Share Tweet Email1 Image: Eamonn Farrell Thursday 16 Mar 2017, 12:45 AM 9 Comments 22,673 Views “The idea that people whose purpose in life, whose motivation in life, was to save people have lost their lives themselves makes it all the more poignant. These people have saved some people’s lives in the past and have now lost their own. It’s a tragedy.”CircumstancesLate in the afternoon came some real and, given the circumstances, good news – a beacon from the helicopter’s black box had been located close to the Blackrock lighthouse, some eight miles from Blacksod.This was, all involved say, a significant breakthrough, one that some air accident investigations take weeks or months to come by.“We’d regard this as a very important step forward in progressing the recovery stage of the search operation. We’ve detected a signal, the next stage would be to locate it. We’ve now begun the process of establishing its exact position,” Gerard O’Flynn said.But with that news, and the confirmation that it was in the water – some 40 metres deep – came the realisation that this was now a question of logistics, timing, circumstances and luck. The tides, the sea and the weather must now cooperate.For the time being, the families must continue to wait.Read: Rescue 116: Black box homing beacon detected in search for missing crew Mar 16th 2017, 12:45 AM https://jrnl.ie/3290526 Image: Eamonn Farrell The community involvement is getting wider as time goes on. We have five or six boats in the search and smaller crews and ribs bringing crews, food and equipment to and from the larger vessels.Gallagher says the small coastal community is “shocked” at the disappearance of Rescue 116.“People are shocked and quite sombre around the area. We rely on the emergency services every day because we’re in such a remote and disadvantaged area.We’re used to helicopters coming into Blacksod all the time, flying in to rescue someone or going out to sea. These people are putting their lives in danger all the time for the sick and boatmen in our community.SilenceThe pier in Blacksod has been quiet since Tuesday morning.Completely, utterly still despite the massive amount of work ongoing.Every hour or so that surreal silence would be punctured by the overwhelming din of helicopter rotors landing on the pier’s helipad, which sits between the lighthouse and a holiday home as innocuously as any back garden, separated from the road only by a low wall and gate.The silence was caused by a mixture of elements, the unprecedented nature of and scale of the tragedy, and the fact that everybody was simply waiting for news.That complete silence was amplified when a dark minibus arrived in the afternoon, carrying family members of the missing men. The families have been in Mayo since late on Tuesday and the holiday home beside the helipad had been opened up as a base for them by the owner, a local man.There, they could view boats coming and going from the search area eight miles out. This was “enormously difficult” for them during the morning according to the Coast Guard’s Gerry O’Flynn.“They see a lot of activity, there are boats moving, aircraft moving and they’re just looking for hard information – they’re just clutching at straws.” Source: Eamonn FarrellThat hard information wasn’t coming through the afternoon, leading to more silence. Even the arrivals of Ministers Shane Ross and Kevin Boxer Moran didn’t lead to the chatter it might on another occasion.Ross spoke softly of the families being “devastated”.“It’s been a very, very devastating experience for them as is to be expected. We saluted them for the extraordinary bravery which they’re showing in this situation.We also thanked them for the family members which they have lent to the nation and who have done such extraordinary work and have given their lives for other people. By Paul Hosford Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article ‘We thanked them for the family members which they lent to this nation’ – Anxious wait for news of Rescue 116 Shane Ross spoke softly of the families being “devastated”. DID YOU KNOW that up to two million North Americans can trace their ancestral journey to Blacksod in north-west Mayo?Or that the weather forecast for D-Day was transmitted by the areas lighthouse?Both of those facts are immortalised in plaques and memorials on the pier in this quiet north-west Mayo town. And, for many, they represented the town’s place in history.A starting point for 3,300 emigrants in 1883 and 1884 and a vital part of the liberation of Europe. Not bad for a tiny dot on the westernmost reaches of Ireland.Since late on Monday night, however, that has changed and the town’s name has become a byword for tragedy. Four Coast Guard crew gone. Captain Dara Fitzpatrick pronounced dead, her colleagues Paul Ormsby, Mark Duffy and Ciaran Smith missing.But over two days the locals of Blacksod and the surrounding areas have ensured that anyone who was here because of the tragedy – rescue workers, media, grieving families – know it too as a byword for compassion.Rallying Source: Eamonn FarrellFor a second straight day, the locals rallied around on land and sea. While the search for the missing crewmen became more specialised their boats were not required, but they continue to provide important support. Indeed, many are volunteers with Ballyglass Coast Guard, who coordinated today’s shore search, which brought debris back to the makeshift command centre at Blacksod Lighthouse.And, says community co-op chairman John Gallagher, they intend to keep doing that as long as is necessary.“We’ll continue on as long as we have to. We’re getting calls from all over the area of people who want to get involved and help. Short URL
Crowds gathered this morning in Limerick as part of the Enough is Enough march. Image: David Lane Monday 3 Apr 2017, 4:10 PM Frustrated parents from Tipperary out this morning as part of the nationwide march #EnoughIsEnough ..@mattiemcgrathtd @SeamusHealyTD pic.twitter.com/pGRXpfGR44— Fiona O’Neill (@From_Fiona) April 3, 2017 Source: Martin Kenny/Twitter Crowds gathered this morning in Limerick as part of the Enough is Enough march. Frustrated parents talk to @SimonHarrisTD about waiting lists for services for children with special needs @dghealthservice @EnoughIre pic.twitter.com/cxrjai1FYh— Lorraine Dempsey (@LorDempsey) April 3, 2017 In some areas, the marches were supported by local politicians, while protesters in Wicklow raised issues they had with Health Minister Simon Harris. The main protests were held Cork, Dublin, Limerick, Sligo and Galway, with other demonstrations held in Tullamore, Wicklow and Clonmel as well as other places. Short URL 20,515 Views 24 Comments ‘I’m here today to stand up for my son’: Hundreds turn out across the country calling for better children supports Demonstrators marched through cities and towns demanding more from the HSE. A great turnout at #EnoughIsEnough march today calling for improved public health services for all children #Sligo pic.twitter.com/7yeF446jCS— SligoTravellerGroup (@SligoTraveller) April 3, 2017 Apr 3rd 2017, 4:10 PM http://jrnl.ie/3321954 Source: SligoTravellerGroup/Twitter Share1193 Tweet Email2 Image: David Lane Source: Lorraine Dempsey/Twitter By Cormac Fitzgerald Source: Ken Campbell/Twitter Speaking to RTÉ, one of the march organisers Tanya Fletcher – who has two children with special needs – gave her reasons for bringing together the demonstrators.Fletcher – whose son (9) and daughter (5) both suffer from autism, ADHD and have learning disabilities – said her children had not received any support throughout their lives and she had watched her son “deteriorate before [her] eyes”.“I couldn’t sit back anymore and watch my kids along with anybody else’s kids and families go through the heartache that we went through, so that’s why we started the campaign,” she said.Read: ‘They made me realise that… I’m not worth nothing’: The positive effects of mentoring at-risk youthsRead: Child offenders will no longer be detained in adult prisons HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE marched in cities and towns across Ireland this morning to protest against the lack of HSE-funded services available for children and young adults.Marching under the ‘Enough is Enough’ banner, parents and guardians called for a reduction in waiting list times, better-funded services and more supports for children with disabilities and special needs.One mother – Trina Murphy – told RTÉ News that she had marched in Cork to highlight the lack of supports available for her son, who has autism.“I’m here today to stand up for my son, basically,” Murphy told RTÉ.“My son has autism and we have no services, no help from the HSE – the same as most people here today. That’s why people have turned out here today in the lashing rain.It’s us making our voices heard collectively because one voice isn’t working… so we’ve come together across the country to say enough is enough, we are our children’s voices for their future.Demonstrations were organised for towns and cities across Ireland, with the marches starting at HSE offices, or political or medical centres in the areas. Source: Fiona O’Neill/Twitter Great turnout at the Enough is Enough protest in Sligo this morning despite the weather. Time for the minister to act. #EnoughIsEnough pic.twitter.com/7M67sXP6GT— Martin Kenny (@Martin_Kenny) April 3, 2017 “Enough is Enough… Special Needs Matter… Our Children Matter..!!” #galway #EnoughIsEnough @SimonHarrisTD @FineGael #Dail #vinb #rtept pic.twitter.com/xt0pQ7Yf5i— Ken Campbell (@1KenCampbell) April 3, 2017 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
