Category Archives: News

news as it is happening-ish

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Independent candidate and erstwhile Jim Wells cheerleader Susan-Anne White invites uproar at the West Tyrone Decides debate at Omagh’s Strule Arts Centre on Tuesday.

The action starts around the 90 second mark.

Uproar over West Tyrone candidate’s ‘gay abuse’ comments (Ulster Herald)

Previously: Correctness Gone Mad

(Pic: Ryan McAleer)

(H/T: Nevan Riley)

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Graham Dwyer (top) and a statement released by his solicitors this evening

Graham Dwyer closed his eyes and shook his head slightly when verdict was delivered.

Sentencing and victim impact statements will be dealt with on 20 April.

The sentence for murder is mandatory life in prison.

Dwyer guilty of murdering Elaine O’Hara (RTE News)

Statement pic via Conor Gallagher

(H/T: Kevin Whitty, Spaghetti Hoop)

david_carr_shane_snow_spielDavid Carr (left) at the Spiel event in Dublin during last year’s web summit with tech entrepreneur Shane Snow

I am sorry to have to tell you that our wonderful, esteemed colleague David Carr died suddenly tonight after collapsing in the newsroom. A group of us were with his wife, Jill, and one of his daughters, at the hospital. His daughter Erin said he was special, and that he was.

He was the finest media reporter of his generation, a remarkable and funny man who was one of the leaders of our newsroom. He was our biggest champion, and his unending passion for journalism and for truth will be missed by his family at The Times, by his readers around the world, and by people who love journalism.

An email sent by Dean Baquet, editor at the New York Times, informing staff of the death of David Carr.

David Carr, Times Critic and Champion of Media, Dies at 58 (New York Times)

Previously: Turning Down Isis And Taking On The Man

The Daily Beast


Word of the day: kleptocracy (from the Greek κλέπτης – kleptēs, “thief” and κράτος – kratos, “power, rule).

He acknowledges that the Greek economy is still inefficient, inadequately competitive, hobbled by corruption. But he believes that only a brand new party like Syriza, even one on the left as it is, can be trusted to break up oligopolies and introduce more competition into product and labour markets. How so? Well it is because he and his Syriza colleagues are outsiders, untainted by connections to the wealthy tax-avoiding elite, lacking in connections to corporate vested interests. If Syriza is in power for a year, it too will become captured by the kleptocracy, he fears, so he wants his government to reform swiftly. His message therefore to Mrs Merkel is that he and she have more in common than she may recognise.

READ ON: Why Syriiza wants a five month cool off (Robert Peston in conversation with Greek Finance minister Yanis Voroufakis, BBC News)

(Pic: Getty)

(H/T: Timboktu Cedarlounge)

Francois Hollande pays tribute to the police officers killed in the recent attacksFrançois Hollande at the funeral of officers killed in last week’s Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris

Irish expat David Burns writes:

[Police officer who tried to apprehend terrorists on Boulevard Richard le Noir was buried today — received Légion d’Honneur. Wrote the attached because I cycle past where he died every day now…]

When can you justify killing another human being? When it’s in self defence? Whenit’s to protect the lives of others? To defend a cause? Last Wednesday, three men burst into the Paris-based office of a small French weekly called Charlie Hebdo and started shooting at unarmed cartoonists. 17 people are now dead because gun-wielding extremists believed it right to kill people for an ideology. If you live here, your relation to violence has been completely changed by that— changed utterly.

A significant amount of people started defending last week’s bloodshed before those murdered could even be given a funeral. The apologists ranged from the pseudo-intellectual type to the brutally ignorant. All remained unconvincing. What excuse can there be for violence against the non-violent? For shooting cartoonists? You could understand a debate on the merits of Charlie Hebdo as a satirical publication.

Last Friday, the French press reported with outrage the refusal of certain schoolkids to rally behind the slogan for national unity: “Je suis Charlie”. At the same time though, you could understand it. Muslims unwilling to rally to the name of a magazine that had long ridiculed Muhammad; students questioning authority; young people from disadvantaged areas rejecting long overdue invitations to play a part in French society — all of that constitutes an understandable reaction to current events. But posting messages which condone or call for violence against unbelievers? Celebrating the “heroism” of radical men prepared to kill for their religion or their cause? That is beyond the bounds of reasonable or understanding. I cannot agree to it. Or anything like it.

In Ireland, we are about to celebrate 1916. If you’d been here the last few days, you wouldn’t see anything to celebrate about it. There is nothing inspiring about armed radicals with bullets. Not even when they’re proclaiming a republic. Former Taoiseach John Bruton came under fire last year for saying that peaceful, political reform was the nobler route to Irish independence. Now, much more so than before, I can see he was right.

It is doesn’t seem imaginable at the moment to celebrate a rising that held Dublin city to hostage. It is no longer a historic event anymore. It is not just a book explaining why it needed to happen or why the rebels felt they had no choice or even how it was justifiable in the end. It doesn’t matter if you’re born into a system which acts to oppress you and the people you identify with, you don’t have an excuse to grab a gun and go out to shoot people. Not even if you’re hoping to awake the nation.

I’ve followed a lot of the back and forth about the kind of form 2016 should take and how we should frame it. However, it’s the arguments currently going on here in France about the legacy of the past, about post-colonialism, structural discrimination, cultural warfare and all the reasons that don’t justify killing people for a cause that have made up my mind about where I stand at home.

Violence should always be the last resort. Sometimes, it is the only option. The French police last Friday had to use deadly force to save innocent lives. The only justification for killing another human being is those extreme, no-alternative circumstances. Killing people for a political ideology or a religious ideology is not something that can be justified precisely because there is always an alternative. There is always another and better way. History might obscure and shroud that fact with the passing of time but at the moment, it’s bright in my mind. I hope for the sake of society that it outshines whatever people might say to cover it — here and at home.

Previously: A Letter From Paris

(Pic: Patrick Kovarik/AFP/Getty Images, Guardian)


Shooting, explosions heard at French siege (RTE News) Pic via RTE News UPDATE:


00112143_58497375_fight (Top) Foyle MP Mark Durkan and (below) NI Minister for the Environment Mark H Durkan

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Rumours abound that Derry SDLP duo Mark Durkan MP and his nephew, Mark H Durkan MLA and NI Minister for the Environment went toe to toe in a city centre bar on Saturday night.

Both men are believed to have attended a family christening in the City Hotel on Saturday and later moved on to Tinney’s Bar on Patrick Street. They have both denied the story on social media.

Mark H can throw a punch in fairness, as evidenced in a charity fight in 2012.

Meanwhile, the NI Minister for the Environment in yesterday’s Sunday Journal asked the public to be more considerate of others in relation to noise and anti-social behaviour:

“Noise is a serious issue that can seriously affect our health and wellbeing and interfere with our daily lives. I would ask everyone to be mindful of the impact their behaviour may be having on their neighbours, fellow citizens and community.”

In a statement, Óglaigh na hÉireann has called on the SDLP to end its campaign of violence and to disband.

Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland, BBC NI

00067498 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pictured with Martin McAleese at Áras an Uachtaráin in 2004

Turkey’s president has declared women are unequal to men in his latest controversial comments on women’s rights.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan said putting men and women on an equal footing was “against human nature”.

“They were created differently. Their nature is different. Their constitution is different,” he told a summit on women and justice in Istanbul, attended by his daughter Sumeyye.

“You cannot get women to do every kind of work men can do, as in Communist regimes.

“You cannot tell them to go out and dig the soil. This is against their delicate nature.”

“Our religion has defined a position for women (in society): motherhood,” Mr Erdogan said.

“Some people can understand this, while others can’t. You cannot explain this to feminists because they don’t not accept the concept of motherhood.

The president has previously declared that every woman in Turkey should have three children and proposed limitations on abortion rights and the morning-after pill.

In August, he criticised a female journalist, telling her she should “know her place”.

Mr President, the Iona Institute called.

They’d like their policies back.

Turkish President Says Men and Women Not Equal (Sky News)

Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland