2012 may the year of the apocalypse, but it’s also the year of the recyclable subway car. In two years the country, with help from partners Siemens and BMW, is planning to introduce a new type of subway car that is 97.5 percent recyclable.Called the Inspiro, the train features an aluminum chassis designed to be much lighter than traditional subways, and also much more spacious to accommodate better passenger flow. It also features a demand-controlled air conditioning system and electrodynamic braking, which, when coupled with the lightweight design means that the Inspiro requires less energy to run, and could potentially reduce energy consumption by up to 30 percent for the Polish subway system.AdChoices广告By the end of 2013 it’s expected that 35 of the trains will be in service, with nearly 40 percent of the manufacturing materials being sourced locally.Via Treehugger
The PlayStation 2 is a console few gamers will ever forget. Unlike the PS3’s awkward start it was a perfect follow-up to the PSOne and sold like hot cakes, and has continued to sell millions even as it was being replaced.While I still have a PS2 under my TV, some people have decided to start experimenting with the hardware instead. One such person is a UK modder by the name of techknott who has managed to transform a PS2 console into a PS2 handheld unit.AdChoices广告The disc drive is mounted on the back of the unit while the DualShock controller has been rearranged and mounted on the casing surrounding a PSOne display taken from the console’s screen accessory. It’s a 5-inch LCD color TFT display that does a good enough job.While it’s quite a bulky unit, I can still see it being acceptable for holding while playing for relatively long periods of time. It’s non PSP, though, and can’t currently be played on the go due to the lack of a battery pack.Techknott actually made the handheld as a commission, but the person who requested it won’t respond to him anymore. His only alternative is to sell it to the highest bidder via the ModRetro forums (link below).Read more at the ModRetro forums, via Engadget
Nintendo finally confirms that the Wii successor will come out next year. This news comes on the heels of the slow sales of the 3DS, news about 2014 being a big gaming year, and, falling sales of the Wii. The president of Nintendo had this to say about then upcoming new console. We have decided that it is best to let people experience it(Wii successor) for themselves at E3…It will offer a new way of playing games within the home While it is still early for most info, Nintendo does seem serious about making a comeback after the past couple weak quarters. Rumors about the Wii successor have been rampant for the past year, but Nintendo denied them fiercely. All Nintendo has confirmed at this point is that the Wii successor will come out sometime next year. Via Yahoo AdChoices广告
Change is coming…for Gearlog…and for me. As it turns out, it’s time for us both to move on.Gearlog was born in August of 2005. Even five and a half years ago, the world of technology blogs was crowded–but Gearlog had a secret weapon. It had PCMag. Early on, the site bore the tagline, “from the editors of PCMag.” It was an outlet for our editors and analysts–a way to keep up with the ever-increasing pace of the Web. It became a destination place for news and rumors and quick opinions written in between the site’s lengthy reviews.Before sitting down to write this, I went into our content management system to pin point the site’s precise birthday. I found a post written on August 9th, 2006–about 15 months before I started at PCMag–titled “Snappy New Ultralight Tablet From Toshiba.” No mission statement or “welcome to Gearlog.” The site and its editors hit the ground running, and they haven’t looked back.AdChoices广告And, like the Web around it, Gearlog has proven itself a constantly evolving creature, spawning newsletters and a podcast, and surviving a number of personnel changes–including its largest shift, which occurred in the summer of last year, when the site’s long-time editor Carol Mangis left Ziff (no discussion of Gearlog’s history would be complete without mentioning the tremendous amount of time Carol put into the site).Carol’s departure and new ownership meant more changes for Gearlog, and I was asked to take the helm. And as it had in the beginning, the site hit the ground running once again. Gearlog shifted focus under my reign, taking a more newsy approach to the tech world. We brought new writers and plenty of new readers on board.When the company’s new owners took over, they stressed acquisitions as one of the company’s primary goals, and in January, PCMag purchased Geek.com, a much beloved and widely read news blog. That acquisition, it turned out, would prove the next step in Gearlog’s evolution. Tomorrow, Gearlog will become a part of Geek.com. All of the content we’ve produced for the site over the years will live on under the Geek umbrella, and the Gearlog URL will redirect to that site.A number of your favorite Gearlog writers will make the transition as well. In fact, if you already read Geek on a regular basis, you’ve likely noticed that a few already have.I, on the other hand, will not be making the move. In fact, by the time this posts, I will already be at my new gig at Engadget.com.I’ll spare you the laundry list of thank yous–which would obviously include all of the writers, PCMag editors, and people who have kept the site running on the backend. But four people certainly warrant a quick mention in this paragraph. Carol, of course, for the reasons mentioned above. Lance Ulanoff and Vicki Jacobson, PCMag’s editor-in-chief and director of online content, respectively, have been tremendously helpful for countless reasons. And Jenny Bergen, who has assisted me with Gearlog these past several months–hers is among the names that will make the transition over to Geek.And a last bit of self-indulgence: if you’d like to keep up to date with me and my goings on, please follow me on Twitter–I’m @bheater. In the meantime, I’ll see you around the blogosphere.–Brian Heater
Most gaming laptops are a bit of a misnomer, as you would not want to place such a computer in your lap and portability was a technical attribute, if not a practical one. Indeed, the more common 17-inch laptop had a chassis so large and heavy that it might well have just been a highly compact all-in-one desktop computer. In more recent years, with the proliferation of switchable graphics and transistor size shrinks, a small, portable gaming laptop has become a reality.One such machine comes from no stranger to gaming machines: Alienware, now a subsidiary of Dell. Their M11x is a relatively tiny 11.6-inch that weighs just 4.39 lbs with a slightly chunky 1.29 inch thickness. On the inside of this small chassis you get a beefy Nvidia GeForce GT 335M 1GB graphics card, backed up by a Core i3 processor, capable of meeting most gaming desires on its 11.6-inch 720p display.Connecting your external monitor is no problem thanks to both HDMI and DisplayPort outputs, and of course you get the trademark over-the-top Alienware design with accent lights and keyboard backlighting. The M11x also retains its portability with good battery life thanks to switchable graphics and a relatively large 64Whr 8-cell battery.But what makes this beast the deal of the day is that this model starts at just $699, including those beastly Nvidia graphics and 4GB DDR3 RAM. If you’re itching for a more powerful processor, you can step up to the “r3” model with Core i5 or Core i7 processors starting at $924. All of these deals are limited, so don’t wait too long on this one!Visit LogicBuy for the Dell Alienware M11x Core i3 ULV deal
