Emergency talks look for ways to halt worst outbreak of Ebola in

first_imgIf the outbreak occurred there, or in the US, or Australia, would this be ethically acceptable in these countries?There are five species of Ebola, three of which — Zaire, Sudan and Bundibugyo — can kill humans.Zaire Ebola, the deadliest and the species behind the current outbreak, can fell its victims within days, causing severe fever and muscle pain, weakness, vomiting and diarrhoea — in some cases shutting down organs and causing unstoppable bleeding.There have been 21 Ebola outbreaks — not including isolated cases involving only one patient — since the virus first spread to humans in the Democratic Republic of Congo, then known as Zaire, in 1976.1,587 peopleBefore the current crisis, Ebola had killed 1,587 people, two-thirds of those infected, according to an AFP tally based on WHO data.The death rate for Ebola has been widely but incorrectly reported as “90 percent” by global media and some scientists, probably because around that percentage died in the original outbreak and a subsequent epidemic in neighbouring Congo-Brazzaville in 2003.The mortality rate in the west African epidemic is slightly lower than the average, at 61.5 percent, but it dwarves every other outbreak in terms of the geographical spread and the number of cases and deaths.“Out of control”Medical charity Doctors Without Borders, known by its French initials MSF, said last week the outbreak was “out of control”, with more than 60 hotspots.However, experts say those who receive correct care — paracetamol to contain fevers, rehydration for diarrhoea and antibiotics for secondary infections — have a greatly improved chance of survival.Ministers from Guinea, where 413 confirmed, suspected and probable cases have surfaced so far, including 303 deaths, and Liberia, which has seen 107 cases and 65 deaths, are at the Accra conference.Sierra Leone, which has recorded 239 cases and 99 deaths, is also represented.In addition, officials from Ivory Coast, Mali, Senegal, Gambia and Guinea-Bissau, along with Ghana and countries as far afield as Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo are attending.- © AFP, 2014Read: West Africa’s Ebola virus outbreak is now “out of control” >More: DFA updates travel advice for Irish citizens, following Ebola outbreak > MINISTERS IN WEST Africa have held emergency talks on containing the worst Ebola outbreak in history, hoping to halt the virus’ deadly rampage after a jump in the number of deaths.The highly-contagious tropical bug has infected hundreds of people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, with the latest World Health Organization (WHO) figures showing that confirmed or suspected cases had left 467 people dead and experts fearing it could spread throughout the region.Health ministers from 11 nations were due to finalise two days of talks in Accra with global experts in communicable diseases, with debate raging over the measures required to stop Ebola in its tracks.Controversy Jeremy Farrar, a professor of tropical medicine and director of The Wellcome Trust charity, caused controversy as the talks opened as he was widely quoted in global media calling on health authorities to offer experimental medicines, not yet fully tested, to patients.“Tragic as these deaths and suffering are, humans are not Guinea pigs,” virologist Ian Mackay, associate professor at the University of Queensland, told AFP, rejecting the suggestion.“It’s a very difficult situation made worse by the urgency of it.”Potential vaccinesSeveral biotech companies and US universities are developing potential vaccines for Ebola, at various stages of testing, but none anywhere in the world is close to being licensed for distribution to the public.“The question is: would these drugs be allowed to be used on UK citizens?” Mackay said.last_img read more

Italy Looks Into Wind Powered Bridge

first_imgWhen you think of wind power, the first image that probably comes to mind is that of a towering wind turbine. But there are plenty of other ways to harness the wind to create electricity. Like with a bridge, for instance.At least that’s the plan for a proposed green renovation of a bridge in Southern Italy. The idea is to fill up the viaducts — the empty space underneath a bridge — with turbines. The project has been dubbed Solar Wind, because in addition to the 26 wind turbines that would be fitted to the viaducts, the top of the bridge would lined with solar cells. The combination is expected to create close to 50 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year.Via Inhabitatlast_img read more

The AP Stylebook declares email to be dead long live email

first_imgWhich do you prefer: e-mail or email? If you prefer the former and write for the Associated Press, expect for your knuckles to get rapped by a pernicious editor, as the AP Stylebook has just declared that “e-mail” is no longer correct. From now on, we don’t send e-mails, at least according to the AP; we send emails.The announcement comes through the AP Stylebook’s official Twitter account, which notes:Language evolves. Today we change AP style from e-mail to email, no hyphen. Our editors will announce it at #ACES2011 today Email isn’t the only change rolling out through the Associated Press today. Another big tech change for the AP is abandoning the space in cellphones and smartphones (it used to be “smart phone” and “cell phone”). The acronym of CPR is no longer clarified, and Calcutta — which everyone has heard of — will now be Kolkata, which no one knows.The changes go into effect at 3AM ET tomorrow morning. It’s worth noting, of course, that this is hardly a universal decree: the AP Stylebook is simply a list of guidelines the AP uses to make its own copy consistent. Newspapers do tend to follow the AP, but that’s just because most newspapers depend so much on AP content, and if they don’t follow the Stylebook, their own content won’t be consistent. It’s a path of least resistance thing.I think Gizmodo’s got a good take on this:Why is this such welcome news? Because language is catching up to technology. Because those videos of animals riding slightly larger animals you forward around aren’t just “electronic mail” anymore, digital versions of what you stuff in a dark blue mailbox. They’re now a form of communication unto themselves. Next up? E-books. E-paper. Get ready. There’s becoming increasingly little point differentiating the electronic from the analog.via GizmodoUpdate – This change is not in the 2010 Stylebook but is available in the AP Stylebook available on BlackBerry (through the BlackBerry App World).last_img read more

Black Ops second map pack details leaked 5 maps May 3rd

first_imgSome good news just broke for all you Call of Duty: Black Ops fans out there. The game’s second DLC map pack, Escalation, is on the way. Australian gaming site, Game.com.au, seems to have accidentally posted a flyer for the DLC which stated that the release date would be May 3rd (03.05.2011 for those of us who aren’t in the US) and it wil include 5 maps. There are almost no other details, but we do know the map names: Zoo, Hotel, Convoy, Stockpile, and Survive. Based on the art it looks like Survive is a zombie map while the others will be standard multiplayer ones.We don’t know if the date is worldwide, but it was for the first one (First Strike) so long as you wanted to play it on the Xbox 360. We also don’t know for a fact that this is legit–online retailer leaks are extremely hit and miss–but the art looks real and we have been expecting more BlOps maps some time in May so it seems safe to start to get excited about this one.AdChoices广告As per usual, the map pack will land on the Xbox 360 first and then the PC and PS3 later on.via This Is XboxFull image:last_img read more

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 details leaked

Modern Warfare 3 will hit store shelves just in time for the holiday shopping season this November, according to news obtained and released by Kotaku. According to the blog, “multiple sources” have confirmed that the game will be released on November 8th, 2011 and will pick up where Modern Warfare and Modern Warfare 2 left off, completely changing the way people perceive the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare shooter franchise.Here’s what we know: Modern Warfare 3 will span the globe, much like the previous game. The player will fight street battles in major cities like London, Paris, and New York, and many of those awe-inspiring places will be open for the game’s multiplayer modes. Modern Warfare 3 will also reportedly tie up a number of loose ends from the previous two games that left players hanging, and pick up almost immediately after the cliffhanger ending of Modern Warfare 2.The game will reportedly start us off in New York City as the Russians attempt to invade the United States, and eventually take us around the world through 15 missions as multiple characters until we get to the game’s climactic final mission in Dubai. Gamers will be able to play characters on all sides of the conflict, and control multiple vehicles new and old, and tons of new weapons and hardware.Multiplayer also makes a strong comeback in Modern Warfare 3, and even includes new game types and tons of new maps in addition to some of the older, more familiar multiplayer modes. None of Kotaku’s information has been confirmed by Activision yet, but it all looks solid, and it is unlikely Activision will stay quiet for long with this much information out in the wild.Read more at Kotaku read more

BlueStacks bringing 400000 Android apps to Windows 8

first_imgNot sold on the concept of a Windows 8 tablet? Maybe you think it’d be a bit more interesting if there were going to be a veritable boatload of apps to choose from come launch time. That’s a definite possibility, according to BlueStacks — the Android software maker is bragging that its code wizardry will let users tap into nearly half a million Android apps right from their start screens.BlueStacks has already outed a public beta of its Windows software, which allows users to run Android apps on their laptops and desktops. It’s a bit like how the Android Player works on the BlackBerry PlayBook, and, like RIM’s implementation, there are a few caveats.For starters, having BlueStacks installed on your Windows desktop (or laptop or tablet) doesn’t give you direct access to the Android Market. While BlueStacks does enable you to install some apps directly, you’ll need an Android device with Market access and the BlueStacks Cloud Connect app installed to push your favorites over to your Windows system. It’s also important to remember that most Android apps are still built for smaller touchscreen devices. While the number of tablet-ready apps is growing steadily, most apps don’t scale terribly well to a display the size of the one perched on your desk — and they’re not always that much fun to use with a keyboard and mouse.But with upgraded support for Windows 8, BlueStacks does make the experience a little bit more exciting. You’ll be able to pin Android apps right next to your Metro apps (and Windows desktop apps, if you’re not running an ARM processor). To the average user, this might not be all that interesting — they’ll likely stick to the Windows Store for their app needs. For geekier types, however, BlueStacks could be a very welcome addition to Windows 8.If you’re keen on buying a device that offers a bit more flexibility than one that only runs Windows 8, you might want to keep your eyes peeled for manufacturers who sign on to ship BlueStacks on their touchscreen laptops, convertibles, and even all-in-one desktops. At the very least, you’ll be able to take your pick from two or three ever-so-slightly different versions of Angry Birds.More at All Things Dlast_img read more

Superhydrophobic film to make circuit boards water resistant

first_imgDrop your smartphone on the floor and chances are it will pick up a few scratches, or in the worst case crack the screen. Drop it in water though, and you are more than likely going to be picking up a brick.The components within a smartphone, or any portable gadget for that matter, are built to last but not if you expose them to water. Japanese company Daikin Industries hopes to change that with a new superhydrophobic transparent coating it has developed that protects circuit boards from moisture.Daikin is aiming the coating at smartphone manufacturers initially as there’s a greater chance their products will be exposed to moisture. To protect the components, Daikin dip the entire circuit board in a clear liquid bath made up of a fluropolymer dissolved in a fluorinated solvent. Once dipped, the coating dries to a very thin film in 60 seconds. Because the film is so thin (less than 1 micron thick), it does not interfere with the operation of the board in any way. Daikin also state that the solvent used is non-flammable and environmentally friendly.Although this process doesn’t ensure a circuit board is waterproof, the video above clearly shows the water running off components on a coated board. The fact it is an invisible protective layer also means it doesn’t really add anything to a phone in terms of size or weight. Both are desirable qualities in an industry obsessed with packing more tech into the very limited interior of a smartphone case.Daikin is hoping to offer the coating commercially in December of this year. It is also hoping to expand into different areas beyond just circuit boards. To me it sounds like this coating is a competing product for NeverWet, the superhydrophobic spray that promises you’ll never need to wash your clothes again after using it.Read more at DigInfo.tvlast_img read more

ASCII Star Wars roguelike is guaranteed to eat an hour of your

first_imgEvery once in awhile you stumble across a broswer game that kills an hour of your day and leaves you ready to quit whatever it is you were doing. They don’t keep your attention for long, but when you’re done you look up and time has moved on without you. As web technologies grow there might be an expectation for better graphics and longer stories, but there’s something about the silly games that get your attention. This Star Wars rogue-like easily sucks up an hour of your life, and in return leaves your head filled with ASCII-killing amusement.You start the game off by choosing between Jedi and Sith — but don’t worry there’s absolutely no difference in the game whatsoever if you choose one side or the other. And I’m guessing the developer has heard about Disney buying LucasFilm, since your little ASCII self is guided through a basic tutorial that shows you how to use the lightsaber to kill Mickey Mouse. Once you’ve demonstrated that you can use the force to push and pull things, you are released into a world where apparently everything gravitates toward you with the intent to kill.Survival in this game is entirely dependent on you paying attention to your personal metrics. You have health, force powers, and an XP bar. Every time you kill something you gain XP, but every thing you do that can kill something (including when you swing your lightsaber) costs you force. If you run out of force, you’re going to get shot to death by droids and clones. Both your health meter and your force meter recharge as you move around, but every step you take brings the enemies closer to you. If you fill the XP bar before you die, the game ends and you have won.The project is entirely hosted on GitHub, where you can look at the source code in all of its glory. Enjoy!last_img read more

BioShock Infinite steampunk case mod opens dimensional portal to your heart

first_imgYou finished BioShock Infinite, and after sifting through the wealth of very complex and contradictory feelings the game left you with, you decided to immortalize Irrational’s latest epic tale on the very platform on which you played it — the PC. Unfortunately, just like deciphering the impact of the game’s ending, you don’t know where to begin. Thankfully, modder FlashGordon has created a very detailed, extremely intricate PC case mod for the game that you can use as inspiration for your design.The computer began its life as something of a bench case — the AeroCool StrikeX-Air PC Open Case — in order to get its irregular shape. FlashGordon then made individual decorative and usable components and slapped them all over the case. From staple steampunk items like superfluous dials and knobs, to fancy lights and portholes providing a view of the machine’s internal organs, the case has everything you’d expect from a steampunk motif — not counting some goggles and a huge brown top hat.The rig also has a very intricately detailed steampunk keyboard, as well as a matching monitor. The case mod isn’t specifically decorated with BioShock Infinite paraphernalia, and you most likely wouldn’t be able to tell the design is in honor of the game if you didn’t look at the accompanying BioShock Infinite wallpaper loaded on the desktop. However, the mod is certainly in the spirit of the game, aside from the fact that it isn’t floating in the sky or ripping holes through the multiverse.As for the computer’s guts, it contains a Core i7 3930K CPU, two GTX680 video cards with 2GB of GDDR5 memory, a 1200W power supply, a (surprisingly meager) 120GB SSD teaming up with a (less meager) 1TB HDD, 16GB of RAM, and an ocean of water cooling. So, yes, it is able to play Infinite on Ultra.For those craving detail, FlashGordon documented the process every step of the way, with an album containing a little under 700 photos of the rig. VIEW PHOTO GALLERY BioShock Infinite case modBioShock Infinite case modCase mod lightsCase mod portholeCase mod statsCase mod gearsCase mod lights offCase mod lights onKeyboard kickstandKeyboard and monitorSteampunk keyboardlast_img read more

Kenneth McGowan has been missing from Sligo for three weeks

first_img 2 Comments Share837 Tweet Email5 By Cliodhna Russell Mar 5th 2017, 3:19 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Short URL http://jrnl.ie/3271870 Sunday 5 Mar 2017, 3:19 PM Kenneth McGowan has been missing from Sligo for three weeks He is known to frequent Sligo, Dublin and Kildare. 17,171 Views GARDAÍ IN SLIGO are seeking the public’s assistance in tracing the whereabouts of Kenneth McGowan.The 49-year-old has been missing from Grange, Co Sligo since Sunday, 12 February.Kenneth was last seen in the Drumcliff area of Sligo at approximately 1.15am on that day.He is described as 5ft 11 inches in height and approximately 11 stone. He has brown hair and a short brown/reddish beard and wears glasses occasionally.He was wearing dark clothing when last seen. He is known to frequent Sligo, Dublin and Kildare.Kenneth’s family and gardaí are concerned for his welfare and anyone with information is asked to contact gardai at Sligo Garda Station on 071 9157000, Grange Garda Station at 071 9163144, the Garda Confidential Line, 1800 666111 or any garda station.Read: ‘As someone who was assaulted, I know how frightening it is’ – Dancing With The Stars contender>last_img read more

