North Korea marches on towards nuclear reactor despite international fears

first_img(AP Photo/KRT via AP Video)Glyn Davies, the US pointman on North Korea who is currently touring the region to discuss the next diplomatic move vis-a-vis Pyongyang, indicated Tuesday that Washington would stand firm.“We need to see some signs that they are sincere about what is the central issue of the six-party process which is the peaceful denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula,” Davies said after talks with his South Korean counterpart in Seoul.The problem for Washington and Seoul is that the further North Korea is perceived to be advancing its nuclear programme, the larger the question mark over the effectiveness of non-engagement.“Restarting the Yongbyon reactor will raise international concerns and that raises the pressure on the US and its allies to do something about it,” said Kim Yong-Hyun, a North Korea specialist at Seoul’s Dongguk University, adding:Needless to say, North Korea is very well aware of this.TimelineAn ISIS analysis report noted there was still time to negotiate a shutdown of the reactor, given that it would take 2-3 years before it discharges irradiated fuel containing plutonium.And Paul Carroll of the Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation, doubted that Washington would allow itself to be rushed back to the dialogue table.“The reactor isn’t really a surprise and its restart was probably factored in by the US administration some time ago,” Carroll said, adding:With its focus on Syria, the US will be willing to let South Korea take the lead on this for a while, especially given the recent signs of progress in cross-border ties.The two Koreas have just set a date for reopening a joint industrial zone shut down five months ago and are also set to resume family reunions for those separated by the 1950-53 Korean War.- © AFP, 2013Read: Kim Jong-un’s ex-lover executed by firing squad > Read: North and South Korea confirm talks on family reunions to go ahead > (AP Photo/Wong May-E)In recent weeks, North Korea has indicated its willingness to resume six-party talks on its nuclear programme, involving the United States, Russia, China, Japan and South Korea.But both the United States and South Korea have wagered significant political capital on a policy that insists meaningful talks can only begin after North Korea demonstrates a tangible commitment to denuclearisation.By taking the opposite route and restarting its reactor, Pyongyang is following a tried and trusted policy that sees belligerence rather than compromise as the best tactic for bringing the US and its allies to the dialogue table where it can extract concessions.Non-engagement“It’s unclear whether the North has genuinely resumed operating the plutonium reactor or is just making it look like it has done so,” said Yang Moo-Jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Pyongyang.“But the strategy is the same either way — put pressure on Washington to start a dialogue,” Yang said. EVIDENCE THAT NORTH Korea has restarted a plutonium reactor is a fresh slap in the face for international efforts to encourage or coerce Pyongyang into abandoning its nuclear weapons programme, analysts say.Satellite imagery showing white steam exiting a building next to the five-megawatt reactor at Yongbyon suggests North Korea has made good on its threat in April to reopen the facility, the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University said.The development is a stark reminder of North Korea’s nuclear ambitions at a time when Pyongyang is otherwise engaged in something of a charm offensive, striking a series of recent deals with South Korea on thorny cross-border issues.The Yongbyon reactor, shut down in 2007 under an aid-for-disarmament accord, is capable of producing six kilogrammes (13 pounds) of plutonium a year — enough for one nuclear bomb.(AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)“They really are putting themselves in a position to increase the amount of material they have for nuclear weapons,” said Jeffrey Lewis, who analysed the images for the institute.“This gives them a little bit of leverage in negotiations, and adds a sense of urgency on our part,” Lewis told the BBC.UnderminedPyongyang is currently believed to have enough plutonium for about six bombs, after using part of its stock for at least two of its three atomic tests.The restart of the plutonium reactor would be the latest in a series of steps undermining years of effort by the international community to stall and roll back North Korea’s pursuit of an advanced nuclear deterrent.center_img (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)Last month, the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) said satellite images suggested the North may have doubled its uranium enrichment capacity at Yongbyon.The US think-tank, which tracks the North’s nuclear weapons programme, said the expansion would allow the facility to produce as much as 68 kilograms of weapons-grade uranium a year — enough for three nuclear bombs with a little left over.Separate satellite images in May showed that construction of an experimental light-water reactor at Yongbyon was also nearing completion.Last month, the International Atomic Energy Agency described these various moves — if confirmed — as “deeply regrettable” and “clear violations” of relevant UN Security Council resolutions.last_img read more

April Jones murder suspect tearful in court

first_imgMARK BRIDGER, the man suspected of murdering five-year-old April Jones, appeared in court today as police continued to search the young girl’s home town.Sky News said that Bridger, 46, was “tearful” during his appearance at Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court. He was remanded in custody and will appear at Caernarfon Crown Court on Wednesday.Police had said there was enough evidence to bring Bridger to court on a number of charges.“Having carried out a detailed review of the evidence provided so far by Dyfed-Powys Police, my conclusion is that there is sufficient evidence to charge Mark Bridger with the murder of April Jones and that it is in the public interest to do so,” said District Crown Prosecutor Iwan Jenkins.“Accordingly, I have authorised Dyfed-Powys Police to charge him with these offences and he will appear here at Aberystwyth Magistrates? Court on Monday morning,” he added.Around 100 police officers are searching for the missing girl around her home town of Machynlleth in mid-Wales.Bridger was arrested on Tuesday, the day after the schoolgirl disappeared, and was originally held on suspicion of abduction but investigators on Friday revealed he had been detained on suspicion of murder.Jones was last seen on Monday in Machynlleth getting into a vehicle. The search has been played out in the glare of television cameras, with every stage being followed closely by the media who have descended on the Montgomeryshire town.Police have revealed that April needs regular medication for cerebral palsy, further increasing fears for her wellbeing.Pink ribbons have appeared on houses across the town after April’s mother asked people to wear pink, her daughter’s favourite colour, in solidarity.- © AFP, 2012Read: Hundreds gather for church service for missing April Jones>Comments have been disabled as court proceedings have begunlast_img read more

