19th EUROFEST in Slovenia – The best handball holidays at the Sea

We kindly invite all handball friends (clubs, societies, region selections, national selections) to the 19th EUROFEST – International handball festival. It will be held from 2nd to 7th July 2011 at the Slovene coast in two neighboring towns Izola and Koper.The festival is organized for both boys and girls teams in the following categories: – 2000(mini), 1999 1998, 1997,1996, 1994, 1992 and senior teams.The expected number of participating teams at 19th EUROFEST is more than 150 (cca.3000 participations).We are proud to say that many of participants classified EUROFEST among the most attractive international handball festivals. At EUROFEST you can meet the teams from all over the world, experience the high level handball, excellent organization and a lot of fun and socialization. Which rounds up the attractiveness of the festival is the environment of two Mediterranean towns, Izola and Koper with pleasant climate and warm sea.Lot of teams consider as the biggest attraction of the festival the outdoor playgrounds situated next to the sea. Besides the so called Central playground there are several halls and outdoor playgrounds available. At the “Central playground” in the center of Izola there are held also the main events, besides the most important games also the evenings hours entertainments. The organizers make the schedule so that that participating teams have one half of a day for playing games and the remaining time for socializing, swimming, fun on the beach and excursions. Which is also important and advantage of this event is, that the distances between playgrounds, accommodation and beaches are so short, that the participations can walk from one to another.EUROFEST is not just a competition, but also an opportunity for young people of different cultures, religions, or races to meet in wonderful ambient and make new friendships.The traditional entertainment events of EUROFEST are:– OPENING CEREMONY with parade of all participants,– THE EUROFEST MARKET (presentation of participating countries: folklore, concerts, typical food)– Miss. and mister of EUROFEST– Open air disco– “FRIENDSHIP EVENINGS “ with presentation of the participating country,Isn’t it enough reason to take part to 19th EUROFEST ? So welcome to Izola and Koper, welcome to Slovenia!Tone Barič, Director, EUROFEST d.o.o.IF YOU WANTS TO PROMOTE YOUR HANDBALL CAMP, TOURNAMENT OR ANY KIND OF EVENTS, PLEASE CONTACT US. EUROFEST in Izola ← Previous Story Pakistan, Tajikistan and Afganistan play handball Next Story → Heinvetter “hits” on teammates read more

POLAND Kielces easy first away win in new season

KielceKS Vive Targi KielcePolandPolish Handball ← Previous Story Women’s EHF CL 2013/2014 completed: FTC and Baia Mare in elite! Next Story → Pick Szeged “4 of 4”: Improving attack, confident victory In their first away match of the current season, Vive Targi Kielce defeated Piotrkowianin Piotrków Trybunalski 37:26. The match did not begin well for Polish Champions. Even though they were leading, their effectiveness left a lot to be desired – just like in their previous game against Górnik Zabrze. Kielce had quite a problem in attack and it kept this way during the entire match. Fortunately for Iskra, Venio Losert did well in their goal and kept saving the situation. Goalkeepers from Piotrków – Piotr Ner and Patryk Wnuk also played very well. Despite their problems, Kielce gained seven-goal advantage before the halftime. In the second half they did not play much better but still managed to enlarge the advantage and to win by 11 goals in the end. The top scorer for Kielce was Ivan Čupić (10).TEXT: Martyna Usnarska read more

Bundesliga Round 16 Flensburg dominant in Balingen tops the table

Flensburg-Handewitt is the new leader in the German Bundesliga after Ljubomir Vranjes‘ team won with confidence away at HBW Balingen. Flensburg took the lead from the beginning and went with +3 at half time, while with even better place in the second half, won in the end 32:24.THW Kiel beat Lubbecke at home in a goal-show game with 37:30. The “Zebras” are now third in the Bundesliga, but with a game less which would potentially put them first if it was a victory. BundesligaFlensburgLjubomir VranjesTHW Kiel ← Previous Story HSV at TOP 16 – Gorenje wins in Sweden! Next Story → Third time lucky for Sydney Uni – thanks to overseas students?

