2010-09-14: Sarkozy receives slap on wrist from EU commission over his targetting of Romas, and duplicity


The European Union is considering taking disciplinary action against France over its treatment and expulsion of Roma migrants.

EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding described the actions of the French government as a ‘disgrace’.

She added France had been duplicitous in how it had dealt with the European authorities over the issue.

Ms Reding said she believed proceedings should be brought against France in the coming weeks.

‘I am personally convinced that the commission will have no choice but to initiate infringement proceedings against France,’ Ms Reding said.

She rebuked the French government over a leaked memo which ‘openly contradicted’ assurances given by two ministers to the Commission that specific ethnic groups had not been targeted in France. Continue reading

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Selected journal articles and book chapters

Not reviewed yet. On the recommended book list.
It can be downloaded for free here: http://people.virginia.edu/~cjp/publications.html

[easyreview title=”Selected Journal Articles and Book Chapters, 1995-date
(http://people.virginia.edu/~cjp/publications.html), Dr. Charlotte Patterson” cat1title=”Relevance to Ireland” cat1detail=”It is American based, but a lot of the research is relevant for Irish society, especially if you consider that the approach to homosexuality in Ireland follows patterns similar to the one in the USA.” cat1rating=”5″ cat2title=”Relevance to ‘pink adoptions'” cat2detail=”100% relevant. It is all about the impact of same-gender couples on children.” cat2rating=”5″ cat3title=”Accessibility” cat3detail=”Easy to read.” cat3rating=”4″ cat4title=”Rigor” cat4detail=”Sometimes lacking objectivity, or starting from stereotypes that people in the USA seem to take for granted. As rigorous as sociology can be.” cat4rating=”3″ summary=”Free to download. Gives you a taste of what her books can bring in matter of understanding that if adoptive parents are not just like birth parents, and if same-gender parents are not like mix-gender parents, acknowledging these differences is the key to making sure that the children are not negatively impacted by our choices.”]

Charlotte J. Patterson is a Professor in the Department of Psychology and in the Center for Children, Families, and the Law at the University of Virginia. She is also a faculty member and research scientist at the Fenway Institute’s Center for Population Research in LGBT Health in Boston. Her research focuses on the psychology of sexual orientation, with an emphasis on sexual orientation, human development, and family lives. In the context of her research, Patterson has worked with children, adolescents, couples, and families; she is best known for her studies of child development in the context of lesbian- and gay-parented families.

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2010-09-13: More foreign adoptions likely with new country agreements (Bulgaria, South Africa and Thailand)

Radio interview on Morning Ireland, RTE Radio 1 with Brian O’Callaghan, the chair of the IAA:

Brian O’Callaghan, International Adoption Association, says that negotiations have begun between Ireland and Bulgaria, South Africa and Thailand for adoptions.

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2010-09-13: Irish couples may adopt from three new countries (Bulgaria, South Africa and Thailand)

IRISH COUPLES will be able to adopt children from Bulgaria, South Africa and Thailand through administrative agreements being discussed by the Adoption Board under the new Adoption Act, The Irish Times has learned.

These are the first agreements being sought under the new Act.

This follows a year in which adoptions from Vietnam, the country supplying the largest number of children for adoption into Ireland, were suspended in the light of a critical report on Vietnam’s adoption procedures from Unicef’s international social service. Continue reading

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2010-09-13: State gives private companies €182m to run asylum centres

PRIVATE companies have won contracts worth more than €182m to run asylum seeker accommodation centres, an Irish Independent investigation reveals.

New records show how the slow pace of Ireland’s asylum process has proved a cash cow for a small number of companies who secured major state contracts.

With some asylum cases taking up to six years to finalise, the business of providing applicants with food and shelter has been a lucrative one.

Figures obtained under freedom of information rules reveal for the first time the size of the contracts awarded to individual companies

It has also emerged that at least two businesses involved in providing asylum services have made political donations to Fianna Fail. Continue reading

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2010-09-12: Newborn found in airport rubbish


Also see: http://www.independent.ie/world-news/asia-pacific/airborn-miracle-baby-has-trash-landing-in-bin-bag-2336220.html

Authorities at Manila airport in the Philippines have found a newborn baby in a rubbish bag apparently unloaded from a plane that landed in the city from the Middle East.

Security officials brought the baby boy, who was covered in blood and wrapped in tissue paper, to an airport clinic, where he was examined and fed.

“After he was cleaned, he let off a soft cry,” airport nurse Kate Calvo said. “He was healthy, his vital signs were okay according to our doctors.” Continue reading

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2010-09-12: Implicit Association Test: are you racist?

Take the “Skin-tone”, “Race”, “Asian”, IAT: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/demo/takeatest.html

Then you can try the one about sexuality, and other ones about other minorities.

It is well known that people don’t always ‘speak their minds’, and it is suspected that people don’t always ‘know their minds’. Understanding such divergences is important to scientific psychology.

This web site presents a method that demonstrates the conscious-unconscious divergences much more convincingly than has been possible with previous methods. This new method is called the Implicit Association Test, or IAT for short.

One of the reasons we never use te concept of “race” on this site, is that races do not exist. It a make-pretend concept that has no scientific validity whatsoever.

But racism exists, and we will need to raise our internationally adopted children in the awareness of racism, without giving in into the prejudices that races do exist… because that would mean we agree with the racists on their fundamentally flawed view of the world.

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2010-09-12: Norris leads pack in presidential race

HE was first out of the starting blocks in the race for the Phoenix Park, and according to the results of a Sunday Independent/Quantum Res-earch poll on Ireland’s next president, senator David Norris is blazing a trail ahead of other potential candidates.

Asked who they would like to see sitting in the Aras, 28 per cent of those polled gave Norris — an independent senator and Joycean scholar — the nod over a range of politicians and public figures.

Indeed, according to our survey, Mr Norris has four times the support of former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern. Continue reading

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2010-09-10: Unmarked babies' graves revealed

Almost 220 unmarked graves for forgotten babies who died in a Protestant children’s home have been discovered, it has been claimed.An academic revealed there was a shocking number of infant deaths at the Bethany Home in Rathgar over a 47-year period after he widened his trawl of cemetery records.

On Monday, former residents of the facility, the Bethany Survivors Group, will call on Government ministers to include them in the redress scheme for victims of institutional abuse.

Lecturer Niall Meehan claimed officials ignored high death rates at the home in the 1930s and instead deflected complaints by turning the issue into a religious squabble.

“The state did little or nothing about reported increases in illness and mortality during the 1935 to 1939 period, though it was brought to the attention of the Dept of Local Government and Public Health by its own inspectors,” he said.

“Government knew the facility was insufficient and did nothing concrete to remedy it.”

Bethany Home was a combined children’s home, maternity home and detention centre for female convicts which closed in 1972.

In May, Mr Meehan discovered 40 unmarked Bethany graves at the Mount Jerome Cemetery in Harold’s Cross after consulting documents from the institution and the cemetery. Survivors are campaigning for a monument to remember the babies, who died at an average age of three months to a year.

The Griffith College Dublin lecturer said he since found evidence of another 179 graves for the period 1922 to 1949. More than a third of the total – 86 – died over a five year period from 1935.

The highest mortality rate was recorded in 1936 when 29 babies were buried.

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2010-09-08: Judge Judy (former family court judge)

Judge Judy is frequently dealing with cases involving family disputes, and some of the time adoption, foster care or surrogacy.

Today’s case on CBS Reality was of two people who paid expenses for a surrogate mother who changed her mind. They claimed that some of the expenses were loans, and that she had led them on as she never intended to relinquish the child.

Legally they do not have a foot to stand on. They do not have a claim.

Morally, the judge claims, they should get something.

They end up loosing it all.


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2010-09-05: Allah Akbar gargoyle on the Lyon Cathedral

What connection with pink adoptions? You may ask.

Well, it is a sign of a very intelligent way of living religion, and can be a good model for an internationally adopted child who may be struggling with a birth religion that is too often demonized.



A new gargoyle was put up on the Lyon cathedral, the seat of the Archbishop of Lyon, in honor of Benzizine Ahmed, the Muslim foreman who led the restoration work on the cathedral tower. The gargoyle stands over a sign saying “Allah Akbar” (God is greatest) in both Arabic and French.

” ‘Allah Akbar’, everybody agrees with that! It’s not as if we wrote that Mohammed is our prophet…” says one of the diocese people. Father Cacaud, rector of the cathedral, wouldn’t confirm that agreement was given by the archbishop. The diocese spokespeople said that the builders sometimes take certain liberties outside the sacred area.

Repellin Didier, head architect for historical monuments, says the stonemasons and sculptures of the cathedral have a tradition to portray the people they esteem. Ahmed, who worked for 30 years on the cathedral, is competent and very humble. A quiet man who is appreciated. It’s a beautiful human gesture, says Didier. Continue reading

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2010-09-04: Ugly Betty – Claire's adopted son Tyler (Series 4 story line)


Claire’s son Tyler (Neal Bledsoe) comes to New York to find her. (Serie 4, programme 13)


Claire gets Amanda’s help and tracks down Tyler (Neal Bledsoe), the son she long ago gave up for adoption. (Serie 4, programme 08)


Amanda draws closer to Tyler, convincing Claire to hire him as an in-house model at Mode. (Serie 4, programme 14)

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2010-09-04: Elite paedophile ring that targeted orphans is jailed


TO MOST people, Portugal’s state-run orphanages seemed like a safe haven for thousands of children who had been robbed of their parents. They were called the Casa Pia, or Houses of the Pious.

But for an elite paedophile ring, which included a former ambassador and a prominent television celebrity, Casa Pia orphanages were something entirely different.

They were supermarkets stocked with children to abuse. Yesterday, at the conclusion of the longest trial in Portugal’s history, seven defendants were convicted of using the orphanages to rape and abuse scores of teenage boys in a case that has sent shockwaves through the country’s political elite and raised serious concerns over the efficiency of Portugal’s judiciary. Six of the seven were given jail terms of between five and 18 years. Continue reading

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2010-09-04: Operation Doorsteps: Gardaí smash immigration scam


GARDAI have smashed a lucrative scam in which human traffickers were smuggling illegal immigrants into the State.

The scam involves illegals being put on flights into the country without any documentation. When they are stopped on arrival here, they claim to be minors and are put into the care of the HSE. They later disappear from the HSE hostels after lodging claims for asylum.

Officers from the Garda National Immigration Bureau have been boarding flights in an effort to deter the traffickers as part of Operation Doorstop.

A breakthrough came last month when gardai stopped a Malaysian woman after boarding a Ryanair flight that had landed at Dublin Airport from Madrid.

She was arrested as a suspected trafficker and taken into garda custody.

A Chinese couple, who had flown here without any passports or legal documentation, were refused permission to land as gardai suspected they were adults pretending to be unaccompanied minors.

However, they were later allowed to apply for asylum and remain in the country.

At Blanchardstown District Court yesterday, Chan Chee Gel (40), who has no address in this country, pleaded guilty to smuggling two people into Ireland.

She was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment but 23 weeks of this were suspended.

However, it is understood that the immigration bureau is now making arrangements to deport her to Malaysia.

Detectives are satisfied that the Chinese couple had travelled to Madrid on Japanese passports but that the documents were later destroyed. They had no identity papers when the plane landed in Dublin.

This created difficulties for immigration officers in trying to establish their ages, real identities and addresses.

The arrest is the first major breakthrough in Operation Doorstep, which is investigating what immigration authorities believe is a major scam by trafficking gangs, who charge fees to illegal immigrants and then organise smuggling them into the State as unaccompanied minors without any documentation.

