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europe

Well, we didn't know if they would ever surface again, but Jedward are back… and it's actually for a pretty good reason. 

The twins told The Irish Sun that their 'tour' will involve travelling to European airports and they actually won't be playing any music. 

Instead, the boys are going to fly to multiple airports everyday and meet their fans at each stop. 

John said, "We're not performing but instead we plan on defying the current fears about terrorism by reassuring our fans that everything will be OK."

Edward also added, "It's not about the money. It's about making a connection with cool people. People can take selfies with us. Whatever they want to do."

Now, we're not sure Jedward can solve World Peace, but what the guys are doing is pretty thoughtful, and we think more people should reach out like they are. 

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If you haven't had a holiday this year due to time or price constraints then fear not, because Ryanair has just extended its winter sale by 24-hours. 

The airline announced the news today which means its bumper sale – which was supposed to end tonight – is now extended until midnight tomorrow, November 3. 

Seats are going for just €9.99 on a number of routes across Europe, which means you can now fly to Copenhagen, Edinburgh, London or Paris for a very reasonable rate. 

The carrier said it's able to fund the price cuts by taking advantage of new lower fuel costs. 

Ryanair's Robin Kiely told The Mirror: "Due to overwhelming demand, we are extending our winter seat giveaway by 24-hours on over 370 routes in our European network, with 500,000 seats for sale for just €9.99 – making Europe's lowest fares even lower.

"These winter giveaways are only available to book until Midnight Tuesday for travel between November and February next and since these crazy low prices are sure to be snapped up quickly, we urge customers to book them today on www.ryanair.com before they sell out." 

Get to it, people!

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It is the shocking image that began to emerge yesterday afternoon on social media: a small boy in blue trousers, a red t-shirt, and pair of smart black Velcro runners.

He was seen lying face down in the sand on a beach in Bodrum, a coastal area of Turkey popular with Irish tourists.

The three-year-old toddler, later named as Aylan Kurdi, had drowned – along with a dozen others.

Fleeing the violence of their home in Syria, Aylan and his family were attempting to reach Greece across the Aegean Sea at the time of his death.

The small boat on which they were travelling would have been loaded with migrants before setting off at 2am yesterday from the coast of Turkey.

Aylan, of course, never made it. Nor did his five-year-old elder brother, Galip, or their mother, Rehan. Two people remain unaccounted for; the youngest victim is a nine-month-old baby.

The short journey amounts to just 20km, but none of the passengers were wearing life-jackets, and once tossed into the sea, the children in particular stood little chance of survival. 

The only remaining member of the family, the children’s father, Abdullah, had to make a series of unspeakably grim phone-calls to relatives yesterday.

He reportedly could only say: “My wife and two boys are dead,” before breaking down in grief.

Despite the presumed hardship of their young lives – the family lived in the ISIS-besieged Syrian city of Kobane – evidently the Kurdi boys enjoyed moments of happiness too: heartbreaking photographs of the pair emerged this morning.

One shows them smiling warmly while posing for the camera; Galip with his arm around Alyan.

A second snap shows the boys laughing with a large teddy bear between them.

Today, newspapers throughout Europe are dominated by the image of Alyan’s body – many front pages show him being carried gently from the shoreline by a member of the Turkish police force.

Indeed, the photograph is being compared to other historically significant and pivotal images from the 20th century: the stark picture of a burning Phan Thi Kim Phúc taken during the Vietnamese War, as well as the photo used on the cover of TIME magazine showing Muslim prisoners peering through barbed wire during the Srebrenica Genocide.

Social media has been particularly vocal too, with hundreds of thousands of tweets being posted calling for European nations – including Ireland – to do more to alleviate the crisis.

Speaking on RTE’s Morning Ireland today, Minister Brendan Howlin admitted that as a nation we now must “step up to the plate,” to help those refugees fleeing from Syria.

“It’s a world issue,” he said. “And we need to have a world response with a real sense of solidarity.”

Calling it “one of the most challenging issues for human-kind right now,” he concluded: “Seeing the bodies of young children on the shores of Europe is so shocking – and we can’t let that lie.”

Ireland has so far committed to taking 600 refugees between now and 2017.

This year, Germany, which has been at the forefront of campaigning on behalf of displaced peoples from the Middle East, will take 800,000.

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We are not now nor have we ever been a large country – but we are certainly getting bigger. 

In fact, when it comes to population growth, Ireland is booming. Last year, there were 4,605,500 of us knocking around; this year, that's swelled to 4,625,900.

According to Eurostat, we continue to have the highest birthrate in Europe, and the second lowest rate of deaths (behind only Cyprus): 66,500 babies were born here with only 29,300 deaths occurring. 

Gordon D'Arcy and Aoife Cogan welcomed a daughter in May

 

In contrast, 700,000 babies were born in Germany, but 875,000 Germans died.

However, with 16 percent of the total EU population (81.2million people), Germany continues to be the most populated EU country, ahead of France (66.4million residents) and the United Kingdom (64.8million residents).

On 1 January 2015, the population of the European Union was 508.2million, compared with 506.9 million the year before.

In March, Ibec chief executive Danny McCoy said the island of Ireland can expect to hit a population of 10million before 2050.

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With budget airlines and so many amazing destinations to choose from – we’ve compiled some places you can visit on a mini-break that won’t completely break you.

Krakow in Poland
With stunning town squares and charming buildings – enjoy a coffee in one of many charming cafes or visit the extensive museums and galleries of Krakow.

Budapest in Hungary
With a stunning Royal Palace, the Széchenyi Baths and lots of delicious Hungarian delicacies to try out, Budapest will be a city break to remember.

Edinburgh in Scotland
From the castle on the Royal Mile to the countless charming medieval streets and great bars, Edinburgh is a must on any list. While drinks and food may not be cheap exactly, countless offers on flights will help to even things out.

Prague in the Czech Republic
A famously charming city, home to the gorgeous Charles Bridge and the Astronomical Clock in the Old Town, sit back with a local beer and soak in the great atmosphere of Prague.

Lisbon in Portugal
A fabulously historical city, Lisbon is one of the cheapest destinations in Europe with amazing value for money. Partake in a walking tour to make sure you get to see every inch of this fascinating city. Don't forget to eat one (or seven) custard tarts – they are famous here! 

all images via Pinterest

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4, 879 people across Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, Germany and England were asked the following question: “In your lifetime, have you ever been unfaithful, i.e. had sex with someone other than the person you were in a relationship with?”

The survey was conducted by Gleedon, a French dating website that specialises in people looking to have affairs and The French Institute of Public Opinion.

Germany came out almost equal with 43% of women saying yes and 46% of men saying the same. This rate was the highest for women who admitted cheating on their partner.

The highest rate of cheating came from men in France and Italy at 55% compared to 32% and 34% of women respectively.

The most faithful men came from England with only 42% saying yes, and faithful women from Spain at 28%.

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Tori and David are a couple in their mid-twenties and they plan on travelling across Europe. While their idea doesn’t seem that unusual on the surface, there is a lot more to their story than meets the eye.

Tori suffers from Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a weakening of muscles, so her only means of mobility is an electric wheelchair.

While the couple are calling it their “small adventure,” it is not actually that small; in fact, the travelling duo hope to cover over 4000 miles and, to makes things harder, they plan on doing it in under four weeks.

Leaving from Devon on the 4th May, they will hit a number of cities across the continent, including France, Italy, Slovenia, Hungary and Croatia.

They hope to show that with “forward planning and the ambition to achieve” anything is possible. They will be updating their adventures on their blog, Our Small Adventure.

Tori said: “Rushing around for 2 nights in a European city, only to return home as stressed as we went, we feel it just isn’t worth the cost. So we thought, let’s do it all in one go!”

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