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The latest from Syria and the rest of the day’s news with Dan Griffin

Dan Griffin Wed, Aug 28
LIVE: The Daily Wire

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  • This event has now ended
  • 09:07
    All eyes are on Syria this morning, August 28th, as western countries are poised to take military action in the country. A team of UN experts, meanwhile, is continuing to inspect the scene of an apparent chemical weapons attack there.
  • 09:08
    I’m Dan Griffin and I’ll be marshalling the day’s news here on the live blog until about 5pm this evening.
  • 09:10
    In other news Ryanair will appeal a ruling by the UK Competition Commissioner that it must sell most of its shareholding in rival Aer Lingus. The competition authority today published its final report on the inquiry, the culmination of an 11-month investigation.
  • 09:19
    Conversation taking place now on Radio 1 now about new words added to the Oxford English Dictionary. Whether the twerk has become the new twist (dancing terms, you see) has also just come up for discussion. If you don't know what the twerk is, you're as well off.

    As you'll know from reading our front page today, Omnishambles has also been added to the dictionary. For more on omnishambles see Ireland, administration of, 2002 - present, or Christopher McKinley's article here.
  • 09:36
    Speaking of Omnishambles, Brian Cowen did not believe the sceptics who warned the economy was in danger of collapsing and he had no plans in place for a worst case scenario, the Indo reports on its front page today.

    “We thought the economy would have a soft landing, that economic growth would continue and we could pay for it through the growth that was to come,” the former Taoiseach said in an interview with TG4 to be broadcast later this year.

    Cowen stood over the bank guarantee and while he admitted he regretted what happened to the country, he’s not sorry.

    Cowen stood down as leader of Fianna Fáil in 2011 and decided not to run for re-election that year. Still, every landing’s a soft one when you’ve got a €130,000 TD’s and ministerial pension to break your fall.
  • 09:55
    In the other papers this morning the Irish Examiner says pubs have been forced to cut hours to survive, with a report highlighting the growing split between urban and rural areas in the drink trade.

    Elsewhere in that paper Karen O'Shea reports that many babies are making their photographic debut on social media within hours of their birth. According to research quoted, images of more thn two thirds of newborns appear within 60 minutes.

    The piece goes on to say that the birth of Prince George "encouraged 74 per cent of parents to increase the amount of baby and child snaps they uploaded".

    Which is bad news for those of us who find prolongued nattering about one's babies about as exciting as a sandpaper trade convention.

    Among the tabloids, the Star goes with the Cowen story; the Sun and the Mirror go with crime: "My brother's killers are all animals", "Rot in hell," etc,  the Herald sticks with the garda ATM fraud story; while the Mail covers a recent marathon: "250 sex fiends went on the run".
  • 10:01
  • 10:01
    It's 50 years today since Martin Luther King's I have a dream speech.
  • 10:20
    For anyone who missed the delightful hacking (they'll claim it was a technical issue, we know what was really going on) of Morning Ireland earlier, it's worth listening to the first bit of their podcast. Also, I remeber listening to Marian Finucane recently and they were interrupted by some sort of mobile phone signal. A man who sounded like he was in a car butted in, saying, "Howaya Colin, how's it going", and then disappeared again. That was good too.  

  • 10:26
    In business news Paddy Power fell the most in more than four months in Dublin trading, after Ireland's largest turf accountant said recent sports results have been "very poor" and currency headwinds may curb profit growth.
  • 10:29
    The publicity around recent entries to the Oxford English Dictionary has prompted a certain amount of venting over annoying or misused words.

  • 10:43
    And in that vein, I might use this possibly unearned soapbox to do a bit of venting of my own.

    A lot of those new words are simply annoying synonyms which have gained currency over perfectly fine words or terms. Selfie, for example, taking over from self-portrait, and the heinous 'pop-up' becoming a trendy alternative to 'temporary'.

    What do you make of it, readers?
  • 10:43
    #StanKube #Selfie #YOLO
    #StanKube #Selfie #YOLO
  • 10:47
  • 10:51
    I've been cajoled into getting some coffee for others on the online team. Amuse yourselves while I'm gone.
  • 11:14
    Britain will put a draft resolution to the UN Security Council later today condemning what it calls chemical attacks by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and authorising “necessary measures” to protect civilians from chemical weapons, prime minister David Cameron has said.
  • 11:28
    Stop slaughtering sheep before football matches is Uefa's message to Shakhter Karagandy.

    The Kazakh champions caused a few bleats of concern when they killed a sheep at the Astana Arena the day before last Tuesday night's match against Celtic.

    There were concerns that Shakhter would repeat the ritual at Parkhead in the return leg this evening and, although it is now clear that will not happen, European football’s governing body has made it clear that disciplinary proceedings will be launched if the practice is repeated. 

    But given that the Kazakh side won the first leg 2-0, further ritualistic slaughter may not be required to see them through to the next round.
  • 11:39
    As we mentioned earlier it's the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's I have a dream speech. To mark it there will be a re-enactment of the speech by 16 performers with the audience reciting the last line this evening at Meeting House Square in Dublin's Temple Bar.

    The free event is booked out now, unfortunately, but the Times's   Jason Kennedy will hopefully be putting a video of the rehearsals together later on.
  • 11:43
    And in news completely unrelated to ritualistic sheep slaughtering outside football grounds:

  • 11:55
    Plans to develop a €2.5 million “urban beach” and outdoor swimming pool at Dún Laoghaire harbour at the southern end of Dublin Bay, will be published today.
  • 12:02
    Gravy wrestling in the north west of England where grown men, and women too probably, writhe around in 12,000 litres of traditional Lanchasire gravy. Proabably best not to watch before lunch or, indeed, at all.

  • 12:03
    Feargal Not in OED, but 'staycation' is normally mis-used. It does not mean renting a holiday home in your home country.
  • 12:03
    Thanks for that, Feargal. What does it mean then?
  • 12:15

    Fianna Fáil front bench TD and former deputy leader of the party Éamon Ó Cuív is speaking to Newstalk radio now about revelations from former FF Taoiseach Brian Cowen today that there was no back-up plan to cope with a banking collapse."Nobody even thought of having such a plan for the size of change that came around in the economy," he says.

  • 12:22
    He also stands over the decision to guarantee the banks on the night of September 30th, 2008, saying that no one had come up with  a better alternative. 

    "I have not heard from anybody who criticised the guarantee what they would have done in the real life situation that we faced," he just told Newstalk.
    While Cowen did not apologise for the mess the country ended up in, Ó Cuív just said, "We're all Sorry... for what happened to the country." Adding: "Of course we're sorry, there's no question about that."
  • 12:44
    Moving away from that for a while, Antrim U21 hurling manager Kevin Ryan is outraged that Thurles will be the venue for his team's upcoming All-Ireland final against Clare.

    Ryan described the decision to fix the game for Semple Stadium as a “disgrace” and the Waterford native has called on GAA president Liam O’Neill to intervene.

    He says the Clare lads will be able to bus over to Thurles in about the same time as it will take the Antrim players to reach Belfast. He believes the game should be played in Croke Park or an Ulster venue (fair shout really, given Antrim often get demolished in the senior championship and this U21 final could be a good chance to promote hurling in the province.)

    He also says Clare will bring up to 15,000 fans to the game, coming just a week after the county competes in the senior hurling final.

    The thrust of his argument then is that this is kind of  like a home game for the banner and that brings inherent advantages. 

    He might have a point too. Remember the poor Galway U21s who had the uneviable task of travelling to Thurles to take on a Tipperary side who were still elated after their seniors denied Kilkenny an historic five in a row in 2010? That was a home game for Tipp and they ended up murdering Galway 5-22 to 0-12.
  • 13:00
  • 13:02
    In five minutes we'll have a story up on the site about dolphins with measles.
  • 13:18
    Brent crude surged to a six-month high today as western countries prepared to attack Syria, raising concerns over the security of oil supplies across the Middle East, which pumps a third of the world’s oil.

    Read more 
  • 13:33
    Good news for Derval O'Rourke: O'Rourke to be upgraded to bronze medal.
  • 13:50
    Pot Noodle, purveyors of spicy, stringy rubber, have fallen foul of the ASA in the United Kingdom. The advertising authority has banned a Facebook ad by the Unilever-owned "snack" on the grounds it was "crass and degrading towards women".

    Which isn't particularly surprising, considering Pot Noodle presents itself as a sort of microwaveable copy of Loaded magazine.

    The following comes from the Advertising Standards Authority ruling:

    "The ad appeared on the Pot Noodle Facebook page. It showed a female model in a bikini next to a picture of a Pot Noodle with the text 'Phwarr is it me or is it getting hot in here? HOT OFF. Which one gets you hotter?'"


    "We considered the presentation of the woman in a sexual pose and the blatant comparison with the food product was crass and degrading and therefore likely to cause serious offence to some visitors to Pot Noodle Facebook page."
  • 14:07
  • 14:25
    The truck that had been on fire in the hard soulader of the M50 has been cleared and all lanes are now open once again.
  • 14:44
    The organisers of the "Ballyvaughan Bay Hop fast ferry trial" have been in touch. The bay hop will take place on Monday September 2nd when the first sailing from Ballyvaughan will arrive into the pontoon at Galway harbour at 8.15 am.

    The first sailing from Galway to the Co Clare village will then set out at quarter to nine.

    The aim of the event is to establish a rural commuter fast ferry service between north Clare and Galway. Organisers say a fast and frequent ferry service would improve the accessibility of the Burren for tourists based in Galway City as well as improving the quality of life of individuals living in North Clare by offering an alternative means of transport to the private car or bus when travelling to Galway.

    Of course, this all harks back to the days when I was a lad and the fastest way of getting from the Claddagh to Kinvara was via a hooker, such was the state of the roads--or lack thereof--back then.
  • 15:01
  • 15:01
    Energia retail director Gary Ryan plugging Pat Kenny's new radio show. Photograph: Jason Clarke Photography. Plugging. Get it?
    Energia retail director Gary Ryan plugging Pat Kenny's new radio show. Photograph: Jason Clarke Photography. Plugging. Get it?
  • 15:10
    Former All-Ireland winning hurling captain Martin Storey has been nominated to sit on Wexford Country Council for Labour, Genevieve Carbery writes.
  • 15:14
    Britain and the US are under pressure to delay military intervention in Syria after Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary general, said more time should be allowed for inspections in Damascus, the Guardian has reported in the past few minutes.
  • 15:16
  • 15:37
    What do you reckon are the 10 most amazing Skype stories ever captured on video?

    What's that you say, you can't even think of one? Neither can I. But Skype can. Indeed, on their "big blog" they have listed the "10 most amazing Skype stories ever captured on video". It's a anniversary thing, you see: the laptop video phone gizmo has just turned 10-years-old.

    Anyway, the number one most amazing Skype story ever captured on video is... Skype scavenger hunt with One Direction.

    Oh yes.

    "Whether you’re a “Directioner” or not, seeing the British boy band phenomenon do a scavenger hunt in separate rooms while being beamed onto live TV is proof that the future has arrived."    

  • 15:50
    The defence forces sent in a press release in the last hour saying an army bomb disposal team has rendered a viable improvised explosive device--a bomb--safe in Dublin this afternoon.

    The bomb was found outside a derelict residence in Drimnagh.

    The team arrived at about 1pm and evacuated a number of nearby houses. The device was made safe at 2.15 pm without the need for a controlled explosion.

    The Defence Forces have deployed EOD Teams on 168 occasions so far this year and have dealt with 59 viable improvised explosive devices including 7 post-blast analysis in these operations.
  • 16:04
    If you haven't seen it yet, this is quite good: Greenpeace embarrass Shell at the Belgian Grand Prix.
  • 16:07
  • 16:23
    There seems to be no end of concerned friends on hand to give insightful information to celebrity tattle magazines whenever well-known couples split up. 

    And with that, I'm afraid it's splitsville for Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas.

  • 16:33
    Darragh Ó Sé's column, Maybe I'm letting my heart rule my head but I trust these Kerry players to beat Dublin, is top of our most read list today.
  • 16:36
    Ben Black That is one ugly rooftop view, in fact, Dublin has to be one of the ugliest cities in the world.
  • 16:43

    There's actually a lovely view from the top floor, Ben. You can see across the whole city and down to the Wicklow mountains. But yes, from down here on the second floor it's not the best.

    Some dreadful planning decisions in the 1960s and 1970s inflicted fairly serious damage to the city's architectural integrity but calling it "one of the ugliest cities in the world" is going a bit far.

    There are a good few lovely parts. Check out Lisa Cassidy's Built Dublin blog  for starters.

  • 16:48
    Ben Black My sentiments expressed perfectly: It's a good read!
  • 16:55
    Speaking of ugly towns.

  • 17:04
  • 17:05
    Right so, we'll leave it there for today. Enjoy the sun if/while you have it. Thanks for reading.