In an article published by the health and fitness guru David Wolfe, those who exhibit signs of an overactive imagination through constant worrying may in fact be the creative geniuses of our time.It seems that worrying and being creative go hand-in-hand. When we worry, we often fabricate scenarios and explanations for what is occurring. Like the patterns of a complex quilt, our deepest concerns and, yes, fears are often made visible through our creative processes.Wolfe writes, “It is the people who worry that are the creators. They are the ones who see the problems that need to be fixed before the happy go lucky people of the world.”Sometimes creating our life work can be one of the greatest struggles of all.Rest assured, my anxiety-ridden compatriots, we are in good company.Take a moment to consider the famous, renowned creative geniuses of our time and the times before: Emily Dickinson, Kurt Cobain, Steve Jobs, Tina Fey, Albert Einstein, and so many others!Creativity is beautiful, painful, and all the layers in between. But this is what makes it so worth it.As artists, innovators, and designers we must continually challenge these notions that being slightly neurotic and detailed-oriented is in fact an unwanted state of mind.Join a community of creative doers at Freelancers Union (it’s free!)Become a memberInstead, let’s try and view these traits as a means to stay honest and dedicated to our work.Channeling our creativity can be the healthiest way for us to focus our minds and allow our anxieties to calm themselves.We are the creative, innovating freelancers. And we can be loud and proud. Anxious and hyperfocused on the teeny tiniest details.But no details are too small when it comes to what we love. So the next time you start creating all sorts of reasons why your date didn’t return your call or why your cat just has to walk so darn close to the breakable objects in the precariously high places of your house, instead of stifling that anxious banter in your mind, pick up a pen and paper and get to writing.A brush and paint shall do just fine, too.Whatever your creative element–let it flow.An aspiring novelist and human and animal rights activist, Sarah Sather is the Communications Associate at Freelancers Union. When she’s not writing blog posts and editing articles, Sarah’s exploring NYC with her lovely girlfriend and their dachshund Mila.
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Solskjaer ready to welcome back Dempsey to Man Utdby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveMark Dempsey is set to return to Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s backroom staff.Solskjaer plans to welcome Dempsey back into the fold at Manchester United after the coach was rushed to hospital during the summer tour of Australia and Asia.Dempsey flew home early ‘due to the intensity’ of United’s pre-season schedule and has not resumed his role in Solskjaer’s back room team since.It is understood he has been back to the club’s Carrington training ground on at least two occasions, but that is not believed to have been in an official capacity, says the London Evening Standard.Dempsey was considered an important part of Solskjaer’s coaching team, playing a pivotal role in day-to-day sessions alongside Kieran McKenna and Michael Carrick.He is also a close confidant of Solskjaer, having worked with him at Cardiff and Molde.United’s manager intends to give Dempsey every opportunity to resume his career at the club, but it’s understood he will be eased back into his role once he is ready to get back to work.
Chief Policy Analyst in the Office of the Cabinet, Coleen White, is calling for more females to pursue studies and careers in the fields of science and technology, which she noted, continue to be dominated by men. Locally, the number of females enrolled in engineering at the University of the West Indies (UWI) stood at 10 per cent in 2015/16; while 18 per cent were enrolled at the University of Technology (UTech) for the same period.During the event, female students from the Mona School of Engineering, UWI, demonstrated their skills in electronics, agriculture, and civil engineering.Teams made interesting presentations on projects they are undertaking including the development of technology and geotechnical solutions for soil problems; a flood-risk assessment of 138 Student Living phase 2 at UWI; designing a transportation hub for the UWI Irvine entrance; and a robot demonstration.Students from Jamaica College also participated in a debate on the moot: ‘Be it resolved that the low level of representation of females in the fields of science and technology is a result of self-exclusion and not social or institutional barriers’.The debate sparked robust discussion from audience members, which included students from Holy Childhood and Mona high schools. Students from Jamaica College also participated in a debate on the moot: ‘Be it resolved that the low level of representation of females in the fields of science and technology is a result of self-exclusion and not social or institutional barriers’. The function was held as part of the body’s awareness raising activities on gender issues and in recognition of International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8 under the local theme: ‘Empowering Women and Girls in Science, Technology and Business’. Story Highlights Chief Policy Analyst in the Office of the Cabinet, Coleen White, is calling for more females to pursue studies and careers in the fields of science and technology, which she noted, continue to be dominated by men.Her call follows a recent appeal from Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Hon. Olivia Grange, for greater female representation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).Ms. White, in her address at a function hosted by the Gender Committee for the Offices of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet at Jamaica House on Friday (March 9), pointed out that traditionally, women and girls have been under-represented in those fields.“I think there is evidence to suggest that there are opportunities to improve women’s participation in these areas,” she said.The function was held as part of the body’s awareness raising activities on gender issues and in recognition of International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8 under the local theme: ‘Empowering Women and Girls in Science, Technology and Business’.Ms. White said the event also sought to acknowledge and celebrate women, who are currently in the fields and present opportunities “so others may be motivated to pursue careers in these areas.”Quoting statistics from a study done by the United Nations (UN) in 14 countries, she noted that the probability of female students graduating with a bachelors degree, masters degree or doctorate in a science-related field are 18 per cent, eight per cent and two per cent respectively; compared to 37 per cent, 18 per cent and six per cent for male students.
zoom Singapore-based shipping company APL, part of French shipping major CMA CGM, plans to add a second vessel to its Guam Saipan Express (GSX) service, upgrading this US flagged service from a fortnightly to a weekly coverage.The first sailing of the weekly service will commence in late December 2016 from Yokohama, Japan, according to APL.Currently supported by the 1,100 TEU container ship, the APL Guam and soon, the 1,600 TEU APL Saipan, the enhanced GSX service will double its frequency calls to the ports of Busan (South Korea), Yokohama (Japan), Guam and Saipan (US), the company said.Currently, APL’s GSX service is facilitating cargo shipments from the US mainland via connecting service, Eagle Express service (EX1), in Busan and Yokohama.“The more frequent GSX service will speed up essential cargo shipments from the U.S. mainland to the islands, especially Guam where 75% of her inbound freight originate from the US mainland,” John Selleck, APL General Manager, Guam/Micronesia, said.Port rotation of the upgraded service will be as follows: Busan, Yokohama, Guam, Saipan, Busan.
zoom The latest mediation round between Swedish Dockworkers’ Union, section 4, and APM Terminals Gothenburg has been terminated after the latest attempt of reaching a deal on collective bargaining agreement fell through.Dockworkers union said that it had proposed on Tuesday, July 4 that the parties sign a collective agreement built on a previously proposed mediation bid as a temporary solution, “to try to normalize relations and to work towards a sustainable solution in agreement negotiations forward.” As disclosed, the conditions were that the agreement would be short and clear.However, APM Terminals rejected the offer, the union informed, adding that, according to the government-appointed mediators, the company was not interested in a short contract.Following the latest developments, the mediators announced that there were no preconditions for a reconciliation of the two parties on the matter, terminating the mediation round that was launched on June 16.In June, APM Terminals Gothenburg served a notice of termination to 160 staff members, out of a total of 450 employees, due to “a sharp fall in volumes over the past year”.However, earlier this month, the union said that there was no new information about APM Terminals recent announcement that the company will lay off 150 dockworkers in Gothenburg.“The Swedish Dockworkers’ Union (SDU), which organises some 85% of the dockworkers at the container terminal, is still barred from participating in the redundancy talks and currently lacks insight in the ongoing related negotiations between APMT and the minority union STWU,” the union added.In May this year, APMT imposed a partial lockout that was in effect from 4 pm (1600 hrs) on 19 May until midnight (2400 hrs) on 30 June.According to the union, the employer’s industrial action meant that the dockworkers were shut out from the port without pay and that the terminal was shut down between 16.00 and 07.00 on all weekdays during the said period, resulting in production loss of 371 hours.APMT had justified the move saying that after 14 blockades and nine days of strike action by SDU over the past year, the company needed a way of ensuring reliable service.APMT Gothenburg is open but is operating slower than usual due to the recent cyber attack on its parent company Maersk.World Maritime News Staff
zoomImage Courtesy: TT-Line Ferry companies TT-Line and Stena Line are ending their cooperation on the Rostock-Trelleborg route.The two companies have been providing each other with capacity on their year-round services between the two cities in Germany and Sweden.As informed, the cooperation will be terminated on September 15, 2018.TT-Line said it has decided to deploy its six vessels on the route from and to Rostock “to even better respond to capacity and quality needs of its customers.”In order to be able to cater for these needs, the company is renewing the cafeteria on deck seven of its vessel Nils Dacke, with the work expected to be completed this week. The completion of works on Nils Dacke will be followed by the modernization of its sister ship Robin Hood, according to TT-Line.In addition, passenger vessel Peter Pan is currently at a shipyard in Bremerhaven and will undergo works aimed at increasing the ship’s cargo capacity.World Maritime News Staff
Provincial government employees surpassed fundraising goals during the annual United Way campaign. Employees in departments and agencies across Nova Scotia raised $688,493, which was $120,000 more than the 2012 campaign. The provincial goal for 2013 was $600,000. “I am thrilled by the participation of provincial employees, whose generosity helped us exceed our goal again this year,” said Simon d’Entremont, deputy minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. “These funds will be used by the United Way to make a difference in the lives of individuals and families in communities across Nova Scotia. This year’s campaign was hosted by Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations and Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. The United Way funds hundreds of agencies and programs across Nova Scotia, ranging from afterschool programming, literacy, employment training and family resource delivery. Funds raised by employees will stay in their communities. “United Way Halifax is fortunate that our provincial government employees care about our community and are willing to show their concern by contributing to the annual campaign,” said Catherine J. Woodman, president and CEO, United Way Halifax. “As we focus on the critical issues in this city and zero in on poverty and healthy living, we are grateful for their generous support and inspired by the power of giving shown by so many.” The 2014 campaign will be hosted by the Department of Community Services. For more information, visit www.gov.ns.ca/unitedway .
APTN National NewsActivists are continuing their call for the removal of Wally Oppal as commissioner of British Columbia’s inquiry into Vancouver’s missing women.Oppal was appointed to head the inquiry created to determine why it took so long for police to catch serial killer Robert Pickton.Women’s groups in Vancouver want Oppal to step down.
The Canadian PressA new report says the broken rail line that is the only land access to Churchill, Man., could be up and running again by November for $43.5 million or less if somebody steps forward soon to pay for it.The report by engineering firm AECOM was commissioned by the rail line’s owners, Denver-based Omnitrax, which has said it cannot afford to fix the line on its own.The railway was severely damaged by spring flooding and since then, goods and people have had to be flown in, at much higher cost, to the town of 900 on the coast of Hudson Bay.The report says the 250-kilometre section of track leading to Churchill has been washed out or otherwise damaged in 130 locations, including bridges and culverts.Read More: Churchill Rail LinePrime Minister Justin Trudeau said in July that Omnitrax has legal obligations to fix and operate the line, which was privatized in 1997 and given millions of government dollars for upgrades a decade later.Omnitrax, which had previously estimated repair costs at up to $60 million, has been in talks with a First Nations consortium to sell the line but there is no sign of a deal.“The plan is to complete at a minimum all immediate (urgent) work in 2017 with the goal of re-opening the line for safe passage of light loaded trains in early November 2017,” the AECOM report states, adding non-urgent repairs that would allow heavier rail cars could wait until next year.“However, there are several factors, such as contractor availability, procurement delays, equipment availability or early freeze-up that may prevent this from happening.”AECOM also says that if weather, procurement procedures and other factors really cooperate, all repairs might be complete this year, reducing the final price tag.Despite the shrinking time-frame for construction to occur before freeze-up in the subarctic community, Churchill Mayor Mike Spence has recently sounded hopeful that a breakthrough may be at hand.“Important discussions are continuing with the federal government and we are optimistic and confident that federal support will be forthcoming to our current situation,” Spence and other town council members wrote in a statement last week.Late Wednesday night, Spence said Churchill residents are anxious for a solution.“The clock is ticking, the repairs need to be done and winter’s coming here quick.”The Manitoba government recently increased its subsidy for some food to Churchill, and ordered large amounts of propane to be sent by ship this month to ensure that homes have enough heating fuel to last through the long winter and spring.Contact APTN National News here: firstname.lastname@example.org
29 December 2011The United Nations refugee agency today welcomed Georgia’s accession to a landmark global treaty that aims to protect the estimated 12 million people worldwide who are stateless – displaced persons with no citizenship status with any country. After depositing the instruments of accession last week, Georgia becomes the 71st State Party to the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, which establishes minimum standards of treatment for stateless persons.The convention, one of two major international treaties on statelessness, will enter into force in Georgia in March next year. The minimum standards in the pact include asking that State parties accord displaced people without a nationality the same rights as they do to foreigners. The international instrument was designed to avoid people being left in legal limbo. According to a statement issued today by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Georgia is one of the first of the countries that committed earlier this month – at a global ministerial conference on the issue in Geneva – to ratify or accede to the convention to actually do so. Another 24 countries vowed to ratify or accede during that meeting.Acceding to the convention allows Georgia to define statelessness under national law, to establish procedures for the determination of statelessness and to establish the responsibilities of stateless people in the country.Simone Wolken, UNHCR’s representative in Georgia, called the accession “a milestone in the broader agenda of the country to demonstrate international best practices and to ensure the enjoyment of rights of all persons living in Georgia.” About 1,600 stateless people were registered by national authorities in Georgia as of September. UNHCR states that about 4,000 others are at risk of becoming stateless.The agency said it would continue to push for Georgia to accede to the other significant treaty on the issue, the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres said earlier this month at the ministerial conference that while States have the right to define their own immigration policies, they should do so in respect for human dignity and basic rights. Mr. Guterres asked countries to “assume our shared duty,” and “face the new challenges of forced displacement, find[ing] concrete and constructive ways to address them collectively.”
