Stones and fireworks thrown at police outside talk by former IRA bomber

first_imgSTONES AND FIREWORKS were thrown at police by protesters outside an event in east Belfast this evening.The PSNI said that police attended a protest at the Skainos Centre on the Newtownards Road, and at approximately 7.10pm, a number of items including stones and fireworks were thrown for a few minutes.Four police officers received minor injuries that were treated at the scene, while two police vehicles had their windows broken.An event was taking place at the Skainos centre at the time – a talk called ‘Listening to your enemies with Pat Magee and Jo Berry’.Berry’s father was killed in the Brighton bombing in October 1984, while Magee was one of the bombers. According to a description of the event, in recent years Magee and Berry have begun “a journey towards understanding one another”.The PSNI said that fireworks and stones were also thrown at police between 8pm and 8.40pm, with police lines coming under fire.The event has now ended and attendees have dispersed safely, said police, and an inquiry “has been initiated into this disorder”.Police are maintaining a presence in the area.last_img read more

The best photo editing apps you can download

first_imgSO CHANCES ARE you went out for St Patrick’s Day and chances are you’ve taken quite a number of photos while you were there (after learning what you need to do).While the traditional camera apps have their own editing functions, sometimes you need something a little more than just a filter and auto-enhance to improve a photo. Here are a few of the best apps out there.Camera+For: iOSCost: €1.79One of the best camera apps out there for iOS, Camera+ has a ton of features that blows the standard camera app out of the water. With a number of shooting modes – including burst mode and a stabiliser among other things – and a ton of editing options, it’s well worth the investment.(Image: Camera+/App Store)VSCO CamFor: iOS, AndroidCost: FreeIf Instagram is for the average person, then VSCO Cam is the fancier alternative, although it’s much than that. It’s full of filters, editing options and a photo network that features more refined and artistic photos than what you would find elsewhere.It’s simple to use and once you get your head around the different options, fine-tuning your photos becomes second nature.(Video: VSCO/Vimeo) SnapSeedFor: iOS, AndroidCost: FreePurchased by Google back in 2012, Snapseed holds its own with a rather versatile photo editing suite. It’s not as precise as VSCO cam or Camera+, but it holds its own and won’t let you down should you need to edit on the go.(Image: SnapSeed/Google Play)PrismFor: iOSCost: €2.69While not a photo editing app per say, Prism is a handy app to accompany any of the other apps on this list. It focuses on colours so if you want to give your photo a certain mood, it allows for greater diversity than you would find on any temperature function.(Image: Prism/App Store)Photo Editor By AviaryFor: iOS, Android, Windows PhoneCost: FreePhoto Editor by Aviary pretty much does everything you expect a standard photo editing app to do, but also adds in its own surreal elements like adding meme text, and drawings to your photos.Don’t let that fool you though as it’s a very competent photo editing app and offers the same functionality you would find on similar apps.(Image: Photo Editor by Aviary/Google Play)Adobe Photoshop Express For: iOS, Android Cost: FreeAlongside an advanced editing suite on desktop, Adobe Photoshop also has a photo editing app which is quite versatile for a free version. There are in-app purchases for those who want to do more than cropping and filters, but the free version is a worthy addition.Those of you looking for a similar experience to the desktop version of Photoshop would be better off purchasing Photoshop Focus (€8.99 on iOS and €7.99 on Android).(Image: Adobe Photoshop Express/App Store)FhotoroomFor: Windows Phone Cost: FreeOne of the best photo editing apps on Windows Phone, Photoroom is packed with features like exposures, filters, brushes, giving you a level of customisation that puts the best apps to shame.(Image: Fhotoroom/Windows Phone)Pixlr ExpressFor: iOS, AndroidCost: FreeIf there’s one thing Plxlr has in spades, it’s customisation. Alongside a simple pop-up interface for editing, there is an impressive number of filters and add-ons which is handy if you enjoy adding effects while touching up your images.(Image: Plxlr Express/App Store)Read: How to turn your smartphone photos from good to great >Read: 5 apps worth downloading this week – 15th March >last_img read more

Social justice group distances itself from insolvency budget figures

first_imgTHE ORGANISATION WHOSE budget guidelines were used as the model for the insolvency guidelines published yesterday have issued a statement saying that the final figures used were “an adapted version”.The Vincentian Partnership for Social Justice (VPSJ) – formed in 1996 to work for social and economic change tackling poverty and exclusion – said that it welcomed the publication of the Insolvency Service of Ireland’s (ISI) guidelines on Reasonable Living Expenses.The group said, however, that the ISI model was “an adapted version of the Minimum Essential Budget Standards data” and that it had been altered to “what the ISI regards as appropriate to the context of personal insolvency.”The statement marked for particular attention the following section of the guidelines: The figures used in these guidelines have unique application to personal insolvency and are not intended to be used for purposes other than the stated purposes of these guidelines under the Act.The VPSJ also said that the budget numbers were different to the expenditure and income data available on and the results produced by the Minimum Income Standards calculator Struggling borrowers may have to move house, sell car and change creche to enter new insolvency process >More: PIC: How much a single person can spend under the new insolvency rules >Reaction: New insolvency guidelines protect banks at borrowers’ expense – opposition >last_img read more

GSOC investigate fatal road crash after pursuit by gardaí

first_imgUpdated 4.39pmGSOC HAS LAUNCHED an investigation after a woman died in a car crash following a pursuit by gardaí.The incident was one of two fatal road crashes last night.It occurred shortly before 2am this morning in Fairview, at the junction of the Malahide Road and the Clontarf Road.Gardaí were following the car when it crashed into a lampost.The woman, named as 43-year-old Sinéad Maguire from Dublin 3, was rushed to the Mater hospital, where she was later pronounced dead. A post mortem will be carried out later today.The driver, a 26-year-old man, is in a critical condition in Beaumont Hospital, while another 20-year-old passenger was taken to St James Hospital where his condition is described as stable.“As a result the incident was referred to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission for investigation, in accordance with section 102 of the Garda Síochána Act (2005),” a spokesperson for GSOC said.Anyone with information can contact GSOC on 1890 600 800.In a separate incident last night, one person was killed in a single vehicle crash on the N81 Blessington Road.Originally published 1.08pmRead: Investigation launched after death of young man who was in garda custody >More: Two people killed in separate overnight road crashes >last_img read more

13 ways in which Irish politicians are just like us when it

first_img8. They follow gas parody accountsMinister for Health Leo Varadkar a big fan of this Stewie Griffin account, as we can see. In other news, it’s 6 months till Christmas….— Aodhán Ó Ríordáin (@AodhanORiordain) June 25, 2014 Greatest response ever to a Gerry Adams >15 people who prove that your worst fails can become victories > The only way 2 start the Twelfth.— Gerry Adams (@GerryAdamsSF) July 12, 2014 Source: Leo Varadkar/TwitterWhile Mary-Lou McDonald prefers @TheTweetOfGod. Source: Mary Lou McDonald/TwitterAnd Lucinda favours Ross O’Carroll-Kelly. Source: Lucinda Creighton/Twitter9. They count down to eventsJerry Buttimer and Aodhán O’Riordáin getting excited for Christmas already. Source: Jerry Buttimer/Twitter Source: Jerry Buttimer/Twitter Source: Dr James Reilly TD/Twitter Source: Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD/Twitter WHEN IT COMES to Twitter, TDs are just like us. If you think they’re all about interacting with constituents or promoting policy, you’re dead wrong.Don’t believe us? Read on.1. They RT to winCase in point: Colm Keaveney and Mary Mitchell O’Connor, who both desperately want those vouchers and don’t care who knows it. Source: Colm Keaveney/Twitter Source: Mary Mitchell O’Connor/Twitter2. They retweet ~celebs~Here’s Shane Ross reminding us to tune into Amanda Brunker on the radio for some reason. Source: Shane Ross/Twitter3. They get nostalgicSee: closet punk Mary Lou McDonald and girl power advocate Ciara Conway. Source: Mary Lou McDonald/Twitter Source: Ciara Conway/Twitter4. They retweet topical gagsHaha, Seán Sherlock, you madzer! Source: Sean Sherlock/Twitter5. They retweet articles that justify their bad habitsMinister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan all like, “See, science says not drinking wine is actually bad for you.” Source: Charlie Flanagan/Twitter6. They reuse the same jokes and hope nobody will noticeWe saw that, Ged. Source: Gerald Nash/Twitter Source: Gerald Nash/Twitter7. They make mistakesÉamon Ó Cuív mistaking Twitter for Google not once, but twice. Source: Éamon Ó Cúiv/Twitter Source: Éamon Ó Cuív/TwitterJames Reilly: wrestling aficionado. @WWE— Sen Dr James Reilly (@DrJamesReilly) April 6, 2013 10. They follow Earth Pics, History In Pics, etc.When not working, Joe Costello has a very keen interest in tropical holiday destinations. Source: Joe Costello/Twitter Source: Joe Costello/Twitter11. They love anything relating to animalsSenator Averil Power <3 puppies. Source: Averil Power/Twitter12. They follow embarrassing accounts“Joanna Tuffy followed Sandra Bullock Web” Source: Joanna Tuffy/Twitter13. And they post photos of their mediocre-looking food Source: Gerry Adams/Twitterlast_img read more

iPad 2 to be smaller flatter and louder

first_imgThe image above, depicting what might be the iPad 2, has been making the rounds today. It shows the supposed back corner of the next iPad, complete with a large “wide-ranged” speaker, but what is even more interesting is what is missing: both a USB slot and an SD card reader.Japanese tech blog Macotakara posted a report saying they learned from an anonymous source that the 2011 iPad would be 3mm smaller than the current one but would feature the same size display (meaning the bezel will be trimmed). It would also have a back piece that is “flat like an iPod touch” as opposed to the current convex shape. Also the ambient light sensor would be moved to the upper center of the back of the unit and the iPad may have two cameras. The site noted that the camera information is unreliable, despite the fact that most speculation lists this as the most likely change for the next iPad revision.AdChoices广告As for timing, the anonymous source says to expect the product to ship in between the middle and end of January as parts production has already started.Read more at Macotakara, via BGR.Sal’s ThoughtsWhile this report is interesting it’s not one I’m really taking to heart. I don’t doubt that somewhere production for the iPad 2 is beginning but the image above isn’t quite convincing and that speaker grille looks rather ugly. I could definitely see the second iPad shipping with the same size display and without an SD slot though, and a flatter shape for the back wouldn’t be overly surprising.Better sound would be a major plus too, but that image just doesn’t look right. The thing is, it’s in keeping with the case rumors we’ve seen, all of which have some sort of cutout in the rear corner, though not all the rumors seem to agree on the size and placement. Also none of the cases have a hole in the back for the light sensor… not that putting the ALS in the rear even seems to make much sense.So while things do seem to fit together somewhat conveniently, I wouldn’t put money on this being a final design.last_img read more

