IM’s January issue will feature automation, in the mine. But in the processing plant, ABB’s Expert Optimizer has recently been used to automate Boliden’s zinc flotation circuits. The Garpenberg plant in Sweden is benefiting from successful application of Model Predictive Control (MPC) to a complete flotation circuit.ABB says it successfully applied its award winning Expert Optimizer solution to the zinc flotation circuits at Garpenberg. The solution applied MPC to help to stabilise the overall process, and maximise zinc revenue.ABB and Boliden have a long track record of successful collaborations in the field of automation technology and agreed to collaborate on a project to apply MPC to a complete flotation circuit. The aims were twofold. Firstly to stabilise the process to compensate for external factors, such as ore quality changes. Secondly, the zinc revenue should be maximised, through maximised recovery and higher concentrate grade.Successfully optimising the circuit required that three criteria be met. First, the behaviour of the process had to be predicted using a reliable dynamic model of the flotation circuit. Then cost functions and finally operating constraints were incorporated in order to produce a robust MPC application.In order to achieve certainty with regard to the controller benefits, a measurement campaign was started at the end of 2008 and finished in the middle of 2009. The results showed that concentrator efficiency (directly corresponding to revenue) was at least 1% higher when MPC was used, compared with the existing manual control strategy. In addition, the zinc concentrate grade has been higher and more consistent, while the recovery has remained at the same level.Henrik Lindvall, Process Engineer at Boliden, Garpenberg, said, “Following the successful testing period, Boliden is continuing to use Expert Optimizer on their Garpenberg zinc circuit and has continued to report good results throughout 2009”.Expert Optimizer, part of ABB’s cpmPlus suite of applications, is the recommended tool, by ABB, for implementation of advanced process control in general, and MPC in particular, in mineral processing. In addition to the general framework for MPC, Expert Optimiser also includes tools for implementation of soft sensors and artificial intelligence applications.
Teck Resources has received an Area Based Management Plan Order from the British Columbia Ministry of Environment, providing clarity around watershed protection and mining activities in the Elk Valley of British Columbia. Developing a regulatory basis to deal with impacts of mining on water quality in this region, and will establish a regulatory context for permitting of future mining activity.The Order, issued under Section 89 of the Environmental Management Act, stipulates the development of an area-based management plan, in consultation with communities of interest. The plan to be developed will address the impact of selenium and other substances released by mining activities throughout the watershed, associated economic and social costs and benefits, and concentration targets and time-frames required to stabilise and reduce levels of these substances.The Order establishes a long-term selenium concentration target for Lake Koocanusa which Teck expects can be achieved using water treatment technologies described in its draft Valley-wide Selenium Management Action Plan which was submitted to regulators early in the first quarter. Development of the area-based plan in accordance with the Order and the associated public consultation is expected to take up to 15 months. Permitting activities on Line Creek Phase II and other Teck projects are expected to continue in the interim.Senior Vice President of Sustainability and External Affairs, Marcia Smith said “Teck is committed to maintaining the health of the Elk River and this step by the province provides a path forward to finalizing an Elk Valley Water Quality Plan. This measure recognizes the priority of protecting the environment while also ensuring the economic well-being of local communities and residents.”As the operator of five steelmaking coal mines in the Elk Valley which directly employs over 4,000 people, Teck is committed to continued work with communities, first nations and other local stakeholders to finalise an area-based plan that achieves the shared goal of protecting the watershed and economic health of the region.Teck’s Valley-wide Selenium Management Action Plan outlines significant measures to protect aquatic health while supporting sustainable mining activities in the Elk Valley and will be adapted as Teck works with communities of interest to meet the terms of the Order. The plan includes investments by Teck over the next five years of up to C$600 million on the installation of water diversion and treatment facilities, investments in research and development to improve selenium management, and on-going aquatic monitoring.“We have been taking action on this issue for the past several years,” added Smith. “To date, we have constructed several water diversions to keep water clean, and construction is currently underway on our first water treatment plant at Line Creek Operations.”
