the process of negotiations which brought one of the best non-European players, finally, to the European stage.“I am satisfied that with Ahmed Elahmar we found another option on right back position, which can help the team. Ahmed’s style will match to our team’s play, but also he brings a lot of experience”, said Vranjes. read more

WELCOME TO LEGENDS RK Vardar at the TOP of Europe

← Previous Story EHF CL Final 2017 PREDICTION: Vranjes for Vardar, Schwalb for PSG Next Story → Golden goal machine Ivan Cupic: I knew it… RK Vardar are at the TOP of the European handball! The Macedonian champions made dreams come true in Cologne, where they beat PSG Handball 24:23 (11:12) thanks to the winning goal of right wing Ivan Cupic, who found the way to the net of Thierry Omeyer in the last attack, three seconds until the final whistle.Newcomers on the biggest stage at VELUX EHF Final 4 in Cologne, led by genious Raul Gonzales made the biggest success of Macedonian sport ever…Timur Dibirov was TOP scorer RK VARDAR – PSG HANDBALL 24:23 (11:12)RK VARDAR: Šterbik, Milić, Stoilov, Rodrigo Moraes, Maqueda, Dereven, Karacic, Dujshebaev 2, Abutović 1, Canellas 2, Cindrić 3, Čupić 3, Dibirov 7, Shiskarev 2, Marsenić 1PSG HANDBALL: Omeyer , Škof, Gensheimer 2, Moolgard, Accambray, Stepančić 2, Kounkoud, Barrashet, Remili 3, Abalo 3, L. Karabatić, Hansen 4, Narcisse 4, Nielsen, N. Karabatić 5, NahiPHOTO: Jozo Cabraja read more

FIRST VESZPREM THAN KIELCE PSG Handball conquer central Europe

EHF Champions LeaguePGE Vive KielcePSG Handball 8.Aalborg9207241:2614 2.Flensburg-H.9621265:24214 4.Kiel9414226:2329 7.Meshkov Brest9216243:2645 Veszprem, than Kielce! Paris Saint Germain, once again, sent a message to the main rivals in European handball by taking points in the hottest place like Veszprem Arena or Legionow hall! The French champions are much better in challenges all around Europe than in domestic matches…PGE VIVE Kielce – Paris Saint-Germain HB 29:30 (11:15)PGE VIVE: Szmal, Ivić – Jurecki 4, Dujshebaev 2, Kus 2, Aguinagalde 5, Bielcki, Jachlewski 1, Strlek, Janc 4, Lijewski, Jurkiewicz, Mamić, Bombac 2, Zorman, DjukićPSG: Omeyer, Corrales – Gensheimer 7, Mollgaard 1, Stepancić, Keita, Sagosen 2, Kounkoud 1, Damjanović, Remili 2, Kempf, Hansen 5, Narcisse 1, Nielsen, Karabatić 7, NahiSTANDINGS: 6.Celje9216263:2805 1.Paris SG9801276:24516 5.Vive Kielce9324260:2578 3.Telekom Veszprem9513262:25511 ← Previous Story THIRD DEFEAT IN A ROW: Aalborg take scalp of Veszprem Next Story → Fantastic Sterbik saves RK Vardar in SAP Arena read more

RK Vardar have new goalkeepers coach – Dejan Peric

The reigning Men’s EHF Champions League winners, RK Vardar Skopje, appointed new goalkeeper’s coach Dejan Peric. The 48-years old legendary Serbian goalkeeper will join Raul Gonzales and David Davis starting from March 1.Peric worked as Serbian national team coach between 2014 and 2016. He led “Eagles” at Men’s EHF EURO 2016 in Poland, where Serbia ended competition after Preliminary Round. This will be Peric’s first job after June 2016, when Serbs lost Play-Off clash with Hungary for France 2017.  ← Previous Story Pressano win Italian Cup 2018! Next Story → Rhein Neckar Lowen lose Gedeon Guardiola for the rest of the season! read more

