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  • Plain packaging for cigarettes passed by Oireachtas

    Laws on the plain packaging of cigarettes have been passed by the Oireachtas. q
  • Passenger planes dodged Russian bombers in Irish-controlled airspace

    Commercial jets carrying hundreds of people had to be diverted in mid-air or else prevented from taking off to avoid potential collisions with two Russian bear bombers which “cloaked” their presence during their latest incursion into Irish-controlled airspace. A report in the Irish Examiner revealed that the Tu-95 bombers, which flew just 40km off the coast, criss-crossed into major civilian airline traffic lanes, including incoming flights from North America on February 18. Following the first publicised incursion two weeks previously, the Department of Foreign Affairs signalled its officials had spoken to the Russian ambassador and sought reassurances that its military aircraft would not fly into our area of control without advance notification, especially if their transponders were off. q
  • New car sales still climbing but there’s a sting in the tail for used buyers

    The sales of new cars in Ireland grew by 24 per cent in February, compared to the same period last year, bringing the total sales gain over 2014 to 28 per cent overall. Volkswagen Group took three of the top five selling model spots for February, with the Golf and Passat locking out the top two spaces, the the Nissan Qashqai coming third, the Skoda Octavia fourth and the Ford Focus fifth. VW claimed the best-selling brand and model (the Golf, again) slots for the year to date overall. In year-to-date sales, Hyundai has climbed above Nissan to snatch fourth place overall behind VW, Toyota and Ford.

    The Irish Times q
  • Gardaí search for missing Dublin woman Pamela Kenny

    Gardaí have asked for the public’s help in tracing missing woman Pamela Kenny. q
  • James Haskell: 'Ireland imposed themselves'

    James Haskell insists Ireland "got away with a lot" in England’s 19-9 Six Nations defeat at the Aviva Stadium but can only admire the champions’ canny approach. The Grand Slam has eluded Stuart Lancaster’s men for a fourth successive year and they must hope Joe Schmidt’s unbeaten side slip up in their fixtures against Wales and Scotland to keep them relevant to the title race. Outwitted tactically and outmuscled, subdued England must also examine the brainless indiscipline that played into the hands of the new tournament favourites and that will dominate a frosty debrief this week. Lancaster and captain Chris Robshaw looked inwards for criticism, refusing to blame referee Craig Joubert, and his fellow back-row forward Haskell also had no complaints despite believing Ireland had challenged the boundaries of the law.

    Irish Examiner q
  • Victoria Beckham launches her new fashion line with some inexplicable modelling shots

    Victoria revealed what happens when you lock a model in a flat with her new AW15 range and some mysteriously appearing flowers. q
  • Forbes’ Rich List shows Bill Gates is 40 times richer than richest woman in tech

    Forbes’ annual Rich List reveals this year’s most notable change amongst a sea of familiarity is the rise of Alibaba’s founder, Jack Ma, to seventh place, with US$22.7bn following last year’s lucrative IPO which saw a share value reach a record high of US$92.70. Given the power the tech industry has on our daily lives, it may come as no surprise that of the top 15 richest people in the world at the moment, seven of them made their enormous sums of wealth through technology. Despite his increased philanthropic activities and enormous donations, Gates dominates the top of the chart with an estimated worth of US$79.2bn with Oracle founder Larry Ellison falling behind somewhat at US$54.3bn. HP CEO and former president and CEO of eBay Meg Whitman is the highest ranking woman in tech at No 949 overall, with an estimated value of US$2bn.

    Silicon Republic q
  • Holly Willoughby: I didn't fancy my husband at first

    Holly Willoughby clearly doesn’t believe in love at first sight. The 34-year-old TV presenter has been married to TV producer Dan Baldwin for seven-and-a-half-years, and they have three children together. But Holly has confessed to Woman & Home magazine that when they first met, she didn’t even fancy him. The couple met while working on children’s show Saturday Showdown and Holly explained that after six months of knowing each other, she and Dan were “in each other’s pockets constantly”, and their relationship developed from there. q
  • Check out Cheryl Fernandez-Versini's dramatic new hairdo

    Cheryl Fernandez-Versini has had her hair chopped off. q
  • O’Donnells fought four-year battle over €1 bn property empire

    Solicitor Brian O’Donnell and his family have been fighting a legal battle over his €1 billion property empire and upmarket home on Vico Road in Killiney for four years. O’Donnell was a partner with leading commercial law firm, William Fry, before he went out on his own around the year 2000.

    The Irish Times q
  • VIDEO: If you’ve ever ever rented accommodation in Dublin, you’ll get a laugh out of this

    From the people who brought us the guide to registering for Irish Air comes this handy information video about affordable rental prices in Dublin. q
  • Ryanair to cut check-in charges

    Low-fare airline Ryanair is reducing its check-in charges as part of a newly-launched customer charter. From May, the no-frills carrier will be lowering its check-in fee from €70 to €45 euros. Ryanair is also promising new aircraft interiors and new uniforms for cabin crew. q
  • Woman 'didn't see killer of Russian opposition leader Nemtsov'

    A 23-year-old Ukrainian model who was with slain Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov when he was shot dead has said she did not see the gunman who pulled the trigger. The emotional account by Anna Duritskaya in a TV interview came amid speculation about who was responsible for the high-profile assassination near the Kremlin in Moscow and what it means for Russia. While state-run and Kremlin-controlled media focused on a theory that the killing was a provocation aimed at staining president Vladimir Putin, critics are holding the Russian leader responsible for creating an atmosphere that encouraged the crime by fanning nationalist, anti-western sentiments and vilifying the opposition. Ms Duritskaya said she has been questioned extensively by authorities. q
  • It's not a dream — Opel Astras can break down

    Don’t listen to supermodel Claudia Schiffer in the advert on the television — Opel Astras do break down. Despite this rather obvious fact, the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI) has ruled that the latest advert for the car brand, which features the German model — Schiffer, that is — appearing in a man’s dream was not misleading. One complainant considered the claim, “an Astra doesn’t break down”, to be misleading as he had owned an Astra and it had broken down on a number of occasions. In view of his experience with his Astra, he considered that the statement was untrue.

    Irish Examiner q
  • Helen Mirren admits her secret subway shame

    Dame Helen Mirren has confessed she is a “terrible person” after getting a fellow subway passenger into trouble, weeks after she was spotted displaying flawless subway etiquette. The Oscar-winning actress used her latest red carpet moment to publicly apologise to a passenger she said was hauled away by “subway police” in New York. Dame Helen made the admission as she walked the red carpet for the Roundabout Theatre Company’s 2015 Spring Gala which was held in her honour in New York last night. “This very nice man jumped up and held the doors open so we could all come in and sit down and then the train sort of got stuck and then the subway police came along and said, ‘who’s responsible for holding the train?’. q
  • Premier Lotteries Ireland to appear before Oireachtas committee

    The new private operator of the National Lottery has been called to appear before the Oireachtas finance committee following the recent systems crash and the ongoing controversy over its new ticket terminals. Premier Lotteries Ireland (PLI), which only took over the running of the franchise late last year, has been criticised over the introduction of new technology which retailers claim has undermined service levels and damaged sales. Representatives of the company, including chief executive Dermot Griffin, are provisionally scheduled to appear before the committee next week. It is also expected to hear from the newly installed National Lottery regulator, Liam Sloyan, and from retailer groups.

    The Irish Times q
  • ‘Jihadi John’ bullied at school

    The British graduate unmasked as “Jihadi John” was bullied at school, his former head teacher has revealed. Jo Shuter, the former headteacher of Quintin Kynaston school, said she was horrified to find that Mohamed Emwazi was the Islamic State fighter shown beheading Western hostages of the terror group.

    The Irish Times q
  • Fund aims to pay cost of bringing boy's body home from Australia

    A fundraising appeal has been launched to help with the repatriation costs of the remains of a young Irish boy who died in Australia last week. Eleven-year-old Adam Kielty’s parents are due to fly in to Dublin Airport this evening with the remains of their son who died less than 18 months after they emigrated. The former resident of Castlemartin in Bettystown, Co Meath, developed pneumonia and sepsis and died in hospital in Brisbane on February 22 after a two-week battle.

    Irish Examiner q
  • The week in gadgets: electric urban unicycle, second-gen Chromebook Pixel and Google Glass 2

    An Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign launched in February is seeking a modest goal of €5,000 to fund production of the Mocycl One, a portable, electric self-balancing unicycle. Mocycl Technologies, a Barcelona-based company, believes in personal sustainable transport and so the 9kg Mocycl One is meant to be handy enough to carry around when you don’t need it and can be charged in a standard electric socket. Lauding it as the best thing since the bicycle, Mocycl Technologies claims the Mocycl One charges in 45 minutes and can travel at 18km per hour and for a 20km stretch autonomously.

    Silicon Republic q
  • Phil Hogan defends decision to publish details farmers’ payments

    EU commissioner for agriculture Phil Hogan has defended the decision to publish details of payments to farmers under the single-farm payment scheme, in the coming months. Mr Hogan said the measure had been agreed in 2013 and he had no difficulty with it.

    The Irish Times q