Friday, 30 September 2011

Pambazuka - ‘Africa has lost a Great Daughter’

Pambazuka - ‘Africa has lost a Great Daughter’
Wangari Maathai was an amazing person. I first met her in Kampala during the CODESRIA Symposium on Academic Freedom. She arrived a day after the symposium. I was informed of her presence and her need for accommodation. I went looking for her and found her in the lobby of the hotel with a small sack of her belongings she had taken with her. When I made the obvious point that [she was] too late for the symposium, she replied, with that great smile that was her trade mark: ‘I know, but I made it’...

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Greece’s debt difficulty is Ireland’s opportunity — but we must plan now | Irish Examiner

Greece’s debt difficulty is Ireland’s opportunity — but we must plan now Irish Examiner

THE countdown has begun. It is a matter of when, not if, the Greek government and creditors will have to reconcile a 50% default on their sovereign debt.
With total loans of €353 billion, their national output of €200bn cannot sustain repayments. More liquidity won’t resolve underlying insolvency. Even if an interim €8bn is sanctioned in coming days, it only postpones the inevitable. IMF, World Bank, G20, US Treasury, markets and now European leaders have begun to drop denial and start planning for fallout on the euro and global economy. Ireland should rethink it's own strategy...

Crystal meth seizure sparks alarm | Irish Examiner

Crystal meth seizure sparks alarm Irish Examiner

DRUG experts have expressed alarm at the first major seizure in Ireland of crystal meth, a highly addictive and destructive drug that has laid waste to many US communities. Customs and gardaí intercepted 2.5kg of the drug, with an estimated street value of €250,000, at Dublin Airport.

HIV could be 'minor infection' with new vaccine - World News - Independent.ie

HIV could be 'minor infection' with new vaccine - World News - Independent.ie
HIV could be reduced to a "minor chronic infection" akin to herpes, scientists developing a new vaccine have claimed. Spanish researchers found that 22 out of 24 healthy people developed an immune response to HIV after being given the MVA-B vaccine.

Number of women and children unable to find refuge up 38% in Ireland

Number of women and children unable to find refuge up 38%
WOMEN AND children in situations of domestic violence could not access refuges more than 3,000 times last year, a 38 per cent increase on equivalent figures for 2009, a report has found

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Africa Center for Strategic Studies - Media Review for September 28, 2011

http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Africa-Center-for-Strategic-Studies---Media-Review.html?soid=1103092623686&aid=o1HYJmk0yOs
Africa Center for Strategic Studies - Media Review for September 28, 2011

Microfinance: Making a profit from loans to poor carries risks - by Amy Kazmin

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/7f04461c-964c-11e0-afc5-00144feab49a.html#axzz1ZHz5RIVn
In August 2010, SKS Microfinance, a Hyderabad-based enterprise making tiny loans to poor women, raised $350m in an initial public offering that valued the firm at $1.5bn. The stunning market debut seemed to affirm that microfinance – lending money to those too poor and without sufficient collateral, to access normal bank loans – could be made profitable and attractive enough to attract investors...

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

The Peace Corps and American Interest in Africa

The Peace Corps and American Interest in Africa

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Peace Corps by President John F. Kennedy and his brother-in-law, Sargent Shriver. President Kennedy founded the Peace Corps just at the moment that most sub-Saharan African states were moving toward independence, a process that was welcomed by anti-colonial Americans. He also tapped into the American idealism that flourished in the 1960′s, which included dramatic progress toward racial and gender equality in the United States...

Dithering spirit hangs over a Europe in dire need of unanimity

Dithering spirit hangs over a Europe in dire need of unanimity

EUROPEAN DIARY: The euro zone’s way forward has to be agreed by 17 states. It is paved with danger, writes ARTHUR BEESLEY

SHOULD WE concentrate on the hapless Greek in the bunker, driving the ball deeper and deeper into the sand? Or the prim German on the 12th green as the ball comes close to the hole but rolls right past it? Or the proud Slovak whose hope for a perfect round is ruined when the ball splashes into the lake?

