Morning Briefing, 26th February

Well I’m back in Cork after USI LGBT Standing Conference, where I was re-elected to Working Group on the 3rd count! Also congrats to Ms. Sonya Donneally who was elected unanimously as the new LGBTRO! woo! (P.S. If anyone wants to know what motions where passed email me!)

In the news today!

The International Court of Justice, is due to deliver its verdict today on whether ot not Serbia is responsible for Genocide ‘through the killing, torture, rape and expulsion of Bosnian Muslims’ (CNN, RTÉ, Breakingnews) If passed, it will be the first time that a state, rather than an individual or group, has been held responsible for genocide.

Nurses begin there industrial action today with a protest outside CUH (Breakingnews, RTÉ) The INO and PNA are seeking a 10% pay increase for their members and a reduction in their working week to 35 hours.

Israel is after performing a raid on the West Bank, it has now entered its second day (RTÉ, Breakingnews)

Jean-Marie Le Pen has laucned his latest bid for the french presidency (France 24, CNN) He has put forward an anti-immigration, ultranationalist stance, pledging to cut off social benefits for foreigners and deporting those who are unable to fend for themselves. He is having difficulty getting 500 mayors to back him.

Talks begin today in London on Iran’s Nuclear program. (CNN, France 24). The P5 and Germany are meeting to discuss the next course of action. Israel is denying that its has plans to attack Iran’s Nuclear facilities (France 24) and the USA have plans to bomb Iran according to Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh (CNN)

Thats its for now!

Morning Briefing, 1st February

Dia Duit!!!

First one in awhile I know, but have been busy with campaign stuff!

Dáil seats for NI MP’s (Breakingnews) I personnally disagree with them having anything to do with the Dáil as they were elected to Westminster not Dáil Eireann.

France implements its smoking ban (Breakingnews). Woooo! There are now calls for a European wide ban, which i believe would be a goo idea.

Ad causes caos in Boston (BBC)Jaysus, some people take things too far in their reaction! they look harmless like!!

Herouxville, Canada has posted on its website what immigrants are not too do (BBC)

“We consider it completely outside norms to… kill women by stoning them in public, burning them alive, burning them with acid, circumcising them etc.”

It points out that women are allowed to drive, vote, dance and own their own homes

You got to love the Canadians!

Israel had developed a Flying car!!! (CNN)Excellent idea!!!!!!

Thats all for now, have a good day!!!

Sarkozy crowned official candidate

Via France24

French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy Sunday was officially designated a candidate in the upcoming presidential elections, after winning the nomination of the ruling Union for a Popular Movement (UMP).

Sarkozy, 51, was acclaimed by a party congress in Paris after winning an internal ballot of 338,000 UMP members to choose a contender for elections in April.

Results showed that Sarkozy had 98.1 percent of votes cast.

There was never any doubt about the result as Sarkozy was the only person seeking the nomination.

Opinion polls show that Sarkozy, who is also UMP chief, is the only politician capable of beating Segolene Royal, the Socialist Party candidate who hopes to become France’s first woman president.

Best of luck to him against Royal, should be an interesting election as Le Pen is also running.

Is there more than one earth? or were we just a freak accident?

The usual are we alone in the universe question and the European Space Agency seam to be looking for more earth-like planets. Class M planets for other Trekkie’s out there!!!

From Sky News

Mission To Find ‘Earths’

A satellite has been launched to seek out new Earth-like planets beyond the solar system and explore the interiors of stars.

The European Space Agency’s (ESA’s) COROT project, which blasted off from Kazakhstan, will put a telescope into orbit that is capable of detecting planets smaller than those currently known.

Some may be just a few times the size of Earth and rocky, rather than the larger, gaseous types.

“COROT will be able to find extra-solar planets of all sizes and natures, contrary to what we can do from the ground at the moment,” researcher Claude Catala said.

“We expect to obtain a better vision of planet systems beyond the solar system, about the distribution of planet sizes.

“And finally, it will allow us to estimate the likelihood of there existing planets resembling the Earth in the neighbourhood of the sun or further away in the galaxy.”

Planets have been found orbiting stars other than the sun but they have never been seen.

Instead, scientists have deduced they are there based on the stars’ “wobble”, the result of the gravitational pull of planets revolving around them.

COROT, a project of the French National Space Studies Centre (CNES) in which ESA is participating, will be able to detect smaller, rocky planets by measuring the drop in the stars’ brightness caused when a planet passes in front of them.

In 2008, US space organisation NASA is due to launch the first space telescope capable of detecting Earth-sized planets in similar orbits to our own.

CORAT - Artists Impression

Check out ESA’s Website for more information.

To find out more about the COROT mission check out the CNES website and the CORAT mission website

Characteristics

Mini-satellite from the CNES PROTEUS series
Afocal telescope equipped with 4 CCDs
Stellar seismology and search for extrasolar planets
Polar circular orbit,
altitude 896 km

New International French News Channel


Via Al Jazeera

France 24 has been launched and will be accessible in Europe, Africa and the Middle East in Frence, English and Arabic.

France 24 joins an already crowded international news arena with CNN, BBC World and Al Jazeer.

“In the symphony of the free press, there is now a French voice,” he said. “We’re late, and we’re trying to catch up.”

A French International Station was called for back in 1991 by the French President, due to the dominance of CNN reporting during the First Gulf War.

It promises a “French vision” of world affairs with a heavy emphasis on diversity and debate.

“It is indispensable that a great country like France should be able to have its vision of the world and broadcast this vision,” Jacques Chirac, the French president, said in an interview with the station.

“Naturally fitting with our traditions, our conception of civilisation, humanism and globalisation.

“This will be expressed, I think, through France 24.”

France 24’s website in english is here

Im glad to see a new service as it should be a good source of News for the 2007 French Elections.

French "aids awareness" video

Found a cool AIDS awareness video on Gaycork.com. Click here to watch it. Its really cool and has a lovely moral to it.

Given the failure of the French and Dutch to approve the European Constitution, how far does Europe need a Constitution?

I was very disappointed to hear the results of the referenda in France and the Netherlands. I believe that the European Union needs a constitution to codify all the treaties and set out the powers of each of the institutions.

Europe needs a constitution. When you look at organisations that have constitutions they are many and diverse. From local sports clubs to countries, constitutions lay out the basic rules and procedures for the running of the organisation.

Currently the rules and regulations of the EU are contained in many treaties beginning with the Treaty of Rome and the other treaties. Other regulations are the result of compromises and have never been written down. A constitution would clearly lay out the role for every institution of the EU.

In this constitution I would like to see the EU set out the basic human rights that every EU citizen should have. I also think that the constitution should contain a role for national parliaments. This constitution would clear up a lot of confusion that many citizens encounter when discussing the EU.