EHF F4 ← Previous Story Balkan Regional League plans “collapse” Next Story → Richard Mezei new Director of Pick Szeged Handball fans have voted with their feet – with just 50 days to go before the start of the VELUX EHF FINAL4 and before the first matches of the Quarterfinals have been played – 17,500 tickets have already been sold for Europe’s premier club handball event.The LANXESS arena in Cologne will play host to the two-day event on 28 and 29 May 2011. With a maximum capacity of 19,500 spectators, just 2000 tickets remain as yet unsold – tickets which will be available to buy direct from the four participating teams in the week following the VELUX EHF FINAL4 Draw, taking place in Cologne on Monday 2 May 2011.Interest in the VELUX EHF FINAL4 extends around the world, with fans from more than 25 nations from across Europe and as far afield as Canada having bought tickets for the event. 30 television companies will show the event live and delayed, and it looks set to be watched by many more than the 30 million TV viewers who followed the action from Cologne last year.Fans still have a few weeks until they will know who will make it all the way the second edition of VELUX EHF FINAL4, with the last matches of the Quarterfinals second leg to be played on Sunday 1 May 2011. The eight teams and fixtures of the VELUX EHF Champions League Quarterfinals are: SG Flensburg-Handewitt (GER) versus Renovalia Ciudad Real (ESP), HSV Hamburg (GER) versus Chekhovskie Medvedi (RUS), Rhein-Neckar Löwen (GER) versus Montpellier Agglomeration HB (FRA) and F.C. Barcelona Borges (ESP) versus THW Kiel (GER).Commenting on the huge spectator interest in the event, Peter Vargo, Managing Director of EHF Marketing GmbH, said: “The VELUX EHF FINAL4 has established itself, following the success of the first event in 2010, as the event all handball fans must be at. The mix of top-class handball, entertainment and the incredible atmosphere in the LANXESS arena is too good to miss.”Such is the interest in the VELUX EHF FINAL4 from sponsors, partners, business and the general public that all 1500 VIP tickets for the LANXESS arena’s Backstage Restaurant, VIP and Business Boxes and additional VIP Lounges have already been already been taken up.Ticket buyers still have a chance of being in the LANXESS arena live and in person as the best four teams in Europe compete for the VELUX EHF Champions League title. Travel partner, Vietenours, still has 50 “Ticket plus Hotel Packages” available for sale. Further information and contact details at ehfFINAL4.com.In the unlikely event that the four participating clubs do not take up their complete allocation, any remaining tickets will be released for sale ahead of the VELUX EHF FINAL4 via the official ticket shop at ehfFINAL4.com. Further information on where fans of the four participating clubs can purchase tickets will be released during the first week of May 2011.Text: eurohandball.com
← Previous Story New problems for HSV Hamburg, Blazenko Lackovic injured Next Story → “Dream week” for MKB Veszprem (VIDEO) AbalobasicbojinovicChamberyhansenhonrubiaparisparis hc Paris HC are on good way to justify the invested money in the team in attacting the biggest stars. After beating Montpellier few rounds ago, Paris HC now showed that they are “No. 1” in France, by beating Chambery away. Chambery did not play a bad game, but simply Paris HC proved too strong. At half time took a narrow one-goal lead, in the end to win by four goals, 28-24 for the Parisiens. Honrubia and Bojinovic showed that they are eager for handball after the brief police detention, scoring 9 and 7 goals respectively, followed by Hansen with 6 goals. Chambery’s team top scorer so far was this games’ top scorer as well, Edin Basic contributed with 10 goals.
