Parent protests Spanish children are told not to do weekend homework

first_imgParent protests: Spanish children are told not to do weekend homework Protest-related news is everywhere at the moment – so here’s one with a twist. 9 Comments Yes, the amount they get is appropriateYes, but less than they are currently gettingNoVote- © AFP, 2016Read: Japanese girl band apologises after wearing costumes that looked like Nazi uniforms Nov 2nd 2016, 11:23 PM No (2817) Image: Shutterstock/Billion Photos Share249 Tweet Email1 PARENTS IN SPAIN have decided to go on strike against their offspring’s school load for the whole month of November.This has been a bone of contention between parents and teachers for some time, as some parents believe the amount of weekend homework for both primary and high school students is too great and eats into family time.The Spanish Alliance of Parents’ Associations (CEAPA), a network that covers some 12,000 state schools across the country, has urged parents to take part in the strike.Jose Luis Pazos, president of the CEAPA, told AFP today parents had launched the unprecedented initiative due to “the absolute certainty that homework is detrimental” to children, damaging their extra-curricular development.International comparison Poll Results: Source: Shutterstock/Billion PhotosAccording to a 2012 PISA education report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Spain was the fifth nation with the most homework after Russia, Italy, Ireland and Poland out of 38 countries studied, with 6.5 hours a week compared to an average of 4.9.The workload does not necessarily translate in better results for Spanish students, whom the PISA report traditionally gives low scores in maths, reading and science.By contrast, in Finland and South Korea – two of the countries with best student performances according to PISA – the average time spent on homework every week was less than three hours.Pazos said that education in Spain was still very reliant on the traditional method of rote-learning – memorising work.Pointing to the availability of information in current society, he said that “what we have to teach children isn’t to memorise everything, but how to manage information, to be critical, to select what is worth it and what isn’t.”“Society has changed deeply, but the environment in the classroom hasn’t.”So what do you think? Should students be given weekend homework? Wednesday 2 Nov 2016, 11:23 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Yes, but less than they are currently getting (1140) 17,775 Views Yes, the amount they get is appropriate (682) Image: Shutterstock/Billion Photos Short URL By AFPlast_img read more

The mild December weather broke temperature records at Phoenix Park today

first_img Short URL The mild December weather broke temperature records at Phoenix Park today The record temperature for Finner in south Donegal has been equalled, meanwhile. A jogger in Phoenix Park at the end of October. Source: Rollingnews.ieFreezingIt’s going to stay mild until Saturday, when temperatures will dip down to close to freezing at night.Met Éireann are forecasting temperatures of of 12-13 degrees for tomorrow and Friday.“It could level off later today,” Walsh said. “We have a cold front tracking eastwards over the country, but it’s taking a little while to meander across. If more records do happen it will be on the east coast.“When the cold front comes through it will knock the temperatures on their head. We’re just waiting.Temperatures will start to reduce again by the weekend, although not as cold as before this current mild spell. It will be more like average December temperatures, a maximum of 8-10 degrees during the day, dipping to zero at night.The UN has said that 2016 is very likely to be the hottest year ever recorded – beating the record set just last year. Walsh speculated whether the record depletion of the Arctic icecap has thrown the Jet Stream – which usually regulates Irish weather – off course.“There is stuff going on,” she said. “We’ve had Arctic ice at its lowest ever. So that could throw the Jet Stream.“The Jet Stream is not as strong as it was this time last year, so there are things happening alright.”Read: The cold snap is over: It will be a balmy 13 degrees todayRead: Heating up: 2016 “very likely” to be hottest year on record, says UN Image: Niall Carson/PA Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Dec 7th 2016, 12:30 PM By Darragh Peter Murphy 19 Comments center_img Fallow deer clash antlers during the rutting season in Phoenix Park, Dublin in October. Image: Niall Carson/PA Share128 Tweet Email Wednesday 7 Dec 2016, 12:30 PM This is about as warm as it gets in December. I mean last December we had the warmest December on record. And we’re having another warm spell.The highest temperature ever recorded in December in Ireland was 17.1 degrees at Dublin Airport in 1948.“We’re still a little way off that,” Walsh said. “It could happen, but I’m not holding my breath.The reason why we have the warm air is we have air that’s originated from the Azores near southern Spain, and there are southerly winds as well – quite gusty, and they’re basically producing warm temperatures for December. Fallow deer clash antlers during the rutting season in Phoenix Park, Dublin in October. 26,432 Views WARM AIR FROM the Azores has sent temperatures around the country soaring, breaking records in Dublin’s Phoenix Park for December.As of 11am today, the temperature in Phoenix Park was 15.7 degrees – pipping the record, set last year, of 15.6 degrees.Things are unseasonably mild right across the country, with Finner, south Donegal, equalling its December record, also with a temperature of 15.7 degrees this morning.“It’s exceptionally mild today, and we’re breaking a few records around the country, and I’m keeping an eye in Phoenix Park,” meteorologist Liz Walsh told was 15.7 at 11am this morning, so that’s broken the record in Phoenix Park.last_img read more

Poll Do you have confidence in the government

first_imgPoll: Do you have confidence in the government? The Dáil will debate this question today. 121 Comments Yes (2686) No (17292) Don’t know (747) Wednesday 15 Feb 2017, 9:38 AM Share1075 Tweet Email1 Feb 15th 2017, 9:38 AM The Ministers of the 32nd Dáil with their seals of office. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Image: Twitter/MerrionStreet THE GOVERNMENT WILL today face a motion of no confidence tabled by Sinn Féin as numerous questions arise over its handling of the Maurice McCabe scandal.Fianna Fáil will abstain in the vote, ensuring that the government survives, but has said that Fine Gael must “pull up their socks”.The government collapsing would not inevitably lead to an election, but it would be very likely. A recent poll found that just 28% of people want an election held now.Today’s question, Do you have confidence in the government? 35,843 Views The Ministers of the 32nd Dáil with their seals of office. Image: Twitter/MerrionStreet YesNoDon’t knowVote By Rónán Duffy Short URL Poll Results:last_img read more

Irelands first sneaker label launches this week

first_img Short URL 36,640 Views Sunday 26 Feb 2017, 5:00 PM Ireland’s first sneaker label launches this week King of Soles is the brainchild of Glenn Heaslip. 53 Comments Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Share Tweet Email Image: Hu O’Reilly Image: Hu O’Reilly AN IRISH BUSINESSMAN will this week launch the country’s first shoe label.King Of Soles will make its creations available for pre-order from tomorrow, with just 300 pairs of each launch design being made.The company’s founder Glenn Heaslip says the product is premium leather and cheaper than big brands.Heaslip got his start selling…basically everything he could.“I got to this point by buying all sorts wholesale and selling it, from robot hoovers to vaporisers, clothes etc, at carboot sales, eBay, local classified sites.“I was selling a lot on eBay, different sites, and people would often tell me they loved their product & thank me. I’d think why are you thanking me? I didn’t make this, I bought it at one price & sold it at another, nothing more. I take no credit.“If people didn’t buy a vaporiser or jersey from me, they’d buy it elsewhere, nobody remembers the eBay seller, nobody notices, you’re one of many selling the same thing, if your seller account disappeared it’d never be noted. So a desire to make something, that people loved and enjoyed was born.”To that end, Heaslip created King of Soles with the plan of making something that will last.I was inspired by spray painted custom shoes. I’d seen these selling at €300 a pair, as amazing as they were, the paint will inevitably one day crack and the integrity of the design be ruined. I wanted the design to last, and thought people should be getting these shoes much cheaper, much better quality, the design patterns should be printed into a leather fabric, not sprayed onto it.“This was something bubbling and festering in my mind for years. It was reignited when I read a piece on the businesses with the highest mark ups, I just thought the shoe industry was obscene in terms of how much they overcharge customers. My favourite shoes that I’ve ever seen, they’ve been in windows – I’ve definitely not owned them.Also around that time, early 2014, I read a piece about planned obsolescence. Very few people can say they’ve bought a nice looking pair of shoes at an affordable price & they’ve lasted years. King Of Soles will provide shoe quality that’ll allow you to stay out of the shoe stores for a long time.“Unlike brands that mass-manufacture low quality products in wasteful factories, King Of Soles believes everyone should have access to beautiful, affordable shoes that last a lifetime.” Source: Hu O’ReillyEntering into a space dominated by Nike is a fairly gutsy move, but Heaslip doesn’t lack confidence or passion.I know I’m the underdog. It’s a tough industry to crack. I relish the challenge, I’m foaming at the mouth at the prospect.Read: These Toy Story-inspired runners are every Pixar lover’s dream By Paul Hosford Feb 26th 2017, 5:00 PM last_img read more

Trump warned dont get too happy after poking fun at Democrats new

first_img“Congratulations to Thomas Perez, who has just been named Chairman of the DNC [Democratic National Convention]. I could not be happier for him, or for the Republican Party!”That last part seemed to hint that Perez was the Republicans’ preferred option, suggesting that they expected the new leader of the Democrats to go a little easy on them – or that he’d be easier to beat than the other candidate, Keith Ellison (who was endorsed by liberal Bernie Sanders).But the new party chair cleared things up quickly: Share Tweet Email1 Congratulations to Thomas Perez, who has just been named Chairman of the DNC. I could not be happier for him, or for the Republican Party!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 25, 2017 Feb 26th 2017, 3:27 PM Source: AP/Andrew HarnikThe reaction yesterday – and the unusual campaign that preceded it – underscores the challenges Perez and Democrats face as they look to recover from a disastrous electoral slide that was obscured by Obama’s two national victories but laid bare by Hillary Clinton’s stinging loss to Trump.Now, besides Trump occupying the Oval Office, Republicans control Congress and about two-thirds of statehouses, and they’re one Senate confirmation vote away from a conservative majority on the Supreme Court.“We suffer from a crisis of confidence… a crisis of relevance,” Perez told DNC members ahead of his election.Perez and Ellison have agreed to capitalise on the widespread opposition to Trump while rebuilding moribund state and local party organisations.“We are all in this together,” Perez said. Repeating a line he’s used for weeks while campaigning for the post, he praised public demonstrations against Trump as a statement from “millions of Americans” that “Donald Trump does not represent our values.”The same-old, same-old Source: PA Images/Andrew HarnikBut it was Ellison who tapped so much of that anti-Trump energy. Sanders released a statement congratulating Perez yet warned “it is imperative that Tom understands that the same-old, same-old is not working.”Jim Dean, chair of Democracy for America, called Perez’s election “incredibly disappointing” and said the “resistance will persist… with or without the leadership of the Democratic National Committee.” Dan Kantor, leader of the Working Families Party, said Democrats “missed an opportunity.”Jeff Weaver, who managed Sanders’ presidential campaign and now runs the offshoot Our Revolution group, said Perez and Ellison must prove themselves as a leadership duo.“Do they really invest in 50 state parties? Are they really going to engage with people in the streets?” Weaver asked. “Are they really going to bring those people into the party, so that you have a much broader cross-section of democratically aligned voters represented?”‘Hillary 2.0′Even a top labour leader, Lee Saunders, who worked with Perez when he ran the Labor Department, issued a statement that congratulated Ellison before mentioning Perez and praising him as a “tenacious champion for working families.” Saunders leads the union of federal, state and local public employees.The son of Dominican immigrants, Perez actually comes to the job with a demonstrably liberal record as a civil rights attorney and backer of organised labour.In the chairman’s race he carried the establishment label as a Maryland resident who’s spent years in the Washington orbit, working in the Justice Department and ultimately as an Obama Cabinet secretary.Besides his support from Obama, he had the public endorsement of former Vice President Joe Biden, and one of Obama’s closest aides, Valerie Jarrett, made calls to DNC members on Perez’s behalf as late as Friday night. Some Clinton insiders aligned with him, as well.Several Republican organisations seized on that fact yesterday, with one calling Perez “Hillary 2.0.”Perez has embraced the idea of a more aggressive, populist identity for the party, even if he hasn’t convinced activists he can deliver on it.He said throughout the three-day DNC meeting ahead of the vote that he would work to align party resources with the energy of groups from Black Lives Matter and Swing Left to Indivisible, Resist Trump Tuesdays, Knock Every Door, Rise Stronger and Sister District.He promised “a culture change” at the top echelons of the party, adding, “We have a lot of work to do.”With reporting from Gráinne Ní AodhaRead: Donald Trump to skip White House Correspondents’ Dinner “Call me Tom,” he tweeted out to Donald Trump. “And don’t get too happy. Keith Ellison and I, and Democrats united across the country will be your worst nightmare.”The new chairAfter what was called a competitive round of voting, Members of the DNC picked Perez, a former labour secretary backed by former President Barack Obama, over Ellison, who was backed by Bernie Sanders.When Tom Perez stepped to the stage as the newly elected Democratic national chairman, his first official act was to invite his vanquished rival to join him as deputy chairman.Minnesota Rep Keith Ellison accepted on the spot and two men stood together, smiling like a national ticket at a presidential nominating convention. Keith Ellison listens as newly-elected Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez gives his victory speech. Source: AP/Branden CampAs some cheered for the new chair, a few young Ellison supporters booed in the gallery, with some of them in tears.Reaction wasn’t enthusiastic among the liberal groups that had embraced Sanders’ presidential campaign and have intensified their efforts since the election of Donald Trump.“We don’t have the luxury of walking out of this room divided,” Ellison said over the jeers. Afterward, he told reporters he trusts Perez and that the burgeoning resistance movement aimed at President Donald Trump should do the same.A united party Call me Tom. And don’t get too happy. @keithellison and I, and Democrats united across the country, will be your worst nightmare.— Tom Perez (@TomPerez) February 25, 2017 Short URL Sunday 26 Feb 2017, 3:27 PMcenter_img By Associated Press Source: Donald J. Trump/Twitter LAST NIGHT, THE United States’ Democratic National Committee elected Thomas Perez as their new party chair. Source: Branden Camp/APThe role will see him try to rebuild the party after its crushing election defeat last November, and a controversy involving favouring Hillary Clinton as the party candidate over Senator Bernie Sanders.The US President Donald Trump, who was watching closely, tweeted out a congratulations for Perez – but with a sting in the tail: Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 32,066 Views Trump warned ‘don’t get too happy’ after poking fun at Democrats’ new chair The Democratic party is struggling to figure out how to progress in the wake of Trump’s spectacular win last November. Source: Tom Perez/Twitter 76 Comments last_img read more