Our home is crumbling into the ground Family in Mayo forced to

first_img Source: Oireachtas.ieAs of the end of December 2016, 1,498 applications had been received under the pyrite remediation scheme (620 in 2014, 373 in 2015 and 505 in 2016). There were 77 unsuccessful applicants.Rose Conway-Walsh, a Sinn Féin Senator and former Mayo county councillor, recently raised the Healy’s situation in the Seanad.She asked for the redress scheme to be extended to cover people in counties such as Mayo and Donegal. A number of advocacy groups have also been calling for this to happen. Source: Fergus SweeneyConway-Walsh said hundreds of homes across Mayo are affected, as are thousands of home in County Donegal.“People in Dublin had access to a redress scheme. We need such a scheme.Their houses are falling down around them because proper standards were not put in place and there were appalling building regulations and regulations for quarries. This matter must be brought to a conclusion and a redress scheme put in place immediately for the people affected.An expert panel to examine the situation in Mayo and Donegal was established by Paudie Coffey, the then-Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, in April 2016.Report due soon Speaking about the issue last month, Senator Coffey said: “The previous government increased funding for the pyrite remediation scheme for the carrying out of remediation works to many of the houses that were affected, and strong and solid progress is being made.”He said it is his understanding that the expert committee “is due to report soon”.It has visited the houses affected which are literally crumbling around the families living in them due to concrete work that was insufficient and not of proper integrity.He called for a debate on the issue to be held in the Seanad ”to establish what assistance is being made available and what is planned to assist those families who have been let down by poor regulation in the construction industry”.Speaking about the group in the Dáil last July, Minister of State for Housing and Urban Renewal Damien English said: “Ultimately, the panel’s terms of reference aim to establish the facts behind the problems that have emerged in Donegal and Mayo and to outline technical options for addressing the problems identified in order to assist affected homeowners.It is anticipated that the panel will require in the order of six months to complete their work. In this regard, I will await the outcome of the panel’s report before considering what further actions may be required to assist the parties directly involved in reaching a satisfactory resolution to the problems that have emerged in Donegal and Mayo.In February, English said the Pyrite Resolution Board, with the support of the Housing Agency, is “responsible for the implementation of the pyrite remediation scheme” and he has “no role in the operational matters pertaining to the implementation of the scheme”. Source: Fergus SweeneyIn a statement to TheJournal.ie, a spokesperson for the Department of Housing said the expert panel has met on 12 occasions since it was established almost a year ago, adding that “a similar number of meetings have taken place with key stakeholders, including affected homeowners, the elected members of Donegal and Mayo County Councils, local authority officials, industry bodies, academics, public representatives and other interested parties”.The statement continues: “A substantial volume of information has been provided by affected homeowners in both counties, as well as from Donegal and Mayo County Councils; additional information was also provided through the consultation process.The panel have now concluded their meetings and are in the process of finalising their draft report which is undergoing legal proofing in advance of being finalised and submitted to Minister Damien English for his consideration.“In this regard, the minister will await receipt of the expert panel’s report before considering what further actions may be required to assist the parties directly involved in reaching a satisfactory resolution to the problems that have emerged in the two counties.”Public consultationDuring a recent public consultation process – from 13 October 2016 to 17 December 2017 – about the remediation scheme and which households are eligible, the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) received 202 submissions from homeowners and experts. Source: Fergus SweeneySpeaking about the process last month, the NSAI’s Technical Standards Manager Yvonne Wylde said: “On 19 January, the expert committee began to review each of the comments relevant to the standard itself and decide by consensus whether to accept the comment or not.“We will ensure that the Pyrite Resolution Board receives all comments, including those not directly relevant to the standard.”The new reactive pyrite standard is expected to be published by mid-2017.The public consultation process refers to the new draft pyrite standard, rather than the remediation scheme and which households are eligible. Experts have been using a standard developed by NSAI to assess buildings affected by pyrite, and then using that to come back to the NSAI with proposed changes.The decision on whom or what category of building qualifies for remediation of damage caused by pyrite is governed by the Pyrite Resolution Board, not the NSAI. The Pyrite Resolution Board is responsible for the pyrite remediation scheme.‘You can put your hand through the wall’So what next for the Healys?“We’re just waiting and hoping the phone will ring, or else that we win the lotto,” Michael says.The corners in my house are pushing outwards, all the windows and doors are buckled now. There’s serious power in it …  the outside is moving and pulling the inside with it.“Dan’s old room is inhabitable now, you can put your hand out through the wall.“By the time [the panel] make a recommendation my house is going to be in the ground.”Read: ‘Every room is just rotten’: Video shows how pyrite destroyed this woman’s homeRead: Houses are crumbling in Donegal and we should soon know why By Órla Ryan 37 Comments ‘Our home is crumbling into the ground’: Family in Mayo forced to abandon house Thousands of houses around the country are affected by pyrite and mica. When he got here he didn’t even need to get out of the car, he knew what it was straight away.“He said, ‘There’ll be no payout on that – that’s not subsidence, that’s pyrite.’”Michael sent blocks from the house away to be tested and, sure enough, they came back positive for pyrite and mica.Both materials weaken concrete and cause it to crack and crumble over time.Pyrite is a form of iron sulphide, and a type of the material – framboidal pyrite – can expand in the presence of oxygen and water. Mica muscovite is a mineral that also significantly weakens concrete.The materials were cheap and sometimes used as ’backfill or ‘infill’ when constructing the foundations of houses – this became a common practice in some regions during the property boom. Thousands of houses around the country are affected.‘A huge scandal’“The bottom part of the wall fell out about three months ago, and the top fell out during the last big storm around two weeks ago,” Michael explains.The family bought the house in Corclough West, Belmullet in 2000, after returning home from England. It was a new build at that stage. Source: Fergus SweeneyToday, most of the mortgage has been repaid.“I’d walk away if I could, I’ve a fortune spent on that house … Every time you think about it, you get stressed,” Michael says.He has rented a flat nearby. His wife Catherine has been reluctant to leave the family home, but he says she too will have to leave soon.I have moved out. My wife is still there, you can understand why she wants to stay. It’s her home and all her things are there, but she’ll have to leave soon … She’s tough, but I know it’s getting to her now too. Within the next week I’d say she’ll have to leave.“I used to love painting it and cleaning it, I’ve just no interest in it now. There’s no point in even changing a light bulb in it now, it’s just not worth it.”Michael, who runs a local grocery shop, says he had hoped to expand his business by getting a loan based on the mortgage, but that won’t happen now. Source: Fergus Sweeney“If I sold something that wasn’t up to standard it’d be brought back to me, when it comes to this they think, ‘You bought it – tough.’ They could get away with murder.My house isn’t the only one. It’s like cancer, there’s no cure.Michael says he knows of several other properties within a 10-mile radius that have also been affected by pyrite and/or mica, telling us: “This is going to be a huge scandal in the west of Ireland.”‘Their houses are falling down around them’The pyrite remediation scheme is described as “a scheme of last resort for affected homeowners who have no other practical option to obtain redress”.To be eligible, properties must be located within the administrative areas of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal, Kildare, Meath, Offaly, South Dublin County Council or Dublin City Council, and built between 1 January 1997 and 12 December 2013. Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Sunday 12 Mar 2017, 8:00 PM Subscribe for more videos Mar 12th 2017, 8:00 PM A FAMILY IN Co Mayo has had to abandon their home as it is crumbling around them.Michael Healy and his son Dan are sharing their story in a bid to highlight the pyrite plight faced by many others across the country.Speaking to TheJournal.ie, they say they knew there was something wrong with the house for several years – there were unusual noises and excessive cracking in the plaster – but didn’t get an answer until about two years ago.Dan recalls: “We live in quite a boggy land area, so we carried out excavations to see if there was movement in the foundation, but nothing was going on below the ground.“You could hear this almighty cracking, no one knew what it was.” Source: Fergus SweeneyMichael tells us: “I was sure it was subsidence, I brought an engineer out to look at it to see if we could make an insurance claim. https://jrnl.ie/3277538 Share Tweet Email7 Short URL 99,416 Views last_img read more