Russia win Riga Council Cup 2015

Latvia Cup handballlatvia handballrussia Men’s 18th  international four-team handball tournament “Riga Council Cup 2015” this Monday was won by national team of Russia. Last year’s winner Latvia take a 2nd place.Tournament started on the 26th of December when Russia won Egypt (31:24), but Latvia dramatically lost to Belarus (26:28). Day later latvians took first win by outplay Egypt (29:24), but russians get second success in convincing victory against Belarus (34:24). On the last day of tournament Egypt won Belarus (27:24), bet Russia celebrated victory over home team Latvia (30:19).Russia national team finised tournament with 3-0 and deservedly get the winners cup. The rest of the teams concluded the tournament with one win and two losses, but better goal difference secured 2nd place to Latvia. 3rd finished Belarus, 4th – Egypt.Top-scorer of the “Riga Council Cup 2015″ was Ali Mohamed from Egypt (16 goals), but MVP trophy got captain of team Latvia Ingars Dude.Best players in each teamRussia – Dmitry ZhitnikovLatvia – Raimonds TrifanovsBelarus – Dzmitry NikulenkauEgypt – Ali MohamedTop-scorer – Ali Mohamed (16 goals, Egypt)MVP – Ingars Dude (Latvia)Results –http://handball.lv/lv/start/izlases/v%C4%ABrie%C5%A1u_valstsvien%C4%ABba/rigas-domes-kauss-0/kalend%C4%81rs_l111/Tournament table –http://handball.lv/lv/start/izlases/v%C4%ABrie%C5%A1u_valstsvien%C4%ABba/rigas-domes-kauss-0/rdkauss2015-tabula/Scorers list –http://handball.lv/lv/start/izlases/v%C4%ABrie%C5%A1u_valstsvien%C4%ABba/rigas-domes-kauss-0/statistika_111/Text: Janis ParumsPhotos: Romualds Vambuts ← Previous Story Rnić buzzer-beater for 30:30 against Romania Next Story → Ortega leads Japan in January and talks with KIF Kolding! read more

Lions storm over Kielce

German champions Rhein Neckar Lowen showed their strength in the most desired place on the handball earth in this moment! Nikolaj Jakobsen and his guys decided to response on critics about their motivation to compete at VELUX EHF Champions League. Vive Tauron Kielce, defending EHC CL winners, suffered heavy defeat in front of home fans 26:34.Vive Tauron Kielce – Rhein-Neckar Loewen 26:34 (15:16)Vive Tauron: Ivić, Szmal – Reichmann 4, Kus 2, Aguinagalde 5, Bielecki 8, Jachlewski, Strlek, Lijewski 2, Jurkiewicz 2, Paczkowski 1, Zorman 1, Bombac 1, Djukić.Rhein-Neckar: Appelgren, Palicka – Schmid 6, Sigurdsson, Manaskow 4, Baena 7, Steinhauser 3, Larsen 5, Pekeler 1, Groetzki, Abt, Reinkind 3, Guardiola 1, Petersson 2, Ekhdal du Rietz 2.PHOTO: RNL ← Previous Story PPD Zagreb beat RK Vardar in Balkan derby Next Story → PSG Handball routine win in Denmark read more

PSG Handball routine win over RK Celje PL

Paris Saint Germain celebrated a routine victory over Slovenian best team RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko 33:21 (17:12) with Rodrigo Coralles as man of the match. The Spanish goalkeeper saved 18 shoots and was the biggest reason why French team broke resistance of talented Slovenian team, who was in the game until 20:16.Paris Saint-Germain Handball : RK Celje Pivovarna Laško   33:21 (17:12)Paris SGH: Corrales 18 saves, Omeyer; Stepančić 1, Keita 3, Sagosen 6, Kounkoud, Toft Hansen 1, Remili 4, Abalo 5, Karabatić L. 2, Morros, Hansen 7/1, Karabatić N. 3, Nahi 1, trener: Raul GonzalesRK Celje Pivovarna Laško: Pantjar 1 save, Ferlin 9 saves; Vujović 2, Jurečič 1, Malus, Razgor, Ovniček 4, Marguč 2, Šarac 1, Grošelj 2, Nenadić 5/1, Kodrin 1, Horžen, Makuc, Anić 1, Bećiri 2 PSG HandballRK Celje Pivovarna LaskoRodrigo Coralles ← Previous Story EHF CL: Wisla Plock win in Norway Next Story → BESIKTAS, MESHKOV, SILKEBORG: Tatran Presov in TOP form read more

