Police Ombudsman Dr Michael Maguire: “independence is a fragile thing … you take it for granted at your peril” #ImagineBelfast

In his last public lecture as his seven-year term as Police Ombudsman draws to a close, Dr Michael Maguire reflected on what independence means for his office, and lessons that can be learned. “You cannot take independence for granted. It can be undermined in a number of different ways. Whoever holds the post of police ombudsman must keep this in mind. Be aware some entirely innocent initiatives can have unintended consequences.”

Stuck in the Past – difficult choices to be made #feile18

Three years ago, the same hall was venue to a conversation between the then deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and the PSNI Chief Constable, again chaired by Brian Rowan. That night, the atmosphere was electric. This afternoon, the conversation seemed less extraordinary, certainly less unexpected. Unfortunately, the political stalemate has become as normal yet unacceptable as the stretched patience of victims and survivors who seek truth and information about incidents during the Troubles.

Ged Killen: “This is personal. Your rights are my rights. An injury to one, is an injury all.”

Watch back or read Ged Killen MP’s lecture for Amnesty NI as part of Belfast Pride, delivered on Thursday evening at Queen’s University. Speaking on ‘Marriage Equality – Winning at Westminster’ the Scottish Labour MP’s address was followed by a Q&A with William Crawley which included an update on the local legal cases surrounding marriage equality as well as discussion about efforts at Westminster and the stalled NI Assembly.

“À la Bastille!” Again!

Once again, with apologies to Pierre Ranger… [It’s a tradition, we know… – Ed]  Indeed!  Play La Marseillaise!  [Any chance of a French winner on Stage 8? – Ed]  Probably not… Pete Baker

In true Bloomsday style, “Samuel Beckett got outrageously drunk…”

If you don’t know by now, it’s tradition!  [We know… – Ed]. Those of a sensitive disposition are duly warned, once again, that James Joyce enjoys the language in all its fecund nuttiness. And another reminder of a brief history of the day, from the Guardian, which includes this great 1924 quote from Joyce on Ulysses – “I have to convince myself that I wrote that book. I used to be able to talk intelligently about it.” Joyce’s last Bloomsday would take place on 16 June 1940, when the author was …

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An EPIC View of the 2017 Solar Eclipse

Wondrous images, from a million miles out in space, from NASA’s Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC) of the shadow of the moon crossing over North America on Aug. 21, 2017.  EPIC is aboard NOAA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), photographing the full sunlit side of Earth every day.  [Image credit: NASA EPIC Team. Video credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Katy Mersmann] Pete Baker

The DUP heartland: who are the supporters? – Video from The Guardian…

Very slick video from The Guardian, well worth a watch. From The Guardian post: East Belfast is the heartland of Protestant, unionist politics and therefore, one would believe, the natural support for Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist party. The Guardian travelled to East Belfast to meet the core support for the party – which has just completed £1bn deal to prop up Theresa May’s government – and ask what they truly believe and what they want from the DUP whose main …

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“À la Bastille!”

Once again, with apologies to Pierre Ranger… [It’s a tradition, we know… – Ed]  Indeed!  Play La Marseillaise! Adds  And a French winner on Le Tour on Bastille Day! Pete Baker

Happy Bloomsday, intolerable Joyceans everywhere!

If you don’t know by now, it’s tradition!  [We know… – Ed]. Those of a sensitive disposition are duly warned, once again, that James Joyce enjoys the language in all its fecund nuttiness. And a reminder of a brief history of the day, from the Guardian last year, which includes this great 1924 quote from Joyce on Ulysses – “I have to convince myself that I wrote that book. I used to be able to talk intelligently about it.” In June of …

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Watch Slugger TV episode 2 – A review of the election with David McCann, Chris Donnelly and Nelson McCausland…

Slugger Deputy Editor David McCann discusses this years election results with Chris Donnelly and Nelson McCausland. The TV Show is new for us so do let us know in the comments what you think. You can watch the episode above and it will also be broadcast on NVTV tonight at 20.45 & 00.15, and tomorrow at 20.45. Brian O'NeillI help to manage Slugger by taking care of the site as well as running our live events. My background is in business, …

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Seven years of Solar Dynamics

It seems like only yesterday that I was noting First Light on Nasa’s Solar Dynamics Observatory [SDO], and the early hours of this morning for ‘three years in three minutes‘ and ‘SDO Year 4‘.  In fact the SDO was launched on 11 Feb 2010, with First Light in April of that year. [Seven long years… – Ed]  Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Centre have produced a short [3 min 22 sec] video marking the solar sunspot cycle during that time. [Credit: NASA’s …

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Live Rugby: Ireland v New Zealand – Ireland Win!

Half time score at Soldier Field, Chicago, was Ireland 25 New Zealand 8.  Second half has just gotten under way.  BBC text commentary here.  Or watch live.  Audio is a bit ropey. But it could be history… Update Ireland win!  For the first time ever, in 111 years of trying, Ireland have beaten the All Blacks!  With 5 minutes to go, the score was Ireland 33 New Zealand 29 and the momentum looked like it was with the All Blacks. …

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Rory Finds Form to Win FedEx Cup

By winning the Tour Championship yesterday in Atlanta, and with it the FedEx Cup for the first-time, Rory McIlroy has turned a decent, if disappointing by his high standards, season into a great one.  Until the FedEx play-offs began his only win this year was the Irish Open.  The new FedEd Cup winner now heads to the Ryder Cup before focussing on next year’s majors, starting with the US Masters in April. To be fair, it was only his putting that has …

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Live Cricket: Ireland v Afghanistan at Stormont – 5th ODI

After a somewhat controversial victory in the 4th One Day International on Sunday, Afghanistan have a 2-1 lead going into today’s 5th, and final, ODI against Ireland’s cricketers at Stormont.  Afghanistan won the toss and put Ireland in to bat.  Live video via CricketIrelandTV.  Cricinfo has the usual over-by-over text commentary.  Ireland made 265 for 5 from 50 overs, with an unbeaten 160 runs for opening batsman Ed Joyce.  Afghanistan chasing 266 runs to win.  Update Afghanistan made 253 for 9 …

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Live Cricket: Ireland v Afghanistan at Stormont – 3rd ODI

Live streaming cricket from Belfast as Ireland take on Afghanistan in the 3rd ODI of a 5 match series.  The first was rained off, and on Tuesday Afghanistan comfortably withstood Ireland’s attempt at chasing down the total of 250 runs they set in the 2nd ODI after being put into bat.  This time, Afghanistan won the toss and chose to bat, setting a total of 236 all out from 49.1 overs.  Ireland require 237 from their 50 overs to level the series …

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