The time-lapse above is an incredible look at the growth of Las Vegas from 1972 through to 2010. It was done using satellite imagery and later on false color was added so that it would be more clear what was happening in the and what was changing from image to the next (essentially from one year to the next). In addition to a great use of technology, it’s an interesting look at the sprawl that great around America’s fastest growing cities. The images were taken using the US’ LandSat satellites. This is a satellite imagery program that was kicked off in 1972 with the launch of its first satellite. There have been seven satellites in total, though not all of them are still operational. This video was made to celebrate LandSat 5 which was launched on March 1st 1984 and is still in use. That means it’s been able to send us 28 year of satellite imagery, enough to track a significant part of Las Vegas’ boom. The video’s notes explain how the red is actually mostly green space (golf course, parks, etc.) so things quite aren’t as packed as they might seem in Vegas. And even more interesting than that is their note about how the quality on the images changed for the better in 1984, after the satellite received upgrades. You can see a clear change in sharpness from 1983 to 1984.Fans of satellite imagery will be glad to know that the Landsat program is still in effect and that the next addition, Landsat 8, is schedule to launch in January 2013. Prior to launch it will be known as the Landsat Data Continuty Mission. NASA is working closely with the USGS on the project as they use data from the program and help fund it. Nasa.gov/Landsat via cynical c
Don’t worry: When we report that the Turkish government shot down a drone this week, the news has more to do with the future of civilian aviation and surveillance than it does international politics. A quad-rotor RC drone of the type available all over the internet was recently shot down by police in Istanbul during one of the city’s many recent protests.A blurry video embedded below (sort of) shows the event…The drone was snapping aerial photos of the protest, and a video from recorded by the drone has also been released, embedded at the bottom of this article.If you’ve ever seen the movie Air America, you know the immediacy of close-up aerial footage; without a Planet Earth-style stabilizing gimble, it’s almost impossible to produce a watchable video while zoomed in from far away. A drone, unlike a manned helicopter, can be small and nimble enough to dart in close to a subject, and cheap enough to risk on dangerous encounters; the owner of this particular drone told Geek.com via Twitter DM that his total losses on the drone and camera were equivalent to about $1650 US. Had he been purchasing within Europe or North America, those costs would have been considerably lower.MeCam, a tiny, $50 drone for aerial videographySituations like the unrest in Istanbul, or even just a police car-chase through an American city, often result in a lock-down of airspace, disallowing the use of news helicopters to cover the action. Laws governing the use of small, remote-controlled drones, however, lag severely behind, and may continue to. No fly zones are justified in the name of safety and air traffic control, but do those same justifications apply to a 5-pound hunk of plastic?And 5 pounds is on the heavy side. For instance, the forthcoming MeCam drone is absolutely tiny, and streams its video to smartphones in real-time. It is absolutely reasonable to imagine a live, drone-filmed webcast of, say, a Syrian firefight, within 5 years. Hell, within one year.Governments are fond of the question: Why do you mind us watching, if you have nothing to hide? As both the size and price of this sort of technology decreases, it may reverse the roles of citizen and ruler. If five tiny camera drones hover over a clash between protesters and police, whichever side chooses to gun them down may invite that very same question.After the shameful Stanley Cup riots in my home city of Vancouver, Canada, the main perpetrators were identified and hounded by their fellow citizens thanks to cell-phone cameras and social media vigilante campaigns. Think of the potential for further such efforts as the cameras become airborne, autonomous, and impossible to intimidate.Invest $50 dollars in a simple camera drone, and you could help put criminals behind bars or even prevent the next great government massacre. On the other hand, you could sell pictures of political protesters to the local war-lord. As with all technology, the morality will be in the usage.
10,161 Views Wednesday 2 Nov 2016, 7:59 PM 1 Comment Share5 Tweet Email By Alan Waldron Short URL The42 is on Snapchat! Tap the button below on your phone to add! Source: Matt Browne/SPORTSFILESean Farrell, Murray Kinsella and Eoin Lúc Ó Ceallaigh are continuing to fly The42 flag in Chicago ahead of this weekend’s Test match against New Zealand. Today, the Ireland squad took a tour of the Chicago Bulls’ training facility. Jack McGrath, Andrew Trimble, Craig Gilroy and Jared Payne. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO The Fixture ListIt’s all about the Europa League tomorrow night with Dundalk facing what is probably their biggest challenge yet — Zenit St Petersburg in Russia from 6pm. Elsewhere, Manchester United are away at Fenerbahce (6pm) and Southampton host manager-less Inter Milan (8.05pm).Seamus Power and Graeme McDowell are among the field at the PGA Tour’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas. Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy mightn’t be playing but there is a strong field at the Turkish Airlines Open on the European Tour, including Pádraig Harrington.Showbiz, Baby!Meet the mini Rickie Fowler who can probably hit a golf ball further than you Add us: the42.ie Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article http://the42.ie/3059470 Joey Barton is set to resume training with Rangers after the club lifted his suspension but he is still expected to leave Ibrox in January.Claudio Ranieri, Pep Guardiola and Luis Enrique are among the 10 managers nominated for the Best Fifa Men’s Coach award for 2016.Liverpool striker Danny Ings is out for the rest of the season after picking up another serious knee injury.Out-of-favour attacker Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been included in the Manchester United squad for tomorrow night’s Europa League clash against Fenerbahce.New Zealand scrum-half Aaron Smith looks set to return to the All Blacks’ starting 15 on Saturday following his disciplinary issues.The Chicago Cubs forced the World Series to a deciding Game 7 tonight after they beat the Cleveland Indians 9-3 at Progessive Field overnight on Tuesday.The Best Thing We SharedYou’ve probably already seen Mesut Ozil’s worldy for Arsenal last night but this 90th-minute winner from PSG’s Thomas Meunier definitely also deserves your attention.On The RecordI just really hope the Irish boys do really well because they have done well against southern hemisphere teams in recent years and it’s a big game in Chicago. There will be a huge amount of Irish support for them going there and then they obviously come back and they’ve a game in Dublin and that’s another massive game.British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland will be keeping a close eye on Ireland’s Test match against New Zealand this weekend.Where we were todayPaul Fennessy was in Abbotstown this morning as Martin O’Neill named an extended 35-man squad ahead of the World Cup qualifier against Austria. Martin O’Neill addresses the press. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHORyan Bailey was talking to Ulster’s Kiwi star Charles Piutau and former Ulster and Ireland bruiser Stephen Ferris in DCU this afternoon as the pair launched the ‘Rugby Weekend’ event in Chicago. We’ll Leave It There So: Dundalk duo in Ireland squad, boost for Ulster and today’s sport Elsewhere, Joey Barton’s ban is lifted by Rangers, Danny Ings suffers another season-ending injury and Lee Chin will miss Wexford Youths’ crucial match against Drogheda United on Friday. Rugby firmly in the back seat as Cubs fans’ slowly turn hope to beliefRonaldo reunites with coma patient who woke to a replay of his goal for Portugal Nov 2nd 2016, 7:59 PM Ireland second row Devin Toner attempts a dunk at the Chicago Bulls’ training facility. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHOHomeMartin O’Neill has included Dundalk pair Daryl Horgan and Andy Boyle in his 35-man squad for Ireland’s World Cup qualifier against Austria.Former UFC champion Bas Rutten believes Conor McGregor can score an early win against Eddie Alvarez but he has concerns about the Dubliner’s chances if the fight enters the championship rounds.Inter-county hurler Lee Chin will miss Wexford Youths’ play-off second leg against Drogheda United on Friday as he is attending the GAA All-Star awards.The international future of Scott Hogan remains uncertain despite the recent advances made by Martin O’Neill towards the Brentford striker.Ulster back rower Sean Reidy has signed a three-year contract extension that will keep him with the province until 2020.Away Milwaukee Bucks guard Matthew Dellavedova saves the ball from going out of bounds during the second half of an NBA game against the New Orleans Pelicans. Source: AP/Press Association Images
