Region Archives: Global

How little thought have ‘the Brexotics’ given to any form of risk from a putative #Brexit?

Is the EU a liability on the ballot papaer?

This morning’s #SluggerReport featured this great essay from Ferdinand Mount in the London Review of Books (h/t Ciaran!). Here’s  some of the highlights in the argument… Splendid isolation’. ‘Very well, alone’. ‘Fog in Channel – Continent Cut Off’. That is the name of the game, the only game that appeases the dreams and resentments of more…

EU referendum & Euro 2016

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So far it’s fair to say that EU referendum debate hasn’t inspired many. Both sides have often been accused of ‘scaremongering’ over the potential impacts on everything from immigration to border controls and increased terror threats to the price of a nice bottle of wine. Meanwhile many of us across the UK and Ireland have more…

Why mental health needs public champions not just information…

Siobhan O’Neill is a health psychologist and professor of mental health sciences at Ulster University. She is currently leading several studies on mental health and suicide in Northern Ireland. It seems that we can’t move nowadays with mental health awareness; the latest being Princes Harry and William, and Princess Katherine, all throwing their weight behind more…

Vatican spin-doctor criticises Catholic keyboard warriors…

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Interesting story over at the Catholic news site Crux… “Many of my non-Christian and non-believing friends have remarked to me that we ‘Catholics’ have turned the Internet into a cesspool of hatred, venom and vitriol, all in the name of defending the faith!” he said. “The character assassination on the Internet by those claiming to more…

The Ultimate Eurovision Song Contest Winner…

With Russia discovering the joys of the politics of the Eurovision Song Contest this year, here’s the undoubted highlight from Saturday’s Grand Final in Stockholm – the interval act!  Just in case anyone from the BBC, or from RTÉ, are looking for any tips for next year.  Let’s face it, on recent form they could more…

Mercury in motion

Mercury Transit 2016 via SDO

If you missed yesterday’s rare Mercury transit across the Sun – the last was in 2006, the next in 2019 – then where were you! [Busy… – Ed]  But even if you were paying attention you’re unlikely to have had as wondrous a view as that of Nasa’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. They’ve helpfully released a stunning time-lapse video more…

Hunger Striking as Political Resistance, Then & Now: QUB’s Institute for Conflict Transformation Spring Festival

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Are hunger strikes effective as a political strategy? This was one of the questions explored yesterday at a day-long conference on ‘Prisoner Hunger Strikers in Northern Ireland and Palestine: Examining the Long Term Effects.’ The event was part of the Spring Festival of Events at Queen’s Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation and Social more…

Watch Hillary Clinton’s very funny Trump attack ad…

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As the Donald becomes the last Republican presidential candidate standing, the Clinton camp put out this very effective attack video. The video features clips of every major Republican figure slatting Trump. "Donald Trump says he's a ""unifier."" He's not wrong.https://t.co/lEN8VDfa6r — The Briefing (@TheBriefing2016) May 5, 2016 Trump was once a joke but now he just got more…

Bertie Ahern and Arlene Foster Headline Spring Festival at Queen’s Institute for Conflict Transformation

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  Bertie Ahern and Arlene Foster are among the highlights at the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice’s Spring Festival of Events at Queen’s. Former Taoiseach Ahern speaks on ‘Reflections on Peace in a Changed Ireland’ on Tuesday 31 May, 5-7 pm; while First Minister Foster delivers the Harri Holkeri Lecture more…

Brussels, one month later

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This morning I got off the metro at Maalbeek station, it’s not the closest one to my office in Brussels, but today was the first day it was open since last month’s attacks and I felt as I owed to it the city to say I wasn’t afraid. Its cleaned platform and white panels seemed more…

President Obama jumps the Sinn Féin shark…

One of the benefits of being a US President in your final year in office, as well as getting to decide who can and can’t come to your party, is the freedom to say what you really think – even if President Obama continues to appear to be mis-briefed on shared, as opposed to integrated, education more…

#DemDebate Live Blog – (Kicking off at 2am BST)

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My good friend Ollie has been kind enough to offer to live-blog this evening’s US Democratic debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernard Sanders, from New York City where he will be attending it for us. The debate starts at 9 pm, 2 am for many of our British and Irish readers. He’ll introduce himself here in more…

News of investment in NI may be good enough to be true

Wow! 36 deals worth £392 million secured in the first quarter of 2016 I admit I don’t really understand what the figures mean and how much accrues to people who live and work in northern Ireland. Still, it seems like good news for the professional classes in high tech. In the first quarter of 2015, more…

Mark Cousins: “In the middle of the joy, modernity and new tolerance that we have, we have to allow a bit of space to acknowledge that creature from the Black Lagoon, that sense of, ‘Wow, did we really do that? Were we that inhuman?’ Yes, we were.”

The Guardian’s eminent film critic Peter Bradshaw, briefly and favourably, reviews film-maker Mark Cousins’ “meditative tribute” to his hometown, “I am Belfast”- a “valuable, heartfelt tribute to a city”. …there is much food for thought. He notes the fact that images of the Titanic, created at Belfast’s Harland and Wolff shipyard, are everywhere in the city since more…

Northern Ireland’s first fact-checking service launched: FactCheckNI

FCNI Postcard

FactCheckNI — Northern Ireland’s first ever fact-checking service — was officially launched at the Skainos Centre in Belfast. The project — funded by the Big Lottery Fund through Building Change Trust — aims to influence public policy in regards to the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector, keep politicians right in terms of both more…

“as head of British intelligence, you would be derelict in your duty if you did not do everything in your power to assist that process…”

Via the Pensive Quill.  In this transcript of a discussion on Radio Free Éireann in New York, with John McDonagh (JM) and Martin Galvin (MG), veteran journalist Ed Moloney (EM) has some “stupid” questions for the leadership of Sinn Féin, British Intelligence Services, and the local media.  From the transcript EM: There’s a whole untold story of more…

Frank Flannery caught in the mega net of the Panama Papers…

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The 2009 Westminster expenses scandal just got eclipsed, and by some way. 11.5 million files have been leaked to Mossack Fonseca, a law firm operating in the tax havens of Switzerland, Cyprus and the British Virgin Islands, and in British dependencies Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man. It is the world’s fourth biggest provider of more…