Slovenian “Ivano Balic”, Uros Zorman (32) signed new four-year contract with the Polish champion, Vive Targi Kielce, writes Slovenian SIOL.NET. Former player of Prule Ljubljana, Ademar Leon, Celje Pivovarna Lasko and BM Ciudad Real has found himself in ambitious team from Poland, where he plans to finish his career in 2016. He came to Kielce in 2011.He won the EHF Champions League three-time in 2004, 2008 and 20o9. Zorman also won silver medal with Slovenia at the EHF EURO 2004. Uros ZormanVive Targi Kielce ← Previous Story New coach in Borac Banja Luka – Zoran Trninic! Next Story → Hungary beats France in Dunkerque!
← Previous Story Lekic and Radicevic two more years in ZRK Vardar! Next Story → RK Vardar extend contract with five players – Dibirov until 2020 in Skopje! Pick Szeged In Round 19 league leaders Pick Szeged travelled to fifth-placed Gyöngyös, who have final four dreams in the Hungarian Championship. The guests were the favourites to win even without Blazevic and Garcia Parrondo who are still recuperating. Gábor Ancsin’s injured knee has healed completely however so he was available for coach Juan Carlos Pastor.In front of a full house the home team quickly gained the lead. It didn’t last for long since Pick Szeged’s two Swedish players Kallman and Larholm took the initiative and by the middle of the first half Pick were 4 goals up (6-10). Gyöngyös could only get a bit closer but at the end of the first half the four-goal difference remained (14-18). Mindegia showed portions of his performance before his injury, which was crucial to Pick’s overall play.The home team could keep the pace until the middle of the second half. Pick were constantly 3-4 goals up but suddenly (in only four minutes!) they doubled their lead (49th minute 24-31) and deciced the fate of the match. Prce was fine again, Larholm scored from penalties and Ancsin was also effective thus showing he would be able to play for longer periods.On Wednesday Pick will meet No. 4 Tatabánya in Szeged then on 1 March they are travelling to Veszprém to decide who will start the play-off from first place.Gyöngyös-Pick Szeged 26-35 (14-18)Bs: Frey (7), Hajdú, Varsandán (5) / Larholm (7), Ancsin,Lasica (5)Text: Gábor Várkonyi, Péter Butty
THE NATIONAL TREASURY Management Agency (NTMA) has reduced the interest rates of An Post savings products in order to compensate for the increase in DIRT tax announced in the Budget in October.The increase in this tax made savings products at An Post more attractive than at other financial institutions and this is the NTMA’s way of addressing it.In a statement today, the NTMA said the reductions for State savings products will only affect new purchases that take place from today.They have no effect on the existing holders of savings bonds and certificate, national solidarity bonds or instalment savings, as their rates have already been fixed for the duration of their term.The rates are as now follows:The fixed rate for the three-year bond remains at 4 per cent;Four-year national solidarity bonds offer a return of 6 per cent – down 2 per cent;The rate for five and a half year savings certificates is now 10 per cent – reduced from 11 per cent;Six-year savings bonds now offer a rate of 10 per cent – down from 14 per cent;Ten-year national solidarity bonds now offer a return of 30 per cent- down 5 per cent.The agency also announced a change to the variable interest rate used to calculate the prized fund for bonds, which is now 1.6 per cent and the number of weekly €100 prizes is being cut in half from January 2014.A spokesperson said the new rates “reflect the reductions in interest rates in the savings market and in sovereign bond yields generally”.Read: Check behind the sofa: €2.15m in Prize Bond prizes are still unclaimed>Read: NTMA launches State Savings products>
Saturday 18 JanSaracens v Connacht (1.35pm)Leicester v Ulster (6pm)Sunday 19 JanMunster v Edinburgh (12.45pm)Check out the full Round 5 and Round 6 fixture list here >Gatland recommends quota system is considered for future Lions tours LEINSTER’S HEINEKEN CUP hopes will hinge on a five-day turnaround between their final two pool games.Matt O’Connor’s side are likely to need two wins against Castres and Ospreys to qualify as a top seed and clinch home advantage for the quarter-finals.The ERC confirmed today that their Round 5 game against Castres will be a lunchtime kick-off (12.45pm) on Sunday 12 January at the Stade Pierre Antoine.And Leinster will be one of the first teams to finish their pool matches when they host Ospreys in a Friday evening kick-off (8pm) at the RDS on the 17th.Northampton and Ospreys meet in Pool 1′s other Round 5 fixture on 12 January, leaving them with a similar Sunday/Friday schedule.Only the top four pool winners are guaranteed a home quarter-final, and the quick turnaround could leave Pool 1′s eventual winner at a disadvantage in the race for the all-important seeding.Munster travel to play their Pool 6 rivals Gloucester at Kingsholm at 6pm on Saturday 11th before finishing at home to Edinburgh at 12.45pm on Sunday 19th.Ulster host Montpellier on Friday 10th (8pm) and then travel to Welford Road for what is likely to be a Pool 5 decider against Leicester on Saturday 18th (6pm).Connacht finish with two Saturday fixtures, hosting Zebre at the Sportsground on the 11th (3.40pm) before heading to Allianz Park on the 18th to play Saracens (1.35pm).Heineken Cup (selected round five fixtures)Friday 10 JanUlster v Montpellier (8pm)Sat 11 JanConnacht v Zebre (3.40pm)Gloucester v Munster (6pm)Sun 12 JanCastres v Leinster (12.45pm)Selected round six fixturesFriday 17 JanLeinster v Ospreys (8pm)