Israel, Rejecting Palestinian Demands, Plans Housing Outside 1967 Boundaries - NY Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/28/world/middleeast/israel-plans-new-housing-in-jerusalem-beyond-1967-boundaries.html
Palestinian leaders condemned the plan for 1,100 new units, further complicating efforts to restart the peace process.

Africa Center for Strategic Studies - Media Review, 26 September 2011

http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Africa-Center-for-Strategic-Studies---Media-Review.html?soid=1103092623686&aid=CeekNSxA3lc
Africa Center for Strategic Studies - Media Review, 26 September 2011

Charity bosses’ salaries exceed €100k | Irish Examiner

Charity bosses’ salaries exceed €100k Irish Examiner
AN Irish Examiner survey of the pay packages earned by the heads of leading charities shows most are on salaries ranging from €100,000 to €150,000...

Recession has brought loss and deprivation but inequality has fallen

Recession has brought loss and deprivation but inequality has fallen
THE PROFOUND impact of the Great Depression of the 1930s on poverty drove the subsequent expansion of social protection systems and welfare states in the richer countries after the second World War. The international economic crisis since 2007 has been widely labelled as the “Great Recession”, but the effects on poverty and income inequality have been much more muted so far, as shown in a new study of 21 OECD countries.

Women in Saudi Arabia get vote

Women in Saudi Arabia get vote

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Hamas calls Netanyahu's defense of Gaza blockade 'criminal' - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

Hamas calls Netanyahu's defense of Gaza blockade 'criminal' - Haaretz Daily Newspaper Israel News
Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh slammed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, saying that his defense of Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip in his address to the United Nations General Assembly on Friday was “criminal”, according to a Ma’an News Agency report.

The Do-Nothing Strategy - By Aaron David Miller | Foreign Policy

The Do-Nothing Strategy - By Aaron David Miller Foreign Policy
It's time for Obama to realize that with the 2012 elections in the offing, expending any effort on a Middle East peace process is a losing battle.

EU border agency accused of mistreating migrants

EU border agency accused of mistreating migrants
THE EU authorities have brushed off claims by human rights campaigners that European agencies are responsible for exposing migrants to “degrading” conditions in Greek detention centres. New York-based campaign group Human Rights Watch criticised the work of the EU external border enforcement agency Frontex, which was deployed on Greece’s border with Turkey last year amid concern that the flow of migrants was overwhelming the Greek authorities. In a new report, Human Rights Watch said Frontex was exposing migrants to “inhuman” conditions because people it apprehended were being kept in overcrowded detention centres...

Births at highest rate since records began - Ireland

Births at highest rate since records began
THERE WAS a 7.6 per cent rise in the number of births registered in the Republic during the first three months of 2011, according to new figures from the Central Statistics Office. Overall, 19,950 births were officially registered in the first quarter, the highest number since records began in 1960. Of the births recorded, 10,221 were boys and 9,729 girls...

1,000 primary teachers out of work due to cutbacks, says INTO

1,000 primary teachers out of work due to cutbacks, says INTO
More than 1,000 qualified primary teachers are without work due to education cutbacks, according to the INTO. Yesterday, more than 100 unemployed primary teachers attended a specially convened meeting in Dublin organised by the union. The meeting was the first of a series throughout the country for teachers without work...

Friday, 23 September 2011

Has the UN Congo mission tried too hard to be impartial?

Has the UN Congo mission tried too hard to be impartial?
MONUSCO has been reluctant to criticize the preparation of elections. In part, as I have written here before, this fits in with the mission's aim of re-establishing good relations with the Congolese government. To an extent, they are right: Little can be achieved by the mission without cordial relations with their counterparts, and this relationship slipped badly during the latter year of Alan Doss' term. When Roger Meece arrived as the new head of the peacekeeping mission last year, he took it upon himself to re-dynamize that relationship, and has in large part succeeded. However, this has meant that the mission has at time shied away from criticism, particularly with regards to the electoral process...

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

How to Weaken the Power of Foreign Oil

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/21/opinion/how-to-weaken-the-power-of-foreign-oil.html
OUR country has just gone through a sober national retrospective on the 9/11 attacks. Apart from the heartfelt honoring of those lost — on that day and since — what seemed most striking is our seeming passivity and indifference toward the well from which our enemies draw their political strength and financial power: the strategic importance of oil, which provides the wherewithal for a generational war against us, as we mutter diplomatic niceties...