← Previous Story SAGOSEN QUALITY: Aalborg are new Danish champions! Next Story → Rhein Neckar Lowen smash THW Kiel for second DKB Bundesliga title EHF TV promotes VELUX EHF Champions League Final 4 2016/2017 by announcing the BEST 7 of the final event since 2010.Goalkeeper: Thierry OmeyerLeft wing: Juanin GarciaLeft back: Filip JichaPlaymaker: Aron PalmarssonRight back: Kiril LazarovRight wing: Victor TomasLine player: Julen Aguinagalde
Updated 11.20pmPROTESTERS BEGAN GATHERING at Leinster House at 5am this morning for the Dáil Lockout protest. By around 11am there were approximately 150 people gathered outside, however after lunchtime numbers grew to around 400 people.Members of the public gathered at the gates of Leinster House, while gardaí stood guard at the barricades.Approximately 40-50 members of the gardaí were in and around the Kildare Street area, with a further six members of the mounted support unit also present.The ‘Lock the government out of the Dáil’ protest was organised in response to people’s disillusionment with the government and against austerity.No to austeritySpeakers addressed the crowds with megaphones, telling people it was time to stand up and tell the government that the people could take no more austerity.However, people began to get restless, with some people shouting: “They won’t even know we are here unless we march.”At about 11am, a small crowd broke away from the protest and marched from Molesworth Street, down to Nassau Street and back up around the other side of the barricades at Kildare Street.Two eyewitnesses claimed the gardaí created a human barrier to prevent people from moving any further up Kildare Street. The said that some jostling took place between the gardaí and some protesters and one man was sprayed with pepper spray.Claims of pepper spray use“It didn’t just spray on him, some of it went on the crowd, including me and also a photographer, I think,” said the eyewitness. To view footage of the incident, click here.Despite these claims, gardaí at the scene told TheJournal.ie that they had not heard of the incident, but said that if pepper spray is used at a protest, a report would have to be logged. The Garda Press Office told TheJournal.ie that no formal report had been made about any such incident.Laura Hutton of Photocall Ireland took this photograph on Kildare Street today:At about 2pm, the crowd broke away again, for another ‘mini-march’ however, this time the crowd decided to head to the Central Bank. Protesters made their way on the public road, disrupting traffic on the way.Protesters shouted: “Enda, Enda, Enda, out, out, out!” They also urged members of the public to join their march, with one protester shouting: “It’s your country too.” Gardaí followed the protesters as they walked.Here is some footage of the march:Back at Leinster House, Willie O’Dea was spotted by members of the crowd. People shouted: “Shame, shame, shame” at the Fianna Fáil TD.Kerry South TD jostledIndependent TD for Kerry South, Michael Healy-Rae then made an appearance and attempted to get into the crowd through theGarda barricade. It is unclear if he was doing so as he wanted to address the crowd or if he was merely trying to get through.Members of public would not let him by and the TD was jostled while the gardaí tried to come to his assistance. He was then forced to retreat.Here are some images from today’s protest:
MINISTER FOR PUBLIC EXPENDITURE and reform Brendan Howlin has said his department is not seeking to slash allowances for certain public sector workers that would essentially mean another cut in their pay.Speaking to the Public Accounts Committee this morning, Howlin said the department’s aim “will be to achieve a simplification in the way we pay these groups and incorporate allowances into core pay.”The Minister said there were “structural weaknesses and a lack of transparency” in the way that groups like teachers, Gardaí and the defence forces were paid as allowances make up a significant proportion of their total wage.“It would be neither practical nor reasonable to take away so unilaterally such a large portion of their pay,” he said.Howlin had said yesterday that 88 allowances would be targeted and abolished but told the committee today that those particular allowances were not a huge part of core pay.Addressing the committee, the Minister said this is the first time “anybody has drilled down into allowances and the structure of public service pay”.Howlin said he regarded the Croke Park Agreement as “an extraordinary tool for change” and that most of his EU colleagues would give their right arm to have such an agreement.Minister of State Brian Hayes said the agreement would allow the department to reform its entire human resources operation to achieve savings of 26 per cent and move towards a more open plan working environment.Howlin told the committee that changes within the public sector were vital as “frontline services will suffer unless we continue to implement these reforms”.Read: Any cut in allowances is in breach of Croke Park agreement say unions>
