The Daily Wire

Bankers and politicians - together again, and US military action in Syria moves closer...

Conor Pope Thu, Sep 5
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  • 07:47
    Good morning... It is Thursday. I am Conor Pope and I will be looking after all your daily news requirements until 5pm.

  • 07:49
    First up we have news from the US.

    President Barack Obama's attempt to win legislative backing for military strikes against Syria were boosted last night when the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee approved a resolution authorising the use of military force. The 7-10 vote in favour of a limited military response has cleared the way for a vote in the full Senate next week. The compromise resolution sets a 60-day limit on any engagement in Syria, with a possible 30-day extension, and bars the use of US troops on the ground for combat operations. And in a possible sign of internal unrest in Syrian opposition figures there said General Ali Habib, a former defense minister, had defected. Syrian officials have denied the report.

    More on this throughout the day.
  • 08:10
    About 1,000 Ulster Bank customers in mortgage arrearss have had the interest rate on their home loans reduced to as low as 0.5 per cent in an attempt to help them pay them back.

    The UK-owned bank’s chief executive Jim Brown told an Oireachtas hearing yesterday these “economic concessions” is being put on the table for periods of five to seven years or “could even be for the lifetime of the loan depending on a customer’s circumstances”.

    He said it was more helpful to arrears customers than split mortgages, which involves at least half of the loan being repaid at the full interest rate and the balance warehoused, interest-free, to be paid back at a later date.

    The bank has modelled the two options and found that lowering the interest rate on the whole of the loan reduces the repayment burden for the borrower.
    It said the overall cost of a split mortgage would ultimately be higher over the lifetime of the loan.

    And banks are always looking out for the best interests of their customers, right?


    Next up before the Oireachtas Finance Committee is Permanent TSB.

  • 08:11
    I was reading Science Translational Medicine ** over my cornflakes when I came across a remarkable story.

    Johns Hopkins and the National Institutes of Health have identified a compound that dramatically bolsters learning and memory when given to new-born mice with a Down syndrome-like condition.

    Researchers say the single-dose treatment appears to enable the cerebellum of the rodents' brains to grow to a normal size.

    The scientists caution that use of the compound, a small molecule known as a sonic hedgehog pathway agonist, has not been proven safe to try in people with Down syndrome, but say their experiments hold promise for developing drugs like it.

    "Most people with Down syndrome have a cerebellum that's about 60 percent of the normal size," says Roger Reeves, Ph.D., a professor in the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "We treated the Down syndrome-like mice with a compound we thought might normalize the cerebellum's growth, and it worked beautifully. What we didn't expect were the effects on learning and memory, which are generally controlled by the hippocampus, not the cerebellum."

    ** No, no I was not.
  • 08:12
    There was one winner of the Wednesday night lotto... They're going to pick up more than €4m... Could it be you?

    No, not really

    Unless that is, you bought a ticket with the numbers 2, 4, 9, 12, 28, and 31

    Then it could well be you
  • 08:26
  • 08:53
    Our good friends (and/r dark overlords) at the ECB at meeting today.

    They are widely expected to keep interest rates at a record low of 0.5 per cent as tentative signs of economic improvement in the euro zone.

    Good news.
  • 08:55
    Another good story from Ruadhan Mac Cormaic about Michael Lynn today,

    "We knew his routine. He was calm, and it's clear he didn?t realise he was being watched," says Supt Marcello Diniz Cordeiro of the federal police in Recife, the city where Mr Lynn had been living for two years before his arrest last Thursday.

    "He had a very regular pattern," adds Giovani Santoro, a spokesman for the force. "He would go to the school where he taught, go out with his wife, go to the shops . . . The federal police were taken aback by the simple life he was living."
  • 08:58
    And this might be good news too.

  • 09:39
    Three people have been charged with attempted murder after a young man was found badly beaten and naked in a taped-up wheelie bin in Ballymena, Co Antrim. The two men and a woman are also accused of false imprisonment in connection with the attack . The bin containing the 20-year-old was found by a dog in a heavily wooded area near Sentry Hill. The dog’s owner freed the man, who is understood to have suffered a broken leg and arm and was badly dehydrated.
  • 09:46
    You would imagine that doctors of all people would understand the importance of washing their hands while at work right? Well not according to an alarming Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) report which has made headlines this morning. According to the Indo a “litany of poor hygiene standards, which put staff as well as patients at risk, has been uncovered by inspectors at hospitals around the country”.

    The report found that in one hospital patients with communicable infections were using communal bathrooms while in another a bin for discarded needles was found to have been inadequately covered. It found that in Dublin's Beaumont Hospital “most doctors were breaching hygiene rules aimed at reducing the spread of infections such as MRSA” and the report warned that patient welfare was being put "at serious risk". Beaumont is now considering "withdrawing privileges" from doctors if they fail to wash their hands.

    Yes, that is doctors. Not children.
  • 09:52
    Anyone familiar with Dublin's Stoneybatter should check out these pics from locals...

    They're bleendin rapid.

  • 10:00
    Have you seen Anthony Weinder shouting at a baker on the campaign trail in New York?


    Oy vey!

  • 10:01
    100 years ago today WB Yeats was working on this little poem. 

    What need you, being come to sense,
    But fumble in a greasy till
    And add the ha’pence to the pence,
    And prayer to shivering prayer, until
    You have dried the marrow from the bone,
    For men were born to pray and save?
    Romantic Ireland's dead and gone -
    It's with O'Leary in the grave.
    Yet they were of a different kind,
    The names that stilled your childish play;
    They have gone about the world like wind.
    But little time had they to pray
    For whom the hangman's rope was spun;
    And what, God help us, could they save?
    Romantic Ireland's dead and gone -
    It's with O'Leary in the grave.
    Was it for this the wild geese spread
    The grey wing upon every tide?
    For this that all that blood was shed?
    For this Edward Fitzgerald died?
    And Robert Emmet and Wolfe Tone,
    All that delirium of the brave?
    Romantic Ireland's dead and gone -
    It's with O'Leary in the grave.
    Yet could we turn the years again,
    And call those exiles as they were,
    In all their loneliness and pain,
    You'd cry, 'Some woman's yellow hair
    Has maddened every mother's son' -
    They weighed so lightly what they gave
    But let them be, they're dead and gone:
    They're with O'Leary in the grave.
  • 10:29
    PTSB have started well at the Oireachtas Finance Hearings.


  • 10:33
    PTSB has offered 3500 split mortgages and is moving more people from short-term soloutions to long term ones. They say they have put solutions forward for 26 per cent of people in arrears.
  • 10:39
    PTSB say there is no interest applied to the warehoused portion of restructured mortgages. 

  • 10:41
  • 10:42
    PTSB tells the Oireachtas Finance Committee is has now offered 3,500 split mortgages with most split between 30 per cent and 45 per cnet. It says it considers warehousing up to €100,000 interest free...
  • 10:45
  • 10:47
    Earlier this week Kevin Rudd was asked about gay marriage by a pastor who, it would be fair to say, is agin it. This is what he had to say.  
  • 10:53
    So Adam Clayton got married yesterday. We're delighted for him.

    We are less delighted by  all the newspapers who used lazy headlines containing the words "beautiful day" or "found what he's looking for" or "I love U2" and reckon they should all hang their heads in shame.

    The Irish Times rose above such obvious puns.


  • 11:10
    The Irish team to place Sweden tomorrow night will be announced at 3pm.

    Edge of the seat stuff.

    No, really, it is.


    Okay, maybe not.
  • 11:12
    Someone has put a lot of twerk into this gem...

  • 11:20
    Australian television networks have refused to show this ad:


    Murdoch owns mass-selling newspapers in the land of his birth and his Sydney tabloid The Daily Telegraph has called for voters to “kick out” Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s Labor Party government in Saturday’s polls.
    The organisation behind the ad is called GetUp! and it describes itself as an independent community advocacy organisation. It has lodged a complaint with  competition watchdog after three major commercial networks refused to air the video. 
    “Seven, Nine and 10 are still refusing to run it,” GetUp! spokesman Rohan Wenn said, adding the Seven Network had described the ad as “distasteful” and that Network Ten, of which Murdoch’s son, Lachlan Murdoch, is a director, had said it did not want to target another media group. 

  • 11:21
  • 11:27
    Here’s the  Armadillo-T – a South Korean electric two-seater that will park itself and fold nearly in half, freeing up space in crowded cities. Who cares if it looks ridiculous. It’s new!!!
    Here’s the Armadillo-T – a South Korean electric two-seater that will park itself and fold nearly in half, freeing up space in crowded cities. Who cares if it looks ridiculous. It’s new!!!
  • 11:32
    What is the worst traffic jam you have ever been in?

    This one is worse.

    Much, much worse.
  • 11:39
    Padraig O'Morain Twerk. It's not a satisfactory word, is it? It doesn't express what it describes in any way. Could be a word from quantum mechanics, whatever that is.
  • 11:39
    Dharma Not much to comment on yet but I love that you used the word 'agin'. Marian would be proud!
  • 11:41
    Ben Daly Are the government seriously thinking of demolition and rebuild at Priory Hall?If do who pays?
  • 11:49
    Debrett’s has published a top ten tips for using your phone. 
    1. Think what your ringtone says about you and if it embarrasses you in in certain situations change it.
    2. When in doubt use vibrate
    3. Take notice of who is around you and make sure you conversation isn’t disturbing others 
    4. Watch your language
    5. Respect quiet zones
    7. People with you deserve more attention than those at the end of a phone
    8. Step away from the phone at meal times
    9. Don't carry on mobile phone calls when in the middle of something else
    10. Think about where you are calling from and don’t make calls from inappropriate venues; a call from a bathroom is deeply off-putting.
  • 11:49
    Nessa O'Mahony Hello Conor But seriously, it is a beautiful day.
  • 11:50
    Anne McCoy Hello Conor, you're doing a great job on the blog (does that help) ps love the Captain Twerk
  • 11:53

    I think this tweet is funny. You mightn't 


  • 11:54
  • 11:59
    Tri Why is the new HMV flagship store on Henry Street? It's a bit small no? Compared to Grafton St? Why didnt they reopen on Grafton St? Rates and Rents too high?
  • 12:01
    Am about to post a tweet from yesterday. From an employee of Independent News and Media.  Normally I wouldn't do such a thing but this is important.
    Stand-by please.
  • 12:01
  • 12:04
    I make no apologies for posting this. 

    None at all.

  • 12:05
    Chris When you complain about people avidly following tech announcements, do you ever consider the parallel with sports events and the non interested? As in you say it won't change my life. Fair point but will the result of any sport event change a fan's?
  • 12:06

    That's a good point there Chris. And one I have to say I had not considered. 

    It's not going to stop me moaning about the live blogging of product releases though!


  • 12:13
    Michael O'Sullivan Hi Conor - do you know if there is an IT ed. policy on use, or indeed non-use, of pronoun to refer to Chelsea Manning?
  • 12:13
    Chris Fair enough! I'll have to wage a war against live blogs/coverage of all sporting events. I have a feeling I'm going to be considerably more exhausted.
  • 12:14
    Michael Vaughan on the Gathering.

    Hope Grumpy Gabriel doesn't read it. 

    "As the summer season draws to a close, tourism businesses up and down the country are taking stock, attempting to predict what the market has in store for them and starting to map out a course for 2014.

    "Thankfully, for many of these businesses the “Year of The Gathering” has been a success, helping to attract an additional 222,000 overseas visitors so far this year. Irish tourism is now on a firmer footing. This is of enormous importance considering the contribution tourism makes to the wider economy, providing 196,000 jobs and almost 4 per cent of gross national product."

  • 12:19
    On this day in 1698 Russia's Peter the Great imposed a tax on beards.  It is something Michael Noonan could consider come October.
    On this day in 1698 Russia's Peter the Great imposed a tax on beards. It is something Michael Noonan could consider come October.
  • 12:24

    This rather catchy tune was recorded by a popular beat combo on this day in 1965. 


  • 12:26
    Sure while we're at it here are some other notable anniversaries...

    1957 - Jack Kerouac's "On the Road" was first published. 
    1960 - Cassius Clay of Louisville, KY, won  gold medal in the light heavyweight boxing at the Olympic Games in Rome. 
    1961 - The US government made airline hijacking a federal offense.
  • 12:38
    It's nearly lunchtime so obviously I am thinking about deep fried soup.

    If only such a thing existed.

    It does?


  • 12:41
    Permanent TSB said this morning it had offered solutions to 26 per cent of mortgage holders in arrears, ahead of a target of 20 per cent set by the Central Bank but before anyone gets the bunting out a significant proportion of those “solutions” are legal cases taken against customers by the bank. Speaking to the Oireachtas Finance Committee today, Shane O’Sullivan, head of the bank’s asset management unit, said it had offered 6,650 “treatments” up to end of June.

    The solutions offered include 1,500 short-term treatments (such as a moratorium or interest only), 2,750 long-term solutions (such as split mortgage or term extensions), 800 assisted voluntary sale and 1,600 legal cases.

    Up to September 3rd it had offered 3,500 split mortgages. Most of these mortgages see 30 and 45 per cent of the value of the property warehoused with no interest, Mr O’Sullivan said. He said the bank considers warehousing part of a mortgage up to €100,000.

    These split mortgages are reviewed every three years to see if the customer’s circumstances have changed.

    Mr Masding said the bank seeks restructured mortgages to be repaid by the time the customer reaches the age of 65. However, Mr O’Sullivan said they will look at exceptions to sometimes extend this beyond the age of 65.
  • 12:44
    It is always nice, if unusual,  to see a politician being upfront and not playing to the gallery. 

    Speaking to the press  in Dublin Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn said Ireland has a long way to go to have the kind of “world class education system that we need to have”.
    He said it had to be recognised that “the assertion that was so frequently trotted out in the past, but which blatantly wasn’t true, was that we had one of the best education systems in the world”.

    He  said this was an “assertion based on no evidence whatsoever other than something of a feelgood factor that was communicated to us at home by the greater Irish diaspora who felt, for whatever reason, that it was better than what their children were experiencing in other parts of the world.”

    He  was speaking ahead of the opening of the Fifth National Conference on Research in Mathematics in Ireland (MEI5) at St Patrick’s College Drumcondra, Dublin.
  • 12:46

    A senior consultant at Dublin’s Beaumont Hospital has blamed the hospital’s sub-optimal hygiene standards on a lack of resources. The Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) published a report yesterday which claimed patient safety was being put at risk because of less-than-optimal hygiene standards at the hospital.

    David Hickey, head of Transplantation at Beaumont, said the transplant ward at Beaumont was a temporary portacabin-style building that was “not built for purpose”.

    “It’s crowded. It’s dark. There’s no air conditioning. It’s a stressful place to work.” He said to clean a hospital bedroom properly it needed to be vacant for at least 12 hours. “When you’re running at 110 per cent occupancy as we are in our hospital it’s impossible for management to get the place empty for a sufficient amount of time to do the job properly. Every room after a patient is churned should be fogged with peroxide to make sure it’s absolutely sterile.” This, he told RTE this morning, was only being done in what he called “problem cases”.

  • 12:48
  • 12:52
  • 12:57
  • 13:01
    @middleclassproblems is a Twitter account devoted to... well, you guessed it.
    @middleclassproblems is a Twitter account devoted to... well, you guessed it.
  • 13:12
    Forget your news and information and the like. This is what the internet was made for. 

  • 13:15

  • 13:53
    Brian O'Driscoll was talking to Sky Sports a while back and confirmed that Warren Gatland shouldn’t expect a Christmas card from him this year.

    The veteran centre was left out for Wales’s (or was in the Lions?) final test match against the Aussies which they (we?) won 41-16 victory.

    "Do I resent him? Yeah, there's resentment of course," O'Driscoll said today. "Is he on the Christmas card list - unlikely. When you're left with disappointment that way, you can't but feel a little bit of resentment you know.

    "People will say the decision was justified because of the results and the performance I guess. The way the team played I felt within the 13 jersey that I might have been able to do a decent job within that part of the team the way they played in that game. That's absolutely not taking anything away from Jonathan's performance, I thought he was pretty good that day, made some big plays at important times.

    "But I guess it comes back to you backing yourself, feeling you too could have done some things that maybe others didn't do on the day."

    Ah you're still a legend no matter what Gatland did.
  • 13:55
    Stop the presses. Scarlett Johansson is engaged to her French boyfriend Romain Dauriac, She was seen wearing a vintage Art Deco diamond ring this week in Venice.

    And that's the last time we'll mention that.
  • 14:00
    Ah here!

    The HSE has rejected claims there is an ongoing problem with thefts at one of the country’s busiest maternity hospitals despite the fact that a second mother was robbed while in labour at the University Maternity Hospital in Limerick.

    Catherine Carmody from Patrickswell, Co Limerick claims she went into shock and her labour was delayed after she discovered her wallet had been stolen while she was walking the corridors of the hospital to help speed up the delivery. She  is the second woman to go public after having property stolen at the hospital in recent weeks. Jill Leonard was robbed on August 24th after the birth of her son Kane.

    You'd have to be some piece of work to steal from a maternity hospital...

  • 14:03
  • 14:07
  • 14:16
  • 14:19
    "His head is twice the size of Putin's. It looks like he has come from another planet." - Hugh Linehan.
  • 14:25
    This new ad for Guinness is causing a bit of a stir in the US...  

  • 14:29
    Can you be sued for putting songs in a particular order?

    Ministry of Sound seems to think you can.

  • 14:35
  • 15:04

    Press release from Laya;

    "Over the past 12  months, 60 per cent of Irish parents with health cover have had to take time off work to care for a sick child. . . The survey shows that more fathers (69%) than mothers (54%) have taken time off to care for their sick children and those with children under five are the most likely to have to stay at home.  . . Worryingly, laya healthcare’s research also found that one in twelve parents (8%) cannot afford to take time off work to care for their sick child. "



  • 15:04
  • 15:29
    The  Irish Cancer Society and the Irish heart Foundation have called on the Government to  raise the price of a packet of cigarettes by 60 cent in the next Budget and introduce a new regulation system to reduce tobacco industry profits.

    Will the Government listen?

  • 15:54
    I have been sitting here quitely waiting for the Irish team to play Sweden to be announced. 

    It was announced about 14 years ago. And I missed it.


    "James McClean has been handed the left-wing berth on the Republic of Ireland team to play Sweden in Friday night’s World Cup qualifier at the Aviva Stadium.

    "The Wigan Athletic winger gets the nod ahead of the likes of Robbie Brady or Anthony Pilkington, with Trapattoni pointing out that McClean may be better suited to what he expects to be a physical encounter.

    "Richard Dunne will start in the centre of defence alongside John O’Shea, while Marc Wilson has proved his fitness to start at left back.

    Jon Walters will take up a wide role on the right, while Glenn Whelan and James McCarthy make up the central midfield partnership.

    Robbie Keane will captain the side and lines up alongside Shane Long in attack.

    REPUBLIC OF IRELAND (v Sweden, Aviva Stadium, Friday, 7.45pm): D Forde (Millwall), S Coleman (Everton), R Dunne (QPR), J O’Shea (Sunderland), M Wilson (Stoke City), J Walters (Stoke City), G Whelan (Stoke City), J McCarthy (Everton), J McClean (Wigan Athletic), R Keane (LA Galaxy, capt), S Long (West Brom). 

  • 15:55
    Kate Holmquist The milky-skinned Irish redhead 23-year-old Sarah Kennedy is favourite to win Britain and Ireland's next top model tonight. . .cue celebrations in Portnoo, Donegal
  • 16:09
    Jack Nicholson is retiring from the movie business because he can no longer remember his lines. 

    No, wait, he is not retiring at all.

    Yes, he IS  retiring but not because his memory is failing him.

    For 24 hours the Internet has been buzzing with rumours

    Radar Online and Star Magazine started the ball rolling yesterday when the both announced that the 76-year-old, three-time Oscar-winner was  no longer considering scripts

    "There is a simple reason behind his decision – it's memory loss," a source told Radar. "Quite frankly, at 76, Jack has memory issues and can no longer remember the lines being asked of him."
    "Jack has no intention of retiring from the limelight," this Radar source said. "He's not retiring from public life, at all. He just doesn't want a tribute. He's happy to tacitly join the retirees' club, like Sean Connery."
    Then NBC anchor Maria Shriver told to E! Online that he had no intention of retiring and she insisted he was  "not suffering from any memory-related illness or dementia". 

    Glad to have cleared the confusion up for you.
  • 16:12
    Abolishing the Seanad will involve some 40 changes to the Constitution, the chairwoman of the Referendum Commission has said.

    At the launch of the Commission’s €3.3 million information campaign on the two (two? TWO??? Yeah, I bet you can't tell me what the second one is.) referendums to  be held on October 4th, Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne said that many of the changes would be “simple deletions”.

    She said the most significant are described in the Commission’s independent guide which was also published today.
    The pic of Emily O'Reilly in  the story is well worth a look She looks only thrilled to be where she is. 
  • 16:15
    The other referendum will see us vote on a new Court of Appeal  intended to deal with the four-year waiting list for appeals to the Supreme Court.  It will be staffed by new judges, if we give it the green light. 

    You're welcome.
  • 16:27
    Bashar al-Assad's former defense minister has reached Istanbul after a defection that betrays cracks in the president's support among his own Alawite sect, opposition and diplomatic sources. Dismissing a cursory Syrian state television denial of the first Reuters report that General Ali Habib had been spirited across the Turkish frontier this week, opposition figures said Habib was likely to keep a low profile after evading house arrest and reaching Turkey with the aid of Western agents
  • 16:30
    Happy Rosh Hashanah to all our Jewish friends.

    This one's for you.

  • 17:00
    Okay, that's a lid...

    Yes, I did just lift a line from CJ.

    It is what I do now... Until next time. Hugh Linehan will be here tomorrow morning and has promised to post youtube clips of himself doing the Macarena.

    At least I think that is what he said.

    Ta ra.