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The 9 at 9: Wednesday

US warns of long war in Ukraine, latest on National Maternity Hospital and students blast lengthy J1 visa delays

Image: Shutterstock/YARUNIV Studio

Updated May 11th 2022, 8:50 AM

GOOD MORNING.

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

Ukraine

1. Russian troops are being pushed away from Ukraine’s second city Kharkiv, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, but sounded a note of caution as Washington said Vladimir Putin won’t stop with the east and is ready for a long war.

Following that bleak prediction, and after US President Joe Biden warned that Ukraine would likely run out of funds to keep fighting within days, the US House of Representatives voted yesterday to send a $40 billion (about €38 billion) aid package to the country.

National Maternity Hospital

2. Amid controversy around the proposed relocation of the National Maternity Hospital, midwifery directors from Ireland’s maternity hospitals have voiced their support for the move to the grounds of St Vincent’s.

The directors addressed a letter to Health Minister Stephen Donnelly outlining their support for the move from the current location on Holles Street in Dublin 2 to the Elm Park Campus in Dublin 4.

In the letter, seen by The Journal, the directors say they are unanimous in their support for the project.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly is set to appear before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health this morning to answer questions on the details of the proposed relocation.

J1 visas

3. Students travelling to the US this summer on a J1 visa with USIT have blasted the company’s poor communication, with many unable to complete key steps in the application process just weeks before they’re due to fly out.

As a result, a number of students have said they are unsure of when they’ll be able to travel to the US, and therefore can’t secure accommodation or tell their employers when they can start working, Emer Moreau writes in today’s lead story.

Ballymun

4. Gardaí in Dublin have launched a murder investigation following the violent death of a woman in Ballymun.

Shortly before 3.30pm yesterday, gardaí were alerted to the discovery of the body of a woman, aged in her 50s, in a house in Sandyhill Gardens.

The body of the woman, which had received physical injuries, has been removed to the City Morgue, Whitehall.

The victim has been named locally as Lisa Thompson.

NI Protocol

5. The UK Foreign Secretary has said the UK “will not shy away” from taking action on the Northern Ireland Protocol after the British Prime Minister indicated the situation was “now very serious”.

Liz Truss said some proposals put forward by the European Union during months of discussions on the post-Brexit treaty would “take us backwards” as she argued against introducing “more checks, paperwork and disruption”.

Journalist killed 

6. Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was shot dead by Israeli troops today as she covered a raid on Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank, the network has said.

Al Jazeera said Abu Akleh (51) a prominent figure in the channel’s Arabic news service was shot “deliberately” and “in cold blood,” by Israeli troops.

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Covid-19 vaccines

7. An expert in intellectual property (IP) law is set to tell TDs that a proposed vaccine patent waiver would help lower- and middle-income countries access Covid-19 vaccines while still allowing Ireland to maintain IP protections.

The waiver, known as the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) waiver, was originally proposed by South Africa and India in October 2020 and would see a temporary lifting of vaccine IP to allow for poorer countries to access key Covid-19 vaccine technology.

Twitter v Trump

8. Elon Musk has said that as owner of Twitter, he would lift the ban on Donald Trump, contending that kicking the former US president off the platform “alienated a large part of the country”.

Musk’s endorsement of a Trump return to the global messaging platform triggered fears among activists that Musk would “open the floodgates of hate”.

“I would reverse the permanent ban,” the billionaire said at a Financial Times conference, noting that he doesn’t own Twitter yet, so “this is not like a thing that will definitely happen”.

Eurovision 

9. The first 10 countries have qualified for the Grand Final of the 66th Eurovision Song Contest after last night’s semi-final.

Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra are favourites to win the final with their song Stefania – a mix of Ukrainian folk music with hip hop which was written as a tribute to the frontman’s mother.

Ireland’s entry, Brooke Scullion, will take to the stage in tomorrow night’s semi-final to perform her song That’s Rich.

About the author:

Órla Ryan

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