Seven Days


A glance at the week that was

1.6bnEstimated number of barrels of oil in Barryroe oilfield, off the coast of Co Cork.

€11mSize of the payoff to the disgraced Barclays Bank executive Jerry del Missier.

€36mAmount of emergency funding the Government granted CIÉ.

97%Proportion of the Greenland ice sheet that had thawed by July 12th, according to Nasa.

€247mProfit made by Nama in 2011

50%Rate of unemployment among 15- to 24-year-olds in Co Donegal, according to 2011 census results.

We now know

Even Madonna in a cheerleading costume can’t sell out the Aviva Stadium.

The first computer model of a complete bacterium has been produced by scientists in the US.

Teagasc is to carry out trials on a genetically modified potato

The mayor of a Belgian resort is to sue a newspaper and meteorological service for predicting bad weather, leading to a wave of holiday cancellations.

Chavez's 3D Bolivar homage

Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez has a reputation for eccentricity, but his latest project is one of the oddest: reconstructing the face of South America’s beloved 19th-century revolutionary Simón Bolívar in a 3D portrait. Chávez had Bolívar’s remains exhumed two years ago to test his theory that Bolívar was poisoned by Spanish forces. Tests were inconclusive, but artists studying the remains developed an impressively realistic portrait.

Next week you need to know about . . . Edinburgh Festival Fringe

The world’s largest arts festival kicks off next Friday, as Edinburgh Festival Fringe gets under way. The month-long programme of music, theatre, dance and comedy is bigger than ever, with 2,695 shows at 279 venues. The 66th annual festival is also spreading its wings: for the first time it has a poetry and spoken-word strand. Running alongside, and in competition with, the more formally curated Edinburgh International Festival, the fringe has long been an essential adventure for writers and performers. The original focus on theatre is still in evidence, with more than 750 productions, including 45 Shakespeare productions and even a sort-of sequel to Waiting for Godot by the Italian company Babygang.

The comedy strand constitutes more than a third of the fringe, with nearly 1,000 events. Dozens of Irish comics will make the pilgrimage in the hope of getting noticed. The winner of the top comedy award in 2008, David O’Doherty, is back for more, along with seasoned fringers Des Bishop and Neil Delamere. Making their debut are Limerick’s bag-wearing duo the Rubberbandits, who seem likely to ruffle some feathers.

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