Ballymun and St Vincents to meet again as Dublin SFC final ends

first_imgLIVE: Sunday GAA club match tracker>Galway and Kilkenny dominate Camogie All-Star awards> Ballymun Kickhams: S Currie; P McMahon, S George, Eoin Dolan; A Hubbard (0-1), K Connolly, J Burke; Davey Byrne, J McCarthy (0-1); E Reilly (0-1), Derek Byrne (0-1), K Leahy (0-2); A O’Brien (0-1), D Rock (0-8, 6f), T Furman (0-2).Subs: C Weir (0-2) for Reilly 39, J Small (0-1) for O’Brien 39, M Brady for Leahy 47, C Burke for Burke 47, J Welby for Derek Byrne 57. Derek Byrne for Connolly 75, Reilly for Rock 79.St Vincent’s: M Savage; H Gill, J Curley, M Concarr; C Diamond, G Brennan, B Egan; D Murphy, M Loftus; G Burke (0-6), D Connolly (0-2; 1f), S Carthy (0-1); R Treanor (0-1), C Dorney (0-1), T Quinn (0-6; 4f).Subs: E Fennell for Dorney 37, K Golden (1-0) for Loftus 45, N Mullins for Diamond 49. Loftus for Murphy 73, Dorney for 74, L Bree for Curley 74, Dorney for Treanor 82.Referee: G McMahon (O’Dwyer’s). Ballymun Kickhams 0-20St Vincent’s 1-17* After extra-timeDUBLIN ACE DIARMUID Connolly kicked an 82nd minute equaliser to ensure the Dublin SFC finalists will do it all again on Wednesday night.The St Vincent’s and county star tied it up with the very last kick of an epic game that went to extra-time at Parnell Park.Both sides had their chances to seize victory but holders Ballymun will kick themselves most.They led by five points with time almost up in normal time but an incredible late surge from Vincent’s that yielded 1-2 forced extra-time.And though Ballymun again held the lead at the end of the extra 20 minutes, local outfit Vins refused to relent and forced the replay.It will take place on Wednesday evening back at Parnell Park at 7.45pm.Dublin are scheduled to field a representative in the AIB Leinster club championship next Sunday against Westmeath champions St Loman’s in Mullingar.Ballymun looked good value for a fourth county title and their first ever back to back of crowns as they dominated for most of normal time.They led 0-8 to 0-5 at half-time thanks in part to four points from county super sub Dean Rock who shot 0-8 in total.Vincent’s opened brightly after the break with four points on the trot to lead by one.But when Ballymun responded with points from Conor Weir, James McCarthy, Rock, Derek Byrne and Leahy, they took a commanding 0-13 to 0-9 lead.Their lead was increased to five points at 0-16 to 0-11 with just a minute remaining.But a goal from Vins sub Kevin Golden and points from Man of the Match Gavin Burke and Shane Carthy forced extra-time at 1-13 to 0-16.—–last_img read more

McGuinness HSE and Dept of Health have more questions to answer on

first_imgPUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE Chairman John McGuinness says the HSE and the Department of Health have more questions to answer in relation to the latest twist in the salary top-ups scandalThe Fianna Fáil TD’s remarks follow this week’s  revelations that more than half of St Vincent’s CEO Nocholas Jermyn’s €293,669 salary came from funds generated by the hospital’s private service.The information was released to the media on Monday night — a move heavily criticised by McGuinness, who said afterwards that it looked like an attempt “in my opinion, to hide something”.“To do it a day before Christmas Eve shows a particular trend in how they do their business,” he told TheJournal.ie.StatementIn what’s clearly a bid to keep the issue alive over the Christmas break  period, McGuinness put out a statement at lunchtime today questioning the role of the Department and the HSE in the saga.The HSE has been meeting with board members from all State-funded hospitals and agencies to discuss the issue of salary top-ups, and a spokesperson for Health Minister James Reilly said earlier this week that the information relating to Jermyn’s salary would be discussed at a meeting in the first week of January.But McGuinness says that senior managers in the health service should have been been asking board members tough questions about their salary arrangements “four or five years ago”: St Vincent’s executives are due to appear before the PAC after members return from their Christmas break. McGuinness has promised the panel will be “digging deep” in an attempt to get the bottom of the salary scandal.The board members will also be hit questions on issues raised by John Crown in the Seanad last week. The Senator — who is also a consultant at the Dublin hospital — said staff at the facility had deliberately charged private health insurers for cancer drugs which had been given to St Vincent’s for free. The hospital has rejected the claims.Read: McGuinness: We have to dig much deeper in relation to St Vincent’sRelated: St Vincent’s Hospital CEO paid €136.5k on top of HSE salary> “I would prefer if it explained why its senior managers were so lax in applying the rules and demanding transparency and accountability.“The fact is that the HSE, the Department of Health and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform have more questions to answer than the institutions under their control. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that a system of nudges and winks, which is growing bigger by the day, has now been uncovered, and responsibility for it is being passed around like a hot potato.“For generations now, this lack of governance and unwillingness to take responsibility by those in power has corroded politics and the public service, diminishing both in the eyes of the public. That culture has done great damage to this country and no significant attempt has been made to deal with it.”last_img read more

