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May 3, 2010

New ash flight bans ordered in Ireland

New ash flight bans ordered in Ireland – Wikinews, the free news source

New ash flight bans ordered in Ireland

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Monday, May 3, 2010

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Aviation authorities in Ireland have said that a temporary ban on flights coming in and out of the country will be implemented tomorrow, due to potential risks from volcanic ash from an Icelandic volcano. The restrictions would apply from 07.00 to 13.00 local time (06.00 to 12.00 UTC).

The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) commented: “[IAA] informed Irish-based airlines that it is concerned that Irish airports may be impacted by the drift south of the volcanic ash cloud caused by the north easterly winds”.

Later, the authority added: “The decision is based on the safety risks to crews and passengers as a result of the drift south of the volcanic ash cloud caused by the northeasterly winds.” IAA noted that flights over the UK and mainland Europe wouldn’t be affected by the restrictions.

IAA Chief Executive Eamon Brennan also commented on the ban: “We are quite optimistic that it will dissipate and we are quite optimistic for Dublin and for Shannon tomorrow afternoon but we will make a reassessment for that in the morning.”

Last month, many flights to and from Europe were cancelled for almost a week, over fears that the volcano ash could cause jet engines to fail.



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January 6, 2010

Explosives pass security checks in Slovakia, arrive in Ireland in failed test

Filed under: Archived,Aviation,Crime and law,Dublin,Ireland — admin @ 5:00 am

Explosives pass security checks in Slovakia, arrive in Ireland in failed test

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Aviation

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A failed test of security at Slovakia’s Poprad airport resulted in a 49 year-old man unknowingly carrying plastic explosives from Slovakia to Dublin, Ireland. The explosives were concealed so well that the man did not find them when he unpacked his bag at his apartment.

On Saturday, Slovak authorities planted contraband in passengers’ luggage at Poprad’s Poprad-Tatry Airport without the knowledge of passengers. Seven of the eight items were recovered, while an eighth made its way to an apartment in Dublin. Slovak authorities realised on Tuesday that one package of explosives were missing and notified Irish authorities who searched the man’s apartment.

During the search, parts of Dublin’s inner-suburbs were sealed off and evacuated causing disruption to residents and businesses. At the apartment authorities found the package and arrested the man under anti-terrorism laws; he was later released without charge after it was established he was innocent.

The man, a Slovakian electrician had been living in Ireland for some time. He was holidaying in Slovakia over Christmas.

Ireland’s Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform issued a statement saying, “Following contact earlier today from the Slovakian authorities with the Airport Police at Dublin Airport, members of the Garda Síochána have recovered a small quantity of explosive material from the luggage of a passenger who had flown into Dublin from that country on Saturday last.”

The package contained 90 grams (3 ounces) of the plastic explosive RDX, also known as cyclonite or hexogen. According to Commandant Gavin Young, a spokesperson for the Irish Defense Forces, “On their own, this type of explosive does need to be combined with other elements to make it into a bomb, but obviously this type of high-grade explosive is potentially extremely dangerous.”

Slovakia’s Minister for the Interior Robert Kalinak has apologized to Irish Justice Minister Dermot Ahern over the incident and expressed his “profound regret”. Irish authorities are now investigating the incident and the government has ordered for a full report to be delivered.

The Irish Opposition has expressed concern about the incident. Labour Party spokesman Joe Costello said “This incident led to the closure of roads in the area, the evacuation of businesses and the lives and safety of residents could have been put at risk. We also need to know what protest the government is going to make about this breach of our security.”



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December 17, 2009

Irish bishop resigns over child abuse scandal

Irish bishop resigns over child abuse scandal

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

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St John’s Cathedral, Limerick
Image: Zoney.

The Irish Roman Catholic bishop Donal Murray has resigned, following a strongly critical report on his handling of child sex abuse cases. It was announced today he would be leaving the position of Bishop of Limerick, and that the Pope had accepted his resignation.

The report into allegations against priests in the Dublin Archdiocese decribed Murray’s conduct in one case as “inexcusable”. Father Thomas Naughton was sentenced to three years jail in 1998 for abuse, and yesterday was jailed once again for further abuse between 1982 and 1984. Judge Michael O’Shea described the abuse as “appalling, shocking and horrifying”, and said it had an “absolutely catastrophic” impact on the victim, a six year old altar boy.

Murray had failed to investigate allegations about Naughton, when he was Auxiliary Bishop in Dublin. Eight other priests from the Dublin Archdiocese have also been convicted of child sex abuse, and four more face charges.

Speaking at St John’s Cathedral, Limerick, the bishop confirmed his resignation and apologised to the priests’ victims.

“I know full well, that my resignation cannot undo the pain that survivors of abuse have suffered in the past and continue to suffer each day. I humbly apologise once again to all who were abused as little children. To all survivors of abuse I repeat, that my primary concern is to assist in every way that I can, on their journey towards finding closure and serenity.”



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December 6, 2009

Tens of thousands protest in London before Copenhagen climate change summit

Tens of thousands protest in London before Copenhagen climate change summit

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

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Tens of thousands of demonstrators marched through London earlier today, calling for a deal to be made at this week’s Copenhagen Climate Conference in Denmark. Similar such marches were held in Belfast, Dublin, and Glasgow.

According to the London Metropolitan Police, twenty thousand people attended the march. Organisers, however, claimed that about forty thousand people were present at the demonstrations. The march began at Grosvenor Square and continued all the way to the Parliament building on the Thames river.

The march contained members of groups such as Oxfam, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, and the World Wildlife Fund. Protestors were asked to dress in blue, supposedly to symbolise a “wave” of people around the Parliament building.

The chief executive of Oxfam, Barbara Stocking, said in a statement that “the UK government must fight for a comprehensive, fair and binding deal at Copenhagen — that is our demand today and we expect it to be fulfilled.

“They must return home with a strong, effective climate deal both for our own sakes in the U.K. and for the millions of poor people already suffering from the effects of climate change around the world.”



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October 15, 2009

Boyzone manager Louis Walsh pays tribute to Stephen Gately

Boyzone manager Louis Walsh pays tribute to Stephen Gately

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Boyzone manager Louis Walsh has paid tribute to the late Stephen Gately, who died unexpectedly on Saturday of “natural causes”. Louis, who was a close friend of Stephen, described Gately as a “one-off”. He stated: “We’re all in shock. Nobody can believe it — the guys, me, nobody. We are in shock. The boys are devastated. It’s like they have lost their very, very best friend, and [for me] me too.”

Gately, at a performance earlier this year.
Image: MangakaMaiden.

Walsh, who is a judge on The X Factor, was absent from his seat on the judges panel of the show Sunday. Fellow judge Simon Cowell paid tribute to Gately and expressed his sympathy for the family. “This is really, really tragic news,” Cowell expressed. “I want to send out my condolences to the family. Our thoughts are with Louis, obviously he’s not here tonight. He was incredibly close, he did a lot for Stephen.”

Louis also said: “He came from Sheriff Street [in Dublin, Ireland.

“He was a very working-class kid. All he wanted to do was sing and go to the West End and he loved Disney, that was Stephen. Of all the people I’ve worked with I don’t think anybody thanked me as much as Stephen. He used to always say to me, ‘If I wasn’t in Boyzone I don’t know where I’d be today, thank you’… [he was] a great, great, great professional kid.”

Stephen Gately had played a crucial part in the reforming of Boyzone in 2008, after they had split up in 2000. The group were going to London, England to discuss tracks to appear on a new album. Walsh mentioned how Gately was filled with fear. “He lived in fear,” said Walsh when referring to Gately’s declaration of homosexuality in 1999. “He lived in absolute fear of the media and the media outed him in the end but then it was a fantastic reaction. There was no negativity.”

Louis Walsh also announced today that a funeral will be expected to take place in Dublin on Saturday. Gately was born and grew up in the city.



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October 11, 2009

Boyzone member Stephen Gately dies at age 33

Boyzone member Stephen Gately dies at age 33

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

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Boyzone member Stephen Gately has died suddenly at the age of 33 while on holiday on the Spanish island of Majorca.

Gately was on holiday with his partner Andrew Cowles when his body was found on Saturday. The information was confirmed on Boyzone’s official website on Sunday. The other members of Boyzone were said to be travelling to the same island on Sunday before his death was discovered. Dan Wootton, showbusiness editor for British tabloid News of the World, told BBC News that the singer had left the means of accommodation to go out for some drinks, returned, fell asleep and never woke up again. Spanish police report his body was found on a sofa in the lounge.

Louis Walsh, manager of the group and also a judge on UK television singing competition The X Factor, commented, “We’re all absolutely devastated. I’m in complete shock. I was only with him on Monday at an awards ceremony. We don’t know much about what’s happened yet. I only heard after The X Factor and we will rally around each other this week. He was a great man.”

A spokesperson for Spanish police said today in Majorca, “[a]t the moment it is not known how he died. There are no signs of suspicious circumstances. “Gately’s time of death was given as approximately 13.45 UTC. The police spokesperson added, “[d]etails remain pretty unclear. We managed to take a look at some documents, they tell us that police received the body around half past four. We think we know he was drinking in a bar, perhaps they went to a restaurant, but none of this is confirmed.”

Gately’s family hope to hold his funeral in Dublin, Gately’s home town. A representative of the family stated they are “shattered”.



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September 24, 2009

Guinness turns 250

Guinness turns 250 – Wikinews, the free news source

Guinness turns 250

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

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On September 24, 1759, Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000 year lease for the St James’ Gate Brewery in Dublin, Ireland. 250 years later, Guinness has grown to a global business that turns over 10 billion euros (US$14.7 billion) every year.

