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Royal baby mania, Seanad abortion debate resumes and is Ashoka Mody right?

Genevieve Carbery Mon, Jul 22
 
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  • 08:58

    Good morning folks.  It’s finally here, that event which promises to save us in the news world from summer drought, Kate Middleton’s gone into labour. Here's the 7.37am tweet from Clarence House that sent the world  aflutter. More of this anon....it's Genevieve Carbery here on the live blog.


     

  • 09:07
    Abortion is back in the headlines this morning.  Carl O’Brien writes about a woman who travelled from  Dublin to London for an abortion but died in a taxi hours after the procedure had taken place. The woman had sought treatment at a Dublin maternity hospital. London police are investigating the circumstances.  She died in January 2012. More on this story here.
    This afternoon the Seanad will continue discussing the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill.  
  • 09:15

    The weather forecast is peppered with old familiar words such as “scattered showers”  and “unsettled” as summer returns to form.  Temperatures will still remain in the high teens low 20s. While sadly 10 people drowned in the past ten days – the Coast Guard has said it could have been double that number.  

  • 09:23
    Uk chancellor George Osborne may also welcome the royal birth as a major economic stimulus package. One estimate puts baby related retail sales at £243million in the first six months. It’s broken down as festivities £87m, souvenirs and toys £80m, books and media £243. More from the Centre for Retail Research here.
  • 09:40
    I think it will be a silliness contest in the British media today for #royalbaby watch . So far the Telegraph/ Mail have a “live stream” outside the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s hospital (It’s a video of a door with some police and some journalists passing by) , Here. The Mail has profiles of the gynaecologists who will “deliver the future heir” here.

    While PA speculates on the baby's horoscope “if the royal baby arrives today, its birthday will fall under the zodiac sign of Cancer, but if born very late this evening or tomorrow, it will be a Leo.”  

    Meanwhile one TD isn’t too pleased:




  • 09:50
  • 09:58

    In Cleveland police are searching for more bodies after three women’s bodies were found wrapped in plastic in a vacant house/garden. A man thought to be inspired by serial killer Anthony Sowell is expected to be charged today. It’s the second high profile disturbing case for the Ohio city this year. In May, three women were found alive inside a home after they had been held captive there for a decade. More here.

  • 10:18
    “It’s not bad but very samey, and all that cabbage gets a bit tiresome after a while.” Our own Masterchef Conor Pope today looks at that staple of Irish so-called salad, coleslaw. Here
  • 10:19

    Great to hear the Duchess of Cambridge has gone into labour. Is she an affiliated member? #boomtish #royalbaby

    — John Prescott (@johnprescott) July 22, 2013
  • 10:25
    Sad news about the death of an Irish man brought home from Thailand last week in a coma after he fell from a building four weeks ago. “It is with a broken heart our dear friend and fighter Robbie passed away today. Robbie put up a magnificent fight but he was needed elsewhere." a Facebook massage said yesterday. Dan Griffin has more .
  • 10:31

    Love this, honesty BBC style:  

     
  • 10:42
    Interesting poll out this morning of 43/50 Fine Gael backbenchers by Newstalk Breakfast which finds that while 79% agree with a referendum on gay marriage just 54% agree with abolishing the Seanad. More here.  
  • 10:50

    Sky news is now discussing the hypnobirthing course which Kate and William did, which involves  aromatherapy and a birthing ball ...meanwhile the internet goes crazy....

     
  • 11:11
    On the subject of mothers, interesting to see the socio-economic difference between mothers and the length of maternity leave here. Those most likely to return to after maternity leave finished were lone parents, self-employed and those on lower incomes. Meanwhile mothers taking unpaid leave were better educated a and on higher incomes. Carl O’Brien has more here.


