The mystery of stinky whale had people talking at the world whaling

first_img A gray whale surfaces. 18 Comments Image: AP/Press Association Images Saturday 29 Oct 2016, 10:00 AM By AFP BETWEEN EXPLOSIVE DIPLOMATIC quarrels and pressing animal welfare concerns, world whaling talks came up against an unusual challenge this week, that of “stinky whales”.Experts and concerned parties wryly concede the problem is “weird”, but are quick to point out that for the people of Chukotka in Russia’s Far East, it is no laughing matter.The Chukchi community relies on gray whale meat for their survival.The problem is that in recent years some gray whales have developed a distinct chemical whiff that renders them inedible.“Even the dogs don’t eat this meat,” Valentin Ilyashenko, Russia’s deputy commissioner to the International Whaling Commission (IWC), told AFP at a commission meeting in Portoroz, Slovenia, on Wednesday.Russia asked the commission for a provision by which “stinky whales” can be excluded from the indigenous Chukchi people’s annual count of landed whales.The Chukchi receive a quota from the IWC for hunting gray whales, of which they landed 124 in 2014, according to IWC records.On average, about two or three “stinky whales” are landed per year, said Ilyashenko — one year there were ten in all.“It has a medical smell, like iodine,” he explained. “When you enter a pharmacy for example, but it’s of course stronger. Unnatural.”Sometimes the meat does not smell immediately, but only once it is boiled.Nobody knows why “The result of consumption of stinky whale meat is loss of feeling in the mouth, allergies and diarrhoea. But that doesn’t happen to everyone,” the Russian envoy said.According to Caterina Fortuna, chairwoman of the IWC’s scientific committee: “honestly, nobody knows exactly why (it’s happening)”.“It seems clearly to be a chemical problem, but nobody knows what kind of… compound causes this odour,” she said.Gray whales are listed as a species of “least concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, which keeps a “Red List” of animals at threat.Like all whales, the species is protected under a 30-year-old IWC moratorium on all but aboriginal subsistence and scientific hunts.Numbers have largely recovered after severe depletion by hunters in the 20th century.The Chukchi may take up to 140 gray whales, which can grow to 15 metres (50 feet) and weigh as much as 35 tonnes, every year.“The Russian Federation (has) a problem because these whales which stink, they are inedible,” said Fortuna.“These are whales which are taken as part of the quota, and if they are inedible clearly they cannot be ‘landed’,” on the record books.It’s a problem for them in terms of distributing meat in the villages there.Bottom feeders According to conservation group WWF, gray whales are primarily bottom feeders, filtering their food from ocean water through special “bristly” structures in their mouths.They stay close to the shore and feed in shallow waters.Ilyashenko said Chukchi whale hunters have learnt to identify “stinky whales” from afar — their unappetising whiff can sometimes be caught downwind when the massive mammals blow out air.But it is not always possible, and sometimes the offending funk is only discovered after the whale is killed and brought to shore.“The Chukotka hunters say that there are about 10% of such whales in the sea,” the Russian said.The IWC was asked to instruct its scientific committee to investigate the origins of the foulness, and for “stinky whales” not to be counted towards the Chukchi’s tally of landed whales.Several rounds of lab tests failed to identify the cause.Some seals, walruses and birds in the region, said Ilyashenko, “have the same problem. They are also stinky”.© – AFP 2016Read: Danny Healy-Rae says holes in the ozone layer were caused by ‘nuclear testing in the Pacific Ocean’ > Short URL 18,601 Views center_img Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Oct 29th 2016, 10:00 AM A gray whale surfaces. Image: AP/Press Association Images Share33 Tweet Email The mystery of ‘stinky whale’ had people talking at the world whaling conference For the people of Chukotka in Russia’s Far East, it’s no laughing matter.last_img read more

