Tax offices inundated with motorists ahead of off road deadline

first_imgUpdated 11.21pmTAX OFFICES ACROSS the country have been inundated with motorists today ahead of the deadline which changes the way vehicles can been declared ‘off the road’.Queues are running out the doors of offices in Dublin and elsewhere as the 1 October date approaches.From that date, all drivers will have to declare in advance if their car will be off the road for a lengthy period of time.Previously, vehicle owners could explain a gap in their motor tax cover by saying that their car was in repair or storage for the time it was not covered – once they had received sign-off from a member of An Garda Síochána. However, no check to ensure the truthfulness of the claim was required.It is estimated that the Exchequer loses about €55 million a year to drivers who drive without tax for certain periods.In the 12 months to end-July 2012, there were 539,000 garda-witnessed declarations made. While the Department of Transport believes there are genuine cases, it suspects there was “widespread abuse” of the loophole.“This level of evasion of motor tax is unfair to the majority who do pay their motor tax conscientiously,” it said when notifying the public of the change.In a case where a person declares a car off the road but is subsequently discovered driving it, potential sanctions include fines and convictions for making false statements, as well as existing penalties for non-display of a valid motor tax disc.A changeover period from July to 30 September had been given, so next Tuesday is the real deadline. From now on, vehicles cannot be declared ‘off the road’ for a period shorter than three months.In an update this afternoon, Minister Phil Hogan said he was “aware that a certain amount of last minute activity” has arisen from the change.“Once the initial change is in place the process will be very straightforward – motor tax is either renewed or the vehicle is declared off the road in the month before tax, or a previous off-road declaration, is due to be renewed,” he said.He also noted that “anybody whose application to declare a vehicle off the road is received in a motor tax office by close of business on Monday, either by post or submitted in person, will be deemed to have complied with the deadline in the legislation, even if the form is in some respect incomplete or incorrectly completed”.“Applicants will be contacted over the next few weeks to rectify the forms. Postal applications postmarked on or before 30 September will be regarded as having been received by the deadline.”First published at 10.45amRelated: Drivers will have to declare cars as ‘off road’ before tax runs outlast_img read more

Belfast baby in critical condition after attack one man has been charged

first_imgA 23-YEAR-OLD man has been charged in Belfast in connection with an attack on a baby who is in a critical condition in hospital.The baby is believed to have sustained injuries and was admitted to hospital in Belfast on Wednesday.PSNI officers investigating the incident have examined a house at Glasvey Park in the Twinbrook area of West Belfast.The man will appear in court this morning after being charged with grievous bodily harm. Read: Petrol bombs thrown outside former Quinn property in Fermanagh >Read: Man arrested in connection with ‘chilling’ 1993 murder >last_img

Betting shop staff threatened at gunpoint by lone raider

first_imgRead: White van-driving kidnappers threatened victim with a crossbow GARDAÍ IN NEWBRIDGE, Co Kildare, are appealing for information, after a lone raider staged a hold up at a bookies in the town last night.The man entered the premises on Henry Street at around 9.30pm, threatened staff and made off with a sum of cash, a garda spokesperson confirmed.He was armed with what’s believed to have been a handgun.No one was injured in the course of the incident, and no shots were fired.Anyone with information is being asked to contact Newbridge Garda Station on 045 440 180.last_img

How do you know if youre at an Irish funeral

first_imgYouTube/LizzieGoLuckyOf course the passing of a family member, friend or acquaintance is a sad time for all involved, but there are certain things that make an Irish funeral unique – the customs, the grub, and yes, even the craic.Here’s how you can be absolutely sure you’re at a traditional Irish funeral…Someone asks if you’re going to the removal, or the mass, or bothThis depends on many factors: how well did you know the deceased or the family? Can you get off work to go to the mass? How far away is the church? Will there be a feed afterwards?“Are you going up to the house?”If there’s a wake in the house you might “go up”, get a cup of tea in your hand, stand around the coffin for a while, and tell a few stories. There will be a lot of hand clasping and half talking/half whispering. There might be sandwiches.Flickr/Creative Commons/Wonderlane The handshakingIrish funerals feature a lot of queuing up to shake hands. It can sometimes be tricky to know what to say:“He does a lovely funeral”Hopefully the funeral will be celebrated by a priest who does a good mass.People will want to be talking about what a lovely ceremony it was and “doesn’t he do a lovely funeral”. Sure what else will they talk about immediately afterwards?Shutterstock.comSomeone will stay behind in the house to ward off opportunistic robbersA neighbour must be appointed to this task. Everyone knows that would-be-burglars listen to the death notices to see where there might be easy pickings during the funeral.Be Not Afraid will be playedThis is a staple of Irish funeralsYouTube/Maureen Ward Somebody will say “it was like a celebration really”This is often said when the mass is over and everyone feels a little relieved, and is looking forward to the sandwiches.The storiesOften the most memorable part of an Irish funeral – and the most comforting for the family – are the stories. Old friends and relatives will tell tales of the person’s life, peppered with laughs and tears. In Ireland when somebody dies, we lay ‘em out and watch ‘em for a couple of days… and there’s drinking and dancing and all the food you can eat. “A VERY IMPORTANT part of the Irish way of life is death”.Comedian Dave Allen was fairly on the money when he kicked off a sketch about Irish funerals with this quote. He continued:center_img The drinkSure what better way to send someone off than with a feed of pints?HeylisFloristLocal politicians or TDs might make an appearanceSandwiches cut into triangles in the pubIt’s a rule of Irish funerals that the sandwiches must be cut into triangles.There might even be a bit more grub… some cocktail sausages, or even a whole meal.Somebody will say “we must all meet up at a happier time”You never will though.13 amazing celebrity appearances on Sesame Street>These poor cats just wanted to have some breakfast>“Have you no coat?”: It’s time to play Irish mammy bingo>last_img read more