NEW CARS COULD be required to have vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems fitted in as US regulators draft a proposal supporting it.By using this system, drivers will be alerted if the car senses it’s going to crash into an object or another car. It’s hoped that introducing this system will significantly reduce the rate of accidents and collisions on roads.Cars will be able to communicate with each other by using short-range radio signals and would be able to exchange vehicle information such as speed, location and the direction they’re travelling.No date was given for when automakers would need to introduce it or what the cost might be, but US officials aim to have a proposal developed before early 2017. Once the regulations are in place, automakers would be required to put in GPS sensors and software into vehicles.The US transportation secretary Anthony Foxx said data from a Transportation Department study, which started in 2012, showed that the technology could help prevent 80 per cent of potential accidents from happening.Both automakers and researcher have been working on developing technology to reduce collisions. While advancements have been made, other systems like developing a network which allows multiple cars to communicate with each other will need to be introduced.Read: 54 million self-driving cars to be on the roads by 2035 >Read: Good sign for 2014? Car sales zoom ahead by 33 per cent >
AN OIREACHTAS COMMITTEE will today discuss draft laws that could see electricity pylons being used to provide broadband access in rural areas.The Communications Sub-Committee will also debate a number of amendments to the bill which was announced by Minister Pat Rabbittee last month and could make it possible for ESB to enter the broadband market.As part of the ESB (Electronic Communications Networks) Bill 2013, the ESB will be allowed to give third-party companies access to all “electricity infrastructure” for the provision of communication services.This is planned to include any distribution systems including electricity power lines.Specifically, the definition of electric lines is expected to contain the provision for the use of “any structure, pole or other thing in, on, by or from which any such line may be supported, carried or suspended”.In areas where ESB infrastructure crosses over private land, the ESB has wayleave rights to access the private lands subject to compensation. It is envisaged as part of the new bill that the third-party companies given access to the infrastructure will have also have similar access to the private land.A number of amendments to the bill submitted by Fianna Fáil’s Michael Moynihan and Sinn Féin’s Michael Colreavy will be discussed by the nine person committee.Among the amendments tabled is one from Moynihan who wants it it be be written into the legislation that any work carried on the land of property owners “shall not be carried out in such a manner that it would dramatically impact on the property rights of the owner”. “Every effort shall be made to ensure the development shall be carried out in such manner that shall have the least detrimental impact on the property concerned,” the amendment proposes.Colreavy wants it it be be written into the legislation that any contract the ESB makes with a third-party company must ensure a certain percentage of work is carried out by small businesses.The ESB says it has “no comment to make on the legislation currently before the Dáil, this is a matter for Government”, the company said in a statement.Read: ESB will use its network to bring broadband to rural areas >Read: EU report fails to find conclusive evidence linking pylons with health risks >
IT MAY NOT always be true that the best things in life are free, but when you’re a kid there are few thrills that can match a good freebie.Whether it arrived via your cereal box or was just an add on to your favourite toy, any opportunity to get your hands on an extra belonging was exciting.Here are some free things that probably filled you with happiness as a child.Crowns at Burger KingWho didn’t want to be royalty when they were a kid? Who still occasionally wants to be royalty at 3am on your way home from a night out?These guys didn’t arrive in Ireland until 1981, but when they did, boy were we all over it.Flickr/Creative Tools/Creative CommonsToys with CerealToday’s kids don’t know what they’re missing, for when we were young breakfast meant the potential for a free toy.In some houses you were allowed to scrunch your hand down into the box to find it, in others you just had to wait til it popped out. One way or the other, it was brilliant.For example, Kelloggs World Cup Glory USA ’94 Player Cards:Or these 1996 Rice Krispies pencil toppers:You often had to send off for the Weetabix stuff which took the shine off, and they were also usually books, but they were still free:Via AmazonFree crisps and sweets at the Blood BankFew things were worse than being dragged along to various boring locations with your parents, but when the destination was the blood bank you were in for a quality feed. www.shutterstock.comHappy Meal toysWho knows if we’d even like McDonalds if it weren’t for the toys?www.etsy.comwww.etsy.comBarbie cassettesBarbie was a good girl but she occasionally had a rock and roll edge, and when she did you usually got a bonus cassette with your doll.www.amazon.comYouTube/chibiXtrashLump of sugar with your injectionInjection time was a scary one in primary school, but if it was a polio vaccination they’d sweeten the deal with a lump of sugar. JACKPOT*.www.shutterstock.com*Unless of course you went home and your mother told you that eating lumps of sugar would give you worms, as happened to one of the DailyEdge.ie team.Balloons at various eventsAny boring event could be brightened up with the offering of a helium balloon. Unless of course, the trauma of previous lost ballons/fear that you will lose said balloon tainted the whole scenario for you.www.shutterstock.comWhat other free treats got your adrenaline pumping as a youngster?11 amazing things you used to get in cereal boxes>Breaking Bad… as a family drama series in 1995>
In the last eight weeks in Midleton we have have two children, seven and two, who are both dead. It makes me madBuckley will put an emergency motion demanding a full inquiry to the town council next Tuesday, and will also be asking the HSE to put the ambulance base back into Midleton. He also plans to lobby TDs on the issue.He said that the tragic death has “affected the whole town. It’s like there is a black cloud over Midleton and East Cork”.Read: National targets for ambulance response times to be abandoned>Read: HSE clarifies ambulance response time after death of boy (7)> THERE IS A ‘black cloud’ over Midleton in East Cork after the tragic death of a toddler, a local councillor has said.Sinn Féin councillor Pat Buckley told TheJournal.ie that he has been inundated with calls from concerned people after the boy, named locally as Vakaris Martinaitis (2), died following a fall from an upstairs window at his home.Cork All-Ireland winning hurler Kevin Hennessy saw the family moments after the fall and told Morning Ireland he rang the ambulance service but was told that there was no ambulance available in their area at that time to bring the child to hospital.He brought the child to South Doc and Martinaitis, who was conscious but had a graze over his left eye and a swollen forehead, was subsequently driven to hospital by Hennessy.Cllr Buckley said that he is angry at the way the ambulance service in East Cork has been reorganised and is calling for a full inquiry into the death of the toddler. Martinaitis’s death follows the death in March of seven-year-old James Casey Butler.HSEThe HSE said today that extends its sympathies to the family of the deceased child. It said that to establish an accurate account of this incident, it has asked the National Ambulance Service to examine the details of what occurred and to provide an account of the facts.Buckley said he is “very angry and very bitter about the situation and the HSE and ambulance service in East Cork”. He said that at a meeting last year when the HSE was changing the ambulance system, he asked if it could promise that there would be an ambulance “24 hours, seven days a week, 365 days year in Midleton” and was told there would be.He said that it doesn’t make sense not to have an ambulance service based in Midleton, given that such a service took on average 220 calls a month when it was in the area.Buckley said there is a lot of anger in Midleton following the news of the boy’s death, and the situation regarding the ambulance service.He has called for a full inquiry into the death of the young boy. People in Midleton are “terrified” because of the ambulance situation, he said.The system is diabolical – it’s not working.
Cabinet back “awesome” possibility of cloning each otherWednesday, 15 May The Cabinet will meet today to progress the “awesome” possibility of cloning each other.This follows a breakthrough in the United States where human embryo clones were produced.“This is so awesome,” Transport Minister Leo Varadkar said. “I’ll finally have someone on my level to talk to.”While all ministers want to be cloned there is a reluctance among them to go first.“We’re a bit wary in case anything goes wrong,” a Cabinet source said. “So we’re starting with James Reilly.”“No matter what went wrong with cloning him it couldn’t be worse than the original.”The Mire ‘humbled’ as stories become Government policyThursday, 16 May The Mire was humbled today after Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin revealed he based policy on Mire stories. IS THE NEWS getting you down? Current affairs causing a frown? Satirical site The Mirehas an alternative angle on the week’s hot topics…Bus staff rage as Varadkar records Only Losers Take The BusMonday, 13 MayTransport Minister Leo Varadkar has infuriated striking Bus Eireann staff by recording a song lampooning bus passengers.Inspired by Canadian astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield’s version of Space Oddity, Mr Varadkar chose to record The Fatima Mansions’ Only Losers Take The Bus.It is understood the video for the song shows Mr Varadkar singing on a Bus Eireann bus while trying to make his guitar float in zero gravity.“He was peeved when his guitar wouldn’t float,” an aide said. “It was his first time on a bus and he didn’t realise they don’t have zero gravity.”Thousands struggle to get to work after bus strike suspendedTuesday, 14 MayThousands of commuters struggled to get to work this morning after Bus Éireann workers suspended their strike action.Many were stranded at bus stops around the country waiting for buses that had already left.“Why do I believe the timetable?” a Longford man banging his head off a bus stop said. “There won’t be another one for hours.”“There’s no doubt buses cause absenteeism,” an employment expert said. “At least when they’re on strike commuters make other arrangements.” Mr Howlin told TheJournal.ie that Government ministers would not be singled out for pay cuts.This follows a Mire story on 26 February that said Howlin pledged no further cuts to ministers’ pay.The Mire is available to draft policy for the Government for a reasonable fee.Alan Shatter knows what you did last summer Friday, 17 MayJustice Minister Alan Shatter knows what you did last summer.Mr Shatter told Independent TD Mick Wallace on Prime Time that he knew he had been verbally warned by gardaí last May for using a mobile phone while driving.Later Mr Shatter revealed that a single mother in Blanchardstown had been putting dirty nappies in her neighbour’s wheelie bin.He then told a Lucan man to stop seeing his neighbour’s wife.“The all-seeing eye of Alan is watching you,” a garda said. “Be afraid; be very afraid.”All eyes on Ireland for Oireachtas Abortion FestivalFriday, 17 MayThe signature event of The Gathering gets underway today with the highly anticipated Oireachtas Abortion Festival.For three days all eyes will be on Ireland’s abortion interpretive dances and carefully choreographed displays of abortion hysteria.“It’s what The Gathering is all about, it’s what Ireland is all about. Come dance with us in Ireland,” a tourism spokesman said.Uniquely, this festival does not feature a chill out area although many think it should.Festivalgoers are advised to wear wellies in case the floodgates open.Read previous weeks’ editions of The Mire’s Not the News >
THE ENFORCEMENT OF on-the-spot fines issued for contravening the Control of Dogs Acts varies significantly from county to county, figures from the Department of Environment have revealed.Just under 46 per cent of all fines were paid in 2012, with only three out of 34 local authorities who issued fines showing a payment rate of 100 per cent.The most impressive of these was Fingal – operated by Ashton Dog Pound – which had all 328 of its on-the-spot fines paid.Clare, which is operated by the ISPCA, and Sligo, which is operated by a private contractor, also had a 100 per cent payment rate.South Dublin, which is operated by the local authority, had a payment rate of 3.6 per cent, with just 34 of the 935 on-the-spot fines being paid.FinancesDog warden operations within the 34 local authorities ran at a combined loss of €1,582,563.66 for 2012.Out of the 34, only eight had a surplus, the greatest of which was Kerry. With an income of €309,554.35 and expenditure of €220,385.62, it had a surplus of €89,168.73.The three greatest individual losses were all in Leinster. South Dublin ran a loss of just over €219,000, Dublin City nearly €195,000 and Kildare just over €141,000.Put to sleep516 dogs (including lurchers) were put to sleep in Wexford last year. Close behind was Clare, which saw 479 animals put to sleep. Donegal had the third largest number of dogs put to sleep at 394.Read: 88 convictions for dog control offences in 2012 >
Non-Premier League based players: Robbie Keane 9/10, David Forde 8/10, Darren Randolph 8/10, Aiden McGeady 8/10, Sean St Ledger 6/10, Damien Delaney 8/10, Richard Keogh 9/10, Conor Sammon 7/10, Darren O’Dea 6/10, Paul McShane 7/10, Robbie Brady 8/10, David Meyler 8/10, Paul Green 7/10, Simon Cox 7/10, Jeff Hendrick 8/10, Anthony Stokes 7/10, Kevin Doyle 6/10, Stephen Hunt 5/10, Keith Andrews 7/10, Stephen Henderson 7/10, Andy Reid 9/10, Stephen Quinn 9/10, Paddy Kenny 8/10, Stephen Ward 6/10.N.B. Players who are not available for selection, such as Damien Duff and Darron Gibson, were deliberately omitted from this list. Richard Dunne missed the entire season through injury and was consequently also discounted. Others such as Stephen Quinn and Andy Reid were mentioned on account of their fine seasons, irrespective of the fact that they’re nowhere near the squad at present.TheScore.ie Premier League 2012/13 quiz>Pilkington withdraws from Ireland squad to undergo treatment on knee> Keiron Westwood: Could barely have gone any worse. Westwood spent the entire season on the bench, as Simon Mignolet consistently impressed for Sunderland. The Belgian goalkeeper has been regularly linked with a move to a bigger club, and Westwood must be praying it happens so he gets a chance in the first team. Rating: 3/10John O’Shea: O’Shea has had better seasons, though he’s also endured worse ones. Sunderland’s poor form ultimately meant they finished just one place above the relegation zone, and as captain, the defender must take some responsibility for this dire performance. However, he did at least play in almost every game, and it was Sunderland’s attack rather than their defence that invariably let them down. Rating 6/10Joey O’Brien: Bafflingly overlooked more often than not by Trapattoni, O’Brien has enjoyed a fine season with West Ham, playing in nearly every game. He’s very much the forgotten man of Irish football, but they undoubtedly appreciate him at Upton Park. Rating 8/10Marc Wilson: A long-term injury meant Wilson could only play in half of Stoke’s games, though he made the most of the limited time he had on the field, usually showing good composure on the ball and looking solid in defence. Rating 7/10Enda Stevens: Made seven appearances for Villa, though it was only due to an injury crisis that he played, and generally found first-team action limited. Rating 5/10Ciaran Clark: Stood up well in what was a difficult season for Villa, and was even made captain despite his young age. Injury unfortunately limited his involvement in the last few matches. Rating 7/10(Aston Villa’s Ciaran Clark celebrates scoring against Tottenham – David Davies/PA Archive/Press Association Images)Alex Pearce: Has been largely ignored by Ireland, and was frozen out by Reading following his refusal to sign a new contract, though he was impressive enough that he was being linked with a move to Liverpool at one stage. Rating 7/10Seamus Coleman: Surely his finest season yet, Coleman was routinely excellent in both defence and attack and must surely now be one of the first names on the teamsheet when Trap picks the Irish team. Rating 9/10Stephen Kelly: Will have been disappointed at his failure to nail down a place in the Fulham side, but has at least found first-team action easier to come by since joining Reading. Rating 6/10Glenn Whelan: Another solid if unspectacular season from Whelan. Tony Pulis clearly trusts him, as he played in 32 of their matches, and it would have been more, were it not for a late-season injury. Rating 7/10James McCarthy: His season was dampened by Wigan’s relegation, though he impressed nonetheless, featuring in every one of his side’s games. A move to a bigger club is surely on the horizon. Rating 8/10(Wigan Athletic’s James McCarthy celebrates as he scores against Swansea – Martin Rickett/PA Wire/Press Association Images)Anthony Pilkington: Like Norwich in general, Pilkington’s season encompassed moments of real quality, which included scoring the winning goal against former club Man United, as well as some ordinary enough displays. He can be very happy with his contribution overall though. Rating 8/10James McClean: A hugely disappointing season in comparison to the previous one. McClean lost his form and seemingly his confidence too, as Sunderland struggled. It’s been so bad that some are even speculating that he may move to a lower division club in the summer, though Paolo Di Canio has at least started him in most of his games as manager. Rating 5/10Shane Long: In stark contrast with former teammate Kevin Doyle, it’s been a great campaign for Shane Long. Though he has perhaps been outshone partially by fellow strike partner Romelu Lukaku, the Tipperary native has still made a significant contribution to West Brom’s laudable 8th place finish. Rating 8/10Jonathan Walters: Like Stoke, Walters had a hugely impressive first half of the season, followed by a less distinguished second half. He kept plugging away nonetheless though and chipped in with the odd vital goal too. Rating 7/10Wes Hoolahan: Perhaps not quite as consistent as his most ardent supporters would suggest, but it’s been a good year overall for the playmaker right up until the last game in which he again caught the eye, with the Canaries securing an impressive victory against Man City. Rating 8/10Noel Hunt: As ever, Hunt gave his all whenever he played for the Royals. However, two goals in 23 appearances suggests he isn’t quite up to Premier League standard. Rating 5/10
FIANNA FÁIL LEADER Micheál Martin has said his party is attempting to devise a system where its TDs and Senators will be permitted to vote as they see fit on certain major issues.Speaking exclusively to TheJournal.ie this evening, Martin said a committee would be set up to try and identify red-button topics where personal opinions were too sincerely held to be comprised by a party vote.The Fianna Fáil leader was speaking after a meeting of his parliamentary party had decided not to impose a party whip on any votes relating to the forthcoming abortion bill – allowing members to either approve or oppose the legislation as they see fit.The decision marks the first time in several years that a major party will have allowed its members to participate in Oireachtas votes without any direction on how they should act.Though Martin said the whip system did have value as a tool to ensure a government’s work was not unduly disrupted, he said there was a balance to be struck “between governance and parliamentary representation”.Asked what subjects might be considered thorny enough to warrant a free vote among Fianna Fáil members, Martin pointed to recent examples in Australia where MPs were given a free vote on matters like abortion, euthanasia and the death penalty.The former minister said the protocol would try to identify a “narrow range of issues” upon which the whip would not be applied – but insisted that politics would “evolve” so that more major parties would allow TDs to vote with their conscience on divisive social matters.‘I didn’t want to lose people’Though he believed Fianna Fáil was going through “a period of renewal”, Martin acknowledged that FF could have lost some of its more experienced Oireachtas members if it had enforced either a supportive or opposing stance to the Protection of Life in Pregnancy Bill.“I didn’t want to lose people,” he admitted, saying there were “people of calibre” who would now feel safe to contribute to the party.There had been roughly a 50-50 split among Fianna Fáil’s 33 parliamentarians when the substance of the legislation was first discussed about a month ago, he said, explaining that many members had problems with allowing the risk of suicide as grounds for an abortion.“Others, like myself, felt the Bill was restrictive,” he said, outlining that a woman at risk of suicide does not currently need to undergo a mandatory psychiatric assessment before being put forward for a termination.“Others are worried about the impact down the line, and I respect that.”Read: Fianna Fáil TDs and Senators to have free vote on abortion bill
PAT RABBITTE has admitted his frustration that Labour is attracting a disproportionate amount of the blame from the public about the performance of the government.In an interview with TheJournal.ie, Rabbitte said he was “concerned” that voters seemed prepared to punish Labour to vent their anger at the country’s direction, while Fine Gael’s share of the vote continue to hold up.“I understand that people are suffering from austerity fatigue. I understand that perfectly well,” he said.“I don’t understand quite so well why the Labour Party should take all the hits. I don’t understand that.”Opinion polls last weekend suggested Labour would command 11 per cent of the vote if a general election was to be held, down from the 19 per cent it won in 2011 – while Fine Gael, which holds twice as many Dáil and cabinet seats, would still manage 26 per cent, down from 36 per cent at the last election.Rabbitte recalled remarks from his predecessor as Labour leader, Dick Spring, who was the last Labour leader before Eamon Gilmore to lead the party in government during the ‘Rainbow Coalition’ in 1994-1997.Spring had said his party “had 9 per cent of the vote, and 90 per cent of the blame,” Rabbitte said.The communications minister said, however, that Labour’s own parliamentary representatives were satisfied with their performance in power – saying they had recorded “a number of important achievements in this government”.