Shot Pakistani schoolgirl 14 showing signs of improvement

first_imgA PAKISTANI SCHOOLGIRL shot in the head by the Taliban showed signs of improvement by moving her limbs today, the military said, though she remains unconscious and on a ventilator.The shooting of 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai, who campaigned for the right to an education, has been denounced worldwide and by the Pakistani authorities, who have offered a reward of more than $100,000 for the capture of her attackers.“The sedation given to Malala was reduced today so that neurosurgeons could do their clinical assessment and as a result of it Malala responded and moved her hands and feet,” military spokesman Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa said.“It is a positive development,” Bajwa told a press conference near Army headquarters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, close to the capital Islamabad, where Malala is being treated in a military hospital. ”As per doctors, (the) condition of Malala is stable.”A team of specialist doctors are providing “constant care” to Malala and all “contingencies” were in place in case they decide to move her abroad for further treatment, the general said. ”It is a case of serious head injury and the progress is very slow in it.”Two other girl students wounded with Malala were “also being taken care of at places where they can get best treatment”, he said, without elaborating.Bajwa said that all available resources were being used to investigate the incident and some arrests had been made, but he declined to say how many people were currently in custody and how many had been let go.Asked whether the military might now consider launching an offensive against the Taliban in their tribal area stronghold of North Waziristan, on the Afghan border, Bajwa said: “Such decisions are not taken overnight.”A military statement earlier said: “(The) health condition of Malala continues to remain satisfactory. Her vitals are okay and she is still on ventilator.”Prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf visited Malala yesterday, paying tribute to her and two friends who were also wounded when a gunman boarded their school bus on Tuesday and opened fire.“It was not a crime against an individual but a crime against humanity and an attack on our national and social values,” he told reporters, pledging renewed vigour in Pakistan’s struggle with Islamist militancy.Bajwa yesterday said the next 36 to 48 hours would be critical for Malala.- © AFP, 2012Read: Pakistan medics remove bullet from shot child activistlast_img read more

Column The exploitation of young people has been cemented by this government

first_imgDO 18 – 26 year olds eat less than their older peers? Do they require less clothing, heating or transport? Are there a mass of employment and training opportunities out there for those young people who have the inclination?These conditions may prevail in a parallel universe, but in an Ireland with a youth unemployment rate of 39%, the cuts to jobseeker’s allowance for those under 26 will have the effect of pushing a significant number of young people below the poverty line and out of the country.Prior to 2009, all jobseekers received the same allowance, regardless of their age. Over the last four years however, the amount given to those under 25 has halved. While the ordinary rate remains at €188 per week, jobseekers under 24 will now receive just 100 euros a week and those aged 25 are expected to get by on €144 per week.Encouraging young people to train?This website reported that the cuts in jobseeker’s allowance for those under 26 are seen by ministers as “a way of encouraging young people to take up training opportunities or to participate in schemes such as JobBridge and JobsPlus”. But it is clear that the schemes as currently constituted are nothing more than a smokescreen. They have neither the scale nor ambition needed to tackle the problem of youth unemployment. In Limerick and Donegal, 50% of young people are without jobs. Does this government really believe that all they lack is “encouragement”?The Government-commissioned evaluation of JobBridge, conducted by Indecon, presents the scheme in a positive light on a superficial level, but a closer examination paints a more troubling picture of poor completion, poor training and widespread exploitation.By September 2012, nearly 60% of those who had commenced a Job Bridge placement had left before completion. Anecdotal evidence