Australian police force poaching trained gardaí

first_imgTHE WESTERN AUSTRALIAN Police force is hoping to hire “a significant number” of trained officers from the UK and Ireland in a recruitment drive over the next six months.It is currently seeking applications from serving gardaí with between three and seven years service to fill vacant roles in the region.The application process opened last month and there has been a “number of enquiries from Irish police officers”, a spokesperson for WA Police told“However, [we] are yet to receive any applications from Irish police officers.”Last year, six members of An Garda Síochána emigrated to become officers in Australia and are now being considered for permanent residency visas.A source from within the Gardaí told that the link to WA Police’s recruitment website has “gone viral” among rank-and-file members as tensions with senior management grows and concerns over possible pay cuts rise.GRA President John Parker said the situation for gardaí here is getting more frustrating, adding it wasn’t just about pay but also conditions in stations.When asked about the Australian scheme he said he was “cognisant of the fact that some people have reached rock-bottom and want to give something else a chance”.“Any reductions in numbers would be worrying…in the overall scheme of things, our own Minister would want to start recruiting by the end of the year.”Australia is looking for already-trained officer because of a skills shortage across the whole region. Those interested should be under 50 years old and need to meet a number of other requirements, including physical fitness and vision standards.Successful applicants will undergo a 13-week transitional training course at an academy in Joondalup. On graduation, the pay scale begins at $64,077 (€49,597) per year and increases on the third year of service. By the fifth year, salaries have reached over $70,000.It is understood that the force picked Ireland for the drive because gardaí are already well-trained and speak English.The recruitment process comes as rank-and-file gardaí threaten industrial action. They plan to “turn off the goodwill tap” from 22 February if the government refuses to budge on pay cut proposals.Read: Garda Commissioner to meet GRA as plans for industrial action get underwaylast_img read more

Column Its not uncommon to find four families living in a single

first_imgLooking into the face of each new widow, and the eyes of her now-fatherless children, as she recounts how her husband fell victim to a sniper or an aerial bomb, is enough of a safeguard against desensitisation. The heart-breaking empathy one feels for the bereaved parents never lessens, no matter how many times one hears how a beloved child (or children) was lost to them. If ever one does become impervious to human suffering, the horribly maimed or disfigured child, then it surely will be time to seek other employment.A boy approached us in the camp, with his grubby little hand extended, and introduced us to his grandmother. His parents, it emerged, had both perished in Idlib. A distraught father and mother told us of the only child, a son of 10, they had lost in an explosion. As parents, it was impossible for Michel and me not to try to imagine how they were feeling. But, as parents, we realised that what they are going through is imaginable only to those who have suffered a similar crushing experience. There but for the grace of God…An elderly lady beckoned to Michel and me as we were about to leave the camp. “I have nothing,” she said, “And my family, or those of them who have survived this far, have nothing, but at least we are free people. We will live or die as free people.” At this, the crowd around us cheered, and gave a victory salute. To witness such defiance in the midst of so much hardship and misery was truly humbling.David Adams is a Media Officer with GOAL. GOAL is significantly expanding its emergency response programmes to support displaced families in northern Syria. They have supplied blankets and flour to tens of thousands of people to date and are seeking funding to further expand their programmes and reach even more people with this vital aid. To find out more, or to donate to GOAL’s work in Syria, please visit All images via Goal. A COUPLE OF days ago, I went with our new Syria country director, Michel Savel, to an IDP (internally displaced person’s) camp, close to a border crossing in the northern part of the country. It’s a relatively new settlement that suddenly sprang up over three or four days during the previous week.When we visited, it was already home to around two thousand people: a population that’s growing daily, as families continue to flee from the fighting in Idlib and Homs cities, and the countryside surrounding them.There are 300 tents in the impromptu camp, which isn’t nearly enough to cater to the numbers of IDPs. It’s not uncommon to find four families (20 to 30 people) living, crammed together, in a single tent. The overcrowding must be particularly difficult for the families, given the deeply conservative nature of Syrian society. Unfortunately, that’s the least of their difficulties. Most of them fled from their homes with only what they could carry. They need blankets (as winter has not yet loosened its grip on northern Syria), baby milk, food, water and medical assistance. On top of everything else, the camp has no sanitation facilities, to speak of.As we walked among the tents, we were mobbed by hordes of children, many of whom were clearly underfed, and some in need of medical attention. Parents besieged us, asking for help, and relating their stories through our interpreter.After a while in Syria, chatting daily to the innocent victims of this conflict, one becomes accustomed to horror stories, but never immune to them. The victims and their suffering are too real for that to happen. Abstract numbers tumbling out of someone’s mouth on television or radio, or sitting mute on a printed page, are one thing – but the sight, sounds and smells of reality are quite another.last_img read more

Pics 300 turn out for rally on planned abortion legislation

first_imgAROUND 300 PEOPLE turned out for a pro-choice rally in central Dublin today.Brendan Young, spokesperson for Action on X, told that it was a “very positive, upbeat” rally that focused on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013.The bill will continue be discussed this coming week in the Oireachtas.He said the main concern of all the speakers was the criminalisation provision in the bill, which they believe should be removed. He said a second concern was the number of doctors required to sign off on an abortion as set out in the proposed bill.They also called for the inclusion in the bill of abortion in the case of fatal foetal abnormalities. The attendees were concerned about the appeals procedure and the referrals procedure, and how minors would be dealt with under the bill.Speakers included TD Clare Daly, Ethel Buckley of SIPTU, Taryn Trainer of UNITE, and Laura Harmon of the USI welfare office.Young also claimed that posters put up by Action on X advertising the rally had been taken down during the week on Dame St, College Green, Parnell St, Parnell Square, Liffey St, and the quays. He said that the posters put up on Tuesday were gone on Wednesday, and that more posters put up on Thursday were taken down that very night.He described the removal of the posters as “systematic”. Young said that a number were placed on poles by people standing on ladders, so whoever removed them would have needed a ladder, indicating that they were not random incidents.last_img read more

SFA warn of €6 billion cost of black economy urge government action

first_imgTHE SMALL FIRMS ASSOCIATION (SFA) is warning of the impact that Ireland’s “black economy operators” are having on the country’s economic situation.The SFA believe that it is now worth up to €6 billion annually, with chairman AJ Noonan saying that the “leakage to the black economy” was now as high as 14 per cent of Ireland’s GDP.“Recent seizures of contraband point to a significant increase in activity of ‘cowboy operators’,” he said, warning that this rise posed “a very serious threat to the survival of many registered tax compliant businesses.”The SFA are due to present their current concerns to the Joint Oireachtas on Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation tomorrow, and the steps that they believe should be taken in order to curb this illegal activity, which includes: The launching of an awareness campaign among consumers of the consequences of purchasing counterfeit, smuggled goods or paying cash to an illegitimate business.An evaluation of the factors which influence taxpayers’ attitudes to the informal economy.A clear message from government that strong measures will be taken against those that engage in criminal business behaviour.A review of resource levels and increased expenditure on training for those engaged in tackling the informal economy.“Because of reduced overheads those who operate within the informal economy have huge competitive advantages and distort the operation of a competitive labour market,” Noonan said.The SFA is urging the Government to become committed to a solution to the growing problems that this activity creates for the small business sector.Read: Economic activity needed to solve ‘fiscal and unemployment crisis’ – SFA >last_img read more

Here is the Irish web series trying to take on Tom Hanks

first_imgAN IRISH COMPANY is taking on the makers of Mad Men and Tom Hanks in major online awards, the Webbys.Cuckoo, an online drama that was originally part of RTÉ’s Storyland series, saw off thousands of international competitors and has been nominated for Best Online Drama.The Zanzibar Films made show is up against four others, including Tom Hanks’ ‘Electric City’, AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’, Pereira and O’Dell’s ‘The Beauty Inside’ and Chasing the Hill’s ‘Chasing The Hill’ for the coveted prize.The winner will be chosen by a judging panel that includes the likes of David Bowie, Richard Branson, Darren Aronofsky, Arianna Huffington, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, Mozilla CEO Mitchell Baker and Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom.Alongside the official Webbys, there will also be a second set of winners voted for by the general public – the Webby People’s Voice Awards. As the underdog, the makers of Cuckoo are appealing to people to vote for them here.Although they are coming third, Marie Caffrey producer of the online drama told that they need all the votes they can get:We’re trying our best to get a million more votes because we’d need at least that amount to beat Tom Hanks and the makers of Mad Men.Here’s is the Cuckoo series:CuckooStoryland/YouTubeRead: Lobbing the gob: The MTV guide to amazing screen kisses >last_img read more

Column Im living as an undocumented migrant in Ireland

first_imgAn estimated 30,000 undocumented people including families and children live and work in Ireland. The Migrants Rights Centre Ireland says these people are part of our communities now –  they are our co-workers, our friends and our neighbours, which is why they are calling for an introduction a regularisation scheme in Ireland, which they state will show leadership and vision and demonstrate the Irish Government’s commitment to solving the situation of the undocumented in Ireland and the US. Here Mary tells us about her life in Ireland and why she feels this is now her home. She writes: IN 2004 WE were attracted to Ireland by the vast employment opportunities and quality of life. My husband was the first to come, then me and our daughter who was then eight years old. The idea was to stay for a while working and then to go to Brazil at some point. But over the months, we integrated into Irish life and were totally delighted with your way of life here.People are so well-educated, Ireland is safe, and your quality of life is unique. The perfect place to create an honoured citizen, who works hard and values the world we live in and what is important.This is our homeOur daughter started attending school and making friends. She is very clever, bright and did very well in her school. The years went by and she was growing up in this place, so blessed. She is in fourth year and cannot imagine her future away from here, her home.Currently we live on the edges. We live in fear, that all that bright future she has will be affected by the current status we are at: undocumented. I work as a childminder and love what I do but I despair to think that one day we could be told to get out of Ireland and have no more contact with the children that I love with all my heart.My husband was a lawyer in Brazil and feels very frustrated not to pursue a better job, a job that he can show his real ability. He works as a cleaner here. This has also affected our married life. But I admire him immensely for everything he does.Not able to travelWe want to stay here and know that better days will come. Two years ago my father-in-law died, we could not get home to the funeral. We were heartbroken. I have not seen my parents for four years (my mother is a doctor and works very hard in Brazil) and it’s sore, deep in my soul, that something might happen to them there and I cannot go to see them.Ireland is our home now.  We are here over nine years, we feel like we belong here, our lives are here and we contribute every day to the economy. We have lots of Brazilian friends who were living here for years but they decided back home for good after the recession. But we didn’t, because we are not here because of the money.We are here because this is our HOME.I want to share my story but I am one of thousands of people in this situation. We are asking for a chance to be recognised and contribute more formally to Irish society.I know that Irish people value fairness, equality and justice and I hope that you will be able to understand our situation and help us to get a solution.Read: Undocumented in Ireland will celebrate St Patrick’s Day ‘in the shadows’>Read: Gilmore rings US Senators as pressure grows for deal on Irish illegals>last_img read more

