21/12/2010

Other NI News In Brief

Watch The Skies!

As one of the coldest nights on record saw -17C recorded in Katesbridge, Co Down and even in suburban Glengormley it was -13C, local people were best placed in the whole of the UK to watch the total lunar eclipse and make a bit of astronomical history as it is the first time in almost 500 years that a lunar eclipse has coincided with the winter solstice - the shortest day of the year - on 21 December. There was also a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see a selenelion, which occurs when the sun and the eclipsed moon can be seen at the same time. This is also known as a horizontal eclipse, because both sun and moon appear above the horizon at nearly opposite points in the sky. The full moon began to pass through Earth's shadow at about 6.32am on Tuesday, and the total eclipse at happened at about 7.40am before setting soon after it reached its maximum at 8.17am and ended at 8.53am before falling below the horizon.

Expectant Mum Falls In Car Theft

A pregnant woman has been taken to hospital after she fell as her car was stolen in west Belfast. The incident happened in Glenkeen Close, Hannahstown, shortly before 10am on Tuesday. The woman, 31, had her blue Volkswagen Passat car stolen from outside her home. A man jumped out of another vehicle and took it and the woman fell as she tried to run for help and her husband was struck by the stolen car sustaining minor injuries. Police said both the stolen Volkswagen and the other blue car were driven off in the direction of Lisburn.

Co Down Blaze 'Suspicious'

A fire which destroyed a community centre in a Co Armagh village in the early hours of Tuesday is being treated as suspicious. The blaze at the building in the Skerriff Road area of Cullyhanna was reported to police at around 4am. Extensive damage was caused, and investigations are now being carried out into how the fire started.

Germany Calling!
News Image
Invest Northern Ireland has helped local companies to secure almost £2m of new business in Germany over the past 12 months. The businesses accessed advice and lead generation from Invest NI's office in Düsseldorf, which has been operating as a trade development centre for the German and wider European markets since July 2007. Products being sold by firms in Germany range from sophisticated aerospace components to garden sheds and ankle wraps for golfers. Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI Trade Director, said: "Our companies are increasingly looking towards Germany as a market offering opportunities across a very broad range of business sectors. Local firms are showing that they can compete and win in a marketplace long regarded as among the world's most competitive and quality conscious."

Policing Board On Parades

Members of the NI Policing Board's Human Rights and Professional Standards Committee have been updated on issues arising from recent meetings and initiatives in respect of parading. Committee Chair Basil McCrea said: "Human Rights and Professional Standards Committee are keen for meaningful engagement and discussion to take place on the issue of parades sooner rather than later and well in advance of the most contentious parades. The Committee believes that all agencies should play their part in seeking a resolution to these ongoing issues. The social and economic consequences of the unrest associated with the most contentious parades impacts significantly on police resources and on community relations and is not sustainable. We all need to work together to find solutions and members of the Committee have recently taken forward meetings with the PSNI and the Minister for Justice and will be seeking to continue to focus attention on this area in the New Year," he said.

Clean Air?

High levels of air pollution are currently being monitored in the Londonderry and Newry areas. Moderate levels are also being recorded in Strabane and Armagh respectively. This localised air pollution is likely to be associated with the build up of emissions from vehicles and home heating during the calm, cold weather conditions experienced across NI over the weekend and it is forecast to continue until Wednesday, 23rd, when winds are expected to increase. During periods of high pollution the symptoms of people with lung or heart disease may worsen. Healthy people are unlikely to experience any ill effects.

Bootcamp Fitness For New Year

NI Bootcamp is to build on its successes of 2010 and has announced a partnership with top nutritionist Jane McLenaghan who will be providing clients (bootcampers) with personalised nutrition advice during the 2011 bootcamp weeks. "We have also brought on board Gavin Murphy who will be helping our bootcampers understand the psychology behind underlying reasons which may be preventing long term weight loss or creating unhealthy addictions," said a spokesman who noted, "our fun and inspirational fitness activities use the best of the stunning Mourne Mountains and local forest parks to give our clients more success than ever in reaching their goals in 2011." NI Bootcamp courses for 2011 commence in January with the much needed and in-demand post Christmas Detox Weekends before a weeklong weight loss Bootcamp in March.

(BMcC/GK)

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