Gardai have suspected for some time that many of those who disappear from HSE care are being manipulated by traffickers and have noticed that a large amount of Chinese have been travelling here from Spain.

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2010-09-04: Criminal Minds – image of adopted children, and alternative families

Drama series following the FBI’s Behavioural Analysis Unit as they attempt to solve crimes through psychological profiling.

A number of cases involve adopted children who are turning criminal in their quest to seeking their identity, their parents, their past, etc.; and resolving their adoption-related neurosis.
It also involves a number of cases surrounding women or couples abducting children, “gypsy” couples abducting children to provide slave wifes to their sons, and a cancer-stricken grieving mother whose husbands abducts and rapes women to provide her with her lost son.


The unsub brings to life a sci-fi book whose author he mistakens for the birth mother who abandoned him as a child.
(Season 2, Episode 8: Empty Planet)


The BAU travels to Denver, Colorado, where they investigate a series of home invasions that end in the murders of entire families. However, the case takes a turn when they begin to suspect that the killers were once-abused children. The foster environment unwittingly breeds future killers.
(Season 3, Episode 4: Children of the Dark)


“Gypsy” couples abduct the daughters of the families they slain, to provide slave wifes to their sons. The abducted girls turn into abductors.
(Season 4, Episode 13: Bloodline)


The team hunts a suspect who impregnates young women and has them give birth before murdering them if they do not provide sons, who are suppose to replace the child that his cancer-dying wife has lost.
(Season 5, Episode 5: Cradle to Grave)

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2010-09-03: President Mary McAleese to make a four day visit to Russia


President Mary McAleese will make a four day visit to Russia next week in a bid to build business links between the countries, it was disclosed today.

During her trip to Moscow and St Petersburg the President and junior minister Billy Kelleher will lead a trade delegation of 30 Irish companies and agencies.

A spokeswoman said a key element of the programme would focus on encouraging trade and business links.

After arriving on Tuesday evening Ms McAleese will make a courtesy call on the Mayor of Moscow, Yury Luzhkov, before addressing an Enterprise Ireland dinner and a business network breakfast the following morning.

On Wednesday the President, who will be accompanied by her husband Dr Martin McAleese, will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

During the day she will also address a Russia-Ireland Forum on Nanotechnology, meet His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church and attend a performance of traditional Irish music and dance hosted by the Irish Ambassador, Philip McDonagh.

Ms McAleese will meet Russian president Dmitry Medvedev in the Kremlin on Thursday before she delivers an address, Ireland and Russia in the 21st Century, at the Diplomatic Academy of Foreign Affairs.

That evening she departs for St Petersburg where she will pay a visit to the Memorial to the Siege of Leningrad.

Among her engagements on Friday the President will attend a lunch hosted by the governor of St Petersburg, Valentina Matvienko, and visit the State Heritage Museum where she will also attend a performance of Irish music and dance to celebrate the strong cultural links between Ireland and Russia.

Before leaving for Dublin on Saturday she will visit Catherine Palace.

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2010-09-03: Travellers’ life expectancy still lags far behind


THE life expectancy for men in the travelling community is just 61 years — the same as it was more than two decades ago, a major report warned yesterday.

This is 15 years less than men in the general population, signalling a widening gap since the last study into the health of the travelling community in 1987, the Department of Health report revealed.

“This is equivalent to the life expectancy of the general population in the 1940s,” according to the all-island study, which also involved researchers from UCD and Northern Ireland.

Life expectancy for female travellers has improved marginally since the late 1980s; they can expect to live until 70. However, this was achieved by the general population in the 1960s.

The stark picture showed that Travellers continue to have higher death rates from all medical conditions, and infant mortality rates are three and a half times the national average.

Up to 400 researchers were recruited from the travelling community to gather the information, and 80pc of the island’s 40,129 Travellers took part.

They found that suicide rates are nearly seven times higher in male Travellers than in the general population.

The head of the School of Public Health in UCD, Prof Cecily Kelleher, said while 40pc of Travellers do not drink alcohol, there is a significant drinking problem in the community.

The findings revealed:

  • More than half (52.5pc) are smokers.
  • The birth rate among Travellers has fallen but is one of the highest in Europe. Their fertility rate is 2.7 per 1,000, compared to 2.1 for the general population.
  • The main cause of death is heart disease/stroke (32pc), followed by cancer (22pc).
  • External causes such as suicide, drink or drug poisoning result in 15pc of deaths and respiratory illness in 12pc.
  • Nearly one in two Travellers felt discriminated against in all areas of life. This is least felt in sport, followed by the health service.
  • Education levels are very low and only half of adult Travellers have completed primary school. More than 90pc of 14-year-olds are now in school or training centres.

Most Travellers in the Republic live in family units of five or less. The report found that 73pc are in houses, with 18pc in trailers or mobile homes.

Most accommodation had both hot and cold water. Some 78pc of Travellers in the Republic had an individual bath or shower, and 91.6pc had a flush toilet.


Launching the report, Health Minister Mary Harney TD described the statistics as very disheartening and depressing. She said she would bring it to the Government with the aim of getting the Department of Education involved, as education was key to improving the lives of Travellers.

Missie Collins, a member of the community involved in primary care, said she was worried about cutbacks impacting on community projects.

“We’ve waited eight long years for this study and I’m delighted that it finally happened and we are getting up-to-date information on our health.

“I’m delighted to see the pride Travellers have shown in our culture and identity. However some of the findings are frightening; it shows a lot more work has to be done if Travellers are to live as long as settled people.”

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2010-09-03: 15 women rescued in sex trafficking raids


Fifteen women were rescued today as police raided a series of brothels in a major crackdown on human trafficking in the North.

The women, from European Union countries, were believed to have been forced into working as prostitutes in Belfast.

Police detained three people during UK-wide property searches and they will be questioned in the North.

Detective Chief Superintendent Roy McComb, head of the PSNI organised crime branch, said: “This is modern-day slavery where human beings are treated like commodities by sophisticated organised crime gangs who are making substantial criminal profits from the sex trade.

“These gangs have no thought for the health and well-being of their victims. They see them simply as instruments to help them generate cash.”

A total of 15 properties were searched across the UK.

Mr McComb added: “Human trafficking and prostitution is no longer gender specific. Men and women are being tricked or forced into prostitution in major towns and cities.

“They are being robbed of their liberty, stripped of their dignity, and suffer intolerable conditions as unwilling emblems of the sex trade.”

Patrick Yu, executive director of the Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities, said the discovery was welcome but warned the women needed protection.

“In most cases they don’t want to testify (against their captors) because their family may be in danger at home,” he said.

He added they were often simply deported without further ado.

Patricia Lyness, a project manager at the Women’s Aid Federation, said the authorities had made an effort to improve their handling of the trafficked women.

“I think really both the Department of Justice, who have responsibility for it, and the PSNI are working very hard to provide support to the victims,” she said.

SDLP Assembly member Dolores Kelly said she was shocked at the scale of the operation.

“It is a most foul activity in terms of preying on the most vulnerable people. It is welcome news but it is worrying that it may be just the tip of the iceberg,” she said.

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2010-09-02: The switch


[easyreview title=”The Switch, Josh Gordon, Will Speck,
2010″ summary=”Not reviewed yet.”]

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2010-09-01: Vuvuzelas banned by UEFA

Vuvuzelas have been kicked out of European competition after UEFA said that the plastic trumpets drowned out supporters and detracted from the emotion of the game. The plastic horns became a hallmark of the World Cup in South Africa, producing a monotonous droning sound which provided a backdrop for every match.

But they will not be allowed in stadiums in UEFA competitions such as the Champions League, Europa League and Euro 2012 qualifiers after UEFA’s ruling on Wednesday. Continue reading

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