suggests widespread abuse of the system by unscrupulous employers; one national school in Westmeath sought to employ a qualified primary teacher on a full time basis for nine months. The pay was €50 per week. At the lower end of the skills spectrum, Tesco advertised for 218 shop assistants to stack shelves and manage customer queues.The authorities claim that measures are taken to prevent abuse of the scheme by employers. Yet a search of JobBridge vacancies this week found advertisements for qualified architects, solicitors and accountants, all expected to work on a full time basis for €50 per week.How beneficial are internships, anyway?Some may say that the training schemes are a way for young people to prove themselves to employers; to put in the hard work for a few months before being offered fully paid work afterwards. But only 19% of interns were able to stay with their employer on a paid basis.More damning, the government’s own review of Job Bridge doesn’t ask the fundamental question of whether a job bridge internship increases the employment prospects of the average unemployed person. Firstly because the sample of Job Bridge participants are not representative of job seekers as a whole; they are more highly educated than average and the majority have been unemployed for less than six months. Furthermore, because the study didn’t include a “control group” we simply do not have any estimates as to whether the chances of employment for these interns is any greater as a result of their training.If the returns to employment provided by Job Bridge are uncertain, the effectiveness of the remainder of Government spending on training is abysmal. The ESRI’s analysis of Government training programmes in 2012 showed that 70% of total government training spending went on programmes described as “general” or “low skilled” training. It further found that the effectiveness of these programmes in returning participants to employment was somewhere between low and non-existent. We don’t know nearly enough about the effectiveness of government training programmes because the government doesn’t ask the right questions. But what we do know should give us serious cause for concern.The real motivation in cutting jobseeker’s allowance for those under 26 is not to encourage them to take up a valuable training opportunity and it is certainly not part of an effort to spread the costs of adjustment fairly. The measure reveals a Government eager to impose austerity where it is least likely to cause its members trouble. The young unemployed are structurally disadvantaged, not only due to their limited economic means, but also because they have no organised method to advocate for their interests. Ireland’s youth can easily be ignored; out of sight and out of mind.Penalised for being youngIf the Government was serious about spreading the costs of austerity fairly, it would stop penalising the young for being young. The burden of adjustment has been disproportionately born by those aged 18 to 35, who are discriminated against in employment, childcare, taxation and welfare policies.If the Government was serious about providing effective training opportunities for young unemployed people, it would conduct a comprehensive review of the effectiveness of state training programmes and re-balance spending to favour those projects that show real returns to investment by giving people the skills they need to get decent work.Perhaps the saddest fact about this budget cut is the paltry savings it will make. Just 30 million euros will accrue from this measure, just over 1% of the total adjustment for this year. But for a significant proportion of jobseekers, this cut will reduce their means beyond the point where they can remain in the country and look for work. If increased youth emigration is the price of this measure, then it’s clear the Government cares little for the fate of those forced to depart.The best that can be said about the impact of the policies towards young people pursued by this Government since it took power is that they are consistent. Consistent in imposing the costs of adjustment on those least able to resist them. And consistent in pushing them towards leaving this country.Andrew Byrne (28) is a former President of Trinity College Students’ Union and a PhD candidate at the University of Edinburgh. @aqbyrne Dan Hayden (28) is a former President of UCD Students’ Union and a PhD candidate at University College Dublin. @danjhaydenlast_img read more

Top readers comments of the week

first_imgThe smell of cold in the air knowing that Christmas is close, wrapping up warm to go for a walk, strolling around Dublin city with no particular destination just people watching and discovering new places, drinking hot chocolate/mulled wine/hot whiskey on a freezing day while warming your hands on the cup, spending time with friends and family, the smell of stew when you walk into a house, real hearth fires, hugs from people you love, hugs from anyone really…. We may have no money but look at what we do have, that kind of stuff is priceless to meIrish people shop online far less than the average EU internet user, according to a report this week. Ian explained why he bucks the trend: EVERY SATURDAY MORNING we take a look at all the best comments left on the site by our readers over the past seven days.This week there was a lot of talk about Budget 2014, Love/Hate, Madeleine McCann, crime in Dublin, and, as always, the weather.So here, in no particular order, are the standout comments from the week that was.The top 5 articles which received the most comments this week1. Poll: Should dole payments for those under 26 be reduced? (384 comments)2. Social welfare garda checks must not involve racial profiling – ICI (362 comments)3. Budget 2014: the key things to know from today’s announcement (298 comments)4. 22 things Irish people hate (243 comments)5. Madeleine McCann timeline has changed significantly (233 comments)Some of the best comments left on the site this weekFirst up, new dad Patrick McCarry shared the craziness of his first week as a parent, and commenter Tony Skillington shared his own experiences: I wish you and your wife every joy and happiness. The period of your lives that ye are entering is the most fulfilling, enriching and rewarding that ye will ever have experienced. From the first time she grabs your finger to the first hug she meaningly give you, your world has gone from me to us to her.Cherish every moment with her because in a blink of an eye she’ll be a teenager.. You’ll be relegated to chief money supplier, taxi driver, uncoolest yoke on the planet and killer of spiders in her bedroom…but sure do we as dads mind? Not at all..she’s the making of you both. She’ll always be your little girl…the one you’ll kill for to defend. Every step she takes you’ll be there to watch over her…again many congratulations.This is on an article from earlier in the year but a) the comment was only left during the week and b) it’s excellent, so we’ve included it. Asked to share memorable experiences from their J1, Cillian Bracken had this to say: We managed to convince a group of Canadians that we didn’t have Kanye West in Ireland and that although we were aware of his existence, the State had yet to sanction the release of his music.Pun of the week: James Doorley was quick off the mark with this uplifting (sorry) comment after half of the members of the Cabinet got stuck in a lift, minutes before the Budget was announced on Tuesday: Door on lift were stuck, they couldn’t “budge it”Ahead of all the doom and gloom that comes with the Budget, we asked readers one simple question: what makes you happy. You can see a lot of the best responses here, but some of our favourites included these from Alan Grouse, Maggie Cullagh and Roxy Blue.A well ironed shirt. Lightly toasted batch bread with butter and jam. My wife’s touch. A good pint of guinness. The sound of a sports car’s engine. The buzz of being in an airport before a trip. A good film. The combination of popcorn and minstrels. The rush in having a fish bite. The pump and endorphin rush of a good workout. Dealing with polite people. The sound, smell and spectacle of a thunder and lighting storm and candles. Symmetry. A newly stringed guitar. The sound of waves. A glass of midleton whiskey. The spontaneously hearing of a song you love. The minions. Clydesdales galloping. Pretty much every purchase I make is done online. Mobile phone? Samsung Galaxy Mega, bought from Hong Kong (no VAT to pay and sold at wholesale prices). Weekly shop? Tesco or Superquinn online. Magazine subscriptions? Buy them digital or send them to Parcel Motel and it’s still cheaper. Prescription drugs and vitamin supplements? Buy them on Amazon or at Boots online and send them to Parcel Motel (example, Buscopan is prescription-only in Ireland. In Boots it’s £3 a pack or 3 for £5!).It’s too expensive to ‘shop local’ in Ireland. Until it changes and we get a fair deal instead of being ripped, I continue to spend my income elsewhere. The future is digital, not bricks and mortar. booking flights for a trip and countdown to that trip when youve worked hard all year ! .exciting . Silverharp Harp had this popular addition to the thread about things to remind you that people are actually generous: Thanks to the Dublin Taxi driver and nice people in the park who brought my 4 year old son and Mother in Law to St. Vincents hospital (without charge) when she broke her wrist in the park. We were not in Dublin that afternoon and only got a txt message via a family member abroad…restored my faith in the civic attitude of Dubs.The 5 most popular comments this week1. First up this week is Matt, who got 2,076 thumbs up for his comment on the article about a 5-year-old Wexford girl with cerebral palsy whose wheelchair and specially-adapted car seat were taken when the family  car was stolen from outside their home. Return the wheelchair to the child.2. Next up with 1,663 green thumbs is Helen Bobey, who was unimpressed with Welsh police who were forced to apologise for naming a dog poo issue “Operation Irish”. I’m Irish and I live in cardiff. I would love to know what exactly they meant by that3. In third place is Michale Coghlan with 1,239 thumbs up on the article about the man in the US who confessed to a rape and murder as he was about to be put to death in Florida, and whose execution did not go smoothly: I’m sure his last 15 minutes were less agonizing than hers…4. In fourth place with 1,227 green thumbs is Nessa Mooney for her comment about the cut in dole money for people aged 24 and under which was announced in Tuesday’s Budget:I am wondering seeing as its ok to pay less social welfare to under 25′s is there a reduced tax rate for that age group also, or should we be expected to pay the same tax rate but if we lose our jobs were not entitled to the same social welfare rate as those over 25.5. Last but not least, in fifth place is Fergal McDonagh with 1,137 thumbs up on the article about how a news website in New Zealand reported on an increase in STIs among Irish people involved in post-earthquake rebuilding: How’s about ‘new Zealand women spreading STDs to Irish men’ being their headline. Ffs.last_img read more

Latvia probes store disaster as hopes dim of finding survivors

first_imgIt was dark but still light enough to see the exit. I ran out. The doors were open, but a lot of rubble fell in front of them — I think that’s why some people couldn’t get through.Riga mayor Nils Usakovs said five people were feared trapped inside but it was unclear how many were still believed to be missing on Saturday.Police investigators could be seen sifting through the rubble alongside rescuers today. The latest body was hauled from the mass of tangled steel and concrete at 6am (4am GMT).Speculation has centred on the extra weight created by a rooftop garden and playground and on the possibility that building regulations may have been bent.Maxima spokeswoman Olga Malaskeviciene told AFP the company had launched safety checks at its 140 other stores in Latvia and plans similar reviews in Lithuania and Estonia.“The cause remains a mystery, but it must be discovered. Obviously if a mistake was made it was a massive one,” said Marite Straume, spokeswoman for the Re&Re firm that did the building work.The strange thing is at the time of the collapse we were replacing the heavy rocks that had been there for two winters with much lighter materials to make the garden. The roof was actually getting lighter. A photograph published by Latvia’s Diena daily showed an aerial view of the roof prior to the collapse, covered in soil, shrubbery, a children’s playground and construction material.Passers by react outside the collapsed Maxima supermarket in Riga, Latvia. Pic: AP Photo/Mindaugas KulbisPart of the roof at the two-year old supermarket crashed down during peak shopping hours around 6pm on Thursday, in the Zolitude district of the Latvian capital.A second collapse crushed to death the rescuers who had already entered the building.Thousands of glowing candles and heaps of flowers decked the perimeter crash barriers surrounding the site, placed by a constant stream of shell-shocked residents.Flags were being flown from houses across the country with a black sash attached as Latvia began a three-day period of national mourning.Just days after November 18 independence celebrations, the tragedy snuffed out an upbeat mood in Latvia, with 2014 set to mark its entry into the eurozone and showcase Riga as the European capital of culture.Child Protection Inspectorate director Laila Rieksta-Riekstina told Latvian Radio Saturday that “16 children lost one parent and one child has unfortunately lost both parents” in the tragedy.A view of collapsed Maxima supermarket in Riga, Latvia. Pic: AP Photo/Mindaugas KulbisThe state fire and rescue service website paid tribute to the three firefighters who died, describing them as “more like family members than colleagues”.Books of condolence have been opened at Latvian embassies abroad including Britain, Canada, Ireland, Poland, Russia, Poland and the USA while world leaders have also expressed sympathy.The central government, Riga city council and the Maxima retailer have promised compensation to victims and charities are also raising cash.- © AFP, 2013Read: Death toll in Latvia supermarket roof collapse doubles> LATVIAN INVESTIGATORS AND rescuers combed the ruins of a Riga supermarket for clues and bodies today after its roof crashed down on shoppers, killing at least 52.Hope was dwindling of finding any survivors two days after the roof of the Maxima supermarket caved in and the small Baltic state began mourning the victims of its worst disaster since independence in 1991.As horrific accounts of the tragedy emerged from some of the 40 people known to have survived, anger and suspicion mounted over the causes of Europe’s third deadliest roof collapse in 30 years.A woman lights a candle near the collapsed shopping centre in Riga, Latvia. Pic: AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis“I was queueing at the cash desk when the roof suddenly caved in. It all happened within a few seconds,” 19-year-old Antons Ryakhin, saying “about 100 people” had been inside with him.last_img read more

Chickens coming home to roost as HSE searches for foreign specialist nurses

first_imgIRISH NURSES WERE “allowed emigrate” rather than being trained as specialists, meaning the HSE has had to recruit nurses from abroad.That is the view of David Hughes, the Deputy General Secretary of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO).The executive is to tender for an agency to recruit 88 specialist nurses, with skills in intensive and critical care and theatre care, a move that has been criticised by Hughes.He says that the implementation of the recruitment moratorium in the HSE had prevented Irish nurses from being trained in the specialities.“This is chickens coming home to roost. The moratorium has been applied in a totally unplanned way and the foreseen shortages in the specialist area have come through.“Instead of putting the training courses in place to train Irish nurses, they were allowed emigrate and now the HSE is going with the more expensive option of hiring in foreign nurses.”Nurses recruited from abroad carry additional costs in terms of agency fees and the cost of foreign interviews.Hughes added that morale among nurses is at “all-time low” due to dropping staff numbers, pay cuts and longer hours.ShortageThe HSE confirmed that it will tender for the nurses, citing a worldwide shortage of specialists workers.“The HSE has invited tender submissions from suitably qualified organisations (e.g. recruitment agencies) for appointment to a Framework Agreement for the International Recruitment of Specialist nurses to the HSE.“There is a worldwide shortage of nurses with this specialist experience and there is an immediate requirement for Theatre and Critical Care Specialties nurses nationwide.“Currently the HSE is seeking 54 theatre nurses and 34 critical care posts to be filled nationally across the HSE. Nurses recruited could be posted to any acute HSE hospital with a requirement for staff nurses with the experience outlined above.”Read: ‘We have to get answers’: TDs set to grill CRC officials over top-upsRead: HSE will need nearly €200 million extra for this yearlast_img read more