Chinese Dubai turns into deserted island

first_imgIT WAS BILLED as China’s Dubai: a cluster of sail-shaped skyscrapers on a man made island surrounded by tropical sea, the epitome of an unprecedented property boom that transformed skylines across the country.But prices on Phoenix Island, off the palm-tree lined streets of the resort city of Sanya, have plummeted in recent months, exposing the hidden fragilities of China’s growing but sometimes unbalanced economy.A “seven-star” hotel is under construction on the wave-lapped oval, which the provincial tourism authority proclaims as a “fierce competitor” for the title of “eighth wonder of the modern world”.But the island stands quiet aside from a few orange-jacketed cleaning staff, with undisturbed seaside swimming pools reflecting rows of pristine white towers, and a row of Porsches one of the few signs of habitation.Chinese manufacturers once snapped up its luxury apartments, but with profits falling as a result of the global downturn many owners need to offload properties urgently and raise cash to repay business loans, estate agents said.Now apartments on Phoenix Island which reached the dizzying heights of 150,000 yuan per square metre (€18,000 per square metre) in 2010 are on offer for just 70,000 yuan, said Sun Zhe, a local estate agent.Futuristic development“I just got a call from a businessman desperate to sell,” Sun told AFP, brandishing his mobile phone as he whizzed over a bridge to the futuristic development on a electric golf cart.“Whether it’s toys or clothes, the export market is bad… property owners need capital quickly, and want to sell their apartments right away,” he said. “They are really feeling the effect of the financial crisis.”Official figures showed an almost eight percent increase in China’s total exports last year, but sales to Europe fell by almost four per cent with the continent mired in a debt crisis and recession.At the same time rising wages in China mean that producers of clothes, toys and other low-end goods are seeing their margins squeezed as other emerging economies compete to become the world’s centre for cheap manufacturing.For years Chinese business owners, faced with limited investment options and low returns from deposits in state-run banks, have used property as a store of value, pushing prices up even higher in the good times but creating the risk of a crash in the bad.Patrick Chanovec, a professor at Beijing’s Tsinghua university, said:China had a lending boom… and so if people are using property as a place to stash their cash, they had more cash to stash. At some point they want to get their money out, then you find out if there are really people who are willing to pay those high prices. Phoenix Island is part of Hainan, a Belgium-sized province in the South China Sea that saw the biggest property price increases in China after a 2008 government stimulus flooded the economy with credit.Eager buyers camped out in tents on city streets as prices shot up by more than 50 per cent in one year.Real estate is a pillar of the Chinese economyBut tightened policies on access to credit and multiple house purchases have since knocked values in favoured second home locations, even while prices in major cities they have rallied in recent months.Real estate is a pillar of the Chinese economy, accounting for almost 14 per cent of GDP last year and supporting the massive construction sector, making policy makers anxious to avoid a major collapse of the property bubble.At the same time ordinary Chinese who cannot afford to buy a home have been frustrated by high housing costs for years.With anger over graft also mounting state media have carried several reports in recent weeks about corrupt officials’ property holdings, including a policeman who used a fake identity card to buy at least 192 dwellings.Hainan’s tropical shores are said to be a hotspot for purchases by well-connected bureaucrats, but estate agents denied they were rushing to sell off apartments for fear of a crackdown.Beachside villas accessed by artificial riversOfficials only account for around 20 per cent of owners, they said – while doubting any new regulations would be properly enforced. “There are always different rules for people with connections,” said one agent, asking to remain anonymous.It is an example of the multiple competing interests the authorities have to balance, leaving them treading a difficult line, with sometimes unforeseen consequences.On the other side of Hainan, the Seaview Auspicious Gardens, boasts beachside villas accessed by artificial rivers and a private library containing 100,000 books, prices have fallen by a third from a high of 12,000 yuan per square metre in the last year, and a third of the flats remain unsold.Yang Qiong has a thankless task as one of its saleswomen.“Before the government restrictions we would sell out a development like this in just five months,” she lamented.- © AFP, 2013last_img read more

Behind the scenes at a garda control centre Who takes your 999

first_img Eyes everywhere. Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall IrelandInspector John Ferris adds that gardaí are sometimes required to ‘make very serious decisions on the basis of a call’ and that recording the call allows gardaí to have evidence when questioned about a decision they made later.The Garda Traffice Control centre does not work in tandem with the communications centre at all times but is often employed to help in cases of traffic accidents or other disturbances on the streets, to assess what resources are required.The video feeds come from Dublin City Council and the gardaí do not have direct access to the tapes from the cameras but they can control them. Source: Video TheJournal.ie/YouTubeRead: Here’s how Garda Traffic bikers practice >Watch: Gardaí release some examples of Ireland’s bad driving > The Dublin Garda Traffic Control Centre. Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall IrelandTHERE IS ONE part of An Garda Síochana’s operations where you can be sure your conversations are recorded -emergency 999 calls. For good reason say those in the Garda Communications Centre in Dublin’s Harcourt Square.When you make an emergency 999 call and ask for the gardaí you will be put through to one of the 23 different garda communication centres throughout the country. By far the busiest of which is the GCC for the Dublin Metropolitan Region which handles almost ten times as may calls as the next busiest centre in Cork City.There’s a clear chain of how your call is handled when you ring 999.First you get through to one of four emergency call centres around the country which are run by BT. There they ask you what service you are looking for and where you are located. If you ask for the gardaí you will be patched through to a call taker who may be either a garda or a civilian.It’s their job to listen to the nature of the emergency, determine its priority and decide on what kind of garda service you require. That information is then available to a team of dispatchers, who operate out of the same room, and they look at the garda resources available and direct them to the problem. Garda call taker in Harcourt Square centre. Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall IrelandIt’s a stressful job as it often involves them taking calls from people in a distressed state or who may even be in danger when the call comes through.“It can be very tense here at times especially Friday and Saturday evenings,” explains Ann McNamara who was one of the first intake of civilian staff into the service three years ago.When you’re experienced, a lot of the calls are straightforward but if you were to get a tiger kidnapping or maybe a bad domestic assault and you can hear it’s going on in the background, that can be a bit harrowing. Or maybe calls relating to children, things like that I find it very harrowing.The initial call takers not only have to decide on what service is required but also to determine the urgency of a call, something that can be adjusted as more facts emerge and gardaí approach a scene.For example, during the course of a visit to the DMR call centre, staff received reports of a fight in an area of Dublin in which up to 50 people were reported to be involved. The report was handed to the dispatch team who sent out a patrol car.When questioned about the sending of just one car to what sounded like a large scale incident, Sergeant Claire Mulligan explained that it was usual practice to firm up information before committing more than two officers who can then report back.She added that in a fight involving fifty people they would also expect to receive more phonecalls. Later, when the gardaí reached the scene they reported back that they couldn’t see any fight in the location reported.By way of comparing the wide range of calls they receive, staff also received an alert from a distressed elderly person who was concerned that a man purporting to be from a phone company had called them looking for their bank details. The call taker spoke to the person and gave them some advice before sending a community officer to speak to them.https://vine.co/v/MdXH0xzLmpBInstant playbackAll emergency 999 and 112 calls that are made to the gardaí are recorded explains Supt. Denis Kettle of the communications centre.He says there are several reasons why this is done, to allow for instant playback, to allow for disconnections and to help decipher what someone has said in often noisy environments like motorways or during the course of a row.Kettle explains that the most important reason is so gardaí can be clear as to the location of where an incident is taking place, and that they ‘nearly always’ use instant playback to make sure an address is correct.But he does add that what people say during 999 calls can be accessed by gardaí later during the course of their investigations:Someone might call up and say they’ve been stabbed and they might actually say who stabbed them. That’s important for the investigation, you work with what you’ve got.last_img read more

