‹ ›Also at UN Headquarters in New York and in parallel in Geneva, a multi-media exhibit, entitled ‘For a Mine-Free World’, opens today to mark the Day and highlight 20 years of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. The exhibits include a miniature mine field and UN partner, Handicap International, will provide demining demonstrations throughout the day in New York.Also at UN Headquarters in New York and in parallel in Geneva, a multi-media exhibit, entitled ‘For a Mine-Free World’, opens today to mark the Day and highlight 20 years of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. The exhibits include a miniature mine field and UN partner, Handicap International, will provide demining demonstrations throughout the day in New York.The event is organized by Handicap International, medico international, Solidarity Service International, the Federal Foreign Ministry of Germany, and UNMAS.This year also marks 40 years since bombing stopped in the Lao countryside. The UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Permanent Mission of Laos to the UN will mark the date with a launch at UN Headquarters in New York of a new campaign that includes national speakers.“Voices from Laos: Clearing Bombs, Protecting Lives” will travel to some of the major US cities after leaving New York. According to its website, the campaign creates a space for dialogue on how individuals and communities are affected by Viet Nam War-era unexploded ordnance (UXO) in Laos, how the problem is being addressed in the country, and ways in which people in the US can help to clear Laos of bombs, support survivors of accidents, and help to create a safer future.In Afghanistan, high-level participants from the Government and the international community will meet in an official ceremony in Kabul. Afghanistan remains one of the most heavily mined countries in the world with 80 per cent of landmines and explosive remnants of war on agricultural land.In Belgium, the exhibit “LANDMINES: Treacherous weapons” is now open at the Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History, among other events. In Colombia, the UNMAS demining programme, ‘Archangeles,’ the Government and the mine action community carry out national campaigns around the theme of Lend your Leg, which asks participants to show support for landmine survivors by rolling up their pant leg in a symbolic gesture of solidarity with landmine survivors across the globe that have lost limbs to landmines and unexploded ordnance.In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), 10 days of Mine Action have been underway since 25 March. During that time, the Government launched the National Landmine Contamination Survey (NLCS), and also declared the province Bas Congo as the first in DRC to be mine-free.At the African Union Headquarters in Ethiopia, UNMAS and the regional organization organized an exhibit entitled “Mine Action in Africa” which includes a demining demonstration. In Iraq, events include a social media campaign in English and Arabic to support demining activities in the country. The UN peacekeeping operation in Lebanon (UNIFIL) today holds a half-day ceremony honouring demining personnel from troop-contributing countries: Belgium, Cambodia, China, France, Italy and Spain. The event includes demonstrations of demining techniques, with dogs, robots and detectors.In Somalia, the UNMAS programme there organized two days of events starting on 3 April, including public demonstrations of mine clearing and destruction of stockpiled unexploded ordnance, film screenings, a poetry competition and a basketball game.The UN peacekeeping operation in South Sudan (UNMISS) organizing a photo exhibition by photographer Marco Grob, who visited the country earlier this year. The Mission, along with the Government and their partners, will also promote the ‘Lend your Leg’ campaign. IIsmael Ibrahim, 15, discovered unexploded ordnance while working in the fields in his village of Korma, Sudan. Curious, he picked it up and it detonated and took his right hand. (April 2012) UN Photo/Albert Gonzalez Farran Kabibi Tabu, 23, lost both legs to a landmine explosion in August 2006 in Bunia, Democratic Republic of the Congo. (October 2006) UN Photo/Martine Perret Ten-year-old Suleiman, from Dar Al Salam, North Darfur, suffered burns to more than 90 per cent of his body when his brother detonated an unexploded device that he found near their house in November 2006. UN Photo/Albert Gonzalez Farran In observance of the International Day, a UN peacekeeper demonstrates the operation of a landmine clearance robot to the local population in Bunia, Democratic Republic of the Congo. (April 2007) UN Photo/Martine Perret “United Nations mine action programmes continue to create space for humanitarian relief efforts, peace operations and development initiatives, allowing UN staff to deploy and refugees and internally displaced persons to return voluntarily to their homes,” he said in a message to mark the International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, marked annually on 4 April.As highlighted by Mr. Ban, the UN continues to provide wide-ranging assistance to millions of people in 59 States and six other areas contaminated by landmines, including Afghanistan, Cambodia, Colombia, Laos, Lebanon and South Sudan.“But more progress is needed,” he warned, most notably in Syria and Mali, where the devastating humanitarian impact of the use of explosive weapons in populated areas is growing. Between May 2011 and May 2012, at least 4,286 people were killed or injured in incidents related to mines and explosive remnants of war, according to the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS).Mr. Ban said he was “encouraged” by the 161 States that have agreed to the Anti-personnel Mine Ban Convention, which bans the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel mines. States who are parties to the Convention also agree to destroy anti-personnel mines and assist landmine victims.He also noted the importance of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Protocol V on Explosive Remnants of War of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and called for universal adherence to these treaties.Governments of mine-affected countries which receive UN assistance have the primary responsibility for mine action, UNMAS noted.There are 14 UN departments, programmes, funds and agencies that provide various types of services, according to the agency. Some of these UN bodies target their services to a particular group of people, such as refugees, or to a special circumstance, such as a humanitarian crisis.At the end of 2012, these entities agreed on a new strategy to guide UN mine action work through 2018. The new strategy includes for the first time a specific monitoring and evaluation framework to track and measure UN’s work. The new strategy, Mr. Ban said, “sets out a series of steps towards a safer world where individuals and communities can pursue socio-economic development and where survivors are treated as equal members of their societies.” At a press conference in New York, the Assistant Secretary-General of the Office of the Rule of Law and Security Institutions (OROLSI), Dmitry Titov, stressed to journalists that “mine action is about action” that includes humanitarian action and the removal of mines.Also speaking to the media, the Chief of UNMAS Programmes, Paul Heslop, said “the battle against mines has been won” but needs sustained funding and international support to sustain it.He noted the emerging threat caused by abandoned or poorly managed ammunition depots which UNMAS teams are increasingly encountering. Mr. Heslop also spoke about the difficulties of identifying the origins of a landmine or unexploded ordinance, particularly in areas such as Syria where the insecurity prevents demining teams from working, and determining whether it is a new explosive or a legacy from earlier conflicts. If explosive materials had a stamp which read “produced in 2010 in x location, it would be easy, but they don’t,” he said. Affiliates of international organizations working to eliminate landmines take part in the “Lend Your Leg” campaign event in Juba, South Sudan, by rolling up their pants leg in solidarity with landmine victims. (April 2013) UN Photo/Martine Perret Boy Scouts march through the centre of Tripoli, Libya, on the International Day for Mine Awareness to highlight the dangers posed by mines and explosive remnants of war. (April 2012) UN Photo/Iason Foounten Abdurrahim Ahmed Mohamed, 12, lost his right hand and sight in the left eye when he and friends played with unexploded ordnance in their village in Darfur. (April 2012) UN Photo/Albert Gonzalez Farran A landmine is safely destroyed, as part of the former UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) mine action programme to assist local authorities remove the threat of unexploded devices. (September 2007) UN Photo/Robel Mockonenn Children of the Halshoo Village in Sulaymaniyah Governorate participate in the summer programme offered by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to learn about the dangers of mines and unexploded ordnance. (July 2011) UN Photo/Bikem Ekberzade
“Millions of girls and boys worldwide are victims of sexual exploitation, even though this issue in recent years has gained increased visibility,” said Najat Maalla M’jid, the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, as she presented her final report to the 25th session of the Human Rights Council, which opened last week and is to wrap on 28 March. Social tolerance and impunity, persistent demand and the lucrative aspect of this trade for global criminal networks are only some of the factors that make children increasingly vulnerable, she said, adding that “the ongoing development of new technologies has made access to children in all parts of the world easier and increased exploitation.”The availability of child pornography online is growing. “Child victims of online sexual exploitation are younger and younger, and the images are more and more horrific,” explained Ms. Maalla M’jid, whose report provides an overview of the main issues and trends relating to her six-year long mandate.The Special Rapporteur stressed that certain forms of sexual exploitation are increasing such as trafficking of children for sexual and economic purposes, child sex tourism and online child sexual exploitation, but noted that the true scope of the problem was not clear due to inadequate legislation, lack of reliable data, and under-reporting. “The clandestine nature of such exploitation, the fear of reprisals and stigmatization, as well as the lack of child-sensitive complaints mechanisms, also hampers our understanding of these crimes,” she said.“The destinations for child sex tourism are continually changing, as perpetrators tend to choose countries with weak legislation and controls,” noted the UN expert. In her presentation, Ms. Maalla M’jid drew attention to the “serious and long-lasting physical, psychological and social effects, not only for the girls and boys who are the direct victims, but also for their families and communities,” regretting that this impact is not sufficiently understood and taken into account when addressing recovery, remedies and compensation.“Despite significant efforts and reiterated global commitments, much still needs to be done to protect, rehabilitate and reintegrate victims, provide reparation to children for the damage they have suffered, sanction those responsible, change certain social norms, and to ultimately prevent such exploitation,” the expert said, urging the international community to establish a global response, through a global legal framework and sustainable transnational co-operation. In addition, Ms. Maalla M’jid called for close co-operation with the private sector, and for strong corporate social responsibility among internet service providers, telecommunications, tourism and travel industry, media and financial institutions.“Children must also be involved in assessing the scale of the problem and developing solutions,” she added. “As the world reflects on universal development goals for the post-2015 era, bearing in mind the strong connections between economic, social, and political development and child protection issues, child-sensitive protection must be included in the post-2015 development agenda,” the Special Rapporteur concluded.Independent experts or special rapporteurs are appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a country situation or a specific human rights theme. The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work.
Local farmers in South Sudan in agricultural trade fair. Credit: UN Photo/Isaac BillyIn July of that year, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 20 March the International Day of Happiness, recognizing the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in people’s lives and the importance of their recognition in public policy objectives. In that spirit, current General Assembly President John Ashe said the Day celebrates unity and called on the international community to support the three pillars of sustainable development – social, economic and environmental.As the UN family sets out to identify the goals for an inclusive, people-centred post-2015 development agenda with the eradication of poverty as its overarching objective, he invited Member States, international and regional organizations, as well as civil society, including non-governmental organizations and individuals, to raise public awareness of the aspirations of human beings around the world.“Happiness is a fundamental human goal, and improving public policies in countries that can contribute thereto is essential to promoting equitable societies for all,” said Mr. Ashe. Marking the International Day of Happiness with calls to promote social inclusion and intercultural harmony, senior United Nations officials today urged the global community to make real the UN Charter’s pledge to end conflict and poverty and ensure the well-being of all.“Happiness is neither a frivolity nor a luxury. It is a deep-seated yearning shared by all members of the human family. It should be denied to no one and available to all,” declared Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his message for the Day. A female UN Police officer jokes around with a peacekeeping colleague at the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID). Credit: UN Photo/OlivierWhile acknowledging that happiness may have different meanings for different people, the UN chief said that all could agree that it means working to end conflict, poverty and other unfortunate conditions in which so many of human beings live. “This aspiration is implicit in the pledge of the United Nations Charter to promote peace, justice, human rights, social progress and improved standards of life,” he said, adding: “Now is the time to convert this promise into concrete international and national action to eradicate poverty, promote social inclusion and intercultural harmony, ensure decent livelihoods, protect the environment and build institutions for good governance. These are the foundations for human happiness and well-being.”In April 2012, the UN held a high-level meeting on “Happiness and Well-Being: Defining a New Economic Paradigm” at the initiative of Bhutan, a country which recognized the supremacy of national happiness over national income since the early 1970s and famously adopted the goal of Gross National Happiness over Gross National Product (GDP).
