← Previous Story Pierre-Antoine Casanova signs for Istres Next Story → Ratko Nikolic refused Vardar – Vujovic wants Shevelev Valladolid will start the preparation period for the new season strengthened by another player. After signing Christoffer Rambo that played already in the team before, now they signed the 22-year old Danish Patrick Eilert. Eilert signed a two-year contract, and spent the last season playing for another Spanish team, BM Torrevieja. Both sides were delighted with the new acquisition, and the coach Juan Carlos Pastor said that the team now seems much stronger, and will be a very serious opponent for every ASOBAL League team.
HSV Handball is still hoping for trophy this season. Domagoj Duvnjak and CO. had easy job against Fuchse Berlin 39:32 in “O 2 Arena” in front of more than 9.000 spectators as some kind of “warm up” for the second match of the VELUX EHF CL TOP 16 against RK Vardar on Sunday.HSV Handball: Bitter (12 saves); Cleverly (2/1 saves) Markovic 9, Duvnjak 7, Djordjic 5, Cañellas 4/1, Nilsson 4, Dominikovic 4, Jansen 3, Schröder 2, Mahé 1, Lackovic, Toft Hansen, Flohr n.e., Lindberg n.e., Hens n.e.Füchse Berlin: Heinevetter (6 saves); Stochl (1saves., 1.-17.) Igropulo 7/5, Romero 6, Wiede 5, Nielsen 5, Löffler 2, Thümmler 2, Zachrisson 2, Petersen 2/1, Richwien 1, Milde, Spoljaric, Siewert, Skroblien n.e.Result: 2:0 (2.), 5:1 (6.), 7:3 (9.), 10:5 (14.), 11:8 (19.), 17:8 (26.), 19:9 (29.), 21:11 (30.) – 21:14 (34.), 23:15 (35.), 23:19 (39.), 27:20 (43.), 29:22 (46.), 30:25 (50.), 32:27 (52.), 35:30 (57.), 38:31 (60.), 39:32 (60.)STANDINGS: 12.FRISCH AUF! Göppingen21:35-15 16.HBW Balingen-Weilstetten14:40-71 5.Füchse Berlin38:18+72 2.Rhein-Neckar Löwen47:9+181 dkb bundesligaFuchse BerlinHSV Handball 1.THW Kiel49:7+164 14.VfL Gummersbach18:34-64 7.SC Magdeburg29:25+25 ← Previous Story RK Gorenje Velenje on the way to domestic “hat-trick” Next Story → Road to Women’s EURO 2014: Dutch girls beat Spain – Sweden takes point in Serbia 10.TBV Lemgo25:31-30 11.HSG Wetzlar23:29-20 18.TV Emsdetten7:49-177 13.TSV GWD Minden18:34-52 15.Bergischer HC17:39-76 4.HSV Handball44:10+89 9.TSV Hannover-Burgdorf26:30-47 17.ThSV Eisenach11:43-130 6.MT Melsungen32:22+25 8.TuS N-Lübbecke27:27-28 3.SG Flensburg-Handewitt46:10+154
A small earthquake in Croatian handball after decision of national team coach Željko Babić to “cut” two important names – Igor Vori and Ivan Čupić for the upcoming Croatia Cup in November during the EHF week. Successor of Slavko Goluža on the hot Croatian bench decided to make some changes in order to give a new impulse and doze of seriosity to his players:– Reason is simple. We aren’t satisfied with the level of our performance, so we think that all the players have to think about their roles and their place in the national team. We invited 20 players to make a bigger roster, to get more “fight” for the position in the team. Message is simple. Commitment of the players have to be bigger. We weren’t satisfied with the performance and engagement of Vori and Cupic. We want to see passion, patriotic tension, willigness to play for the national team. In some segments this didn’t exist, so we want to prevent that with this kind of decisions – explained Ex-Meshkov Brest coach his decision.CROATIAN ROSTER:Mirko Alilovic (MVM Veszprem)2. Ivan Pešić (Meškov Brest)3. Filip Ivić (PPD Zagreb)4. Manuel Štrlek (Vive Tauron Kielce)5. Antonijo Kovačević (PPD Zagreb)6. Jerko Matulić (Chambery)7. Zlatko Horvat (PPD Zagreb)8. Marino Marić (Melsungen)9. Ilija Brozović (HSV Hamburg)10. Leon Šušnja (PPD Zagreb)11. Marko Kopljar (Barcelona)12. Luka Stepančić (PPD Zagreb)13. Luka Šebetić (PPD Zagreb)14. Igor Karačić (Vardar)15. Domagoj Pavlović (PPD Zagreb)16. Luka Cindrić (Vardar)17. Domagoj Duvnjak (Kiel)18. Marko Mamić (Dunkerque)19. Ivan Slišković (Veszprem)20. Jakov Gojun (Füchse Berlin) ← Previous Story Richard Stochl to replace Stanic in RNL! Next Story → SEHA: “Angry Meshkov” trash Borac croatiaIgor VoriIvan Cupiczeljko babic
← Previous Story BOMB: Fuchse Berlin sign Stipe Mandalinic! Next Story → Majda Mehmedovic to miss WCh 2017 The World champions 2013, Brazilian national team will try to get the best of form at upcoming Women’s World Championship 2017 in Germany. National team coach Jorge Duenas, who will start his challenge with the new country after decade of success with Spanish girls, announced squad list for upcoming tournament.Brazil are at Group C with Japan, Tunisia, Russia, Montenegro and Montenegro.Brazilian squad:Goalkeepers: Bárbara Arenhart (Váci NKSE/HUN), Gabriela Moreschi (Larvik HK/NOR), Mayssa Pessoa (Rostov-Don/RUS)Left wings: Samira Rocha (Kisvárda Master Good/HUN), Dayane Pires da Rocha (São Bernardo/Unip/BRA)Left back: Eduarda Amorim (Gyori Audi ETO/HUN), Karoline Souza (Váci NKSE/HUN)Playmaker: Ana Paula Rodrigues Belo (Rostov Don/RUS), Danielle Jóia (Pinheiros/BRA), Patrícia Matieli Machado (Vistal Gdynia/POL)Right back: Deonise Fachinello (CS Magura Cisnadie/ROU), Patricia Batista da Silva (Thüringer HC/GER)Right wings: Jessica Quintino (Odense/DEN), Mariana Costa (CS Magura Cisnadie/ROU)Line players: Lígia Costa (Pogon Stettin/POL), Tamires Anselmo Costa (Pinheiros/BRA), Tamires Morena (Larvik HK/NOR) Brazilian handballJorge Duenas
