Archive | January, 2009

Public Alert: Gardai Concern For Missing Cork Woman Increased

31 Jan

By J. P. Anderson:

MORE THAN 40 gardaí combed an area of west Cork yesterday amid mounting concern about the disappearance of 60-year-old Anne Corcoran, who has been missing in suspicious circumstances from her home in Kilbrittain for nearly a fortnight.

Locals and gardaí in Kilbrittain have become increasingly concerned for the welfare of Mrs Corcoran, who has lived alone at her farmhouse at Maulnaskimlehane in the town since the death of her husband Jerry two years ago.

She has not been seen since January 16th. It is understood she called a friend on her mobile phone on the 19th but her phone has not been used since then.

Mrs Corcoran’s green Peugeot 206 was found on Wednesday in the Oldchapel area of Bandon, Co Cork. The car was being forensically examined in Dublin yesterday.

It is understood the area where the car was found would be “completely alien” to Mrs Corcoran and it would not have been normal for her to park there.

Meanwhile, gardaí were contacted on Thursday night by a member of the public who claimed to have seen Mrs Corcoran’s car near Bandon Bridge School towards the end of last week.

Searches were being conducted yesterday near Oldchapel and on land at Carey’s Cross in Kilbrittain near Mrs Corcoran’s farm.

Insp Brendan Fogarty, who is leading the Garda investigation into the disappearance, yesterday appealed to anyone who may have information on the case to come forward.

“Today we are concentrating on a wooded area. It would be known locally as Timoleague Road in Oldchapel. Our Garda search team are actively searching that area. My appeal today would be in relation to Anne’s car.

“Did anybody perhaps that visited Bandon Bridge School last week, either dropping off children or collecting children, would they have seen a car similar to this car parked close by?”

Insp Fogarty also appealed to the area’s farmers to check their lands and their outhouses.

He described as “fabulous” the public response and assistance in relation to the case. He said any information, however trivial, was welcome in relation to Mrs Corcoran’s possible whereabouts.

Insp Fogarty said Mrs Corcoran was a “very quiet lady” who was known and respected in the area.

The last positive sighting of the missing woman was on Friday, January 16th in a shop in Bandon. There have been a number of reported sightings of her since then which gardaí are currently trying to confirm.

It is understood they have certain information which has led them to conclude that the disappearance of Mrs Corcoran is more significant than a regular missing person’s case.

However, this information is not being disclosed for operational reasons.

Mrs Corcoran’s house at Maulnaskimlehane in Kilbrittain has been sealed off and is being searched. There was no sign of a break-in or a disturbance at the widow’s house and none of her personal items are missing.

Detectives have confirmed that Mrs Corcoran was not at home on January 22nd when a workman came to carry out some repair work at her farmhouse and found her two dogs locked in the house. She would normally leave them at a kennels facility if she was going away. She also generally informed friends of any upcoming plans.

Mrs Corcoran is described as being about 1.5m (5ft) in height, of slim build, weighing about 51kg (8-stone) with brown wavy hair and wearing slimline glasses.

Gardaí are appealing to anybody with any information regarding the missing woman’s whereabouts to contact them at Bandon Garda station on 023-52200.

UPDATE:

SOMEBODY may have driven the car belonging to a 60-year-old Co Cork widow after she disappeared in suspicious circumstances.
It’s one of the theories gardaí are looking at as the search continues for Anne Corcoran from Kilbrittain.
Her green Peugeot 206, registration 01 C 4479, was discovered abandoned at Old Chapel, less than a mile from Bandon, at noon last Wednesday.
However, gardaí believe the same car was parked outside Bandon Bridge national school between Tuesday, January 20 and the following Saturday, January 24.

It was then driven, probably over that weekend, to Old Chapel and parked near a river on the Timoleague Road. It is possible that whoever drove it there then walked back into Bandon.
Gardaí are appealing for anybody who saw the car being moved from outside the national school, or parked at Old Chapel to contact them as they may possess vital information.
The widow has not been seen since January 16, when she was positively identified from CCTV footage entering a shop in Bandon.
Ms Corcoran’s disappearance has baffled gardaí because she was a very organised person. If she was going away she would contact her local gardaí and would not have left her two dogs alone in the house for so long.
In addition, nothing is missing from her home which would indicate she was going away.
Gardaí continued searching for the widow yesterday. They concentrated their efforts at woodland about half a mile from where the car was found. They also searched gardens and the road back into Bandon.
Further searches continued around the isolated farm she owns and in the surrounding neighbourhood.
“We are getting more and more concerned for her welfare,” Inspector Brendan Fogarty said.
He appealed for farmers in the area to check their land and outhouses.
Insp Fogarty said gardaí had received good co-operation from the public, but were still appealing for anybody who might have seen the car to come forward.
“We’d like to speak to anybody who dropped their children at Bandon Bridge national school and who might have seen the car. We are also anxious to speak to anybody who may have seen Ms Corcoran or somebody else in the vehicle either there or at Old Chapel,” the inspector said.
Councillor Kevin Murphy said Ms Corcoran was a constituent of his and her disappearance had left people living in Kilbrittain in a state of shock.
“She wouldn’t be the kind of woman who would just take off. I hope there is a positive outcome to this, but every hour that goes by makes that more and more unlikely,” Mr Murphy said.
Anybody with information is asked to contact Bandon Garda Station at 023-52200.

County Meath: Gardai Recover Stolen Guns And Seize Drugs

31 Jan

By J. P. Anderson:

There has been a significant arms seizure by gardaí in Co Meath.

Around thirteen guns and a quantity of drugs were recovered by gardaí from Navan in a planned operation.

Gardaí have confirmed that the guns found in Navan yesterday were stolen from an arms dealer in Carrick-on-Suir earlier this month

Cannabis resin with a total value estimated at around €80,000 were also recovered.

Also:

Gardaí have arrested one man and two women after drugs with an estimated street value of €1.1m were seized in Dublin.

The arrests followed the search of a car in Cabinteely and a subsequent follow up search in an Apartment in Killiney Hill.

In the course of the search of the apartment Gardaí seized what are believed to be Ecstasy tablets with an estimated street value of €1m, in addition to quantities of cocaine and cannabis resin with a combined estimated street value of €100,000.

A 20-year-old female and a 23-year-old male are being detained in Dundrum Garda Station and a 61-year-old woman is being detained at Blackrock Station.

Salty Soups ‘Increase Cancer Risk’

31 Jan

By J. P. Anderson:

People who regularly eat soup with a high salt content could be increasing their risk of stomach

cancer, an expert said.

A single serving of some leading brand soups contains half the recommended daily maximum intake of salt, said Dr Rachel Thompson, science programme manager for the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF).

Soups are one of the "worst culprits" for hidden salt, she said, and recommended people make their own low-salt versions.

Salt is known to increase blood pressure and the risk of stroke and

heart disease, but scientists also believe it is a cause of stomach cancer.

Dr Thompson said that, apart from watching the salt content in soups, another way to keep salt levels down was to reduce intake of salt-preserved foods, such as hams and sausages, as well as pizza, some ready meals and breakfast cereals.

The recommended intake of salt for adults is no more than 6g a day, although people currently consume an average of 8.6g daily.

Dr Thompson said: "Soups are one of the worst culprits for hidden salt. Some brands of soup have as much as half the recommended daily intake per serving. Fresh vegetable-based soups tend to have less salt than tinned cream-based soups that include bacon or ham, but even some of the healthier brands of vegetable soups still contain over a third of our recommended daily intake. This is why it’s so important for people to always check the labels of products."

A spokesman for the Salt Association, which represents the industry, said a report by leading toxicological experts had found no grounds for believing that a reduction in the average daily salt intake in the Western diet would have any effect on the risk of developing any form of cancer.

He said the target of 6g a day was "not based on any sound science" and some studies were showing that reducing salt may be increasing the risk of heart disease.

He added: "We have repeatedly asked the Food Standards Agency to mount a full, long-term study to check the health outcomes of salt reduction. They have refused to do so. This means that the UK health policy is based on questionable science which may actually be risking the lives of significant sections of the population."

N. Ireland. Coleraine: Teen Chased By Gang Killed By Train

31 Jan

By J. P. Anderson:

A teenage boy has been killed by a train after trying to escape from a gang of youths.

Fifteen year old Ryan Quinn from Coleraine,

Northern Ireland was struck as he dashed across the tracks. He died at the scene.

It is understood that shortly before the incident he was being chased by a group of teenagers following an altercation in a licensed premises.

The train line between Portstewart to Portrush remains closed as examinations are carried out.

A spokeswoman for train operator Translink said the company was assisting the police with the investigation.

"We can confirm there was an incident on the Derry line at approximately 11pm where a young man died," she said.

"We extend our sympathies and condolences to the young man’s family."

Police have appealed for witnesses to come forward.

The SDLP Assembly member for the area John Dallat described the incident as "a tragedy almost beyond belief".

"It seems the boy was fleeing some kind of incident, escaping along a narrow lane that leads up to the Portrush-Coleraine railway.

"My deepest sympathy goes to the family of the young boy. I pray that they may have the strength to cope with what happened."

Portstewart councillor Bernard Fitzpatrick said the community was reeling after the tragedy.

"For this young man to lose his life in this way is absolutely tragic," he said.

Wexford: Three Held After Drugs Seizure

30 Jan

By J. P. Anderson:

An estimated €500,000 worth of drugs has been seized in Bridgetown, Co Wexford.

Gardaí made the discovery when they carried out a raid at two houses in Mulrankin in Bridgetown shortly after 8.30am this morning.

A large quantity of ecstasy, amphetamines, cannabis, cocaine and Viagra were discovered.

Two men and a woman have been arrested and are currently being detained in Wexford town and New Ross garda stations.

USA Seeks Extradition Of Alleged Master Forger Sean Garland 75

30 Jan

By J. P. Anderson:

UPDATE:

The former president of the Workers’ Party was arrested in Dublin today. In connection with a long-running extradition case.

Seán Garland (74), a former leader of the Official IRA, was arrested on foot of an extradition warrant from the US outside the Workers’ Party head office in Mountjoy Square, Dublin, this morning.

He was remanded to Cloverhill Prison and is expected to appear in court again on Wednesday.

Mr Garland faces possible extradition to the US over an alleged role in counterfeiting large quantities of $100 notes which were distributed around the world.

The party’s current president Michael Finnegan described the arrest of Mr Garland as outrageous and said Mr Garland had previously been in touch with gardaí through his legal representatives and made it clear that he was willing and able to speak to them at any time.

"There was no need to arrest Seán Garland. He has been in exceptionally bad health over the past months, he had a serious operation because he developed cancer of the bowel and Seán is also a diabetic, so to do this at this time is unbelievable," said Mr Finnegan.

A previous indictment handed down by a US grand jury in May 2005 alleged that since the early 1990s

Mr Garland and others engaged in buying and transporting large quantities of high-quality, counterfeit $100 notes that were passed on as genuine or resold.

Mr Garland, who stepped down as president of the Workers’ Party last year due to ill health, has previously said he would fight any attempt at extradition to the United States through the Irish courts.

Senator Eoghan Harris also condemned the arrest of Sean Garland.

Speaking to The Irish Times he said: “Although there are deep and bitter divisions between myself and Seán Garland, that go back to my resignation from the Workers Party in 1989, I deplore the singling-out of an old, sick republican, who led the Official IRA to ceasefire in 1972 and who is charged with a major, but bloodless, crime of alleged forgery,” he said.