Legal costs have in fact gone down.According to the Insurance Ireland data, the average combined cost of legal fees (for claimants and insurance companies) was:€9,107 in 2013€7,413 in 2014€8,153 in 2015So while legal costs for claimants were higher in 2015 than they were in 2013, combined legal costs were lower in 2015 than they were in 2013.However, combined legal fees were higher in 2015 than they were in 2014. As the most recent year-on-year change, this carries most weight in determining what the current trend is.This may change when we have data for 2016, but based on the best evidence currently available, we rate this claim Mostly FALSE.As our Reader’s Guide explains, this means: “There is an element of truth in the claim, but it is missing critical details or context. Or, the best available evidence weighs against the claim”.Claim 3: Compensation awards have not increased FactCheck: Are motor insurance claims and legal fees going up or down? Using previously unpublished data, FactCheck steps in to referee a heated dispute between the Law Society and the insurance industry. Therefore, compensation awards in the Circuit Court have, in fact, proportionately decreased when the jurisdiction change is taken into account.There are a number of problems with this.Firstly, the Law Society is referring to a 20% increase (in fact, 20.53%) in the total amount of awards paid out at the Circuit Court in 2015, as compared to 2014 – not the average amount, which is the salient measure.Secondly, the increase in the Circuit Court’s jurisdiction did not translate into an increase in the number of personal injury cases where compensation was awarded. In fact, the Circuit Court granted awards in six fewer cases last year, than in 2014.Ultimately, the most relevant measure here is the average award given. And last year, it went up by 21.2% in the Circuit Court, and 17.8% in the High Court.Between 2013 and 2015, average awards went up by a cumulative 57.7% in the High Court, and 37.6% in the Circuit Court.Remember though, we’re talking here about personal injury claims as a whole, and not specifically motor liability.In summarising, the Law Society told FactCheck: Nov 27th 2016, 10:00 PM I think there is no evidence whatsoever that the legal profession have a role in this [the increase in motor insurance premiums]. Claims costs have not gone up. Legal costs have in fact gone down. Damages have not gone up.THE FACTS Source: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ieThe Law SocietyIn response to our request for evidence, a spokesperson for the Law Society wrote, on legal costs: Find more FactChecks here http://jrnl.ie/3098074 The Courts Service figures also show a relatively small increase in Circuit Court awards (20%). This increase was inevitable given the 58% increase in the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court since 2014. 41 Comments Short URL The Institute of Legal Costs Accountants has confirmed to the Law Society that in their experience since the appointment of the current taxing masters, costs have consistently decreased in the High Court (emphasis added). Sunday 27 Nov 2016, 10:00 PM Follow TJ_FactCheck on Twitter Claims costs have not gone up.As the Insurance Ireland data shows, the overall average costs associated with a motor liability claim have, in fact, increased, between 2013 and 2015 (albeit only by 1.4%), and they did fall in 2014.However, the overall average cost also increased between 2014 and 2015, by 10%.We rate this claim FALSE.As our Reader’s Guide explains, this means: “The claim is inaccurate”.Claim 2: Legal fees have decreased As neither legal costs nor compensation awards have increased, as outlined above, it follows that motor insurance claims costs haven’t increased either. Share96 Tweet Email4 TheJournal.ie’s FactCheck is a signatory to the International Fact-Checking Network’s Code of Principles. You can read it here.For information on how FactCheck works, what the verdicts mean, and how you can take part, check out our Reader’s Guide here. By Dan MacGuill While this evidence is expert, authoritative and reliable, unfortunately, this is an area for which there are no published statistics.This is unfortunate, since FactCheck cannot use alleged private communications or correspondence as evidence, although we can certainly note them.The spokesperson also cited the 2015 annual report of the Courts Service, saying it shows that:“Awards in the High Court…show a marginal decrease when awards of over €5 million are disregarded (cases involving awards of greater than €5 million are all medical negligence cases and not relevant to discussions on motor insurance).There are a few problems with this.Firstly, the Courts Service annual reports do not refer specifically to motor liability cases, just personal injury cases as a whole.Secondly, the Law Society did not specify over what time period there had been a “marginal decrease”.Thirdly, the annual reports do not specify the amount of compensation paid out in cases where the award was greater than €5 million, so it’s unclear how we could “disregard” such cases (remove them from our calculations), as the Law Society suggested.We went back through Courts Service annual reports since 2009, and here’s what we found: Source: For a full-size version of this chart, click hereAs you can see, there have been one or two years when the average award dropped (2011 and 2013), but overall the trend is clearly upwards over the past seven years, with the year-on-year rate of increase accelerating in 2014 (up 33.9%) and 2015 (up 17.8%). Source: For a full-size version of this chart, click hereThe trend in the Circuit Court has been a bit different, with three successive year-on-year decreases in average compensation between 2010 and 2012.However, this was followed by significant year-on-year increases in 2013 (4.3%), 2014 (13.5%) and 2015 (21.2%).Remember, though, these figures relate to personal injury cases as a whole, not specifically motor liability.You can download a spreadsheet containing all this data, here.The Law Society told FactCheck: Updated: 11.10pmAN ONGOING DISPUTE took a bit of a turn this week, when the new president of the Law Society accused the insurance industry of “lying” about what’s causing motor insurance premiums to go up.In an interview on Monday, Stuart Gilhooly told the Irish Independent claims costs and damages have not gone up, and that legal costs have gone down.In response, Insurance Ireland published figures appearing to contradict him.Who’s right here? We’re going to first look at the evidence presented by both sides, including a new analysis of previously unpublished insurance industry data.Then we’ll give separate verdicts for each of Gilhooly’s claims in three parts: the cost of claims; damages; and legal fees.