Siemens Water Technologies and Texas A&M AgriLife Research have signed an exclusive license agreement and a research and development agreement to continue to develop and commercialise a chemical-based technology to more efficiently and cost-effectively remove heavy metals from water and wastewater at mining sites. The system is being designed to occupy a smaller footprint than current remediation treatment systems to reduce capital expense and to operate more efficiently in a wider range of environments.“The Texas A&M University System is a leader in water technology in our agriculture and engineering programs. We are excited to partner with Siemens, a worldwide leader in technology, to commercialise and advance this technology which could have significant benefits to water and wastewater treatment,” said John Sharp, A&M System chancellor.In a single process unaffected by temperature or pH-levels, the technology can remove selenium, mercury, zinc, copper, chromium and other heavy metals as well as metalloids to meet America’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) limits.The technology is based on an Activated Iron ProcessTM for the removal of contaminants from water and wastewater developed by Dr Yongheng Huang, Associate Professor of biological and agricultural engineering at Texas A&M University, who recently received the 2013 Rudolfs Industrial Waste Management Medal by the Water Environmental Federation at its Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC). Huang is also an AgriLife Research scientist.“AgriLife Research looks forward to further developing and commercialising its novel chemical process and reactor with a world leader such as Siemens Water Technologies,” said Dr. Craig Nessler, AgriLife Research director. “We are confident that our partnership with Siemens will yield environmental and economic benefits across multiple industries.”“Industrial operators are seeking new solutions to meet heavy metal remediation challenges and regulatory requirements,” said Dr Lukas Loeffler, Siemens Water Technologies CEO. “The agreements between AgriLife Research and Siemens Water Technologies will help develop a solution to meet this need and is another example to our commitment to innovation and industry leadership through research and development.”
Caterpillar Inc and Rio Nuevo last week released design renderings of Caterpillar’s new 150,000 square‐foot Tucson Mining Center to be located in the Mercado District in downtown Tucson. The Tucson Mining Center, being built by the Rio Nuevo Multipurpose Facilities District, will be occupied by about 600 company engineers, product development, and support positions working on the next generation of mining equipment, vehicles, and technology. It is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2019.SmithGroupJJR of Phoenix in collaboration with WSM Architects of Tucson designed the three‐level building to blend into the desert environment and to represent the Native American history of the land, identified as Tucson’s Origins. Representatives from Rio Nuevo, SmithGroupJJR + WSM, and Sundt Construction have been meeting regularly with neighbours and historians to create a site plan and design that will become one of the Southwest’s most recognised buildings.The building site is northeast of A Mountain and Mission Garden, and is bounded on the north by Cushing Street, on the east by the Santa Cruz River and The Loop shared‐use path, and on the west by an extension of Avenida del Convento Street still to be built. The modern structure will be visible to motorists on Interstate 10 and Congress Street.“Caterpillar is excited to take this next step, and we appreciate the strong partnership and support we’ve received from all members of the team. This will be a site that will make us all proud, fitting well into the community and helping show the world some of what Tucson has to offer. When finished, it will be a cutting edge and modern office space where our team will collaborate, design, and innovate solutions that drive customer success around the world,” said Jean Savage, Caterpillar Vice President for Surface Mining & Technology.“Rio Nuevo is honoured to be part of the Caterpillar family and will forever be grateful to the company, not only for coming to Tucson, but for selecting this historic site. SmithGroupJJR + WSM have done an extraordinary job designing a world class building,” said Fletcher McCusker, Chairman of the Rio Nuevo Board.
Avalon Advanced Materials has moved a step closer to incorporating sensor-based ore sorting into its plans at the East Kemptville tin project in Nova Scotia, Canada, after the latest testwork came back with positive results.As recently as July, the company said ore-sorting technology had the potential to upgrade the feed material to the processing plant, thereby reducing both capital and operating costs and the volume of tailings generated, and it has stuck by that assessment after the latest batch of work.Sensor-based ore-sorting (an example from Outotec shown above) is an emerging technology seeing increasing application in the mining industry. It involves the scanning of individual rock particles on a conveyor using various types of available sensor technologies.Depending on the chemical, mineralogical or physical characteristics, the particles of value are individually identified and separated from the ‘rejects’ by applying either a mechanical, hydraulic or, in the case of East Kemptville, pneumatic process.The most recent work, which comes on the back of similar preliminary work in 2017, was conducted by Cronimet Mining Processing, which is providing technical and metallurgical services to Avalon.Drill core samples from the in-ground resources at East Kemptville were delivered in July to a test facility in Kentucky, US, in order to determine the amenability of East Kemptville tin mineralisation for beneficiation using sorting technology.Samples varying from relatively high-grade to low-grade tin concentrations were scanned using a multisensory sorter platform. Based on these scans, an algorithm was developed to allow for the separation of the material during tests.The feedstock used during the test campaign contained 0.11% Sn, 0.06% Cu and 0.11% Zn. The first step of the testwork produced an upgraded product containing 0.47% Sn and a product mass yield of 12%.Recovery versus grade data also showed ore sorting can be used to recover the zinc ore mineral sphalerite (which also contains indium) from this resource. The zinc-indium feed was successfully upgraded to 0.23% Zn in the first step, while copper content remained low.Similar positive results were achieved in a preliminary ore sorting test programme conducted in 2017 using material from the low-grade stockpile, Avalon said. This confirms the technology can be successfully employed to upgrade both the in-ground tin resource as well as the stockpiled material.Based on these results, Cronimet has recommend a detailed sampling campaign be conducted on the low-grade stockpile, followed by an extensive bulk testwork programme using a pilot-scale ore sorting plant to test the recovery of valuable minerals on a pilot scale.Cronimet will be visiting the East Kemptville site in September to meet with Avalon and site representatives in order to design and schedule the sampling programme likely to involve the extraction of a bulk (circa-10 t) composite sample sometime in October.The test programme, including writing of the technical report, is expected to take five to six months to complete. This will be combined with a confirmation drilling programme on the stockpile, which will be used to finalise the small-scale site re-development model to the feasibility level of confidence, following which it is contemplated Avalon and Cronimet would enter into a partnership for the joint development of the project.In July, Cronimet started carrying out the installation of ore sorting equipment at Almonty Industries’ Panasqueira mine in Portugal. This particular installation was aimed at reclaiming coarse fraction tailings and would result in a production increase of about 10%, according to Almomty.
Spanish vice-champion, BM Atletico Madrid showed class in the away match against Kadetten Schaffhausen 36:27 (15:11) and secured TOP 8 place in Europe this season. Second match in Madrid will have friendly note, after Dujshebaev’s boys made +9 in Switzerland.27 – Kadetten (11+16): Vaskevicius; Stojanovic (6), Jurca (2), Kukucka (6), Graubner (1), Straczan (3) y Vrany (4) -equipo inicial- Quadrelli (ps), Vukelic (-), Goepfert (1), Pendic (-), Schelbert (1), Bucher (1), Elezovic (1) y Tominec (1).36 – Atlético (15+21): Hombrados; Cañellas (5, 1p), Guardiola (5), Dinart (-), Roberto García (4, 1p), Jurkiewicz (-) y Alberto Entrrerríos (-) -equipo inicial- Antonio Díez (ps), Edu Fernández (-), Markussen (7), Aguinagalde (7), Davis (1), Chema (1) y Lazarov (6, 1p). ← Previous Story Kiel Express to the Velux EHF CL TOP 8! Next Story → Ivan Nincevic stays in Fuchse Berlin BM Atletico MadridKadetten Schaffhausen
← Previous Story HBW Balingen-Weilstetten signed Manuel Liniger Next Story → Dream of “Benga Boys” still alive – Sweden in Olympic FINAL! It’s time for a medal decisions. In the Men’s semi-finals at the Olympic Tournament in London, Hungary will meet Sweden (17) and Croatia will play against France (20.30 local time) in something what is called “Final before Final”. It is clear that first couple of semi-finalist won’t agree with this conclusion, but as we know, France is current Olympic champion and twice World Champion since Beijing 2008, while Croatia was twice vice-champion (WCh 2009 and EHF EURO 2010) and once bronze medal winner (EHF EURO 2012).
In a talk with nemzetisport.hu, MKB Veszprem’s goalkeeper Nandor Fazekas spoke openly about how he felt the refereeing was in the game against THW Kiel.– At the moment I really feel and think that the referees were against us. In the important moments of the match they blew against our team. If the rewatching of the game show the opposite, I will withdraw my opinion, but I don’t think it’ll happen.source: nemzetisport.hu fazekasMKB Veszpremnandor fazekasTHW Kielveszprem ← Previous Story PSG Handball – French champions! Next Story → EHF Cup: Momir Rnic’s last-second goal leads Frisch auf Goppingen to the F4!
Updated 21.53The result of the final electronic vote on the Social Welfare and Pensions Bill before a walk-through vote was called and the bill was passed. THE DÁIL HAS passed all stages of the Social Welfare and Pensions Bill this afternoon.The bill brings into law many of the measures outlined in the Budget last week from next year and will now go to the Seanad for debate the week after next.The bill, which was passed by 74 votes to 46 on a walk-through vote, enshrines cuts to the invalidity pension, maternity benefit, and the total abolition of the bereavement grant.After the electronic vote, Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh argued that the bill is contrary to the Programme for Government and should therefore require a walk-through vote which the government won.Other measures contained in the bill include the abolition of mortgage interest supplement for new entrants from the beginning of next year, with existing recipients of the payment phased out over four years.There was also a walk-through vote for the specific section of the bill that dealt with the cut to jobseekers’ allowance for under-26s, following a request by the independent TD Stephen Donnelly.The chamber was empty for much of the day, only filling up for votes.TDs from the opposition side of the house regularly complained about the lack of time being given to debate the bill and its various sections.The legislation was debated yesterday and for over six hours today with all opposition amendments to the bill opposed by the government.Of the TDs expelled from Fine Gael and Labour only Lucinda Creighton, Terence Flanagan, Brian Walsh and Billy Timmins voted for the bill overall, effectively supporting the government’s Budget.Creighton and others abstained on a number of individual votes including one to cut maternity benefit.The Dáil has now gone into recess until 5 November.- First published 16.50Like politics? Then why not ‘Like’ TheJournal.ie’s Politics page?Earlier: ‘Mean, ruthless, vicious’: TD scathing as Dáil votes to abolish bereavement grant
TRACTOR TYRES PERCHED against outdoor walls, accessible slurry pits and large pieces of machinery not being turned off appropriately are just some of the dangers facing children on farms.However, something as simple as an open gate could also lead to a tragedy.Last year, four children died on Irish farms. The Health and Safety Authority said it was “particularly concerned” that there were such young victims of what they describe as ‘workplace accidents’.“We recognise that some jobs can be more hazardous than others, the number of fatalities in Agriculture each year bears that out. However, we will never accept that these deaths are inevitable and cannot be prevented,” the CEO Martin O’Halloran said on the publication of the agency’s 2013 report earlier this week.And now, another health and safety organisation is looking at the possibility of planning an information campaign this year.The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) Ireland Branch works with businesses and government, with the aim of reducing injury and ill-health across the country.Its chair Michelle Peate-Morgan told TheJournal.ie that any fatality in the workplace is a tragedy.All are preventable and we are equally concerned about the rise in children dying in agriculture.She noted that there has been extremely positive engagement with farmers over recent years and that Irish farms, while safer than most European counterparts, are still dangerous.“The industry needs to be aware that on family farms, children don’t see the dangers,” she explained. “Open farm gates, slurry pits, large pieces of machinery, tractor wheels against walls that can easily fall down and injure, are all examples. As are farm animals themselves.”She says that along with the HSA, her organisation works to help farmers deal pragmatically and practically with the risk assessment of such hazards.Peate-Morgan said the IOSH is launching a media campaign in the UK this year and will examine the possibility of doing something similar in Ireland.A total of 16 people died on Irish farms last year, a reduction from the 21 fatalities recording in 2012.Related: 46 people killed in workplace accidents last yearMore: Farmers’ association urges caution as busy farms signal rise in accidents
TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY has defended his handling of human rights issues on his trade mission to the Gulf last week, saying the forum for raising such matters is the UN Human Rights Council.Kenny said that in a meeting with Saudi’s deputy prime minister, Crown Prince Salman, he pointed out that the country had been a “moderate voice” in the region in the pursuit of peace in the Syrian conflict.Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins, who had raised the issue, interrupted to say “you must be joking” adding that the Saudis had “funded the Jihadis” in Syria.Kenny, who was speaking at an Oireachtas sub-committee examining the 2014 budget for his department, said “you may well laugh” but that the UN Human Rights Council is where such issues are raised.The Taoiseach congratulated Saudi on its election to the UN Human Rights Council on his visit to the country last week.The government would not say if he raised specific human rights concerns with politicians in Saudi, or in Qatar or UAE which he also visited.The visit to the region largely concerned trade and Kenny said he would “make no apology” for the 87 Enterprise Ireland companies who accompanied him on the mission and who came away with commitments on job creation both there and in Ireland.Damien Kiberd: So what if Kenny and Bruton didn’t lecture Middle East on human rights?Gilmore insists: ‘Ireland always raises human rights issues’Read: The human rights issues which aren’t being discussed on Taoiseach’s Gulf visit
TWO TRAVELLER WOMEN, who had both been widowed due to suicide, have won a case against a Kerry bar.Linda Mongan and Margaret Rose O’Neill took a case to Killarney District Court after being refused entry to an event that was raising funds for suicide awareness charity Aware.Both had purchased tickets in advance, but were told by the doorman that no such charity event was on, despite them witnessing many people entering the venue for the event.After two hours of evidence, the judge made an order awarding each woman €1,000 against McSorley’s of Killarney.Speaking after the ruling, Margaret Rose O’Neill said that the local travelling community had been massively impacted by suicide.“We were reluctant to attend the event but were encouraged to go by our families as it was to raise funds for depression. Both of our husbands died by suicide and between us we have lost six members of our extended family in the same way.“I had been involved in supporting bereavement and mental health charities, attended charity events during suicide month, cake sales and family fun days, but to be refused access to this event, ticket in hand, because I am a Traveller was devastating.I have experienced discrimination many times in my life and in Killarney town, but this experience caused so much hurt to both of us, to our families and friends, we felt no other choice but to take it to court.Both women were represented by the Irish Traveller Movement, who welcomed the court decision.“These two women have shown tremendous strength and courage to seek to have the wrong that was done unto them highlighted and shows the particular difficulties Travellers are faced with, in particular with respect to mental health challenges and suicide,” Susan Fay of the movement’s Law Centre said.Read: Prison officer recovering from cancer awarded €80,000 in employment tribunal caseRead: EasyJet in French court for refusing disabled passengers
AT LEAST 112,000 civilians have been killed in the 10 years since the US-led 2003 invasion of Iraq that ousted Saddam Hussein, a new report published today claims.Including combatants on all sides of the decade-long conflict, as well as yet undocumented civilian fatalities, the figure could rise as high as 174,000, according to the Britain-based Iraq BodyCount (IBC) group.“This conflict is not yet history,” it said in its report, which put the number of civilian deaths since March 20, 2003 at between 112,017 and 122,438. “It remains entrenched and pervasive, with a clear beginning but no foreseeable end, and very much a part of the present in Iraq.”IBC said that, over the years, Baghdad had been, and is still, the deadliest region in the country, accounting for 48 per cent of all deaths, while the conflict was bloodiest between 2006 and 2008.It noted that violence remains high, with annual civilian deaths of between four and five thousand roughly equivalent to the total number of coalition forces who died from 2003 up to the US military withdrawal in December 2011, at 4,804.The most violent regions were, after Baghdad, the northern and western provinces, dominated by Iraq’s Sunni Arab minority which controlled Iraq during Saddam’s rule but which has since been replaced by the Shiite majority.‘It was right’Meanwhile, the former British prime minister who led his country into the war remains adamant he took the right decision.Tony Blair and then US president George W Bush were both convinced of the need to act against Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and his alleged weapons of mass destruction (WMD).However, these weapons never materialised and although Saddam was ousted within weeks of the March 2003 invasion, Iraq soon descended into chaos at the hands of insurgents and militia groups.“I still believe it was right to remove Saddam,” Blair told Britain’s ITV television. “We sometimes forget now what the regime was actually like and the devastation it caused.“Hundreds of thousands of people died in his wars. He used chemical weapons against his own people.”Blair’s name will be forever linked to the war in Iraq, and his rare public appearances in Britain are routinely dogged by protesters who want him tried for war crimes.- © AFP, 2013Read: The aftermath of war: UK military personnel ‘at increased risk of violent offending’Read: Vigil at Shannon Airport marks 10 year anniversary of Iraq war
FOR THE SECOND time in three years, a Thai couple has set a new record for the longest kiss, locking their lips for 58 hours, 35 minutes and 58 seconds in a Valentine’s Day “kissathon.”Ekkachai and Laksana Tiranarat from Bangkok emerged victorious Thursday in what organizers said was the longest recorded smooch in history. The milestone must still be verified by officials from Guinness World Records.The pair, who also won the annual contest in 2011, received a 100,000 baht (€2,500) cash prize and two diamond rings.The event began Tuesday with nine couples. The contestants were not allowed to sit, rest or sleep. They also had to go to the bathroom together with their lips locked.Last year’s record, set by two Thai men, was about 50½ hours.This ITN video gives a flavour of the occasion:YouTube/itnnewsAttention girls, everywhere. We’ve been doing it wrong>13 messages you don’t want on your Love Hearts>
THE US DEPARTMENT of Justice decided today to join a doping lawsuit filed by one of Lance Armstrong’s former team-mates, Floyd Landis, alleging that the disgraced cycling champion defrauded government sponsors.NBC News and the Wall Street Journal reported the government will add its weight to the suit and claim that Armstrong defrauded tax-payers by using performance-enhancing drugs while on the state-funded US Postal Service team.- © AFP, 2013The Next Pelé? Time Magazine thinks Neymar is set for a life of goals and Viagra advertsLatest from Irish camp: Cian Healy dunks his biscuit while wearing a lagging jacket
THE FIRST ‘NEW-LOOK’ regulated Smithfield Horse Fair is due to take place on Sunday.Dublin City Council is to hold the new-look fair from 9am to 1.30pm on Sunday 3 March, and this is the first horse fair to be held under new byelaws adopted by the council this January.The fair will now take place twice a year, on the first Sundays in March and September, as was announced back in September 2012.The changes to the fair came following an incident in March 2011 during which shots were fired at the event, while a teenager was injured with a slash hook.The following month saw three separate arrests when attendees tried to steal a horse.Enterprise minister Richard Bruton had made a detailed submission to the Attorney General seeking advice on whether it was legally permissible to shut the fair permanently, but it was reported that this would be an unconstitutional breach of traders’ commercial rights unless an alternative location was first provided.RegulationPaul Clegg, Executive Manager with Dublin City Council, said: This will be the first time that Smithfield Horse Fair is regulated. Dublin City Council believes that the new bye laws will improve the welfare of horses attending the fair and the experience of attending the fair for the public. We have worked with Smithfield horse owners, DSPCA and elected representatives to ensure this and hope to see the fair become part of Dublin’s exciting programme of events.Under the new byelaws a Casual Trading Licence is required for each horse attending the fair.In addition to the traditional display of horses, Dublin City Council’s Arts Office and Libraries Service are planning music, an exhibition on the history of Smithfield and a screening of photographs explaining the historical significance of the Smithfield area during the event.Read: City Council plans to limit Smithfield horse fair to twice a year>Read: Closing controversial horse fair could be unconstitutional according to AG>
TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY has affirmed that the government needs to find €300 million in savings from the public payroll this year, despite the rejection of the Croke Park 2 pay deal by public sector workers.Kenny said the government remained “absolutely united” behind Brendan Howlin’s bid to make savings in the public payroll, affirming the need to cut €300 million this year and find savings totalling €1 billion between now and 2015.“The bottom line here is absolutely clear,” Kenny told the Dail. “We have to, we must, and we will find €300 million of extra savings this year from payroll.“That’s the challenge the government now faces.”The government’s plans for payroll savings took a major dent when three of the country’s four biggest unions yesterday rejected the Croke Park 2 proposals – meaning it is certain to be formally rejected when trade union representatives meet at ICTU level today.Kenny said an agreement with unions to cut pay was “in the interest of the Irish people and the Irish country in general”.His comments came after Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said it was “very clear that your Plan B is to reflect”, and it was “extraordinary” that the government had no obvious recourse, having apparently stalled on its plans to legislate for pay cuts of 7 per cent across the board.Martin said he was glad to hear the government parties were united on the problem, as “some parts of the Labour Party have been speaking out of both sides of their mouth on this issue.”Martin also criticised the ‘side deals’ offered to workers in certain sectors, such as prison workers and firefighters, as “a bit of intimidation at the end – and it backfired spectacularly”.SF: Rejection a ‘very clear signal’ from workersSinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald said the rejection of the deal was a “very clear signal” from workers that they had no more to give, and said Brendan Howlin’s assertions last night – that he would run out of money before the end of the year if pay was not cut further – as “absurd”.She urged the Government to consider the introduction of an extra tax rate for workers over €100,000, which would offer the revenue needed to reach the Troika target, while also treating public and private workers equally.Kenny said McDonald had herself received figures on proposed pay caps from the Department of Public Expenditure in February, when she was told that the estimated net savings would be €110 million per year – while also setting the marginal tax rate at 62.5 per cent.“I think you need to get a lot more thinking caps in that party,” Kenny said. “What you are proposing would be the ruination of this country. The ruination of it.”Kenny also argued that the proposal to hit higher earners would meet with failure, pointing out that higher-earning civil servants had voted against the Croke Park 2 proposals solely because it would cut pay for public workers on over €65,000.“What you want to do is tax people out of existence with some vision of yours that that’s going to sort out all our problems.”Read: Howlin responds to Croke Park II rejection, says ‘the arithmetic hasn’t changed’
RYANAIR HAS REVEALED a full year profit after tax of €569 million, up 13 per cent on last year.Revenue rose by 13 per cent to €4.88 billion to the end of March 2013.Passenger numbers were also up by five per cent to 79.3 million, which the low-cost carrier said helped lead to the profit increase.The airline reported the profits despite higher oil costs, up by 8 per cent, and an increase in fuel unit costs which rose by 3 per cent, while the average fare improved by 6 per cent. Fuel now represents a 45 per cent of the companies total costs.Seven new bases were opened by the carrier last year – Chania in Greece, Eindhoven and Maastricht in the Netherlands, Fez in Morocco, Krakow in Poland, Marrakech in Morocco and Zadar in Croatia.It also started to travel to 217 new routes to now give a total of over 1,600 routes and has a total fleet of 305 after buying 15 new aircrafts last year.Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary welcomed the profit announcement but said they were disappointed that the European Commission in February 2013 decided to prohibit Ryanair’s third offer for Aer Lingus.Read: As Norwegian PM boycotts Ryanair, O’Leary insists staff not treated like slaves>More: On the up: Aer Lingus passenger figures increase in March>
IT’S BAD NEWS for Hollywood actor Gabriel Byrne but The Gathering may actually be working after all.The Government splashed out €5million on enticing the Irish diaspora back to the emerald isle and promised it would attract an extra 300,000 visitors this year.Figures released today by the Central Statistics Office show between February and April there was a 56,300 increase in tourists over the three month period.The boost comes before the busy summer months and the Government expects to reach its target before the end of the year.Since 2010, tourism numbers have jumped by close to 250,000 people for the period up to April.Former Cultural Ambassador, Byrne, called The Gathering a ‘shakedown’ of the diaspora during an interview on Today FM last year.But the American public do not seem to see the Government’s initiative the same way – with a 16 per cent increase in visitors from the other side of the Atlantic so far in 2013.There has also been an eight per cent rise in tourists from Mainland Europe but The Gathering has failed to capture the imagination of the British public with visitors down two per cent.CommunityJunior Minister for Sport and Tourism, Michael Ring, welcomed the tourism boost and said The Gathering was proving a success because local communities had rallied behind the project.“It’s working and it’s working very well. They are coming in from all over the world and I expect the next six months to be even better,” Ring told TheJournal.ie. The reason this is working is because it is community led. Every community in the country came in behind this.Ring added: “The Gathering is attracting them in but the other thing that is attracting them is that there is a lot more access into the country and it makes the prices cheaper. There is valuable to be got in Ireland now.Tourism Ireland chief executive, Niall Gibbons, said: “Today’s figures suggest a positive start to 2013 as we head into the high season.I particularly welcome the increase in visitor numbers from North America which suggests we could be on course to achieve our best year ever from that market We hope to welcome over one million American visitors, spending about US$1 billion.”Read: The Gathering should be encouraged, not belittled and criticised >Read: The Gathering 2013: What to expect >
Lions: Stuart Hogg; Alex Cuthbert, Manu Tuilagi, Jonathan Davies, Tommy Bowe; Owen Farrell, Ben Youngs; Gethin Jenkins, Tom Youngs, Matt Stevens; Richie Gray, Geoff Parling; Dan Lydiate, Sam Warburton (c), Toby Faletau.Replacements: Richard Hibbard, Mako Vunipola, Adam Jones, Paul O’Connell, Justin Tipuric, Conor Murray, Jonny Sexton, George North. Queensland Reds: Ben Lucas; Rod Davies, Ben Tapuai, Anthony Faingaa, Luke Morahan; Quade Cooper, Nick Frisby; Ben Daley, James Hanson, Greg Holmes; Adam Wallace-Harrison, Ed O’Donoghue; Eddie Quirk, Beau Robinson, Jake Schatz.Replacements: Albert Anae, Sam Denny, Jono Owen, Radike Samo, Jarrad Butler, Jono Lance, Mike Harris, Dom Shipperley. Updated 12.20TOMMY BOWE IS the only Irish starter in the Lions team to face the Queensland Reds.The Ulster winger, who bagged his first try of the tour in the win against the Western Force, starts opposite Alex Cuthbert at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.Captain Sam Warburton has recovered from his knee injury and will have the honour of becoming the 800th Lion when he makes his debut in the back row.Three-time tourist Gethin Jenkins makes his first start of the summer up front. He is joined by Tom Youngs, Matt Stevens, Richie Gray and Geoff Parling in a new look front five while Gatland has gone for an all-Welsh back row with Dan Lydiate and Toby Faletau alongside Warburton.England duo Ben Youngs and Owen Farrell are named in the half-backs with Manu Tuilagi and Jonathan Davies in midfield and Stuart Hogg at full-back.“Two games and two victories is great, but those two matches are building blocks as we head towards the Test series,” Gatland said today.“We always said we would give every player a start in the first three matches and this team reflects that. It also provides us with the opportunity to continue to look at different combinations.”Paul O’Connell, Conor Murray and Jonny Sexton are the Irish players on the bench.The Reds have named a total of 12 Australian internationals in the squad for Saturday’s game with Wallabie out-half Quade Cooper handed a start by coach Ewen McKenzie. Cian Healy’s ‘bite’ hearing has been delayedPics: The Irish rugby team got a tour of NASA Headquarters yesterday