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The 9 at 9: Thursday

Cuckoo funds, Gaza violence and positive vaccine news

Image: Shutterstock/Lisa-S

Updated May 13th 2021, 8:50 AM

GOOD MORNING. Here’s all the news that you need to know about as you start your day.

Cuckoo funds

1. Political correspondent Christina Finn has our lead story today, revealing that proposals to deal with investment funds known as cuckoo funds might not be ready for another two weeks.

Pressure has been mounting on the Government in recent weeks to take swift action to close off incentives for investment funds to purchase large amounts of housing in Ireland as soon as possible.

Gaza

2. Israel has pressed ahead with a fierce military offensive in the Gaza Strip, killing as many as 10 senior Hamas military figures. The country’s defence force also toppled a pair of high-rise towers housing Hamas facilities in airstrikes. Dozens of people, including children, have been killed in recent days.

Rally for Palestine

3. A demonstration to show solidarity with Palestine planned for Saturday in Dublin city is set to be cancelled following advice from gardaí that it could be in breach of Covid-19 public health regulations. The rally was organised by the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign and due to take place at the Spire.

Vaccines

4. Leo Varadkar has suggested that anyone in Ireland over the age of 18 who wants a Covid-19 vaccine may be offered one by the end of next month. The Tánaiste told a meeting of Fine Gael’s parliamentary party yesterday evening that the vaccine portal could be open to all adults by the end of June, though he cautioned that this did not mean that everyone would be vaccinated by then.

Ballymurphy

5. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has “apologised unreservedly on behalf of the UK Government” for the killings that took place in Ballymurphy in Belfast in 1971. A Downing Street spokesperson confirmed that the apology was made in a call between Johnson, Stormont First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill. 

Northern Ireland

6. Also in Northern Ireland, Stormont ministers will discuss Covid-19 regulations around international travel to and from the North when they meet today. First Minister Arlene Foster said yesterday that it would be “absolutely wrong” to speculate on what ministers could decide, but added that it is “safe to say” international travel would be discussed.

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Covid-19 variants

7. Staying with the pandemic, the number of coronavirus cases in England has halved in recent months, according to a study. Prevalence of infections dropped by 50% between March and early May, and is at its lowest since August, new data suggests. However, concerns remain about the threat from new variants

Economy 

8. Over on our business digest, Morning Memo, Ian Curran leads with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy. He writes that, viewed through the lens of GDP, it’s clear Ireland’s economy was better equipped than many to withstand the shock of the pandemic. The European Commission confirmed as much in its latest set of forecasts yesterday. But in the wake of the crisis, the IMF believes the Irish government needs to take a bigger hand in the economy. “Sustained growth”, it says, will “require more investment in the social and physical infrastructures”. Sign up to receive the newsletter to your inbox here.

Weather

9. And finally, it will be a mixed bag in terms of weather today. Sunny spells are expected this morning but showers will develop later, especially in the west and northwest. Rain will become widespread over Ulster and Leinster, with a risk of hail, isolated thunderstorms and spot flooding. Highest temperatures will range from 12 to 15 degrees.

About the author:

Órla Ryan

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