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By Paul Cunningham, Europe Correspondent
The United Nations regularly updates its ‘fact sheet’ on the war in Syria – a conflict which is now entering its fourth bloody year. The UN information bulletin is a grim statistical record, and the figures are only increasing. Consider these three shocking extracts:
- 9.3 million Syrians need humanitarian assistance;
- 6.5 million people inside Syria have fled their homes;
- Another 2.5 million have left the country altogether.
By Europe Editor, Tony Connelly
Alexei Alexeivich puts on his Soviet naval cap and strikes a pose in front of his bedroom mirror.
With a sheepish grin, which breaks into an infectious laugh, he pulls in his 59-year-old paunch. The rest of the uniform, he concedes, no longer fits him, but the memories of 27 years serving the USSR by sea are as fresh as ever.
By Joe Little, Religious and Social Affairs Correspondent
This day last year, the Argentinean Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected the first non-European Pontiff in 1,300 years.
Since then the 77-year-old has frequently broken with precedent, most notably by choosing to live in a Vatican guest-house instead of the Apostolic Palace overlooking Saint Peter’s Square.
By RTÉ’s Political Correspondent David Davin-Power
By any standards, Louis Brennan had a remarkable life.
Born just after the Great Famine that carried away five of his siblings, his parents emigrated to Australia with the ten-year-old and what remained of his family.
RTÉ’s Political Correspondent David Davin-Power reflects on Enda Kenny’s reaction to the resignation of Fine Gael strategist Frank Flannery.
Local politics has a way of intruding no matter where you are.
That’s part of the reason broadcasters and newspapers like to have correspondents with Enda Kenny, even when he’s carrying out some uncontroversial engagement unlikely to generate any news in its own right.
So it was when the Taoiseach was cutting the ribbon at an Irish Centre in Manchester.
A Russian soldier patrols the anti-submarine ship ‘Muromets’ in the port of Sevastopol
By Tony Connelly, Europe Editor, Simferopol
Although the referendum on Crimea’s future is not until 16 March,
Russia’s actions are already birthing a new creation.
The speed of Moscow’s invasion-by-stealth has been breathtaking.
Armed men in military uniform stand guard outside a Ukrainian navy ship in the harbour of Sevastopol, Crimea (Pic: EPA)
By Tony Connelly, RTÉ Europe Editor
As Russia intensifies its grip on Crimea, they are creating facts on the ground. But in this most surreal of struggles, facts are never what they seem.
At the Perevalnoye naval base, there are two layers of militia preventing access in or an exit out, but many more layers of truth and myth over who is in charge, who are the heroes and who are the villains. Continue reading
By Europe Editor Tony Connelly
The euro has had so few ringing endorsements over the past four years that the accession of Latvia to the single currency on 1 January must feel like manna from heaven. Continue reading
By David Murphy, Business Editor
Ordinary Irish people won’t notice the slightest difference between life before and after the bailout.
Banking problems persist, unemployment is still high and the economy is sluggish.
Conditions are improving. But it is far too early to say that Ireland is out of trouble. Continue reading
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By Tony Connelly, Europe Editor, Brussels
It may come as a surprise, but a relatively liberal abortion regime has existed in Italy since 1978.
Law 194 was introduced following a determined campaign by women’s groups, but also due to the rise in illegal abortions.
In 1981 there was a move by Catholic groups, supported by the church, to overturn the law, but it was defeated by nearly 68% in a referendum.
A second referendum saw support for legal abortion rise to 88.4%. Continue reading