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Posts Tagged ‘ Beijing ’

The Rise Of Special Olympics Ireland

specialolympics

November 25th 1963, the eyes of the world are firmly fixed on Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. A heroic figure has been cut down in his prime. A 42 year old woman stands idly by as she watches her brother lowered into the ground. Amidst the backdrop of her sibling’s successes, it is now her time to create some history of her own.

One year prior to the death of her brother Eunice Kennedy Shriver had a vision. She invited young people with intellectual disabilities to a day camp in her own back garden, sowing the seeds for the foundation of the Special Olympics – an organisation that would grow into a global movement and change the lives of millions. Eunice, saw opportunity where others saw barriers, and despite the personal tragedies that encapsulated her family she battled valiantly and secured a brighter future for all those born with intellectual disabilities. Continue reading

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Sochi 2014: 10 Facts About The Most Expensive Winter Olympics Ever

sochi

The Winter Olympic Games are set to unfold in the Russian beach resort town of Sochi , which has been plagued by controversy right from the start.

When organizers struck down a request by NGO Pride House to set up shop in Sochi, Russia’s policies on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights came under close scrutiny. Then there were widespread allegations over corruption in the provisions of services and facilities. Critics accused Russian president Vladimir Putin of cronyism in awarding contracts and mismanagement of funds. Continue reading

Snow Joke As Edward Gives America The Run Around

The United States has increased pressure on Russia to hand over former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, who is believed to be hiding out in Moscow while waiting for news of an asylum request to Ecuador.

However Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has said that Snowden has not crossed into Russian territory, rejecting US demands to extradite the National Security Agency leaker, who continues to evade justice.

Lavrov said that accusing Russia of “violation of US laws and even some sort of conspiracy” with regard to Snowden is “absolutely ungrounded and unacceptable.” Continue reading

News in Brief – A Year in Brief

Olympic TorchHAPPY NEW YEAR! How’s the head? Mouth feel like it’s full of Jedwards hair? What better way to start the New Year than tired, fat and saturated in booze?

It hasn’t been a bad year. Actually . . . Well anyway to celebrate the dawn of the unlucky for some 2013 News in Brief has taken a look back at some of the best stories from 2012.

2012 saw the evolution of lives lived online and cemented the necessity that is the internet across every aspect of our lives. And its propensity for porn. Seeing the potential in owning online, Kevin O’Shea from Waterford in a “moment of madness” bought the domains; finegael.xxx, sinnfein.xxx and fiannafail.xxx for €300; the X-rated dot-com equivalent known for its use in porn site web addresses. On his purchases O’Shea said, ” I was laid up with a broken leg and I had a lot of time on my hands. It was kind of like that film Rear Window where the main character goes a bit mad.”

Last year Irish author Julian Gough, took umbrage with the organisers of the eponymous Wodehouse literary prize after discovering their winner was secured before the short list was drawn up. The well sought prize for the winner of the Wodehouse award? Well the top author has the honour of bestowing their name on a pig. Gough offended by the fix in the competition stole the prize pig from its home in Wales threatening to return the animal “sausage by sausage” until the competition was made fair. In a twist to the tale, and despite Gough’s criminal activity, 2012 saw the writer once again short listed for the award.

A former drug addict helped her husband in his attempt to rob a building society disguised as a wheelchair bound woman. While Denise Ward, 39 waited outside in a car, Thomas Clark dressed in a black wig, threatened a Permanent TSB branch manager with an axe. However Clark and his 21-year-old accomplice were chased from the building by the manager, shouting; “would you ever f*** off”.

In other banking news Ulster Bank lost the run of itself also losing its customers cash somewhere. Taxes, the payment and avoidance of also dominated the news this year. British comedian Jimmy Carr’s lack of tax lead to controversy on this side of the water as well. Whilst we know certain superstars of our own *cough-German submarine named band-cough* have made use of off-shore, legal, tax reduction measures it is unlikely they will face a barrage like Carr as the Irish economy relies in part on the income of the `legitimate tax avoidance measures` we offer global companies such as Facebook, Google and Apple . And at least Ulster Bank apologised. Chief Executive, Jim Brown turned down this year’s bonus after the unmitigated disaster that has been Ulster Bank’s computer problems. Thanks Jim.

Starbucks found themselves in trouble after they “erroneously posted” a tweet on their @StarbucksIE account saying; “Happy hour is on! Show us what makes you proud to be British for a chance to win. Don’t forget to tag #MyFrappuccino”. Irish followers didn’t take well to the mis-tweet with comedy writer Colm Tobin calling it, “the social media equivalent of Oliver Cromwell kicking Fungi in the nose” and another tweeter suggesting Starbucks re-name frappuccino’s, ‘Trappachino’s’ for the duration of the Euro 2012. Of which the less said the better.

On a similar theme we all watched Eurovision didn’t we? You either love it or threaten to `shed the blood` of `European scum`. Oh dear. For a show that often receives a Marmite reaction an Islamic extremist group went a bit further threatening to use knives and chemical weapons in a terror attack on the Eurovision hopefuls in May. Irish entry Jedward were unfazed, tweeting `Just so you know the Jedward Baby Day Care is closed and will not be changing any diapers so go baby wee wee at your own home`. Quite.

Ah Jedward, the stalwarts or News In Brief what else have they done this year? Well another one turned up, then another two (although made of wax), they ran a marathon with no training and supported Westlife in their farewell tour in Croke Park – never will we see four men, so stoically and so expertly stand up from stools.

It was Jedward who carried the Olympic flame as well, as it crossed Irish soil. With population figures taken into account Ireland came fourth in the Paralympics and earned a total of sixteen medals across London 2012. Not too shabby and a source of great pride to the whole country who welcomed our champions home with great ceremony and celebration. First stop The Late Late Show where the host managed to make a mockery of the whole thing and get Adam Nolan’s name wrong, repeatedly. He certainly wouldn’t want to meet the boxing champion in the ring after calling him Andy throughout the show causing Adam to take to Twitter to endorse the return of Pat Kenny. And the gold medal for prize prat goes to Ryan Tubridy.

What’s longer than an olympic swimming pool and less watery? Well, a lot of things really, but particularly the journey Olympic gymnast hopeful Kieran Behan had to take get to China. Mr Behan had been invited to take part in a prestigious gymnastic event but due to mistakes regarding his visa, was forced to re-board his eighteen hour flight from Heathrow to Beijing. Back in England it was only after discussion with the Chinese embassy that Mr Behan was once again onboard and bound for the Chinese capital. Gymnastics Ireland have taken full blame for the blunder which has cost Keiran five days of important training.Mr Behan, who has overcome sever disability and injury to get to his position in the gymnastic world was understandably frustrated, a member of his team commented, `It was the world’s biggest cock up.`

2012 saw cuts to public services including the Gardai. A victim of a burglary was forced to go and pick up Gardai after she was told there were no patrol cars for them to use. The woman, from Newtowncunningham in Co. Donegal initially reported the incident at her home, before being told she had the choice of waiting for the nearest patrol car, which was 9km away at the Carrigans station, or collecting the Gardai herself to investigate the incident.

And who could forget the councillor in Cork that wanted to introduce DNA testing to determine the doggy culprits leaving mess all over the city’s streets? He’s hoping we all have.

Ah 2012 what a year. What will 2013 bring? Hopefully more of the same. A Westlife reunion, the continuation of Jedward, more government groaning, banking balls ups and the general news fodder that makes this country so great and gives News in Brief something to write about every week. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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