Anne Shortall died from nine blows to her head and blockage to

first_imgAnne Shortall died from nine blows to her head and blockage to her airways, court hears Roy Webster has pleaded not guilty to her murder but guilty to her manslaughter. 16,584 Views Roy Webster leaving court in 2015 ANNE SHORTALL DIED from nine blows to her head and blockage to her airways caused by duct tape her attacker wrapped around her head, State Pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy told the Central Criminal Court today.Roy Webster (40), of Ashbree, Ashford, Co Wicklow has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of Shortall (47) on Good Friday 3 April, 2015 at the Murrough, Co Wicklow. His plea was not accepted by the State.Professor Cassidy told prosecuting counsel Paul Greene SC she examined Shortall’s body shortly after it was discovered in a workshop on the grounds of Webster’s home on 7 April, 2015. She identified nine lacerations to her head, each one caused by a separate blow with a blunt object.Shortall’s nose and mouth were obstructed by duct tape that had been wrapped around her head when she was either unconscious or dead. Professor Cassidy said it would be “very difficult” to wrap the tape around her head and face in that manner if she were still conscious.She said that if Shortall was still alive before her mouth and nose were covered, the blockage to her airways would have excluded all possibility of survival. Further injuries to Shortall’s hands suggest she may have tried to defend herself from her attacker.Five of the fatal blows landed on the top of her head but Professor Cassidy said none of them caused fractures to the skull and her brain was intact, although slightly swollen. She said the injuries were consistent with hammer blows and suggest that her attacker used “moderate force”.Shortall’s jaw was fractured in two places and minor injuries to her neck suggested she may have been “gripped or grabbed” by the neck but there was no evidence of an attempt at strangulation.When asked to give the cause of death she said: “Blunt force trauma to the head and obstruction of the airways.”Not pregnant The court also heard that Shortall knew she was not pregnant when she is alleged to have demanded money for an abortion from Webster.The jury has already heard that the accused said he beat Shortall to death after she threatened to tell his wife about a fling they had if he didn’t give her Stg £6,500 (about €7,400) for an abortion.Dr Geraldine O’Kelly told defending counsel Brendan Grehan SC she was Shortall’s GP. On 12 January 2015, less than one month after Shortall’s sexual encounter with Webster, Shortall came to her complaining of having very heavy periods.O’Kelly said this would not be compatible with being pregnant and added: “I’m satisfied she was not pregnant and she knew she was not.”She said Shortall was referred to a gynaecologist who saw her on 16 March and carried out a test on her womb that would also be incompatible with a person being pregnant. She said the specialist would have checked to find out if she was pregnant beforehand.The trial continues tomorrow in front of Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of seven men and four women.Comments are closed as legal proceedings are ongoing. Read: Murder accused said he fell asleep in front of TV after beating woman to death with hammerRead: Roy Webster ‘broke down and told gardaí he beat woman to death with a hammer’, court hears Mar 15th 2017, 6:01 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Short URL Share Tweet Email1 center_img By Eoin Reynolds Wednesday 15 Mar 2017, 6:01 PM http://jrnl.ie/3289730 Roy Webster leaving court in 2015 Image: Rónán Duffy/TheJournal.ie Image: Rónán Duffy/TheJournal.ie No Comments last_img read more