An independent report into the UK motor industry written by sector expert and professor of automotive management at the University of Buckingham, Peter Cooke has been launched online at www.smmt.co.uk today, 2 July 2009. For more information on the UK motor industry, visit www.smmt.co.uk or www.motorindustryfacts.com. Why is the automotive sector important to the UK economy?· 27 car and CV manufacturers operating in the U producing 1.7 million vehicles· £51b turnover and £9.5 billion value added· Over 800,000 UK jobs· UK automotive manufacturing supplies over 100 markets worldwide, offering some resilience to UK issues· New cars emit less CO2 than older models – average new car CO2 emissions have fallen 19% in the last decade At Ã¢â€š¬20 bn, the automotive sector is Europe’s largest investor in R&D, driving industry forward and helping deliver more sustainable motoring for the 21st century. Technological innovation has helped car and CV manufacturers slash CO2 and air quality emissions from vehicles. New diesel cars for example emit 95% less soot from the tailpipe than those made 15 years ago and average new car CO2 has been cut by 19% since 1997. The energy needed to produce each vehicle is down 12%, water use is down 9% and waste to landfill is down 25%, compared to 2006 performance. CO2 emissions per vehicle produced have fallen 14% in the last year and by 45% since 1999. Almost 10,000 tonnes of waste have been prevented from entering landfill sites. For more details, download SMMT’s ninth annual Sustainability Report from the SMMT website www.smmt.co.uk/category/reports/. The report has been written for a broad readership and as a basis for debate regarding the future of the UK motor industry. Investigating both the history of the sector and the current challenges it faces, the report aims to highlight actions needed to retain and enhance the role of the UK against global competition suggesting how it can build on its strengths for the 21st century. Commissioned by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) and the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI), the detailed report looks into each area of the UK industry from car and commercial vehicle manufacturing to the value and location of the supply chain and the importance of continued investment in research and development as well as retail, distribution, finance and the environment. Commenting on the report, SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt said: “The motor industry, both in the UK and around the world is experiencing one of the biggest challenges in its history but despite these difficulties, it is important for us to take this opportunity to ensure the UK sector is fully equipped to benefit from future growth in new markets. This report confirms the need to prioritise investment in new technologies to place the UK at the heart of the low carbon agenda and the importance of working, with the support of government, to build on our strengths as a globally competitive and highly productive manufacturing base.”Notes:The full report and an executive summary are available to download free of charge from the industry reports section of the SMMT website at www.smmt.co.uk. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
Ohio State senior heavyweight wrestler Kyle Snyder runs out of the tunnel prior to his match in the the dual meet against Iowa on Jan. 21 in the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorThe Ohio State wrestling team will have a chance to win its second Big Ten championship in a row when it heads to East Lansing, Michigan, Saturday to face off against wrestlers from 11 teams ranked in the top 25.The Buckeyes have an opportunity to win a team title, but also have multiple wrestlers in contention for individual championships. Ohio State finished the regular season ranked second in the country, but sophomore Luke Pletcher believes the important part of the year has not yet begun.“Everything before this really doesn’t matter too much,” Pletcher said. “Now we get to the postseason, some people either crumble or they rise to the occasion. I think that just speaks to how we handle the pressure.”Ohio State (14-1, 8-1 Big Ten) has two No. 1 seeds at their respective weight classes this weekend, but 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist and second-seeded heavyweight Kyle Snyder is not one of them. Snyder entered the season as a heavy favorite to earn a third national championship, but lost his first match in nearly three years on Feb. 11 to Michigan heavyweight Adam Coon, a 6-foot-6, 285-pound behemoth who did enough to defeat Snyder. In order for Snyder to capture