Twins Jonah and Beau react with the Sulley Monster Mask at the toy store Hamleys in London. Pic: Frank Augstein/AP/Press Association Images
HERE ARE THE things we learned, loved and shared today as we round off the day in three easy steps.
THINGS WE LEARNED
#RECESSION Ireland has officially re-entered recession, according to official data from the Central Statistics Office. It says that the Irish economic output shrank by 0.6 per cent in the first quarter of the year. The data also revises its earlier figures for previous growth in the Irish economy – showing the economy fared worse than expected in the second half of 2012.
#ANGLO TAPES One of the Anglo-Irish executives from the Anglo Tapes controversy has resigned from his role as interim CEO of the Irish Association of Alcohol and Addiction Counsellors. Peter Fitzgerald resigned earlier this week, following the release of the tapes by the Irish Independent. In a statement earlier this week, Fitzgerald denied any wrongdoing. Meanwhile, Justice Minister Alan Shatter has said that the Anglo tapes are ‘nauseating’.
#ABORTION BILL The AdMobile billboard company has discontinued the Youth Defence campaign after an incident in which an ad with an anti-abortion message was parked opposite the Dublin Rape Crisis headquarters. The company had been contracted by Youth Defence to carry the campaign billboard on a route around Dublin city centre. Meanwhile, the Abortion Rights Campaign has said it cannot support the abortion bill as it is not sufficient to alleviate their concerns.
#PROSTITUTION An Oireachtas committee has said that buying sex should be a crime, but selling it should not. The Report on the Review of the Legislation on Prostitution in Ireland by the Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality also recommends harsher punishments for organising prostitution.
#MANDELA Nelson Mandela’s condition ‘improved during the night’, the current President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma said. He said he visited the 94-year-old earlier today and that his medical team said he “remains critical but is now stable”. “We must pray for Tata’s health and wish him well. We must also continue with our work and daily activities while Madiba remains hospitalised,” he told a concerned public.
#LIVELINE Two complaints about Joe Duffy’s Liveline programme on RTÉ One have been upheld by the Broadcasting Association of Ireland. Both complaints related to the treatment of Fr Brian McKevitt, a guest on the show on 15 March this year. The first complainant claimed that the priest was harassed by the presenter while on air. He also said that the line-up of callers abused the priest. The second complaint – from a Mr Fanning – dealt with the same issue.
Oscar Wilde pictured with a rainbow flag, marking the start of the Pride celebrations this weekend in Dublin. Pic: Brian O’Connor
THINGS WE LOVED
- We know you’ve wanted to know what your favourite fictional sci-fi currency would be worth in ‘real money’. Well, wonder no more and count up those Federation Credits, Galactic Credits and Galleons.
- The Michael Jackson statue floating down the Thames, Yoko and John’s bed-in… the 15 boldest publicity stunts in music history, according to Spin magazine.
- Dogs dressed as their owners. Weird, discombobulating, but strangely captivating…
THINGS WE SHARED
- How do you identify a bad house guest? Danny Wallace looks at this very subject. “Peter has also brought a bottle of red wine, and this is very generous, though I suppose only natural if you’re turning up at a stranger’s party unannounced,” he muses.
- Leave it to Kurt Vonnegut to make a funny and poignant commencement speech in the 1970s (and no, it’s not the mythical sunscreen address):