It appears that the online vigilante group Anonymous has stopped its campaign of bringing down HBGary CEO Aaron Barr and have instead focused on a new target, this time the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church.Anonymous have accused the church of bigotry and fanaticism, and have warned them that if they did not stop their public protests they would be attacked. In response the Baptist Church hit back and said that they would not be threatened and goaded Anonymous to “bring it!”Westboro Baptist Church has been widely criticized for its stance against homosexuality and various protests which include picketing at military funerals and desecrating the American flag. The church leader Fred Phelps was banned from entering the UK in 2009 by the Home office and a number of US states have banned various members from protesting close to the aforementioned military funerals.The argument was started when Anonymous laid their cards on the table to Westboro Baptist Church with a letter stating:We have always regarded you and your ilk as an assembly of graceless sociopaths and maniacal chauvinists & religious zealots, however benign, who act out for the sake of attention & in the name of religion. However, despite the above being posted on the Anonymous news site, there has been uncertainty surrounding its authenticity. Graham Cluley from security firm Sophos believes that due to Anonymous being a headless organization its loyal followers could be led into mounting an attack on the church under false pretense:There are dangers in future that someone may pose as Anonymous and say that they want an attack. Unfortunately it may be too late for withdrawal as the Westboro Baptist Church issued a statement of its own which labeled Anonymous as “a puddle of pimple-faced nerds” and this in turn led on to the opening “bring it!” statement which brought Anonymous into action.Read more at BBC
If you happen to be getting a rather large tax return this year, or if you simply are comfortable enough to have about forty-thousand dollars just laying around, then the Shawish “Magic Mushroom” USB key pictured above may be for you.The creators of the world’s first 150-carat diamond ring have decided that they want to bring the sexy back to your computing lifestyle by offering this gem-encrusted mushroom shaped memory stick. For such a high price you’d expect them to at least give you a lot of on-board storage, but alas it only holds 32GB of data.Of course, if $37,000 is a bit too rich for your tastes, or you are pinching pennies because of the current state of the economy, you can get a cheaper model that sports pink sapphires and white diamonds for the bargain basement price of $16,500. I would like to point out that my truck cost less than the little trinket pictured above.Created to bring people back to their memories of childhood, the mushroom drive is modeled after the same fungus that was found in the classic novel Alice in Wonderland. The Shawish company reasoned that by bringing modern convenience to a classic piece of literary history they would make it a desirable item for the world’s fashion elite.I don’t know about you, but I doubt that Alice herself would be comfortable flashing this kind of bling around people like the Red Queen. After all, she could lose her head very easily, and the people that actually purchase this device have already lost theirs!Read more at Yahoo! News and Shawish Jewellery
The first smartphones running Mozilla’s Firefox OS are due to arrive some time in the next several months, and it looks like Chinese handset giant ZTE could be the first company to ship a device. Several carriers have already pledged their support for Firefox OS, including Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia, and Telenor — though ZTE has yet to reveal a specific network it’s targeting. Spokesman David Dai Shu said only that the company is “working with a regional carrier outside of China.”While not the most widely-recognized name in the North American smartphone game, ZTE is, nevertheless, the fourth largest producer of mobile phones in the world. It’s a significant win for Mozilla, then, that ZTE has signed on to build phones with Firefox OS.Shu says it has a lot to do with his company’s quest to come up with an operating system to call its own as it has no intention of relying solely on others. Shu also said that ZTE isn’t currently interested in using either of its more local alternatives — Baidu Yi or Aliyun. A logical choice, since ZTE’s ambitions are clearly bigger than just the Chinese market.So where will the ZTE Firefox OS phone land, and when? Brazil has been mentioned, along with an imprecise “early 2013” launch target. While he didn’t get geographical, the timetable lines up with another of Shu’s comments. He anticipates rolling out the OS with Mozilla “over the next few months,” with an actual product launch happening at the same time or very shortly thereafter.More at Reuters
Remember when EA launched the new SimCity game and you couldn’t login to play due to server issues? A lot of people got really angry about that with good reason, and understandably wanted a refund. But if the game purchase was carried out using the Origin digital download service, a refund just wasn’t an option and that has been EA’s policy until now.The US games publisher seems to have had a change of heart, though. From today, it is possible to request a refund for a game purchased through Origin. However, there are a few restrictions in place you need to know about.EA will only issue a full refund if one of the following criteria are met:The refund is requested within 24 hours of you first loading the game to playThe refund is requested within the first 7 days of purchasing the gameThe refund is requested within the first 7 days a game is available if you pre-ordered itSo basically, once you’ve bought the game and it is available to play you have 7 days to ask for a refund. But as soon as you load the game up to play it, the timeframe for a refund is cut to just 24 hours. And as soon as you request a refund the game becomes unplayable on your Origin account.There are exceptions to the refund policy, though. EA won’t issue a refund for DLC, certain game promotions won’t allow them, and even third-party games linked to Origin may not be eligible for a refund. And if you purchase a physical copy of an EA game that requires an Origin account, the only way to get a refund is to return the game to the store you purchased it from.EA is calling the refund service the “Origin Great Game Guarantee Policy” and it’s available in 20 countries initially, but will be rolled out to all regions where Origin is available before September is over.
Just because you don’t have permission to set random things on fire to see what happens to them doesn’t mean your friends on the internet don’t have your back. For example, who among us hasn’t wondered what would happen if we fried a pearl with a oxyhydrogen water torch for a few minutes? Well, look no further, because your inquiry has been answered in video form.Pearls are one of the more curious objects on our planet. These calcium carbonate orbs can be created when a foreign irritant is introduced into a oyster, and they secrete a nacre around the irritant to try and get rid of it and eventually something beautiful forms. Pearls can also be created artificially, and in fact frequently are, thanks to the value we as a society place on them. It’s the only precious material found on a necklace that can be completely dissolved in vinegar though.Obviously the big question on everyone’s mind when they see one of these brilliant white spheres is what happens when you set them on fire.From the video, you see that the pearl burns away in layers, with each layer peeling off and disintegrating right on the table. Because of the way natural pearls are formed, with the substance being secreted over and over again in layers around the foreign irritant, damage like this would occur one layer at a time. Cultured pearls don’t form this way, so the end result would be significantly different. Cultured pearls are the result of applying a thin layer of nacre over a larger object, instead of dozens of layers over a much smaller object. Burning away a cultured pearl would start out very similarly, but then you’d be incinerating whatever substance was used under that first layer, which probably won’t be anywhere near as interesting.
iFixit has busted out the teardown gear once again, and this time it’s the Surface Pro 2 that hit the workbench. The results weren’t pretty, but in Microsoft’s defense improved repairability wasn’t one of the upgrades the company boasted about.The Surface Pro 2 looks a lot like the original, and it repairs like the original. iFixit slammed the Surface Pro 2 with an abysmal 1/10. There’s really no way to get a poorer score on a tablet, except possibly injecting the casing with epoxy so that the whole device is one massive, glued-together chunk that’s destined for the landfill.After removing the new dual-stage kickstand by taking out just two screws, the real work began. First up was the stubborn adhesive that secures the Pro 2’s display, which had to be coerced into letting go by a sustained assault from iFixit’s heat gun. Then it was on to the interior, where the crew found screws. Lots of screws.Screws aren’t always a bad thing. They’re a sign that things can at least be removed using fairly standard means, and that’s certainly better than finding even more adhesive or parts that are soldered in place. But 52 screws of three different sizes in a 10.6-inch tablet is bordering on ridiculous.The final nail in the coffin of repairability? Microsoft chose to glue the Surface Pro 2’s batteries to the rear panel, just like it did in the original. It would’ve been nice if Microsoft had followed Amazon’s lead and used a few more screws instead… or, heck, figured out some way to make the battery easily user-replaceable.
Source: Tristan Neville A deer reclines in the Phoenix Park Source: Conor McCabe Berry, enjoying the snow Source: Louise Source: Dublin Zoo Source: Dublin ZooIreland, you’re a bit of a stunner Drone footage of Churchtown, Dublin Source: Ciaran McGrath Terryglass, Co Tipperary Source: Emma Burke-Kennedy Source: Rollingnews.ie Botanic Gardens, Dublin Source: Rollingnews.ie Source: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ieHeartfelt thanks to everyone who sent in pictures, apologies if we didn’t get to yoursRead: New snow-ice warning issued tonight for eight counties in east and southRead: Welfare payments due on Friday will now be paid tomorrow By Cianan Brennan 28.02.18 People in Leinster and Munster advised to stay in their homes from 4pm tomorrow 19 Comments An organised snowball fest on O’Connell Bridge got a little more heated Source: Rollingnews.ie Source: Eamonn Farrell/Rollingnews.ieThe animals got in on the act Related Reads Share609 Tweet Email7 28.02.18 Dáil suspended for the rest of the week due to the ‘the Beast from the East’ The Irish National War Memorial Gardens Source: Jaspreet Kaur Dalkey Island Source: Linda O’Reilly Source: Eamonn Farrell/Rollingnews.ie Drumshanbo, Co Leitrim Source: Eimer LynchAnd there was snowball mischief Caleb (6) and Jacob (1) enjoying the snow Source: Michelle Kavanagh Medical Student Farah Nadia Zikhtar from Malaysia having fun in Dublin castle Source: Rollingnews.ie Snowballs in Glasnevin TODAY MAY ONLY be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the havoc that The Beast from the East will wreak.But it was a fully-certified snow day. And if history has taught us anything, it’s that Ireland looks pretty fantastic under a carpet of the chilly white stuff.Today was no exception.There were stunning landscape shots Lambay Island from Rush Beach Source: Denis Meade Military graveyard, The Curragh Source: Susan Coffey Kiltipper Park, Dublin Source: Mary O’Sullivan Annagassan, Co Louth Source: Sinéad Casey Feb 28th 2018, 10:30 PM Pictures: A snowbound zoo, snowball fights, and stunning vistas – the Beast hit Ireland and everything looked amazing It was a day of singular beauty around the emerald isle. Wednesday 28 Feb 2018, 10:30 PM https://jrnl.ie/3878061 28.02.18 ‘Now is the time’: People asked to clear snow from outside their home before snow worsens 44,606 Views Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
Image: PA Wire/PA Images 66 Comments Image: PA Wire/PA Images Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article http://jrnl.ie/3199351 Short URL Share Tweet Email2 Theresa May is first in line as world leaders gear up to meet President Trump Trade deals will be high on the agenda, as May looks to US-UK cooperation post-Brexit Jan 22nd 2017, 12:03 PM By Sean Murray PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP will welcome British Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday in his first meeting with a foreign leader.White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, made the announcement yesterday.Speaking on BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show today, May said that she “won’t be afraid” to tell Trump if he says or does anything she feels is “unacceptable”.She said: “I will be talking to Donald Trump about the issues we share and how we can build on the special relationship.”She stressed that she is looking forward to discussing a trade deal with the US that will be essential once Britain leaves the EU.May said: “He and people around him have also spoken about the importance of a trade agreement with the UK and that is something that are looking to talk to us about an early stage.”It is expected that the importance of the NATO military alliance will also feature in their discussions.Trump is also set to meet his Mexican counterpart, Enrique Pena Nieto, on 31 January.The pair spoke on the phone yesterday, and will meet to discuss trade, immigration and security, Spicer said.The President famously declared that he would “build a wall” to keep Mexicans crossing the border into the US illegally during his election campaign. Furthermore, he said he would get Mexico to pay for it.Trump has also pledged to renegotiate, or even scrap, the Northern American Free Trade Agreement between the US, Mexico and Canada.The Mexican president’s office said that in yesterday’s conversation Pena Nieto congratulated Trump on becoming head of state in a phone call in which both agreed to open “new dialogue.”Mexico sends 85 percent of its exports to the United States under NAFTA and thus been rattled by Trump’s repeated vows to review or repeal the trade pact, and to build a wall on the border.Trump also spoke with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the phone yesterday, with NAFTA the main topic of discussion.A statement from Trudeau said that the pair “reiterated the importance of the Canada-United States bilateral relationship, and discussed various areas of mutual interest”.Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he would speak to Trump via telephone later today, for their first talks since the inauguration.Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting that he planned to discuss with Trump the conflict with the Palestinians, Syria and “the Iranian threat.”Trump has pledged strong support for Israel and vowed during his campaign to recognise Jerusalem as the country’s capital despite the city’s contested status.Plans are also underway for Russian President Vladimir Putin to meet Trump. These preparations may take months, rather than weeks, however, according to Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov.With reporting from AFP.Read: Trump’s team: ‘This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period’Read: While Americans have been marching against him – where has Trump been? 14,202 Views Sunday 22 Jan 2017, 12:03 PM
YesNoI’m not sureVote By Cianan Brennan Poll Results: Feb 11th 2017, 6:00 PM 38,332 Views No (12922) Share327 Tweet Email Poll: In the wake of the latest Maurice McCabe revelations, do you have confidence in the gardaí? The HSE has today “apologised unreservedly” to McCabe for the administrative error that led to an allegation against him making its way into a Tusla file. Maurice McCabe Image: Laura Hutton/Rollingnews.ie Maurice McCabe Yes (4268) Short URL http://jrnl.ie/3234905 I’m not sure (1695) Image: Laura Hutton/Rollingnews.ie 164 Comments Saturday 11 Feb 2017, 6:00 PM THIS MORNING, THE HSE apologised unreservedly to Garda Sergeant Maurice McCabe for the ‘administrative error’ that led to an allegation against McCabe making its way onto a file held by Tusla, the Child and Family Agency.It now seems that allegation remained on file at Tusla for nearly two years after the initial error was made in 2014.In what has become an increasingly murky saga the political fallout continues apace – this afternoon Fine Gael Health Minister Simon Harris argued that the pending Charleton Commission of Investigation into the alleged smear campaign by the gardaí against Sergeant McCabe should be allowed to run its course.Labour leader Brendan Howlin says that a full criminal investigation into the affair is required. And Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams went the whole hog and called for a general election.At present the Charleton investigation is the only show in town. Given the pace at which this saga has evolved, that may well change.But has the whole affair shaken your confidence in An Garda Síochána?We’re asking: In the wake of the latest Maurice McCabe revelations, do you have confidence in the gardaí? Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
By AFP MAN UNITED REACHED the Europa League semi-finals for the first time after beating Anderlecht 2-1 on Thursday, but at the cost of a potentially serious injury to Zlatan Ibrahimovic.The talismanic Swede, 35, had to go off after damaging his right knee late in the game at Old Trafford and may not play again this season, while United also lost centre-back Marcos Rojo.United prevailed courtesy of an extra-time strike by Marcus Rashford, which secured a 3-2 aggregate success, after Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s opener was cancelled out by Sofiane Hanni.The scrappy, sapping victory means Jose Mourinho’s side remain on course to claim the only major trophy missing from the club’s collection.But the injuries to Ibrahimovic and Rojo could prove costly, particularly with United having re-energised their push for a top-four finish in the Premier League by brilliantly beating Chelsea.Ibrahimovic’s injury occurred late in stoppage time, his right knee bending the wrong way as he landed following an aerial challenge in the Anderlecht box, leaving him grimacing on the deck.The former Paris Saint-Germain striker, scorer of 28 goals this season, was able to hobble down the tunnel, aided by medical staff, but United’s fans will fear they have seen the last of him this season.It cast a shadow over United’s evening, but Rashford’s superb 107th-minute strike ensured they took up a place in the last four.Star of Sunday’s 2-0 win over Chelsea, he notched the decisive goal by gathering Marouane Fellaini’s knock-down, making space with a sharp Cruyff turn and firing in a low shot with his left foot.United first went ahead in the 10th minute after a finely measured pass from Paul Pogba found Rashford wide on the left. Apr 20th 2017, 10:41 PM Image: Martin Rickett Thursday 20 Apr 2017, 10:41 PM Follow us: the42.ie 21,915 Views The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us! Image: Martin Rickett Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Rashford’s cross was blocked, but the ball came back to him and he squared it for Mkhitaryan, who drilled a low shot into the bottom-left corner.United were on top and it took flying one-handed saves from visiting goalkeeper Ruben to repel a header from Pogba and a Jesse Lingard curler.But United then lost Rojo — hurt as he tried in vain to halt Frank Acheampong, with Daley Blind taking his place — and Anderlecht levelled the tie in the 32nd minute.Youri Tielemans’s deflected shot came back off the crossbar and after a moment’s confusion, Hanni put away the rebound.United’s chances became more clear-cut in the second half.Rashford rounded Ruben but knocked the ball too wide after an error by Dennis Appiah and Ruben thwarted Ibrahimovic from substitute Fellaini’s header.A corner from Mkhitaryan fell for Pogba on the edge of the six-yard box, but he skied his volley into the Stretford End.Freed by Michael Carrick, Ibrahimovic shanked wastefully wide.Teed up by Ibrahimovic’s scooped pass, Rashford found the side-netting.Fortunately for United, he would not be denied. Unfortunately for United, Ibrahimovic had long since departed by the time he struck the winner.– © AFP 2017 https://the42.ie/3350459 Share Tweet Email 66 Comments New Zealand are coming to Dublin to play… Cabinteely FC>Morrissey: The boy with the form in his side> Short URL Man United survive big scare to progress to Europa League semis Marcus Rashford was the hero, as he won the game in extra time for his side.
Source: orchard thieves papi/Twitter Short URL Tuesday 2 May 2017, 11:03 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Grace McDermott Source: TwitterHEARTFELT TRIBUTES HAVE been paid to PhD candidate and co-founder of the well-known blog Women Are Boring Grace McDermott.Grace lost her life tragically in the early hours of Monday morning after a fire broke out in the house in which she was staying in Annacotty, Co Limerick.Three men and another woman escaped the house unharmed.She had been in the city to take part in the Barrington’s Hospital Great Limerick Run on Sunday.https://www.facebook.com/WomenAreBoringBlog/photos/a.1072349609492929.1073741828.1029888483739042/1407502269310993/?type=3&theaterAlong with friend and fellow PhD candidate Catherine Connolly, Grace had set up the Women Are Boring blog which had become an internationally-renowned outlet in its short life, highlighting female-led research across the globe.“So devastated to share the news that our co-founder Grace McDermott died tragically yesterday. Women Are Boring is now on hiatus for a while,” Connolly wrote on the blog’s Twitter account. 14 Comments I will continue the project (Grace would be so mad if I stopped!) but will need a little time. Thanks to all for your support.Saddened tributes in reaction to the tragic news have been paid throughout the day, with students of Grace’s in particular paying their respects.“Her passion and enthusiasm was infectious,” one former student wrote on Twitter. Overwhelmed by all the messages of love for Grace & of support for @WomenAreBoring that I’ve received today- I appreciate all of it so much.— Dr Catherine Connolly (@KitConnolly) May 2, 2017 http://jrnl.ie/3369962 Source: Emmeline/Twitter Source: Catherine Connolly/Twitter Whoops! We couldn’t find this Tweet Tributes paid to “incredible person” Grace McDermott after tragic death in house fire Renowned blogger and PhD student Grace died in a house fire at Annacotty, Co Limerick, early yesterday morning. 59,030 Views May 2nd 2017, 11:03 PM Absolutely devastated to hear this. Grace gave some of the most interesting lectures I attended in DCU and she was an inspiration to us all— thank u, brexit (@AoifeRM) May 2, 2017 So very sorry to hear this news. What a wonderful, vibrant young woman. May she rest in peace.— Emmeline (@Imleachin) May 2, 2017 Share Tweet Email3 “She was the first really good educator I encountered in UL and it was my first class where it felt like people were excited to be there,” wrote another.“She was an incredible person,” Connolly wrote this afternoon.This is such a loss for the world. We were due to celebrate the first birthday of the site on Friday and it will never be the same without her. Utterly torn apart to have lost my partner-in-crime.Read: The son of murdered solicitor Pat Finucane will run in the UK elections for Sinn FéinRead: Three year campaign results in 33,000 children with disabilities getting full medical cards By Cianan Brennan
Mar 21st 2017, 6:57 PM By AFP FIVE FROZEN TIGERS have been discovered in a Vietnamese man’s freezer with their organs removed, according to official reports, in a country seen as a global hub for the illegal wildlife trade.Tiger organs and bones are used for medicinal purposes in the communist country, where a thriving local market drives the illegal sale of animal parts including ivory and rhino horn.But Vietnam is also a key transit route for wildlife parts destined for elsewhere in Asia, including neighbouring China.The five tigers were discovered in the central province of Nghe An, according to a report from the official provincial newspaper.“The authorities found inside a freezer five dead tigers, with the skins intact but the internal organs removed,” it said.The tigers were Indochinese, according to Vietnam News Agency, but officials said police would investigate further.Police refused to comment.Tiger bones are commonly boiled down and mixed with rice wine in Vietnam, a mixture believed to treat arthritis and promote strength.Conservationists say Vietnam is one of the world’s worst countries for trade in endangered species, an accusation which it denies.© – AFP 2017Read: For the first time ever, a dinosaur tail has been found encased in amber > Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 15 Comments File Short URL Share6 Tweet Email2 File Image: AP/Press Association Images Image: AP/Press Association Images http://jrnl.ie/3299732 Tuesday 21 Mar 2017, 6:57 PM Bodies of five tigers with missing organs found in Vietnamese man’s freezer Tiger bones are commonly boiled down and mixed with rice wine in Vietnam, a mixture believed to treat arthritis and promote strength. 9,851 Views
Trailer Watch: Which movie should you go see this weekend? What’s a must-watch, and what’s a miss? We tell you. Short URL Source: The Buffalo International Film Festival/YouTubeWhat we knowThis film by Danny HIller is based on the true story of the Kerry Babies case. It stars veteran Irish actor Fiona Shaw. A young girl confesses to a crime she didn’t commit and is charged with murder.What the critics say“Out of Innocence gives voice to the young women who have been abused and ostracised by the Catholic Church and the Irish state in its empathetic portrayal of Sarah and her family.” – Film Ireland Share5 Tweet Email Mid90sOut of InnocenceHellboyNone of themVote Hellboy (520) PLANNING ON HEADING to the cinema this weekend?There are a few new movies out, but which is a must-watch, and are there any you should avoid?We take a look.Mid90s Source: MovieAccessTrailers/YouTubeWhat we knowFor his directorial debut, Jonah Hill explores the lives of teen skateboards in 1990s LA.What the critics say“mid90s is about as spiky and unsentimental as a youth-rebellion movie can get. Hill makes it feel like a documentary, and by that I don’t just mean that it’s shot in a mode of unvarnished simulated vérite. – Variety“Written and directed by Jonah Hill, this film wants to be less a period piece than a time capsule, an immersion in the sights and sound of a pop-cultural moment.” – New York Times Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article RottenTomatoes: None yetIMDB: 6.5/10Which one would you go see first? What’s it rated? Apr 11th 2019, 8:31 PM Thursday 11 Apr 2019, 8:30 PM What’s it rated? RottenTomatoes: None yetIMDB: 8.9/10Hellboy Source: Lionsgate Movies/YouTubeWhat we knowDavid Harbour (Stranger Things) stars as Hellboy, What the critics say“Harbour makes for a formidable Hellboy in a visually snappy milieu that, like del Toro’s earlier entries, takes its cues from Mignola’s sardonic horror-fantasy universe.” – Indiewire“But just because a movie is ridiculous and knows it’s ridiculous, that doesn’t automatically make its ridiculousness work. “Hellboy” stops being fun when it stops being funny—when it abruptly shifts gears into a more relentlessly bloody, violent mood.” – RogerEbert.com What’s it rated? By Aoife Barry Poll Results: None of them (1463) 17,978 Views RottenTomatoes: 79%IMDB: 7.4/10Out of Innocence 27 Comments https://jrnl.ie/4585986 Out of Innocence (739) Mid90s (393)
Emmanuel Macron says yellow vest violence must stop as he offers ‘significant’ tax cuts Macron recognised that the yellow vest movement had led to many in France feeling “anger and impatience for change” and praised its “just demands”. 37 Comments FRENCH PRESIDENT EMMANUEL Macron today vowed to press ahead with his government’s programme and added that public order must be restored after months of protests.“The transformations that are in progress and the transformations that are essential for our country should not be stopped,” Macron said in his first solo news conference at the Elysee Palace. He vowed that after almost half a year of sometimes violent yellow vest protests against his rule, “today, above all, public order will return and with it an essential accord” in French society.Macron recognised that the yellow vest movement had led to many in France feeling “anger and impatience for change” and praised its “just demands”.But he added that the movement had “transformed progressively” and been hijacked partly by episodes of anti-Semitic violence, attacks on journalists and homophobia. “But I don’t want that the actions of some people eclipse the just demands that were put forward at the start of this movement and were broadly supported,” he said.Macron also vowed to “significantly” reduce income tax for workers in France, while defending his controversial decision to scrap a wealth tax early in his term.“I want cuts for people who work by significantly reducing income taxes,” Macron said during a speech in which he is laying out his response to five months of anti-government protests.On scrapping the wealth tax, he said it would be reviewed in 2020, adding: “It was a reform to stimulate production, not a present for the rich.”© AFP 2019 Share Tweet Email By AFP Thursday 25 Apr 2019, 6:18 PM Image: Yaghobzadeh Alfred/ABACA https://jrnl.ie/4607327 14,182 Views Apr 25th 2019, 6:18 PM Short URL Image: Yaghobzadeh Alfred/ABACA Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article By Paul Fennessy Short URL “It was tense. It was high pressure. It was a case of what might have been really. Things might have been different if Roy had been there. If you get past Spain and what you’ve got next [South Korea], anything could happen. “It’s tinged [with disappointment] because maybe it didn’t go the way you wanted. But I guess when you get older [you realise] it’s life really. It’s Rovers of the Rovers and then there’s a bit of realism there. You’re up against really good players. It’s the best of the best. But I thought the team did brilliantly. It’s a lovely thing to be a part of. But obviously, I should have put the penalty away.”Without wanting to delve too deeply into the discussed-to-death Saipan debate, I ask Connolly more generally about his most famous, and most infamous team-mate.“Roy can be brilliant company. He’s got very high standards and all the stuff that we know Roy for. I got on great with Roy. I just put my head down. You had to when you’re with so many good players. You can’t afford to slacken off to keep up with these players. I had to be at it every day. I made sure I was practising, practising in the gym.With Roy, he was good as gold with me. I didn’t treat Roy any different to anyone else or he to me. He signed me [at Sunderland] and I did quite well — that was a good period for him as a manager too. You could have the best days of your life with Roy and it could obviously go the other way too. I enjoyed my time with him a lot — he was a top, top player.”Connolly was also one of the few Irish players to visit Keane to say goodbye once it became apparent that he would not be competing in the World Cup and was going home.“He was only staying in the next room down. You don’t really want him to go. You don’t know the ins and outs of it. Whether that was the right or the wrong thing [to do], I don’t know.“He’d often borrow a couple of DVDs off me. It probably would’ve been odd if I hadn’t gone to see him. I don’t know if I had an argument like that, would I want someone to come see me. Maybe not, or maybe I wouldn’t really care. But anyway, I was a bit young. It is what it is.”And does he remember which DVDs Keane borrowed?“No, jeez I don’t. I don’t think it was ‘Friends,’ or anything like that.” Connolly (third left) pictured with Roy Keane and team-mates during his Sunderland days. Source: Craig Connor/INPHOConnolly in particular and arguably Ireland in general would never again reach the same heights at international level that they managed in that Spain game.With Saipan still fresh in people’s mind, McCarthy left not long after the World Cup, departing following a first competitive home loss against the Swiss.Brian Kerr took over and Ireland still retained an outside chance of qualifying for Euro 2004 right up until the final group game, which was once again against Switzerland.It was a disappointing performance from the team ultimately. Keane and Connolly started up front, with the latter replaced by Clinton Morrison after 58 minutes amid an anti-climactic 2-0 loss. He describes it as “probably one of my worst games ever” on a day where little went right for the Irish team, after Hakan Yakin gave their opponents the lead just six minutes into the match at St Jakob Park.It proved to be the last time Connolly would wear a green jersey. He was ignored for the duration of Steve Staunton’s tenure, despite finishing the season as Sunderland’s top scorer and helping them get promoted to the Premier League under Roy Keane.“That was fine,” he says. “When new people come in, they make their mark. There was no [animosity]. Sometimes you might agree or disagree, but you learn to keep your counsel and get on with it.”Connolly would go on to play for Southampton, Portsmouth, Oxford and AFC Wimbledon, before retiring in 2015 at the age of 37.“Giovanni Trapattoni selected me [for his first Ireland squad], but I was injured and had a lot of operations at Sunderland. I was struggling for fitness for a season or two. So I didn’t get that call back. But I can’t complain really, I ended up with more than I thought I would.”Perhaps the most controversial moment in Connolly’s Irish career was a high-profile falling out with Don Givens, the caretaker boss in between the McCarthy and Kerr eras. Givens publicly criticised Connolly, with the manager suggesting the player turned down a call-up. However, reflecting on it now, Connolly feels he was unfairly treated.I don’t lose any sleep over it. I thought it was ridiculous. Everything was done in a terrible manner. It wasn’t done via the club. It was just amateur. That was the biggest frustration, because really the player shouldn’t be in the middle of all that. The Irish manager should be talking to the club about the player. The player’s called up and you don’t have any real relationship with that person, you shouldn’t even be talking to him. It should be done via the official channels. I don’t want to be talking to the manager, getting his opinion on a Saturday night — he should have just talked to my club and they’d deal with it.”For the most part though, Connolly has fond memories of his Irish career and football in general.“You’ve definitely got to persevere,” he adds. “When I was playing at Ruislip Gaelic Grounds, there were much better football players than me and they were at the Tottenhams and Arsenals of this world. I was at little Watford.“You’re told you’re too small, you’re not this, not that. Just persevere. Have a bit of resilience. You might have a couple of setbacks along the way. You’ve just got to keep going, have a bit of determination and really love it. If you want to do it, you’ve got to really love it. If you love it, they say you never work a day, and it’s kind of true.”- Originally published at 15.00 The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us! ‘The night before I put the penalty in a different place. I changed my mind against Spain’ David Connolly on the good and bad times he experienced playing for Ireland. OF ALL THE teams Ireland have endured bad fortune against over the years, Switzerland must be among the standouts.The Irish management careers of both Mick McCarthy (in his first spell) and Brian Kerr ended with disappointing results against the Swiss in games that either killed off qualifying hopes or made the prospect of reaching a major tournament very difficult.At the weekend, The42 spoke to Thomas Butler, whose short-lived international career ended with a game against Switzerland.Similarly, David Connolly would also win the last of his 41 caps against the side known as the ‘Rossocrociati’ (Red Crosses), albeit in a different game to Butler.In those previous 40 caps though, there was no shortage of highs and lows, with nine goals enough to put Connolly on the all-time top scorers list, level with Roy Keane, Liam Brady, Clinton Morrison and Kevin Sheedy, and just behind James McClean’s 10.Before international recognition though, he grew up a normal kid who happened to be obsessed with football.In a YouTube interview from a few years back, Connolly recalled how André Hoekstra, a coach he worked with at Excelsior, urged him to “fly a kite” or engage in some kind of hobby outside of football.“I struggled with my time off,” he recalled. “What do I do with my spare time apart from football?“I enjoy my football and never take it for granted. I’ve never been a drinker of alcohol or late-night parties, whatever it may be.[André] could be right. Maybe I did need to learn to fly a kite. But I never did.”Born in England and growing up in Willesden, his parents went to Britain in search of work, but Connolly always considered himself Irish.“I was the first one born in England, as happens, when there was no real work at home. Dad was one of many brothers. Only one of them needed to work the farm, so the rest came to England to find their way. https://the42.ie/4796098 22,209 Views Thursday 5 Sep 2019, 3:00 PM Sep 5th 2019, 9:01 AM Follow us: the42.ie Image: INPHO Share1 Tweet Email I was probably playing and watching more Gaelic than I was football when I was a child. My dad played in minor All-Irelands — him and his brothers are big into hurling and Gaelic [football].“I started playing football at the same time. I didn’t really think about anything else. You were living in England, but everything else was kind of Irish. I lived in a very Irish place. It was the norm. You went to Irish pubs. That was just how it worked really.”And did he ever consider seriously pursuing GAA?“No, but I played it all the time. I was watching my dad down in Ruislip, which was the main GAA ground. “Even now, I played Gaelic with my sons today, just after school, they love it. It’s a great sport.“It was just part and parcel [of growing up], you’d always have a hurling stick in the car or wherever.” As a youngster, Connolly wrote to Ireland and Liverpool player Jim Beglin. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHOA big Liverpool fan on account of their Irish players, such as Ray Houghton and Steve Staunton among others, Connolly wrote to Jim Beglin as a kid and ended up getting two tickets for a game.“I’ve never really said it to him. He sent back two tickets, which was incredible. I went up to Anfield with my dad, I went to the game. I didn’t ask for the tickets, but it was absolutely fantastic. I still remember opening the envelopes.”Aged 18, Connolly made his Ireland debut on 29 May 1996. It was Mick McCarthy’s third game game in charge and third successive defeat, as the Boys in Green lost 1-0 to Portugal in a friendly at Lansdowne Road.“In the youth age groups, I played with Watford and we played Millwall quite a lot. They had Ben Thatcher, Mark Kennedy — quite a good youth team.We’d always give them a good game, but [then-Millwall manager] Mick McCarthy, as often happens with manager of clubs, they’d often watch the youth teams, then manage the [first-team] game. So he was obviously watching when we played Millwall. I think I did quite well and scored a few. “A year later, I was in the first team at Watford scoring goals and then Mick called me up.”A few days after his Portugal bow, Connolly featured in another friendly, as Ireland were defeated 3-1 by Netherlands in Feijenoord Stadion. Little did he know at the time that he would soon end up playing there regularly.The young striker subsequently started scoring for Ireland — twice in the 1996 US Cup against USA and Mexico, and a hat-trick the following May in McCarthy’s first competitive game in charge against Liechtenstein.Connolly had played three seasons at senior level for Watford, scoring 10 goals in 26 appearances, but his contract was due to expire. Suddenly, he went from England’s third-tier to the Eredivisie. His team-mates now included Henrik Larsson, Giovanni Van Bronckhorst and Jerzy Dudek. To this day, he is still remembered in Holland, particularly for one game. Aged just 23 and up against footballers of the calibre of Christian Chivu and Rafael van der Vaart, he scored twice in a 4-3 victory — the first time Feyenoord had beaten their arch-rivals away from home in 26 years. At the final whistle, the young Irish international was carried off the pitch on Dudek’s shoulders.“They were looking for a forward who was on a free,” he recalls. “I had a couple of offers in England or whatever. I took [Feyenoord], because when you played in the stadium, it was incredible. “They were playing Champions League football and I never played it again. They had amazing players like Larsson. It was just a completely different world to what I’d come from, you’d be mad [to turn it down]. But I probably wasn’t ready for it then. At the time, they were playing in the Champions League and the year I left, they won the Uefa Cup.” Source: Feyenoord • Eredivisie Archief/YouTubeConnolly would technically spend four years on the books at Feyenoord, though he ultimately made just 25 league appearances in that time, scoring seven goals. In between there was a season on loan at Wolves, and a particularly prolific loan spell with Excelsior in the Dutch second tier, where he managed a remarkable tally of 42 goals in 48 appearances. Former Netherlands international Adrie Koster, his manager there, who went on to coach a number of other Dutch clubs, including Ajax, still describes the former star as the best striker he ever worked with.The Irish international was not the only talented striker who found himself out of favour at Feyenoord. Following a contract dispute, the club would ultimately sell the disillusioned Henrik Larsson to Celtic for £650,000.“They didn’t want him there and they weren’t getting on. I remember talking to him. He was training, but he was never involved. It was just: ‘Oh you know, me and the club have just fallen out.’”Irish and British players often find life difficult further afield, with homesickness often an issue among young players. However, Connolly says it was never a problem for him, with a number of team-mates perennially making him feel at home.They were great lads. George Boateng was brilliant, great company. Giovanni van Bronkhurst and his wife would bring me round to dinner and look after me.“It’s a fantastic country and the people are so welcoming. I still talk to people I met there 20-odd years ago. They couldn’t have done anymore.“I take my kids there [now], go there for holidays, it’s a great place.”Connolly, meanwhile, says he always enjoyed a good relationship with McCarthy, who visited him during the striker’s Dutch spell.“He’s honest and hard working as the day is long. He tells it as it is, which I like. He cuts out all the rubbish. You know exactly where you stand and I really enjoyed playing for him. You could argue with him and stuff, but he’d never really hold anything against you.“Mick came to stay with me in Holland once. He came to watch me play. I think he had a hotel for the night, but he said: ‘Is there any space at yours?’ ‘Yeah there is, alright.’ I ended up with my national team manager staying on the top floor of my house, which was a bit weird and surreal at the time. But that’s what Mick was like. He wouldn’t stay in a highfalutin hotel or whatever. He gets on well with people.”With the emergence of exceptional young attackers in Robbie Keane and Damien Duff, Connolly’s starting spot was rarely guaranteed at international level, despite beginning with such a flourish. However, he did feature in all three of Ireland’s crucial play-off ties under McCarthy. He came off the bench and was sent off in defeat to Belgium that ended the team’s hopes of qualifying for the ’98 World Cup. He again featured as a substitute in the first leg and started the second in the absence of the suspended Keane, as Ireland agonisingly went out against Turkey on away goals. And he also completed 90 minutes of the second leg against Iran, when the Boys in Green finally qualified for a major tournament under McCarthy, losing 1-0 on the night but progressing 2-1 on aggregate.Yet despite this memorable moment, Connolly still feels a degree of regret that they didn’t achieve more.“We should have got to at least one more tournament at a minimum,” he says.Ahead of the tournament, Connolly was enjoying the best spell of his career, at least in terms of goals. He had been offered a new contract by Feyenoord, but still got the impression the club weren’t especially keen on him sticking around. Initially, he was set to sign for another Dutch side, AZ Alkmaar. But a phone call from Irish team-mate Kenny Cunningham persuaded him to instead return to English football and join Wimbledon.His first season at the club in England’s second tier in the lead up to the 2002 World Cup was a success, as he registered 18 goals in 35 appearances, while the following campaign, he would manage 24 in 28. Still though, Connolly knew he was unlikely to start ahead of Duff and Keane at the tournament in Korea and Japan.We begin discussing that World Cup generally, and unprompted, Connolly brings up what is probably both the best and worst moment in his career.Having played the Iran match, the attacker was an unused sub in Ireland’s three group games. In the last 16, against a Spanish side that included the world-class likes of Iker Casillas, Gaizka Mendieta, Carles Puyol, Raul and Fernando Morientes, Connolly replaced Ian Harte in the 82nd minute with McCarthy’s men trailing 1-0 and desperately needing a goal. A last-gasp Keane penalty brought the game to extra-time and Connolly went desperately close to finding a winner thereafter, as his effort from 20 yards out just went the wrong side of the post.Ultimately though, Spain prevailed 3-2 on penalties, with Connolly one of three Irish players to miss a spot kick.When it comes to penalties, it’s just whoever fancies it.“I wouldn’t say there were loads and loads of people who were putting their hand up to take it, but you live and learn really. The night before I put the penalty in a different place. I changed my mind, over-thought it, and that’s probably the disappointing thing.” Connolly is consoled by Niall Quinn during the 2002 World Cup penalty shootout with Spain. Source: INPHODoes he deserve credit though, for at least being willing to volunteer to take a spot kick in such a huge game?“Yes and no. We played Romania in ’97. I got brought down for a penalty. Steve Staunton was on penalties and he sort of said ‘I don’t fancy it.’ I thought: ‘Maybe I’ll have a go at this.’ Then Roy took the ball and he had his kick saved. I remember thinking: ‘That’s someone who’s been at Liverpool and Villa that doesn’t really fancy it.’ Then there’s no shame in that.“I felt okay to take the penalty [against Spain], but if you miss, you suffer the consequences. It wasn’t a great pen. The night before I banged it in — no ‘keeper would have saved it. But it’s a little bit different when you’re doing it in front of everyone. David Connolly scored nine goals in 41 caps for Ireland. David Connolly scored nine goals in 41 caps for Ireland. Image: INPHO 6 Comments
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The most significant change in Greece in 2009 was the electoral defeat of the conservative government of New Democracy (ND) at the October 4 elections. The loss marked the end of an era for the conservative party. Outgoing Prime Minister, Costas Karamanlis was the longest serving president of ND, having led the party for 12 years. He was also the youngest politician to ever lead the conservatives in Greece. Karamanlis became Prime Minister in March 2004 on a wave of high expectations from the Greek electorate and with a clear mandate to face the problems of corruption in political life head on and to pursue structural changes in Greek economy, polity and society. Five years and two terms later, however, the mandate had all but evaporated, leaving ND with it’s worst poll showing since its founding in 1974. Rocked by the sharp decline in the Greek economy, the loss at the Euroelection elections and numerous scandals – namely the alleged bribery case of ND’s former Minister Aristotelis Pavlidis, the land swap deal with the Vatopedi monastery and the Siemens bribery scandal – Karamanlis looked shellshocked and ready to capitulate in his last few months of government. The main opposition party until then, the socialist PASOK, under the leadership of George Papandreou posted an easier victory than expected, thrashing ND and securing a substantial majority in Parliament. From the beginning of the year the then Opposition Leader called for early elections to be held to test the confidence of the Greek electorate in the Karamanlis Government, a call he maintained throughout the first half of the year.The loss in the early elections of October 2009 saw the 53-year-old Costas Karamanlis, nephew of the legendary conservative politician and founder of ND Konstantinos Karamanlis, step down from the party’s presidency. As ND cadres were licking their wounds, four contenders emerged in the leadership race. With Dora Bakoyannis being the early favourite the other three hopefuls – Dimitris Avramopoulos, Antonis Samaras and Panayiotis Psomiadis – appeared to be faced with an uphill battle. But the decision by Avramopoulos to withdraw from the race and endorse Samaras saw the expected landslide for Bakoyannis become a shocking defeat on November 29 by Antonis Samaras, who secured the leadership “ring” from the first round of the leadership vote. While PASOK was enjoying the political hole left by ND’s leadership void, the news for the Greek economy were going from bad to worse. Official figures for the public sector debt and deficit had to be significantly revised, drawing an angry response from leading figures and bureaucrats in the European Union accusing Greece of complete lack of credibility. Coupled with a barrage of negative press in the world media and the downgrading of its credit rating by Fitch and Standard & Poors, Greece was chastised as the economic pariah of the Eurozone. With political pressure from Brussels mounting for Greece to adopt stringent monetary remedies, the Greek PM George Papandreou chose a different economic path focusing on structural changes rather than immediate cutbacks on salaries and pensions. Pundits agree that the approach adopted by Papandreou is a huge gamble for both the country and the Prime Minister. Only time will tell whether he will be vindicated. However 2009 was not just a year of negative attention for Greece. The official inauguration of the new Acropolis Museum on June 20 enjoyed international acclaim and major coverage in the world press and provided a significant boost to Greece’s campaign for the return of the Parthenon marbles. On the downside the launch happened five years after the Museum was originally due to be launched as a result of a string of hiccups and delays in fine tuning the exhibition space in the Museum.Later that summer bushfires dominated Greek news, without reaching the catastrophic proportions of the 2007 fires. The same could be said for the one year anniversary two weeks ago of the fatal shooting of 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos by a police officer. Because his death had sparked angry riots across Greece in December 2008, Greek authorities braced themselves for a repeat of the violent clashes in 2009. However the worse fears of the authorities proved to be unfounded as Greek police forces proved to be well prepared and handled the weekend of protests swiftly and effectively.
Tax authorities will be able to withhold salaries and pensions and confiscate the properties of taxpayers who do not pay their special property tax, the Finance Ministry has said. Deputy Finance Minister Pantelis Economou decreed that within 60 days of the issue of the bills, the Public Power Corporation and alternative electricity suppliers will have to send to the General Secretariat of Information Systems (GSIS) a detailed list of the taxpayers who have not paid their property tax, so that tax authorities can proceed to the compulsory collection measures. Taxpayers will only have 40 days from the issue of the electricity bill containing the special property tax to pay it, or have their power supply cut. Unless they ask to be reconnected within 20 days, suppliers will delete the customer’s request and send his or her name to the GSIS. They will only get their electricity supply back if they produce a receipt for the payment of their property tax to their power provider. Source: Kathimerini Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Festival Hellenika, Adelaide’s annual multidisciplinary arts festival, is dedicated to the maintenance, development, promotion and celebration of Hellenic links in the arts, and their rich and diverse Australian manifestations. The Festival is facilitated, coordinated and presented by the South Australian Council for the Greek Cultural Month Inc (SACGCM). Hellenic links are part of the legacy of Australia’s fabulous Multicultural social fabric, making Festival Hellenika a celebration and an affirmation of these wonderful links striving to: be an open platform supporting community cultural events as well as artistic endeavours of the highest quality; build on Hellenic / Australian cultural and artistic heritage as part of the mainstream arts world; pursue links with other communities and engage with participants and audiences from any background; provide opportunities for local artists interested in Hellenic connections to express themselves; encourage young people to engage in the arts and provide opportunities for them to understand their origins; and develop partnerships with mainstream arts organisations and make the festival accessible to the broader community.For more information visit festivalhellenika.org.au
The Electoral Boundaries Commission (EBC) is currently conducting a redivision, which will redraw the boundaries for electorates in both Houses of State Parliament. The redivision is considering the boundaries of Victoria’s electoral regions and districts established by past redivisions. The redivision is drawing electoral boundaries to ensure that each vote in Victorian State elections has an equal value and that each elector is represented equally in the Victorian Parliament.The redivision is based on enrolments as at 30 November 2012. The average number of electors per electoral district (Lower House electorate) is the quota for electoral districts, and the average number of electors per electoral region (Upper House electorate) is the quota for electoral regions. The electoral districts and regions established in the redivision must not vary in enrolment by more than 10% from the quota. The quotas are: Quota for electoral districts: 41,473. Quota for electoral regions: 456,207The proposed electoral boundaries have been released. The proposed boundaries are on display at municipal council service centres and libraries throughout the State, and are also available at Information Victoria.Suggestions and objections about the proposed boundaries will be accepted until 5:00 pm, Monday 29 July.For more information, please visit the EBC website. https://www.vec.vic.gov.au/ Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram “Government funding for prisons is currently at $400 a day, in contrast with $170 a day for aged care servicesMike Zafiropoulos AMGreek Australian leaders have a message for whichever party is returned to government on September 7; help us care for our elderly, sustain the Greek language and culture, and strengthen Australia’s multicultural outlook. Bill Papastergiadis, President of the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria, told Neos Kosmos this week that GOCMV looked forward to working with either party to move its programs forward. “The relationship which GOCMV has had with both parties in the last five years has been excellent. We’ve had strong bipartisan support for our programs, and from the Gillard government for our new cultural centre, which gave $2m towards its construction,” said Mr Papastergiadis. “Both Labor and the Coalition leader showed a willingness to engage, both attended the Antipodes Festival and the leaders of both parties have met with us. Our discussions with both have been very positive.” Mr Papastergiadis added that GOCMV has approached both major parties to support the community’s future programs in delivering Greek language and cultural initiatives, including increasing Greek language teaching and new research into Greek Australian history. “We need to work with government to ensure that there are outcomes for our cultural and language needs, to ensure that we’re given the capacity to offer these services.” The GOCMV leader who has lobbied government over the long-anticipated Working Holiday Visa agreement with Greece, says that Labor and the Coalition continue to offer bipartisan support for the deal. “We’re grateful for the work the last Labor government did on this. We’ve also met with shadow Immigration Minister Scott Morrison some months ago and he’s absolutely supportive.” Mr Papastergiadis said that the community’s members would compare the arguments from all the parties as to what they will be bringing to the table – on the economy, jobs, health, education and taxation – and particularly how each party would peg the cost of living and improve the lot of seniors. “There’s an enormous strain on our elderly to make ends meet,” he said. Tina Douvos, acting CEO of the Australian Greek Welfare Society, said AGWS’s work in providing care services to Greek elderly and their families – delivered through the support of government health, aged care and disability programs – could only be sustained by the political will to help society’s most vulnerable. “There continues to be access and equity issues for non-English speaking communities, so there needs to be consideration into strategies that will help people access these services”, said Ms Douvos. As the parties put detail to their election promises, Ms Douvos urged them to take a united approach on the question of aged and disability care. “We would like to see both parties support the key issues that are pertinent to the wellbeing of the aged, carers and families,” she said. In recent years AGWS’s workload has increased significantly with an ever-growing elderly Greek population needing support and a new wave of Greeks with family connections to Australia resettling into Victoria due to the economic crisis in Greece. Campaigner for improved aged care provision – Mr Mike Zafiropoulos AM, President of Fronditha, said that establishing new approaches to the increasing challenges related to aged care was vital. “As the proportion of the elderly in the Australian community continues to increase, governments will find it harder and harder to provide adequate funding for aged care. “Already the funding provided is insufficient to cover costs, which continue to increase, while real funding is decreasing.” Speaking of Fronditha’s experience, he said that with little or no capital funding available (other than through loans) from government to expand facilities and services, it has been down to the generosity of donors to maintain its work and resources. “To demonstrate the inadequacy of aged care funding, it is worth noting that Government funding for prisons is currently at $400 a day, in contrast with $170 a day for aged care services,” said Mr Zafiropoulos. “Pensioners are struggling to survive with the current level of pensions and the ‘user pays’ principle has been integrated into all government policies and programs relating to aged care.” On a more general note, Mr Zafiropoulos said that it was crucial for the next government to continue to uphold “a genuine commitment to the policy of multiculturalism. “This would enable us to maintain our cultural identity and language and at the same time contribute with other communities to the building of a harmonious, socially cohesive society, which respects the diversity of its people.” With Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott asking voters to make a judgment call on who would deliver the most ‘fair dinkum’ policies, one person perhaps better qualified than most to make such a call – in a legal sense – is Melbourne barrister Olyvia Nikou SC. Ms Nikou told Neos Kosmos that the next parliament would only deliver if those elusive qualities – vision, leadership, combined with an ability to deliver practical solutions, come to the fore. “My eternal but forlorn hope is for leadership with a real vision and a practical plan for the future of the country, together with the backbone to implement policy which maximises the benefit for the country as a whole – its individual citizens trying to survive, providing for their family – and keeps businesses competitive but socially responsible in an ever changing world. Ms Nikou, voicing a call-to-arms that we would all agree with, said that what is needed is: “Leadership which leads from the front and carries everyone onward and upward. Not negative, petty, empty, meaningless slogans and unreliable promises. “I am not holding my breath,” added the eminent SC.