Junk food TV ad ban to begin in September but cheese is

first_imgTHE BROADCASTING AUTHORITY of Ireland (BAI) has confirmed that the advertising of foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar will be banned from children’s programming from September.Michael O’Keefe, chief executive of the BAI, told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that the new rules will also mean that outside of children’s programming, there will be restrictions on the number of junk food ads after 6pm to not more than 25 per cent of the time.However controversially cheese will not be included in the ban following a lobbying campaign by the industry. The food type had been included in the original draft code released by the BAI prior to a consultation process.“We will allow cheese advertising but there will have to be an on-screen message,” O’Keefe told Morning Ireland, adding that health groups had looked for the authority to go a lot further in the code.He insisted that the BAI had not “buckled” under pressure from lobby groups and pointed out that there are health benefits to cheese.O’Keefe said that the authority would be working with broadcasters and advertisers in the coming months ahead of the full implementation of the new rules on 2 September.Read: How poor countries are now facing obesity epidemicsMore: Doctors in UK call for ‘soda tax’ and ban on junk food advertisingRead: Minister rules out prospect of tax on ‘junk food’last_img read more

The UK has a major shortage of sperm

first_imgBRITISH FERTILITY CLINICS are relying on imported sperm to satisfy demand.That is the warning from the British Fertility Society (BFS).However, the BFS chairman, Dr Allan Pacey, told the BBC he was “worried” that some clinics may be setting a lower bar to “get donors through the door”.He added the quality of the sperm used has a direct impact on the invasiveness of the procedure on the woman.The UK removed the right to anonymity for donors in 2005, a decision that has been attributed to the fall in donations.Added to that, the demand for donors has been falling as advances in fertility treatment let more men father their own children.Figures from the UK’s fertility regulator, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), show nearly one in four donated sperm samples are from abroad.Generally, these samples come from clinics in the US and Denmark.Larger version here.Egg donors have risen year-on-year, however.Pacey said:“We do still have a major sperm shortage in the UK.The worry is clinics might decide to change the quality of sperm they are willing to accept in order to get donors through the door and I think that’s a very dangerous road to go down.“My worry is clinics may be tempted to bend the rules, I have no evidence that they are, but I think when we have a national sperm shortage they’re the kind of things we need to be looking for and warding against.”Read: Oireachtas committee says children should have a right to know who their biological parents arelast_img read more

FBI may have created terrorists out of lawabiding individuals says rights report

first_imgUS TERRORISM PROSECUTIONS have at times proven an ‘illusion’ based more on religious and ethnic profiling than an individual’s intention or ability to commit terrorism offences, according to a new report from Human Rights Watch.The report, Illusion of Justice: Human Rights Abuses in US Terrorism Prosecutions, criticises the US Justice Department and FBI for abusive counterterrorism operations which alienated the very communities which could help prevent terrorism attacks.HRW and Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute examined 27 federal terrorism cases from the start of their investigation through to sentencing and confinement.It found that while many prosecutions did target people who were engaged in terrorism planning or financing, others targeted people who did not appear to have any involvement in terrorism support activities at the time of the investigation.Instead, some of these people were induced to participate in illegal activities by the counterterrorism investigation itself.HRW says that previous studies have found that almost half of federal terrorism convictions since 9/11 resulted from informant-based cases and almost a third were ‘sting’ operations involved an active plot-development role by the informant: The report notes that the cases researched “do not constitute a representative sample” sufficient to allow generalisations of all US federal prosecutions, but that they do “raise troubling questions about the fairness and effectiveness of many of the policies, practices and tactics” used by the FBI, Justice Department and Bureau of Prisons in terrorism cases.HRW also criticises detention practices in terrorism prosecutions and investigations, saying that detention conditions have included prolonged periods of solitary confinement and severe restrictions on pre-trial communication “possibly impeding defendants’ ability to assist in their own defense and contributing to their pleading guilty”.Read: UK tightens airport security after US warning, Dublin Airport says it’s business as usual >Read: The Pentagon thinks Iran has sent a ‘small number’ of operatives into Iraq > Indeed in some cases the Federal Bureau of Investigation may have created terrorists out of law-abiding individuals by conducting sting operations that facilitated or invented the target’s willingness to act.…Human Rights Watch and Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute found that at times, in aggressively pursuing terrorism threats before they even materialise, US law enforcement overstepped its role by effectively participating in developing terrorism plots – in at least two cases even offering the defendants money to enticethem to participate in the plot.One case cited in the report is that of the ‘Newburgh Four’, in which four Muslim converts were charged with planning to bomb synagogues in New York and attack military planes. The case has raised questions about the FBI’s role in encouraging – or even devising – terrorism plans.A judge quoted in the HRW report said that the US government “came up with the crime, provided the means, and removed all relevant obstacles” so that it had made a terrorist out of a man “whose buffoonery is positively Shakespearean in scope”.Speaking about the findings, report author Andrea Prasow said:Americans have been told that their government is keeping them safe by preventing and prosecuting terrorism inside the US. But take a closer look and you realise that many of these people would never have committed a crime if not for law enforcement encouraging, pressuring, and sometimes paying them to commit terrorist acts.last_img read more

Meet the tech team who make TheJournalie run smoothly

first_imgWHILE YOU MIGHT know a bit about the journalists who publish articles on this site, there’s actually another group working hard to bring you the news every day: the incomparable tech team.We’re running this behind-the-scenes tech series because we’re currently expanding this great team. If you think you’d be a good fit – or know someone who might be – then we want to hear from you. (L-R) Stephen McBride, John Needham, Brian Fallon, Conor Maher, Conor Smith, CJ Smith This is our team, which is growing all the time. We crossed the fearsome tech/editorial divide (think the gulf of iOS vs Android) to talk to some of the lads – John Needham, the web team’s Lead Developer, Conor Maher, the DevOps Engineer and Stephen McBride, the Lead App Developer. So, in order to gain some insight into the brilliant people who make our apps and site run smoothly, allow us to introduce them…Hello! We know you’re busy so we’ll try not to keep you. Can you tell us a bit about your roles within the team?JN: The web team write the code that runs our websites and powers the APIs that are used by our iOS and Android apps. We also write and manage the tools that are used by our editorial teams.CM: I oversee the hardware and cloud infrastructure behind the website and provide tools that help the developers work their magic. I also plug things out and back in again.SMcB: I maintain and develop the apps for TheJournal.ie, TheScore.ie and DailyEdge.ie across Android, iPhone and iPad. I also frequent the office coffee machine an unhealthy amount.So, tell us, what kind of hardware are you guys using day-to-day?JN: I use a Windows machine running multiple Linux virtual boxes for development with three 24-inch monitors. For my phone, I’m currently using a Nexus 5 (I’m a huge Android fan).SMcB: A 27-inch iMac with extra side monitor. I use a Nexus 5 smartphone and have heaps of mobile test devices like a Samsung S3, HTC One, Nexus 7 and various iPhones and iPads lying around on my desk.And what about tools or programmes?JN: We make use of multiple technologies for developing and on the site, I develop in Sublime Text, and we manage all our code using Git and Github. Our core server stack uses Ubuntu, Nginx, PHP and MySQL, as well as Memcache and Redis.We also make use of multiple Amazon cloud services, such as S3, RDS, CloudSearch, DynamoDB and ElastiCache. If we could be a little nosy for a second: what are you currently working on?JN: We’re just about to roll out our new quiz feature that we’ve been working on for some time, I’ve had a great time making up test quizzes about people in the office. I can’t wait to see the response from our readers.I’ve just started researching how we can perform cohort analysis on our traffic to better understand the needs of our readers; it’s a great excuse to play around with new tools in Amazon.Now, flattery aside, what’s the best thing about working with TheJournal.ie tech team?SMcB: We’re a small, close-knit team who get on really well. We each have a lot of responsibility, but we can also have a great impact on the product we’re working on which is really rewarding.The app is the most downloaded news app in Ireland and it’s how most people view TheJournal.ie each day. It’s really quite cool to be able to spot people on the DART or bus getting their news fix from the app each morning and evening.JN: Definitely the awesome staff. [Thanks John!]And the most challenging aspect?CM: The enormous scale. We are one of the most visited websites in the country and we currently have six tech team members. Our traffic is constantly growing and this brings new challenges every day.Can you recommend your favourite apps or gadgets to our readers before you head off?CM: The Nexus 5′s  integration with Google services makes life a lot easier. A lot of the services we use have nice Android apps with real-time push notifications.SMcB: TheJournal.ie aside, of course, it’d be Reddit Sync for browsing Reddit, Spotify for music on the go and Facebook Messenger for chatting.JN: I’m always playing with new apps on my phone, currently playing Hitman Go, but getting tired of it now, maybe a commenter would have a good suggestion for what to play next?Thanks guys. We promise we’ll do our best not to undo any of your stellar work in the back office this afternoon…Are you a developer and like the sound of what we do? Well, you’re in luck – we’re currently looking for an experienced developer with a track record of building amazing web products. Find out more here, or feel free to share this article with a friend you’d think would fit in on our team.Find out more about working with us>last_img read more

New Nanotech Filter Makes Any Water Source Drinkable

first_imgNearly one billion people live without access to clean drinking water. But if one South Africa research team’s work pans out, this may be a concern of the past.Researchers are conducting a final round of tests on a new nanotech-based filter that can make nearly any water source safe for humans to drink. And best of all, these filters cost only pennies to produce, bringing access to clean drinking water to the poorest of the poor.The teabag-like filters are filled with active carbon granules made from nanofibers treated with biocide, which will kill waterborne bacteria, rather than just filtering it out.  Each filter can clean up to a liter of the most polluted water and make it drinkable.The filters were designed by Eugen Cloete, the chair of Stellenbosch University’s Water Institute. Originally, the filters were designed for use on large-scale projects. However, researchers have since shifted their attention to the creation of smaller, easy-to-use filters that could be used in conjunction with something as simple as a plastic bottle. Small, portable filters are a far more efficient (and affordable) method of providing clean drinking water to rural and undeveloped areas than large-scale infrastructure projects.The filter is currently undergoing testing by the South African Bureau of Standards. If all goes well, Cloete and his team hope to start production by the end of the year in conjunction with the UN and various NGOs who have shown interest in the project.  via nanowerk, image via flickrlast_img read more

Multiterabyte 500MBsec memory card format proposed by Sony SanDisk Nikon

first_imgGadget-lovers everywhere rejoice, a high-speed, high-capacity memory card format is being tabled by Sony, SanDisk, and Nikon that would eclipse anything we use today.Taking into account the growing popularity of HD content capture, the three companies have realized future gadgets require a faster way of storing and transferring data. Not only that, but the ability to store a lot more data too. So the new format being proposed tackles both those problems.AdChoices广告The transfer speed of the memory card format is stated as 500MB/sec (maximum). That has been made possible by switching away from Parallel ATA (max: 167MB/sec) and selecting PCI Express as an interface instead. As for the amount of storage available on the cards, a specific limit has not been set, but “beyond 2 terabytes” has been stated as a goal.The new cards will be comparable in size to current CompactFlash cards while remaing very low power during use. There’s no word on a release window yet as the new format has only just been submitted to the CompactFlash Association.Read more at the joint press release, via EngadgetMatthew’s OpinionAnyone attempting to capture HD video, or use their DSLRs for continuous mode shooting, relies on having fast and reliable storage in their device. But I think we are at a point where a new super-fast format would allow for a new range of gadgets to be released allowing for much higher quality content to be captured at the consumer-device level.The CompactFlash Association already has a workgroup for the proposal, and has signaled it realizes the new faster format is needed, so hopefully it won’t take too long to materialize as an actual product we can buy. Gadget manufacturers will also want it pushed through quickly so they can sell us a new range of premium devices.I think if we start seeing memory cards on the market with 2-8 terabytes of storage, and super-fast transfer speeds, it could change a few of the devices we use today. Some manufacturers will liekly dump the internal storage on PMPs and just ship their devices with a slot for one of these cards. It’s going to be a while before you need more than 2TB in a portable player, and even then you can always buy a second card.last_img read more

Ubisoft planning Assassins Creed for tablets

first_imgUbisoft giveth, and taketh away. Nintendo 3DS owners who were looking forward to their own Assassin’s Creed game will be disappointed to learn the project has been canceled. At the same time though, Ubisoft announced that they were planning new Assassin’s Creed games, specifically for new platforms like tablets like the iPad.The announcement that Assassin’s Creed: Lost Legacy was canceled came as a blow for fans looking forward to the game, but at the same time Ubisoft said that they have other plans. Ubisoft announced that they were planning to bring the Assassin’s Creed franchise to tablets, claiming that the games won’t be simple ports of their existing titles but entirely new games.According to a statement by Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot on Ubisoft’s company earnings call, Assassin’s Creed for tablets “will be different games,” and that they’ll be “either adapted from other games we created or games developed specifically for those platforms.” He didn’t say much else, but the statement is clear, tablet owners can expect Assassin’s Creed titles in the near future.Guillemot also made a point to note that the cancellation of Assassin’s Creed: Lost Legacy had nothing to do with sales of the Nintendo 3DS as a platform. When the game was first canceled, initial speculation was that poor sales of Nintendo‘s new handheld system was the reason Ubisoft decided to cancel development.Instead, Ubisoft said that the sales had nothing to do with it, and instead the fact that there are a number of high-profile games headed for the platform made them choose to redirect their attention to new platforms.via What Culture and IGNlast_img read more

SpaceX Dragon capsule successfully launches

first_imgIt has been threatening to happen since November last year, but early this morning SpaceX finally managed to launch the Dragon capsule strapped to a Falcon 9 rocket. The video above shows the first 5 minutes of the launch.The exact launch time was 03:44 EDT this morning and saw the Dragon capsule eject after a 10 minute climb strapped to the rocket, ready to start its 2-day journey to the International Space Station (ISS). Once there, it will initially maintain a distance of 2.5km in order to test on-board communications, guidance systems, and control of the capsule.If all goes to plan, Dragon will then move to within 10 meters of the ISS on Friday where it will be secured to the station with a robotic arm. The capsule’s precious 500kg cargo of food & water, as well as new equipment, will then be unloaded by the astronauts currently in residence aboard the station.NASA counts the launch as a demonstration mission forming part of the wider Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program. For its part, SpaceX is proving it has the expertise and capabilities to carry out such cargo missions.If the mission is a success it should lead to more missions for supply delivery as well as experiments. Eventually it could also see SpaceX handling manned missions while NASA has its remaining resources freed up for other projects, such as developing the Space Launch System, a cannon harpoon for collecting comet samples, and a Spidernaut robot.More at NASA, via BBC Newslast_img read more

Sweden may be first country to eliminate cash

first_imgThe use of cash in developed countries is diminishing as we have turned to other, more convenient methods of paying for goods. This move away from physical notes and coins started with the introduction of credit cards, but now extends to Internet banking, using smartphones as a payment terminal, and technology such as NFC.Now Sweden, historically one of the quickest populations to embrace new technology, may become the first country to completely eliminate cash from its economy. In fact, they’ve almost managed it with only 3 percent of transactions happening using cash in Sweden today.If more evidence were needed that Sweden will become a cashless society, look no further than its banks. Next month Danske Bank is set to eliminate cash completely purely because it is what consumers want. The steady decline of transactions using cash has seen the banking sector adjust, and ultimately that means an end to cash withdrawals either through an ATM or bank teller.Cash is still used in Sweden, but only for small item purchases. Such transactions are also seeing cash replaced by systems like Barclay’s PayTag, which allows for contactless, cash-free small transactions to occur without even needing to input a passcode. One swipe of your tag and you’re done.One segment of the Swedish population does remain a concern, though. The elderly (65+), who spent most of their lives limited to using just cash, still choose to rely upon it. If cash disappeared it would cause problems for them, although admittedly that’s a short term problem to overcome.Read more at Aljazeeralast_img read more

Rockstar needs a PC graphics programmer is it for GTA V

first_imgPC gamers have a love/hate relationship with Rockstar Games. We love playing Grand Theft Auto games, but we hate having to wait several months after console releases to get them. Things hit an all time low with the release of GTA IV because the PC version wasn’t just released months later, it was buggy as hell at launch.With GTA V heading to Xbox 360 and PS3 later this year, PC gamers were gearing up for several months of waiting again. But then Rockstar didn’t even announce the game was coming to PC. All we have is confirmation from Rockstar they are considering the game for PC, but there’s no guarantee.Some hope has appeared, though, in the form of a job listing that appeared for the Rockstar Leeds development studio. The listing has since been taken down, but not before PC Gamer got a good look at it. The job being advertised was for a graphics programmer, with their main task being to “help bring our latest titles to the PC platform.”There’s only two fairly recent titles that Rockstar would need ported to PC: Red Dead Redemption and GTA V. Based on the age of Red Dead, GTA V seems like the more likely title to be ported, right?Porting GTA V to PC also makes a lot of sense for another reason: both the PS4 and Xbox One have x86 architectures. A version of the game running on a Windows PC should also be easy to tweak for playing on both next-gen consoles. Add in a bit of extra content and Rockstar could re-release the game for Sony and Microsoft’s latest platforms late this year or early next.For now, I’m just hopeful Rockstar has decided to bring the game to PC. The fact they don’t have the staff to do it yet is a bit disheartening, but then maybe it will only take a few months to do the work and get the game out the door.Now read: GTA V gameplay trailer now available to watchlast_img read more