an individual conference championship, he would likely have to defeat Coon. So in this case, at least, Snyder finds himself as the rare underdog.Ohio State’s Joey McKenna wins against Vince Turk in the dual-meet against Iowa on Jan. 21 in the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo Editor“You base somewhat the future by what you’ve seen in the past, right? And the past says that when the stakes are really high he performs really really well,” head coach Tom Ryan said. “Coon is going to get the very best Kyle has to offer. That I can guarantee.”Ohio State junior 141-pounder Joey McKenna and redshirt sophomore 197-pounder Kollin Moore are both top seeds in their weight classes. But both of them will enter the tournament with wildly differing trajectories. McKenna has climbed up to No. 4 nationally after upsetting North Carolina State’s now-No. 5 Kevin Jack in the last dual meet of the season. McKenna also upset now-No. 8 Nick Lee of Penn State on Feb. 3, but Lee will be searching for revenge as the second seed behind McKenna.Moore spent the majority of the season as the top wrestler at 197 pounds, but lost two of his past three matches. He lost to Penn State’s unranked Anthony Cassar in what was the main turning point of that dual meet, which the Nittany Lions won. Moore rebounded against Michigan’s Kevin Beazley, delivering a major decision win over the four seed for the Wolverines. However, Moore also dropped a bout with Michael Macchiavello, a top-10 wrestler from North Carolina State. Ohio State’s drastically different directions are one of the reasons Ryan believes his team has not yet reached its potential.“In no one weekend did we really wrestle 10 guys the way they can, and we are banking on this is the first of two weekends where that happens,” Ryan said.Ohio State’s Bo Jordan wrestles Michael Kemerer in the dual-meet against Iowa on Jan. 21 in the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorAlong with Snyder, Pletcher, a 133-pound wrestler, and 174-pound Bo Jordan enter the tournament ranked second in their weight classes. To capture a conference title, Pletcher will need to beat Michigan’s Stevan Micic, who defeated him on Feb. 11. Jordan is the underdog to Penn State’s Mark Hall, but also lost to Michigan’s Myles Amine.“I was ahead in both matches and got taken down in the third period on both to lose, so I’m excited for both of those rematches,” Jordan said. “Usually at this time heading into the Big Tens and nationals I haven’t been tested, and I haven’t really wrestled anyone in the top five.”That is not the case this season. Jordan has faced plenty of competition against the best guys in his weight class. Last season, Jordan beat Hall 6-4 to win the Big Ten championship at 174 pounds, but Hall got revenge at nationals, beating Jordan 5-2 in the championship. Bo Nickal of Penn State is the top seed at 184 pounds, with Ohio State junior Myles Martin one spot below. The pair has wrestled seven times in their college careers, and there will likely be an eighth matchup this weekend. Nickal leads the series 5-2 versus Martin.Ohio State senior 125-pounder Nathan Tomasello lost against Iowa’s Spencer Lee on Jan. 21 and didn’t wrestle against Nick Suriano of Rutgers when the Buckeyes beat them on Jan. 7 because he was recovering from an injury. “We love Nate. It’s his senior year, he’s going for his fourth Big Ten title, and he’s got an opponent that’s real,” Ryan said. “This guy has won three world titles. He thinks he’s going to win. We think we’re going to win, so that’s when the fun starts.”Tomasello finds himself seeded third behind Suriano and Lee, and would likely wrestle both if he has a chance to win the Big Ten championship. At 157 pounds, Ohio State No. 4 seed Micah Jordan will be looking for revenge against Michael Kemerer of Iowa. Kemerer is tied with Jason Nolf of Penn State for the top seed, since it is still unknown if Nolf will wrestle after suffering an injury on Jan. 28 against Rutgers. Jordan did not match up with Nolf on Feb. 3 because of the injury. None of the Buckeyes’ 10 wrestlers is seeded lower than ninth, and nine of them are seeded in the top five. Ke-Shawn Hayes is seeded fifth at 149 pounds and Te’Shan Campbell is slotted ninth at 165 pounds.Ohio State has aspirations beyond this weekend, which puts an emphasis on being mentally prepared.“It’s kinda difficult cause as much as you want to have a great performance at the Big Ten’s it’s important. But the endgame is the NCAA tournament,” associate head coach J Jaggers said. “So we can’t dial back our training too much to peak for Big Ten’s because we still have twelve days until NCAA’s start.”
Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. London Police Commander Stuart CundyCredit:AFP Daniel Leal-Olivas A firefighter breaks down as he looks at floral tributes left at the Latymer Community CentreCredit: Dominic Lipinski PA “All of these have seen significant changes in the recent past as part of an agenda of de-regulation and cutting so-called red tape,” he said. “Those who took those decisions are going to have to start facing the consequences.” Matt Wrack, General Secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, also wrote to Theresa May calling for a full, judge led inquiry into the fire and called for the scope of the investigation to include building control, planning and fire safety decisions made by ministers. However, in one moment of hope he revealed that five people who had been missing feared dead in the wake of the fire at the west London tower block last Wednesday had since been found alive and well. They are believed to be the Kudhair family who had fled Syria. The company which managed Grenfell Tower and contractors who carried out the recent renovations could face prosecution, it emerged today as the officer in charge of the investigation broke down when describing the scene at the blaze.As the number of deaths rose to 79, Commander Stuart Cundy, who is leading the investigation, fought back tears as he admitted that some remains may never be identified because of the intense heat of the fire. Commander Cundy said a criminal investigation was looking at ‘how the building was managed and maintained, fire safety measures in the building, the construction and the refurbishment.’ It suggest that Kensington and Chelsea Tenants Management Organisation, which ran the block on behalf of the council, the contractors Rydon and cladding company Harley Facades Ltd could all face criminal allegations.Before the fire, residents complained about power surges and blocked emergency exits at the tower and David Lammy MP has called for prosecutions for corporate manslaughter. Detectives investigating the fire at Grenfell Tower have on Sunday released new images showing the devastationCredit:Metropolitan Police Police had previously identified 23-year-old Syrian refugee Mohammad Alhajali as the victim of the fire and a woman whose family do not want her name to be released.Speaking outside Scotland Yard, Commander Cundy appeared visibly shaken by the blaze and its aftermath. He said: “On Saturday I was in there myself and went all the way to the top floor and it is incredibly hard to describe the devastation in some parts of that building.“I have investigated major crime for most of my service and I have seen some terrible things. But I don’t think anything prepared me for what I was going to see when I was in there.“It is a truly awful reality that there may be some people that we may never be able to identify because of the intensity of that fire.” Five people have been formally identified including artist Ya-Haddy Sisi Saye, also known as Khadija Saye, 24, Abufars Ibrahim, 39, and Anthony Disson, 65, all of whom lived in the 24-storey block.
FLSmidth has won a five-year contract worth approximately $190 million from Minera Los Pelambres to supply maintenance services for their copper and molybdenum plant in central Chile. Minera Los Pelambres is owned by AMSA – Antofagasta Minerals. The contract is a five-year extension of FLSmidth’s current maintenance contract that dates back to 2000.All major process equipment at the plant has been supplied by FLSmidth, starting in the late 1990s and with subsequent additions in 2003-2007. The Pelambres plant processes around 175,000 t of primary and secondary copper ore per day. The maintenance contract will secure 455 jobs and was awarded, according to FLSmidth “as a consequence of the strong performance, high throughput and reliability achieved through continued focus on health and safety, reliability and availability of the equipment – and last but not least the successful cooperation between the parties involved.”“This order demonstrates the focus and synergies of our One Source strategy – with supplies of key equipment being supported by ongoing customer intimacy and responsive service. The value to our customers lies in the fact that FLSmidth can supply the complete process stream of equipment and provide our customers with technical support and maintenance service for the full lifetime of the plant,” Group CEO Jørgen Huno Rasmussen commented.
