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  • Ireland one of least Muslim-friendly countries – report

    Ireland is considered to be one of the least friendly places for Muslims to visit, according to the Global Muslim Travel Index, which has just been published. The report evaluates countries in terms of their attentiveness to the needs of Muslim travellers, including the presence and accessibility of “halal” restaurants with food prepared to Islamic standards, and the provision of prayer rooms at airports, shopping centres and hotels. The index compiled by travel firm CrescentRating and MasterCard suggests that Mexico is the least Muslim-friendly country in a list of 25 countries where Islam is not the predominant religion with Ireland finishing in second-last place. The United Kingdom finished in sixth place, while the US was said to be the 14th most welcoming countries for Muslims.

    The Irish Times q
  • Ferguson report reveals shocking set of racist emails sent by law enforcement

    A shocking set of racist emails sent by senior Ferguson law enforcement officials depict Barack Obama as a chimpanzee and characterise Michelle Obama as a bare-chested African woman, inside a damning federal investigation into civil rights violations committed by the police force. Extracts from seven emails sent by Ferguson police supervisors, published in a long- awaited US justice department report released on Tuesday, were seized upon by investigators as illustrative of the “unequivocally derogatory, dehumanising” array of communications obtained in the investigation that were “demonstrative of impermissible bias”.

    The Irish Times q
  • Slowly it dawns that you no longer fit in in Ireland, after 18 years gone

    I laughed hysterically the first time somebody called me Frau Murphy, but that is who I have become. To be an emigrant is to be an enigma, shrouded in mystery and, in my case, wrapped in a conundrum of shamrocks and sauerkraut. Emigration changes every ounce of your being, over and over again.

    The Irish Times q
  • Limerick solicitor Brian O’Donnell leaves €6m mansion

    AN EMBATTLED solicitor and property developer from Limerick has left his Killiney mansion and is due to appear before the Four Courts today in relation to trespassing at the €6m property. The High Court has refused an attempt by the family of Brian O’Donnell, originally from the Ennis Road in Limerick, to stop receivers repossessing the family home, which he insists is in his children’s names. Mr O’Donnell, who attended the Crescent College Comprehensive, was known as a talented rugby player in the city, while his brothers Hugh, Richard and Robin still live locally.

    Limerick Leader q
  • Two Germans to be caned and jailed in Singapore for graffiti

    A Singapore court jailed two Germans for nine months and three strokes of the cane on Thursday after they pleaded guilty to spray-painting graffiti on a train. “This is the darkest episode of my entire life,” said Von Knorre. Singapore is well known for its cleanliness and its zero tolerance for crime. The two were accused of vandalism and trespass after they broke into one of Singapore’s train depots last November to spray-paint a carriage.

    The Irish Times q
  • Indonesia rejects prisoner swap as executions loom

    Citizens of France, Brazil, the Philippines, Ghana, Nigeria and Indonesia also face death penalty

    The Irish Times q
  • Defer water bills until EU ruling on accepting Irish Water - FF

    A call has been made for the Government to defer the issuing of water charge bills until there is an EU ruling to accept Irish Water as an independent commercial semi-State company. Fianna Fáil public expenditure and reform spokesman Sean Fleming said the Government should ensure “people do not receive water bills from an entity whose right to exist is not yet determined”. Mr Fleming said the Taoiseach had confirmed in writing that it would be “at least June” before a decision is made at EU level, when it had been expected this month.

    The Irish Times q
  • Israeli prime minister Benyamin Netanyahu overplays his hand in Washington

    In two weeks’ time Ireland’s representatives will drop in for their annual White House bash/bonding ritual with the US President. Except, of course, Israel, for whom the welcome has traditionally been even more effusive, the politics even more closely in step. The White House hosts must not be taken for granted, their political support assumed, or be made to feel they are largely bit players in a domestic drama. Benyamin Netanyahu got it wrong on virtually every count – tone deaf to the diplomacy and politics, or cynically indifferent to the future of US/Israel relations?

    The Irish Times q
  • Sixteen foot python found in canal

    The grim discovery of the giant snake floating in a canal in Lancashire was made by walkers on Sunday. A reptile expert went to the scene at Norden Bridge, Rishton, and recovered the python, which measured at over 16ft 5ins and is believed to have been around 12 to 15 years old. Lancashire Police are now investigating how the python got there and are appealing for anyone with any information to come forward. Ribble Valley wildlife crime officer Pc Carl Chew said: “Experts believe that a python of this size could have been capable of attacking a person so it is fortunate that no one came to any serious harm. q
  • Norris criticises ‘savage cuts’ to salaries of Leinster House ushers

    Independent Senator David Norris has criticised what he called a “surreptitious attempt” to make “savage cuts” of 5.6 per cent to the salaries of Leinster House ushers. Mr Norris described the move as an “absolute outrage” and said that ushers were on salaries ranging from €24,000 to €34,000 while there were Oireachtas members “who live in County Dublin but get €25,000 in travelling expenses”.

    The Irish Times q
  • Reports claim Eric Clapton had a brief romance with Princess Diana

    Eric Clapton enjoyed a romantic liaison with Britain's Princess Diana, a new book has claimed. The 70-year-old guitarist enjoyed a flirtation with the late princess - who separated from husband Prince Charles in 1992 - after meeting regularly at his favourite restaurant, San Lorenzo in London's upmarket Knightsbridge. Paul Scott wrote in his new book 'Motherless Child: The Definitive Biography of Eric Clapton': "One who regularly caught his eye was another San Lorenzo devotee, Princess Diana. q
  • Man denies imprisoning Irish woman and others for 30 years

    A Maoist sect leader has denied raping and imprisoning three female followers – including one Irish woman – for more than 30 years. Aravindan Balakrishnan, (74), is said to have kept three women as slaves in his home. The far-left political activist, known as “Comrade Bala”, denies 25 offences, including four counts of rape and one of false imprisonment.

    The Irish Times q
  • Noel Gallagher competing with Bono to write 'greatest song ever'

    Rock star Noel Gallagher has revealed how he is vying with Bono and Chris Martin to write the greatest song of all time. The Oasis legend, who has just released his latest album, said he loves socialising with the U2 frontman. “I still think tomorrow might be the day that I write the greatest song of all time. “The guitar is your fishing rod, and if I’m not fishing for that song, Bono will get it, and if he’s not, Chris Martin will.

    Irish Examiner q
  • Joe Schmidt's home burgled day after England victory

    Joe Schmidt’s home was broken into on Monday afternoon, 24 hours after Schmidt led Ireland to Six Nations victory against England in the Aviva Stadium. The The Sun reports that Rathfarnham Gardaí are investigating a break-in at Schmidt’s home in the southside of Dublin. The thieves are believed to have gone through the hose and left with a sum of foreign money. Schmidt was not at home at the time. q
  • Family face battle to free Dubai plane spotters

    The families of two British men jailed after going plane spotting in Dubai are having to “beg and borrow” to raise desperately-needed cash for the legal battle to free them. Conrad Clitheroe, 53, and his friend Gary Cooper, 45, were arrested after being spotted by an off-duty policeman taking notes near Fujairah Airport, about 128km from Dubai. Mr Clitheroe’s wife Valerie, from Stockport Greater Manchester, said: “We are all sick with worry.

    Irish Examiner q
  • Dark clouds over new Major League Soccer season as players threaten to strike

    Orlando City, featuring Kaka at one end and Sean St Ledger at the other, have filled more than 60,000 seats for its first-ever Major League Soccer game against fellow debutants New York City FC at the Citrus Bowl this Sunday. Boasting a headliner of some stature in David Villa, their opponents, at a venue where John Aldridge once waged war with the fourth official, have already flogged more than 14,000 season tickets for the upcoming campaign at their own temporary home in Yankee Stadium. Later this year, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard (belatedly) will cross the Atlantic to join MLS’s growing roster of ageing international stars bringing a touch of glamour, if fading legs, to proceedings.

    The Irish Times q
  • Priest calls for a new doctor from the altar

    The parish priest of Borris-in-Ossory has made a plea during Sunday Mass for a replacement doctor for the village. Fr Jackie Robinson asked his parishioners to lobby politicians to put pressure on the HSE, during his homily on Sunday February 22. The current GP, Dr Seamus FitzGerald, was due to retire last November, but has not done so because his replacement has not been found. Fr Robinson fears that if no-one takes up the post, the Health Centre could be closed.

    Leinster Express - News Feed q
  • David Walliams' marriage 'in trouble' - reports

    David Walliams and Lara Stone are said to have separated. According to The Sun, the Britain’s Got Talent judge and Calvin Klein model are on a trial break. The newspaper said that David, 43, was “devastated” after agreeing to the separation. A source was quoted as saying: “David has been putting on a brave face. q
  • Iraq army advances on IS-held Tikrit city

    Iraqi troops and Shia militias battled IS yesterday south of the militant-held city of Tikrit, though roadside bombs and suicide attacks slowed their advance on Saddam Hussein’s hometown. The battle for Tikrit, a strategic city on the Tigris River, likely will be won or lost on allied Iraqi forces’ ability to counter the bombs of IS. Such explosives were a mainstay of al-Qaeda in Iraq, the predecessor of IS, as it fought American forces after their 2003 invasion. “Tikrit has been besieged from three directions, from the north, west and south, but what has remained only from the eastern side,” said Brigadier General Saad Maan Ibrahim, an Interior Ministry spokesman.

    Irish Examiner q
  • Protests due as banks seek repossession of 219 homes in Limerick

    PROTESTS are expected at Limerick’s Circuit Court complex this Friday, where over 200 cases to repossess homes will be heard as fury mounts at the number of cases sought by the banks now that property prices are increasing. In all, a total of 219 applications to repossess homes in Limerick city and county have been entered for hearing, and are being taken by the many of the major lending banks, including Ulster Bank, EBS, AIB, Bank of Ireland, Permanent TSB, and KBC. Solicitor Ger O’Neill, on Glentworth Street, said he is representing a number of clients facing home repossessions - some of whom have had their work hours cut, are struggling to pay their mortgages, and one lady has had a nervous breakdown due to the financial pressure she’s under.

    Limerick Leader q