Tag Archives | International

Happy days were here again for Beckett in Femanagh

Great to see that the  unapologetically highbrow Beckett Festival which has just ended in Fermanagh for this year, has survived the funding famine. This is quite a feat for the celebrations of such a unsentimental and enigmatic author, whose work is so at odds with the normal run of Irish summer fare. Perhaps this is more…

In dealing with the past, both the state and its legal critics should stop playing games

 “The UK is still in breach of international law for failing properly to investigate unresolved killings, especially and most controversially where state agents might have been involved”. So  states Brian Gormally the director fo the legal lobby group the Committee on the Administration of Justice, quoting the UN Committee on human Rights, No doubt Nuala O’Loan more…

“Still, there are words for the sort of reception meted out, and the most polite are ‘low’ and ‘key’.”

Meanwhile, back at the ranch… or, rather, as far away from the ranch as you can reasonably get…  For the benefit of those concerned about accountability and the democratic process…  Liam Clarke has some points to make about Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Theresa Villiers, and the Northern Ireland deputy First Minister Sinn Féin MLA Martin McGuinness’ recent, more…

Irish ambassador’s latest move in the Republic’s role in the campaign to keep the UK in the EU

The FT (£,unfortunately) reports a strategically timed interview with the Irish ambassador to the UK , the Yeats-loving Dermot Mulhall. Remember when the Irish people reversed their “ wrong” answer in the first referendum on the Lisbon Treaty? It was the bold Dermot who fund the way through, apparently. Now he’s recommending that the UK follows more…

After Greece – where now for Cameron’s negotiating?

David & Donld

Donald Tusk has improved his English lately, which may have something to do with his employing of an Ulster-born speech-writer. The former Prime Minister of Poland took-over from Herman “damp-rag” Van Rompuy as the President of the Council of the EU last year, this was the job once sought by Tony Blair, but no British more…

New Horizons: Live Briefing

New Horizons Charon

Having survived yesterday’s fly-by, follow the live-briefing from the Nasa New Horizons mission to Pluto as they reveal the first hi-resolution images from the dwarf planet system nearly 5 billion km away. Adds The big news is that Pluto, and Charon, may still be geologically active. There are 3,500metre (11,000feet) high water-ice mountains on the more…

“À la Bastille!” – Redux

Once again, with apologies to Pierre Ranger… [It’s a tradition, we know… – Ed]  Indeed!  Sadly, no French winner in the Tour de France today.  Nor will there be in Paris.  Play La Marseillaise!  

What the Greek diktat says about the future of Europe.

Away from the political turmoil, the bewildering complexity and the human misery at the root of it all, a couple of interesting overviews.  First, the shock of final disillusionment from Fintan O’Toole.   already scarred by the experience of the Irish bailout. What’s the difference between the Mafia and the current European leadership? The Mafia makes more…

Greek deal: This Is NOT a Coup

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Whether the Syriza-led government of Greece survives its own domestic democratic pressures remains to be seen following the deal struck at the Eurozone summit yesterday – in the end the 28 EU leaders didn’t have to meet…  The Guardian live-blog on the Greek crisis notes one possible scenario Analysts at Eurasia Group suspect Greece could soon head towards more…

New Horizons: Countdown to Pluto

New Horizons Pluto 11 July 2015

Nasa’s New Horizons mission spacecraft is now within two days journey time to the dwarf planet Pluto and its complex system of 5 moons.  [Image credit: NASA, ESA, and M. Showalter (SETI Institute)]   Travelling at 14km/s, New Horizons’ swift fly-by of the dwarf planet is scheduled to take place on Tuesday 14 July, at more…

European Council President on Greek Crisis: “the final deadline ends this week”

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Following what the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, is reported to have described as a “very long, intensive”, “very clear and candid discussion” at the emergency summit of Eurozone leaders in Brussels tonight, some details are emerging of the next steps in the continuing Greek crisis.  From the Guardian’s live blog. Europe has given Athens one more…

ISS Night-time Compilation

A brief musical interlude, accompanied by a selection of wondrous time-lapse videos, old and new, from the International Space Station, by NASACrewEarthObs.  Full-screen mode recommended.  Enjoy! [Credit: Image Science and Analysis Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center.] The final video clip shows the surprisingly robust sun-grazing Comet Lovejoy as it emerged triumphant from its close encounter with Sol in December 2011.

“Greece today is angry and fearful, divided and conflicted, and will still be after Sunday’s vote.”

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With Sunday’s controversial, and confused, Greek referendum clearing its constitutional test in the courts, the Guardian Data Blog rounds-up the polls – as of 12.34pm Friday.  The then-live-blog added An Ipsos poll just released shows the referendum on a knife-edge. It has yes on 44% and no one point behind on 43%, with 12% still undecided. The more…

Greek Referendum: “a chunk of undecided voters to fight over.”

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Via the Guardian’s Greece crisis blog.   Another wrinkle for the game theory academics in the Syriza-led Greek Government, and those agitating on their behalf, to contemplate ahead of the controversial, and confused, on/off/on 5 July referendum in Greece. GPO poll Yes 47.1% No 43.2% Undecided 6.3% (via @euro2day_gr) #Greferendum #Greece #politics pic.twitter.com/xJRr3K2uAC — MacroPolis (@MacroPolis_gr) July 1, 2015

“The exact location of the international boundary between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland through Loughs Carlingford and Foyle remains an issue for determination…”

In January 2012 I suggested there might be some cause for optimism that the unresolved issue of the delimitation of the territorial water boundary between the UK and the Republic of Ireland could be, erm, resolved.  As the then Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, TD, said at the time. Recently the two Governments agreed to address more…

More Greek gamesmanship…

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With the Greek Parliament, and Greece’s creditors in Europe and elsewhere, discussing the latest sudden manoeuvre by the game theory academics in the Syriza-led Greek Government, via the Guardian’s live-blog, here’s a reminder of Alexis Tspiras’ criticism of ex-PM George Papandreou’s, failed, attempt to hold a similar referendum in 2011. @graemewearden A transcript of @atsipras‘s scathing more…

“Glory be the day, Mr Yeats!”

As the man said…  It’s tradition! Those of a sensitive disposition are duly warned, again, that James Joyce enjoys the language in all its fecund nuttiness. Enjoy! The Guardian looks at how fans around the world will be celebrating James Joyce’s Ulysses. Auckland, New Zealand Usually, says Dean Parker, he helps stage a musical show in more…

IMF to Tsipras: “You’ve got to ask yourself one question. Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?”

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After more of the familiar lies and misdirection yesterday, there were some optimistic noises from Brussels last night as the leaders of Germany, France and Greece met on the side-lines of the EU-Latin America summit.  They were short-lived. Having tried to play the International Monetary Fund, and its managing director, Christine Lagarde, last week, the game more…

Fly Over Dwarf Planet Ceres

Nasa's Dawn at Ceres

In March Nasa’s Dawn spacecraft became the first man-made object to go into orbit around a dwarf planet – Ceres, at 950km across, the largest object in the main asteroid  belt.  As I mentioned at the time… [Image credit: Nasa/JPL] Using images taken during Dawn’s first mapping orbit at Ceres, Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have produced more…

“Greece is joining a fairly exclusive club…”

Which ‘club’, exactly, remains to be seen…  If you’ve been having trouble following the twists and turns and lies and misdirection of the on-going Greek financial crisis [Join the club! – Ed] *ahem*  Perhaps some notes on Greece’s Syriza-led Government’s latest reverse-ferret decision to delay Friday’s €300m (£216m) debt repayment to the International Monetary Fund, and more…