Peter Cusack, centre, and Mel Bermudez walk their dogs Teague, left, and Molly along the Brooklyn waterfront beneath the New York skyline. Hurricane Sandy is continuing on its path towards New York and New Jersey, forcing the shutdown of public transport systems, schools and financial markets. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
HERE ARE THE things you need to know as we round off the day in three easy steps.
THINGS WE LEARNED:
#HURRICANE SANDY: The north-east coast of the United States is battening down the hatches for Hurricane Sandy, which is expected to make landfall in New Jersey later this evening. In a sign of just how intense the storm could be, Atlantic City is already flooded, as are a few major driveways in Manhattan – and there are now genuine fears that the entire Subway system could flood as a result of the rising waters.
While it’s now impossible to fly to the east coast from this side of the world, the Department of Foreign Affairs has told any Irish citizens who might be planning to travel to the affected areas (from elsewhere in the world) not to do so until Sandy has passed and the infrastructural damage becomes clear. The storm has already resulted in the loss of a replica of the HMS Bounty, with two crewmen missing.
#SPECIAL CASE: The German minister for finance has been in town. Wolfgang Schauble met with Michael Noonan and Brendan Howlin in Farmleigh – and afterwards spoke of how impressed he was with Ireland’s economic performance, while affirming our status as a “special case”. The opposition parties aren’t so happy, though – noting that Schauble wouldn’t publicly comment on Ireland’s quest for a deal on its banking debts.
#MENTAL HEALTH: The suicide prevention charity Console has urged anyone affected by cyber-bullying – whether they themselves are a victim, or know someone who is – to contact their helplines. The call comes after 13-year-old Erin Gallagher was found dead on Saturday, having received anonymous abuse over the internet.
#NETHERLANDS: Liberal prime minister Mark Rutte has secured a second term in government, after his party finalised a coalition deal with Labour. The deal will mean €16 billion in government spending cuts over five years – but also means the country will raise its drinking age from 16 to 18, while also abandoning any hopes of hosting the Olympic Games in 2028.
#DUBLIN MARATHON: It’s been a good day for Kenyan athletes, who won both the men’s and women’s races in the Dublin Marathon today. Geoffrey Ndungu won the men’s race for the second year running (!), in a time of 2.11:09, while his compatriot Magdalene Mukunzi won the women’s race in 2:30.46. There was one organisational hiccup though: organisers ran out of medals to present to athletes finishing the race, and say they’ll order more to be posted away to those who didn’t get one.
THINGS WE LOVED:
- The predictably brilliant efficiency of Sweden, which has become so good at generating energy from garbage that it’s now running low on rubbish.
- The highs and lows of the brave men and women who finished this morning’s Dublin Marathon despite the less-than-lovely conditions. Photographer Stephen Kilkenny was on hand to snap the reactions of people crossing the line.
- The insistence of this fella. Hurricane Sandy is serious business, and authorities in the US are accepting the fact that it’s likely to cause fatalities. Tell that to this guy in Washington DC, though, who’s taking it all in his stride… or, rather, his trot. (YouTube/apeyksk)
THINGS WE SHARED:
- One of the biggest problems in dealing with Hurricane Sandy is that many New Yorkers remember the issues surrounding Hurricane Irene last year – and how they were ordered to evacuate the city for what turned out to be a less powerful storm than expected. The Wall Street Journal’s put together this interactive comparison to contrast the two… and it’s sobering.
- You’ve probably heard a fair bit about ‘Taken 2′ starring Liam Neeson, the sequel to the 2008 kidnapping thriller. Well, if anyone’s going to manage a parody, it’ll be some Irish lads…