TO DESCRIBE THE life of second level education as hectic is an understatement. Teaching was once said to be a vocation, I like to think of teaching as a profession of great importance. I struggle to think of any other profession which has a greater impact upon the lives of children. As a colleague recently said to me, we are in the business of educating children and unfortunately that business has increasingly come under threat in recent years.The average teacher (and I use that term very loosely here) at second level works 22 hours a week, 167 days a year spread over three terms. To clarify, this is what second level teachers are paid for and to further shatter the myth, the pay for 167 days contact time at 22 hours per week is paid over a 12 month period. Now that that chestnut has been thoroughly roasted let’s discuss an average teacher’s working day and week and the challenges that entails.Fantasy and realityAn average teacher will have roughly 33 contact class periods per week in which they are expected to deliver the curriculum of their chosen subject. These curricula are laid down by the Department of Education and Science and there are detailed learning outcomes, teaching strategies, aims, objectives and many other wonderful aspirations which are designed to help the children of the nation obtain the best possible future. The reality is far removed from the fantasy.Teachers are paid to deliver curricula that are cumbersome, ill defined and often do not serve the needs of the students. The delivery and implementation of the recent Project Maths scheme is just one example of the unplanned and haphazard approach to education in Ireland today. The discussions and plans for the proposed Junior Cycle reform are also frightening and I shudder to consider what will emerge from the mind of the minister next. Thirty-three class periods is the basic minimum of a teachers working life.The challenges associated with teaching a class in any of Ireland’s second level schools deserves a dissertation all of its own. A class teacher is expected to manage, monitor and control the behaviour of increasingly larger class sizes due to budgetary cuts. While managing a class of 30 adolescents is do-able it is difficult, especially considering the challenges of delivering the curriculum, dealing with differentiation in the classroom, learning difficulties of some students, embedding key skills, co-operative learning (group work), sharing learning outcomes and aims, assessment for learning and homework. All in 40 minutes. Nine times a day. Five days a week. On average.Extra-curricular activitiesNone of this includes the hours, upon hours of preparation time. Detailing schemes of work and preparing handouts, notes and basic educational material that every student not only needs but deserves. Simple things like organising a class room to make it a comfortable and accessible learning environment and to promote teaching and learning takes more than a few hours a week, it takes months or years to get right.The correction and assessment of homework, which is probably the most important part of the job, takes hours a week. Children and young adults only learn through their mistakes and rely on the feedback from their teachers.Then there are the extra-curricular activities that many teachers engage in, in their own free time. This may often entail washing jerseys for a team or travelling great distances with a debate or quiz team, staying after hours to prepare for a music event or organise field trips. This is all happening right now in Ireland. This work goes on the length and breadth of the country – largely unnoticed – just like the challenges that the teaching profession are now enduring.Arguably the most pressing challenges facing the Irish education system at the moment are the erosion of the status of the profession and the lack of finance.Firstly, teaching is no longer an attractive profession for young Irish students. The illusion of all the holidays and the ‘handy’ life has been thoroughly shattered. The inept nature of the teacher unions and the complete lack of understanding of successive ministers and governments in terms of the basic needs and provisions of Irish education are staggering.Secondly, increased class sizes, a freeze on recruitment and the lack of adequate professional oversight has, I fear, irreparably damaged the morale of many within education. A professional body was formed to regulate and run the teaching profession, financed by teachers, many of whom have yet to see the benefits of this organisation.The public’s perception of teachingThe biggest problem is the public perception of the teaching profession. The “excessive” holidays that teachers “enjoy” is a contentious issue for many people and is a complex issue all of its own and requires a far greater discussion. The other target is the ‘job for life’ argument. This is absolutely ludicrous. There are thousands of teachers working in Ireland today with little or no security of tenure in their employment and no prospects of this changing in the near future. Education is the backbone of any economy and sadly the lack of adequate investment in the futures of Irish children is both short-sighted and irresponsible.With all this in mind, I hear you ask, why do you teach? The simple answer is I, like many of my colleagues, know nothing else but the need and the desire to help.From my own perspective there, is nothing better than being there in the moment when a child of 15 or 18 opens their Junior or Leaving Certificate results. To see that unconstrained and pure joy, in that moment, makes everything worthwhile. It’s not the student who gets the A, because you maybe always hoped he/she would, it’s the lad who got the C, the lad who worked so hard and struggled through every lesson, assignment and exam and drank in your every recommendation and when there was nothing left to give achieved the seemingly impossible.That is job satisfaction. That is why I teach. That is what gives me hope.Gerry Sutton has been a teacher at second level for 11 years with a Master’s and PhD in History.
Read: It just got easier to get home from the Christmas party> THE MINISTER FOR Public and Commuter Transport Alan Kelly took to castigating the small minded plebeians of the nation this week, telling us in an Irish Times interview that ‘middle- class snobbishness’ is curtailing public transport use in the country.“Some people believe public transport is something that other social classes use and do not see it as the ‘middle class’ thing to do. This is especially true for bus transport,” said the TD for the Middle Class Guilt Party.“People’s negative impressions can be very strong and deeply ingrained, but they have to be tackled and ultimately changed,” we were told, a wet day after this publication carried a story about a man dropping his trousers to inject heroin into his testicles on a Luas. On a related note, Gardaí on Monday announced that they will have a presence on public transport over the holiday period.There are many things reducing the market for public transport in Ireland. The now very regular fare increases that, at several times the rate of inflation, narrow the cost gap for many people between driving and taking public transport is a major feature. People place a non-monetary value on convenience and comfort, and if the monetary difference between driving themselves and taking public transport narrows too much then they’ll take their cars.Poor serviceGenerally poor service and a lack of faith in management to address shortcomings also runs through the feedback seen on this publication and elsewhere from regular and occasional commuters alike. For example, one interesting thread running through comments is the very simple matter of speedy Dublin Bus drivers having great difficulty with the concept of gradual braking in their ten ton standing room only machines that are, in any event, sans seatbelts.Complaints about punctuality, reliability, cleanliness and other areas of operation are widespread. I don’t think it’s particularly snobbish to not want to put up with crap service at a high price compared to just a few years ago, when most of the rest of the economy has been reducing its cost base and prices.Cost and service aside, another major problem with particular modes of public transport is the abundance of antisocial behaviour that generally goes unmolested by any authorities. I believe that revulsion at witnessing something like a junkie dropping his trousers to inject himself with heroin is a classless indulgence.There exists a very narrow slice of society that regularly succeeds in making life, at best, disagreeable for the duration of their forays into the midsts of the rest of us. Sometimes this slice expands itself from the archetypical junkie or delinquent youths that probably spring to mind, to include the likes of drunken office Christmas party hooligans that the Gardaí likely have in mind to police over the coming weeks. The slice of unpleasantness can be quite classless, and depend a lot on the time of day and day of the week.Antisocial elementsBut that it exists is no secret to anyone who uses public transport even irregularly. My own observation of public transport in Dublin, which I used daily for years and only irregularly in the past year; is that outside of the early morning commute it’s an open ended gamble as to where and when you’ll meet antisocial elements and what they’ll get up to.In my time, I’ve seen fights. I’ve seen windows broken. I’ve seen quiet commuters threatened and attacked unprovoked. On one memorable trip a torrent of urine came gushing through a bus, much to the delight of all. It’s a very regular occurrence to see drugs being prepared and get a whiff that brings you right back to the cultured canals of Amsterdam; but I have to admit to being quite amazed the day a couple decided to make up and smoke a joint of heroin. Myself and about a dozen others weighed up the advice on passive smoking of normal cigarettes, and decided to get off.That most users of public transport have some sort of similar story tells its own tale. If there is an attitude problem in relation to using public transport, it ties very firmly back onto the class of the experience than the class of the user.Private security Attempts are made to police antisocial behaviour by the likes of Irish Rail and the operators of the Luas, by hiring private security guards to roam the network. Some bus drivers take initiative and pull up at Garda stations on their routes, but this is a risky tactic given that they are likely to be rostered on the same route and meet the same scumbags when they are inevitably re-circulated into society.These efforts are ad hoc and not entirely successful. Private security guards have very limited powers compared to police officers, and their use is patchy.There are none for Dublin Bus, for example.What we could do with in Ireland is a dedicated transport police, an innovation in common use around the world. Not a division of An Garda Síochána, though that is a possibility; but its own standing force tasked with the maintenance of public order and upholding the law on all forms of public transport.The Gardaí clearly recognise the need of their services on public transport over the busy period of Christmas, but this high-profile time of year just sees an increase in antisocial activity from an already elevated baseline. As is, your typical Dublin Bus or Luas is a law-free zone most of the time; with their thresholds rarely darkened by uniformed officers.PatrolIt is unacceptable that mass public transport should be a place where a majority of honest, decent people are cooped up alongside regularly antisocial elements with very little chance of reprieve before their journey ends. Much as Gardaí patrol the streets, we should have police patrolling on public transport; or patrolling by car and dedicated to respond to calls from drivers in a prompt fashion.Until we see antisocial behaviour curbed in a major way on public transport, Alan Kelly and his like cannot simply cry ‘classism!’ at anyone who would rather take the car.Related: Minister called on to retract ‘insensitive’ comments about middle-class snobbishness> Read: Man injects himself in the groin on the Luas>
IN CASE YOU missed it, Ireland goes to the polls on 23 May.While many will grumble that the options being served up on local and European election ballots are more of the same, this year will see a number of smaller parties attempt to win votes.Here, we look at some of those who have already declared.Anti Austerity AllianceThe AAA is the evolution of the Campaign Against Household and Water Taxes, which itself was an offshoot of the Socialist Party and other left-wing organisations.Though the AAA features a number of candidates who ran under, and were elected the Socialist Party banner, there is no mention of the Socialist Party on their website.In addition to long-time politicians, the group is experimenting with running “real people”, who are mostly community activists or people who were inspired to run in reaction to the Property Tax and incoming water charges.Despite the freshness of their candidates, their stated aims are combative.“Next May gives us a chance to wipe out the parties enforcing austerity, to replace their councillors with genuine fighters for ordinary people and to send a powerfulmessage against the disastrous policy of austerity in general.Notable Candidates: Sitting councillors Ruth Coppinger, Matt Waine, Tony Kelleher, Eugene Coppinger, Ciaran McKenna and Mick BarryDirect Democracy IrelandAfter garnering 570 votes for their three candidates in the 2011 general election, Direct Democracy scored a major upset in the Meath East by-election.Party leader Ben Gilroy managed to usurp the Labour candidate and finish in fourth in the race. That result took many of the headlines, despite Fine Gael’s Helen McEntee claiming the victory.Since then, the party has been in the headlines, but not always for the right reasons.The party says that it’s goals include stopping payments to bondholders, reducing mortgages, abolishing household taxes and protect services.“[We aim] to provide the people of Ireland an alternative to the current model of governance which will ensure that election promises are kept and that the interests of the people of Ireland are the deciding factor in all decisions of the government.”Notable probable candidates: Ben Gilroy, Raymond WhiteheadNational Independent PartyOn the other side of the political fence is the newly-formed National Independent Party.Launched this month, the party say they want to “reclaim the current political landscape for the betterment and protection of Irish Citizens”.They call their stance “forward” as opposed to right or left. They say that they have 120 members, aiming to reach 300 before the 2016 election. Although they have no stated aims to run this year, they may look at 2014 as a dry run for 2016.They advocate leaving the Euro, stopping economic migration and a “balanced immigration policy”. They are led by Martin Critten, a former company director.“We must face up to the fact that if we wish to solve our problems we must do it for ourselves. No one else will solve them for us. We must take full responsibility for our own future.”Notable candidates: None yet.ÉirígíSeven years after removing itself from Sinn Féin, the socialist republican party Éirígí faces its second local election this year.It does so with two sitting councillors, Dublin City Council’s Louise Minihan and John Dwyer who sits on New Ross Town Council in Wexford. Minihan made headlines in 2010 when she threw red paint over then Health Minister Mary Harney.Minihan had left Sinn Féin for Éirígí in 2009.Their aims include fighting austerity, protecting the Irish language, the removal of Britain from Northern Ireland and a unification of the country.Notable potential candidates: Louise Minihan, John Dwyer.Read: 23 May the big day for wannabe councillors and MEPS
TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY and junior minister Paschal Donohoe will today attend a meeting of the European Council in Brussels with a focus on the situation in the Ukraine.A summit of European Union leaders will discuss what the response should be, after Russian President Vladamir Putin signed a treaty claiming the Black Sea region of Crime as Russian territory. Sanctions have already been placed by the international community but more are likely to be put in place after this development.Leaders will also discuss the European semester, the 2020 strategy and topics like energy and competitiveness as well as preparatons for the upcoming EU Africa summit.The European Council will also take stock of ongoing work on banking union and taxation issues.Read: “Putin’s Mein Kampf” – How the world reacted to Russia’s annexation of Crimea>Read: “Russian soldiers have started shooting at Ukrainian servicemen” PM claims>
A ROOMFUL OF some of the finest minds in science, tech, design and art is hoping to come up with quick solutions to some unusual requests this coming weekend.Science Hack Dublin will see the experts in different fields collaborating for an intense 36 hours with the common goal of using science to make life better. Members of the public are being asked to submit their project ideas for consideration here with the hope that a team will work on a solution for it. The Science Hack people explain, “A ‘hack’ is a quick solution to a problem – maybe not the most elegant solution, but often the cleverest.”Some of the projects already mooted include an easy tool for 3D printing, a sensor that measures the power expended by an athlete while weightlifting (and can tell when they are getting tired), a counter which keeps track electronically of the number of ‘keepy uppys’ you can do in one go, Irish dancing shoes that send performance data back from their soles to an interface and more.Tickets (free) can be booked in advance here. The event, to be held this coming Saturday and Sunday at The Hub in Dublin City University,is one of several ‘hack days’ running internationally this year. San Francisco, Nairobi, Boston, Brighton, Nicosia and Eindhoven are also hosting similar events in 2013.This was the scene at the Science Hack Dublin day last year: And when the going got tough, the sleeping bags came into play…
POLICE IN ISRAEL have arrested three suspects in a deadly 2009 shooting attack on a gay youth centre in Tel Aviv, a police spokesman said.“Three arrests were made and the suspects will appear before Tel Aviv magistrates court tomorrow,” Micky Rosenfeld told AFP. “They are suspected of being connected to the murders that took place in 2009.”A teenaged girl and a man in his 20s were killed and 15 people wounded when a masked, black-clad gunman opened fire on a group of young gay people at the entrance to the centre on August 1, 2009.The arrests were announced as Tel Aviv, the gay capital of the Middle East, prepares for its annual Gay Pride parade on Friday.Publicly-owned Channel One TV said that the suspects were Jewish, ending speculation that the attackers could have been Palestinian militants.- © AFP, 2013Read: Cameron needs opposition’s help as gay marriage vote is passedRead: ‘Marriage for all’ in France as Hollande signs a bill and makes it lawRead: Brazil gives ‘green light’ to same-sex marriage
FRENCH PRESIDENT FRANCOIS Hollande has said there were no survivors among the 116 people on board the Air Algerie flight that crashed over Mali.Bad weather is the likely cause of the disaster.“Sadly, there are no survivors,” Hollande said on television, a day after flight AH017, carrying 51 French nationals, went down shortly after take-off from Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso.The wreckage of the McDonnell Douglas 83 plane, operated by Spanish charter firm Swiftair on behalf of Air Algerie, was located 50km north of the Burkina Faso border in Mali’s Gossi region.In addition to the French victims, passengers and crew hailed from Burkina Faso, Lebanon, Algeria, Spain, Canada, Germany and Luxembourg.It was unclear exactly how many people were on board, as Swiftair put the number at 116 while the French presidency said 118 passengers and crew were on the jet.It was on its way to Algiers when it crashed amid reports of heavy storms in the area, shortly after the pilots radioed in that they were diverting course due to difficult weather conditions.A witness reported seeing the plane “falling” in the difficult-to-access Gossi region.ConditionsFrench Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said meteorological conditions appeared to be the most likely cause of the accident — the worst air tragedy for French nationals since the crash of the Air France A330 linking Rio de Janeiro to Paris in June 2009.Transport Minister Frederic Cuvillier added that the possibility of a strike from the ground had been ruled out “from the start”, quashing speculation that rebels in Mali’s restive north could have shot the plane down.But Hollande insisted that no potential cause for the accident was being left out.Swiftair has a good safety record and the head of France’s DGAC civil aviation authority said Thursday that the MD-83 had passed through France this week and been given the all-clear.The plane disaster is the third in the space of just eight days, capping a disastrous week for the aviation industry.On July 17, a Malaysia Airlines plane crashed in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board.And a Taiwanese aircraft crashed in torrential rain in Taiwan on Wednesday, killing 48.Mali, Algeria, Niger, Burkina Faso and France were all coordinating their search efforts, and the plane wreckage was located by a French drone thanks to information provided by Burkinabe authorities.France has a strong military presence in the area after it launched an offensive in Mali last year to stop Islamist extremists and Tuareg rebels who had seized the north of the country from marching onto Bamako.As such, around 100 French soldiers stationed in the northern city of Gao were able to travel overnight to the site of the crash on board some 30 vehicles.In the meantime, French drones, fighter jets and helicopters had taken part in the rush-against-time to locate the plane.The black box flight recorder of the plane had been recovered by French military forces on site and was being taken to Gao, Hollande said.Entire families in plane Whatever the cause of the crash, the human face of the tragedy was becoming ever-more poignant as the hours went by.In France, two crisis units were set up at the DGAC and at the foreign ministry, in addition to other emergency centres in airports around the country as many of the French passengers were transiting through Algiers on their way to France.One French family had seven people on the plane, a brother of one passenger told AFP.“There was my brother, his wife and their four children, plus my nephew,” Amadou Ouedraogo said via telephone.The small town of Menet in central France, meanwhile, was left devastated when residents found out an entire family that lived there was on board flight AH5017.Bruno Cailleret and Caroline Boisnard “were coming back from a trip to Burkina Faso with their two children, Elno, 14 and Chloe, 10,” said Denise Labbe of the local town hall, adding Boisnard’s mother was also on the plane.“Everyone is devastated in the town. We all know the family, who live in front of the town hall. No one can quite believe it, it’s like having a bad dream,” she said.© – AFP 2014Read Sinn Féin wants to call TDs back from their holidays to talk about GazaRead “We didn’t think it was appropriate.”- Charlie Flanagan defends Ireland’s abstention on Gaza vote
Dell’s new “Fractal” workstation design has been leaked and surprisingly it’s not a smaller version of the company’s current Precision line (it doesn’t repeat itself endlessly either). In fact, Fractal is a downright handsome refresh of Dell’s workstation chassis, reminiscent of what HP did with their Z series workstations last year. HP brought in the experts at BMW Designworks to remodel their case and while we only have a few renders of what Dell will be coming out with, it’s clear that considerable changes were made.Engadget uncovered a slew of images of the Dell Fractal Precision T7600 as well as the T5600 and T3600, but no hard data on the systems. The post says that the company responsible for the images is one of Dell’s “favorite design houses” which probably means Torque Studio did the renders, but we’ll have to wait and see if the final product will look like these.Not much can be taken from the image galleries, though we do know that the systems can be taken apart tool-lessly and that they are rackable. Dell made sure to integrate handles into the top of the case, which most workstations have these days, and the materials look to be improved compared to the older Precision models.That’s all we know about the computers for now, though with all the chip news slated for CES 2011 next month these might be hitting computer labs around the world before very long.Read more and see all the images at Engadget
Early in November, images leaked purporting to be of Sony‘s next-gen handheld PSP2 console.The problem was… those images were pretty bad: they looked more like something the TSA might pull off a body scanning machine than a real leaked shot of the device. They were practically X-Ray, and although they showcased the basic hardware of the device, they weren’t exactly a pretty way to contemplate the future of the portable PlayStation line.AdChoices广告Here, though. Is the image above better? It’s not an official image from Sony, of course: it’s a mock-up created by PSM3 magazine for an article speculating on both the PSP2 and the PlayStation Phone.As you can see in the image above, the PSP2 is believed to sport the look of the PSP Go, while also boasting twin cameras and a back-mounted touch panel, seen in the image below:Otherwise, the PSP2 is still the subject of rumor, although it’s said that the PSP2 will have “the horsepower of the Xbox 360” when it finally launches next year. Even if that’s exaggeration — and it is — the PSP2 should be a very visually impressive machine if it follows the trail of its predecessor.Read more at PSM3
What was that number? 80 tablets being introduced at this year’s ces? Odds are that most of them will be long forgotten by this time next year. One that will likely make a bit of a splash amongst enthusiasts, if only because of sheer aesthetic awesomeness, is Lenovo’s entry.This time last year, we caught a glimpse of the U1 hybrid. Now the thing is official–officially awesome, from the looks of it. The device shifts between laptop and slate tablet (the Le Pad). The whole will run a lofty $1,300–or just $520 for the Le Pad tablet portion.There’s one other major caveat, aside from price, unfortunate–for the time being, the thing (like the LePhone that we saw at last year’s show) is only available in China.If you’re still reading this because you A. Live in China, B. Know an Importer, or C. like to drool over things you can’t have (we fall into the latter category, by the way), here are some more specs:The UI Hybrid has a 10 inch 1,280 by 800 pixel display, an ARM SnapDragon 1.3GHz CPU, 2GB of RAM (as a laptop and 1GB as a tablet),and runs Windows 7 in its laptop form.Both configurations will be available in March.
We took a lot of shots at ces last week. A lot. Most of them made it into stories, and some of them (i.e. most of the AVN show). But there were still plenty of stragglers–shots that couldn’t find a home elsewhere, but still deserve to see the light of day.After the jump, check out some of favorite pictures that just didn’t make the cut.