GTK HTML 5 update puts desktop apps on the web

first_imgWith Internet Explorer 9 appearing earlier this week, and Firefox 4 to release shortly, there’s bound to be more talk of what HTML 5 can make possible in the browser. So far HTML 5 has been linked with allowing for web video without a plug-in, browser games, and some very cool demos appearing from organizations like Mozilla.However, it’s not just entertainment that the latest browser technologies allow, it also makes it possible for software currently tied to the desktop to move over to the web. In order for that to happen certain libraries and APIs need to be ported to work with web technologies like HTML.GIMP running on a Mac using GTK+GTK+ is a free to use toolkit that creates graphical user interfaces for applications. It works on Linux, Windows, and Mac meaning the interface for your app, at least, will work across all platforms if you use GTK+. It’s also very popular and used in well-known applications such as Inkscape, AbiWord, GIMP, VMWare Player and many more. Even whole desktop environments use it like GNOME and KDE.But GTK+ is about to get a lot more popular because of a new feature currently being added. That feature is compatibility with HTML 5. What that means is, any app using GTK+ can potentially very easily run within a web browser.The videos above and below show that work is already well underway to make this happen:In reality this means applications tied to your desktop no longer have to be if they use GTK+. Instead, the software can be placed on a server and accessed through a web browser from anywhere while retaining the user interface and look of the desktop equivalent.That brings with it two main advantages. The first is that you no longer need to install the software on any machine as it’s just available over an Internet connection. The second is the fact you are saving remotely meaning a broken machine does not mean lost work.For the moment there’s no specifics on when developers can get a hold of the new GTK+ backend, but it certainly looks promising.Read more at Alexander Larsson’s blog, via Web UP8last_img read more

HTC Puccini Android ROM being ported to Flyer other tablets

first_imgThe HTC Puccini 10″ Android tablet has yet to be confirmed by the company, but there’s been no shortage of information floating around about it. A few months ago, screenshots showing the Puccini tablet’s Android 3.0 Honeycomb ROM in action leaked to the web before it launched — or was even announced by HTC. Now, a dump of that ROM has been found on a filesharing site.As is typically the case when a new Android tablet ROM is dumped and shared, community developers at XDA have already started digging through the ROM to see if it can be modified and flashed to other tablets that are already available. One potential target is the HTC Flyer, the Puccini’s 7-inch cousin that went on sale early this summer. Hardware differences among tablets mean that it’ll take a while, but the success record of the contributors at XDA is stellar — so don’t be surprised if the Puccini ROM is up and running on another tablet in the coming days.Once the community ports the Puccini’s software to an existing tablet, we’ll have a nearly complete look at what it will bring to the table. Back in May, purported specs had already leaked as well. The Puccini was said to be running the MSM8660 SOC with a dual-core 1.5GHz processor and Adreno 220 graphics, a 1280×800 pixel 10.1″ display, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, and an 8MP rear camera with dual LED flash (and a front-facing cam as well). It’s also believed that the Puccini will support the HTC Magic Pen, like its more portable predecessor.The Puccini will also be arriving on U.S. shores packing LTE hardware — and heading for AT&T’s shiny, new network.More at Liliputing and Engadgetlast_img read more

Augmented reality projectors bring Leias cry for help one step closer to

first_imgAnyone who grew up with Star Wars lore has likely dreamed of the day when we can communicate with each other via 3D holograms projected in mid-air. While that may not be the exact aim of the “augmented projectors” that Microsoft is developing, they incorporate some real-life technology that could bring the fantasy one step closer to our everyday lives.The prototype projector is the work of Microsoft’s research lab in Cambridge, England. One of its creators, Steve Clayton, thought of the idea when he was shopping for furniture, and wondered if he would one day be able to project bookshelves into his living room to see how they’d look.Though they are still in a relatively primitive prototype phase, these projectors reveal some exciting potential for ten years (or so) down the road. Utilizing Kinect technology, they can sense the environment in which they are placed, isolating foreground objects (like people) from the inanimate background. One then holds the mobile projector in his hand, which projects a beam of light. This beam serves as a window into the 3D virtual version of the environment, and allows all sorts of back-and-forth interactions between the real and virtual world.These interactions include some basic tools like: scanning individual physical objects into the virtual world (and then placing a projection of them elsewhere), manipulating objects with shadows (which will undoubtedly lead to some brilliant shadow puppet theatre), drawing in mid-air, and pinching to scroll a projected image. You can even project pre-recorded objects – or people – into the real environment.Potential usesWhile this list may not immediately inspire you to think of practical uses (other than some slightly-less boring presentations), imagine when this device can be manufactured in a much smaller form factor, with higher resolution. We may one day carry discreet, jewelry-sized mobile projectors that present almost realistic-looking images.In addition to Clayton’s vision of virtual furniture shopping, this could lead to all kinds of interactions. Imagine playing a virtual game of one-on-one (without a physical basketball or hoop), being able to hold a virtual 3D model of a product while shopping online, or taking a virtual walkthrough of a house that’s on the other side of the world. And yes, this could eventually open the door to Star Wars-like 3D hologram chat too.While that kind of consumer version might be at least a decade (or two) away, it’s fun to be reminded that our current technology will one day look just as archaic as an Atari 2600 or Commodore 64 does today. That should be reassuring to rebel princesses in distress, if nobody else.Be sure to check out the tech in action below:More at Microsoft Research Blog, via Geekwirelast_img read more

IBM is developing 500 mile range lithiumair car battery

first_imgThe electric vehicle has to overcome three major hurdles if it is ever going to be a success with consumers. They need to charge fast, be cheap to buy, and have a decent range between charges.At the moment, the range of electric vehicles is around about 100 miles on average, which may be adequate for most journeys, but certainly isn’t good enough. The issue is the battery technology in use today that relies on lithium-ion, and whose make-up is rather heavy and energy density not really high enough for use in a vehicle. IBM has been developing an alternative though, using a type of battery previously thought unsuitable for long-term use in electric vehicles.It’s called a lithium-air (Li-air) battery and uses carbon instead of metal oxides so it is therefore a lot lighter than an equivalent lithium-ion battery. As it uses oxygen there is no need to store a fuel, so Li-air also has a very high energy density, around 1000x that of lithium-ion batteries.The one issue with Li-air is the fact the oxygen reacts with the conducting solution as well as the cathode. This drastically shortens the life of the battery and makes it unsuitable for use in cars. But IBM has a solution.Physicists Winfried Wickle and Alessandro Curioni modeled the reactions inside a Li-air battery using an IBM Blue Gene supercomputer. They then tried different conducting solution materials to see if any could work without reacting with oxygen. They found one, but are not prepared to tell anyone what it is yet.What they have managed to do is build a working prototype of a Li-air battery capable of offering electric vehicles a 500 mile range. A final prototype of this battery is expected by the end of 2013, and then if all goes well it will be used in electric vehicles by 2020.That’s seven years away, but hopefully by then we’ll have a number of other advancements, such as creating a car that achieves 444 mpg, that allow an even greater range.Read more at New Scientistlast_img read more

Gigabyte X11 carbonfiber laptop is worlds lightest

first_imgGigabyte has unveiled a new 11.6-inch laptop called the X11 today, and the Taiwanese company can make two bold claims about the new machine. The X11 is the first all-carbon-fiber laptop ever released, but more impressively, the X11 is also the lightest laptop in the world.The 11.6-inch MacBook Air weighs a mere 1,080 grams, but the X11 has it beat. It comes in 105 grams lighter at just 975 grams. You really aren’t going to have any issues carrying this laptop around for hours hanging off your shoulder.The Chinese-language Engadget video above gives you an idea of how good the X11 looks as well confirming its weight as a couple of grams below the official 975 gram spec. Inside the components look to be just as impressive, although final hardware configurations have yet to be confirmed.We can expect the X11 to carry one of Intel’s new Ivy Bridge processors coupled with 4GB of DDR3 RAM and a 128GB SSD. Graphics duties will be handled via the HD Graphics 4000 GPU included with the Ivy Bridge chip. The LED backlit display offers up a resolution of 1366 x 768 and sits above a chiclet keyboard and the usual array of ports (USB 2.0 and 3.0, DisplayPort, combo audio jack, and microSD). The X11 will run Windows 7 Home Premium or Professional, and the battery is a 35Wh 4730mAh unit that is expected to be non-removable.The X11 will be on display at Computex next week, with the final models going on sale for between $999 and $1,299 at some point in July.via The Verge, Engadgetlast_img read more

Google sends out invites for October 29 Android event

first_imgGoogle has sent invitations out for an event on October 29th, a day that has been widely rumored as the day Google will unveil the LG Nexus 4. The invitations don’t explicitly state that this event is for the next Nexus product, but the familiar Google Now layout coupled with the tag line “The Playground is Open” makes it abundantly clear this is about a Nexus device.We’ve seen the photos, heard the rumors, and laughed at the odd pattern on the back. The LG device, codenamed Mako, has been in testing internally by Google employees for weeks. Some leaks have shown Android 4.1.2 on earlier builds, but the quad core Snapdragon-powered phone is expected to launch running 4.2. This Nexus 4 appears to be a GSM only device, and no evidence pointing to a Verizon Wireless model at all. The 4 is expected to have an 8MP camera and 2GB of RAM, but no removable storage or battery info has been found.There’s also a strong likelihood that Google will announce a refresh to the Nexus 7 Best Price at Amazon line. The playground quote in the invitation is straight out of the original Nexus 7 commercial, though that could become something Google uses for the whole Nexus line. If a refresh is coming, the two big rumored features are a 32GB storage model and a model that allows for a cellular connection. In competing with Apple and Amazon, Google will likely continue to drive towards the $199 price point.Google’s announcement falls at the end of a line of announcements, including new products from Apple and the release of Microsoft Surface and Windows 8. Each of these three companies is clearly working overtime to have our undivided attention this holiday season, which in the end is always good for the users.via Engadgetlast_img read more

Siri open my garage door using a Raspberry Pi

first_imgApple’s Siri virtual assistant is kind of cool, and the Raspberry Pi micro Linux PC is really cool. If only there was a way to make Siri cooler by combining it with the Raspberry Pi. It just so happens that this is entirely possible. A Raspberry Pi enthusiast has posted a project to the maker’s forums showing how to use an iPhone to open your garage door.This mod makes use of SiriProxy running on the Raspberry Pi to enable a custom commands in the Siri app. The Pi box is running as root for the purposes of this project with wiringPi used to connect the Pi’s GPIO pins to the garage door relay. Getting SiriProxy running on the device is not a one-click process, but it’s not terribly daunting. Keep in mind this will only work on your local WiFi network unless you muck around with VPN connections.Once your Raspberry Pi is listening for SiriProxy commands, your iPhone should be able to feed instructions right into the Pi. Next up is adding the necessary actions to the SiriProxy server. This requires editing the ruby script in the program found here: /root/SiriProxy/plugins/siriproxy-example/lib/siriproxy-example.rb.The code snippets are available on the Raspberry Pi site if you just want to copy and paste, but you can choose your own call-response settings too. When the SiriProxy server running on the Pi hears the right command, it uses the GPIO pins to activate the garage door relay (or whatever you have it plugged into). Neat, right?There are probably easier ways to get your garage door open, but I defy you to find a cooler one.via Raspberry Pilast_img read more

55 people killed hundreds injured in Cameroon train derailment

first_img Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article By AFP Saturday 22 Oct 2016, 11:16 AM Oct 22nd 2016, 11:16 AM 55 people killed, hundreds injured in Cameroon train derailment The train was crammed with people due to road traffic disruption between two cities. 2 Comments Image: Equinox TV via AP Short URLcenter_img Source: Equinox TV via APTransport ministry officials have also rushed to the accident site.The train left Yaounde at around 11am (1000 GMT) and derailed around midday some 200 kilometres from the capital, the transport minister said.The train route was particularly busy after a bridge on the road linking Yaounde and Douala collapsed in heavy rain overnight Thursday, paralysing traffic and sending extra waves of travellers onto trains.The effects of the rains also impeded the arrival of emergency aid.The road is one of the busiest in the country and one of the main commercial routes in central Africa, carrying trade towards landlocked Chad and the Central African Republic.Many travellers were still blocked on either side of the collapsed bridge late last night, Martial Missimikim of road safety NGO Securoute told AFP.- © AFP 2016.Read: Envelope with white powder sent to Hillary Clinton campaign office>Read: London City airport declared safe after tear gas incident> Image: Equinox TV via AP FIFTY-FIVE PEOPLE were killed and almost 600 injured when a packed Cameroon passenger train derailed yesterday, leaving debris strewn across nearby tracks as carriages swung off the rails.The train, travelling from the capital Yaounde to the economic hub Douala, was crammed with people due to road traffic disruption between the two cities and came off the tracks just before reaching the central city of Eseka, transport minister Edgar Alain Mebe Ngo’o said.The minister, via state broadcaster CRTV, said 55 people had been confirmed dead and a further 575 were injured in the incident, updating an earlier toll.“The cause of the accident is not yet clear,” he said, adding that several of the injured were in a very serious condition.Emergency response“Intervention and security teams have been mobilised,” the rail company Camrail, a subsidiary of French investment group Bollore, announced.Emergency services had been sent from the economic capital to reinforce teams closer to the scene of the accident, while firefighters were coming from Eseka, Doula regional governor Dieudonne Ivaha Diboua said. Share72 Tweet Email 6,562 Views last_img read more

I am humbled Barack and Michelle Obamas official portraits unveiled at Portrait

first_img‘I am humbled’: Barack and Michelle Obama’s official portraits unveiled at Portrait Gallery The gallery in Washington has a complete collection of presidential portraits. Feb 12th 2018, 6:34 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Short URL By Hayley Halpin Share5 Tweet Email 51 Comments [image alt=”Obama Portrait” src=”×197.jpg” width=”296″ height=”197″ credit-source=”Andrew%20Harnik” credit-via=”PA%20Images” caption=”Former%20President%20Barack%20Obama%2C%20left%2C%20speaks%20at%20the%20unveiling%20ceremony%20of%20the%20portraits%20″ class=”alignnone” /end]THE NATIONAL PORTRAIT Gallery in Washington has unveiled portraits of former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama, both painted by African-American artists who were personally chosen by the Obamas.The portraits were unveiled to the public this afternoon at the gallery, which is part of the Smithsonian group of museums. The gallery has a complete collection of presidential portraits.A second and different set of portraits of the former first couple will eventually hang in the White House.Barack Obama’s portrait was painted by Kehinde Wiley – an artist best known for his vibrant, large-scale paintings of African-Americans.For Michelle Obama’s portrait, the gallery commissioned Baltimore-based artist Amy Sherald, first-prize winner of the Portrait Gallery’s 2016 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition.[image alt=”Obama Portrait” src=”×197.jpg” width=”296″ height=”197″ credit-source=”Andrew%20Harnik” credit-via=”PA%20Images” caption=”Michelle%20Obama’s%20official%20portrait%20″ class=”alignnone” /end]“I am humbled. I am proud, but most of all I am grateful for all the people that came before me in this journey,” Michelle Obama said, speaking at the event.Speaking shortly after his wife, citing the work Wiley does in relation to African-American portraits, Barack Obama said: “Kehinde lifted the unseen up. He gave them a platform and told them they belonged.”The portraits will be officially installed and available for public viewing starting on 13 February.National Portrait Gallery director Kim Sajet explained the process of the portrait creation: “Every portrait commission has four people: the sitter, the artist, the patron and most importantly, the view.”With reporting by Associated Press. Read: Mary Lou McDonald says nothing ‘insurmountable left to resolve’ in Stormont talksMore: Dart passengers are less satisfied than most commuters – but Luas users are delighted Monday 12 Feb 2018, 6:34 PM 23,602 Views last_img read more

Woman found guilty of impeding murder investigation by staging housemates suicide

first_img Thursday 15 Feb 2018, 5:58 PM Feb 15th 2018, 3:45 PM Image: Sebastian Duda via Shutterstock By Natasha Reid 20,006 Views Short URL Woman found guilty of impeding murder investigation by staging housemate’s suicide The killer was never charged because he sustained a traumatic brain injury months after the murder. Updated at 6pmA MOTHER OF one has been found guilty of staging her housemate’s suicide in order to impede the prosecution of her boyfriend for strangling her.The neo-nazi killer was never charged because his brain function is limited due to a traumatic injury sustained months later while fleeing after a car he had hijacked crashed. He is currently living in a care facility, where he is spoon fed.However, his 34-year-old former partner was on trial at the Central Criminal Court, charged with impeding his apprehension or prosecution, knowing or believing him to have murdered Antra Ozolina, aged 49, or committed some other arrestable offence.Egita Jaunmaize, of no fixed abode, admitted placing a blue cord around her fellow Latvian’s neck so as to simulate her suicide in order to make it more difficult to establish that her death was suspicious.However, she pleaded not guilty to carrying out the offence, without reasonable excuse, at their home at The Old Post, Main Street, Kilnaleck, Co Cavan on or around 27 or 28 June 2014. The mushroom picker told gardaí that she was in fear for her life and acting on her boyfriend’s orders at the time, having just seen him strangle Ozolina.Trial evidenceThe court heard that the accused reported her housemate and colleague’s apparent suicide to the authorities on 28 June.Gardaí found the deceased in her bathroom with a blue rope around her neck. A bible and an almost empty vodka bottle were found nearby, and there were no immediate signs of a struggle. The gardaí suspected suicide, as did the local pathologist, who carried out the coroner’s autopsy.However, the gardaí still carried out enquiries. The deceased was planning a month-long holiday in Latvia to visit her daughter, who described her as happy and healthy. Her friends said that she was not the type to take her own life.A forensic pathologist was called in to carry out a second autopsy, which revealed blunt force trauma other than the neck compression that had killed her.An engineer also found that she could not have used either the shower rail or the towel rail in her bathroom for suicide. It became clear that the rope’s function was to cover up a crime.The accused first told gardaí that she had argued with the deceased the night before, but that she had been well when they had gone to bed and that there was nobody else in the house. She had found her housemate dead on waking that morning, she said.She eventually told gardaí that her boyfriend had strangled her flatmate using his arm in front of her. She said she had tried to push him off his victim, but that he had punched her in the stomach.She said he had grabbed her by the throat when she threatened to go to gardaí, and that she was afraid he would kill her too if she did so.She said he had then asked her to put a rope around his victim’s neck to make it look like a suicide. She said she was “forced” to do it.She said that she eventually agreed to the killer’s plan to tell gardaí that his victim had killed herself.She kept to this line during a number of voluntary statements and in her first interview as a suspect, even suggesting that her housemate had given herself the other injuries found at autopsy.The statements of other witnesses were then put to her, including one from a friend whom the deceased had rung that night to say she was in fear and was going to ring the gardaí.The accused then agreed that she was under the duress of her boyfriend, whom she described as a ‘skinhead neo-nazi’.She was released from custody, without accepting a garda offer of accommodation through St Vincent de Paul, and was seen in the killer’s company a few days later.Boyfriend’s backgroundThe court heard that this boyfriend, who is now 31, has convictions for racist, neo-nazi offences in his native Latvia and has a large swastika tattooed on his chest.He had been in custody until six months before he moved to Ireland. He had breached his release conditions by moving here, and a European arrest warrant had been issued for him.The trial heard that had also been arrested after the killing, but denied the allegations put to him in an interview. He was described in court as “brazen”, telling gardaí that if he had killed someone, he would hardly be telling them.He had openly admitted to choking a woman, who had given a statement as part of the murder investigation. He said that she had accused him of being a ‘fag’, and he suggested that going for her throat was what any man would do.He was also released from custody at that time.The jury heard that on 29 October 2014, he and the accused woman’s half-brother staked out a businesswoman in Longford and held her at knifepoint.They bundled her into the back of a car, where Ozolina’s killer sat with his leg pressed up against her neck, while the other hijacker drove. The gardaí pursued the car, while the men threatened the woman and demanded money.The hijacked car crashed and the alleged killer got out to run away. He was struck by an oncoming vehicle with very considerable force, causing him obvious brain and physical damage.He was in hospital for a number of months, before being transferred to a nursing home. His brain function is now limited and he has lost the use of three limbs.He was being peg fed until recently but is now being spoon fed, and is hoisted to and from his bed on a daily basis. A garda told the court that he’s not in a position to be charged.The accused went to the gardaí in Longford after this crash, telling them: “I know now I can’t help him, I can’t change him. I’m tired trying to help him.”The prosecution reminded the jury that the reason she gave gardaí for having lied initially was a fear of this boyfriend being sent back to the authorities in Latvia.However, the defence called a psychiatrist, who said she would have found it difficult to defy him; she had been the victim of a violent crime in childhood, was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result, and feared her boyfriend would kill her too.The doctor said that she had the “potential to be re-victimised, getting into abusive relationships again and again”. He said she would have limited ability to defy such a “dominating, threatening and psychological and physically abusive man”.Giollaíosa Ó Lideadha SC, defending, said his client was “guilty of having been in a relationship with a bad man and was guilty of going back to the bad man afterwards”. However, he asked the jurors what they would have done in that situation on the night.He asked the jury to consider both duress and reasonable excuse as defences that would lead to an acquittal for his client.However, following three hours and 47 minutes of deliberations, the seven men and five women returned with a guilty verdict by a majority of 11 to one.Justice Patrick McCarthy thanked them for their service and remanded the accused in custody for sentencing on 26 February.Read: Ex-football coach Barry Bennell guilty on 43 charges of child sex abuseMore: Mother charged with assault of daughter (3) who died this week Image: Sebastian Duda via Shutterstock Share4 Tweet Email No Comments Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Six survivors after plane crashes carrying Chapecoense Real soccer team

first_img Updated at 1.30pmSEVENTY-ONE PEOPLE have died after a plane carrying 81 passengers, including members of a top flight Brazilian football team, crashed in Colombia early this morning.Colombia police have said that six people have survived the crash, and the rest of the passengers have all been killed.The plane went down about 50 kilometres from Medellin, Colombia’s second largest city, in an area called Cerro Gordo just before midnight last night local time (about 5am Irish time).Officials originally said 75 people were killed. But reports now indicate that some people on the plane’s manifest may not have boarded.The airport that serves Medellin said that among the passengers and  crew were members of Chapecoense Real, a Brazilian football club that was supposed to play against Colombia’s Atletico Nacional Wednesday in the South American Cup finals.“Confirmed, the aircraft license number CP2933 was carrying the team @ChapecoenseReal. Apparently there are survivors,” the Jose Maria Cordova de Rionegro airport said on its Twitter account.A police commander, Jose Gerardo Acevedo, initially said only five people survived the crash, but Colombian authorities later said a sixth person was found alive, raising hopes there might be other survivors, said AFP.Photographs circulating on social media purporting to be from the official account of the Antioquia police department show the aftermath of the crash. A map of the departure, flight stop, destination and crash site of the plane. Source: APThe LAMIA aircraft was flying from Bolivia to Medellin when it crashed in an area called Cerro Gordo about 50 kilometres from the city, Colombia’s second largest.“It appears that the plane ran out of fuel,” Elkin Ospina, the mayor of the nearby town of La Ceja, told AFP.“It’s a tragedy of huge proportions,” Gutierrez told Blu Radio on his way to the site in a mountainous area outside the city where the chartered aircraft crashed. Police officers and rescue workers search for survivors. Source: AP/Press Association ImagesOn its Twitter account earlier, the Medellin airport said the crash site could only be reached overland because of bad weather in the area.Colombia’s civil aeronautics agency said it had a team at the airport in response to the crash.In tears Chapecoense players celebrate after beating San Lorenzo in the Copa Sudamericana semi-finals. Source: Andre Penner/AP/Press Association ImagesThe team, from the small city of Chapeco, joined Brazil’s first division in 2014 for the first time since the 1970s and made it to the Copa Sudamericana finals last week by defeating Argentina’s legendary San Lorenzo squad.The vice president of the team said that Chapeco, a city of 200,000 residents in southern Brazil where they are from, is in tears after the crash.StatementIn a statement on its Facebook page, Chapecoense said “may God accompany our athletes, officials, journalists and other guests traveling with our delegation.”Conmebol, the South American football confederation, meanwhile officially called off the South American Cup final that was to be played between Chapecoense and Atletico Nacional.“All activities of the confederation are suspended until further notice,” Conmebol said.Atletico Nacional said on its Twitter account it “profoundly laments and expresses solidarity with @chapelcoensereal for the accident that occurred.”- © AFP 2016 with AP, Cormac Fitzgerald and Garreth MacNamee 6 personas han sido remitidas a los centros hospitalarios.— CR. Giovanny Buitrago Beltrán (@Policiantioquia) November 29, 2016 Short URL 69,106 Views Image: Luis Benavides Six survivors after plane crashes carrying Chapecoense Real soccer team The plane had 81 passengers overall and there are some survivors. By AFP 55 Comments Image: Luis Benavides Share158 Tweet Email2 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article The BBC reports that one of the survivors was confirmed as Chapecoense defender Alan Ruschel.“The pain is terrible. Just as we had made it, I will not say to the top, but to have national prominence, a tragedy like this happens. It is very difficult, a very great tragedy,” club vice-president Ivan Tozzo told Globo SportTV.Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan has expressed his condolences on behalf of the country. Rescue workers carry the body of a survivor of a plane that crashed in La Union. Source: AP/Press Association ImagesHe said: “This is a tragedy for those most immediately affected but also for the people of Brazil, where football lies at the core of their national identity. On behalf of the people of Ireland I would like to extend our condolences also to the people of Brazil.“There are no reports of any Irish being involved in the incident but our embassy in Brazil, as well as our embassy in Mexico, which is accredited to Colombia, are in contact with the relevant authorities to confirm that this is the situation.” Source: Cr Wilson Pardo/Twitter Nov 29th 2016, 1:30 PM Tuesday 29 Nov 2016, 1:30 PMlast_img read more

Meet the Kerryman leading a major pestcontrol firm whos afraid of rats

first_img Share Tweet Email6 Meet the Kerryman leading a major pest-control firm – who’s afraid of rats As part of our How My Business Works series, we profile the Irish arm of Rentokil. 7 Comments Image: Rentokil Get the top business news from Fora delivered to your inbox: THE HEAD OF one of Ireland’s biggest pest-control companies has a secret: he’s deathly afraid of rats.Michael O’Mahoney heads up the Irish arm of Rentokil, one of the world’s biggest vermin-control companies.He has no problem with most pests – insects don’t really bother him, and he says that he’d have no problem holding something like an ant in his palm.But rats – perhaps the one animal most associated with household pests, aside from the humble cockroach – terrify him.“If a mouse or a rat came into this room right now, I’d probably be the first one out of it,” he tells Fora.Why, then, would he join a pest-control company?“Everyone assumes that pest control is rats and mice, but it is so much more, they’re a very small part,” he says. “All you are doing in most places (with rats) is putting down a rodent solution, electronic or otherwise.“In the field you rarely see rats and mice, the only time you are likely to see one is when you are crossing the road going from one customer to another and seeing them out normally.“I thought that pest control was a fascinating business to be in. Your customers range from corner shops to big pharma companies, they’re everywhere so you are meeting so many different people every day.” Michael O’Mahoney (centre) Source: RentokilThe Kerry native is practically a lifer with the firm, having joined more than 40 years ago in his mid-20s when Rentokil’s Irish arm was a relatively small operation with about 30 staff.O’Mahoney initially worked in the firm’s service arm, making sure that all of its customers were kept happy, before heading up a small sales team.“At home we had a grocery shop, and every two weeks we would have commercial travelers call into the shop all suited and booted and driving lovely cars, so I thought that sales would be a nice job to have,” he says.Over the decades O’Mahoney worked his way up through the company, eventually taking the position of managing director in 2006. While he stepped down from the board of directors at the age of 60, he continues to head up the firm.RatcatchersThe company, which began its life in the UK with the aim of getting rid of troublesome rats and mice, first came to Ireland in 1935.The firm has grown steadily since then, both in Ireland and abroad. In the UK, Rentokil became one of the nation’s largest companies and is listed on the prestigious FTSE 100 index.Today, the company employs over 230 people across Ireland and has been consistently profitable for years.Rentokil Initial Ireland made a profit of €3 million in the year to the end of 2015, down slightly on the €3.4 million reported the year before. Turnover was up slightly, from €17.5 million to €18.5 million, although costs also rose. The company exterminates rats and mice Source: YoutubeIts profitability did dip slightly during the recession, with the company’s ‘initial’ side, which includes services ranging from washroom hygiene to handling medical waste, taking a hit.During this period, O’Mahoney says the firm reorganised, increasing the size of its sales team and implementing a new management structure.“What was key was that we focused on training, whereas other companies in similar businesses focused on cutting costs, which really helped us,” he says.As it does in the UK, Rentokil offers a variety of different services, but its main focus is still pest control.As well as getting rid of infestations, the company also does ‘proofings’ for new businesses to identify possible areas where vermin could get in. It then supplies those clients with products to deal with potential pests.Regarding the bread-and-butter business of pest control, O’Mahoney says it is different to how many people envisage it.Dealing with pestsRather than using fumigation, where properties are flooded with poisonous gasses in a controlled manner, Rentokil often uses a heat treatment to get rid of vermin.“We have a mobile heat system which lets us heat up a room to 56 degrees Celsius, and that denatures proteins in the body of an insect and causes dehydration,” he says. Rentokil also deals with bugs Source: YoutubeThe Kerry native says that this method is often used to get rid of pests from sensitive areas, such as in museums.“We did the Caravaggio (exhibition in the National Gallery), which is worth millions,” he says.“Not only do we go in and get rid of the rodents, we also do anti-bacterial treatments to help clear up the place and make sure that it’s safe.”The cost of the company’s services varies hugely. A residential homeowner could get away with spending about €120 for a basic issue, while large commercial customers could easily pay thousands depending on the circumstances.O’Mahoney says that the company’s customer base is extremely varied, from schools to private homeowners to large industrial pharma plants that are required by law to be spotless.AcceptingHe also says that people have become more accepting of pest control, and don’t view calling in the exterminators as a source of shame. The company made an effort to normalise the industry by taking part in an RTÉ show, the Verminators.“(An infestation) is rarely if ever down to poor housekeeping. It’s more because of leaving a window open, or having a gap in the door,” he says.“We have a hotel that asks us to park outside of their premises when our technicians are in working. In the past if you arrived you were asked to park in the back (so you wouldn’t be seen).“I think that Irish people have grown up big time in relation to pest control. In the past they may have thought that a place was insect-ridden, but now because there are so many other aspects to what we do, that’s no longer a problem.” Source: RTÉ2/YouTubeRentokil faces competition from a variety of companies across the country that also provide pest-control services, such as Ecolab and OnGuard.However the company’s status as a multinational chain gives it access to greater resources, O’Mahoney says, which helps it compete strongly with rivals.“We have 24/7 cover, we have the manpower to be nationwide and we have innovative products from research and development,” he says.“We have a radar unit which uses a concentrated amount of carbon monoxide. If a mouse goes into it, it is unconscious in 10 seconds and dead in a minute in the unit.”Keep growingO’Mahoney doesn’t give much detail on the company’s plans for the future or its financial targets.He simply says that the firm is aiming to “grow the whole time and grow our market share, things that we are doing very well at the moment”.“We are among the market leaders in Ireland and globally, and we want to retain that and top that up as much as we can,” he says.The 64-year-old says that he still loves his work and adds that retirement isn’t on the horizon.“For me it doesn’t feel like work, I love what I do,” he says. “There are no plans to send my CV elsewhere, I’m very happy where I am.”This article is part of our weekly series examining the nuts and bolts of businesses. If you would like to see your company featured please email by Paul O’Donoghue and posted on Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Image: Rentokil Saturday 29 Apr 2017, 6:30 PM Short URL Apr 29th 2017, 6:30 PM Take me to Fora By Fora Staff 15,092 Views last_img read more

Its official today was the hottest day of the year

first_img 38,544 Views Jun 21st 2017, 9:53 PM 34 Comments It’s official … today was the hottest day of the year You were right. Short URL It wasn’t near as hot in other parts of the country with Kerry’s highest temperatures reaching just over 17 degrees.Head of forecasting at Met Éireann, Gerald Fleming confirmed that we were in a heatwave.Yes, I think we can officially say a heatwave has happened or is happening. Source: Met Éireann/Twitter Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Our station in the Phoenix Park recorded a maximum of 28.6 Celsius today which makes it the highest temperature in Ireland so far this year— Met Éireann (@MetEireann) June 21, 2017 Share264 Tweet Email By Cliodhna Russell However, tomorrow looks set to bring grey skies for a time with patchy rain and drizzle starting the day.Temperatures will still be high but Met Éireann says it will be “rather cloudy overall”.Read: So, can we officially call this warm spell a ‘heat wave’?> Wednesday 21 Jun 2017, 9:53 PM TODAY WAS THE hottest day of the year so far with temperatures reaching 28 degrees.Dublin was the hottest county with mercury hitting 28.6 degrees at Met Éireann’s station at Phoenix Park.last_img read more

Greek Carer support program launch

first_imgThe Louise Multicultural Community Centre, a Victorian-based organisation that helps refugees and migrants in Australia, has launched a pilot Greek Carer Support Program to assist the Greek community in the Eastern Region of Melbourne to better understand their entitlements and the resources available to help them. The Louise Multicultural Community Centre (LMCC) aims to provide Greek carers with information and skills they will need to minimise isolation; make available resources through partnering and collaborative arrangements with other organisations, as well as provide social outlets for carers and to empower them to be self sufficient. “Research has revealed that first generation Greeks, because of the nature of their work when they first arrived in Australia being highly physical and arduous, often experience later in life muscular skeletal problems,” said Cynthia Shaw of the LMCC. “So very often their needs for care are very specific and being aware of how to handle these specific needs is crucial.” Councillor John Koutras from the City of Whitehorse said “the Greek Australian community is too proud to ask for help” and stated that programs such as this one are a very important. He thanked the LMCC for having the courage to identify this need. More information: or call (02) 9285 4850 Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more