A pilgrim bathes in a waterfall believed to have purifying powers in Saut d’Eau, Haiti. The annual pilgrimage is made in honour of Haiti’s most celebrated patron saint, Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Legend has it that she appeared on a palm tree there in 1847. (AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)
THINGS WE LEARNED:
#ULSTER BANK: Although the majority of customers are now back to normal service after a four-week scramble to clear a backlog, Ulster Bank says completing the clear-up after last month’s technical glitch could still take several weeks to complete.
#MICHAELA: Police have raided the offices of the newspaper which published photographs of the crime scene following the discovery of the body of Michaela McAreavey. RTÉ reports, however, that officers found no sign of the images. Ireland’s ambassador to the island nation was summoned to Dublin today for a meeting with Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore.
#RECESSION: A new study has made a formal link between the economic downturn and suicides. An in-depth study in Cork found that around a third of suicide victims worked in construction or related trades, which were hardest hit – while 38 per cent of people who took their own lives were unemployed at the time.
#BONDHOLDERS: Perhaps this is better filed under a ‘Things we didn’t learn’ section – because whether Ireland can burn the unsecured bondholders of its banks is now a matter that’s very much up in the air. The ECB is said to have backtracked on its policy of safeguarding bank bonds – and is now apparently willing to allow them be burned if the bank is not ‘systemically important’. Jean-Claude Juncker says Ireland will get the same terms as Spain might have – but Mario Draghi has only ever referred specifically to Spain and not to Ireland.
#DRUGS: Pharmacists will soon be allowed to give patients cheaper generic drugs in place of more expensive branded ones, under new draft laws published today. Currently chemists are obliged to give exactly what’s listed on a prescription – so if a doctor names an expensive branded drug, the pharmacy has no option but to dispense it.
THINGS WE LOVED:
- The questionable veracity behind the claims of Liz Buckley, who says her cat took this picture of himself.
- The sheer, mind-boggling passion of the participants at this year’s national Air Guitar Championship in Germany. Here’s five-time champ Christian ‘Heart Buckboard’ Sweep and his challengers rocking out.
- The bluntness of this political protest at the parliament in Hong Kong. The man on the right is chief executive Leung Chun-Ying, who was today attending his first question-and-answer session since his appointment. You can guess how the man on the left, Lee Cheuk-yan, feels about the new premier. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
THINGS WE SHARED:
- Loathers of reality TV, rejoice! If you despise The X Factor then you’ll have a special place in Room 101 reserved for Olly Murs, who not only participated in the show but now hosts its Xtra Factor spin-off. Well, here he is, falling down the stairs mid-gig.
- There’s a certain symbolism in seeing particularly chirpy, mass-produced plastic tat abandoned for the ages in the cold wasteland of urban abandon. Here, then, is our succinctly-titled favourite Tumblr of the day: Sad Stuff on the Street.
- From the Australian TV host who brought you that catastrophic Dalai Lama joke comes this unimpressed impression of Miley Cyrus. Nice one, Karl Stefanovic.
- To get you in the mood for this weekend’s Open championship: ESPN’s off-beat version featuring kids playing crazy golf. It’s funnier than it sounds…
- This video manages to cram 47 years of popular music into 194 seconds. The most impressive bit, however, is that it takes all the famous bits of songs that don’t actually have words. Trust us: it’s nicely done.