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The 9 at 9: Wednesday

Extension of renter protections, universal sick pay plan, and Leaving Cert exams get underway.

Image: Shutterstock/okanakdeniz

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

New rent protections 

1. Cabinet is expected to sign off on proposals today to ensure that all renters – including students – won’t have to fork out multiples of their monthly rent amounts when signing a tenancy agreement.

Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien is bringing a memo to Cabinet that will restrict upfront payment demands made by landlords,  Christina Finn writes in today’s lead story.

Under the new regulations, which the government plans to have passed into law by the summer, renters will only be required to supply a deposit and a month’s rent in advance, and the total value will not be allowed exceed the value of two months’ rent. 

Poolbeg 

2. Opposition parties have raised concerns over the delivery of social and affordable homes at Poolbeg in Dublin after developer Johnny Ronan announced plans to proceed with the first part of a major redevelopment. 

Dublin City Council is to enter negotiations with the developers to discuss how the social and affordable units will be delivered. 

The 37-acre Poolbeg site in Ringsend, Dublin 4, is one of the last large-scale pieces of development land left in Dublin city with up to 3,800 homes planned for what has been described as a ‘new suburb’ for the city. 

Leaving Cert

3. It’s D-Day for some 55,000 students around the country today as the Leaving Certificate examinations get underway.

This year, students had a choice of whether to sit an exam in each subject or receive a calculated grade, to be known this year as an SEC-Accredited Grade.

Some 61,500 candidates are entered for this year’s Leaving Certificate, between both written examinations and Accredited Grades.

Sick Pay

4. Cabinet is to consider proposals for new legislation to give all workers the right to paid sick leave.

It is understood Tánaiste and Minister for Employment, Leo Varadkar will today bring proposals to government for the new legislation which would provide a minimum level to protection to employees who may have no entitlement to company sick pay schemes.

G7 Summit

5. Joe Biden will begin his first overseas trip as US president when he touches down in Britain ahead of a G7 Summit with an emphasis on coronavirus vaccines.

Having succeeded Trump after his single fractious term in the White House, Biden said the trip is about “realising America’s renewed commitment to our allies and partners” in an article for the Washington Post.

Biden also said he would meet with the British Prime Minister to “affirm the special relationship between our nations”.

Indoor dining 

6. People in France will begin to experience an easing of Covid-19 restrictions today.

As cases fall and vaccinations rise they will be able to enjoy indoor dining and staying out until 11pm for the first time in months.

In a key new phase of the programme relaxing the lockdown, diners will be able to go inside cafes and restaurants, terrace consumption having already resumed on 19 May.

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Ortega crackdown 

7. Nicaraguan authorities detained two more potential presidential candidates, for a total of four, as a crackdown by President Daniel Ortega deepened ahead of elections later this year.

Ortega has been accused by the opposition and NGOs of authoritarian rule and the brutal suppression of demonstrations against his rule. Both the European Union and the United States have imposed sanctions against Ortega and his government.

University rankings

8. Dublin’s Trinity College has ranked 101st in the QS World University Rankings, while the best university in the world, for a tenth consecutive year, is Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Trinity saw a rise in academic reputation but a decline in global scores associated with staff-student ratios, where all Irish universities struggle to do well.

University College Dublin (UCD) saw an increase in its ranking, from 177th last year to 173rd this year. The University of Limerick also placed higher this year, moving up to the 501st-510th group in the rankings.

Trade Wars 

9.  Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called on G7 nations to overhaul global trade rules to stop powerful countries like China using economic coercion.

As Australia’s shadow trade war with its largest trading partner China shows few signs of abating, Morrison told the Perth USAsia Centre that the global rules-based order is “under serious strain”.

About the author:

Adam Daly

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