Android Grabs 44 of US Sales iPhone 26 Report

first_imgGoogle’s Android had a good third quarter. A really, really good third quarter. According to numbers from research firm Canalys, handsets running Google’s open OS comprised 44 percent of smartphones shipped in the US that quarter.Apple grabbed the (distant) number two spot, at 26.2. RIM was close behind at 24.2. Microsoft, meanwhile, was in fourth at 3 percent of the market.Android increased its market share by an impressive 11 percent over the previous quarter–Apple, meanwhile, only managed to increase by one percent. The smartphone market increased a full 95 percent worldwide, compared to the same quarter a year ago, according to the firm’s numbers.AdChoices广告last_img

Justin Bieber Techs 2010 Person of the Year

first_imgWho is 2010’s tech person of the year? Is it Mark Zuckerberg, the world’s youngest billionaire, who helped transform Facebook into a global juggernaut, donated absurd amounts of money to charity, and was the basis for the year’s most critically acclaimed film?What about Steve Jobs, who turned the tech world on its head yet again with the introduction of the iPad, which kickstarted the consumer tablet market?Maybe it’s Meg Whitman, or Carly Fiorina, who both parlayed CEO jobs at prominent tech companies into much-publicized bids for office in California.I would like to throw my support behind another candidate–that’s right, Justin Bieber (OMG, et al). The 16-year-old Canadian pop singer earned a top spot in tech headlines this year, thanks in no small part a seemingly permanent spot atop Twitter’s trending topics.Bieber made a name for himself after his young mother began uploading videos of her son performing song covers. He quickly built up a legion of absurdly loyal–and intense–fans who have grown up on social networking. As various social networks reveal their year-end lists of hot topics, the point is made all the more clear: 2010 was the year of the Bieber. After the jump, check a round up of our Bieber coverage from 2010.March 26: Bieber’s Manager Arrested for Not TweetingManager Scott “Scooter” Braun is arrested on criminal nuisance and reckless endangerment charges after a canceled Bieber appearance leads to a crowd nightmare. According to police, Braun failed to alert the fanbase via Twitter.April 1: Funny or Die Becomes Bieber or DieComedy site Funny or Die teams up with the teen star for April Fool’s. Bieber recreates a number of popular viral videos like “David after the Dentist” as only he can.May 18: Anti-Bieber Firefox Plug-inPeople are already feeling the effects of Bieber-overload by May, so a company called Free Art and Technology introduces a Firefox plug-in with the creepy name “Shaved Bieber,” which blocks all mention of the pop star within the browser.July 1: 4Chan’s Bieber North Korea PrankBieber posts an online poll asking fans where he should go next on his tour. 4Chan steps in, attempting to get Bieber to make a stop in North Korea. 4Chan, incidentally, also managed to get the phrase “Justin Bieber Syphillis.”July 6: Bieber Death/Porn ExploitThe same week that 4Chan attempted to send the Biebz to North Korea, a YouTube exploit lures in fans with claims that singer has died. Clicking on it redirects the user to a porn site–where else?September 8: Twitter Devotes Racks of Space to BieberHow much of Twitter’s backend is devoted to Justin Bieber tweets? A staggering 3 percent, according to an unnamed Twitter employee. Racks of servers are dedicated to him.”September 30: Justin Bieber HeadphonesFollowing in the footsteps of Dre, Lady Gaga, and Diddy, Monster gives Bieber his own line of headphones. They’re purple–Bieber’s favorite color.October 8: Justin Bieber Kicked off of FacebookNo, not that Justin Bieber. A fellow with the same name as the pop singer is booted off of Facebook, after being accused of using a fake name. he and Hiroko Yoda have a lot to talk about. December 1: Bieber 3D Movies Sells 26,000 TicketsParamount announces a sneak preview of Bieber’s upcoming 3D movie, Never Say Never, selling 26,000 tickets in 12 hours–a full three months before show time. December 1: Bieber Tops Year End Search ResultsSurprised? Neither are we. Nothing to see here. Move along.December 2: Bieber Blocked from YouTube for Uploading Own MusicBieber hits back against YouTube after the site won’t let him upload his own music. He tells his Twitter audience that he’s moving to Facebook instead.last_img read more

BitTorrent throttling report reveals Comcast is keeping its word

first_imgThere is no greater bane to a BitTorrent users than an ISP that throttles their speed down to 56k modem speeds from the ’80s. It is a topic that is hotly debated across the internet about which ISP throttles and those that don’t, or which ones will report a user for piracy or not.The biggest villain in the whole BitTorrent debate in recent history has been made out to be Comcast. They were caught throttling 49% of their customers who were using bandwidth for P2P file sharing. After being exposed for their actions, the FCC ordered Comcast to stop throttling on a large scale. A report has appeared this week that indicates the communications company has kept its word and ceased such practices.A two year study was conducted by Measurement Lab (M-Lab), monitoring various broadband providers using an application called “Glasnost” (which means openness in Russian). The results were published recently showing some interesting figures across the world about the best and worst companies out there in terms of levels of throttling.In the US, the worst offender has been found to be ClearWire, a company that slows down 17% of their customer base when using BitTorrent. The best? It’s quite refreshing to hear it is Comcast, at only 3%. Comcast deserves to be applauded for its compliance with the order from the FCC.The worst offender in the report was Rogers from Canada, with a whopping 78% of their users being throttled. Hopefully, just like Comcast, action will be taken and Rogers will be told to stop such practices.The full report can be viewed at M-Lab.Read more at TorrentFreaklast_img read more

Apple to innovate iPad like crazy says Tim Cook

first_imgAmidst Apple’s earnings call for the December quarter (which saw record growth and revenue), some of the most interesting talk came from Tim Cook when he was asked about the iPad. Though it’s along the same lines as what we’ve heard in the past, Cook dropped some hints about Apple’s future and dismissed concerns about the Kindle Fire.When asked about the competition from budget tablets like the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet, Cook didn’t sound particularly worried. He said that these devices are basically eReaders with limited functionality. He acknowledged that some customers will buy them, but said that people who want an iPad won’t want to settle for such a “limited function” device. Take that, Jeff Bezos.Cook then continued with the frame that Steve Jobs presented at the iPad 2 event last year. In that keynote, Jobs had said that 2010 was “the year of the iPad,” and then asked rhetorically whether 2011 would be “the year of the copycats?” Of course not, he said; 2011 would also be the year of the iPad. Today Cook referenced that, saying that 2011 wasn’t, in fact, the Year of the Tablet, but was the second consecutive Year of the iPad. It’s all rhetoric, but sales figures agree with this assessment.Cook did throw us a little bone about the future of the iPad. Though Apple isn’t going to reveal any secrets until a product is being unveiled, he said that Apple is going to “continue to innovate like crazy” in the iPad area.What does this mean? Well, it’s the type of thing a CEO typically says about a product, but it also doesn’t sound like the point of view of a company that’s planning on sitting still. The next iPad will likely sport a 2048×1536 Retina display, an A6 (possibly quad-core) system-on-a-chip, and upgraded cameras. Would this constitute “innovating like crazy?” Probably — but don’t rule out Apple having something else up its sleeve come March. Siri? An Apple gaming platform? We’ll probably know in less than two months.last_img read more

