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The Daily Fix: Friday

A round-up of all the day’s main news, as well as the bits and pieces you may have missed along the way.

Tulips in full blossom are pictured against the sun in Munich, Germany, Friday, April 27, 2012
Tulips in full blossom are pictured against the sun in Munich, Germany, Friday, April 27, 2012
Image: Matthias Schrader/AP/Press Association Images

EVERY EVENING,  TheJournal.ie brings you a round-up of all the day’s main news, as well as the bits and pieces you may have missed along the way.

  • The Minister for Justice has released details of parental-child abduction cases from 2011, which show his Department dealt with a total of 261 cases last year. Of those, 142 were new cases and 119 were carried over from the previous year. Commenting on the figures, Alan Shatter said that when family conflicts occur is was important that estranged parents and spouses “exhaust all their options to resolve differences and reach agreement in the best interests of the children involved”.
  • The Government has formally lowered its expectations of growth in the Irish economy for 2012, nearly halving its original projection published in last December’s Budget. The latest Stability Programme Update sees expected growth revised downwards in Irish GDP, from 1.3 per cent in the Budget to a more modest 0.7 per cent.
  • The Oatfield sweets factory in Donegal is to close with the loss of 15 jobs, it has been announced today. The makers of the well-known Emerald toffee caramels – among other sweets – is moving production to the UK.
  • Newly-released figures from the Central Statistics Office show retails sales in Ireland have grown for the second month in a row ; the volume of retail sales grew by 0.2 per cent in March, with the value of sales up by 0.6pc.
  • The Ombudsman for Children has said the issue of the child abuse which occurs outside the home has been given a disproportionate amount of attention and the debate needs to shift to put the child first. “It is crucial that this public debate reflects the reality of children’s lives and that includes the sad reality that 20 per cent of children are subjected to abuse in the context of their home environment,” Emily Logan said during a visit to the Mayo Children’s Initiative (MCI) this morning.
  • Senator George Mitchell oversaw the negotiations which led to the signature of the Good Friday Agreement in Belfast in April 1998. In a column published in TheJournal.ie this evening, he recounts his experiences of planting the first seeds of peace.

Space shuttle Enterprise, riding on the back of the NASA 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft flies over JFK International Airport, Friday, April 27, 2012. Enterprise is eventually going to make its new home in New York City at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

  • The National Library of Ireland has won the Ireland eGovernment Social Media award this week for its work on various social media sites and on its own blog. The NLI has secured its place in social media circles with the release of timely archive images and documents on its FlickrFacebook and Twitter pages. TheJournal.ie has also featured several slideshows of material researched and provided by the NLI (see some here: 1234).
  • Former Senator Ivor Callely has been fined €150 in the Dublin District Court for not displaying a valid NCT disc.
  • Ireland is to receive “important artefacts” from the wreck of the Lusitania, following a series of high-level discussions on the matter with American businessman Gregg Bemis – who bought the remains of the vessel for £1,000 in 1968. The Lusitania sank 11 miles off the Old Head of Kinsale on the 7 May 1915 after being attacked and struck by a torpedo fired by a German submarine U-20.
  • Writing in TheJournal.ie today, former Minister for Justice Michael McDowell says that nobody is investing in newspapers for profit any more – and that, now, motivation is driven by political and editorial control and influence.
  • Need to make your ex jealous? Your (slightly odd) prayers may have been answered in the form of a new website that promises to hook you up with a fake girlfriend who will send you postcards, give you advice, and post messages on your Facebook wall…
  • We like Fridays, you like Fridays – so why not enjoy a slideshow of gerbils from around the world? After all, it’s the little (tiny, furry) things that make life wonderful. Aww.
  • In 2006 ministers spent a total of €27,083 on make-up expenses… So how much do you think they spent in 2011? (And why not check out the difference between Bertie Ahern and Enda Kenny‘s make-up bills, too…)

American band Matteo give us this impressive rendition of the Talking Heads’ This Must Be The Place – using traditional Chinese instruments (via OpenCulture.com):

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