Tag Archives | International

They will have to shed cherished illusions about how to deal with jihadist terrorism. We were different, but we know the feeling

Since the Manchester atrocity a lifetime ago on Monday night, we can hear echoes of the Troubles every day.   The elevation of suicide into martyrdom is a common theme but very differently enacted and  very differently received; passively- aggressively by  hunger strike  thirty five  years ago  and bitterly dividing opinion to this day: aggressively only more…

Conservative manifesto very warm on the Union, cool and correct to the Republic, no mention of special status in ” a comprehensive free trade and customs agreement”

TORY LAUNCH: Here I concentrate on those matters of specific interest to Northern Ireland. Remember that while manifestos tend to be mainly broad brush, they convey a sense of direction. The rhetoric of this one is modern British Unionist, as would be expected with the Union under threat but it avoids Rule Britannia jingoism.

“Cars being stopped and searched is not going to happen”

Whilst the BBC quote, at length, the concerns about a post-Brexit border of “a former customs officer in Donegal” whom they interviewed on Radio Foyle, the Irish Revenue Commissioner’s lead official on the topic has been speaking at a conference on Brexit in Dublin organised by the British Irish Chamber of Commerce.  From the Irish Times more…

Bertie’s separate agenda should include warming Theresa May’s ear about the Human Rights Act

Following in Bertie Ahern footsteps what should the  two governments negotiate about bilaterally as the Brexit talks proceed? In the Irish Times Noel Whelan argues that “ Ireland and UK must renegotiate Belfast Agreement” The EU has been described as a cornerstone of the Belfast Agreement. This is more than just constitutional flannel. The agreement more…

Peter Taylor: “Gradually I got used to reporting death. But I never became insensitive to it.”

In advance of the broadcast on BBC Radio 4 tonight, 8pm, of Peter Taylor’s documentary, Fifty Years Behind the Headlines – Reflections on Terror, the renowned journalist has written an article on the subject for the BBC website.  Most revealing, on many levels, is the part in which he recounts the “interview [which] affected [him] personally above all others.” more…

Joint authority? “What on earth have you been smoking?”

In the Irish Times Newton Emerson takes issue with two of the talking points being promoted by the SDLP and Sinn Féin – EU ‘special status’ for Northern Ireland and ‘joint authority’.  From the Irish Times Northern nationalism has an alternative to Brexit – special status for the North within the EU. Nobody has a more…

“concepts and terms like “special status” give rise to serious concerns for other EU partners about precedents that might be set elsewhere”

A much needed, for some, lesson in the real politik of negotiations with other EU states, in regard to the UK leaving the EU, from the Irish Government Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan, in a Dáil written answer last week. 457.Deputy Darragh O’Brien asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if the need for a special status more…

SDO: Coronal hole Feb 2017

Seven years of Solar Dynamics

It seems like only yesterday that I was noting First Light on Nasa’s Solar Dynamics Observatory [SDO], and the early hours of this morning for ‘three years in three minutes‘ and ‘SDO Year 4‘.  In fact the SDO was launched on 11 Feb 2010, with First Light in April of that year. [Seven long years… more…

A modest case for Donald Trump. To be the exception may not be all bad

Entirely predictably, a chorus of commentators was affronted that Donald Trump so brutally violated the convention for lofty platitudes or proclaiming change in stately code in his inaugural address.  It was so much better in the days of boomer youth. But was it?   . JFK for instance, in Ted Sorensen’s imposing words of the famous more…

Earth and Moon from Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

A bit of perspective…

…with this stunning composite image of the Earth and its moon, courtesy of the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. [Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona] From the associated text This composite image of Earth and its moon, as seen from Mars, combines the best Earth image with the best moon image more…

German Police Formally Arrest Extradited Suspect in 1996 Provisional IRA Mortar Attack

Rather less widely reported than developments in certain other legacy cases was Dublin High Court recent ordering of the extradition of a suspect in the Provisional IRA mortar attack on a British army barracks near Osnabrück, Germany, in June 1996. James Anthony Oliver Albert Corry, from north Belfast, was arrested in Killorglin, Co Kerry, in October 2015, on more…

German Election Poster

What next after Merkel?

So far this year, we have seen both David Cameron and Matteo Renzi resign as Prime Ministers of the UK and Italy after perusing disastrous ego driven referenda. In France, François Hollande’s popularity has reached a new low and he won’t seek a second term. The last remaining major leader in the EU is longstanding more…

NI Attorney General: “Article 50 trigger – will ‘amend not a comma or a full stop of the 1998 Act’.”

As with the Belfast High Court, so with the UK Supreme Court…  NI Attorney General John Larkin has been repeating the argument.  From the BBC text coverage from the Supreme Court Northern Ireland’s attorney general, John Larkin, is continuing to make his case that none of the legislative or constitutional arrangements underpinning devolution should stand more…

“Return to your cumanns and prepare for Irish unification.”

In the Belfast Telegraph, Eilis O’Hanlon comments on the recent flurry of “displacement activity” from Sinn Féin.  From the Belfast Telegraph article So, what better way to distract the republican home crowd than with some conjurer’s cheap tricks? Don’t look at that hand, look at this one. Don’t mention my ineffectiveness on a range of more…

neale-and-nicola

Where now for Scotland?

In an historic and stirring address to Seanad Éireann this week, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon refused to set out a timeline for when she might ask the Scottish people to vote once again on Independence. She repeated her view that the Scottish people had not voted to stay within a United Kingdon outside of more…

EU Special Status, and ignoring the Northern Ireland Assembly…

As Mick noted this morning, Micheal Martin has joined the list of party leaders calling on the Irish and British Governments to negotiate for EU special status for Northern Ireland post-Brexit. At the recent All-Island Civic Dialogue on Brexit, there was the Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams said in his speech more…