March 2021

Alexandre Desplat

Your youth might have been touched by movies like Girl with a Pearl Earring, the Golden Compass, the curious case of Benjamin Button, the Twilight Saga, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows or the King’s Speech. Then you were ravished by Moonrise Kingdom, Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, Unbroken, Godzilla, the Danish Girl or the Shape of Water. More recently films like, Little Women, the French Dispatch or Pinocchio might have caught your eye. 

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Political Moments of the Month:March 2021

March 2021 was a month of great political debates, announcements and interviews. A  month that was dedicated to celebrating women and St Paterick did reap a number of political moments that will be remembered. From misogynistic cartoons, candidate announcements and Joe Biden’s  immigration policy there were many political moments of note in March 2021.

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Visegrad Group Struggles With the Third Covid Wave

Untouched by the first wave and not majorly hit by the second wave, the Visegrad countries have struggled to contain the third wave of Covid-19. Poland, Hungary, Czechia and Slovakia in the past few weeks reintroduced many of their previous restrictions and entered yet another lockdown. The B117 variant is causing chaos in these four countries and accounts for the majority of infections. 

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The Future of Tableau

As Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy replaces Jeff Bezos as Amazon’s CEO, Tableau’s current CEO, Adam Selipsky, is leaving the company to become the CEO of AWS. Selipsky helped launch Amazon Web Services when he joined the company in 2005 and also helped to build Amazon’s cloud-computing unit.

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How NFTs Could Transform the World of Digital Art

Non-fungible tokens (or NFTs) may be the solution to valuing digital art. Fungibility is the quality of being exchangeable. For example, physical currency or stocks are almost perfectly fungible as they can be exchanged for one another, whereas a piece of art or a house cannot be exchanged for another, as they each have a unique value.

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The Census in Northern Ireland: a Middle Ground?

Last Sunday, Northern Irish residents filled in their Census forms. However when it comes to national identity, residents face the option of picking between the traditional "green" or "orange" identity of Irish or British, with a middle ground option simply stating Northern Irish.

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How Do You Take Your Eggs?

Yes, finally it has come to this moment. A discussion that entails sentimentality, thorough elegance, and unwavering good feeling. Yes, we are indeed talking about the humble egg, something so simple and yet so reassuring. Tim Hayward of the Financial Times in his piece ‘Cracked It’, sparked the need to express the admiration for that nostalgic tradition of cooking an egg in all its forms, from a simple scramble to the complex and decedent eggs benedict.

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Israel’s Vaccination Programme

If you’ve been living in Ireland for the past 12 months, you’ll have seen a very consistent trend- pubs and bars closed, nightclubs and the city streets empty, retail and small businesses operating between opening and closing periods due to a soar in cases every few months as we entered the second and third waves of Corona-virus here in Ireland. Social media platforms have been covered top to bottom with the dismay of many about the vaccination efforts so far in Ireland.

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Nuclear Power and the Clean Energy Transition

Since the industrial revolution, the ever-growing and insatiable need for energy has plagued the planet’s ecosystem and the countries that lay claim to it for decades. It is now a very uncertain time to be alive in this regard. The fossil fuel fad is now fortunately fading as most of the world has come to a consensus on the cliff it’s headed for if the looming energy crisis is allowed to come to fruition.

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The Snyder Cut - Once in a Lifetime

The Snyder cut is an act of tremendous love, where the passion of fans would affect a studio like Warner Bros to give creative control to an artist who would come back to his project and do it again out of pure passion. Only in our digital age could this process have happened. 

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Seanad Bye-Elections: Nominations and Party Politics

Nominations for the Seanad bye-elections closed on Tuesday at twelve noon. The nominations were submitted  for two Seanad seats that were vacant by the resignations of two senators last year. The resignations of senator Michael D’arcy and Senator Elisha McCallion, left places on the Agricultural panel and Industrial and Commercial panels vacant respectively. The nomination process has been hotly contested and has resulted in a few surprises.

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CDU/CSU: Armin Laschet or Markus Söder?

In the coming weeks one of Europe’s most successful Christian Democratic blocs will choose its candidate for Chancellor, as Merkel’s term is nearing its end. The 16 year long Chancellor said that she won’t be seeking another term, and in 2018, resigned from the CDU leadership position.

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Who is Dolores Cahill?

A now renowned and reviled name amongst UCD students and beyond, Professor Dolores Cahill of the UCD School of Medicine landed herself in further controversy this St Patrick’s Day, leading an anti-lockdown rally in Herbert Park and addressing a crowd of disgruntled lockdown opposing protestors.

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Why Bitcoin Mining is More Profitable Than Ever

The last year has seen Bitcoin grow over 500% as the world becomes more and more obsessed with blockchain technologies. There are many ways to get your hands on these coveted cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin in particular), one of the most popular of which is mining.

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U.S.-China Talks: Blood Sport Ends In a Draw

Last week, delegates from the U.S. and China met in Alaska for a summit in the midst of worsening relations between the countries. The meeting marked the first dialogue between the nations since Joe Biden's presidency began in January 2021. The results were non-existent, with the U.S referring to the talks as "tough and direct" and with the two nations seeing little improvement over their relationship.

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Six Nations Reform

The Six Nations is undoubtedly the highlight of the rugby calendar for those in the northern hemisphere, but  discussions around restructuring the competition have come to the fore in recent years. This relates to a possible relegation/promotion system being introduced in the championship, which may be seen as an indirect way of questioning Italy’s position in the competition.

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The Return of Libyan Oil

A new Libyan Government has been sworn in for the first time in a decade, since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. This is a positive sign for a nation that has struggled for so long, and with the rise of a new nation comes a rise in industry, and particularly in this case, the rise of oil.

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Dundalk Trio Save St. Patrick's Day: An Ode to the Mary Wallopers

To say that, both this and last years St Patrick's Day were a shadow of our previous experiences of the potential the day must behold each of us, is a serious understatement. To paint a probably over romantic picture of Paddy’s Day, with bustling pubs, empty and full pints of the "black stuff" scattered on every table and a certain spring in their step of everyone you meet on your adventure that day.

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St. Patrick’s Day 2021 in Washington DC

A new President and a new Taoiseach met this St Patrick’s Day, as the office holders do every year to discuss the relationship between the United States and Ireland. The pandemic has caused the bilateral meeting between President Joe Biden and Taoiseach Micheál Martin to be held virtually between Washington DC and Dublin. 

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COVID Must Not Destroy Progress in Reducing Extreme Poverty

Over the past thirty years, extreme poverty has been reduced by more than half. The drastic trends of reduction in extreme poverty began during the 1970s . In 1990, nearly 36% of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty, in 2017, that number fell to 9%. Countries which were regarded as very poor twenty to thirty years ago, are now the leaders of growth in their regions.

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Personification of Ireland: When Stories Collide

On St Patrick's Day there are many jokes, quotes and stories that characterise Ireland and  what it means to be Irish. Deciding if our national day is called St Patrick's Day, Paddy’s Day or Patty’s Day always causes confusion, argument and debate. Images of leprechaun’s sitting on a pot of gold, comely maidens dancing at the crossroads and a creamy pint are just some of the images that are used to personify Ireland and the Irish.These are stereotypical image and often don’t do justice to Ireland’s history and culture.

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Indian State Bankers Strike Against Reform

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a major effect on the Indian economy. More than 45% of households across India have reported an income drop compared to 2019. Further On 1 September 2020, the Ministry of Statistics released the GDP figures for Q1 (April to June) FY21, which showed a contraction of 24% as compared to the same period the year before. According to Nomura India Business Resumption Index economic activity fell from 82.9 on 22 March to 44.7 on 26 April. The country is in desperate need of financing and reform, but the Modi reform plans are not the most popular amongst bankers.

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Davy: “It's Not Just Business, it's Personal”

CEO Brian McKiernan and deputy chair, Kyran McLaughlin, have now both left stockbroking firm Davy. Sixteen have left the firm, with a subsequent four leaving after Davy closed their Bond desk, (with the news being made public on the 8th March). The Bond desk is at the heart of the scandal that has rocked the company in recent weeks. 

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Suspension of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine

Use of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 has been suspended in Ireland following a recommendation made by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC). This decision was made following the development of blood clots in a small number of vaccine recipients in Norway. It is not clear whether there is any relation between the vaccine and these blood clots, and the suspension of the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine is merely a precautionary measure.

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How The UAE are Vaccinating the 1% Club

Over the past few months, the world’s 1%, have voyaged to the United Arab Emirates, where local officials have helped some of the world’s wealthiest individuals secure access to coronavirus vaccines long before they were supposed to receive their jab in their respective home countries.

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Jullian Assange: How Curious Eyes Ran Dry

Journalism has a relatively clear objective. You find a story and you report the story to give people the best possible information. Sometimes the story jumps in your lap, other times you need to dig a bit to find it. This process serves to shine a light. If you see an elephant in the corner of a dark room, you point the flashlight at the elephant for all to see. This flashlight represents the medium of journalism. It is the narrative, the way in which people see and discuss this elephant.

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Fr. Joseph Marmion: An Egregious Story

The Catholic Church in Ireland seems to have taken another severe hit over the last week. The Jesuit Order of Ireland, which is led by provincial Fr. Leonard Maloney announced a statement asking people who have, or may have been victims of predatory crimes committed by Fr Joseph Marmion (deceased, 2000) to come forward and tell their story.

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What Ireland Stands to Gain by Hosting the 2030 FIFA World Cup

There is no denying that Ireland has become more world renowed for rugby, even sitting second on the world rankings leading into 2019's Rugby World Cup. Despite this, Ireland's success in soccer has been limited, still attempting to recreate the glory days of Italia '90. With poor management from the FAI in recent years, Ireland's joint bid to host the World Cup with the UK could be the FAI's saving grace.

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The Rise and Fall of Greensill Capital- A Saga

Greensill Capital is a financial services company, based in the UK, that serves the worldwide market. They filed for insolvency protection this Monday, March 8th 2021. Founded in 2011 by Lex Greensill, a prominent billionaire Australian businessman, the company focused primarily on supply chain finance. This writer would not be surprised to see a premiere of a ‘Wolf of Wall Street’’-esque film glamorising the story of this colourful character and the recent explosive collapse of his namesake firm. Let’s tell the story from start to finish - the origins, rise and fall of Greensill Capital, a saga peppered with many recognisable names; Sanjeev Gupta, GAM Investment Fund and David Cameron among them. 

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The Pope’s Trip To Iraq

Last Friday Pope Francis departed Rome for a historic apolsitic visit to Iraq. Many have expressed concern for the visit following a recent rise in Covis-19 cases and a series of rocket attacks in the country. Pope John Paul II had cancelled a trip to the region in 2002 after talks with Saddam Hissein disintegrated without agreement. Pope Francis seemed determined for the trip to go ahead despite the difficult circumstances and precedent.The Christian population in Iraq has been persecuted for many years falling from over a million before the US invasion in 2003 to approximately 200,000 now. Pope Francis has called the visit an “act of love” towards the minority Christian population and that the; “ the people cannot be let down for a second time”. 

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How Will Rising Rates Affect Wall Street?

The U.S Treasury yield curve has steepened to a four-year high, foreshadowing economic expansion and inflation, reacting to vaccines and new stimulus packages. A steep yield curve- indicating little difference between short term and long-term rates for bonds and notes- often precedes a period of economic expansion.

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International Women’s Day: A Privilege to Celebrate

International Womens Day comes around each year on the eighth of March, provoking a series of events headlined by women, hashtags and quotes from a feminist icons. Partaking in the celebration is a joy and a privilege but understanding what International Women’s Day is and what it means can be confusing. There are many stereotypes projected on the day and deciding which if any applies to you can be confusing.

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Quiet-Loud: The Tale of The Pixies

It is not even conceivable to our mere mortal minds the sheer impact one band can have on decades of music and the building of an entire century-defining music scene. From four unassumingly goofy looking Boston hailing college kids came the most important albums of the early alternative music scenes, essentially forever laying the bedrock foundations for future musician and fans to geekedly obsess over and almost constant attempts to replicate their greatness.

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Dutch General Election Preview

While in Ireland we will be celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day at home for the second consecutive year, the Dutch electorate will head to the polls. Let’s have a look at who the main parties are;

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The United States Equality Act

In the United States, 29 states are still yet to outlaw LGBTQI+ discrimination in their jurisdictions. The Equality Act has been drawn up to be added to the 1964 Civil Rights Act, signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964.

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