Image: Shutterstock/Joerg Beuge Apr 8th 2017, 8:48 AM 8,364 Views http://jrnl.ie/3330357 The 9 at 9: Saturday It’s the freakin’ weekend, here’s what you need to know. Short URL Image: Shutterstock/Joerg Beuge Share Tweet Email No Comments Saturday 8 Apr 2017, 8:48 AM By Paul Hosford Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you the stories you need to know as you start your day.1. #KINAHAN: Crime boss Christy Kinahan has been tracked to Switzerland, TheJournal.ie can reveal.2. #MONKSTOWN: A great-grandmother shot in the leg yesterday was not the intended target of the attack.3. #SYRIA: The US has warned that it is willing to bomb Syrian forces again.4. #WATER: The ninth Right2Water national protest will take place today.5. #APPEAL: The family of missing man Trevor Deely say they have not given up hope of finding out what happened to him.6. #STOCKHOLM: Swedish police say a man arrested on “suspicion of a terrorist crime” may have been the driver of a truck that killed four people in Stockholm yesterday.7. #BUS TALKS: Talks aimed at breaking the deadlock at Bus Éireann continue today.8. #CARPHONE WAREHOUSE: Losses at the Irish arm of Carphone Warehouse jumped from about €2.5 million to almost €12 million last year, new figures show.9. #RESCUE 116: A massive fleet of boats is to take part in the search for two missing Coast Guard crew members today. Both were members of the Rescue 116 craft.
11,436 Views 15 Comments Jun 18th 2017, 10:00 AM Image: Jim Killock/Flickr/CC Music artists Sebastian Adams, Yseult Cooper Stockdale and composer Tom Lane who feature in Pipeworks 2017 Organ Festival Mighty Fortress. Source: Monika Chmielarz“For all of them we can see he had a real sense of how people could pick something up quickly,” said Duley. “The rise and fall structure of them was memorable, people were able to learn them very quickly.”The festival is named after Luther’s well-known 16th century hymn Ein feste Burg ist unser God, or A Mighty Fortress is Our God.InfluencesLutheran chorale didn’t just stand on its own – it also influenced composers like Liszt, Mendelssohn, and Bach, and this will also be explored during the event. The young contemporary composer Tom Lane will also take a fresh look at some of the music from this time.Duley said that the chorales are notable today “because they are so timeless and they have lasted so long – they have been the inspiration for many composers over those years”.“In some cases, [there are pieces that] people might know well or have heard in concert hall and not realise they are based on a chorale,” said Duley.“He was a very interesting character,” added Duley of Luther. “He was an ordained priest in the Roman Catholic church so he was taking it from that position. Once he was excommunicated he got married – we know he was quite a vivacious character and liked a good party. He thought everyone should be married – clergy, the lot – and thought marriage was a natural state.“He didn’t see any real divide between the sacred and the secular. For him it was part of one great continuum so he thought of good music in church as essential.”Overall, Duley indicates the festival is a way of appreciating good art and how it can intersect with religion – but the festival is not just for the religious.“[Luther believed] if we can appreciate good art in our lives, we should do that in church as well,” said Duley. “The Lutherans still appreciate that very much – they would be very much attuned to great art.”To book tickets, visit the ticket selling site pipeworksfestival.eventbrite.comRead: Huge growth in numbers attending Irish Christian conference for ‘anyone who loves Jesus’> 500 YEARS AFTER he first wrote his 95 theses – which led to the Protestant Reformation – Martin Luther’s contribution to religious music is being celebrated in Dublin.The festival, Mighty Fortress, will take place from Tuesday 20 to Sunday 25 June in the capital, with virtuoso organists and choral ensembles taking part – and a special event where the audience will be encouraged to sing along.Luther was a professor of moral theology at Germany’s University of Wittenberg when he wrote the theses, after becoming upset with the idea of indulgences, and purgatory and repentance in Catholicism. He was excommunicated in 1521, but his impact on religion was major, as it paved the way for a schism in the Catholic Church caused by the Protestant Reformation.What some may not realise was that, along with his beliefs that, for example, priests should marry, Luther also had a deep love for music. He wrote chorale works and believed that the congregation at church should perform music – it shouldn’t just be for the priest or choir.And that’s where the inspiration for Mighty Fortress comes from.“We thought it would be a good opportunity to explore what that bequeaths us musically,” said the festival’s artistic director Mark Duley.“Luther was himself a great musician and he really responded to the power of music. We knew he thought [music]t was next to the Bible itself, it was closest to God – that God could speak through music. That was his big thing. He listened to music, he performed himself, and he could also compose music.”Duley said that the Reformation “was couched in music”. https://jrnl.ie/3443542 Short URL By Aoife Barry So music and these chorales, that was the most important way he got the message across, it was a way for people being able to participate. He wrote these chorales so people could sing in the services.Of course, the words of these songs were important. They were, said Duley, “teaching [people] things as well – not just that they could participate but they could learn something about their religion and theology through singing”.“He saw that the part of people was paramount,” said Duley of Luther’s vision of a new church. “He was trying to get away from the idea of priests being all powerful and mediators of things in heaven and things in earth.”Luther adapted old plainsong melodies and turned them into hymn tunes that everyone could sing, said Duley. He also used familiar older songs that “bridged the gap between sacred and secular”, and folk songs that would have been familiar to his congregation. Music made by one of Catholicism’s biggest rebels is being celebrated in Dublin The festival Mighty Fortress pays tribute to Martin Luther’s music, which played a big part in his religious world. Sunday 18 Jun 2017, 10:00 AM Image: Jim Killock/Flickr/CC Share27 Tweet Email Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
The big challenge for Western countries is in sanctioning Islamic State fighters and members on their return.The Taoiseach has said a security assessment will be carried out before Smith is allowed to return, but that “going to live in Syria, in what was called the Islamic State is not in itself an offence or a crime”.“I know the authorities there want to interrogate her to see if she was involved in any crimes there, but it’s very possible that she was never a combatant, for example. There may need to be a prosecution there and we need to make sure that if she does return to Ireland that she isn’t a threat to anybody.”Prosecution is “the real puzzle”, according to Callimachi, who pointed out that there is a presumption of innocence in the justice systems of Western liberal democracies.That presumption of innocence and the legal proof that prosecutors need to bring to be able to charge somebody with terrorism is quite high in many of these countries. But ultimately this is an Irish citizen and we don’t believe that removing an Irish citizen’s citizenship from her or her family, rendering them stateless, would be either the right or compassionate thing to do.If Smith does return, it will be the first case of Ireland repatriating a member of the Islamic State group. A small number of Irish citizens have returned from Syria and Iraq, but they did so under the radar. What are they doing?Readers will already be familiar with the case of British teenager Shamima Begum, who had lost two children and was pregnant with her third when she expressed a desire to leave a Syrian refugee camp and return home to have her baby in England. She said she wanted to raise her child there.Begum had left London at 15 to join the Islamic State group. In interviews she gave in the refugee camp, she said she did not regret joining the terror group. After heated debate in the UK, the British Home Office made the decision to revoke her British citizenship.The now 19-year-old gave birth to a baby boy but he perished of pneumonia in the camp before he turned three weeks old. Two other women from the UK who are living in Syrian camps with their children have also been stripped of their citizenship, according to news reports.The Dutch justice and security minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus recently revealed his government is cooperating with Syrian authorities in relation to the return of female Isis members and their children to the Netherlands. However the minister also said, when asked about helping Shamimia Begum’s Dutch husband, that his government does not offer any help to Dutch men in Syria willing to return. The French government has confirmed it is preparing for the return of French jihadists, though it said this will be done on a “case-by-case basis”. And although US President Donald Trump has pushed for European countries to take back hundreds of fighters captured in Syria, he has shown an unwillingness for his own country to do the same, even with so-called Isis brides.When a 24-year-old-woman from Alabama said she wanted to come home, Trump instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo not to allow her back into the country. Hoda Muthana left the US to join Islamic State in Syria when she was 20. She has an 18-month-old son and has said she regrets joining the terrorist group. She told ABC News: “I wish I could take it completely off the net, completely out of people’s memory… I regret it… I hope America doesn’t think I’m a threat to them and I hope they can accept me and I’m just a normal human being who’s