AT&T is stepping up its game by slashing prices on on smartphones. The Samsung Captivate( $99.99), Blackberry Tourch, Samsung Focus, LG Quantum ($49.99), and Blackberry Curve 3G ($29.99) all have had price drops. However, it comes with the standard catch–you have to sign a two-year contract. Tthe good news is that if you sign the contract you get the discounted price right away. No dealing with refunds.This may well be a result of the T-Mobile merger or Verizon stepping up its game in the smartphone market. Via Hot Hardware
Linux users have always been a big part of Firefox‘s vocal fan base, and today a group of Mozilla developers has repaid their devotion with some good news. Mozilla’s Mike Hommey reported this morning that his team of coders finally managed to get both 32 and 64-bit Firefox builds for Linux to compile with GCC 4.5. The updated compiler has been available since April 2010, but Hommey’s team tried twice last year without success to make the switch. Now that they’ve been able to pull it off, Firefox on Linux should perform every bit as well as it does on Windows — with the possible exception of hardware acceleration, where Firefox’s utilization of Direct2D still gives Windows Vista and 7 a performance edge.Hommey also states that users of older Linux OSes should now be able to use the GCC 4.5 compiled builds, so long as they include the GNU standard C++ library from GCC 4.1.If you’re wondering when the changes will arrive in your stable Firefox build, it’s going to be a few months. Hommey’s blog post says they’re targetting Firefox 6, and Firefox 5 is set to be released on June 21st. Based on Mozilla’s new release schedule, that should mean the new Linux build should go stable sometime this fall.
For years, Download.com has been one of the most popular sites on the web for finding and (as the name suggests) downloading all kinds of software. And like any good download site would, Download.com features a leaderboard on its main page showing which programs people are downloading the most.Two types of programs typically top that chart: free antivirus software and filesharing applications. A permanent fixture on that list was the uber-popular Limewire, the Gnutella client that ultimately found itself sued into oblivion by the RIAA. The Limewire story didn’t stop with the bill for $105 million in damages handed down in May of this year: Download.com found itself caught in the crossfire.AdChoices广告A group of musicians led by Nigerian-born digital media entrepreneur Alki David filed a lawsuit against Cnet’s parent company, CBS Interactive, claiming that it was complicit in Limewire’s infringement. The suit further stated that CBS-I, Cnet, and Download.com maintained a “business model that sought to profit directly” from the demand for Limewire, serving more than 220 million total copies to visitors since 2008. While that claim might be technically true, Download.com monetizes all the software it mirrors in the same way.Today, perhaps after some much-needed reflection time and a prevailing wind of common sense, plaintiffs have finally decided to drop the case. Zeal for the suit seemed to be waning last month after plaintiffs presented claims for only half a dozen protected works.As Wired points out, prosecuting attorney Adam Wolfson has left the door open for a second case that could be much nastier than the original. The idea that a media industry lawyer would lodge a second complaint with more dollars at stake is, well… as surprising as the idea that people used Limewire to illegally download music.More at Wired
In April Markus Persson, better known as Notch, decided on what his next big game would be. Having seen so much success with the launch of Minecraft he had the time and funds to do whatever he wanted. What he chose was a space MMO carrying the unusual name of 0x10c.So far we know that players will be in command of their own ship and can run around it like an FPS. Your ship will have a set amount of watts that must power everything, meaning there’s going to be lots of choice about what to run (shields, weapons, etc.), but a strict limit on how much of it can be powered up at any one time.Notch‘s main goal at the moment is getting to a first playable release. He intends to treat this game like the development of Minecraft where he releases publicly early and then develops alongside people playing it. And the good news is, he’s making great progress and has just today released the video you see above.It’s mainly an art test and experiment with dynamic lighting, but it does show a lot of progress has been made considering he started from scratch and has only been working on it a little over 6 months. We’ve got a 3D textured environment, collision detection, weapon use, and the latest feature–dynamic lighting.Your guess is as good as mine as to when a playable version will be released. I hope for Notch’s sake he’s been spending a long time building a solid backend as this won’t be like Minecraft that came out of nowhere and slowly built a following. Everyone is waiting for Notch’s next game and thousands of gamers will be eagerly waiting to sign up and login from day one.Track the progress of 0x10c over at the official website and forums.