EVERY EVENING, TheJournal.ie brings you a roundup of the day’s main news – plus any bits and pieces you may have missed:
- The government has advised mortgage holders to ensure that their lenders are passing on the benefits of the new mortgage interest relief scheme. Some lenders have had to delay introducing the measure, which is meant to take effect as of January 1.
- Environment minister Phil Hogan has assured the public that the Household Charge website is “fully secure”, after the Data Protection Commissioner raised concerns about the information sought from people paying the €100 charge online. (The minister might want to take a look at his own website, though…)
- The owner of the Vita Cortex foam manufacturer says he cannot “move money” between his various companies in order to pay the redundancy payments due to its staff. SIPTU has described the claim as “incredible”.
- Photographers have been taking a look at the fire damage to St Catherine’s Church on Dublin’s Meath Street, which was vandalised earlier this week. The parish priest fears it could be years before the damage is undone.
- A British MP has apologised after claiming on Twitter that white people “love playing divide and rule”. Diane Abbott, a black MP for Labour, said her remarks were “taken out of context”.
- The colleagues of missing public servant Monica Riordan have renewed their appeal for information on her disappearance. She was last seen on December 21.
Anyone got change for a €2? The Central Bank has issued these limited edition €2 coins to mark the tenth anniversary of the euro’s introduction as a cash currency. (Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland)
- A fisherman was airlifted to hospital in Cork earlier today after being injured on a Spanish vessel around 100 miles off the coast of Cork.
- An independent panel of experts in the UK have found that there is a “strong case” for offering terminally ill people the option of assisted death, but that euthanasia should not be permitted.
- Ryanair has blamed rising oil prices after revealing its passenger numbers fell in December 2011, when compared to the same month last year. The airline says fuel costs forced it to ground over a quarter of its fleet.
- Guess who’s back? Mount Etna has erupted for the first time this year – and left a new crater in doing so.
- A judge in Northern Ireland sent four men to the cells earlier today – after they “found mirth” at his complaints over a mobile phone which rang in the courtroom. The men were released after 95 minutes’ detention – and after they said sorry.
- The EU’s bailout fund has raised €3bn which it will use to pay for Ireland’s bailout. The EFSF will pay less than a quarter of the interest that Ireland would have to if we were borrowing it ourselves.
- A mental health-themed arts festival has gotten underway in Dublin. The ‘First Fortnight’ festival aims to challenge prejudice about mental health through live music, talks, film and art.
- Decades of awkwardness for Saudi Arabian women have come to an end – today the country has adopted a royal decree banning men from working in lingerie stores.
- Are you one of the many people who get annoyed at dinner parties when other people start checking their phones? Perhaps this game – called “Don’t be a d*** during meals with friends” – might be something to pursue.
- Finally this evening – are you an extra-terrestrial looking to get up to speed with human comings-and-goings? Or are you a human who would simply like a crash course on everything that’s happened in the last century? This video from DerDon1234 on YouTube might be convenient: