EVERY EVENING, TheJournal.ie brings you a round-up of all the day’s main news, as well as the bits and pieces you may have missed along the way.
- A comprehensive report by An Taisce has identified the county councils with the worst planning records – after giving every council in the country an individual grade, based on the number of planning applications which were overturned on appeal. (You can see the map of worst offenders here.) The report discusses how the town of Ennis saw some of “the most senseless zoning” of the Celtic Tiger era – and suggests that the absence of local tax revenues meant councils were eager to grant planning permission simply to earn commercial rates.
- The trial has begun in Norway of Anders Behring Breivik, the man behind the attacks in Oslo and Utoya Island last July. Breivik this morning admitted responsibility but denied criminal guilt, saying he had acted in self-defence. The court was this morning shown a propaganda video uploaded by Breivik to YouTube – with Breivik breaking down in tears as he watched it.
- The Central Bank has declined to comment on reports that it’s agreed to buy the unfinished Anglo Irish Bank HQ on Dublin’s North Wall Quay. Bloomberg reported that an €8 million fee to buy the half-built lot had been agreed with NAMA.
- Over one million Irish adults have less than €50 left to spend after they pay their essential bills every month.
- A transatlantic flight made an emergency landing in Dublin earlier on – after a passenger mistook a phone charger for a suspicious device. The Delta flight from Istanbul to New York made an emergency landing after the charger was found left in a toilet cubicle.
- One of Ireland’s MEPs wants to examine whether the EU can pass laws banning employers from seeking their employees’ Facebook passwords. Phil Prendergast wants to follow the lead of Maryland, which banned the practice last week.
- A US-Irish consortium has begun legal action against the State, saying it must put the contract for running Ireland’s school buses out to tender. Bus Éireann insists it’s running an efficient and cost-effective service.
- Congratulations, people of Abbeyleix! Bord na Mona has handed over some bogland to you.
- The body representing rank-and-file Gardaí says government plans to close Garda stations will have an impact on their ability to fight crime.
A North Korean choir sings during a concert in Pyongyang earlier today to commemorate 100 years since the birth of Kim Il-Sung, the country’s founder and Eternal President. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)
- So much for the Syrian ceasefire. Shelling resumed in the country just hours after the UN’s monitors arrived.
- Are you registered to vote in the Fiscal Compact referendum? The government has urged people to check if they’re on the register and to act now if they’re not.
- Is Spain going down the swanee? The interest rate for 10-year loans to the Spanish government breached the 6 per cent barrier today – back beyond the level which most people consider to be unsustainable.
- Security officials have raised concerns that plans to bring the Olympic torch to Northern Ireland in early June – during the Queen’s diamond jubilee celebrations – could be a security nightmare.
- In other Olympic news, there’s been some controversy in Turkey this evening, where Irish boxer Joe Ward has been beaten 18-15 and eliminated from the London games – though the Irish camp has appealed the result, querying the scoring in the final round.
- Some other better sporting news, though: Fabrice Muamba was discharged from hospital in London this afternoon, and is well on the road to recovery.
- As if some people weren’t already high achievers: Game of Thrones star Jack Gleeson was today named a Scholar at Trinity College.
- The Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild have unveiled their nominees for the 2012 ZeBBie awards, with the likes of Love/Hate and Trivia among those nominated.
- 53 days to go. Anyone for the first of the Damien Duff Euro 2012 t-shirts?
- Look up! The International Space Station will be clearly visible over Irish skies tonight (as long as there are no clouds in the way, naturally).
- Finally this evening: who doesn’t love a good demolition video? Well, you’re in for a treat: believe it or not, there’s such a thing as the International Society of Explosive Engineers, and they produce annual videos with the ‘Best Of’ the previous year’s explosions. This one is the 2002 compilation. Even if you don’t like implosions, you’ll enjoy the (terrifically out of place) soothing pan pipe soundtrack:
(YouTube credit: blbpdsusa)