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The 9 at 9: Wednesday

Paramedic response bikes on wedding escort, Baby John, the Dáil returns and California Governor vote.

Image: Alamy Stock Photo

GOOD MORNING.

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

Ambulance probe

1. We begin our day with the news that the National Ambulance Service has launched a review after two of its emergency response paramedics on motorbikes were used to give a bride-to-be a blue-light escort to her wedding. 

After providing the 50km escort the two paramedics were told to wait outside the church until the ceremony was finished and then drop the newly-married couple to their reception venue, keeping the emergency vehicles away from their normal duties for a number of hours.

Baby John

2. In Kerry, the story of Baby John, whose body was discovered on a beach in Kerry in 1984.

The infant’s remains have been exhumed by gardaí. He was found with multiple injuries on White Strand beach in Cahersiveen on April 14 1984. In 2018, gardaí took DNA samples from locals in the Cahersiveen region in the hope that they could track down the baby’s family. 

Dáil returns

3. Politicians will today return to Leinster House full-time after over a year of Dáil sittings in the Convention Centre. 

The Convention Centre on Dublin’s quays was used thoughout the pandemic as it was large enough to allow for social distancing.

Norm MacDonald

4. Comedian Norm MacDonald, a former Saturday Night Live writer and performer, has died at the age of 61.

Macdonald died on Tuesday after having cancer for nine years. He never reached the same television heights after being fired from SNL in 1998, but was an indefatigable stand-up comic and popular talk show guest whose death provoked an outpouring from fellow comedians.

California

5. California Governor Gavin Newsom has defeated a recall election vote aimed at kicking him out of office early.

After a contest he crafted as part of a national battle for his Democratic party’s values in the face of the coronavirus pandemic and lingering threats from Trumpism, the victory cemented Newsom as a prominent figure in national Democratic politics, preserving his prospects for a future federal run.

Dolphin slaughter

6. The slaughter of 1,428 white-sided dolphins over the weekend, part of a four-century-old traditional drive of sea mammals into shallow water where they are killed for their meat and blubber, has reignited a debate on the Faroe Islands.

The hunt in the North Atlantic islands is not commercial and is authorised, but environmental activists claim it is cruel.

Hospital failures 

7. A senior consultant has admitted there were failures by St Luke’s General Hospital in Kilkenny in the care of a baby boy who died five days after suffering an “acute event” at his birth as well as the treatment of his mother who was 11 days overdue.

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Baby Laurence Somers died at the Coombe Hospital in Dublin on 28 January 2018 after being transferred from St Luke’s following complications suffered during his delivery by an emergency Caesarean section.

Taliban deal

8. The foreign minister in Afghanistan’s new Taliban-run cabinet has said the government is committed to its promise not to allow militants to use its territory to attack others.

In his first press conference since the Taliban formed an interim government a week ago, Molavi Amir Khan Muttaqi would not give a timeframe for how long the government would be in place, or whether it would eventually be opened up to other factions, minorities or women.

Under a deal reached last year with the United States, the Taliban promised to break ties with al Qaida and other militant groups and ensure they do not threaten other countries from its territory.

Arrests

9. Four men have been arrested in Derry in connection with the murder of Lyra McKee. 

The detentions were made this morning by PSNI detectives and the men are held on anti-terrorism legislation. 

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