NEW YORK — GateHouse and Gannett say their newspaper deal has cleared U.S. antitrust review. It still needs approval from European regulators and stockholders of both companies. The two say they expect the deal to close this year.USA Today owner Gannett and GateHouse argue that combining will help them accelerate the path to digital for their newspapers even as they pay down debt from the deal. The combination would create the largest U.S. newspaper company in a contracting industry, with more than 260 daily papers in the U.S. and more than 300 weeklies.Getting bigger would allow the combined company to trim costs by centralizing operations, but also by cutting newsroom jobs. Community members complain that will affect local coverage.GateHouse has continued to lay off journalists since announcing the takeover.The Associated Press
During a 45-minute meeting on Thursday evening, the two also reviewed the region’s political and security situation, according to a UN spokesman.Foreign Minister Shimon Peres reiterated Israel’s commitment to alleviate the humanitarian situation of the Palestinian people. “He told the Secretary-General that the Israeli Government would fully cooperate with UN agencies on the ground, including the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and the Office of the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process,” spokesman Fred Eckhard told reporters in New York.”The Secretary-General said it was important to accompany positive developments on the humanitarian side with a movement on the political track as well,” the spokesman noted.
Ambassador Don MacKay of New Zealand said many of the participants meeting at UN Headquarters in New York remained confident that an agreed text could be achieved by tonight. “We are definitely within striking distance,” he said. “I think it will be finalized.” The Coordinator of the International Disability Caucus, Maria Veronica Reina, said she was also cautiously optimistic. “Even though the last mile is the most difficult mile, we are almost there,” she said. If the negotiations succeed, the convention – which could be adopted by the General Assembly during its upcoming session – would mark a turning point in ending official discrimination against persons with disabilities. Mr. MacKay said about half of the convention has already been agreed upon and he expected agreement today on some of the more difficult issues, such as an international monitoring mechanism, education, and the clauses which would spell out how the convention would take effect. “All of us know that agreement is within reach at the end of this week,” Mr. MacKay said. But delegations, he added, had to ask themselves whether sticking to a position would prevent their government from becoming a party to the convention. “If the answer is no, please do not insist on a position,” he implored.
OTTAWA – The Canada Revenue Agency has uncovered millions of dollars worth of missing taxes by doing a simple credit check that the banks have been using for years.The project found almost $3 million of GST revenue that had been collected from customers by new businesses but was never handed over to Ottawa, or was fraudulently refunded to them.The money turned up after 439 firms were targeted by running their tax-registration information through a commercial credit-screening service from Equifax Canada Ltd.Banks and other financial institutions have for years vetted potential customers applying for mortgages, loans and credit cards through commercial credit-checking services.But the Canada Revenue Agency had not been doing so with companies newly registering as collectors of GST/HST taxes — some of which simply kept the money.The agency’s pilot project was launched in 2010, as part of a wider effort to flush out some of estimated $35 billion that remains untaxed in the underground economy.The so-called Interactive Warning System project, or IWS, focused on missing GST/HST revenue and was slated to run for two years. But the results were encouraging enough that it was ended in 2011 after just 12 months.Internal documents outlining the project were obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act.“The project was considered a success,” said agency spokesman Philippe Brideau. “The procedures and approaches tested provided us with risk indicators that are part of the regular procedures.”Brideau says the agency is “currently exploring follow-up use of IWS products for GST/HST compliance.”Documents show the agency eventually wants to catch income-tax cheats and people improperly receiving government benefits by using credit checks.IWS is a financial-industry term for a system that identifies problems with names, addresses, social insurance numbers (or SINs), telephone numbers and dates of birth that suggest possible fraud. The system automatically flags high-risk credit applications.The agency’s final report on the project, dated September last year, describes how the system worked.“For example, if someone is attempting to mask their identity by using the SIN of a deceased person, this would be flagged by the IWS products and a warning message would be generated to prompt further review,” says the heavily blacked-out report.“The warning messages are generic, such as ‘Applicant’s SIN is reported as misused.’ Additional personal information is not provided with the warning.”Equifax’s system, called SafeScan, might also flag a file if the postal code and telephone number were inconsistent.The Canada Agency Revenue used SafeScan to target 439 firms for a GST/HST audit. Each audit uncovered an average of $6,800 in missing tax revenue. Brideau says no charges were laid.Quebec was excluded from the project because federal GST there is collected by the provincial tax agency on behalf of Ottawa.The agency completed a so-called privacy impact assessment, or PIA, in late 2007 to demonstrate the project would not put personal information at risk.The assessment noted that “at no time will the interactive warning system database interact with the CRA’s databases,” and said access to the information would be limited to a few authorized individuals.Privacy commissioner Jennifer Stoddart pressed the agency to use only one credit-service provider to further reduce risks to privacy. The other major provider in Canada is TransUnion of Canada Inc.A spokesman for Stoddart said CRA agreed to conduct an evaluation after the pilot project to review privacy risks before expanding the program nationally.“To date, our office has not received a revised or additional PIA for this project,” Scott Hutchinson said.The internal report shows the project cost $2.4 million, mostly salaries, to uncover about $3 million in missing GST/HST revenue, for a net gain of less than $600,000 — a relatively poor return compared with other CRA programs.The project was one of a series of underground economy initiatives launched in the last few years that have included audits of restaurant serving staff in St. Catharines, Ont., and maple-sugar producers in Quebec. by Dean Beeby, The Canadian Press Posted Sep 29, 2012 7:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Tax agency credit checks find missing millions in GST/HST money owed to Ottawa
Then-junior opposite hitter Maxime Hervoir spikes the ball during the NCAA championship on Saturday. Credit: Sheridan Hendrix | Oller ReporterThe No. 5 Ohio State men’s volleyball team (10-2, 3-0 MIVA) took down the Lindenwood Lions (6-6, 1-4 MIVA) in three quick sets Thursday night despite an unusual lineup.Ohio State senior outside hitter Nicolas Szerszen sat out due to Achilles tendon pain. Sophomore outside hitter Reese Devilbiss, who filled in for Szerszen, played the part well, averaging a hitting percentage of .500 and scoring 14 kills. Despite the new starter, the Buckeyes took care of business, winning by at least five points in two of the three sets.“We were relatively calm throughout the whole entire match because we knew we wanted to keep a steady level of play going because we didn’t want Nic Szerszen to have to come in and save us because that’s not who we are,” Devilbiss said. “We tried to keep our composure, and I think we did that very well.”Though the Lions struggled against the Buckeyes, Lindenwood sophomore middle blocker Sam Schindler had a good match, hitting a .615 and nailing six service aces.Ohio State head coach Pete Hanson credited much of Schindler’s service success to unpredictability.“He hits it hard. It’s not always real controllable and I think that’s part of what our guys may expect to see, a pretty true serve. He doesn’t hit a true serve,” Hanson said. “He just whacks it and it kinda goes anywhere and our guys didn’t do a good job of getting in a good spot and adjusting to that well.”Lindenwood struggled with passing in the first set, watching a number of the balls fall without moving toward them. The Lions’ offense also started off slow with junior setter Adam Brewster and his fellow attackers struggling to synchronize. Ohio State won the opening set 25-19.The second set was close, unlike the first, but the Buckeyes pulled away late for a second victory in a row. Lindenwood took a brief 4-3 lead. Ohio State passed them for a 9-8 lead after an attack error by Lindenwood freshman outside hitter Johnny Winkler and maintained the lead by a few points until the Buckeyes won the set 25-20.The third set was the closest of the night despite Lindenwood hitting a match-low .172. The Lions fought back with increased intensity while the Buckeyes had trouble sealing the victory. Lindenwood led the Buckeyes for the better half of the set with a strong blocking presence on the net. The Lions had two blocks in the set and added pressure to Ohio State’s attacker, who gave up six points in attacking errors. Hanson attributed the final set’s tight score of 26-24 to the Buckeyes’ inability to finish points.“It’s natural for an athlete to kind of relax and not play every point really, really point when you’re on the verge of winning and it’s been pretty easy,” he said. “When you get a team down, you’ve got to step on them. You have to finish them off.”Ohio State senior outside hitter Maxime Hervoir had another strong night, landing 12 kills and hitting a .417. This season, he has steadily become a go-to attacker and source of power. “He’s in a good rhythm with [junior setter] Sanil [Thomas]. Sanil now kind of feels comfortable setting him the type of ball that he needs,” Hanson said. “Max has played real well for us the last three or four weeks and we’re going to need that to continue if we’re going to have a chance to do what we want to do this season.”The Buckeyes will play Quincy at 2 p.m. Sunday at St. John Arena.
Owners of some of the UK’s best known landmarks are pursuing legal action to fight back against YouTube daredevils who climb their iconic buildings.Lloyd’s of London has revealed that it is working to secure a court injunction to stop so-called urban explorers from not only trespassing on their property, but climbing their buildings with little to no equipment.The legal action comes after Lloyd’s iconic head office became a magnet for explorers to climb in recent years.But the insurance market giant is just one out of a handful of businesses that have fallen victim to the growing YouTube trend.Urban explorers have climbed a number of recognisable buildings including Old Trafford, the Etihad Stadium and Stamford Bridge in the last year alone. A spokesperson for Manchester United said: “The named individuals are forbidden from entering the club’s property. The injunction also applies to any further attempts of trespassing, whether by these individuals or by anyone else, which could now result in proceedings for contempt of court.” According to court documents, Lloyd’s lawyer stated: “The increase in frequency of trespassers not only increases the risk of injury, but also poses a threat to the security of Lloyd’s inasmuch as the global broadcasting of these incidents openly provides information about access points to future trespassers as well as future trespassers with malicious intent.”In December both Manchester United and Chelsea FC were granted injunctions. Climbers attempted to access Old Trafford on two separate occasions in June and September, prompting the club to take legal action. The incident at Old Trafford in June was heavily criticised after the city was still on high alert following the Manchester Arena terror attack.The owners of Manchester City have too fought back against free climbers, obtaining a similar court order after YouTuber Ally Law recorded himself breaking into the Etihad Stadium and making his way to the roof, before being led away by a police officer.The Shard in London was also forced to take action in 2012, securing an injunction against French “Spiderman” Alain Robert after he was spotted inside the building.It is often the case that successful climbers record their dangerous adventures, taking pictures, videos and selfies. They are in some instances able to monetise their efforts via sites such as YouTube, where they have hundreds, sometimes thousands of followers. Old Trafford has been the subject of an injunctionCredit:Gareth Copley / Getty Images Alain Robert has become famous for his daring climbsCredit:Dima Korotayev/ Getty Images Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
Matthew Robinson, who fell under a train at Bishop’s StortfordCredit:Paul Keogh A city IT worker is suing a train operator for nearly £2m in damages after losing both his legs when he fell between a train and a platform looking for his lost season ticket.Matthew Robinson, 34, was on his way home from work in London when he fell into the “significant” gap at Bishop’s Stortford Station in January 2013.The commuter had left his £3,000 season ticket on the Stansted Express and was walking alongside, looking through a window, when he lost his footing and fell.The train ran over his legs, causing the loss of one above the knee and another below, leaving him needing a wheelchair.Suing operator Abellio Greater Anglia Ltd for £1.9m damages, he claims not enough was done to ensure safety at a station with a large “platform train interface”.At the High Court, he told Judge Martin McKenna: “I knew there was a gap, but I wasn’t aware at the time how significant it was.”His barrister, Brian Cummins, told the court the Liverpool Street to Bishop’s Stortford platform is long and curved, with an “excessive” gap in places. Mr Robinson, who lives in the Hertfordshire town, said he had been in a “distressed” state when he realised he had left his season ticket on the train. He had lost one before and did not want to be out of pocket, so returned to the train to retrieve it.However, he went for the wrong carriage and the train was already moving before he could get onto the car where he had left his card.Footage played in court showed Mr Robinson walking alongside the train in the direction of travel and then disappearing as he fell into the gap.Giving evidence, he told the judge that, although he had been commuting to and from the station for nine years, he had rarely heard “mind the gap” warnings.And although he said he knew there was a gap, he added: “I was unaware it was as large as this”.Abellio denies liability, and suggest Mr Robinson was so stressed at the thought of losing the £3,000 ticket that he was “completely distracted”.The hearing continues. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
FORMER TAOISEACH JOHN Bruton has said that the banking inquiry should avoid recovering old ground and focus on identifying why the housing bubble was ignored.Speaking today at a conference organised by the Irish Banking Federation in Dublin, Bruton urged the inquiry members not to identify what happened, but why nothing was done to stop it when the warning signs were so blatant.House price bubbleBruton said that the primary focus of the inquiry must be to examine why nothing was done despite what he said were “obvious” signals that the housing market was overheating.“House prices were rising far faster than other prices, and even far faster than incomes. Meanwhile, people could get 100% mortgages.” Well we were in that difficult situation, and the figures were there for anyone to read them. Why didn’t they read them? Why didn’t they draw the right conclusions from them? These are the questions of political economy to which we need to find answers, if we are to credibly say that the Irish crisis of 2007-2008 will never happen again.He said the inquiry must examine more “profound” issues as to the cause of the crisis, rather than recover old ground which has already been discussed in the Nyberg and Honohan reports into the banking crisis.“That’s the challenge. It’s a psychological challenge, it’s an intellectual challenge, it’s a challenge to our imagination – but above all, it’s a challenge to our politics.”Opinion: Aaron McKenna – The opposition has missed the chance to expose the banking show trial>Read: Warning over legal challenges as banking inquiry’s public sessions not expected until 2015> It was obvious that once that process stopped, and once house prices slowed even slowed down…that you were immidiately in a situation where the 100% mortgages were no longer viable.He said that this made the idea of a soft landing, a line which was pushed by the Government of the time, “inherently implausible”.Balance of payments deficitBruton argued that the reasons why a large and growing balance of payment deficits was ignored also merit further investigation.“That should tell you that you’re spending more than you’re earning abroad, and if the money that you’re spending abroad has been borrowed from someone else, well then we’re in a difficult situation.” Political questionsHe defended the tack taken by the Government of having politicians rather than economists or other experts conduct the inquiry.“As politicians, they can ask themselves the hard political questions, not only of the people in charge at the time, but of themselves as to what they would do if they were in the same situation.”He suggested that politicians are best placed to come up with policy instruments that have to be implemented through the Irish political system.“What action should have been taken in 2002, 2003…would this have included a property tax? Restricted mortgage interest relief? If that had been done, how would it have been received?”He said that it was vital to figure out how house price slowdowns and a squeeze on credit could be made politically palatable to an electorate during an economic boom.SolutionsSolutions that could be accommodated within the Irish political system had to be indentified, so future Governments wouldn’t find themselves without weapons to defuse future crises before they passed the point of no return.“Given the adversarial and short term nature of politics, what additional institutional supports would future governments need to have to ensure that they give a different answer?”
Funding stand-off leaves Ireland’s National Hockey Stadium unfit for purpose The venue in Belfield can no longer host international fixtures as the playing surface doesn’t meet the required standards. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article http://the42.ie/3257275 By Ryan Bailey Mar 28th 2017, 5:13 PM Follow us: the42.ie Ireland struggle to contain Afghanistan as hosts seize advantage in crucial game on road to Test cricket THE FUTURE OF Ireland’s National Hockey Stadium as an international venue is in doubt as a funding stand-off has halted a much-needed upgrade of the facility. The National Hockey Stadium in Belfield. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHOThe Belfield venue’s water-based playing surface no longer meets International Hockey Federation (FIH) standards with the venue’s certificate expiring as far back as 2013.The FIH confirmed to The42 that Belfield isn’t currently a ‘Quality Programme Certified Field’ and therefore does not meet the criteria to host higher-tier competitions.Hockey Ireland and University College Ireland (UCD) have held discussions over the upgrade of the pitch but neither are currently in a position, or willing, to finance the project which could cost anything up to €250,000.UCD say it is ‘committed to the proactive upgrade of Belfield’s National Hockey Stadium’ but it’s understood the third-level university’s stance is that the pitch isn’t in need of an upgrade.That’s despite the FIH’s intervention and a clear deterioration in the surface’s condition in recent years with wear and tear visible in both goal areas, in particular. It’s understood that repair work was carried out last summer on certain areas of the surface but ‘not to the satisfaction’ required.The last international game to be played there was Ireland’s challenge match against Argentina in October 2015, while the Women’s World Hockey League 2 final in March 2015 was the last competitive match Belfield hosted.While accreditation was not required for the staging of the friendly game, the FIH and Hockey Ireland say they reached an agreement so the venue could be used for the Women’s tournament without the necessary certification. Certain areas of the playing surface are visibly worn. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHOThe stadium is located on UCD’s campus and was built in 1994 for the staging of the Women’s World Cup as a joint-venture with the then Irish Hockey Union.The current surface was funded by the Sports Capital Programme a decade ago but Hockey Ireland have been unable to apply for another government grant as an agreement with UCD couldn’t be reached.Both Hockey Ireland and UCD Hockey Club — both of whom are tenants of the pitch and are allocated a certain number of hours for use per week — have expressed their bewilderment at the decision from UCD not to co-operate with the grant application.The deadline for applications for the 2017 Sports Capital Programme closed on 24 February, leaving the cash-strapped governing body in limbo and the National Stadium unfit for purpose.“The pitch has been in use for over a decade and has played host to countless memorable matches, both at club and international level,” Hockey Ireland said in a statement released to The42.“However, it is now at the end of its usable life for international fixtures and there are more suitable pitches available around Ireland.“Hockey Ireland and UCD are working progressively to establish and develop all options for the upgrade of Belfield’s National Hockey Stadium.“We wish to ensure that all players and supporters of Irish Hockey and UCD Hockey enjoy many more of these days to come on the Belfield Campus.”Hockey Ireland hosted the World League 2 tournament at Belfast’s Stormont Estate earlier this month due to the unavailability of Belfield. The last time the event took place in Ireland — in March 2015 — UCD was the host venue. Tuesday 28 Mar 2017, 5:13 PM Share15 Tweet Email 19,454 Views The last international game played in Belfield was in 2015. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHOWhile Hockey Ireland say there are a number of pitches around the country they can use instead, Belfield is the only venue with covered seating for over 500 people.It means the hosting cost of the tournament for the governing body increased substantially with temporary seating, TV and media facilities and other infrastructure required to be installed.The senior men’s team played friendly fixtures on Monkstown’s newly-resurfaced pitch at Rathdown School and in Cork during the build-up to their Olympic campaign last summer.Craig Fulton’s side are currently using the facilities at Three Rock Rovers for training and while the camp say it’s not a major issue, the situation is far from ideal as they look to build on the progress made in qualifying for Rio.UCD insist they are working with their ‘friends and partners’ at Hockey Ireland on an ongoing basis but there is no indication that a resolution is forthcoming with the governing body unable to fund the project themselves.The42 understands that a number of meetings have taken place between Hockey Ireland officials and representatives from UCD but several stumbling blocks are preventing any further progress.It’s no secret that Hockey Ireland are pushing to move their headquarters from UCD to the National Sports Campus in Abbotstown, where the hope is that they would eventually have access to two world-class pitches and a national stadium. The pitch is also used by UCD Hockey Club. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHOThe prospect of such a switch may be behind UCD’s reluctance to invest in a new pitch in Belfield, with the college happy that the facilities are perfectly adequate to host club games.While Hockey Ireland are the main tenants of the Belfield pitch, it is used on a weekly basis by UCD’s men’s and ladies’ teams for EY Hockey League (All-Ireland) fixtures as well as national and provincial cup finals.Sources from within UCD Hockey Club say they have assurances from the college that the issue will be resolved by the end of 2017 and a new facility will be in place by then, but funding remains the major obstacle.The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us! Short URL 10 Comments
Once again, the Lonsdale Street Greek Festival lived up to its reputation for being the world’s largest outdoor Greek festival outside Greece.Tens of thousands attended the annual street party’s 32nd anniversary and if you had the chance to spend even a couple of hours there, you’ll know nothing was missing. From impressive dance performances, live music, DJ sets and acclaimed artists – including the sensational Eleonora Zouganeli – through to public competitions, kids activities and traditional cooking, every little corner was set-up in a way to ensure people of all ages, nationalities and tastes had a reason to be happy.But according to festival co-chair Jim Bossinakis, one of the biggest success stories from this year’s event was the overwhelming presence of the younger generation.“It was really pleasing to see that we flipped the attendees and the participants to a younger demographic. This is something that has been happening for quite a while but it was also evidenced for me this weekend, ” he enthuses.“I do believe it’s got to be multifaceted and have broad-based appeal and it’s got to be something that the youth are going to take on board because it’s an evolving festival, it’s not static, if it were that would be problematic.”Targeted efforts to attract young revellers as well as an improved set-up contributed to this, Bossinakis explains, citing as example the crowd distribution to smaller stages, with #lovelonsdale stage boasting modern vibes and “a bit more of a Melbourne feel with a bar right next to it”, while AA holdings stage on the other end featuring more traditional performances.Being a GOCMV board member since 2009 with active involvement in the annual organising of the event, including having served as a secretary of the Antipodes festival, Bossinakis was by no means unfamiliar with the logistics and work required for Melbourne’s big Greek weekend.It was however his first year as the festival’s co-chair along with Leonidas Vlahakis, assuming the position previously held by current GOCMV vice-president Tammy Iliou.Their mentoring and guidance was invaluable says Bossinakis, and reflective of the organisation’s genuine interest for delivering a successful festival.“As a Greek community we are very committed to the event and we try to make it better every year by instituting some changes[…]The layout was better this year, considering as well it was extended to Exhibition street”.Acknowledging Director of the Festival George Menidis with his crew as the genius behind the big undertaking, Bossinakis pays special tribute to the volunteers’ team.“They are just incredible, what they do is clearly amazing. They start around 5am Saturday morning and finish around that time on Monday. It’s a pretty monster event you end up running on adrenaline for a long period of time, but it’s a lot of fun for the people involved.“I just want to thank everybody that participated, all the people that came and the volunteers.”And while the organising team is still due to meet and reflect over the past weekend, feedback received certainly backs big plans for next year.“If people have any ideas about things they want to see or how they want us to improve, just get in contact with us.“I’ve already had some suggestions for who should headline next year, ” Bossinakis reveals adding it is still early though.What he can confirm is their commitment for “a bigger and better festival next year”, along with continuing targeting youth involvement.“It’s going to become their festival[…]It’s really for them to take over and steer it in a way that they want it to go.” Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram