Are you ready for another fantastic handball day in Spain? Is Croatia capable to beat Denmark after victories over Spain and France? Slovenian dreams going on, but Spain is the toughest rival? Denmark wants second WCh final in a row. Is Spain ready for the first final since Tunisia 2005?The fixtures for the semi-finals on Friday 25 January in Barcelona:19.15 hrs local time: Spain vs. Slovenia21.30 hrs local time: Denmark – Croatia ← Previous Story Croatia sent “Experts” home! Next Story → Spain is the first finalist at WCh 2013!
Cologne handballVELUX EHF CL F4 Just one day after the draw of the semi-finals pairings of the VELUX EHF FINAL4, the playing order has been confirmed. The top club handball event of the year will start in the LANXESS arena in Cologne on Saturday, 1 June with the match of Vive Targi Kielce versus FC Barcelona Intersport with a throw-off at 15:15 hrs local time.The encounter of the newcomers at this event with the record winners of the EHF Champions League will be followed at 18:00 hrs by the second semi-final, which has turned into an all-German affair between the defending champions, THW Kiel and their bundesliga rivals HSV Hamburg.The playing order of the semi-finals has been set following discussions with rights holders to ensure the best possible exposure for the event on television screens around the world and also to guarantee an unforgettable experience for the 20,000 fans in the LANXESS arena.The timings of the matches will be the same for the third year in a row, which means the placement match for the 3rd position has been set for Sunday, 2 June at 15.15 hrs and the final for 18.00 hrs.Playing order and times of the 2013 VELUX EHF FINAL4Saturday 1 June 2013Semi-final 1: Vive Targi Kielce vs FC Barcelona Intersport (15.15)Semi-final 2: THW Kiel vs HSV Hamburg (18.00)Sunday 2 June 20133rd/4th Placement match: loser Kielce/Barcelona vs loser Kiel/Hamburg (15.15)VELUX EHF Champions League Final: winner Kielce/Barcelona vs winner Kiel/Hamburg (18.00)(all times local)article: EHF ← Previous Story Copa Del Rey: Atletico beat Barca for the Final! Next Story → Poland playoffs: Vive Kielce humiliates Azoty Pulawy, wins by 28 goals
The real test for some of the nations to participate at the upcoming European Championship in Denmark in January 2014, is the “Golden League” tournament that will take place this weekend. France, Norway, Croatia and Denmark will play each other in what is expected to be high-quality games. However, Denmark will have to do without their first choice keeper Niklas Landin from the RN Loewen, who has suffered a back injury. This makes Jannick Green to take the main responsibility on the goal, along with Soren Rasmussen and Marcus Cleverley. ← Previous Story Brazilian girls win Provident Cup in Hungary Next Story → Bundesliga (W): In top game Barbosa leads Thuringer past HC Leipzig jannick greenlandinlowenmarcus cleverleyNiklas Landinrn loewensoren rasmussenUlrik Wilbek
← Previous Story Pick Szeged run over PLER Next Story → Karl Erik Bohn passed away First points in 2014 go to Vive Targi Kielce after the victory over Azoty Puławy 37:27. Kielce team arrived in Lublin (sports hall in Puławy was considered to be too small, and due to popularization of handball the match was moved to the bigger hall in Lublin) without Julen Aginagalde, who’s struggling with cold, and injured Piotr Chrapkowski. The game was looked forward not only because it was the first one after almost 2 month break – it was a debut of Talant Duyshebaev as a Kielce coach. His influence could be noticed from the very beginning, especially in defence. Polish Champions began by losing two goals but they caught up immediately. The game was more or less even for about 10 minutes when the result was 9:9. After 15 minutes couch DuJshebaev changed the whole group and Kielce started gradually taking over the lead. After quite gentle first half (no cards or suspensions) the result was 19:14 for the guests. Second half was a bit more rough but it did not change the result. Slowly but surely, Kielce kept leaving Puławy behind.Polish Champions were coping with new tactical guidelines better as time went on and even Michał Szyba in good form could not save his team from suffering defeat – Kielce won by 10 goals.Top scorer for Kielce: Thorir Olafsson 7(1).TEXT: MARTYNA USNARSKAphoto: vivetargi.pl Talant DujshebaevVive Targi Kielce
