EVERY WEEKDAY EVENING, TheJournal.ie brings you the five stories you should know by 5pm.
1. #UNEXPECTED: Ireland is on its way to an “unexpected economic comeback”, according to two economists writing in the Financial Times. Max Watson and David Vines note that the ratings agencies may have made a “major error” in their assessment of Irish sovereign debt. Meanwhile, IBEC says that the economy is on track and set to grow this year, but any more strident austerity measures than those already planned could have a negative effect on the situation.
2. #EDUCATION: The Department of Education says it has not taken any decision on changing the age at which children start school or on abolishing transition year. Most of those who responded to TheJournal.ie‘s poll today on proposals aimed at cutting down the country’s €9-billion education bill say they don’t want to see such changes being made.
3. #DIABETES: Ireland could be facing a diabetes epidemic, according to the insurer VHI Healthcare. The company says that up to 30,000 people could be suffering from undiagnosed Type II diabetes.
4. #SYRIA: US President Barack Obama has called on Syrian leader Bashar Assad to “step aside”. The US had previously called on Syria to stop its violent crackdown on pro-reform protesters and this is the first time Obama has clearly called for Assad’s resignation. He also commended the “courageous persistence” of Syrian demonstrators.
5. #BANDITS ON THE MOVE: Some good news today for Irish comedy duo The Rubberbandits: Britain’s Channel 4 has commissioned the two to make a set of comedy shorts for its new online series Comedy Blaps.