June 2021

Global Rise in Crypto Asset Seizures

Tax dodgers often use creative methods to avoid state dues. It stands to reason then that governments must also be imaginative in combating such transgressions. This past week, the South Korean Government has seized approximately $47 Million (€39 Million) worth of crypto assets, including Bitcoin, from a number of individuals in back taxes.

Read more »

John Bercow Joins Labour

John Bercow, former Conservative MP and speaker of the House of Commons, has  announced that he has joined the Labour Party. An outspoken and eloquent speaker, Bercow is no stranger to controversy. Elected speaker of the House of Commons, he was a friend to backbenchers, a stickler for the rules and has gone viral for his loud and determined approach to maintaining  discipline within the chamber.

Read more »

UN General Assembly Calls on US to End Embargo On Cuba

On Wednesday the 23rdJune, most countries voted in favour of a UN General Assembly resolution to call to an end the US embargo on Cuba. According to the UN, ‘a total of 184 countries on Wednesday voted in favour of a resolution to demand the end of the US blockade in Cuba, for the 29th year in a row, with the United States and Israel voting against’.

Read more »

Tech Entrepreneur John McAfee Found Dead in Prison

UK born technology entrepreneur John McAfee, the man behind McAfee antivirus and eponymous cybersecurity brand died by hanging in his prison cell on Wednesday, according to Reuters. News of his suicide came after the Spanish High Court authorized his extradition to the US as stated by his lawyer, where he faced tax evasion charges.

Read more »

Wine Bars, Gastropubs and Bray: An Unlikely Partnership?

Bray has always been a microcosm of the entire country of Ireland, from the many working-class areas dotted around the entire town, and in between such areas the middle to upper-class cul de sacs, with a somewhat passive knowledge of existence between each place. Of course, Bray has always had that unique, somewhat unexplainable character so unlike many other Irish towns, specifically on the east coast, that is so necessary to the story of the town and should always remain so.

Read more »

Iran Elects Hardliner, Prospects Dim for Future Engagement

Three years after former President Trump unilaterally withdrew the United States from the Iran Nuclear Deal, and following stalled negotiations to renew the deal in Vienna, Iran has elected hardliner Ebrahim Raisi into office in an election with the lowest voter turnout in the Islamic republic’s history, and which has gained condemnation abroad for being neither free nor fair.

Read more »

French Regional Elections: A Bad Night For The National Rally?

The first round of the French regional elections which took place on Sunday didn’t go as well as expected for the National Rally (RN), a party which has been led by Marine Le Pen, the 2022 Presidential hopeful. The elections were considered to be a test before next year’s presidential elections which will be crucial not only for the future of France but also for the future of the European Union. 

Read more »

A Look at the New Garda Powers

Last week, reports emerged of a new policing powers bill being published by the Minister of Justice which showed that offenders could be imprisoned for a maximum sentence of five years and fined up to €30,000 for refusing to provide gardaí with their phone or computer passwords when demanded.

Read more »

Bob Dylan’s “Self-Portrait” and Why We Need It

When the great music Journalist Griel Marcus of Rolling Stone reviewed Bob Dylan’s tenth studio album, “Self-Portrait”, in the spring of 1970, he bluntly began his review with the now famous line so often associated with the album, “what is this shit?” Griel Marcus by all accounts spoke for the generation that kept such high expectations of Dylan especially after records like “John Wesley Harding” and “Nashville Skyeline”.

Read more »

E3 2021 Wrap Up

In the first E3 to take place during the Covid-19 pandemic, gamers were excited to see what developers were working on and were hoping for some big announcements.

Read more »

Reiner Haseloff saves the CDU

The 6th of June Saxony-Anhalt regional elections , the last before the Bundestag elections this autumn, came as a surprise to some. In what was known as the stronghold of the AfD the CDU managed to increase their voter share by 7,4% from the previous elections to 37,1%.

Read more »

Third Level Returns

This week the Minister for Further and Higher Education Research Innovation and Science Simon Harris brought a proposal to cabinet on the return to campus for students this september.

Read more »

The Three Seas Initiative

Established in 2015 by the President of Croatia and Poland with the ‘blessing’ of the then President of the United States Donald Trump the first meeting of the group took place in 2016 in Dubrovnik.

Read more »

Next Gen Nuclear Reactor in Wyoming

Power companies TerraPower and PacifiCorp, run by billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, have chosen Wyoming to launch the first Natrium nuclear reactor project on the site of a retiring coal plant. TerraPower, founded by Gates about 15 years ago, and power company PacifiCorp, owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, said to Reuters that the exact site of the Natrium reactor demonstration plant was expected to be announced by the end of the year.

Read more »

Banquets and Gourmet: The Lucullan in You?

It was not too long ago on a Sunday, that myself and a friend decided to embark on a cooking escapade. This, by all standards of food for 2 people, was going to be no ordinary food adventure: quite the contrary, no rustic pasta dish nor simple crusted John Dory bake for we fine few.

Read more »

A Global Corporate Tax Rate: How would Ireland cope?

The recent G7 conference has produced a landmark agreement about a global corporate tax shakeup. The 7 countries plan to introduce a two-pillar system that could have dire effects on Irish tax revenue, and could cause an exodus of foreign multinationals from our country. This proposal - lead by the US - seeks to curtail tax-minimising policies and prevent large companies from exploiting tax havens.

Read more »

The Left In Ireland: Divisions Over A Different Range Of Issues

The left in Ireland is a broad range of parties with no one unique ideology. Often disagreeing on the specifics of issues, the opposition parties represent a diverse portfolio of policies, often grounded in deep ideological beliefs. The lack of compromise on some issues has resulted in the failure to form a Government, most notably in 2020:

Read more »

Is the EU Guilty of Perpetuating ‘Vaccine Apartheid’?

The rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine has been nothing if not controversial. The row between the UK and EU over AstraZeneca’s contract obligations was a sign of things to come, and the US’ refusal until May to waive intellectual property protections for vaccine manufacturers in order to increase cheaper production for poorer countries has not helped matters.

Read more »

Skin Protection: How To Avoid Premature Aging

As summer approaches you might want to get your sunscreen out and cut back on those brunch cocktails, or at least try to stay hydrated during those late nights out. For what may now feel inherent to the taste of summer, might give you long lasting issues for your skin.

Read more »

Preview To Euro 2020: Tight Competition

We are all downhearted, tired, upset and sad, about the events of the last 14 months and the UEFA Euro 2020 is a welcome distraction. With the first match due to start on Friday, the 11th of June at 8pm with Italy versus Turkey which is being held in Rome. 

Read more »

Controversy over New Maternity Hospital and Religious Institutions

In recent days, controversy and concern has emerged among some TDs who are concerned about the possible involvement of religious institutions in the governance of the new national maternity hospital. This comes after a private members’ motion was brought forward to Dáil Éireann, this week, by Galway West TD and Leas-Cheann Comhairle, Catherine Connolly, that called on the Government to ‘further ensure the public ownership and operation of the new National Maternity Hospital’ and ensure the implementation of the National Maternity Strategy 2016-2026 implementation strategy.

Read more »

The State of LGBTQ+ Rights in Eastern EU Countries

The topic of LGBT+ rights is no longer treated like a taboo topic in the former Soviet satellites: since joining the EU, many of the eastern EU members are obliged, under EU directives, to treat all citizens equally regardless of their sexuality and ensure that all sorts of discriminations are erased.

Read more »

Irish Defence Forces – Managed Decline

Early in May, it emerged that the state had to depend on an EU agency to assist in patrolling its fishing waters for the first time this year. This was due to a staffing shortage in the Navy, which further exacerbates Ireland’s problems in maintaining its defence responsibilities.

Read more »

A Look at China's Space Ambitions

Last month, the Chinese space agency successfully launched its first and largest module of its upcoming Tiangong-3 space station into orbit. The module, called Tianhe, is now floating in orbit, where it awaits the next ten rocket launches that will ferry the space station’s remaining pieces for eventual construction. Chinese state media has since released video footage of the module reaching into orbit, which is available on its CGTN YouTube channel.

Read more »

Czech President Milos Zeman Unfit for Office says Senate Committee

On the 2nd of June the Czech Republic’s Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security Senate Committee has adopted a resolution stating that President  Miloš Zeman is unfit to carry out his duties as the President of the Czech Republic. This comes after the Committee scrutinised a 45 page long analysis on Mr Zeman’s latest statements, in which he cast doubts on the investigation of the 2014 Vrbětice blasts which was led by his own country’s intelligence services.

Read more »

Biden Amends Trump’s Ban on Chinese Military Companies

Yesterday, US President Joe Biden signed an executive order to ban Americans from investing money in companies linked to the Chinese military and surveillance technology as an extension of the policy set out by Donald Trump during his presidency. This policy intends to prevent American capital from being used in measures that would be counterproductive to US national security interests. 59 countries are listed on the report from the US Treasury, all of which are alleged to have links with the People’s Liberation Army.

Read more »

Can You See The Noise?

A world of ‘rational actors’, would look something like a utopia of supra-human efficiency and a world free of inaction or perceived sub-optimal decision making. Individuals, almost at an instance being able to calculate the benefits and costs of a single action taking account of all available and necessary information without any judgement bias nor occasional mood-swings.

Read more »