Mertesacker heads Gunners into 3rd after two red cards

first_imgARSENAL RETURNED TO third place in the Premier League table with a 1-0 win at 10-man Fulham on Saturday, while Reading and Queens Park Rangers slipped ever closer to relegation.Arsenal, who started with England midfielder Jack Wilshere on the bench, were given a huge advantage in the 12th minute at Craven Cottage when Steve Sidwell was shown a straight red card for catching Mikel Arteta on the ankle with his studs.Sidwell had only just returned from a three-match ban following a red card at home to QPR and Arsenal quickly asserted their advantage, with Olivier Giroud grazing the post in the 35th minute.The breakthrough arrived from an unfamiliar source two minutes before half-time.Theo Walcott’s free-kick was headed across goal by Laurent Koscielny and the Frenchman’s centre-back partner Per Mertesacker arrived unmarked to head the ball home from close range.It should have been a straightforward victory, but the visitors were unable to kill the game off and then lost Giroud to a late red card after he clumsily fouled Stanislav Manolev.Victory lifted Arsenal above Chelsea, but both the Stamford Bridge club and fifth-place Tottenham Hotspur now have two games in hand on Arsene Wenger’s side.Chelsea will regain third place if they win at Liverpool on Sunday, while Spurs can close to within two points of their north London rivals if they overcome second-place Manchester City.Sidwell’s red card chllenge:Credit: ArsenalistAnd Giroud’s tackle:Credit: ArsenalistAnd the winning goal:YouTube credit: MrHDosmn02At the other end of the table, QPR and Reading appear to be living on borrowed time after both sides lost and saw three of the sides above them win.Bottom club Reading went down 2-1 at Norwich City, to leave Nigel Adkins’ men 10 points from safety with only 12 points to play for.Quick-fire goals from Ryan Bennett and Elliott Bennett early in the second half put Norwich in control at Carrow Road, before Garath McCleary replied with a fine individual goal for the visitors.5 things Arsene Wenger could be running away from‘Man City will fear the return of Bale’ – Villas-Boaslast_img read more

Column People dont trust Europe – but that can be changed

first_imgEUROBAROMETER SURVEY DATA suggests that European Union (EU) citizens no longer trust the EU as an institution. Only 33 per cent of respondents profess a tendency to trust the EU, whereas 57 per cent have a tendency not to trust the EU. Distrust is even higher in Germany (59 per cent); the United Kingdom (69 per cent), Spain (72 per cent) and Greece (81 per cent). The European Council and especially the European Central Bank (ECB) appear to be particularly distrusted across the EU.Does such a high level of distrust call the EU’s very democratic legitimacy into question?As it happens, the same survey also tells us that less than half of all respondents in 14 out of 27 member states express satisfaction with the way democracy works (or doesn’t work) at the EU level. A two-to-one majority of European citizens did not feel their interests were taken into account by the EU. Despite this, and although support is waning across the EU, the United Kingdom is the only country with an absolute majority believing their country would fare better outside the EU.So EU citizens, on average, don’t trust the EU and don’t feel their vote counts in the EU – yet the majority still wish to remain members. What might explain this apparent contradiction?Mixed reasons for membershipEach of the 27 countries had its own unique reasons for attaching itself to the supranational project in the first place. The original six members had ample motivation to finally break the self-destructive cycle of warfare that from time-to-time would engulf and impoverish Western Europe.Ireland’s desire to join was at least in part an attempt to break out from under the economic shadow of the United Kingdom. The nascent democracies of Spain, Portugal and Greece saw the EU as a bulwark against fascism. The ten former eastern bloc countries were all partially motivated to join the EU because of the protection it seemed to offer from a potentially resurgent Russia. Economic considerations were a motivation in all cases. The EU symbolised prosperity, safety and competence.It is this perception that EU membership offers safety, prosperity and improved living standards to its citizens that underlies much of the support for continued membership.Leaders have shown incompetence, complacency and arroganceUnfortunately the European project and the aspirations of EU citizens have been ill-served by the EU’s 21st century leaders. The EU’s leaders have collectively shown enormous incompetence, complacency, and arrogance in dealing with the crisis. It is revealing that the technocrats at the International Monetary Fund have been far less dogmatic and rigid throughout the crisis than the European Commission. The Commission has become synonymous with the word ‘conditionality’, and clung to the idea of expansionary fiscal contraction long after it became discredited by the IMF amongst others.Hostility to the EU and to the European project has increased as it becomes more and more identified with the policies of austerity – and with the declining living standards and the increase in poverty that those policies cause. Banks have been bailed out at horrendous expense. The euro area has 12 per cent unemployment. A minimalist response to the debt crisis has been the order of the day. The Greek and Cypriot economies are in freefall. Recriminations between credit and debtor nations have increased. EMU design flaws remain. And so on. Policymakers have failed to protect the people of Europe.It’s easy to look abroad for blameTo an extent this criticism is unfair. The EU doesn’t have a central leadership in the same way as a proper nation state. There are 27 national factions each with their own national interests. It is sometimes too easy to look abroad for blame. For example, unlike Ireland, the UK fully controls its own macroeconomic policy. Yet the EU has become a daily whipping boy in the British media. Hostility to the EU has reached such a level that the Prime Minister has been forced to throw his party the red meat of a promised referendum on EU membership. A lost referendum on EU membership in the UK could be the spark that precipitates a wider unravelling.Trust is contingent. It is easy to lose and once lost it is difficult to recover. How can the EU restore the trust of the people whose quality of life it purports to safeguard?The people need to be put firstThe EU can restore trust by pursuing evidence based policies that will put people first. The fiscal compact sets binding targets for debt and deficits. We already have centralised targets for inflation. Yet where are the binding targets for the real economy? Where are the humanitarian and social justice targets? The fiscal compact should be supplemented with a social compact that explicitly creates hard targets for employment creation and poverty reduction – ie for achieving what European people actually want – a better quality of life.The EU’s economic policy should give primacy to these goals. This will require greater cooperation between countries. A centralised banking union with deposit guarantees and independent resolution mechanisms has long been needed to shield European taxpayers from the costs of saving banks. Greater policy cooperation and higher minimum standards are needed to combat tax evasion and the blight of tax havens. A range of solutions (eg here and here) have been variously proposed to resolve the triple sovereign, banking and real economy crises.Current policies are undermining a potential recovery. If complacency persists and the crisis is left to fester then trust will continue to fall. Without public support the European project itself will eventually fail. In the end it is the pursuit of credible policies that will improve the lives of ordinary people that will restore faith in the European project. It is time we started pursuing them.Tom McDonnell is a  policy analyst with TASC.  He has also lectured in Economics at NUI Galway between 2005 and 2010.last_img read more

