As expected, Google launched the latest iteration of the Android OS, Ice Cream Sandwich, alongside the Samsung announcement of the Galaxy Nexus. While Samsung certainly wowed the audience with a truly impressive phone, the real star of the show was Android 4.0.Andy Rubin, Matias Duarte, Hugo Barra, and many more iconic Googlers took to the stage to show off the many facets of the new Android OS. At the end of their presentation, they announced that the Android SDK was already online for developers and users to get a deeper look into the new features offered by this upcoming version of Android.While Google offered a terrific demonstration of many of the impressive features in Ice Cream Sandwich, I am somewhat concerned about the overall ability to deliver the Ice Cream Sandwich experience, and whether or not manufacturers will be willing to follow in Google’s vision for the future. We’ll tackle that in a separate post, for now, lets focus on the core features of the OS.Total UI OverhaulPlain and simple, if you have never used a Honeycomb tablet, Android 4 will be something of a jarring experience for you. In order to become comfortable with this brave new world, there’s a few things you should know.– The tiles move: Instead of removing all of your Notifications all at once with a clear button, you will have the option to remove individual notifications by simply brushing them off of your notification bar with the swipe of a finger. Additionally, when looking at your previously opened applications you will have the option to sweep individual applications away as well.– Your Notification bar has superpowers: Now called the Action Bar, your top drawer pull down sports a whole new list of features now. First of all, it’s available to you from the lockscreen so you don’t even have to unlock the phone to check incoming email, SMS, etc. Additionally, your Music controls are available from inside the Action bar, meaning not only is your music available to you on the lockscreen, but the developers of your favorite apps will be able to put goodies up there as well.– Your Launcher is customizeable: As a Google Voice user, I have zero need for the stock SMS app for Android, and yet so many phones force it to the dock assuming you want it there. Now, you can pick and choose what you want to go on your launcher dock. When you open the app drawer, you will have access not only to your apps, but also your widgets on a separate tab for quick and easy placement on your homescreen. Oh, and those widgets? All of the Google ones are resizeable, and the API’s are there for developers to be able to do the same to their widgets.Control your phoneWith Android 4.0, you have a lot more say in how your phone behaves, and how it performs. Instead of using your phone and seeing the results when you are finished, you have real-time access to many parts of your phone for better control.– Real time voice input: Instead of speaking a sentence and seeing how right/wrong Google got it, the results show up as you speak them. Additionally, you can double tap any word Google gets wrong and push the change back to Google in the hopes that they wont get it wrong next time.– Choose your own spell check: Maybe English isn’t your language of choice, or maybe you have been on the internet too long and you’d prefer Urban Dictionary to Mirriam-Webster. Google allows you to use any third party dictionary and language kit, and plug it right into their input and spell check system.– Network Data Control: In this day of limits, caps, and insane overage charges, Google has provided users with the tools necessary to control the data that passes over a mobile network. You can shut down mobile data on your phone when you reach a limit that you have set on yourself, or set a warning for when you have consumed a specific amount of mobile data. You can look at a detailed breakdown of which apps are using the most data and when, and you can even stop apps from using data in the background if you don’t want them to.Social ContactsYour contact manager has gotten a pretty serious visual update as well, but believe it or not that’s actually not the significant thing here. Google has seen fit to make your contact manager social in certain ways, in an attempt to unify your phone based communications with your social communications.– The “Me” profile: at the top of your contact manager now is the most important person in your phone, you! Not dissimilar from what you see now on any of Google’s desktop services (the black bar in Gmail, docs, etc) is the “Me” profile. Everything about you is in your Me profile. This includes contact information, social networks, birthday, anything Google has stored on or about you from other services is available to you here.– Unified contacts: Google doesn’t just read up on you, no sir. If your contacts have a Google+ profile, or if you two use the same app with data available to share (Latitude, for example) that information can be made available to you. Want to circle your new Boss on G+ now that your contact manager shows you he’s got one? You can circle him (or uncircle him) right from the contact screen.– Unified calendar: not only are all of your separate calendars glued together and color coded in a nice easy to use way, but apps that you have given permission to play will be able to stick things in your calendar as well.Huge New ThingsWhen iOS 5 came out, the Android fans shouted “Theif!” across the internet. Many of the Android UI changes were likely “inspired” by WebOS and Windows Phone, and to be honest, I hope Google bought licencing from Disney for all the Tron that’s baked into Android 4.0. But Google did see fit to add some really cool tricks that are new to the mobile experience.– Face Unlock: Still struggling to figure out what you are ever going to use that Front Facing Camera for? How about using it to unlock your phone? Unless you have an evil twin, what seems to be the most secure way to lock your phone ever is the ability to lock it to your big smiling mug. The demo for this at the Samsung event didn’t go so well, and I kind of doubt Matias Duarte’s crack about how much makeup he had on affecting the software, but the possibility of using this if it works seems really cool.– All new toys for NFC, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi: Google pulled out the stops on their support of third party toys and apps on Android phones, specifically how they interact with any of the three wireless technologies. Two Android phones with NFC chips inside can share links, photos, videos, whatever, just by setting the devices next to each other, kind of like Bump but way more stable. Support for the Bluetooth Health Device Profile or HDP enabled devices has been enabled, allowing third party medical or fitness devices to interact with your phone. WiFi Direct support was also added to Android 4, supporting peer to peer networks and third party apps that would use those networks for faster transmission of things like movies and music.– Support for Stylus input: in a push to support more education focused devices, Android 4.0 supports controls to distinguish between a finger, stylus, and eraser events. Taking notes in class, drawing on a digital canvas, or maybe just using your device behind thick gloves will be much better supported natively.DevelopersAll of this talk about new features is a ton of fun, but for developers the real shiny new toys are the tools provided to allow them to add the shiny new features to their apps. As expected, Google has delivered API’s for all of the goodies they announced, as well as quite a few other goodies.– All one framework: Tablets, phones, TV’s, and whatever else you can shoehorn Android onto now all function on the same framework. Complete with documentation to prepare your app to support Fragments, the new Action Bar, resizeable widgets, and a much smoother and more stable emulator to test your app on before pushing it to the Android Market.– Further Business support: on an Enterprise level, you can now completely encrypt an Android 4.0 device, offer VPN solutions through the phone, and offer management policies for the cameras on phones that are in secure areas. Managed devices can control both the VPN setting and the Camera policy remotely.Final ThoughtsAndroid 4.0 brings a lot of potential to the Android platform. At Google I/O, we were given to understand that Ice Cream Sandwich would mark the slowing of the release cycles for Google to two per year. If Google sticks with this, there’s a strong chance we will be greeted in the New Year with an impressive onslaught of new tablets, phones, and GoogleTV supported devices ready to take advantage of all this new software.As with all versions of Android, the critical component will be adoption. If OEM’s push ICS to their users in a timely manner, and if there are no huge problems come release time, Ice Cream Sandwich could be the sweetest version yet.
The momentum behind Google’s Project Glass, now known as Google Glass, is growing. That’s mainly due to the involvement of Sergey Brin and his wearing of the prototype glasses whenever he happens to be posing for a picture or appearing on video.This Friday Brin appears on The Gavin Newsom Show, and he is once again wearing the glasses. Luckily for us, the preview of the show reveals something new about their functionality: on the right arm of the glasses a trackpad has been built-in.We previously thought navigation was limited to gestures and voice. Through this inclusion it’s possible to navigate media, select features/apps, and adjust options by using a combination of your finger on the trackpad and what you are viewing through the glasses.Think of it like you are looking at a monitor and navigating what’s on screen with a mouse. Only in this case only you can see the screen and the mouse is installed on a small plastic arm resting against your head. It adds absolutely no bulk to the glasses frame, yet unlocks a load of functionality to the user.Brin describes Google X, the area of Google where future projects are experimented with, as an “advanced skunkworks project.” Although most projects being developed within its walls are multiple years from a launch, Brin hopes Google Glass will arrive at some point next year.It’s certainly a project with potential, and as Brin discusses, it allows you to keep your hands free while having access to features you’d usually associate with a handset. There’s still a lot of development work required though, and we’ve already shown you how annoying ads could be on the device.More at The Gavin Newsom Show, via Engadget
“The people behind us suddenly dropped”: Witnesses describe Tayto Park stairs collapse Nine people were taken to hospital over the incident. Monday 24 Oct 2016, 8:03 AM Oct 24th 2016, 8:03 AM AN INVESTIGATION IS underway into the collapse of a staircase at the Tayto Park House of Horrors event, which led to the hospitalisation of nine people.The incident occurred on Saturday night at approximately 8pm. The park is located in Ashbourne, Co Meath.A statement from Tayto said that its emergency plan was immediately put into place after the incident occurred.It’s understood all of those who were hospitalised have since been released.Witnesses have been speaking about what happened on the night. Rian O’Kelly (25) from Dublin, told BBC Radio Ulster that she had just stepped off the staircase when it collapsed.She brought her sister and two of her sister’s friends to the event. They queued for an hour to get into the House of Horrors, and she said the queue reached up two flights of stairs. 20,974 Views The management of Tayto Park will co-operate fully with the investigation as the safety of our guests is paramount.Tayto Park reopened as normal yesterday.Read: Nine people injured after House of Horrors staircase collapse at Tayto Park> We had just stepped on to kind of like a landing and there is another flight of stairs going up. And basically we heard this big creaking noise and we thought it was part of the show, like it was trying to be scary, but next of all the people behind us suddenly dropped and the whole staircase collapsed. Share13 Tweet Email https://jrnl.ie/3042827 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Image: Google Maps By Aoife Barry 21 Comments Image: Google Maps And then obviously everyone got really afraid and everyone started crying and screaming and running because we thought we were going to drop as well.She described the situation as “surreal”. “It was like they vanished,” she said of the people who were on the part of the staircase that dropped.“I was also so frightened, my knees were totally shaking. All of the younger children and adults were screaming and crying it was very scary and it was ironic that we were supposed to be going into the House of Horrors.”Tayto Park said in a statement that at approximately 8pm the lower portion of a permanent staircase leading to The House of Horrors gave way.The Tayto Park emergency plan was immediately put in place and the emergency services attended the scene. Nine people were transported to hospitals in the city as a precautionary measure to assess their injuries. Short URL
Dec 7th 2016, 4:34 PM Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky sits in a courtroom behind bars in Moscow, Russia in 2004. Source: Sergey Ponomarev/PAFormer justice minister, Michael McDowell, representing the gardaí, said the investigation was continuing and involved recent police trips to Moscow to liaise with fraud investigators there.Granted asylumKhodorkovsky, who has been granted political asylum in Britain, said the ruling vindicated his position that President Vladimir Putin had orchestrated a campaign to vilify him after he founded a pressure group, Open Russia, committed to promoting democracy in Russia.In a statement this evening, Khodorkovsky said he “will use some of the funds to support the work of the Open Russia movement, which was founded in 2014″.He spent over 10 years in jail from 2003 to 2013 on politically motivated charges. In May 2011, he was declared a Prisoner of Conscience by Amnesty International.In Moscow, the lead lawyer investigating unresolved allegations against former Yukos executives accused Ireland of offering encouragement to corporate thieves on the run from Russian justice.“Today’s decision to release the funds will encourage others to do what Khodorkovsky did: Conceal their stolen assets beneath multiple layers of shell companies and offshore trusts for many years,” a Kremlin spokesman said in a statement.With reporting by APRead: ‘I won’t give up hope of finding Trevor’: Father of man missing for 16 years on his fight to find his son >Read: ‘When I came in here I couldn’t walk. Now I’ve just been told I can go home’ > By Garreth MacNamee Image: AP/Press Association Images Wednesday 7 Dec 2016, 4:34 PM Share139 Tweet Email1 Image: AP/Press Association Images 26 Comments https://jrnl.ie/3125889 People have been murdered and it has been politically motivated. So we should be very careful about what we say about people and what we put into any application as an add-on to boost our side. We are dealing with people’s lives.Ireland froze the funds in 2011, while Khodorkovsky was still imprisoned in Russia, at the start of a probe into whether the money had been illegally laundered from Russia via a Gibraltar-based investment company. Dublin court unfreezes €100 million worth of Russian tycoon’s assets after five year battle Judge Timothy Lucey also warned gardaí to be careful about what they put in their applications as people had been murdered for political reasons. A DUBLIN COURT today unfroze €100 million worth of assets belonging to the former richest man in Russia following a money laundering investigation.Mikhail Khodorkovsky, an exiled Russian oligarch and founder of the Yukos oil company, had the monies frozen in 2011 as he was imprisoned in Russia for fraud, embezzlement and money laundering – charges which he said were politically motivated.Today, Judge Timothy Lucey ordered that he have access to the funds ruling that gardaí had provided no firm evidence of money laundering after five years of investigation.Judge Lucey said extending the order freezing Khodorkovsky’s Irish assets couldn’t be legally justified.Regarding what was contained in garda applications to the courts, Judge Lucey stated the gardaí should be careful, adding: 22,341 Views Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
Image: Shutterstock/Natalia Kabliuk Short URL A GANG WHO flew Lithuanian brides into the UK as part of an immigration scam were sentenced at Croydon Crown Court in London today.Ringleaders Lina Kezelyte, 33, and Mohemmed Jemaldeen, 33, ‘match-made’ the brides with their grooms, who were men from south Asian and west African countries who had tried and failed to get visas to remain in the UK by other means.By paying the gang to arrange for them to marry women from Lithuania, an EU nation, they could claim residency in the UK.The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said the gang saw 26 Lithuanian brides wed to grooms from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nigeria and Nepal, making an estimated £315,000 (about €360,000).In a statement, the CPS said Valentina Kezeliene, 53, the mother of Lina Kezelyte, laundered money and booked flights. Three others helped move money and attended the fake weddings.Swapping roles at weddingsThe scam ended in October 2013 when a wedding ceremony was interrupted by immigration officers.The bride and groom were arrested and subsequently charged and convicted. One of the guests, Beata Jarmolovic, aged 28, had a camera containing photos of six separate weddings but with brides and bridesmaids swapping roles.The sentences include:Lina Kezelyte, 33, conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration – four and a half yearsMohemmed Jemaldeen, 33, was tried and sentenced in his absence for conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration – four yearsValentina Kezeliene, 53, conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration – two and a half yearsRuta Sperskaite, 25, conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration – two years suspended for two years, plus 200 hours unpaid workRenato Semasko, 53, convert criminal proceeds – 18 months suspended for 18 months, plus 200 hours unpaid workBeata Jarmolovic, 28, conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration – Sentencing will take place on MondayRobert Hutchinson, a CPS London reviewing lawyer, said: “This gang made large amounts of money conducting sham marriages as part of an immigration scam involving flying Lithuanian women to the UK.The prosecution case involved looking at suspicious bank transfers, hundreds of flight bookings made for Lithuanian women and forensic analysis of a seized laptop containing crib sheets of questions likely to be asked in immigration interviews.“We showed that the claim made by Lina Kezelyte that this was a legitimate international dating agency did not stand up to scrutiny. This case shows that anyone who tries to circumvent UK immigration law in this way will face prosecution with a strong case put before the court,” Hutchinson said.Comments are closed as legal proceedings are ongoing. Read: Extremist who called Jewish people ‘subhuman animals’ jailed in LondonRead: Murder inquiry begins in the North after body of 29-year-old found By Órla Ryan File photo Image: Shutterstock/Natalia Kabliuk Friday 10 Mar 2017, 6:26 PM Share Tweet Email1 10,315 Views http://jrnl.ie/3281750 Mar 10th 2017, 6:26 PM No Comments Gang who flew in Lithuanian brides to UK as part of sham marriage scam jailed People involved in the scam swapped roles in fake bridal parties. File photo Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
Image: Charlie Neibergall/PA Images Jun 22nd 2017, 6:28 PM 12,750 Views Thursday 22 Jun 2017, 6:28 PM Image: Charlie Neibergall/PA Images US PRESIDENT DONALD Trump has said that he doesn’t have recordings of his private meeting with former FBI director James Comey, contradicting suggestions that there were tapes of the one-to-one meeting.“With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea whether there are “tapes” or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings,” Trump said on Twitter.The controversial private meeting between Donald Trump and James Comey concerned the ongoing FBI investigation into Russian links with the Trump administration and interference in the US election.Comey alleges that during that meeting, Trump pushed him to drop the investigation into former national security advisor Michael Flynn, who was removed from his position as a result of the scandal.Trump, meanwhile, denies trying to influence the FBI investigation. In a tweet last month, he suggested that there were recordings of the meeting in a warning to Comey:“James Comey better hope that there are no “tapes” of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”Afterwards he clarified that he would reveal whether he had recordings of the conversation at a later date.During a Senate hearing that emerged as a result of the conflicting statements, James Comey said that he ‘hoped’ there were recordings of the meeting.Read: Secret Service says it has no tapes of Trump’s Comey conversations Donald Trump says he does not have tapes of that secret meeting with Comey Trump had previously hinted that he had tapes of a private conversation with FBI director James Comey. http://jrnl.ie/3458757 46 Comments Short URL By Gráinne Ní Aodha Share78 Tweet Email1 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
Image: Sam Boal/Rolling News Share339 Tweet Email5 http://jrnl.ie/3460371 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Jun 23rd 2017, 2:58 PM Image: Sam Boal/Rolling News Friday 23 Jun 2017, 2:58 PM Judge accuses RTÉ’s Joe Duffy of attacking the courts for not sentencing people The comments were made by Judge Patrick Durcan at Ennis District Court today. Short URL 11 Comments 54,801 Views And then you listen to Mr Duffy and all the great panjandrums of the media and they are attacking the courts for not sentencing people.A panjandrum is defined as someone with self-importance or claims to have a great deal of authority and influence.In court, Judge Durcan told Plechko that he must be punished.He said: “The shop keepers must be protected and I am going to imprison you.”Judge Durcan’s comments on the Liveline broadcaster and others follow him last week accusing radio talk show hosts of whipping up public opinion on a daily basis that courts are not doing enough in dealing with repeat burglary offenders.Before jailing a serial thief John Brennan (46) of Pella Rd, Kilrush for stealing a child’s money box containing €50 in coins, Judge Durcan said:There is a constant outcry by the people who man the media in this country and who man the talk shows and who whip up public opinion on a daily basis that the courts aren’t doing enough in relation to matters of this nature.He said that “the courts don’t respond to the people in the media who whip up public opinion but the legislature does”.Last weekend in press interview when asked to respond to Judge Durcan’s comments, Joe Duffy said: “If a judge says that, it’s nonsense. He obviously doesn’t listen to the programme.”The presenter said: “I don’t express a view on sentencing. Liveline lets the victims speak for themselves. Liveline is about real people telling real stories …about the impact crimes have on them, including burglary.“It’s also fair to say that I know a number of towns where we highlighted issues, where the Gardai subsequently did something about it.”Duffy went on to say that the public, politicians, and judges “made up their own minds” about crime and sentencing.Read: Houses evacuated after suspicious device is found in BallymunMore: At least four injured as tourist bus hits Paris bridge By Gordon Deegan A DISTRICT COURT judge today accused one of the country’s most popular broadcasters, RTE’s Joe Duffy “and all the great panjandrums of the media” of attacking the courts for not sentencing people.At Ennis District Court today, Judge Patrick Durcan trained his sights on radio talk show hosts for the second time in 10 days when sentencing a petty criminal to a three month jail term for a number of thefts.In the case, Belarussian, Ivan Plechko of Lakeside Close, Mountshannon pleaded guilty to four separate thefts carried out over two days from shops in Ennis.The 32 year old – who has a drink problem and a number of previous convictions – had stolen groceries from Liddy’s Costcutter, Ennis, on 8 June.On 22 June, he stole with a hammer and snips from Jimmy’s Discount Store; a sleeveless shirt from Dunnes Stores and a lighter from the local All Seasons Store.Before jailing Plechko, Judge Durcan said that legislators have introduced schemes where if anyone does anything, “there are a whole pile of trampolines to help people who offend against society”.He said: “Some of this is crazy.”
Subscribe for more videos By Stephen McDermott Image: Rollingnews.ie Mar 4th 2019, 2:47 PM 28,959 Views Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube TII Director of Corporate Communications Sean O’Neill told the show that signs were up-to-date yesterday, and insisted that information about delays was circulated via other channels.“We were treating the roads, we did notify AA Roadwatch, we were getting out the alerts on AA Roadwatch and in the media,” he said.“The problem with this event is that it was too compounded by an incident in which the gardaí had to close the road. That caused backups.“Traffic wasn’t able to get off the road, and ploughs weren’t able to get out and deal with it. It was almost like a flash flood of snow.”O’Neill also defended the closure of roads by gardaí while they dealt with collisions, saying they had a duty of care to the public to do so.He added that while it was unfortunate that traffic had to be disrupted as a result, gardaí had to take a “safety first” attitude when closing roads. Monday 4 Mar 2019, 2:47 PM Traffic in difficulty on the Curragh Plains in Kildare yesterday TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE IRELAND (TII) has said that a “compounding” of events caused long delays on a number of roads around the country yesterday.Thousands of motorists were caught in long tailbacks yesterday afternoon, as snow and poor visibility hit sections of the M4, M7, M8 and M9 motorways.One woman who was travelling from Cork to Dublin with her five-month old baby told RTÉ Radio’s News at One that she spent more than seven hours in her car on the journey, which normally takes under three hours.“It was a very long day, and my poor husband was exhausted from being behind the wheel for so long,” Louise O’Connor told the show this afternoon.She said delays were compounded by a number of collisions on the way, as well as roadworks on the N7 near Newbridge.“I think the information didn’t get out in time. We wouldn’t have travelled if we knew it was bad. We were expecting rain, but we weren’t expecting snow,” Louise said.“I think the information on the overhead signs needed to be up to date. We passed a few, and there was no information at all on them.” Share231 Tweet Email2 52 Comments https://jrnl.ie/4523136 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article ‘Like a flash flood of snow’: Transport agency says ‘compounding’ of events caused delays yesterday Thousands of motorists were caught in long tailbacks in the snow yesterday afternoon. Short URL Traffic in difficulty on the Curragh Plains in Kildare yesterday Image: Rollingnews.ie
THE EXAMPLE OF Hillsborough inquests shows that there is no reason why a “new, thorough investigation of the Stardust fire will not lead to the truth being revealed”, according to new documents seeking new inquests into the people who died at the Dublin club.These new documents – seen by TheJournal.ie – were submitted to the Office of the Attorney General last week by campaigners calling for a new inquest into the deaths of those who perished in the Stardust fire.The fire, which tore through a club in Artane, Co Dublin, on Valentine’s Day in 1981 remains the worst disaster of its kind in the history of the State. Forty-eight people died and more than 200 were injured.An inquiry into the blaze previously put forward arson as the probable cause, but this was rejected by families and later overturned as part of a separate inquiry a decade ago.Retired judge Pat McCartan was tasked in 2017 with examining whether there would be grounds to hold a new inquest into the fire. He ruled that a new inquiry was not warranted, saying there was no new evidence.Fresh callsIn its submission to the Attorney General, solicitors Adam Straw and Darragh Mackin on behalf of the Stardust Victims Committee say that there a number of reasons why fresh inquests should be held into the deaths of the Stardust victims.The original inquests only recorded the medical cause of death and offered “uninformative” conclusions, they said. “In a disaster of this magnitude a more informative conclusion was required in order to meet the public interest,” they wrote.Furthermore, the central conclusion of the original inquiry into the fire from the Keane Tribunal that the probable cause of the fire was arson was quashed in 2009 by the government. There is also fresh evidence that could shed light on some matters that weren’t dealt with at previous inquiries, it is claimed.“This includes important eye-witness evidence, together with assessments by a range of fire experts,” they said.A central part of their claim are these detailed accounts from eyewitnesses who were outside the club on the night, who claim they saw the blaze originate in the roof space as opposed as to the West Alcove seating area of Stardust, which previous inquests and fire investigations into the blaze hinged on.Highlighting the example of the Hillsborough inquests, which found in 2016 that the 96 Liverpool fans who died at the stadium in 1989 were unlawfully killed, they argue this demonstrates how a fresh inquiry can shed light on events that took place many years ago, even where detailed investigations already took place.“There is no reason why a new, thorough investigation of the Stardust Fire will not lead to the truth being revealed, to those responsible being held to account, and to further lessons being learned to prevent a similar tragedy in the future,” they said.New inquiryIn 2009, the government quashed the original finding that arson was the probable cause of the Stardust fire.However, the government also declined to establish a new Tribunal to investigate the cause of the fire and has maintained that stance since.In the new submission to the Attorney General, it is argued that the government’s basis for not opening a new Tribunal – the Coffey report in 2009 – was insufficient as that review’s terms of reference inhibited Paul Coffey from carrying out new inquiries.The lawyers said: “His inability to initiate his own investigations or to make findings of fact, meant he was unable to ascertain where or how the fire started, and his examination was inconclusive.”Furthermore, they said that the terms of reference for Judge McCartan also did not bring about any further investigation.The document also discusses fresh eyewitness and expert testimony that could be considered in any future inquests or inquiry into the Stardust fire. The Stardust Victims Committee reached to lawyers working on the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, and were recommended to contact fire engineering expert Professor James Lygate from Edinburgh University. He wrote to say that there had been a “wide range of advances in the science of fire investigation since 1981, and that a review of the Stardust Fire using these modern methods would be worthwhile”.New inquests could have wide-ranging effects too, it is argued.This includes that aspects of building design and operation that were dangerous – and not identified in previous inquiries – could be identified to prevent the widespread loss of life in large public buildings again.Secondly, it could lead to civil or criminal penalties for anyone who may have been responsible for the fire, they claim. Numerous legal precedence is also cited as they highlight the reasoning behind the calls for new inquests.They conclude: “That is because a fresh investigation will allow the earlier inconclusive inquiries to be pursued further; because it is possible that it will lead to the identification and punishment, through civil or criminal sanction, of those responsible; and because it provides an opportunity ‘to recognise, if possible, the lessons to be learned so that a similar event can be avoided in future’.”‘We want justice’Speaking at a press conference last week, members of the Stardust Victims Committee outlined their hopes that these new calls would lead to direct action.Antoinette Keegan, a leading member of the campaign who lost two sisters in the fire, said they have faced “many concrete walls” in their efforts for a new inquest to be held, but are now very confident their latest effort will yield results.“We want truth, and we want justice,” she said, stressing that ‘it’s not fair on the parents’ of people who died in the fire, some of whom are now unwell, describing the repeated delays as “systematic abuse”.The belief that this latest attempt could yield results was echoed by Jimmy Fitzpatrick, who himself survived the fire.“We have more clout to prove our point,” he told TheJournal.ie.“Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is due to meet us on the 29th May, I would like to put to him, ‘Listen, this didn’t happen on your shift, you lot aren’t responsible for this, so give the families closure, give them a hearing, give them a voice at least’.” 18 Comments Share370 Tweet Email1 Short URL We’re never going away. The mothers and fathers are getting old, but we’re still around, and we’ve got people behind us.With reporting from Nicky Ryan Stardust campaigners invoke Hillsborough and Grenfell probes in outlining ‘compelling’ case for new inquests The government has ruled out new inquiries into the fire, but the Stardust Victims Committee have renewed their calls in recent weeks. Police outside the main entrance of the Stardust after the fire. https://jrnl.ie/4584160 Image: Tony Harris/PA Images Police outside the main entrance of the Stardust after the fire. Image: Tony Harris/PA Images Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Apr 13th 2019, 10:01 PM 11,406 Views Saturday 13 Apr 2019, 10:00 PM By Sean Murray
Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article David Cameron announcing his resignation after 2016’s referendum. As the clock ticks down, get all the best Brexit news and analysis in your inbox: FORMER BRITISH PRIME Minister David Cameron has said that a second Brexit referendum cannot be ruled out. In an interview with The Times, the former PM said he thinks about 2016′s referendum result “every day” and accused Prime Minister Boris Johnson and MP Michael Gove of behaving “appallingly” during the referendum campaign. “Every single day I think about it, the referendum and the fact that we lost and the consequences and the things that could have been done differently, and I worry desperately about what is going to happen next,” Cameron said. “I think we can get to a situation where we leave but we are friends, neighbours and partners. We can get there, but I would love to fast-forward to that moment because it’s painful for the country and it’s painful to watch.”Cameron added in the that had no regrets about launching the Brexit referendum and accused current PM Boris Johnson of behaving “appallingly” during the pre-vote campaigning.Cameron, who led the Remain campaign for Britain to stay in the European Union, told The Times that the tortuous negotiations were “painful to watch” and that losing office left him “hugely depressed”.Cameron, who was PM for six years, has largely kept quiet since leaving office following the 2016 Brexit referendum.His long-awaited memoir, ‘For The Record’, is due out on Thursday.Cameron also said a no-deal Brexit would be a bad outcome and that he would have backed the withdrawal agreement rejected by MPs.Britain is due to leave the EU on October 31.Cameron told The Times that a referendum on Britain’s relationship with the EU had long been promised by politicians and that the EU issue needed to be addressed. “The country was divided whether we should be in the EU before the referendum,” Cameron said.“This issue needed to be addressed and I thought a referendum was coming, so better to try to get some reforms we needed and have a referendum.“But I accept that, you know, that effort failed. I do understand some people are very angry because they didn’t want to leave the EU. Neither did I.”Cameron also said Boris Johnson’s recent move to expel anti-no-deal MPs from the governing Conservative Party and shutting down parliament for five weeks had rebounded.“I didn’t support either of those things. Neither do I think a no-deal Brexit is a good idea,” he said.Cameron said a second referendum might yet take place as a way to break the Brexit impasse.“You can’t rule things out right now because you’ve got to find some way of unblocking the blockage,” he said. Friday 13 Sep 2019, 9:27 PM 28,786 Views Fri 9:27 PM 45 Comments https://jrnl.ie/4809261 Image: Daniel Leal-Olivas Share17 Tweet Email David Cameron announcing his resignation after 2016’s referendum. Image: Daniel Leal-Olivas By Cónal Thomas Short URL David Cameron: Second Brexit referendum ‘can’t be ruled out’ In an interview with The Times, the former PM said he thinks about 2016′s referendum result “every day” .
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram On Tuesday, I predict the Reserve Bank of Australia is going to cut official interest rates by either .25 per cent or .50 per cent. Look at the official figures. The Reserve follows a whole lot of economic data but the number they focus on is inflation, taken from the Consumer Price Index. The March quarter CPI came out last Tuesday, and it ‘printed’ an inflation number well below what most economists were thinking. The Reserve is bound to use monetary policy to keep inflation in the target range of 2 – 3 per cent. And the March CPI means core inflation becomes around 2.2 per cent. When this is the trend, the economy might need a kick-start, by reducing the price of money – the ‘cash rate’ – and hoping that Australians will spend more. There are other indicators that the Reserve could be looking at. I call these my indicators of the ‘real economy.’ I talk to business owners and I look at the ‘For Lease’ signs, the ‘closing down sale’ signs and the ‘50% off’ specials in shop window. I look for empty shops, car yards with no people in them and bank boards on the pavement that spruik their deposit rates, not their variable mortgage rates. I look at the newspapers: who’s being laid-off? Car workers and bank staff. These indicators tell a story of struggling businesses and cautious consumers. This sort of dynamic can become a nasty spiral if it’s not broken at the right time, because consumers become more cautious with their money and businesses wear the consequences, having to lay-off staff which feeds greater consumer uncertainty and which feeds a worse climate for businesses. With my view of the real economy and the CPI and inflation figures, I think it’s time to break the spiral. When you have large concerns such as Toyota and Harvey Norman talking about a downturn in consumer demand, you have to multiply that stress several times to glimpse what the average small business owner is going through. It’s a dangerous position because our 3.5 million business owners are our biggest employers. We can cut the cash rate, making borrowing easier for business owners and easier for householders. But while you can’t affect what the Reserve Bank does, or what the major banks do, you can use a rate cut to your advantage. If you’re not financially stressed, you can continue to make your normal repayment even after the bank cuts your variable rate. A 0.25 per cent cut on a 30-year $300,000 loan at 7.4 per cent, will save you just over $50 a month, worth $18,000 over the life of the loan. A 0.50 per cent cut will save you $101 per month, worth $36,000 over the life of a loan. You can’t change the RBA or your bank, but you can put the interest rate savings straight back into the mortgage, or put them into a high interest bearing fixed interest account. You can’t change the world but you can make good decisions when the cash rate drops. * Mark Bouris is the Executive Chairman of Yellow Brick Road, a financial services company offering home loans, financial planning, accounting & tax and insurance. Email Mark on firstname.lastname@example.org any queries you may have.
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The Victorian Electoral Commission officially declared Jennifer Kanis the winner of last Saturday’s by-election on Thursday morning.“It’s terrific,” Ms Kanis tells Neos Kosmos on being elected, and says she is “really honoured and pleased to be elected”.Ms Kanis edged out Cathy Oke – the Greens candidate – by 1067 votes on a two-party preferred basis.After a gruelling campaign, Ms Kanis says the hard work is just about to start for her.“The first thing I am looking to do is to continue what I’ve been doing over the last couple of months which is talking to people in the electorate and and meeting with the various community groups,” she says adding although she knows her electorate well, she wants to get to know them better. And by doing so, she will be able to represent their views in parliament and make sure the policies that they put in place align to Labor values and with what people want in Victoria. Ms Kanis said as far as her projects go she is going to concentrate on holding “Ted Baillieu to account”. “There are acouple of things that he’s done that people are unhappy with – the TAFE cuts for instance … we are going to make sure that Ted Baillieu and his government know just how unhappy people are about cuts to education.”The win comes as somewhat a relief for Prime Minister Julia Gillard, as a loss would have added to the pressure of a leadership rumblings in the party. Added to that, the pressure that Labor has held the state seat of Melbourne for more than half a century.
Greek Australian Maia Oranea Stratos is the official face of the Marrickville Festival being held on tomorrow. The eight-year-old is the perfect example of the culturally diverse area of Marrickville with a Greek mother and an Irish Australian father. Her mother, Katerina Stratos, and her husband both work in the film and arts industries and said their daughter exemplified the culturally mixed and artistic community of Marrickville. “We love living in Marrickville because our neighbourhood is so artistic and Maia is a product of that artistic community – she loves sculpting, drawing and painting,” said Katerina. Maia said she regularly visits the area’s local markets and enjoys shopping at Reverse Garbage where she buys recycled materials to make Plasticine and clay models. “There’s always fun things to do,” Maia said when asked what she likes most about Marrickville. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
Greek authorities heralded a series of measures to tackle the fallout of two strong earthquakes on the Ionian island of Kefalonia, where hundreds of people have been left homeless.Kefalonia is to be declared officially “earthquake-hit” in the coming days, a prerequisite for the release of further financial support and repairs. State funding will be provided to cover the rent of families who have been forced to leave their homes – for two years for property owners and six months for tenants. Meanwhile a program for repairs to damaged buildings is expected to be announced and the Development Ministry is to help municipal and regional authorities seek support from the European Union’s Solidarity Fund.In the meantime there are plans to set up prefabricated homes for quake victims. On Tuesday some residents were moved to tents set up on a sports field near the port of Lixouri, which was particularly badly hit by the two quakes, measuring 5.8 and 5.7 on the Richter scale. Others were moved into two navy vessels sent to the island over the weekend.Additional priorities are repairs to the island’s road and irrigation networks, Infrastructure Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis said during a visit to the island.Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis and Education Minister Constantinos Arvanitopoulos were also on Cephalonia to inspect the state of hospitals and schools. Tourism Minister Olga Kefaloyianni was there too to herald the launch of a campaign to promote Kefalonia, a popular summer holiday destination for foreign visitors.In Athens meanwhile the Labor Ministry said that entrepreneurs and employees on Kefalonia would be exempted from paying social security contributions for six months.Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is on Wednesday to chair a mini-cabinet meeting to develop strategy for the island’s regeneration.Meanwhile an investigation was launched into reports that a group of men posing as policemen warned residents in Lixouri to abandon their homes, claiming that a third earthquake was imminent. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The inflexible payments Greece has to make to its creditors this year are set to peak in the summer. January is the easiest month, as the repayments due then amount to just 515 million euros, but the dues will increase almost every month that follows, reaching their highest in July and August, when 8.8 billion euros will have to be paid out in total.If Greece chooses to forfeit some of its obligations, it will be choosing the path of a partial or complete default, opening a new chapter in the history of its economy.In total the state’s 2015 dues add up to 22.5 billion euros and concern the repayment of bonds held by the European Central Bank, the repayment of International Monetary Fund loans, the payment of interest and bonds that were not included in Greece’s debt restructuring (private sector involvement, or PSI), as well as other loan obligations.This month Greece must disburse 515 million euros to the IMF and in interest payments. In February this will grow to 1.6 billion euros and in March to 2.5 billion. Finance Ministry officials say that it is from mid-March that the problems will start, as at the moment the country’s existing cash reserves amount to 1-2 billion euros and will suffice to cover requirements up to mid-March. Solutions such as a new extraordinary issue of treasury bills will then be examined.Once March is over, things will ease up briefly, as in April maturities add up to 615 million euros and in May to 1 billion. The problems will grow again in the summer, as Greece has to pay obligations of 2.6 billion euros in June, 5.1 billion in July and 3.7 billion in August. That is because two bonds held by the ECB, worth 3.5 billion and 3.2 billion euros, mature in July and August. If Athens has not reached an agreement with its creditors on the last inspection by then, payment will be impossible and other solutions must be found, ministry officials said.Source: Kathimerini
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras suggested that Greece’s privatisation program may go ahead and that state sell-off fund (TAIPED) might not be abolished, showing signs of a shift in the government stance from comments in previous weeks by ministers indicating that the sale of assets would be abandoned. Tsipras even described the price offered by German airport operator Fraport for the running of Greek regional airports as “fair.”Speaking to German weekly magazine Stern, Tsipras insisted, however, that he is opposed to the way sell-offs have been conducted in recent years, saying this is “not privatisation but an unbridled buy-out of state property to friends of the system.”He added that against an original estimate for revenues of 50 billion euros, less then 5 billion has been collected to date.“You can’t rescue a country with 5 billion euros,” said Tsipras.Asked whether TAIPED will be shut down, Tsipras did not rule out its continued operation, saying “we will see.” However, he added, it is his belief that the state should continue to have control of the economy’s drivers.“We want the state to control key sectors of the Greek economy so that we can reap the benefits,” Tsipras said.The prime minister added that the 1 billion euros being offered by German firm Fraport for the operation of 14 Greek regional airports is “fair.” But, he said, “airports are a part of our tourism industry. That’s how Greece earns its livelihood. It is something we also need to examine.”Tsipras’s comments come as a significant departure from the positions expressed by the ministers of Economy Nikos Stathakis and Infrastructures Christos Spirtzis, who had suggested in the past that the sell-off of the 14 airports may be cancelled after they questioned the framework of the deal. Although the prime minister did not appear fully supportive of the agreement with the German firm, it is clear that he has examined the terms, suggesting that it may ultimately go ahead.
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram After around five hours of talks in Brussels aimed at sealing an agreement with Greece’s creditors, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told reporters early on Thursday that there had been progress, particularly in relation to Greece’s primary surplus targets, noting however that talks would continue over the “next days.”Tsipras, who met with European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker and Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem, referred to the “constructive” stance of the European Commission during the discussions and said the two sides were “very close” on primary surplus targets.However, in an acknowledgement of the differences that remain to be bridged between the two sides, Tsipras said that the “realistic proposals” were those of the Greek government.He referred in particular to proposed pension cuts which he indicated that Greece could not accept.Asked by reporters whether Greece would be able make its next payment to the International Monetary Fund on Friday, Mr. Tsipras said, “Don’t worry about it,” noting that Greece has already repaid billions to the Fund.Dijsselbloem was characteristically terse but said the talks were “very good” and would continue over the next few days.In a statement, the EC referred to a “good, constructive meeting,” and signalled that there would be another meeting, saying ” intense work will continue.”Source: Kathimerini
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram While it is the case that every federal budget is as much a political document as it is a statement of economic policy, the 2017 budget brought down by treasurer Scott Morrison places political objectives well ahead of economic rationality. Yet, for all its attempts to construct the notion that this is a plan put together by a pragmatic, centrist government, the Morrison-Turnbull budget will increase the tax burden on all Australians both directly (with an increase in the Medicare levy and, for those who have been or are going to university, higher tertiary education charges) and indirectly (as when the four major banks who have been targeted for a levy pass the cost of this tax on to consumers).In other words, the Turnbull-Morrison budget contains some real nasties for the voters although this has been obscured somewhat by the change in the government’s rhetoric and the inclusion of some stand-out individual proposals. In explaining its approach to the public, the Turnbull government has abandoned the rectitude and the hectoring of an allegedly indolent middle class that characterised the approach of Turnbull’s biggest political opponent, former Liberal leader and ultra-conservative Tony Abbott. In its place has come many more positive and progressive ideas; such as the need for a budget to be equitable and for the government to be taking the lead in attracting investment to allow for the building of infrastructure. The obsession that previous Liberal economic ministers such as former treasurer Joe Hockey (gone, of course) and finance minister Mathias Cormann (still there, but noticeably absent from the post-budget campaign) had with privatisation as a means to achieving a reduction in the role of government has been abandoned. To re-enforce this notion that he is quite different from his Liberal predecessor, Turnbull (via Morrison) has gone so far as to appropriate policies and ideas of his formal opponent, the Labor party. The Gillard government’s approach to secondary education funding is now Turnbull policy, complete with David Gonski on board and with the additional element of the conservatives being prepared to wind back assistance to very wealthy schools. The spectacular U-turn implicit in this policy has caught the attention of commentators, and, partly as a result, has obscured the way the lower to middle-class tax burden has been increased thanks to changes to tertiary fee structures and the HECS repayment arrangements.A similar dynamic emerges in health policy. The Medicare levy is to rise, yet the headlines prefer to note the Coalition’s total appropriation of Labor’s NDIS policy and the removal of the freeze on Medicare payment rates to general practitioner services which, of course, seeks to state that the Coalition is as committed to nationalised health care as its Labor opponents. Perhaps the most spectacular feature of the budget is the government’s proposal to levy a tax on the four major banks. At one level this levy aims to address the need for the government to come up with a revenue stream that can underpin its claim to being in surplus some years hence, but the politics behind it can’t be ignored. This initiative also seeks to address anger at the banks that simmers in some of the Coalition’s core constituency who have a series of complaints about how the major banks handle everything from structuring business loans through to superannuation. The driving force here has been the National Party, although fear of what One Nation is doing to the Nationals’ constituency is clearly influencing the government’s approach. The prospect of the national government taking on the behemoths of the Australian financial services industry may be making political observers salivate in anticipation, but for everyone else the reality will be that, if this proposal is passed, the cost will simply be passed on to those consuming the services provided by the banks. If this is done by way of raising interest rates, the consequences may be severe for the economy especially if world economic recovery turns out to not be as strong as the Australian treasury predicts it to be. Rising interest rates might help retard the rate of increase in house prices in Melbourne and Sydney, but the increase in the cost of taking out a loan does very little to address the ‘housing affordability crisis’. The political imperatives surrounding this budget have thus been many and varied, and Morrison and Turnbull appear to have made a pretty good go at trying to address them all. There are railway lines, new rural financial corporations, and a promise to beat up the big banks to placate the Nationals and the restive regional and rural constituency that flirts with Pauline Hanson. There are commitments to Medicare and Gonski to try and gazump Labor’s attempt to scare voters in swinging seats with allegations that the conservatives want to close down the public sector, and there is an array of commitments to roads, railways, and airports to allow the prime minister to project himself as the builder of ‘infrastructure” and come across as a more positive and optimistic conservative than the Hobbesian version that emerged when Tony Abbott was prime minister.This is all cute politics, but there are dangers lurking. There will be an increase in the tax burden shouldered by average income earners, even though it has been carefully hidden behind rhetoric about the NDIS and a populist tilt at the big banks. Many of the infrastructure commitments are actually simply feasibility studies and some of the projects on the drawing board will need to be undertaken with the assistance of state governments. There is also the matter of the restive Senate. But perhaps the most intriguing thing of all will be how the government manages its relationship with the banking sector. Memories will flood back of Labor’s attempt to recast the tax regime with its ‘mining tax’ and the campaign the mining industry ran in response. The Morrison budget has thrown down the gauntlet with its proposed levy on the banks. It remains to be seen if the Turnbull government has the stomach for the big fight it has picked.
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Thessaloniki’s history as a multicultural city with a strong Jewish population is both well-known and little-explored. Before the Holocaust, Thessaloniki was home to 80,000 Jews. In 1943 under Nazi occupation some 60,000 Jews were sent to concentration camps and the rich cultural history almost obliterated. Mayor Yiannis Boutaris calls the loss of Thessaloniki’s Jews the “darkest moment in its history” and has long advocated for an exploration of this aspect of the city’s history. Last week he announced a plan to build a a Jewish school in the Baron Hirsch neighbourhood, the city’s old Jewish quarter. “It will be a school, not just for Jewish kids, and it will be done in the Hirsch area,” he told the press, explaining that the project will be partly funded by private stakeholders working alongside the municipality. Likewise, Thessaloniki’s new Holocaust Museum, which will enter development in January, will be funded jointly by Greece, the German state, and the Niarchos Foundation. The museum will be on a site overlooking the railway station from which the Jews were evacuated in WWII.
Autisme : l’âge avancé de la mère serait un facteur de risqueCalifornie – Une étude publiée dans la revue médicale Autism Research montre que le risque d’avoir un enfant autiste croît avec l’âge de la mère.Cette étude, réalisée sur 4,9 millions de naissances, remet en question les théories qui voulaient que le père d’âge avancé soit l’unique facteur décisif en ce qui concerne l’autisme de l’enfant. Pour tirer ces conclusions, les auteurs ont analysé toutes les naissances qui ont eu lieu entre le 1er janvier 1990 et le 31 décembre 1999 grâce aux actes d’état civil électroniques où étaient mentionnés les âges des deux parents. Selon eux, toutes les tranches de cinq ans, la femme a 18% de risque en plus de donner naissance à un futur enfant autiste. Ainsi, une femme de 40 ans aurait 50% de risques supplémentaires qu’une femme âgée de 25 à 30 ans. Le facteur paternel n’est pas pour autant exclu. Le père d’âge avancé est un facteur de risque seulement si la mère est âgée de moins de trente ans. Il y aurait alors deux fois plus de risque d’avoir un enfant autiste que si le père a entre 25 et 30 ans. L’étude dévoile que ces dix dernières années, les accouchements après 40 ans ont augmenté d’environ 300% et les diagnostics d’autisme de 600%. On peut toutefois noter que cette augmentation serait en partie due à un meilleur dépistage de la maladie. Maureen Durkin, chercheuse à l’université du Wisconsin, tient à préciser que le risque pour une femme de plus de 40 ans de donner naissance à un enfant autiste est tout de même inférieur à 4 pour 1.000. Cette étude pourrait bien faire changer la situation en France où le diagnostic de l’autisme est établi chez l’enfant seulement à partir de 3 ans. D’autres pays, notamment anglo-saxons, commencent à le faire dès 18 mois. Cela fait pourtant 40 ans que cette prise en charge tardive est restée la même dans l’Hexagone.Le 9 février 2010 à 13:00 • Emmanuel Perrin