Banksy opens hotel in Israel with worst view in the world

first_img Friday 3 Mar 2017, 10:34 PM By AFP Banksy opens hotel in Israel… with ‘worst view in the world’ The secretive street artist opened the hotel which stands just four metres from the Separation Wall – with all rooms commanding the same view. This whole thing is a puzzle and I got one piece of the puzzle. It doesn’t mean I know the large picture.Salsaa would not say how he became involved, only that he was “part of the project”.Asked if he was Banksy, he paused, smiled and replied: “Sorry, what did you say?”Husam Zomlot, a special advisor to Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, said they had no idea about the hotel until it opened.While most Palestinian cities in the West Bank are forbidden for Israelis to visit, the hotel owners say the part of Bethlehem where it is located is under Israeli control.Salsaa said they were actively encouraging Israelis to come and understand the reality for Palestinians.It is a great opportunity for them to come and see this beautiful art and also to come and learn more about the influence and effect of the wall on Palestinians.Bethlehem tourism firms have long complained that the wall and Israel’s occupation of the West Bank have crippled business.‘Banksy tourism’The artist has a long history in the Palestinian territories.In February 2015, he allegedly sneaked into the Gaza Strip through a smuggling tunnel and painted three works on the walls of Gaza homes destroyed in Israeli air strikes during the previous year’s conflict.In 2007, he painted a number of artworks in Bethlehem, including a young girl frisking an Israeli soldier pinned up against a wall.In 2005, he sprayed nine stencilled images at different locations along the eight-metre-high (27 foot) wall.They included a ladder reaching over the wall, a young girl being carried over it by balloons and a window on the grey concrete showing beautiful mountains in the background.His works, like elsewhere in the world, have become tourist attractions.“Since 2007 tens of thousands came specially to see Banksy work in Bethlehem,” Salsaa said.We are going to support a tourism that already existed in Bethlehem called Banksy tourism.© – AFP, 2017Read: Measures to trap suspected paedophiles among far-reaching powers in new Dutch cybercrime billRead: Jane Fonda reveals she was raped and sexually abused as a child Short URL 28 Comments center_img Mar 3rd 2017, 10:34 PM Share Tweet Email 31,537 Views Source: YoutubeSECRETIVE BRITISH STREET artist Banksy has opened a hotel next to Israel’s controversial separation wall in Bethlehem, his latest artwork in the Palestinian territories.The Walled Off Hotel is only four metres from the wall which cuts through the occupied West Bank and all the rooms face it.“It has the worst view of any hotel in the world,” Banksy said in a statement.The man himself was not in attendance, though dozens of his new works adorn the walls.A spokeswoman said it was his largest new collection in years.Elton John will play a “live show” to mark the hotel opening tomorrow, she added, but would not clarify if he would be present or perform via videolink.Hotel manager Wissam Salsaa said the rooms will be rented out from 20 March starting at $30 a night for a bed in the bunkroom.The nine rooms have a deliberate faded luxury, with typical Banksy touches.Above one bed an Israeli soldier and Palestinian protester fight with pillows, while a television supposedly showing CNN is cracked and backwards.Western interference Source: AFP news agency/YouTubeIn a hall a painting of a beautiful landscape is trapped behind a grate.In the presidential suite, a working jacuzzi is fed from a leaking water tank similar to those that adorn the roofs of many Palestinian homes.There is also a gallery selling Palestinian art and a museum highlighting the history of the region and Western interference in it.At a push of a button a moving statue of Arthur Balfour signs the decree which promised Jews a homeland in the land at that time called Palestine.Seven of the bedrooms were designed by Banksy himself. Two others were dreamed up by Canadian and Palestinian artists.“The room is on the edge of falling apart. It is very mundane, it’s very refined, very lush, but when you look at details it is… messed up,” the Canadian artist Dominique Petrin said.The wall is one of the most striking symbols of Israel’s 50-year occupation, and has become a major focus for demonstrations and art work.Israel refers to it as the security barrier and insists it is crucial for keeping out would-be attackers.‘A puzzle’Banksy has maintained his anonymity despite numerous theories and attempts to reveal his identity since he started stencilling on walls in his native city of Bristol in southwest England more than a decade ago.Exactly how he worked on the year-long hotel project was closely protected.Petrin said she “got a message” to become involved but didn’t know if she had met Banksy while working there. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Indonesian women seeking to become IS suicide bombers