been manipulated once and hopefully never again.”Who are the returnees and why are they coming back?The European Commission’s Radicalisation Awareness Network (Ran) has a manual for member states on how to respond to the return of terrorist fighters and their families. It lists a number of reasons that people return, including;Disillusioned/remorseful;Family pressure and intervention;Poor living conditions/healthcare (injuries, childbirth etc);Sent to carry out an attack or feel they can do more for the case in Europe;Captured and returned home unwillingly.With female returnees, the manual says that some may be unhappy with their experience of hardship and oppression or that their husbands may have been killed in the fighting. Others come back for medical treatment for their children. In a few instances, families have paid for the women’s freedom, rescuing them from terrorist organisations. Ran explains that returning men – in particular – may have been involved in war crimes such as murder, rape and slavery, and may have taken part in terrorist or violent extremist atrocities.All of them have witnessed extreme violence, and lived in unsafe and unhealthy conditions. It is also important to note that disillusionment with a terrorist group does not necessarily equate to distance from a violent ideology, nor disengagement from the ‘jihadi’ cause, when back in EU.When it comes to female members of the terrorist group, the network says depicting them as victims can deprive women of their agency and ignore the fact that Western women who join jihadist groups tend to be “very motivated by ideology”. For many women, joining Daesh [Islamic State] is driven by utopian ideals, and fulfils a need for excitement and meaning. Daesh propaganda focuses on projecting an idealised image of life in Syria and Iraq. Other factors behind women leaving Europe for Daesh include teenagers falling in love with the image of marrying a ‘warrior’, or discrimination (perceived or experienced).According to Ran, many women were led to believe that joining Daesh would give them a sense of empowerment.Although the main role of women in the Islamic State group is that of a wife and child-bearer, some are also enforcers of public virtue. The all-female al-Khaansa unit can dole out punishments and operate roadblocks to search women. Several Western women have joined this unit.Children who have been born into and grow up in areas of Islamic State battle have often been exposed to extreme levels of violence. Ran said this creates trauma and potentially desensitises children to brualisation and violence. Acting out what they see adults do is a major risk. This will traumatise them and lead to psychosocial problems and possibly major security risks for the future. Understanding the extent of indoctrination, the exposure to violence and the living conditions experienced is crucial to assessing these children.The Irish government’s positionTaoiseach Leo Varadkar has said Lisa Smith and her child will have the right to return to Ireland as both are Irish citizens. The government does not have the option of revoking her citizenship – not that it has indicated it would want to anyway – because this would leave her stateless, something that is contrary to international human rights law. Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan has also said every effort will be made to ensure she gets home. He said this is a very complex situation, and that the relevant facts must be ascertained before further steps are taken.There will be a number of issues for the Irish State to tackle if Smith does return, not least that the government has no experience with this particular situation. Lisa Smith would be a test case.Rukmini Callimachi, Terrorism Correspondent with the New York Times told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland yesterday that allowing Smith – and other Irish citizens in Syria – to return would put it “far ahead of the curve” as other European countries have been slow to take people back. Related Reads Mar 13th 2019, 6:06 AM 20,373 Views Wednesday 13 Mar 2019, 7:05 AM Explainer: How can the return of Islamic State members to their home countries work? The government here has said Lisa Smith, who was married to an Islamic State fighter, can come home. Image: Tom Conachy 11.03.19 ‘The compassionate thing to do’: Lisa Smith will have right to return to Ireland as will her child, says Varadkar By Michelle Hennessy What we believe is happening is that countries like Canada are afraid that if these people are brought back home to Canadian soil or to the UK or to other nations in Europe that they simply will not succeed in being able to prosecute them. 11.03.19 ‘She got duped’: Woman who helped Lisa Smith convert to Islam ‘shocked’ at alleged ISIS links Share15 Tweet Email1 63 Comments https://jrnl.ie/4535037 Let’s face it, that is an unpleasant scenario. The thought that these people who we know joined this deadly terrorist organisation, that they could come back to our countries and essentially walk free. That would be a disastrous scenario for any politician, especially if there’s even one attack by one of these people.She said what is “shocking”, is that Western countries had almost five years to plan for this moment but have left it until “the last little pocket of land is about to fall”.The European Commission’s Radicalisation Awareness Network is focused on resocialisation and rehabilitation, even if someone has been prosecuted and is in prison. It recommends that there is investment in resocialisation while returnees are still in detention to decrease their risk of recidivism to violent extremism.It also suggests that member states consider complementing criminal justice policies with resocialisation efforts for returnees where prosecution is not an option due to a lack of evidence. Acknowledge that the reintegration of mothers who have succeeded in returning with small children is heavily dependent upon their fear of losing their children due to child protection measures. Therefore, consider cooperation with reintegration to be a precondition for custody.Member states are also advised to consider whether they should provide education, employment and housing to help foster rehabilitation. Mental health practitioners should be involved in screening and treatment if needed. And it should be acknowledged that while returnees might be the perpetrators of violence, they may also be victims of rape, beatings and torture. ‘The practicalities of deradicalisation’Deradicalisation will be an important part of this process and Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri, chair of the Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council, told TheJournal.ie he is concerned that Ireland does not have the necessary legislation or systems in place now. “It’s important that they contact people like myself who can assist in deradicalisation. Religious leaders need to be part of the solution and the government hasn’t contacted me yet. I don’t think they even have the vision to contact those who can provide a counter narrative to those who are radicalised. It is possible because we don’t have the legislation here that she may be ultimately free because of a lack of evidence. The government on the one hand is saying she has a right to come back but they do not mention the practicalities and the importance of deradicalisation. Dr Al-Qadri said he twice met with individuals who expressed a desire to join Islamic State at a time when it was starting to gain attention but was “not known for the atrocities we know of now”. “I spoke to these individuals about how it was a wrong and extreme narrative that has no place in Islam, and that it was a contradiction.“It did work and I believe it is possible to deradicalise people like Lisa provided there is regret and an acknowledgement they were wrong. There is a chance.” Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Short URL The Irish government has said Lisa Smith has the right to return to Ireland. THE IRISH GOVERNMENT has said an Irish woman reportedly detained in Syria on suspicion of Islamic State membership will be allowed to return to Ireland. Lisa Smith, who has a two-year-old child, has been detained in Syria by US armed forces.The Dundalk native previously worked in the Irish Defence Forces but left service in 2011. She went on to convert to Islam and married a Muslim man. It is believed she departed for Syria in 2015 after her marriage broke down. While there, she married a British man. It is understood he was killed two months ago. Speaking this week, Leo Varadkar said that while more information is needed about the case, Smith will have the right to return to Ireland. “As an Irish citizen, she will have the right to return to Ireland, as will her child who’s an Irish citizen,” the Taoiseach told reporters on Monday. “But it’s not just as simple as coming here, and everything proceeding as if nothing had happened. The Irish government has said Lisa Smith has the right to return to Ireland. Image: Tom Conachy 15.03.18 ‘I want to join ISIS’: How big a problem is radicalisation in Ireland?
Apr 11th 2019, 10:42 PM By AFP 11 Comments https://jrnl.ie/4588439 Image: SIPA USA/PA Images Thursday 11 Apr 2019, 10:42 PM Short URL French court upholds guilty verdict against Monsanto over poisoning of farmer who used its weedkiller This is the latest legal setback for the company over its controversial pesticides. The plaintiff’s assumed technical knowledge does not excuse the lack of information on the product and its harmful effects – a farmer is not a chemist.Speaking after the verdict, a lawyer for Monsanto France, Jean-Daniel Bretzner, said it would probably appeal, since the ruling applied to Lasso’s producer – in this case, Monsanto Europe.Parent company Bayer confirmed it was weighing an appeal.“Supposing that Paul Francois was accidently exposed to Lasso, by definition such exposure is rare,” it said in a statement.Other casesThis is the latest conviction against Monsanto involving its weedkillers and pesticides, which have been widely used around the world for years.Last month, a San Francisco court ordered the $80 million (€71 million) payout to a retiree who blames its popular Roundup weedkiller, which contains glyphosate, for causing his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.The company said it would appeal as it faces thousands of similar lawsuits in the United States.It had already been ordered last year to pay $78.5 million (€69.7 million) to a California groundskeeper who attributed his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma to using Roundup as well as Monsanto’s Ranger Pro.Monsanto denies that Roundup causes cancer.It has challenged findings by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, an arm of the World Health Organization (WHO), which classified glyphosate as a “probable carcinogen” in 2015.© – AFP 2019 Share137 Tweet Email5 13,983 Views Image: SIPA USA/PA Images A FRENCH COURT has upheld a guilty verdict against chemical giant Monsanto over the poisoning of a farmer who suffered neurological damage after using one of its weedkillers.This is the latest legal setback for the company over its controversial pesticides.Cereal farmer Paul Francois has been fighting Monsanto, a former US company which was bought by Germany’s Bayer last year, for the past 12 years.In the first ruling of its kind against Monsanto anywhere in the world, a French court in 2012 found it guilty of poisoning Francois.He said he began experiencing symptoms including blackouts, headaches and loss of balance and memory after inhaling fumes while using the now-banned weedkiller Lasso.Monsanto appealed and lost in 2015. However, it decided to go a third round.“I won, and I’m happy, but at what cost?” Francois told reporters after the verdict.He denounced what he called years of “legal harassment” by Monsanto.The ruling, he said, was “a message to the government”, which he urged to ban other toxic pesticides that contain glyphosate, used in Monsanto’s top-selling Roundup.“History will judge them for not acting,” he said, referring to a campaign pledge by President Emmanuel Macron to phase out glyphosate in France, which he backed down on last year.The company can still appeal today’s ruling by the Cour de Cassation, a top French appeals court.‘Not a chemist’Francois said he fell ill in 2004 after accidentally inhaling fumes from a vat containing Lasso, a monochlorobenzene-based weedkiller that was legal in France until 2007. However, it had already been banned in 1985 in Canada and in 1992 in Belgium and Britain.He argued that Monsanto was aware of Lasso’s dangers long before it was withdrawn from the French market, and sought damages of more than €1 million for chronic neurological damage that required long hospital stays.The court in Lyon, southeastern France, rejected the company’s appeal but did not rule on how much Monsanto might have to pay, which will be determined in a separate ruling.It did order the company to pay €50,000 immediately for Francois’s legal fees.In its ruling, the court found that Monsanto should have clearly indicated on Lasso’s labelling and instructions for use “a notice on the specific dangers of using the product in vats and reservoirs”. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
By AFP Apr 18th 2019, 7:16 AM FRAUDSTERS ARE TAKING advantage of the Notre-Dame fire to fool donors into handing over cash believing they are helping to rebuild the gutted Paris cathedral, officials have warned.The French Heritage Foundation, which has so far collected more than €13 million from individual donors to help restore the gothic landmark, said any phone or email appeals were fake.“A number of scams have been flagged to us both in France and abroad,” the foundation said, insisting it issues no appeals by phone, mail or email for donations. “All of these initiatives are fraudulent.”The foundation is accepting donations through its website (don.fondation-patrimoine.org), its Facebook page, PayPal, a Paris metro station and by SMS for those in France.Culture Minister Franck Riester warned people to be vigilant of websites claiming to support the reconstruction of Notre-Dame, which suffered heavy damage in Monday’s blaze.French President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to rebuild the monument by 2024, when France hosts the summer Olympics.© – AFP 2019 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 29 Comments https://jrnl.ie/4597727 Thursday 18 Apr 2019, 7:16 AM Share103 Tweet Email1 13,251 Views Short URL Scammers are calling and emailing people asking for Notre-Dame donations The French Heritage Foundation is accepting donations only through its website; it’s so far collected €13 million.
