For those of us who did not live through the troubles, it is difficult to fathom the impact that John Hume, with other civil rights activists, had on the future of Ireland and its citizens both North and South of the border. One of the giants of Irish politics alongside other historic greats, such as Daniel Ó Connell or Charles Stewart Parnell, he served in the likes of House of Commons to the European Parliament. Hume always maintained his principles of nonviolence and compromise. With his recent passing, aged 83, it is time to take stock of what Hume did for the people of both the Republic and Northern Ireland, where political discourse can take place without the overhanging threat of violence, where institutions can work for the betterment of their citizens, and a place where you are not discriminated against due to religion or creed.
A decision of the US Supreme Court on July 9th has been hailed as one of the most consequential legal victories for Native Americans in decades. Trump appointee Gorsuch joined the liberal justices to rule that Oklahoma has no legal authority over Native Americans in the east of the state. The honouring of treaties signed in the early 19th century, the decision could drastically change the position of Natives in the US.
Following a historically tumultuous Pride Month couples with the prospect of many LGBTQIA+ Pride Days taking place in August, it is worthwhile spending the days in the meantime looking into one of history’s most important and forgotten LGBTQIA+ advocates, Karl Heinrich Ulrichs.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP CALLS FOR THE NOVEMBER PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS TO BE POSTPONED
Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai recently graduated with her degree in the prestigious program, Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) in Lady Margaret Hall at the University of Oxford.
In an update to our story on the proposed takeover of Newcastle United Football Club by a Saudi backed consortium, the deal has now fallen through. Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, backed by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, along with PCP Capital Partners and the Reuben Brothers had agreed a deal to takeover the Tyneside club earlier in the year subject to the Premier League’s Owners and Directors Test.
The transition to remote learning was sudden in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and most schools and educators were ill-prepared to support their students through the process. Remote-learning seemed to be the only option when in-person teaching became too dangerous, but what impact does the remote-learning format have on students short term and long term? And most importantly, what can be done by educators to minimize or even negate these negative neurological impacts?
Politics and protests have always gone hand in hand. More recently, “protest politics” has allowed society to put their grievances firmly on the policy makers agenda. However, the step from protesting a cause, to tackling the complex legislative and legal obstacles, is significant and cannot simply be done overnight. Ireland has had fair share of these movements. The water charge movement is a prime example of where society used a protest in order to bring an issue to the attention of policy makers and subsequently, levy change. The right to protest is enshrined in the constitution and, as proven, can bring about positive change, because the right to protest goes hand in hand with electoral politics. If the legislator sees that their electorate are unhappy, then change will occur, through this democratic process.
A proposal by the new Minister for Justice Helen McEntee to abolish religious oaths for written testimony is surprising only for its tardiness. The Law Society has welcomed the development while detractors have labelled it “an attack on genuine pluralism”. Regardless this development has been coming down the tracks for decades, with the Law Reform Commission advocating a change in the state of the law in 1990 and the UN Human Rights committee urging change some 6 years ago.
Eamon Ryan wins Green Party Leadership Election
The “Frugal Four” is the name given to the leading north-eastern European Union member states Austria, Denmark, The Netherlands, and Sweden. The group are committed to standing against the enlargement of the “common fiscal space” of the EU, advocating lower EU spending whilst promoting the idea that each country should cater for itself by its own “fiscal means”. The Frugal Four have recently expressed their joint resistance to the Franco-German post-Covid recovery proposal, announced on 18th May 2020, which calls for “European solidary” in issuing a common debt of €500 billion and distributing the recovery fund as grants among European countries hit hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Expression is arguably what gives us a purpose for participating and engaging with current affairs, hundreds of thousands if not millions have died fighting to protect their right to expression or in search for it. In recent years expression is coming to the forefront of most societies, and the pursuit to exercise one’s freedom of expression is evidential in today’s modern societies. Whether it be in Ireland with the last three referendums or in Hong Kong, expression is something that we are willing to put ourselves in the firing line for. However, whilst freedom of expression is for the most part a good thing, we also have the likes of Far-Right groups and politicians expressing their beliefs. With the likes of the United Kingdom Leaving the EU and the “rise of national populists across Europe, like Marine Le Pen in France, Matteo Salvini in Italy and Viktor Orban in Hungry” (Eatwell & Goodwin, 2018) or even the use incitement of hatred over the use of Social Media but also in traditional print media too; from Donald Trump’s rants to Israel Folau’s justification for his religious based opinions, or a Guardian article claiming that David Cameron losing a child was a “privileged pain.” The question arises, are there cases where expression should be limited? John Stuart Mill, in his essay “On Liberty” provides a practical solution.
In a recent interview the new Minister for Children, law lecturer Roderic O’Gorman referenced the inconsistency in the law around consent in Ireland: “a lot of confusion was brought in, I’d say maybe in 2004-2005…I think that whole are needs to be examined again”. Indeed, the law of consent has had a contentious history in the state and although it reached fever pitch in 2006, the debate has not subsided.
Richard Sylvan proposed a theory called the Last Man Argument.
Barry Cowen Sacked
Comet NEOWISE is a once-in-a-lifetime comet that is nearly three miles long and is visible to the naked eye for most of the month of July! NEOWISE is technically called C/2020 F3, but is colloquially known by the name of the telescope which first discovered its existence in 2013.
In an entirely unsurprising turn of events, President Trump has threatened to ban the download and use of Chinese social media apps within the United States, the most popular of which is Tiktok, an app that has amassed a massive worldwide user base over the past two years. Late last year, however, suspicions began to arise over the vulnerability of the app to malicious hacking attempts, and there were also allegations that Tiktok is essentially a mode of spyware that is actively gathering large amounts of data from users who have the app installed on their phone. This accusation against a specific app raises several questions though, why is it that the American population is still permitted to use Facebook despite its well-known abuse of user data and its refusal to censor misleading political posts, but an app with a similarly American CEO is deemed a threat to democracy due to its inception on Chinese soil? The potential for racially-motivated mistrust of Chinese products in the age of the Chinese Communist Party’s emergence as a global superpower cannot simply be cast aside, especially given the Trump Administration’s track record in regard to its handling of racialised social issues.
The Extension of Hong Kong Territory took place in 1898 following The Opium Wars, which leased the territory to the British for 99 years. It looked like the sun would never set on the British Empire, however the last bastion of the British Empire finally fell when Hong Kong has handed back to China in 1997. It is often the case, when it comes to former colonial processions, that they are left unstable and plagued with infighting often leading to civil war. Hong Kong is an exception to this trend. Not only was it a powerhouse in terms of trade before it was handed back to China, but it has remained one the main economic hubs in world. When Hong Kong was given back to China, rights including those of freedom of the press and assembly were safe guarded under the new administration.
There’s a term in psychology known as the Martha Mitchell effect. A misdiagnosis of delusion in response to the patient uttering information that couldn’t possibly be true, but that turns out to be quite accurate. It’s when everyone tells you that you are crazy when you’re right the whole time. The real-life Martha Mitchell was a key player in one of the darkest chapters in White House history. A celebrity of the Nixon administration, she ended it kidnapped, beaten and bruised. With the whole world calling her crazy, her story faded. Steve King, the man that inflicted such injuries was later to be rewarded for his service with an appointment by Donald Trump to US Ambassador to the Czech Republic. This is that story.
On 8th July 2019, 22 states signed a United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) statement to call on China to stop its brutal and “horrific treatment of Muslims” in the Xinjiang province. Among 22 signatures, the joint-statement includes signatures from representatives of countries Switzerland, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Spain, Sweden, Japan, Finland, and so on. A rebuttal to this statement was issued with the support of 37 countries on 12th July 2019. These countries supported China’s claims that Uyghur Muslims were a threat to national security, and that the measures taken were to eradicate terrorism in the country. The pro-China letter applauded China for its “remarkable achievements in the field of human rights”; signatures included UN ambassadors of Saudi Arabia, Russia, North Korea, Syria, Pakistan, Egypt, Cuba, Sudan, Algeria, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar. Why are Muslim nations supporting the torture of Uyghurs, and what really occur inside these “re-education camps”?
The news broke on Thursday evening that Fine Gael TD and Minister for Finance Pascal Donohoe had been elected president of the Eurogroup and has become the strongest hand on Europe’s purse strings. A triumph for the new government, for Ireland and for a man with a quiet but competent approach to politics.
With leading educational institutions deciding to hold at least most of their teaching for the coming autumn semester virtually, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had made an adjustment that would not allow international students to reside in the United States with the purpose of study. This rule was derived from an original ICE rule allowing international students on full-time study visas to the US to take only one online course. Although this comes at a time where coming international students are preparing and applying for visas to move to the US to start their studies in the autumn, it affects around 360,000 current international students in the US, being forced either to transfer to schools with the required physical presence or leave the country. Universities have joined their students in objecting to that decision with several of them filing suit objecting to the decision that puts the $45 Billion contributed by international students to the US economy at risk at a time where every penny counts.
Earlier this year tensions in the Kashmir region led to the capture of an Indian Fighter pilot by the Pakistani Military. Due east of that border lies one of India’s borders with China, where tensions are on the rise. But these conflicts are nothing new, and date back to 1947 – the year of India’s decolonization. The lasting effects of colonization are still evident across many issues in the region, ranging from the aforementioned border tensions, to economic inequality. After the second world war, the globe saw a shift towards decolonization. The necessary foundations of democracies legal systems and other necessary functions are evident in the likes of India yet poor planning lead to racial tensions and a lack of economic development that hindered India’s growth until decolonization.
Revised after consultation with Éanna Ó Cróinín
Students of ‘La Sorbonne’ and across France face greater uncertainty and confusion regarding their exam results following the decision of the tribunal court of administration of Paris.
On New Year’s Day 2020, China received the first request from the World Health Organisation (WHO) on a cluster of “viral pneumonia” cases in Wuhan. This was the first step in a herculean effort to mitigate a pandemic that has left more than 500,000 people dead. As the outbreak developed into a global catastrophe, China’s approach to the early stages of the pandemic came under scrutiny amid claims of a cover-up in Wuhan. The WHO, however, stood by China’s side. In a statement made on the 30th January 2020 an Emergency Committee of the WHO “welcomed the leadership and political commitment of the very highest levels of Chinese government” and “their commitment to transparency”. The Director General of the WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, personally expressed his support for China’s response to the virus at the end of January, and the WHO has repeatedly expressed that it “works closely with Chinese experts” in order to ensure that any future outbreaks are brought under control. The proximity of this relationship has, however, come under fire amid suggestions that the WHO has failed to hold China accountable for its role in covering up the epidemic in Wuhan.
“Will Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who likely will soon become king of his country, use his power to bring peace to the world around him?”
Bunreacht na hÉireann is the basic and primary source of law in the Republic of Ireland. In article 6 of the Constitution, the democratic nature of the state is established by sourcing the power of the government, exercised by its three branches, to the Irish people. The article also confines these powers to only be exercised by, or on the authority of, the organs of the state recognized in the constitution. From this article, the doctrine of Separation of Power as we know it arises. Under this doctrine the branches of the state are asked to respect the roles of each other by not interfering with their responsibilities.
“The known knowns and unknown knowns” come from former U.S secretary of defence Donald Rumsfeld who coined the repetitive phrasing. We are currently in a scenario there are foreseeable and unforeseeable circumstances.
Among the various analysis and controversy around the new cabinet, from gender balance to geographic distribution, an aspect that has been completely overlooked or indeed taken for granted is the political pedigree of new ministers. Indeed, that phrase "it is in the blood" has featured widely on social media and in discussion. It seems political dynasties endure in Ireland.
Vladimir Lenin once said, “there are decades where nothing happens, and there are weeks where decades happen”. If such is true, the weeks that have passed between Ireland’s February election and the formation of a government represent the realisation of a decades-long political movement. By entering into government together, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have drastically altered Ireland’s political landscape. Weeks of negotiations have ended the century-long Civil-War rivalry in any substantial way and made Sinn Féin the largest opposition party. However, the political alliance between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael formalised by their coalition is significant for much more than the conclusion of Civil-War politics. Regardless of any programme for government or policies implemented by the coalition, this government will go down in history as the one that paved the way for a United Ireland and not through any intentional actions of their own.
The Republic of Yemen, an Arab country situated in the south-west of Asia, has been subjected to persisting intervention from the Saudi-led Arab coalition since March 2015. The situation has progressed into what is now known as the Yemeni Humanitarian Crisis. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), “An estimated 80 percent of the population, 24 million people, require some form of humanitarian or protection assistance, including 14.3 million who are in acute need”. How did the escalation of a civil war lead to the world’s greatest humanitarian crisis today?
Leo Varadkar is in a unique position when it comes to Irish politics, when a leader loses an election often their career ends with either their expected to step down as party leader or are removed from that position via a leadership challenge, however because all three of Ireland’s major parties preformed so similarly, we have now entered a new era of politics, and a new understanding of proportional representation. Even though the now Tánaiste only 41 he has spent much of his adult life active in politics, as a 20 year old medical student in Trinity college he ran unsuccessful in the local elections in 1999 and being opted to Fingal county council in 2004 and finally making his way into the Dail after the 2007 general election with the leader of the opposition appointing his as spokesperson for enterprise, trade and employment. The same department that he now has reasonably for alongside being Tanaiste.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has over the recent years managed to progress the digital infrastructure (and digital economy) by advancing the field of superhuman capabilities. The opportunities that AI technology poses are expanding from medicine and health to transport and education, and most importantly, economic growth that transcends the firms and the respective economies. Time and again, the debate around AI technology takes the form of the challenges regarding labour displacement, economic inequality, market instability, reinforced totalitarianism, and a shift in the global economy. In the upcoming field of artificial intelligence technologies, companies (buyers) who are the innovators of this new system of production find themselves in need of a particular service to improve their production function by machine learning and advanced AI applications. This service is called data annotation - it is the process of sorting data and labelling or tagging them, the said data can be images, texts or even audios.
Fianna Fáil TD Micheál Martin is set to become Ireland’s 15th Taoiseach in an unprecedented move in unprecedented times. Leader of Fianna Fáil since February 2011, he led the Dáil in Opposition since March 2011, when Fianna Fáil fell from power and Fine Gael were voted in.
On the 21st of June, the State funeral for Detective Garda Colm Horkan was held in Charlestown, Co. Mayo.
It is probably fair to say that a minor decision about a gravestone in England gaining Irish media attention is unprecedented. But the decision of the Coventry Consistory Court on May 6th that an Irish-language inscription on a gravestone must be translated to avoid misinterpretation sparked outrage on both sides of the channel recently. The case provoked interesting questions on British prejudices to Ireland and attitudes towards the Irish language.
The toppling of statues in the US recently has had a domino effect and knocked monuments around the world. This current trend began in 2017 with the controversy over the statue of Confederate General and folk hero Robert E. Lee. The legacy of Lee and what his visage represents has been the flashpoint for debate in the US over the past years. To some he is associated with white supremacy, neo Nazism and the ‘Lost Cause’ myth, the romanisation and nostalgia for the Antebellum South. To others he represents the hundreds of thousands of Confederate war dead and the epitome of the Southern hero.
Ireland has won a seat on the UN security council last week, both Ireland and Norway will take seats on the security council while Canada missing out. A total of 191 counties voted, Ireland needed a two-thirds majority. Ireland has proud history when to comes to service to the wider UN community. Since the foundation of the United Nations Ireland has played an active and leading role, with individuals such as Sean McBride, Mary McAleese, Bono, Bob Geldof and countless numbers of peacekeeping efforts from the Defense force, with deployments from the Congo and the Mediterranean, to Lebanon as well, all severing Ireland with distinction and pride, with the ambition to improve human life. Ireland has played leading role when it comes to our role within the wider United Nations community. As a nation that Ireland has fought its way up the ladder within the wider international community, such as when Irish delegates attend the negations at the treaty of Versailles to lobby for the a new Irish state, and hosting a Eucharistic Congress in 1932, right up to now with Ireland beating Canada to take a seat on the UN Security Council.
It’s clear that globalisation has shaped our world since the term was first coined in the 1960s. Whether it has impacted it for the better or not is hotly disputed among economists globally. What this essay argues is that globalisation has had a positive impact on reducing inequality, and specifically how globalisation has impacted economic activities in Brazil. This essay will explore why Brazil fell into economic disrepair and how prior to attempts made by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), failed to reduce economic growth which subsequently led to severe inequalities in Brazil. Additionally, by looking into the theory of globalisation we will explore how inequality has been reduced within countries like Brazil. However, we must define both globalisation and inequality to truly understand the relationship between the two.
Sustainable development in Sub Saharan Africa has been at the forefront of the United Nation’s agenda for the last two decades. However, one must question the effectiveness of the policies suggested by the UN, and can they actually be achieved. The bedrock of sustainable development lies in the Sustainable Development Goals and The Millennium Development goals.
The town of Midleton in County Cork is home to a beautiful but widely unknown sculpture that celebrates the solidarity and generosity demonstrated by the Choctaw people towards the Irish during the Great Famine. The structure itself, named “Kindred Spirits”, consists of large stainless steel feathers arranged in a circular formation, and it is intended to commemorate the $170 donation made by the Choctaws during one of the worst years of the famine in 1847, which is estimated to be the equivalent of at least five thousand dollars in contemporary terms. The context in which this donation was gathered only further emphasises the immense kindness of the Choctaw people, as less than ten years prior to their aid, they had been subjected to a forced removal from their lands and attempted genocide of their tribe by the federal government, known as the Trail of Tears. It would be unwise to compare the plight of Native Americans with that of the Irish, given the fact that our lands were partially returned us, whereas the entire nation of the United States exists upon stolen and desecrated land, however, there remains an unspoken bond between the two peoples, forged in spirit by our mutual experiences of attempted population destruction by an oppressor. Essentially, we are brothers in arms against a common enemy, for lack of a more poetic description.
As the age of liberation grows ever more prominent, it has become increasingly difficult for economic powers to plant their exploitative footholds within less economically powerful countries with the means of colonisation and/or excessive political intervention. The beginning of the 1960s marked a sudden surge in outbursts within Africa which would eventually lead to the liberation of several countries within the continent from their European colonizers, subsequently converting them into independent states. These conversions persisted throughout the decade and continued well into the 1970s until they were brought to a halt by the Republic of Zimbabwe on 18th April 1980, when the African country was granted its independence by Great Britain.
The past week in US politics has been mired in controversy, largely as a result of Republican candidate, President Donald Trump’s ill-advised anticipation to get the ball rolling on behalf of his party. Although this will undoubtedly become a saga of strange events that runs until the elections in November of this year and will almost certainly provoke subsequent consequences that shadow the upcoming term in presidential office, there are two separate incidences that have garnered substantial attention on the European side of the Atlantic. In line with the majority of domestic opinion, Trump’s aggressive response to the Black Lives Matter protests which erupted in the wake of George Floyd’s death attracted waves of overseas criticism that was further emphasised by his recent, seemingly sabotaged rally in Tulsa, that proceeded in spite of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The latest approval ratings illustrate a significant decline in Trump’s popularity among the general American populace, and this is by no means a coincidence; he has been forced to confront two crises within a matter of months and frankly, has handled neither with the slightest degree of grace or sympathy. The prevailing query is, how will this impact the upcoming presidential election? For now, it would be naive to make any predictions given the tumultuous journey undertaken by both the Republican and Democratic parties in the 2016 campaigns. Despite the growing popularity of Democratic Party candidate, Joe Biden, he has not secured victory in any sense, except perhaps in a moral regard. Although if the past four years have taught the world anything, it’s that morality is no longer a trait required to obtain and upkeep a position of political power in the United States.
In reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic, many governing bodies have regulated or recommended face coverings. But how do face masks work? Are they actually effective? Is there a wrong way to wear one? What are the arguments against mandatory face masks? Read on to answer all of these questions and learn everything you need to know about the rationale (and science) behind face masks.
Stories about autistic people are often written by those who are part of our community, those who are not and many who are endlessly perplexed with our behaviour.