Today with Sean O'Rourke

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    Today With Sean O Rourke Thursday 5 December 2013

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    Today with Sean O'Rourke

    The mid-morning current affairs magazine with the stories of the day, sharp analysis, sports coverage, in-depth features and consumer interest.

    Forbes Report

    American Business bible, Forbes magazine has named Ireland as the best country in the world for business in its latest annual rankings, the first time Ireland has topped the list since it began in 2006.

    Coming as it does three years after the country lost its sovereignty to a troika bail out and a ten days before the bailout finally ends, headlines like this will do wonders for the Government’s press profile and international standing. But how true is it? 

    Less than a fortnight before a threatened ESB strike and 24 hours after more bad news on the jobs front from Pfizer in Kildare. Is Ireland really the best place in the world to do business? And if so, why is unemployment, a lack of bank lending and poverty remain endemic?

    Joining Sean were Fergus O’Dowd, Minister for State with Responsibility for the NewEra Project and Richard Boyd Barrett, People before Profit and Mark Fielding, Chief Executive of ISME.

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    Knowing Mandela

    Knowing Mandelais a personal tribute to Nelson Mandela, written by the acclaimed South Africa correspondent and author of the international bestseller Playing the Enemy (filmed as Invictus with Morgan Freeman playing Mandela) who has been reporting on Mandela throughout the 1990s.

    John Carlin began covering South African politics while serving as the London Independent’s Bureau Chief in South Africa in 1989, and formed a relationship with Nelson Mandela in the decades since. Mandela has called Carlin’s journalism ‘courageous’ and ‘absolutely inspiring’. Now, Carlin reflects back on the man he has studied and admired for much of his career.

    The book largely focuses on the period between 1990 and 1995 when Mandela faced his most daunting obstacles and recorded his greatest triumphs.

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    Christmas Truce

    Almost exactly 99 years ago, in the early months of the Great War, men on both sides of the trenches laid down their arms and joined in a spontaneous Christmas celebration.

    Contrary to orders, the unofficial and short lived truce spread across the front line as warring soldiers sang carols and celebrated the season of goodwill, before returning to their positions and resuming the bloodiest war in human history to that date.

    This weekend in Dublin and Derry, two “Christmas Truce Concerts” will take in Dublin and Derry that will begin a series of events to commemorate the centenary of World War I which of course comes next year.

    The Peace Field Project in Flanders is being organised by Derry man Don Mullan.

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    Philippines

    The Irish Government has donated €3.6 million in response to the Typhoon Haiyan appeal in the Philippines. Nuala O’Brien, Humanitarian Specialist with Irish Aid has been to visit Manila and one of the worst affected areas, Tacloban to assess the disaster and  the impact of Ireland ‘s support and she’s just back in the country.

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    New Party, New Politics

    Outside Leinster House, political apathy is on the increase and voter turnout, particularly among younger voters continues to fall, while inside parliament, the largest majority in Irish history controls a Dail; where almost half of the TDs sitting were not members of the previous Dail; where intrigue, defections and break away groups are more a part of this House than any previous collection of politicians in the country…

    So, is the time ripe for a new type of politics in Ireland, or a even brand new political party? If so will it be the Reform Alliance or a new Left, a replacement for the Progressive Democrats or a brand new political organisation for the 21st century?

    This is just one of the topics due for discussion by at Winter Tales, the Dalkey Book Festival at Christmas, taking place this Saturday 7th December at Dalkey Town Hall in Dublin. With Sean were two of those tipped to be leaders of any new political party, as well as two seasoned commentators on the Irish political landscape.

    Reform Alliance founder and Dublin South East TD, Lucinda Creighton; Dearbhail McDonald Associate Editor of the Irish Independent; Independent TD for Wicklow and East Carlow, Stephen Donnelly and Deputy Editor of the Sunday Business Post, Pat Leahy.

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    Travel News

    Pól Ó Conghaile with some ideas for festive breaks over the Christmas season and he also brings us details of Christmas markets here and abroad.

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    Nigella Lawson in Court for Second Day

    Enda Brady, SKY News

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