Leaked iPhone 5 case can be rented for 7890 per day

first_imgIn the run up to the launch of the iPhone 5 we have seen more part leaks than for any other iPhone. It has gotten to the point where you can construct a near complete smartphone based on all the leaks, and unless Apple has been cleverly diverting us away from the truth with fake components, there will be few surprises come the expected launch date of September 12.All these leaks have been viewed as a money-making opportunity by some Chinese companies.The galleries of images appearing on Chinese websites apparently don’t come cheap, with NetEase explaining that in order to get your hands on different parts you should expect to pay, and pay a lot.For the supposed official iPhone 5 case you see in the images above, access was only given to capture shots and take measurements when a rent was paid. For 24 hours with the case you can expect to pay 50,000 Chinese yuan. That works out to around $7,890. In other words, it’s totally not worth paying for with no guarantee this is an official part.Some people will be willing to pay, though, and that’s what these companies or individuals are relying on. Who would pay? Most likely accessory manufacturers keen to get their iPhone 5 cases, screen protectors, and clip-on battery packs manufactured in time for Apple’s launch event. With a new dock connector expected too, there’s surely more demand than ever to get an early look and find out exactly how big it is and how it works.With that being the case, leaked iPhone 5 parts should generate quite a lot of profit over the coming weeks for anyone with access to the production lines.More at MIC Gadget and NetEaselast_img read more

Victory for the victims French court rules man who had sex with

first_img 28,027 Views By AFP Share38 Tweet Email1 ‘Victory for the victims’ – French court rules man who had sex with 11-year-old girl must face rape charge The ruling is a landmark one in France, where no age of consent currently exists. Feb 14th 2018, 7:35 AM Short URL The hall of justice in Pontoise Source: AP/PA ImagesA COURT IN France has ruled that a 29-year-old man on trial for having sex with an 11-year-old girl must face rape charges, while declaring itself incompetent to rule in the highly controversial case.The court adjourned indefinitely after the man went on trial for sexual assault rather than rape, in a case that triggered an outcry after prosecutors judged that the sex was “consensual”, despite the girl’s young age.France does not treat sex between an adult and a minor as rape unless there is proof that force was used, and the government has vowed to introduce an age of consent.The local court in the Paris suburb of Pontoise said after a day of closed-door hearings that the man should be put on trial for rape, pushing the decision to a higher court.The girl’s family were outraged by the initial decision not to try him for rape, and their lawyer Carine Diebolt has hailed the ruling as “a victory for the victims”.“There is no question of consent when we’re talking about a child of 11 years,” she had told reporters before the trial opened.She has asked for the case to be adjourned and a rape charge to be applied, insisting that the child was shocked, intimidated and threatened by the defendant.center_img No Comments Defence lawyers Marc Goudarzian and Sandrine Parise-Heideiger, pictured outside court Source: AP/PA ImagesThe father of two children, then aged 28, approached the girl in a public area of a housing estate in Montmagny northwest of Paris.She performed oral sex in an elevator on the way to his apartment where they had penetrative sex.The defendant’s lawyer, Marc Goudarzian, cast doubt on the girl’s testimony and insisted his client thought the girl was 17 because she had passed puberty. “She wasn’t born yesterday,” Goudarzian added.In November last year, a man was acquitted of rape after having sex with an 11-year-old after a jury found no evidence that she had been forced into the relationship.And in another widely publicised case in November this year, a teacher was given a suspended jail sentence rather than a prison term, for having sex with a 14-year-old pupil.President Emmanuel Macron, who is married to his former schoolteacher, has proposed a new law that would make 15 the age of consent.Comments are closed for legal reasons© – AFP, 2018Read: United Airlines plane forced to make emergency landing after engine cover rips apart mid-flightRead: Boris Johnson is set to tell the world that NOT Brexiting would be a disaster Wednesday 14 Feb 2018, 7:35 AM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Terrorists dont care who they kill Theresa May says Europe must protect

first_img 7,667 Views “When these atrocities occur, people look to us as leaders to provide the response. We must ensure nothing prevents us from fulfilling our first duty as leaders to protect our citizens.” British Prime Minister Theresa May Source: Paul Ellis/PA Wire/PA ImagesMay called on the EU to not let “rigid institutional restrictions” get in the way of a wide-ranging post-Brexit security partnership. She warned that there will be “damaging real-world consequences” if such a plan isn’t agreed.She added that Britain is “just as committed to Europe’s security in the future as we have been in the past”.“This cannot be a time when any of us allow competition between partners, rigid institutional restrictions or deep-seated ideology to inhibit our cooperation and jeopardise the security of our citizens,” she stated.Britain is due to leave the EU in March 2019.Contains reporting from AP Read: 13 Russians charged with interfering in US electionRead: McDonald: ‘If the DUP crashed this thinking that they would return to the bosom of direct rule, they thought wrong’ ‘Terrorists don’t care who they kill’: Theresa May says Europe must protect citizens She called for a “deep and special partnership” to be maintained between the UK and the European Union post-Brexit. Video won’t play? Click here.BRITISH PRIME MINISTER Theresa May has called for a “deep and special partnership” in relation to security to be maintained between the UK and the European Union post-Brexit.In a speech delivered at the Munich Security Conference in Germany this morning, May spoke about the impact of terror attacks on Europe.She said people throughout Europe have “shared the pain and heartbreak of terrorist atrocities”, noting it’s almost a year since the “despicable” attack in Westminster, which was followed by further attacks in Manchester and London. 61 Comments Share93 Tweet Email Short URL As the clock ticks down, get all the best Brexit news and analysis in your inbox:center_img Saturday 17 Feb 2018, 10:24 AM These people don’t care if they kill and maim Parisians, Berliners, Londoners or Mancunians because it’s the common values that we all share which they seek to attack and defeat, but I say we will not let them. By Órla Ryan Feb 17th 2018, 10:24 AM Source: Sky News/Twitter “Europe’s security is our security… the United Kingdom is unconditionally committed to maintaining it” says Theresa May speaking in Munich— Sky News (@SkyNews) February 17, 2018 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Isis death toll from Mother Of All Bombs reaches 90

first_img Apr 15th 2017, 9:42 AM 133 Comments Saturday 15 Apr 2017, 9:42 AM Image: AP/PA Images Isis death toll from ‘Mother Of All Bombs’ reaches 90 The bomb was dropped on Thursday. 37,206 Views Share Tweet Email1 center_img AFGHAN AUTHORITIES HAVE reported a jump in fatalities from the American military’s largest non-nuclear bomb, declaring 90 Islamic State fighters dead, as US-led forces conducted clean-up operations over their mountain hideouts.Dubbed the “Mother Of All Bombs”, the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast was unleashed in combat for the first time on Thursday, hitting IS positions in a remote area of eastern Nangarhar province.The unprecedented attack triggered global shock waves, with some condemning the use of Afghanistan as what they called a testing ground for the weapon, and against a militant group that is not considered a threat as big as the resurgent Taliban.The bomb smashed IS’s hideouts, a tunnel-and-cave complex that had been mined against conventional ground attacks, engulfing the remote area in a huge mushroom cloud and towering flames.“At least 92 Daesh (IS) fighters were killed in the bombing,” Achin district governor Esmail Shinwari told AFP. File photo of Al Weimorts (left), the creator of the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb. Source: ABACANangarhar provincial spokesman Attaullah Khogyani gave a toll of 90, far higher than the initial toll of 36 IS fighters given by Afghan officials.Shinwari insisted there were “no military and civilian casualties at all”, adding that Afghan commandos and American troops are carrying out clean-up operations in the area.Security experts say IS had built their base close to civilian homes, but the government said thousands of local families had already fled the area in recent months of fighting.An elderly man who lives close to the bombing site in Achin’s Momand Dara area said the blast was so piercingly loud that his infant granddaughter was experiencing hearing loss.The massive bomb was dropped after fighting intensified over the past week and US-backed ground forces struggled to advance on the area. An American special forces soldier was killed last Saturday in Nangarhar while conducting anti-IS operations.“The enemy had created bunkers, tunnels and extensive mine fields, and this weapon was used to reduce those obstacles so that we could continue our offensive in Nangarhar,” General John Nicholson, the top US commander in Afghanistan, said on Friday.‘Disproportionate’President Ashraf Ghani threw his support behind the bombardment, saying it was “designed to support the efforts of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and US forces conducting clearance operations in the region”.The bombing came only a week after US President Donald Trump ordered missile strikes against Syria in retaliation for a suspected chemical attack, and as China warned of the potential for conflict amid rising US tensions with North Korea.Trump hailed the mission in Achin district as “very, very successful”.But some analysts called the action “disproportionate”.“The Trump administration made a lot of noise with this bomb, but the general state of play on the ground remains the same: The Taliban continues to wage a formidable and ferocious insurgency. ISIS, by comparison, is a sideshow,” Michael Kugelman of the Woodrow Wilson Centre in Washington told AFP, using an alternative acronym for IS.“Still, from a strategic standpoint, there is an unsettling takeaway here: The US pulled off a huge shock and awe mission against an enemy that isn’t even the top threat to the US in Afghanistan. The Taliban continues to sit pretty.”The Taliban, a much bigger insurgent group, is expected to soon announce the start of this year’s fighting season.IS, notorious for its reign of terror in Syria and Iraq, has made inroads into Afghanistan in recent years, attracting disaffected members of the Pakistani and Afghan Taliban as well as Uzbek Islamists.But the group has been steadily losing ground in the face of heavy pressure both from US air strikes and a ground offensive led by Afghan forces.- © AFP, 2017Read: These are the price differences in alcohol and cigarettes across the border that Noonan is monitoring >Read: Police want to speak to this man in connection with the death of Irishman Dylan Crawford > By AFP An Afghan commando stands guard at the Pandola village of near the site of the US forces’ bombing in Achin district of Jalalabad. Image: AP/PA Images Short URL An Afghan commando stands guard at the Pandola village of near the site of the US forces’ bombing in Achin district of Jalalabad. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Let our foolproof quiz guess what score youd shoot at the Masters

first_img I’m out every weekend I’ve played crazy golf 70 Apr 2nd 2017, 8:00 PM 66 Tweet 1. What would be your main dish if you got to choose the Champion’s Dinner? PA PA Hideki Matsuyama I thought golf was a car to be honest 3. Would you play in the par three tournament? 29,800 Views No Let our foolproof* quiz guess what score you’d shoot at the Masters *100% not foolproof. PA -8 is the most popular winning score at Augusta, though no player has ever hit four rounds of 70. Fuzzy Zoeller came closest in 1979. PA Azaleas You’re Greg Norman in 1996 and you’re celebrating the (joint) best round in Masters history. PA Some fine champagne Share your result: 63 PA Una Foden Know Your Sport? Take our weekly quiz‘If he tries to be Pádraig, he won’t win’ – Paul McGinley on Shane Lowry’s Masters hopes PA Begonias Tweet PA Share your result: 2. And to drink? Tweet Chinese Fir Tweet 5. Which Irish golfer would you most like as a playing partner? PA 20 Comments PA PA PA Rory McIlroy PA Pádraig Harrington Graeme McDowell PA A pint of ale PA PA Short URL 108 Share your result: You scored out of ! 80 Share your result: Spice bag PA Sunday 2 Apr 2017, 8:00 PMcenter_img Share Pink Dogwood Jordan Spieth Share Flowering Crab Apple 9. Finally, how often do you play golf? Daffodils Answer all the questions to see your result! Shane Lowry 6. And which international star would you like to complete the three-ball? I’ve a single figure handicap 91 PA Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston Just a snifter to settle the nerves You’re Rory McIlroy in 2011 and you had one arm in the green jacket until, well, you had a bit of a nightmare final round. Tweet PA Yes Steak You scored out of ! Share PA PA 7. Ernie Els has won four Majors, but did he ever don the green jacket? You scored out of ! Salad Share You scored out of ! Water please, I’m golfing tomorrow Yes You scored out of ! Share Roses Share Golden Bell You scored out of ! INPHO Jon Rahm PA Share your result: Share18 Tweet Email1 Tweet PA No By Steve O’Rourke You’re Tiger Woods who, on three of the four occasions he’s won the Masters, has shot a 66 on the Friday (the other time he shot 66 on the Saturday). 4. Can you name the flowers Jason Dufner is stuck behind? You’re you I’m afraid, and even with two shots per hole you just about shoot par. Steak Pizza PA You’re poor old Ben Crenshaw in 2015 when he hacked his way to a phenomenal 19-over par. 8. Pick your favourite name for a hole at Augusta National? Share your result: Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

At least 254 dead including 43 children as toll from Colombian horror

first_imgAt least 254 dead, including 43 children, as toll from Colombian horror mudslide continues to climb The deadly landslide, which struck late on Friday evening, resulted from days of heavy rains. 4 Comments By AFP We offer our prayers for all of them. We send our condolences and the entire country’s sympathies to their families.More than 200 were injured in the disaster.Survivors and rescuers kept up a bleak search for victims in the muck and debris.Covered in mud, 38-year-old Marta Gomez told of going to search for her missing niece – and making a chilling find instead.“I went to look for her, but I couldn’t find her. I dug and dug and found what turned out to be a baby’s hand. It was horrible,” she said in a shelter set up for the newly homeless.As she stood in line waiting to register for government assistance for those who lost their houses, Gomez told AFP she had given up on finding her niece. Soldiers rescuing landslide victims in Mocoa on Saturday, 1 April Source: SIPA USA/PA Images“The mud took her away. I’ll never see her again,” she said, clinging to the leash of her equally muddy German shepherd.Rescuers worked in stifling heat under a cloudy sky in the remote Amazon town, the capital of the department of Putumayo.Debris left by the mudslides is everywhere: buried cars, uprooted trees, children’s toys and stray shoes sticking up out of the mud.Pope’s prayersThe torrent of mud, boulders and debris struck the town with little warning late on Friday after days of heavy rains that caused three area rivers to flood.It swept away homes, bridges, vehicles and trees, leaving piles of wrecked timber.Most of the hardest-hit neighborhoods in the town of 40,000 are poor and populated with people uprooted during Colombia’s five-decade-long civil war.A “profoundly saddened” Pope Francis said he was praying for the victims.Santos declared an emergency to speed up aid operations.Health authorities said they had dispatched sanitation specialists in the hopes of preventing outbreaks of disease.Santos said four emergency water treatment plants would be set up “to avoid an epidemic and an even bigger public health crisis”.An unexpected offer of help also came from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the leftist rebel group engaged in a historic peace process with the government.It said FARC members were prepared to help rebuild the town.‘People screamed, others cried’Marta Ceballos, a 44-year-old street vendor, said she lost everything, but is thankful her family is alive.“Dear God, I don’t want to even remember that,” she said.To see how some people screamed, and others cried, ran, tried to flee in cars, on motorcycles, and how they were trapped in the mud. It’s all too, too difficult.“The only things I fortunately did not lose were my husband, my daughters and my nephews,” she said.Electricity and running water have yet to be restored to Mocoa. Local authorities said repairing the electrical substation would take time.There were reports of people looting stores searching for bottled water.“There are lots of people in the streets, lots of people displaced and many houses have collapsed,” retired Mocoa resident Hernando Rodriguez, 69, said by telephone.“There were no preparations” for such a disaster, he said.Several deadly landslides have struck Colombia in recent months.One example last November killed nine people in the rural southwestern town of El Tambo, officials said.The previous month, 10 people lost their lives in a mudslide in the north of the country.The Pacific rim of South America has been hard hit in recent months by floods and mudslides, with scores killed in Peru and Ecuador.© – AFP, 2017Read: Russian paper says gay men are being arrested and killed in ChechnyaRead: Six Irish children sent to psychiatric units abroad in last two years – but ‘no records exist’ before that Monday 3 Apr 2017, 7:09 AM Apr 3rd 2017, 7:09 AM 8,092 Views center_img Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos comforts a child affected by Friday’s mudslide in Mocoa Source: Xinhua/SIPA USA/PA ImagesDEVASTATING MUDSLIDES IN the Colombian town of Mocoa have killed at least 254 people, including 43 children, President Juan Manuel Santos said as survivors described gruesome scenes amid the ruins.Santos, who traveled to the southern town to personally oversee relief operations, warned the toll could keep climbing.“Unfortunately, these are still preliminary figures,” he wrote on Twitter, after giving an earlier toll of 210. Share132 Tweet Email1 Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

We are extremely proud of his immense bravery Family of officer injured

first_imgWe are very grateful for this and it has provided us with a lot of comfort at this difficult time.They continued:“Given the opportunity again, Charlie would no doubt do exactly the same if faced with the same situation; helping a fellow police officer in need and protecting the public.“He is immensely proud to work for the Metropolitan Police Service and serving the Southwark community, and this is an example of that.“Charlie is described by his peers as a dedicated police officer, who is a diligent, hardworking and respected member of his team.”The family asked for privacy while PC Guenigault recovers.Moved and overwhelmed Source: SIPA USA/PA ImagesMeanwhile, an unnamed British Transport Police officer injured in Saturday’s attacks on London Bridge and Borough Market has issued a statement from his hospital bed.He is still seriously unwell after receiving wounds to his head, arm and leg but said he was overwhelmed by support from the public.He said:“I am truly moved and overwhelmed by all the support and comments that I’ve received, not only from people in this country but across the world.”The officer said that he was simply doing his job in attempting to tackle the assailants, who wore fake suicide bomb vests.“Like every police officer who responded, I was simply doing my job. I didn’t expect the level of love and well wishes I have received.“I feel like I did what any other person would have done. I want to say sorry to the families that lost their loved ones. I’m so sorry I couldn’t do more and I want you to know I did everything I could.“I am so proud of my colleagues from BTP and everyone from the other emergency services who were on shift that night and did everything they could in the face of danger. I especially want to thank the officers who saved my life and kept me alive. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for them.“Saturday night changed my life, like I’m sure it has for many others. My thoughts are with the people who died in the attack, but also with those that were injured and are recovering in hospital, including the three other officers that were injured, and all the members of the public who rushed to help.”Chief Constable Paul Crowther said: “Having visited the PC in hospital a number of times and hearing first-hand the incredible account of his actions on Saturday night, I am proud that he is part of the BTP family.“I know everyone at the force is behind him and his family as he continues his recovery.” Source: Metropolitan PolicePolice also confirmed that British national James McCullen (32) has been identified as one of the men who died during the incident.His family said:It is with the deepest regret and sadness that we have today been informed that our son and brother has been declared a victim of the terrorist attack on Saturday night. By Paul Hosford Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article While our pain will never diminish it is important for all of us to carry on with our lives in direct opposition to those who would try to destroy us and remember that hatred is the refuge of small minded individuals and will only breed more – this is not a course we will follow, despite our loss.They asked for privacy.Three more men were arrested in the British capital this morning.Two men – aged 34 and 37 – were arrested, at separate addresses in Newham. A third – aged 33 – was arrested at an address in Waltham Forest.All three were arrested on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of terrorism offences under section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000.Read: ‘A perfect older brother’: Another London attack victim identified ‘We are extremely proud of his immense bravery’: Family of officer injured in London Bridge attack Eight people were killed in the attack. We would like to send our condolences to the relatives and loved ones of all the others who lost their lives, as our thoughts are with them at this time. Thursday 8 Jun 2017, 7:00 PM THE FAMILY OF a Metropolitan police officer injured during the London Bridge attack have spoken about their pride in his bravery.PC Charlie Guenigault was the off-duty officer injured during the London Bridge attack.Three assailants were shot dead by police on Saturday as they carried out a stabbing spree in London’s Borough Market, a warren of bars and restaurants, after mowing down pedestrians as they drove a van across London Bridge.Eight people were killed in the attack, including a Frenchman whose body was found in the River Thames on Tuesday, and 48 people were hospitalised.PC Guenigault, 25, is an emergency response officer on Southwark borough and joined the Metropolitan Police Service on 15 August 2014 where he was posted to Peckham police station on ‘C’ team.He is currently recovering in hospital in a stable condition.His family said in a statement released by police today:“We are extremely proud of Charlie who showed immense bravery on Saturday night.”Our family has received numerous messages from friends, colleagues and people around the country sending Charlie good wishes and commending him for his actions. 16,871 Views 9 Comments Share7 Tweet Email Jun 8th 2017, 7:00 PM Short URL We would like to thank all the members of the services who did their utmost to “serve and protect” the population of London from these deranged and deluded individuals.last_img read more

Lions reinforcements on way as Gatland set to announce 5 or 6

first_imgLions reinforcements on way as Gatland set to announce 5 or 6 call-ups Warren Gatland is set to bring in additional players for his midweek team. Short URL 42,982 Views Jun 16th 2017, 12:30 PM 83 Comments Share27 Tweet Email Follow us: By Murray Kinsella Murray Kinsella reports from New ZealandTHE LIONS ARE set to bring a crop of reinforcements into their squad as they look to reduce the workload on their Test match 23.Warren Gatland will confirm the names of five or six players following this weekend’s fixtures involving Wales, Scotland, Ireland and England. Gatland will look to bring in fresh faces. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHOThe Lions say this set of call-ups was always part of the plan, with Gatland understood to have discussed it with the four national team coaches.All Blacks coach Steve Hansen raised the prospect on Thursday, suggesting that Warren Gatland would call up a group of players in order to split his squad into a Test group and a midweek team to play against the Chiefs and Hurricanes.But Gatland himself had stated all the way back in September – when he was confirmed as Lions boss – that something of this nature was a possibility.“One thing that I spoke about in the interview process, the hardest game is the Chiefs game before the first Test,” said Gatland.“How do you protect that Test match 23? I know Wales are in the Islands, Scotland are in Australia, England-Argentina and Ireland-Japan, so there is potentially an opportunity to maybe bring in four or five to sit on the bench.“That is my thought process at the moment. You want to protect that Test 23. It made a massive difference in 2013, we had players on the bench, but not exposing the 15 to having to be involved. That is important.”And Gatland will now remain true to his word about calling in a group of players to augment the Lions squad for that Chiefs game, which takes place in Hamilton on Tuesday.Wales played Tonga in Auckland this morning, while Scotland face Australia in Sydney on Saturday, meaning they are likely to provide the bulk of the players added to the Lions squad. Ireland are in Japan, while England are touring Argentina.Gatland originally named a squad of 41 players, which had appeared to cover most bases, but he is keen to ensure that none of those involved in next weekend’s first Test against the All Blacks are involved versus the Chiefs.The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us! All Blacks set to give a glimpse of the challenge facing the LionsSexton suddenly the main man for the Lions with Farrell a doubt Friday 16 Jun 2017, 12:30 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

The Corkman the Hollywood star and a road trip to Paradise

first_img 7 Comments Jun 16th 2017, 8:00 PM 18,578 Views For ticket information, you can visit the film’s official website & follow Celtic Soul across social media for more updates.  By Steve O’Rourke The Corkman, the Hollywood star and a road trip to Paradise How the star of Knocked Up and Tropic Thunder fell in love with a Scottish football club. Jay Baruchel (left), Eoin O’Callaghan (right) and two unidentified fans. Image: Eoin O’Callaghan Share47 Tweet Email center_img Short URL Image: Eoin O’Callaghan Friday 16 Jun 2017, 8:00 PM Updated at 20.00NO CHEERING IN the press box.Whether your boyhood team scores a last-minute Champions League winning goal or the county of your birth lifts the Sam Maguire, the cardinal rule of the media area at any sporting event is to remember it’s a workplace.Though that drive for objectivity does not cause you to look on sports dispassionately — it’s difficult to write about it if you don’t love it — you do find yourself moving away from being a ‘fan’ of teams.But while it’s important to remember what being a fan of a team means to people, it’s equally important to remember just how important teams are for communities as well as individuals. Source: Eoin O’CallaghanAnd that’s the crux of Celtic Soul, an Irish/Canadian documentary that sees Eoin O’Callaghan  – and yes, there’s a real possibility you’ll see a piece by Eoin either side of this article as he writes for The42 among his many gigs — and Jay Baruchel examine the actor’s Irish roots and love of Celtic Football Club.Baruchel, of course, has appeared in movies such as Knocked Up and Tropic Thunder among others, but it was stint on the other side of the screen that first set Celtic Soul in motion.“I was in Canada between 2009 and 2012 and I presented this show on TV called Fox Soccer Report,” O’Callaghan told The42 from his Toronto base this week.“We had highlights from all around the world and, at the time, it was unique to North America. If you were a football fan, you had to buy this subscription channel because they had all the rights to everything.“Jay watched the show at the time so he kind of knew who I was. He didn’t know me well, obviously, but he recognised me.“Fast forward a couple of years to around 2013 and I’m back in Dublin looking ahead to 2014 and I was putting together an idea of a documentary that looked at the centenary of the first World War involving footballers who served in the army and went to the front.“One of the clubs I was really immersed in was Celtic because they go back so far and I found a really big link between the club and Canada.“In the middle of all that, Jay followed me on Twitter and at first I thought it was a fake account, not actually him. I followed him back, we exchanged pleasantries and that was it initially.“But then one night, I came back from the pub with a bit of Dutch courage and sent him a DM to tell him I was working on this Celtic thing and asked if he was interested in getting involved.“The following day he got back to me and he was totally on board.” Jay Baruchel (left), Eoin O’Callaghan (right) and two unidentified fans. Source: MarkhamStreetFilms/YouTubeOnce a Hollywood actor was involved, particularly a comedic one, a documentary about WWI didn’t make much sense for O’Callaghan so he and Baruchel began to explore the idea of documenting the latter’s love of Celtic while tracing his Irish roots.“Jay was heavily immersed in his family tree and spoke about his relatives leaving the west in the 1840s.“That was the real light bulb moment for me, that we’re not just tracing his ancestry but we can help him figure out why he’s drawn to a club thousands of miles away and I think what he found was that, coming to Ireland, there’s a big difference between looking at a census or Google maps and actually walking the streets of your ancestral home.” Source: Eoin O’CallaghanThis leads to one of the documentaries most touching moments, when Baruchel is on Peter Street in Westport looking at the exact location of the home of his mother’s ancestors.“I’ve walked this town dozens of times on Google maps. I know every inch of it,” he says before wondering about the conditions faced by his ancestors and how they coped with being treated like second class citizens in their own country.“For me, I was very much the Robin to his Batman,” say O’Callaghan, “but you can see the power and effect of being at home. Watching someone find out about the dramatic journey his ancestors had to take, the fact they had to hop on a ship because they were faced with nothing but darkness and death in that home.“They had a better chance just hopping on a ship, not knowing what was in store was still more appealing than staying in that place. Our time in Westport turned into a sequence that was quite lovely because, when you’re following a road trip with two idiots, there’s a lot of humour in it, but when you get those vulnerable, emotional moments, it hits you that bit harder.“There’s probably about three or four of those throughout the film and I hope they come across to people watching it.” Source: MarkhamStreetFilms/YouTubeWhile it is a road trip movie, the real journey is one of discovery, of taking that first trip to see a beloved team play in a flesh. While most of us experience that as children, what was it like watching an adult run the gamut of emotions?“For the entire journey that we’re on, Jay is this childlike figure.“Even in Montreal where we start, Jay is showing me what the Canadiens mean to him and we’re standing in the centre ice at the Bell Center and he can’t believe he’s getting to stand there in this iconic venue where his favourite team plays.“And every point along the way, he retains this massive child-like enthusiasm and wide-eyed take that we’ve lost.“For me, it was like feeding off a drug, it was reminding me of the love I had when I was a kid and what sport was really about, about losing yourself in the moment and letting sport wash over you.“He reminded me that it’s okay to be really silly and romantic and optimistic when it comes to sport and the teams we grew up loving.”And all those emotions come to life towards the end of the documentary when the pair arrive at Celtic Park and realise there’s a very good reason Bhoys fans call it Paradise.Celtic Soul premieres in Ireland across four different locations this weekend: Dundrum, Swords, Gorey and Dungarvan.  Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Washington Post claims children of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi are receiving blood

first_img Apr 2nd 2019, 7:59 AM Short URL Washington Post claims children of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi are receiving ‘blood money’ They are also receiving multi-million dollar homes from Saudi Arabia. Share42 Tweet Email Image: Shutterstock/HansMusa 11 Comments By Conor McCrave Image: Shutterstock/HansMusa 31,590 Views THE CHILDREN OF murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi are receiving thousands of dollars a month from Saudi Arabia, it has been revealed. Khashoggi was murdered after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last October – a claim that was initially denied by Saudi officials.The Washington Post, where Khashoggi was a columnist, reported the children of the journalist – two sons and two daughters – are each receiving “blood money” to the tune of thousands a month from Saudi Arabia. They have also reportedly received multi-million dollar houses in the Saudi kingdom in a bid to stifle public statements from the children, the Post said. Sums of up to $10,000 per month are reported to be given to each child and said to have been approved by King Salman as part of an acknowledgment “that a big injustice has been done”. On 2 October, the well-known critic of the Saudi government who had fled the kingdom, entered the consulate and was reported to have been killed, and his body dismembered, under orders of high-ranking Saudi officials. CCTV footage emerged shortly after of him entering the building to obtain documents for a divorce arrangement but no such footage emerged of him leaving. His body was never recovered with reports at the time suggesting he was dismembered and removed in a suitcase. On 15 November, the Saudi public prosecutor admitted Khashoggi had been killed by a lethal injection while at the consulate, although any involvement in the killing by the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammad bin Salman, has always been denied. The Saudi government insists a rogue intelligence agent was responsible for the death of the journalist. The Post said Saudi officials deny the ongoing payments are in exchange for silence from the Khashoggi family. Tuesday 2 Apr 2019, 7:59 AM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

I was furious and scared Sinéad Burke on how being harassed on

first_imgHow do we construct a moral compass that teaches people the impact of their actions? How do we encourage people to adopt a currency of kindness? The answer is simple, but not easy: education. Education Burke said that following this she contacted her friend, a programme officer for NEIC – a social and economic regeneration project for Dublin’s North East Inner City.I had a big idea, I wanted to speak to every primary school child in the area. I wanted to encourage curiosity, challenge ignorance, empower them with a better vocabulary, and ask them to use their voices to make a difference.She said that speaking in schools in the last number of weeks had been “an enormous privilege” and that children had asked her all sorts of questions. Burke wrote that speaking with children had reminded her of “how uncomfortable adults are talking about things that we do not know or understand”.She said this needed to be challenged in order to make the world a more equal place for everyone, regardless of difference.“How often do you ask ‘whose voices and perspectives are not being considered?’,” she wrote. “Within your organisation, how many disabled people exist? If your friends or colleagues use words that are offensive, do you challenge them and provide new terminology?“Can you use social media to amplify and support people who are fighting for their rights?“There is so much that we each can do. Advocates are making themselves vulnerable every day explaining the most intimate details of their lives to educate society and to make our world safer and kinder.We cannot do it alone. We need you all to shift the lens and to stand for something. We need you to stand with us.  Share227 Tweet Email 57,171 Views File photo of Sinead Burke. Apr 11th 2019, 9:55 PM Image: Aurore Marechal/ABACAPRESS.COM File photo of Sinead Burke. Image: Aurore Marechal/ABACAPRESS.COM 25 Comments Short URL Thursday 11 Apr 2019, 9:55 PM ‘I was furious and scared’: Sinéad Burke on how being harassed on O’Connell Street inspired her new education campaign Burke is a campaigner, advocate and academic, and last year became a contributing editor at fashion magazine Vogue UK. IRISH WRITER AND activist Sinéad Burke has spoken out about being harassed on O’Connell Street by two teenage boys, and how the incident left her shaking and upset, but also inspired to educate people on the importance of treating everyone equally. Burke is a campaigner, advocate and academic, and last year became a contributing editor at fashion magazine Vogue UK. Writing in Vogue, Burke – who was born with achondroplasia, a form of dwarfism, and is 3ft 5in in height – spoke about her harassment a month ago on O’Connell Street. Burke said she was walking down O’Connell Street on afternoon last month on her way to meet a friend at a Japanese restaurant. On her way, she saw two boys – no older than 16 – walk past her. She said one nudged the other and laughed. In Burke’s words:“As a little person, this behaviour is sadly part of my everyday experience. Very upset Burke wrote that she was crying, “the kind of crying where you can’t catch your breath and speaking is difficult even though there is so much you need to say”.She said that people saw her distress but continued walking past, so she called her mother, who told her to contact the gardaí and report it as a crime, which she did. Gardaí began an investigation immediately, she wrote. She wrote that in her work as an advocate and campaigner, Burke has a lot of time for the gardaí. Over the past three years, she said the organisation she works with – Little People of Ireland, (Ireland’s national organisation for little people and their families) – have developed a good relationship with the gardaí.However, Burke said she felt that making a complaint to the gardaí wasn’t enough, and wondered how to educate people not to engage in that kind of aggressive, cruel behaviour.In the weeks since, my experience has left me shaken and feeling like I still have so many questions: How do we transform a society that is apathetic to harming and ‘othering’ people to fulfil a culture of ‘likes’? As a teacher, I have a deep yearning to make these moments educational and want to help people learn that it is unkind and unjust to make derogatory remarks about people with dwarfism, but I’ve become accustomed to sensing when it is safe and unsafe to do so.“I took a deep breath and kept walking.”However, following this the boys took things further. “It seemed to happen in slow motion. A whoosh, followed by a thud. One of the boys landed in front of me. He had jumped over me, leap-frogged over my head from behind.“I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t make sense of it. He walked to the end of the road, turned around and walked past me again with a frightening grin. I was furious and scared.“With tears threatening, I asked him if he knew that his behaviour was illegal.“He laughed and jogged back to his friend who had recorded the entire incident on his phone.They seemed proud of themselves, proud of their actions. They knew that their content, my harassment, could go viral or be an instant pass to popularity among their peer group. I was devastated.  By Cormac Fitzgerald Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

West Ham to bar fans for life over antiSemitic chants captured on

first_imgWest Ham to bar fans for life over anti-Semitic chants captured on video The video surfaced of supporters on their way to yesterday’s Premier League away match with Manchester United. Sunday 14 Apr 2019, 3:30 PM 11,486 Views West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini Image: Martin Rickett 14 Comments Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Short URL Share3 Tweet Email By AFP Apr 14th 2019, 3:31 PM West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini WEST HAM FANS identified in a video chanting anti-Semitic slogans will be barred for life, the Premier League club says.The video surfaced of the supporters chants on their way to yesterday’s Premier League away match with Manchester United.This follows days after a video captured Chelsea fans singing an Islamophobic song about Liverpool’s Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah, before their Europa League match against Czech side Slavia Prague.Three of the six people in the video were identified and barred.A similar fate awaits the West Hams supporters.“We are disgusted by the contents of the video,” said a West Ham spokesperson. These people are not welcome at our club — they are not welcome in civilised society.- © AFP, 2019 Image: Martin Rickettlast_img read more

Irish Rail services face disruption this Bank Holiday weekend as the company

first_img Share5 Tweet Email 25 Comments Saturday 4 May 2019, 9:30 AM 17,745 Views Short URL IRISH RAIL HAS warned passengers of disruptions to some of its services over the course of the Bank Holiday weekend.The company has advised customers that services on some of its routes will be suspended between today and Monday as it carries out repairs to some of its tracks.On Saturday and Sunday, workers will carry out “major track works” on routes into Dublin’s Heuston Station between Hazelhatch and Newbridge in Kildare.DART services will also be affected in north Dublin, with track works set to be carried out at Clongriffin and Malahide.Irish Rail says it will provide bus transfers to passengers on all affected intercity trains to and from Heuston Station.Meanwhile, no trains will operate between Howth Junction and Malahide, but Dublin Bus are accepting rail tickets for passengers in affected areas.Northern commuter lines will also be affected, with bus transfers operating between Connolly and Malahide and trains between Malahide and Drogheda/Dundalk set to run on a revised schedule.Bus transfers will also operate between Connolly and Drogheda for Belfast Enterprise services, with trains subsequently operating between Drogheda and Belfast.On Monday, DART and commuter routes will operate a Sunday service as a result of the Bank Holiday, while Cork Commuter services will operate hourly between Cork and Cobh and Cork and Midleton. Some intercity services will also change.Passengers are advised to check timetables and whether their service is affected before travelling. An Irish Rail train (file photo) May 4th 2019, 9:31 AM center_img Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Image: Irish Rail services face disruption this Bank Holiday weekend as the company carries out repairs Passengers have been reminded to check timetables before travelling. By Stephen McDermott An Irish Rail train (file photo) Image: Rollingnews.ielast_img read more

Bob did his best Zimbabweans divided as State funeral held for Robert

first_img Mugabe’s coffin arrives for a state funeral for at the National Sports Stadium in Harare. Image: Themba Hadebe/PA Images 10 Comments Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 9,508 Views ‘Bob did his best’: Zimbabweans divided as State funeral held for Robert Mugabe While Mugabe leaves a divided legacy, no expense was spared for his funeral in Harare today. By AFP Short URL Members of the public sing as they gather in the stands. Source: Ben Curtis/PA Images“You can’t talk about Zimbabwe without Bob. Zimbabwe is Bob. It took a man like Bob, his bravery, to get independence,” said Norman Gombera, 57, a school principal in Harare. “Bob did his best under the circumstances. There is no country without a problem.”Bitter legacyA young Mugabe was once jailed in the former British colony Rhodesia for his nationalist ideas. But he swept to power in the 1980 elections after a guerrilla war and sanctions forced the Rhodesian government to the negotiating table.Though still lauded as an African icon, at home many Zimbabweans will remember Mugabe more for the increasingly tyrannical rule and economic mismanagement that forced millions to flee the country during decades of crisis.Many are struggling to survive despite Mnangagwa’s vows of more investment and jobs in the post-Mugabe era.“The fruits of his tenure are the shortages. That is what we remember him for,” said Steven, a consultant shopping near the stadium.“He has made sure there is no opposition and he succeeded. There is no reason to go to his funeral.” Source: Ben CurtisMugabe’s funeral arrangements were caught up in a dispute between Mnangagwa and the family over where and when the former leader should be buried.The two parties yesterday finally agreed he should lie at National Heroes Acre monument. But the final ceremony would take place in about 30 days, once the new mausoleum was built for him there.The “heroes” monument, where more than 130 national figures are buried in black marble tombs, sits on a hilltop overlooking Harare. Mugabe’s first wife, Sally, is also buried there. Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa (centre). Source: Ben Curtis/PA ImagesHis family are still bitter over the role Mnangagwa played in his ouster and had pushed for Mugabe to be buried in his homestead of Zvimba, northwest of Harare.A former guerrilla who fought alongside Mugabe against colonial forces, Mnangagwa was fired as first vice president by Mugabe in 2017. Mugabe had branded him a “traitor”.Soon after, protesters took to the streets and military officers pressured Mugabe to step down in what was widely seen as a struggle between Mnangagwa’s faction and loyalists to Mugabe’s wife Grace inside the ruling ZANU-PF party.- © AFP 2019  Mugabe’s coffin arrives for a state funeral for at the National Sports Stadium in Harare. Saturday 14 Sep 2019, 2:49 PM Image: Themba Hadebe/PA Images ZIMBABWE GAVE FORMER leader Robert Mugabe a state funeral today with African leaders paying tribute to a man they lauded as a liberation hero but whose 37-year rule was defined by repression and economic turmoil.Mugabe, who died in Singapore last week aged 95, left Zimbabwe deeply divided over his legacy with his country still struggling with high inflation and shortages of goods after decades of crisis.He died on an overseas medical trip almost two years after former army loyalists forced him out in 2017, following a power struggle over what was widely perceived as a bid to position his wife Grace as his successor.Former and current African leaders, including South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa and Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta, arrived to crowds chanting and drumming liberation songs at the less than half-filled 60,000-seat national stadium in Harare.Mugabe’s casket, draped in the green, black, gold and red Zimbabwe flag, was marched slowly into the stadium, accompanied by a military band and an escort of officers. His wife Grace, in a black veil, and family followed behind. Women in the stands at the funeral. Source: Ben Curtis/PA ImagesAfrican leaders and officials from Cuba, Russia and China all praised Mugabe as a pan-African hero for his past as a colonial-era guerrilla leader.“We honour and remember our African icon. He had many allies and followers… Our motherland is in tears,” Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa said.South African leader Ramaphosa’s speech was briefly interrupted by jeers and whistles from the crowds until he apologised for recent xenophobic attacks on African migrants, including Zimbabweans, in Johannesburg.Mugabe’s final burial at a national monument will only happen after a new mausoleum is built in about 30 days. That decision was taken after his family ended a dispute with Mnangagwa, a former ally who turned against his rule in 2017. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta delivers a speech. Source: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/PA ImagesMugabe’s body was returned from Singapore on Wednesday to a country he helped found as an anti-colonial rebel who helped end white-minority rule.Later, Mugabe turned to repression and fear to crush dissidents and govern for nearly four decades during which he become an international pariah for his takeover of white-owned farms. Sat 2:49 PM Share4 Tweet Email last_img read more

Keeping an eye on the reforms

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram A team from the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund will on Monday start a rigorous check of Greece’s progress with implementing economic reforms.Officials from the three bodies are on a two-week mission to Athens to assess whether the government has met benchmarks required to draw down a second loan tranche in September from a 110 billion euros bail-out package funded by the EU and the IMF.The Greek Finance minister George Papaconstantinou said he was confident the next loan tranche would be disbursed on time as Greece had already outperformed the targets in an interview published over the weekend.He said, “We’ve fulfilled the June 30 targets, and gone a step further by having already passed the pension reform,” – a measure that had been due for completed later in the year, according to the EU-IMF program.Greece signed up in May to a three-year programme of fiscal and structural reforms in order to avert a sovereign default, after spreads on government bonds reached unsustainable levels.The fund said this month the government had made a “strong start” on reforms and was on track to achieve its target of reducing the budget deficit this year from 13.6 per cent to 8.1 per cent of gross domestic product.But it warned of looming budget overruns in public transport, the state healthcare system, social security funds and local government.The government should accelerate “privatising or closing down numerous state enterprises that have proven to cost taxpayers large sums of money,” it said.Greece’s lossmaking state-controlled transport companies – among them the railways and the Athens bus company – face mounting problems as domestic banks are refusing to provide operating loans in spite of state guarantees.The experts are expected to seek the immediate liberalisation of product and service markets, including the opening of so-called “closed” professions, from truck-driving to architects and notaries.“More needs to be done to overcome …. strong resistance” being put up by members of closed professions,” the fund said.The European Commission is pressing for a rapid deregulation of Greek energy markets, which could include a mandatory break-up of Public Power Corporation, the state electricity utility.The fund praised the government’s “determination” in pushing through fiscal reforms and a drastic overhaul of the state-funded pension system in spite of sustained opposition from trade unions.But Mr Papaconstantinou faces mounting opposition from within the governing socialist party to structural reforms that would result in large-scale redundancies at state enterprises.last_img read more

Property a good bet

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The way the economy has developed this year is confusing for people, especially with the property market. When it comes to property, it’s usually the case that either prices are rising so people can’t get into the market; or prices are falling and so home buyers are holding-out, waiting to get in at a low price. But the current market is creating pain for both groups. If you’re in the market, you are in a cycle of rising interest rates and in many cases, an equal cycle of falling property values. However, this comes at a time when there is a tightening of credit policy at all the major lenders. So a home buyer is being scrutinised much more closely for their ability to repay than they were six years ago. At the same time, a flat property market – where capital city house prices have fallen 1.5 per cent in a year – still doesn’t create bargains for buyers. In fact, many analysts estimate our housing market is over valued. The OECD says Australian property values are 34 per cent inflated. My tip is this: this is not a time to be thinking about a buyers market or a sellers market. Currently, we are in a lender’s market. Banks are taking applications for mortgages on a person-by-person basis, they’re looking for good repayment ability, they’re wanting 20 per cent deposit and they are building in a margin for more rate rises. So, the amount the banks will lend is actually the market. In this situation, I suggest you get expert advice from a mortgage broker who can take a look at your situation and plan for the best outcome – and then buy what you can and not wait for interest rates to drop or for property prices to drop further. There’s no point. The tightened lending criteria is here to stay for a while and so the banks are making the market. There’s no more of the old market where you go down the road and get a loan for $50,000 more: they’re all working off the same song sheet. The property market in this country creates steady returns so long as you see it in 10-year terms. If you’re prepared to be in the market, the gains will be there – 7 to 8 per cent per annum, historically – but you must be in the market. Social demographer Bernard Salt says that Generation Y home buyers will rescue this property market because they are not affected by “post-GFC malaise”. They also don’t recall a time when you could get a mortgage with a five per cent deposit. They think 20 per cent is normal, so they are saving. The banks will reward this approach, so best of luck to the Gen Ys.In the meantime, we can learn from this: get advice and then be in the market – time will take care of your investmentlast_img read more