Medical team pulled a stone from the back of Natasha McShanes throat

first_imgTRAUMA SURGEON DR Marius Katilius has told the Cook County Criminal Court in Chicago that the medical team treating Natasha McShane “pulled out a stone from the back of the throat”.Natasha McShane, from Silverbridge, has been left with extensive brain injures and speech problems as a result of the 2010 attack.AttackerHeriberto Viramontes, 34, is charged with two counts of attempted murder and 23 other charges linked to his alleged involvement in the attack on 23 April 2010.The BBC reports that yesterday the court heard evidence from the trauma surgeon on duty in the emergency room of Illinois Masonic Hospital when McShane and her friend Stacey Jurich were first admitted.Dr Katilius said there was a lot of blood and said that following a scan “an opaque structure in the back of the throat” was identified and a stone was pulled out.Brain injuryHe said she suffered a traumatic brain injury, with blood discovered both inside and outside the skull.Her friend Stacey Jurich who was also called as a witness said in court, said:“I heard my head being hit and I felt excruciating pain. And I lost my equilibrium.”Jurich said she also saw her friend hit on the head. “She was not moving on the ground. The blood started coming out of her head. I took my jacket and supported her head as much as I could. And I ran for help.”MotherIrish Central reports that Natasha’s mother, Sheila, said her daughter can barely speak following the attack:Sheila told the court that her daughter, a former student at the University College Dublin, was left unable to walk or speak more than a few words. She said her daughter was once a good sketch artist but now only scribbles. She is unable to hold a conversation and suffered from infections and seizures.Read:Friend of Irish student tells Chicago court of savage attack>Read: Father speaks about Natasha McShane’s struggles a year on from brutal attack>last_img read more

Cyprus university now letting you pay fees with Bitcoins

first_imgWITH BITCOINS NOW trading at €406 per coin, the list of things you can spend them on continues to grow. If you’re based in Cyprus, you can now use them to pay for your education.The University of Nicosia announced that it will be accepting Bitcoins as payment for tuition and other fees, making it the first accredited university in the world to accept it.Cyprus was one of the first countries to embrace Bitcoins thanks to a controversial bailout agreed earlier this year. Those who were angry with the terms began putting their savings into Bitcoins instead away from the reach of the banks. This investment kicked off the surge in price which saw it increase 5,000 per cent since the start of the year.The university is also launching a Masters in Digital Currency in Spring 2014, which will be taught both online and on-campus. The course will deal with how digital currency will interact with existing financial systems and how it will evolve.The university is also proposing to the Cyprus government a framework for developing the country into a hub for Bitcoin trading.The university’s Chief Financial Officer Dr. Christos Vlachos said in a statement: We are acutely aware that digital currency is an inevitable technical development that will lead to significant innovation… Digital currency will create more efficient services and will serve as a mechanism for spreading financial services to under-banked regions of the world.Read: China now the biggest market for Bitcoin trading >Read:  Cyprus launches criminal investigation into banking crisis >last_img read more

YouTube rumoured to be working on kids version of site

first_imgYOUTUBE IS SAID to be working on a version of its site designed specifically for children aged ten and under.Having the teen and adult market already wrapped up, The Information is reporting that the site is producing content designed for young children, free from inappropriate videos and comments they could find on the main site.Google has already approached developers and creators to help gauge interest in creating videos aimed towards children.YouTube already has a “safety mode” for filtering out inappropriate content as well as YouTube EDU, a sub-section for schools dedicated to educational videos. Currently, it employs a login system before you can view content suitable for 18+, but not all videos are marked as such.Having a version separate to the main site would eliminate the possibility of children stumbling upon more mature content. It would also put parents’ mind at ease as it wouldn’t require them to constantly moderate the site in case their children watch anything unsuitable.Read: What do Irish people watch most on YouTube? Music videos and comedy >Read: YouTube goes down, millions fear they’d actually have to work >last_img read more

Games manufacturer EA cuts jobs in Galway

first_imgThese are difficult decisions to let go of good people who have made important contributions to EA, and whenever possible we retrain or relocate employees to new roles. Streamlining our operations will help ensure EA is bringing the best next-generation games to players around the world.The spokesperson said the company would not disclose the number of jobs that would be lost in the cuts in Ireland however understands it is just less than 20.Just yesterday Joystiq reported that the company was laying off around 60 permanent employees at EA Mobile Montreal in Canada and a further 100 people working under contract.A spokesperson for IDA Ireland said it “has a longstanding relationship with EA – the company continues to employ significant numbers in the Galway area”.Read: Games giant EA to create 300 customer service jobs in Galway>Read: EA subsidiary to open call centre with 200 jobs> GAMES GIANT EA has decided to cut a number of jobs at its customer service centre in Galway, just seven months after it announced it would create 300 new positions in the expansion of its presence in the county.In September last year, the video games manufacturer announced 300 new jobs, in addition to the 200 staff it already employed, that would be created through an IDA Ireland-supported expansion. However yesterday staff at the quality department in Galway were told that the company would be making cuts.In a statement to, a spokesperson for the company said that it is “sharpening its focus to provide games for new platforms and mobile” and that, in some cases, this involves reducing team sizes.last_img read more

