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How Ireland reluctantly fined Facebook €1.2 billion

The Data Protection Commission (DPC) has hit Facebook owner Meta Ireland with a fine of €1.2 billion – the largest such fine to date under GDPR rules - for its unlawful transferring of user data from the EU to the US. But the DPC didn't want to levy a fine at all - its hand was forced by European counterparts. How did it come to this? To find out Bernice Harrison talks to technology reporter Ciara O'Brien.



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    Earlier this month, Google launched AI Overviews – software which uses artificial intelligence to answer people’s questions quickly, skipping the step of scrolling through links. The new search system has made headlines for generating hilariously incorrect answers, a glitch Google says it is taking swift action to remedy. But this bumpy start will quickly be ironed out, says Irish Times writer Hugh Linehan who wrote this week about the “Googlepocalypse” sweeping the United States. The introduction of this pilot version of Google’s AI Overviews tool has already “significantly harmed” small businesses and content creators who have seen a collapse in web site traffic, and has been described as an extinction-level event for news media. These “devastating effects” are heading quickly our way, says Linehan. So, what is the Googlepocalypse and how will it change how the average person searches the internet? And will a reliance on AI to answer our questions only further enhance the misinformation plaguing the online world?Presented by Sorcha Pollak. Produced by Aideen Finnegan.
  • Is flying more dangerous due to worsening turbulence?

    21:15
    In the past week, two incidences of severe air turbulence have made international headlines.More than 100 people were injured and one man died last week when a Singapore Airlines plane flying from London to Singapore hit an unexpected air pocket, forcing the plane to make an emergency landing in Bangkok.Five days later, on Sunday, six passengers and six crew members were injured following turbulence on a flight from Doha, Qatar to Ireland.Turbulence has always a been a risk factor in aviation, but the ferocity of the sudden extreme turbulence experience on the Singapore Airlines flight was out of the ordinary.However, is this type of extreme, clear-air turbulence becoming more common? And are climate change and warming air currents making turbulence worse?Irish Times environment and science editor Kevin O’Sullivan joins the podcast to discuss the impact of climate change on air travel, while flight attendant Paula Gahan reflects on why she thinks severe flight turbulence is becoming more common.Presented by Sorcha Pollak. Produced by John Casey.
  • The Limerick man investigating some of the world's worst crimes

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    Malachy Browne heads up the New York Times’s visual investigations unit where he and his team investigate key events, from breaking news at home to war atrocities abroad, to piece together second-by-second what really happened.The work exposes the truth of events, particularly ones that are shrouded in misinformation, conspiracy theories and official denials. He and his team have won two Pulitzer Prizes.Investigations, presented on the New York Times website, range from uncovering the devastating sequence of events of the atrocity at Bucha in the early days of the Russian invasion of Ukraine to plotting exactly happened in 2017 when a gunman opened fire at a concert in Las Vegas killing 60 people.On In the News he talks about these projects and more while explaining just how his team works, from 3D modelling and AI to painstakingly exploring satellite images and mining phone records, and how the Limerick man who began his career in Dublin before moving to New York works to stay one step ahead in a media landscape flooded with fake news.Presented by Bernice Harrison. Produced by Declan Conlon.
  • Why did Rishi Sunak call an election?

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  • What a leaked report tells us about Ireland's housing crisis

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    On Tuesday, a leaked report revealed the Housing Commission’s criticism that the Government has not resolved the “fundamentally systemic” failures in the State’s housing system.The report from housing experts also suggests there is an underlying housing deficit in Ireland of up to 256,000 homes.Irish Times political correspondent Jack Horgan-Jones joins the podcast to discuss the most significant elements of Tuesday’s leak, while architect Mel Reynolds examines the Government’s failure to control the current housing model.
  • What will the death of Iran's President mean for tensions in the Middle East?

    16:29
    On Sunday afternoon, a helicopter carrying Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi and several of his delegates, including the country’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, crash-landed in a remote part of northwest Iran. President Raisi was returning from Iran’s border with Azerbaijan, where he had officiated the opening of two dams, alongside Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. Three helicopters were in the Iranian President’s convoy, but only two landed safely. On Monday morning, following an extensive search and rescue effort, Iranian officials confirmed that no one had survived the crash. It is believed adverse weather conditions were to blame. President Raisi was elected to power in 2021, in a presidential election that had the lowest turnout in the Islamic Republic’s history. He was seen as a conservative, hardline cleric who was tipped to replace Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei later this year. As Iran begins five days of official mourning and the interim President Mohammad Mokhber steps forward, what will the death of Raisi mean for the future of Iran? Will this sudden loss of leadership have ripple effects across the wider Middle East? And what impact, if any, will it have on the rising tensions between Iran and Israel?In the News presenter Sorcha Pollak talks to Sky News Middle East Correspondent Alistair Bunkhall about the death of the man nicknamed “the butcher of Tehran”.Produced by Suzanne Brennan and John Casey.
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    Later this year, UK citizens will cast their votes in a general election. And, with polls showing Labour well ahead of the Tories, it appears Keir Starmer is set to become the next prime minister.This week, Mr Starmer pledged to “rebuild Britain” and set out what he called his first steps in government if his party wins the election, making it clear that Labour is ready to govern Britain.To most people in Ireland, Starmer remains relatively unknown. But after a period of decline in UK-Irish relations, could the Dublin-London relationship be heading towards brighter days under a Labour leader?Today, on In the News, who is Keir Starmer and what would his leadership mean for Ireland? London correspondent Mark Paul on the man leading the Labour party towards victory in the next UK general election.
  • The Portal: Are we overreacting to a bit of 'bad' behaviour?

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    New Yorkers have been given a window into how some Dubliners behave in front of a camera. The portal is the city's newest public art installation; a two-way, real-time live stream between North Earl Street and 5th Avenue in Manhattan's Flat Iron district. Except some lewd behaviour on the northside has got it shut down... twice! In The News producer, Declan Conlon, spoke to observers enjoying the atmosphere around the portal when it was still operating this week. Bernice Harrison chats to art critic, Tom Lordan, about the interactive sculpture that's got everyone talking.Produced by Declan Conlon and Aideen Finnegan.