Eamon Gilmore warns UN of ‘future shocks’ | Irish Examiner

Gilmore warns UN of ‘future shocks’ Irish Examiner

EAMON GILMORE has praised the progress made in the battle against under-nutrition in the developing world but warned that once the crisis ends, many people will remain vulnerable to "future shocks". The Tánaiste was addressing a meeting on nutrition at the UN General Assembly in New York yesterday. "There is now a global recognition that short-term relief must be situated within a longer term strategy to reduce the vulnerability to hunger," he told the gathering of more than 400 at the UN headquarters.

World is on the edge and something has to change - David McWilliams, Columnists - Independent.ie

David McWilliams: World is on the edge and something has to change - David McWilliams, Columnists - Independent.ie
Did you know 47 million Americans live under the poverty line and that figure has risen every year for the past four years? There are more Americans in poverty than at any other time during the past 52 years. What about the fact there are the same amount of jobs in total in the US economy today as there were in 2000, and yet the population is 38 million larger? These are significant figures because the US economy is not creating jobs and, without jobs, these figures get worse. If they get worse, something will give.

United effort needed on long-term food strategy

United effort needed on long-term food strategy
OPINION: An international commitment is required to focus on nutrition in response to Africa’s food crisis.

THE WORLD has come together in response to the tragedy unfolding in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia and the development community is making every effort to deliver aid as quickly as possible. However, as we learn more about this ongoing famine that threatens the lives of more than 12 million people, there’s an underlying fact that, as long as it’s ignored, could allow such a crisis to recur. As we develop our emergency response, we also need to consider a longer-term approach to addressing malnutrition that can help mitigate and prevent future crises...

Africa Center for Strategic Studies Media Review for September 20, 2011

http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Africa-Center-for-Strategic-Studies---Media-Review.html?soid=1103092623686&aid=Yx_7VQurZlQ
Africa Center for Strategic Studies - Media Review for September 20, 2011

The Problem - No Extra Credit

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/20/opinion/nocera-no-extra-credit.html
What if the Obama jobs plan, the coming deliberations of the supercommittee, the debate over taxing millionaires — what if none of it is likely to make a whit of positive difference for the economy? What if the only thing that matters is something Congress and the president rarely mention, and can do nothing about?
I’ve come to believe this is the case. What is killing the economy is lack of credit. In the aftermath of an asset bubble, invariably the result of too-loose credit, banks don’t just tighten their standards; they practically shut down...

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Africa Center for Strategic Studies Media Review for September 19, 2011

http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Africa-Center-for-Strategic-Studies---Media-Review.html?soid=1103092623686&aid=_5WbXQ5Rn7Y
Africa Center for Strategic Studies Media Review for September 19, 2011

Maeve Dineen: Five reasons to hope economy has started to grow - Analysis, Opinion - Independent.ie

Maeve Dineen: Five reasons to hope economy has started to grow - Analysis, Opinion - Independent.ie
THE eurozone is in crisis but something strange is happening closer to home -- we aren't doing too badly anymore. The evidence of the economy bottoming out is all around us: in the stabilisation of the unemployment rate; in the exchequer figures which keep coming in on target; and in the number of new '11 reg' cars.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Angola: Huambo air force plane crash kills generals

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14920966
A plane crash in Angola has killed 30 people, including three army generals, a military official has said.
Government official Luis Caetano, a spokesman for Huambo authorities, told the BBC the military aircraft crashed after leaving Huambo city airport.  He said six people had survived, including the pilot and co-pilot. State-run media says 17 people died...

Africa-Center-for-Strategic-Studies - Media Review 16/09/2011

http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Africa-Center-for-Strategic-Studies---Media-Review.html?soid=1103092623686&aid=dWI6GwtmNlg

Palestinians Set Bid for U.N. Seat, Clashing With U.S.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/17/world/middleeast/Abbas-Security-Council-United-Nations-Vote.html
The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, announced Friday that he would seek membership for a state of Palestine from the United Nations Security Council next week, putting him on a collision course with Israel and the United States as both face an Arab world in turmoil...

Death toll rises in Reno air show crash

Death toll rises in Reno air show crash
The death toll in the crash of a World War II-era plane during a Reno air race rose to nine people Saturday as investigators combed through wreckage and scoured video clips and photographs to determine why the aircraft suddenly spiraled out of control and plummeted to the ground near hundreds of spectators...

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Hard times bring out the inner strength in people - Analysis, Opinion - Independent.ie

Hard times bring out the inner strength in people - Analysis, Opinion - Independent.ie
TALES from the dark side are filtering through now. The theatre director I met who is working as a tour guide. The advertising executive waiting tables in her brother-in-law's cafe. The taxi driver, first day on the job, who trained as an architect. This recession is starting to take prisoners: hostages to misfortune rather than fortune. And those of us still on the outside are doing what we can to get by -- to weather the storm which shows no sign of blowing over...

Hard times bring out the inner strength in people - Analysis, Opinion - Independent.ie

Hard times bring out the inner strength in people - Analysis, Opinion - Independent.ie
TALES from the dark side are filtering through now. The theatre director I met who is working as a tour guide. The advertising executive waiting tables in her brother-in-law's cafe. The taxi driver, first day on the job, who trained as an architect. This recession is starting to take prisoners: hostages to misfortune rather than fortune. And those of us still on the outside are doing what we can to get by -- to weather the storm which shows no sign of blowing over.

Traveller rights being abused in the UK, claims UN adviser

Traveller rights being abused, claims UN adviser
THE BRITISH government is failing in its international obligations to house Travellers, despite promoting democracy and the protection of human rights in other countries, a United Nations adviser complained yesterday during a visit to the Dale Farm Travellers’ site in Essex. Council workers continued to make preparations yesterday, including the laying of a temporary road across a field, for the evictions of up to 80 Traveller families from the site outside Basildon yesterday, scheduled to begin early next Monday. UN adviser Prof Yves Cabannes said the local council was infringing international human rights in three key areas – the right of ethnic minorities to be protected, the right to have adequate housing and security of tenure and the right to be protected from forced evictions.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Africa Center for Strategic Studies - Media Review 14 September 2011

http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Africa-Center-for-Strategic-Studies---Media-Review.html?soid=1103092623686&aid=-Q1a7pKp68k
Africa Center for Strategic Studies - Media Review 14 September 2011

Plan would allow EU researchers to move more easily | Irish Examiner

Plan would allow EU researchers to move more easily Irish Examiner

THERE is over €10 billion a year available in the EU for researchers, but often the best and brightest find it easier to move to the US than stay in Europe. Máire Geoghegan Quinn, the EU’s commissioner for research and innovation, wants to know why. With this in mind, she has launched some research of her own with a view to enticing people to work closer to home. The potential is there for 3.7 million jobs and an €800bn boost to the EU’s GDP. "This is the kind of growth and jobs we desperately need," Ms Geoghegan Quinn said, adding that Europe faced an innovation emergency. While many of the borders in the EU have been broken down, making it easier for tourists and workers to travel and find jobs in any of the 27 states, she said research and innovation are still locked behind national boundaries.

Asylum appeal reform would cut costs in Ireland, says ex-judge

Asylum appeal reform would cut costs, says ex-judge
The “culture of disbelief” in the refugee and asylum system must change if the system was to become fair and transparent, she said yesterday at the launch of a “Roadmap for Asylum Reform” by the Irish Refugee Council, of which she is the patron. Her proposal would involve a single protection procedure, with early legal advice, which would assess whether a person is entitled to protection in Ireland arising from different international obligations and an independent and transparent appeals system.

Merkel strives to allay fears over Greek debt crisis - France 24

http://www.france24.com/en/20110913-eurozone-merkel-markets-fears-over-greece-debt-crisis
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday cast off the idea of a Greek bankruptcy, which had been voiced by her deputy and sent markets into turmoil, and said she was committed to a "step-by-step process."

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Africa Center for Strategic Studies: Media Review - 13 September 2011

http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Africa-Center-for-Strategic-Studies---Media-Review.html?soid=1103092623686&aid=XFoqRfK0p20

Africa Center for Strategic Studies: Media Review - 13 September 2011

Over 30,000 homes a year needed in Ireland - Irish Examiner

Over 30,000 homes a year needed: economist Irish Examiner

IRELAND needs to build over 30,000 new homes per year to meet the needs of our growing population, a leading economist told a national housing conference in Dublin yesterday.Marian Finnegan, who is with the property company Sherry Fitzgerald, broke down the demands for new homes as follows: 26,000 per annum during the period 2012 to 2016; 34,000 per annum between 2017 and 2021 and 31,000 per annum between 2022 and 2026...

Credit union members in Ireland refused cash as lending limits imposed - Independent.ie

Credit union members refused cash as lending limits imposed - Personal Finance, Business - Independent.ie
TENS of thousands of credit union members are being refused loans because of tough new lending limits being imposed by regulators. Students are being forced to drop out of college because their parents are unable to get credit union loans, it has emerged. And other members of credit unions are being forced to resort to moneylenders....

Lise Hand: 'Individuals, communities and nations have shown they're stronger than fear' - Analysis, Opinion - Independent.ie

Lise Hand: 'Individuals, communities and nations have shown they're stronger than fear' - Analysis, Opinion - Independent.ie
Ten years ago, it was a day of sound and fury -- the scream of jets plunging into city buildings and into the Pennsylvanian earth; the wail of fire engines and police cars rushing to the rescue. The shriek, crack, thunder and crash as the Twin Towers toppled and died in a boiling, roaring tumult of smoke and rolling balls of fire. The unheard howls of the dying, the clamour of those running for their lives, and then the lamentations and weeping for the dead. ...

Aids research creates glowing cats - And Finally, Frontpage - Independent.ie

Aids research creates glowing cats - And Finally, Frontpage - Independent.ie
Green glowing cats have been created by gene scientists working on the Aids virus. The spooky-looking moggies had their DNA modified with a gene from a fluorescent jellyfish. Placed under blue light, their fur, claws and whiskers emit an eerie green glow. The purpose of the study was to show how a natural protein that prevents macaque monkeys developing Aids can do the same in cats.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Heroin epidemic gripping Ireland, say youth groups | Irish Examiner

Heroin epidemic gripping Ireland, say youth groups Irish Examiner

IRELAND is in the grip of a "heroin epidemic", while alcohol abuse among the young is leading them towards drug use, two youth support organisations warned yesterday.
The Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children were told by Spunout and the Aislinn Adolescent Addiction Centre that alcohol was both a gateway and relapse drug and that issues such as the availability of alcohol and its below-cost selling needed to be tackled as a matter of urgency...

Friday, 9 September 2011

African Immigration and the United States

African Immigration and the United States
There is now a significant African-born population in the United States– about four percent of 38.5 million immigrants. It is newer, younger, and better educated but also poorer than other immigrant groups, as Kristen McCabe from the Migration Policy Institute notes in her fascinating article “U.S. in Focus: African Immigrants in the U.S.” (It should be noted that her statistics include North Africa and she does not discuss undocumented aliens.) It seems likely to me that their relative poverty reflects their recent arrival; other immigrants include significant numbers who have established themselves in the United States for a long time.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

West Africa Rising: Nigeria shifting currency reserves from dollars to Chinese yuan

West Africa Rising: Nigeria shifting currency reserves from dollars to Chinese yuan
Nigerian Central Bank Governor Lamido Sanusi said in Beijing today that Africa's top oil exporter will convert as much as 10 percent of its $33 billion in foreign reserves from US dollars into Chinese yuan. Central banks use foreign reserves to manage their own currency's value. In Nigeria's case, the up to $3.3 billion it may convert to yuan isn't an enormous sum – not, at least, for the oil-rich exporter. What is enormous, economists say, is what the bank's decision says: The yuan, pegged to the dollar until not long ago and managed more recently to keep Chinese exports cheap -- is turning into a global reserve currency. Africa – particularly West Africa – may be China's earliest, easiest zone of success...

