EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you the nine things you need to know as you begin your day.
1. #PARALYMPICS: The Taoiseach Enda Kenny has congratulated members of Ireland paralympic team for their “inspiring” performance in yesterday’s games. Darragh McDonald, Jason Smyth and Michael McKillop all won gold medals at the 2012 Paralympic games – with Smyth and McKillop both setting new world records. “This has been a great weekend for Ireland and for sport, with 4 gold medals,” said Kenny, adding that the athletes had “done their country, family and Team Ireland proud”.
2. #TUTU: Archbishop Desmond Tutu has called for former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and former US President George W Bush to be tried before the International Criminal Court for their roles in the Iraq War, reports the Guardian. Tutu has accused the pair of lying about the Saddam Hussein having weapons of mass destruction – adding that the deeply controversial conflict created a backdrop for civil war in Syria and increasing tensions in northern Iran.
3. #SHOOTING: A man is in a critical condition in hospital after being shot in Bunratty, Co Clare. The victim, aged in his 20s, was approached by two men in a hotel car park and shot “a number of times”, before the attackers escaped in a black-coloured car at about 4am this morning. Gardaí are appealing to the public for information.
4. #HEALTH CUTS: The Labour Party is understood to be ‘furious’ over the announcement of €130 million cuts to the health service by the Minister for Health James Reilly earlier this week – with the Sunday Business Post reporting that Reilly allegedly went ahead with his plans without first consulting his cabinet colleagues. The measures, which will include means testing for home care patients and longer working week for staff, have prompted Labour chairman Colm Keaveney to tell the Sunday Independent the party is getting ready for a snap election over Reilly’s “totally unacceptable” behaviour.
5. #SOCIALIST PARTY: The Socialist Party is today expected to make further statements later over the resignation of Clare Daly TD from the party. The party yesterday accused Daly of “reckless misjudgement” over her support of Independent TD Mick Wallace. Daly, who says she is now a United Left Alliance (ULA) deputy, aid that the content of the Socialist Party statement was “inaccurate” but added that she did not wish to engage in a war of words with the leadership of the party.
6. #AER LINGUS: Trade unions are demanding that Aer Lingus pay up to €400 million to guarantee pension entitlements into the future or face a massive strike next month, the Sunday Business Post reports. Siptu is threatening industrial action in Dublin, Cork and Shannon terminals unless unless moves are made to properly address the pension scheme crisis, which is shared by Aer Lingus and the Dublin Airport Authority.
7. #RIP: David Charlton, the husband of former Tánaiste Mary Coughlan, has passed away at the age of 48. Mr Charlton, a garda based in Glenties in Co Donegal, had been suffering from cancer. The couple have a son and daughter.
8. #ADOPTION: The Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald is to bring new legislation to cabinet this week seeking to facilitate an easier adoption process for children of married parents. A spokesperson for the Minister told The Sunday Times that children of married parents are treated differently under Irish law, leading to a difficult legal situation whereby some children are not eligible for adoption until they reach the age of 18.
9. #PAKISTAN: Police in Pakistan have arrested a Muslim cleric who accused a young Christian girl of blasphemy on suspicion that he planted evidence, reports Reuters. The girl, 14, was accused of burning page of Quran – serious offence in Pakistan that could result in life imprisonment or even the death sentence. The case has sparked massive controversy in the country, not least of all because of questions regarding the girl’s mental capacity.