Over 200 refugees will resettle in Ireland in 2015 and 2016

first_imgSOME 220 REFUGEES, many of them Syrian, will resettle in Ireland in 2015 and 2016.The announcement was made at the High Level Meeting on resettlement for Syrian refugees in Geneva today.The UN’s Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has welcomed the decision.Sophie Magennis of the organisation’s Irish branch said that it is “further proof of the Irish government’s commitment to finding solutions for refugees around the world”.“At a time when global forced displacement exceeds 50 million, resettlement is increasingly the only durable solution for many people forced to flee because of war and conflict. This is especially the case in Syria, the greatest humanitarian tragedy of our time,” Magennis said.In 2013, 31 refugees from Syria were resettled in Ireland. A further 90 people are expected to arrive later this year.Ireland has committed over €28 million to the Syrian crisis to date, while our Syrian Humanitarian Admission Programme has received over 300 applications.“We hope that with a flexible approach and supports to families, more Syrians may be given the opportunity to join family members in Ireland,” Magennis said.“We are appealing to the international community to continue providing long-term solutions for Syrian refugees who are most urgently in need.“UNHCR continues to urge all states to offer resettlement and other forms of admission for refugees from Syria towards the multiannual goal of 130,000 places by the end of 2016.”51.2 millionSome 2.8 million people have fled Syria since the conflict began in 2011. Based on current estimates, that figure will rise to 4.1 million by the end of 2014.Another 6.5 million Syrians are internally displaced, meaning that half of Syria’s population has now been forced out of their homes.As a result, UNHCR anticipates that there will be increasing numbers of vulnerable Syrian refugees in need of resettlement, relocation, or other forms of humanitarian help in the coming years.At the end of 2013, 51.2 million people were forcibly displaced from their homes, 6 million more than in 2012. Of these, 16.7 people were refugees.Read: Nearly 11 million Syrians are in urgent need of humanitarian aidRead: Syrians in Ireland ask for 94 family members to be rescued from conflictRead: For the first time since WWII, more than 50 million people have been forced to leave their homeslast_img read more

Microsoft Research solves AI challenge for The Path of Go on Xbox

first_imgIt’s not just Microsoft’s internal game studios and 3rd-party developers that create games for the Xbox 360. Microsoft Research is also getting in on the act, but more to solve an artificial intelligence (AI) challenge than actually become a well-known game developers bringing in millions of dollars every year.The problem a team at Microsoft Research set out to solve was implementing the Chinese game of Go with capable AI in the functional programming language F#.Why is this a challenge? Well, the rules of Go are very simple, but the complexity involved in mastering the game is much higher than other popular strategic 2-player games. For example, the game of chess has around 20 moves per branch to analyze. Go on the other hand has around 200. So you can see how implementing an AI player of any competence would require a lot more work and processing by a computer. In fact, the processing power does not exist yet to carry out a complete analysis of a single game in a workable timeframe.As the video points out, the strongest chess player today is a computer, but the strongest Go player is still a human with no computer even close to taking on the champions of the Go world. You can’t brute force solve a Go game like you can a game of chess (yet).The team at Microsoft Research managed a solution, though, and named the final game The Path of Go. There’s a free demo you can download from Xbox Live, and the full game will cost you 400 Microsoft Points.The solution was made possible due to the use of F# which made for a very easy translation of the maths required to play into the code for the AI of the game. It’s also worth noting that this is the first Xbox 360 game to use the functional language.Read more at I Programmer and Microsoft Researchlast_img read more

HP Google Cloud Join Forces

first_imgHP is gearing up to release a new line of printers that will support cloud computing. The new line of printers allow users to print directly from the computer or from Google Cloud. No word on when the products will be sold in retail locations.Via Hot Hardware AdChoices广告last_img

Nintendo Switches 3DS Marketing Plan

first_imgNintendo 3DS has seen weak sales since it has been released. While Nintendo has admitted that the sales are lack luster, they still have a few tricks up their sleeve. Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi says its marketing will be revamped for the failing console.As of now, the 3DS has only sold 3.4 million units. Nintendo had plans to sell at least 4 million units by the end of the fiscal year. However, it is clear that the current plan is not working. Nintendo did not say what the next step of action will be. Nintendo also has a Wii successor in the works that will be released next year. It could cut the lifespan of the 3DS short if Nintendo can improve its sales. Via Hot Hardwarelast_img read more

Robot climbs walls by mimicking gecko toe pads

first_imgThe gecko is an unusual creature. It has no eyelids and instead licks the membrane over its eyes to keep them clean. Many species can lose their tails as a form of defense, or expel a foul stench to deter predators. But their most unusual and useful feature occurs on their feet.If you’ve ever encountered a gecko you may have noticed it climbing just about any surface effortlessly. It doesn’t matter how smooth a surface is, a gecko can climb it, even a vertical sheet of glass. The key to this climbing skill is the toe pads on their feet. They are covered in little hairy growths called setae, each of which has thousands of micron-thin structures covering them called spatulae.While other animals use suction, natural glue, or claws to climb, the gecko uses the spatulae to cling to a surface using molecular attraction (known as Van der Waals forces). Each spatulae has a weak attraction to the molecules of a surface. Put many thousands of them close together on a surface, as each gecko foot does, and you have a very strong attraction. For some gecko, that attraction is so strong it is thought they could carry the weight of a human without losing their grip.Obviously scientists want to take advantage of such an ability. Being able to grip any vertical surface and move along it without leaving a residue or requiring any power has many potential uses, e.g. window cleaning skyscrapers using a robot that can climb glass.Mimicking the gecko feet in man-made form has proved tough, but a research team at Simon Fraser University have recently made a significant breakthrough. They’ve managed to create a robot tank that scales vertical surfaces in the same way a gecko does using molecular attraction.The Tailless Timing Belt Climbing Platform robot is nowhere near as strong in terms of grip, and doesn’t display the same agility as a gecko either. But this is the first time scientists have managed to create an adhesive that mimics the gecko and leaves behind no residue and requires no suction. That adhesive is formed from the material polydimethylsiloxane and shaped into “mushroom cap-like shapes” measuring 17 micrometers wide and 10 micrometers tall.The adhesive is strong enough to support the robot’s body on both completely smooth and relatively rough vertical surfaces though, and can handle transferring from a flat surface to inside and outside corners as the video below demonstrates.The robot does requires a power supply to move, and has been designed in two sections allowing the back section to apply some pressure to the front as it moves so as to ensure a good contact with the surface.Combined with sensors to help figure out its environment and how well it is sticking to the wall, the robot can travel independently up vertical surfaces and around corners. As well as the window cleaning example, it could prove useful for investigating areas unsafe for humans, or where the ground is unsuitable for other types of robot.Hopefully the research team will continue to work on the adhesive and robot design allowing it to eventually carry a significant payload, or become much more agile. I’m also hoping they eventually put it on gloves and shoes so we can all start scaling walls just like Spiderman.Read more at Simon Fraser University, via Discovery Newslast_img read more

HTC Endeavor leak reveals quadcore Tegra 3 chip Beats Audio

first_imgCan anyone not named Apple keep their unreleased gadgets a secret? Acer certainly can’t do it, and HTC has never been good at keeping things under wraps either. At least this time around the HTC Endeavor hasn’t been photographed — but its ROM offers up plenty of interesting details about the unannounced phone.It looks as though the Endeavor will be HTC’s newest 4.7-inch monster, following in the footsteps of the Titan II and Sensation XL. In addition to the expansive 720p screen, the Endeavor totes a 1.5GHz Tegra 3 quad-core processor paired with 1GB of RAM. As does the Sensation XL, the Endeavor sports 8MP rear-facing and 1.3MP front-facing cameras, and to make sure that you don’t Forget About Dre, it also features Beats Audio tech.One other major difference between the two phones is that the Endeavor will be shipping with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich — Sensation XL owners will have to wait for HTC to push an OTA upgrade. The Endeavor also includes HTC Sense 4.0, which you may have seen in leaked images before. It’s quite an upgrade over previous versions, bringing loads of new themes, more sexy widgets, a slick guest mode, and tight Dropbox integration (which includes 50GB of free cloud storage).HTC’s CEO Peter Chou recently made it clear that the company intends to develop fewer phones this year so that they can focus on making sure every release is something awesome. What’s shown here of Sense 4.0 looks pretty good and the Endeavor’s hardware spec sheet is impressive…now we just need to see if the cover of this book is as good as its at AndroidCentral and Engadgetlast_img read more

Watch Dogs gets a release date and new trailer

first_imgUbisoft unveiled its brand new IP Watch Dogs in June last year at E3. It was one of the more memorable events from the conference, and certainly made it on to my “ones to watch” list. Now, almost a year later, Ubisoft has decided to reveal the game’s release date alongside a brand new trailer.Watch Dogs is coming to PS3, Xbox 360, PC, and Wii U on November 19. The game is also coming to both the PS4 and next Xbox, and Ubisoft has also confirmed today that Watch Dogs will be a launch title for Sony’s console. Details of the next-gen Xbox launch have yet to be revealed.In addition, Ubisoft has done a deal with GameStop and comic book artist Alex Ross to allow anyone pre-ordering the game through GameStop to get the limited edition poster seen in the video below:The game is firmly based in reality with no apparent special powers available to use. Instead you can take advantage of the communications within the city, hacking into computers, relying on your smartphone, and falling back on the gun in your pocket when necessary.As a PS4 launch title it certainly helps Sony market the new console. And what will be interesting to see is who launches their console first: Sony or Microsoft? It’s pretty much guaranteed the next Xbox will have this as a launch game, too, so who’s going to have it as an exclusive for a few weeks or  months?The game certainly looks great on next-gen platforms at least, as this video of the game running on the PS4 demonstrates:last_img read more

10 amazing nature GIFs

first_imgHere we are on this little blue-green marble floating in the cold emptiness of space, and you’re staring at a screen right now. It’s okay, that nature thing is old news. Still, there are a lot of amazing things going on out there. Don’t worry, though. We’ve got just the thing to help you enjoy nature without requiring you to actually go outside — 10 excellent nature GIFsClick the gallery to see each on of the reactions and then check out the full explanations of each animations below… without your browser being weighed down by all those hefty GIFs!The Satanic Leaf Tailed GeckoSome of the most fascinating animals have evolved on islands where their unique traits have developed over millions of years. the Satanic Leaf Tailed Gecko has a very descriptive name. Its tail fans out like a leaf at the end, and it has a somewhat creepy forked tongue. In the above GIF, it is using said tongue to clean debris from its eye. Geckos have no eyelids, so a quick lick is the best they can do.Supercell thunderstormA supercell thunderstorm is characterized by a rotating updraft that causes the entire storm to rotate. This is called a mesocyclone. Supercell thunderstorms are one of the few cloud types capable of spinning off tornados. These storms are more common in more arid climates, like the central planes of the US. Sometimes called Tornado Alley.Jumping Jack Ant vs. Huntsman SpiderThe vast majority of ants you encounter don’t jump, but there is a reason the Jumping Jack Ant is so named. The ants, native to Australia are nasty little insects. They can grow up to nearly half an inch in length and their venom is four times more potent than a honeybee. The Huntsman Spider is no slouch either. They can have a 10-inch legspan and have formidable fangs. It may look like the ant is losing the fight, but it’s actually just stung the Huntsman. Soon it will be paralyzed and an easy meal for the ants.Poisonous Mushroom growth time lapseAmanita muscaria (or fly amanita) is an unimposing mushroom that can measure as large as 8-inches across. It is common throughout the temperate northern hemisphere and bears a striking resemblance to the related Amanita caesarea. However, these mushrooms are highly toxic. Oh sure, they can also produce mild hallucinations, but you’ll be too busy falling over and passing out to enjoy it. The cap portion seen above ground is only the reproductive portion of the fungus, which grows very fast. In the GIF above you can see the fly amanita popping up in mere hours.The infinite caterpillarCaterpillars are the larval form of butterflies and moths. It looks quite squishy in the GIF above, and that tends to attract predators. Caterpillars have a number of defenses that can be employed, though. You can probably see the long spines on this specimen. These are urticating hairs, which cause severe irritation to the mucus membranes of any potential predators. Some even have venom glands. Not this one, though. It’s just climbing.Angel Shark vs. Horn SharkThe Horn Shark is common in the waters off the western coast of North America. It’s a smaller shark, maxing out at 4 feet in length. It gets its name from the array of spines that extend from the dorsal fins. These fin spines save the shark in the above image after being engulfed by an Angel Shark. The Angel Shark is a bottom-feeding ambush predator, and it has strong jaws. The only way a smaller shark is getting out is if it’s let out, which is what happens here when the Angel Shark gets a piece of those spines.Fly meeting a Venus FlytrapThroughout the southeastern US, the Venus Flytrap sits silently, waiting for an unsuspecting insect or arachnid to wander across one of its leaves. The Flytrap has special trapping structures on top of each leaf that snaps shut when the small hairs on it are disturbed. It then proceeds to digest its victim. In the GIF above, the Flytrap snaps shut (in real time) to capture a fly.JellyfishJellyfish are among the simplest multicellular organisms. They don’t have a traditional nervous system, nor a true brain. They navigate the waters by contracting the top bell portion, but they are considered largely free-floating. In the GIF, some jellies are just going with the flow, but others have someplace to be. All of them are glowing, though. Many jellyfish are capable of bioluminescence thanks to proteins that turn chemical energy into light.Mimosa pudica does not like to be touchedMimosa pudica (also known as the touch-me-not) has narrow fan-like leaves. When disturbed, the leaf folds in on itself as a way of protecting itself from a predator. The movement is a result of water being released from the cells, thus decreasing turgor pressure. This is what holds plants erect, so when very specific areas of the plant lose turgor pressure, they can move or droop. In this case, the leaves fold inward.PenguinsPenguins are flightless aquatic birds found mostly in the southern hemisphere, especially in Antarctica. Some species live in temperate regions, but not these ones. No, they’re adapted to the harsh conditions of Antarctica. Penguins can move at over 20 mph underwater, which is how the birds in the GIF shoot out of the water. VIEW PHOTO GALLERY The Satanic Leaf Tailed GeckoThe Satanic Leaf Tailed GeckoLike snakes and some other reptiles, the Satanic Leaf Tailed Gecko lacks eyelids. So it cleans its eyes with a flick of the tongue. Supercell ThunderstormIt’s an angry, swirling mass of thunder and lightning. If you see one of these, you should really be indoors. Jumping Jack Ant vs. Huntsman SpiderA Jumping Jack Ant living up to its name and leaping toward a Huntsman Spider.Time lapse of poisonous mushrooms growinAmanita muscaria is a typical “toadstool” type mushroom, but its red color it there to tell you something. This fungus is highly toxic. The infinite caterpillarA close up of a caterpillar climbing a stick. The GIF has been precisely built to form a perfect loop. The caterpillar just keeps going and going. Angel Shark vs. Horn Shark Things do not go well for this Angel shark when it tries to make a meal of the horn shark. It lives up to its name.Fly meeting a Venus FlytrapAn unfortunate fly wanders into a Venus Flytrap. It does not go well.JellyfishA school of jellyfish standing out against the murky depths with bioluminescence.Mimosa pudica does not like to be touchedThe fanned leaves of Mimosa pudica fold in when touched or shaken.PenguinsPenguins leap from the frigid depths through a hole in the ice. Who doesn’t like Penguins?Like snakes and some other reptiles, the Satanic Leaf Tailed Gecko lacks eyelids. So it cleans its eyes with a flick of the tongue.last_img read more

Love is love Televised gay kiss lights up Olympics

first_img Monday 19 Feb 2018, 9:50 AM © – AFP 2018The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us! GAY FREESTYLE SKIER Gus Kenworthy said it was a moment that he “never dreamed” possible as a child after he was filmed kissing his partner on live television at the Olympics.It has been hailed by some as a landmark moment in Games history and the footage went viral on social media.The 26-year-old American finished 12th in the slopestyle on Sunday but still found himself making headlines after kissing his boyfriend at the bottom of the slope while the TV cameras were on him.Thrust into the global spotlight, Kenworthy tweeted on Monday alongside a still image of the now-famous kiss: “Didn’t realise this moment was being filmed yesterday but I’m so happy that it was.“My childhood self would never have dreamed of seeing a gay kiss on TV at the Olympics but for the first time ever a kid watching at home CAN!“Love is love.”The tweet garnered hundreds of messages of support and Adam Rippon, the gay American figure skater, wrote in reply: “Wow okay I just whimpered to myself ‘so beautiful’”.Speaking soon after the kiss was captured on camera, the British-born Kenworthy reflected on how times have changed in just a few years.“The only way to change perceptions, break down barriers, break down homophobia is through representation,” he said.“And that is definitely not something I had as a kid. I definitely did not see a gay athlete at the Olympics kissing their boyfriend.“If I had it would have made it a lot easier for me.”He added: “That was something I wanted at the last Olympics, to share a kiss with my boyfriend at the bottom and it was something I was too scared to do. Tearful French skater’s ‘worst nightmare’ after dress mishap>Rory McIlroy sees progress despite failing to contend at Riviera> By AFP Short URL Image: Mike Egerton Share21 Tweet Email2 Feb 19th 2018, 9:50 AM USA’s Gus Kenworthy during run 3 in the Men’s Ski Slopestyle Skiing at the Pheonix Snow Park during day nine of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.center_img “To be able to do that, give him a kiss, have that affection broadcast for the world is incredible.”Earlier at the Games in South Korea, Canadian figure skater Eric Radford became the first openly gay Winter Olympic gold medallist in winning the team event.Didn’t realize this moment was being filmed yesterday but I’m so happy that it was. My childhood self would never have dreamed of seeing a gay kiss on TV at the Olympics but for the first time ever a kid watching at home CAN! Love is love is love.— Gus Kenworthy (@guskenworthy) February 19, 2018 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 39,564 Views 71 Comments ‘Love is love’: Televised gay kiss lights up Olympics It has been hailed by some as a landmark moment in Games history and the footage went viral on social media. USA’s Gus Kenworthy during run 3 in the Men’s Ski Slopestyle Skiing at the Pheonix Snow Park during day nine of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Image: Mike Egerton Follow us: the42.ielast_img read more

The 9 at 9 Friday

first_img 5 Comments Image: Shutterstock/Nitr The 9 at 9: Friday Here’s everything you need to know as you start your day. Short URL Image: Shutterstock/Nitr 9,511 Views EVERY MORNING, brings you the stories you need to know as you start your day.1. #CANNABIS: The legalisation of cannabis for medicinal purposes is a step closer today, after a bill passed through the first round in the Dáil yesterday. The bill could become law in the first half of next year.2. #RIP: Fawlty Towers co-star John Cleese has led tributes to Andrew Sachs, who has passed away aged 86.3. #CULL: A planned cull of a herd of goats by Coillte has been deferred after it was met with stern opposition by protesters who have begged that the animals not be “sacrificed”.4. #DELAYS: Irish Rail has said commuters should expect “severe delays” due to a fault at Howth Junction.5. #TOY SHOW: Ahead of the Late Late Toy Show this evening, got a sneak peak at the Jungle Book-themed set and caught up with Ryan Tubridy and some of the children involved.6. #LONDON: Former London mayoral candidate, Zac Goldsmith, has lost his Westminster seat in a by-election, despite winning it with a majority of 23,000 just last year.7. #RETAIL: Grafton Street is already one of the most expensive streets in the world to rent a premises on, and it is set get more expensive to rent on the Dublin street.8.  #MAD DOG MATTIS: Donald Trump has picked a man who thinks ‘it’s fun to shoot some people’ to be the next defence secretary.9. #PREDICTIONS: Old Moore’s Almanac predicted that 2016 was a year that wouldn’t be remembered fondly. The good news: We may win the Eurovision and scientists will find a way to reverse ageing in 2017, apparently. By Sean Murray Share Tweet Email1 Friday 2 Dec 2016, 7:45 AM Dec 2nd 2016, 7:45 AM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Sean Spicer gets his second skewering in two weeks courtesy of SNLs

first_img By Add us: dailyedge Sunday 12 Feb 2017, 4:40 PM Feb 12th 2017, 4:40 PM Short URL 101 Comments Spicer didn’t like being portrayed by a woman, so Melissa went harder on itKate McKinnon even pops up as attorney general Jeff Sessions Sean Spicer gets his second skewering in two weeks courtesy of SNL’s Melissa McCarthy The portrayal of Trump’s press secretary has proven plenty popular. Written by Nicola Byrne and posted on[image alt=”” src=”” width=”600″ height=”115″ credit-url=”” credit-source=”” credit-via=”” credit-via-url=”” wp-id=”wp-image-3236438″ class=”alignnone” /end]Read: Melissa McCarthy *completely* transformed into Sean Spicer on Saturday Night Live last nightRead: Here is why every gal needs make it her mission to see Hidden Figures DESPITE THE FACT that Trump impersonator-in-chief Alec Baldwin hosted last night’s SNL, he was nowhere to be seen in the cold opening.No, after last week’s success, it was all about Melissa McCarthy’s Sean Spicer.Melissa addressed Spicer’s comments about her performance last week, while also talking about Kellyanne Conway’s commercial for Ivanka Trump, and THAT non-existent terrorist attack in Atlanta. DailyEdge is on Snapchat! Tap the button below to add! Share628 Tweet Email1 44,066 Views Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

BBC New York Times and other media barred from White House press

first_img By AFP Saturday 25 Feb 2017, 7:32 AM 160 Comments 29,297 Views BBC, New York Times and other media barred from White House press briefing Much smaller conservative outlets like the One America News Network that have provided favorable coverage did attend. Share Tweet Email Feb 25th 2017, 7:32 AM Image: AP/Alex Brandon Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP’S White House barred several major US media outlets from a daily press briefing last night, raising accusations of favouritism.The White House excluded some outlets that have provided critical coverage like CNN and the New York Times from an off-camera event that replaced the traditional on-camera daily briefing.Those allowed into the room included ABC, Fox News, Breitbart News, Reuters, the Washington Times, and the One America News Network.Trump earlier decried the media as the “enemy of the people,” a day after his top strategist promised relations with the press will get “worse every day.”Trump’s attacks on the media are popular with his core supporters.Media protestA number of news outlets that regularly cover the White House as part of the “pool,” including newswires Reuters and Bloomberg attended the briefing.The Associated Press boycotted in protest. AFP protested being excluded, despite being in the “pool,” and attended the briefing uninvited.The White House Correspondents Association said it was “protesting strongly” against the White House decision.“The board will be discussing this further with White House staff,” said president Jeff Mason.During the off-camera briefing Sean Spicer defended its stance, saying the White House has shown an “abundance of accessibility.”“We’ve actually gone above and beyond, with making ourselves, our team and our briefing room more accessible than probably any previous administration.”It is not uncommon for Republican and Democratic administrations to brief select reporters, but the event was initially billed as a regular briefing which is open to any credentialed media.- © AFP 2017.Read: ‘They shouldn’t be allowed to use sources unless they use somebody’s name’: Trump attacks mediaRead: ‘Neither confrontation nor submission’: Trump’s top diplomat in Mexico to calm tensions Short URL Image: AP/Alex Brandonlast_img read more

12 cans of Heineken for €20 This is how minimum pricing could

first_img12 cans of Heineken for €20? This is how minimum pricing could affect your pocket Each unit of alcohol will be required to cost €1 under the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill. 117 Comments YesNoNo interest/No opinionVote Yes (1053) 58,228 Views Share377 Tweet Email7 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article No (4675) center_img Feb 12th 2017, 9:30 PM The new Public Health (Alcohol) Bill has been under consideration by the government since late 2015 but has not yet been enacted. It is a far-reaching bill with new legislation on aspects such as minimum pricing, advertising and product labelling.Last week, we took a look at the impact the law’s advertising restrictions would have and, this week, we’ll look at the issue of minimum pricing on alcohol.SITTING ATOP THE lengthy Public Health (Alcohol) Bill is the provision that will allow the Minister for Health to increase the minimum price per gram of alcohol that can be charged in Ireland.Minimum pricing has support from across the political spectrum, but what would it actually involve? And how will it work in practice?So what’ll change? picked a supermarket at random, checking out its promotions to see if these prices would be possible when minimum unit pricing comes in.This 12-pack of cans of Heineken is on sale for €20. Source: TheJournal.ieUnder minimum pricing, this case of Heineken would need to cost at least €20.35.This bottle of Huzzar vodka, above the brands of Absolut is on sale for €19. Source: TheJournal.ieIt would need to cost at least €20 under the new legislation.And this 12 pack of cans of Guinness, at €18, would need to cost at least €19.90 under minimum pricing. Source: TheJournal.ieThese increases listed here are small, but minimum pricing would certainly have an effect on much cheaper alcohol.So what’s the big deal? Let’s take a look.What the legislation saysUnder the terms of the legislation, the minimum price per gram of alcohol would be set at 10 cent.To find the minimum price for a particular alcohol product, you find how much the drink weighs and multiply it by 10 cent.In practice, this would mean that the average pint of beer of two units (around 20g) would be required to cost at least €2.Anyone who has bought a pint of beer in a pub recently would say that there’s little chance of a pint costing less than €2, anyway. But it is the sale of beers at supermarkets and off licenses where this will have a major impact (more on this later).The rationale in implementing this measure is that, as the government continues to tax alcohol heavily, problem drinkers will increasingly opt for cheaper, and higher-purity, brands of alcohol.Unlike a tax increase which the retailer can choose to absorb themselves or pass onto the customer, this minimum price will be compulsory across the board.Also included in this part of the legislation is the provision that the Minister for Health can, three years after the legislation is brought in, increase the minimum price.The Minister will then be able to adjust the minimum price every 18 months.Any decision to increase this price will be required to take the latest up-to-date research available on societal figures such as the rate of alcohol consumption, patterns of alcohol consumption, the health related risks and societal harm.In response to a written question in the Dáil, Minister of State for Health Promotion, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, explained how the bill should work: “MUP is a targeted measure, aimed at those who drink in a harmful and hazardous manner, and designed to prevent the sale of alcohol at very cheap prices. Minister of State Marcella Corcoran Kennedy Source: Sam Boal/“MUP is able to target cheaper alcohol relative to its strength because the minimum price is determined by and is directly proportional to the amount of pure alcohol in the drink.The MUP is set in the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill at 10 cent per gram of alcohol, which equates to a minimum price of €1 per standard drink.In practice, the government hopes that this will reduce the effect of harmful drinking among those that drink the most.Corcoran Kennedy added that the measure will have a positive impact on rates of heart disease and cancer, and will also have some immediate effects on “health costs, crime costs and loss of productivity due to absenteeism”.The price of a pint?To find out how much an alcohol product weighs, for the purposes of this legislation, the following formula is used. Source: Oireachtas.ieSo, for a 750ml bottle of wine at 12% strength, you would derive its grams like this750 x 0.12 x 0.789 = 71.01 gramsTo then get the minimum price for that product, then you would multiply that figure of 71.01 by €0.10.Thus, retailers would be obliged to charge at least €7.10 for this bottle of wine.For a bottle of vodka, meanwhile, at 700ml and 37.5% volume, you would use the same method:700 x 0.375 x 0.789 = 207.11 grams.No matter what brand it is, this bottle of vodka would be required by law to cost at least €20.71 under the new minimum pricing laws.And, again, the same would apply to a 500ml can of beer at 5% alcohol volume.500 x 0.05 x 0.789 = 19.725 gramsEach can of beer would then be required to cost at least €1.97.Will this be a major change?Almost certainly, but not for every alcohol product and often not in a manner which drastically raises the price.Discounted alcohol is commonplace across every supermarket and off license in Ireland.Minimum pricing has the potential to hit the cheapest spirits, such as vodka, and some of the cheaper wines on the market but it doesn’t appear as if it will have an impact on some of the more popular beer brands, for example. Source: Sasko Lazarov/Rollingnews.ieIn one of Ireland’s biggest supermarkets at the moment, eight cans of Guinness are available at a discounted price of €13.When you do the sums (for a 500ml can at 4.2%), this breaks down to a minimum pricing requirement of €1.65 per can.At the moment, the discounted price offers the Guinness at €1.62 per can. In this case, minimum pricing won’t constitute a major change.In a different supermarket, another special offer has a special offer with a 20 pack of bottles of Heineken for €20.Again, when you calculate the minimum price under the government’s proposed laws (330ml bottle at 4.3%) this works at €1.12 per bottle.This special offer would mean this promotion could not run its current state, as it is 12 cent a bottle over the minimum pricing threshold.While perhaps not a major change in these areas, it would affect cheaper brands the most.One brand of rum is currently being sold at a discount retailer at €12.29 for a 700ml bottle at 40% alcohol.Under minimum pricing, this would be required to cost at least €22.10.In that same retailer, a 750ml bottle of red wine (12%) is currently listed for sale at €4.99. This would be required to cost at least €7.10.Will minimum pricing work?It’s a big question with no clear answer.In the FactCheck referenced above, found that evidence put forth by Minister Corcoran Kennedy when citing a study from British Columbia in Canada as insufficient to show that minimum pricing has been “proven to work”.In fact, according to the 2013 study from British Columbia, the number of alcohol-related deaths and hospital admissions actually rose between 2002 and 2013.Another commonly cited study in support of these measures is a study from the University of Sheffield, which says that minimum pricing would lead to an “immediate reduction in consumption” of alcohol in Ireland, with moderate drinkers affected the least in terms of how much they consumed and spent on alcohol. Source: Shutterstock/val lawlessThe study estimated that the most harmful drinkers would be affected most by the measures.It suggests that minimum unit pricing would save the lives of 197 people per year who would have otherwise suffered alcohol-attributable deaths.It also estimates that it would save €1.7 billion over the next 20 years, through reductions in health, crime and workplace harms.Study co-author Professor Petra Meier said: “Our study finds no evidence to support the concerns highlighted by government and the alcohol industry that minimum unit pricing would penalise responsible drinkers on low incomes.”The problem with proving that minimum pricing will work at reducing alcohol-related harm is that there is not a great deal of research completed with actual real-life data to back it up.The Sheffield study used a statistical model to suggest that minimum pricing should yield better health outcomes for the general population, but that does not necessarily prove that the measure working in reality.In Ireland, the prevalence of alcohol use disorders is much higher for men than women. Source: StatistaOne Irish study, from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and the Health Research Board, yielded similar findings to the Sheffield study, which said that minimum pricing of €1 per unit would target only the “heaviest drinkers”.It involved a national survey of 3,187 respondents who completed a diary of their previous week’s alcohol consumption.This report found that one in seven (14%) Irish adults who drink alcohol, purchase it at less than €1 per standard drink which is below the minimum unit price.The majority of this low-cost alcohol (69%) was purchased in supermarkets.Lead researcher Dr Gráinne Cousins said: “Some opponents of minimum unit pricing are concerned that consumers using alcohol in a low-risk manner will be punished with higher prices.Our findings do not support these concerns, as unlike tax or excise measures, the introduction of a minimum unit price would affect less than 14% of the population.However, with no definitive long-term study proving that without doubt proves that it works, minimum unit pricing remains open to criticism.Court CaseWhat does appear certain, however, is that it has the potential to face a legal challenge here after a case at the European Court of Justice had raised doubts it could be implemented at all.Last December, the European court decided that introducing such a measure proposed in Scotland was illegal, but left it up to the Scottish courts to make the final decision.With the judgement by the EU court in Scotland, Ireland is similarly open to a legal challenge on minimum pricing.Lobbyists for the alcohol industry, however, may be dissuaded from taking such action as the final decision from Scotland’s highest court ruled that minimum unit pricing does not contravene national and European law.However, the Scotch Whisky Association has not yet given up in its attempts to block minimum pricing and is bringing the case to the UK Supreme Court.Ross Mac Mathúna, from the Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI), told that his group would have no desire to bring a similar case against the Irish government here.Having said that, the group are opposed to minimum unit pricing. He said: “We have seen no evidence to prove this works. We would propose bringing in a ban on low-cost selling as an alternative to this at the moment.”SupportIn terms of political support, minimum pricing has been largely welcomed.In the Seanad last week, Fine Gael’s Jerry Buttimer made the comment: “We all support minimum unit pricing.”Fianna Fáil TD Jack Chambers said that the provisions of the bill would be “very important” in addressing the currently “unsustainable” health impacts of alcohol in this country.Fine Gael Senator Catherine Noone said: “Minimum pricing will help because there is a clear correlation between the price of alcohol and the amount people drink. Addressing price would be a step in the right direction.”Doctors are on side as well, with a statement from the National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP) expressing their support for the provisions of the bill last week.Its president, Dr Emmet Kerin said: “This is an important bill, legislating for the first time on alcohol consumption as a public health measure.Our health system is overwhelmed. Health promotion initiatives such as the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill are critical to reducing preventable diseases and keeping patients well.Groups raising awareness around the dangers of alcohol are also supporters of the provision.Alcohol Action Ireland reject the claim that a ban on below-cost selling would be more effective as it cannot “target strong, cheap alcohol” while MUP is “able to target cheaper alcohol relative to its strength because the price is determined by and directly proportionate to the amount of pure alcohol in the drink”.A statement from Alcohol Action Ireland said: “MUP sets a “floor price” beneath which alcohol cannot legally be sold, but will not increase the price of all alcohol products sold in Ireland, instead targeting the products that are currently very cheap relative to their strength in supermarkets.” Source: Shutterstock/Radu BercanOne issue of contention on MUP, away from the perceived health benefits, is the presence and proximity of Northern Ireland.Currently, there are no concrete plans to introduce a similar measure there, and with the falling price of Sterling already acting as an incentive to shop up North, Mac Mathúna said this could drive more consumers north of the border to access alcohol at lower prices.Labour Senator Ged Nash expressed similar concerns, pointing out that the synchronisation between the Irish government and the Northern Irish Executive on this issue is “extremely important if we are to achieve the ambitions of this legislation”.Mac Mathúna adds that there will be “unintended consequences” of setting a floor price for alcohol, as setting a floor price means that the floor can then be raised further.Indeed, Finance Minister Michael Noonan has said he will not implement his planned sugar tax until the UK does the same – to ensure symbiosis between the two jurisdictions.ConclusionMUP will not raise the price of many drinks in supermarkets and off-licenses, but it undoubtedly targets some of the cheaper, stronger products on the market.The studies that have been completed to date suggest that it will benefit the health of the general population, without penalising casual or low-risk drinkers.Having said that, there is no definitive proof that it will reduce alcohol-related harm across society.With the government set to plough on with this top line provision of the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill, Ireland could be the first country to find out if minimum pricing works.Next week, we’ll take a look at the issue of alcohol labelling, the state of Ireland’s relationship with alcohol and how that could evolve under the new bill.What do you think?So, what are your thoughts? Do you support the introduction of minimum unit pricing on alcohol in Ireland? Short URL No interest/No opinion (228) Poll Results: By Sean Murray Sunday 12 Feb 2017, 9:30 PMlast_img read more

Community gardaí attend Friday prayer at mosques in wake of New Zealand

first_img Mar 15th 2019, 2:23 PM COMMUNITY GARDAÍ ARE attending local mosques today to provide support to the country’s Muslim community following the mass shootings in New Zealand.At least 49 people were killed in the attack on two mosques and there are reports of close to 50 people in hospital with gunshot wounds.An Garda Síochána today said it has a productive and positive relationship with the Muslim community in Ireland built up over many years. 49 Comments By Michelle Hennessy Community gardaí attend Friday prayer at mosques in wake of New Zealand attack An Garda Síochána said local gardaí will be making themselves available to Muslim communities to provide support. Chief Superintendent Finbarr Murphy with Abdul Karim at Damestown Mosque in Dublin today. Chief Superintendent Finbarr Murphy with Abdul Karim at Damestown Mosque in Dublin today. center_img Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 33,852 Views As part of this and to provide support following the terrible events in New Zealand, community gardaí will be attending Friday prayer in their local mosque and making themselves available to those communities.Speaking from the United States, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar also expressed Ireland’s condolences and solidarity with the people of New Zealand.“New Zealand and its people are open, tolerant and welcoming,” Varadkar said in a statement. “We join them today, united in our condemnation of this appalling attack and determined in our resolve that hate will not triumph.”One man has been charged in relation to the shootings.  Friday 15 Mar 2019, 2:23 PM Short URL Share2230 Tweet Email1 last_img read more