TIME Music

Tyler, the Creator Says He’s Banned From Entering the U.K.

Tyler, The Creator performs live on Day Three of the Osheaga Music and Arts Festival on Aug. 2, 2015 in Montreal.
Emma McIntyre—Getty Images Tyler, the Creator performs live on Day Three of the Osheaga Music and Arts Festival on Aug. 2, 2015, in Montreal

He canceled four performances on Monday

Rapper Tyler, the Creator says he’s been banned from entering the U.K. because of lyrics from his 2009 album, Bastard.

The rapper, born Tyler Gregory Okonma, canceled four performances in the country on Monday, cryptically blaming it at the time on “circumstances” that were “beyond my control.”

Okonma has been criticized for the violent, often homophobic nature of his music, with one writer accusing the artist of “rape and murder fantasies graphic enough to send the vomit rising along with the bile.”

Okonma’s manager, Christian Clancy, posted a statement on his Tumblr, saying the British Home Department had sent a letter banning his client for three to five years based on work that “encourages violence and intolerance of homosexuality.” Clancy accused the British government of censorship and inconsistency, pointing out that Okonma had visited the country several times over the past few years.

Earlier this summer, Okonma tweeted about being banned from Australia, but it turned out a feminist-advocacy group, Collective Shout, had campaigned to keep him out of the country, and that the rapper and his touring company canceled the Australian stop. Australia’s Immigration Department confirmed at the time that his visa application was being examined but said that no final decision had been made.

On Wednesday, Okonma tweeted his confusion about the situation.

TIME Ireland

Giant Inflatable Minion Causes Chaos on Dublin Road

The balloon got loose from a fairground

A 40-foot inflatable character from the movie Minions got loose from a Dublin fairground on Monday and caused confusion when it blocked a road.

The minion, which blew away during strong winds, seems not to have injured anyone, but did cause some traffic confusion.

A local resident who witnessed the incident told the Irish Independent that “everyone seems to have had a bit of fun from it,” but one Dublin city councillor took the accident more seriously, tweeting, “Escaped Minion at Omni in Santry may seem hilarious but its a dispicable breach of health & safety.”

It’s unclear whether the councillor’s choice of words was intentionally referring to the original movie the Minions characters appeared in, Despicable Me.

[Irish Independent]

TIME Ireland

Watch a Man Scare Trespassing Kids Away With His Drone

The kids thought they were in trouble and subsequently freaked out

Stephen Coyle was flying his DJI Phantom 3 drone near a Letterkenny, Ireland, school when he spotted a few kids running on the roof and seemingly up to no good.

In a video posted to YouTube, Coyle writes that the kids spotted the drone and mistakenly assume it was after them, causing a comedy of errors that led the kids to where he was piloting the drone.

“By total coincidence, the kids did end up running/cycling towards where I was standing a little while after that, and once they realized it was me they immediately asked me to put it on YouTube!” he wrote.

Watch the video below, complete with a nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat soundtrack and majestic views of the otherwise peaceful Irish countryside.

 

TIME Ireland

Ireland Passes Historic Transgender Rights Bill

It's the fifth country to recognize the legal existence of transgender people

Transgender people in Ireland will be permitted to change their legal gender based on self-identification alone, without medical or state intervention, under a historic law passed Wednesday.

The law was enacted just two months after Ireland’s landslide vote to legalize same-sex marriage. Only four other countries—Denmark, Malta, Argentina and Colombia—have such laws allowing transgender individuals over the age of 18 to freely self-identify their legal gender, The Guardian reports.

“The passage of the legislation is a testament to the years of dogged campaigning by the trans community and its allies…” said Mark Kelly, executive director of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL).

In the majority of European countries, transgender people seeking legal recognition for their gender are required to have a mental disorder diagnosis and sex reassignment surgery, according to Human Rights Watch, which hailed Ireland as a “global transgender leader.”

Restrictions on legal gender recognition also exist in some parts of the U.S., where a transgender rights movement continues to grow with the rising visibility of transgender individuals. Many states require transgender people to have medical proof of their gender identity before it is legally recognized, while a few also require proof of surgery or a court order, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

[The Guardian]

TIME pharma deals

Ireland’s Horizon Pharma Launches Hostile, $3 billion Bid For U.S. Rival

FRANCE-INDUSTRY-PHARMACEUTICAL-HEALTH-COSMETIC
JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN—AFP/Getty Images

Offer represents a 42% premium over Depomed's Monday closing price

Ireland’s Horizon Pharma is bringing its $3 billion takeover offer for U.S. rival Depomed directly to the company’s shareholders after being rebuffed in its attempts to negotiate with Depomed’s management.

Horizon’s hostile bid for Depomed, announced on Tuesday, values the Newark, Calif.-based specialty pharmaceutical company at $29.25 per share, which represents a 42% premium over Depomed’s Monday closing price. Depomed’s share price jumped nearly 40% on the news of Horizon’s offer.

The Irish manufacturer of drugs to treat arthritis and other inflammatory diseases said in a press release that it made “repeated attempts” to enter into deal discussions with Depomed’s management and board starting in March, only to have those advances and its takeover offer rejected. Depomed makes a range of pain treatments and products that treat conditions related to the central nervous system. Horizon believes the deal would increase sales for both companies’ products while the five different drugs Depomed currently has on the market would nearly double the size of Horizon’s current portfolio.

“The strategic and financial benefits of our proposal are highly compelling,” Horizon CEO and chairman Timothy Walbert said in a statement. Walbert added that his company’s proposal offers “substantial long-term value for Depomed’s shareholders,” whom he encouraged to urge the Depomed board to enter deal discussions.

If the two companies are able to reach an agreement, it would represent the latest in a string of deals for Horizon, which paid $660 million for Vidara Therapeutics International last year and also acquired Hyperion Therapeutics for $1.1 billion earlier this year. The pharma industry in general has seen more than its share of dealmaking recently, with deal volume and value on the rise in the first quarter of 2015, led by mega-mergers such as AbbVie’s $21 billion purchase of Pharmacyclics and Pfizer’s $17 billion acquisition of Hospira.

TIME World

These 8 World Leaders Are Taking Major Steps Towards Gender Equality

From closing the pay gap to implementing board quotas to requiring all soldiers to take violence prevention courses, here's how 8 world leaders are embracing HeforShe

UN Women’s “He for She” initiative is in full swing, and on Thursday nine world leaders announced major steps they are taking to bring their countries to full gender equality. Each has pledged to champion HeForShe in their individual nations, and has outlined specific actions they’ll take towards ensuring equal opportunities for women.

The announcements are part of UN Women’s IMPACT 10x10x10 initiative, where 10 heads of state, 10 CEOs, and 10 university presidents commit to taking tangible steps to achieve gender equality, as part of the HeForShe movement that actress Emma Watson announced at the UN last year.

Here are some of the main commitments from 8 heads of state from around the world– the final two leaders will be announced at a later date.

Sauli Niinistö, President of Finland, has vowed to decrease violence against women by 5% over the next five years, partly by requiring all soldiers in the Finnish Defense Forces to learn about aggression control and violence prevention. Since Finland has universal male conscription, that means that almost all young men in Finland will be required to complete an education program on violence against women.

Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, Prime Minister of Iceland, has committed to eliminating the gender pay gap in Iceland by 2022: currently, women are paid 6-18% less than men. The government will achieve this by conducting major audits of all companies in Iceland, to ensure that women are being paid fairly. Gunnlaugsson’s administration will also sponsor major reports on the status of women in media in Iceland, in order to achieve parity by 2020, and has pledged to make 1 in 5 Icelandic men commit to supporting HeforShe principals by 2016.

Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia, is pushing a to make the Indonesian parliament 30% female (up from 17%.) The government plans to promote more women to senior leadership positions, mandate gender training for all government institutions, and study trends in female voting and women who run for political office. Widodo also pledges to extend national health insurance coverage to reproductive and maternal health care, and improve sexual health services around the country. He also wants to fight violence against women, by launching a nationwide survey in 2016 that could help the government make targeted interventions to help the 3-4 million Indonesian women who face violence ever year. And, providing women migrant workers with financial literacy training is just one way they help give them more independence.

Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, is unrolling major reforms to support more women in the workforce. Abe is proposing a bill that would require all public sector institutions and companies with more than 301 employees to demonstrate concrete action plans to increase the representation of women. He’s also increasing nursery school capacity, and enhancing family leave policies. Japan is also leveraging $3 billion in international aid to enhance peace and security and ending sexual violence abroad.

Arthur Peter Mutharika, President of Malawi, is committing to fully ending child marriage in Malawi. Currently, about half of girls in Malawi are married before they turn 18– the government just passed a new law to address this problem, and Mutharika commits to fully implementing this law by creating new local marriage courts and improving marriage registration. Malawi is also making major steps towards economic empowerment of women, by requiring all commercial banks to develop lending options just for women by 2016, in order to increase the number of women accessing credit by 30%.

Klaus Iohannis, President of Romania, is launching a new nationwide analysis of violence against women, to make sure agencies and public institutions have the data they need to inform policy that could protect victims. Based on the data they find, Iohannis plans to create emergency shelters in every region of the country. Romania is also creating two entirely new professions — Expert in Gender Equality and Gender Equality Technician — to implement gender equality strategies, and 70% of Romanian public institutions are required to employ one by 2020.

Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, is pledging to make sure women have equal access to technology and increase girls’ enrollment in tech fields. Currently, women represent only 20% of employees in the tech sector, and only 35% of women own mobile phones (compared to almost half of men.) Kagame also wants to get more girls enrolled in technical and vocational training programs by launching a national mentorship and career guidance program to encourage girls to take science and technology courses, aiming at 50% of eligible girls enrolled by 2020. Currently, only about 18% of eligible girls are enrolled. Rwanda is also rolling out an initiative to end gender-based violence, by building One Stop Centers all over the country to provide medical, legal, and psychological support to victims, part of what they call a “zero tolerance policy” towards sexual violence.

Stefan Löfvén, Prime Minister of Sweden, says Sweden already has a feminist government, but that more men need to stand up for gender equality. He promises to get more women into the workforce (64% of Swedish women are employed full time, compared to 69% of Swedish men) and close the wage gap– currently, Swedish women make only 87 cents for every dollar a man makes. Sweden has achieved a remarkable level of gender equality in government, but women are still under-represented in business and academia. The government has set a target that boards of top Swedish companies must be 40% female by 2017– if that goal isn’t met, the government will start implementing a quota.

Read more: Twitter, Vodafone and Georgetown University All Commit to Gender Equality

TIME Ireland

This is How Ireland’s Abortion Laws Affect Women and Families

Ireland abortion report
Eugene Langan —Amnesty International Gaye and Gerry Edwards at home in Wicklow, Ireland.

Ireland's current laws force women to leave the country if they need an abortion because the foetus is dead or the mother has been raped

It’s estimated that around 160,000 Irish women have travelled to the U.K. for an abortion in the last 33 years. The actual figure is likely to be much higher – this number includes only women who gave Irish addresses. Many are unwilling to do so for fear of their families or friends finding out.

Amnesty International published a report on Tuesday slamming Ireland’s abortion laws and calling for them to be brought in line with the rest of the developed world.

Almost all women who left Ireland for an abortion and were interviewed say they felt lonely, afraid, ashamed and abandoned after having been forced to leave the country to have an abortion for medical or other reasons. As Irish legislation imposes an almost total prohibition of abortion, the reasons that 4,000 Irish women a year travel to terminate pregnancies involve a wide range of difficult and tragic circumstances.

Read More: Ireland’s Abortion Laws Treat Women Like Criminals Says New Report

In 2001, newly married couple Gerry and Gaye Edwards were devastated when 20 weeks into their first pregnancy they were told there was no prospect of survival for their baby after birth, and that the only solution open to them “in this jurisdiction” was to continue with the pregnancy and regular scans until birth occurred at the end of gestation. The baby would die almost immediately.

In Ireland healthcare providers who refer women to abortion services can be fined up to $4,000. Now, it’s much easier to receive information through the Internet yet the threat of criminal sanctions remains a significant “chilling factor” for women and medical personnel who fear criminal and professional recrimination.

