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Ireland sees 42% more deaths in past two months compared to pre-COVID levels

© shutterstock
The number of deaths occurring in Ireland is now significantly higher than the number the country experienced both before and during the spread of COVID-19, prompting opposition politicians to call for a full investigation into the cause.

Figures obtained on RIP.ie and analyzed by the mainstream Irish Examiner show deaths were 42% higher from 1 December 2022 to 25 January 2023 (9,718 deaths) compared to the 8 weeks to 25 January 2019 (6,802 deaths).

Deaths have risen 20% compared to the same period a year ago, while they are 19% higher than figures from that period two years ago when Ireland was entering another lockdown before Christmas 2020 and rolling out its vaccination program in early 2021.

The leader of opposition party Aontú told Newstalk Breakfast the figures indicate "something very, very serious that is happening".


Nicola Bulley: Missing mother fell in river, police believe

© police handout
Nicola Bulley vanished walking her dog in the village of St. Michael's on Wyre
Police investigating the disappearance of mother-of-two Nicola Bulley believe she fell into a river.

The 45-year-old was last seen next to the River Wyre in St Michael's on Wyre, Lancashire, on a dog walk a week ago. A major search for Ms Bulley continues, but no trace of her has been found.

Lancashire Police said its "main working hypothesis" was that she fell into the River Wyre and this was "not suspicious but a tragic case of a missing person".

Ms Bulley, a mortgage adviser from Inskip, Lancashire, vanished while walking her dog after dropping off her daughters, aged six and nine, at school on 27 January.

Supt Sally Riley said the last confirmed sighting of Ms Bulley was at 09:10 GMT when she was seen on the upper field. Officers were alerted to her disappearance when her spaniel, Willow, was found running loose off Garstang Road about 25 minutes after she was last seen by another dog walker.

At 09:20 police believe her phone was on a bench while connected to a work Teams meeting, which ended 10 minutes later. Detectives believe Ms Bulley vanished in that 10-minute window.

Comment: The mysterious disappearance of Ms Bulley is reminiscent of 'Missing 411' case profiles.


Revision to equality act in the UK may mean pubs have to hire 'banter bouncers'

you're barred
A revision to the Equality Act 2010 contained in a Private Members' Bill being backed by the Government will make employers liable for harassment of their employees by third parties. The Sun has more.
Pub bosses fear they could have to hire "banter bouncers" to police boozy chats under proposed laws.

Rules to protect workers from being harassed may give them the right to sue if jokes or comments they hear offend them.

An update to the Equalities Act aims to stop people getting abused at work.


Migrants ditch 'crime-ridden' NYC for Canada using taxpayer-funded bus tickets

migrants new york city leave for canada
© Dennis A. Clark
Migrants are taking off for Canada after getting fed up with New York accommodations.
Disgruntled migrants fed up with the Big Apple's crime and grime are taking off to the Great White North — on bus rides paid for by New York taxpayers, The Post has learned.

National Guard soldiers have been helping distribute tickets at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan to migrants who want to head upstate before crossing into Canada, several migrants said.

Venezuelan native Raymond Peña and his family arrived at a gas station bus stop in Plattsburgh, NY — about 20 miles south of the Canadian border — at 4 a.m. Sunday.

"The military gave me and my family free bus tickets," Peña said. "I am going to Canada for a better quality of life for my family."

A National Guard source confirmed that soldiers at the bus terminal were directing migrants to workers who hand out the free tickets.


About that balloon: Montana authorities address 'massive explosion' rumors in sky where Chinese 'spy balloon' was spotted

chinese spy balloon

The alleged 'Chinese spy balloon"; really a meteorological research unit blown off course.
Montana officials have issued a statement saying that reports of a "massive explosion" taking place in the sky near where a Chinese spy balloon was spotted are inaccurate after a video went viral on social media purporting to show several blasts in the sky over Billings and what could be debris falling to the ground.

Two explosions and a trail of smoke in the sky over Billings Montana, where the balloon had been flying over the region, were captured on camera on Friday.

Dolly Moore, who shot the video and shared it on Twitter, said she saw a jet zooming by "so fast" followed by explosions.

Comment: Interestingly, another tweet purporting to show a view of the smoke trail has been deleted. Why would that happen?

People 2

Not satire! Irish Defence Forces to undergo training in gender and diversity bias after report raised concerns about 'masculine culture'

irish defence forces
Every member of the Defence Forces is to undergo training in gender, diversity and unconscious bias under a new programme .

The military has put out a tender for online and in-person training programmes for roughly 8,000 staff after a report last year raised concerns about a masculine culture within the Defence Forces.

This will include bespoke programmes within military settings in locations around the country.

Comment: See also:


Chinese spy balloons were in US airspace three times during Trump administration

chinese spy balloon

The alleged 'Chinese spy balloon"; really a meteorological research unit blown off course.
Several former Trump national security officials say they were never briefed on Chinese balloons in US airspace.

In the wake of a Chinese spy balloon entering US airspace this week, a senior defence official is now saying Chinese spy balloons previously entered US airspace three times during Donald Trump's presidency,

This comes as Mr Trump and other Republicans have rejected such assertions, attempting to blame the incursions on Presidents Joe Biden and Barack Obama.

Comment: This whole situation is absolutely ridiculous. The idea that the Chinese would send balloons to spy on the US is nonsense on its face. What could a balloon show that satellite's couldn't? Why use a balloon, visible to the naked eye and very difficult to control, to try to covertly gather intelligence? The Chinese explanation, that this was a private enterprise balloon used for recording weather which had blown off-course, has a very high probability of being true.

See also:

Green Light

Russia's LNG production hits record high

© Reuters / Olga Maltseva
FILE PHOTO: A new Russian Arctic LNG tanker Christophe de Margerie. The country has been ramping up output despite Western sanctions, official statistics show.
Production of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Russia increased by 8.1% last year to a record 32.5 million tons, the Federal Statistics Service Rosstat reported on Wednesday.

Data showed that in December the figure was down by 4.8% compared to the same month in 2021, at 2.8 million tons. It was 0.4% higher than in November 2022.

According to the report, 11.5 million tons of LNG was produced at the plant of the Sakhalin-2 project.

Comment: Evidently the only impact sanctions are having is hastening the demise of the Western empire: Indian refiners ditch dollar to pay for Russian oil in UAE dirhams

Dollar Gold

Spanish authorities have ordered the arrest of three Swiss bankers, one from the Rothschild dynasty, for defrauding the Spanish treasury of 40 million

audiencia niacional
Spanish authorities have ordered the arrest of three Swiss bankers, one of them from the Rothschild dynasty, for defrauding the Spanish Treasury of 40 million.

A Rothschild?! Let's see if they manage to get him behind bars!


U.S. 50-car train derailment in Ohio causes massive fire, evacuations

Train fire is seen from her farm in East Palestine, Ohio, Friday, Feb. 3, 2023.
In this photo provided by Melissa Smith, a train fire is seen from her farm in East Palestine, Ohio, Friday, Feb. 3, 2023. A train derailment and resulting large fire prompted an evacuation order in the Ohio village near the Pennsylvania state line on Friday night, covering the area in billows of smoke lit orange by the flames below.
A train derailment and resulting large fire prompted an evacuation order in an Ohio village near the Pennsylvania state line on Friday night, covering the area in billows of smoke lit orange by the flames below.

About 50 cars derailed in East Palestine as a train was carrying a variety of freight from Madison, Illinois, to Conway, Pennsylvania, rail operator Norfolk Southern said in a statement Saturday. There was no immediate information about what caused the derailment. No injuries were reported.

In a press conference on Saturday, the National Transportation Safety Board said investigators have not yet been able to enter the accident site due to active fire and hazardous materials. First responders found evidence of one of the train cars releasing vinyl chloride, NTSB member Michael Graham said at the press conference.

Vinyl chloride is used to make the polyvinyl chloride hard plastic resin used in a variety of plastic products, including pipes, wires and packaging materials. Vinyl chloride is associated with an increased risk of a rare form of liver cancer and other cancers, according to the federal government's National Cancer Institute. There were other hazardous materials on the trains that still needed to be identified, said the NTSB. Ruben Payan, who has been at the NTSB for 25 years, will lead the investigation.

Comment: See also: