Back Seat DriversIrish Ferries March (9.12.2005, 15:24 UTC)
Myself, Jon and Diana took part in the protest march against Irish Ferries in Dublin today. There was a great turnout, with Gardaí estimating that 23,000 marched in Dublin alone. Here's some photos we took along the way: Marchers assemble at Parnell Square No Slave Ships on Irish Sea (Bit blurred, I know) Polish Workers Against Exploitation The Lithuanian contingent Larkin looks on Full set of photos over here. Categories: Ireland , Photos , Irish Ferries March
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Back Seat DriversTaxing porno (9.12.2005, 14:44 UTC)
Over at United Irelander I learned that the Italian government may start taxing porn. From next year on, Italians could have to pay a tax of 20% if a budget amendment passes. If Brian Cowen is inspired by the Italians it could mean interesting headlines in the annual "sin tax" roundup at Budget time, with porn being thrown in with cigarettes and alcohol. Apparently, the tax is expected to net €220 million for the Italian treasury. By my calculations that means, without the proposed tax, I...
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Back Seat DriversIreland in brief (9.12.2005, 08:43 UTC)
Government fury as Callely resignation eclipses BudgetSean Haughey tipped for Callely's jobIntensive efforts continue to resolve ferry rowProtests to go ahead as hopes fade for ferries dealWestlink bridge shut as dissident IRA bomb foundCAP row to hang over Ahern-Blair talks Abbey theatre to move to the docklands Pathologist findings back O'Donoghue account of death Man held after stabbings in Co Clare Bogus health tags found after swoop on two meat plants €28m Revenue haul from tax scams...
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Back Seat DriversBreaking (8.12.2005, 12:31 UTC)
Wanted Croatian war crimes suspect Ante Gotovina has been nabbed on the Canary Islands, according to El Pais . He was arrested last night, with Carla Del Ponte of the International War Crimes Tribunal announcing the news this morning. Related: Waiting for Gotovina Categories: Europe , Spain , Croatia
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Back Seat DriversBag yourself a tiger in Badajoz (8.12.2005, 08:18 UTC)
Yesterday's El Pais reports that Spain's Guardia Civil arrested seven people charged with running an illegal big game hunt, near Badajoz of all places. Apparently these people were importing lions, tigers, wolves and lynxes and charging people major money to hunt the animals. Categories: Europe , Spain
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Back Seat DriversIreland in brief (8.12.2005, 08:14 UTC)
Budget targeted at key concerns of votersAhern to sack Callely if he fails to resignCallely spent €13,000 on photographsTalks continuing at Irish FerriesGardaí­ issue warning against bogus charity collectorsInquiry centre to meet as €4m funding withdrawnAhern's socialist leanings may scare investors, says Walsh Former Miss Ireland settles job case Elderly Knock pilgrims have narrow escape following major pile-upChristmas parties saved as club gets late bar permits Pubs laun...
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Back Seat DriversIf the cap fits... (8.12.2005, 01:05 UTC)
Now I know what I am going to be wearing next Halloween. SECURITY FORCES TRIVIA: The shiny hat is the Guardia Civil's regulation hat (the 'tricornio'). LANGUAGE TRIVIA: In Spanish, 'hostia' means both 'consecrated host' and 'punch, blow, or smack', as in 'te voy a moler a hostias'= 'I am going to beat the shit out of you'.
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Back Seat DriversSay it ain't so, Ivor (7.12.2005, 08:38 UTC)
It looks like Ivor Callely is really in the manure business now. After the controversy surrounding the resignations of his private secretary and then his constituency secretary (with Callely trying to tempt the latter back into the job with the offer of a car), not to mention rumours of civil servants seeking transfers out of his office, Callely's been making headlines for himself in all the wrong ways.This morning John Paul Construction confirmed to RTE that it had paid for a painting contracto...
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Back Seat DriversIreland in brief (7.12.2005, 08:27 UTC)
Contractor paid for work on Callely's houseYoung families and elderly to benefit in BudgetUS ambassador to be asked to Oireachtas hearing on ShannonMore than 50,000 aim protest at Irish FerriesUK workers join protest over FerriesMinister accuses Frank Connolly of role in "IRA plot"Minister criticises judge over chairing private inquiry groupMan charged over Northern Bank robberyO'Donoghue was "in total shock" after killingParlon workers "didn't try to sway job switch poll"Locals bid to trip up l...
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Back Seat DriversRe: CIA flights used Shannon, says Amnesty (6.12.2005, 08:31 UTC)
According to this report in today's Irish Times (sub. req.) the government has provided a mixed reaction to Amnesty International's allegation that CIA planes used for transporting prisoners had been using Shannon Airport. Minister for Agriculture Mary Coughlan said there would be "huge consequences" for relations between Ireland and US if it emerged that the US had used Ireland as a staging point. Meanwhile, Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern changed his tune about carrying out an inves...
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Back Seat DriversIreland in brief (6.12.2005, 08:09 UTC)
Efforts to end Irish Ferries dispute run into troubleCar dealers accused of costly price fixing cartelBudget to deliver home help services for elderlyMusgrave pension scheme has €55m shortfallConcern republicans will police neighbourhoodsPSNI continue to quiz man over Northern Bank jobFirms demand €1bn rail link across the Irish SeaLimerick diocese to deal with Bishop Casey probe Authority set to get tough next year on colleges' €1.2bn fundsHigh rate of mental illness found in ...
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Back Seat DriversCIA flights used Shannon, says Amnesty (5.12.2005, 21:03 UTC)
During the ongoing row about prisoner renditions, secret detentions and the use of Europe airspace and facilities for these purposes, Irish Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern was last week asked about the possibility of CIA flights using Shannon airport. "If anyone has any evidence of any of these flights please give me a call and I will have it immediately investigated," was his reply. Human rights group Amnesty International today issued a reply to the minister, alleging that six planes used by...
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Back Seat DriversDigital Rights Ireland (5.12.2005, 19:00 UTC)
Digital Rights Ireland is having its formal launch tomorrow at Pearse St Library, Dublin. I'd love to go along, but there's no way I'll be able to get away from work. Good luck guys and I'm looking forward to hearing all about it. Categories: Ireland , Web
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Back Seat DriversEvery office needs some (5.12.2005, 18:56 UTC)
USB powered, mouse guided missiles. Deadly. Categories: Technology
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Back Seat DriversICTU's betrayal of principle (5.12.2005, 11:04 UTC)
When did the Irish Ferries dispute morph from a fight about exploitative wages into one about "displacement" (i.e. foreigners taking "our" jobs)? When the dust has settled, let's remember it wasn't the xenophobic right, but the populist left, who drew this particular battle line. As a member of the NUJ, I'd be happy to march on Friday if it weren't clear Congress was trying to galvanise public support for their position by tapping into the Irish people's inchoate fears of the role immigrants ar...
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Back Seat DriversNuclear option (5.12.2005, 10:57 UTC)
I know we're all supposed to be very anxious about Britain's likely return to nuclear energy production, but does anyone else see an opportunity for Ireland here? If geographic proximity means we face the same nuclear risks as Britain (e.g. a major storage or reprocessing accident at Sellafield), shouldn't we reap some of the benefits, too? Let's build our own nuclear power station and ship our waste to the Brits. That way we can increase our electricity capacity without increasing fossil-fuel ...
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Back Seat Drivers"They may be the last presses we ever own" (5.12.2005, 08:37 UTC)
That's what Guardian editor said of his spanking new Berliner presses. He was talking to Jeff Jarvis, who went to Europe to speak at a Guardian management meeting on the future of the business. It prompts Jarvis into writing a very long post who on where he thinks things are going and who's doing it right. Plenty of food for thought. Categories: Media
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Back Seat DriversIreland in brief (5.12.2005, 08:15 UTC)
Initiative paves way for talks to end ferries disputeInquiry into Rossiter's death to openStudy: Low income earners can't afford to work€500m Budget package to help elderly people remain at homeUnder-fire Callely "put on final warning" by governmentCriminals predicted to steal €50m this Christmas FF hopes giveaway Budget will stave off defeatDecentralisation is a flop as civil service stays putOECD recommends end to mandatory retirement ageSurvey: almost every teenager now owns mobi...
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Back Seat DriversTime to get the locks changed (2.12.2005, 08:32 UTC)
I've never heard of anything like this happening in UCD. (via Drezner) Categories: Weird
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Back Seat Drivers"We're going after these people where they live" (2.12.2005, 08:31 UTC)
Q: What do the New York Daily News, the St. Petersburg Times and MSNBC all have in common? A: They're all on Bill O'Reilly's enemies list. O'Reilly has announced the three "distribute defamation and false information supplied by far left websites". I've always found the Fox News broadcaster hugely entertaining, in a way angry blowhards can only be. He's landed himself in some real hot water of late, by suggesting that San Francisco deserved to be attacked by terrorists. The outburst came after ...
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Back Seat DriversCharities allege corporate irresponsibility (2.12.2005, 08:28 UTC)
Amnesty International and nine other UK charities yesterday published a report which alleged the European finance sector is having a damaging impact on the environment, human rights and development. Specifically it charged that it: Provides a haven to siphon off much-needed tax revenues from cash-strapped developing countries, only benefiting a wealthy minority who avoid paying tax altogether. Is a primary conduit for bribery and corruption, providing billions of dollars in loans to repressive...
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Back Seat DriversIreland in brief (2.12.2005, 08:26 UTC)
Further rate rises not certain, says head of ECBGangland feud bomb most sophisticated found here Abbey Theatre to have debt of €3.3 million clearedNew health crisis as executive quits in pension rowHSE accused of paying €2m to shelf companyChurch assets to fund victims' payoutMan held over fatal stabbing in Co KerryConviction of nun for rape a miscarriage of justiceCouple in legal row over home bar that "vanished"Luas to run late for ChristmasDress code study finds managers in mini s...
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Back Seat DriversFirefox rox! (1.12.2005, 13:29 UTC)
The latest verion of the Firefox browser launched yesterday and I suppose now's as good a time as any to sing its praises. After a period of several years when it looked like the browser market was going to be dominated by a single product, Firefox has come along and really shaken things up. According to recent figures, it now has ten percent of the market, a remarkable achievment for a piece of open source software. I've been using Firefox for over a year now, and the original Mozilla brows...
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Back Seat DriversRajoy falls to earth (1.12.2005, 13:19 UTC)
Spain's opposition leader Mariano Rajoy was in a helicopter crash today in Madrid. Nobody involved was injured. El Pais has a video of his chopper going down. Expect the conspiracy theories any minute now.UPDATE: Rajoy broke two fingers! And just for Hugh, El Pais has another video, this one from inside the helicopter.MORE: Hugh Green tells us that Mariano had a premonition about this.Categories: Spain , Politics
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Back Seat DriversIreland in brief (1.12.2005, 08:09 UTC)
ECB poised to raise interest rates across euro zonePoll says 62% against Leaving Cert Irish ruleRobert's killer offered to help family with searchMigrants now taking up half of the 100,000 new job places Ahern rejects claim he got eighty grand to block tax break Casey's accuser made similar unproven claims against othersInquest into Sheridan's death to re-openAhern to hold talks with SF leaders in DublinNora Wall to seek miscarriage of justice ruling Homeless protesters try to storm DáilHau...
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Back Seat DriversAl Jazeera on the defensive (30.11.2005, 11:39 UTC)
Al Jazeera workers protest outside their offices Thursday, 24 November 2005. Credit: Al Jazeera Staff Following on from allegations that US president George Bush wanted to bomb Al Jazeera headquarters in Qatar, the Guardian reported yesterday that the TV channel was consulting its lawyers to examine the possibility of pursuing Bush in the courts over the matter. The station's managing director Wadah Khanfar said that Downing Street had not yet responded on a request for a meeting. Staf...
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Back Seat DriversI love Wolcott (30.11.2005, 08:38 UTC)
Today he's taking on Daniel Pipes, who was upset that Muhammed Ali received a Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Bush: "What miffs Pipes even more than Ali being a Muslim, an American icon, and, yes, The Greatest of All Time, is that Ali gently mocked Bush during the ceremony--making the crazy sign--and Bush didn't show enough manhood to put this Parkinson's victim in his place." Categories: US , Politics
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Back Seat DriversIreland in brief (30.11.2005, 08:22 UTC)
Security staff leave ferries but crisis set to continueTribunal hears Lawlor was paid £153,000 for Quarryvale supportConsideration for removing Westlink toll barriers Murdered gang leader's brother shot at home Planning official held in corruption probe Buyers splash out €200m on two sites Student says killing of Robert Holohan was accidental Eamon Casey to return home "to clear name" over allegation Fee-paying schools top UCD and TCD entrant list Search continues for missing fisherm...
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Back Seat DriversFunny, how? (29.11.2005, 11:33 UTC)
We are proud to report that we have gotten our hands on the White House Memo containing a transcript of the conversation held between George Bush and Tony Blair, in the course of which the former suggested bombing Al-Jazeera’s headquarters in Qatar. Happily, we can confirm that it was all a joke as White House officials have suggested. In the interest of international security we can only publish the following extract: (Late in the evening, after sun set. George Bush and Tony Blair have f...
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Back Seat DriversDid Bush want to bomb Al Jaz? (29.11.2005, 07:58 UTC)
There's been plenty of talk in the last week over this Daily Mirror story, which alleges that US president George Bush wanted to bomb the Al Jazeera headquarters in Qatar. According to the report, Bush was dissuaded from this action by UK prime minister Tony Blair: President Bush planned to bomb Arab TV station al-Jazeera in friendly Qatar, a "Top Secret" No 10 memo reveals. But he was talked out of it at a White House summit by Tony Blair, who said it would provoke a worldwide backlash. A sourc...
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