News Blog

A rolling look at today's events

Eoin Burke-Kennedy Fri, Jun 7
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  • 09:24
    It must be one of our great leader's most ill-judged observations, in my view at least. Namely, that we should vote to abolish the Seanad because, wait for it, it didn't sufficiently challenge the excesses of the Celtic Tiger. What? Am I hearing this right? It was the Seanad wot dunnit after all. Would there be an institution left standing if this logic was applied elsewhere? Mind-numbing.

    Sorry, I had to get that off my chest. I'm Eoin Burke-Kennedy with today's news blog.
  • 09:58
    Just when you might have thought the Turkish government would tame its rhetoric in the face of mass protests and mounting international criticism, prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has let rip.

    On his return from a four-day trip to North Africa, Erdogan launched a withering attack on protesters, claiming their protests were "bording on illegality" and "terror groups" were whipping up the crowds.

    Rather bizarrely, he implied that bankers were also part of a conspiracy fuelling the protests.

    Read Mary Fitzgerald's report from Istanbul.

  • 10:07
  • 10:14
    One person waking up on the right side of the bed this morning  must be wrtier Kevin Barry. Last night, he won the prestigious Impac award for fiction for his futuristic novel City of Bohane. Literary correspondent Eileen Battersby is full of praise for Barry but not for the Impac's shortlist. Read more
  • 10:17
    Vladimir Putin has pulled off one of his most audacious pieces of stagecraft, attending a ballet with his rarely seen wife and then emerging smiling and announcing their marriage was over. Read on
  • 10:45
    If you're stuck indoors during this warm snap, dying a slow death under the air conditioning unit, you may take some solace in the fact that the good weather is down for the weekend. Met Éireann says Saturday will be warm and dry again with temperatures in the 20s. Ditto for Sunday.

    If you're working the weekend, like me, and hoping Monday and Tuesday will be hot, feel free to shake your fist at the skies. Met Éireann is predicting it will be cloudy with temperatures dropping back.  

    Climate Change: More killer heatwaves on the way?
  • 10:47
  • 11:04
    The last post is a video of people jumping from the roof of a restaurant outside Dublin's IFSC into the Liffey.
  • 11:23
    The organisation representing religious congregations in Ireland has described the absence of a free vote on the abortion Bill as a “hallmark of a totalitarian regime”. Read on
  • 11:26
  • 11:36
    Price fixing. Not something you'd normally associate with buying a packet of Rolos. Think again.
  • 11:50
    Private equity groups are snapping up bargains in the Dublin property market but is this the beginning of recovery in the sector?  Good piece by Caelainn Barr in today's Business Agenda section. Read more
  • 12:02
    Lion's polo
    Lion's polo
  • 12:28
    There are many ways to circumvent censorship but this has to be one of the most ingenious. While coverage of the Turkish protests on the country's main TV stations has been conspicuous by its absence, a wily game show managed to undermine the restrictions by skillfully crafting all of its puzzles so that each answer referenced the protests in some way. Contestants on 'The Word Game' last Monday were asked to guess a word based on the clue 'A journey undertaken to see, to have fun.'

    The answer, in Turkish, turned out to be 'Gezi' the name of the park where the protests first started. Other words that had to be guessed during the show included 'Freedom', 'Solidarity', 'Ballot Box', 'Dictator' and 'Twitter'. Read more
  • 12:35
    One of the most eagerly awaited tennis matches of the year has just started. Nadal v Djokovic in the semi final of Roland Garros. Temperature in Paris 27 degrees. Temperature in Dublin 20+ degrees. (The latter was recorded by my colleague who smokes on the roof)
  • 12:46
    Man falls from his horse in River Eden on day two of the Appleby Horse Fair, Cumbria.
    Man falls from his horse in River Eden on day two of the Appleby Horse Fair, Cumbria.
  • 13:01
  • 13:02
  • 13:13
    Rain in the Ukraine. Poeple walk under a heavy downpour in Kiev.
    Rain in the Ukraine. Poeple walk under a heavy downpour in Kiev.
  • 13:40
    It's that's wrong...absolutely gut-churning to remember how vehemently we were told about the consequences of burning bond holders and to see this argument simply evaporate, disappear from the economic lexicon. There's no policy-making institution in the world that holds to this position anymore. To say the Irish were sold a pup is rather pointless at this stage.

    Now, we have the ECB and IMF in open warfare over austerity and debt restructuring. What does Mario Draghi mean when he warns us about judging “what happened yesterday with today’s eyes”? How can one not compare Irish bond holders to Cypriot bond holders and draw the conclusion that they're making it up as they go along. Read more
  • 14:31
    A rather grim story from Bolivia has jumped up to our most read. Read it  
  • 14:53
    Apparently, there's a lengthy queue of would-be Vikings lining the street outside the Filmbase studios in Temple Bar. Producers of The Vikings mini-series are holding an open casting for more than 1,000 extras.

    Though we like to think of our seafaring conquerers as dirty, unkempt marauders, archaeological finds reveal Vikings rarely travelled without tweezers, combs, nail cleaners, ear cleaners and toothpicks and were, contrary to popular myth, quite well-groomed dandies.
  • 15:07
    Award for the most unusual event of the weekend goes to the Irish Wolfhound Club which is holding a gathering of Irish Wolfhounds in Farmleigh House, Phoenix Park on Sunday. The event features a display of the nine native Irish dog breeds by the Irish Kennel Club.
  • 15:34
    Our story about these daredevil Liffey jumpers has made it to the top of our most read charts. The clip is proving a hit with YouTubers. “Sooner or later, someone will be hurt. They’re going to kill themselves,” the manager of the restaurant in the building being used told our reporter. Read the story
  • 15:53
    It’s been a great day so far for our boxers at the European Championships in Minsk after Paddy Barnes, John Joe Nevin and Jason Quigley all won their semi-finals. They will fight for gold medals tomorrow. Read more
  • 16:01
    Ireland's Jason Quigley (blue) in action against Levgen Khytrov of Ukraine
    Ireland's Jason Quigley (blue) in action against Levgen Khytrov of Ukraine
  • 16:30
    BBC presenter Graham Norton and BBC foreign correspondent conferred with honorary degrees at University College Cork. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney
    BBC presenter Graham Norton and BBC foreign correspondent conferred with honorary degrees at University College Cork. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney
  • 16:37
    The number of Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries could more than double to 3.5 million by the end of the year, the United Nations warned today as it launched its biggest humanitarian appeal ever. The UN asked donor countries for $5.2 billion to help alleviate the suffering of millions of people inside and outside Syria who are struggling with the effects of a conflict that has dragged on for more than two years.
  • 16:47
    Nadal and Djokovic are involved in another slug fest at the French Open. It's 7-7 in the fifth and final set. It looks hot in Paris, and outside our Tara Street offices.
  • 16:51
    Here's an odd one. PSNI forensic experts today commenced industrial action in a dispute over pay. What does this mean for crime scenes?
  • 17:05
  • 17:17
    Taoiseach Enda Kenny has neatly side-stepped a row between the IMF and the European Commission over the Greek bailout. 

    The Commission's economic chief Olli Rehn today  hit out at the IMF for issuing a report earlier this week which said the Greek debt restructuring in February 2012 came a year too late.  “I don’t think it’s fair and just for the IMF to wash its hands and throw the dirty water on the Europeans," Rehn said.

    In the middle of this war of words comes Kenny who said his critical views of Ireland’s original EU-IMF programme were known. “This is not about about getting involved in a row; decisiveness, clarity and courage are required."
  • 17:27
    Still king of the clay. Rafael Nadal will bid for an eighth French Open title on Sunday after a remarkable five-set victory over Novak Djokovic in Paris.
  • 17:31
    Sailing, hurling and the Carlow Arts Festival among the highlights of a sunny weekend. Read Ronan McGreevy's weekend events guide here.
  • 17:49
    Dublin-based investment vehicle Key Capital and businessman Paul Cooke look poised to take over the Sunday Business Post newspaper. There's a rumour floating about that there's another big name investor on the ticket. High Court protection for the Sunday Business Post, which was placed in examinership three months ago, is due to run out next Friday.
  • 18:09
    This is real big brother stuff. Barack Obama has defended US government surveillance of phone and Internet activity, insisting it was conducted with broad safeguards to protect against abuse. "Nobody is listening to your telephone calls. That's not what this program is about," Obama told reporters. He insisted that the surveillance programs struck the right balance between keeping Americans safe from terrorist attack and protecting their privacy.

    The Washington Post reported yesterday that federal authorities have been tapping into the central servers of companies including Google, Apple and Facebook to gain access to emails, photos and other files allowing analysts to track a person's movements and contacts.
  • 18:11
    That's all from our blog today. We'll be back on Monday next with another rolling look at the day's news.