ISPs launch Six Strikes program today aims to educate and punish pirates

first_imgIn a bid to curb piracy, various ISPs are said to be launching their version of the Six Strikes program sometime this week. The ISPs in question are the big boys, including Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner, and Cablevision. According to reports, each ISP will be launching its own version of the program at different times this week, with Comcast set to go first sometime today.Known as the Copyright Alert System (CAS), the program is also referred to as the Six Strikes program due to its graduated response system. Though the graduated steps aren’t entirely clear just yet — and can differ between ISPs — each step becomes more severe, with the lower-tier responses being warnings, and the higher-tier responses being anything from having to watch an “educational” video to throttling bandwidth.The new program comes with a revamped website, featuring a new video (set to smooth elevator music) that explains the process, seen below.Seeing as how the video is on YouTube, and it supports a program that many argue infringes on the rights of internet users (or at least, would be a pain to deal with), we wouldn’t be surprised if someone hits the video with a bogus DMCA takedown. To some, it would be delicious irony.Back in January, Verizon’s Six Strikes policy reportedly leaked, and detailed a process that begins as simple warnings in the form of emails and automated voicemail messages. The third and fourth infringements will result in the user’s browser being redirected to a site that forces them to watch an educational video about copyright infringement, then click on a popup that acknowledges they watched the video. The fifth infringement results in a bandwidth throttle, and the sixth could result in direct legal action.As mentioned before, not every ISP has to take the same route, but it’s likely the plans will be similar to the above steps. We don’t condone piracy, but any kind of punishment system that can be mistaken (for example, because someone used your ISP without your knowledge) isn’t the most ideal kind of system. The only thing we can really do, though, is wait and see if the CAS causes more trouble problems than it intends to fix.last_img read more

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Castlevania Lords of Shadow seen in Steam registry

first_imgEveryone’s favorite journalist for leaking video game announcements, Steam’s registry, has outed Castlevania: Lords of Shadow as a possible candidate for a PC release on Steam. The 2010 game was seen in Steam’s registry, which is often indicative of a forthcoming release. The game is getting a sequel, and that sequel is landing on the PC, so it makes a bit of sense that the original would be getting a PC release in order to introduce PC gamers to the series before they dive into the sequel.Lords of Shadow is a reboot of the long, somewhat convoluted Castlevania mythos, and stars Gabriel Belmont. Dark magic (what else would it be?) has prevented the souls of the dead from moving on, so instead, they hang around and attack the living. Spurring any decent story of the undead and revenge, Gabriel’s wife was murdered, and thus her soul trapped, giving the Belmont extra motivation to do what Belmonts do and rid the land of evil.This Castlevania happens to be one that has ties to Hideo Kojima, of Metal Gear Solid fame. His studio, Kojima Productions, was attached to the project as a developer credit alongside MercurySteam, and Hideo Kojima himself was attached to the project as a producer and writer. However, you don’t have to worry about the appearance of some kind of La Li Lu Le Lo, or too many Snake-like mullets set in the gothic Castlevania universe.The sequel is set to release sometime this year, so if Konami wants to allow gamers to educate themselves on the universe before the sequel is available, Lords of Shadow should at least release on Steam with enough time for you to catch up. Keep an eye peeled, and maybe a whip cracked.Perhaps a release of Lords of Shadow will fuel a Steam and Castlevania love affair that’ll see the release of various installments in the Castlevania backlog.last_img read more

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Chromebook sales are terrible even compared to Windows RT

first_imgIt’s taking longer than Google would like for Chromebook sales to shift into second gear. How slow have sales been? After two years on the market, Chromebooks still don’t represent a big enough percentage of the computer market to warrant a spot on NetMarketShare’s global stats report.According to early data shared with ZDNet’s Ed Bott, Chrome OS devices represent a paltry 0.023% of the global browsing population. For comparison’s sake, that’s around one fifth of Windows RT’s slice of the pie, which currently sits at 0.12%.The big difference, of course, is that Windows RT devices have only been on sale for a couple of months. Chromebooks first hit the streets in June of 2011. At 0.12%, Windows RT is an abject failure. Chrome OS, on the other hand, is going to kill Windows (at least according to some). Those predictions may yet come true, but it’s going to be a very long, drawn-out battle if the present pace continues.Then again, perhaps the fantastically pricey Chromebook Pixel will help kickstart sales. Leading by example seems to have worked out OK so far for Windows RT, after all, with the Surface helping Microsoft’s touch OS leapfrogging Chrome on the charts in just four months.Make no mistake — Google didn’t think that success would come overnight. Still, after two years surely the company would like to have notched at least a full percent.Being a bigger disappointment than Windows RT has got to sting. But with the power of the world’s most popular web browser, search engine, and video site behind the brand, don’t feel too bad for Chrome OS. It’s obviously still going through basic training before the real assault begins.last_img read more

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Geek deals 400 off Dell XPS 15 ultrabook 33 wireless network camera

first_imgOur other top deals:Lenovo IdeaTab A3000 16GB Android 4.2 tablet for $179 + free shipping (reg. $229 | use coupon TABLETOFFERS | ends Aug. 7)D-LINK DCS-930L Wireless-N network camera for $32.98 + free shipping (reg. $119.99)McAfee All Access 2013 unlimited device 1-year subscription for $49.99 + free shipping (reg. $99.99) For a long time, all 15-inch laptops shared the same traits. They were powerful enough to function as a desktop replacement and had the girth to show for it. Only in the last couple generations of models have we seen technology improve to the point that this can change, and it’s a change we really like.The added screen real estate and resolution possible on a 15-inch screen over the more portable 13 and 14-inch models is well worth it to anyone who does any real work on their laptop, but now you can get all those benefits without the heft. One of the best examples we’ve come across is Dell’s XPS 15, showcasing a laptop that has true desktop replacement functionality without the girth.The XPS 15 rocks a chassis that is just 0.91-inches thin and 5.79 lbs and still sturdy. Packed into the aluminum top and covered in Gorilla Glass is a Full HD 1080p screen, which is a great combination of screen size and resolution for power users and multi-taskers.Despite the relatively slim chassis, the XPS 15 still has plenty of performance with 3rd gen Core i5 and i7 full-power processors and Nvidia GeForce GT graphics. All models also get a slot-loading optical drive, backlit keyboard, large 65 Whr battery, HD webcam, three USB 3.0 ports, dual digital video outputs (Mini DisplayPort and HDMI), media card reader, and more.The model on sale today has a Core i5 dual-core CPU, 6GB of RAM, 500GB hard drive, and GeForce GT 630M graphics for $899.99 after a total of $400 instant savings. This is the lowest price we’ve seen yet on the XPS 15 and comes in hundreds less than comparable laptops with the new Haswell processors.Dell XPS 15 Core i5 laptop for $899.99 + free shipping (reg. $1299.99 | use coupon KD8T76PX1RR$T1)last_img read more

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The flowers will wither its about kindness Dublin pensioners on the key

first_img‘The flowers will wither … it’s about kindness’: Dublin pensioners on the key to a long, happy relationship The members of Clontarf Active Retirement Association sat down with us for a chat and a cup of tea to share their knowledge. By Andrew Roberts 9,618 Views http://jrnl.ie/3850108 Wednesday 14 Feb 2018, 9:32 AM 3 Comments Share59 Tweet Email1 Short URL Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article IT’S VALENTINE’S DAY. Couples all over the country will be buying each other flowers, paying babysitters and heading out for dinner.But, after that first rush of romance – those first months and years together – what comes next?The members of Clontarf Active Retirement Association were good enough to sit down with us for a chat and a cup of tea and share their secrets.Watch: ‘This couple got a special Valentine’s blessing today, right beside the remains of St Valentine’ Feb 14th 2018, 9:32 AM Subscribe for more videoslast_img read more

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I have a flame in me right now students return to Florida

first_imgBut it’s still weird to see everybody here and all these police officers. It’s going to be nice to see all my teachers again.Carly Novell, another Stoneman Douglas student, admitted that she was “nervous”.“I’m really scared to go in,” said Novell, who like many other returning students was wearing a maroon T-shirt, the school colors.Lauren Hogg, a freshman, told CNN the experience was “surreal”. Students arriving at Marjory Douglas Stoneman High this morning Source: Joe Raedle/Getty“To be quite frank, I’m scared,” she said, expressing fear of “going back into my classes and seeing empty chairs where my friends once sat”.On Valentine’s Day, 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz entered the school and opened fire with an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle, killing 14 students and three staff members.‘I can take down buildings’Since the shooting, Stoneman Douglas students have been lobbying politicians for stricter gun controls both in their home state of Florida and in Washington.Republican lawmakers, with majorities in the US Congress and the Florida legislature, have been cool on bringing in major reforms on the sales of firearms.Pressure however is growing on businesses. Source: Joe Raedle/GettyToday, Dick’s Sporting Goods, a large chain store, announced that it would immediately stop selling assault-style rifles and would not sell guns to anyone under the age of 21.Dick’s CEO Edward Stack said Cruz had purchased a shotgun at one of his stores in November and although it wasn’t the gun used in the shooting the chain would no longer sell semi-automatic weapons.“Our view was if the kids can be brave enough to organise like this, we can be brave enough to take them out of here,” Stack said. Robert Runcie addresses the media Source: Joe Raedle/GettySpeaking on CNN, Broward County school superintendent Robert Runcie said grief counsellors were on hand for the day.“We’re going to provide as much support as we can,” Runcie said. “We understand it is extremely difficult for our kids today.”We believe our kids are ready. Students are excited. As a family, they’re going to pull through it.“If they don’t want to stay for the day, we will make arrangements for them to go wherever they need to,” he added.Andrew Pollack, whose 18-year-old daughter Meadow was killed in the shooting, turned out to show his support for increased security in schools.Accompanied by his therapy dog Sunny, Pollack said he was determined to be the “face of the last father of a murdered kid”.“When someone murders your kid, shoots her nine times… it’s not courage,” Pollack said. “I have a flame in me right now. Nobody can stop me. I can take down buildings.”“We need to make it that every kid in America, when he goes into a classroom , he knows he’s safe,” he said.That’s my goal.© – AFP, 2018Read: Explainer: The EU is trying to force the UK to get real, here’s howRead: Lewinsky calls Clinton affair a ‘gross abuse of power’ Feb 28th 2018, 8:12 PM Wednesday 28 Feb 2018, 8:12 PM A student is hugged as she leaves Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after attending her classes for the first time since the shooting that killed 17 people on 14 February Source: Joe Raedle/GettyWITH TEARS, FEARS, and defiance, students made an emotional return today to the Florida high school where a former classmate went on a shooting rampage two weeks ago, killing 17 people.Students at Marjory Douglas Stoneman High School in Parkland, Florida, were greeted by heavy security and scores of well-wishers as they returned to classes.Dozens of police officers lined the sidewalks saying “Good morning” to each student and former students, neighbours and their children turned out to show their support.Two women handed out free water and fruit for breakfast. Retired police officers passed out flowers.People held banners reading “We Love You”, “You’ve Got This”, and “We Are With You.”“I’m not scared,” 16-year-old Sean Cummings, a Stoneman Douglas junior, told AFP. “I feel like it’s more protected than any other school at this point.” By AFP 7 Comments https://jrnl.ie/3877964 center_img 8,222 Views ‘I have a flame in me right now’ – students return to Florida high school for first time since mass shooting that killed 17 A mass shooting perpetrated by former student Nikolas Cruz has left the student body of Marjory Douglas Stoneman High traumatised. Share15 Tweet Email Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

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Investigation launched after seven penguins drown in Canadian zoo

first_img Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 12,420 Views Friday 9 Dec 2016, 2:38 PM Share Tweet Email2 16 Comments File photo of humboldt penguins A CANADIAN ZOO said yesterday it has launched an investigation into the mysterious drowning deaths of seven Humboldt penguins.“This is devastating news,” said Jamie Dorgan, the director of animal care at the Calgary zoo in western Canada.“We have launched a full investigation so we can try to understand what happened and prevent further incidents like this from happening again.”The penguins were found dead in their normal holding area, the zoo said. Its veterinary team performed autopsies on the birds and established drowning as the cause of death.There were 22 penguins living in the zoo’s Humboldt colony, along with three other penguin species.- © AFP, 2016Read: Experts warn giraffes face ‘silent extinction’ as population substantially dropsRead: ‘Mum cradled the baby straight into her arms’: Miniature monkeys reunited after zoo theft By AFPcenter_img File photo of humboldt penguins Image: Shutterstock/shihina http://jrnl.ie/3130279 Investigation launched after seven penguins drown in Canadian zoo The director of animal care at the Calgary zoo said it was “devastating news”. Image: Shutterstock/shihina Short URL Dec 9th 2016, 2:38 PM last_img read more

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Driver arrested after caught speeding at 187 km per hour in 120

first_imgDriver arrested after caught speeding at 187 km per hour in 120 zone on wet road Meanwhile, a driver in Newbridge was found travelling at almost twice the speed limit. Share Tweet Email1 Caught up in a 187! Wicklow traffic stop car on M11 doing 187km in 120km zone on wet road & raining. Driver arrested court to follow. pic.twitter.com/88xFAv6e3X— An Garda Síochána (@GardaTraffic) February 17, 2017 Source: An Garda Síochána/Twitter Friday 17 Feb 2017, 9:53 PM 33,128 Views Source: An Garda Síochána/Twitter Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 65 Comments By Cliodhna Russell Feb 17th 2017, 9:53 PM Naas Traffic: Car detected driving at 153km in 80km zonein Newbridge. Court Appearance to follow. pic.twitter.com/qFuYBXS1uy— An Garda Síochána (@GardaTraffic) February 16, 2017 A DRIVER WAS arrested on the M11 in Wicklow after being caught speeding at 187 kilometres per hour in a 120 km zone.Gardaí also reported that conditions were dangerous as it was raining and the roads were wet at the time.The motorist will appear in court at a later date. Meanwhile, a driver in Newbridge was found travelling at almost twice the speed limit.The motorist was driving at 153 kilometres per hour in an 80 km zone. Read: Irish man (30) stabbed to death in Sydney> https://jrnl.ie/3246477 last_img read more

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Police say four North Korean suspects fled Malaysia on the day of

first_img 7,602 Views MALAYSIAN POLICE SAID today that they believe five North Koreans were involved in the murder of the half-brother of leader Kim Jong-Un, with four having fled the country on the day of the killing.South Korea said the announcement proved Pyongyang was behind the murder of Kim Jong-Nam, who died after being squirted in the face with an unidentified liquid at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Monday.The case has also sparked a diplomatic row between Pyongyang and Kuala Lumpur, after Malaysia rejected demands quickly to hand the body over to the North.Four North Korean men were being sought over the killing, Deputy Inspector-General of Police Noor Rashid Ibrahim told a press conference, in addition to their 46-year old compatriot Ri Jong Chol who was arrested in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.Suspects Ri Ji Hyon, O Jong Gil, Ri Jae Nam and Hong Song Sac, aged between 33 and 57, entered Malaysia in February or late January, the police chief said.Three more North Koreans were wanted for questioning, he said. A picture of an unidentified man believed to be a suspect in the case shown at a police press conference Source: Vincent Thian AP/Press Association ImagesOfficers have already arrested one North Korean, an Indonesian woman and her Malaysian boyfriend, as well as a Vietnamese woman.“Considering that five suspects are North Korean nationals, we view that the North Korean government is behind the incident,” Seoul’s unification ministry spokesman Jeong Joon-Hee said immediately after today’s announcement.The deputy police chief refused to comment on any political motive for the killing, saying only that investigations were ongoing.Pyongyang has demanded Jong-Nam’s body be returned but Malaysia has said it must remain in the country until it is identified through a DNA sample from a family member.“We are trying very hard to get the next of kin to come and assist us in the investigation,” Noor Rashid said, but added no such family member had yet come forward.Police were still waiting for the results of an autopsy conducted on Wednesday, he said. Police Chief Noor Rashid speaking at the press conference Source: Vincent Thian AP/Press Association ImagesThe drama erupted on Monday as Jong-Nam prepared to board a plane to Macau, where he has been living in recent years. Malaysian police say the 45-year-old was jumped by two women who squirted liquid in his face.He suffered a seizure and died before arriving at hospital.He was once thought to be the natural successor to his father, the then-North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il.But after Jong-Il’s death in 2011 the succession went instead to his younger half-brother Kim Jong-Un.Reports of purges and executions have emerged from the current regime as Jong-Un tries to strengthen his grip on power in the face of international pressure over his nuclear and missile programmes.South Korea has cited a “standing order” from Jong-Un to kill his sibling, and a failed assassination bid in 2012 after Jong-Nam criticised the regime.© – AFP 2017Read: North Korean antics aside, poison has been a hugely popular killing agent through the agesRead: North Korea says it ‘categorically rejects’ autopsy results before they’re even released Short URL 3 Comments https://jrnl.ie/3247684 Feb 19th 2017, 11:45 AM Police say four North Korean suspects fled Malaysia on the day of high-profile assassination South Korean authorities have said that Kim Jong Un gave the order to assassinate his half-brother. A TV screen showing a picture of Kim Jong Nam, who was assassinated last Mondaycenter_img By AFP Sunday 19 Feb 2017, 11:45 AM Share18 Tweet Email A TV screen showing a picture of Kim Jong Nam, who was assassinated last Monday Image: Ahn Young-joon AP/Press Association Images Image: Ahn Young-joon AP/Press Association Images Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

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Sitdown Sunday Solving the murder of Peter Falconio

first_imgSitdown Sunday: Solving the murder of Peter Falconio Grab a comfy chair and sit back with some of the week’s best longreads Sunday 19 Feb 2017, 9:00 AM No Comments IT’S A DAY of rest, and you may be in the mood for a quiet corner and a comfy chair.We’ve hand-picked the week’s best reads for you to savour.1. The graffiti kids who started the Syrian war Source: AP/Press Association ImagesThis incredible story is about how a teenage rebellion sparked civil war in the Middle East.(Globe & Mail, approx 78 mins reading time)Naief Abazid had no inkling that he was about to launch a revolution, or anything else that has followed. He was just doing what the bigger kids told him to. Trying to make them laugh. “It’s your turn, Doctor Bashar al-Assad, ” he painted, just under the window of the principal’s office of the all-boys al-Banin school in his hometown of Daraa. The date was Feb. 16, 2011.2. Eat breadNathan Myhrvold is out to change our mind about bread – and no, he’s not against us eating it, he just wants us to realise that we could change things up a bit. This interview with him isn’t just about bread though, it’s about food, how we think about food, and one man’s obsessive journey with food.(Eater, approx 40 mins reading time)Well, but all of our ancestors did at some point in time, depending on exactly who your ancestors were — that could have been relatively recently or could have been 200 years ago — but they did live on bread and porridge and other kinds of foods as the bulk of their calorie consumption. So if we release bread mentally from being this pillar of all these things and say, “Yes, I’m willing to spend more for it,” if I can spend $25 on a plate of risotto or pasta — which is not expensive by New York standards at all — well, I ought to be able to be willing to spend that for an equal serving of bread.3. 50 Shades of Green Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson at the Fifty Shades Darker premiere. Source: Empics EntertainmentLa Donna Pietra takes a look at the new film Fifty Shades Darker, and decides: It’s all about the economy. A sideways and smart look at the movie.(Birth Movies Death, approx 10 mins reading time)Fifty Shades Darker does not do a very good job of hiding its actual motivations, any more than Ana’s sleazetastic new boss Jack Hyde. Financial concerns drive the plot from start to finish, and the sex everyone showed up for is just window dressing. This is not a huge surprise; the book remains the only erotic/porn/romance novel I have ever read to include student loan payments as a plot point, and E.L. James’ notably clunky writing gets significantly better when she’s describing consumer goods. By Aoife Barry Feb 19th 2017, 9:00 AM Short URLcenter_img http://jrnl.ie/3237134 20,534 Views Share Tweet Email2 4. The death of Karen BattsKaren Batts was found hypothermic and dying in a parking garage in Portland. Her shocking death forced the city to look at how it treated the homeless.(The Guardian, approx 24 mins reading time)The city’s image of itself as a bastion of liberal values and affable quirkiness is increasingly undermined by the plight of its homeless residents. Amid unusually brutal weather, Batts was among four homeless Portlanders who died of exposure in the first 10 days of 2017. In the same period, a homeless woman was found holding a dead infant at a bus shelter; the medical examiner ruled it a stillbirth.5. Life on drugs Source: PA Wire/PA ImagesMusic journalist Barney Hoskyns was young when he got involved in drugs – they made life more interesting, helped him escape his problems, but left his life in tatters.(The Guardian, approx 12 mins reading time)To this day I don’t know why I said yes – why I rolled up my sleeve and told my old friend: “Do it.” I can’t say it was peer pressure. I harboured no secret longing to be a junkie. You’d think that, having just graduated with a first from Oxford, I might not have stuck my hand in this particular fire. In a moment of existential recklessness, I did it anyway.6. Immortal techniqueIrish writer and journalist Mark O’Connell has a new book out about humans and our obsession with death. In this extract, he introduces us to ‘transhumanist’ Zoltan Istvan, a presidential candidate who undertook a trip in a coffin-shaped bus in order to make people think about immortality.(New York Times, approx 34 mins reading time)Although I was not sure I wanted to live forever, I was sure that I didn’t want to go down in a blaze of chintzy irony, plunging into a ravine strapped into the passenger seat of a thing called the Immortality Bus. For all that Istvan railed against the tyranny of death over human lives, his attitude toward basic road safety was at times wildly cavalier. The fact that he was piloting a 38-foot coffin bus through New Mexico did not, for instance, stop him from looking at his phone every couple of minutes, responding to texts and emails, checking the social-media analytics on his latest piece for TechCrunch, etc\…AND A CLASSIC FROM THE ARCHIVES… Northern Territory Supreme Court handout of British backpackers Joanne Lees and Peter Falconio in their camper van. Source: PA Archive/PA ImagesIn 2001, British backpacker couple Peter Falconio and Joanne Lees were flagged down by a man in Australia’s Northern Territory. The man shot and killed Peter and abducted Lees. Here, former detective Colleen Gwynne looks back on an incredibly tough case.(The Guardian, approx 16 mins reading time)In the darkness, Gwynne recalled the details of the crime: a Kombi van with two British backpackers headed north; a man in a white utility pulled off to one side of the highway, hazard lights blinking; a helpful Falconio coaxed to the rear of the vehicle; male voices discussing something about exhaust pipes and then a gunshot ringing through the night; a terrified Lees pulled from the front seat, stunned by a blow to the head, hands bound, forced into the ute; an anxious killer returning to Falconio’s body; a tiny, wild window of opportunity for Lees to scramble out into darkness and run to this very place, under the saltbush.More: The best reads from every previous Sitdown Sunday> Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

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Two women killed after being knocked down crossing the road

first_img Share25 Tweet Email Monday 16 Jan 2017, 10:36 PM TWO WOMEN IN their 60s have been killed in a traffic collision in Louth.The women were struck by a vehicle around 6.30pm at Hunterstown, south of Ardee. The women are believed to have been crossing the N2 to their car after stepping off a bus when the accident happened.The bodies of the two women were taken to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital where a post-mortem is scheduled for tomorrow. The driver of the car was uninjured.The road is currently closed to facilitate an examination by Garda Forensic Collision Investigators and local diversions are in place. The road is expected to remain closed overnight.Gardai wish to appeal for witnesses to contact Ardee Garda Station on 041-6871130, the Garda Confidential Telephone Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda station. By Paul Hosford Image: Eamonn Farrell/Rollingnews.ie 10 Comments 29,453 Views Jan 16th 2017, 10:36 PM center_img File photo. File photo. Image: Eamonn Farrell/Rollingnews.ie Two women killed after being knocked down crossing the road The bodies of the two women were taken to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital. http://jrnl.ie/3190192 Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

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Community was devastated by teen joyrider court told

first_img Short URL By Tom Tuite Community was ‘devastated’ by teen joyrider, court told One of them, a priest, was seriously injured and left unable perform his parish duties. SIX PEOPLE’S LIVES were affected by a teenage car thief whose joyriding devastated a Dublin community, a court has heard.One of them, a priest, was seriously injured and left unable perform his parish duties after the teenager, who was on bail, ploughed into him, Dublin Children’s Court was told.The six people, aged from four to 57, live in the same area in north Dublin had been affected by the 17-year-old boy’s four motor thefts, which involved high-speed pursuits, collisions, children being traumatised, a grieving widow having to give evidence and cars written off.The uninsured teenager had been on bail for three of the offences, the court heard. He has pleaded guilty to theft of a ’03-reg car and dangerous driving in connection with the incident at Blanchardstown Road North on 8 November last.RobberyGarda Brian Masterson said a woman’s Honda car was stolen in Hartstown in Dublin 15.Just after 11.30pm, gardai on patrol saw the stolen car being driven at speed by the accused on the N3 in Dublin. It was alleged the teenager broke red lights and collided with a Volkswagen Golf driven by Fr Liam McClarey, 57, of Corduff Parochial House.Garda Masterson said the youth “ran from the car but was arrested close by” while Fr McClarey was taken to hospital. The court heard he suffered broken ankles and a hairline fracture to his knee. He spent six weeks in hospital and is still not fully recovered.Fr McClarey provided the court with a victim impact statement which the judge read in court. In the statement the priest explained that has been unable to officiate at weddings and funerals or visit the sick at Christmas or prepare school children for confirmation. He said he still cannot carry out his duties and is unable to play golf or visit his family who live 150 miles away.Judge O’Connor said it was a very moving impact statement and a community had been devastated. He said he was also thinking of the other people who had suffered as a result of the boy’s behaviour and it was lucky they were not killed.No convictionsThe court heard that the teenager had family members involved in crime but as of yet he has not criminal convictions. The teenager, who was accompanied to court by his mother, was warned he is facing the strong possibility of a custodial sentence and was remanded on bail to appear again in April.The teenager has complied with increased support from youth workers helping him abide by his bail terms. The boy, who cannot be named because he is a minor, recently got onto an educational course and tests have shown that he has stayed off drugs.He is facing sentencing for four dangerous car thefts. In one of the cases, he was found guilty of theft of a grieving widow’s car in July last year. The woman said the theft of the car, which was not recovered, meant she suffered a loss of liberty and had to rely on family members for lifts. She had to give evidence earlier on the last day her daughter was in Ireland before returning to Australia.He entered guilty pleas to hit-and-run and driving without insurance or a licence charges arising out of other incidents on 23 February last year. The court heard he had driving a scrambler motorbike on a public road in Corduff and while over-taking a Volkswagen car he collided head on with a Toyota Avensis.The car he hit was driven by a mother who had her husband and their two young children, aged four and 11, on board. Garda Brian Masterson said no one was injured but the two car owners only had third party insurance policies and are not covered for their written off cars.The children had been traumatised, the court was also told.Head onThe teen admitted stealing a car in the early hours of 17 March last year and six counts of dangerous driving as well as not having a licence or motor insurance.Garda Canice Phelan has told the court gardai spotted two cars travelling on the wrong side of the road at the Littlepace roundabout in Clonee.Gardai took up pursuit at which the two cars split up. The court heard the boy was driving a ’02-reg Honda Xtreme and drove at speed through another roundabout on the wrong side. He sped through a red light forcing a taxi to take “evasive action”.The teenager reached the N2 and crossed several lanes “without regard for other road users” said Gda Phelan, adding that the teenager did that several times.The boy nearly lost control of the Honda while he drove along a M50 slip road and when he crossed the motorway drivers had to take evasive action.The court heard that as he reached the M50 toll bridge he was “boxed in” and stopped.The teenager initially resisted arrest but then became compliant and was handcuffed before he was taken to Blanchardstown Garda station.Garda Phelan said that the owner of the hot-wired car was not aware it had been stolen. An updated probation report on the youth has been ordered. 25,680 Views No Comments Mar 24th 2017, 6:31 PM Image: Shutterstock/Andrey_Popov Share Tweet Email Image: Shutterstock/Andrey_Popov Friday 24 Mar 2017, 6:31 PM http://jrnl.ie/3305672 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

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Religious identities or any identity should never be reduced to a violent

first_img Sunday 26 Mar 2017, 8:45 AM https://jrnl.ie/3305275 102 Views By Jacob J Erickson Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 92 Comments THEOLOGY ISN’T going anywhere any time soon. Theological and religious imaginations inform our daily personal and communal lives together.And those imaginations matter for the materiality of our bodies, our politics, our arts, our understanding of a meaningful life, and how we live in the world.Whether you’re religious, nonreligious, spiritual, atheist or agnostic, stories of religious worldviews have an unruly way of getting loose in the world and reconfiguring our common terrains, politics, and practices.Religion allows us interrogate our livesReligion haunts us in diverse and conflicting locales: in violent histories, stories of civil rights, in grief, in wonder, in histories of oppression, in histories of liberation from oppression, and in ways both beautiful and terrible in our human conditions.Religion matters for the ethical interrogation of our lives for the visions and interpretations of our histories and futures, whether we like that influence or not.As a theologian, it’s often my job to slow down and ask what those stories look like. What theological language is being used in the public sphere, and for what ends? What understandings of religion are shaping our political discourse in the present moment?What stories, known or unknown, do politicians or others tell of faith and what importance do they hold for us today?Earlier this week, a number of humanities scholars affiliated with the Trinity Long Room Hub spoke on a “Behind the Headlines”-style panel on “Trump’s America: 60 Days In.”We discussed the histories of political populist movements, of legal challenges and constitutional questions, education and immigration, and stories of everyday people trying to make a way through the muddy quagmire of contemporary global politics.Trump’s first 60 daysThe Trump Administration’s first sixty days in office tell stories of religion, too. And one can be particularly concerned over the way the administration tells them.Early statements in the campaign whipped up a fury of Islamophobic rhetoric, fear of Muslims. Islamophobic hate groups grew radically in the United States in 2016, a number of organisations reported, including the Southern Poverty Law Center.The President and his advisors constantly refer to “Radical Islamic Terrorism”, and have, on occasion, refused to state that Islam is a legitimate world religion. The President and his advisors began construction on what they referred to as a “Muslim Ban”, to discourage refugees and immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries from coming to the United States.Both executive orders trying to accomplish this “ban” targeted Muslim-majority countries. And the courts halted both orders precisely because of the religious animus they contained.Distorting Islam as a perceived enemyAll of these statements and activities caricature a religion of over 1.5 billion people worldwide.When the first form of the executive order became public, the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Religion issued an executive statement, arguing that the “ban poisons the public’s understanding of Islam in particular and religion in general.”Not only do the politics of the Trump Administration distort Islam to construct a perceived enemy, but these religious politics also fail to help our public understanding of religion in general.Religious experience is complex, diverse, contradictory, and varied from context to context. Religious worldviews can hinder or encourage human flourishing, and so to interrogate our context with thoughtfulness, respect, and hospitality matters.Identities should never be reduced to caricatureI write these observations as a lay Christian theologian, convicted and convinced that religious identities, or any identity for that matter, should never be warped out of fear or reduced to a violent caricature.I do so because, on the face of it, my own tradition calls me to “love my neighbour as myself” and to love and seek justice.I believe that command extends the poetry of its language into loving my neighbours of different religious and nonreligious traditions as well. That command demands religious literacy and interreligious dialogue.It demands solidarities, patience, and attention across lines of difference. And it demands working with others to celebrate religious and nonreligious pluralism.Our societies are at their best when the diversity of our worldviews are ethically celebrated for the sake of the common good.Jacob J Erickson is Assistant Professor of Theological Ethics in the Loyola Institute, School of Religions, Peace Studies and Theology, at Trinity College Dublin. Earlier this week, he was a panellist on the Trinity Long Room Hub’s “Behind the Headlines” series on “Trump’s America: 60 Days In.”Opinion: ‘A political solution to the Syrian war is very unlikely now’>Alan Kelly: ‘Craft beer is booming but licensing regulations are harming business’>center_img Share96 Tweet Email Jacob J Erickson ‘Religious identities, or any identity, should never be reduced to a violent caricature’ Our societies are at their best when the diversity of our worldviews are ethically celebrated, writes Jacob J Erickson. Short URL Mar 26th 2017, 8:45 AM last_img read more