(Send your FactCheck requests to firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet @TJ_FactCheck, or send us a DM).What was said:Gilhooly told the Irish Independent: Damages have not gone up.The Insurance Ireland data shows that average compensation for motor liability claims did in fact increase, year-on-year, in 2015, and was also higher in 2015 than it was in 2013.The Injuries Board data shows that average compensation for motor liability claims was slightly lower in 2015 than in 2013, but the most recent year-on-year change was a slight increase between 2014 and 2015.The Injuries Board also accounts for about half as many claims as the Insurance Ireland market.And the courts service data, cited by the Law Society, shows that average compensation in both the High Court and Circuit Court is also increasing, when it comes to personal injury claims more generally.We rate this claim FALSE.To download a spreadsheet containing all the relevant data, click here.Correction: Previously, this article in one instance named the President of the Law Society as Shane Gilhooly. The President of the Law Society is Stuart Gilhooly, as was correctly stated in another instance, elsewhere in the article.Originally published: 10pm The Law Society of Ireland at Blackhall Place in Dublin Source: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ieThis is frankly quite poor reasoning. Firstly, it has not been established that legal costs have not increased. Secondly, it has in fact been established that average compensation awards have increased.So the two premises are fundamentally flawed.Thirdly, it does not follow that the cost of motor insurance claims has not increased. We cannot deduce with certainty anything about motor insurance claims, specifically, from data about personal injury compensation, in general.Although we can say we know that average personal injury claims, included in which are motor liability claims, have been increasing in the courts.Finally, the Law Society questioned the evidence presented by Insurance Ireland in a response it published to Stuart Gilhooly’s comments on Monday, which showed an increase in the overall cost of legal fees and compensation.In essence, the Law Society’s criticism was that Insurance Ireland hadn’t provided the number of cases involved, which would be crucial in calculating average legal and compensation costs.However, FactCheck asked Insurance Ireland for those additional figures, and we got them. The following is a new analysis of that crucial data, which has never been published before.Insurance IrelandOn its website, and in response to our queries, Insurance Ireland provided data relating to the motor insurance market of its members, for 2013-2015.In response to FactCheck, it also provided the number of claims involved.Here’s what our analysis reveals: Source: For a full-size version of this chart, click hereYou can download a spreadsheet containing all this data, here.The trend is clear across all four categories: costs of every kind dropped in 2014, before increasing again in 2015.Costs in every category – legal fees, compensation, the cost of medical reports, etc – were higher in 2015 than they were in 2014.And in every category – except legal fees for insurance companies – costs were higher in 2015 than in 2013.Interestingly, this means that combined average legal fees (claimant’s and insurance company’s) were lower in 2015 than they were in 2013, but higher than they were in 2014.In addition, the overall average cost of motor liability claims was higher in 2015 than it was in 2014 and 2013, having dropped in 2014.A couple of disclaimers:Firstly, we only have data for 2013-2015, unfortunately. FactCheck asked Insurance Ireland for figures dating before 2013, but they said they were not available, as this year was the first time such figures had been collected at an industry level.This was done at the request of Minister of State Eoghan Murphy’s Oireachtas working group on the cost of motor insurance, a spokesperson told FactCheck.So while this data does reveal a clear trend, it’s not a long one.Secondly, the data we have represents 78% of the Insurance Ireland motor market, not all of it.According to Insurance Ireland, this was due to the time constraints of providing these figures to the working group.There is no evidence to suggest that the remaining 22% of data skews disproportionately in one direction or another, or that this 78% is not representative of the overall picture, but we should bear in mind that we are missing some data.Personal Injuries Assessment BoardThe Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB), also known as InjuriesBoard.ie, is less relevant to the wider debate about the causes of motor insurance premium increases, because it serves as a mediator between claimants and the insurance companies, without the typical legal fees and other costs.It also handles fewer claims that Insurance Ireland members. In 2015, for example, Insurance Ireland members made awards in 16,029 cases. The Injuries Board awarded compensation in 8,815 cases.However, it’s worth having a look at the average compensation award reached via the Injuries Board, who provided the relevant data in response to our request.As you can see, there has been a lot less annual change here in the past eight years. The average award was slightly lower last year than in 2013, but has increased slightly since 2014.The average award over the past three years (€21,472) has also been slightly lower than the average award via the insurance industry (€22,383) – a 4% difference.Conclusion Source: Shutterstock/Robert CrumClaim 1: The cost of motor liability claims has not gone up 22,274 Views Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
Working group to review if AirBnb should face regulations Housing Minister Simon Coveney vowed to tackle the issue of landlords renting out their properties through AirBnb. We will be moving forward with that very shortly.Last year Airbnb opened a new 40,000-square-foot international headquarters in the Dublin, with the company stating that it contributed an estimated €74 million to regional and rural communities across Ireland in the last year. Spanish inspiration? Anti-eviction movement heats up with bill to end loopholes used to evict tenants>How to fix Ireland’s rent crisis? We put your questions to Minister Simon Coveney live> 25 Comments 12,764 Views Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article According to its Home-Sharing: Empowering Regional & Rural Ireland report, in 2016 alone, 11,000 unique hosts welcomed over 650,000 guests to their homes across Ireland (including Dublin).In the last year, 6,000 hosts in regional and rural Ireland have earned an average additional income of €2,700 per household.Other major cities With the government reviewing possible regulations, what route could it go down?A number of major cities have clamped down on the use of AirBnb.Hosts in Berlin are only permitted to rent out their property for 50% of the year, while Amsterdam imposed a limit of 60 nights a year.The Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys said the benefit of the Airbnb model is that it can bring new visitors to remote locations, and provide revenue to communities in rural Ireland.Sinn Féin’s Eoin O’Broin said he hoped the fact the company employs over 500 employees in Ireland would not be a factor when government are considering what regulations to impose.