Boris Johnson refuses to rule out resignation over UKs Brexit stance

first_img By AFP 142 Comments Short URL Feb 14th 2018, 7:14 AM Boris Johnson refuses to rule out resignation over UK’s Brexit stance He said it “would be mad” to go through Brexit without taking advantage of “the economic freedom with it bring with it”. 27,458 Views Wednesday 14 Feb 2018, 3:08 PMcenter_img Boris Johnson Source: Victoria Jones/PA ImagesUpdated at 3.10pmUK FOREIGN SECRETARY Boris Johnson has called for Britain to completely throw off EU rules and to view Brexit as an opportunity, while refusing to deny he might quit if the government chose a different path.Johnson, a leading campaigner behind Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, used a speech in London to try to reassure the millions of Britons who wanted to stay by offering a positive vision of Brexit.He said the project’s success “will depend on what we make of it” – and said it would be “absurd” if Britain left the bloc only to align itself with all its rules in future, without having any say in them.“We would be mad to go through this process of extrication from the EU and not to take advantage of the economic freedom it will bring,” he said in a highly-anticipated speech at a think tank in London.“In a global marketplace… it seems extraordinary that the UK should remain lashed to the minute prescriptions of a regional trade bloc comprising only six percent of humanity,” he added.His call for a clean break with Brussels puts Johnson at odds with other members of Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet, not least her finance minister Philip Hammond, who wants Britain’s economy to diverge only “modestly” from the EU.Johnson dodged a question about whether he might resign if he disagrees with any deal struck with Brussels later this year, saying only: “We’re all lucky to serve.”His speech was the first of series of high-profile ministerial addresses on Brexit, as May’s divided government prepares for crucial talks with Brussels on the future trading relationship starting from April.‘Overarching European state’Johnson, viewed as a potential successor to May, has challenged her authority over Brexit several times, and admitted today that he risked causing some “irritation” with his latest speech.But said he felt the need to “reach out to those who still have anxieties” about the 2016 vote to end four decades of EU membership.He stressed that Britain had not turned in on itself, saying with typical flourish: “It’s not some great V-sign from the cliffs of Dover.”He said the vote was driven by a “legitimate and natural desire for self-government”, which was at odds with what he said was the EU’s main goal of creating “an overarching European state”.Johnson’s comments prompted a swift response from European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker, who said the idea of a European superstate was “total nonsense”.He also risked antagonising some of those he aimed to reassure by falling back on phrases used by the anti-Brexit side, saying that trying to stop the process would “frustrate the will of the people” and lead to “ineradicable feelings of betrayal”.Johnson also firmly rejected the idea of a second referendum, saying it would lead to “another year of turmoil and wrangling and feuding, in which the whole country would lose”.‘Project Fantasy’Today’s speech kicks off a series of coordinated ministerial addresses, which will include one by May on security issues in Munich on Saturday.Three other key cabinet ministers will follow over the subsequent two weeks, after which May will make a second address to the nation.Emphasising the benefits of leaving the EU, Johnson repeated a highly contested claim from the referendum campaign that Britain could use some funds currently sent to Brussels to pay for its state-run health service.Britons could also “fish our own fish”, cut sales-tax on domestic fuel and develop new regulations on stem cell technology, he said.However, he was accused of failing to be honest with the public about any economic consequences of leaving the EU’s single market and customs union.“The scaremongering, mistruths, lack of detail and utter disregard for the economic realities of Brexit were an alarming throwback to the referendum campaign,” said opposition Labour lawmaker Chuka Umunna.“More than 18 months since the referendum, this was simply more of the same Project Fantasy.”© – AFP, 2018Read: Trump’s lawyer admits to paying $130k to porn star linked to president but doesn’t say whyRead: Two Irish men are wanted in the UK in connection with the murder of an 87-year-old man As the clock ticks down, get all the best Brexit news and analysis in your inbox: Share100 Tweet Email Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Over 20 killed in multiple suicide bombings and attacks in Afghanistan

first_imgOver 20 killed in multiple suicide bombings and attacks in Afghanistan The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. Saturday 24 Feb 2018, 11:59 AM 2 Comments Security forces inspect in an explosion site in Lashkar Gah Image: Massoud Hossaini Image: Massoud Hossaini AT LEAST 23 people were killed and more than a dozen wounded in multiple suicide bombings and attacks in Afghanistan, officials said, the latest in a series of assaults in the war-torn country.In the biggest attack, Taliban militants stormed an army base in the western province of Farah overnight, killing at least 18 soldiers.“Last night a big group of militants attacked an army base in Bala Buluk district of Farah. Unfortunately, we lost 18 soldiers, two soldiers were wounded. We have sent more reinforcements to the area,” defence ministry spokesman Daulat Wazir said.The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. Deputy provincial governor Younus Rasooli said the authorities had sent a fact-finding delegation to Bala Buluk to investigate the assault.In another attack, a suicide bomber detonated his explosives near the diplomatic area of Kabul during the morning rush hour, killing at least three people and wounding five others, deputy interior ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi told AFP.“At around 8:30 am, a suicide bomber on foot, well-dressed with a necktie on, was identified at a checkpoint. He blew up his explosives, killing three and wounding five others,” he said, updating an earlier toll.A security source who requested not to be named said the explosion happened near a compound belonging to the National Directorate of Security (NDS), the Afghan intelligence agency. The NDS compound is located near the NATO headquarters and the US embassy.“I was driving nearby when I heard a big explosion, the windows of my car were smashed. I saw several wounded people on the street near me,” a witness told Tolonews TV adding that security forces had since swarmed the area, closing off the main road leading to the attack site.In December, a suicide attacker on foot blew himself up near the same compound, killing at least six civilians.There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the latest attack in Kabul, which in recent months has become one of the deadliest places in Afghanistan for civilians.Since mid-January, militants have stormed a luxury hotel, bombed a crowded street and raided a military compound in the capital, killing more than 130 people as the city remains on high alert fearing further violence.Car bombings Source: Xinhua News Agency/PA ImagesIn two other attacks in volatile southern Helmand province, suicide car bombs killed at least two soldiers and wounded more than a dozen others, officials said.In the first incident, militants used a Humvee to attack an army base in Nad Ali district but the vehicle was destroyed when soldiers identified it and hit it with a rocket propelled grenade, provincial spokesman Omar Zawak told AFP.“Unfortunately, two soldiers were killed in the attack and seven wounded,” he said.The Nad Ali attack was followed by a second suicide car bombing in the provincial capital Lashkar Gah that wounded seven people.The attack was against an NDS compound and near a police headquarters in the city, Helmand police spokesman Salaam Afghan told AFP.The Taliban claimed both attacks in Helmand.Militants including the Taliban and the Islamic State group have stepped up their attacks on beleaguered Afghan troops and police in recent months, sapping morale already hit by desertions and corruption.Afghan soldiers have taken what the UN describes as “shocking” casualties since international forces ended their combat role at the end of 2014, though troop casualty figures are no longer released.© – AFP 2018Read: Explainer: Why UK Brexiteers have been told to ‘sod off’ away from the Good Friday Agreement > Feb 24th 2018, 11:59 AM center_img By AFP Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Short URL Security forces inspect in an explosion site in Lashkar Gah 3,630 Views Share Tweet Email last_img read more

A pint a day How to make sure your real tree stays

first_img 19 Comments ‘A pint a day’: How to make sure your real tree stays fresh until Christmas this year The Irish Christmas Tree Growers Association estimates 44% of us will buy a real tree this year. Share8 Tweet Email1 Short URL Source: The Killakee Christmas Tree Farm“To keep the tree smelling as nicely as it does, you need to bring it indoors immediately,” she said. “Definitely put it into water and keep it sheltered. Don’t leave it sitting.”Next, the base of the tree has to be cut to allow it to be mounted onto a stand. The best stand for this is a water stand, but a large bowl full of water near the tree can help if you opt for a different stand.“Leave the netting on until it’s in situ on the stand to prevent damage to branches,” Morton said. “Bring it through the door base-first, and make sure it’s submerged in water within eight hours of being cut.”Keeping it away from heat sources is important too, but Morton acknowledges this is not always easy in Irish homes. “It is a plant and it needs to be treated as such. Don’t put it next to a radiator, or at least have it off when people aren’t in the room.”And, as for maintenance to make sure the tree stays green and fresh ahead of the big day, at least a “pint a day” of water is required.“Keep an eye on it,” Morton added. “Make sure the base is covered and make sure the bowl is replenished.”The busiest period for buying Christmas trees is set to take hold over the next week, and Morton expects demand to persist right up to Christmas eve.“Then we’ll put up our own tree,” she said.Read: Poll: When’s the right time to put up your Christmas tree?Read: Gardaí to step up patrols targeting Christmas tree thieves Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article EVERYTHING FROM CHOOSING the right tree, finding the right space in your home and keeping it well watered are just some of the ways we can make sure that our Christmas tree lasts longer. Source: Shutterstock/Peter GudellaAccording to a survey conducted for the Irish Christmas Tree Growers Association, 44% of people will have a real Christmas tree at home this year, while almost two thirds say they like the feel of a real tree in the spoke to Karen Morton, from The Killakee Christmas Tree Farm in the Dublin mountains, to find out how you can ensure that tree stays green and healthy throughout the Christmas period.“There’s a perfect tree for everyone,” she explained, “but getting it home can be a worry”.Wrapping the tree in netting before it gets transported is an effective way to make sure the branches don’t get damaged en route. When you bring the tree home, there’s a few things that need to be done.center_img 19,034 Views By Sean Murray Saturday 3 Dec 2016, 10:00 AM Dec 3rd 2016, 10:00 AM last_img read more

Italian president asks Renzi to stick around until a budget is passed

first_img 6 Comments Share4 Tweet Email Dec 6th 2016, 7:54 AM Image: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/PA ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER Matteo Renzi formally resigned after a crushing referendum defeat that has sent shockwaves around Europe – though his departure will be delayed by a final task, passing a budget.Renzi handed his resignation to President Sergio Mattarella after Italians resoundingly rejected his constitutional reform proposals in Sunday’s referendum, to the delight of the country’s populist leaders, fresh after Brexit and Donald Trump’s US victory.The departure of the centre-left premier – who had staked his future on the outcome of the vote — plunges Italy into political uncertainty and casts a shadow over the future of the eurozone’s third-largest economy.In an apparent bid to ease investor fears, the presidency said in a statement that Mattarella had “asked the prime minister to postpone his resignation” until the 2017 budget has been passed, a move expected by the end of the week, according to Italian media.The government has already won a vote of confidence on the budget in the lower house of parliament.Difficult daysRenzi, who in 2014 became Italy’s youngest-ever premier, was left with no option but to quit after his proposals to streamline parliament were rejected by voters by a decisive 59-41 percent margin.The 41-year-old former mayor of Florence, who came to power promising radical reform, defended his record.“1,000 difficult but wonderful days. Thanks to everyone. Viva l’Italia,” he wrote on Facebook.Italian media said he told his cabinet he had agreed to see the budget passed before his departure “out of a sense of responsibility”.Landmark moment? Holger Schmieding, at the Berenberg private bank, said the risk that Italy could choose to leave the euro, while still remote, had increased.Capital Economics said: “Italy has taken the first step along a path that could lead it out of the eurozone.”US Secretary of State John Kerry, speaking in Berlin yesterday at the start of his European farewell tour, said the victory for the No camp reflected the “anxieties” sweeping Western democracies.An anti-establishment vote The vote inevitably became something of a referendum on Renzi’s personality and record after his pledge to stand down should he lose, and an opportunity for some to express wider frustrations.Populists across Europe rejoiced at his downfall, with the founder of Italy’s own anti-establishment Five Star movement Beppe Grillo calling for an election “within a week”.Giovanni Orsina, professor of politics at Rome’s Luiss university, said four out of five voters had cast their vote politically rather than on the merits of the reform.“The vote has broad similarities with the Brexit and Trump phenomena,” he said. “The electorate voted against the establishment, against Brussels. They didn’t get into the subtleties.”Poll data showed the No vote was strongest in areas with high unemployment, in the relatively poor south and among young voters, pointing to a correlation with levels of discontent.Britain’s eurosceptic Nigel Farage, who spearheaded the “Brexit” campaign, said the vote appeared to have been “more about the euro than constitutional change”.But Lorenzo Codogno, former chief economist at the Italian Treasury Department, insisted: “The outcome of the referendum is much more complex and nuanced than ‘just another wave of protest across the globe’.”Padoan favourite for new PM Most analysts see immediate elections as unlikely.The most probable scenario is a caretaker administration dominated by Renzi’s Democratic Party taking over before an election that has to take place by March 2018.Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan was installed as the bookmakers’ favourite to succeed Renzi as prime minister, with Senate speaker Pietro Grasso, a veteran anti-mafia prosecutor, running in second place.Renzi, meanwhile, may try to stay on as head of his party, which would leave him well placed for a potential comeback to frontline politics at the next election. But he faces resistance to that scenario from the many enemies he has made while in office.- © AFP 2016.Read: Italian prime minister resigns after crushing referendum defeat>Read: Donald Trump and Al Gore have “extremely interesting conversation” about climate change> 4,129 Views By AFP Image: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/PA Short URL Italian president asks Renzi to stick around until a budget is passed Renzi resigned after a voters rejected his constitutional reform proposals in a referendum on Sunday. Tuesday 6 Dec 2016, 7:54 AM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Minister reveals that over 6000 children in State care

first_img By Darragh McDonagh Minister reveals that over 6,000 children in State care The number of children in care has risen by almost 20% during the past decade. Thursday 9 Feb 2017, 6:43 AM Share40 Tweet Email2 Minister for Children, Katherine Zappone. Minister for Children, Katherine Zappone. Image: Eamonn Farrell/ Feb 9th 2017, 6:43 AM Another crucial piece of the puzzle is supporting families sooner to prevent problems escalating which can in turn lead to children being removed from their care.“Offering parents support to improve their parenting capacity and skills is vital to enhancing children’s outcomes. The value of early intervention supports should not be underestimated and should be invested in more widely.”Read: ‘Letting agencies said that a landlord will never chose me in the rental lottery because I have kids’ >Read: ‘We’re very worried’: Locals react as HP Inc to shut with loss of 500 jobs > Short URL 13 Comments Image: Eamonn Farrell/ THERE WERE 6,276 children in the care of the State at the end of last November, according to figures released by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs.The majority of these are living in foster homes, while others are accommodated in state-run or private residential centres across the country.The figures were provided by Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone this week in response to a parliamentary question from Fianna Fáil spokesperson Anne Rabbitte.The number of children in care has risen by almost 20% during the past decade, although the most recent figures represent a reduction of 241 since 2014.“The latest figures from Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, indicate that at the end of November 2016, there were 6,276 children in care,” said Zappone.A total of 325 of these children are accommodated in residential centres – 151 in state-run centres, and 174 run by private or voluntary organisations.Support“Residential care is usually for older children, where their needs may not be met in foster care or where this is their preferred placement,” said the Children’s Minister in her response.“In general, these centres are based in domestic-style homes in the community, catering for two or three older children and staffed by social care workers to attend to the needs of the child.”Private residential centres are subject to registration and inspection by Tusla. There are as many as 100 such centres located across four Tusla administrative regions covering the State.“A child is placed in a residential setting only when they have an identified need that can be met by this service or for an intensive assessment or provision of specialist services,” explained Zappone.Breakdown“Some of the young people in residential care will have come into care recently, while others may have experienced the breakdown of other care placements, including foster care.“Specialist supports are also routinely made available, as needed, and many centres have specialised skillsets and therapeutic modalities.”June Tinsley, head of advocacy with children’s charity Barnardos Head said the system of service provision must be capable of meeting the needs of children in its care.“This means all children and young people having a personalised care plan which is implementable, assigned social workers to offer consistent support to them and their foster families, availability and access to additional supports (when needed) and a clear aftercare plan to support the transition to independent adulthood,” she said. 9,181 Views Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

McGuinness on his IRA past I fought against the British Army on

first_img 49 Comments Share80 Tweet Email4 Mar 21st 2017, 8:31 PM Source: Short URL 14,302 Views MARTIN MCGUINNESS BECAME frustrated with questions about his IRA past when he ran as a candidate in the 2011 Presidential Election. “Most Irish journalists, if Nelson Mandela was sitting in front of them, would not go down this line of questioning,” he told reporters at one point.“I have never tried to pull the wool over people’s eyes about my history,” he said in an interview with in December 2015. And for the record, he added, he would never compare himself with the former South African president.McGuinness had taken on a leadership role within the IRA by his early 20s and was second-in-command in the organisation in Derry around the time of Bloody Sunday in 1972. He had grown up as one of seven children, and gravitated to the nascent civil rights movement in his youth.Asked why he never talked about shooting anybody or individual incidents, McGuinness often gave a similar answer – that he was reluctant to provide sensationalist headlines. “I fought against the British Army on the streets of Derry and I don’t make any apology […] about that,” he told us.The then-Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister also spoke about his hopes for a positive working partnership with Arlene Foster, who was about to replace Peter Robinson as DUP leader and as McGuinness’s opposite number in the Stormont executive.By Daragh Brophy, video by Nicky Ryan. Original interview by Hugh O’Connell, video by Michelle Hennessy.Related ‘He served the people of Northern Ireland’: Tributes to Martin McGuinness >Read: What happened when Martin McGuinness met the Queen of England > Subscribe for more videos By Team Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Tuesday 21 Mar 2017, 8:31 PM McGuinness on his IRA past: ‘I fought against the British Army on the streets of Derry’ “I have never tried to pull the wool over people’s eyes about my history,” he said in a 2015 interview. last_img read more