"It is baffling that in the week in which the Eames-Bradley report effectively puts a full stop to opening the wounds of the past, that Sean Garland should be singled out for this unique persecution.”

Former Workers’ Party President Sean Garland has appeared in court in Dublin after US authorities sought his extradition on alleged counterfeiting charges.

The 74-year-old from Dublin was arrested this afternoon on foot of an extradition warrant from the US.

Mr Garland was remanded in custody, pending a bail application.

A garda detective told the High Court that Mr Garland was arrested at Mountjoy Square North in Dublin and shown the warrant for his arrest.

Counsel for Mr Garland told the court that his client has medical problems. Mr Garland will be detained in Cloverhill Prison and will appear in court again on Wednesday.

The Workers’ Party has described Mr Garland’s arrest as ‘politically motivated’.

Speaking outside the court, party spokesperson Malachy Steenson said the extradition application was an attempt by the authorities to divert attention from the country’s economic crisis.

Previous related background articles:

The American $100 dollar bill: Is the CIA printing fake currency to fund its covert operations?

The American secret service, the CIA, could be responsible for manufacturing the nearly-perfect counterfeit 50 and 100-dollar-notes that Washington pins on the terror regime of North Korea. The charge comes after an extensive investigation in Europe and Asia by the Sunday edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeinen Sonntagszeitung of Frankfurt, and after interviews with counterfeit money experts and leading representatives of the high-security publishing industry.

The U.S.-dollar forgeries designated "Supernotes," which are so good that even specialists are unable to distinguish them from genuine notes, have circulated for almost two decades without a reliable identification of the culprits. Because of their extraordinary quality, experts assume that some country must be behind the enterprise.

The administration of George W. Bush officially accused Pyongyang of the deed in the autumn of 2005, derailing Six-Party Talks on Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program. Since then, tensions on the Korean Peninsula have increased considerably. America charges that North Korea is financing its rocket and nuclear weapons program with the counterfeit "Supernotes."

North Korea is one of the world’s poorest nations and lacks the technological capability to produce notes of such high quality. According to the Frankfurter Allgemeinen Sonntagszeitung, North Korea is at present unable to even produce the won [the North Korean currency]. The sources, which do not wish to be identified, allege that the CIA prints the falsified "Supernotes" at a secret facility near Washington to fund covert operations without Congressional oversight

Also:

It is making a point of contention that North Korea counterfeits U.S dollar bills and circulates them.
Some South Koreans suspect that the North Korean forgery issue is a part of an American strategy of blockades against North Korea because the time that the U.S. raises an issue about the forgery is when relations between South and North Korea are coming towards friendship. On the 15th of this month, through an editorial comment of Chosun Central News Agency, North Korea claimed, "Our Republic has never counterfeited money, nor been involved with any illegal business."
It is a rude insult for North Korea to deny her forgery because doing so means that North Korea treats the international societies as idiots. It has occurred several times that people with North Korean diplomatic passports were caught exchanging counterfeit money or passing immigration control booths with it. Some of them were sentenced as guilty and others are in the process of trials. Hence North Korean forgery is too obvious to conceal from international societies.
Those South Koreans who suspect the U.S. and international societies to have made up a North Korean forgery story must reconsider their behaviour because they seem to have rushed too hastily for the protection of North Korea.
It might be shameful to be the same race as North Korea because North Korea commits international crimes, but that does not permit us to cover up the crimes. In fact, since the crimes were committed by the North Korean regime and not by the North Korean people, we must regain our self-respect as Koreans by revealing the crimes and exterminating them.
The DailyNK is going to make a series of 4 articles about stories on North Korean forgery and its circulation.
Forgeries were so fine that no counterfeit-bill detector could detect them
In July, 1994, the Macanese government made a unique decision. It banned circulating 100 U.S. dollar bills with the printed year of issue being 1990.
Many tourists experienced trouble because of the ban. Many complained that their payment had been refused because they had used 100 dollar bills with the printed year of 1990. This happened in many places such as stores, hotels, casinos, and so on.
Why did the tourist city, where casinos and entertainment are the major sources of income, and where some businesses which are considered to be decadent and illegal in other countries are allowed, take such deadly measures?
The reason is that the Macanese police had arrested two Macanese and 16 North Koreans a few days before the ban on the charge of exchanging counterfeit U.S. dollar bills worth 250 thousand U.S. dollars in Banko Delta Asia. Banko Delta Asia is the bank which has been suspected to be the medium through which North Korea launders its illegal money. This bank suspended business with the North recently.
The Macanese police seized and searched 12 places of the offices and equipment of Chokwang Trade Co., the biggest North Korean trade company, and found a considerable number of forgeries. The U.S. dispatched police officers specializing in forgery to Macao to investigate the locale.
Surprised at the technique of forgery.
The paper of the forgeries was no different from that of the genuine bills. Holding the forgery up to the light, they could see ‘USA-100’ printed exactly like that of the genuine bill. The counterfeit-bill detector did not react accordingly when the bill was placed in it. They said they had never seen any counterfeit ring be able to make such fine fake bills.
More surprised at their boldness.
It is usual to mix up fake bills with genuine ones when one lauders them. However, North Koreans tried to exchange several bundles of fake bills with a 250 thousand U.S. dollar value without any genuine bills added to them. Thus, it seems that they were very confident of their technique. Moreover, it is not yet known how much face value of fake bills has been circulated these days.
Super Notes were found in the South Korean movement of collecting U.S. dollars
All the counterfeit bills have in common the printed year of 1990 and the face value of 100 U.S. dollars. That’s why the Macanese government banned 100 U.S. dollar bills with the printed year of 1990.
That’s why the world’s finest counterfeit bill is called the ‘Super Note.’ Because Super Note was made in North Korea, or because the serial number begins with K, it is also called Super-K.
Super Notes have been found all around the world. The counterfeit U.S. dollar bills passed or carried by North Korean diplomats or agents disguised as diplomats who were arrested are all Super Notes. These North Koreans have been caught in many places in the world such as Vietnam, Thailand, Mongolia, Rumania, and so on.
It is assumed that many more Super Notes are circulating than those that were confiscated. In fact, eight or nine out of ten fake 100 U.S. dollar bills found around the world are Super Notes. Super Notes are much trouble to the U.S. because the U.S. dollar is used as the key money in the world.
One episode vividly illustrates how wide Super Notes have spread.
South Koreans launched a large-scale movement of collecting U.S. dollars facing relief financing from the International Monetary Fund during late 1997 to early 1998. The movement encouraged people to collect U.S. dollar bills or coins that they had left carelessly and to exchange them in order to help the country overcome the difficult situation.
The financial organizations were too hurried to check whether there were counterfeit bills before sending the money to overseas financial organizations. Afterwards, counterfeit bills of the value of 140 to 200 thousand dollars returned. Among them, 30 to 40 thousand dollars were comprised of Super Notes. That’s evidence that a considerable number of Super Notes had flown into the South.

(Editor’s note: For more information search under/ $100 dollar bill forgeries/USA).

British Jobs For British Workers Protest Against Foreign Workers Spreads

30 Jan

By J. P. Anderson:

Police have been called to a series of wildcat strikes by energy workers as a protest about jobs being given to foreign workers spreads.

There are demonstrations after a decision to bring in hundreds of Italian and Portuguese contractors to work on a new £200 million plant at the giant Lindsey Oil Refinery at North Killingholme, North Lincolnshire.

The refinery dispute erupted after the company Total put the contract to build the new unit, which will allow the refinery to process crude oil with a higher sulphur content, out to tender and five UK firms and two European contractors bid for the work.

It was awarded to Italian company Irem on the basis that it was supplying its own permanent workforce. It is understood 100 Italian and Portuguese workers are on the site and they are expected to be joined by 300 more next month.

Hundreds of people are now protesting at the plant after contractors walked out on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the action has spread to other parts of the UK with more than 700 workers on strike at the giant Grangemouth oil refinery in Scotland.

And police were called to the Aberthaw power station near Barry in Wales after workers staged a protest, while around 400 are demonstrating at the Wilton refinery near Redcar in Teesside where workers are picketing.

In Warrington, Cheshire, workers employed by a sub-contractor at the Fiddlers Ferry power station also went on strike this morning. Scottish and Southern

Energy, which owns the site, said the action has not affected its operations.

In Lincolnshire, several hundred protesters gathered in a car park opposite the sprawling Lindsey refinery. Many are holding placards and banners expressing their anger at the situation.

One said "Right to Work UK Workers", while another banner read "In the wise words of Gordon Brown UK Jobs for British Workers".

Once assembled in the car park, the demonstrators were addressed by union leaders, who called on them to stand together in their protest. In heated exchanges, some protesters called on their colleagues to march on Downing Street to protest at the situation.

Bobby Buirds, a regional officer for the union Unite in Scotland, said the workers at Grangemouth were striking to protect British jobs.

"The argument is not against foreign workers, it’s against foreign companies discriminating against British labour.

"If the job of these mechanical contractors at INEOS finishes and they try and get jobs down south, the jobs are already occupied by foreign labour and their opportunities are decreasing.

"This is a fight for work. It is a fight for the right to work in our own country. It is not a racist argument at all."

Unions will hold another meeting of Scottish shop stewards in Glasgow on Friday afternoon, and a further meeting on Monday, he said.

"They are picketing four gates around the refinery. The protest is peaceful and officers are monitoring the situation."

UPDATE:

Thousands of workers across Britain have gone on strike as anger grows over the use of foreign contractors to build a new £200m oil plant.

They include 1,000 staff at the South Hook Liquified Natural Gas terminal at Milford Haven in South Wales.

First to walk out were 700 mechanical contractors who work for BP and INEOS at Grangemouth oil refinery in Scotland.

The Unite union said mechanical contractors at six other Scottish sites were also taking industrial action.

Around 500 walked out at Scottish Power’s Longannet power station, and just over 100 at its Cockenzie power station.

Hundreds more downed tools at British

Energy

‘s Torness facility and at the Shell St Fergus gas processing facility in Aberdeenshire.

ExxonMobil’s petrochemicals plant at Mossmoran and the Shell plant at Mossmoran were also hit.

Elsewhere, some 400 workers at a refinery in Wilton near Redcar, Teesside, stopped work, along with staff at the Fiddlers Ferry power station near Warrington.

Earlier police were called to Aberthaw power station near Barry after a protest in support of the Grangemouth workers was staged there.

The wildcat strikes are over a decision to bring in 100s of Italian and Portuguese contractors to work on a new £200m plant at the Lindsey oil refinery in North Lincolnshire.

Unions argue the jobs should have gone to British workers, rather than the permanent specialist workforce employed by IREM, the firm awarded the contract.

Demonstrations have continued outside the refinery after the walkout and protests by hundreds of construction workers earlier in the week.

Unite union regional officer Bernard McAuley described the decision to use foreign workers at Lindsey, in North Killingholme, as "a total mockery".

"There are men here whose fathers and uncles have worked at this refinery, built this refinery from scratch. It’s outrageous," he said.

Total, which owns the Lindsey refinery, said the contract for the new HDS-3 plant was awarded to Italian-based IREM after a tendering process.

In a statement, it said: "We recognise the concerns of contractors but it is important to note that there will be no direct redundancies as a result of this contract being awarded to IREM."

The dispute is a potentially embarassing one for

Prime Minister Gordon Brown after he controversially pledged to create "British jobs for British workers".

But a Downing Street spokesman said the IREM contract had been agreed "some time ago when there was a shortage of skilled labour in the construction sector in the UK".