“My worry is that if the working group only reports back in the second quarter, we are really only looking at regulations for September, October or November. Is there any way the working group can be brought forward or the gap between the report and regulations could be sped up? It is an urgent issue in terms of supply,” O’Broin told the committee.6,225 units listed on AirbnbRaising the issue in the Dáil this week, he told Taoiseach Enda Kenny that while there are only 1,564 properties available for rent in Dublin, there are 6,225 units listed on Airbnb.He asked when the minister would be introducing legislation to properly regulate this sector. Kenny said he would ask the minister to give Ó Broin more accurate details and a date on which he expects the legislation to be published.The Sinn Féin TD suggested that a 6-8 week limit be introduced on owners who wish to let their properties on AirBnb.If local authorities are being instructed to carry out more inspections and begin more enforcement orders against property owners he said additional resources and staff will need to be provided. Share Tweet Email4 A GOVERNMENT WORKING group is to review if new regulations should be introduced for lettings website, AirBnb.As part of the government’s rental strategy, a working group will prepare a report which will look at issues such as tenancy regulation, tax liability and the tourism dimension associated with the company.Last year, the use of short-term lettings and AirBnb hit the headlines when An Bord Pleanála upheld a Dublin City Council (DCC) ruling that an apartment owner in Temple Bar needed to apply for planning permission if they wanted to continue to rent the property out via Airbnb.The apartment on Crown Alley in the middle of Dublin’s busiest tourist area reportedly made €79,000 in one year.Following the ruling, Housing Minister Simon Coveney vowed to tackle the issue of landlords renting out their properties through AirBnb.The minister said his department would issue guidelines to local authorities, especially those in urban areas.Letter to councils about AirBnbThe letter sent last December reminded local authorities that a property owner will now need to apply for planning permission to the local council for a material change of use of the apartment concerned if they are using it for short-term lets.Planning Authorities are reminded of their obligations relating to planning enforcement under Part VIII of the Planning Act… It should be particularly noted that any planning enforcement action in this area should be focused on properties coming within scenario [of] … being exclusively used for commercial short-term letting purposes on a year-round basis.Local authorities were told to investigate the matter by checking commercial website platforms where short-term lettings are advertised.If there are suspicions a homeowner is using their property in such a way the owner should be written to and asked whether or not the property is being continually made available for short-term letting purposes. If the correct planning permission is not in place the department advises the council to take enforcement procedures.Dublin City Council confirmed to TheJournal.ie that it received no submissions last year for a change of use for any residential property to be used for commercial use or short-term lets.With up to 3,300 Dublin apartments listed on AirBnb last summer, TheJournal.ie asked Dublin City Council what regulations are in place on AirBnb properties. Source: Shutterstock/g0d4atherPlanning permissionThe council stated there are no specific regulations relating to AirBnB, but outlined that if a person wants to use their property exclusively for short-term holiday lettings and there is no principal resident living in the property at all times, a change of use is required under planning permission. However, when asked how many change of use requests were submitted to Dublin City Council last year for this reason, the local authority replied: Jan 22nd 2017, 7:40 AM By Christina Finn This information is not readily accessible.Dublin City Council said it doesn’t distinguish between complaints alleging unauthorised short-term lettings on AirBnb and other property listings.Secretary General of the Housing Department, John McCarthy told the Oireachtas Committee on Housing this week that in the event that there are other properties operating in a similar manner to the Temple Bar property, they need to be followed up on.Review “While a significant number of AirBnb properties may be advertised in any location at a particular time, what is not as clear is the extent to which some of those are being offered by people who are making their property available for a week or two when they are on holidays themselves.“There is a big gulf between the numbers of units available in AirBnb and the numbers of units available for housing generally, because they are and continue to be people’s primary residences,” said McCarthy.He acknowledged there are a range of issues flowing from the An Bord Pleanála case and Airbnb.There is a commitment in the rental strategy to establish a working group to prepare a report on that by the second quarter of this year. Short URL Sunday 22 Jan 2017, 7:40 AM None to date to our knowledge.When asked how many properties were under investigation for possible breach of planning rules and how many enforcement actions had been taken by the council, other than the Temple Bar case, the council said: Image: Shutterstock/Hung Chung Chih Image: Shutterstock/Hung Chung Chih http://jrnl.ie/3191696
Deficiencies in ambulance service putting patients in Dublin at risk, says Hiqa Hiqa said that a detailed plan for ambulance services across Dublin didn’t exist. Short URL Friday 24 Mar 2017, 1:02 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Mar 24th 2017, 1:02 PM 7 Comments Share22 Tweet Email3 6,522 Views The status quo puts patients at risk and cannot be allowed to continue.In a statement, the HSE said it appreciated Hiqa’s acknowledgement that it made changes to address the concerns raised in 2014, but said it was aware that further improvements were required.The changes that have been implemented include the transition of control functions to the National Emergency Operations Centre which adheres to international standards, improved visibility of all ambulances and emergency vehicles at any given time across the country and increased funding which has gone towards replacing an aging fleet.Damien McCallion, HSE national director for the national ambulance service, said that the service was in its second year of implementing a five-year strategic plan which was developed with a range of stakeholders including the Dublin Fire Brigade.He added: “NAS accepts that more needs to be done in some areas of work”.The HSE said that it was continuing to work with Dublin City Council and the Dublin Fire Brigade to address issues identified by Hiqa, such as call taking and dispatch in the Dublin area.Read: 21 reports of abuse in a month prompts inspection of Dublin disabilities centreRead: HIQA serves closure notices to Louth disability services as sites deemed unfit for purpose Image: Leon Farrell/Rollingnews.ie http://jrnl.ie/3304576 A REPORT FROM the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) has said that the ambulance service Dublin has “significant shortcomings’ that “put patients at risk”.Hiqa’s review of recommendations it made back in 2014 said that, while a number of improvements have been made, the National Ambulance Service “still lacks necessary capacity” and remains “reliant on overtime to maintain services”.Overall, the report found that more needs to be done to ensure that a modern, effective emergency ambulance service is provided by Ireland’s two publicly funded services: the National Ambulance Service and Dublin Fire Brigade.Instances where a Dublin Fire Brigade resource may continue to be dispatched to such a call in a situation where a nearer National Ambulance Service may have been better placed to respond were identified.Sean Egan, Hiqa’s acting head of healthcare regulation, said: “While lines of communication, formal governance arrangements and working relationship at senior management level within the HSE and Dublin City Council were much improved, a detailed plan for the delivery of emergency ambulance services in the greater Dublin area still does not exist.Furthermore, as things stand, if a patient with a potentially life threatening condition in Dublin calls 112/999 for an ambulance, current arrangements for call handling and dispatch can result in a delay in response due to the process for transferring calls from Dublin Fire Brigade to the National Ambulance Service. By Sean Murray Image: Leon Farrell/Rollingnews.ie
Martin Callinan was garda commissioner when the recordings came to light and current Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan was one of his deputies. 15,879 Views Fennelly Report finds ‘almost total ignorance’ at higher garda ranks of secret recordings The full report has just been published and is 742 pages long. The report has, however, been critical of how fears about the system expressed during installation were not acted upon.“The failure to draw up any formal set of rules or protocols governing the operation andmanagement of the DAT recording system is surprising and unfortunate,” the report found.This commission was established just over three years ago to examine the taping of phone calls at garda stations.Although the practice of recording was known, the systematic nature of it was not.It came about during the discovery process for Ian Bailey’s case against the State over his arrest for the Sophie Toscan Du Plantier murder.Read: Another garda report is dropping today. This is what you need to know > Image: Eamonn Farrell By Rónán Duffy Martin Callinan was garda commissioner when the recordings came to light and current Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan was one of his deputies. Image: Eamonn Farrell Source: MerrionStreet.ie/Twitter Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Apr 6th 2017, 5:09 PM http://jrnl.ie/3327445 THE LONG-AWAITED report of the Fennelly Commission has been published this afternoon.The commission has found that there was “no widespread or systematic” misuse of information from non-emergency calls recorded at garda stations.The report finds, however, that it is not possible to say that the information was “never used improperly or unlawfully”.“The mere existence of the recordings means that potential abuse could not be ruled out,” the report says.It goes on to say find that: “a significant proportion of the garda membership, particularly in the higher ranks, appears to have been unaware that recordings of non-999 calls existed.”It further states that there was “almost total ignorance at the highest levels of the force” that the main garda phone line at stations outside of Dublin were being recorded.“The commission regards this as one of the most surprising findings made in this report,” it states.The commission’s report on the recordings details the period from 1 January 1980 and 27 November 2013. Thursday 6 Apr 2017, 5:09 PM Share223 Tweet Email1 48 Comments Short URL Statement on Publication of the Final Report of the Fennelly Commission of Investigation https://t.co/d7rTClXVeH— MerrionStreet.ie (@merrionstreet) April 6, 2017
59 Comments The 12-week ban means the earliest Connolly will return to play will be a potential August All-Ireland semi-final for Dublin. Thursday 15 Jun 2017, 4:40 PM Diarmuid Connolly and Dublin GAA have decided not to appeal the decision of the Central Hearings Committee to the Central Appeals Committee— Dublin GAA (@DubGAAOfficial) June 15, 2017 Image: James Crombie/INPHO Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article https://the42.ie/3446304 Share19 Tweet Email Connolly’s 12-week ban stands as Dublin opt against appeal The 29-year-old was suspended after a confrontation with a linesman during Dublin’s win over Carlow. 21 years, four All-Irelands, nine All Stars: Kate Kelly hangs up her inter-county bootsKilkenny need to ‘throw caution to the wind’ with youngsters as questions remain over injuries The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us! DUBLIN STAR FORWARD Diarmuid Connolly will not appeal the 12-week ban handed down by the Central Hearings Committee.The fiery St Vincent’s man was issued the suspension and a charge of ‘minor physical interference’ after an exchange with linesman Ciaran Brannigan during the Dubs’ Leinster SFC quarter-final win over Carlow in Portlaoise.Connolly, 29, had the opportunity to contest the suspension by bringing it before the Central Appeals Committee, but Dublin GAA today said that the decision would not be appealed. Diarmuid Connolly speaks to linesman Ciaran Branagan. Source: Dublin GAA/Twitter By Sean Farrell 13,932 Views Diarmuid Connolly speaks to linesman Ciaran Branagan. Image: James Crombie/INPHO Follow us: the42.ie Short URL Jun 15th 2017, 4:40 PM
Share Tweet Email3 https://jrnl.ie/4606355 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article By Rónán Duffy Apr 25th 2019, 1:13 PM 63 Comments He was renowned for his courteous contributions and responses to both supporters and opponents. Sabina and I would like to extend my condolences to his wife Denise, to his children and grandchildren, and to his many friends.In a statement, members of the Independent Alliance said it noted with great sadness the passing “of their friend and former colleague Feargal Quinn”.Quinn was the first chairman of the Independent Alliance in 2015. Its members said his “personal integrity, drive and enthusiasm were central to its success in the 2016 General Election and subsequent entry into government”.The statement added:As a businessman he became famous for pioneering a customer focused service model and he carried this approach into his political career where he campaigned relentlessly, and effectively, on behalf of many deserving causes.Refusing to take a salaryIt noted that in 2014, he revealed that since his first election to Seanad Eireann in 1993, he had donated his entire salary to charity and later had refused to accept any salary at all.“This gesture was typical of a true gentleman who we were privileged to know and who will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with his wife Denise and the other members of his family at this sad time,” added the statement.Those from the supermarket industry and business world have also paid tribute to Quinn, with Chris Martin, CEO Musgrave Group stating that “as the founder of Superquinn, Feargal was a visionary in Irish food and a retail pioneer”.“Beyond the world of retail, Feargal made a significant and lasting contribution to Irish society and to political life as a member of Seanad Eireann. He was a leader who will be deeply missed. Feargal was also a good friend to Musgrave and on behalf of everyone here, I would like to share our condolences with his family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time,” said Martin. Ibec CEO Danny McCoy said:Feargal will be remembered as pioneer of Irish retail, a dedicated Senator and strong advocate of Irish business at home and internationally. He left a very significant and positive mark on Irish life. He will be deeply missed not just by his family and wide circle of friends, but also by those who served in the Seanad with him, where he will be remembered as a force for change, as a passionate advocate on business and related matters, and as an eloquent debater. Feargal Quinn pictured in one of his stores. Source: RollingNews.ieFORMER SENATOR AND businessman Feargal Quinn has died at the age of 82.Quinn was best known as the founder of supermarket chain Superquinn, later becoming a TV personality in RTÉ’s Fergal Quinn’s retail therapy.He was a member of the Seanad for 23 years being elected through the National University of Ireland. Superquinn was founded in 1960 when Quinn was just 23 years old and it was owned by the Quinn family before being sold to a consortium in 2005.Superquinn later went into receivership in 2011 and was later bought by the Musgrave group. In 2014 Ireland’s 24 Superquinn stores were rebranded as SuperValu.The Superquinn brand was associated with high-quality Irish produce and its success saw Quinn become on of Ireland’s most famous entrepreneurs.President Higgins pays tributeReacting to the news, the President of Ireland Michael D Higgins said it is with great sadness that he heard of the passing of Feargal Quinn.“Feargal was a gifted entrepreneur, whose vision of customer service and innovation transformed the landscape of the retail trade in Ireland over many decades. As a lifelong supporter of small businesses and start-up companies, countless numbers of people benefited from his wise counsel, which was based on a highly successful career at the coalface of Irish business,” said the president, adding: ‘We have lost a giant of the retail world’: Tributes paid to Superquinn founder Feargal Quinn The supermarket founder was also a Senator for 23 years. 40,136 Views Very sad to learn of the death of Feargal Quinn. His achievements in business and in the Seanad were significant and are well known, but what set him apart was his personal warmth and great integrity. We have lost a true gentleman with his passing.