Australian TV network defends showing Pistorius shooting video

first_imgAN AUSTRALIAN TELEVISION network has defended its decision to air footage showing Oscar Pistorius in a shock reenactment of the night he shot his girlfriend, insisting it was not obtained illegally.The Seven Network broadcast the video Sunday on the eve of the resumption of the Paralympic gold medallist’s trial in South Africa for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp.The video was made by the Evidence Room, a US company that specialises in forensic animation, and lawyers for the athlete said it was commissioned by his defence team and obtained illegally by the TV station.The broadcaster disputed this in a statement.“This was a significant investigation … examining the critical 85 minutes on Valentine’s Night 2013 when Reeva Steenkamp was shot dead by Oscar Pistorius,” said Mark Llewellyn, executive producer of the Sunday Night programme.“The material shown on Sunday Night goes to the heart of both the prosecution and defence cases, including the account provided by Oscar Pistorius.“We would not have run the footage if we thought we had obtained it illegally.“The story was run in Australia only and not made available to any other territory.”It did not say how it obtained the footage, in which the double-amputee is seen crossing a room on his bare stumps, wearing a tank top and tight black shorts, his hand clenched in the air as if ready to fire a gun.The 27-year-old is also seen screaming and crying for help, and carrying his younger sister Aimee down a flight of stairs, as he acts out his account of the minutes after he shot Steenkamp. Oscar Pistorius in court during his trial. Source: Themba HadebeAP/Press Association ImagesLegal observers say it is now unlikely that the prosecution will be able to introduce the video as evidence when the trial resumes on Monday.Stephen Tuson, an associate law professor at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, said the origin of the footage was important.“If it was produced by the defence as part of their investigation and preparation for the trial, it’s strictly privileged, it’s confidential and it cannot be used,” said Tuson.“Whatever you tell your attorney is strictly confidential and privileged, if there’s a breach of that, there can be a mistrial,” said Tuson.“If there is a failure of justice, that’s the end of the trial.”Pistorius, known as the “Blade Runner” for his prosthetic limbs, has been charged with murdering Steenkamp after a row early on the morning of 14 February 2013.The sprinter claims he mistakenly shot the 29-year-old model and law graduate through a locked door, believing she was an intruder in his upmarket Pretoria home.If found guilty of premeditated murder, he faces up to 25 years in jail and an abrupt end to his glittering sports career.- © AFP, 2014Oscar Pistorius severely traumatised and a ‘suicide risk’>Oscar Pistorius was ‘broken, desperate, pleading’ after he shot Reeva Steenkamp>last_img read more

Driving over the next few days Heres how to stay safe in

first_imgMet Éireann has issued a status yellow weather warning for the coming days, with hot and very humid conditions, heavy rain, hailstorms, lightning, and even flooding in some areas.It is expected to improve by Sunday, with temperatures in the high-teens or low-20s with some sunny spells, but expect some scattered showers in parts of the country.In today’s typical Irish weather : Rain, hail, lightning, thunder, frogs, locusts* > WHILE THE WEATHER is pretty glorious today, it won’t stay the same for long.Heavy rain, thunderstorms and potentially even flash floods are due in the coming days, prompting the Road Safety Authority (RSA) to issue a warning to drivers.The authority is reminding motorists that to keep extra distance from any cars in front due to increased stopping distances in wet conditions.This will also help avoid your visibility being reduced by the considerable amount of spray produced by large vehicles.Aquaplaning, where tyre treads fill with water leading to a loss of traction, is also a possibility at high speeds over 100 km/h.Always drive with dipped headlights, and be wary of pedestrians, who should be wearing bright reflective clothing.The RSA has this advice for any motorists driving in flooded conditions: If the road ahead is flooded choose another route, do not attempt to drive through it. Flooded roads that appear shallow could be deeper than you think.After going through water, drive slowly with your foot on the brake pedal for a short distance – this helps to dry the brakes.Sometimes roads can be closed due to their fragile state after wet weather or because they are blocked by flooding.Road users should always follow recommended routes and obey signs closing roads to traffic.Watch out for washed out roads, earth slides, broken water or sewer mains, loose or downed electrical wires, and fallen or falling objects.last_img read more

The 9 at 9 Tuesday

first_imgEVERY MORNING brings you the nine stories you need to know a little before 9am.1. #JUSTICE: Secretary general in the Justice Department, Brian Purcell, is to keep his €200,000 salary when he leaves his position, following a damning review of the department.2. #GAZA: As the conflict rages on, 26 Palestinians and five Israeli soldiers were killed overnight. The Hamas Prime Minister’s office was also destroyed by an air strike.3. #CONSUMERS: Ryanair, Aer Lingus and Greyhound were among the companies pursued by the National Consumer Agency last year and over 26,000 unsafe products were destroyed.4. #BACK TO SCHOOL: Costs for sending children back to school with everything they need after the summer may be falling but they’re still ‘crippling too many families’.5. #WAR ON DRUGS: Over 1,000 people turned up to an anti-drugs meeting in Roscrea yesterday evening as the town calls for stronger garda action to tackle the problem.6. #DANGER: The DPP has asked for an order to prevent a convicted sex offender from contacting children online after a court heard he was claiming to work for One Direction on Twitter, the Irish Daily Mail reports.7. #LOWRY: The prosecution in Michael Lowry’s case has sought to have his trial moved from Tipperary to Dublin, claiming juries may be biased because a lot of people there had voted for him, The Irish Times reports.8. #PROTECTION: Cork City is to get new flood defences and the designs are open for the public to see. The implementation of new flood warning systems is one of the options on the table.9. #LIGHTS CAMERA ACTION: Filming for the new Star Wars movie starts on Skellig Michael today and the small fishing village is buzzing, the Irish Independent reports.last_img read more

Intense competition in the blood for 17yearold OBrien but shes missing one

first_imgON RECENT FORM GALWAY rower Katie O’Brien will almost certainly go to Rio 2016. She’s just missing one thing.A team mate. File photo of single sculls rowing. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHOHaving taken up rowing just under 18 months ago, the 17-year-old has recently been able to show her ability and temperament on the international stage.Not only was O’Brien Ireland’s first ever Paralympian at the prestigious Henley regatta, but she also set  new course record on her way to Ireland’s first gold at the venue since 2010.That solo Sculls victory category over England’s Claire Connon then gave her the confidence to go out and prove the feat was no fluke. O’Brien won again in the trunk and arms classification in last weekend’s Home International Regatta in Cork.“It was definitely great to get the experience at Henley and then when I went on to the Homes I was racing the same girl so there was a bit of, ‘She’s raced me before, so she’s gonna come back fighting,’” She told this week with the excitement of victory still running through her voice. Katie O’Brien and coach Joe Cunningham celebrate victory at Henley. Source: Paralympics IrelandHailing from Clarinbridge and now a member of the Tribesmen Rowing Club, O’Brien was born with spina bifida. And while the muscles in her left leg have always been weak as a result of the condition, she credits her upper body strength with those hard early years spent in a wheelchair.Now, she can walk with the aid of a splint. But the youngest in the household is not content with moving along slowly. She has athleticism in her blood.“I’ve done horse riding and wheelchair basketball, but rowing has taken over now and it’s the only sport I do.“Because I was in a wheelchair, I’ve always had a good amount of upper body strength while my lower half isn’t very strong.” Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHOIn January last year, O’Brien’s hunger for sport brought her to one of Paralympics Ireland’s talent search days. She spied the rowing stall and never looked back.O’Brien’s trunk and arms classification puts her in a mixed double event under Paralympic rules. So now she must wait on a male to follow her path and come through the search process to help her get to Rio 2016.“I think it’s going well,” comes her typically positive report, “they’ve got their eye on a few. We’ve got a training camp coming up on the 15th and 16th of August – so hopefully someone will turn up at that.”One thing is for sure, the lucky man to be named as her team mate won’t just be along for the spin. O’Brien is a born competitor. Her older brother Sean has impressed at every rugby grade he has played, and after captaining Ireland under 20s during this year’s Six Nations, injury deprived him of the chance to lead the side to the Junior World Cup this summer.However, it didn’t stop him from lending words of advice and nuggets of sports science to the next O’Brien to step onto the international stage. Sean O’Brien leads Ireland u20s out against Italy this year. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO“He loves coming down, and it’s great to have him there because he’d have done all this kind of thing before, so he knows what to do.“He knows a lot about sports, getting warmed up and warmed down. He’ll give me tips on what to eat and what not to eat. These are things he would have learned so it’s great to have him.”Some have joked with admiration that a more suitable name for rowing would be a ‘suffering contest’. Yet having come through so many serious operations to take her out of a wheelchair, on to two feet and into a boat; O’Brien certainly has the mental strength to put the challenge in perspective.“One of the main things about rowing is that it’s a lot to do with your mind,” she says with a tone that changes from happy and excited to focused, athlete-mode.“You have to teach your brain to keep going and keep rowing hard, because when you get fatigued or tired, your brain is kind of like, ‘stop, stop rowing’.“It is quite a repetitive sport. So you’ve to keep up the same strength and try to keep the same technique for the whole race. A lot of what I do is just going over planning my start to the race. I’d be thinking about that before I go out to race and the whole time trying to get yourself set up and ready to go for it.”With winter bringing a long break in her competition cycle, not to mention the countdown to her Leaving Cert, O’Brien will be hoping that one missing ingredient will be on board at the beginning of next season.It’s not too late to start training for the Dublin marathon, you knowAll the results and the best pics from the final day of the Galway Raceslast_img read more

