first_imgGERMANY’S CATHOLIC CHURCH, already grappling with the fallout from a child sex scandal, fears losing more followers – and financing – because of public anger over a big-spending “bling bishop”.For the past week the Bishop of Limburg, Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, has generated damaging headlines after the cost of his extravagant new residence complex blew out to at least €31 million euro.The 53-year-old has been summoned to the Vatican for a decision on his fate, and is set to meet today with humility advocate Pope Francis, who has called for a “poor Church for the poor”.€15,000 bathtubWith many faithful in the German diocese in open revolt over the lavish bishop’s palace and its €15,000 bathtub, there has been a sharp increase in local registered Catholics formally leaving the Church.If the exodus in the ancient town of Limburg were echoed on a national scale, observers say it would be a severe blow to the Church – especially in a country where the faithful provide the bulk of its funding.“I’ve never seen such a wave” of people quitting the faith, Ruediger Eschoffen, an official in charge of Church registrations in Limburg, was quoted as telling the newspaper Frankfurter Neue Presse.Germany has a religion tax, and taxpayers must declare whether they are Catholic, Protestant or non-religious. People are however free to opt out and stop paying the so-called “Church tax”.Last year 295 Catholics in Limburg, in the central state of Hesse, officially left the Church, said Eschoffen. But he said the figure shot up to 29 people in a single day on Monday, after 18 left on Friday and 20 on Thursday.German Catholics paid €5.2bn to the Church in 2012Germany’s roughly 23 million Catholics paid €5.2 billion to the Church in 2012 in religious taxes, its main source of income in the country. The state tax amounts to an eight to 10 per cent addition to payable income tax.The money pays for the operating expenses of the clergy, but also for hospitals, kindergartens and other welfare organisations.The German Catholic Church, just as in Australia, Canada, Ireland and the United States, was already hit hard by a paedophilia scandal, which erupted in the country between 2010 and 2012.The revelations sparked a flood of people quitting the Church, with 180,000 leaving in 2010. By 2012, the figure had dropped to 118,000, a lower level than in 2009 before the abuse charges came to light.‘A loss of confidence’The latest scandal spells a real risk for the Catholic Church, said Detlef Pollack, a sociologist researching religion and politics at the University of Muenster.Tebartz-van Elst, dubbed by local media the “bling bishop”, is also accused of giving false statements in court in a case centred on an expensive flight he took to India to visit poor communities.“Many people say they do not want to continue to (financially) support the Church if it is to satisfy the appetite for luxury of a bishop,” Pollack told AFP.Plans to report their assetsSeveral German dioceses have announced plans to report their assets to avoid suspicions about their lifestyle.Beyond the financial risk, the Church fears a loss of confidence in an institution that still plays an important role in society, especially in the mainly Catholic south.Chancellor Angela Merkel, daughter of a Protestant pastor, is also worried. Her spokesman Steffen Seibert on Monday expressed “the hope that there will be an answer for believers, for people’s confidence in their Church.”But Pollack said: “A lot of confidence has been lost.”“The Bishop of Limburg can no longer fulfil his role in his diocese. The best thing for him would definitely be to renounce his post.”Will he resign?Such a move would be difficult however within the Catholic Church, said conservative daily Die Welt.“Catholic bishops are neither managers nor politicians,” it said. “They do not derive their spiritual and temporal powers from the confidence of a supervisory board or the electorate, but from God.”It added that “quitting over real or perceived wrongdoing is a widespread and accepted practice in politics and business. They are the rules of the game. Until now, this was not the case in the Church”.- © AFP, 2013Germany’s Catholics told to pay church tax or no sacraments>German Catholic Church says 66 clergy accused of sex abuse>last_img read more

first_imgTHE ACCESS GRANTED to chemical weapons inspectors in Syria is a sign of what can be achieved if enough of the right energy is channelled in the right way. But moral responsibility doesn’t stop with the first signs of success in dismantling chemical weapons – in fact that’s just the start.Undoubtedly, reducing the potential impact of such weapons is a positive move. However, Syrian people are now presented with the absurd situation of inspectors freely driving through many areas of desperate need, while the ambulances, food and drug supplies organised by humanitarian organisations are blocked.Reports from areas under siege suggest communities are desperate for food and have almost entirely run out of even the most basic medical supplies. The recent confirmation by the World Health Organisation (WHO) of polio cases is symptomatic of the deterioration of what once was a highly-functioning system of healthcare. Earlier this year Médecins Sans Frontières teams vaccinated 75,000 children to stem a measles outbreak. Both patients and medical workers in Syria today are facing severe challenges as almost 60 per cent of the hospitals are now damaged or destroyed.Arrested and tortured for treating patientsThe adversity is heightened because of the lack of skilled medical workers remaining in the country; since the beginning of the war, health workers have been targeted. Médecins Sans Frontières has heard many accounts of Syrian medics being arrested and tortured for treating patients. As one orthopaedic surgeon explained “Being caught with patients is like being caught with a weapon.”As the war continues, the numbers of people in need of medical care is rising. In the space of just two weeks, one of our field hospitals launched nine mass casualty incidents. This is when the influx of wounded patients exceeds the capacity of the hospital because they all arrive together, and with injuries so severe that many need life-saving treatment at the same time. Skull fractures, crushed limbs, gunshot and shrapnel wounds are typical injuries that medical staff in Syria have to deal with.It is easy to forget that in the midst of explosions there are also patients who are indirect victims of the war – toddlers who have been severely scalded by pots of boiling water in overcrowded IDP (internally displaced persons) camps; asthmatic children who come to our emergency room for oxygen because inhalers are no longer available; pregnant women in need of emergency c-sections as they haven’t been able to get pre-natal checkups. The urgency for medical care in Syria is immense and takes all forms.Médecins Sans Frontières is running six hospitals, two health centres and several mobile clinic programmes inside Syria; this is not easy, but shows that it is possible. We are able to keep working in these areas through a persistent process of dialogue. Our teams have to explain to everyone in the areas we work in that Médecins Sans Frontières is medical organisation and that we are there with one simple aim – to treat anyone that needs medical attention.Negotiating access is slow and painstakingWe emphasise that we don’t take any government funding for our work in Syria in order to remain completely free of any political agendas. Occasionally when we feel this is not well understood, we have to temporarily reduce our teams for their safety, continue talking, and then return to a full strength medical and logistical team when we are confident that our presence as a neutral, impartial humanitarian organisation is accepted.To date, this has enabled us to remain in places where we know the medical needs are immense. We would like to expand our reach because the medical emergency extends throughout the country. But in the areas of most intense fighting it is simply not safe to be.The lack of respect for humanitarian workers makes the job of negotiating access slow and painstaking. It is virtually impossible for medical aid to cross front lines because of the mistrust of anything coming from the other side, and the blockages around enclave areas have so far been unbreakable.Influential countries gathered around a table, thrashed out an agreement on chemical weapons and put it into practice. They have shown it can be done, the same must happen now for humanitarian aid, especially medical care for people caught up in conflict and to afford some protection and respect for medical staff on the ground.Jane-Ann McKenna is the Director of Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders Irelandpresent. She has recently returned from a field visit to Jordan and Iraqi Kurdistan where she conducted a humanitarian assessment of Syrian refugees’ needs in neighbouring countries.In 2012 Médecins Sans Frontières teams performed 1,165 reconstructive surgeries in the Amman hospital. The project also provided physiotherapy and psycho-social support to thousands of patients. To donate, visit or call 1800 905 509.last_img read more

first_imgTHE CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESE of Los Angeles has agreed to pay nearly $10 million to four men who alleged they were molested by a former priest in the 1970s.LA’s Cardinal Roger Mahony approved the deal this month with lawyers for the men and the former priest involved, according to the victims’ attorneys.Last month’s long-delayed release of hundreds of files about abuse claims – which came at the same time as Mahony was stripped of his duties for mishandling the scandals – helped precipitate the settlements, one lawyer said.The priest involved, Reverend Michael Baker, abused the four young victims repeatedly in the 1970s, including on overnight trips to San Diego, according to the legal documents.The lawsuits claim that then-Archbishop Mahony allowed him to continue to minister as a priest even though Baker admitted in 1986 that he had sexually abused minors in the past.Baker was jailed for over 10 years in December 2007 after pleading guilty to 12 felony counts of oral copulation with a minor, involving two of the victims in these lawsuits. He was released in October 2011.Lawyer Vince Finaldi said Baker was scheduled to be a witness, if the lawsuits – filed after the LA archdiocese reached a $660 million settlement with abuse victims in 2007 – had gone to trial.The LA archdiocese released files last month on over 100 clerics accused of sex abuse, as required under the 2007 lawsuit deal, including some showing Mahony discussing how to cover up alleged crimes.Finaldi said the release of the files “played heavily” into the archdiocese’s decision to settle the cases. “Once we got the files, it confirmed everything we had argued for years and years,” he told the LA Times.“Cardinal Mahony’s fingerprints were all over the case,” he added.Lawyers for the victims said they plan to give more details of the cases at a press conference Thursday.Michael Hennigan, a lawyer for the archdiocese, said: “We’re pleased to reach settlement here. We have always taken full responsibility for the misconduct of Michael Baker, so that was never an issue.“It was just a matter of reaching an agreement on a reasonable price, which we’re pleased to have been able to do,” he told AFP.It is not clear what the victims’ press conference will reveal, but Hennigan said there were no secrets about the deal. “I don’t have any idea. That’ll be up to them. But there’s nothing confidential about the settlement.”Mahony travelled to Rome to participate in the conclave to choose a successor to Pope Benedict XVI, despite calls from victims’ groups for him to stay home following the recent revelations about his role in covering up alleged abuse.Mahony, who retired in 2011, was stripped of his remaining church duties in January by his successor Archbishop Jose Gomez for mishandling claims against dozens of priests.The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) hailed the settlement. But they said: “No amount of money can restore the shattered trust and stolen childhoods of deeply wounded victims.“We applaud their courage in stepping forward, seeking justice and reminding us all that this crisis in the church remains far from finished,” SNAP director David Clohessy told AFP.Read: Mistakes in Savile case ‘could happen all over again’last_img read more

first_imgNINETEEN MINERS WERE trapped in a collapsed tunnel at Rudna copper mine in Poland when an earthquake hit south-west of Warsaw just after 10pm last night.Emergency services say they rescued all 19 workers after about eight hours of digging through rock and earth, according to BBC News.Reuters reports that the men were trapped about 600 metres below the surface. Two were treated for minor injuries but the other 17 have returned home.A spokesperson for the mine’s owner KGHM said it was the biggest accident in the firm’s history. The State-controlled company is Europe’s second-biggest copper producer. It operates in the Lower Silesia region, which is rich in mineral resources.Nine trapped after Russia coal mine blastlast_img

first_imgPEOPLE BEFORE PROFIT TD Richard Boyd-Barrett said that he would not take up Stephen Donnelly’s now vacant seat on the banking inquiry if he was offered it.Boyd-Barrett said that he believes that fellow Technical Group member Joe Higgins is next in line to take to take Donnelly’s place, but added that all three were conflicted about sitting on the inquiry in the first instance.“If it was offered to me I wouldn’t take it,” he told“It’s a joke at this point, the Government are trying to control it, there is no serious effort to get to the bottom of what actually happened.”Boyd-Barrett explained that himself, Donnelly and Higgins had essentially drawn lots to be selected as the Technical Group’s representative but even then were unsure whether they should take part.“All of us were torn, both myself and Stephen were very torn as to if we should even put our names forward for it at all.”Donnelly’s withdrawal comes after a week in which the Government lost its majority on the inquiry and then, after failing to remove a Fianna Fáil Senator, added two Government Senators to ensure a majority.Junior Minister and Labour leadership candidate Alex White said this afternoon that the banking inquiry should have been ‘left well alone’ after the initial line-up was completed.Speaking on RTÉ’s The Week in Politics, White said that he would have preferred if the original line-up with four Government members out of nine had remained.Personally I would have left it well alone when the the original choice of members was made. But what’s done is done now and instead of having nine members with a Government majority as was proposed, we now have 11 members with Government majority.White said that he felt it had “not been a good week for politics in this country” after the Government had altered procedure to add an extra Fine Gael and Labour Senator to the inquiry.“I don’t think the inquiry is robbed of all credibility,” he said when asked if Donnelly’s withdrawal had fatally flawed it.“I think what we should do is get on with it now,” he added expressing confidence in chairman of the inquiry, Labour’s Ciarán Lynch TD.Fianna Fáil’s Marc MacSharry, who the Government tried to remove from the inquiry, disagreed that there was understanding that the Government would have a majority:Plan A was to discredit myself which failed spectacularly and then Plan B kicked in which was to rip-up the rules of democracy and do what they wanted.“No party can stand to benefit from the truth coming out more than Fianna Fáil,” he added. “We wanted an independent Leveson style inquiry from the beginning. We didn’t get that.”Speaking on the same programme, Socialist Party TD Ruth Coppinger says that she believes the inquiry should be made up of groups from outside of politics.“I think it’s been really cynical. The people who should be in the majority on that inquiry are the people who are affected by the banking crisis…Not the people who cheerleaded the property bubble, it didn’t happen on one night in 2008,” she said.Read: Stephen Donnelly quits banking inquiry, says Taoiseach stated that he will try to control it >Poll: Is the banking inquiry now irreparably damaged? >last_img read more

first_imgWhen people make millions on the stock exchange or try to predict the future, you are talking about the theory of probability.However improbable it sounds, precisely half the competing teams have at least one shared special day, and five have two pairs of birthdays.No coincidence, explained Frankl.“It is hard to convince people but it’s almost always exact,” said the Hungarian. “Actually with 32 teams and 23 people, 50% is less than the expected result, mathematically speaking.”Frankl says one need only think back to school when many people would have shared a birthday with a classmate – the probability of two schoolchildren in a class of 30 sharing a birthday being 70%.“With 41 people in the classroom, the chances are 90%,” he said.The mathematical principle holds true at the World Cup where half the sides, including Brazil and holders Spain, have at least one pair of birthday boys.Argentina, France, South Korea, Switzerland and Iran have two.Some team-mates will celebrate joint birthdays at the World Cup, although champagne and cake are likely to be banned.On Friday Bosnian pairing Asmir Begovic and Sead Kolasinac will have to toast their joint birthday in secret if so inclined – with a must-win game against Nigeria the following day.South Korean players Kwak Tae-hwi and Son Heung-min might be able to enjoy a birthday tipple on 8 July, unless the team repeats its astonishing run to the World Cup semi-finals of 2002.Though something of a long shot, if the teams face each other in the last 16 on 30 June, Germany’s Benedikt Howedes and Algeria’s Saphir Taider will come face to face – both players only getting to celebrate an official birthday every four years because they were born on 29 February.Sceptics trying to shoot down the theory by claiming the data field is too narrow will be disappointed to learn that by including the 2010 World Cup squads, 31 out of the 64 squads had shared birthdays, still hovering near 50%.“Sometimes in mathematics it’s no use trying to explain things to your wife, children or neighbours,” said Frankl. “But I’ve tried the Birthday Paradox about 20 times in lectures and it’s only failed once.”- © AFP 201410-year-old ‘Mini Messi’ from Dublin heads to World Cup after playing with Shamrock Rovers Goalline technology makes World Cup debut, leaves Twitter and BBC confused MATHEMATICIANS ARE ENJOYING the World Cup – not just for the quality of the football – but also for the chance to prove an intriguing statistical quirk called the Birthday Paradox.Strange as it may sound, 16 of the 32 teams at the World Cup have players who share a birthday – though mathematicians are far less surprised than the rest of us.Statisticians have known for some time there is a slightly more than 50% chance that in any group of 23 people, two of them will have the same birthday.While it appears to defy logic, the Birthday Paradox stacks up. And delightfully, the World Cup – with its 32 teams of 23-man squads – proves it exactly.“It might look far-fetched,” Japan-based mathematician Peter Frankl told AFP.“Mathematics deals in the counter-intuitive on a daily basis.last_img read more

