The Daily Wire

The unkindest of cuts, pylon wars and the spaceman who's going green. Conor Pope's watching it all

Conor Pope Thu, Jan 9
 
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  • 08:52
    Good morning. I am Conor Pope and I will looking after your breaking news needs today.

    And a happy new year to you.

    When do we stop saying that? Now?

    Right.
  • 08:57
    When it comes to What It Says In The Papers, Morning Ireland is pretty good. But can it do What It Sees In The Papers?

    No. No it can not.

    We can though.
  • 08:58
  • 08:59
  • 08:59
  • 09:00
  • 09:01
  • 09:01
    What's that?

    I missed a newspaper?

    Which one?

  • 09:04
  • 09:09
    Over the years, Irish politicians - well, some of them - have developed a reputation for being - how should I put this? - cute hoors.

    Well, the staff of New Jersey's Republican governor Chris Christie could teach them a thing or two...

    Last September four lanes on a bridge linking New Jersey and Manhattan were closed for for four days and the lane closings resulted in traffic gridlock in a New Jersey town where a political opponent of the governor, a Democrat, is mayor.

    So what, you might say.


    Well, emails and text messages obtained by the New York Times show that senior staff in Mr Christie’s office sought the lane closures on the New Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge, a major traffic artery linking Manhattan and New Jersey, as revenge because the Democrat Mark Sokolich did not endorse Christie’s re-election bid.

    “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” Bridget Anne Kelly, a deputy chief of staff in Mr Christie’s office, said in an email to David Wildstein, one of his appointees on the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which controls the bridge, about two weeks before the lanes were closed, choking the town with traffic for four days.

    The emails and texts, released by Port Authority officials under a subpoena from Democratic legislators investigating the closures, show Mr Christie’s staff and appointees revelling in the traffic chaos.

    Simon Carswell has more.
  • 09:14
    Further cutbacks in housing grants which are supposed to help older and disabled people to continue living at home, rather than going into residential care, have been notified to local authorities this week, writes Kitty Holland on the front of today's paper. 

    Details of the changes, which affect age and income eligibility levels as well as the amounts payable, are set out in a Department of the Environment circular which says the changes are to be implemented immediately.

    Age Action, the charity supporting older people, warned the latest cuts would make it increasingly difficult for some people to remain living at home. The cuts affect three grants: the housing adaptation grant for people with a disability, housing aid for older people and the mobility aids grant.


     
  • 09:17
    Commander Chris Hadfield is to become a tourism “ambassador” for Ireland and will promote some of Ireland’s best known attractions including the Guinness Storehouse and Titanic Belfast.

    According to Ronan McGreevy his decision to act as an ambassador is something of a coup for Tourism Ireland which promotes the whole island as a tourist destination an dit will be particularly helpful in his native Canada where there are now direct flights to Ireland for the first time.
    Tourism Ireland believe Canada is an underdeveloped marketing for Irish tourism.

    He arrives in Dublin today where his itinerary will include a trip to Croke and a visit to Donegal where he will learn more ‘cúpla focals’ to go along with the ones he tweeted from space.
  • 09:21
    Sure why not... for the day that's in it. 

  • 09:37
    Is it wrong to not like that version of Space Oddity?

    I think it's pretty shocking and the changes he has made to the lyrics are awful.

    Everything Commander Hadfield does is not amazing.

    There! I said it.
  • 09:57
  • 09:59
    Stand by for a neat segueway

    Joseph Roche is undergoing a medical examination as part of the selection process for a manned mission to Mars.

    Last week, a private space exploration company called Mars One announced that it has shortlisted 1,058 people from 200,000 applicants who wanted to travel to Mars. Roche is the only Irishman on the list. The catch? If he goes, he can never come back.

    If you think the whole thing sounds crazy, you wouldn’t be the first. Even the man behind the project admits it’s a gargantuan task. Bas Lansdorp, a Dutch engineer and entrepreneur, aims to land a colony of four astronauts on the surface of Mars by 2025.

    The successful applicants will undergo eight years of training while a number of robotic missions lay the infrastructure on a planet 225 million kilometres away.
  • 10:05
    Royal Sun Alliance  Insurance has fired two Irish executives after a PricewaterhouseCoopers probe found inappropriate collaboration by managers resulted in inaccurate financial reporting.

    RSA Ireland chief financial officer Rory O’Connor and claims director Peter Burke were dismissed yesterday, the London-based insurer said in a statement today.

    The dismissals follow an investigation into the timing of reserve provisions for insurance claims and whether the unit reported the amount of premiums paid to the company earlier than it should have.

    RSA Ireland chief executive officer Philip Smith resigned in November, saying he was made a “fall-guy.”
  • 10:29
  • 10:37
    Dear Denis

    Go home. You're making a fool of yourself.

    All the best, the Whole World.

  • 10:47
    American high school students who drink alcohol  have more friends, new research suggests.

    The study analysed data from a national study of 7th through 12th graders from 132 schools  and included a variety of questions on drinking and substance use, number of friends, friends of friends, home life and other factors.
    Teens who reported occasional drinking and getting drunk tended to have higher "social connectedness" than their abstaining peers.  Getting drunk seemed to be more important for popularity than just drinking in general. Kids who drank at all reported having an extra half a friend, on average.

    A half a friend???

     
  • 10:48
  • 10:52
  • 10:57
    Thomas Hitzlsperger has announced he is gay.

    Hopefully sentences like that be met with cries of "So what" and "Who cares?" 
  • 11:07
    A British and Irish Rugby Cup  is a non-runner..

     The International Rugby Board won't have any of it. 
  • 11:17
  • 11:17
    Happy birthday Scott Walker...

  • 11:20
  • 11:32
  • 11:40
    Um

     A 33-year-old man from Oaklahoma has been charged with killing his stepfather by giving him an "atomic wedgie,"  which led to the victim suffocating on his own underwear.
    Brad Lee Davis was charged with the murder of 58-year-old Denver St. Clair in a drunken family fight.

    According to the affadavit the accused "grabbed St. Clair's underwear and gave him an 'atomic wedgie.' Davis allegedly pulled the elastic waistband of St. Clair's underwear over his head and around his neck."
  • 11:43
    Today, Brian Friel, the greatest living Irish dramatist, turns 85. Later this year, the Donegal town of Ballybeg, which he first imagined in Philadelphia, Here I Come! turns 50. It is a place to which he has returned in his extraordinary career as a dramatist numerous times, charting its development through complicated histories, both personal and political, across 14 plays. Peter Crawley has more. 
  • 11:45
  • 12:30

    The number of people in mortgage arrears has fallen again with the level of engagement between financially distressed borrowers and their lenders increasing, according to new figures released by the Department of Finance.

    The latest data shows that 116,481 of the 697,690 in the Republic at the end of November were in arrears of some kind a decline of 1,230 on the previous month.

    The number of mortgage accounts in arrears of greater than 90 days has fallen from 80,854 to 80,487, a drop of 367 accounts

    The figures show that there were 49,304 permanent mortgage restructures at the end of November, according to the figures, an increase of 8,068 accounts since the end of August.

    This monthly monitor from the Department of Finance relates to the six main banks operating in Ireland.

  • 12:49
    Our Ronan McGreevy is very excited right now. Commander Hadfield has just tweeted a link to his story.

    He is beside himself with excitement.

    Literally. Beside himself.


  • 12:51
    China has fined film director Zhang Yimou 7.5 million yuan (€910,000) today for having three children in violation of its strict one-child policy.

    Zhang dazzled the world in 2008 with his Beijing Olympic ceremonies and according to some reports has had at least seven children so could be liable for a 160 million yuan (€19m) fine.

    In December, Zhang apologised for having three children and said he would accept any punishment.
  • 13:04

  • 14:17
    Press release just in from the Department of Enterprise.

    Gulf trade mission concludes with an initial 95 jobs for Ireland.

    95 jobs.

    Amazing.
  • 14:23
    Just came across this story about the Single European Payment Area or SEPA from this newspaper from last Autumn.

    "One thing about the introduction of SEPA is certain. The deadline of February 1st is a non-negotiable one," it reads.

    It has just been extended by 6 months.
  • 14:40
    The introduction of a new intra-bank payments system which is supposed to speed up financial transactions across the European Union has delayed as a result “lazy banks... dragging their heels,” a leading business group has claimed.

    The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) was due to come into being across the eurozone countries on February 1st, standardising the cost and complexity of cross border transactions but the deadline has been extended by six months as a result of delays implementing the new system in some member states.

    The purpose of the change is to make the banks in the 28 EU member states, as well as Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Switzerland and Monaco, speak the same financial language to allow for faster cross-border credit transfers and debit payments.

    While it will still formally come into being next month payments made in alternative formats will also be accepted by banks across the EU until the beginning of August.

    "I regret having to do this but it is a measure of prudence to counter the possible risk of disruption to payments," EU Internal Markets Commissioner Michel Barnier said.

  • 14:40
    Alan How can we say anybody who goes to Mars will never return? There might be an unused underground teleportation device lying around somewhere. Although, if it's a Stargate, who knows where you'll end up...
  • 14:49
    So there they were, a couple of Beyonce fans sitting in a Karaoke booth in Miami belting out Beyonce tunes when who should walk in?

    Barack Obama and Pope Francis. 

    No, not really. 

    It was Beyonce.


  • 14:59
    Why on earth did they get rid of this!!!

  • 15:11
    Emma considers, carefully, what the f**k she is putting into the culture. Emma thinks: Is this helpful? Not will it build my brand? Not will it give me billions? Not does this express me? Me! Me! My unique and fabulous self, into all eternity in every universe for all time? Will I get a sequel out of it, or a boat? Or, a perfume contract?
  • 15:43
  • 15:46
    There's a polar vortex in the US and waterfalls are freezing. 

    But in Australia bats are dropping from trees, kangaroos are collapsing in the Outback and gardens are burning after the hottest year ever.

    Forecasters have said some parts of the sparsely populated Pilbara region along the rugged northwest coast today were approaching 50C. 
  • 16:02
  • 16:07
    Poor Chis Donoghue....

  • 16:52
    So, um, Mein Kampf is doing well as an e-book. 


    "These are things that people would be embarrassed to read otherwise," journalist Chris Faraone told ABC News. "Books that people would probably be a bit more embarrassed to read or display or buy in public, they are more than willing to buy on their Kindle, or iPads."
  • 16:59
    Irish Water has spent over €50m on consultants in setting up the company over the last year, its chief executive John Tierney said today .

    That is a million euro a week.

    On consultants. 

    Good work lads. 


  • 17:07
    The Eddie Irvine Gabriele Moratti case in the Italian courts sounds pretty nasty. 

    The Former Formula One driver, was this morning handed a six-month prison sentence for his part in a nightclub brawl in Milan in December 2008. Moratti, son of former Milan mayor and education minister, Letizia Moratti got the same sentence. 
    Both sentences will be appealed while will put the case outside of the statute of limitations which will be at the end of 2015 so neither man will actually serve time.
  • 17:33
    Not the best day Chris Christie has ever had really. 

    The New Jersey Governonr Chris Christie held a press conference on the release of documents showing one of his top aides was involved in the decision to close lanes on the George Washington Bridge. 

    "I apologize to the people of New Jersey," Christie said. "I am embarrassed and humiliated by the conduct of some of the people on my team."
    He later added, "I am sick over this."
    He has fired Bridget Anne Kelly, his deputy chief of staff at the center of the new documents.  "I terminated her employment because she lied to me," Christie said, bluntly.
    He said that he was "heartbroken" that he had been betrayed by a member of his staff. He said she was "stupid" and "deceitful."
    "I had no knowledge or involvement in this issue, in its planning or execution," Christie said. He said that until Wednesday, he was still convinced that the lane closures were part of a traffic study. 
    "There’s this reputation out there of me being a micromanager. I’m not," he said.
    Christie also said during the press conference that he has instructed Bill Stepien, his former campaign manager, to withdraw his name from his candidacy for state party chairman, as well as from his consulting position with the Republican Governors Association. Stepien was also involved in the emails.
    "I am responsible for what happens on my watch, the good and the bad," Christie said.
  • 17:33
  • 17:36
    Christie is, however, handlling the crisis well....



    Stay on your feet answereing journalists questions until they get bored and go home. 

    That's a way to take the heat out of a story It might not work but it's a tried and tested technique.
  • 18:18
    Okay, so, we're done. We'll be back in the moring.....