Heres how Russias ban on most EU food imports affects Ireland

first_imgThe ban goes into effect immediately and will last one year unless “our partners demonstrate a constructive approach” with regards to sanctioning Russia, he said.Of course this is a serious decision for the suppliers of such foods from these countries.He said that the ban will not cover baby food, and people will still be able to buy the banned products abroad if they want.But he warned those who try to profit from reselling them will be “harshly punished.”The full list of banned products was published on the government’s website as Medvedev delivered his speech.“There is nothing good in sanctions… and the response did not come easily to us, but we had to take it,” he said, promising to “prevent price increases” and use the embargo to “clear the store shelves for our producers”.Exports from IrelandInitial indications are that casein, infant formula and tea extract are not banned. Casein alone accounted for €11.3m of Ireland’s €17.8m dairy exports to Russia in 2013.Food and drink exports from Ireland to Russia were worth over €230m last year.Bord Bia said that the exports were dominated by prepared foods, meat, dairy, seafood and drinks.Prepared food accounted for €112m, while pigmeat exports amounted to €59m.Flights block?In addition to the food bans, Medvedev also warned that Russia could block overflights between Europe and Asia in retaliation for the Western sanctions, reports AFP.The ban could hurt European airlines such as Lufthansa, British Airways, Air France and Finnair that operate many long-haul routes to Asia.Irish opinionAgriculture Minister Simon Coveney said that the move was “obviously unwelcome” but not totally unanticipated.He said that his department is currently working to clarify the specific details of the ban.The impact on Ireland will depend both on the products covered by the ban and any knock-on effects on international market prices as banned product seeks replacement markets.He said that while Ireland’s agri-food export trade with Russia represents less than 2.5% of total agri-food export, this “very much belies the importance of this market in terms of its future potential”.Speaking to Newstalk, Minister Coveney said that there has been a tightening up of EU exports this year to Russia in the agri-food area anyway.All EU pigmeat is already banned in Russia due to an outbreak of African swine flu in the Baltic states.Coveney expressed disappointment at this, pointing out that the Russian market for pigmeat was worth €60m to Ireland last year.He told RTÉ that he feared that exports of cheese could be affected, and that Ireland exported about €4.5m worth of cheese to Russia last year.We’ve had a whole series of inspections in Irish plants in recent months that have resulted in Irish dairy powders not going to Russia at the moment and we’re negotiating with them on the technicalities of why that restriction is in place.But he said that the news of sanctions was not a surprise:“There has been a tendency to restrict the importation of food and drink from the European Union in Russia this year. We know that the President [Putin] wants more agricultural production to take place in Russia so they reduce their dependence on the European Union for production of food.”He said you “have to expect a backlash” to the Western trade restrictions and sanctions, “and that’s what we’re getting now”.For his part, Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) President Eddie Downey said today’s development highlights the “uncertainty and volatility on Irish farms” as our agricultural sector undergoes “increased exposure to world markets.”Bord Bia has established a dedicated support unit to assist companies with regard to the trading situation with Russia, which can be contacted on 01 6142 292.- First published 10.44amRead: Ukraine negotiates return of soldiers ‘forced to retreat’ into Russia> Updated 11.05pm Vladimir Putin Source: AP/Press Association ImagesRUSSIA IS TO introduce a “full embargo” on most food imports from EU, US, and other Western countries that have imposed sanctions against Moscow over its policy on Ukraine, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said today.He told a government meeting:Russia is introducing a full embargo on imports of beef, pork, fruit and vegetable produce, poultry, fish, cheese, milk and dairy products from the European Union, United States, Australia, Canada and Norway.last_img read more

Trinity scientists discover how to attack a bacteria that causes cystic fibrosis

first_imgTRINITY COLLEGE SCIENTISTS have discovered a way to attack a common bacteria that can ultimately cause death to those who suffer from cystic fibrosis.Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a resilient and adaptable species of bacteria that causes disease by infecting damaged tissue and overpowering people whose immune response is compromised in some way.It is particularly associated with cystic fibrosis. It thrives on moist surfaces and is often implicated in cross-infection cases in hospitals.Speaking to Professor of Membrane Structural and Functional Biology at Trinity, Martin Caffrey who headed up the research, he said the bacteria is known as an “opportunistic pathogen” which is the common cause of lung infections in cystic fibrosis patients.Sticky, slimy glue“The bacteria produces a moist, viscous, slimy ‘bio-film’ that is hard to attack. It is almost like a glue that lines the lungs and is almost impossible for patients to clear,” he said.“This sticky, slimy stuff becomes very impenetrable and is not very porous. Detergents and antibiotics can’t get through the bio-film, making it a very difficult thing for medical staff to treat,” he added.The bacteria also builds up on implants such as hip implants, causing a slimy bio-film on the implant that can cause infection to spread, said Caffrey.However, he explained that alginate, a major component of this bio-film, is made in the bacterial cells and is passed out via a pore in the outer membrane. This outer membrane helps to ‘ring-fence’ each bacterium from its external environment, while the pores in it provide controlled ‘gateways’ through which the alginate can exit.Penetrating the bacteria Professor Caffrey explained: “If we can knock out the functioning of this pore, we might be able to stop alginate being added to the troublesome bio-film.”The research looked at the hole that is punched through the membrane – which is just a few atoms wide – which could let antibiotics penetrate the bacteria. “Ultimately if we can block the movement and slow down the growth of bacteria it would be a welcome development,” he said.He explained that often the bacteria is targeted by a hard-hitting antibiotics but this can build up a huge resistance.“The idea is to be able to weaken the bacteria so that the body can at least deal with it and have a better chance of fighting it,” explained Caffrey.Read: More than half of you wash raw chicken and that’s really dangerous>Read: Scientists have proven a good sleep could actually cure your cold>last_img read more

Our predictions for E3 2011

first_imgThe Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is this week, and we’re all on the edge of our seats wondering what fresh new titles will be unveiled and what new hardware we’ll see at the show. There’s way too much in the pipeline to list it all, but here are some of the hot items we’re looking forward to when E3 starts tomorrow.The GearProbably the most tantalizing and interesting news that’ll come out of E3 this year will have to do with the next round of next-generation consoles and handhelds. All three of the major console manufacturers, Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo, have said that they’ll tip at least some info about their upcoming devices at E3.AdChoices广告Nintendo is the only one who’s said we’ll actually see an unveiling, but rumors have been flying that Microsoft has been working on a prototype next-gen Xbox for a while now. Sony, for its part, says the PlayStation 3 is current and will be current for years, but that hasn’t stopped people from wondering if a PS4 is on the way. Don’t expect to see new console hardware here from Microsoft or Sony, but expect there to be wild speculation about it.If they’re not unveiling new consoles though, the real news for Microsoft and Sony may be in the mobile space. Nintendo’s recently-released 3DS is definitely a stunning device, but it hasn’t sold as well as Nintendo had hoped, partially because of the popularity of gaming on mobile platforms.Expect to see some shiny new integration between Xbox Live and Windows Phone 7 (and possibly even Android or iOS,) and Sony to do a full-court press on the PSP and the upcoming PS Vita, Sony’s “Next Generation Portable (NGP.)” Sony will also probably trot out the Xperia Play – currently on Verizon Wireless – as an example of its commitment to mobile gaming as well.The GamesWhile the rumor mill is centered around new hardware, there’ll be plenty of new games at the show running on existing hardware for everyone to be excited about. Most people are eager to get some play time with the two upcoming contenders for king of the FPS: Battlefield 3 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.Some of the best upcoming games will see the light of day at E3, but whether or not they make headlines is anyone’s guess. Keep an eye out for news about Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception – one of our most anticipated titles, as well as Resistance 3 for the PS3, and Rage – the upcoming post-apocalyptic FPS for almost every platform. Last week we got our first look at the cinematic trailer for the upcoming Tomb Raider game – hopefully we’ll see some gameplay from E3.Also, expect several sequels to already popular titles. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword will take center stage at Nintendo, and there’ll probably even be a God of War 4 from Sony. Microsoft is also rolling out the Halo cart for another trip to the bank with Halo 4 accidentally revealed earlier today. We also know they’re planning a new subscription level for Xbox Live called Xbox Live: Diamond that we’ll learn more about at the show. Oh, and expect more Kinect games than you can literally shake a stick at.last_img read more

Apple patents Star Trekstyle flat keyless keyboards

first_imgThe next iteration of the Apple keyboard may not have any physical keys at all. According to the site Patently Apple, the company just filed for a patent that outlines a completely flat keyboard with sensors underneath that could be a future virtual keyboard, a-la the displays in Star Trek that change depending on what you press on them.It’s worth pointing out as always that just because Apple patents a technology doesn’t mean that we’ll see that product come to market in the near future. Apple goes out of their way to patent technologies they’re experimenting with or prototyping.AdChoices广告Apple clearly isn’t the only company that’s worked on virtual keyboard technology. A number of other companies have projected keyboards that project a keyboard onto a flat surface and track your finger location by camera, for example.Apple’s proposed keyboard is different. Their keyboard is more like a trackpad, which senses the position of the user’s finger on top of the keyboard and then reacts differently based on where the user is touching it. The keyboard could very well be a super-thin keyboard with machine stamped keys on top that don’t actually press down when you tap them, or the keyboard could be a glass keyboard with graphics on a screen below.Considering how much users generally dislike the notion of a machine-stamped keyboard or a keyboard that doesn’t offer any kind of feedback that you’ve pressed a button, it’s more likely to be the latter. The patent application, for its part, doesn’t say one way or the other, and leaves us guessing.Whether the technology is for some new, far-off keyboard that hasn’t been developed yet, or for the protocol required to use an iPad or other tablet device as a keyboard for your desktop or laptop remains to be seen. Regardless, its very possible Apple’s next keyboard will allow you to type, and then modify your keyboard to suit the way you work.Read more at Patently Applelast_img read more

Baidu Yi is an Android fork for China

first_imgBaidu saw its profits soar in 2010 thanks to Google’s exit from China, and it’s not afraid to turn to the Big G’s own open source software for “inspiration.” We’ve already seen Baidu’s Chromium-powered browser, and now the Chinese search giant has taken a second page from Google’s book of domination.We’d told you before that Baidu might be planning on following in Google’s footsteps with an OS, but we didn’t know just how closely. Meet Baidu Yi, a new mobile operating system — built on Android.While Android’s core functionality (like voice search) has been preserved, Baidu has ripped out most of the key apps and replaced Google’s versions with its own. There’s Yue for eBooks, Baidu-powered maps, and Shen Bian — which offers Google Places-like local recommendations.Yi’s music app integrates with Baidu’s extremely popular Ting service, which launched earlier this year to positive reviews.Like Android, Baidu Yi also offers single sign-in, providing easy access to its myriad cloud-powered apps and a mobile backup service.Yi will provide competition for another recently-launched mobile OS in China, Alibaba’s Cloud OS. The company began discussions with Qualcomm to develop internals for low-end smartphones this summer, and it’s also working on bringing a branded tablet to market before the end of the year.Both Baidu and Alibaba have massive user bases in China, and the introduction of their new operating systems and hardware will have a significant impact on the world’s largest mobile internet market.More at Penn-Olsonlast_img read more

Google Wallet page spurs iPhone murmurs

first_imgIt didn’t hold a giant event in California this week like some companies, but Google did make a newsworthy announcement. Although the news was largely missed, the search giant updated its Google Wallet website to include wording that the next version of the mobile payment platform is “coming soon.”Users can request an invitation to be among the first to test drive the new platform, and on the invitation page something very curious appears. Users are asked what kind of smartphone they own, with the options of Android, iOS, and “Other.” Of course, Google Wallet has until now been an Android-exclusive product.So the option for iOS users to ask for information on the next iteration certainly raises a few eyebrows. It’s not quite enough for anyone to earnestly spread a rumor that Google will bring mobile payments to the iPhone, but it is something over which to ponder.The update on Google Wallet’s website comes after the service garnered its first new carrier partner in months — MetroPCS is now a Google Wallet-certified mobile service provider.The update also comes just a matter of hours after rival mobile payment provider Isis finally launched in its test markets of Austin, Texas and Salt Lake City. Isis is financially backed by Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile so it is truly poised to smash Google Wallet like a bug.That is, if it can ever fully get its act together. Isis’s launch this week is the culmination of delay after delay, and it has still failed to successfully educate consumers about its product. Either way, no one has fully sparked American consumer imagination about mobile payments, so whoever can do that will surely catapult quickly.Google Wallet, via Fierce Mobilelast_img read more

Googles Android unit thought to be working on a Nexus smartwatch

first_imgWhile interest in smartphones and tablets remains high among consumers, they are both well established devices everyone knows about, has used, and probably owns. But in terms of “what’s next?” gadgets, there seems to be one clear new category: wearable tech.Google is offering us Google Glass in the not too distant future, while both Apple and Samsung are thought to be working on a smartwatch. But it turns out Google isn’t just focusing on high-tech eyewear, it is also working on its own smartwatch internally.The watch, which will inevitably end up being called the Nexus smartwatch, is being worked on by Google’s Android team. That’s according to the Financial Times’ anonymous source who has apparently been briefed on the project.The difficulty with making a watch smart, is the limited space you have available for components and a display. Go too big and no one is going to want to wear the thing on their wrist. And it’s for this reason Google may have an advantage over other smartwatches.Apple and Samsung will no doubt link their smartwatches to iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. But Google can do the same as well as going one step further and linking it to Google Glass. With Glass also being limited in size and therefore features, the two could complement each other very well.If you need more evidence that Google is at least thinking about a smartwatch, you only need look at the patent the company filed for in October 2011. Entitled “Smart-watch including flip up display,” It describes a smartwatch with two displays allowing you to interact with the device regardless of whether the top is flipped open or kept closed.[Image credit: Bostwickenator]last_img read more

