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Objects with possible links to missing Malaysia flight found, and other rolling news . . .

Colin Gleeson Thu, Mar 20
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  • This event has now ended
  • 09:05
    It's lashing rain out. There are high, swirling winds. And the sun has yet to make an appearance. Can you guess what day it is today?
  • 09:06
    Why, it's International Day of Happiness of course!  
  • 09:07
    Yippee. My name is Colin Gleeson and I am going to be bringing you all of the day's news on the Daily Wire today. Of course, I will try and intersperse it with as many fun facts about International Day of Happinness (as well as other stuff) as I can.
  • 09:15
    The main breaking story this morning relates to the missing Malaysian jetliner, where there appears to have been a breakthrough. Finally.
  • 09:18

    Search parties are investigating two objects floating in the southern Indian Ocean off Australia that could be debris from the plane, Australian officials said today.

    They said the objects were spotted by satellite in one of the remotest parts of the globe, around 2,500 km (1,500 miles) southwest of Perth in the vast oceans between Australia, southern Africa and Antarctica.

  • 09:19
    Wow. That sounds fairly dramatic.
  • 09:29

    The lead in this morning’s Irish Times is the Ukraine, which continues to dominate the agenda right across Europe and the world.

    EU heads of state arrive today in Brussels for the start of a two-day summit which will be dominated by the Ukrainian crisis, as the European Union considers imposing tougher sanctions on Russia in response to its incursion into Crimea.

    But as EU ambassadors met last night in Brussels ahead of the summit, significant differences still remained between member states on the scale and scope of the sanctions that should be deployed.

  • 09:31

    A number of countries, led by Sweden, Poland, Hungary and the Baltic States, have been pushing for tougher action against the Putin regime, but states including Germany, the Netherlands and Italy have urged more caution.

    Russia is the European Union’s third-largest trading partner and supplies about 30 per cent of the EU’s gas.

    I can see how that might complicate things alright.

  • 09:40

    In the spirit of International Day of Happiness, I think everyone today should watch this.

  • 09:43

    A story in a lot of the newspapers today tells of how a two-year-old child last night wandered out of his home in Limerick while his parents slept was found a kilometre away.

    The boy, who will turn three this summer, opened the front door of his home in Garryowen and walked a kilometre along the Dublin Road at about 2.20am yesterday.

    Where was he going? That’s what I’d love to know.

  • 09:56

    Scientists in the US have apparently discovered the remains of a new dinosaur that has been given the nickname “the chicken from hell”.

    A dinosaur called Anzu wyliei that scientists identified yesterday from fossils found in North Dakota and South Dakota has a head shaped like a bird’s, a toothless beak, an odd crest on its cranium, hands with big sharp claws, long legs for fast running and was probably covered in feathers.

    There’s a picture with the story here and I can see why this poor bugger is extinct. He was probably long gone before the rest of them.

  • 10:03

    An item in the Briefs section of today's Irish Times is headlined 'Man tried to run over traffic warden'.

    I know I shouldn’t laugh.

    There were no serious injuries though, so, fair game.

    Apparently the man in question had “an issue” with the warden over parking tickets.

    Relax mate.

  • 10:14

    I imagine there must be some relieved Manchester United fans out there this morning.

    There is at least one in here too, I can tell you.

    A Robin van Perise hat-trick helped the club overcome their two goal first leg deficit and quieten, if not silence, some of the naysayers.

    God knows there have been loads of them.

  • 10:20

    With all eight top seeds qualifying for the quarter finals for the first time in Champions League history, pretty much every game for the rest of the competition promises to be a cracker.

    The draw takes place tomorrow at 11am.

    Of course, it could be an absolute bloodbath for Manchester United.

  • 10:29

    Russia may be preparing a further military incursion to Ukrainian territory, Ukraine's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Yurii Klymenko, told UN diplomats at a briefing on the human rights situation in Ukraine today.

    "There are indications that Russia is on its way to unleash a full blown military intervention in Ukraine's east and south," Klymenko said.

    His statement was widely supported by other ambassadors, but challenged by a Russian diplomat, who read a prepared statement justifying Russia's actions so far.

    There’s a surprise.

  • 10:37

    It's Michael O'Leary's birthday today.

    And on International Day of Happiness as well. That’s gas.

    He’s 53.

  • 10:38
    I intend to absolutely milk International Day of Happiness on this blog today by the way.
  • 10:48

    Patsy McGarry reports this morning of a new service that broadcasts funerals over the internet.

    It’s aimed at Irish people abroad who are unable to travel home to attend the ceremony.

    On Funerals Live, the ceremony can only be viewed by those who have received a specific password to ensure high levels of privacy.

    It also offers families the option of recording the funeral service which would become available within a few hours through a secure online portal.

  • 10:54

    Interesting story from Tom Lyons here.

    The Department of Finance has said it has no records of mobile phone calls made by the late minister for finance Brian Lenihan in the in the run-up to the bank guarantee in 2008.

    In response to a Freedom of Information Request first submitted in June 2012, the department said that after a two-year examination of its files: “The record concerned does not exist or cannot be found after all reasonable steps to ascertain its whereabouts have been taken.”

