Looking back over some of the more serious stories that caught our eye these past few weeks, suffice to say, they’re pretty much summed up in one of life’s shortest and deadliest of words, ‘war’. Indeed as the 100th Anniversary of WW1 came and went, we continue to learn an even more poignant lesson; the sad fact that we have learned absolutely nothing. And as the atrocities continue to rage across Gaza we decided to dig a little deeper. In one fashion or another, there are currently some 18 wars raging across the world as we speak, hundreds and thousands of civilian lives are being destroyed, displaced and lost. Here’s a peek at today’s current war list – it’s not very pretty and even after 100 years since World War 1, it still begs the question WHY?
Syria – The world’s bloodiest war by far; also has generated millions of refugees. Atrocities on all sides but primarily the government. Spread to Iraq in 2014. Still no solution in sight. Afghanistan – Fate of government uncertain as international community draws down forces and Taliban persists. Iraq – Radical Islamists from the U.S. war in Iraq fought in Syria and in 2014 seized much land and resources with support of Sunni tribes who oppose Shi’ite government. Pakistan – After collapse of peace talks, government battling Taliban elements in autonomous tribal areas adjacent to Afghanistan. Nigeria – In the north, a violent Islamist group has instigated repeated violence such as bombings, and government attacks in response. Sad day when the Islamist terrorists blew up the UN building in 2011. Now they are killing women polio vaccine workers. The fighting occasionally spills over into neighboring Cameroon. D.R. Congo – Beefed-up peacekeepers suppressed one armed group in the violent east of the country, and in 2104 were trying to coax another to disarm. Sporadic but really nasty fighting continues to erupt in certain eastern locations. South Sudan – After a long north-south war, the south voted for independence, achieved in 2011. But South Sudan itself slipped into a bloody civil war (along ethnic lines) that reportedly has killed tens of thousands. A shaky cease-fire has been in effect since May 2014. Israel/Gaza – Current fighting with Hamas in the Gaza Strip has exceeded two thousand killed and continues to rage. Ukraine – Low-level fighting, ongoing in the east near Russia, has killed more than a thousand in 2014, in addition to the hundreds killed by the shoot-down of a civilian jet. Government is trying to dislodge pro-Russian armed separatists from territory they control. Libya – New fighting in 2014 between armed militias that overthrew Gaddafi in 2011. Central African Republic – Alarming levels of sectarian fighting (Muslim-Christian) with the potential for a genocide. Low-level with outbreaks of horrible violence. Cease-fire agreed July 30, 2014. India – Little Maoist insurgencies of long standing; now in a cease-fire with one main group, may be winding down. Mali – Islamists were routed from north by French, but ethnic insurgency threatens to erupt again; cease-fire agreed in May 2014. The Philippines – Sporadic residual fighting with Islamist militants on southern islands. Russia – Low-level Islamist militants from the south, including Chechnya, stage incidents and bombings sporadically. Somalia – African Union troops (mostly from nearby countries such as Uganda) restored government control of all major cities, leaving al Shabab militants in the countryside to carry out occasional bombings in the cities they no longer control (and in neighboring Kenya, which has troops in Somalia). Sudan – The genocide in Darfur was mainly in 2004, but brutal incidents continue there; rebels remain active. Yemen – The post-Saleh government with many competing factions has had some success against Islamic militants who had seized some towns in the south, but ethnic-based fighting has flared up in the north.
That’s quite a list eh? The other question that begs a direct answer is this, just how many women were behind starting these wars? What seems to be the key ignition? land? oil? gas? religion? minerals? greed? capitalism? differences of cultures? Pick any one, they’re all correct and before this blogger moves on to the rest of today’s business, I’ll leave you with this last thought on world wars. What with all these wars raging across the world, right now in Ireland, we are choosing to ignore the Great War raging here on our own doorsteps; poverty and homelessness. The Tsunami of homelessness raging outside our own front door is wholly incredulous. The fact that our poverty war in Ireland is driven by pure greed and capitalism makes it no less scandalous than all other atrocities raging across the world. The picture above was posted on twitter by Yoko Ono last Friday to send a message of peace. Imagine a world entirely at peace, there’s only one problem with ‘peace’ there’s no money in it.
Which leads us nicely into our good news story of the month;
Margaret Loughrey hit the jackpot on her way home from the Job Centre. Big-hearted Lottery winner Margaret Loughrey plans to give away £26million. And the Northern Ireland woman, who hit the EuroMillions jackpot last December , has revealed she’s already handed out half of her fortune. Margaret won the lottery after buying a ticket on her way home from the Job Centre. She was living on benefits of £58 a week at the time of her mammoth win. Since the windfall she’s been handing out money to help people in need. And she said: “I know what it’s like to have nothing. That’s why I’m giving it away – I can’t miss what I never had. “I spent half of my adult life unemployed and the other half on the minimum wage so I know only too well how hard things can be.” Her benevolent outlook has been to the benefit of her hometown of Strabane. She’s the director of nine companies set up since May, including six new firms registered just last week. Margaret has also paid £1million for the iconic Herdman’s Hill in Sion Mills and plans to transform it into a major leisure and tourism site, creating scores of job opportunities. She told the Sunday Life: “As soon as I won the money I said it would go for the good of the town. “I’ve already given half of it away. “I always said I’d keep £1million for myself and give the rest to the town. “There is so much talent here in the Strabane area, people just need to be given a chance. “Everyone has the right to work for a living, to support their families, to buy their own home, to run their own business. “People just need to be given opportunities.” Story courtesy of The Mirror
July’s Orchid Jewel is Oscar winning diamond Brenda Fricker.
The Galway Film Fleadh took place between the 8th to 13th of July. One of Ireland’s best-loved actors, Brenda Fricker, star of such films as My Left Foot, The Field, Veronica Guerin and Albert Nobbs, discussed her remarkable journey from soap-operas Tolka Row and Casualty to becoming Ireland’s only Oscar-winning actress for her extraordinary performance as Mrs Brown in My Left Foot, and shared her experiences with the audience.
Brenda Fricker (born 17 February, 1945) is an Irish actress of theatre, film and television. She has appeared in more than 30 films and television roles. In 1989, she became the first Irish actress to win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for My Left Foot. Fricker was born in Dublin. Her mother, “Bina” (née Murphy), was a teacher at Stratford College, and her father, Desmond Frederick Fricker, was an officer in the Department of Agriculture and a journalist for The Irish Times.
In her teens, she aspired to follow her parent’s footsteps into journalism. Fricker has an older sister, Nora Ann Grania Fricker.Before becoming an actress, Fricker was assistant to the art editor of the Irish Times, with hopes to become a reporter. At age 19, she became an actress “by chance”, her feature film career began with a small uncredited part in the 1964 film Of Human Bondage, based on the 1915 novel by W. Somerset Maugham. She also appeared in Tolka Row, Ireland’s first ever soap opera. Her brother, Daniel Fricker, lives and works in Baltimore Maryland…… continue reading here
Another anniversary to hit the headlines in July was that of the political grenade known as Watergate, 40 years ago former US President Nixon was forced to resign as a result of corruption and a mammoth cover-up. It’s a long and complicated story, one worth googling – here’s a rough synopsis; Several of his ‘tribe’ broke into his ‘opponents’ offices, there was bugging, tapes and a lot of illegal payoffs. Apart from his titanic fall from grace, ‘Watergate’ was where the suffix ‘gate’ stems from…. here’s a few Irish examples;
Croker Gate, Brooks Gate, Keegan Gate. Indeed The Concert Gate maybe firmly shut for now, but this story is far from closed!
Gardai suspect up to 40pc of objections to Brooks concerts are forgeries. OBJECTIONS lodged against the Garth Brooks’ concerts are believed to have included signatures from people living abroad, children, and a prison inmate. Gardai investigating claims of bogus complaints about the five shows have established a series of irregularities. It comes as yet another round of intensive talks were under way last night aimed at salvaging the gigs. Ticketmaster have delayed the refund process until Thursday, two days after they were originally due to begin giving disappointed fans their money back. They said that the decision to delay the commencement of refunds is due to ongoing negotiations “to try and find a resolution to the concerts situation”. The Irish Independent understands that Dublin City Council officials and gardai have been alarmed over some of the identities which are alleged to have submitted applications. “It’s believed that the signatures belong to children, people with intellectual disabilities, people living abroad and a person in the custody of the State – it’s suspected that illegal activity has gone on here,” a well-placed source told the Irish Independent. – See more at The Independent.ie
Then there’s Banker Gate – one of many peu detre?
Ah here. On July 30th the Bank of Ireland faced a storm after payments were delayed, affecting the wages of many employers who use the bank. Today, they tweeted that all payments had been processed overnight. Even when The Kenmeister tweeted them about a missing transfer from Nigeria, they were surprisingly sure it would go ahead.
“Still no sign of my $1m from the prince of Nigeria … must be the bank holiday weekend” he tweeted at them, referencing the oldest spam email on earth. SD replied, of course, expressing their sincere apologies and guaranteeing that payments made yesterday would arrive – and he should keep checking his account…. story courtesy of Breakingnews.ie
Moving swiftly on…. let’s take a look at the argument for avoiding cosmetic surgery, one of these women is in her early 30’s and in a desperate attempt to hold on to her youth, she crossed a line the other three women have avoided. Question; Tulisa what were you thinking?
Exhibit A – Before
Exhibit B – Speaks Volumes
Now let’s just take a look at three Hollywood stars who prove our point, here they are on dress down days – no make-up, no surgery and practically twice Tulisa’s age?
Maybe it was the pressure of that dreadful false ‘drugs’ court case, of which Tulisa was completely cleared. Remember we said we thought that she had been set up when we reported on the story last year? Well we were right, however this past year certainly and cruelly took it’s toll on the poor girl. Nevertheless, one thing’s for sure, no matter how bad it all gets, cosmetic surgery, botox and fillers is absolutely not the answer.
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend eh Posh? Our last but not least Anniversary story – Victoria Beckham 15 years married…. 13 engagement rings…. you what there now?
Most girls are pretty happy with one beautiful engagement ring, unless your Victoria Beckham that is. The fashion designer has owned a whopping 13 (yes you did read that right!) engagement rings so far over her 15 year marriage. According to the Daily Mail experts yesterday valued her 15 year collection at nearly £4million. When David proposed in 1998, her first ring was a diamond cut into an elongated ‘marquise’ shape, set on a yellow gold band, worth around £65,000. However as the couple’s star has rose so has the value of her rings! At Wimbledon this year she showed off her £100,000 engagement ring with a yellow diamond set in yellow gold. And one of her favourites is a square cut emerald with surrounding diamonds, valued at £500,000. The most expensive of her thirteen engagement rings is said to be a huge heart-shaped diamond thought to be worth in excess of £1million. The expert who valued her collection said: I’ve never known a woman to chop and change her engagement ring as she does. She clearly sees no reason not to treat it like any other fashion accessory. Victoria is not afraid to wear quite adventurous styles. She opts for rare cuts or less common stones such as emeralds or sapphires….. story courtesy of RSVPmagazine.ie
Speaking of weddings, big congrats to this lovely couple who actually met 11 years before they were introduced to each other and last week were married….. check this out
A couple had no clue they once met as children — that is, until they found an old photo of themselves playing on the beach together. Nick Wheeler and Aimee Maiden were looking at old family photos at Wheeler’s grandparents’ house when they found one from 1994, 11 years before they first met.
In the photo, a 5-year-old Wheeler is building a boat in the sand with his cousin and sister, and Maiden was shocked when she recognized her 6-year-old self in the background. They didn’t live in the same area, though. Wheeler lived in Kent while Maiden grew up in Cornwall, in the beach village of Mousehole. In 1994, Wheeler was on vacation in Cornwall when he unknowingly met his future wife.
While the two future lovebirds were just yards apart from each other on the beach, their families were strangers. A year later, Wheeler moved to Mousehole, but still didn’t meet Maiden until college. Soon, they began dating, and they moved in together three years ago. This past Saturday, they got married — in Mousehole, of course, right near their original meeting spot. All together now….mazel tov. Story courtesy of The Daily Mail
And just before we go, let us pause for one final thought.
It could not be easier… celebrating our brand new eStore on the Orchid Jewels website, all you have to do is to go to our business Facebook page .. click like… share it and be in with a chance to win this stunning piece from our latest collection. Don’t forget to follow us on twitter too… retweets count! (t&c’s apply)
Click here for Facebook Business page… Like It… Share it…Win the Necklace (draw)
And after all the rain in the past 72 hours we hear great news that there is one or two little heatwaves on the way before we bid the summer farewell. So don’t pack away the summer clothes just yet – enjoy every last sunny moment.
Martina & all the team
Follow us on