— Micheál Martin (@MichealMartinTD) April 25, 2019 Source: Micheál Martin/Twitter Thursday 25 Apr 2019, 1:13 PM Short URL In his role as President of EuroCommerce he was the voice of European retail, commanding the respect and support of the sector right across Europe. His tenacity and skill in business was matched by a sense of duty and dedication in his public roles.‘Giant of the world of retail’Meanwhile, Retail Excellence Group stated: We have lost a giant of the world of retail.The group’s CEO, David Fitzsimons, said “today we have lost a giant of the world of retail, a treasure trove of knowledge and advice and an enthusiastic supporter of aspiring retail leaders and entrepreneurs. Feargal’s family can be justly proud of his achievements and his lasting legacy”.“I had the distinct privilege of knowing Feargal and, in 2007, presenting him with a well-deserved lifetime achievement award – just one of three presented in the history of our annual awards,” added Fitzsimons“My condolences and that of all of the team and members of Retail Excellence go out to Denise, their five children Eamonn, Stephen, Gillian, Donal and Zoe as well as Feargal’s 19 grandchildren and wide circle of friends at this sad time,” Fitzsimons concluded.With reporting by Christina Finn
THE work of volunteers is invaluable in making life bearable for the survivors of the Victorian bush fires. “If anything good’s come out of this, it’s that real human spirit rallying together to help people. It’s really overwhelming.” says Councillor for Whittlesea Kris Pavlidis. St Kilda State Emergency Service (SES) controller Jim Kokkalos, 45, is one of the Greek-Australians at the forefront preparing the foundations for the recovery phase. He talks about a young child of about five wearing borrowed clothes. “I gave him one of the trauma teddies that we hold and he just grabbed it and hung on to it so tightly.” He added, “The borrowed clothes that he was wearing were hanging off him, so it was the only thing that he could call his own. It was quite moving to see a child like that.”Mr Kokkalos’ primary job is to search properties for remains of a house, recording its location on his GPS so that people are able to relocate if they choose to rebuild. “The landscape (between Whittlesea and Kinglake) was unrecognisable and although the GPS indicated that there should have been a property there, the house was flat to the ground. “You could see personal effects such as cups and saucers that were totally destroyed, and if you were unlucky you would come across a deceased.” Kokkalos and his team were also responsible for identifying potential hazards such as potentially diseased carcasses of animals and burnt out cars “which were a concern because someone might still be in there”.Back behind the scenes in the control unit he describes as a “war room from World War II” is Michael Alexis, 49, whose role as a SES controller is to co-ordinate the people like Kokkalos that are out on the field. “We have been working alongside the police and CFA, to undertake jobs such as assist the CFA to cut down trees or assist the police with search and rescue,” he says. “I think what’s really come through for me is how amazing these volunteers have been-most of us have full time jobs yet people that have done 12 hour shifts are still just throwing themselves at us”. Councillor for Whittlesea, Kris Pavlidis, who has been acting as a reference point between the centre and the community at the Whittlesea emergency relief centre could not agree more.“We have had so many people, including the Greek community donate and fund-raise, the local Greek Community of Whittlesea donated truckloads of food and linen, as did the Greek Orthodox Community Lalor women’s group,” she says. George and Toula Pezearos from Degani Bakery Cafe directly assisted the volunteers and victims, sending their staff with food and refreshments to the relief centre every day. Even at an individual level, people such as Red Cross volunteer, Kimbroula have made a difference, working behind the scenes to sort through the mountains of goods that have been donated from the streams of cars coming in. “The Sri Lanka community wanted to come down and cook for everyone. But we can’t have everyone come down or it would be chaos. What we (the council) are trying to do is to get a level of co-ordination,” says Pavlidis. This has included responding to victim requests such as shovels to dig up the remains of their houses, and co-ordinating with NOVA to bring in a large screen TV aimed to make their lives as comfortable as possible. Nevertheless, achieving normality for these people is still a glance in the distance.“We keep saying we’ve seen the worst but we haven’t. We are still in emergency mode because fires are still burning and we are still trying to work out how many people are dead. I think it’s going to take months”.So what can you as an individual or business do? President of the Hellenic Relief Fund (organised by SAE), Mihalis Christodoulou hopes that all Hellenic organisations across Australia will donate their money for one particular project, as was done with the bush fires in Greece two years ago.“We are asking organisations from the Greek community to meet at the Cyprus Community of NSW Club this Wednesday at 7pm and from there we will decide how we are going to go about the campaign, whether it be a radio marathon, a concert and so on. We’ll see how we go”. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
A small boat loaded with Afghan families smashed onto the rocks and sank off an island in the Aegean Sea last week, causing three immigrant women and five children to drown.Every day, Greek authorities have to handle the security of 300-400 people seeking a safe destination in GreeceThe deadly accident highlighted the plight of thousands of migrants who risk their lives every year to reach the European Union.Athens accused neighbouring Turkey, from where the vessel set off, of doing little to stop thousands of illegal immigrants from arriving in Greece. Human rights groups, however, urged Greece to improve its treatment of migrants and its handling of asylum applications.The coast guard said high waves swept the flimsy boat with 18 on board onto a rocky shore on Lesvos. Seven men, a woman and a child — all Afghans — swam ashore and were hospitalised for observation.One of the 10 survivors, only identified as a Turkish man, was arrested on smuggling charges.Under Greece’s tough immigration laws, traffickers involved in fatal accidents face life terms and a minimum euro 500,000 ($750,000) fine.Later Tuesday, the coast guard rescued another 45 illegal immigrants found abandoned on an uninhabited islet off the island of Anafi in the southeastern Aegean.Lying only five miles (eight kilometers) from Turkey’s western shore, Lesvos is one of the main points of arrival for illegal immigrants, who use rickety boats to slip through a porous sea border dotted with hundreds of islands.Deputy Citizen’s Protection Minister Spyros Vougias said the incident merited an official complaint to Turkey.“We need a solution to the problems Turkey causes by tolerating the actions of human traffickers,” he said. “There must be an end to this slave trade.”Greece also wants more support from other EU members and has begun receiving assistance from the bloc’s new border protection agency, Frontex.“Every day, Greek authorities have to handle the security of 300-400 people seeking a safe destination in Greece,” Citizen’s Protection Minister Michalis Chryssochoides said. “We lack sufficient infrastructure, funds and cross-border cooperation.”Some 5,500 people were detained on Lesvos in the first eight months of this year, compared to more than 13,000 in 2008.Often fleeing war zones in Asia and Africa, the migrants pay thousands of dollars to smuggling gangs for a long and perilous journey to the west. Accidents at sea are frequent, while migrants trying to enter by land from Turkey face border minefields that have claimed at least 82 lives since 1994.A spokeswoman for the United Nations refugee agency said Tuesday’s drownings showed that migrants from war-torn countries are not deterred by strict anti-migration policies.“As long as there are wars and violations of human rights, people will continue to be desperate and risk their lives,” U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees spokeswoman Ketty Kehagioglou said.Kehagioglou urged the government to improve the screening process for asylum seekers and create better migrant holding facilities.She said UNCHR officials who visited the Pagani centre on Lesvos last weekend saw some 700 people held in “appalling, outrageous” conditions.“In one ward, there were more than 200 women and children with only 2 toilets,” Kehagioglou said. “Their mattresses were soiled with water from the toilets and the smell was unbearable.” Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
Fifteen percent of retail businesses in Athens have closed because of the debt crisis and ensuing recession, a study released by a leading trader association said last week.The research undertaken by the National Confederation of Greek Commerce (ESEE) surveyed over 3,400 shops in both affluent and low-income suburbs.The survey revealed that 25 percent of stores, both smaller and larger sized enterprises, have closed down on Stadiou Street, versus 17 percent of the retail outlets that have thrown in the towel in the broader central Athens district. “Greek retail has been going through a strong crash test for a year,” ESEE chairman Vassilis Korkidis said in a statement. “The additional collapse of economic activity threatens the survival of businesses and puts major pressure on employment,” Korkidis said.Data showed that the recession has taken less of a toll on Ermou and Patission streets, where only 15 percent of retailers are no longer operating.ESEE, however, pointed out that figures are worse in less commercial areas, which are not so resilient.On quieter central Athens streets and some suburban shopping areas, rental signs can be seen hung across rows of shops gradually vacated since the end of last year, when consumers slashed spending in view of Greece’s growing economic uncertainty.Retailers complain that revenues from the first two weeks of the summer sales period this year have fallen by 10 to 12 percent over last year’s levels, following a 20 percent drop in 2009.The survey, held from July 19 to 30, will be repeated in six months in order for ESEE to spot trends in the sector. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Moreland City Council, SBS and Western Union bank were among the big winners at the National Multicultural Marketing Awards, presented at a gala event in Sydney this week. The National Multicultural Marketing Awards are an opportunity to reflect on the promotion of culturally diverse communities over the past year and serve to remind us of the rich and diverse society we enjoy in New South Wales. Moreland Council, in Melbourne’s inner north, took out the government award for a project which uses illustrations to communicate to the area’s residents who speak 132 different languages. Lambros Tapinos was mayor when the storyboards were designed and was instrumental in developing the storyboards. The councillor says the series of illustrations communicate to residents the role of local council as well as council information such as how to use the library and sort recycling. “The project started off as an idea of how can we improve communication, and it’s grown and grown and grown and it’s great to get that recognition,” he said, adding that he hopes to expand the project further, with ideas to develop a DVD. “We wanted to communicate with our multicultural communities in a way that was a little but different, and that they could understand,” he said. “Moreland really does pride itself on its diversity as a community, and we try to tailor to our multicultural community.” The multicultural broadcaster, SBS, took out the Advertising and Communication Award for their coverage of the 2010 World Cup. The multi-national money transfer company, Western Union, was awarded Big Business Top Marketer of the Year, for their partnership with the Indian Film Festival. Western Union was guided by Sydney-based communication company LOUD Multicultural, which has been prominent in the Multicultural Marketing Awards for several years. LOUD Multicultural Director, Lou Petrolou helped Western Union to sponsor the short film festival, which attracted 200 entries and many more audience members. NSW Minister for Citizenship John Hatzistergos hosted the awards, and told the gala dinner Australia is “one of the greatest success stories of global migration in modern history.” “We are a country built on the legacy of migration and multiculturalism,” he said, adding that 25 per cent of Australians are born overseas, while many of the remaining 75 per cent are descendents of migrants. “The National Multicultural Marketing Awards are an opportunity to reflect on the promotion of culturally diverse communities over the past year and serve to remind us of the rich and diverse society we enjoy in New South Wales.”
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Greece’s ruling PASOK party won the majority of regional run-off elections on Sunday but turnout was a record low across the country.The second round of elections, which also heralded the introduction of a new streamlined system of local and regional government, saw PASOK win eight regions while the main opposition New Democracy (ND) party won the remaining five.PASOK won the regions of Eastern Macedonia-Thrace, Attica, Northern Aegean, Western Greece, Crete, Southern Aegean, Peloponnese and Sterea Ellada while ND triumphed in the regions of Western Macedonia, Epirus, Thessaly, Ionian Islands and Central Macedonia.The second round of elections saw Athens and Thessaloniki elect Socialist mayors after years of being New Democracy strongholds.Yiorgos Kaminis, who was backed by ruling Pasok and part of the Left, will be the new mayor of Athens, with 52% of the vote. Nikitas Kaklamanis, the outgoing mayor, backed by main opposition New Democracy (ND) accepted the result gracefully and offered to assist Kaminis whenever the need arises.Things were not so clear cut in Thessaloniki, where, with all votes counted, Pasok-backed Yiannis Boutaris (50.2%) defeated the ND candidate Constantinos Gioulekas (49.8%) by just 419 votes. Gioulekas has already asked for a recount. In Piraeus Vassilis Mihaloliakos (ND) will be the new mayor with 51.83% of the vote, defeating Yiannis Mihas (Pasok) by over three percentage points. In Patras, independent candidate Yiannis Dimaras established his victory with 53.63% of the total vote.As regards the number of municipalities won by each party, PASOK won 73 municipalities, 49 municipalities by itself and the rest in cooperation with the Ecologists and the Democratic Left.Main opposition party New Democracy won 41 municipalities, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) one (Petroupoli), and the Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) also one in cooperation with the Ecologists and six in conjunction with the Democratic Left.The Ecologists Greens won one municipality in cooperation with SYRIZA, three with PASOK, two with the Democratic Left and eight in cooperation with PASOK and the Democratic Left.Lastly, the Democratic Left won six municipalities by itself, two with the Ecologists, six with SYRIZA, eight with PASOK and the Ecologists and 14 with PASOK.However the results have been skewed by 54% abstention, the highest ever recorded in Greece.
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram More than 300 people had attended the Annual Luncheon held at Feast day of St Anargyroi, organised by the Trustee’s Committee of The Greek Orthodox Community of Oakleigh & District in Melbourne. The annual luncheon was raising funds to ensure two scholarships would be made available for students wanting to study at St Anargyroi Oakleigh Greek Orthodox College.