“The Labour parliamentary party has demonstrated considerable maturity in affirming the stance that we are going to perform for five years in government, in the hope and in the conviction that there will be an economic upturn and we will have rescued the country from the perilous condition in which it was when we came in,” he said.Asked if he believed any more Labour TDs might resign the party whip over some of the policies they were asked to support, Rabbitte quipped:Predictions are very difficult, especially if they’re about the future. So you can never say never.However, the Dublin South-West TD paid tribute to his first-time colleagues who he said had recognised that people had voted for Labour in big numbers, in some areas which had not historically been Labour strongholds.“There was never a vote in the 100-year history of the Labour Party such as in 2011, and the deputies interpreted that as being a vote for government and to do things in government. They’re staying the course,” he said.Rabbitte also remarked that it was “very odd” that Colm Keaveney had been so keen to remain on as chairman of the Labour Party while being outside its parliamentary ranks, but said the fact he was permitted to stay on was “a defect in our constitution rather than a defect in Colm Keaveney”.Brendan Howlin: Labour will quit coalition if its influence is not strong enough
Updated 5.17pm Source: Hugh O’Connell/YouTubeTHE FORMER MINISTER for Justice has blasted Senior Counsel Sean Guerin for failing to adhere to procedures when compiling his report on allegations of garda misconduct.Alan Shatter said this is “of far greater general importance than any impact on me personally”, describing the approach taken as “unprecedented”.The report led to Shatter’s resignation from Cabinet, however he likened the inquiry to a ‘kangaroo court’ as it “completely failed to observe fair procedures in accordance with constitutional and natural justice”.[This] places in peril a value system crucial to the well-being of all our citizens.He dismissed the report’s findings that he had not paid “sufficient heed” to allegations made by garda whisteblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe.Speaking today in the Dáil, Shatter said that he is “entitled” to an explanation as to why Guerin failed to interview him, and why “a single question [was not] put to me or to Justice officials”.Read Alan Shatter’s speech in full >He said the report is littered with “omissions and inaccuracies”, which could have been cleared up if Guerin had spoken to the former Minister for Justice.However, Shatter accused Guerin of ‘simply choosing not to’ speak with anyone whose reputation may have been affected by the report. The former Minister for Justice said the Senior Counsel “knew” the report’s publication would have forced his resignation. Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall IrelandThe conversation would have also revealed, Shatter said, that he had paid “substantial attention” to allegations made by McCabe, and that he had not accepted the views of the Garda Commissioner “without question”.Seán Guerin had explained in the report that the Minister had a statutory responsibility to act once Maurice McCabe had brought his complaints to the Confidential Recipient, but accused him of not taking any action.Guerin also said that in the absence of any documentary evidence, it appears that Alan Shatter did what he did on foot of advice from then-Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan, without the advice being questioned or analysed.Shatter said:I believe all of us should be entitled to know that we cannot, by way of any form of inquiry or review or other means, be secretly put on trial have charges levied against us of which we have no knowledge, be prosecuted without being informed of the evidence, and convicted without being given the opportunity to speak or defend ourselves.Booklets of allegationsShatter has accused Guerin of misreading a letter attached to three booklets of allegations made by McCabe that had been submitted to the Department of Justice.The report says that the letter advised that the booklets be forwarded to Shatter straight away, but that he had failed to act.“Mr Guerin has misquoted the letter which actually advised that the two files concerned be furnished by Justice officials to the Garda Commissioner and that no copies of the documents be retained in the Department of Justice,” he said.“It makes no reference whatsoever to them being furnished to me.”“Rushed to judgement”Shatter said he was “very puzzled as to why Sean Guerin did not take the additional time necessary to properly complete his work and why he rushed to judgement”.He compared the time frame in which the report was put together to the Cooke Report, which had a much more narrow scope but a longer time frame.“[Guerin’s] Terms of Reference allowed him all the time he needed to properly complete his work. What was his hurry?” Shatter asked.He explained although a time-limit of eight weeks had been set, Guerin could have published the report “as soon as maybe thereafter” this deadline. Cooke used this mechanism, citing the time taken to analyse correspondence between GSOC and Verrimus.Shatter staunchly criticised Guerin for failing to review crucial documents, with, what the Senior Counsel describe himself as, “the care required”.“Failure”“With regard to GSOC, Mr Guerin partially explains his failure by attempting to minimise the importance of GSOC’s role and recounts that it became involved in a small number of the cases he reviewed,” he said.