Micheal Martin set to be next Taoiseach as government formation talks near an end

first_img Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin chats to Sean Fleming at the party’s dinner dance in the Castle Arms in Durrow in 2017 Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin is set to become the next Taoiseach as a coalition government between his party, Fine Gael and the Greens edges ever closer.The parties have been in intense negotiations in recent days as they bring the government formation talks to an end, more than four months after the General Election was held.According to the Irish Times, it’s understood that Martin and Leo Varadkar will rotate the Taoiseach’s role, with Varadakar indicting to reporters in Dublin this morning that Fianna Fáil will hold the office first. WhatsApp WhatsApp Twitter Previous articlePamper The Camper: The festival industry, impact of covid-19, pushing through and making memoriesNext article‘We tried to be fair to players’ says Laois GAA chairman on club fixture schedule Steven Millerhttp://www.laoistoday.ieSteven Miller is owner and managing editor of LaoisToday.ie. From Laois, Steven studied Journalism in DCU and has 14 years experience in the media, almost 10 of those in an editorial role. Husband of Emily, father of William and Lillian, he’s happiest when he’s telling stories or kicking a point. Pinterest TAGSFianna FailMicheal Martin RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Laois Councillor ‘amazed’ at Electric Picnic decision to apply for later date for 2021 festival Bizarre situation as Ben Brennan breaks up Fianna Fáil-Fine Gael arrangement to take Graiguecullen-Portarlington vice-chair role Electric Picnic Home News Micheal Martin set to be next Taoiseach as government formation talks near… NewsPoliticscenter_img Electric Picnic Twitter By Steven Miller – 15th June 2020 Pinterest News Electric Picnic organisers release statement following confirmation of new festival date If so, it will mean that the Cork politician, who has been leader of Fianna Fáil since 2011 will become the party’s latest Taoiseach.Up to now he has been the only Fianna Fáil leader never to be Taoiseach.The draft programme for government is expected to be signed off on today and will then be put to the members of the three parties for ratifications. It’s possible that all three parties will be expected to vote at the same time.The coming together of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, albeit with the support of the Green Party, signals the end of the old ‘civil war politics’, which dates back a century.Both main parties actually lost seats in the February General Election as Sinn Féin experienced their greatest election success and number of seats.But Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil didn’t enter negotiations with Sinn Féin, and Sinn Féin couldn’t get sufficient support from other left parties and Independents to form a majority.SEE ALSO – Number of properties sold in May falls again Facebook Facebook Micheal Martin set to be next Taoiseach as government formation talks near an endlast_img read more

Speculation continues over Mourinho’s position at Chelsea

first_imgThere continues to be speculation over the future of Jose Mourinho and who might replace him at Chelsea if he is sacked.The Daily Mirror say senior players at the club believe their manager’s departure is now inevitable following several poor results and controversial incidents this season. The newspaper reports that Blues players have denied Mourinho has “lost the dressing room” but that they have been left bemused by some of his actions, with one player said to have remarked: “We just want our Jose back”.AdChoices广告Pep Guardiola, previously linked with the Chelsea job, has been touted as one of the contenders to replace Mourinho.However, the Times suggest club owner Roman Abramovich faces a struggle to convince the Bayern Munich boss to take over.Mourinho’s side are 15th in the Premier League tableMeanwhile, the Independent say Mourinho’s representatives are already investigating a possible move to Paris Saint-Germain or a return to his former club Inter Milan should he lose his job at Stamford Bridge.And a number of papers, including The Sun, report that Mourinho face a touchline ban for Saturday’s vital match against Liverpool following an FA misconduct charge for his behaviour at West Ham. Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Dumervil questionable, J. Smith doubtful to play against Cincinnati

first_imgOWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens may welcome back a key member of their defense against Cincinnati, but another is expected to be absent for the second straight game.Outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil (foot) is listed as questionable to play against the Bengals on Sunday while cornerback Jimmy Smith (back) is doubtful after missing practices all week. Dumervil was a full participant all week after returning to the practice field last week and could see his first live-game action since Oct. 9 against Washington.Dealing with a frustrating recovery from offseason foot surgery, Dumervil has appeared in just two games all season, failing to register a statistic in 45 total snaps. The 32-year-old collected a total of 32 1/2 sacks in his first three seasons with the Ravens, who have struggled to mount a consistent pass rush this season.“I think he looked good in practice. Again, it’s going to be up to the medical people to determine [if he plays],” head coach John Harbaugh said. “It’s always been a medical issue. It’s good to see him out there at practice taking a good number of reps. He didn’t take every rep, but took a good number of reps in the rotation. We’ll just have to see when the time comes whether he’ll get cleared to go.”With Smith not expected to play, the Ravens are fortunate that five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green will not suit up for the Bengals. Green injured his hamstring in last Sunday’s loss to Buffalo and was officially declared out on Friday afternoon.The Baltimore defense has struggled without Smith on the field, but the Bengals’ lack of a high-impact receiver without Green should lessen that concern. The Ravens started rookie Tavon Young and returning veteran Shareece Wright at the starting cornerback spots against the Cowboys last week as Smith continued to nurse his back issue.“I think they have a better handle on exactly what it is right now specifically,” Harbaugh said. “They have a good handle on it. It’s more muscular, so that’s good news. If it clears up and he can go, he’ll play. If it doesn’t and he can’t be close to 100 percent, we’ll just have to wait until next week. But we’re confident in the guys we have as well.”The Ravens officially ruled out guard Alex Lewis (ankle) and running back Lorenzo Taliaferro (thigh). Tight end Crockett Gillmore (thigh) sat out Friday’s workout and is doubtful, meaning he will likely miss his fourth consecutive game.Baltimore listed guard Marshal Yanda (shoulder) and defensive tackles Timmy Jernigan (shoulder) and Brandon Williams (back/hand) as questionable, but all three are expected to play on Sunday.In addition to ruling out Green, the Bengals listed starting strong safety Shawn Williams (hamstring) as doubtful to play in Week 12.The referee for Sunday’s game will be Clete Blakeman.The Ravens will wear its black jerseys on Sunday, the first time this year the alternate top has been worn.According to Weather.com, the Sunday forecast calls for mostly sunny skies with temperatures reaching 53 degrees and winds up to 12 miles per hour.Below is the final injury report of the week:BALTIMOREOUT: G Alex Lewis (ankle), RB Lorenzo Taliaferro (thigh)DOUBTFUL: TE Crockett Gillmore (thigh), CB Jimmy Smith (back)QUESTIONABLE: LB Elvis Dumervil (foot), DT Timmy Jernigan (shoulder), DT Brandon Williams (back/hand), G Marshal Yanda (shoulder)CINCINNATIOUT: WR A.J. Green (hamstring)DOUBTFUL: TE C.J. Uzomah (calf), S Shawn Williams (hamstring)QUESTIONABLE: LS Clark Harris (groin), S Derron Smith (thigh)last_img read more

