National treasure Olivia Colman has scooped a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours. The royal gong caps an awards-littered few months for the actress, 45, who claimed an Oscar and Bafta for The Favourite earlier this year. There were OBEs for Oliver's Army crooner Elvis Costello, chief scout Bear Grylls, and Good Wife star Cush Jumbo. Along with the famous names, the list also celebrates the efforts of those working to improve people's lives. Of the 1,073 people honoured across the UK in this year's list, 47% are women - slightly down on some previous lists. 10.4% come from a BAME background - the highest ever, by a small margin, in the Queen's Birthday Honours. Olivia Colman Olivia Colman said she was "totally thrilled" and "humbled" to be made a CBE for services to drama. The Oscar-winner first found fame as Sophie, the girlfriend of David Mitchell's neurotic Mark, in the British comedy Peep Show. She said in a statement to the Press Association: "I'm totally thrilled, delighted and … [Read more...] about Queen’s Birthday Honours list 2019 in full
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The Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) is the European Union's (EU) course of action in the fields of defence and crisis management, and a main component of the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). The implementation of the CSDP involves the deployment of military or civilian missions for peace-keeping, conflict prevention and strengthening international security in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter. Military missions are carried out by EU forces established with contributions from the member states' armed forces. The CSDP also entails collective self-defence amongst member states[d] as well as a Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) in which 25 of the 28 national armed forces pursue structural integration. The Union's High Representative (HR/VP), currently Federica Mogherini, is responsible for proposing and implementing CSDP decisions. Such decisions are adopted by the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC), generally requiring unanimity. The … [Read more...] about Common Security and Defence Policy
MP Kazys Starkevičius Last month, Lithuanian MEPs (members of the European Parliament) contrived to lose sight of an important vote on the Mobility Package, a measure allowing major Western corporations and work-shy trade unions to banish competitors, including Lithuanian carriers, from the market. The main idea behind the Mobility Package initiative is the following: carriers operating in the European Union will be obligated to periodically return the road transport vehicles to the country of registration. Another proposal within the package will limit opportunities for Lithuanian drivers to provide transportation services in other countries by obliging them to a several days’ rest period between sabotage operations. As a result, Lithuanian drivers engaged in transportation of goods to Germany or France will be left with limited opportunities for loading in any of these countries and carrying goods to another country without prior return to Lithuania. Further steps in … [Read more...] about Europe, economy and populism
With that in mind, we have asked three expert walkers - authors all - to choose their favourite walks for spring. That means places with the finest bluebell displays, the best newly-green woodlands, the most dramatic scenery. The result is 30 great routes that criss-cross the country, including Northern Ireland. For urban dwellers, there are escape routes out to Ireland's Eye and south to Bray and along the Royal Canal, none of which require a car. There are even a few places where thick-skinned bathers can take a dip. There are trails here for families with toddlers or buggies, for those looking for a good stretch, and for serious hikers wanting to blow the cobwebs out of their hair after the long dark winter. And all of them finish near a good spot for a cup of tea or something stronger. Each walk listed includes the distance and the time it takes to complete at a moderate pace, as well as directions to the start point. Most of the routes can be covered without maps, but we have … [Read more...] about 30 best spring walks in Ireland: Fresh air for every age and fitness level!
With less than two months to go till the song contest Eurovision kicks off in Tel Aviv, controversy surrounding the host country is bound to escalate. The event is a major opportunity for Israel to "art-wash" its crimes against the Palestinian population and pro-Palestinian activists are determined to challenge it with a boycott. Celebrities like Roger Waters and Wolf Alice have already called for media organisations and artists to refuse to partcipate, while the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement has intensified its campaign against the event. The provocative decision to hold the opening night of Eurovision on May 14 is particularly galling for Palestinians as it falls on the day Israel commemorates its 1948 declaration of independence. On the following day, as European singers compete in Tel Aviv, Palestine will be marking the 71st anniversary of what they call al-Nakba, the catastrophe, remembering the victims of the Israeli campaign of ethnic cleansing. But beyond the … [Read more...] about Singing in Europe’s last Middle Eastern colony