French schoolbook ignites gender debate

French schoolbook ignites gender debate

French schoolbook ignites gender debate

French schoolbook ignites gender debate

US scrambles to defuse diplomatic spat

http://www.france24.com/en/20110906-us-scrambles-repair-israel-turkey-relations-clinton-erdogan-gaza-flotilla
US diplomats stepped in to defuse a growing row between Israel and Turkey on Tuesday over Israel's refusal to apologise for a deadly raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla. Turkey has suspended military ties with Israel and threatened additional action.

Can liberals unite ‘For the love of Egypt’?

http://www.france24.com/en/20110812-liberals-rally-cairo-tahrir-love-of-egypt-islamists-sufi-elbaradei-salafist
Friday’s gathering in Tahrir Square was intended to show both Islamists and the military that Egypt’s liberal camp had no intention of forfeiting “its” revolution. But there has been little evidence of unity in the liberal ranks.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

For Refugees, the Price of Dignity - By Tina Rosenberg

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/01/for-refugees-the-price-of-dignity/
Somalia is now suffering its worst drought in 60 years. A quarter of the population has fled famine and conflict, heading west into Kenya. More than 1,300 people a day stream into the complex of refugee camps at Dadaab, Kenya, which is now housing more than 430,000 people in camps designed for 90,000. Many Somalis arrive near death after journeys of weeks with little food. Large numbers of them are children, often without parents.

Egypt builds wall around Israel embassy

Egypt builds wall around Israel embassy: The Egyptian authorities are erecting a wall around the Israeli embassy in Cairo as relations between the two neighbours who signed a peace treaty in 1979 are at a delicate phase.

Boko Haram poses a Catch-22 for the Nigerian government - By Philippe de Pontet | The Call

Boko Haram poses a Catch-22 for the Nigerian government - By Philippe de Pontet The Call
The Aug. 26 car bombing of a U.N. building in the Nigerian capital of Abuja, which killed more than twenty people and wounded dozens more, suggests that the Islamist militant group Boko Haram may be in cahoots with al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). This sobering development constitutes President Goodluck Jonathan's most acute political and security challenge yet. If he responds decisively, he could further alienate northerners who resent his rule and would consider a poorly managed crackdown a provocation targeting Muslim communities. If he proceeds too cautiously, he risks frustrating his southern, largely Christian political base while reinforcing his image as an indecisive "accidental president." Either way, Jonathan's unlikely to come out a winner

UN: Policing heroin becoming more difficult | Irish Examiner

UN: Policing heroin becoming more difficult Irish Examiner

POLICING the booming heroin trade is likely to become more difficult across Europe, a top UN report has warned. The study said removal of trade barriers within the EU and lifting of visa requirements for countries bordering the EU would make the task even harder. The report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said only between 2% and 16% of the world’s heroin supply — estimated at about 480 tonnes — is intercepted by law enforcement agencies. An estimated 10% of the 75-80 tonnes of heroin coming into Europe is seized, said the report, entitled The Global Afghan Opium Trade — A Threat Assessment.

Normal life as a mum after heroin

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2011/sep/03/mum-heroin-daughter-treatment-centre

Marie funded her heroin habit by selling sex. Then she became pregnant and her daughter was taken away. Rhiannon Howells hears how they were reunited and their lives turned around.  It's an ordinary yet wonderful story of mother-child bonding, but what happened next is neither ordinary nor wonderful. After leaving hospital, Marie and her partner Steve took baby Chloe back to their house in Bristol. But rather than sitting down to a cup of tea, the new mum had what she'd denied herself, yet craved, throughout her pregnancy – not a glass of wine or a cigarette, but a hit of heroin.

Online gambling harms mortgage applications | Irish Examiner

Online gambling harms mortgage applications Irish Examiner

ONLINE betting accounts are being used as reasons for refusing struggling homeowners the option of having a mortgage approved or restructured. Other items being scrutinised by banks include tuition fees, Sky digital subscriptions and mobile-phone bills. Chief executive of mortgage debt advisory firm Negotiate, Trevor Grant, said gambling transactions on bank statements are often used as a reason to decline a mortgage or restructure application, regardless of any other financial information submitted and its strength...