Paris police chief fired following yellow vest riots on ChampsElysées

first_imgParis police chief fired following yellow vest riots on Champs-Elysées About 5,000 police were deployed in the capital on Saturday to deal with the protests. Numbers downSince the end of December, the number of “yellow vest” protesters has fallen.However, every Saturday thousands would still take to the streets, including far-right and far-left groups as well as anarchists who are responsible for much of the violence.Some have called for French police to be far more active in tackling the protestors. “You have to take responsibility and engage, with the possibility that people will get hurt,” a member of the Alliance police union said. A damaged shop on the Champs-Elysées following a weekend of riots Source: Pauletto Francois/Avenir Pictures/ABACA via PA ImagesAlthough some protesters have been injured by the rubber bullets, so far nobody has been killed in clashes with police. Officials, however, say the risk would increase if officers charged the hostile crowds.‘Less reactive’Critics have said that after more than three months of weekly protests, the government now needed to drastically rethink its approach for stamping out the rioting.Junior Interior Minister Laurent Nunez admitted on RTL radio today that police “were less aggressive, less reactive than usual” over the weekend, promising a review of the instructions given to officers and their deployment.While seen as too lax on Saturday, French authorities have been accused on other weekends of being too heavy-handed, highlighting the difficulty of managing the crisis for the government. The scenes during the yellow vest protest in Paris over the weekend Source: Pauletto Francois/Avenir Pictures/ABACA via PA ImagesThe UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet called for a “full investigation” into the possible use of excessive force by French police during the protests in an address earlier this month.Since the demonstrations began on 17 November, some 1,900 people have been hurt, including dozens who have suffered serious injuries from stun grenades or rubber bullets fired by police.Includes reporting by – © AFP 2019 Police attended the scene of the yellow vest protest in Paris Source: Boivin Samuel/ABACA via PA ImagesTHE TOP POLICE chief in Paris has been fired following another weekend of rioting in the capital during “yellow vest” protests.About 5,000 police were deployed in the capital on Saturday, far outnumbering the several hundred rioters who caused havoc for more than seven hours on the famed Champs-Elysees.This led to French President Emmanuel Macron cutting short his skiing holiday to meet top ministers to discuss the 18th consecutive Saturday of “yellow vest” demonstrations.“The events of last Saturday, in particular on the Champs-Elysees, were unacceptable and the president asked the government to provide a response that was up to the needs of the situation,” Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said in a televised statement.He criticised “inappropriate” instructions on the use of rubber bullets given to security forces. Yellow vest protestors hit French city streets again on Saturday for a 18th consecutive week of nationwide protest Source: Lafargue Raphael/ABACA via PA ImagesPhilippe also announced that the head of Paris police, Michel Delpuech (66), had been fired and that he would be replaced on Wednesday.He added that French authorities would ban demonstrations on the Champs-Elysees and other areas of the country if hooligans were detected there.He also said fines would be increased from €38 to €135 for people attending unauthorised protests.More than 100 businesses were damaged at the weekend in Paris, including dozens of luxury shops and restaurants on the Champs-Elysees. People walk in front of a damaged newspaper stand after a yellow vests demonstration Source: Sebadelha Julie/ABACA via PA ImagesReacting to Saturday’s events, Macron tweeted: “There are people today who try by all means… to damage the Republic by breaking, by destroying things at the risk of killing someone.” He said that “all those who were there were complicit in” the havoc spread across the Champs-Elysees. 33,720 Views Source: Emmanuel Macron/Twitter Short URL Beaucoup de choses ont été faites depuis novembre, mais la journée d’aujourd’hui montre que sur ces sujets-là nous n’y sommes pas. Je veux qu’on prenne dans les meilleurs délais des décisions fortes pour que cela n’advienne plus.— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) March 16, 2019center_img Monday 18 Mar 2019, 6:29 PM Share188 Tweet Email By Hayley Halpin 42 Comments Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Mar 18th 2019, 6:29 PM last_img read more

Irish Rail to bump up security on north Dublin Dart line after

first_img Jun 22nd 2018, 11:13 AM By Cianan Brennan Short URL Irish Rail to bump up security on north Dublin Dart line after reports of anti-social behaviour Incidents of intimidating and threatening behaviour have become commonplace on the northern line in recent weeks. 20,450 Views 38 Comments As a result, on top of previous increases in security patrols, we will immediately be deploying an additional security team on the northside Dart from this evening,  expanding resources at our remote monitoring centre which covers CCTV across the Dart, continuing liaisons with Gardaí and planning some station modifications to address trespass issues.It’s believed that escalating incidents at Harmonstown and Kilbarrack stations are a particular cause for concern.“It will be a static security detail, operating from 5pm until close of business,” National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) general secretary Dermot O’Leary told’re hoping that the extra security will work. But if it doesn’t thaen the safety of our drivers and customers comes first.“We have no compunction about withdrawing services if necessary,” said O’Leary, adding that the forthcoming warm weather spell forecast for next week is a cause for concern, given the flashpoints that such weather often brings with it.center_img Share75 Tweet Email2 Source: Leah Farrell/Rollingnews.ieIRISH RAIL IS to beef up security on its north Dublin dart services after passengers and drivers complained of incidents of anti-social behaviour on the line.Drivers had threatened to boycott weekend services on the route due to the worsening nature of the situation seen in recent weeks.A deal has now been reached between unions and Irish Rail for security to be boosted after 5pm on services operating north of Connolly Station.“We have been liaising with drivers and representatives to get their insight on the issues faced from anti-social behaviour and to enhance security at key locations to ensure we maintain a safe environment for customers and staff,” an Irish Rail spokesperson said. Friday 22 Jun 2018, 11:13 AM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article last_img read more

No reform no aid says ECB

first_img“Greece will not receive any more financial aid if it does not stick to the agreed bailout deal”, European Central Bank policymaker and head of Germany’s Bundesbank Jens Weidmann was quoted as saying on Saturday.He also told Sueddeutsche Zeitung in an interview that an exit from the euro zone would have a bigger impact on Greece than on the rest of the bloc.“For Greece the consequences would be much more grave than for the rest of the euro zone,” he said. “I think it is too simple to think Greece’s problems would be solved by leaving the euro area.”“If Athens does not stand by its word, then that’s a democratic decision. The result is that there is no more basis for further financial aid,” Weidmann said, echoing similar comments from German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle.“The donor countries also have to justify themselves toward their own population,” Weidmann said.The ECB should stick to its mandate of preserving price stability and it would be “dangerous” to change the bank’s mandate, he said. French president-elect Francois Hollande had called for more support for growth from the ECB.Weidmann gave no indication that the ECB would intervene in the bond market again anytime soon, but said it was still too early to withdraw the bank’s emergency support measures – a move that should be discussed nonetheless.The ECB has hardly made use of its bond purchase programme since Mario Draghi took over as president in November and has not bought any bonds for eight weeks in a row despite rising refinancing costs in Spain as it struggles to get its budget under control. “It is clear that the time for the exit has not come yet, but should not be missed either,” Weidmann said.“(The bond buying programme) is dormant, but can be reactivated. That is the situation, but you know my position,” said Weidmann, who opposes the programme, saying it ventures too far into the arena of state financing – a taboo for the ECB.Weidmann was also critical of any possible direct aid for euro zone banks from the European rescue fund.“To communities risks without states giving up national sovereignty – this undermines the foundation for stability,” he said.Source: Reuters Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

MPs sworn in various differences to be settled

first_imgThe deputies voted to Parliament in the June 17 elections were sworn in during a straightforward ceremony. New Democracy has proposed that former Defence Minister Evangelos Meimarakis be elected speaker of the House but leftist SYRIZA and right-wing Independent Greeks are thought to oppose the nomination, which needs 151 of 300 votes to pass. Some members of the ND-PASOK-Democratic Left coalition, which has a total of 179 seats, may also vote against Meimarakis, prompting further nominations and votes and some embarrassment for Prime Minister Antonis Samaras. Another testing moment for the coalition will come when Parliament has to decide whether to approve the neofascist Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn) party’s choice for deputy speaker. Under House rules, each of the seven parties in Parliament is allowed to have a deputy speaker. However, this is not a constitutional right and any candidate requires the approval of at least 75 MPs. Golden Dawn only has 18 MPs and would require the support of others for its candidate to be elected. Once elected, the new speaker will have to settle a dispute between SYRIZA and the Communist Party (KKE) over seating arrangements. KKE wants to sit in the same place it has been since 1974, which is in the front left rows of the debating chamber. But SYRIZA believes that as the main opposition party, its deputies should be seated in the front rows. Samaras is due to present the government’s policy program on Wednesday or Thursday next week but will first have to get the all-clear from his doctors. Samaras, who underwent an operation to a damaged retina on Saturday, is due to be examined on Sunday. Sources told Kathimerini that privatisations are going to form a key part of the plan Samaras will present. The prime minister wants to send a message that his government is determined to meet, and if possible exceed, the sell-off revenue targets agreed with Greece’s lenders. The privatisation of the Hellenic Railways Organisation (OSE) and subsidiaries of ATEbank will be priorities. Source: Kathimerini Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Weigh up your credit card options carefully

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Banks and other financial institutions have cut credit card interest rates over the last year, but not by as much as mortgage interest rates have fallen.Credit card interest rates have come down by just over half of the cuts in the Reserve Bank’s official cash rate, according to research published in The Journal of the Asia Pacific Economy.Official interest rates have been cut to historic lows of 2.75 per cent but many cards have failed to cut their rates at all.Credit cards users need to shop around carefully to find the best value card for their needs, weighing up the rate on offer, the fees charged and other features such as rewards.Source: read more

Property investors look to Greece

first_imgUp to 3,000 upmarket homes are set to be sold to non-European Union citizens wishing to invest in the Greek market in order to acquire a five-year residence permit in Greece. This investment incentive (which is conditional on a minimum of 250,000 euros being spent on property), has drawn strong interest from Chinese, American and Russian buyers and investors over the last few months. Investors can buy more than one property in order to reach the amount required. Estate agents say they have been approached by foreign agencies to that end, and estimate that the required amount of properties will be hard to find in the local market despite the surplus of over 200,000 unsold homes across the country. Theologos Bosdas, head of the Greek branch of German estate agency Engel & Volkers, says: “We do not have a sufficient number of properties, as construction in Greece is fragmented. There are not enough homes per seller or builder to satisfy that specific category of buyers.” Source: ekathimerini Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Term deposit premium rates falling

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The banks are tightening the squeeze on depositors as they adjust to sluggish lending by reducing the premium above wholesale money market rates that they’ve been paying on term deposits from 1.25 per cent at the start of the year to 0.75 per cent now.Banks are no longer desperate to pull in more money, as potential home buyers are showing an aversion to debt. The cost of borrowing offshore for the banks has also dropped.Source: The Agelast_img

Embattled bishop resigns

first_imgProkopios Kanavas, former Bishop of St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Adelaide, and Bishop of the Greek Orthodox Community of South Australia (GOCSA), has resigned. The resignation follows three attempts to quit this position that weren’t accepted by the GOCSA. Yet Friday nights resignation was final and now, Mr Kanavas is no longer serving the parishioners of St Nicholas.Since being ordained as bishop in August 13, 2013, he says that there has been a distinct lack of communication between himself and the executive committee of GOCSA. “I’ve tried hard to solve many issues since my ordination,” Bishop Prokopios tells Neos Kosmos.“I was trying to build good relationships between myself and the executive committee and to have a better understanding of the ecclesiastical issues and how we can work together.”He says he felt as though he was treated as “an employee” and not as a Christian leader of the Orthodox church. “[GOCSA] think the priests, the bishops are employees which is against the Orthodox church standards, a bishop or a priest can not be an employee,” he says, adding that a priest comes to this role as a divine calling and not the work of man. “All the time they tried to push me aside and make their own decisions.”Mr Kanavas says that when he’d try to mentor a priest, and instruct them on how to serve, he would notice they would do the opposite to what he told them, and that the priests would in fact follow the instructions and advice given to them by the president of GOCSA, Mr John Lessos, or someone else from the board.“[GOCSA] don’t understand how a church works,” he says, “they think the employee should obey the employer.”Mr Kanavas says in his 14 years of serving the church he had never felt like “an employee” until being employed by GOCSA. “I serve the office of church and I think I have made the right decision because as a bishop, cleric, as a Christian Orthodox we have to protect our faith and what our church says and our church says to serve the people and Jesus Christ and to follow his commandments – not an employer.”When asked about his parishioners and how they’ve taken the news to his resignation, he says that they are all “very sad”. But he is standing by his decision so as to not bring any further scandal to the church during Holy Week. Mr Kanavas says he may pursue another role with the church in a year, but whether that will be in Adelaide or whether it will be with the Greek Orthodox Community of SA or the Archdiocese, he says he isn’t sure. “‘I haven’t had an offer at the moment,” he says.Mr Kanavas was previously sacked as an SA Police chaplain. Allegations have also been raised about discrepancies over his tertiary qualifications.Neos Kosmos contacted the Greek Community of South Australia’s president Mr John Lesses but by the time this article went was published, Mr Lesses or any members of GOCSA had not responded to the interview requests. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Greek Embassy in Berlin without representative

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Even as relations between Athens and Berlin come under strain due to tough bailout negotiations, Greece’s embassy in Germany has been without a representative for months.The embassy in Berlin has been headless since the current envoy was called back two months ago due to apparent problems in communicating with the Greek Foreign Ministry. There were also issues with the previous government’s diplomat in Berlin.The current ambassador, Panos Kalogeropoulos, was called back to Athens more than two months ago after Greek authorities appeared unsatisfied with his performance. According to one version of events, the envoy allegedly disputed some decisions by Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias. Other sources claim Kalogeropoulos was unable to create the network of contacts required to gain a satisfactory grasp of German foreign policy.There had been problems at the embassy before Kalogeropoulos assumed his post in January. His predecessor, Giorgos Zografos, quit in September last year after being left out of meetings during a visit to Berlin by then Premier Antonis Samaras.Kalogeropoulos, who is expected to assume his next post in New Delhi, is to replaced in Berlin by Theodoros Daskarolis, who is currently stationed in Malta, Kathimerini understands.Source: Kathimerinilast_img read more

Arabbacked fund signs 434m deal to buy luxury Greek resort

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Greece’s privatisation agency said it signed a €400 million ($434.3 million) deal with Jermyn Street Real Estate Fund to sell Astir Palace, a luxury seaside resort outside Athens.Greece’s top administrative court had blocked the sale of the Astir Palace hotel complex in March, saying the town planning scheme that Greece submitted violated Greek law, as the construction of a large number of residential buildings would harm the natural and urban environment.“Jermyn Street Real Estate Fund has signed the new agreement to submit the amended special zoning and spatial plan for the development of Astir Palace,” the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) said.The fund represents investors from Turkey, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Kuwait and other emirates.The agency said the agreement ensured that the fund’s development plan for the resort was adjusted to the court’s opinion.“The whole process is expected to be completed within the first half of 2016,” HRADF said.The agency is expected to cash in about €100 million from the deal. The rest of the proceeds will go to National Bank, Greece’s largest lender, which owns about 85 per cent of the resort.Privatisations have been a key condition of Greece’s international bailouts since 2010, but its state asset sales scheme has produced poor revenues due to bureaucratic delays and lack of political will.So far, Athens has raised only about €3.5 billion from state asset sales versus an original target of €50 billion.last_img read more

Parthenon Marbles resurgence

first_imgIn recent developments for the return of the Parthenon Marbles, the Athens government has made a desirable offer; to loan, on a recurring and long-term basis, rare archaeological treasures from Greek museums in exchange for the return of the Marbles from the British Museum.The request has been made as a symbolic act in the fight against anti-democratic forces that appear to be on the rise and seeking “the dissolution of Europe”.“The reunification of the Parthenon Marbles will be a symbolic act that will highlight the fight against the forces that undermine the values and foundations of the European case against those seeking the dissolution of Europe,” said Lydia Koniordou, the Greek Minister of Culture and Sport. “The Parthenon monument represents a symbol of Western civilisation. It is the emblem of democracy, dialogue and freedom of thought.”Greece has a number of art works dating back to antiquity, including the ‘golden mask of Agamemnon’ and the statue of Zeus/Poseidon, which if loaned to Britain would likely draw great interest.In an official statement the International Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures (IARPS) said the Greek government had clearly made the offer in the “true spirit of compromise”. “Greece and its supporters will not rest until all the known surviving sculptural elements from the Parthenon are reunited in the Acropolis Museum in full view of the monument which they once adorned,” the IARPS said.Andrew George, chairman of the British Association for the Reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures, said agreeing to return the sculptures on these terms would only help the UK to rebuild its reputation in the region following the controversial Brexit vote.“Britain has nothing to lose but a deeply damaged reputation – having clung on for over 200 years to such important artefacts which were stolen from the Greeks when they could do nothing to stop it – and has much to gain at the very time Britain’s reputation needs enhancing amongst those countries it wants to do a deal with,” Mr George said.The Marbles were taken from Greece more than 200 years ago by Lord Elgin, when the country was still part of the Ottoman Empire, where they once adorned the Parthenon temple built by the world’s first democracy some 2,500 years ago. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Vatskalis runs for Darwin mayor

first_imgCephalonia-born Kon Vatskalis has told electors in Darwin that if elected to the office of Lord Mayor next month he will mend Darwin City Council’s “lack of connection with the public.”Promising to “make Darwin alive again” the former NT Government MP and minister told Neos Kosmos: “I’m running on a theme of ‘change’. Many in the community are not happy with the way Darwin is heading. We believe that much more has to be done for the city to grow and thrive.”Running against sitting Lord Mayor Katrina Fong Lim who has held the post since 2012, Mr Vatskalis has put forward a ‘five-point plan’ which includes reinvigorating Darwin CBD, giving the council more clout in planning decisions, more upgrades to public areas, and a greater focus on environmental sustainability. His platform also includes a promise to create a ‘Senior’s Office’ that will work with NGOs and the NT government to better co-ordinate services to the elderly. Mr Vatskalis has vowed to improve what he says is the council’s ‘failed’ record on addressing public concerns.“There has been a lack of connection with the public . . and the council has failed by a lack of common sense and not making decisions – instead having ‘talk-fests’. There’s been a lack of focus and vision. This has to change, and the time has come.”As an NT government minister Mr Vatskalis previously headed a slew of portfolios including Health, Business and Economic Development, Essential Services, and Children and Families.Since his retirement from Territory politics in 2014 his appointments have included Regional Director NT for the Leukaemia Foundation and public officer of the Greek Orthodox Community of Northern Australia.Keen to present his non- party political motivations in his bid to become mayor, the former Labor minister said: “I’m standing as a citizen who cares for Darwin, and I will do so passionately.”“If I have a blue with the [Labor-controlled] NT Government in support of the people of Darwin, I bloody well will!”The Darwin City Council election will take place on Saturday 26 August. Other candidates include aldermen Mick Palmer and Gary Haslett, and One Territory leader Braedon Earley. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Australias First People to welcome Greek elders on Australia Day

first_imgEven though what most of White Australia recognises as Australia Day is a day of national mourning for the country’s Indigenous people, First People’s representatives have chosen this date to welcome Greek Immigrants to Australia.The Association of Greek Elderly Citizen Clubs of Melbourne and Victoria celebrates its 35th birthday this year and an Indigenous committee will meet the Greek elders at Rye Pier this Sunday, 20 January 2019.In a symbolic move that holds special significance, the Aborigines who have always maintained close relations with the Greek Australian population will mark the connection between the two peoples honouring the long standing relationship.According to the Association’s President Giannis Kostoulias, the Indigenous Committee recognises that Greeks did not come to Australia to conquer it, but as immigrants, out of need, and have always respected first nations.At the moment there are 100 Greek Elderly Citizen Clubs in the state while the overall number of members exceeds 20,000.“There will be something for everyone. Glendi, food, games, fun,” Mr Kostoulias told Neos Kosmos, inviting the Greek Community to attend.“The event takes place to celebrate Australia Day, however, we see to recognise the Indigenous nations as Australia’s first people and we wish to honour them at every opportunity we get.” Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more