Check out the desks of 13 successful tech people

first_img See how smoggy downtown LA was the day before Trump is expected to demolish California’s attempts to tackle auto emissions China could be the biggest loser from the Saudi Arabia oil attack 16-year-old Greta Thunberg met with Obama and chided senators, saying they’re not trying hard enough to fight climate change 10 things in tech you need to know today THE WORLD’S MOST successful tech people don’t mess around when it comes to their working space.A desk has to be a place where you can be productive, healthy, and comfortable for many hours, day in day out.Craigslist founder Craig Newmark prefers a sparse desk, while Michael Moritz, Chairman at Sequoia Capital, keeps a bottle of emergency whiskey “for the bad surprise.”And some professionals don’t work at a desk at all.As a part of LinkedIn’s “View From My Desk” series, some of the most successful tech professionals in the world reveal where they work. We’re publishing the highlights with permission.last_img read more

Shocking number of food businesses served with closure orders in May

first_imgTHE FOOD SAFETY Authority (FSAI) has expressed concern at the number of food businesses in the country that are not compliant with law.Last month, 15 closure orders were served to food businesses that were in breach of food safety regulations.Two improvement orders and two prohibition orders were also served, mainly in businesses in Dublin and a successful prosecution was brought against Seamus Murphy who had a foodstall at The Gaelic Grounds, Ennis Road, Limerick.Commenting on the figures, Bernard Hegarty, Director of Service Contracts at the FSAI said that it was one of the highest months on record for enforcement orders and that the food sector needs to “refocus efforts” for higher standards.“It is shocking that such a high number of food businesses are not compliant with food law, most especially when there is a wealth of information and resources on best approaches for food safety management freely available from the FSAI,” he said.As we enter into the summer months, the risks for foodborne illness increases as bacteria can multiply rapidly in the warmer temperatures.  In the interest of their customers’ health and their businesses’ reputations nothing but the strictest adherence to high standards of cleanliness at all times should be tolerated.The 15 businesses served with closure orders in May were:Griffin on the Green Limited, 12 St Stephens Green, Dublin 2Duesbury Ltd, Trading as Old Ground Hotel (Closed area: kitchens, Poets Corner Bar & ancillary food areas), O’Connell Street, Ennis, ClareChopsticks (restaurant), Unit 68 Parnell Mall, Ilac Centre, Dublin 1Attached service area and food preparation room of Lydon House Catering Ltd, Roscommon Race Course, Castlerea Road, RoscommonPoc ar Buile (public house), Ballinrostig, Whitegate, CorkCurry King (restaurant), Main Street, Clogheen, TipperaryCafé Presse Ltd, Trading as Pacinos (restaurant), 18 Suffolk Street, Dublin 2Morning Star Food Hill (grocery), 63 Flower Hill, Navan, MeathJade Garden (take-away), Main Street, Headford, GalwayTrading as Rose Palace Chinese Restaurant, Well Road, Portlaoise, LaoisSichuan House (restaurant), 100a Parnell Street, Dublin 1Foodstall operated by Ali Ammar at Geashill, OffalyHong Kong Seafood Restaurant, 138 Parnell Street, Dublin 1The Head Chef, Food Stall, Main Street, Skibbereen, CorkDynasty (restaurant), Unit 9, College View, Main Street, Ballymun, Dublin 11Video: How does the food safety inspection process work in Ireland?>Read: 9 enforcement orders served up to Irish food premises in April>last_img read more

Brief Gaza truce ends as fresh Israeli bombing campaign pushes death toll

first_img Once more #Hamas breaches cease fire. This time brokered by the @ICRC_ilot for a humanitarian hiatus. #IDF responding accordingly.— LTC (R) Peter Lerner (@LTCPeterLerner) July 20, 2014 Source: Peter Lerner/Twitter Updated 12.45 pmA SHORT-LIVED humanitarian truce in Gaza’s battered Shejaiya neighbourhood appeared to have collapsed this afternoon as the Israeli army accused Hamas militants of violating it and said it had “responded accordingly”.Israel agreed to observe an immediate two-hour humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza’s Shejaiya neighbourhood, halting a blistering bombing campaign that killed dozens in the area this morning.This morning’s Israeli bombardments killed at least 50 people in Gaza on Sunday, medics said, as the army intensified a 13-day campaign against the besieged Palestinian territory.“410 people have been killed since the war started and more than 3,020 people have been injured, most of them civilians,” deputy health minister Yussef Abu Rish told reporters at Shifa hospital in Gaza City.The vast majority of Sunday’s dead were in the Shejaiya neighbourhood between Gaza City and the Israeli border, where more than 50 people were killed in a blistering bombardment which began overnight, medics said.center_img Heavy artillery shelling east of Gaza City early in the morning killed at least six people, emergency spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said.In one artillery hit in Shejaiya east of Gaza City, a woman, two children and the son of senior Hamas official Khalil al-Hayya were killed, Qudra told AFP.Thousands of people fled the Shejaiya district early this morning, many of them on foot, after heavy shelling left casualties lying in the streets.Ambulances were unable to reach much of the area along the border because of heavy fire, and emergency services told AFP there were reports of dead and wounded trapped by the bombardment.Earlier, tank fire killed 56-year-old Hosni al-Absi in the southern city of Rafah.An air strike in Rafah killed three young men, all brothers, and wounded 10 more people, Qudra said. Hours later, another strike in Rafah killed three people.Shortly after that, a strike in the central Strip killed a 29-year-old man.During Israel’s operation to stamp out rocket fire from the besieged territory, some 1,333 rockets have hit Israel, with 360 intercepted by its Iron Dome defence system.Israel’s military has hit thousands of targets in the besieged coastal territory.Five Israeli soldiers have been killed since the operation was launched on the army said.Two Israeli civilians, including a Bedouin man, have died in cross-border fire.Nearly 2,400 Palestinians have been wounded in the biggest confrontation in and around Gaza since Operation Cast Lead, a bloody 22-day offensive which ended in January 2009.Gaza’s health ministry said in a statement early Sunday that the Israeli artillery attack on Shejaiya had targeted ambulances trying to evacuate the wounded.© – AFP 2014Read: Gaza death toll passes 300 as UN chief heads to region >Read: Here’s what Pro-Israel and Pro-Palestine groups in Ireland have to say about the conflict >last_img read more

Unregistered Carlow plumber prosecuted for installing gas boilers

first_imgA PLUMBER FROM County Carlow was prosecuted in the Dublin District Court for carrying out illegal gas works when he was not registered to do so.Under the Electricity Regulation Act 1999, for someone to carry out gas works, they must be a registered gas installer.The man was found guilty and instructed to pay €1000 to Merchant’s Quay Project.In addition he had to pay costs of €250 awarded to the Commission of Energy Regulation (CER).Third this yearThis is the third successful prosecution by CER this year and seventh taken by the CER to date.The CER said the prosecution emphases the importance of only registered installers carrying out any sort of gas works, stating that it is for the public’s safety that this is a requirement.The public can be assured that only Registered Gas Installers are competent, insured and inspected. The CER is committed to using its resources to investigate and prosecute individuals undertaking illegal gas works.Commissioner for Safety, Paul McGowan said:This prosecution sends a clear message that the CER will actively investigate and prosecute unregistered individuals that act outside the law. The CER would remind the public that, for their own safety, all gas works relating to domestic appliances must be completed by Registered Gas Installers.Read: People are going door-to-door offering to tamper with gas metersRead: Clare Daly says gardaí at Corrib gas site are the “hired hands” of Shelllast_img read more

Turning A Toxic Landfill Into An Oasis

first_imgThe Wadi Hanifa is a valley in Saudia Arabia, that’s over 75 miles long. And thanks to increased urbanization, it became subject to runoff from a local sewage treatment plant, turning it into a toxic sewer. But in 2001 Moriyama & Teshima Planners, a Toronto-based architectural firm, was tasked with cleaning up the valley and has now been recognized for turning it into a sparkling oasis.The firm won five Aga Khan awards this week for its work on the $100 million project, funded by the city of Riyadh.“Wadi Hanifa was Riyadh’s dump and its sewer,” Moriyama & Teshima Planners president George Stockton said. “What we wanted to do was to bring Wadi Hanifa back to life. So after decades of neglect, we are now seeing this amazing rebirth and transformation of Wadi Hanifa as a naturalized park system.In addition to cleaning up the valley, the rehabilitation project also included the installation of dams to regulate water flow and planting reeds to help purify the water further. The Wadi Hanifa now serves as a home to plenty of social activities, including fishing and picnicking.You can view a series of before and after images of the valley at the CBC.last_img read more

Mozilla Google scramble to catch up to IE9s FTCmandated Do Not Track

first_imgLate last year, the Federal trade Commission suggested the creation of a “Do Not Track” option in every browser, which would create a digital analogue to the national Do Not Call registry.The idea is simple: it would allow users to opt out of ad-based tracking, which is when the advertisements you see on commercial websites will track where you’ve been, where you’re going and where you’re coming from invisibly, all to serve you even more strongly targeted ads.AdChoices广告It’s a good idea: the problem is how to implement the feature. Microsoft has led the way in this regard, announcing a Do Not Track feature for Internet Explorer 9 way back in December. Now Chrome and Firefox are catching up.On Mozilla‘s part, they are adding a feature to Firefox that will allow users to set a preference that will add a “Do Not Track” HTTP header to every page they view, effectively opting them out of ad-based tracking… as long as the websites decide to recognize the opt-out, which they may not do.Google is taking a different tack, though: they’re handling this by releasing a free extension called Keep My Opt-Outs, allowing you to permanently opt out of ad tracking cookies.The FTC seems pleased with Mozilla and Microsoft’s response to their call for a Do Not Track feature, but they’re none too happy about Google’s optional, extension-based approach. It makes sense, though, that Google would be dragging their heels on this: after all, they’re the operators of AdSense, which is only the biggest online ad network on Earth.Read more at Read Write Weblast_img read more

Lego employees build an incredible lifesized hobbit house

first_img 1 2 3 Note the (apparently full-sized) person in the backgroundYesterday, we showed you the awesome real-life hobbit house a very wealthy person had built for themselves. Alas, the average person would never have the money or land for such a creation, but Lego has built an alternative.People use Lego to create any number of amazing objects such as portal guns, working Batmobiles, and even an M&M sorting machine. This time the clever people at Lego have used their little plastic blocks to create something wonderful: a life-size model of Bag End from J.R.R Tolkien’s universe.Bag End was lovingly built by a patient team of 12 model shop employees and it took them around 3,000 hours to construct. The house is made up of over 2 million 1×1 Lego bricks, but if that wasn’t impressive enough, Bag End does more that just stand there. The chimney really smokes and there are working lights–one over the book stand and some more over the fireplace.The inside of the house fits in as much detail as possible, and there’s a table full of Lego food, a chest where Bilbo keeps his belongings, a stove, and places for the hobbits and dwarfs to sit. There’s also a number of huge Lego figures including Gandalf, Bilbo, and a selection of the dwarfs.It’s unclear what the model has been built for, though. It could be for an upcoming trade show or toy fair but, it would be amazing to see something like this at Lego Land. If you love this Lego set, but would never have the money, time, or space to build it, you can actually buy the exact same set in normal Lego size. It’s called 79003 An Unexpected Gathering and is available to purchase from Lego’s online store.Next page: A closer look at Lego Bag End…last_img read more

Prepare for indoor iPhone tracking as Apple buys WiFiSLAM

first_imgIt’s now common practice for the GPS location of your mobile device to be used by certain apps. Your location can help when using a mapping app to navigate to a specific location, for fitness apps that are tracking your progress running/walking, or for advertising when providing local offers. However, that GPS tracking falls apart when you go indoors as it’s difficult, if not impossible to maintain a signal and pinpoint your device’s location.Apple looks set to fix that problem for its iDevices as the company has just acquired WiFiSLAM, a two-year-old Silicon Valley startup that specializes in tracking devices indoors.WiFiSLAM has developed a system that utilizes the existing ambient WiFi signals within a building to track device locations with an accuracy of 2.5 meters. The company has so far offered its tech to developers wanting to map indoor areas, customer engagement for retailers, and social networking applications, but with Apple taking control, I suspect it will become an internal project specific to Apple’s devices.As far as acquisitions go, this one is tiny for Apple. It is thought they paid $20 million for WiFiSLAM whose founders include former Google software engineer Joseph Huang. And as is typical, Apple isn’t willing to discuss what plans if any they have for WiFiSLAM’s tech.We recently heard about Cambridge Consultants developing a very accurate indoor location system that relies on a range of sensors, an algorithm, and Bayesian probability rather than GPS to figure out where you are. WiFiSLAM’s solution looks to be a lot simpler, and therefore much easier to ship as a core feature in a near future iOS release.last_img read more

Apple offering 10000 for 50 billionth app download today

first_imgWhenever a major milestone occurs on the App Store, Apple likes to mark the occasion with a running total you can watch tick up to the target and a generous cash prize. The company did this when the App Store hit 10 billion apps and again when it hit 25 billion apps. In both cases an iTunes gift card for $10,000 was awarded to the lucky person who managed to download the 10 or 25 billionth app.The same thing is set to happen today when the 50 billionth app is sold. If you manage to download it, expect a $10,000 gift card to spend. Apple has added to the offer this time around, though. If you manage to download one of the first 50 apps after the 50 billion milestone is reached, you’ll receive a $500 gift card.It’s interesting to look at how quickly app downloads are increasing on the App Store. It got to 10 billion apps on January 14, 2011. The 25 billion app total was reached a little over a year later on March 2, 2012. So that total has managed to double again in 14 months. What this shows is that while Apple may be suffering stronger competition for hardware sales, the popularity of the App Store is not really being effected.If you want a chance to win the $10,000 gift card today then there’s only one thing you can do: buy apps. You can watch the real-time total count up on Apple’s website, so it’s just a matter of timing your purchase right to be in with a chance. It’s going to be tough to judge, though, as the rate of purchasing will increase dramatically as it moves past 49,900,000,000 later today.last_img read more

Steve Ballmer puts in his 12 month notice at Microsoft

first_imgMicrosoft has announced that CEO Steve Ballmer will be retiring from the company within the next 12 months, with a special committee formed to help determine the best successor to the crumbling throne. After a failed Windows RT program, an unsuccessful Surface launch, a crawling Windows Phone program, and a dismal response to Microsoft’s next-gen gaming console, it’s not hard to imagine why Steve Ballmer would want to exist Microsoft now. If his general personality isn’t being mocked while he’s on stage, the products he is announcing are suffering the same fate shortly after. With the company shoveling money into products like Bing in order to look competitive on top of a failing hardware line, it’s clear to everyone that new leadership is needed. Ballmer taking the initiative to leave and allow the Board of Directors to locate a suitable replacement is a merciful end to this chapter in Microsoft’s history. The special committee tasked to replace Ballmer includes lead independent director John Thompson, Audit Committee Chairman Chuck Noski, and Compensation Committee Chairman Steve Luczo, and of course Bill Gates. In a brief message on the Microsoft news site, Gates assures everyone that he’ll be working closely with everyone involved to identify a great new CEO. It’s possible that Ballmer will leave his position at Microsoft before this 12 month period expires, if a new CEO can be found and the transition happens smoothly.last_img read more