    On a related note one of the best proposals I heard from the Oireachtas this month was a Bill which  would allow the father of a new born child to share the 26 weeks of maternity leave. It was a FF proposal.    Good for fathers and a more importantly a great way to stop discrimination against women of a certain age....stepping down off my soap box now.
  • 11:25
    Dubai has seen a small bit of sense, releasing and pardoning a  Norwegian woman jailed for  having sex outside marriage after she complained to police there that she had been raped.  Her 16 month sentence last week had sparked outrage and calls to boycott Dubai which promotes itself as a resort for Western tourists and business people. #moneytalks
  • 11:31
    Taking this year's association between horses and burgers to a whole new level, a woman was refused service at a Drive-thru McDonalds in Manchester for being on a horse, she then led the animal inside where it “did its business on the floor”, the BBC reports here.
  • 11:48
    Think the Government’s ministers have been a million miles away from reality?  That may be more literal than you’d think. Ministers have made mileage claims for driving 1,979,425km since the Coalition came to power, or €803,876.  
    The highest claim was by Minister of State for small business John Perry who travelled 179,000km and received almost €72,000. Last week we heard that Parry and his wife are being pursued by a bank for a judgment over unpaid loans of almost €2.5m.
  • 12:16

    News just in that FG junior minister John Perry and his wife have consented to judgment for some €2.47 million being entered against them at the Commercial Court over unpaid loans.

  • 12:25

    Prince Seamus or Fiachra, Princess Grainne or Siofra...speculation in the office as to what Irish name would suit the Royal Baby. Any thoughts?



    While it hasn't even been born there are already several Royal Baby apps available in the App store including a "booth" app which allows you to put your own face on that of the royal baby!  

  • 12:36
  • 12:43
    One royal baby watcher has certainly dressed for the occasion.  
  • 13:03
    This kayaker had nerves of steel managing to film his encounter with a basking shark. Amazing footage.  
  • 13:07
    Was Ashoka Mody right or wrong when he said Ireland should consider greatly reducing the policy of austerity?
    The IMF has distanced itself from his comments saying his views do not represent the fund. More here.  
  • 13:13
    It rains slivers of silicate glass, has 1000 degree temps and 4,000 mph winds...the blue planet  HD 189733 may look just like earth but its conditions certainly are not, more here.  
  • 13:33
    A classic from one royal commentator giving us an “insight” into the birth.  
    Elsewhere the name of the newborn British heir has become a big space filler for royal baby waiting media.  


    Among the initiatives are the “What’s your Royal Baby” name chart from MSN (Mine is Duchess Camille of Essex).
    Odds on the baby being called Wayne are 250/1 according to the latest bookies’ odds, Fergie is 500/1. In the lead Alexandra, George and Victoria are topping the bookies’ odds.  


    In other royal baby “news” one London Radio station has run a piece on what the Royal baby’s first words could be.
  • 13:40
    Pope Francis carries his own bag onto plane leaving for Brazil.<em> Hope it's less than 10kg.</em> Photograph: Giampiero Sposito/Reuters
    Pope Francis carries his own bag onto plane leaving for Brazil. Hope it's less than 10kg. Photograph: Giampiero Sposito/Reuters
  • 13:45

    Death of woman in London was a consequence of the Irish health system "turning its back on women who need care" the Irish Family Planning Association has told Kitty Holland.

  • 13:51

    Meanwhile Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald said she was "shocked" at the death of the woman in London after an abortion. “I was extremely shocked. The fact that the woman had left the clinic and started bleeding in a taxi, clearly it’s very important that we hear the outcome of that investigation and understand what were the factors that led to this traumatic and dreadful outcome,” she said. More here.  

  • 14:16
    How many months pregnant was Kate when the Mail ran its first piece fretting about how she will lose “the baby weight”? There are among the Royal baby questions askad as The Guardian runs it jaundiced eye over the event’s coverage with this quiz.
  • 14:30
    A Nazi-themed café in Indonesia has decided to close after pressure from authorities. The cafe had a portrait of Adolf Hitler and a swastika flag, AP reports. The man claims he was not pro-Nazi just using the decorations to attract customers.  
  • 14:34
    Fiona Gartland has filed from the Circuit Criminal Court where the case of alleged corruption against former councillor Don Lydon has collapsed. More here.
  • 14:50

    If you can tear yourself away from Sky's baby coverage - the Seanad has resumed. It will be discussing the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill. You can watch it here  or here for iPhone users.

    David Norris has already interrrupted Ivana Bacik while she was speaking.  He welcomed  new senator ex-Galway mayor FG Hildegarde Naughton but also gave out about being snubbed by Galway council during his presidential campaign. She  cast the deciding vote against a motion to allow him address the chamber of the council.

  • 15:01
    A large “blocking” anticyclone which has fended off Atlantic weather systems for most of the month is slipping southwards over continental Europe….Dan Keenan finds out what’s behind the disappearance of the heatwave.
  • 15:11
    Kay Burley has just been describing the list of luxury items Kate Middleton will have in her room on Sky News.  When she got to satellite television Burley said “hello” (just in case the Duchess was watching I presume to find out the latest news on her own labour!)
  • 15:34
    British PM David Cameron has announced plans to crackdown on violent pornography and child abuse images.  Among the measures he wants ISPs to introduce an opt-in system for pornography.  More here  . A clear victory in the fight against child abuse images and in combating violence against women. But will ways just be found around it? Could it impact on civil liberties.

    “Some sites are clearly pornographic, but what about the work of Spencer Tunick, whose photographs of massed nudes might fall foul of the restrictions?” Interesting analysis here:
  • 15:38
    It is almost a relief to hear the pure and perfect minimalism of Kraftwerk cut through the night sky with such clarity and freshness... relive Longitude with reviews from Una Mullally and Laurence Mackin.  
  • 15:56
    Queen Elizabeth arriving at Buckingham Palace to frantic scenes where crowds wait five deep for baby news. Photograph: Reuters  
    Queen Elizabeth arriving at Buckingham Palace to frantic scenes where crowds wait five deep for baby news. Photograph: Reuters  
  • 16:15
    Simon Carswell on the trial of Boston Irish mob boss Whitey Bolger.
  • 16:18

    Childcare debate moves from creches to childminders and relatives. Most nine-month-olds in childcare are minded by relatives (42 per cent) or childminders (31 per cent) and 55 per cent of childminders and over 83 per cent of relatives who look after children have no qualifications in the area. Judith Crosbie has more on the ESRI report.

  • 16:38

    More fun facts on the Royal baby courtesy of Time.com  

    • The royal birth notice will be posted just inside on the gates of Buckingham palace. But, for the first time, the birth announcement will also be released via social media.

    • The last time a still-serving monarch was alive at the birth of his or her great-grandchild in direct succession was 120 years ago when Queen Victoria’s great-grandson, the future Edward VIII, was born. He abdicated the throne.

    • The composer Paule Mealor who wrote a piece of music for the royal wedding has now written a lullaby for the Cambridges’ baby called “Sleep On.”


  • 16:53
    This is a parliament…it isn’t children’s television…. Independent senator Ronan Mullen has told the Seanad defending Jim Walsh’s graphic description of abortion procedures in the Seanad last week.
  • 17:00
    If you worry about what supermarkets do with your loyalty card data….then this may be alarming. US retailer Nordstrom has tested a system that tracked the movements of shoppers carrying wifi devices as they wandered through its stores or even nearby.  It only pulled the plug after several months when a TV station did a story on it. The Economist has more.  
  • 17:09
    The photographer who broke the news on the Royal baby with a tweet at 5.55am explains that he decided in advance not to photograph Kate Middleton  
    “I just wanted to photograph the commotion and convoy of cars…. To take a picture of her would have been over stepping the mark.” Jesal Parshotam has told the Evening Standard here.  
    Here is his tweet that started the frenzy 11 hours ago:    
  • 17:30
    More from Jim Walsh in the Seanad
  • 17:47
    No word yet on the baby… and there will be no word from the palace after 10pm,  it will wait until morning.  I’ll leave you with this nugget: