Quick snap Digest for you this week as I’m in work, did nothing over the pre-Christmas week and am just catching up on things tonight.
Rob Kitchin on Ireland After NAMA writes about the latest figures from the CSO on private and public sector earnings.
Slovenia still blocking Croatia from EU, The EU Observer reports. It’s almost childish by now.
Nick Cohen in The (UK) Observer on the child abuse case relating to Liam Adams and IRA secrecy. The Tribune leads today with evidence that Liam Adams canvassed with Gerry Adams in Dundalk in 1997, which contrasts with Gerry’s claims they were “estranged”. All read via Slugger.
Again, relating to the NYT; on December 23 they published an old-news-based, poorly structured, Op-ed calling for the immediate bombing of Iran. Go read it if you’re interested in what the right side of the hawks in the Republican party were saying five years ago – because there’s nothing at all new in it.
Harry McGee, political correspondent for The Irish Times reacts to a Vincent Browne article criticising political correspondents for going too soft on the Taoiseach. My feelings on the matter are contained in my comment on the post which you can read over on the Irish Times Politics blog.
In other words, their recommended cuts were in addition to the suspension of bonuses, which they recommended re-introducing at some point.
Fourth, it appears that senior civil servants are the only group in Irish society that get to count earlier cuts as part of their current cuts. For instance, the cuts to social welfare payments announced in the budget are in addition to the 2% cut related to the elimination of the Christmas bonus. Would the government consider changing its cuts in social welfare rates to take account of this?
Essentially, senior civil servants will get tiny – or no – pay cuts while all others will be hit for up to 7%.
Also, Suzy has a great round-up of the pre-Christmas newsdumps, and there were a few this year.
If you haven’t read Gav’s post on Fingleton, Irish Nationwide and the wider context to the McCreevy loans, please do so now.
Marc Lynch (who formerly blogged under the name Abu Aardvark) of Foreign Policy writes about media coverage this week in the Arab world. He says, in relation to the failed bombing of a US-bound plane that “whether it’s Al Qaeda or not, nobody in the Arab media cares“. Lynch goes on to say the main story in the Arab world at the moment is about Gaza, which we’ve heard relatively little about in the West.
The Arab media’s indifference to the [aviation] story speaks to a vitally important trend. Al-Qaeda’s attempted acts of terrorism simply no longer carry the kind of persuasive political force with mass Arab or Muslim publics which they may have commanded in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. Even as the microscopically small radicalized and mobilized base continues to plot and even to thrive in its isolated pockets, it has largely lost its ability to break out into mainstream public appeal.
And that’s all I’ve got time for this week, am knackered, have work to do, not like there’s many reading blogs this week anyway. Hope you had a good Christmas, as a late night Irish newscaster once said live on air; “good night… to both of you.”