Pets are people, too. Remember that come gift time

first_img In this Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016 photo a guinea pig santa costume and a small pet habitat are on display at the PetSmart holiday collection preview in New York. More than half of dog owners and nearly 40 percent of cat owners buy their pets gifts for Christmas or Hanukkah, according to the American Pet Products Association, an industry trade group. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) In this Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016 photo Chloe Kardoggian, a 12-year old rescue chihuahua, models a guinea pig elf costume during the PetSmart holiday collection preview in New York. More than half of dog owners and nearly 40 percent of cat owners buy their pets gifts for Christmas or Hanukkah, according to the American Pet Products Association, an industry trade group. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) In this Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016 photo Pet Holiday Hanukkah dog toys are on display at the PetSmart holiday collection preview in New York. More than half of dog owners and nearly 40 percent of cat owners buy their pets gifts for Christmas or Hanukkah, according to the American Pet Products Association, an industry trade group. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) In this Nov. 2, 2016 photo, pet gifts are displayed in a doggie gift bucket containing a Harry Barker fabric doggie bone, a rubber chewy toy and doggie cheese puffs are among holiday pet gifts selected by Oprah Winfrey at the headquarters of “O, The Oprah Magazine,” in New York. According to the American Pet Products Association, an industry trade group, more than half of dog owners and nearly 40 percent of cat owners buy their pets gifts for Christmas or Hanukkah. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens) In this Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016 photo Pet Holiday Pie Slice dog treats and Merry Meals dog food are on display at the PetSmart holiday collection preview in New York. More than half of dog owners and nearly 40 percent of cat owners buy their pets gifts for Christmas or Hanukkah, according to the American Pet Products Association, an industry trade group. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) In this Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016, photo Pendleton collection bedding, leashes, and coats are on display at the PetSmart holiday collection preview in New York. More than half of dog owners and nearly 40 percent of cat owners buy their pets gifts for Christmas or Hanukkah, according to the American Pet Products Association, an industry trade group. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) In this Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016 photo Bocce’s Bakery Lumps of Coal and other dog treats are on display at the PetSmart holiday collection preview in New York. More than half of dog owners and nearly 40 percent of cat owners buy their pets gifts for Christmas or Hanukkah, according to the American Pet Products Association, an industry trade group. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) In this Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016, photo Tinkerbelle the Dog models a Martha Stewart Pets scarf sweater and a Santa hat during the PetSmart holiday collection preview in New York. More than half of dog owners and nearly 40 percent of cat owners buy their pets gifts for Christmas or Hanukkah, according to the American Pet Products Association, an industry trade group. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) In this Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016 photo Pet Holiday cat toys are on display at the PetSmart holiday collection preview in New York. More than half of dog owners and nearly 40 percent of cat owners buy their pets gifts for Christmas or Hanukkah, according to the American Pet Products Association, an industry trade group.(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) In this Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016, photo Tinkerbelle the Dog models a Martha Stewart Pets scarf sweater and a Santa hat during the PetSmart holiday collection preview in New York. More than half of dog owners and nearly 40 percent of cat owners buy their pets gifts for Christmas or Hanukkah, according to the American Pet Products Association, an industry trade group. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)center_img In this Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016 photo Pet Holiday Bark Beer dog toys are on display at the PetSmart holiday collection preview in New York. More than half of dog owners and nearly 40 percent of cat owners buy their pets gifts for Christmas or Hanukkah, according to the American Pet Products Association, an industry trade group. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) PET TOYS: Flatties, some that squeak, are always popular, said Mardi Larson, a spokeswoman for the retail chain PetSmart. And they can be cheap. For the holidays, PetSmart has some with Christmas motifs, like a bright green dinosaur in a Santa cap.“Pets just love to destroy their toys. Flatties are safe because they have no stuffing,” Larson said.You can’t go wrong with balls. Lots of balls. Or go for durable toys in sturdy nylon or rope. Consider safety in such things as sewn-on doodads or other swallowable bits.PET BEDS & BEDDING: Face it, a pet’s bed is part of home decor. You might as well find one that looks reasonably good as a gift. Choose one with a holiday theme for an added festive feel.For a classic or rustic look, PetSmart.com’s exclusive Pendleton collection includes beds in autumn colors or rainbow stripes. The company also has combination gift sets that come with a dog bed, cozy blanket and bone toy for about $20.Petplay.com will donate 20 percent of any pet bed purchased in November to support Movember and the fight against prostate cancer. That includes beds adorned with bright yellow mustaches.Oprah chose as one of her Favorite Things of 2016 the Charles Fradin Home Customizable Pet Blanket. It’s a 60-by-54, micro-fleece printed with an original hand-drawn image of said pet, for $395. Head to Amazon.FOR HUMANS: Gift your animal-loving human a paw pendant, or head to one of the sites that will customize using a pet’s actual paw, including 4pawsforever.org. At Uncommongoods.com, there’s a woman who will make you a pendant from a mold of your pet’s nose. Look for other customizables there, including pet portraits and pillows that look like your dog.There are kits available for your pet lover to make a paw print mold to turn into a tree ornament or garden stone.How about a throw? PetSmart has a red one selling strong emblazoned with: “I Just Want to Drink Wine & Pet My Dog.” $29.99. At Originalterritory.com, there’s a 30-by-40 fleece that reads: “Naps are Better with a Dog.” $19.99.Friendshipcollar.com if just that: A matching collar for pet and bracelet for the human. In a range of designs. $25 and $35.CLOTHES: For the pets. Widely available.Because, equality, PetSmart sells tiny Santa and elf looks for Guinea pigs, complete with pointy hats. They’ve also got a Santa with snorkel and goggles for a fish tank, in place of fish attire.Look around for one that amuses or fits your pet gift recipient’s personality.CATS & DOGS ETC: How about a holiday scratcher, a la the one that looks like a Christmas tree or the one that looks like a sleigh at PetSmart. Lots of these things exist so don’t sweat it.There’s one scratcher shaped like a DJ’s turntable that really spins. It’s adorned with stickers of cat smiley faces, paw prints, photos of fish-shaped cat treats, and faux band stickers, including “Run DOG.” Flat pack cardboard. No glue necessary for assembly. $35. Widely available from a company called Suck UK. Search for DJ Cat Scratching Pad.Holiday stockings are a thing for pets, including one filled with cat balls that comes with a purple feather toy that’s part of the company’s holiday collection. Another for dogs from PetSmart says: “Bones, Bones and more Bones!”There are plenty of little sweaters and collars that are gifty, too, at just about any place that sells pet stuff. You don’t have to spend a lot.WILDLIFE LOVERSThe World Wildlife Fund lets you select two mugs featuring Morten Koldby images of species the nonprofit is working to protect: The tiger, snow leopard, rhino and bison. Choose two different animals or a matching set of the same animal. Each mug holds 12.5 ounces. They’re a thank you for a donation of $55. Go to WWFcatalog.org.Colorful and frameable wildlife photographs are widely available. Hunt around for a favored species and spring for a nice frame.Or pick up a box of animal-theme note cards. Also widely available. While you’re at it, the U.S. Postal Service has Forever 47-cent pet stamps in a book of 20 with photographs by Eric Isselee. Puppies, betta fish, iguanas, mice, hermit crabs, chinchillas, corn snakes and, yes, dogs and cats are among them. Wildlife stamps are also out there.PET TREATSGifty boxed-up collections that look like human food fit right into the humanization of pets trend building over the years, said PetSmart’s Larson.Her company carries treats that look like cannolis and macaroons, along with a bag of treats in the shape of lumps of coal, from Bocce’s Bakery. Organic. $4.49.Outwardhound.com sells a cheery plastic doggie slot machine that will dispense kibble when a dog pulls down a front compartment. $24.99. In this Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016 photo Chloe Kardoggian, a 12-year old rescue chihuahua, poses for a photo with Santa wearing a guinea pig elf costume during the PetSmart holiday collection preview in New York. More than half of dog owners and nearly 40 percent of cat owners buy their pets gifts for Christmas or Hanukkah, according to the American Pet Products Association, an industry trade group. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) In this Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016 photo glass bird feeders are on display at the PetSmart holiday collection preview in New York. More than half of dog owners and nearly 40 percent of cat owners buy their pets gifts for Christmas or Hanukkah, according to the American Pet Products Association, an industry trade group.(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) In this Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016, photo Burt’s Bees brand grooming products are on display at the PetSmart holiday collection preview in New York. More than half of dog owners and nearly 40 percent of cat owners buy their pets gifts for Christmas or Hanukkah, according to the American Pet Products Association, an industry trade group. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) In this Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016, photo the items in the philanthropic collection are on display at the PetSmart holiday collection preview in New York. PetSmart will donate 10% of the proceeds from the sale of these items to PetSmart charities. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) In this Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016 photo Pet Holiday Ballistic dog toys are on display at the PetSmart holiday collection preview in New York. More than half of dog owners and nearly 40 percent of cat owners buy their pets gifts for Christmas or Hanukkah, according to the American Pet Products Association, an industry trade group. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) NEW YORK | Pets are people, too — at least when it comes to holiday gifts.More than half of dog owners and nearly 40 percent of cat owners buy their pets gifts for Christmas or Hanukkah, according to the American Pet Products Association, an industry trade group.Potentially, that’s 39 million dogs and 32 million cats on holiday lists this year, the group reports. And don’t forget all those pet aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends, let alone pleasing favorite pet parents and all-around animal enthusiasts with human gifts just for them.Some ideas:last_img read more

Cartoon: October 8, 2015

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Mixed emotions as Madrid waves goodbye to Vicente Calderon stadium

first_img0Shares0000Vicente Calderon stadium has for over 50 years housed Atletico Madrid © AFP/File / OSCAR DEL POZOMADRID, Spain, May 26 – Atletico Madrid’s mythical Vicente Calderon stadium will soon be history: sad news for supporters of Real Madrid’s rivals but not so for locals who hope the neighbourhood will improve once noisy fans are gone.This weekend spells the end for the ageing structure that for over 50 years has housed Atletico — not as well known abroad as the world-famous Real Madrid despite fielding players like French star Antoine Griezmann but with a huge following in the Spanish capital. Fans will watch Spain’s Copa del Rey final between Barcelona and Alaves on Saturday and a charitable match on Sunday.Next year, the stadium that currently stands on the shores of the Manzanares river in southern Madrid, surrounded by blocks of flats and cheap cafeterias, will be razed to the ground.“I’ve been a member since the 2001-2002 season, when the Atletico was in second division,” says Oscar Fernandez, 23, standing near the stadium in Madrid’s Imperial district.Wearing the red and white shirt of a club that has since risen back to dizzying heights, winning the La Liga top division in 2014 and reaching Champions League finals in 2014 and 2016, Fernandez says he lives in Rome but returned expressly to see the final games at the Vicente Calderon.The stadium “is part of my life,” he says.– A visceral attachment –Gerneal view of under-construction Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid, the new home of Club Atletico de Madrid that is to replace the ageing Vicente Calderon stadium © AFP/File / GERARD JULIENFrom next season, Atletico — which ended third in La Liga this year — will play on the other side of the Spanish capital, at a stadium called the Wanda Metropolitano.Still in construction, it has a capacity for 70,000 people, 15,000 more than the Calderon.But fans are hugely attached to the worn stadium, under which passes a ring-road that circles Madrid, where Atletico played for the first time on October 2, 1966.Javier Fischer, 30, is so nostalgic that he has reserved three stadium seats to take away as a souvenir, one of them in memory of his father who died a year ago.Last Sunday, he was there for Atletico’s last La Liga game in the Calderon — “the saddest day ever here,” he says, despite his team’s 3-1 victory over Athletic Bilbao.Standing in front of the club’s office, Valentin Hernandez agrees with Fischer, but he also acknowledges that “the Calderon was too small.”“Atletico needs to change with the times, like the big European teams,” he says.The seating capacity of Vicente Calderon stadium, current home of Atletico Madrid, is almost 55,000 © AFP/File / OSCAR DEL POZOIn order to help finance the stadium, the club sold the naming rights to China’s multinational Wanda Group, which also owns 20 percent of the club.With help from Wanda and the increase in capacity, Atletico hopes to increase its annual budget from the current 280 million euros to 400 million euros in the 2019-2020 season.By so doing, it hopes to close the gap with Barcelona and Real Madrid, which made more than 600 million euros each this season.Still, the new stadium in the San Blas district is in a remote area in eastern Madrid, far from southern parts of the Spanish capital which traditionally support Atletico more than Real Madrid.And the 60-million-euro cost of the stadium also has supporters up in arms.They worry that the ensuing debt will stop the club from being able to pay the 80 to 90 million euros needed “to bring first-class players,” says Ricardo Menendez, a journalist for the Atletico-specialised website Esto Es Atleti.– Locals rejoice –But the mood among locals in the Imperial district is much better.The stadium itself will be torn down to make way for some 1,300 flats and a large green space.Locals hope that the departure of Atletico — and the new flats — will revitalise the neighbourhood.Many are also happy the commotion of fans and match days will now be a thing of the past.“I’m delighted it’s going,” says Jesus Ferro, 83, complaining about the “filth left” by fans as well as the noise.Ernesto Ortiz, manager of a hardware store, also thinks things will be better after Atletico leaves.“On match days, if there was any repair or maintenance work to do, we couldn’t move around as the area was so full of vehicles,” he says.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more