Monday, 5 September 2011

The key to safer teenage driving | Irish Examiner

The key to safer teenage driving Irish Examiner

The MyKey system allows car owners to programme a key that can limit a vehicle’s top speed and ensures seatbelts are being worn. MyKey will also prevent young drivers from disabling any safety features. The system will deliver an earlier-than-normal low fuel warning and limits the audio system volume. Already a success in the US, it will be introduced in Europe next year.

Tobacco firm demands university's research on children and smoking

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/sep/01/cigarette-university-smoking-research-information

Stirling University is fighting attempts by one of the world's largest tobacco companies to gain detailed access to its research into the smoking habits and attitudes of teenagers.

Philip Morris International, which makes Marlboro cigarettes, wants the university's centre for tobacco control research to hand over its data on thousands of children who are smokers. The detail reveals their attitudes to smoking and reactions to packaging and advertising...

Friday, 2 September 2011

UN report finds Gaza raid 'excessive' but legal

http://www.france24.com/en/20110901-leaked-un-report-finds-israel-naval-blockade-gaza-strip-legal-flotilla-assault-2010
REUTERS - A long-awaited U.N. report on a May 2010 Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound ship that killed nine Turks says that Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip was legal, the New York Times reported on Thursday.

The report by a panel of investigators, which was due to be released on Friday but was leaked in full to the Times, also said that Israeli commandos faced “organized and violent resistance from a group of passengers.”

It also had some criticism of Israel. It said the amount of force used by the Israelis on board the Mavi Marmara, the largest in a flotilla of six ships that the crew said were delivering aid to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, was “excessive and unreasonable.” The release of the so-called Palmer report was delayed repeatedly to allow for Israeli-Turkish rapprochement talks. Washington has been concerned at the rift between two countries that had been strategic partners in an increasingly stormy Middle East.

World pledges support for Libya's interim leadership

http://www.france24.com/en/20110901-france-friends-libya-conference-paris-world-leaders-back-new-interim-government?ns_campaign=nl_quot_en&ns_mchannel=email_marketing&ns_source=NLQ_20110902&f24_member_id=&ns_linkname=node_5239702&ns_fee=0#
World leaders pledged to support Libya’s new leadership at a conference in Paris Thursday as French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron warned the struggle to stabilise the conflict-torn nation was far from over.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

INTO issues strike threat over unqualified people | Irish Examiner

INTO issues strike threat over unqualified people Irish Examiner

PRIMARY schools should have hundreds more qualified teachers in place this year as strike warnings issue to schools about employing unqualified people. The Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) decided in April to ban its 35,000 members from this month from working alongside anybody given teaching work who was not qualified to do so. The directive was not due to take effect until 2013 but the worsening problems facing thousands of unemployed teachers and the emergence of numbers of unqualified personnel earlier this year brought about pressure to speed up the ban. In the last school year, 152 of the country’s 3,300 primary schools hired more than 160 people unqualified to teach at primary level for at least half the 183 days of the school year, including 50 people who worked for at least six months...




Martina Devlin: We must work together to beat mortgage maze - Martina Devlin, Columnists - Independent.ie

Martina Devlin: We must work together to beat mortgage maze - Martina Devlin, Columnists - Independent.ie
NEVER mind wanting to be rich and famous, most of us would probably settle for being debt free right now. The truth is that many people have borrowed too much, generally in property, with the roof over our heads costing the shirt off our backs. Some can service the mortgage repayments, others are struggling but just about coping, and a growing number are slipping under. A form of debt forgiveness, perhaps by another name, seems inevitable -- not just from charity but from commonsense...

Towards a more equal society

Towards a more equal society
IN 2004 Michael McDowell famously argued that inequality is an inevitable part of any society that offers people incentives to succeed. His comments drew heavy criticism from a wide variety of left-leaning critics and social commentators, and prompted yet another version of the age-old debate about taxation and social spending.

Taken literally, his remarks are difficult to dispute: some degree of income inequality is inevitable when markets are free and open. Modern capitalism leads to wage differentials between people of varying levels of education, experience, skills and work/leisure preferences. Free trade and technological change result in the rise and fall of returns across the economy...