What on earth will happen if Donald Trump DOESNT win the election

first_imgThe prospect of violence after the election might be mitigated if Clinton wins by a large margin and if Republicans who endorsed Trump stand up and declare the voting to have been clean, said Timothy Frye, head of the political science department at Columbia University.“One thing that will be very important to look for is the behaviour of other politicians,” Frye said, citing Trump running mate Mike Pence, who has pledged to respect the results of the elections.President Barack Obama has said that Trump’s claims are irresponsible and show he lacks the thick skin needed to be president.“You start whining before the game’s even over?” Obama said. “I’d advise Mr Trump to stop whining and go try to make his case to get votes.”© – AFP, 2016Read: Phil Hogan says the UK is ‘going to learn a hard lesson’ over BrexitRead: A man accused of murdering his Tinder date has walked free from court in Australia Source: David A. Clarke, Jr./Twitter The election is absolutely being rigged by the dishonest and distorted media pushing Crooked Hillary – but also at many polling places – SAD— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 16, 2016 41,553 Views Source: Donald J. Trump/Twitter Source: AP/Press Association ImagesMANY AMERICANS ARE appalled by the prospect of Donald Trump winning the US presidency. But many more are just as scared over what might happen if he loses.By insisting the 8 November election is rigged, the Republican nominee has stoked fears that he’s giving his supporters free rein for some kind of morning-after backlash if he loses to Democrat Hillary Clinton.Ominously, the billionaire businessman has also urged his people to go to polling places in minority-rich places like Philadelphia and guard against voter fraud on election day.What will actually happen if Trump loses is anyone’s guess. These are uncharted waters: a US presidential candidate claiming fraud even before the country votes in a highly decentralised system in which electoral rigging is described as practically impossible.But if there is a drum roll of anticipation to see, with Trump’s poll numbers tumbling, if Clinton becomes America’s first female president, there is another triggered by his unsubstantiated claims of electoral shenanigans.Playing with fire“I think Trump is playing with fire and he has been playing with fire for many, many months,” said Matt Dallek, associate professor of political management at George Washington University.And I think it is coming to a crescendo.Violence is not a forgone conclusion, he said, but in a country with more guns than people all it takes is an armed, angry lone wolf Trump supporter for tragedy to occur.Trump’s blustery, law and order campaign has appealed heavily to frustrated middle class and less educated whites and criticised immigrants, Muslims and other minorities.Among other demographics, he has targeted people who feel left out by the globalised economy and embrace his vision of a once-great America – now reduced to mismanaged, crime-ridden mess that cannot create or hold onto jobs, compete abroad, fight Islamist extremists or keep out undocumented migrants.At a Trump rally last Monday night in Wisconsin, 18-year old first time voter and Trump supporter Joseph Wells said he was nervous about what lies ahead if Clinton wins. Saturday 22 Oct 2016, 7:00 PM Share145 Tweet Email1 Oct 22nd 2016, 7:00 PM Short URL What on earth will happen if Donald Trump DOESN’T win the election? Donald Trump seemed to be preparing for a loss by insisting the vote is rigged weeks before the election. But what effect is that having on his more incendiary supporters? It’s incredible that our institutions of gov, WH, Congress, DOJ, and big media are corrupt & all we do is bitch. Pitchforks and torches time— David A. Clarke, Jr. (@SheriffClarke) October 15, 2016 By AFP ‘Scared’ over aftermath“I don’t want to call Trump supporters violent, but I mean they’ll be ticked off. They’re not going to be happy,” Wells said.I’ll be honest, I’m kind of scared to see how the election and the aftermath is going to unfold.The latest polls show Clinton an average of seven points ahead, having pulled away from Trump as nearly a dozen women came forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct. Trump denies the allegations.The lexicon of campaign Trump is rich with howlers – of late his boast that fame allowed him to get away with grabbing women in the crotch, and other misogynistic remarks.He is quick to resort to violent language when he talks about people who oppose or challenge him. Brawls have broken out at his rallies as Trump supporters traded blows with protesters.But the statement that perhaps horrified people the most was his suggestion in August that gun rights activists might be able to act out somehow if Clinton wins the presidency and appoints Supreme Court justices who favour stricter gun control measures.Referring to the constitutional clause that gives Americans the right to bear arms, Trump said: “If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people – maybe there is, I don’t know.”‘Pitchfork and torches time’A pro-Trump sheriff who has caused alarm by appearing to call for a violent uprising, doubled down on the comments when invited to speak at a Trump rally in Wisconsin this week.“I’ll continue to say it. It is pitchfork and torches time in America,” boomed the Milwaukee official, David Clarke, to a roar of approval from the crowd. 93 Comments Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Some flee immediately Migrants pretending to be children to get into Ireland

first_img‘Some flee immediately’: Migrants pretending to be children to get into Ireland So far this year, Tusla has received 97 referrals into its team for separated children seeking asylum. Share88 Tweet Email Short URL 32,921 Views 113 Comments Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article THE HEAD OF Ireland’s child and family agency, Tusla, has said one of the biggest challenges for the State when it comes to unaccompanied migrant children is verifying their ages.The first intake of migrant children from Calais arrived in Britain this week and there were criticisms of the age assessment process, amid speculation in some media outlets that some of the young men may be over 18.In an interview with this week, chief executive of Tusla, Fred McBride, said this is a problem his agency also faces.“Some of them are not children, they’re actually adults pretending to be children. So, actually getting verification of their age is a challenge and some will flee immediately on landing at the port or airport,” he said.center_img They’ll just disappear into the communities and it’s very difficult to know where they’ve gone or to track them at all unless them come up through other channels – the guards, or housing and so on.In 2014, Tusla’s team for separated children seeking asylum received 97 referrals. In 2015, it received 109 referrals. So far this year, Tusla has received 97 referrals into this team.For the children who are, in fact, unaccompanied minors, the agency’s main focus is on reuniting them with family members.“That’s the goal and that’s always the biggest challenge”, McBride said.Ireland is seen as “an example of best practice” across Europe, he said, as the country has had a dedicated service for separated children for the last 15 years.“So it’s more developed, better developed than it is in many other jurisdictions who are really only getting to grips with this problem now,” McBride explained.“We’ve been trying to deal with it for a number of years and developed good services and good supports to be able to support these youngsters and reunite them with their families.”McBride’s comments are part of a wide-ranging interview with this week. We’ll have more from the Tusla chief executive on the agency’s changing approach to families, social worker vacancies, the new childcare tax rebate and delays for children in accessing mental health services tomorrow morning. Read: ‘There’s a lot of hidden antipathy towards helping immigrants’>More: ‘Nobody wants that on their conscience’: Irish truck drivers fear deaths of migrants in trailers> Saturday 29 Oct 2016, 9:30 PM By Michelle Hennessy Image: John Stillwell/PA Oct 29th 2016, 9:30 PM Image: John Stillwell/PAlast_img read more

The Supreme Court case that needs to be resolved before the Eighth

first_img Share256 Tweet Email7 So on the one hand you’re saying that this unborn has the right not to be deported, not have their mother deported, but on the other hand can be aborted here.He said that immigration was the most pointed example of this “slightly awkward clash of different rights”, which was why the State had sought clarification.Although Judge Humphreys is not the only judge to comment on the definition of “unborn” in the Constitution, his definition is seen as the most definitive, which is why the State decided to pursue further clarification.McDermott said that the complication and significance of the judgement could mean that it would take more time than other Supreme Court rulings.“Presumably the court is aware that this could impact on the referendum,” he added.Cases are usually listed up to three months to allow time for a judgement to be given – three months after that would mean the decision was published at the end of May, which is the time the government has indicated the referendum will be held. The 25 May is the rumoured date for the referendum. Source: PA ImagesAnother thing that could happen during this judgement is the court could make a comment about the Eighth Amendment generally.“I’d imagine the Supreme Court would try to be careful to not be seen to interfere with the referendum or influence it, it will try to stick to the narrow question – but you couldn’t rule out the possibility that it might say something in its judgements that might throw a light on what the current [Eighth Amendment] wording means,” McDermott said.Rights of ‘the unborn’ before 1983Last month, the government published a summary of the legal advice it received from the Attorney General Seamus Woulfe on the proposed wording for the Eighth Amendment referendum.Rather than adopting the recommendation from the Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment to have a straight repeal, the government opted for an enabling clause to be included in the Constitution giving the Oireachtas the power to legislate on abortion. Pro-choice campaigners on O’Connell Bridge in Dublin last March. Source: PA ImagesThe reason the Attorney General gave for this approach is that if Article 40.3.3 was simply repealed, it could be argued before the courts that the unborn has residual constitutional rights, which “could continue to restrict the power of the Oireachtas to legislate on the issue”.McDermott said that this is something that will form part of the discussion around what the definition of “unborn” is, and whether there are constitutional protections for the unborn before that Amendment was inserted in October 1983. Feb 1st 2018, 12:06 AM The Supreme Court case that needs to be resolved before the Eighth Amendment referendum A ruling by the High Court in 2016 found that references to the “unborn” in the Constitution meant an unborn child. Sunday 18 Feb 2018, 8:25 AM But that opens a whole other can of worms for the State such as social welfare – should the unborn’s mother be entitled to child benefit? Should the Census start counting a foetus as a child? And mortality rates – miscarriages count for 20% or 30% of pregnancies, so think of the effect on mortality rates.She said that these wouldn’t necessarily come to pass if Humphreys’ ruling is upheld, but said that based on her reading of the case, “it didn’t seem necessary to reach that issue”.“The principle of making a constitutional decision, you have to make sure that it’s necessary and I wouldn’t really find it necessary,” she said, saying that there were enough grounds for the couple to avoid deportation without concluding that “the unborn” meant “unborn child” with rights beyond the right to life.PredictionAlthough judges have commented on the definition of unborn before, this case is unprecedented in that a specific definition has never been sought before.The wording for Ireland’s constitution is also unique, as there aren’t many cases that afford such strong legal protection to the “unborn”. This will make it difficult for judges to seek previous cases in which to base their judgement on.“Our constitution has had its own peculiar history on this issue,” McDermott says. It’s hard to compare it with any other country because we’ve had two referenda, we’ve had the X Case, there’s been so many twists and turns it’s probably hard to look at any other country and say that’s just like ours.“I would imagine that whatever happens in the referendum, this Supreme Court judgement could be one of the most important judgments of the year, or the decade maybe.”Claim dismissedOn 7 February, a three-judge panel ruled against the Pro Life Campaign’s application to become a legal adviser in the case.Mr Justice Donal O’Donnell, Mr Justice William McKechnie and Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne rejected the application for the Pro Life Campaign to become an amicus curiae or an impartial adviser, saying that this was a “pure issue of law, with no medical or social issue”,  and both parties in this case were already legally represented by “experienced teams”.The panel of judges also questioned the impact the groups involvement would have in the context of the upcoming Eighth Amendment referendum, and asked why they had waited until the last minute to lodge the application to become an amicus, when when the appeal was lodged in the summer of 2016.Read: Abortion referendum proposed for May, but 12-week law goes too far for CoveneyRead: Explainer: What is the 8th Amendment? 167 Comments By Gráinne Ní Aodha Short URL Source: Niall Carson via PA ImagesThis article was first published on 1 February. It has been updated and republished today ahead of the hearings next week. THE SUPREME COURT is to expand on a High Court ruling that found that the “unborn” has rights beyond the right to life, which would have significant ramifications in the event of a ‘repeal’ vote in the proposed Eighth Amendment referendum.The case is to appear before a panel of seven judges on Wednesday 21 February with hearings expected to last two days.The State is appealing a High Court decision handed down in July 2016 where Judge Richard Humphreys ruled that the use of the word “unborn” in Bunreacht na hÉireann meant an “unborn child”, with the unborn’s rights extending beyond the right to life.The judgement was made in a case of a man and a woman and their unborn child, now two years of age. The man, who’s originally from Nigeria, was facing a deportation order after being refused asylum in 2007.During the case, the legal team representing the Department of Justice argued that the couple had no constitutional right to remain here because they weren’t married, and said that the only right the unborn had was the right to life.But in his ruling, the judge said that argument was “entirely without merit”, expanding beyond that to say that references to “the unborn” in the Constitution was “clearly a child”.“In my view, the unborn child is clearly a child and this, protected by Article 42A. Any other conclusion would fly in the face of the ordinary meaning of language, the use of the term child in numerous statutory contexts prior to the adoption of Article 42A, and the sheer social biological and human reality that an unborn child is, indeed, a child. Ask any happily expectant parent.”The judgement continues: What has never been clear is – before 1983, did the unborn have protection in the Constitution even though there was no expressed reference to them? And if the answer to that is yes – and some judges had said yes, the unborn were protected – does that just mean they had a right to life protected, or did they have other rights?Under the Children’s Rights referendum, the State has a duty to protect all children; in his ruling Judge Humphreys said it was his view that those rights afforded in 2012 cover the unborn as well.“Insofar as Article 42A of the Constitution protects ‘all’ children, such protection covers the child both before and after birth,” he said in his judgement.But other High Court judges have made the opposite ruling, so there’s never been a definitive ruling with regards to the unborn in the Constitution and what it means.The ruling wouldn’t have a bearing on the right of the unborn to citizenship, as the Twenty-Seventh Amendment of the Constitution specifically refers to that right being given to someone who is “born in the island of Ireland” and who has at least one Irish parent.The context in which questioning of the definition arose was within immigration, which McDermott argues is where it’s “particularly acute”.“If you’re an unborn being carried in the womb of a mother in Ireland, and if your mother has been deported to a country that’s dangerous or with very poor healthcare, that can have a big impact on your life.”Immigration solicitor Wendy Lyon of KOD Lyons told that if the judge’s ruling is upheld, it could “potentially be very serious”.“It could be very useful in immigration law if a client is expecting a child that would be good grounds to remain – a child who is Irish or an EU citizen would have very strong rights to remain, so in that respect it’s useful. A snippet from the 2016 High Court judgement that says the Constitution protects all children ‘both before and after birth’.The judge revoked the Nigerian man’s deportation order, saying that the Minister for Justice needed not only to consider the unborn’s right to life, but the legal rights received upon being born. This included safeguards inserted as part of the Children’s Referendum that the State had a duty to protect all children.If this ruling was to be upheld, it could cause complications for the State in the context of the Eighth Amendment referendum, as barrister Paul Anthony McDermott explained.“If you now say the unborn has rights other than the right to life, if the unborn is defined from week zero, you come to a slightly strange scenario where on one hand the Supreme Court is saying, for example, that an unborn has a right to stay in Ireland, but on the other hand, the Oireachtas is saying there’s a right to abort that unborn. 33,129 Views The unborn child enjoys significant rights and legal position at common law, by statute and under the Constitution, going well beyond the right to life alone. Many of these rights are actually effective rather than merely prospective. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Father awarded €110k in damages 22 years after his son died from

first_img Wednesday 7 Dec 2016, 9:41 PM By Aodhan O Faolain Dec 7th 2016, 9:41 PM No Comments 15,985 Views Image: Shutterstock/wk1003mike Share32 Tweet Email1 THE HIGH COURT has awarded €110,000 in damages to the father of a man who died as a result of contracting Hepatitis C and HIV from contaminated blood products.The father previously had a claim rejected by the Hepatitis C Compensation Tribunal but the High Court ruled he was entitled to damages for nervous shock and distress suffered following his son’s death.In his judgment, Justice Michael Hanna said that he was satisfied that the father, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was entitled to compensation over the “tragic death” of his son in late 1994.The judge said the father had suffered from moderate post traumatic stress following his son’s death. It was not the most serious case, but the judge said it was “a significant one.”The father had sought compensation from the Hepatitis C and HIV Compensation Tribunal for the post traumatic stress and nervous shock he suffered following his son’s death.In 2013, the Tribunal dismissed the father’s application for compensation after finding he had failed to establish he suffered a psychiatric injury above the effects of normal grief, distress and bereavement.Compensation for loss of society was awarded by the tribunal in favour of the father.The father, in proceedings against both the Minister for Health and the Tribunal, appealed the rejection of his claim for nervous shock to the High Court.Haemophilia  In his judgement Justice Hanna said the man’s son was born a haemophiliac and contracted Hepatitis C and HIV from contaminated blood he was given.The judge said the man’s son was managing his illness, but in late 1994 became unwell.His father dropped him off to the hospital. This was the normal thing to do given the son’s condition, when the son became ill. The father said there was nothing untoward on that occasion he left to the hospital.The following day the father was told he was urgently needed at the hospital. While in the waiting area he witnessed the emergency transfer of what turned out to be his son.The father, who is now aged in his seventies, was later called into a room, but was not told what to expect, where he found his son laid out dead. Source: Joe Dunne/Photocall Ireland!This the judge said was “an utterly harrowing vista” for the father, and a situation which was “nightmarish.”The Judge said the man, who was already vulnerable following the loss of another of his children in a road traffic accident, did suffer from post traumatic stress disorder as a result of what happened to him.The father, the judge said has lived for more than 20 years with “the awful reality of what occurred.”The father he said had suffered problems including sleeplessness, irritability and an interference with both is quality of life and his ability to work.The father’s life the judge added was genuinely, seriously and significantly affected by his son’s death.It was perhaps “a mark of the man” and his inner strength that he was able to cope at all given the awful experience of his son’s death set against the previous tragedy of losing his four-year-old daughter, the judge said.In the circumstances the judge said the father was entitled to €125,000 compensation However, the judge said he was reducing the award by €15000 to €110,000.This was because the man had failed to undergo therapy.The judge concluded that while the failure to do was understandable there was an obligation on all of us to mitigate our losses.Comments have been disabled to protect the identity of the man. Read: ‘I just took her up in my arms and held her’: Mother gives evidence about the night her daughter died >Read: Taxi driver allegedly sexually assaulted woman when bringing her home from night out > Image: Shutterstock/wk1003mike Father awarded €110k in damages 22 years after his son died from contaminated blood The father’s application to the Hepatitis C Tribunal was refused. Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more