McDonalds to replace plastic straws with paper ones in Irish restaurants

first_img By Cliodhna Russell Image: Sam Boal 12,859 Views Share1389 Tweet Email1 McDonald’s to replace plastic straws with paper ones in Irish restaurants McDonald’s will begin the process of transferring to paper straws from September. Jun 15th 2018, 10:04 AM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Short URL 41 Comments http://jrnl.ie/4072228 Image: Sam Boal Friday 15 Jun 2018, 10:04 AM MCDONALD’S IS GETTING rid of plastic straws from its Irish restaurants and replacing them with paper ones.A phased rollout of paper straws will begin from September, with completion set for 2019.There are 92 McDonald’s in Ireland and the fast-food company says all the restaurants have already taken steps to move plastic straws behind the counter.It says this was done to reduce plastic waste and put the decision for use in the hands of the customer.Last month, the European Commission proposed that single-use plastics such as straws, cotton buds and cutlery be banned across the European Union (EU).The Commission said that 500,000 tonnes of plastic waste from the EU end up in the sea every year.CEO of McDonald’s UK and Ireland Paul Pomroy said: “Reflecting the broader public debate, our customers told us they wanted to see a move on straws but to do so without compromising their overall experience when visiting our restaurants.“Over the past few months we’ve been working closely with supplier partners to find a solution that works both for our customers, and that the supply is there given the size of our business.”Denis Naughten, Minister for Communications, Climate Action & Environment said: “This is a clear demonstration that large companies and organisations are taking their environmental responsibilities seriously and moving in the right direction by eliminating single use plastics.”McDonald’s supply of paper straws in Ireland will be met by two suppliers Transcend Packaging and Huhtamaki. Huhtamaki will produce the straws at its plant in Northern Ireland.It says paper used by both suppliers will come from certified sources, endorsed by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) or FSC (Forest Stewardship Council).last_img read more

Parents in four areas are being asked to express their preference about

first_img Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton. Image: Sam Boal By Ceimin Burke Jun 22nd 2018, 4:05 PM Friday 22 Jun 2018, 4:05 PM 19 Comments http://jrnl.ie/4086321 Parents in four areas are being asked to express their preference about the patronage of new schools The process began today and it will wrap up at the end of July. Short URL Share30 Tweet Email1 center_img Parental preferences for each patron, from the parents/guardians of children who reside in the school planning areas concerned, together with the extent of diversity currently available in these areas, are key to decisions in relation to the outcome of this process.The process for all of the new schools is being overseen by the independent New Schools Establishment Group (NSEG). The Group was set up in 2011 to advise the education minister on the patronage of new schools.Parents who meet the criteria and wish to express their preference can do so on this website. Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton. 16,457 Views Donaghmede, Howth and Dublin 13Galway City and OranmoreLaytown and DroghedaWicklowPeople are eligible to express a preference for the patronage of the schools if their child is due to start post primary education between 2019 and 2023 and if the child lives in one of the areas.The process for parents began today and it will run until 31 July.The invitation follows the recent announcement of the establishment of 42 new schools over the next four-year period from 2019 to 2022.The patronage determination process for the rest of the schools will take place at a later date, ahead of when they are due to open.Minister Bruton said: PARENTS IN FOUR areas are being asked to fill out an online survey expressing their preference regarding the patronage of new post-primary schools which will be established next year.A new Online Patronage Process System (OPPS) website, which will facilitate the process, was officially launched by the Minister for Education, Richard Bruton, today.The four new schools will serve the following areas: Image: Sam Boal Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

No new Manolada trial court rules

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The Supreme Court has decided that four men who stood trial earlier this year for shooting 28 migrant workers at a strawberry farm in Nea Manolada in the Peloponnese should not be retried.Supreme Court deputy prosecutor Constantinos Paraskevaidis found that there was no basis for asking for a retrial after his superior, Supreme Court prosecutor Efterpi Koutzamani had asked for the original decision, issued by a court in Patra, to be reviewed.There was an outcry from rights groups and politicians in July after the owner of the strawberry farm where the mostly Bangladeshi migrants were shot in April last year was cleared of any wrongdoing along with one of his foremen. Two other foremen were convicted of aggravated assault and illegal use of firearms. One was handed a jail term of 14 years and seven months, while the other received a sentence of eight years and seven months. Both appealed and were freed.Source: Kathimerinilast_img read more

Living on wheels

first_imgGreek Australian George Kambouris was born with spina bifida, and has spent all his life in a wheelchair. An insurmountable pavement, a staircase with no ramp or a blocked entrance are the common problems of a physically disabled person’s regime, but George never let such difficulties get in his way.“Living life in a wheelchair is not impossible – it’s challenging, but possible,” says George.George Kambouris is a multiple-medal-winning athlete. He has represented Australia in power-lifting, swimming, hand-cycling, basketball and track. He has never ceased to exercise, lead a healthy life and set new goals. One of his biggest dreams was to help motivate kids in a wheelchair. He is the founder of the Living on Wheels program, as well as an ambassador for Special Care Central Inc.People with a physical disability will find themselves in discomforting situations, experience pain, economic hardships, indifference, hostility even. Before they try to overcome all of the above, they first have to face their own demons. “No one will tell you what you can and can’t do,” George tells Neos Kosmos.There is a certain stigma accompanying people with mobility impairments. Part of that is the misconception that wheelchair users are unused to exercise. “If you’re a wheelchair user, it’s easy to overlook exercise and fitness. Physical activity will, though, help you acquire a more positive and healthy attitude towards life,” he says.“This is my ultimate passion; to help others enjoy the same freedom in life as I do.”Knowing that you have to spend your entire life in a wheelchair can be rather daunting.“My parents and I learned how to deal with it as I was growing up,” he explains.“It wasn’t easy back then and we lacked support.”George aims to use his experience and expertise in sport to help develop important skills that will not only improve people’s health though workout, but help them find motivation, further involve themselves in an empowering activity and become more assertive.“The word ‘never’ must not be used as a guideline. You will not be cured but you can be more independent,” George adds.“All people, disabled or not, share the same basic needs.”According to George, the hardest thing a person in a wheelchair has to deal with is public attitudes. He stresses that apart from the way physical disability might alter an individual’s interaction with the physical world, it may have a large impact on how people treat them.“I do everything a normal person does. My legs might not work, but my brain does. Just treat me like a normal person, working and living in the community,” he says. “Disability sometimes equates to incapacity and non-being in the eyes of others. Worse than harassment and bullying is the often unreasonable apologetic behaviour and over-protectiveness from the ones around you.”Eric Russel, a Paralympian athlete and coach, has been an important mentor to George, who has helped him take over his own life and become more self-aware and assertive.“He taught me never to give up. Even if I failed. Not to rely on others. He made me think positive, to keep on going and never lose faith in myself,” he reveals to Neos Kosmos.“He inspired me to help others with disability.”George highlighted that “trouble-shooting” begins from the moment you start living daily in a chair. Manoeuvrability, and especially neurological problems, amongst many obstacles, become major issues. Spasms, muscular inhibition, pressure sores, osteomalacia and intense pain, that people confined in a wheelchair all deal with, can actually improve with exercise. “I feel the desire to share my knowledge of trying to manipulate the wheelchair, in order to access certain places,” he explains. “Sports like wheelies, basketball, horse-riding can help people make full use of their chair’s capacity in everyday life.”Over the last couple of months, George has spent his time in hospital, undergoing surgery after surgery. Still, he never stops setting new goals.“I want Living on Wheels to grow state-wide, then nationally – so that I can assist people in wheelchairs from all walks of life to live a fuller and happier life with more confidence,” he muses.“I also wish there were more Active & Healthy Parks through Brisbane. More councils should adopt this program which supports disabled people. It is a good way for others in these shoes to start enjoying life.”For more information visit www.livingonwheelsContact George on 0411 797500 and george@teamkambo.com.au Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Cyprus first public gay wedding

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram For Marios Frixou, 36, and Fanos Eleftheriades, 26, last week saw a dream of theirs came true, when they said ‘I do’ in what was Cyprus’ first public gay wedding.The only unconventional aspect of the wedding was the two grooms at the front of the altar; from there on it was as traditional as they come. Mr Frixou’s mother greeted the couple by handing both a gold coin – old family heirlooms – that they each hung around their necks. The couple then danced to the traditional wedding song, with guests feasting on roasted pork and lining up with offerings of cash-filled envelopes.Overjoyed to be finally be wed after seven years together, the couple said they opted for the traditional trimmings to encourage others on the island to be open and proud of their own love.“We wanted to give courage to other couples and to all gay and transgender people to accept themselves and not to be ashamed of who they are,” said Mr Frixou. “We’ve gotten scores of messages from people telling us how much courage we’ve given them.”The simple yet meaningful ceremony, which took place before the Nicosia District Officer, was made possible late last year, when lawmakers passed a civil union law recognising gay marriage. The move was a big step forward for gay rights across the globe, and for Cyprus itself, which decriminalised homosexuality just 18 years ago.The newlyweds exchanged vows in the presence of their two best women, along with a few friends and family, before heading to the reception where hundreds turned out to wish the couple well. Though the civil union law grants gay couples the same legal rights as heterosexual couples, there continues to be a restriction against joint adoption of children.While the church and local religious groups continue to hold their stance in opposition of gay marriage, they haven’t been as vocal of late says Costas Gavrielides, president of gay rights group ACCEPT.“People are coming to terms with the fact that the rights of all people must be respected and actually enshrined in law,” said Mr Gavrielides.“Same-sex couples have been given the opportunity to feel legitimised.”last_img read more

Ancient ties First Hellenistic gymnasium discovered in Egypt

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram A German-Egyptian archaeological team has uncovered the remains of an ancient Greek gymnasium, that was used to train young Greek-speaking men in sports, literacy and philosophy, at Wafta in Fayoum during excavations.Dr Ayman Ashmawi, Head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Sector said the gymnasium included a large meeting hall once adorned with statues, a dining hall and courtyard. The gymnasium was surrounded by gardens and a 200 metre racetrack on which the young men would train for important 180 metre races.These gymnasia were built like those in the Hellenistic world – although on a much smaller scale – where young men of the Greek speaking upper-class were trained in sports, learned to read and write, and to enjoy philosophical discussions.Professor Cornelia Römer, who led the excavation by the German Archaeological Institute (DAI), said gymnasia were privately founded by people who wanted their villages to possess en even greater Greek influence. A statement released by the Ministry of Antiquities said Watfa, ancient Philoteris, was one of the many villages founded under the first Ptolemies in the middle of the 3rd century BC in the years after Alexander the Great invaded Egypt, and saw around 1200 inhabitants, two thirds Egyptians, and one third Greek speaking settlers.The exploits of Alexander the Great, had made Egypt part of the Hellenistic world, seeing the Hellenisation of ancient Egypt and thousands of Greeks migrating to the Nile. “Although much smaller, the gymnasium of Wafta clearly shows the impact of Greek life in Egypt, not only in Alexandria, but also in the countryside,” Professor Römer said. last_img read more

