Humanless libraries and driverless cars We will live to regret them

first_img Share198 Tweet Email1 By Eric Nolan Father of three Humanless libraries and driverless cars: ‘We will live to regret them’ The Declaration of Amsterdam, which commits EU support for driverless vehicles, may have been endorsed by Transport Ministers last April, writes Eric Nolan. I HAVE ALWAYS loved the library. I remember being a child and experiencing the wonder of shelves upon shelves of books. A quiet place where I could get a card and choose any book I liked, queue up and present it to the librarian and take it home.I’m delighted to get to experience the same thing all over again with my children. They really look forward to our trips to the library. They regularly enter the colouring competitions as well as choosing books for the week. Their interaction with the librarians is highly educational too, it’s the first thing they do entirely on their own steam.So, you can imagine how disappointed I was to read about the staffless library trials that have taken place. Minister Simon Coveney has said that the staffless operation will only be to extend opening hours, and that staff will not be replaced. In fairness to him, he may well believe that.The reality will most likely be very differentIt will be easy for those in charge of the purse strings to compare costs between the staffed and unstaffed times. When a librarian calls in sick or takes holidays, it will be extremely tempting to save money by not covering them. When a librarian retires, it will be all too easy not to hire a replacement.When humans are compared to technology on a purely cost basis, there will only be one winner. In times of tight budgets and competing demands on local authorities resources, the easy savings will be made. Librarians will be the low hanging fruit.Children won’t be the only ones affected, libraries are quiet places used by many. In this fast-paced technological age where more and more of our interactions are with machines, we should be fighting to keep a refuge of such value.My children’s children may well never get to experience the joys that we did. Librarians are an integral part of the experience. I think we will live to regret the loss of them if it comes to pass.What we need is a thoughtful approach to technology A driverless car.Blindly allowing the “Market” to dictate our path has not served us well in recent times. Technology can either set us free or imprison us. We need to set clear goals about the kind of world we want to live in. We need to value human interaction.A seismic shift in our consciousness is required. Driverless cars could be the shift that demands action. There are 3.5 million truck drivers in the USA alone. Ireland as a whole is no stranger to the truck driving industry.Calculating the secondary employment created in accommodation, rest stops and restaurants would be a challenge. The number of taxis, couriers and other driving jobs would easily dwarf this.Without major changes to our entire economic system it is hard to see these job losses being absorbed. The reduction in demand for products and services as well as the large-scale defaulting on debts by those newly unemployed could see the whole house of cards come crashing down.A problem of this magnitude needs scrutiny and planningYet the Government decides to pander to a European Declaration that I am sure no-one outside of officialdom has read? The Declaration of Amsterdam, which commits EU support for the introduction of driverless vehicles, may have been endorsed by Transport Ministers last April, but have you heard of it? Blindly on we go.We are in an age of raw populism leading to a widespread rejection of expertise as well as dysfunctional governments firefighting against bad decisions like Brexit and the impending Le Pen coronation in France.The self-proclaimed land of the free has elected an emblematic demagogue as President. We in Ireland are no exceptions. We have a do-nothing Dáil which lives up to the name. We must do better. You might argue that we have gotten away with it so far, but we cannot continue to refuse to seriously plan for our future.Eric Nolan is the Labour Party’s Local Area Representative for Cork East. He was constituency party campaign manager for the Marriage Equality Referendum. He works as an aviation firefighter at Cork Airport and has served as a shop steward and worker director.State handouts for everyone?: ‘Computerisation and automation will destroy vast numbers of jobs’>Librarians say roll out of 23 staffless libraries is ‘the beginning of the end’ for them> Monday 16 Jan 2017, 6:20 AM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Eric Nolan 160 Views Jan 16th 2017, 6:20 AM Short URL 57 Comments last_img read more

A child under the age of 10 dying every 10 minutes Threat

first_img By AFP ‘A child under the age of 10 dying every 10 minutes’ – Threat of famine in Yemen The UN has warned that famine is now a possible scenario for 2017. A malnourished child lies in a bed at a therapeutic feeding centre in a hospital in Sanaa, Yemen. Image: AP Photo/Hani Mohammed Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Friday 27 Jan 2017, 7:40 AM A malnourished child lies in a bed at a therapeutic feeding centre in a hospital in Sanaa, Yemen. Share Tweet Email1 center_img Image: AP Photo/Hani Mohammed Jan 27th 2017, 7:40 AM 8,551 Views THE UNITED NATIONS aid chief has warned that Yemen is sliding deeper into humanitarian crisis and could face famine this year.The poor Arab country has been engulfed in war since a Saudi-led coalition launched a bombing campaign in March 2015 to push back Iran-backed Huthi rebels who had seized the capital Sanaa and other cities.“The conflict in Yemen is now the primary driver of the largest food security emergency in the world,” Stephen O’Brien, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, told the Security Council.“If there is no immediate action, famine is now a possible scenario for 2017.”About 14 million people – nearly 80% of the entire Yemeni population – are in need of food aid, half of whom are severely food insecure, O’Brien said.At least 2 million people need emergency food assistance to survive, he added.The situation is particularly dire for children with some 2.2 million infants now suffering from acute malnourishment – an increase of 53% from late 2015.“Overall, the plight of children remains grim: a child under the age of 10 dying every 10 minutes of preventable causes,” O’Brien said.The Saudi-led coalition’s shutdown of the Sanaa airport has had a heavy toll on civilians because medicine cannot be flown in and Yemenis cannot receive treatment abroad.O’Brien warned that Yemen could run out of wheat within months because foreign banks no longer accept financial transactions with many of the country’s commercial banks.Coalition blocking cranesThe country is almost entirely dependent on imports, most of which transit through the Hudaydah port, which was bombed by the coalition in 2015.O’Brien said the Saudi-led coalition had ordered a vessel carrying four mobile cranes for the port to leave Yemeni waters and it was now awaiting approval from Riyadh to deliver the new equipment.The cranes will boost the port’s capacity to handle humanitarian cargo.The United Nations is calling for a ceasefire in Yemen to allow urgently needed deliveries of humanitarian aid and to resume political talks on ending the war.About 10,000 civilians have died in the war, according to UN officials.Returning from talks in the region, UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed took a swipe at Yemen’s President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi for rejecting his peace proposals.“President Hadi continues to criticise the proposals without agreeing to discuss them and this will hinder and impede the path towards peace,” the envoy told the council.Ould Cheikh Ahmed has put forward a roadmap for peace that provides for a new unity government to be formed in tandem with a Huthi withdrawal from the capital and other cities.Under the proposal, Hadi’s powers would be dramatically reduced in favour of a new vice president who would oversee the formation of the interim government that will lead a transition to elections.- © AFP 2017Read: Theresa May will meet Trump today to strengthen relationship that ‘defined the modern world’Read: Enda believes undocumented Irish with ‘minor indiscretions’ will not be turfed out by Trump 50 Comments Short URLlast_img read more

200 jobs affected as Coty plant in Nenagh to close

first_img“It’s a huge body blow to everyone in the town because a couple of years ago staff were told the plant was moving to Poland, but they worked hard to stave off that move through talks with the company.”In a released statement, the company said it commenced a review of global manufacturing capacities last October and will deliver those findings to employees in Nenagh today.The spokesperson said this study will “define the best manufacturing footprint to deliver our future growth and is still “subject to board approval”.Commenting on the announcement, Juan Miguel Pacheco, plant manager at Nenagh said they would work closely with workers and their families throughout the consultation and “to ensure that everyone is treated fairly and with respect”. Updated at 13.25pmTHE FEARS OF Irish workers at Coty have been confirmed, as the beauty product manufacturer announced the closure of its Tipperary plant today, affecting some 200 workers.“As a result of this study we are proposing to consolidate our cosmetics operations into two core centres which will result in the closure of the Nenagh plant.Specific timelines are still under consideration and subject to consultation, but we propose to complete the Nenagh volume transition by the end of calendar year 2018.Staff at the plant, which produces Max Factor beauty products, were called to a meeting at midday today at which the announcement was made.“The executive has taken every measure to stave off job losses. However, we’ve been told to hope for the best but to expect the worst,” Sinn Féin’s Seamus Morris told Fora. Mar 14th 2017, 1:20 PM 200 jobs affected as Coty plant in Nenagh to close Max Factor manufacturer Coty met with staff today to announce the closure of its Tipperary plant. Coty manufactures Cover Girl products Source: AP/Press Association ImagesForeign investmentThe plant is based on the old site of the Procter & Gamble manufacturing facility, and has been in operation since 1978. It was acquired by Coty last October as part of a $12.9 billion merger deal.It is expected that Coty, which also produces other fragrances and skincare products for Rimmel and Calvin Klein, will move the operations of the Irish plant to a similar facility in the UK.Morris said that the announcement is a bit of a surprise because the feeling was the Brexit vote would sway the company to keep it Irish plant and close its operation in Kent.He added that the county council has requested a meeting with Minister for Jobs Mary Mitchell O’Connor to talk about the issue.“This Coty plant is the last foreign direct investment of its size in Nenagh. FDI just hasn’t been flowing into the area,” he said.Morris added that the area is “very fortunate” that payments processor First Data is opening a new European research and development centre in the area. That move is expected to generate up to 300 jobs for the area.With reporting from Gráinne Ní AodhaWritten by Killian Woods and posted on By Fora Staff Tuesday 14 Mar 2017, 1:20 PM Image: Google Maps Image: Google Maps Share Tweet Email6 14,601 Views Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Take me to Fora Get Fora’s NEW daily digest of the morning’s key business news: Short URL 18 Comments last_img read more

This huge office development could transform Corks business centre

first_imgThis huge office development could transform Cork’s business centre The new office blocks will be able to hold thousands of workers. Apr 2nd 2017, 8:30 AM 11 Comments Short URL Image: phot. Jed Niezgoda www.venividi A NEW FOUR-BUILDING project that will be the largest office block development in Cork city when completed has just cleared its final planning hurdle.In September it was announced that four new office buildings would be constructed in Albert Quay in the city’s docklands region.The €90 million ‘Navigation Square’ office complex, covering 310,000 sq ft, will be capable of holding some 3,000 people when completed.It was hoped that work would begin in 2016 and be completed by the autumn of 2017, but the process was delayed as several appeals were submitted to An Bord Pleanála.The planning body has now confirmed that all remained appeals have been withdrawn, and developers O’Callaghan Properties are clear to complete the project.The company has said that work on the project will start in the summer and is due to be completed by December 2018. As many as 350 people will be working on the project during its construction phase.In total, four different buildings will built on the 2.25-acre site bounded by Albert Quay to the north, Victoria Road, Albert Road and Albert Street.MultinationalsThe developers had previously planned to build an events centre on the site but planning permission was rejected. The events centre will instead go ahead on the site of the former Beamish and Crawford brewery.It’s envisaged that the development, which is just a few minutes away from the city centre, will include roof terraces with restaurant units and staff facilities.Developer Brian O’Callaghan said that the new office development will be geared towards ”large-scale multinational and indigenous investment projects”.“It makes a big statement for Cork and really affirms our capacity to be a viable counterbalance to the Dublin region,” he said.The project is just one of several planned for Cork city that have recently shown signs of progress.Cork projectsNotably, developer Stone Work Properties announced at the start of the year that it is planning to build a new €20 million ‘landmark’ office at Camden Place in the city’s northern quays.The building will be able to hold 500 workers, and it is hoped will help lure multinational firms to Ireland’s second city.Another office block, which will accommodate 450 workers, is also planned for Cork city’s historical business district, the South Mall. The block would be just minutes away from ‘Navigation Square’.Written by Paul O’Donoghue and posted on Get Fora’s NEW daily digest of the morning’s key business news: By Fora Staff Image: phot. Jed Niezgoda www.venividi Take me to Fora Sunday 2 Apr 2017, 8:30 AM 15,544 Views Share46 Tweet Email6 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Woman missing from Dublin located safe and well

first_imgWoman missing from Dublin located safe and well Agnieska Supo was found after a public appeal. Short URL By Órla Ryan Thursday 4 Apr 2019, 8:21 AM 58,995 Views 6 Comments Share328 Tweet Email Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Apr 4th 2019, 8:21 AM File photo Source: Brian Lawless/PA WireA WOMAN WHO was reported missing from Dublin has been found safe and well.Gardaí earlier today appealed for help finding Agnieska Supo (34), who was last seen on Tuesday evening in Ongar, Dublin 15.They have since confirmed that she has been found safe and well, and thanked the public for their assistance.last_img read more

This club is building something special again Toulouse in confident mood ahead

first_img Image: Gary Carr/INPHO 13,659 Views Thursday 18 Apr 2019, 8:30 AM Apr 18th 2019, 6:01 AM Short URL Subscribe TOULOUSE LOCK RICHIE Arnold says they will head to Dublin this weekend with a lot of confidence after seeing off Clermont Auvergne 47-44 in a top of the table clash in the French championship on Sunday.And Arnold has been getting some helpful advice ahead of the showdown with Leinster from his twin brother Rory who has played for Australia against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium.The identical twins, both 6’10”, played together at the Brumbies but Richie moved to Japan last season and then came to Toulouse in December as a medical joker.But while he has been in France just a few months he says the buzz around the city is driving them on as fans of ‘les rouge et noir’ sense that the glory days are on the way back.Stade Toulousain have won the Heineken Champions Cup four times and 12 of their 19 French titles came in a glory spell from 1985 to 2012, with seven barren years now fuelling the drive for success.“I didn’t really know what to expect when I got here. Obviously, I was familiar with the wonderful history of the club and its heritage. It’s a class club and I found it easy to settle in right away,” said the 28-year old from Wagga Wagga.“There has been a little bit of a lull with the club in the past few years, relative to all the success prior to that, so it’s easy to appreciate why supporters are getting excited.“This club is building something special again. You just have to look at the squad, look at how many represent the French team and other teams, to see there is a bright future for the club.”Over 32,000 fans turned out on Sunday at Le Stadium to witness a ten-try thriller against Clermont, with Toulouse coming from behind to snatch it and increase their lead at the summit of the Top 14.Arnold said that they have been able to mix it in Europe and at home given the strength of their squad and that success in one competition is driving confidence in the other.“We will take a lot of confidence from the win, especially having had two men in the bin. We know it will be a different test in Dublin but this was a good way to prepare for it. There are a lot of similarities between Clermont and Leinster, good shape to both sides.“It’s going to be a massive occasion and we are all looking forward to it. They have class players everywhere, we know we are going to have to be at our best. But we have a very good side as well. It’ll be a great game, we are really looking forward to it,” he added.Subscribe to our new podcast, The42 Rugby Weekly, here: Share21 Tweet Email By John Fallon Richie Arnold in action for Toulouse against Leinster’s Cian Healy in January. Image: Gary Carr/INPHO 3 Comments ‘This club is building something special again’ – Toulouse in confident mood ahead of trip to face Leinster Toulouse saw off Clermont Auvergne in a top of the table clash on Sunday in France. Richie Arnold in action for Toulouse against Leinster’s Cian Healy in January. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

From the Garden A little frost damage on the spuds but not

first_img Saturday 11 May 2019, 1:00 PM Plenty of good olive oil By Michael Kelly 600ml boiling water 5 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped Grower 1 bunch cavolo nero, chopped Directions:In a large heavy-based pot, fry the onions, garlic, carrots, celery and parsley uncovered in the olive oil for about one hour over a low heat.When these are entirely soft, add the tomatoes and continue to cook for a further 15 minutes. Stir in the cavolo nero and set aside.Pour half the beans with half their cooking liquid into a food processor. Pulse until smooth, then add to the vegetables.Strain the other half of the beans and add them to the soup.Lay the bread gently on top of the soup to form a sort of lid, then cover with plenty of olive oil.Pour the boiling water over the bread and leave the soup to cook very gently for 10 minutes then leave to sit off the heat for a further 10 minutes. The bread should be completely soft.Gently break up the bread lid and fold it into the rest of the soup.Season if need be, and serve with some more olive oil on top – the soup should be thick enough that you can stand up a spoon in it.Michael Kelly is an author, broadcaster and founder of GIY.© GIY Ireland 2019 – all rights reserved. ¾ loaf stale white bread or ciabatta, crust removed, cut into 2.5cm thick wedges May 11th 2019, 1:01 PM 3 Comments 5 tbsp tinned chopped tomatoes 500g cooked borlotti beans, cooking liquor reserved 2 heads celery, outer branches removed, hearts roughly chopped 1 bunch parsley leaves, roughly chopped ALONG WITH THE weeding and transplanting, the seed sowing continues at pace. It’s this sort of activity that makes May so busy. This week, I’ve been out in the potting shed most evenings after dinner, sowing seeds of one type or another.It’s a very pleasant hour of course and no great chore. I love how it clears my head.Last evening I was accompanied by Youngest Daughter which changes the dynamic from ‘head-clearing’ somewhat, as she updates me on developments in school.Seed sowing is mindful enough of an activity that I am receptive to her chatter.Childhood is fleeting, and there might come a time in her teenage years when she won’t talk to me much at all, so I’m reminded how precious these moments are. She chats, I listen, we sow seeds together. I have her sowing a tray of climbing French beans, which will be planted out in the big tunnel in a few weeks time (they grow quickly). They could be sowed direct, but I like to give them a head start indoors to get ahead of the slugs. We fill a large module tray with compost and she puts one seed on the surface of each module, before pushing it down with her finger.At the same time, I am ‘pricking out’ celery and celeriac seedlings from a tray. These were sown about a month ago, the tiny seed sprinkled on the surface of a tray of compost.The tiny seedlings, just a few centimetres tall are now transplanted into a module tray (one per module) in fresh compost.They will be kept inside for another month or so before planting out. It’s a delicate operation, holding the seedling by the leaf and carefully teasing it out of the compost with a plant label; making a little hole in compost in the module tray, popping the seedling in and firming it gently. I’m always aiming to plant out around 30-40 celeriac which are a brilliant crop to have over the winter months since they can stay in the soil until you need them. Ironically, we harvested the last celeriac from the soil (planted out last June) just this week. With the celery and celeriac finished I move on to leeks. Again, I aim to grow a large volume of them, since they stand in the soil so well over the winter, and are so useful in the kitchen. I sow two tiny black seeds in each module, around 40 modules in all.Then I sow some basil – sprinkling the seeds on the compost in a small pot. In a few weeks time, I will transplant them from there into the module trays to grow on, before planting out in the polytunnel.Finally, I also sow a couple of trays of lettuce (variety Red Salad Bowl), sowing one little seed per module.All the new trays and pots get a watering, and we try to find some space on the planting bench for them. We head back up to the house together to rejoin the world.The Basics – Frost Damage to SpudsWe had a few nights of frost this week, which is bad news for potato plants that have emerged from the soil. Potato plants are frost sensitive and the advice is to put a fleece cover over them to protect them but of course, I didn’t follow this advice – I think the words I used were “it won’t be that bad”. There’s definitely some frost damage now on the leaves of the early potatoes which were sown in mid-March.I am grateful that I had already earthed them up twice so it was just a tiny bit of foliage popping out of the soil that got a little damaged. The leaves go black from frost. A severe frost can cause the leaves to become blackened and then limp, with the whole plant falling over. In most cases, the potato will send up new shoots to replace these but the whole enterprise will be set back. A potato plant should recover quickly from a light frost, however. Late frosts in May are not uncommon so keep an eye on the weather forecast and have the garden fleece at the ready.Recipe of the Week – Borlotti Bean, Parsley and Bread SoupThough the title could do with some work, I love this recipe from The Kitchen Orchard by Natalia Conroy. It’s a one-pot veggie wonder that’s crammed with healthy vegetables, herbs and pulses and as an added bonus uses up stale bread too.Ingredients: 6 tbsp olive oil3 red onions, peeled and finely chopped Share5 Tweet Email2 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Short URL 8,714 Views Salt and black pepper Michael Kelly 3 carrots, roughly chopped From the Garden: A little frost damage on the spuds – but not to worry they will recover Learn to make ‘a one-pot veggie wonder that’s crammed with healthy vegetables, herbs and pulses and as an added bonus uses up stale bread too,’ writes Michael Kelly. last_img read more

Big banks have 75 per cent of all mortgages

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The big banks’ share of the mortgage market fell from 79.4 per cent in March to 75.2 per cent in June, according to data from mortgage aggregator AFG. Macquarie Bank’s mortgage market share has increased from 2.5 per cent in January to 5.5 per cent in June, said AFG. Bankwest and Westpac also picked up a few percentage points of mortgage market share. Non-majors increased their share among first-home buyers from 22.1 per cent in March to 25.6 per cent in June. Source: Banking Daylast_img

Doctors suspected of 14 mln euros in tax evasion

first_imgAfter investigating some 50 doctors who had issued a suspiciously high number of medicine prescriptions in 2012, the financial police said they had uncovered tax evasion worth 1.4 million euros.According to officers, in most cases the doctors’ bank deposits exceed their declared income.The details of the investigation have now been passed to the tax offices concerned, which will have to confirm whether offenses have been committed.The probe was launched after an unusually high number of prescriptions were issued between July and September 2012. One of the doctors concerned was found to have issued an average of 147 prescriptions per day.Source: ekathimerini Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img

Tensions continue to escalate between Athens and Ankara

first_imgTensions have continued to escalate between Athens and Ankara with a recent spike in violations of Greece’s air space and territorial waters by Turkish ships and jets. The latest incident took place on Friday when a Turkish coastal patrol boat fired live ammunition while a military exercise was being undertaken in Greek territorial waters in the eastern Aegean; an act that Athens is viewing as a test of its resolve.According to a report by Kathimerini, the violations appear to have developed into a trend as of January 29, when a Turkish gunboat sailed around the Aegean islets of Imia, whose sovereignty is disputed by Ankara, while carrying Chief of General Staff Hulusi Akar. Since then, Turkish patrol boats have been monitored moving around several islets in the area, including Panaghia and Farmakonisi both of which have a permanent Greek guard.Meanwhile, Turkish fighter jets have continued to fly overhead, leading to mock dog fights with Greek air force pilots.Analysts believe the trend is attributed to a constitutional referendum that has been called by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to increase his executive powers.Set to take place on April 16, based on the polls, analysts have suggested that the Turkish president is increasing nationalistic rhetoric.If the referendum is in his favour, critics say it will concentrate even more power in the hands of a leader that they accuse of authoritarian behaviour, and would potentially allow President Erdogan to remain in power until 2029.Greece meanwhile is looking to put an end to the violations while maintaining the peace, and in response is seeking to bolster their diplomatic presence on the international stage through NATO and the European Union. While there are financial constraints, if the Greek government has it their way, it will continue to maintain a permanent presence of Greece’s military navy in NATO’s Sea Guardian and the EU’s ‘Sophia’ operation. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Racist hate crimes in Greece almost tripled in 2017

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram There have been a number of reports over the past 12 months about hate crimes being carried out against minorities in Greece, and now the numbers speak for themselves.According to statistics from the Hellenic Police, the total number of hate crimes more than doubled in 2017, jumping to 184 from 84 incidents in 2016.Hate crimes are divided into five categories: race, national origin or skin colour (133); religion (28); sexual preference (29); sexual identity (12); and disability (nine). Compared to other years, the largest spike was seen in the sexual identity category, namely against trans individuals.Last year’s figures were so high, they even surpassed the number of incidents recorded in 2013, which until now was the worst year in Greece for hate crimes with 114 documented.A significant reason for the increase is said to be a rise in far-right violence, particularly aimed at migrants, refugees and Muslims.“The fascists in the previous years were afraid to expose themselves, but the crimes are now more open,” Anna Stamou of the Muslim Association of Greece told Al Jazeera.“This doesn’t only impact the victims. The society is also very much deeply affected by this and loses faith in the system.“Now, you look at the man in the supermarket next to you, and you wonder if he’s a fascist or not. It has penetrated every layer of society.”According to police, out of all the hate crime carried out in 2017, at least 84 were by civilians, five by organised groups, 24 by police officers, 12 were civilians and unknown actors, while 59 remain unknown.With a number of new far-right groups coming onto the scene, national director of the anti-fascist group Keerfa Petros Constantinou is convinced they are linked to Golden Dawn.“The reality is that we are still facing the Golden Dawn’s neo-Nazis,” said Constantinou.“There are small groups related to them. Practically speaking, they are using new names, but they are the same assault battalions as before.”last_img read more

Ankara disputes Greek sovereignty in the Aegean and Kastellorizo

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Following yet another provocation from Turkey, questioning Greece’s rights in the Aegean and especially the island of Kastellorizo, the chief of the Hellenic National Defense General Staff (GEETHA), Admiral Evangelos Apostolakis, chose to respond in a similar manner.“If they land on an islet, we will flatten it. And this is a red line that is adopted by the government as well,” he said during a briefing in Athens on Wednesday.“Our effort focuses on not having to reach that point. With the US and the European Union we want to ensure that the Turks will not go that far.”“Greece works as a bridge and plays a positive role. The Greece-Israel-Egypt axis offsets the pressure exerted by Turkey,” he added.Meanwhile, Defense Minister Panos Kammenos was on the island of Kastellorizo on Wednesday, where he declared that Greece will demarcate its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the coming months, Kathimerini reports.“Kastellorizo’s EEZ is of particular importance to our country’s economy,” he said, explaining that “within the next months, the declaration of the EEZ will unleash the potential for natural gas extraction for our country, [revealing] large gas fields that will meet the needs of future generations.”“Those that do not respect our national sovereignty and territorial integrity will be crushed,’ he stressed, ahead of the trilateral summit between Greece, Cyprus and Israel that took place in Beersheba on Thursday.Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were backed by the US, which considers all three countries as stabilising forces in tormented the Easter Mediterranean region.last_img read more