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Talking to the kids on the phone asking them how their day

first_img http://the42.ie/3326917 Image: PA Archive/PA Images Share50 Tweet Email Apr 6th 2017, 8:00 PM Lawrie retired from professional golf in September after 20 years on tour. 3 Comments 30,620 Views Player and Nicklaus pay emotional tribute to Arnold Palmer as 2017 Masters gets underway Short URLcenter_img Thursday 6 Apr 2017, 8:00 PM Lawrie retired from professional golf in September after 20 years on tour. Image: PA Archive/PA Images ‘Talking to the kids on the phone asking them how their day was, and you say to yourself, I really should be at home’ It’s seven months since Peter Lawrie walked away from professional golf after falling out of love with life on tour. IN THE END, it was all rather abrupt — no deliberation, no second thoughts, no regrets — but, deep down, Peter Lawrie had known for some time the flame was beginning to flicker.The will to play on simply wasn’t there and life on tour was no longer what it was. The game had moved on, developed and changed, and there came a point when Lawrie realised it was time he moved on too.The nomadic existence, the weeks and months spent away from home and family, and the perpetual battle to justify it all wasn’t what he wanted anymore. Enough was enough.“I was on a train track and I couldn’t get off it and no matter what I did the end was in sight,” he tells The42. “Did golf give me up or did I give up on it? I think it was a bit of both, to be honest.”Lawrie officially turned his back on professional golf last September, but the beginning of the end can be traced back to November 2015. It was at that stage, as he returned to Qualifying School in Catalunya, when he began to question it and the doubts started to reverberate.“You look back on it,” he continues. “You’re 42 years of age and can you just picture yourself going back into Sixth Year in school to do your Leaving Cert again. I would say that would horrify a lot of people and that’s exactly what it was like.“I was going back mixing with young lads who were trying to come up on tour. It’s actually funny as I probably looked at older lads when I came out as a young guy, thinking ‘what are these lads still doing out here, they’re way past their prime’ and that was me in that situation.”It was the lowest point of his career and Lawrie’s performance that week hinted that his desire was beginning to fade as a nightmare situation was compounded after an incorrect drop from a staked tree. The Dubliner won once on the European Tour. Source: PA Archive/PA ImagesHe refused to sign his card and was automatically disqualified, a decision he knew would end his hopes of regaining his full playing rights for 2016.“I won’t give up,” he said at the time, but Lawrie knew. He knew there wasn’t much more he could give to a game, and lifestyle, which had changed dramatically in the two decades he had been on tour.Ten starts sprinkled throughout 2016 failed to yield much return and financially it was no longer viable for him to chase one final payday whilst leaving his wife at home with four young kids.“I would always weigh up the situation of walking out the door and leaving them behind. Was it worth my while?” he said.“Not just in terms of me being competitive but also in a monetary nature and when that wasn’t stacking up, when I was walking out the door and leaving my family behind and not earning a decent wage and then struggling and losing a bit at the end, it was time to call it a day.“It’s a hard thing to do, to look at your career and accept it’s time to move on. I just needed to tell myself that I’d had a good career but now I need to stop and do something else. If I kept chasing it I would be talked about as one of those players who was good but now can’t hit snow off a rope.”His last shot in professional golf was at the KLM Open on 9 September 2016, as he carded rounds of 76 and 77 to finish 149th out of 156 entries. He had hoped for a final swansong at the Dunhill Links or in Portugal but a sponsor’s invite never came.“You just have to look at how long they hit it now, and their physiques,” he says. “Golf has changed so dramatically to a power sport rather than a master craftsman getting the ball around the golf course. Lawrie has taken up a role as director of golf at Luttrellstown Castle. Source: PA Archive/PA Images“Golf moved on to a certain extent because the golf courses I could contend at were short and tight and now they play courses that are mainly wide open, long and with plenty of rough.”Lawrie hadn’t so much fallen out of love with golf — the game is all he’s ever known and wanted to play — but had become tired and disillusioned by everything that goes around it; the airports, the travel, the hotels, the endless pursuit of ranking points and the pressure to come home from far-flung places with something to show for it all.“It just got tiresome after a while, I had done enough of it.” he admits. “Twenty years as a pro, 15 of them were on the European Tour and the other five were pretty much going around the world chasing a card. It was enough, I had done enough.The hardest part was probably in the evening time, you’ve finished your dinner and there’s nobody around you. You’re talking to the kids on the phone: ‘How are you today, what did you get up to today Daddy?’ and you say to yourself really I should be at home. That was the hardest part more than anything else.“You’re trying to get home on a Sunday night or a Friday night when you’ve missed the cut as quickly as you can to see the kids. They need their Dad, especially my son more than anything. The youngest is five, then seven, nine and 11.”Now, Lawrie gets to spend a lot more time at home after taking up the role of director of golf at Luttrellstown Castle Golf Club, with the commute for his new day job taking just five minutes.Life has moved onto the next chapter.Lawrie is just about coming to terms with that, and beginning to accept the way a career which garnered one European Tour win, at the Spanish Open in 2008, came to a halt earlier than he would have liked. He still questions if he made the right decision, but insists he just has to park that period in his life and look forward. Celebrating the putt to win the 2008 Spanish Open. Source: Ross Kinnaird“The 19 September 2016 is a date which will be etched in my brain forever,” he explains. “I still wonder have I made the right decision. I’m watching and thinking I could still be out there but there’s a day and a day when things move on and that’s life.“Dealing with the fact that I’m not playing anymore has been the hard part. Watching the television or watching the scores on the internet, the lure is still there. I suppose it’s a bit like being a gambler, golf was like that, it was the thrill of the next big win. That’s been tough to push aside.You have to move on and when you’re in that situation, just accept it’s time and let someone else in the door. I have no regrets because that would kill you. I made that decision and you have to get on with it. I’ve closed one chapter and opened up another.”Fresh pastures, but Lawrie can look back on his time at the top with great pride and satisfaction. The ultimate professional, who earned the respect of his peers through sheer hard work, perseverance and an unflinching passion for the game, the Dubliner was one of the most consistent performers on tour. He kept his  card for 12 straight years and could have easily been a four-time winner had he not been pipped in three separate play-offs.His one win also involved a play-off, but on that occasion Lawrie came out the right side as he defeated home favourite Ignacio Garrido at the Spanish Open nine years ago.“It was definitely one of the highlights with the other being when I played with my brother in the Dunhill Links at St Andrew’s and we finished sixth. To be able to share that with him was fantastic and not many sportsmen can say they shared the arena with their brother.“I consider myself very lucky because of what I achieved and what I did. You could look back on the four play-offs I was in and say I could have won them all and could have been a four-time winner on tour but I can’t do that. At the time I gave it my best shot and that’s as good as I could give and I was a thorough professional from start to finish. Source: Ross Kinnaird“I wasn’t one of the lads who was down the pub at the night time, I gave it all I could and here I am, that’s it, I couldn’t have done any more. I’m proud of what I did but would I liked to have been there a little longer? Yes, but sometimes that’s not the way it works out.“I grew up with golf and dreaming of playing it professionally. When I was in Terenure College, a big rugby school, I didn’t play rugby because I didn’t want to damage myself for golf.“I used to get laughed at for saying ‘my left hand was worth €2 million and my right worth €3 million’ but that’s the way I looked at it. I always wanted to be a professional golfer and I reached that.“I’m one of the few players out there who can say they won on the European Tour and had a successful career.”The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us! Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Follow us: the42.ie By Ryan Baileylast_img read more