Gerry Edwards said he felt angry and abandoned, “not just by the medical profession but by my own country.” He says: “We got the worst news we could possibly have in the middle of a much-wanted pregnancy, and it was like the whole country just washed its hands of us and left us on the street, literally. We just felt totally and utterly alone; we were given absolutely nothing. We were told there was no help in Ireland. I got a phone book and started ringing abortion clinics in London; they told us that we should go to a hospital. It felt like we were criminals in a black market operation – even though we had the right to travel and we had the right to information. We were still doing something abroad that is illegal here,” says Edwards.

In the end, the Edwards were able to travel to Belfast in Northern Ireland, which remains part of the U.K. “Nobody in Ireland could tell us what was in store for us – even the obstetrician or my GP couldn’t tell me,” says Gaye Edwards. “But thankfully we managed to be seen in a hospital in Belfast and they were so kind. I took tablets to induce labour and my mother and husband came with me.”

Mary (not her real name) had a similar experience on her second pregnancy in 2012. “My obstetrician was doing the scan and she thought something looked amiss. She said the baby’s eyes were quite prominent on the screen and she referred me to her colleague who did another scan. Within a few seconds into it, she looked at me and said “I’m so sorry.” She explained that the baby had anencephaly – the absence of a major part of the skull and portion of the brain that occurs during embryonic development, and that I was effectively a life-support for the baby – there was no hope for any life outside the womb. “The obstetrician told me that there was no option for us to have an induced labour in Ireland, but that there were options in the U.K. I could sense the frustration among the doctors that they couldn’t help us in any way – they couldn’t assist us with making arrangements to go to the U.K. – it was prohibited to do so.”

Mary had to travel to Liverpool in England to get medical treatment. “It was such a horrible journey – going to the airport at night time, setting your alarm for the morning to go to a strange place. I had to take medication to bring on premature labor, and then go back to the hospital later on – it felt awful walking around a city I don’t know – at least if we were at home, I could go to my own bed for a few hours.”

The baby, Rian, was born weighing 140 grams, under 5 ounces, and Mary was able to spend the night with him before he died. “The following morning it was so hard to leave him alone but there was no option to bring him home to bury him. We had to get him cremated which was organised by the hospital. A month later, we received him – delivered by courier. I had a tracking number and I could see he spent one night in a warehouse in Dublin; all alone. It was just so undignified – arriving in a scruffy courier bag. My son.”

TIME Ireland

Ireland’s Abortion Laws Treat Women Like Criminals Says New Report

Abortion rights rally in Dublin in 2014.
Amnesty International Abortion rights rally in Dublin in 2014.

Irish women can not get an abortion in cases of rape, severe or fatal fetal impairment or a risk to their health and even giving them abortion information is a crime

Ireland’s restrictive abortion regime puts women in danger and treats them like criminals if they need to terminate a pregnancy, according to a new report published by Amnesty International on Tuesday.

Since 1983, Irish law has priotitized the life of the foetus over the mother, banning abortion in all but the most extreme circumstances and forcing thousands of women to leave the country in search of medical treatement.

Amnesty believes that Ireland’s abortion laws violates the fundamental human rights of women and girls, including their right to life, freedom from discrimination and freedom from torture and cruel or degrading treatment.

Colm O’Gorman, the CEO of Amnesty International Ireland says Irish law has to change to bring it into line with other developed countries. “We need to decrimalize abortion in Ireland … Any woman or girl in Ireland who accesses an abortion outside of the very narrow legal framework can face up to 14 years in prison – the same goes for the medical practitioner. Yet, our constitution permits women and girls to travel overseas to do something that if they did in Ireland they could go to prison for 14 years.”

Last year, at a meeting at the UN Human Rights Committee in Geneva, Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nigel Rodley said Irish law on abortion treats women like “vessels and nothing more.”

The Amnesty report She is not a Criminal: The impact of Ireland’s abortion law outlines the religious, social and political influences that have shaped Irish legislation which criminalizes abortion in cases of rape, incest and fatal foetal abnormality. It examines the limited and sketchy legal boundaries that doctors and healthcare practitioners work within, and also describes the climate of intimidation and aggression faced by pro-choice advocates.

Procuring or administering an abortion is a criminal offence in Ireland except when a “real and substantial risk” to a woman’s life exists. Under new laws introduced in 2013, anyone found guilty of “intentionally destroying unborn human life” is liable to a 14 year prison sentence.

In cases where a woman’s life is in danger and the appropriate medical response required is the termination of her pregnancy, Irish doctors face huge difficulty in determining at what point they are permitted to intervene. The report documents many examples of the Irish state prioritizing the rights of the unborn over the rights of women. One such case is that of 31 year-old Savita Halappanavar, who died in 2012 after being admitted to hospital with pregnancy-related back pain. She was 17 weeks pregnant when she was denied an abortion even though doctors confirmed that the foetus was unviable and she would certainly miscarry. Intervention to save her life came too late and she died from septicaemia one week after presenting with her symptoms.

Dr. Peter Boylan, former Master of Ireland’s National Maternity Hospital determined in a subsequent review of the case that it was “highly likely she would not have died”, had she been given a termination when she requested one.

“Sometimes we’re not sure what the risk of death is” says Rhona Mahony, current Master of National Maternity Hospital. “How do you define the difference between serious health deterioration and the risk of death – there’s such an overlap between the two. And what about the woman’s right to have a view on what the risk is to her?”

Ireland’s constitution was amended to recognize the right to life of the unborn as “equal” to that of a pregnant woman, following a bitterly fought referendum in 1983. Observers say the so-called pro-life amendment was expedited in response to the passage of abortion rights after Roe v Wade abortion case in the U.S.Supreme Court ten years earlier. Other European countries were also liberalising their abortion laws, and fear grew among the Catholic hierarchy and conservative establishment that demands for abortion legislation might erupt in Ireland.

Amnesty International is calling for the amendment to be repealed: “There are probably no women of child bearing age that voted for that amendment, so the notion that this reflects the will of the Irish people or Irish child-bearing women has to be challenged”, says O’Gorman.

Under Irish law, women whose health is at risk as a result of a continuing pregnancy, as is often the case for some cancer patients, or women who have been raped or are victims of incest, are forced to continue their pregnancy to full term unless it can be proven that their actual lives are in danger, including the threat of death as a result of suicide.

TIME Italy

Thousands More Migrants Have Been Rescued From the Mediterranean During the Last Two Days

Italy Migrants
Sascha Jonack— Bundeswehr/AP Soldiers of the German Navy ship Hessen rescue migrants in the Mediterranean Sea on June 6, 2015

More than 1,800 migrants have died or gone missing attempting to cross the Mediterranean this year alone

A new wave of boats is attempting to cross from Libya to Italy, the International Organization for Migration warned Sunday, citing balmy weather and tranquil seas as the reasons behind the surge of migrants risking their lives in the Mediterranean.

Nearly 3,500 migrants were rescued on Saturday alone, with 1,000 more (including at least 10 pregnant women) on board relief vessels by mid-afternoon Sunday, CNN reports.

A team of ships from several European nations cooperated on a rescue effort, including the British, Irish, Spanish, and German navies and the Italian coast guard, which alone received 14 distress calls Sunday, many from wooden fishing boats and rubber dinghies. One of the biggest rescued vessels held 563 migrants.

Rescue ships planned to bring the migrants to various ports in Italy, including Palermo and Trapani in Sicily, Taranto in Italy, and the island of Lampedusa, a spokesman for Germany’s Bundeswehr Joint Forces Operation Command told CNN.

As of the end of May, the United Nations estimated that 90,000 migrants crossed the Mediterranean to Europe so far in 2015; of those, more than 1800 have died or are missing at sea.

[CNN]

TIME Ireland

FIFA Is Being Asked to Explain Why it Paid $5.5 Million to the Irish Soccer Association

Ireland say they received the money to stop them taking legal action against FIFA

FIFA paid Ireland’s soccer association(FAI) $5.5 million to avoid legal action after Ireland were knocked out of a World Cup qualifying playoff by a goal that involved a blatant handball.

Ireland were beaten by France, who qualified for the 2010 South Africa tournament, but the decisive goal in the second leg came after a handball by the French player Thierry Henry.

There was an international outcry but FIFA insisted the result would stand.

John Delaney, the chief executive of the FAI speaking about the payment, told Irish TV:”It was a payment to the association… not to proceed with a legal case.”

FIFA said on Thursday the payment was actually a loan.

[Reuters]

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