Greece swimmers perform the team free routine during Synchronized Swimming Championships in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Friday Oct. 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)HERE ARE THE things you need to know as we round off the day in three easy steps.THINGS WE LEARNED#ANIMAL RESCUE The week’s second major animal rescue has seen 56 puppies taken into the DSPCA’s care after they were discovered in a van at Dublin Port yesterday evening.#STRIKE: As talks between Aer Lingus, DAA and Siptu over a €748 million pension deficit break down, industrial action at Ireland’s airports is starting to look more and more likely.#GROWING: Police in England now have 340 leads in an inquiry into allegations that the late presenter Jimmy Savile sexually abused a number of young girls while working for the BBC.#TRAGEDY: A company in Louth has been fined €25,000 for breaching health and safety rules which resulted in the death of a three-year-old boy in Drogheda in November 2009.#BUDGET 2013: Social Protection Minister Joan Burton has promised to maintain core social welfare payments in the coming year but refused to be drawn on exactly what exactly core social welfare payments are.#COMPENSATION: A High Court judge has called Ireland’s compensation system “outdated, ineffective and unjust”, according to RTÉ. Justice Mary Irvine’s remarks came as she was worried that a €4 million settlement would not be sufficient for Jennifer Courtney who suffered traumatic and permanent brain damage in 1987.THINGS WE LOVEDNew Zealand is issuing a series of The Hobbit coins as legal tender next month. “I’ll see your Bilbo Baggins and raise you a Frodo,” will be heard all over Christchurch casinos.We are all Nobel Peace Prize winners. Hurrah! So, how are you going to spend your 0.178 cent share? Meanwhile, Gawker says it’s wack.Also spotted on Gawker: New Study Finds That Male Mice Housed Together Form Little Mice Boy Bands, Get All The Girl Mice Excited. Really? Well, kind of.Ryan Tubridy, dressing up. Again. THINGS WE SHAREDA new documentary series goes behind the Big Waves to examine what motivates a pro-surfer to spend his life chasing water. First up, a portrait of champion Greg Long who says “Surfing big waves just becomes part of your heart and soul and who you are.”There are many facts about flamingos that we did not know. Did you?A bossy big sister is one of the best assets a young sibling can have. They just don’t know it yet:
THE ISRAELI ARMY has given a first indication it is ending operations in parts of Gaza, while continuing to bombard other areas ahead of fresh truce talks in Cairo.Meanwhile in Dublin, thousands attended a march from the Garden of Remembrance to the Department of Foreign Affairs, organised by the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC).Protests took place in other towns and cities across the country.
Apple has purchased biometrics and embedded security company AuthenTec for $365 million, and it’s a noteworthy deal for a number of reasons. One of the most talked about involves Apple’s favorite legal combatant, Samsung.It turns out that Samsung and AuthenTec signed an agreement just ten days ago. The deal allows Samsung to integrate AuthenTec’s QuickSec Mobile VPN on its Android devices. It’s clearly a move to bolster Samsung’s enterprise credibility — something Apple was no doubt considering when it began pursuing the 14-year-old company.While Apple dominates the consumer mobile market, it’s still working on becoming a major player in enterprise settings. Despite all its struggles, RIM continues to be a dominant force there, and Apple will be counting on the AuthenTec acquisition to help turn the tables. But mobile device security is important to consumers, too, especially when it comes to things like digital payments.iOS 6 is also bringing Passbook, a digital wallet that Apple no doubt wants to ensure is secure as possible. It’s initially going to store everything from loyalty cards to boarding passes, but Apple has big plans for Passbook — and AuthenTec’s expertise in mobile security will help the company achieve its goals.Another interesting tie-in is this patent application from 2009. It’s for a more secure device unlocking system, something integrated AuthenTec sensors could no doubt bring to future iOS devices. Apple’s never been big on slapping unnecessary adornments on its products, so it’s unlikely that they have plans to use AuthenTec’s fingerprint recognition technology.More at TechCrunch