first_img Source: DAVID.BREENAwayEngland captain Steven Gerrard has announced his retirement from international football after earning 114 caps for the senior team.French full-back Patrice Evra has left Manchester United and joined Italian champions Juventus on a two-year deal.After yesterday’s Open Championship win at Hoylake, read how Rory McIlroy became the third golfer in history to win three of the four majors.Usain Bolt will compete at Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana Beach for the Mano a Mano 100m race next month.The best thing we sharedMonaco striker Dimitar Berbatov scores a classy volley in a pre-season friendly against Colombian side Atletico Junior. Ireland’s U19s women’s team have booked their place in the semi-finals of the European Championships after a 2-1 win over Sweden.Rob Heffernan and Fionnuala Britton will lead a 30-strong Irish team at next month’s European Track and Field Championships in Zurich.The Leinster Council will wait for the referee’s report before taking and decision on the ‘biting’ allegation in yesterday’s Leinster senior football final.Dublin will play their All-Ireland quarter-final at Croke Park as part of a double-header which will be shown on Sky Sports on 9 August. Here are five talking points from the weekend’s GAA.Matthew Macklin’s fight against Jorge Sebastian Heiland at the National Stadium will be an official world title eliminator. Source: AS MONACO/YouTubeOn the recordHow do you feel about people paying money and rich people sponsoring the sport to watch you and another man fight?” — Ray D’Arcy asked UFC fighter Cathal Pendred during an interview today. Read Pendred’s response.The fixture listAfter today’s rest day, the Tour de France returns tomorrow with stage 16, which runs 237km from Carcassonne to Bagneres-de-Luchon. Showbiz, Baby!Real Madrid star Cristano Ronaldo stars in a new shampoo ad during in which he dodges dandruff balls Matrix-style. Watch it here.”We all need a little more Harry Redknapp in our lives.”center_img NEED TO CATCH up? brings you a round-up of today’s sports news… Walker Rob Heffernan is part of Ireland’s team heading to Zurich. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHOHomelast_img read more

first_imgSWIMMERS HAVE BEEN warned about getting into the water at Cork beaches today.Cork County Council has advised would-be bathers to take precautions at Youghal Front Strand, Tragumna, Barleycove and The Warren.The local authority has told beach-goers not to swim at Youghal beach due to the elevated levels of bacteria found in the water, warning that swimming could lead to illness.Localised heavy rain is believed to have affected wastewater infrastructure in the area, the council said.The swimming ban will remain in place until the quality of the water improves. A new sample is to be taken on Monday to assess the situation. A map showing the current bathing restrictions at Ireland’s beaches Source: splash.epa.ieBathers have also been warned about bacteria at the three other beaches, but a swimming ban is not in place.Instead, beach users have been cautioned to avoid swallowing water, to avoid swimming with an open cut or wound, and to stay out of the water if they are pregnant or have a weakened immune system.The warning is expected to be lifted tomorrow.Read: Coast Guard warns swimmers against “literally jumping into the unknown” > Read: It’s official… Hottest day of the year so far >last_img read more

first_imgApple computers are expensive. You can’t deny that the MacBook and Mac lines carry a healthy premium when compared to the equivalent non-Mac branded hardware. But in return you get the Apple design aesthetics, access to Mac OS X Lion, and all the features and software that is distinctly the Apple experience.The newly updated Mac Mini is definitely one of the better value options Apple offers at a starting price of $599. That cost escalates quickly though, depending on your options, but it’s a non-Apple upgrade that wins for most expensive upgrade.Buying a Mac Mini direct from Apple means selecting a base configuration and then upgrading certain components as necessary. Those upgrade options include increasing the RAM from 2GB to 4GB or even 8GB. Need more than that? You’ll have to buy your memory elsewhere.Other World Computing (OWC) has seen an opportunity here and decided to start offering a 16GB RAM upgrade for the tiny machine. The only problem being the price of that upgrade. If you want a 16GB Mac Mini then you’re going to have to pay $1,399.99 just for the memory modules. Even if you opt to purchase the base $599 Mac Mini, that increases the price to an eye-watering $1,998.99. OWC also offer a slightly cheaper 12GB upgrade for $749.99.The cost alone will put 99% of people off ever considering that upgrade, and you do have to wonder which Mac Mini owners really need that much RAM. It’s only really going to be useful when editing video, for example, in which case the Mac Mini probably isn’t the right machine for the job anyway. The other configuration where 16GB may come in handy is the Mac Mini server, but with a starting price of $999 the 16GB kit would mean your total spend is at least $2,398.99.via MacRumorslast_img read more

first_imgThis week is the Build conference being held in Anaheim, California. Microsoft is using it as the official unveiling of Windows 8 to the world. Usually, an unveiling such as this is followed with calls for “when can I play with it?” Well, the answer to that question is “tonight”.When Microsoft was desperately trying to make up for the car wreck that was Windows Vista, they decided to release previews of Windows 7 really early for anyone to download and try. It worked really well. Microsoft got loads of feedback with which to improve their next-gen operating system, and anyone interested got a new OS to play with.That same mentality is being continued with Windows 8, and later today a developer preview of the new OS will become available. More specifically, at 8pm PST you will be able to download either a 32-bit or 64-bit ISO from the Microsoft Dev Center website. Which you choose to get depends on whether you are a developer or not: only the 32-bit version will come with development tools.Now we must stress that this is by no means final software, but the presentation currently streaming live on the Build Windows website shows an OS that looks very usable already. Microsoft has also promised to include a number of sample applications for developers to play with.You won’t be able to install this developer preview alongside another OS as it requires a clean install. I take that to mean you can still install it as a virtual machine, however, using software like that offered by VMWare or VirtualBox. Microsoft also intends to roll out regular updates and drivers, so if your install doesn’t work out tonight, keep checking the developer site as next week it may have the drivers you need.For those desperate to see the new Metro style applications and interface first hand, there is no better way to experience it at the moment.Read more at Building Windows 8last_img read more

first_imgEvery once in awhile, someone comes along and decides that the line between portable computer and massive screen needs to be smeared. During the Windows 8 device demonstrations we saw Steve Ballmer use the new OS on a screen the size of a wall, so it seems all too likely that someone would come along with a Windows 8 device packing a huge screen. This time Sony is stepping up to bat with the VAIO Tap 20 running Windows 8.Sony’s new “tabletop PC” is designed so you can either stand it up and use it like and all-in-one PC, or lay it down and use it as a massive Windows 8 tablet. When you want to stand the PC up, a large kickstand slides out from the bezel to support the 11 pounds that make up the Tap 20.The system is battery powered, so you can take your 20-inch tablet with you everywhere you go. Unfortunately, that battery is only good for about two hours. Once you get to where you are going, you can use the included wireless mouse and keyboard to continue using it like a normal PC.Aside from 10-finger touch support on the screen, the Tap 20 is NFC-enabled for data transfer. Sony is including several apps that are optimized for the screen size, like the family calendar app Fingertapps and the ArtRage Studio app for digital art. Sony has also included content from Sony Pictured Home Entertainment like the My Daily Clip trivia game. The Sony Mobile Bravia Engine 2, which is used in several of Sony’s new smartphones, helps the Tap 20 deliver a great viewing experience even when mobile.Sony is trying pretty hard to position this device as a computer for the family. Your kids can pick this 11-pound, battery-powered monster up and take it to their room and watch a movie, or it can be laid down on the living room floor so everyone can play games together. If it’s dropped, you’re only out $879 if you got the base model.As crazy as a 20-inch tablet/PC may sound, Windows 8 was built for exactly this kind of interaction. Windows 8 is the only OS that supports both a tablet form factor and supports multiple user accounts. In other words a 20-inch touch screen to replace the “family computer” is exactly what Windows 8 was made to do.last_img read more

first_imgThere are many videos of brand new gadgets getting smashed and destroyed for no reason other than to see what happens and maybe to gain a moment of fame on YouTube. It seems completely unnecessary and a total waste. The fact is, though, electronics are destroyed all the time by people who don’t really want them to be.If you are really accident-prone, then chances are you have dropped your smartphone or tablet already. When it comes to making your next purchase decision, seeing what device is most likely to hold up to your inadvertent torture is important.As such, if you are trying to figure out whether to buy a Nexus 7 or an iPad mini, there is a new video that you might want to check out above. The website Android Authority has posted a comparative look at how each tablet is able to hold up to various drops from about 4.5 feet.After the first drop on to their sides, the iPad mini held up quite well while the Nexus 7 already started to show significant damage. After the second drop, this time on their backs, the Nexus 7 became completely non-functional while the iPad mini still worked despite showing severe damage.The iPad mini also still worked after the third and most intense part of the drop test: face-down. The Nexus 7 ended up with more scratches and dents. So the moral of the story is that if you are going to drop your tablet from 4.5 feet high more than a couple of times, you are going to have a messed up tablet no matter what, but the iPad mini will be more likely to still work.The fact the iPad mini costs over 50% more than a Nexus 7, it’s not surprising to find it’s a little bit more resilient.via Android Authoritylast_img read more

first_imgA leaked photo appears to confirm that Windows 8.1 will reach the RTM milestone this August before hitting retail shelves in October. Yes, it’s just two more months until you can have your beloved Start Button back.That’s assuming the leaked image is accurate. The August RTM nearly lines up with what the well-connected Paul Thurrott revealed on Twitter. An October retail launch makes sense, since it would give Microsoft’s manufacturing and retail partners plenty of time to get their ducks in a row  before the 2013 shopping rush kicks into high gear.There are, however, a couple problems with the image.While the August RTM confirms previously leaked info, the actual date appears to be way off. Thurrott’s inside sources had pegged the Windows 8.1 RTM for — what else — 8/1.Then there’s the DP block sitting in the May column. That would no doubt indicate a Windows 8.1 Developer Preview, which never actually happened. Microsoft’s first official Windows 8.1 release isn’t happening until the Build Conference is under way on June 26.And what about the “feedback close” that appears way back in January. It seems unlikely that Microsoft stopped taking suggestions that far back.Microsoft is clearly not the same stodgy, unyielding company that it has been in the past — just look at the recent about-face on Xbox One policies. With analysts and critics blasting Windows 8 for failing to single-handedly stop the PC sales decline, you can bet Microsoft is willing to listen to feedback right up until Ballmer signs the gold disc. That’s what the shift to Blue is all about, after all: products and services that improve continuously, not just on an antiquated release schedule.Even if this image turns out to be a fake, very little changes: Windows 8.1 is coming soon, it’s going to be a free upgrade for Windows 8 users, and it’s going to fix a lot of annoyances.last_img read more

first_imgA mere 22 light years away from Earth is the triple star system known as Gliese 667. One of those stars, Gliese 667C, has been thoroughly analyzed by astronomers in the past. Still, an international team thought it might be worth combining data from the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile with existing observations. The result points to more extrasolar planets orbiting Gliese 667C than we previously suspected. Even more, three of them are in the habitable zone.Astronomers consider the habitable zone of a star to be the narrow band in which liquid water could exist on the surface. Gliese 667C is only about a third the size of our sun, so it’s habitable zone is closer to the star. However, the zone is completely packed. This is the first evidence for a completely full habitable zone around another star.The VLT made its observations using an instrument called the High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS). This device measures radial-velocity, which is basically an observable doppler shift in a star’s light caused by the slight wobble produced by an orbiting planet.The data is preliminary, but all three planets are believed to be so-called super-Earths. These are large rocky planets much more massive than Earth, but nowhere near the mass of gas giants like Jupiter. The gravity of these planets would be considerably higher than ours, so even if we could get there, it wouldn’t be a good vacation spot.The two other stars of the Gliese system would appear as very bright stars visible in the daylight on these planets. They would produce as much nighttime light as the full moon does on Earth. These compact systems with small stars and close-by rocky worlds have been theorized by astronomers, but this is the first one which fulfills all the requirements.So maybe there are creatures out there, only 22 light years away looking back at us and thinking how strange it would be if sentient beings evolved on a planet with such low gravity.last_img read more

first_img THE ROAD SAFETY Authority has put the focus on garda numbers after an eighth road death in four days has seen the death toll on Irish roads spiral way beyond last year.So far this year, 157 people have died on the roads in the Republic of Ireland, that’s 31 more than at this point last year.Although 162 people died over the 12 month period in 2015, last year was “probably the safest year on record”, according to Moya Murdoch of the RSA.Speaking on RTÉ’s News at One, Murdoch said that the sharp increase this year means that it’s time to “take stock” of what’s happening on the roads.“Ireland is outstanding in terms of road safety about personal responsibility and behaviour on the road, but perceptions about being stopped for speeding or being stopped for alcohol is much lower than our counterparts in Europe,” she said.Clearly, while personal responsibility is the number one priority, if there isn’t adequate enforcement out there enforcing road safety then we will have upturns.“One of the concerns the RSA has is the reduction in garda numbers. And we have to deal with that as well because if they’re not there people will take chances,” she says.Murdoch added that, while increased economic activity means busier roads, the housing crisis also plays a role.“We are also seeing people struggling to get affordable accommodation near their places of work, near colleges,” she said.So we are probably seeing a lot more young people driving than we did during the past few years with austerity, because they could live near their work. And young drivers by their nature are riskier.Murdoch’s comments come as another tragedy in north county Dublin last night left 20-year-old Jane Dardis dead after a single vehicle crash.The young woman was a front seat passenger in a car when it crashed into a wall on the Loughshinny Road near her home in Skerries.Read: Woman in her 20s dies after car hits wall in Dublin >Read: ‘Preventable’ death of young student by hit-and-run driver was ‘due to multiple garda failings’ > 20,805 Views Image: Eamonn Farrell 51 Comments Oct 25th 2016, 4:02 PM Tuesday 25 Oct 2016, 4:02 PM Share22 Tweet Email1 center_img Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article By Rónán Duffy Garda diversion after road crash in Laois. (File photo) Eight road deaths in four days: Are garda numbers and the housing crisis making things worse? The Road Safety Authority is worried about an increasing trend. Short URL Garda diversion after road crash in Laois. (File photo) Image: Eamonn Farrelllast_img read more

first_img 7 Comments 7,413 Views NEW YORK STATE is suing Harvey Weinstein, his brother and their production company for failing to protect employees from years of his alleged sexual misconduct despite multiple complaints from staff.The lawsuit comes four months after the Hollywood mogul’s career ended over allegations of sexual harassment, assault and rape now leveled by more than 100 women spanning 40 years.State prosecutors said the suit, the result of an ongoing investigation, was filed out of fear that an imminent sale of The Weinstein Company, now on the verge of bankruptcy, could leave victims without adequate redress. The lawsuit now threatens to delay the sale.Weinstein’s lawyer poured cold water on the lawsuit and presented his 65-year-old client as a supporter of women’s career advancement.But state prosecutors accuse the company’s board and executives of repeatedly failing to take adequate steps to protect staff or curb Weinstein’s behaviour, despite multiple complaints to human resources.Weinstein is being investigated by British and US police, but has not yet been charged with any crime. He denies having non-consensual sex and is reportedly in treatment for sex addiction.The suit alleges that female assistants were required to facilitate Weinstein’s sex life as a condition of employment and had copies of a manual, known as a “Bible,” that included directions on how to do so.Prosecutors said Weinstein made verbal threats to “kill” several staff or their families, and touted his connection to political figures and alleged Secret Service contacts that could “take care of problems.”They said one employee flew from London to New York to teach his assistants “how to dress and smell more attractive” to Weinstein.Car injections Weinstein’s drivers in New York and Los Angeles were required to keep condoms and erectile dysfunction injections in the car at all times, prosecutors said.Among the alleged misconduct was making a female employee take dictation while leering at her as he lay naked on his bed in 2014-15. He also allegedly put his hand on her upper thigh and buttocks near her genitalia to rub her without consent in the back of cars.Largely female assistants allegedly contacted prospective sexual partners via text message or phone at his direction, and maintained space on his calendar for sexual activity.Female executives also allegedly had to meet prospective sexual conquests and follow through on promised job offers, which prosecutors said demeaned and humiliated them, fueling a hostile work environment.The New York state attorney’s office said that despite multiple complaints to the human resources department, there was no meaningful investigation or relief for victims, or consequences for Weinstein.It said the company’s toxic work environment was shrouded in secrecy because of a practice of reaching non-disclosure agreements — a policy that has come under renewed scrutiny in the wake of the sexual harassment watershed that has followed Weinstein’s downfall.“While Mr Weinstein’s behavior was not without fault, there certainly was no criminality,” Weinstein’s lawyer Ben Brafman, one of America’s most celebrated criminal defence attorneys, said in a statement.At the end of the inquiry, it will be clear that Harvey Weinstein promoted more women to key executive positions than any other industry leader and there was zero discrimination.‘Vicious mistreatment’ “If the purpose of the inquiry is to encourage reform throughout the film industry, Mr Weinstein will embrace the investigation,” Brafman said.“If the purpose however is to scapegoat Mr Weinstein, he will vigorously defend himself.”State attorney general Eric Schneiderman said the lawsuit, filed in State Supreme Court, detailed Weinstein’s “vicious and exploitative mistreatment” of employees.“As alleged in our complaint, The Weinstein Company repeatedly broke New York law by failing to protect its employees from pervasive sexual harassment, intimidation and discrimination,” said Schneiderman.Any sale of The Weinstein Company must ensure that victims will be compensated, employees will be protected going forward and that neither perpetrators nor enablers will be unjustly enriched.Last week, the district attorney’s office in Los Angeles said police had submitted three Weinstein sexual assault cases to prosecutors.A group of investors led by a former official who served in president Barack Obama’s administration is understood to be in advanced talks to buy The Weinstein Company.Deadline, the Hollywood insider website that first reported the advanced talks, said a roughly $500 million bid by the group led by Maria Contreras-Sweet included a fund to compensate victims.© – AFP, 2018Read: Two police officers shot dead responding to ‘domestic situation’ at home in OhioRead: Three dead after tour helicopter crashes in the Grand Canyon Image: Anthony Devlin Feb 12th 2018, 7:20 AM New York state is suing Harvey Weinstein and his former company for failing to protect staff More than 100 women have accused him of sexual harassment, assault and rape. By AFP Short URL Image: Anthony Devlin Monday 12 Feb 2018, 7:20 AM Share Tweet Email1 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

first_img You scored out of ! Giant slalom Super-G 9. How many days did it take ex-Connacht and Leinster lock Damian Browne to row the Atlantic as part of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge? 5 Top of the pile, you really were paying attention this week. 10. Which Irish Olympian announced her retirement at the age of 27 this week? Share PA Tiger Woods Friday 16 Feb 2018, 5:00 PM 11 The questions just didn’t suit you this time, try again next week. Feb 16th 2018, 5:00 PM 64 Slalom Ted Martin Peter Harte 7 Comments INPHO 27,724 Views INPHO RTÉ 2 Kerry Justin Thomas Sinead Lynch 4. American skier Mikaela Shiffrin won her first gold medal of the 2018 Winter Olympics in which discipline? eir Sport Share your result: 75 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Connor McAliskey PA Jacob Stockdale Bundee Aki Phil Mickelson By Steve O’Rourke PA 7. Who scored Ireland’s opening try as they beat Italy 56-19 in their second game of this year’s Six Nations? Donegal PA Sanita Puspure Downhill Rory McIlroy Silver Share 8. Which former boss was re-appointed Scotland manager this week? Share your result: INPHO Tweet 6. Dublin ladies footballers beat which county in Croke Park for the first time last weekend? George Burley Conor Murray Alex McLeish INPHO 8 Berti Vogts PA Walter Smith 3. Which TV station showed last weekend’s League of Ireland curtain raiser as Cork City beat Dundalk in the President’s Cup? You scored out of ! Mattie Donnelly None PA PA Know Your Sport? Take our weekly quiz How closely have you paid attention to this week’s sporting headlines? Annalise Murphy Monaghan Niall Morgan You scored out of ! Share your result: Short URL 2. Following an incident in Edinburgh after their defeat to Scotland, how many members of the French squad were dropped for their game against Italy next week? Tweet The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us! Cork You scored out of ! Robbie Henshaw Not too bad at all. If you’d paid a little more attention you could have won the gold. Answer all the questions to see your result! Tweet Share29 Tweet Email Share 80 Bronze 1. Whose 75th minute point for Tyrone condemned Kildare to a third successive Allianz Football League Division 1 defeat last Sunday? Tweet Share Claire Lambe TV3 Gold Well now. There’s not much we can say about that. Do you even like sport? INPHO Share your result: PA 3 5. Which player was not a member of the so-called ‘super group’ for the first round of the Genesis Open on Thursday? 69 Wooden Spoon Follow us: the42.ielast_img read more

first_img Poll Results: 28,614 Views Nov 30th 2016, 9:30 AM No (12360) Short URL 114 Comments Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland Poll: Is Fianna Fáil right to ask Bertie to come back? Fianna Fáil Dublin Central chair Brian Mohan said that Bertie “deserves a second chance”.center_img BERTIE AHERN MAY be about to return Fianna Fáil, after the party’s chairman in Dublin Central confirmed that he’d been invited to rejoin the party.Branch chair Brian Mohan said that while Ahern is “controversial in some people’s eyes, he has been nothing but loyal to Fianna Fáil” and “deserves a second chance”.It’s expected a letter will be drafted by Fianna Fáil HQ informing Ahern of the local branch motion.According to a person familiar with the process, it would then be up to the former Taoiseach to send in an application to join, much like any other member of the public.Considering the application is from a figure as high profile as Bertie Ahern, it’s likely the issue will be dealt with by the National Executive.So what do you think? Is Fianna Fáil right to ask Bertie to rejoin the party? By Sean Murray Wednesday 30 Nov 2016, 9:30 AM Share169 Tweet Email1 YesNoNo interest/No opinionVote No interest/No opinion (1216) Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland Yes (3196)last_img read more

first_img Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald and Garda Commissioner Noirin O Sullivan Wednesday 7 Dec 2016, 9:55 PM 30 Comments Dec 7th 2016, 9:55 PM By Órla Ryan TÁNAISTE AND JUSTICE Minister Frances Fitzgerald has referred a report on the treatment of whistleblowers in An Garda Síochána to the Attorney General.In a statement, Fitzgerald said she received Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill’s report today.The former High Court judge was tasked with reviewing the situation after two protected disclosures were made to Fitzgerald by gardaí in early October.Fitzgerald’s statement noted Justice O’Neill was “asked to review the allegations of wrongdoing contained in the disclosures, to make any inquiries with persons or bodies that he considered appropriate in relation to the review and to report to the Tánaiste on the conclusion of the review, including any recommendations which he may consider necessary in relation to any further action which may be appropriate and warranted to address the allegations”.The Tánaiste added: Share43 Tweet Email Tánaiste seeks legal advice on Garda whistleblowers report A former High Court judge was tasked with reviewing the situation after two protected disclosures were made to Frances Fitzgerald by gardaí in October. In view of the nature of those allegations and the fact that third parties are mentioned the report is being referred to the Attorney General for her advice on how to proceed, including the question of what material might properly be put in the public domain, having regard to the rights of all concerned.Fitzgerald thanked O’Neill for “carrying out this work so expeditiously”.The Department of Justice said Fitzgerald will bring proposals on the issue to government once she has received the AG’s advice, but “is not in a position to make any further comment at this time”.Read: High Court judge to investigate allegations of wrongdoing related to whistleblower disclosuresRead: Explainer: What exactly does Ireland do to protect whistleblowers? Image: Sam Boal/ 11,998 Views Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald and Garda Commissioner Noirin O Sullivan Image: Sam Boal/ Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

first_img Short URL By Cónal Thomas Monday 4 Mar 2019, 5:35 PM Share78 Tweet Email Two men arrested following discovery of ATM scamming equipment at house in Navan The men are are currently being detained at Navan Garda Station. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article GARDAÍ IN MEATH have arrested two men after ATM skimming equipment was discovered at a house in Navan this morning. Officers from the Garda National Ecomonic Crime Bureau carried out the search at a house on Slane Road in Navan where they seized equipment for ATM skimming including a fake ATM front, hard drives, receiving devices, soldering equipment and laptops.About 500 blank cards for storing data copied at ATMs, sat navs, pinhole cameras, skimming devices and various ATM skimming paraphernalia were also discovered during the search. The two men, one in his late 40s and the other in his late 20s, were arrested and are currently being detained at Navan Garda Station under Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act 2007. Gardaí have said that investigations and searches are ongoing. Comments are closed for legal reasons. Image: An Garda Síochána Image: An Garda Síochána Mar 4th 2019, 5:35 PM No Comments 25,350 Views last_img read more