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Home country: Ireland
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Member since: Mon May 23, 2016, 04:42 AM
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Trump gets permission to build Wall, after warning about Climate Change !

At his Doonbeg, County Clare, Ireland golf resort

US President Donald Trump has got the go-ahead for one of his walls - a sea defence at his exclusive golf resort on Ireland's west coast. Planning authorities gave the green light for the billionaire to protect his Doonbeg golf links in Co Clare with man-made dunes to keep back Atlantic storms. The work will involve putting in sea defences to protect the first, ninth and 18th holes of the course covering about 600m at the south end of Doughmore Bay and 250m at the north end. The aim is to create a sea defence that will stem erosion where severe winter storms have wiped out metres of beach and dune in recent years.

Clare County Council said the decision can be appealed within four weeks.


President Trump last year pulled plans for more extensive coastal protection works at Doonbeg amid fierce oppositions to a 200,000 tonne, 2.8km (two mile) sea defence. Mr Trump has said he is not a great believer in man-made climate change, but in his original application he cited global warming and rising seas as a reason for needing the wall. The dune system is also home to the microscopic narrow-mouth whorl snail, or vertigo angustior, which has survived since the Ice Age. Mr Trump paid about 15 million euro for Doonbeg and vowed to invest up to 45 million euro.


Tony Lowes, of Friends of the Irish Environment - which challenged the original plan, said: "Any intervention through physical barriers will impede the natural evolution of the dune system and put at risk protected species, even without considering the loss to Doughmore strand and its great dunes.

"The decision must be appealed."


MSNBC : Blake Farenthold not standing for re-election

just in ...


GOP Rep. Farenthold to retire after claims of sexual harassment
Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) will not run for re-election in 2018 after a second former staffer has come forward with accusations of sexual harassment. NBC’s Kasie Hunt reports.


Brexit : British Government loses key Brexit bill vote after Tory rebellion

The government has been narrowly defeated in a key vote on its Brexit bill after a rebellion by Tory MPs.
In a blow to Prime Minister Theresa May, MPs voted to give Parliament a legal guarantee of a vote on the final Brexit deal struck with Brussels. The government had argued this would jeopardise its chances of delivering a smooth departure from the EU.
Despite a last-minute attempt to offer concessions to rebels, an amendment to the bill was backed by 309 to 305.


After the result was announced, one of the rebels, former cabinet minister Nicky Morgan, tweeted: "Tonight Parliament took control of the EU Withdrawal process." The UK is due to leave the EU in March 2019, and negotiations are taking place on what their relationship will be in the future. The EU Withdrawal Bill is a key part of the government's exit strategy.
Its effects include ending the supremacy of EU law and copying existing EU law into UK law, so that the same rules and regulations apply on Brexit day.

MPs have been making hundreds of attempts to change its wording - but this is the first time one has succeeded.


Ireland : Committee expected to vote for unrestricted access to abortion up to 12 weeks

This is going to be a vicious Referendum, the Catholic Church and assorted RWNJs are lining up for a massive line in the sand.

Health Minister Simon Harris said he has prepared for various scenarios ahead of the final report from the Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment. The committee is expected to vote in favour of allowing unrestricted access to abortion up to 12 weeks as members believe that inserting clauses to allow for terminations in cases of rape and incest would be unworkable.
The committee will cast a series of votes relating to the repeal and replacement of the amendment, which gives equal status to the life of the mother and her unborn baby.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has told the Dail he would like for the referendum on abortion to be held in May. He said for this to happen, the Government will require the full support of the house.


everal amendments proposed by members relating to the circumstances in which abortion should be made available - including gestation, viability and acceptable grounds for termination, such as rape or incest - will be considered.
However, TDs and Senators are expected to conclude that allowing abortion in cases of rape and incest only is unworkable due to the high burden of proof required to prove rape.

During previous hearings, Prof Tom O'Malley BL said that in cases where a woman has an abortion after being raped, it could in theory be used as evidence against the accused and so prejudice a trial.
It was also heard that cross-examining a woman who may have just been raped - in order to decide if she was eligible for an abortion - would be deeply traumatic.

The widespread and unregulated use of abortion pills is another reason why members will support unrestricted access.

Meanwhile, a New York-based foundation, backed by billionaire George Soros, has said it is "proud" of its support of groups seeking to repeal the Eighth Amendment - despite the controversy over its donation to Amnesty International. The Open Society Foundations (OSF) stood over its financial support for the groups and did not rule out providing funding in the future. Amnesty International is refusing to return €137,000 that it received from OSF in 2016.

That is despite an order from the Standards in Public Office Commission (Sipo) to do so over allegations that the donation breaches laws against foreign financing of political campaigns ahead of next year's planned referendum on abortion. Colm O'Gorman, Amnesty's Irish CEO, claimed that the law was "flawed" and had been "weaponised" by opponents.


Brexit : Breakdown of potential Brexit Irish border deal


'I was surprised and disappointed' - Taoiseach on breakdown of potential Brexit border deal

Brexit: No deal today between Ireland and UK on border
No agreement on the Brexit "divorce deal" European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has said
DUP leader Arlene Foster says: "We will not accept any kind of regulatory divergence"
Sources in Dublin say the UK government needs to hold further negotiations with unionists
British Prime Minister said she was "confident we will conclude this positively"

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he was "both surprised and disappointed" after Brexit talks on the Northern Ireland border failed to reach a deal today. A Brexit deal to solve the 'Irish question' was done until a last minute intervention from the DUP, the Irish Government has confirmed.

Hopes were high that the UK would sign off on commitment to maintain regulatory convergence in a post-Brexit era. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he was "surprised" by the UK's request for more time after initially being told an agreement had been reached.


The agreed text between the UK and EU "gave us the assurance we need that even as an unintended consequences there would not be a hard border on the island of Ireland", he said.

However, UK Prime Minister Theresa May was on the verge of formally signing up to the deal but stepped back after a last minute intervention from the DUP.

"It is evident that things broke down during the lunch in the Brussels," Mr Varadkar said. "I am surprised and disappointed that the British government now appears not to be in a position to conclude what was agreed earlier in the day." "We did make substantial progress on a number of issues today," Taoiseach Varadkar continued. "But the most difficult issue is to maintain the agreement that there will not be a hard border on the island of Ireland. "This has been to the absolute forefront of Ireland's concerns since before the referendum.

"We do not want a border in the Irish Sea any more than we want a border between Newry and Dundalk, and Letterkenny and Derry."
The Taoiseach said it would not be useful to start pointing fingers. At the same time he noted that the DUP are "just one party in Northern Ireland". He said the Irish government was representing the attitude taking by the majority of people in the North.

SNL gets hit for "reinforcing stereotypes that are outdated and insulting"


Andrea Smith: 'Some of us are deeply disappointed at one of our own brightest stars reinforcing stereotypes that are outdated and insulting'

In the 18th Century, Edmund Burke famously wrote that, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Fast forward three centuries and I’m borrowing the essence of that sentiment to say, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of casual racism and distasteful disloyalty is for good people to do nothing.” Saoirse Ronan, I’m looking at you.
You’d have to wonder what was going through the talented 23-year-old’s head when she was in rehearsals for hosting Saturday Night Live? In case you missed it - and if so, lucky you - Saoirse took part in an Aer Lingus spoof that managed to insult, belittle and sneer at her homeland all in one fell swoop. Did she genuinely think that suggesting that our national airline’s name sounded like was cunnilingus was side-splitting stuff? Was she slapping her thighs with glee when the scriptwriters suggested that we’re a nation of peasants who only eat potatoes?

It’s hilarious to poke fun at the reminder that a million of our ancestors died because the potato crop failed during the Famine, isn’t it Saoirse? Gas that another million were forced to leave the country too, many of whom ended up in the US, where SNL is recorded.
It wasn’t even an amusing gag. “We’ve got purple potatoes and we’ve got salmon,” an attendant announced. “Sorry I misread that. The salmon is also potatoes.” Groundbreaking stuff.


Maybe she cringed as much as the rest of us at the passengers dressed in Aran jumpers and the toe-curling stage Oirish accents on the rest of the cast. Mind you, while dressed as a flight attendant called Colleen, Saoirse’s own accent was bafflingly Oirish too. Perhaps she was as confused as we all were about the dogs that kept featuring in the sketch, although given the calibre of the rest of it, it’s surprising that it wasn’t a set of donkeys or pigs that were trotted out to shore up the abysmal stereotypes.


Normally, high-flying Brooklyn actress Saoirse Ronan cannot put a foot wrong.
But TV viewers were far from impressed when the Oscar nominee appeared in a less-than-funny parody of Aer Lingus.
The innuendo-filled skit on the US show Saturday Night Live has met with a decidedly mixed reaction on social media.

The 23-year-old star raised eyebrows when she dressed as an air steward called Colleen, complete with a bouffant hairstyle and a bottle green uniform, in the four-minute sketch. At one point, comedian Kate McKinnon comes on board to tell passengers that they cannot take off because there is a dog on the runway with "sad eyes and the soul of Oscar Wilde".

Brexit: All you need to know about the UKs EU departure

Q: Why are the next few weeks so important for Brexit?

A: Brexit is not due to take place until March 2019. However, the negotiations on phase one of the process are due to be completed by the Summit of European Leaders which takes place in mid-December.
That involves three vitally important preliminary issues. EU negotiators have insisted they must be concluded before talks can progress to the next phase, which will focus on trade between the European Union and United Kingdom.
British prime minister Theresa May is meeting President of the EU Commission Jean-Claude Juncker on Monday, which is the deadline for her to table the offer on those three issues. The 27 remaining EU leaders will make a final decision at the Summit in Brussels on December 14 and 15.

Q: What is the first issue?

A: The so-called Divorce Bill: This is the money Britain must pay to the EU for exiting the union. Britain railed against this initially because it is a net contributor. But over time, it has ceded the principle and is now willing to pay very close to the EU’s demand, which is €60 billion. It is reported the British government is now willing to pay up to €55 billion.

Q: And the second of the three issues?

A: The rights of EU citizens in Britain after Brexit and the rights of British citizens in the EU after the UK departure. This proved to be a sticking point but may be largely resolved ahead of the summit. In November Britain offered EU citizens living in the UK a two-year grace period during which they could apply for settled status. The British government said the process would be “seamless”. But that met with criticism from the EU Parliament which said such a right should be automatic. In subsequent talks both sides have come closer to agreement.

Q: And the last issue?

A: This is the most difficult one and aims to settle the question over how the Border between the South and North will operate after Brexit.
The Government has been looking for assurances from the British that the relationship between both territories will remain effectively border-less, as is the case at present.
However, that is tricky because if there is what’s called “regulatory convergence between North and South”, it might mean a divergence between the North and the rest of the UK, because the North would still be (informally) using the EU regulatory framework.
And that has got the DUP’s hackles up. Party leader Arlene Foster has said there could be “no arrangements agreed that compromise the integrity of the UK single market and place barriers, real or perceived, to the free movement of goods, services and capital between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom”.
Tánaiste Simon Coveney said it was regrettable that the Brexit question in the North had been reduced to a green versus orange issue.

More at https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/brexit-all-you-need-to-know-about-the-uk-s-eu-departure-1.3312699

Brexit : If UKs offer on the Border is unacceptable to Ireland it will be unacceptable to the EU

Donald Tusk firmly supports Ireland in Brexit negotiations

The President of the European Council Donald Tusk has weighed his support firmly behind Ireland in the Brexit negotiations, saying if the United Kingdom’s offer on the Border “is unacceptable to Ireland it will be unacceptable to the EU”. Mr Tusk met Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Dublin on Friday ahead of next Monday’s deadline for British prime minister Theresa May to submit her Government’s final offer for the three issues in phase one of Brexit negotiations.

In a brief media appearance with Mr Varadkar after the meeting, Mr Tusk offered support for Ireland that was much more robust than anticipated. In effect, he said that the EU would give Ireland the right to effectively veto any offer on the Border that is being offered by Mrs May.

“We agreed today that before proposing guidelines on transition and future relations I will consult the Taoiseach on [whether or not] the UK offer is sufficient for the Irish Government. “Let me say very clearly if the UK offer is unacceptable for Ireland it will be unacceptable for the EU,” he said.

He said that such a strong position might be hard for British politicians to understand but the fact was that Ireland remained an EU member while the UK was leaving.

The newly appointed Tánaiste said that Brexit negotiations could not move on to second-phase discussions on the future EU-UK relations without assurances on the future of the Border and “a more creditable understanding of the parameters within which we are going to solve the Border issues in phase two.” “That is all we are asking for and that is why we raised issues like the need to avoid regulatory divergence between the two jurisdictions on the island if we are going to have north-south cooperation that functions in the future,” he told the media after speaking in a public interview at an event hosted by Facebook.


Donald Trump accidentally tweets the wrong Theresa May in latest Twitter outburst to strain UK ties

Apologies if this has been posted already.


First it was Ivanka from Brighton who got a surprise tweet from Donald Trump. Now it’s Theresa Scrivener.

Hours after Theresa May had said it was “wrong” of the US President to re-tweet three anti-Muslim videos posted by a British far-Right group, Mr Trump duly fired off his response on Twitter. In his haste to tweet his testy riposte, though, Mr Trump tweeted to the wrong Theresa May.

“Theresa @theresamay, don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!”

However, @theresamay is not the Prime Minister: she is a Theresa Scrivener, who has six followers on Twitter and follows 103 people.

Donald Trump's tweets
Donald Trump's tweets
After joining the social media site in 2009, she has tweeted nine times - but because her account is protected, only her six followers can read them.
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