30 hours on a trolley in Kerry I witnessed an elderly woman

first_img Feb 28th 2018, 7:00 AM By John Paul O’Connor Wednesday 28 Feb 2018, 7:00 AM 30 hours on a trolley in Kerry: ‘I witnessed an elderly woman being shielded with towels by relatives’ John Paul O’Connor says he was shocked by what he witnessed at University Hospital Kerry last week. 29,627 Views Share532 Tweet Email2 50 Comments center_img Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Short URL http://jrnl.ie/3874205 LAST TUESDAY I was admitted to University Hospital Kerry suffering from severe lower abdominal pain.I entered the Emergency Department at 11am on Tuesday morning and spent the first three hours getting scans and x-rays.I was then placed on a trolley and told that I would be admitted to a ward.I was at the end of a queue of 14 trolleys right next to the public toilets with each trolley facing away from the toilets.I didn’t expect to be on the trolley for more than an hour but I was on it until 10pm the next day – a full 30 hours.I was on a drip and was getting pain relief intravenously but all that time I was looking forward to getting to a ward.There were people constantly using the toilets behind my back and I witnessed one elderly lady being shielded with towels by her relatives while they were changing her.Sleeping tablets There was a shortage of pillows and blankets and no place for relatives to sit down even though some had to stay through the night.I have private health insurance and I enquired regularly as to when I would be going to a ward and was always told they would get back to me.It was the considered opinion that if you made a fuss you had no chance of getting a bed. At one stage there were 17 trolleys lined up.At around 10.30 on the Tuesday night, nurses came around with sleeping tablets and I knew then that I had no chance of getting a bed.I felt the manner in which they were being dished out was a way of putting us to sleep, and hopefully hearing no more, so I refused them.One man in front of me took two sleeping tablets as he said he could not bear it. I didn’t take any but I never slept.‘Beaten into submission’I have worked in construction for over 40 years and would consider myself a strong and fit person but I would not go through this again and I shudder to think of the effect it is having on elderly and less mobile people than myself.I travelled to many different countries with my work and about 20 years ago I was hospitalised in Eastern Europe due to a construction accident. I was dreading it but the experience was far superior to what I just witnessed in my own country.My wife Kathleen was horrified at what she witnessed and she tried to help people as much as possible.It’s also an absolute disgrace that the relatives who are minding their loved ones are faced with penal car park charges when they do decide to go home.I have also come to the realisation that we as Irish people are beaten into submission and are prepared to take anything that is thrown at us while the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.I’d like to clear out all top management and establish a working committee whose salaries would be based on results.John Paul O’Connor worked in construction but lost his business during the recession. He has since started his own  food business, Man from the Mountain.  John Paul O’Connor last_img read more

Poll Is RTÉ right to stop producing its own kids TV

first_imgPoll: Is RTÉ right to stop producing its own kids’ TV? The national broadcaster made the announcement that it is to cease internal production of children’s TV last week. By Cianan Brennan I’m not sure (603) I don’t care (1096) Poll Results: Saturday 26 Nov 2016, 9:39 AM http://jrnl.ie/3103851 Share9 Tweet Email Image: RollingNews.ie 14,899 Views 63 Comments Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article No (5383) Yes (1748) Nov 26th 2016, 9:39 AM THIS WEEK, RTÉ announced that it is to cease production of inhouse children’s programming.The move, which the broadcaster claims will not affect its net spend on such programming, will see production outsourced to independent contractors.RTÉ says that the decision comes as a result of the current “challenging financial environment”.But the validity of the move has been called into question in the aftermath of a meeting between the broadcaster and the RTÉ Trade Union Group (TUG), after which RTÉ acknowledged that “insufficient consultation” had taken place prior to the shock announcement last week.Initially the plan had been to end all contracts in December, but it is now unclear what will happen next in the wake of that meeting.But what do you think?We’re asking: Is RTÉ right to stop producing its own kids’ TV? Image: RollingNews.ie Short URL YesNoI’m not sureI don’t careVotelast_img read more

Robert DeNiro backs 100k reward pushed by antivaccine conspiracy theorists

first_img ACTOR ROBERT DE Niro has backed a discredited anti-vaccine campaign that has offered a $100,000 reward for scientific evidence.The campaign is led by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. who claims that mercury in childhood vaccines in the US can cause a number of conditions including autism.The US Center for Disease Control has unequivocally refuted the claims and has a section on its website entitled: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.As part of his World Mercury Project, Kennedy argues specifically against the use of vaccine preservative Thimerosal.Again the CDC refutes the claims, pointing out that Thimerosal has long since been reduced to trace elements in US vaccines.The websites further states that at least nine studies have proven that there is no link between Thimerosal and autism.Despite this, at an event in Washington yesterday, Kennedy and DeNiro offered $100,000 for anyone who can “find a peer-reviewed scientific study demonstrating that Thimerosal is safe”.It is not the first time DeNiro, who has a son on the autism spectrum, has lent support to “anti-vaxx” campaigners.Last year he included the controversial documentary Vaxxed at his Tribeca Film Festival before an outcry from the medical community saw DeNiro pull the film.The film is by disgraced doctor Andrew Wakefield who was previously accused by the British Medical Council of acting “dishonestly” for faulty research he published about the MMR vaccine.The Vaxxed documentary has just been released on DVD in Ireland and the UK and Wakefield was present at a screening of the film in London on Tuesday.Anti-vaccine conspiracy theorists in Ireland have invited Wakefield to speak here but as yet no appearance has been confirmed.Read: ‘Hearsay on social media’ being blamed for falling vaccine rates >Read: The amount of young girls getting the HPV vaccine has dropped significantly > By Rónán Duffy Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Robert DeNiro previously defended an anti-vaccine documentary. Image: Richard Shotwell/AP 240 Comments Short URL http://jrnl.ie/3242529 49,682 Views center_img Feb 16th 2017, 11:07 AM Thursday 16 Feb 2017, 11:07 AM Image: Richard Shotwell/AP Share Tweet Email4 Robert DeNiro previously defended an anti-vaccine documentary. Robert DeNiro backs $100k reward pushed by anti-vaccine conspiracy theorists It comes as a controversial documentary is released in Ireland.last_img read more

A quarter of the cash from Clerys liquidation has gone to accountants

first_img Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie Share Tweet Email Source: RollingNews.ieOut of the total €1.9 million cash pool, accountants KPMG and lawyers McCann Fitzgerald have received a combined total of just under €470,000.Another €654,000 was paid out to concession owners, who at the time of the closure claimed they were owed around €2 million.The latest documents filed with the companies office show KPMG received €246,000 in liquidators’ fees in September.‘Conflict of interest’Shortly after Clerys was sold, Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams told the Dáil there were “serious conflicts of interest” surrounding the sale of the business.KPMG, as well as being the Clerys liquidators, has also worked for companies associated with D2 Private, which was part of the consortium that bought the store.Deirdre Foley, the head of D2 Private, began her career with KPMG in 1992, where she trained as an accountant. KPMG declined to comment when contacted by Fora. D2 Private owner Deirdre FoleyThe OCS Operations liquidators have also paid out more than €222,000 to McCann Fitzgerald.The Irish Times reported in June 2015 that lawyers representing some former concession holders wrote to McCann Fitzgerald, which represented the OCS liquidators, to clarify potential conflicts of interest around KPMG’s role in the sale of Clerys.The OCS Operations liquidators still have €352,756 left to distribute after making several other payments, including €151,396 on “IT, utilities, security & others” and €12,796 on “professional fees”.The report noted that “ongoing issues including legal proceedings” will probably result in the full winding up of the company taking between 12 and 24 months.Written by Paul O’Donoghue and posted on Fora.ie Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie Feb 25th 2017, 7:05 AM Short URL Take me to Fora Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 9,212 Views center_img Saturday 25 Feb 2017, 7:05 AM LAWYERS AND ACCOUNTANTS have received almost half a million euro in fees as part of the liquidation of iconic department store Clerys.However, the store’s former employees, who were left jobless when the store suddenly closed, have received no money from the wind-up besides their statutory entitlements – for which taxpayers have picked up the tab.About 130 direct employees and another 330 who sold their wares in the department store through concessions lost their jobs when Clerys was suddenly declared insolvent in June 2015.The subsequent liquidation has become infamous due to the cold treatment of the staff, many of whom had worked at the store for decades.Clerys’ previous owners, US investment firm Gordon Brothers Group, sold the store to a joint venture called Natrium made up of Irish investment group D2 Private and UK-based Cheyne Capital Management.Before it was sold, the Clerys business was split into two main companies – one in charge of its day-to-day retail operations and a second that oversaw the firm’s assets, including the prime O’Connell St site where the store was housed.The loss-making trading business, OCS Operations, changed hands for a notional €1 in July and was quickly liquidated, while the property firm, OSC Properties, was sold for €29 million and continued to trade.Neither the old nor the new owners of the store provided staff with redundancy pay, and in the end the state was forced to pick up a €2 million redundancy bill. Former Clerys workers Source: Sam BoalLiquidators feesA new liquidators’ report for OCS Operations shows that the company had assets of about €2.2 million after the business stopped trading and all of its assets were sold.Some €485,000 of this was made up of redundancy cash that the state paid to the liquidators, who then distributed it to former employees.Stripping out this amount, about €1.7 million was left in the control of the liquidators, Kieran Wallace and Eamonn Richardson of KPMG, in June 2015. Around €200,000 in extra cash came from Revenue, for a VAT refund, and Dublin City Council, for a rates refund. A quarter of the cash from Clerys’ liquidation has gone to accountants and lawyers The state was forced to pick up the €2 million tab for sacked workers’ redundancy entitlements. https://jrnl.ie/3257893 Get Fora’s NEW daily digest of the morning’s key business news: 20 Comments By Fora Stafflast_img read more

Completely unacceptable Union suspends ballot over Ulster Bank pay dispute

first_img‘Completely unacceptable’ – Union suspends ballot over Ulster Bank pay dispute The FSU said this was due to the bank beginning to implement new salary ranges that would negatively affect staff. Short URL http://jrnl.ie/3193700 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Thursday 19 Jan 2017, 7:53 AM A UNION REPRESENTING Ulster Bank workers has suspended a ballot of its members over new pay proposals and accused the bank of introducing staff salaries without proper consultation.The Financial Services Union (FSU) today said it had taken the unprecedented step of cancelling a ballot over a new pay agreement that was reached with the bank.The FSU said this was due to the bank beginning to implement new salary ranges that would negatively affect staff.The union said that implementing these salaries was not part of an agreement reached between it and the bank in negotiations overseen by independent mediator Kieran Mulvey of the Workplace Relations Commission.It said that further engagement over proposed new salaries was needed before the bank could implement them.Gareth Murphy, senior industrial relations officer with the FSU said that the bank had been engaged in “difficult negotiations” with Ulster Bank for a number of months.“We finally secured a deal which we felt we could recommend to staff in the bank,” he said.The deal secures increased pay, extends those increases to more staff than previous agreements and is weighted in favour of those on low and middle salaries.The union said that it was recommended by Kieran Mulvey in negotiations that the bank publish any information on new salaries before implementing.“It has now emerged that even before the ballot has concluded on the pay deal Ulster Bank is unilaterally implementing these new salary ranges,” said Murphy.That is in breach of both the spirit and letter of the recommendation made by Mr Mulvey. It is an appalling way to treat the loyal and dedicated staff in Ulster Bank.Larry Broderick, general secretary of the FSU, said it was “completely unacceptable” for the bank to start to implement the new salaries.“If the Bank doesn’t reverse its position we will have no option but to abandon the ballot and consult staff on further action and a campaign of opposition to the range cuts,” he said.A source within the bank said that Mulvey had not made a recommendation either way during the negotiations and that the details of the new salary ranges had been confirmed in the talks.The source said it was not sure what the objective of the FSU was in relation to the pay suspension.Read: All Ulster Bank customers affected by system error have now been paidRead: Ulster Bank fined €3.3m for anti-money laundering and terrorist-financing failures 8 Comments Jan 19th 2017, 7:53 AM By Cormac Fitzgerald Share41 Tweet Email1 11,712 Views last_img read more

Football fans have long thought Beckham was a bit of a fraud

first_img David Beckham with his wife Victoria after receiving the OBE. Source: Fiona Hanson/PA Wire/PA Images‘Friends’ told the Daily Telegraph that Beckham had “given up hope of a knighthood in the near future”, clearly expecting that he’ll be back in the running when those “old cunts” die off, or his troublesome tax affairs are sorted out, whichever comes first.These intermittent explosions of Beckham’s celebrity supernova are always puzzling for football fans.We remember him as a wonderfully gifted right-sided midfielder in one of the greatest club sides of the modern era, though we could never understand the sheer scale of the crossover stardom that ensued.Most famous sportsman on the planet? He wasn’t even the best player on that Manchester United team.But we also remember the post-United drift into irrelevance; his Vegas years.The crumbling decadence at the heart of Real Madrid’s Galacticos project, of which he was a part; the preposterous self-regard of his ‘missionary work’ in the MLS; the whole ‘quarterback’ thing, a role designed to get him into teams of which he no longer deserved to be a part; the cringey mascot role with England at the 2010 World Cup, as if the nation couldn’t survive a major tournament without his pouting inspiration.Football fans have long thought Beckham was a bit of a fraud; this week it felt like everyone else caught up.In actual fact, Beckham has been playing a very different game all these years: that of simply Being David Beckham.And he’s been just as successful at it as in his treble-winning days at Old Trafford. He has demonstrated the same drive to succeed in his life outside football that Ferguson once described as a “relentless application that the vast majority of less gifted players wouldn’t contemplate.”It’s wrong to suggest that the huge volume of charity work, both public and private, and his support for England World Cup and London Olympic bids were not genuine; that they had all been for the purpose of getting an invite to Buckingham Palace.It’s also naive to think weren’t carefully choreographed to play their part in the building of his brand. This is the man whose affairs are managed by Simon Fuller, the pop Svengali who created the Spice Girls.And just as a Champions League medal and the England armband were the just rewards for his obsessive cultivation of that right foot, so too does he feel he has earned the ultimate prize for the same ‘relentless application’ to a public life well lived.He is after all, as he reportedly told friends, just “a normal person extremely disappointed not to get a knighthood”.Wenger still reeling over ‘scandalous’ Chelsea goal‘They got Tom Brady though’ – Even at 21-0 up, one Atlanta player was still nervous Feb 10th 2017, 11:23 AM Friday 10 Feb 2017, 11:23 AM Beckham on his way to winning the Champions League with Manchester United. Image: David Rawcliffe/EMPICS Sport 47,781 Views Short URL I THINK, MORE than anything, that is one of the most important things in my life in the moment, is my charity work. That for me is what gives me the most pleasure out of anything that I do…But it’s not just about the amount of money that we raise, it’s meeting these children, it’s knowing that we’re changing children’s lives, we’re protecting children from HIV and AIDS…that for me gives me the most pleasure.”- David Beckham, Desert Island Discs 75th Anniversary edition, BBC Radio 4, 29 January 2017.To celebrate a big birthday last month, one beloved British institution chose the company of another. Desert Island Discs has been making castaways of the great and the good for a long time now, so for Beckham to get the nod for such a significant anniversary was something of an honour.As it turned though, just not the kind of honour he’s really after.Nonetheless, the tone of the interview implied a knight of the realm in all but name. This had been a great British life, with success in the sporting sphere giving way to high esteem in ambassadorial and charitable circles, the attendant celebrity demands carried off with grace and good humour throughout.Becks closed the interview with a reminder as to why he was the true successor to Princess Diana as Queen of Hearts.Like Diana, he’d found fulfillment in working with the poor and unfortunate. Sadly, when hacked emails emerged less than a week later expressing his disgust at being passed over for a knighthood, it was soon a case of Goodbye England’s Rose.“It’s pissed me off those old unappreciative cunts,” wrote Beckham about the honours committee who denied him the top gong back in 2013, the suggestion being that he’d only done all that tiresome charity stuff to get the nod from Her Maj.Beckham might have fancied the solace of a remote desert island with the torrent of criticism that came his way this week.‘Grovelling Goldenballs’ was pilloried for his ‘craven’ pursuit of the elusive title. Historic Instagram posts praising the Queen were dug up and scoffed at; support for the campaign to keep Scotland in the UK was suspect too; Jonathan Ross had to deny that he’d been prodded to ask Becks about the knighthood on his chat show.All this while the taxman had a black mark against his name anyway. Football fans have long thought Beckham was a bit of a fraud; this week it felt like everyone else caught up Tommy Martin on David Beckham’s obsessive cultivation of his public image. Share25 Tweet Email1 https://the42.ie/3232680 Image: David Rawcliffe/EMPICS Sport 85 Comments By Tommy Martin Beckham on his way to winning the Champions League with Manchester United. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Five charged after brutal assault on teenage asylum seeker at London bus

first_img Apr 3rd 2017, 2:17 PM No Comments POLICE IN LONDON said they had charged five people over a suspected hate crime attack on a 17-year-old Kurdish Iranian asylum-seeker in south London.The teenager was badly beaten by a group of around 20 people while he was at a bus stop with two friends outside a pub in Croydon on Friday night.“It is understood that the suspects asked the victim where he was from and when they established that he was an asylum-seeker, they chased him and launched a brutal attack,” police investigator Gary Castle said.“He sustained serious head and facial injuries as a result of this attack, which included repeated blows to the head by a large group of attackers,” he said.Castle condemned violence against “those who have come to London to seek refuge and a place of safety.”Police said the teenager’s condition was “serious but stable and is not believed to be life-threatening.”The attack has been widely condemned and local MP Gavin Barwell has described the attackers as “scum”.London Mayor Sadiq Khan said hate crime “has no place in London, Britain or anywhere else” and the Refugee Council charity said it was “disgusted” by the attack. Five charged after ‘brutal’ assault on teenage asylum seeker at London bus stop Police said the teenager’s condition was “serious but stable and is not believed to be life-threatening.” 9,545 Views Short URL Image: Georgina Stubbs PA Wire/PA Images Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Monday 3 Apr 2017, 2:17 PM The bus stop in Croydon where the assault took place. Image: Georgina Stubbs PA Wire/PA Images By AFP Share2 Tweet Email The Daily Mail tabloid called the assailants “SAVAGES” in a front-page headline and compared the attack to the racially motivated murder of Stephen Lawrence, a black teenager set upon by a gang of white youths in 1993 in another part of south London.There were 62,518 hate crimes recorded by police in England and Wales last year compared to 52,465 the previous year – an increase of 19 percent.Comments have been closed as legal proceedings are ongoing.- © AFP 2017Read: Six arrested over ‘brutal’ assault on teenage asylum seeker in London The bus stop in Croydon where the assault took place. Source: Sadiq Khan/Twitter http://jrnl.ie/3321732 Hate crime has no place in London, Britain or anywhere else. The perpetrators of Friday’s attack in Croydon will be brought to justice. pic.twitter.com/qxNa0KiCSQ— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) April 2, 2017last_img read more

The danger is unquantifiable Prison officers say there are 28 gang factions

first_img By Michelle Hennessy Image: Sasko LazarovRollingNews.ie ‘The danger is unquantifiable’: Prison officers say there are 28 gang factions in Mountjoy alone The POA said prison officers are dealing with assaults on a daily basis. Share27 Tweet Email1 22,040 Views Not alone must we ensure the security around ongoing detention we must manage and control systems, which protect the gangs from each other and protect individuals from assaults by gang members, for various reasons.Mitchell said the majority of prisoners just want to serve their time but there is a minority, particularly those with links to major gangs, who view time in prison as “an extension of the gang culture with all the accompanying violence and control over other vulnerable people”.“This activity involves feuding, assaults, threats, drug and weapon smuggling and an ongoing determination to control crime and punishment on the outside”.POA President Tony Power also spoke about attempts by these gangs to smuggle drugs into the prisons. In one week alone in March this year he said over 50 packages of contraband were either delivered by drones or thrown into the exercise yards in Wheatfield Prison.“Without investment in nets for these yards the only workable interim solution is to stop prisoner exercise on reserve period,” he said.“The danger linked to these incidents is unquantifiable. Prison officers, as officers, will put their own health and safety at risk in an effort to retrieve this contraband. Up until 2014 our canine unit had the facility to use patrol dogs in such situations but some genius decided that staff in blue shirts would be more effective than these highly trained dogs.”Speaking at the conference, Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said he acknowledged the work of prison staff is “challenging and demanding”.He said he shared their concerns about increasing numbers in Irish prisons.“While, it is still important to note that we have relatively low imprisonment rates by international standards, ensuring a safe working environment for you is a key priority for me and the director general.”The minister also addressed the issue of contraband being thrown or dropped into yards. He described drones as a “threat to prison security” and said a potential solution to address these contraband drops has been identified.He said it will shortly be trialled in one prison and if it is successful it will be rolled out across the system. PRISON OFFICERS HAVE expressed concern about the number of gangs in Irish prisons and about their regularly violent behaviour.Speaking at the Prison Officers Association annual delegate conference in Sligo today, deputy general secretary Jim Mitchell said prison officers are dealing with threats of violence, prisoner on prisoner assaults and personal assaults on a daily basis.“There are roughly 28 different gangs and factions operating within Mountjoy prison alone, some are well-known and high-profile. There are over 230 prisoners on protection within the prison, for their own safety – and this adds to the burden placed on prison staff. Image: Sasko LazarovRollingNews.iecenter_img May 2nd 2019, 5:39 PM https://jrnl.ie/4617287 Thursday 2 May 2019, 5:39 PM 39 Comments Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Stock market probe dropped after 13 years

first_imgThirteen years after a judicial investigation into a stock market bubble began, the case was dropped this week after judges at Athens’s criminal appeals court decided that there was not enough evidence to convict 42 suspects of manipulating share prices and causing investors to lose millions in the late 1990s.The suspects’ trial began on April 15 but numerous legal efforts had proceeded it, starting with the initial charges issued by prosecutor Dimitris Asprogerakas in 2000.At one stage, the investigation was assigned to magistrate Constantina Bourboulia but she was then sentenced to 12 years in prison for abuse of power. Source: Kathimerini Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Migrant smugglers raising the stakes with ghost ships

first_imgPeople traffickers have dramatically raised the stakes by using freighters to carry hundreds of migrants to Europe at a time, then jumping ship as the vessels steam towards shore.Italian coastguards have narrowly prevented two disasters this week off the country’s southern coast involving so-called “ghost ships”, which seem to have originated in Turkey.With thousands of dollars to be made from every person desperate to escape war-torn and poverty-hit areas in Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia, smugglers are constantly changing tactics.Easy access to cheap vessels also appears to be a factor, with industry sources claiming that aged freighters can even be picked up on Ebay.Following are key questions on people-smuggling in the Mediterranean.All manner of vessels have been used by people smugglers to cross the Mediterranean. The trend began with fishing boats and rubber dinghies, but with winter weather, some smugglers have switched to fully-fledged freighters.In the past the smugglers have not hesitated about putting migrants at risk to provoke lifesaving operations, instructing them to slash their dinghies or jump into the water to force coastguards to rescue them.But this week, the odds were upped dramatically with two migrant ships deliberately abandoned by their crews, placing hundreds of lives at stake.Why? Simply put, because they can. David Olsen, financial editor of maritime newspaper Lloyds List, said “bargain basement” ships can be had for about less than one million dollars (700,000 euros), less than the price of a London apartment.“I can see people meeting over a beer and agreeing a price that is more than the scrap to take it off their hands,” Olsen says.“Ships that are 40 to 50 years old… it’s not even worth getting them to India for scrap,” he said.Both the cargo ships involved in this week’s incidents are over 40 years old.The Blue Sky M, the Moldovan-flagged freighter intercepted by the Italian coastguard before it ran aground on Wednesday, had docked at the Turkish port of Korfez in October before sailing for Rijeka, Croatia.There were nearly 770 migrants people on board but no crew as the ship drifted on autopilot towards rocks. Greek coastguards were told by a passenger that a crew of up to a dozen men, reportedly armed, had been on board.The ship got to within five miles — or 45 minutes sailing time — of a disaster before six Italian navy officers were lowered on to the ship by helicopter and succeeded in bringing it under control.Two days later, a second crewless merchant ship — the Sierra Leone-registered Ezadeen — appeared on the radar.It was allegedly headed for the southern French port of Sete after a journey between Tartus, Syria and Famagusta in Turkish-controlled northern Cyprus.Six coastguard officers were lowered from a helicopter onto the deck as the Ezadeen drifted some 40 kilometers (25 miles) off Crotone on Italy’s heel.The wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan have been the major contributors to migration to Europe but there is also a steady flow from poverty-stricken states in north and central Africa and central Asia.Lawless Libya has also become a paradise for smugglers.It has been a record year for people attempting to reach Europe by sea, with more than 170,000 people rescued by Italy in the last 14 months and hundreds, possibly thousands, perishing trying to make the crossing.The demand for passage to Europe has strengthened the hand of smugglers, says Joel Millman, of the International Organization for Migration.“Obviously whole families, whole towns are evacuating Syria, which could mean traffickers are getting used to handling a flow of migrants they can predict will run into the thousands of individuals every month,” he told AFP.He said that with migrants prepared to pay thousands of dollars for passage, “the groups behind the Blue Sky M abandonment could have grossed well over $1 million on just that one short voyage — enough to pay for a disposable craft, crew, vessels to evacuate the crew and, presumably, make any bribe payments that might have been useful in furthering the scheme,” Millman said.The western port of Patra, which handles the bulk of Greece’s maritime traffic with Italy, has been used for years by migrants hoping to sneak on board ferries to Bari and Brindisi.Indeed, the Norman Atlantic, the ferry that caught fire in the Adriatic, was found to contain stowaways from Afghanistan and Syria.Rome also has a bone to pick with Athens after the Greek coastguard neglected to board the Blue Sky M and allowed it to continue towards the Italian coast.Greece’s Aegean islands close to the coast of Turkey — where many of the smuggling rings are based — are also a routine landing point for traffickers.The creation of a 10.3-kilometer (6.4-mile) barbed-wire barrier on the Greek-Turkish border in 2012 also dissuaded smugglers from using the land route into Europe.[AFP] Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Poor marks in university entrance exams

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram This year’s university entrance exams produced their lowest grades since 2008, with almost 32 percent of senior high school students taking the tests failing to reach the pass mark.The exam results were published Tuesday and revealed a substantial drop in students’ performances. Apart from the fact that nearly a third of pupils fell short of the pass grade, the number of students getting top marks also dropped by around 50 percent.A total of 79,068 senior high school pupils sat the exams in the hope of securing places at local universities or technical colleges. As a result of the poor results seen this summer, the grades needed for entering tertiary education will drop.According to Tuesday’s results, 4,010 pupils scored 18 out of 20 (90 percent) or higher in their exams, which is just 5 percent of the total. Last year, 7,428 teenagers, which was 9.5 percent of the total, achieved these grades.The pupils are competing for some 70,000 places at universities and technical colleges, which suffered from overcrowding this year following a decision to allow students to transfer from regional institutions as part of an effort to ease the financial burden on parents.The government has slightly reduced the number of places available this year to avoid further overcrowding but has not made it clear if it will allow these transfers to continue.Source: Kathimerinilast_img read more

Commission rejects Sinodinos claims

first_imgSenator Arthur Sinodinos continues to be embroiled in the investigation over political donations to the NSW Liberal Party, and his latest efforts to defend his position have been rebuffed by the NSW Election Commission.Last week the commission announced it was withholding $4.4 million in public funding to the NSW Liberals until the party disclosed who donated a sum of $693,000 before the 2011 state election.The move prompted the senator to write a letter of complaint to the commission, saying he had not been afforded “procedural fairness” or “basic decency” by not being warned of the commission’s announcement.Sinodinos said that errors in the commission’s statement had a potentially damaging effect.“It appears on transcripts of ICAC selectively used to make a particular point, without the opportunity for people like me who are affected to make their part of the case,” he said.On Thursday the commission hit back, saying it refused to retract any statements it has made on the matter.The withholding of the $693,000 donation relates to a fund-raising campaign for the New South Wales 2011 election campaign when Sinodinos was the NSW Liberal Party treasurer. The senator has consistently denied any knowledge of wrongdoing in relation to funds raised during his tenure as treasurer, a position he held while also being the non-executive chairman of Australian Water Holdings, which made a $30,000 donation to the Liberal war chest as it battled insolvency.At the heart of assertions against Sinodinos is whether he was aware of the donation at the time, and the implications of a potential conflict of interest over his role as an AWH company director and NSW Liberal Party finance director.The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) inquiry into the matter (that began in 2014) and took evidence from the senator is yet to be finalised, but reports suggest Sinodinos will not face corruption findings. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Le vieillissement serait fonction de lADN

first_imgLe vieillissement serait fonction de l’ADNMonde – D’après les résultats d’une étude scientifique rendus publiques par l’Agence France Presse, le vieillissement du corps humain serait lié à ses gènes. Des scientifiques ont identifié des variants génétiques qui pourraient être liés au vieillissement biologique de l’espèce humaine. En effet, notre corps mue au fil du temps : c’est ce que l’on appelle le vieillissement chronologique, fonction des années vécues.À lire aussiL’axolotl, cet étonnant animal capable de se régénérer, révèle ses secretsD’autre part, ces résultats d’étude démontrent que notre ADN joue un rôle important dans le processus de vieillissement de notre corps, c’est-à-dire de nos cellules. C’est là qu’intervient le second paramètre : le vieillissement biologique. Des recherches menées à l’université de Leicester ont identifié plus de 500.000 variations génétiques ayant un rapport direct avec le vieillissement biologique du corps humain. Notre ADN serait un facteur décisif du développement et du renouvellement de nos cellules, et il est prouvé qu’un environnement nuisible à nos gènes (tabac, surpoids…) accroît  la vitesse de vieillissement de nos cellules. Cette découverte est cruciale pour la science car nous savons maintenant que certaines maladies cardiovasculaires, tout comme de nombreux cancers, dépendent plutôt de l’âge biologique de notre corps, que de notre âge chronologique.Le 13 février 2010 à 12:06 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

iPad lapplication Kindle sera disponible sur la tablette dApple

first_imgiPad : l’application Kindle sera disponible sur la tablette d’AppleAmazon vient d’annoncer qu’il ouvrira sa bibliothèque numérique à l’iPad. En s’adaptant à plusieurs applications, la tablette d’Apple confirme qu’elle deviendra bientôt incontournable.L’iPad est sur le point de devenir l’élément indispensable sur le marché des tablettes. Alors que la guerre fait rage entre les constructeurs, la tablette d’Apple marque à nouveau un point en devenant compatible avec la bibliothèque Kindle. Cette dernière sera également disponible pour les Macs.La librairie numérique d’Amazon compte quelque 450.000 titres dont la grande majorité des best-sellers actuels aux États-Unis, et cette annonce peut paraître très paradoxale pour les dirigeants d’Amazon puisqu’ils favorisent un concurrent dangereux de leur tablette Kindle. De son côté, Apple a lancé son application iBooks qui, avec la collaboration de cinq des six plus grands éditeurs américains, permettra d’accéder à sa nouvelle librairie numérique iBookstore.Le 19 mars 2010 à 15:12 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Réchauffement climatique de plus en plus de tempêtes de neige

first_imgRéchauffement climatique : de plus en plus de tempêtes de neige ?Selon des chercheurs américains, les tempêtes de neige surprenantes qui ont frappé les Etats-Unis et l’Europe durant ces deux derniers hivers pourraient se multiplier à cause du changement de climat. La neige et le réchauffement climatique ne sont pas deux phénomènes incompatibles. Les deux derniers hivers aux Etats-Unis et en Europe sont là pour le démontrer. Le bilan des tempêtes de neige de ces dernières années pour le nord-est des Etats-Unis affiche une intensité record avec des perturbations de catégorie 3 selon une échelle locale dite “Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale”. En effet, une telle ampleur remonte à cinquante ans sur des perturbations enregistrées lors de l’hiver 1960-1961.

À lire aussiQuand un panda s’attaque à un bonhomme de neige au CanadaBien que ces chutes de neige présentent une abondance peu commune, les températures ne descendent pas en-dessous de la moyenne. Fait surprenant, le thermomètre a affiché à Washington entre -6 et 4 °C lors de ces perturbations.

 Jeff Masters, directeur de la météorologie pour le site Weather Underground souligne : “Alors que la Terre devient plus chaude et que plus d’humidité est absorbée par l’atmosphère, nous accroissons les chances d’avoir plus de tempêtes d’une extrême intensité à toutes les saisons”.

Selon un modèle météorologique, l’augmentation des chutes de neige peut être corrélée à la hausse des températures. En effet il a été constaté qu’une atmosphère plus chaude retient plus l’humidité. Aussi, au niveau de régions aux températures en dessous du point de congélation, cette augmentation de l’humidité atmosphérique amènera davantage de neige.Le 2 mars 2011 à 17:22 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Bien quen progrès lOvi Store reste loin de lApp Store

first_imgBien qu’en progrès, l’Ovi Store reste loin de l’App StoreLa plateforme de téléchargement d’applications de Nokia connaît un succès croissant. Néanmoins, pas de quoi faire trembler les leaders de ce marché, Apple et Google.L’Ovi Store, la plateforme de téléchargement d’applications pour les terminaux mobiles de la marque Nokia, a réalisé de beaux chiffres cette année. Le nombre d’applications téléchargées a été multiplié par huit en un an pour atteindre la barre des 5 millions par jour, la boutique en comptant désormais environ 40.000 avec 1.000 nouveautés ajoutées chaque semaine, relaye Boursier.com.L’Ovi Store reste néanmoins loin derrière l’App Store d’Apple, qui compte environ 300.000 applications et quelque 18 millions de téléchargements par jour, et l’Android Market de Google. “Compte tenu du nombre de téléchargements croissant réalisés via l’Ovi Store, les développeurs ont la capacité de toucher les consommateurs à travers le monde et de capitaliser sur les quelque 150 millions d’appareils Symbian que nous prévoyons d’expédier dans les prochaines années”, a néanmoins espéré Tero Ojanpera, le vice-président exécutif de Services et expérience pour les développeurs de Nokia. Le 14 avril 2011 à 18:38 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Une application iPhone permet de scanner son visage en 3D

first_imgUne application iPhone permet de scanner son visage en 3DUne nouvelle application pour iPhone permet de transformer instantanément son visage en un modèle informatique 3D.Tridimentional est le premier scanner 3D développé pour l’Iphone. Cette application permet de réaliser un modèle informatique en trois dimensions d’un visage. Une technologie étonnante qui utilise pourtant un principe assez simple. Pour commencer il suffit de s’installer dans une pièce totalement sombre, d’augmenter la luminosité de son écran et de démarrer l’application. Le visage doit être placé à environ 20 centimètres de l’écran.À lire aussiScanner cérébral avec ou sans injection : définition, déroulement et risquesLe programme éclaire alors l’écran du téléphone à l’aide de plusieurs rayons lumineux qui apparaissent de façon successive en différents points. Les variations entre ombres et lumières sont par la suite analysées et comparées aux images capturées par la caméra frontale du téléphone. La combinaison de ces différents résultats permet au logiciel de construire la forme 3D de son visage. Une fois le modèle créé, il est possible de l’exporter pour le retravailler.L’application a été élaborée par Grant Schindler, chercheur en informatique à l’Institut de technologie de Géorgie. Elle est actuellement disponible pour iPhone 4 et iPad 2. Celle-ci n’égale pas encore les scanners 3D, mais permet toutefois de réaliser des images insolites à moindre coûts.Découvrez l’application Tridimentional en vidéo en cliquant ci-dessous : https://www.maxisciences.com/iphone/tridimensional-l-039-application-iphone-pour-scanner-son-visage-en-3d_art14191.html Le 22 avril 2011 à 17:58 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Le plus grand prématuré au monde est sorti de lhôpital

first_imgLe plus grand prématuré au monde est sorti de l’hôpitalLe 7 novembre dernier, une Allemande a égalé le record de la naissance la plus prématurée au monde. Frieda est née après seulement 21 semaines et 5 jours de grossesse. Mercredi dernier, le bébé est sorti de l’hôpital en bonne santé. A la naissance, Frieda ne pesait que 460 grammes. Née le 7 novembre à la clinique de Fulda, cette petite Allemande est le deuxième plus grand prématuré du monde. Sa mère a en effet accouché après seulement 21 semaines et 5 jours de grossesse. “Dans la littérature spécialisée, il existe des prématurés plus légers qu’elle à la naissance, certains étant même en dessous des 300 grammes, mais il n’existe aucune mention d’un prématuré plus jeune encore que Frieda”, a expliqué la clinique dans un communiqué avant d’indiquer qu’un bébé était né exactement au même terme à Ottawa au Canada en 1987.À lire aussiToxoplasmose : symptômes, traitement, grossesse, quels sont les risques ?Dès la 15e semaine de grossesse, la mère avait en réalité déjà consulté pour des contractions et fin octobre, les médecins s’étaient aperçus que la naissance était imminente. Cependant, ils ont réussi à retarder l’accouchement de dix jours. Avant la 22e semaine de grossesse, les pédiatres en néonatalogie estiment qu’il n’y a aucune chance de survie, en raison du développement insuffisant des poumons, du coeur et du cerveau. Le frère jumeau de Frieda, Kilian est d’ailleurs décédé quelques jours après leur naissance, comme le rapporte le quotidien Bild.Si les grands prématurés (moins de 32 semaines) présentent donc des risques importants de séquelles psychomotrices et de retard de langage, Frieda semble aujourd’hui bien se porter. Mercredi dernier, après 5 mois et demi d’hospitalisation, la petite Allemande qui pèse aujourd’hui 3,5 kilos, a enfin pu rejoindre ses parents. Un médecin de garde de la clinique a assuré à l’AFP qu’il n’existe “aucun risque (de séquelles) prévisible pour le moment et que le bébé devrait se développer comme n’importe quel enfant”.Le 26 avril 2011 à 12:46 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Bactérie tueuse  lAllemagne abandonne la piste du concombre espagnol

first_imgBactérie tueuse : l’Allemagne abandonne la piste du concombre espagnolLa piste de la contamination par les concombres espagnols vient d’être abandonnée par les scientifiques allemands. La ministre de la Santé d’Hambourg, Cornelia Prüfer-Storks a annoncé les résultats de leurs premières analyses : la souche de bactérie présente dans les légumes ne correspond pas à celle responsable de l’épidémie.La ministre de la Santé d’Hambourg, Cornelia Prüfer-Storks, a révélé cet après-midi à la presse les résultats des tests effectués dans les laboratoires sur les concombres espagnols. Les scientifiques sont formels, la souche de bactérie mise en évidence dans ces légumes ne correspond pas à l’Escheridia coli entero-hémorragique retrouvé dans les selles des patients contaminés. Les tests en laboratoire ont été entamés en Allemagne la semaine dernière après que des lots suspects de concombres ont été pointés du doigt. L’erreur de suspicion aura tout de même coûté cher à l’industrie maraîchère d’Espagne. Le gouvernement espagnol a ainsi déclaré qu’il n’excluait pas un éventuel appel d’indemnisation auprès de l’Allemagne afin de remédier aux “dégâts considérables” infligés à son agriculture. Selon les producteurs espagnols d’Almeria, l’exportation de concombres a connue une baisse de 100% au cours de ces derniers jours et des chargements entiers ont dû être renvoyés.À lire aussiErysipèle : contagion, traitement, de quoi s’agit-il ?L’hypothèse de la contamination des exploitations espagnoles ayant été abandonnée, les analyses se poursuivent à présent sur la suite de la chaîne de production des légumes jusqu’à leur distribution. Depuis le premier cas d’infection détecté la semaine dernière, 15 décès ont été recensés en Allemagne et un en suède. Actuellement 373 personnes souffriraient de troubles rénaux sévères, directement imputables à la bactérie.Le 31 mai 2011 à 17:32 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

LEurope impose lautorisation pour la vente du miel OGM

first_imgL’Europe impose l’autorisation pour la vente du miel OGMLa Cour européenne de justice a décidé d’interdire la vente du miel produit à partir de pollen issu de maïs génétiquement modifié, s’il ne dispose pas d’autorisation préalable. Cette obligation s’applique quelle que soit la proportion de matériel génétiquement modifié contenu. Jusqu’ici, les lois européennes imposaient que l’étiquetage des produits mentionne “avec OGM” dans la mesure où le produit contient 0,9 % ou plus d’OGM. Mais les choses sont en train de changer suite à un procès opposant un apiculteur allemand au Land de Bavière, propriétaire de terrains sur lesquels du maïs MON810, un OGM du groupe américain Monsanto, a été cultivé. L’apiculteur estimant que la présence de MON810 avait rendu son miel impossible à commercialiser et à consommer, il avait traîné les autorités bavaroises devant les tribunaux européens.À lire aussiAllergie : reconnaitre et traiter les symptômes pour éviter les complicationsAinsi, selon la Cour européenne, peu importe si le pollen issu de maïs génétiquement modifié a été introduit dans le miel de manière intentionnelle ou non. L’obligation d’autorisation de mise sur le marché (AMM) existe “quelle que soit la proportion de matériel génétiquement modifié contenue dans le produit en cause”, a noté le tribunal. Néanmoins, la Cour reconnaît que le pollen issu d’OGM n’est plus, à proprement parler, un OGM puisqu’il ne peut plus se reproduire et qu’il ne peut donc plus transmettre son matériel génétique. Ce qui n’exclut pas le besoin d’autorisation pour autant selon l’arrêt qui précise : “des produits comme du miel et des compléments alimentaires contenant un tel pollen constituent des denrées alimentaires contenant des ingrédients produits à partir d’OGM au sens du règlement” qui impose une mise sur le marché seulement après autorisation. Des lois à réviser ? De nombreuses associations de défense de l’environnement et les Verts européens ont salué cette décision. Le militant Vert José Bové a indiqué que “ce cas montre bien que la coexistence est une escroquerie et que la culture des OGM empêche le choix pour des produits sans OGM. Autoriser la culture des OGM conduit nécessairement à la contamination des autres cultures et des produits alimentaires, comme le miel”, rapporte romandie.com. “La seule façon d’éviter la contamination est d’interdire la culture de ces OGM”, a-t-il ajouté. Pour d’autres comme Mute Schimpf, une responsable des Amis de la Terre, “l’arrêt de la Cour confirme que les lois européennes sur les OGM doivent être révisées”.Le 7 septembre 2011 à 14:13 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more