Google may manufacture Glass in the US

first_imgAccording to a new report, Google will be manufacturing its upcoming Glass headsets in the US. This is a radical departure from the way most consumer electronics are produced in sprawling facilities in mainland China. The search giant apparently believes the initial Glass rollout will have several features that make sense for domestic production, but this might be contributing to the high price tag.The last product Google attempted to make in the good ol’ USA was the Nexus Q, a product that received so little interest Google killed it before the official release. One of the issues cited in the Q’s demise was the abnormally high price, which was partially due to the decision to manufacture in the US.Google Glass is believed to be going into production at a Santa Clara, California Foxconn plant. Foxconn is the same company running the Chinese facilities that make devices for Google, Apple, and others. The main reason domestic manufacturing could work for Glass is that the first production run will be small, on the order of a few thousand devices. That would be a fairly small order to submit to a factory in China.The decision to make Glass in the US might also be less of a convenience, and more of a necessity. Glass is a first of its kind consumer product. A remote factory might have no problem churning out thousands upon thousands of smartphones, which are all remarkably similar to one another. However, Glass is a complicated product that Google will want to keep a close eye on. What better way than to produce it in the company’s backyard?Google Glass was offered to attendees of Google I/O last year via the Explorers program (they still don’t have units though), and more recently to regular folks that participated in the #ifihadglass contest. Those lucky enough to get on the list for Google Glass will have to pay $1500 for the prototype unit, which is expected to be delivered in the coming months.last_img read more

Heres What Happened Today Tuesday

first_img Get our daily news round up: Tuesday 22 Nov 2016, 9:02 PM Nov 22nd 2016, 9:02 PM By Rónán Duffy Our most-read article right now – Gideon Rachman: Marine Le Pen looms over a Trumpian world— Financial Times (@FT) November 22, 2016 Share3 Tweet Email As right-wing politicians enjoy success in the UK and US with Brexit and Trump, what chance France’s follows with Marine Le Pen? No Comments NEED TO CATCH up? brings you a round-up of today’s news.IRELAND CEO of the Asthma Society of Ireland Averil Power (L) , Kevin Kelly with his dog Miles and Environment Minister Denis Naughten (R). The minister was outlining plans to improve air quality. Source: ROB MAXWELL Gardaí have described the attack on a student in Maynooth as “quite violent”.The State has awarded just under 400 women thousands of euros in compensation each for symphysiotomy procedures.President Michael D. Higgins has spoken out against anti-Semitism.A Stena Line that spent last night at sea after it was unable to dock has finally berthed in Wales.An overflowing landfill in Wicklow has been branded the “worst in the state”.The government has approved the promotions of 11 senior gardaí.Taoiseach Enda Kenny has been accused by opposition TDs of a “gushing” response to the election of Donald Trump and Mike Pence.A woman whose stepfather put a dog lead around her neck and sexually assaulted her as a child has condemned him for betraying her.A 12-year-old who suffered a laceration to her face while playing ‘Quasar’ with friends at a Leisureplex has been awarded €35,000 damages.center_img 12,891 Views WORLD A rare near-complete Dodo skeleton is sold for a total of £346,300 in the UK. Source: PA Wire/PA Images#TRUMP’S TRANSITION: President-elect Donald Trump has suggested that Nigel Farage be the UK ambassador to the United States.#STOLEN JEWELS: Two Qatari women and their driver were held up on a Paris motorway and robbed of valuables worth “at least €5 million”.#MANITOBA: The mother of a Cork man killed in a car crash in Canada last month says she was astounded by the reaction of her local community.INNOVATIONThe Irish Internet Association is in serious financial trouble, with its board set to ask members today whether the organisation should be wound up.The UK government could force internet service providers to block porn sites that don’t ask for age verification. (BBC) Source: Financial Times/Twitter Short URL PARTING SHOT Here’s What Happened Today: Tuesday Maynooth attack appeal, symphysiotomy payouts and stolen jewels in Paris. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

ISIS claims responsibility for suicide bomb blast which killed at least 70

first_img‘ISIS claims responsibility’ for suicide bomb blast which killed at least 70 people The explosion seemingly targeted Iranian pilgrims who were returning from a pilgrimage. Image: Nabil al-Jurani/PA Nov 24th 2016, 3:52 PM Shiite pilgrims make their way to Karbala for Arbaeen on Wednesday. Image: Nabil al-Jurani/PA 28 Comments Short URL Share1 Tweet Email center_img By AFP Thursday 24 Nov 2016, 3:52 PM 11,526 Views A SUICIDE TRUCK bomb blast in Iraq killed at least 70 people this afternoon, most of them Iranian pilgrims returning from the holy Shiite city of Karbala, a security official said.“There are at least 70 dead, fewer than 10 are Iraqis, the rest are Iranians,” Falah al-Radhi, head of the security committee for the Babylon provincial council, told AFP.The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attack. In a statement quoted by the SITE Intelligence Group, the jihadist organisation said a bomber “blew up his vehicle amidst their assembly, inflicting among them more than 200 killed and wounded, including Iranians.”Hospital and police officials said the bomb exploded at a gas station near the city of Hilla. They say the gas station was almost completely destroyed and that scores of cars were burned.The officials say the target of the attack appears to have been a bus carrying Iranian pilgrims heading home after taking part in a major Shiite holiday in the holy city of Karbala.More to follow…Read: ‘Left to die alone’: Premature baby spent final two hours in hospital sluice room >Read: Over $1 million raised for a US election recount in swing state Wisconsin > Shiite pilgrims make their way to Karbala for Arbaeen on Wednesday. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more