WALL STREET WAS impressed by Google’s third-quarter revenue figures as declines in average ad prices were cancelled out by stats showing how frequently people are clicking on them.The numbers released yesterday impressed investors who had been fretting about a downturn in Google’s ad prices that began two years ago. Those concerns evaporated, at least temporarily, with a third-quarter performance that exceeded the analyst projections.Google’s ad prices are still sagging as marketers pay less for commercial pitches on mobile devices, but the number of revenue generating clicks on those ads is rising at a much faster rate.The equation resulted in a 36 per cent increase in Google’s earnings for the three months ending in September.Google’s stock surged 8 per cent to $959 in extended trading after the report came out. That leaves it poised to reach an all-time high in today’s regular trading session.The robust rally represents an abrupt about-face. As the overall stock market rose, Google’s shares had slipped slightly during the past three months.Google’s average ad price has now declined from the prior year in each of the last eight quarters, primarily because advertisers aren’t yet paying as much for mobile ads because the screens on smartphones and tablet computers are smaller than those on laptop and desktop computers.As more people rely on mobile devices to connect to Google’s search engine and other services, it’s driving down the company’s average ad price, or “cost per click.”In Google’s latest quarter, that measure fell 8 per cent from last year. That was worse than the 6 per cent drop in the previous quarter.But the number of so-called “paid clicks” on Google’s ads helped offset the lower prices in the third quarter. The clicking volume increased 26 percent from last year, an indication that Google’s data analysis is doing a good job matching ads with the interests of its services’ users.(CEO Larry Page will no longer partipate in revenue announcements. Pic: AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)Google Inc. earned nearly $3 billion, or $8.75 per share, during the three months ending in September. That compared to income of $2.2 billion, or $6.53 per share, at the same time last year.If not for its expenses for employee stock compensation, Google said it would have earned $10.74 per share. That figure topped the average estimate of $10.36 per share among analysts polled by FactSet.Revenue for the third quarter rose 12 per cent from last year to $14.9 billion. After subtracting commissions paid to Google’s ad partners, Google’s revenue stood at $11.9 billion, about $227 million above analysts’ predictions.Motorola Mobility, a mobile device maker that Google acquired for $12.4 billion last year, remains a financial drag. The division lost $248 million in the quarter, and still hasn’t made any money under Google’s ownership.In a mild surprise, Google CEO Larry Page disclosed that he doesn’t plan to regularly participate in the company’s quarterly earnings calls with analysts in the future.Page, 40, missed an earnings call last year because of an ailment on his vocal chords that made it difficult for him to talk. Although his voice remains raspy, Page didn’t mention that as a reason for skipping the calls. He said he wants to devote more time to running the company and helping Google’s engineers build great products.Read: Google exec grilled in UK over ‘devious’ use of Ireland to reduce tax >Read: 10 ways Google changed our lives >
Updated 21:57LUFTHANSA TECHNIK AIRMOTIVE Ireland (LTAI) today announced it is to start a process “to consider closing the company”.The firm has a jet engine overhaul facility at Rathcoole in Dublin which employs 400 people. Today Lufthansa said it will consult with employee representatives and begin immediate negotiations with trade unions.This decision follows an “extensive review of operations”, the company said, in the context of “declining revenues and shrinking international market opportunities”.Commenting on the announcement, Managing Director of LTAI Wolfgang Mörig praised the workforce for their contributions over the years and expressed “regret” that the company is now at this point.He noted “the increased quality and efficiency of the new generations of aircraft engines, with reduced need for overhaul”.StunnedWorkers were informed of the company’s decision today and UNITE regional officer Willie Quigley told TheJournal.ie that “you could hear a pin drop”.“The workers were stunned,” he said. “No one anywhere envisaged anything like this. Work was very scarce in the plant for a couple of weeks but this has happened before and changes have been asked for and conceded by workers.”I’m sure there was absolute horror and devastation in the families when they heard. A lot of them have young kids and kids in college and Christmas is just five or six weeks away.The union represents more than 200 of the workers in the plant and Quigley said representatives will be looking at “every potential alternative” to closure.Redundancy“If all that fails, we’ve no other choice than to get the best possible redundancy deal and secure pensions, but right now we’ll be trying to get the company to look at alternatives to keep it as it is, even with reduced numbers,” he said.A council with representatives of all three unions involved will hold a meeting on Monday morning and they will then meet with management in the afternoon to start negotiations.Lufthansa Technik took a 60 per cent shareholding of Airmotive Ireland, which was set up by Airlingus, in 1997. It took full ownership in 1999.First published 15:35Read: Fears for jobs at Lufthansa Technik as staff called to meeting>Read: LRC talks between IMPACT cabin crew and Aer Lingus adjourned>
THE GARDAÍ SEIZED a large quantity of cannabis resin in Tallaght this morning.As part of an ongoing operation targeting the sale and supply of controlled drugs in the area gardai conducted a planned search of a house in Donomore Avenue at approximately 7.45am this morning.CannabisDuring the course of the search, cannabis resin with an estimated street value of up to €111,000, along with other items of stolen property, were seized.A man, aged 41-years-old and a 37 -year-old woman were arrested at the scene and are currently detained under the provisions of Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984 at Rathfarnham Garda station.Read: Teenager arrested after body of woman found in Kerry>Read: Appeal for witnesses to early morning attack in Dublin’s city centre>
ABOUT 100 POLICE were injured today in clashes that broke out as 100,000 outraged Ukrainians swarmed Kiev in a call for early elections meant to punish authorities for rejecting a historic EU pact.The crowd chanted “Revolution!” and “Down with the gang” as it took control of Kiev’s iconic Independence Square, while protesters steered a bulldozer within striking distance of police barricades protecting the nearby presidential administration office.Protesters use an excavator during clash with police at the Presidential office in Kiev. Pic: AP Photo/Efrem LukatskyAFP reporters saw security forces outside the presidential building fire stun grenades and smoke bombs at a few dozen masked demonstrators who were pelting police with stones and what Ukrainian media said were molotov cocktails.Kiev police spokeswoman Olga Bilyk said that around 100 officers were wounded in the day-long protest. An AFP reporter saw three protesters covered in blood from head wounds and other injuries.Two AFP photographers and a local cameraman with the Lyon-based Euronews television news channel also received slight injuries in the unrest.Kiev police said a few dozen members of the nationalist Svoboda party had also taken control of an empty Kiev city hall building and set up what they described as the new temporary headquarters of the united opposition.“The government and president must resign,” world boxing champion turned opposition leader Vitali Klitschko told the Independence Square crowd to loud cheers and cries of “Yes!”A metal barrier is thrown as protesters clash with police outside the presidential office in Kiev. Pic: AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky“A revolution is starting in Ukraine,” added Svoboda party chief Oleh Tyagnybok.“We are setting up a tent city on Independence Square… and launching a national strike,” he said in dramatic scenes aired live on television stations in both Ukraine and Russia.But both leaders distance themselves from the violence outside President Viktor Yanukovych’s office and issued calls for calm.“None of our protest members attacked Yanukovych’s lair,” parliamentary opposition leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk told reporters at the rally.Ukrainian media said Yanukovych spent most of today with his most senior advisers at a secluded suburban residence.An unnamed government source told the ITAR-TASS news agency that Yanukovych was thinking of imposing a nationwide state of emergency from tomorrow.A flare is ignited as protesters clash with police outside the presidential administration building in downtown Kiev. Pic: AP Photo/Sergei GritsThe economically-struggling nation of 46 million was thrown into its deepest crisis since the 2004 pro-democracy Orange Revolution when Yanukovych snubbed EU leaders at a summit on Friday and opted to keep Ukraine aligned with its former master Russia.The government’s decision sparked demonstrations that first turned violent in the early hours of Saturday when hundreds of rubber baton-wielding police drove about 1,000 protesters from Independence Square.A few hundred of them spent the night at the nearby Mikhailovsky Monastery plotting a pro-European campaign that includes the formation of a “national resistance task force”.Main opposition leaders such as Klitshcko are now calling for early elections and an indefinite nationwide strike.Today’s rally was held in open defiance of a court ban imposed late yesterday on all protests on the square and its surrounding streets until January 7.AFP reporters estimated the size of the crowd at about 100,000 while some protest leaders and Ukrainian media put the figure even higher.Police chief resignsSaturday’s police crackdown sparked a new round of Western condemnation of the Ukrainian government but was met with notable silence by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin.US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki called on Kiev authorities to respect Ukrainians’ right to free expression and assembly, which are “fundamental to a healthy democracy”.A protester uses a chain as he and others clash with police outside of the presidential administration building in downtown Kiev. Pic: AP Photo/Sergei GritsUkraine’s leaders appeared to be taking steps to distance themselves from Saturday’s police crackdown by announcing a formal probe to identify and punish those responsible on both sides.Kiev’s police chief submitted his resignation at a meeting during which Interior Minister Vitaliy Zakharchenko vowed to make sure his force acted with “tolerance”.Yanukovych added in televised comments aimed directly at the opposition that Ukraine had already chosen its “historic path” by committing itself to closer EU relations.Yet he also stressed that these closer ties with the 28-nation bloc would come only when Ukraine was treated as “an equal partner that is respected and whose wishes are taken into account.”Kiev’s nuanced approach in which it seeks favour from both Moscow and Brussels was underscored yet again when the government said Yanukovych would soon travel to Russia to sign a new “cooperation roadmap”.- © AFP, 2013Read: ‘Dozens’ wounded as Ukraine police break up rally>
A REPORT INTO the Dóchas Centre women’s prison at Mountjoy has found that overcrowding was “the single greatest problem associated with the centre”.The report by Inspector of Prisons Judge Michael Reilly found that the centre has consistently operated above its capacity with a check in June of this year finding that 141 prisoners were housed there when the maximum should have been 105.Limerick Prison is the only other facility for women prisoners in the country with 24 places, meaning that the maximum number of prison spaces for women in the state is 129.The report said that overcrowding led to “arguments between women being a constant feature” and “tension throughout the centre where the slightest thing can spark a major altercation”.Reilly said that the vast majority of women committed to prison are done so for petty offences and questioned the appropriateness of prison in such cases.“A significant number of women who end up in the Dóchas Centre have experienced childhood sexual abuse, abuse in their adult life, indifference and neglect. Punishment is not a new experience for them,” he added.The report also details that homelessness is a significant problem for women prisoners, with many women already having experienced instability in accommodation.“A significant number of women who leave the Dóchas Centre have no accommodation or at best have temporary accommodation, ” according to the report.In a comment on the operation of the Dóchas centre, Reilly said that, “It could be said that the centre had, to a degree, lost its way”.This, he noted, was “not to say that prisoners were unsafe” or that management and officers were not sympathetic to the needs of the prisoners.Read the report in full here.Read: Big increase in number of women being sent to jail >
IF EIRGRID ARE unable to route the pylons more than 50 metres away from homes, they will engage with residents about compensation, said the Chief Executive of Eirgrid Fintan Slye.Speaking on RTE’s Morning Ireland today about the new independent commission that will examine the possibility of putting high-voltage power lines underground instead of on large pylons, Slyle said “where, despite our best efforts we are unable to route the line more than 50 metre away we will engage” but he added that these would be “exceptional cases”.Compensation When asked if people would be given compensation up to the value of their homes, Slye said: “It is certainly something we will consider.” He added, however, that some people may not want to move in any event.In early January, Rabbitte also said that just like people who have roads build through their lands are compensated, it was something that Eirgrid would be assessing, but indicated that it was very much a possibility they would be.Yesterday it was announced by Minister Pat Rabbitte that an independent commission, chaired by former Supreme Court judge Catherine McGuinness, will investigate the possibility of placing electricity power lines underground as opposed to on large pylons across parts of the countryside in the west, south and east of the country.However, there was speculation that the North South Interconnector project would not be included in the review. This is one of the older Eirgrid plans and is set to deliver a new high capacity electricity interconnector between the electricity networks of Ireland and Northern Ireland.Meeting Fine Gael TD Sean Conlon said he had met with the Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister Pat Rabbitte last night about the North South Interconnector project being included in the review and said he had come away from the meeting “happy” adding that he was confident that in the next 48 hours it would be announced that the reports, that have already been commissioned and carried out on the project, will be reviewed by the panel.However, when asked about this Slye said he was not aware of the conversation between the Taoiseach and Conlon on the issue, stating that work on that project was already underway and planning permission would be applied for in the coming weeks.When asked how long the review will take in terms of delaying Eirgrid’s plans, he denied that it would be up to a year, stating “I don’t think so.”He said Eirgrid they were in “listening mode” and had received a huge number of submissions from around the country in relation to their projects.EngageThe Chief Executive said they will engage with the expert panel, and look at the possibility of underground cables, but said reports had been commissioned to show that this could mean “very significant additional costs”.Minister Rabbitte previously said that if underground cables are installed rather than overhead pylons then “electricity consumers must be prepared to take the hit on their bills over the next 50 years”.He said that that while underground cables are “feasible” the extra cost will go “onto the bills of you and I and every other domestic customer”.Explainer: What’s happening with electricity pylons and why is it such a big issue?>Read: Could controversial power lines go underground? The government wants to find out>
NATIONAL TARGETS for the response times by which an ambulance should be dispatched to deal with a life-threatening medical emergency are to be abandoned.The Minister for Health, James Reilly, says alternative methods of evaluating the performance of the ambulance service will be formulated.The decision comes only weeks after HIQA increased its targets for response times for ambulances and medical personnel who are called to a life-threatening cardiac or respiratory emergency.Since January of last year, ambulances responding to such emergencies – known as ‘ECHO’ calls – were due to respond to 75 per cent of calls within 18 minutes and 59 seconds of being alerted. Last month the target was raised to 85 per cent.Separate targets for both ‘ECHO’ and ‘DELTA’ calls, involving life-threatening conditions not involving cardiac or respiratory problems, are that a first responder trained in defibrillator use and minimum life support skills should be dispatched – ahead of an ambulance – within 7 minutes and 59 seconds.In response to a Dáil question from Richard Boyd Barrett, Reilly said the decision to review the analysis criteria was “in line with international views” and also followed other changes including the operation of a trial air ambulance service and the formulation of a Performance Improvement Action Plan by the HSE’s National Ambulance Service.Reilly did not indicate whether HIQA’s current targets had been met, instead referring the query on to the HSE.He said, however, that the use of clinical indicators would “enable a focus” on ECHO and DELTA calls.Responding to similar questions last year, Reilly said the targets for first responders were met for 53.1 per cent of ECHO calls in 2011, while the targets for DELTA calls were met only 28.45 per cent of the time.On that instance Reilly said part of the difficulty in dispatching ambulances in time was the habit of using ambulances to transfer patients between hospitals, which tied them up and left them unavailable to respond to new urgent calls.
A SECOND CHALLENGE to Irish laws forbidding abortions for medical reasons has been lodged with the UN.The Centre for Reproductive Rights (CRR), which filed three petitions on behalf of an Irish woman, Amanda Mellett, alleging human rights violations with the UN Human Rights Committee in November, announced today that they are bringing another case to the committee.The Centre filed the case on behalf of Siobhán Whelan, who was forced by Ireland’s restrictions on abortion to travel to the United Kingdom to obtain safe and legal abortion services after she learned that she was carrying a foetus with a fatal anomaly.The Centre say that they filed today’s petition to “hold Ireland accountable for violating Siobhán’s basic human rights by subjecting her to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, interfering with her privacy, and discriminating against her on the basis of her gender”.Johanna Westeson, regional director for Europe at the Centre for Reproductive Rights said that the Irish system is “cruel”.“Rather than ensuring women with non-viable pregnancies have all the information and services they need to make their own personal decisions about their reproductive health, the Irish health system cruelly denies them both critical reproductive health information and safe and legal options to end pregnancy.”Siobhán’s storySiobhán Whelan became pregnant in September 2009.About 21 weeks into the pregnancy, doctors at Dublin’s National Maternity Hospital informed Siobhán that the foetus had a fatal anomaly called Trisomy 13.One doctor informed Siobhán that in another jurisdiction she would be offered a termination, but that this was not possible in Ireland.On January 20, 2010, at 22 weeks, Siobhán’s pregnancy was terminated at the Fetal Assessment Center at Liverpool Women’s Hospital. When she returned to Ireland, Siobhán was not offered any support to deal with her grief.“The Irish doctors made me feel like it was illegal to discuss the option of termination for fear of having the door slammed in my face or of not receiving any help whatsoever,” said Siobhán Whelan.“I will never understand why I had to pack my bags and leave Ireland so I could access the medical care I needed. It is truly demeaning and I will never forget it.”Siobhán is a member of Terminations for Medical Reasons Ireland (TFMR Ireland), an advocacy group campaigning for Ireland to amend the abortion law to allow women to terminate pregnancies due to fatal foetal abnormalities.TFMR continues to meet and offer support to women whose babies have been diagnosed with fatal foetal abnormalities. The group’s website can be found here. They be reached by email: email@example.com. Support group Leanbh mo Chroi can also be found on Facebook, or contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 086 747 4746.Read: Women who travelled to UK for terminations to bring case to United Nations
ITALIANS ARE LIKELY to have to go to the polls again in the coming weeks to hold a second general election, after votes cast in this week’s ballots failed to conclusively appoint a new government.The centre-left coalition led by Pier Luigi Bersani topped the polls for both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, but the strength of Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right movement in key regions has put a roadblock on Bersani’s path to power.Italian law means that the coalition that tops the nationwide poll for the Chamber of Deputies is guaranteed a majority in that house, ensuring that Bersani has a comfortable majority there – even though he scored barely 1 per cent more of the vote than Berlusconi.In the Senate, however, coalitions are given bonus seats depending on the results of regional ballots – meaning that Berlusconi’s victories in key provinces like Sicily and Lombardy, which includes his home city of Milan, meant his coalition is the largest in terms of Senate seats.A further complicating factor is the phenomenal performance of the ‘Five Star Movement’, an apolitical anti-establishment movement led by former TV comedian Beppe Grillo, which is the single largest party in the Chamber and took over a sixth of the Senate.Bersani-Monti alliance falls shortBersani had hoped that he could form a power-sharing administration with the supporters of the outgoing technocratic premier Mario Monti, who registered a new political party to fight the election – but his support failed to materialise, with voters shunning him for introducing unpopular austerity measures.Monti’s movement won just over 10 per cent of votes for the Chamber, and 9 per cent for the Senate – with the later meaning that the Bersani-Monti coalition would have only 125 seats in the Senate, still way short of the 158 needed for a majority.If Grillo’s movement was to ally with Berlusconi, the pair would have 171 Senate seats – easily enough for a majority in the Senate – but would still face Bersani’s legally-guaranteed massive majority in the Chamber.The only prospect that would avert the need for another election is if Grillo and his supporters decided to back a Bersani-Monti partnership – though this could prove difficult to stomach for Italians who voted for the Five Star Alliance simply as a protest vote against the established parties.Nonetheless, Italian state news agency Ansa quoted a spokesman for the Alliance who said the new party would “gather, listen to the network and decide what to do”.The Five Star Alliance chose its parliamentary candidates based on an online primary, and campaigns on a platform that free internet access should be considered a human right – suggesting that the party could canvas its supporters to decide how to respond.Berlusconi, for his part, told Italy’s Channel 5 he did not believe it was “useful” to consider holding a second election.Further complicationsThe elections are further complicated by the forthcoming retirement of the Italian president, Georgio Napolitano, whose seven-year term lapses in May.The Italian presidency is elected by the parliament, but only the President has the power to dissolve the parliament – meaning the new dysfunctional parliament may have to convene and elect a new president whose first task could be to call another election.In the meantime, Mario Monti’s outgoing government remains in place in a caretaker capacity – but its power to legislate is nullified by the absence of parliamentary support, while any sense of a public mandate has been lost by the poor showing of support for Monti in the election.Investors have already acted with unease to the result of the election: the interest rate on a 10-year loan for the Italian government by 0.25 per cent yesterday.Italy would now have to pay 4.85 per cent annual interest on a 10-year loan – up from 4.07 per cent only a month ago.Explainer: Everything you need to know about the Italian election
We can no longer afford to accept our harmful relationship with alcohol as the norm.IRELAND SPENT €50 million a week, lost 3,230 work and study days in a year and binged most of the time last year.The latest figures from the Health Research Board also show that 15% of 18-24 are classed as alcohol dependent. Source: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall IrelandThe report also found that:75% of all alcohol consumed was done so as part of a binge drinking sessionOne in five (21.1%) drinkers engaged in binge drinking at least once a weekAlmost two thirds (64.3%) of 18-24 year olds consumed six or more standard drinks on a typical drinking session in the last yearMore than half (54%) of 18-75 year old drinkers were classified as harmful drinkers which equates to 1.35 million harmful drinkers in IrelandOne in eight (13%) men and almost one in ten (9%) women drank their recommended weekly guidelines in one sittingAmong 18-24 year-olds, 28% of men and 22% of women consume weekly guidelines in one sittingWe spent more than €50.6 million was spent on alcohol in the week prior to the study3,230 work-or-study years were lost through alcohol related illness in the year prior to the study43% of standard drinks are consumed at home, 42% in a pub/nightclub and 10% in restaurant or hotel64% of men and 51% of women started drinking before the legal age of 18Monthly binge drinking most common among 18-24 year old age group (at 60%)Harmful drinking is highest among 18-24 year old age group (at 75%).Dependent drinking is highest among 18-24 year old age group (at 15%).The report added that of the 6,000 people surveyed, 21% had not drank in the last year. Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall IrelandThe authors of the report say that the figures underline the “harmful nature of drinking in Ireland.“This is the first time we have had such robust, detailed evidence on Irish people’s drinking habits. What is clear is we need to alter people’s perceptions of their drinking. The report shows people who defined themselves as ‘light or moderate drinkers’ actually drank six or more standard drinks in a typical drinking occasion, which is binge drinking’, says Dr Jean Long, Head of the Evidence Centre at the Health Research Board and co-author of the report.Alcohol Action Ireland, an alcohol awareness charity said that the normalisation of binge drinking was a problem.“[The survey] shows is the extent to which this situation – and the huge harms that our society suffers as a result – has become normalised,” said Suzanne Costello, CEO of Alcohol Action Ireland.“One in five people who defined themselves as ‘light drinkers who do not binge drink’ and half of those who defined themselves ‘moderate drinkers who do not binge drink’ were actually binge drinking on a typical drinking occasion.”Read: Irish alcohol prices are the highest in EuropeOpinion: The first step to fixing Ireland’s alcohol problem? Fight back against the drinks industry
THE NATIONAL ASSET Management Agency has recouped more than €800 million that debtors had transferred beyond the agency’s reach.Finance Minister Michael Noonan confirmed that the agency swooped for the assets, about two thirds of which was in property, in a reply to Fianna Fail Finance Spokesman Michael McGrath.The remaining third was mostly comprised of share portfolios as cash, the Finance Minister said.OffenceSpeaking to TheJournal.ie, McGrath said that there was a possibility that the debtors had committed an offence under section seven of the Nama act, which makes it an offense to withhold information relevant to the operation of the agency.He said that “it is implicit from the Minister’s reply that debtors went out of their way to put assets beyond the reach of Nama”. It does raise a fundamental question about the lack of co-operation from some of Nama’s debtors.He said that the bad bank deserved praise for pursuing debtors that had attempted to move assets, but added that “it would be naive to believe they had identified all instances where debtors moved assets beyond the agency’s reach”.Private sectorMcGrath said that the agency is facing a major problem with former employers transitioning into the private sector, often with intimate knowledge of Nama’s property portfolio.“That continues to be a major issue facing the agency…a cooling off period has been introduced, but the reality is they have a high staff turnover.”They don’t have long term jobs security, they have access to highly sensitive commercial information, and there is a real conflict of interest when they go on to join private sector property firms after their work with the agency.Read: How many Nama debtors have gone bankrupt so far?>Read: Nama has completed over €5 billion in loan and property sales so far this year>