Arthur’s Day has been described by Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen as “an excuse for having a great party.” Pub-goers across Dublin — as well as cities around the world including Kuala Lumpur, Lagos, Cotonou, Hong Kong, and New York — raised their glasses in tribute to Arthur at exactly 17:59 p.m. to mark the year the drink was begun. Ireland has issued a stamp for the event.

St James’ Gate Brewery had grown to become Ireland’s biggest by 1833 and in 1886 had grown to the biggest in the world, producing 1.2 million barrels of black stout each year. Today, Guinness is enjoyed in 150 countries and 10 million pints are drunk every 24 hours — although Irish myth has it the brew tastes best in Dublin.



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May 16, 2009

Nearly three million contraband cigarettes seized by Canadian and U.S. authorities

Nearly three million contraband cigarettes seized by Canadian and U.S. authorities

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

On Friday, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) seized 1.75 million contraband cigarettes near the Manitoba – Ontario border and in a separate case the New York City Police Department (NYPD) also had a major recovery of 1.17 million cigarettes.

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Image: Geierunited.

Canadian officers seized 150 cases of illegal, unmarked cigarettes, as well as 25 cases of “discount” brand cigarettes during a traffic safety check conducted during National Road Safety Week on the Trans Canada Highway.

The NYPD pulled over a U-Haul truck for a traffic violation, a covered license plate and recovered 58,500 packs of untaxed contraband cigarettes.

“It’s an ongoing problem as the price of cigarettes go up. Obviously, it increases the motivation to go to other states to buy them and bring them back here. We enforce the law in that regard,” said a NYPD Police Commissioner.

“Discount brands of cigarettes … come from countries such as, not only the United States, but India, Native American tribes, the Philippines, Colombia, Mexico and other countries around the globe,” said a representative from the American State Auditor’s Office.

Bootleggers, nicknamed the $5 man, are the new entrepreneurs when taxed cigarettes sell for over US$10 a pack and nearly $100 a carton in some places in the U.S.

Customers satisfying a nicotine addiction provide a hefty income for illegal tobacco traders. The illicit smuggling of tobacco results in thousands of dollars in lost tax revenue to governments. In Manitoba’s bust, it’s estimated that nearly CA$325,000 (US$275,000)are lost in tax revenue from illegal cigarette sales.

On Wednesday, 90,000 contraband cigarettes were seized from Lithuanian travellers at the Dublin Ireland airport. On Monday, in a separate case, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) seized unmarked cigarettes from a Manitoba man for the second time. This time police recovered 160,000 cigarettes. One week ago smugglers hid 3,000 cases of illegal cigarettes in concrete to try to get them through customs in Singapore.

In April American officials shut down a warehouse containing about US20 million dollars in illegal cigarettes.



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May 30, 2008

Ban on cluster bombs adopted by 111 countries

Ban on cluster bombs adopted by 111 countries

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Friday, May 30, 2008

Today, representatives of 111 countries have adopted a formal ban on cluster bombs. The ban is to be signed and ratified by each country during December 2-3 in Oslo, Norway, the country that initiated the discussions on the ban.

Following almost two weeks of negotiations, the ban was agreed upon at a ceremony held in Dublin, Ireland. Signatories will be required to completely get rid of cluster bomb stockpiles within eight years.

Cluster bombs are characterized by the small “bomblets” that they release while falling. Many are opposed to this type of munition because the “bomblets” spread over a large area, meaning that they can easily injure or kill innocent civilians even when aimed at a specific enemy target.

Despite U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voicing his hopes that all nations would agree to the ban, many countries have boycotted the ban, including the United States, Russia, Israel, Pakistan and India. Military analyst Marc Garlasco of the organization Human Rights Watch noted that these nations will be less likely to use the munitions due to the stigma that will be attached to them.

While widely celebrated, some criticize the pact for not being strong enough in its implications. For example, signatories will still be allowed to cooperate on military operations with non-signatories.

The ban will go into effect in mid-2009.



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May 28, 2008

International ban on cluster bombs \”very close\” says British Prime Minister

International ban on cluster bombs “very close” says British Prime Minister

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

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British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said that an international treaty aimed at banning the use of cluster bombs is “very close” to being achieved. It is hoped that many other countries, whether present at the talks or not, such as the United States and Canada, will sign up to the treaty.

An American B-1b Lancer drops cluster bombs.
Image: U.S. Air Force.

Cluster bombs have been used in countries such as Cambodia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Lebanon. More than 100 countries and multiple humanitarian organisations have supported a ban on their use, as they can remain dangerous for many years after being dropped and can cause “unacceptable harm to civilians”.

Brown’s comments come after ten days of talks in Dublin between 109 nations, but countries such as the United States, Russia and China oppose the treaty. A final draft is due to be shown to delegates at a talk this afternoon and could result in a deal “by the end of the week, possibly sooner” according the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The move by Brown would mean that the entire stockpile of cluster bombs owned by the UK would be scrapped, costing taxpayers millions. While many countries such as Britain, Germany, Japan and Switzerland have asked for 7 to 15 years to fully implement the rules, many humanitarian organisations have criticised this suggestion.



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