A Definitive Ranking of Christmas Songs From Worst To Best

first_imgTHERE IS NO escape from Christmas songs. In the supermarket, in the post office, in the pub: they are everywhere.Here at, we have painstakingly ranked all* the key Christmas songs, and placed them in order from worst to greatest.This ranking is final and definitive.*By ‘all’, we mean ‘some of the main ones’.16. Newsong – The Christmas Shoes Source: NewSongVEVOTravesty? Abomination? Vomit-inducing gorefest of gratuitous sentimentality? It’s hard to decide on a description. This song takes genuine, good emotions and crushes them in its cloying fist until the juices run clear and free.(Can’t see the video? Click here.)15. Status Quo – It’s Christmas Time Source: UMTVMUSICDISCOVERYTHE SCENE: Status Quo’s studio, 2008Rocker 1: Should we do a Christmas song? What’s Christmassy that we can put in it?Rocker 2: Ungggh… uhhhh… roasting chestnuts… nnnngggh… wine…. uhhhh… Christmas time?Rocker 1: Got that on tape Rick. Nice work. See you next year.(Can’t see the video? Click here.)14. Madonna – Santa Baby Source: scrubincAnyone who can hear the phrase “Hurry down my chimney tonight” without shuddering needs to take a long hard look at themselves.(This is only exceeded in awfulness by the Michael Bublé version, in which he refers to “Santa buddy” throughout, giving the whole song the feel of an obnoxious stockbroker trying to be a taxi driver’s best friend at 2am.)(Can’t see the video? Click here.)13. Cliff Richard – Mistletoe and Wine Source: TheChristmaSongsDull dull dull. Also contains the most bizarre pronunciation of “Christ-ee-an” in recorded history.Oh, and the video opens with Cliff looming at the window of a house peering in at a sleeping child. She is now spending years in therapy after her parents refused to believe what she saw at the window one terrible Christmas.(Can’t see the video? Click here.)12. Baby It’s Cold Outside Source: Margriet AskewYes, this is a nice tune. But let’s take a proper look at what’s happening here.A man brings a girl back to his place, insists that there are no taxis to take her home, and pleads with her not to “hold out” on him. Meanwhile, she asks suspiciously “What’s in this drink?”Is this really the Christmas message we want to be promoting/belting out while on the batter? Is it?(Can’t see the video? Click here.)11. Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmas Time Source: videosanta69From the dark, dark decade after Paul McCartney left the Beatles and before he figured out how to be cool again. The kind of song your mam and/or dad probably have a dance to after one too many sherries.Although that said, the ‘waow waow’ synth noises are a bit fun. Fair play Paul.(Can’t see the video? Click here.)10. Band Aid Source: PhoneixRising100On the one hand, it’s genetically impossible for any group of functioning humans not to pump their fists and roar “TONIGHT THANK GOD IT’S THEM… INSTEAD OF YEEEEEUUWW” along with Bono when this comes on at a party.On the other, its declarations about an entire continent – significant parts of which are covered in lush, watery jungle – that “nothing ever grows” and “no rain or rivers flow” are a bit of a worrying slip-up from a gang trying to save the world.Also, there might be snow in Africa this Christmas time.(Can’t see the video? Click here.)9. Bing Crosby and David Bowie – Little Drummer Boy Source: GPITRAL0One of the greatest Christmas videos of all time, as David Bowie pretends to mistake Bing Crosby for a butler and hilarity ensues. They then awkwardly avoid each others’ eyes for the duration of the song.(Can’t see the video? Click here.)8. Slade – Merry Christmas Everybody Source: abcdefdjykjOn the all-important Christmas Song 2am Yellability Index, Slade are absolutely off the charts. Hell, Noddy Holder basically invented the whole tradition of yelling Christmas songs by bellowing “IT’S CHRISTMAAASSSSS” unexpectedly in the middle of this number.However, if you’re feeling any less than utterly festive, this song is likely to induce a murderous rage. As such it would be irresponsible for us to place it any higher.(Can’t see the video? Click here.)7. Jonah Lewie – Stop The Cavalry Source: RoscozSleigh bells and a jolly trumpet melody combined with a poignant message of peace? Check. Yearning references to being at home for Christmas? Check. When it comes to giving you that happy-sad feeling that every great Christmas song should induce, Jonah Lewie is a Jedi master. A classic.(Can’t see the video? Click here.)6. Chris Rea – Driving Home For Christmas Source: EdgegbrFundamentally an extremely boring song, but rescued by its uncanny accuracy in describing the feeling of driving home for Christmas.Right down to the moment when you look at the driver beside you and feel a strange sense of kinship, rather than the usual urge to mercilessly run them off the road.(Can’t see the video? Click here.)5. Wham! – Last Christmas Source: John Mc GrathBasically the greatest Christmas holiday you’ve never had. With added heartbreak. Close to perfect, and we’re not just talking about George Michael’s magnificent hair in the video.(Can’t see the video? Click here.)4. Wizzard – I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day Source: emimusicPerhaps the closest humanity has got to expressing pure joy in musical form. Obviously the idea is ludicrous, but if you’ve got as far as singing Wizzard you’re almost certainly too gee-eyed on festive sentiment to care. Happy Christmas!(Can’t see the video? Click here.)3. East 17 – Stay Another Day Source: brianina82Even if the world burns and people forget the Boyband Wars of the early 1990s (an unthinkable prospect), East 17′s legacy will live on through this strangely touching exercise in begging someone who’s obviously gone off you not to leave.The musical equivalent of eating too many chocolates: oversweet, very much in the Christmas spirit, and may leave you with a nasty case of yearning, yearning heartburn.(Can’t see the video? Click here.)2. Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas Is You Source: Gabz50Mariah Carey’s major contribution to world culture. If you can sing along to this song without your heart swelling with the thought of someone special in your past, present or future… well… you’re an emotionless automaton with a heart of clanking steel, and should be excluded from Christmas altogether.Enjoy Robot Christmas, you oil-sucking machine you.(Can’t see the video? Click here.)1. The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl – Fairytale Of New York Source: skateboardingmadNo contest for number one. It’s sad, it’s clever, it’s fond of rude words, and it only tells you its feelings when it’s drunk: essentially, Fairytale Of New York IS Ireland. Have a great Christmas, everyone.(Can’t see the video? Click here.) A Definitive Ranking of Christmas Films from Worst to Best>Irish biscuits: A definitive ranking from worst to best>last_img read more

Met Police will neither confirm nor deny if undercover officers spied on

first_imgTHE METROPOLITAN POLICE have today attempted to explain why they have not been forthcoming with details about whether undercover officers were deployed into the Hillsborough campaign.In a statement released today, they said that they “will neither confirm nor deny” if they did have undercover officers spy on campaigners.Scotland Yard said they would not clarify matters as to whether it was true or false as they had “to protect national security and undercover police tactics”, the force has said.FamiliesThe BBC reported last week that relatives of Liverpool fans killed in the Hillsborough disaster wanted answers from the Metropolitan Police after Private Eye magazine had a freedom of information (FOI) request turned down by the police.The Hillsborough disaster took place on 15 April 1989 when 96 people were crushed to death in Britain’s worst sporting disaster at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough stadium during Liverpool’s FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest.The statement from the police states that they have been asked in recent days whether undercover officers were deployed into the Hillsborough campaign, but state:We replied that we will neither confirm nor deny details of the deployment of undercover officers.This is a long-established practice to avoid criminals targeted for undercover operations drawing conclusions if we were to give negative answers in some cases but not comment in others.Once we start denying false or incorrect allegations, our silence in other cases could be taken as a confirmation, and that could be very damaging and dangerous for those who risk their lives to combat organised and serious criminality. They added that the ‘neither confirm nor deny’ policy is a practice they also follow in the courts when asked whether an individual was an informant or an undercover officer, and say that judges have accepted its legitimacy in the interests of the wider public good.While they said “it may look strange in an era of greater transparency and accountability” they said they believe that the policy “protects those who take the greatest risks on all our behalf”.They said the reason the FOI request was not answered was to “to protect national security and under cover police tactics” and that it was not “a comment upon any of the Hillsborough Groups”.They concluded that “no-one has drawn to our attention any evidence that has been published to suggest that undercover officers were deployed over Hillsborough”.Read: Hillsborough campaigner Anne Williams honoured with touching BBC tribute at SPOTY awards> One year on: Hillsborough families left ‘dismayed’ by lack of progress>last_img read more

Shared parenting penalised as single parents receive 2014 tax credit certs

first_imgA HIERARCHY OF parenting has been created by changes to tax credits for single parents according to single-parent support group One Family.Many single parents who previously received the One Parent Family Tax Credit have seen it disappear from their tax credit certificates for 2014.In last year’s budget, the credit was replaced by the Single Person Child Carer Tax Credit which is now only available to one parent as opposed to two previously. The value of the credit will not change, but the decision to remove it from one parent was attacked by One Family at the time for taking money away from the pot from which parents provide for their children.Revenue refer to the primary claimant and the secondary claimant, the first being the parent with whom the child lives for either the full year or most of the year and the second being the parent with whom the child spends time and resides for at least 100 days in the year.The measure however has been criticised for not taking account of separated parents who share custody of children and have an equal role in parenting.One such parent is engineer Scott McEvoy who has had shared custody of his three children with their mother the the past nine years. He says they have a equal and shared parenting routine and feels that removing the tax credit from him feels like tax office does not respect the decision of the courts system.“I was reading through my tax credit cert when I got it there and I noticed single parent tax credit was gone. I kind of thought that I remembered reading something about this,” he explains.So I rang up and I was told that because you’re a man you don’t get it. I kind of thought to myself ‘you can’t say that’ and inquired a bit more but they basically said the same again that you’re a man and you don’t get it. They were quite rude but I’m sure they’re getting questions like this all the time so I just left it.In cases of shared custody the Revenue Commissioners decide on the parent who receives the credit based on who receives the child benefit payment, this is the mother in the vast majority of cases.If the parent who is receiving the credit isn’t in employment or can’t avail of it for any particular reason it can be transferred to the other but this is a complicated process.Stuart Duffin, director of policy at One Family, has described this approach as “using a sledgehammer to crack a nut”.“They’re using the benefit payment as a proxy to decide on who the principal carer is. We don’t like that because again it creates a hierarchy in parenting,”  he says.One Family have called for a system be introduced where an agreement could be reached to provide and equal credit to both parents in these cases. This something echoed by McEvoy who says that in cases such as his, court documents can clearly show that parenting is being shared.“It should be done at a case by case basis, all the documentation is there, all it takes is for one department to speak to another.”Read: Hundreds of separated dads concerned over “unjust” tax credit change >Read: One-parent families hit by Budget tax changes >last_img read more

OGara has a nightmare as Munster fall to the Scarlets

Williams opened the scoring with a sweetly struck penalty after 14 minutes, and made it two kicks out of three before the 20 minute mark.The home side was penalised at a scrum on 29 minutes and O’Gara finally had his first points of the game, but Williams restored the six-point deficit to make it 9-3 at half-time.Williams missed his first effort of the second half when Johne Murphy conceded a penalty for clashing with Phil John, but the Scarlets fly-half quickly made it 12-3 as O’Gara went awry for the third time in the match. Munster captain Mike Sherry was sin-binned in the 56th minute and that allowed the Scarlets, and Williams, to open up a 12-point lead, and the 20-year-old Williams capped a special performance with a drop goal that all but ended the game as a contest.The one negative mark against the young Welsh player came when he was sin-binned late in the game and Denis Hurley ran over the only try of the contest for Munster.O’Gara, at least, kicked the conversion but it was too late for the visitors to change the course of the game.Dominic Ryan hat-trick helps Leinster to easy win > The veteran fly-half had a good opportunity to give his side the lead early in the game, when Scarlets were penalised on halfway, but his kick fell short. That set the tone for a muted display from O’Gara, who subsequently missed another chance from 35 metres when the Scarlets were caught offside in front of their posts. MUNSTER ENDURED A miserable evening, as the Llanelli Scarlets completed the double over the Irish province with an 18-10 victory at Parc Y Scarlets on Saturday evening.Man of the match Owen Williams scored all of his side’s points as Rob Penney’s men struggled despite having both Ronan O’Gara and Donncha O’Callaghan in their side.O’Gara only managed one penalty from four attempts as he bookended a miserable week after replacing Jonathan Sexton in the Irish side that was beaten by England at the Aviva Stadium. read more