Alimentation les mauvaises habitudes des Français

first_imgAlimentation : les mauvaises habitudes des FrançaisAvantages a publié mercredi les résultats d’une grande étude concernant nos habitudes alimentaires…L’enquête a été commandée par le fabricant d’électroménager SEB, et réalisée avec l’aide des médecins généralistes. C’est l’organisme MediQual Research qui a été chargé de recueillir les données en contactant les praticiens. Selon les résultats, un quart des français se nourrit mal…Cette situation est préoccupante particulièrement pour les enfants et les adolescents, qui sont 83% à avoir une alimentation déséquilibrée ! Chez les adultes, ce sont les actifs qui sont les plus touchés. En effet la principale cause de déséquilibre alimentaire est le manque de temps : de nombreux français mangent trop vite, et trop de plats tout prêts.Le 17 décembre 2010 à 13:44 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Bing le moteur de recherche de Microsoft débarque en France

first_imgBing, le moteur de recherche de Microsoft débarque en FranceAujourd’hui à minuit, Microsoft a officiellement lancé la version finale française de Bing, son moteur de recherche destiné à concurrencer le géant Google.Jusqu’ici disponible en version “test”, Bing le moteur de recherche de la société Microsoft débarque officiellement en France. Le géant américain vient de lancer la version finale française de, développée en partenariat avec plusieurs entreprises pour séduire les internautes et tenter de grignoter des parts de marché. En effet, difficile de concurrencer le leader Google qui totalise près de 90% des recherches. Ainsi depuis son lancement en 2009, Bing n’aurait conquis que 3% de parts en France alors qu’aux Etats-Unis celui-ci aurait atteint les 18% grâce à une alliance avec Yahoo. À lire aussiGoogle découvre un bug de grande ampleur avec 14 ans de retardPour exister face à Google, Microsoft a donc décidé de proposer aux internautes français une version “plus simple et plus visuelle” de Bing, misant sur les défauts du moteur de recherche leader. “Des études montrent que la moitié des résultats affichés lors d’une recherche en ligne sont insatisfaisants, et mal présentés dans 72% des cas”, a expliqué à l’AFP Eric Boustouller, président de la filière française. Pour offrir un contenu le plus riche possible en informations, Microsoft a donc décidé de s’associer avec des entreprises telles que Les PagesJaunes, la presse française, Allociné ou la Bibliothèque nationale de France dont les bases de données ont permis d’enrichir le moteur de recherche. Ces nouveaux liens devraient également permettre de commercialiser la publicité par liens sponsorisés sur Bing, qui a déjà rapporté près de 960 millions d’euros en 2010.S’il est très peu probable que Bing parvienne à détrôner Google, cette nouvelle approche devrait néanmoins permettre à Microsoft de gagner une part de marché plus importante dans les prochaines années. Le 1 mars 2011 à 18:28 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Il rate sa greffe de rein car aucune salle dopération nest disponible

first_imgIl rate sa greffe de rein car aucune salle d’opération n’est disponibleLe quotidien Ouest France rapporte une information à peine croyable cette semaine : un homme de 75 ans n’a pas pu obtenir le rein qu’il attendait au CHU de Caen, en raison d’une surcharge d’activité dans l’établissement.Le septuagénaire, qui réside dans la Manche, subit deux dialyses par semaine depuis 7 mois. Lundi, un appel téléphonique du CHU de Caen lui annonce une excellente nouvelle, rapporte Ouest France : un rein a priori compatible l’attend à l’hôpital. L’homme fait alors sa valise pour s’y rendre le lendemain dès 8h.À lire aussiUne militaire blessée dans un accident se voit greffer une oreille cultivée… dans son brasSelon le quotidien régional, le patient subit alors divers examens préalables à la greffe : analyses de sang, d’urine, électrocardiogramme… Deux heures plus tard, “le coordinateur de la transplantation d’organes en Basse-Normandie lui [annonce] que l’intervention n’aura pas lieu : aucune salle d’opération n’était disponible”, écrit Ouest France. Une situation grave, incompréhensible. La direction du CHU évoque alors “une activité exceptionnelle et ininterrompu” pour se justifier.Le retraité, naturellement en colère, a dû rentrer chez lui. Le rein qui lui était destiné mardi devait malheureusement pour ce patient être greffé rapidement. Il a donc été par la suite attribué à un autre CHU de France. Le 27 avril 2011 à 11:35 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Lady Gaga lance son réseau social The Backplane

first_imgLady Gaga lance son réseau social, The BackplaneLa chanteuse pop américaine a décidé de créer son propre réseau social, en partenariat avec Google. Baptisé The Backplane, le site veut regrouper les internautes autour du showbiz.Célèbre pour ses innombrables perruques, paires de lunettes et son côté provocateur, la diva de la pop Lady Gaga est aussi une businesswoman. Après avoir tourné une publicité pour le navigateur Chrome de Google, elle annonce un partenariat avec Eric Schmidt, patron du moteur de recherche. Ensemble, ils vont lancer un réseau social, The Backplane. L’idée est de regrouper des communautés d’internautes autour de thématiques comme la musique, le cinéma ou encore le sport. À lire aussiFacebook, Star Wars et Apple, les actus sciences que vous devez connaître ce 23 juinAlors que la star de 25 ans peut se targuer d’avoir 10 millions de followers sur Twitter et 38 millions d’amis sur Facebook, il ne sera pas difficile d’attirer les internautes son futur réseau social. D’après le New York Times, la start-up The Backplane aurait déjà réussi à lever plus d’un million de dollars grâce au fonds d’investissement d’Eric Schmidt. Lady Gaga détiendra 20% du capital et travaillera sur le design du site. L’initiative de ce projet vient de Matthew Michelsen, entrepreneur et spécialiste des nouveaux médias, et du manager de la chanteur, Troy Carter, qui a déjà investi dans d’autres start-up.Pour le moment, les détails techniques du projet restent secret, mais nul doute que la diva sera suivie par les millions de personnes qui l’adulent à travers le monde. The Backplane devrait être très bientôt mis en ligne.Le 10 juin 2011 à 18:05 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Le retour de la pluie reste insuffisant pour les nappes phréatiques

first_imgLe retour de la pluie reste insuffisant pour les nappes phréatiquesLe retour de la pluie sur la France a permis de fournir l’eau nécessaire aux végétaux, mais ne suffira pas à contrebalancer le déficit des nappes phréatiques.La France a dû faire face au printemps le plus sec des 50 dernières années, ces trois derniers mois. Si la pluie a été la bienvenue un peu partout en France et a permis de répondre aux besoins des plantes, les nappes phréatiques, elles, continueront à souffrir de la sécheresse. Comme l’explique Philippe Vigouroux, chargé de la surveillance des nappes phréatiques au Bureau de recherches géologiques et minières (BRGM), cité par l’AFP, “il faudrait qu’il pleuve tranquillement tous les jours pendant quinze jours jusqu’à début juillet, ce serait impeccable”. Il précise que les pluies des deux ou trois dernières semaines permettront “de solliciter un peu moins les réserves des nappes souterraines”.À lire aussi(VIDÉO) Un radar détecte un nuage de coccinelles de 80 kilomètres de largePourtant, selon le bulletin mensuel du BRGM, les statistiques des niveaux de nappes phréatiques ne devraient pas être meilleures en mai qu’en avril. Alors que déjà 68% des réservoirs aquifères étaient dans le rouge et affichaient un niveau inférieur à la normale, les choses ne devraient aller qu’en empirant. Météo France confirmait en indiquant, au 1er juin, que les pluies qui permettraient de recharger les nappes phréatiques (pluies dite “efficaces”) restaient “déficitaires sur la quasi totalité du pays tout particulièrement au nord du Bassin parisien où les cumuls sont inférieurs à 50% de la normale”.Toutefois, toujours selon Météo France, des “zones excédentaires” de pluviométrie sont constatées depuis septembre 2009 dans le Var, les Alpes-Maritimes, le nord du Gard et l’Ardèche alors que le Sud-Est souffre de la sécheresse. “Pour la première semaine de juin on a recueilli presque autant d’eau que pour l’ensemble du mois d’avril avec surtout des pluies sur la Provence, qui n’en avait pas vraiment besoin”, selon M. Schneider de Météo France. Il précise également que les prochains mois devraient être particulièrement chauds “avec des températures au-dessus des normales saisonnières” alors qu’il reste pour le moment impossible d’établir des prévisions concernant les précipitations.L’eau ne suffit pas à elle seule. La qualité des pluies joue également un rôle important. En effet, lorsque de très violents orages s’abattent sur de petites zones, ils provoquent beaucoup de dégâts et l’eau ruisselle sans pouvoir pénétrer les sols et rejoindre les nappes. “Quand on recueille 40 mm de pluie quelque part à cette période de l’année il faut savoir que 10 mm sont absorbés par l’évaporation et les besoins de la végétation”, explique l’ingénieur de Météo France. “Cela fait 4 à 5 jours de répit mais s’il ne pleut pas après ça, on en a perdu tout le bénéfice”. Pour l’heure, l’utilisation de l’eau reste restreinte dans 60 départements.Le 14 juin 2011 à 11:59 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

La biodiversité philippine menacée par les trafics

first_imgLa biodiversité philippine menacée par les traficsLes Philippines abritent à elles seules plusieurs milliers d’espèces animales et végétales uniques au monde. Victimes de la déforestation et des trafics, elles sont aujourd’hui gravement menacées.Avec plus de 53.000 espèces recensées, les Philippines font partie des 17 pays de la “mégadiversité” où vivent les deux tiers des espèces animales de la planète, selon le classement de l’ONG Conservation International, rapporte Sciences et Avenir. A titre d’exemples, le cacatoès philippin, l’aigle mangeur de singes, le tamaraw (un buffle d’eau nain dont il ne subsiste plus que 200 spécimens), certains crocodiles, des lézards et d’innombrables fleurs ne se rencontrent que dans cet immense jardin tropical cerné de récifs coralliens.Malheureusement, ce patrimoine est également l’un des plus menacés au monde. En effet, les Philippines ont déjà sacrifié 93% de leurs forêts primitives au profit du commerce du bois et de l’urbanisation. Cette tendance n’est pas prête de s’inverser étant donnée la terrible pression démographique du pays : 95 millions d’habitants sur un territoire montagneux et dispersé (7.000 îles en tout), pas plus grand que l’Italie. La pauvreté y est également extrême, une personne sur trois vivant avec moins de un dollar par jour. Nécessairement, ces conditions favorisent les trafics d’espèces rares. Theresa Mundita Lim, directrice de l’Agence publique des réserves et de la vie sauvage, cite l’exemple d’orchidées endémiques, quasiment disparues, vendues sur les marchés contre quelques pesos. “Leur commerce est la principale source de revenus dans certains villages”, affirme-t-elle.Le trafic d’animaux 3e trafic le plus enrichissant À lire aussiCes 18 animaux méconnus à l’aspect étonnant pourraient disparaître avant vousDe même, la misère de l’archipel permet aux trafiquants de compter sur toute une armée de braconniers pour les approvisionner. Ils sont rémunérés 500 pesos (environ neuf euros) pour un perroquet et les intermédiaires cinq fois plus, selon Mme Lim. A l’échelle planétaire, le trafic d’animaux génère jusqu’à 20 milliards de dollars (14,7 milliards d’euros) par an, juste derrière le trafic d’armes et de stupéfiants, selon le Réseau de surveillance de la vie sauvage d’Asie du Sud-Est.Très prisés, les geckos, de petits lézards nocturnes aux couleurs vives, sont vendus pour leurs vertus médicinales, réelles ou supposées. Certains, censés guérir du sida se monnayent 1.200 dollars pièce. Mieux encore, les oiseaux rares peuvent atteindre les 20.000 dollars. Ainsi, le gouvernement du président Benigno Aquino, élu en 2010, a alloué plus de moyens pour lutter contre les trafics et des descentes de police dans les animaleries ont permis d’importantes saisies.Un trafic qui se cache désormais En revanche, la chasse aux trafics s’est aussi compliquée avec ces interventions de plus en plus fréquentes. Alors qu’il y a peu encore, la vente d’espèces menacées se faisait en plein jour sur les marchés de Manille, la capitale, elle s’est maintenant faite discrète. “Les trafiquants savent qu’ils sont surveillés [ … ]. Alors ils sont passés à la clandestinité. Il faut commander”, notamment sur internet, affirme Theresa Mundita Lim. Qui plus est, les condamnations sont si dérisoires (une simple amende) qu’elles n’empêchent pas les récidives, loin de là, déplore Josefina de Leon, du ministère de l’Environnement.Le 26 septembre 2011 à 13:28 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Les pièges à ours refont leur apparition dans les Pyrénées

first_imgLes pièges à ours refont leur apparition dans les PyrénéesDu miel et des morceaux de verre. Ce sont les pièges mortels, réservés aux ours, qui ont été découverts en Ariège dans les Pyrénées. Le message est clair : les ours ne sont pas les bienvenus par une certaine partie de la population avoisinante. Les pièges de fortune ont été découverts le jour même où le tribunal administratif de Toulouse annulait, en partie, l’arrêté de chasse en vigueur dans l’Ariège, estimant qu’il ne protégeait pas suffisamment l’ours. Cette décision a provoqué l’indignation chez les chasseurs de la région. L’ours ne peut pas faire la différence entre le miel et les bouts de verre, explique une vétérinaire interrogée par l’AFP. Il avale tout et le verre peut provoquer une perforation intestinale et une hémorragie interne. Pire encore : les récipients trouvés le 16 décembre sur un chemin fréquenté, en bordure d’une forêt du Couserans, contenaient également un poison potentiel qui est en cours d’analyse, a indiqué le procureur de Foix Olivier Caracotch.À lire aussiL’étonnante ruse d’un renard polaire pour échapper à des chasseursCe dépôt de pièges représente donc clairement une menace adressée par les opposants à l’ours, pourtant en phase d’hibernation depuis le mois de novembre. Philippe Lacube, l’un des chefs de file de l’opposition aux ours en Ariège, a déclaré ignorer la provenance de ces pièges. Cependant, il a précisé comprendre dans ce geste, un message de non-acceptation de cet animal dans les Pyrénées. “Je ne sais pas qui est derrière ça. Ce que je peux dire c’est qu’on est dans un processus de confiscation du territoire, on en fait un territoire réservé à l’ours, pas à l’homme, et les gens réagissent. Ils vont commencer à se révolter”, a affirmé Philippe Lacube cité par l’AFP. Depuis leur réintégration, la vingtaine d’ours recensée dans les Pyrénées, aurait tué des brebis dans les parages. C’est l’une des raisons pour lesquelles les éleveurs de la région s’indignent, aujourd’hui rejoints par les chasseurs qui se révoltent de voir leur droit de chasse réduit. Néanmoins, selon le procureur, le mode opératoire laisse à penser qu’il s’agissait de montrer l’opposition à l’ours, d’un acte de provocation, plus qu’un acte destiné à porter atteinte à l’espèce. Même si ce n’est pas la première fois que de tels pièges sont trouvés comme le rappelle François Arcangeli, président de l’association Pays de l’ours/Adet qui précise toutefois qu’aucun animal n’en a été victime. Si la réintroduction de l’ours dans les Pyrénées suscite depuis longtemps la colère de nombreux habitants, il faut tout de même rappeler que l’animal avait pratiquement disparu de la région et que la réintroduction apparaissait ainsi cruciale pour assurer la survie de l’espèce.Le 29 décembre 2011 à 17:40 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more