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The 9 at 9: Thursday

An abortion FactCheck, Biden on Afghanistan and bacteria on Dublin beaches.

Image: Alamy Stock Photo

Updated Aug 19th 2021, 8:57 AM

GOOD MORNING.

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

Abortion FactCheck

1. Our lead story this morning is a FactCheck of the claim that “gender selection abortion is completely legal in Ireland”. 

The Aontú political party made the claim and pledged to introduce legislation in the next Dáil term to ban such practices. 

However, Rónán Duffy writes that the claim omits the crucial context of the likelihood or possibility of this taking place, as determining gender by ultrasound is not possible before 12 weeks. 

Biden on Afghanistan 

2. US President Joe Biden said the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan could not be achieved without “chaos”.

Biden was asked if, with the benefit of hindsight, he would have conducted the operation differently.

“No, I don’t think it could have been handled in a way that, we’re going to go back in hindsight and look, but the idea that somehow, there’s a way to have gotten out without chaos ensuing, I don’t know how that happens,” he said.

Vaccine efficacy

3. New research has suggested that two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has greater effectiveness initially against new Covid-19 infections associated with the Delta variant when compared to the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab, but its efficacy also declines faster.

Scientists from the University of Oxford have said that after four to five months, the level of protection offered by both vaccines is similar, with the AstraZeneca jab maintaining its effectiveness throughout the duration.

Anthony Flynn

4. Dublin city councillor Anthony Flynn has been found dead. The body of the 35-year-old, who was the co-founder and director of Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH), was discovered yesterday afternoon.

ICHH tonight paid tribute to the late councillor.

“This tragic loss is a source of deep shock to all of us at ICHH. We wish to express our sadness and deepest condolences to his family and friends at his sad passing,” it said.

Do Not Swim

5. People are being advised not to swim in the sea at Claremont and Malahide beaches in north county Dublin after routine testing found E. coli bacteria in the water.

The cause of the bacteria in the water was not revealed by the council. The notices will be in place for 72 hours.

The Late Late low-down

6. Ryan Tubridy  has said the new series of The Late Late Show will be “back with a bang” and will be “optimistic, positive and hopeful” in tone to reflect “post-pandemic” society.

The presenter said the show will “have some class of an audience” at some point in the autumn but that he’s not sure if that will be in time for the first show in two weeks.

Ashraf Ghani

7. Afghan president Ashraf Ghani has defended his decision to flee Kabul in the face of the Taliban advance, describing it as the only way to prevent bloodshed.

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Ghani also denied claims by his country’s ambassador to Tajikistan that he had stolen $169 million dollars (€145 million) from state funds.

French forest fire

8. A wildfire near the French Riviera has killed two people and was burning out of control in the forests of the popular region, fuelled by wind and drought.

Over 1,100 firefighters were battling the flames and thousands of tourists and locals were evacuated to safer areas.

The fire started on Monday evening 24 miles inland from the coastal resort of Saint-Tropez.

Live events

9. A group representing the events industry said they are “disappointed” following a meeting with the Minister for Culture and Arts Catherine Martin. 

The Event Industry Alliance (EIA) met with Minister Martin yesterday to discuss the restrictions on the entertainment sector. 

Following the meeting the group said that the industry is disappointed and that they need urgent action from the Government. 

About the author:

Céimin Burke

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