News Ireland daily BLOG by Donie

Monday 3rd. April 2017

Major broadband providers ordered to block illegal streaming sites

Major film and TV studios say up to 1.3 million users here may be involved in illegally accessing their output

Image result for Broadband providers ordered to block illegal streaming sites  Image result for Broadband providers ordered to block illegal streaming sites

Six major film and TV studios have secured injunctions directing internet service providers to block access to websites involved in illegal streaming or downloading of films and TV shows.

Mr Justice Brian Cregan made the orders against nine internet service providers after saying it was “clear” from evidence before the court breaches of the studios’ copyright had “manifestly occurred.”

The orders would not amount to a breach of lawful use of the internet and were not disproportionate, said the judge.

Their proceedings were brought against a number of ISPs – Eircom, Sky Ireland, Vodafone Ireland, Virgin Media Ireland, Three Ireland, Digiweb, Imagine Telecommunications and Magnet Networks.

None opposed the application for the injunctions and the court heard they had adopted a neutral stance.

The studios, all members of the Motion Picture Association, sought the orders on grounds including up to 1.3 million users here may be involved in illegally accessing their films via various websites.

  • Irish film industry lauds judgment blocking piracy websites
  • Online content: Studios’ battle with streaming services heats up
  • Music industry shows movie makers the way with illegal downloads

Represented by Jonathan Newman SC, the companies argued digital piracy is costing the studios hundreds of millions annually and, according to recent research, led to the loss of 500 jobs here in 2015 and €320 million in lost revenues.

The plaintiffs are Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Bros Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, Disney Enterprises, Universal Studios, Sony Pictures Television and Columbia Pictures. Their case was supported by independent distributors and film-makers in Ireland.

Disable access ???????

In a ruling on Monday evening, Mr Justice Cregan granted orders requiring the ISPs to block or disable access by subscribers to a number of websites, known as “streaming” websites, including movie4k.to, primewire.ag and onwatchseries.to.

There was no opposition to the orders but the court was asked to deal with issues raised by Eir.

Eir said it was prepared to pay the cost involved in dealing with the relevant websites to date but was concerned about the cost implications if it had to deal with a large number of these sites into the future.

It asked the court to put a cap on the number of notifications per month, which the movie companies could make directing the ISPs to block websites.

Conor McDonnell, solicitor for Eir, said it was suggesting a cap of perhaps 50 notifications per month but the movie companies were opposed to any cap.

The judge said there should be no cap on the amount of notifications for the time being.

The judge welcomed that Eir and the movie studios had resolved another outstanding issue in relation to the temporary blocking of certain websites.

American families desperate to flee to Canada from Donald Trump’s power grasp

Image result for American families desperate to flee to Canada from Donald Trump's power grasp  Image result for fleeing families to Canada

The number of people trying to cross the US border into Canada has increased dramatically since Donald Trump came to power.

At the end of a lonely country road in upstate New York, a taxi pulls up.

Five people get out and stand uncertainly in the freezing rain – two men from Yemen, a woman from Eritrea and her two small boys.

They’ve come to flee America through its northern border, in to Canada.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police waiting on the other side of the snowy ditch tell them they will be arrested if they cross at this unofficial border point.

They know this, but it is still scary to hear and the group pauses, just a few feet from the border.

One man is starting to shiver in the cold? and another explains that his visa has expired and he cannot go back to his war-torn country.

“Can you help us, please?” asks the woman as she tries to hold both her children to stop them standing in the snow, but they are wriggling and she lets one go.

He is giggling and playing next to abandoned luggage and a baby stroller from previous crossings as his mother calculates if this is going to be worth the risk.

Suddenly an officer offers the information she is waiting to hear – she will be arrested, processed, and then if all is well, released to the immigration authorities.

The two men, the woman and her sons take just a few steps over the invisible border and in to police custody, hoping to one day become a refugee in Canada.

The next morning it happens again.

Three smartly dressed men from Turkey say they want to claim asylum in Canada.

They don’t speak much English but they’ve brought carefully written letters explaining why they want to leave.

One is a former history teacher who was arrested and harassed in Turkey and he has been living in the States but now feels he cannot remain here anymore.

Why not stay in America? We asked “Because of Trump” his friend says, shaking his head.

In just this one location these crossings are happening up to five times a day.

Up and down this vast border region thousands have done the same, the numbers increasing sharply since Donald Trump rode to power on a wave of populist anti-immigrant sentiment.

The Canadian Border Services Agency says there was a six-fold increase in refugee claims just at Quebec’s border in February compared to the same month in 2016.

Nationally, the agency says that in January and February 2017 more than 2,500 people crossed over and made asylum claims.

RCMP Corporal Francois Gagnon said: “It’s mostly families … parents with kids, strollers.

“We’re going to use compassion on every occasion, but definitely seeing those families crossing the border, you know it touch somewhere our hearts, you know we are all most of us fathers and mothers, so the approach is going to be softer.

For many, being detained by the Canadian police is actually the aim.

An agreement between the US and Canada prevents people from either country seeking refugee status in the other.

But if they are arrested while crossing illegally, most people are given a criminal background check and then are released and given access to housing, schools, emergency healthcare and work permits while they await immigration hearings.

Immigration lawyer and head of the Canadian Association for Refugee Lawyers Mitchell Goldberg said: “I think it’s decent, I think it’s the right thing to do, I think it’s an investment in the future of Canadians.”

‘A lot of the time’ I am just waiting on a system that may or may not work properly

Colin McSweeney is just one of 4,875 adults nationwide relying on emergency accommodation every night?

Image result for we am just waiting on a system that may or may not work properly  Colin, who told his story on Ireland's Property Crisis (Image via RTE)

An RTÉ documentary highlighting Ireland’s property crisis tonight shone a big light on a homeless Trinity College graduate who is working but still can’t afford somewhere to live.

Colin McSweeney, 45, above left pic began working in the IT sector after completing his degree in Dublin. When that company folded, he found himself not being able to afford his rent and relying on the emergency accommodation system to shelter him.

Although he has a job as a researcher in a library, Colin spends his nights searching for accommodation in different hostels.

The college graduate details the trouble with finding a bed in the city and revealed that he sometimes relies on using the 24-hour Starbucks, which is located at the former Anglo Irish Bank HQ on St Stephen’s Green, to keep him warm through the night.

“This is Dublin’s first and only 24-hour Starbucks. I’ve spent a few nights over the last five months here. I’ve gone an entire evening here on just a cup of tea. The one thing is that if you try and sleep, you’ll be woken up by the security guard. But they’re nice.”

Colin is forced to find ways of keeping warm and safe for a whole night when the emergency accommodation system lets him down.

He spends his days in Pearse Street library waiting for a call back to see whether or not he has somewhere to stay that night.lin receives the phone call telling him he has a bed for the night.

Waiting on the call, he says: “Today revolves around this phone call. At this point, the system should ring me back.

“A lot of the time, you’re just waiting on a system that may or may not work properly and call you back. The longer you wait, the worse it seems.”

Thankfully, just as he was about to give up hope, Colin receives a call telling him he has a bed for the night and he makes his way to Frederick Street. This is what he does every night of the week.

Other people featured on Ireland’s Property Crisis included single mother Selena who is trying to find a new home to rent since her landlord sold her current property. Selena must leave the property by Easter Monday but the new Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) scheme has found nothing suitable in her area.

In another example of people trying to make ends meet, the Sadlier family are paying rent on their house in Donnycarney, Dublin, while also trying to pay off the mortgage on a one-bed apartment they bought ten years ago.

The number of people presenting as homeless in Ireland was at an all-time high in February.

There were 4,875 adults staying in emergency accommodation. As well as this, there are 1,239 families with 2,546 children, according to the latest Housing Department figures.

Bowel cancer and doing this could reduce the risk of this cancer by nearly 50%

Image result for Bowel cancer and doing this could reduce the risk of this cancer by nearly 50% Image result for Bowel cancer and doing this could reduce the risk of this cancer by nearly 50%

Bowel cancer risk is 46% higher in people with the largest waist circumference, compared to those with the smallest.

Bowel cancer: Losing weight is key and could reduce the risk by as much as 50%, experts now claim

Research has revealed women in the UK are not considering their cancer risk when it comes to their weight.

According to 2017 statistics, only just over one in ten UK women – 11 per cent – would be motivated to lose weight to reduce their cancer risk.

Lee Dvorkin, consultant general and colorectal surgeon at BMI Healthcare said: “Factors thought to increase the risk include smoking, obesity and eating excessive red meat, alcohol, animal fat and sugar.”

Obesity and a high body mass index (BMI) ratio are strongly associated with an increased risk of bowel cancer, argue experts.

Additional body fat is classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and World Cancer Research Fund as a cause of bowel cancers.

Bowel cancer: Over half of cancer cases are diagnosed too late

An estimated 13% of bowel cancers in the UK are linked to being overweight or obese.

Maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise is essential to lowering the risk of the second biggest cancer killer.

Bowel cancer can affect both men and women of any age.

It is the fourth most common cancer in the UK, and the second biggest cancer killer, with someone dying of bowel cancer every 30 minutes in the UK.

Factors thought to increase the risk include smoking, obesity

Over half of bowel cancer cases are diagnosed late, but an early diagnosis is crucial.

In line with new 2017 NHS Digital statistics, 58% of women in the UK are currently overweight or obese, and 27% of women are currently inactive – doing less than 30 minutes of exercise a week.

Maintaining a healthy weight is essential not just for overall health but also to help prevent cancer development.

Despite this the latest research, conducted on behalf of BMI Healthcare points to the vast majority of women in the UK not being motivated to lose weight to cut their risk of cancer.

Bowel cancer concern: Maintaining a healthy weight can prevent the cancer developing

The new research conducted independently on behalf of BMI Healthcare as part of its April Be Bowel Cancer Aware campaign reveals that 42% of UK women would feel embarrassed to tell someone if they had irregular bowel habits or blood in their stool, the two key warning signs of the cancer.

The new figures raise the concern that women are putting themselves at increased risk of late diagnosis because they are too embarrassed to tell anyone about their bowel habits.

More than a quarter – 27% – of women have or may have had bowel cancer related symptoms.

However some 40% of women did not discuss their bowel cancer related symptoms with anyone – this includes just talking to a partner, friend or a family member.

Fearless fanged Coral Reef fish’s heroin-like venom could lead to pain killing treatments

Image result for Fearless fanged Coral Reef fish’s heroin-like venom could lead to pain killing treatments   Image result for Fearless fanged Coral Reef fish’s heroin-like venom could lead to pain killing treatments

A fearless fanged coral reef fish that disables its opponents with heroin-like venom could offer hope for the development of new painkillers.

University of Queensland researcher Associate Professor Bryan Fry said the venomous fang blenny was found in the Pacific region, including on the Great Barrier Reef.

“The fish injects other fish with opioid peptides that act like heroin or morphine, inhibiting pain rather than causing it,” he said.

“Its venom is chemically unique????

“The venom causes the bitten fish to become slower in movement and dizzy by acting on their opioid receptors.

“To put that into human terms, opioid peptides would be the last thing an elite Olympic swimmer would use as performance-enhancing substances. They would be more likely to drown than win gold.”

Fang blennies, also known as poison-fang blennies or sabre-tooth blennies, of the genus Meiacanthus, are popular as ornamental tropical aquarium fish.

“Fang blennies are the most interesting fish I’ve ever studied and have one of the most intriguing venoms of them all,” Associate Professor Fry said.

“These fish are fascinating in their behaviour. They fearlessly take on potential predators while also intensively fighting for space with similar sized fish.

“Their secret weapons are two large grooved teeth on the lower jaw that are linked to venom glands.”

Associate Professor Fry said the unique venom meant, the fang blenny was more easily able to escape a predator or defeat a competitor.

“This study is an excellent example of why we need to protect nature,” he said.

“If we lose the Great Barrier Reef, we will lose animals like the fang blenny and its unique venom that could be the source of the next blockbuster pain-killing drug.”

The research, published in Current Biology, was led by Associate Professor Fry, who works with the UQ School of Biological Sciences Venom Evolution Laboratory, and Dr Nicholas Casewell of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in the UK.

It involved researchers from across UQ and from Leiden University and the Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands; Monash University; and the Bangor and Anglia Ruskin universities in the UK.

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