first_img Share7 Tweet Email By AFP Image: woman with gun image via Shutterstock 11,893 Views Saturday 4 Feb 2017, 7:40 AM 27 Comments Feb 4th 2017, 7:40 AM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Image: woman with gun image via Shutterstock Short URL INDONESIAN WOMEN ARE taking on a more active role in violent extremism, with some seeking to become Islamic State (IS) group suicide bombers, a leading security think tank has warned.The growing problem was highlighted after the arrest in December of two women with links to IS allegedly planning suicide attacks in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country, according to a report from the Jakarta-based Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC).Many from Indonesia – which has long struggled with Islamic militancy – have flocked to join IS in the Middle East, while radicals in the country have pledged allegiance to the group and attacks and plots have been linked to the jihadists.But the increasing eagerness of Indonesian women to get involved in radicalism themselves, rather than merely support their extremist husbands, poses new risks, said the report from IPAC, which is headed by veteran Indonesian security analyst Sidney Jones.“Indonesian women in extremist organisations are now catching up with the lethal practices of their sisters in other parts of the world,” according to the study.Increasing female involvement is linked to the appeal of IS but also to the growing sophistication of social media, which allows more women to read the jihadists’ propaganda and take part in radical chat forums, said the report, which was released late Tuesday.The most high-profile cases were the arrest of two former domestic workers, Dian Yulia Novi and Ika Puspitasari, who had allegedly volunteered to become suicide bombers in Jakarta and Bali.Leading Indonesian IS radical Bahrun Naim, who has been accused of directing a series of mostly botched terror plots in his homeland from Syria, had given them instructions and financial support, the report said.Authorities detained Novi and her husband the night before a planned attack on the presidential palace in Jakarta and later picked up Puspitasari, who was part of the same network and had been planning to carry out a bombing on the holiday island of Bali, the report said.Other women have been arrested for offences including setting up a pro-IS charity, helping to make a bomb, and being fighters with a militant group on Sulawesi island.IPAC called for the Indonesian government to try to find out more about female radical networks, including interviewing the many women who have been deported from Turkey after allegedly trying to cross into Syria to join IS.“The need to know more about Indonesian extremist women suddenly has become urgent,” it said.Indonesia’s national counter-terror agency declined to comment.- © AFP 2017.Read: Gardaí given extra €55 million to help fight threat of international terrorism> Indonesian women seeking to become IS suicide bombers A report has pointed out the growing sophistication of social media allows more women to read jihadist propaganda.last_img read more

Ryanair asked the EU to use its influential voice to pressure Paschal

first_img By Fora Staff “We need the help and support of the EU Commission, and the other European Governments, to persuade the Irish Government to release this tax liability upon Ryanair crews who are based in other EU countries to pay their income taxes here in Ireland – solely because Ryanair is managed and controlled here in Ireland.”Accompanying the letter was a copy of an Irish Examiner article reporting on the High Court proceedings.The report stated that Ryanair claimed it could lose €5 million a year because of Ireland’s tax laws.Prior to its shock 2017 decision to recognise trade unions for the first time in its history, Ryanair had argued that certain workers’ contracts should be viewed as legitimately Irish because the employees benefit from local social security and their salaries are paid into bank accounts opened in Ireland.Get our NEW Daily Briefing with the morning’s most important headlines for innovative Irish businesses.Written by Zuzia Whelan and posted on Fora.ieWritten by Fora Staff and posted on Share20 Tweet Email1 15,258 Views RYANAIR BOSS MICHAEL O’Leary wrote to the European Commission last year asking for its help in resolving a legal dispute with Irish officials over where it taxes European staff.In November 2018, the airline launched legal action against Revenue and Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe over laws the company said require it to put European staff on Irish contracts.The budget carrier has had a long-standing practice of putting some direct and agency staff on Irish contracts even if they live and work elsewhere.This has been a source of frustration for pilot and cabin crew trade unions, which the airline has been in negotiations with since its shock decision to recognise unions in December 2017.Ryanair sought to change a measure, introduced in 2011, that provides for the taxation of income earned by flight crew members who work on Irish-registered and -managed aircraft that operate in international traffic.O’Leary – who will soon step away from the day-to-day running of the business – told the company’s annual general meeting in September 2018 that Ryanair was lobbying the State to change these laws.Documents obtained by Fora show that O’Leary contacted EU Employment Commissioner Marianne Thyssen on 21 December asking her to “add your influential voice” to the dispute and write a letter of support for the company.He asked the commissioner to call on the Irish government – specifically Paschal Donohoe – to refer the matter to the European Court of Justice “so that other European Governments can express an opinion on, or intervene in, this case”. Ryanair asked the EU to use its ‘influential voice’ to pressure Paschal Donohoe in a tax law dispute The airline had launched a High Court challenge relating to tax laws for Europe-based workers. Saturday 6 Apr 2019, 8:30 AM Image: Niall Carsoncenter_img Michae O’Leary Source: Laurie Dieffembacq/PA Images“Ryanair has committed in our negotiations with pilot and cabin crew unions across Europe to move to local contracts at the earliest possible date in 2019,” O’Leary wrote.He told Thyssen the move was “subject only to reaching agreement with the Irish government that we may move these individuals to local income tax … in exactly the same way they currently pay local social taxes”.“The Irish Government has refused this permission, and is insisting that these non-resident pilots and cabin crew continue to pay income tax,” he alleged, explaining that Ryanair had taken High Court action over the matter. 10 Comments Get Fora’s NEW daily digest of the morning’s key business news: Short URL Apr 3rd 2019, 1:00 AM Image: Niall Carson Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Greek questions pokies reform

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram A recovering gambling addict has questioned the effectiveness of proposed government measures to reduce gambling. “The smart card has been talked about for years but never implemented. ATMs shouldn’t even be in venues with poker machines, although gamblers will always find a way to gamble,” Apostolis (name has been changed) said. His comments follow the announcement by the newly formed Gillard government of policies on gambling, including pre-commitment technology to limit poker machine losses by 2014, and $250 withdrawal limits from pub and club ATMs with poker machines on the premisesApostolis, started gambling at age 17. “I come from a family of Greeks, they all used to play cards. Being a young kid you could see gambling around you; you know you hate what they’re doing, but eventually I started too,” he told Neos Kosmos. The Melbourne man, now 59, first attended Gamblers Anonymous (GA) meetings at age 23. “People told me their stories and I listened but I said ‘that’s not me, I haven’t lost a house, I haven’t lost my kids or my wife’, but now look at me; I’m the same as everybody else,” he said. For 40 years Apostolis has been going to GA meetings on and off. “You can have 15 or 20 years up but that doesn’t mean you’re not gonna bust; you will bust if you let your guard down. It’s not easy, and when you’re losing you’re in denial, you don’t know what you’re doing anymore, the money has no value, it just goes through the machines,” he said. When he was winning Apostolis rarely slept. “If you’re winning you’re thinking you’re gonna get up the next day and gamble more and heavier, you’re thinking you’re going to have a yacht and buy a house. You dream but your dreams don’t come true. You come down and a lot of people suicide or go into prison,” he said. While working full-time as a taxi driver Apostolis would find excuses to leave his cab and gamble. “I wasn’t just losing my money I was also losing business at the same time. I lost the boss’s money, I lost the taxi from gambling. Talk about losing, I lost a lot: the house, the marriage, everything because of the gambling,” he said. With 620 days of not gambling, Apostolis is committed to his rehabilitation. “I could go out and gamble but I don’t. I walk outside, I clean the house, go to the movies, go for coffee. I just keep away from gambling, I don’t associate with gamblers,” he said. Sophia Alexandra from Gamblers Help has worked for the program for 15 years and said in her experience the majority of people presenting for help had problems with poker machines above all other forms of gambling. “With poker machines it’s an immediate reward,” she said. Greek men and senior citizens are less likely to seek help, Ms Alexandra said. “Far less Greek men present for help and when they do they’ve been ordered to get help. As long as they’re paying their bills and they’re keeping their family going they don’t see what the problem is,” she said.Alexandra see social trips to the casino for elderly Greek citizens are particularly problematic. “I’ve seen the dangers of introducing that age group to gambling, particularly the women,” Ms Alexandra said. “Some of these Greek elderly citizens are being supported by their children to provide food and pay their bills. They’ve taken out loans the family don’t know about, taken out credit cards and they are in the silent group of people who will not come for help because of the shame and stigma attached to it,” she said. Independent senator for South Australia, Nick Xenophon has been a long standing campaigner against poker machines in both the South Australian and Federal parliaments.“The issue is how it will be implemented and to ensure the industry and the hotels and clubs don’t water it down so that it loses its effectiveness. Certainly pre commitment policy effectively implemented could significantly reduce the level of problem gambling,” Mr Xenophon told Neos Kosmos. Mr Xenophon will work closely with independent member for Denison, Tasmania, Andrew Wilkie, to bring gambling to the forefront of parliamentary attention. “It’s great to have an ally in the Australian parliament who has directly campaigned heavily on the issue of poker machines,” he said.Australian punters are losing around $10 billion a year playing the pokies, making them the biggest gamblers in the world. Gamblers Help offers free, 24 hour, confidential help all over Victoria with Greek speaking counsellors, interpreters and telephone support available. For the 24 hour Helpline call: 1800 858 858.last_img read more

AFL Multicultural Camp graduates

first_imgMinister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship, Nicholas Kotsiras has praised the latest graduates of the AFL’s Multicultural Camp. The camp is supported by AFL Victoria in partnership with AFL Multicultural Program partner clubs. The AFL Multicultural Camp brings together young Victorians from culturally diverse backgrounds for a high performance program, including leadership training and personal development. These young Victorians learn to become team players with fellow footballers from different backgrounds, and the camp teaches them to respect their teammates ‘on and off the field’. Mr Kotsiras said the Camp has helped these young Victorians to appreciate the diverse cultures that make up Australian society. “The AFL’s Multicultural Camp has shown these young footballers how to work as part of a team, regardless of their diversity. “My message and one that you can learn through football – is that our differences are our strength,” Mr Kotsiras said. “Importantly, we must remind ourselves that we are part of the bigger Team Victoria.” Mr Kotsiras said Victorians came from more than 200 countries, speak more than 230 languages and follow over 120 faiths. “This is our strength and we need to promote and nurture this advantage to maintain the edge over other teams,” Mr Kotsiras said Mr Kotsiras thanked the AFL for bringing together 40 young people from culturally diverse backgrounds, and reminded the participants that the most exciting game, that of life, in footy terms is only the first quarter. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

As local business dries up firms tap Chinese market

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram As a businessman, there are three ways to make money from China’s economic upswing. You can attract investment so as to secure capital, you can look for cheap suppliers or you can turn to the Chinese market itself. The third option of course involves the greatest risk and thus also requires the most courage. But it will get you the highest returns. More than 1,000 Greek companies have established trade ties with China, mostly in the form of imports from the vast Asian country. But although the number of companies that have entered the Chinese market does not exceed 100, their performance is quite striking. These include S&B Industrial Minerals SA, jewellery and fashion brand Folli Follie, plastics company Plastika Kritis SA, FHL Kyriakidis Marbles and Granites, Coco-Mat mattresses, beauty product company Apivita, Kleeman elevators, Iktinos marble industry and Vitex paint manufacturers. Dozens more, including food and wine producers Tyras, Minerva, Ktima Lazaridis, Kriton Artos and Tsantalis, have also established their presence in the Chinese market. Their record so far is very positive. Constantinos Yannidis, manager at Vitex and president of the Hellenic-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, says that opportunities are to be found in all sectors: marble, shipyards, mining and mineral processing, jewellery, wine making, canning, beekeeping, food processing, the export of agricultural goods (particularly olive oil), tourism, education and energy management. According to the Office for Economic and Commercial Affairs in Beijing, there is room for greater expansion in areas such as food products (olive oil, dairy, wine) and high-quality building material such as plastics. Although there are still outstanding issues -for example improving customs clearance and cutting red tape- more and more Greeks are taking steps into the Chinese market, as building an outward-looking perspective is the best way to survive the crisis at home. Recent data show a rise in Greek exports to China in 2010. Meanwhile, Chinese exports to Greece have dropped for a second consecutive year, though at a lower rate. Greece’s trade deficit with China reached 2.7 billion euros, a 7.35 per cent drop compared to last year. Yannidis and Zhang Yujing, president of China’s Chamber of Commerce, estimate that bilateral trade between Greece and China currently stands at 4.35 billion euros. The figure of course includes big investments in shipping and particularly in the construction of oceangoing vessels by Chinese shipyards, most of them with money from Chinese credit institutions. Vitex is a good example of how looking outward can help your company. Thanks to its exports, it has managed to make up for its losses in the domestic market. Cosmos Building Materials Shanghai Co Ltd, created by the Greek FHL Group, is the only marble-processing company in Shanghai. Before that, the smaller Kavala-based company MMS had set up a marble-processing machinery and equipment unit. Folli Follie, meanwhile, plans to have 125 shops in China by the end of 2011.Source: Kathimerinilast_img read more

New bridge honours Australias first Olympian in 1896 Athens Olympics

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram A new foot bridge connecting AAMI park and the MCG will be named after Australia’s first Olympian, Edwin Flack. The Edwin Flack Bridge is expected to be completed by the end of the year as part of the Olympic Park’s $363 million redevelopment. Flack represented Australia in the 1896 Olympics in Athens, the first Modern Olympics of its time. He won gold for the 1500m and 800m sprints and then another bronze medal in the tennis doubles. Sports Minister Hugh Delahunty says that the Olympian set standards high for the Australian Olympic teams to come. “Edwin Flack set the scene for our Olympians,” he said. “You couldn’t get a better example and better inspiration to our up and coming athletes.” The bridge is expected to provide a faster and safer route over Olympic Boulevard between stadiums. The walkway will also feature the original Olympic rings used during the 1956 Melbourne games. When Flack competed in the first Olympics, Australia had no national Olympic committee at the time. It was Flack’s private decision to go to Athens and represent Australia. The country was still governed by each State and hadn’t unified yet. Entering as a member of the London Athletic Club, he chose to run in the colours of his Australian athletics club. Amazingly, Flack took on the marathon in the 1896 Olympics, despite never having run a race longer than 16 km. In second place, Flak’s competitor retired from the race leaving him in first. But with just 4 kilometres to go, he collapsed. A Greek spectator came to help him, but in Flack’s delirious state, he punched him to the ground. He was later treated by Prince Nicolas of Greece at the stadium and recuperated under the care of the Royal Family for four days. Flack was instilled with the nickname ‘The Lion of Athens’ after his triumphant Olympic pursuit and was followed by crowds in the Athenian streets. Flack later joined the Australian Olympic Committee, but never competed in another Olympics. Greece and Australia are the only countries that have competed in all Olympics.last_img read more

Bank of Sydney celebrates Marrickville branch

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Bank of Sydney customers and guests gathered last week to launch their new Marrickville branch. Chairman of the Bank’s board, Mr Nicholas Pappas AM, Consul General of Sydney, Mr Vasilios Tsolios, and the Mayor of Marrickville, Mr Victor Macri, all came to support the newest branch in the cohort. Bank of Sydney will be hosting similar functions at Spring Street Branch on Friday 24th of May and at Parramatta Branch on Wednesday 29th of May to celebrate the new identity with its customers.last_img read more

German MPs implicated in Greek arms scandal

first_imgTwo former German MPs with the SPD party received payments in excess of 5 million euros from the company Krauss-Maffei-Wegmann (KMW) according to an article in Sueddeutsche Zeitung. According to the German newspaper the apparent bribes are connected with suspect deals struck by the Munich-based arms company in Greece.“KMW secretly paid the consulting firm of two former parliamentarians of the SPD party over 5 million euros between 2000 and 2005,” the article writes, stressing that this, “was revealed in the context of an internal investigation related to two deals to supply armoured vehicles.”The investigation was launched at the behest of KMW itself following allegations over bribery payments related to the company’s dealings in Greece. The article adds that over the last decade the company had contracts worth about 2 billion euros to supply the Greek government with Leopard-2 tanks and howitzers.Those contracts were largely prepared and signed during the same years that, according to the investigation, the 2 SPD politicians, Dagmar Luuk and Heinz-Alfred Steiner received payments worth millions of euros from KMW via the company BFS.“BFS” is short for “Consultancy for South-east Europe” Sueddeutsche Zeitung explains and adds that Luuk was a member of the German Parliament from 1980 until 1990 and had close connections with Greece, while Mr Steiner was a member of parliament from 1980 until 1994 and also served for a period as the vice-president of the Defense Committee.For the investigation KMW hired the firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) which concluded in its findings that the purpose of the paymentσ was not clear. The investigation was launched following the confession of a former procurement official of the Greek Defense Ministry at the end of 2013 who stated that he had been bribed over the tank deal by Greek consultants working for the German firm. Source: thepressproject Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Droudis besotted with Monis

first_imgThe former partner of Sydney siege gunman Man Haron Monis believed he was “spiritually superior” and was so besotted with him, she killed his ex-wife to please him, NSW prosecutors will allege.Amirah Droudis, 36, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Monis’ former wife Noleen Pal, who was stabbed and set alight at a Werrington apartment block in Sydney’s west in 2013.The NSW Supreme Court heard allegations on Thursday that Monis instigated the murder and that Droudis, his then girlfriend, was the killer.The judge-only trial is expected to begin next August but the case returns to court on Friday for a specific start date to be determined. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

A new website all about Greek olive oil all the way from

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram An American living in Crete has launched a website about Greek olive oil featuring news, recipes, photos, and information. Offering the latest news from the Greek olive oil world, alongside original Greek recipes, disclosures on olive oil’s health benefits and culinary tourism suggestions, Lisa Radinovsky aims to help the ailing Greek economy. Radinovsky, an English professor turned writer and photographer, has teamed up with Dimitris Doukas, a Princeton-educated Greek computer scientist and his team at Twin Net Information Systems Ltd. in Athens to create a new website all about Greek olive oils. Seeking to inform consumers, cooks, tourists, buyers and importers worldwide about the quality and health benefits of Greek extra virgin olive oil, they hope to help increase demand for it. Launched in August, features recipes and photos from Greece, information about olive oil, its production process, the Mediterranean diet, agrotourism and culinary tourism, and news about Greek olive oil − something for everyone with an interest in Greece, cooking, healthy eating, or olive oil. Aris Kefalogiannis, CEO of Gaea, one of the major exporters of bottled Greek extra virgin olive oil worldwide, called the Greek Liquid Gold website “an excellent source of information and news on Greek extra virgin olive oil”.Researching and writing about Greek olive oil business news for the online publication Olive Oil Times, Radinovsky searched in vain for a comprehensive, up-to-date English-language source on her topic. Struck by Greeks’ use of olive oil in almost everything they cook or bake and impressed by Greeks’ efforts to produce, market, and export a high-quality product in the midst of an economic crisis, she decided to create the information source she couldn’t find. The new site features original recipes from Greece, as well as links to a variety of other recipes using olive oil and hints about cooking and baking with it. It includes a description of an olive oil tasting class, photo essays featuring Cretan olive groves and a botanical park, and stories about a Cretan sea captain turned olive farmer and a Greek-born Italian computer programmer who produced some of the best Greek olive oil last year, to the surprise of his Italian compatriots. Living in Crete for 14 years, Radinovsky has learned from cooks, olive oil producers, and industry leaders throughout Greece. Moved by the “many dedicated farmers, exporters, and marketers who are striving for excellence against the odds”, she intends to bring their olive oils to the attention of those searching for both a good, healthy functional food and a way to help the Greek economy get back on its feet. Greek professor and olive oil researcher Dr Prokopios Magiatis suggests that “olive oil is a main factor that can help Greece exit the crisis”.With 80 per cent of Greek olive oil belonging to the highest category, extra virgin, and Greece the third-largest olive oil producer in the world, the National Bank of Greece estimates that Greek olive oil could bring in an additional €250 million annually if more were bottled and branded in Greece before export. Currently, 70 per cent of exported Greek olive oil is sent to Italy in bulk and blended with olive oils from various countries. Greek Liquid Gold highlights the Greek producers and exporters striving to change that as they look to foreign markets for a way out of the economic crisis.For more information, go to www.greekliquidgold.comlast_img read more

It has been confirmed Evzones to come to Australia

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Celebrating the relationship between Greece and Australia, nine soldiers, Evzones, of the Greek Presidential Guard arrived Down Under to mark the anniversary of Anzac Day and the 76th anniversary of the Battle of Crete in 2017.It has just been confirmed that the Andrews Government will provide the Greek National Day Commemorative Committee with $30,000 for the Presidential Guards’ visit to Melbourne on 25 March 2018.“The participation of the Presidential Guard in the Victorian Greek National Day commemoration will make what is a significant day for our Greek community all the more special,” Minister Mikakos said. “Our government is pleased to be able to support this important visit.”The official visit of the Evzones, the highest level of military guard in Greece, always garners the interest of the Greek Australian communities nationwide and is met with pride, enthusiasm and emotion.last_img read more

Greenpeace reçoit linterdiction de sapprocher dun convoi de Mox

first_imgGreenpeace reçoit l’interdiction de s’approcher d’un convoi de MoxRouen, France – Greenpeace a été condamné mercredi en référé par le tribunal de grande instance de Cherbourg. Il lui est interdit d’entraver un convoi de combustible Mox prévu entre La Hague et Cherbourg en fin de semaine, et destiné au Japon.Trente-deux assemblages de Mox, un combustible nucléaire permettant de produire de l’électricité, doivent quitter en fin de semaine le port de Cherbourg pour être acheminés vers le Japon. Déjà condamnée mardi à ne pas tenter de bloquer un convoi d’uranium appauvri en provenance d’Areva et à destination de la Russie, l’association Greenpeace a reçu interdiction de s’approcher des opérations de chargement de Mox.Si l’association écologiste ne se plie pas à cette condamnation, elle risque une amende de 75.000 euros par infraction constatée.À lire aussiLe pied d’éléphant, cette effrayante masse radioactive cachée dans les entrailles de TchernobylEntre le 7 et le 21 avril, les militants de Greenpeace ne devront pas s’approcher du convoi transportant le combustible, à moins de 100 mètres sur terre, et à moins de 300 mètres sur mer. Il est formellement interdit aux membres de l’association de tenter “de gêner ou d’entraver toutes les opérations, de bloquer ou de tenter de bloquer l’accès du port de Cherbourg ou de perturber, de quelque manière que ce soit, le transport du combustible”.Alors que Greenpeace a encore une fois manifesté mercredi dans le port du Havre contre les exportations de déchets nucléaires français vers la Russie, Yannick Rousselet, porte-parole de l’association a déclaré que “les militants réservent leur réponse” quant à l’interdiction d’approcher le convoi de Mox.Le 8 avril 2010 à 16:31 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Hadopi souffre de problèmes defficacité

first_imgHadopi souffre de problèmes d’efficacitéAlors que plusieurs organismes fournissent à l’Hadopi des adresses IP suspectées de téléchargement illégal, la Haute autorité ne prend pour l’instant en compte que 4% d’entre elles dans ses e-mails d’avertissement. Un total bien en-deçà des espérances… Hadopi est une nouvelle fois critiquée. Non pas par ses opposants mais cette fois-ci par ses partenaires. Les sociétés de perception et de répartition des droits dans le secteur musical ainsi que les professionnels du cinéma et de l’audiovisuel envoient 25.000 adresses IP chacun par jour, demandant à la Haute autorité d’envoyer un mail d’avertissement. Problème : Hadopi n’en envoie que deux mille quotidiennement, soit 4% du total. Un chiffre forcément bien insuffisant. Eric Walter, secrétaire général d’Hadopi, tend à nuancer l’information : “Un jour nous envoyons 500 mails, un autre 4.000. C’est la preuve que nous ne sommes pas des radars automatiques. Mais cela fait quand même 100.000 mails envoyés en deux mois !”, rapporte Ce phénomène agace tout de même les sociétés d’ayants-droit : “Il y a un fossé considérable entre nos 25.000 ‘incidents’ détectés par jour et la réponse de l’Hadopi. Pour nous, la situation n’est pas satisfaisante”, assure Jérôme Roger, directeur général de la Société civile des producteurs de phonogrammes en France (SPPF). “A très court terme, nous souhaitons que l’Hadopi puisse envoyer autant de mails qu’elle reçoit d’adresses suspectes. La dissuasion suppose que le message adressé aux internautes soit massif”. Un réaménagement d’Hadopi a été évoqué, avec une logique moins répressive… Le 20 décembre 2010 à 12:53 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Objet de Hanny la tache verte mystérieuse redécouverte par Hubble

first_img“Objet de Hanny” : la tache verte mystérieuse redécouverte par HubbleL’objet de Hanny, dévoilé pour la première fois à travers une tache verte dans l’espace sur des images en 2007, fait partie des mystères de l’univers. Mais grâce à de nouvelles observations, le télescope permet aujourd’hui à des astronomes d’en apprendre plus sur ce phénomène et son environnement.Observée pour la première fois dans le ciel en 2007 par une néerlandaise enseignant la biologie, Hanny van Arkel (d’où le nom de l’objet “Hanny”), la mystérieuse tache verte lumineuse intrigue beaucoup les scientifiques. Celle-ci se trouve à environ 650 millions d’années-lumière de notre planète. Si Hubble a pu l’observer juste après Hanny van Arkel, les images n’étaient pas assez précises pour pouvoir avoir des informations fiables sur la nature de cet objet ou encore sa composition. Mais aujourd’hui, des images plus détaillées et de nouvelles observations aux rayons X viennent d’être présentées au 217e meeting de l’American Astronomical Society. Elles devraient pouvoir nous apporter des connaissances supplémentaires.Dans un premier temps, il avait été révélé que l’objet d’Hanny était un nuage géant de gaz très chaud. Les astronomes ont alors émis l’hypothèse suivante : son éclat serait causé par l’irradiation venue de la galaxie voisine IC 2497. Cette galaxie nourrirait un trou noir géant, qui aurait déjà englouti du gaz et des étoiles, et qui émettrait deux jets opposés de gaz et de radiations. De telles galaxies actives sont connues sous le nom de quasars. Lorsqu’une radiation atteint le nuage gazeux, les atomes d’oxygènes réagissent. Conséquence : l’éclat est de plus en plus lumineux et prend une couleur verte.Selon les observations faites récemment aux rayons X et présentées par l’astronome de l’Université de Yale, Kevin Scawinski, le quasar ne serait plus actif aujourd’hui. En revanche, cela serait très récent, car l’éclat de l’objet est toujours visible. Si l’on estime que la lumière de la galaxie IC 2497 prend des dizaines de milliers d’années pour atteindre l’objet de Hanny, les astronomes ont évalué que le quasar a cessé d’être actif il y a moins de 200.000 ans. D’autres mesures faites par Hubble ont révélé l’existence d’une “bulle” qui s’étend au coeur de la galaxie. Un second indice en faveur de la présence de gaz, pour les chercheurs.Les nouvelles images prises par Hubble sont les plus détaillées qui soient d’un quasar. La plupart d’entre eux se trouvent bien plus loin dans l’espace. Et il est très difficile de les étudier en raison de leur très forte luminosité. Le 11 janvier 2011 à 16:53 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more