THE MAN ACCUSED of the murder of a man in Skerries on Thursday evening will appear before a special sitting of the Criminal Courts of Justice today.The man, in his late 20s, is accused of stabbing Michael Gannon as he babysat his grandchildren at his daughter’s home in Mourne Park in the coastal Dublin town.He will appear before the CCJ at 4.30pm.Mr Gannon is believed to have been stabbed once in the chest.Read: Man in his 20s questioned over Skerries death
A DEADLY CHILL still has much of the United States and Canada in its wintry grip, as the record-breaking cold snap brings temperatures lower than on the surface of Mars.Authorities have opened shelters for the homeless and anyone else who needed a warm place, and have reported at least 21 cold-related deaths across the country since Sunday, including seven in Illinois, and six in Indiana.At least five people died after collapsing while shoveling snow, while several victims were identified as homeless people who either refused shelter or didn’t make it to a warm haven soon enough to save themselves from the bitter temperatures.In Missouri on Monday, a 1-year-old boy was killed when the car he was riding in struck a snow plough, and a 20-year-old woman was killed in a separate crash after her car slid on ice and into the path of a tractor-trailer.Polar bearIt was so cold in Chicago that the polar bear at the Lincoln Park zoo was brought inside to warm up, and she had not built up the winter fat stores of her wild cousins.In Kentucky, an escaped inmate begged to be let back into prison so he could warm up after spending the night shivering in an abandoned house.All of Canada and all the US states bar tropical Hawaii recorded temperatures below freezing on Tuesday, even usually sunny and warm Florida and California.But the most dangerous cold, that can cause frostbite in a minute and death in a matter of hours, hit the Midwest as the ‘polar vortex’ brought frigid air from the Arctic.A homeless man who wanted to be identified as John, tries to stay warm on a steam grate in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)Schools, businesses and government offices were closed. Water mains and household pipes froze. Airplanes were grounded, trains were halted and roads and sidewalks became ice rinks.The town of Embarrass, Minnesota, recorded the lowest temperature in the United States yesterday at a frigid -37 Celsius.Factoring into wind chill, temperatures dipped as low as -52 Celsius in Montana and was in the -40 to -50 Celsius range in parts of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.That’s cold enough to toss a cup of boiling water into the air and watch it turn into snow before it hits the ground.Colder than MarsThe Mars Rover has been sending back daily temperature readings from its tour of the Red Planet ranging from -25 to -31 degrees Celsius.“To be fair, though, Mars is still way colder,” the Smithsonian Institute wrote in a blog post. But then again, Mars is 78 million miles further away from the Sun.For a more Earthly comparison, the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station recorded a temperature of -23 Celsius and a wind chill factor of -35 Celsius on Tuesday.Brutal chillThe brutal chill came as people in the Great Lakes region were still digging out from two massive snow storms which dumped more than two feet of snow.More than 500 people spent Monday night stuck on a train that was stranded by snowdrifts on the line between Detroit and Chicago, while nearly 2,500 flights were cancelled in the United States on Tuesday and 3,400 were delayed.That brought the total of flights cancelled since the latest snowstorm hit on Thursday to more than 18,000.Toronto’s Pearson Airport temporarily halted ground operations early Tuesday because of “equipment freezing” and out of concern for the safety of airport personnel, it said on its Twitter account.Police reinforcements were called in to the airport to deal with rising tension among stranded travellers.The governor of Illinois declared a state of emergency Monday and called up the National Guard to help rescue stranded motorists as high winds whipped up blinding snow.Guardsmen were also deployed in Indiana and New York, a Pentagon spokesman told AFP.Even hardy Canadians were complaining of the cold amid widespread power outages.Meteorologists predict the cold snap will ease of Wednesday. The Curiosity rover is driving around in a crater at, roughly, the equivalent latitude of Venezuela.
THE EUROPEAN MEDICINES AGENCY is to investigate whether increased bodyweight impairs the effectiveness of some popular brands of the morning-after pill.The review is a result of data published in November that suggested emergency contraception could be less effective in women above 80 kg (12.5 stone).The review will look at whether the warning labels on the emergency contraceptive medicines should be changed.The brands being reviewed include those that that contain the hormone levonorgestrel, such as NorLevo, Levonelle/Postinor and Levodonna.Emergency contraceptives containing levonorgestrel can be used up to 72 hours after unprotected sexual intercourse or contraceptive failure and act by blocking or delaying ovulation.Another prescription-only brand of the morning-after pill ellaOne, which can be used up to five days after unprotected sex, is also to be reviewed.The review comes after the makers of NorLevo added the following information to the product about its effectiveness in November:In clinical trials, contraceptive efficacy was reduced in women weighing 75 kg or more, and levonorgestrel was not effective in women who weighed more than 80 kg.The review is being conducted by the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use, its opinion will then be forwarded onto the European Commission.Column: What you don’t know about emergency contraception (and why it might hurt you) >Read: Monday is the most common day women request the morning-after pill >
OVER €373 MILLION was spent in a three year period on a scheme that involves local authorities paying landlords to provide accommodation for those in need of long term housing.A person who has been receiving rent supplement for a long period will be placed on the Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) and will pay a contribution to the local authority which has a contract with the landlord and pays them the rent directly.In response to a parliamentary question from Richard Boyd Barrett, junior minister Jan O’Sullivan, said the expenditure figures do not just cover rents but also include “payments that are made to Approved Housing Bodies, administration costs, deposits on newly acquired accommodation, payments made in respect of additional units supplied under the Social Partnership Agreement Towards 2016 and up to very recently payments in respect of homeless persons”.The amount spent on this scheme has been rising from €115.9 million in 2011, to €125.4 million in 2012 and again in 2013 to €130.8 million. O’Sullivan said her department does not hold data on the amount directly paid by local authorities to private landlords.This year, a further €66.9 million has already been spent on the Social Housing Leasing Initiative, which operates in a similar way to RAS.“This expenditure includes the cost of recouping the interest on 1,985 unsold affordable units to local authorities and leasing costs on 497 units in the ownership of approved housing bodies or the NAMA SPV,” the minister of state explained.She said the remaining 2,256 units delivered this year have been acquired under lease or rental arrangements from private property owners at an average cost of €6,472 per unit per annum.There were heated exchanges between O’Sullivan and opposition TDs in the Dáil this week as they debated the issue of homelessness, with many accusing the government’s social housing policies of pushing people onto the streets.Sinn Féin’s Jonathan O’Brien said 80 per cent of the people who visit him at his clinic are there with housing issues and many are living in houses with no hot running water and no heating, “paying money from top of social welfare payments on top of rent allowances to live there because they have no other choice”.Read:‘Time to put flesh on the bones of your policies’: Heated exchanges in homeless debate>Ireland’s housing crisis: Four women’s stories of facing eviction and homelessness>
Updated 11.07 pmTHE MALAYSIAN PRIME Minister says that new satellite analysis has shown that flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean west of Perth.Speaking at a new conference in Kuala Lumpar this afternoon after meeting with families of those on board, Najib Razak says that the conclusion comes as a result of data analysed by the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch and satellite firm Inmarsat.The data shows that the flight flew along the southern corridor and ended in a remote location in the Indian Ocean west of Perth.“This is a remote location far from any landing sites. It is therefore with great sadness and deep regret that according to this new data we have to assume beyond any reasonable doubt that MH370 ended in the Indian Ocean, ” he said.Razak said that they will hold another press conference tomorrow to give more details but that they wanted to we wanted to “inform you of this news development at the earliest opportunity”.The BBC is also reporting that relatives of those on board the flight were told of the latest development by way of a text message .“Malaysia Airlines deeply regrets that we have to assume beyond any reasonable doubt that MH370 has been lost and that none of those on board survived,” it said in a text message to relatives, the BBC reported.Earlier today, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said one of his country’s planes had spotted two objects during a search of the southern Indian Ocean.Abbott said it was not known whether the objects came from the Boeing 777 which went missing on March 8. “Nevertheless we are hopeful that we can recover these objects soon and they will take us a step closer to resolving this tragic mystery,” he told the Australian parliament.Ships and planes from several nations swarmed over a lonely corner of the southern Indian Ocean as mounting evidence of floating debris energised the search for Malaysia’s missing passenger jet.But the roiling seas characteristic of the region threatened once again to foil search personnel who have failed to turn days of tantalising leads into hard evidence that could help solve the baffling mystery of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.China’s Xinhua news agency said a Chinese air crew spotted “two relatively big floating objects with many white smaller ones scattered within a radius of several kilometres”.This map, released by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, shows the areas already searched and the plan for today.The report added to an Australian aircraft’s visual sighting Saturday of a wooden pallet, strapping and other debris, and subsequent French and Chinese satellite information indicating floating objects far off Australia’s west coast.The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said search teams would investigate the Chinese sightings.A growing international fleet of military and civilian aircraft has converged on the area, around 2,500 kilometres (1,500 miles) southwest of Perth, supported by Australian and British naval vessels tasked with retrieving any objects from the forbidding waters.MH370 vanished without warning on March 8 over the South China Sea en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 227 passengers and 12 crew.Malaysia believes the plane was deliberately diverted by someone on board. But the absence of firm evidence has fuelled intense speculation and conspiracy theories, and tormented the families of the missing.Malaysia Airlines suffered another headache early today when a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Seoul had to divert to Hong Kong due to a malfunctioning electrical generator.The airline said back-up systems kicked in and the plane, with 271 passengers, landed “uneventfully.” © AFP, 2014-Additional reporting by Rónán DuffyRead: New floating objects spotted in hunt for missing Malaysia flight
A WOMAN HAS been assaulted during a break-in at a house in Mayo. The incident occurred at a house in Charlestown at approximately 11.15pm on Friday night.Two masked men, both believed to have been armed with knives, entered the house through the front door. They asked the woman, who was the only occupant of the house, the whereabouts of her partner.Gardaí said the woman was “assaulted a number of times” but her injuries are not serious. The raiders then left the house, without stealing any property. Their mode of transport it not known at this stage.One of the men is described as being 6′ and was wearing a red or green jacket. He was armed with a knife. The other is described as wearing a dark tracksuit.Anyone with information is asked to contact Swinford Garda Station on 094 9252990, the Garda Confidential Line 1-800-666-111 or any Garda Station.Read: Two due in court after break-in at pub near Maynooth>
TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY has said the Government still plans to introduce free GP care for everyone in the country within the next three years.Responding to criticism from Opposition leaders in the Dáil this afternoon, the Taoiseach said the Government is not rolling back on its plan – despite media reports to the contrary.“There are a number of items in the programme for government which [have proved undeliverable]” he said. “This is not one of them. Ultimately the entire population will be covered by free GP services.”A report today suggested that the Government is to drop the GP card for people with long-term illness.However the Taoiseach said that the Government is instead carrying out a review of the plan because news laws would be required to deliver free GP care for people with such illnesses. In a statement, the Department of Health said that “the legislation to provide a new legal basis for eligibility for a general practitioner service has proved more complex to complete than anticipated.”The Taoiseach said the Government has tasked Junior Minister Alex White to carry out a full appraisal of the scheme and to report back to Cabinet in six weeks with his findings.The Government was strongly criticised by a number of groups – including the Irish Medical Organisation – for the reported change to the free scheme.James ReillyBoth Micheál Martin and Gerry Adams used Leaders’ Questions this afternoon to criticise Minister James Reilly’s handling of the health service and the implementation of free GP care.Micheal Martin said former Labour minister Róisín Shortall has been “proven correct” about her concerns over James Reilly and was “forced out of office for calling it right on that occasion”.Minister James Reilly is “not the man to lead one of the most important departments in this country,” the Fianna Fáil leader told the Dáil.Read: Govt criticised over reports it will ‘drop’ free GP card scheme > Read: Government told to alter ‘women in the home’ clause > Read: Taoiseach has ‘no intention of playing party politics’ over abortion issue >
Protect the media“We are glad to see that that legislation will be reintroduced, because he believes strongly that we need to provide the protections to the media that this legislation would do,” Carney told reporters.This week’s revelation that investigators probing alleged leaks of secret or classified information had secretly obtained phone records for numbers used by Associated Press reporters triggered a political firestorm.Several commentators and a coalition of media organisations accused Obama’s administration of trampling on press freedoms in its pursuit of government leaks and whistleblowers.But Carney insisted that the White House was not involved in the Justice Department investigation that acted against the AP, and protested that Obama supports laws that would protect the identity of press sources.- © AFP, 2013US Attorney General: We seized reporters’ phone records to protect American lives>Labour TD says newspaper ‘sting’ job on abortion beliefs was intended to mislead> THE WHITE HOUSE threw its weight behind a bid to pass a law to strengthen journalists’ rights to protect their sources, amid controversy over the seizure of a news agency’s phone records.Following allegations that federal investigators had gone too far in their move against the Associated Press, a spokesman said President Barack Obama had contacted lawmakers to ask that the bill be brought forward.“The president has long supported media shield legislation in the Senate during the 2008 campaign and as president,” Carney said, adding that Obama had spoken to Senator Charles Schumer to press his support for the bill.
FOR OVER 90 YEARS Ireland has elected its TDs through its tried and trusted system of proportional representation – with multi-seat constituencies filled by giving each voter a single, transferable vote.That could be about to change, however, with the Constitutional Convention asked to look into possible reforms of Ireland’s ‘PR-STV’ system.At the first of two meetings on the topic last week, the convention agreed that electoral reform should not necessarily be limited to tinkering with the PR-STV system, but could include a more fundamental change in how TDs are elected.They’ll meet again next month to look at some options in greater depth – but in advance of that, here’s a guide to the way each system would work, and a quick analysis of the pros and cons of each.1. If it ain’t broke…The PR-STV system has become a reliable – and almost beloved – trait of post-independence politics in Ireland, with the system used for elections at all levels throughout Irish democracy, from local councils right up to the Presidency.Proponents of the current scheme argue that its results are broadly representative of the true motives of the electorate – a five-seat constituency may regularly return TDs from three or four parties, offering true variety for its electorate.This argument gets a little thinner when the constituencies become smaller, however. A five-seat constituency allows for some variety but a three-seat constituency doesn’t give the same room for manoeuvre – and may regularly return one TD from each of three strong parties, or two from one and one for another.It can therefore be almost impossible for a smaller party to gain a significant foothold in a constituency that elects a smaller number of TDs.Among the possible tweaks that could be considered is therefore the idea of making current constituencies larger, allowing more than the current limit of five TDs per constituency (though the limit of five is set by the Oireachtas itself; the constitution allows up to seven).This could mean larger constituencies, electing seven or eight TDs – enough to be broadly reflective of a multi-party system, and ensuring that members are not seen to be attached to a particularly small part of the country.The alternative is to keep the PR-STV system but to make constituencies smaller – leaning towards single-seat constituencies like those in Westminster. This makes it nearly impossible for small parties to win, however – particularly if the PR-STV system is retained and allows voters to transfer preferences between larger parties.At the ballot last weekend, 41 per cent of voters said electoral reform should only involve tweaks to PR-STV – so this may end up being the fruit of the convention’s endeavours.However, 59 per cent said reform might be broader – opening up a whole palette of alternative options.2. Look north, and across the waterNorthern Ireland offers a fairly unique picture of how this could work – as its Assembly constituencies each elect six MLAs, while its MPs in Westminster are from single-seat constituencies.The Assembly is elected by PR-STV, just like the Dáil – and the difference between the profile of the Assembly and the Northern Irish MPs elected to London is a good illustration of the impact each system can have.The 108 members in the current assembly include members from seven parties, plus an independent, while there are only four parties (and an independent) represented among the 18 MPs in Westminster.The Westminster-style option – where each constituency is represented by one TD alone – is an option that could be adopted here (though one that was supported by only 3 per cent of the convention members last weekend).That could mean that the whip system currently used in the Dáil would be a bit weaker – as kicking a TD out of party would mean that the party’s headquarters risk isolating the local branch. Whip systems in the US House and Australia, where similar systems are in place, are similarly weak.As illustrated, though, it would mean there might only be a couple of parties represented in the Dáil at all – going on Ireland’s 2011 election, for example, Fine Gael and Labour would have topped the poll (and therefore been elected) in pretty much every constituency.Fine Gael would therefore be in government alone, with Labour and a mere handful of Fianna Fáil and Independent TDs in opposition.3. As the Vengaboys said, We like to partyA sign outside a polling station in Italy shows the ‘party lists’ of candidates in the 2004 European elections. One system used in many continental European countries, particularly Italy, is the ‘party list’ system – where people don’t vote for individual candidates at all, but rather vote for the party to which a candidate belongs.29 per cent of the convention members said they would like to examine a “proportional list system” – keeping the single transferable vote but instead asking voters simply to rank parties in order of preference.It is then the political party, and not the candidate, which holds a seat – with the party itself choosing who will take its seats in the parliament.This has a couple of varieties:The ‘closed list‘ system, where political parties decide in advance who their prospective TDs will be. This means that a party will publish its list of prospective TDs, ranked in order.For example: Sinn Féin’s list might read, ’1. Gerry Adams; 2. Mary Lou McDonald; 3. Pearse Doherty; 4. Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin; 5. Aengus Ó Snodaigh; etc etc. If Sinn Féin has a poor election and only wins enough votes for three seats, it’ll be Adams, McDonald and Doherty who take them, while Ó Caoláin and Ó Snodaigh miss out.)The ‘open list‘ system where voters get to influence the ranking of TDs within their party. This would likely mean similar elections to those which currently take place, where people vote for candidates instead of parties – but the cumulative votes of the candidates will be used to decide the party’s number of seats, while the performance of candidates against each other will determine each TD’s ‘ranking’ on their party list.The ‘free list‘ system, a type of open list where voters not only choose which party to vote for, but also get to vote for candidates within the party on a separate ballot paper. A voter will be given one ballot paper asking them to choose their preferred party, and another ballot paper for each of the parties – casting similar votes to those already used in Ireland to determine where candidates appear on the party list.For example: A voter may decide (for whatever reason) that they want to vote for Labour, but don’t want Eamon Gilmore to be one of its TDs. They can then put Labour as their first preference party, but within the Labour list, vote for every candidate except Gilmore to push him down the list.The chances are that none of these systems would be rolled out on a national basis, where the entire country is treated as one constituency. Instead, there may be larger constituencies – similar, perhaps, to the ones used for European Parliament elections.This would ensure that smaller parties with support concentrated in fixed areas would be able to gain some representation, by needing a smaller number of votes to take a seat.The largest problem with these systems is that they tend to be very complicated and take a long time – not only to count the votes, but also to cast them. Imagine how long it may take you to vote if you have to choose not only your favourite parties, but your favourite TDs within each party.This is the exact opposite to the PR-STV system we enjoy now, where voting is almost as simple as possible – where you simply rank the candidates in order of preference, using their party as merely one basis for your decision.On the upside, however, it might mean that people are asked to think less about the candidate they might elect (whose status could be determined by, say, their record of community work) and more about the party and its policies.Because TDs in the Dáil would therefore not officially represent their home areas, they could feel free to concentrate on national issues and leave local matters in the hands of the new county council structure.4. The best of both worlds?The option preferred by the convention last weekend – with 69 per cent of members expressing an interest in it – was the ‘mixed’ system, which is basically a combination of the party list model and the direct constituency model we already have.This typically involves setting aside a certain number of seats which are elected through the party list system, while the remainder are elected in the more traditional model of direct voting for a candidate.For example, in a Dáil of 150 seats, 100 TDs might be elected in the traditional way while 50 more seats are filled by parties based on the support they get in a separate parallel election.Again, there are a couple of varieties. The method mentioned above is the same as the one in Germany‘s Bundestag, where half of the seats are filled on a Westminster-style ‘first past the post’ system and half are filled through party list elections, administered separately within each of the 16 federal states.In New Zealand, the system is tweaked a bit – and there isn’t actually an election held to fill the party seats. Instead, these are automatically awarded to parties so that their numbers in parliament reflect their share of the national vote.There, 70 out of the parliament’s 120 seats are elected in a more traditional way, while the other 51 are set aside.So if a party happens to win 20 per cent of the vote nationally but ends up only taking 10 seats (when its share of the vote perhaps should mean it got 14), it gets compensated by taking extra seats of the other 50.At the end of the day, the party will have 20 per cent of the total seats (24 out of 120), made up of 10 directly-elected MPs and 14 drawn from a party list. (As it happens, this means that candidates who lose in the ‘traditional’ election often end up being appointed as MPs through the list system.)This strikes a bit of a balance – by making sure that a party’s overall presence reflects the share of the votes it gets, whilst also making sure that local people are still able to point to a politician and say, ‘That person is my local representative.’Which model do you think might work best for Ireland? Let us know in the comments.Read: The system for electing TDs could be about to face a massive overhaulMore: Fine Gael TD calls for elections and referenda to be held at weekends
EVEN AS MANSIONS go, this one is pretty unusual.The giant gaff in Istanbul was built in the second half of the 19th century for Zeki Pasha, a famous military leader in the Ottoman forces who also served as a minister after being appointed by Sultan Abdulhamit II, the final sultan to have control over the Ottoman Empire.The baroque-style mansion spans 5 storeys, has its own pier and dock, and comes with a view not completely dissimilar to that of the San Francisco Bay – which may go some way to explaining why it has an asking price of €89.5 million.Let’s have a look inside.
Case-Mate already allows people to design their own custom device cases. Now you can win $1,000 by designing a great one. Case-Mate is partnering with BlackBooks for “The City Is Your Canvas Contest.” The winner will have their work incorporated into a suite of creative assets, which shoppers can then use to create their own unique case. You need to make a finished design, it seems, but also tools for mash-ups.To win the contest, you’ll need to think about what “the city” means to a modern artist. The winner will need to provide 20 to 25 vector assets (of which 2 to 4 are “spray can elements,” 2 to 4 are predesigned cases, 4 to 6 are background colors, and 4 to 6 are colorize colors. To enter, however, you’ll only need to submit 1 to 3 pieces of visual art. The contest ends December 31, and the winner gets $1,000, plus an unspecified percentage of the revenue for cases sold. It could be a good way to get your work noticed. AdChoices广告
Attention iPhone owners: we have found possibly one of the coolest gifts under $25 for you. If you’ve ever strained to hear the sound on a YouTube video, or have ever tried to jam out to your tunes via your iPhone’s included speaker, you know how hard it can be to really get good audio. The Bone Horn Stand uses design elements from gramophones of the past, and brings a simple concept to the age of the iPhone. Simply stick your iPhone into the stand, and voila — the sound is automatically louder by 13 decibels. The Bone Horn is made out of silicone — and that’s it. There are no batteries needed, and no adapters to plug in. It’s simply the trumpet-shape of the horn that amplifies the sound from your phone. geek-cetera! Besides working as a way to boost your volume, the Bone Horn also acts as stand. You can prop your phone into a vertical or horizontal position. The Bone Horn Stand fits the original iPhone, iPhone 3G/3GS, the iPhone 4. It comes in beige, black, and green, and sells for $24.95 at the Cyberguys.com. Imagine the possibilities if you used the Bone Horn with the Pocket Vuvuzela iPhone app. Check out the video after the jump to see the Horn Stand in action — well, sort of.
The gaming world has been pretty down on Call of Duty lately, but today is still a big day for the franchise’s latest release, Black Ops. Today BlOps gets its first DLC, the First Strike map pack. The pack includes four new maps–Berlin Wall, Stadium Kowloon and Discovery–as well as a new zombie map, Ascension. As with previous CoD downloadable content titles, First Strike will be available on Xbox Live before it hits the PC or PS3.Kotaku has already had a chance to test drive the maps and a posted some initial thoughts. So far things look reasonable exciting, though the article notes that the zip lines in Kowloon (from the single player game’s Hong Kong section) were not great and that the Antarctic map, Discovery, has some issues as well. Berlin Wall has no-man’s-land zones where players are attacked by machine guns and it sounds like the best of the bunch.The DLC will be available today for the Xbox 360 for $15, but we don’t know when (or if) it’s hitting the PC or PS3.Question: So who is going buy it? This might be the first CoD map pack in a long time that I skip. I haven’t loaded up Black Ops in a few weeks and I don’t think I’d get my $15 out of this pack.And the release…CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS “FIRST STRIKE”DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT NOW AVAILABLE ON XBOX LIVEFive All New Maps Launch Today – Berlin Wall, Stadium, Kowloon, Discovery and the New Zombie Level, Ascension;Activision and Microsoft to Host celebrity “Grudge Match” with Arian Foster and Maurice Jones-Drew on 2/1 for the Launch of “First Strike”Santa Monica, CA – February 1, 2011- The first new multiplayer downloadable content (DLC) from the record-setting, best-selling blockbuster title Call of Duty®: Black Ops is now available worldwide on Xbox LIVE. Released today by Activision Publishing, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI), Treyarch’s Call of Duty: Black Ops – First Strike adds five all new action-packed maps that span the globe. “Berlin Wall,” a new map surrounding the iconic barrier, gives players access to both sides of Cold War Berlin; “Stadium” delivers plenty of fast-paced, close-quarters combat set in the backdrop of a sports complex; “Discovery” is an abandoned German outpost set along the coast of Antarctica; “Kowloon” spans the tiered levels of high-rises and rooftops of Kowloon City, Hong Kong. “First Strike” also features an all new experience for the fan-favorite Zombies mode. The new level, “Ascension” pits players against hoards of vicious, perk-stealing zombie monkeys, flesh-eating Soviet Zombies and more in a trap-filled, Cold War era cosmodrome.The Call of Duty: Black Ops – First Strike DLC is available first on Xbox LIVE® Marketplace for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft for 1,200 Microsoft Points. To celebrate the launch of Call of Duty: Black Ops – First Strike, Activision, Treyarch and Microsoft today are hosting a “Grudge Match” on Xbox LIVE for ultimate bragging rights. Football superstars Arian Foster of the Houston Texans and Maurice Jones-Drew of the Jacksonville Jaguars will lead teams featuring Treyarch studio members, online personalities and Black Ops fans in the head-to-head match-up on Xbox LIVE.“Our fans mean everything to us,” said Mark Lamia, Studio Head, Treyarch, “so we are thrilled to be able to provide the Black Ops community with exciting new gameplay that will extend their multiplayer and Zombies experiences. The team has given it their all, as we crafted the maps in “First Strike” while taking into account our community to make sure that this content delivers compelling and unique experiences that will appeal to all different play styles.”
For the past few years, LCD TVs have been all the rage. They’ve gotten brighter, slimmer, 3D-ready, bigger, and cheaper. But if you were looking for the most inches for your dollar, LCDs are not the place to look. Digital Light Processing (DLP) TVs were some of the first large-screen HDTVs around and the size of the TV in today’s deal is a monster.The Mitsubishi WD-73C10 is a 73-inch, 120Hz, 3D-ready DLP HDTV. It supports full HD 1920×1080 resolution via three HDMI inputs, but also supports your older devices via component and composite inputs as well. This model is 3D ready, though you will need the Mitsubishi 3DC-1000 3D Starter Pack, which contains active shutter glasses, 3D emitter, and 3D adapter. This is sold separately and has a list price of $399.AdChoices广告Thanks to a massive $850 instant discount from Dell, you can get this beast for $1,249 shipped, which works out to $17.10 per inch of screen. Most LCD TVs are $20 per inch or higher, and anything close to the size of this Mitsubishi would cost far more.Now, a 73-inch TV is really, really big, so you’ll probably want to sit at least 8 feet back from the set.Visit LogicBuy for the Mitsubishi WD-73C10 3D DLP HDTV
The Linux Foundation has decided to hide a discount in the form of a fun quiz that poses the question: Could you do Linus Torvalds‘ job?Torvalds is the father of Linux and currently holds the position of chief architect on the development of the Linux kernel. That makes him a very important person for all those companies and individuals who use Linux to run their systems 24 hours a day.While there is a large group of contributors to the Linux kernel project, there’s no doubting the importance of Linus and the work that he does. To lose him from the project would be a major blow, but one day it will have to happen. The question is, who could replace him?The quiz asks that very question by asking you five (rather silly) questions you need to answer as Linus would. Get all five right and you clearly are a potential rerplacement. Otherwsie the quiz will award you a rating such as 2/5 classing you as a Linus Stalker.Even if you think the quiz is silly, it’s worth taking the time to answer the questions as on the results page you also get a 25% discount off the price of attending LinuxCon and the 20th Anniversary of Linux LinuxCon Gala. LinuxCon runs between August 17-19 at the Hyatt Regency in Vancouver, Canada. It costs $500 before July 8 to register, and even more after that, so there’s a significant saving to be had if you do intend on going.In reality, if Linus did step down from kernel development it would most likely be one of the other developers he works with closely on the project already that would step up and take over. No one else, however experienced they are with low-level operating system development, would be able to keep development going at pace without some serious cramming on the inner workings of the kernel.Take the quiz at The Linux Foundation Facebook page
The director of Pan’s Labyrinth and the Hellboy movies, Guillermo del Toro has revealed he is a big fan of Valve as he’s hired the voice of GLaDOS to play a robot AI in his new movie.Ellen McLain plays the evil AI, GLaDOS in the Portal games, she also lends her voice to many other Valve games including Team Fortress 2 and Half Life 2. The trailer for Pacific Rim, del Toro’s new movie, shows that McLain is using the same voice filter she uses for GLaDOS so the robot AI she plays in the movie, sounds exactly like GLaDOS. It all seems a bit confusing…It’s likely del Toro purposely did this as a tribute to the Portal games. In fact he personally called Gabe Newell, the boss at Valve to make sure he could get GLaDOS’ voice in the movie. He’s been quoted before as being a big Valve fan and he said “Portal and Left 4 Dead have been instrumental family experiences at my house”.Pacific Rim is about an alien attack threatening Earth’s existence. The humans decide to pilot giant robots to fight off the alien attack, as one would when attacked by aliens. Basically, it’s your typical monster movie, though it does star Ron Perlman (Hellboy) and GLaDOS so what more could you ask for?Although I think Portal fans will be expecting McLain’s robot AI to go rogue and turn on the humans at some point, if she doesn’t then a lot of people are going to be disappointed. Pacific Rim hits cinemas on July 12, 2013.via Eurogamer