Tag Archives: New York Times

Um.

In the last few years, Dublin has become one of the world’s 10 most expensive places to rent, ahead of cities like Tokyo, Sydney and Singapore.

Deutsche Bank reported in May that typical rent for a midrange, two-bedroom apartment in Dublin was $2,018 a month, 23 percent more than in 2014 — the biggest increase of any city in the top tier.

…“You have a generation being locked out of the Irish social contract,” said Rory Hearne, a lecturer in the sociology of housing at Maynooth University.

“A lot of young people are now realizing they will never own their own home, and that is a particularly terrible outlook when you live in a country where a house is usually your main asset for retirement.”

…The Irish division of Savills, an international property company, predicts that rents will increase an additional 17 percent over the next three years.

…It now costs far more to rent than to pay off a mortgage. The property website daft.ie recently reported that the monthly mortgage payment on a two-bedroom house in the city of Cork would be about $700, but the same house would cost almost $1,300 to rent.

Home prices have rebounded since the recession, but homeownership has not, in part because people paying high rents often cannot save for down payments.

To curb dangerous lending and borrowing, the Central Bank of Ireland in 2015 capped mortgage loans at about 3.5 times the buyer’s annual income, but the median price is about 5.6 times earnings.

Housing Crisis Grips Ireland a Decade After Property Bubble Burst (New York Times)

Rollingnews

Today’s New York Times

Um.

Update:

All better.

‘Unbelievable’: New York Times slammed for front page headline after Donald Trump speech (USA Today)

Meanwhile…

Oh.

Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum, a daughter of Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, meets Mary Robinson in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on December 15, 2018.

Anything good in The New York Times?

Depends…

Via The New York Times:

On Christmas Eve, Dubai released the first public photos of Sheikha Latifa since her disappearance. They showed her sitting with Mary Robinson, the former president of Ireland and former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, who confirmed that she had met the sheikha at her family’s request.

Ms. Robinson said Sheikha Latifa was safe with her family, but said she was receiving psychiatric care, calling her a “troubled young woman” with a “serious medical condition.”

“This is a family matter now,” Ms. Robinson said.

The sheikha’s advocates were taken aback that a respected human rights crusader had seemingly embraced Dubai’s official line. They disputed that she had a psychiatric condition, apart from any she might have developed because of imprisonment or drugging.

“I know 100 percent for sure that she doesn’t need mental care,” Ms. Martinengo said. “Maybe now, after all these treatments, but not before. How can you think that a person who’s been in prison for nine months wouldn’t seem troubled?”

Friends also found Sheikha Latifa’s appearance in the photos — slightly dazed, her eyes missing the camera — concerning.

With negative attention thickening around her, Ms. Robinson issued a statement saying that she had made her assessment “in good faith and to the best of my ability,” adding that the sheikha’s “vulnerability was apparent.”

By mid-January, a lawyer who had been working with activists left the sheikha’s case without explanation. Several friends still in Dubai said they were too frightened to speak, while Mr. Jaubert abruptly stopped responding to requests to be interviewed for this article.

Sheikha Latifa had little doubt about what would happen to her.

“If you are watching this video, it’s not such a good thing,” she said in her video. “Either I’m dead, or I’m in a very, very, very bad situation.”

A Princess Vanishes. A Video Offers Alarming Clues (New York Times)

Previously: Oh, Mary

Pic: United Arab Emirates Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation via AP

Thanks Eoin

Solidarity TD Ruth Coppinger at the Spire on Dublin’s O’Connell Street on Wednesday; Ms Coppinger in the Dáil on Tuesday

A criminal trial in Ireland, in which the lawyer of a man accused of rape cited the lacy underwear worn by a woman as a sign of her consent, has ignited outrage across the country and beyond.

During the closing argument, the defense lawyer asked the jury to consider the underwear worn by the 17-year-old woman at the time prosecutors said she was raped in a muddy alleyway by a 27-year-old man.

“Does the evidence out-rule the possibility that she was attracted to the defendant and was open to meeting someone and being with someone?” the lawyer asked, according to The Irish Times. “You have to look at the way she was dressed. She was wearing a thong with a lace front.”

The man was acquitted, and the case immediately drew calls for accountability and sparked a national dialogue about consent and victim blaming. Hundreds of women and men with posters and lace underwear in hand protested in five cities across the country on Wednesday.

Defense Lawyer Suggests a Thong Equals Consent — and Ireland Erupts (New York Times)

Pic: BBC Woman’s Hour

Previously: Intimate Revolt

Smalls Minded

Free Tomorrow?

‘The Way She Was Dressed’

Meanwhile…

Morning Ireland tweetz:

Spotted in Portobello in the same location as mural earlier this year

St Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral in New York

Attorneys general across the United States are taking a newly aggressive stance in investigating sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy, opening investigations into malfeasance and issuing subpoenas for documents.

On Thursday alone, the New York State attorney general [Barbara Underwood] issued subpoenas to all eight Catholic dioceses in the state as part of a sweeping civil investigation into whether institutions covered up allegations of sexual abuse of children, officials said. The attorney general in New Jersey announced a criminal investigation.

The new inquiries come several weeks after an explosive Pennsylvania grand jury report detailed the abuse of more than 1,000 children by hundreds of priests over decades. With Catholics clamoring for more transparency from their church, demanding that bishops release the names of accused priests, civil authorities are beginning to step up to force disclosure.

In the three weeks since the release of the Pennsylvania report, the attorneys general of Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska and New Mexico have also said they will investigate sex abuse by Catholic priests in their states and have asked local dioceses for records. Most bishops have been saying they will cooperate.

Stirred by Pain, States Take On Catholic Church (Sharon Otterman and Laurie Goodstein, New York Times)

Related: Every attorney general in the country must force the Catholic Church to tell the truth (Boston Globe,  Walter V Robinson (August 30, 2018)

Pic: St Patrick’s Cathedral

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Stephen Fry

Well.

Further to the Stephen Fry blasphemy law brouhaha

Liam Stack and Ed O’Loughlin, in the New York Times, report:

The Catholic Church has had profound cultural and political influence in Ireland, but adherence to its teachings has been waning in recent years. There are several continuing controversies in Ireland over the role of religion in public life, Mr. [Eoin Daly, law lecturer at NUI Galway] Daly noted, and Mr. Fry’s brush with the blasphemy law is probably the least urgent.

Ireland became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote in 2015. Since then, it has been locked in a tense debate over abortion, which was banned in almost all cases by a 1982 referendum. Activists say thousands of Irish women leave the country for abortions each year.

The country has also experienced a string of scandals related to the Catholic Church’s role in managing public services, including the discovery of a mass grave on the site of a former publicly financed home for unwed mothers run by a religious order, the Sisters of Bon Secours.

There has been a huge transformation of public opinion away from the orthodox Catholic positions over the last quarter of a century, but you still have significant church involvement in public services, especially education,” Mr. Daly said.

You could say the church has an outsized institutional role, considering the public opinion, values and beliefs in society.”

Groan.

Irish Police Investigate (but Don’t Charge) Stephen Fry for Blasphemy (New York Times)

Previously: ‘We Believed That We Would Never See A Prosecution For It’

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This morning.

The Central Bank of Ireland has released the residential mortgage arrears and repossession statistics for the third quarter of 2016.

The Central Bank writes:

The number of mortgage accounts for principal dwelling houses (PDH) in arrears fell further in the third quarter of 2016; this marks the thirteenth consecutive quarter of decline. A total of 79,562 (11 per cent) of accounts were in arrears at end-Q3, a decline of 3.1 per cent relative to Q2 2016.

The number of accounts in arrears over 90 days at end-September was 56,350 (8 per cent of total), reflecting a quarter-on-quarter decline of 2.1 per cent. This represents the twelfth consecutive decline in the number of PDH accounts in arrears over 90 days.

Buy-to-let (BTL) mortgage accounts in arrears over 90 days decreased by 2.4 per cent during the third quarter of 2016. At end-September there were 14,518 BTL accounts in arrears over 720 days, with an outstanding balance of €4.3 billion, equivalent to 18 per cent of the total outstanding balance on all BTL mortgage accounts.  There was an increase of 5.4 per cent in the number of BTL accounts where a rent receiver was appointed; this follows on from an increase of 1 per cent in the previous quarter.

Residential Mortgage Arrears and Repossession Statistics: Q3 2016  (Central Bank of Ireland)

Meanwhile…

In Saturday’s New York Times, Liz Alderman reported:

The Tobun family never missed a rental payment on their modest brick rowhouse in eight years. But in February, the couple, who have two young children, received a letter warning that they would be evicted when their lease expired. Forty of their neighbors got the same notice.

When they went to investigate, the tenants, in the working-class suburb of Tyrrelstown, discovered a trail that led all the way to Wall Street.

After Europe was ravaged by a financial and economic crisis, the giant investment bank Goldman Sachs snapped up huge swaths of distressed debt in Ireland, including the loans of Tyrrelstown’s developer in 2014. The developer [brothers Rick and Michael Larkin, of Twinlite] now wants out of the rental game and is selling the properties. As the owner of the loans, Goldman will reap a large portion of the proceeds.

Goldman has nothing to do with the possible evictions here. But because American banks have played such a large role in Europe’s housing recovery — and have made huge profits in the process — they have become the main target of a growing backlash among homeowners and renters.

“Somehow, these funds have gotten involved in our community,” Funke Tobun said. “They’re profiting, but it’s the people who are being made to suffer.”

Wall Street has become the biggest new landlord in Europe, as American financial firms have swept into cities, suburbs and towns to take to advantage of the fallout from the worst economic downturn since World War II. In the last four years, Goldman Sachs, Cerberus Capital Management, Lone Star Funds, Blackstone Group and others from America have bought more than 223 billion euros’ worth of troubled real estate loans around Europe, nearly 80 percent of the total sold.

The firms have made the usual calculation: buy distressed investments on the cheap during tough times, betting that the outlook will eventually turn and riches will follow. And the firms are paying little or no tax, by employing complex strategies that often involve subsidiaries with no operations or staff.

The huge profits and dubious tax strategies have made Wall Street a major object of frustration and anger, as people grapple with evictions and higher mortgage payments. In some cases, the Wall Street firms are passive players, the money men behind the landlords, developers or banks that are exerting force. In other cases, they are direct participants taking action.

…Ireland is now enjoying a robust recovery. But growth has been fueled partly by financial maneuvering, and the real underlying gains are far from even. More than 5,000 people have been left homeless by the crisis, with the government subsidizing many in shelters.

Mrs. Tobun does not have many options. She does not want to move farther out, since it would mean changing schools for her son who has special needs. A nearby rental is too expensive. Rents in Ireland have risen around 20 per cent since the crisis as home construction dried up after the bust.

…Like other Wall Street players, Cerberus came into the country quietly, creating a local subsidiary under a different name and setting up a complex and extensive web of interconnected businesses.

There are the 13 subsidiaries in Dublin, all with Promontoria in their names. They have no employees and no offices. They are all registered to the same address on Grant’s Row, a letterbox near Parliament. Those subsidiaries, in turn, are subsidiaries of holding companies in the Netherlands, more than 110 of which had the Promontoria name.

The structure has helped Cerberus profit in Ireland…

Wall Street Is Europe’s Landlord. And Tenants Are Fighting Back (New York Times)

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Margaret Sullivan, public editor of The New York Times

 

This morning, on RTÉ  Radio One’s Morning Ireland, reporter Laura Whelan spoke with the New York Times Public Editor, Margaret Sullivan regarding the paper’s coverage of the Berkeley tragedy.

The interview was conducted before former President Mary McAleese sent a letter to the newspaper, saying it “should be hanging its head in shame” over the article.

Margaret Sullivan: “Well I think the first thing that happened was the New York Times ran a short of brief and sort of to-the-point news story online, on Tuesday about this tragic and really terrible event that happened in Berkeley, California. After that, as I understand it, editors and reporters felt that they should develop the story in some way and looked for a different kind of angle and the angle that they ended up deciding on was this idea of looking more deeply at the J1 programme and that’s what ended up being this very controversial and very much criticised article and I think the criticism is completely valid.”

Laura Whelan: “A lot of people, Margaret, in Ireland, have been badly offended by this article. Can you understand these feelings?”

Sullivan: “Yes, absolutely, I completely understand where the criticism is coming from. I wrote a post today [yesterday] in something called the Public Editors Journal that said you know I understand the criticism, I called the article insensitive and, even though I can’t apologise on behalf of the Times because, as Public Editor, I only actually express my own, independent opinion, I did say that I personally was very sorry that so much pain was caused by this.”

Whelan: “Margaret, a Government minister here in Ireland [Aodhan Ó Riordain] has accused the New York Times of victim blaming. Would you agree with that stance?”

Sullivan: “There is an element of victim blaming in this article but I believe it was inadvertent. I know, for example, the lead reporter on the article – whose name is Adam Nagourney – he’s a very good reporter, he’s a very solid fellow and I’ve had a lot of correspondence with him today [yesterday]. He feels terrible about this. I think he feels that he essentially made a mistake.”

Whelan: “What changes will be made to the article now? It’s  still available, up online.”

Sullivan: “Yes. The article is pretty much as it was to begin with. Mr Nagourney said that he made some, small changes before it went to print. But the Times’s policy is not to unpublish something once it’s been published and to keep the archive version of it pretty much as is. So I’m not expecting it to be taken down or, as we say, unpublished.”

Whelan: “I understand what you’re saying about the New York Times’ policy on that but I suppose given the level of feeling here in Ireland and the fact that the New York Times has now received a letter actually from Ambassador Anne Anderson, do you think this would maybe be an incident where perhaps the New York Times should go against its own policy and withdraw this article, take it down offline?”

Sullivan: “I don’t, again I want to sort of say, that I can’t speak for the paper, about that, all I can tell you is that, in my experience, that just never happens. I mean there can be criticism and there can be apology, there can be an acknowledgement but the story pretty much stays as is.”

Whelan: “In terms of the level of complaints received Margaret and, you know, the involvement of an ambassador, and also a Government minister here in Ireland, can you remember any other article, you know, going back a couple of years in the New York Times, that caused this much upset?”

Sullivan: “There certainly has been a great deal  of complaint and many, many emails and, as you say, official ones. I’ve had, I’ve been in the role of Public Editor for coming up on three years and I would say it’s among the ones that I’ve had the most complaint and response about. But, you know, perhaps not at the very top of the list.”

Listen back here in full

Previously: Anything Good In The New York Times?

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Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, above, and the balcony which collapsed, leaving six young people dead and seven injured, top

7 News WSVN reports:

“Berkeley’s mayor says early investigation points to moisture-damaged wood as a prime cause of a deadly balcony collapse. Mayor Tom Bates said Wednesday that investigators believe the support beams may not have been sealed properly at the time of construction.”

“Independent structural engineers who examined photographs of the broken balcony beams also have pointed to decayed wood as a likely main cause.”

“A structural engineer says it’s “surprising and unexpected” that the wooden beams supporting the Berkeley, California, apartment balcony that collapsed and killed six people had deteriorated so much on a building less than a decade old.”

“Darrick Hom, president of the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California, visited the site and said the wood was so decayed that the broken beams crumbled in the hands of investigators.”

“He said Wednesday that the wood breaking off at their touch indicates major deterioration in the joists and wondered how that level of damage happened in just eight years.”

“Hom says any building material exposed to the elements requires weatherproofing at the time of construction, so investigators likely will look at how weatherproofing was carried out at Library Gardens apartments.”

Meanwhile, further to that New York Times article, Eileen Murphy, spokeswoman for the newspaper, writes:

“This piece was a second-day story following yesterday’s news story of the collapse. It was intended to explain in greater detail why these young Irish students were in the US. We understand and agree that some of the language in the piece could be interpreted as insensitive, particularly in such close proximity to this tragedy. It was never our intention to blame the victims and we apologize if the piece left that impression. We will continue to cover this story and report on the young people who lost their lives.”

And one of the reporters who contributed to the article, Adam Nagourney, writes:

“… I mean this as by way of explanation and not excuse. By the time I came on the story, it had already been on our site for five hours or so and we wanted to do something to move it forward. The idea for a second-day story was to focus on the J-1 visa program, and the number of Irish students who, through the program, came here in the summer; I think that was a relatively new thought to us and many of our readers.”

“There are obviously positive aspects to the program, which has been a great resource for thousands of young Irish students, as well as negative ones. Looking back, I had the balance wrong; I put too much emphasis on the negative aspects, and they were too high in my story. That did not become clear to me until I got a distraught email from a reader right after the story posted. I made a minor change in the story to try to address that, but it did not go far enough.”

“Do I think that the program – as well as the problems associated with it – are fair game for a news story? Yes. But there was a more sensitive way to tell the story. I absolutely was not looking to in any way appear to be blaming the victims, or causing pain in this awful time for their families and friends. I feel very distressed at having added to their anguish.”

The Latest: Probe points to water damage in balcony collapse (7 News WSVN)

Valid Complaints on Story about Berkeley Balcony Collapse (Margaret Sullivan, Public Editor’s Journal, New York Times)

Previously: Anything Good In The New York Times?

Pics: SF Gate and Jessica Guynn

nytimes:IW

Alan Kelly, the minister of environment, community and local government, said that creating an authority with a dedicated revenue stream that can sell bonds is the best way to finance the infrastructure work that is needed. He dismisses the protesters as “left wing” or “populists” and recently suggested they were in “cloud cuckoo land.”

But Sarah Murphy, 35, who lives in Ballymun, one of the poorest areas of Dublin, said that her husband has been unable to find work since his business collapsed in 2008. The family, after paying rent and electricity, lives on $73 a week for five people, she said.

“We are not paying it,” she said. “We don’t have it.”

Ireland’s economy has been recovering. It grew by nearly 4.8 percent in 2014, and unemployment fell to about 10 percent from a high of 15 percent. But many experts say the figures are misleading, as the unemployed continue to leave the country and many multinational companies, based in Ireland because of its low corporate tax rate, are recording financial transactions that actually take place elsewhere.

A report by the country’s Central Statistics Office that was released in January painted a more dire picture of what has happened in Ireland since the crisis began. The most recent figures available show that Nearly a third of the population in 2013 was suffering from “enforced deprivation” characterized by a lack of two or more basic requirements for a comfortable standard of living, such as adequate food, heating or a warm winter coat, up from 13.7 in 2008, before the financial crisis and the recession.

Many in Ireland Vow Not to Pay a New Water Tax (Suzanne Daly, The New York Times)

(Paulo Nunes/New York Times)

Thanks Niinecare