EVERY EVENING, TheJournal.ie brings you a round-up of the latest news stories, as well as the bits and pieces you may have missed during the day.
- Finance minister Michael Noonan has unveiled the government’s ‘jobs initiative’, aimed at reducing the unemployment rate from its current level of 14.6 per cent down to a manageable 10 per cent by 2015. Among its main elements are cuts to VAT and the travel tax, but the plan is controversial – because it’s levying private pension schemes to cover its costs.
- Earlier in the Dáil, Enda Kenny had said he expected there to be a new drive to legalise the United States’ population of undocumented Irish – with a possible amendment being tabled to a package of new security enforcement measures expected soon.
- Two 10-year-old boys in Derry have thankfully escaped injury after a grenade thrown at a nearby police patrol failed to detonate.
- Remember the on-field fracas at the end of last summer’s Leinster senior football final, when referee Martin Sludden was (wrongly) accosted by (rightly) angry Louth fans? Today three men were charged with assault.
- A 36-year-old woman has been arrested in connection with the murder of PSNI officer Ronan Kerr. She is currently being questioned in Antrim Police Station.
- Food safety body Safefood says a large number of Irish people are in denial about being overweight – and it’s trying to counter the problem by distributing free tape measures, which may indicate a person’s weight problem.
- The mother of missing Madeleine McCann is to publish a new book about the experience of losing her daughter – painting a chilling picture of alleged police incompetence in the Algarve where Maddie went missing four years ago.
- Former Dragon’s Den investor Sarah Newman could have her luxury €12m Swiss skiing chalet seized by AIB. Best take our tour of Chalet Grace quickly, then.
- Some users of Skype have been reporting an unusual amount of downtime this afternoon, with an elevated number of calls being dropped. They’ll be hoping it’s nothing to do with Microsoft buying the service for $8.5bn.
- Finally, it’s the first semi-final of the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest in Dusseldorf, Germany tonight. Ireland isn’t in tonight’s heat – Jedward are the last act in Thursday’s second semi final- so in the meantime, it might be worth keeping an eye on Hungary and Azerbaijan, both of whom are tipped to do well in Saturday’s final should they make it.
Hungary: Kati Wolf – ‘What About My Dreams?’
Azerbaijan: Eli and Nikki – ‘Running Scared’