  • 10:55
    It's still lashing rain by the way.
  • 11:03

    International day of Happiness came to be, by the way, when all 193 United Nations member states adopted a resolution calling for happiness to be given greater priority.

    It recognised happiness as a “fundamental human goal” and called for “a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes... happiness and well-being of all peoples”.

  • 11:12

    Norwegian car carrier Hoegh St. Petersburg has reached the area in the southern Indian Ocean off Australia where two floating objects, suspected to be debris from the missing Malaysian jetliner, have been spotted, the ship's owner has said.

    The car carrier was on its way from Madagascar to Melbourne when it got a request from Australian authorities to assist in investigating the objects spotted by satellite.

    The larger of the objects measures up to 24 metres (79 ft) long and appears to be floating on water several thousand metres deep, Australian officials said. The second object is about 5 metres (16 feet) long.

  • 11:37

    Thieves in England have apparently spent 15 months “burrowing” into a Tesco store in order to raid an ATM.

    They dug a 15 metre tunnel under the shopping centre to steal thousands of pounds sterling from the cash machine.

    Police believe the gang may have spent months digging the “complex” structure to get at the cash at a Tesco store in Eccles, Salford, in the greater Manchester area.

    They tunnelled beneath nearby wasteland and under the shop before raiding the store in Liverpool Road between midnight and 6am last Friday.

  • 11:43

    They may have gotten the digger idea from the ATM raiders we had over here a while back.

    A little more sophisticated though.

    Our crowd used them to just rip them off the wall.

  • 11:47

    To mark International Day of Happiness, the EU’s Eurostat barometer has ranked Ireland as among the country’s enjoying the highest quality of life in Europe.

    Ireland has an overall experience of life ranking of 7.4 out of 10.

  • 11:53
    The picture at the top of this blog is of the  Norwegian car carrier that has reached that incredibly remote part of the world's oceans where suspected debris from the missing plane has been spotted.
  • 12:09

    This is the story that just keeps on giving.

    Remember Toronto mayor Rob Ford? He’s the Canadian politician who found himself in hot water a couple of months ago when he admitted to smoking crack cocaine, before apologising, which was followed by the emergence of a video of him a little worse for wear.

    Now, another video, obtained by police last year, shows him inhaling some kind of vapour from a glass cylinder. Police documents have suggested it looks like "some kind of narcotic".

    The police documents also said some of Ford’s meetings and calls with friend and occasional driver Sandro Lisi were “indicative to that of drug trafficking”.

    Drug trafficking! He’s the mayor!

    “This is old news. I don’t know why everyone’s rehashing this,” Ford’s criminal lawyer Dennis Morris has said.

    Because it’s hilarious Dennis.

  • 12:12
    Our video crew has uploaded a short clip of him being chased down by the press. Looks pretty unpleasant for him. You can see it here.
  • 12:23

    Want to see something really cute?

    Alright, go on then, it is International Day of Happiness afterall.

    Here is a video of the baby gorilla that had to be delivered by C-Section before contracting pneumonia, the poor little mite. Apparently he is recovering.

  • 12:43

    Eamonn McCann’s op-ed on the Ukrainian crisis in today’s Irish Times is well worth a read if you are looking for a different perspective than that of the vast majority of commentary that has been doing the rounds to date.

    He makes the point that the people of Crimea “have a right to be accepted as Russian if that’s what they want, which evidently they do”.

    “If we have to take sides, we should take the democratic approach and side with the Crimean majority. That is to say that on this specific matter, Ireland should side with the Russians.”

    He also talks about the irony of the US preaching to the Russians about international law when they clearly couldn’t give a toss about it themselves.

  • 13:00
    European leaders will show they are ready to ramp up punitive measures against Russia, including politically sensitive economic sanctions, at a summit starting today, chancellor Angela Merkel has told the German parliament.
  • 13:22

    The Anglo trial has been adjourned for the day.

    I’ll bring you the latest in the next while. Bit scared of saying anything about it in case I collapse the trial.

    That would be mortifying.

  • 13:39

    Did you know there was such a thing as the MEP Awards?

    Me neither.

    A few witty media outlets have made comparisons with Father Ted's golden cleric award.

    There were two Irish winners.

    Seán Kelly in the Digital Agenda category and Jim Higgins in the Transport category.

    Maybe we should have TD Awards?

  • 14:00
    Malaysian transport minister Hishammuddin Hussein has told reporters in Kuala Lumpur the two objects found floating in the ocean are a “credible lead” in the search for the missing aircraft.
  • 14:07

    The London Independent reports that Russell Brand delivered a typically flamboyant plea to the United Nations to bring an end to the arrest and punishment of drug users, telling them that a ban will only lead to “death, suffering and crime”.

    The British comedian, who himself is a reformed drug addict, spoke to a press conference at the 57th Session Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna on behalf of the Support, Don't Punish campaign against criminalising drug use.

    He said: "Nobody at all is helped by drugs being made illegal, unless of course there is a conspiracy to marginalise, condemn and persecute disenfranchised members of our global community.

    "I'd hate to think that was the situation - that certain countries didn't matter, that certain classes didn't matter, that certain races didn't matter.

    "So unless that's the situation there's literally no reason to proceed with this experiment of prohibition which has lasted for a century, that has done nothing but bring death, suffering, crime, created a negative economy, and deaths all over Mexico, deaths all over Malaysia, unnecessary death penalties.”

  • 14:15

    If you’re a fan of Russell Brand – or even not a fan of Russell Brand – you should watch the interview he gave to Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight a while back.

    There’s a ten minute video of it here. It’s a great debate between two very intelligent people with very different views about politics and the world.

  • 14:24

    Back to International Day of Happiness. Our very own Kathleen Harris took to the rain-soaked streets of Dublin this afternoon to ask the public what is making them happy today.

    She has produced a video, which you can see here.

  • 14:26
    The sun is out. Yay.
  • 14:33
    Tomorrow is Twitter’s 8th birthday.  To celebrate, they’ve launched a tool where you can find your first tweet, or anyone else’s, for that matter.
  • 14:40

    At the Anglo trial today, the former financial director of the Quinn Group said the Quinn family was “doing what they were told to do” when their holding in Anglo Irish Bank was unwound.

    Dara O’Reilly told the trial of three former directors of the bank he believed businessman Sean Quinn was not happy about the unwinding. His view was that the value of Anglo Irish Bank shares would recover, Mr O’Reilly said.

    He told the court he was involved in the execution of the deal to unwind the Quinn’s contracts for difference (CFDs) – investment products based on share price – in July 2008.

    Fiona Gartland reports.

  • 15:09

    A press release has just come in here to promote an upcoming debate called: GOD: Myth or Reality?

    It’s marked “urgent”.

  • 15:13

    Oscar Pistorius, the Paralympian on trial for killing his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, is selling his house where the shooting took place to fund the costs of a longer-than-expected murder trial, his law firm has said.

    "Due to the delay in finalizing the trial, the decision to urgently dispose of his single biggest asset has had to be made," Brian Webber, Ramsay Webber Inc. said in a statement on the athlete's website today. "Mr. Pistorius cannot contemplate ever returning to live there again."

  • 15:17

    The Football Association of Ireland has confirmed the Republic of Ireland will play Italy in a friendly match at London’s Craven Cottage on the evening of May 31st.

    The match against the four time World Cup winners comes straight after Ireland’s May 25th home friendly against Turkey.

  • 15:29

    Another candidate for the next ‘world’s dumbest criminals’ reel in the Daily Telegraph here.

    Burglar Ashley Keast was arrested after he accidentally posted a "selfie" to friends of his victim. The 25-year old had celebrated the burglary by placing his SIM card inside a mobile phone stolen from the property before taking photos of himself.

    Officers then recognised Mr Keast, from Rotherham, South Yorks and arrested him the following day.

  • 15:37

    Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar today called on Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan to withdraw comments in which he described the actions of whistleblowers Maurice McCabe and John Wilson as “disgusting”.

    While Mr Varadkar said he still has confidence in Mr Callinan, he said the Commissioner “isn’t above criticism”.

    He also said it would be “appropriate” for Mr Callinan to withdraw the comments he made at the Public Accounts Committee.

    “I think the Commissioner should withdraw that remark which was made on the record of the Dáil and make any other corrections he needs to make to the testimony he made to the Public Accounts Committee,” he said.

  • 16:04

    US president Barack Obama has announced further sanctions against prominent Russians and cleared the way for possible sanctions on key sectors of the Russian economy in response to Moscow’s seizure of the Crimea region from Ukraine.

    Speaking at the White House, Mr Obama said Russia’s threats to southern and eastern Ukraine posed a serious risk of escalation of the crisis in the region.

    “We’re imposing sanctions on more senior officials of the Russian government. In addition, we are today sanctioning a number of other individuals with substantial resources and influence who provide material support to the Russian leadership, as well as a bank that provides material support to these individuals.”

  • 16:30

    An air search in the southern Indian Ocean for possible objects from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane described as the “best lead” so far has ended for the day without success.

    The search will resume in the morning, Australian rescue officials said.

  • 16:40

    The five finalists of the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award have been announced.

    The novels are Time Present and Time Past by Deirdre Madden, A Girl is a Half-formed Thing by Eimear McBride, Transatlantic by Colum McCann, Arimathea by Frank McGuinness, and The Thing About December by Donal Ryan.

    The winner of the award will be announced at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Listowel Writers' Week on May 28th.

  • 17:00
    Remember the two-year-old boy who decided to climb out of his cot and head on a mile long ramble down the road in the middle of last night?

    There is an interview with his relieved mother here.
  • 17:11

    Well, the working day is drawing to a close and we will leave it there for today. The Daily Wire will be back up and running tomorrow at 9am, when you won’t have to listen to any more references to International Day of Happiness.

    I’m pretty fed up with it myself, truth be told.

    For now though, I will leave you with ten “happy ways” to celebrate it, courtesy of the Huffington Post. Enjoy.