“This assertion is disingenuous,” Shatter said.For example, GSOC was central to determining complaints of Garda misconduct with regard to serious offences committed by Jerry McGrath, one of which involved an alleged catastrophic Garda failure which, if it had not occurred, may have resulted in McGrath being held in custody on the tragic day in December 2007 when he murdered Sylvia Roche Kelly. Read more on what Guerin said about McGrath here >The former Minister for Justice welcomed the findings of the Cooke report, but said that it raises “genuine concerns” whether GSOC has the capacity to carry out its statutory obligations.On GSOC’s failure to provide a statutory report on the alleged bugging until four days after the publication of the information in the Sunday Times, Shatter said this delay was as “the finding of ‘nothing’ in the public interest investigation was an embarrassment”.He described as “disturbing” that when GSOC appeared before an Oireachtas committee, “the GSOC Commissioners were so imprecise and unclear in their presentation as to fuel speculation that my first statement to the Dail was inaccurate in circumstances in which it was entirely based on their verbal and written briefing”.“No effective steps were taken by them to correct that perception,” he noted.Guerin recommended in his report that the allegations made by McCabe should now be the subject of a statutory inquiry.Shatter concluded his speech by outlining four areas he believes should be examined:All cases dealt with in Bailieboro Garda Station which have given rise to complaintShatter’s reaction to issues surrounding penalty points, as there is a clear connection to this and whether he took heed of McCabe’s complaintsAll of McCabe’s conversations and dealings with the Confidential ReceiptThe 19 hours of conversation between Guerin and McCabe. Shatter added that this should be made public.Originally published 3.57pmRead: So what was in the chapters of the Guerin Report that led to Alan Shatter resigning? >
Not only is this leading to chaos in our hospitals but in some instances is placing undue financial pressure on older relatives, adding to their fears and concerns. WAITING TIMES FOR nursing home funding have doubled over three months, new figures reveal.And as many as 60 older people every week are being added to “already unacceptable” waiting lists for nursing home funding.This can leave families with a bill of up to €15,000 before any funding is received.The details were released in a series of parliamentary questions from Roscommon – South Leitrim TD Denis Naughten, who asked Minister Kathleen Lynch about the waiting times for the Nursing Homes Support Scheme.This provides “financial support for people who need long-term nursing home care”.The number of people on the waiting list increased by more than 500 over three months, while the waiting time doubled from six to twelve weeks.“While some 1,500 older people have been approved for financial support under the Fair Deal nursing home scheme, they cannot receive payment towards the shortfall between their income and the nursing home cost until they reach the top of a 12 week plus national waiting list,” Naughten said. Click here to see a larger version.Nursing Homes Ireland warned last week these long waiting times for funding could be putting patients’ ‘health at risk’.“Older persons are remaining within acute hospitals for extended periods unnecessarily and being admitted to such settings because their complex care requirements cannot be met at home,” CEO Tadhg Daly said, and warned that it has “implications for wider health service.”“When Fair Deal 2014 budget was significantly cut we warned it would have very serious consequences for health and wellbeing of older persons and increase pressures upon acute hospital services.Our fears are being realised.Previously: Long waiting times for nursing home funding causing ‘distress and hardship’ >
EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you the nine stories you need to know a little before 9am.1. #WET WET WET: Heavy rain hit parts of the country last night, and a weather warning will remain in place for Leinster until 3pm.2. #GSOC: Gardaí have been accused by the Garda Ombudsman of withholding information about the shooting of a suspect in 2009, The Sunday Times reports. A report obtained by the paper details that gardaí “repeatedly refused” to furnish certain details of the fatal incident.3. #SOCIAL MEDIA: The Irish State requested that Twitter withhold tweets from 13 accounts last year, a new report shows. The social network said no in all cases.4. #IRAN: A passenger plane has crashed into a residential area shortly after take-off in Tehran. Local news agencies are reporting that as many as 50 people have died.5. #BUBBLE: Property developer Paddy McKillen has told the Sunday Independent that a “fast-track plan” is needed to build more houses to end the housing crisis. He said inaction by Nama and the Government is to blame for growing property prices.6. #IRAQ: Britain has airdropped humanitarian aid for besieged Iraqis, AFP reports. US forces “successfully (conducted) four airstrikes to defend Yazidi civilians being indiscriminately attacked” near Sinjar, the US military said last night.7. #SPLISH SPLASH: Irish Water’s running costs could be more than twice the average of similar companies in the United Kingdom. The Sunday Business Post reports that the projected costs are 2.6 times the levels in Scotland.8. #BURIALS: More than 3,000 people were buried in unmarked paupers’ graves last year, according to figures obtained by the Irish Mail on Sunday, as they could not afford their own funeral. It has sparked calls for the Church to run its own funeral and undertaker service.9. #UKRAINE: President Petro Poroshenko has said he is ready to led an aid mission into the rebel stronghold of Lugansk, but only if it is an unarmed international team entering the country through Kiev-controlled borders.
There’s an owl problem in Indian–a problem named HarryPotter. Indian Environmental Minister Jairam Ramesh is drawing attention to hiscountry’s decreasing number of wild owls, and he’s placed the blame squarely onthe shoulders of the little British wizard.According to Ramesh, children in Indiaare taking wild owls as pets, to be a bit more like their hero. “FollowingHarry Potter, there seems to be a strange fascination even among the urbanmiddle classes for presenting their children with owls.” Wildlife group Traffic is asking for Indiato impose tougher laws, in order to protect the birds. The organizationpresented a reported titled “Imperilled Custodians of the Night,” whichsuggested that the owls may, in fact, also be sacrificed by non-Harry Potterfans.
The rumor that Microsoft was to launch a new console at E3 turned out to be just that: a rumor. The gaming conference seemed to be most focused on Kinect titles and the Halo 4 announcement. Now we have more evidence that Microsoft’s focus continues to be the Xbox 360 as another hardware update is planned.Unlike the introduction of the Xbox 360 Slim, which saw the console get a brand new look, this new update is under the hood and wont impact the overall look of the machine. It also marks the first time Microsoft has moved the Xbox 360 architecture to a system-on-chip (SoC) solution.Until now the Xbox 360 has had a separate CPU and GPU on its motherboard. To begin with this was necessary due to the amount of heat being generated by those cutting-edge designs. In fact it ran too hot, or Microsoft didn’t cool it well enough, and lots of them died displaying a Red Ring of Death (RRoD). The console is several years old now, though, and technology has moved on making the chips quite dated in terms of performance. The move to the Slim model showed that it is now possible to produce the 360 internals without the heat and power requirements of the original machine. With this latest update that Slim redesign has now been refined.The SoC solution puts the CPU, GPU, memory, and logic all on one piece of silicon and cooled by one heatsink. This design, based on a 45nm process means, the Xbox consumes less power and produces less heat. It also means there is less that can go wrong making it more reliable.While developing the SoC design is thought to have taken five years and considerable investment, it will be cheaper to manufacture than the old multi-chip system, meaning Microsoft will make more profit on each console sold.The good news for gamers is this new Xbox 360 should run cooler and quieter. Less components also mean the console will be lighter, and it has allowed Microsoft to reduce the size of the power supply brick once again.The only thing that remains to be found out is when exactly this updated machines hits stores and how you can go about ensuring you get one.Read more at IBT
If you’re thinking of picking up a copy of Diablo III today in order to spend your entire weekend burning through the game (which can be done in 12 hours and 29 minutes), it might be wise to purchase a boxed copy.Gamers picking up a digital version of the game have been hit with some rather severe restrictions for anything up to 3 days. The issue, according to Blizzard, is one of payment clearance.In an attempt to limit credit card fraud, Blizzard imposes a number of gameplay restrictions until your payment had been verified. In a lot of cases that only takes a few hours, but it can take up to 3 days.The limits effectively make you play under the same restrictions as the Starter Edition. It means you can’t progress past Act I, and your character won’t be able to go beyond a level 13 cap. You also can’t access either auction house, can’t trade or drop items, and can’t chat in public game channels.The over-the-top restrictions were switched on when the 1.03 patch was launched, and Blizzard has admitted it needs to sort out the Level 13 cap and Act I limitations. The other restrictions will remain in place for the first 72 hours or until the payment clears, whichever happens first.There’s no ETA on when Blizzard will sort this problem out, so if you want a restriction-free Diablo III experience just buy the digital version 3 days ahead of when you intend to have a serious play session. That way, your payment will definitely be verified.Unfortunately for Blizzard it’s just another negative surrounding the release of Diablo III. Players are still having trouble accessing the game in some regions, there’s slowdown if your Internet connection isn’t great, and there’s a backlash from gamers concerning the online DRM, which has lead to Blizzard issuing refunds in South Korea.Read more at Kotaku