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Irishman who died in Ethiopian Airlines plane crash helped the most vulnerable

first_img https://jrnl.ie/4533806 Mar 10th 2019, 6:31 PM Irishman who died in Ethiopian Airlines plane crash ‘helped the most vulnerable people on our planet’ Michael Ryan, originally from Lahinch in Clare, worked with the World Food Programme. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Share45 Tweet Email2 14 Comments 79,743 Views center_img Short URL Source: WFP/FacebookTHE IRISH PERSON who was among the 157 people who died in a plane crash in Ethiopia this morning has been named as Michael Ryan, originally from Lahinch, Co Clare.Michael Ryan was Deputy Chief Engineer at the United Nations’ World Food Programme and was based at its Rome headquarters, a spokesperson confirmed to TheJournal.ie.“All of WFP’s thoughts and condolences are with the families of those killed.”A Department of Foreign Affairs spokesperson told TheJournal.ie: “The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is aware of the incident and providing consular assistance.”The Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 crashed this morning en route from Addis Ababa to Nairobi in Kenya with 149 passengers and eight crew believed to be on board, the airline said.The plane crashed soon after take off, outside the Ethiopian capital.Speaking to reporters today, the Minister for Business Heather Humphreys said:“I just want to say I am very sorry to hear about the Ethiopian airline that crashed this morning and I understand from media reports that there is one Irish citizen on that. Sunday 10 Mar 2019, 6:31 PM By Gráinne Ní Aodha Our thoughts are with the families and the Department of Foreign Affairs remains ready to act in any way that they can and give any support to the families.Clare councillor for Fine Gael Martin Conway also reacted to the news this evening.“Deeply saddened at news of the death of Michael Ryan from Lahinch, one of the 157 on board the Ethiopian Airlines plane.Michael worked with the UN on the World Food Programme helping the most vulnerable people on our planet. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.last_img read more

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She got duped Woman who helped Lisa Smith convert to Islam shocked

first_imgIt is understood she is currently being detained by the US armed forces based in northern Syria.Duffy told Liveline on RTÉ Radio 1 that Smith was a “very funny, very approachable” woman, and claimed she could not believe that the former Air Corps member was in Syria when she heard the news.“If anyone had said to me before that Lisa would do that, I’d have said ‘Lisa Smith, definitely not’,” she said.She also revealed that Smith began attending the mosque in Dundalk around 2010, and that while the former Air Corps member hadn’t initially converted at the time, she had a keen interest in the religion.“Lisa’s one of those people who’s interested in all sorts of different things. She hadn’t converted then; she was just looking for information,” she said.“But she had friends who were Muslim and she knew a fair bit about the ins and outs of it, but obviously nothing in depth, and that’s why she came to us.”However, Duffy believes that shortly after converting to Islam, her friend began to drift, saying the last thing she heard about Smith was that she had met a man and moved to Tunisia, where he was originally from.“She seemed to be very happy there for a while…but I know she was talking to people online before she moved to Tunisia; we had conversations about it,” Duffy said.Duffy also claimed that Smith was brainwashed by people online, and even came to attention at a mosque in Dublin because she began sharing extremist views before moving to Syria.“She was talking to a man and a woman online and they were telling her things and she’d come back and tell us,” she said.“She slowly started isolating herself. She moved further and further away.”She added that she was conflicted by news that Smith was now being detained with her child in Syria, saying that she did not know what should happen to her friend.Duffy said that while she was “adamant” that anyone who was involved with Islamic State should be punished, she believed the Smith she knew would not physically hurt anyone.“I don’t believe she ever lifted a gun, I don’t believe she killed anyone. I don’t even believe she was sympathising with them,” she said.“I think she was looking for something idealised and it didn’t work out that way and I think she got duped.” ‘She got duped’: Woman who helped Lisa Smith convert to Islam ‘shocked’ at alleged ISIS links Carol Duffy claims her friend was ‘very naive’ before she left Ireland a number of years ago. Short URL Mar 11th 2019, 5:08 PM 61 Comments 45,281 Views Lisa Smith Share365 Tweet Email2 https://jrnl.ie/4535136 A DUNDALK WOMAN who says she helped Lisa Smith convert to Islam says she was “shocked” to hear about her alleged link to the Islamic State group.Carol Duffy, who grew up and attended the Dundalk Community Mosque with Smith, also claimed that she has “no idea” what brought her friend to Syria.Her comments come after it emerged on Friday night that Smith is being held in northern Syria on suspicion of membership of the terrorist group. Image: Tom Conachy Monday 11 Mar 2019, 5:08 PM By Stephen McDermott Lisa Smith Image: Tom Conachy Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

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Lone mothers and people with disabilities discriminated against when it comes to

first_img Short URL 12,658 Views Experience of discrimination while searching for housingWhether certain groups experience poorer housing conditionsThe prevalence of homelessness across different groupsResultsThe research found that in particular lone parents are disadvantaged when it came to housing.About 60% of all homeless families are single parent families headed by lone mothers. As well as this, lone mothers experience high levels of discrimination when it comes to accessing housing.They also live in poorer quality housing, including poorer neighbourhoods.People with disabilities also report being disproportionately discriminated against when it comes to housing.In general, people with disabilities are more than twice as likely to report discrimination relating to housing and over 1.6 times more likely to live in poor conditions.This includes living in damp housing, lacking central heating or living in an area with neighbourhood problems.Travellers also face housing discrimination. Members of the Travelling community make up less than 1% of the population but make up 9% of the homeless population.Travellers are also almost 10 times more likely to report discrimination in access to housing.The research also found that people aged between 18 and 34 are six times more likely to be discriminated against compared to those aged over 65.Comment Commenting on the findings, Emily Logan, Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, said that addressing housing supply was essential to improve disadvantaged groups’ experience.“Addressing housing supply, and in particular the supply of social housing, is essential,” she said.“However, a one-size-fits-all approach will not meet the needs of an increasingly diverse population.Both the private and public sectors need to step up to their obligations under equality and human rights law if we are to break the cycle of inequality and discrimination in housing.You can access the full report here LONE MOTHERS, people with disabilities, young people and Travellers are the main groups facing the highest levels of discrimination and inequality when it comes to housing in Ireland.New research conducted by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) and the ESRI looking into discrimination and inequality in housing in Ireland was published today.The research examined people’s experiences across three different measures: 64 Comments Share149 Tweet Email Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire Image: Niall Carson/PA Wirecenter_img Lone mothers and people with disabilities discriminated against when it comes to housing New research looking into discrimination and inequality in housing in Ireland was published today. http://jrnl.ie/4072499 By Cormac Fitzgerald Friday 15 Jun 2018, 11:57 AM Jun 15th 2018, 11:57 AM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

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Brumby calls for the return of the Parthenon Marbles

first_imgThe British Museum should make immediate arrangements to return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece, Premier John Brumby said in Parliament last week.Mr Brumby stated that he would write to Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown to pass on the firm views of both the Victorian Greek community and the Victorian Government on the issue. “The Marbles need to be returned to Greece immediately – they are an immensely important part of that nation’s history and to Greeks everywhere,” Mr Brumby said. “It could only be fair and respectful for the Marbles to be returned.” he added. Meanwhile, the Victorian Premier spoke warmly about Melbourne’s Greek community and it’s contribution and highlighted the government’s efforts to support Greek organisations. Mr Brumby said the Victorian Government had provided almost $6 million through the Victorian Multicultural Commission to Greek community organisations to celebrate and recognise their culture. The funding includes: $680,000 for festivals and events including the Antipodes and the Thessaloniki Sister City festivals since 1999; and $440,260 for projects and activities which support Greek community heritage, language culture. In addition, almost $800,000 of Victorian Government funding had been provided to 38 Greek Community Languages Schools this year. And, $1.4m is set for programs to support Greek welfare and seniors programs, and other events. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

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Spartan sisterhood renewed

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Moreland council has proposed to establish a new sisterhood relationship between the city of Moreland and Sparta in Greece. As a gesture of their commitment, the council has allocated $20, 000 to build a bronze bust of King Leonidas at Sparta Place. The Pallaconian Brotherhood of Melbourne Victoria in Brunswick will take responsibility for managing the project in liaison with Council.Mayor of Moreland, Lambros Tapinos hopes to renew the sisterhood relationship that once existed between Brunswick and Sparta up until 1988. He has written a letter to the  Mayor of Sparta stating his intentions. “There are a lot of Greek people in Moreland who have come from Sparta and Larconia,” he said. “We are aiming to develop closer ties with Sparta with the aim of cultural exchange, education and maybe even business ties between the two.”Cr Tapinos says the monument will also serve as a notable reminder of the Spartan contribution to the world.“It is not just for the Greek community, it is a monument to a war soldier who fought for democracy and freedom. “Because of their sacrifice, western civilisation and democracy was able to flourish. We would be living in a different world today if the Persians had been allowed to conquer Greece.”Cr Tapinos has written a letter to the Mayor of Sparta stating his intentions to revive the relationship and is awaiting a response.last_img read more

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Democracys cradle rocking the world

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram On Thursday, the whole world was watching Greece as its parliament voted to pass a divisive package of austerity measures that could have critical ramifications for the global financial system. It may come as a surprise that this tiny tip of the Balkan Peninsula could command such attention. We usually think of Greece as the home of Plato and Pericles, its real importance lying deep in antiquity. But this is hardly the first time that to understand Europe’s future you need to turn away from the big powers at the centre of the continent and look closely at what is happening in Athens. For the past 200 years, Greece has been at the forefront of Europe’s evolution. In the 1820s, as it waged a war of independence against the Ottoman Empire, Greece became an early symbol of escape from the prison house of empire.For Philhellenes, its resurrection represented the noblest of causes. “In the great morning of the world,” Shelley wrote in ‘Hellas’, his poem about the country’s struggle for independence, “Freedom’s splendour burst and shone!” Victory would mean liberty’s triumph not only over the Turks but also over all those dynasts who had kept so many Europeans enslaved. Germans, Italians, Poles and Americans flocked to fight under the Greek blue and white for the sake of democracy. And within a decade, the country won its freedom. Over the next century, the radically new combination of constitutional democracy and ethnic nationalism that Greece embodied spread across the continent, culminating in “the peace to end all peace” at the end of the First World War, when the Ottoman, Hapsburg and Russian empires disintegrated and were replaced by nation-states. In the aftermath of the First World War, Greece again paved the way for Europe’s future. Only now it was democracy’s dark side that came to the fore. In a world of nation-states, ethnic minorities like Greece’s Muslim population and the Orthodox Christians of Asia Minor were a recipe for international instability. In the early 1920s, Greek and Turkish leaders decided to swap their minority populations, expelling some two million Christians and Muslims in the interest of national homogeneity. The Greco-Turkish population exchange was the largest such organised refugee movement in history to that point and a model that the Nazis and others would point to later for displacing peoples in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and India. It is ironic, then, that Greece was in the vanguard of resistance to the Nazis, too. In the winter of 1940-41, it was the first country to fight back effectively against the Axis powers, humiliating Mussolini in the Greco-Italian war while the rest of Europe cheered. And many cheered again a few months later when a young left-wing resistance fighter named Manolis Glezos climbed the Acropolis one night with a friend and pulled down a swastika flag that the Germans had recently unfurled. (Almost 70 years later, Mr Glezos would be tear-gassed by the Greek police while protesting the austerity program.) Ultimately, however, Greece succumbed to German occupation. Nazi rule brought with it political disintegration, mass starvation and, after liberation, the descent of the country into outright civil war between Communist and anti-Communist forces. Only a few years after Hitler’s defeat, Greece found itself in the centre of history again, as a front line in the cold war. In 1947, President Harry S. Truman used the intensifying civil war there to galvanise Congress behind the Truman Doctrine and his sweeping peacetime commitment of American resources to fight Communism and rebuild Europe. Suddenly elevated into a trans-Atlantic cause, Greece now stood for a very different Europe – one that had crippled itself by tearing itself apart, whose only path out of the destitution of the mid-1940s was as a junior partner with Washington. As the dollars poured in, American advisers sat in Athens telling Greek policy makers what to do and American napalm scorched the Greek mountains as the Communists were put to flight. European political and economic integration was supposed to end the weakness and dependency of the divided continent, and here, too, Greece was an emblem of a new phase in its history. The fall of Greece’s military dictatorship in 1974 not only brought the country full membership in what would become the European Union; it also (along with the transitions in Spain and Portugal at the same time) prefigured the global democratisation wave of the 1980s and ’90s, first in South America and Southeast Asia and then in Eastern Europe. And it gave the European Union the taste for enlargement and the ambition to turn itself from a small club of wealthy Western European states into a voice for the newly democratic continent as a whole, extending far to the south and east. And now today, after the euphoria of the 1990s has faded and a new modesty sets in among the Europeans, it falls again to Greece to challenge the mandarins of the European Union and to ask what lies ahead for the continent. The European Union was supposed to shore up a fragmented Europe, to consolidate its democratic potential and to transform the continent into a force capable of competing on the global stage. It is perhaps fitting that one of Europe’s oldest and most democratic nation-states should be on the new front line, throwing all these achievements into question. For we are all small powers now, and once again Greece is in the forefront of the fight for the future. Mark Mazower is a professor of history at Columbia University. Source: New York Timeslast_img read more

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