‘The shouting drowns out the quiet. Yet…’

Evil is everywhere, and anger and hatred are loud. The shouting drowns out the quiet; tragedy and disaster block the view of the good. Yet there are always signs of progress toward a better future. Look, or you may miss them.

The New York Times editorial board: Moments of Grace in a Grim Year

It’s been quite a year. Even if we’re not totally sure about what’s round the corner, there are plenty of us who will be happy to see 2015 disappear in the rear-view mirror.

And nature gave us quite a way to end it.

Here’s the FT‘s Year in Numbers.

Here’s what America talked about on Twitter this year, dear God…

yearinnews  (via Ian Bremmer)

Here’s the Year in Front Pages via Poynter

Here are CNN‘s Top Ten Media Stories of the Year

Here’s The Economist‘s Year in Obituaries.

Looking ahead…

of course, there’ll be way too much more of this…. (and you can follow along here)

Amid the fear and uncertainty, though, there is that “yet” the New York Times talks about.

The idea that we hold onto a vision of a better world and try – as best we are able – to make it real through our own lives.

“If I can’t change the world, I’ll change the world within my reach…”

The Note wishes you all a happy and peaceful 2016.

 

 

 

 

Goodwill to all

The Note is taking a break for Christmas roughly coinciding with the closure of Belfast libraries and their warm, welcoming wi-fi lounges, for which many thanks this year.

If you’re celebrating the season, have a wonderful time. If you’re not, have a wonderful time. And good wishes to all service personnel overseas and anyone who won’t be with their loved ones.

Hopefully see you again after a peaceful few days…

Finally, at this solemn time of year, we really need to take a long, hard look at what sort of world we’ll eventually be leaving to Keith Richards.

 

 

 

SpaceX landing heralds new era in the business of space

For the first time, a rocket has returned to earth and landed upright. It is a remarkable technical achievement by Elon Musk’s SpaceX and heralds a new era in the economics of space exploration.

Elon Musk’s fellow billionaire Jeff Bezos, though, apparently just couldn’t bring himself to share the excitement.

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ONLY CONNECT…

Twenty-five years ago yesterday, the World Wide Web was (sort of) born.

 

Eight-year Fifa ban may spell end for defiant ‘punching ball’ Blatter

Fifa’s ethics committee on Monday handed down eight-year bans from “all football-related activity” for Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini. Blatter says he will appeal.

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WORLD

In the US presidential race, the GOP field shrunk by one…

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BUSINESS

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JOURNALISM

whoever could he mean..?

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CULTURE

45 years ago today…

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SPORTS

‘The end of a way of life..’

We are the last mine, the last men to work underground in an industry that has been the backbone of the country for untold generations and it would be wrong not to mark such an important day.  It’s unlikely that the pits will ever open again: for the memory of all those whose lives have been touched by mining, we owe it to them to do the right thing. – Miner Gavin Williams (Yorkshire Post)

Miners at Kellingley Colliery in Yorkshire completed their final shift at the pit today, bringing to an end production at Britain’s last deep coal mine.

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WORLD

David Cameron made his case for EU reform to Europe’s leaders in Brussels.

Arlene Foster, whose personal story like a lot of Ulster politicians is quite remarkable, became leader of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party and First Minister in waiting. She is only the party’s third leader since it was set up by Ian Paisley 40 years ago.

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SPORTS

Yesterday I cared about what had happened to Jose Mourinho, who might replace him, and – especially – whether it increased the chances of Chelski being relegated.

Today, I honestly don’t.

This is one of the best pieces of writing about football I’ve read in a long time. And I wish I hadn’t. I didn’t know James well and hadn’t seen him for maybe 20 years, but I enjoyed playing with him and remember him as a genuinely nice man.

RIP.

 

America’s “most hated man” arrested

Let’s be clear, these days there are plenty of contenders for that title, but the particular hate object in question is 32-year-old drug company CEO Martin Shkreli.

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WORLD

In news of other contenders…

“…when he didn’t show up for work the next day as a doorman at a pirate-themed neighborhood bar…”

Elsewhere,

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BUSINESS

After all of yesterday’s fanfare,

and of course,

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JOURNALISM

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CULTURE

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SPORTS

The managerial merry-go-round appears to be in full spin ahead of next year’s Premier League windfall season, with the final places likely only being decided upon after the summer’s European Championship finals.

 

Fed poised for rate hike

The Federal Reserve is widely thought to be set to increase US interest rates for the first time in ten years. Shares have risen in Europe and on Wall Street in anticipation.

which brings us to…

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WORLD

In an sometimes chaotic, sometimes lackluster show last night in Las Vegas, Republican presidential candidates debated – if that’s remotely close to the right word – national security and foreign policy. It was the final televised GOP gathering before the start of the election year, and turned out to be one of the most-watched ever.

Donald Trump, who before the debate had surged to his highest national poll rating so far, apparently “pledged” to forego a third-party candidacy and run as a Republican. That is, while he’s winning.

Jeb Lund writes at The Guardian:

Banks’ friend and fellow online artist and Vegas resident Empress Delfina joins us. She is dressed and shaped like a dead ringer for Lana from the television show Archer, which briefly freezes our Arab waiter in his tracks. After conferring over the fact that neither would vote for “these idiots”, Banks and Delfina start in on Trump.

Delfina leans forward. “A friend of mine who runs a club got a signed hat from Trump last night. It reminded me of something from my college psychology classes in New York. Analyzing signatures. It’s this jagged up-and-down signature, like he’s trying to cross himself out. I looked it up. It’s the signature of a sociopath.”

After two hours, neither has heard anything germane to their lives in Las Vegas. Not even anything about climate change, which the Pentagon considers an issue of national security, and which a desert oasis like Vegas is particularly vulnerable to.

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BUSINESS

Away from the Fed…

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CULTURE

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JOURNALISM

Long-time Belfast Telegraph sports journalist Jimmy Walker passed away, aged 78.

https://twitter.com/JohnCharlesLave/status/676743835586797569

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SPORTS

Jose Mourinho on his way out at Chelsea? Not so fast…

Baseball’s hit king Pete Rose was denied reinstatement after his ban from the game for gambling. He held a press conference to discuss it in, of course. Las Vegas.

Wednesday night sees the final game for USWNT star Abby Wambach.

Here’s her new goal…