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The 9 at 9: Tuesday

Defence Forces ethical hackers, international travel and Stormont returns over Troubles talks.

Image: Shutterstock/New Africa

Updated Jul 20th 2021, 8:55 AM

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

HSE cyber attack

1. In our main story today, Niall O’Connor reports that the Defence Forces deployed the skills of so-called ‘ethical hackers’ in their bid to fight back against the HSE cyber attack of May this year. 

Ethical hackers are trained to effectively think like a cyber criminal and highlight flaws in a system’s structure. They’re typically tasked with highlighting weaknesses that need to be addressed in IT systems. 

Warm weather

2. Another hot day is ahead of us with temperatures expected to reach up to 29 degrees. 

Met Éireann issued a national High Temperature Advisory earlier this week which will remain in place until midday on Friday. 

The next few days will continue very warm and largely dry as high pressure continues, with daytime temperatures widely reaching the mid to high 20s, with 29 or 30 degrees expected in parts of the midlands. 

International travel

3. Thousands of holidaymakers have passed through airports as travel restrictions in and out of Ireland were lifted yesterday.

The country has implemented the EU Covid Certificate, allowing people who are fully vaccinated to travel freely.

The certificate has been in place in other EU countries since 1 July.

Troubles prosecutions 

4. Northern Ireland’s politicians will return to Stormont later to send a message to the UK Government that they will not accept plans to end prosecutions for Troubles crimes.

The Assembly has been recalled from its summer recess as anger grows over proposals revealed last week by Secretary of State Brandon Lewis to deal with legacy issues in Northern Ireland.

Lewis announced last week that he intends to introduce legislation to create a proposed statute of limitations which would end all prosecutions for incidents up to April 1998 and would apply to military veterans as well as ex-paramilitaries.

England’s nightclubs

5. In England, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing a backlash over his plans to make coronavirus vaccination compulsory for nightclubs and other crowded venues in the autumn.

Speaking from self-isolation on so-called “freedom day”, Johnson warned venues with large crowds that they must make full vaccination a requirement of entry from the end of September.

Chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance said during the Downing Street press conference clubs had the potential to cause “super spreading events”.

Teenager dies in the North

6. Back in Northern Ireland, a 13-year-old boy has died after entering the water in an area of Co Down yesterday afternoon. 

Police were alerted at around 3.30pm of the incident at the Canal Court area of Scarva. 

The death is not being treated as suspicious at this stage. 

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Indoor dining talks

7. In the Republic, representatives from the hospitality sector will today meet with government as work continues on guidelines ahead of the expected reopening of indoor hospitality next month. 

RTÉ reports that the question of whether or not there will be time limits on the indoor service in bars and restaurants will be examined. 

Covid-19 figures

8. Public health officials yesterday evening confirmed 1,071 new cases of Covid-19 in Ireland.

The Department of Health reported that 101 patients with Covid-19 were in hospital yesterday, including 20 people in ICU.

Oregon wildfire

9. Internationally, the large wildfire scorching the western US state of Oregon has topped 300,000 acres.

Oregon’s giant Bootleg Fire has triggered over 2,100 evacuations and destroyed 67 homes in nearly two weeks of explosive growth, regularly forcing back firefighters who have only contained one quarter of its perimetre.

The largest inferno in the United States, now spanning 340,000 acres, an area larger than Los Angeles, has come unusually early in the fire season.

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