By AFP Former FBI Director James Comey. Image: J. Scott Applewhite via PA 12,862 Views Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 15 Comments Thursday 29 Aug 2019, 9:30 PM FORMER FBI DIRECTOR James Comey violated agency policies when he leaked memos documenting conversations with President Donald Trump, the Justice Department’s watchdog today.Comey, who was fired by Trump in 2017 after allegedly resisting the president’s entreaties to drop an investigation into former national security advisor Michael Flynn, wrote the memos after meeting Trump during his early days at the White House.One memo said the president asked Comey to shut down an investigation into Flynn, who eventually admitted lying to the FBI about conversations with Russia’s ambassador.The admission led to one of the earliest indictments to come from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into contacts between Russia and the Trump 2016 election campaign. The Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General berated Comey for asking an acquaintance teaching at Columbia University to share the contents of the memo with The New York Times.Comey set a “dangerous example” for FBI employees in an attempt to “achieve a personally desired outcome,” the report states. But it found “no evidence that Comey or his attorneys released any of the classified information contained in any of the memos to members of the media” and said prosecutors had declined to bring a case.Comey, who was among 17 people interviewed by the IG’s office for the investigation, immediately responded on Twitter, saying a “quick message with a ‘sorry we lied about you’ would be nice”.Comey singled out the president, who has repeatedly upbraided the former law enforcement official as a “leaker” since details of the memos emerged.“And to all those who’ve spent two years talking about me ‘going to jail’ or being a ‘liar and a leaker’ — ask yourselves why you still trust people who gave you bad info for so long, including the president,” Comey said.Trump, who countered with his own take on the report, appeared unprepared to accept that it had vindicated the former FBI chief in any way.“Perhaps never in the history of our Country has someone been more thoroughly disgraced and excoriated than James Comey in the just released Inspector General’s Report,” the president tweeted. “He should be ashamed of himself!”In a statement, the White House charged that Comey ”disgraced himself and his office to further a personal political agenda”.“Because Comey shamefully leaked information to the press – in blatant violation of FBI policies — the nation was forced to endure the baseless politically motivated, two-year witch hunt,” the statement from press secretary Stephanie Grisham said.The IG focused on Comey’s handling of seven memos detailing interactions with Trump in the first three months of 2017. Comey kept signed originals of four memos at home after being fired, without telling the FBI.He also gave copies of several memos to personal attorneys and to Mueller’s team, the report said.“Department policy states that employees may not, without agency permission, remove records from the Department — either during or after employment,” the report said. “The FBI policies are no different.” © – AFP 2019 Aug 29th 2019, 9:30 PM https://jrnl.ie/4788229 Former FBI Director James Comey. Share1 Tweet Email Short URL Image: J. Scott Applewhite via PA US justice watchdog says ex-FBI chief James Comey violated policies with Trump memos Comey was fired by Trump in 2017.
Greece sent two military transport planes to Libya on Thursday 24 February to assist Greeks seeking to leave the country, which has been taken over by clashes between pro-democracy protesters and the security forces of Colonel Muammar Gadhafi. The Foreign Ministry said the planes would try and evacuate as many as 300 Greeks who are working in Libya. Greeks working in remote parts of the country, such as on building sites, have found it difficult to get to an airport. Although, there are Greeks in Libya who have vowed not to leave the country. The Orthodox Bishop of Tripoli, Theofylaktos, told Kathimerini that some 20 Greek families living in Tripoli were not thinking about leaving. “We are all well and are watching developments with cool heads,” he said, adding that the situation was worse in Benghazi. “The city has been taken over by protesters but the head of the Greek community, which consists of about 100 people, told me that everyone is safe.”Greece is assisting other nationalities flee the country. Just days before, three Greek passenger ships was sent to the turbulent North African country to evacuate various other nationalities, mainly Chinese. There were some 4,500 Chinese oil and construction workers on the ships as Greece continues to help China evacuate up to 15,000 of its citizens.Source: Kathimerini Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia is urging Greek Australians to take action for the preservation and expansion of burial space at Botany Cemetery in the Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park at Matraville. It is estimated that the cemetery will be filled to capacity within eight years, as spaces in Australian cemeteries are quickly diminishing. To combat this, the Trust at Botany Cemetery developed a proposal so that 60 per cent of suitable vacant land adjacent to the existing Botany Cemetery at Matraville, known as the ‘Market Garden site’, can be used for burial purposes. But earlier this year, the Randwick City Council released the Draft Randwick Local Environmental Plan 2012 (DLEP) which, if approved, will limit the amount of burial space in this part of Sydney and prohibit the ‘Market Garden Site’ from being used as a cemetery. His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos has written to the NSW State Government supporting the view that the ‘Market Garden Site’ be used for burial purposes, and stated his views were also supported by clergy of the Roman Catholic church and the Jewish faith. The Archdiocese fears that the approval of the Draft will inevitably lead to future burials taking place in cemeteries located west of Penrith or Katoomba due to lack of space. Due to this, the Archdiocese has launched a campaign – sending letters to Randwick Council in an effort of maintain the Botany Cemetery as close to Matraville as possible and ensure it has adequate burial space in the future. Members of the Greek community are being urged to express their opinion on the preservation and expansion of the cemetery by sending a letter to the Randwick Council. All action must be taken before Monday 2 April.