Tsipras reshuffles cabinet

first_imgOn Tuesday began an effort by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to revive the people’s trust in the government ahead of the 2019 election.The reshuffle of the cabinet coincides with the first time Greece will operate outside of the memorandum realm since 2010, when the First Economic Adjustment Programme for Greece i.e. the first bailout package was signed.While Tsipras has decided to instill several younger cabinet figures in preparation for a general election most key members of the pre-existing Greek government have retained their positions.The MPs and ministers involved in the country’s creditor-mandated bailout program such as Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos and his team, all remain in their roles.The new cabinet introduces minor changes, mainly to the ministers for the interior, public order, justice and culture bringing six women on board.Tsipras’ move has been hailed “a concerted shift to claim the centre ground” for the big poll battle in September. .“It will be the mother of all battles,” Tsipras said taking into consideration the new financial reality for Greece.“Our country, the government and the party need new blood and more appetite for work.”Commenting on the Prime Minister’s decreasing popularity, independent MP Haris Theocharis told Reuters that “He is not the Tsipras of 2015,” adding that nearly a decade of austerity has left the country brain-drained and over 20 per cent of its population unemployed.“The radical rhetoric has gone and he is now clearly trying to establish Syriza as one of the two pillars in a two-party system. To do that he has to open up to the centre, but how successful he can be is another question.”Many took to social media to deem the change to the cabinet “pointless” and a “media stunt” in a last attempt to derail public opinion from the fact that more than one third of the country;s population is living below the poverty line.Other commentators were more eager to see of the new administration will manage to bring effective change to infrastructure following the recent Mati wildfire crisis that saw 97 lives claimed. THE NEW CABINET: Vice President of the government: Yannis DragasakisDeputy Minister next to the Premier: Dimitris LiakosGovernment’s General Secretary: Akritas KaidatzisInterior MinistryMinister: Alexandros CharitsisDeputy Minister: Marina ChryssoveloniDeputy Minister of Macedonia and Thrace: Katerina NotopoulouCitizen’s Protection MinistryMinister : Olga GerovasiliDeputy Minister: Katerina PapakostaEconomy and Development MinistryMinister: Yannis DragasakisAlternate Industry Minister : Stergios PitsiorlasDeputy Minister: Stathis GiannakidisDigital Policy, Telecommunications and Information MinistryMinister: Nikos PappasDeputy Minister: Lefteris KretsosNational Defence MinistryMinister: Panos KammenosAlternate Minister: Panagiotis RigasDeputy Minister : Maria Kollia-TsarouhaEducation, Research and Religion MinistryMinister: Costas GavroglouAlternate Minister of Research and Innovation: Costas FotakisDeputy Minister: Meropi TzoufiLabour, Social Security and Social Solidarity MinistryMinister: Efi AhtsioglouAlternate Social Solidarity Minister: Theano FotiouDeputy Labour Minister for Social Security Issues: Anastasios PetropoulosDeputy Minister: Athanasios IliopoulosForeign Affairs MinistryMinister: Nikos KotziasAlternate Minister of European Affairs: Georgios KatrougalosDeputy Minister for Issues of Religions: Markos BolarisDeputy Minister responsible for Expatriates: Terence Spencer Nicholas QuickJustice, Transparency and Human Rights MinistryMinister: Mihalis KalogirouAlternate Minister of Corruption Issues: Dimitris PapagelopoulosFinance MinistryMinister: Euclid TsakalotosAlternate Minister: George ChouliarakisDeputy Minister: Katerina PapanatsiouHealth MinistryMinister: Andreas XanthosAlternate Minister: Pavlos PolakisAdministrative Reconstruction MinistryMinister: Marilisa XenogiannakopoulouCulture and Sports MinistryMinister: Myrsini ZorbaDeputy Minister: Georgios VasiliadisDeputy Minister: Constantinos StratisEnvironment and Energy MinistryMinister: Giorgios StathakisAlternate Minister: Sokrates FamellosDeputy Minister: George DimarasInfrastructure and Transport MinistryMinister: Christos SpirtzisDeputy Minister: Nikos MavraganisImmigration Policy MinistryMinister: Dimitris VitsasShipping and Island Policy MinistryMinister: Fotis KouvelisAlternate Minister: Nektarios SantoriniosAgricultural Development and Food MinistryMinister: Stavros ArachovitisDeputy Minister: Vasilis KokkalisDeputy Minister: Olympia TeligioridouTourism MinistryMinister: Elena KountouraGreek Territory Minister responsible for Every day Citizens’ Issues: Alekos FlabourarisGreek Territory Minister responsible for the Co-ordination of the Governmental Work: Christoforos VernardakisGreek Territory Minister and Government Spokesman: Dimitris Tzanakopouloscenter_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more