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Thursday 23 March 2023 Dublin: 12°C
The 9 at 9 Far-right protesters, Chinese balloons and Liz Truss.


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

Far-right protests

1. In our lead story this morning, Eimer McAuley reports that far-right activists have long been at the forefront of using new technologies to reach their audience, and monetising their content.

The money at play is currently very small in Ireland – but examples from the US shows that larger revenues can be garnered through livestreamed content.

Chinese balloon

2. China has threatened “further actions” after the US shot down a suspected spy balloon, with Beijing insisting it was a civilian aircraft and that the flyover an accident.

President Joe Biden ordered the craft shot down on yesterday after it had crossed over sensitive military sites across North America.

Pervez Musharraf

3. Former president of Pakistan General Pervez Musharraf has died at the age of 79, an official has said.

He was the military ruler who seized power in a bloodless coup and later led a reluctant Pakistan into aiding the US war in Afghanistan against the same Taliban fighters his nation murkily backed even as Islamic militants twice targeted him for assassination.

Liz Truss

4. Former UK prime minister Liz Truss has said she was never given a “realistic chance” to implement her radical tax-cutting agenda by her party and by a “powerful economic establishment”.

In her first detailed comments since she was forced out of No 10, Truss said she had not appreciated the strength of the resistance she would face to her plans.

Slavery apology

5. A British family whose ancestors had slaves in the 1800s is to apologise to the people of a Caribbean island and pay reparations.

PA has reported that one of the family members, a BBC journalist, said the Trevelyan family is apologising “for the role our ancestors played in enslavement on the island” of Grenada.

The family had more than 1,000 slaves there in the 19th century and owned six sugar plantations, the broadcaster reported.


6.Ukraine has fought off a fresh Russian assault on the embattled eastern city of Bakhmut, as it endured a wave of shelling in the disputed Donetsk region.

Officials meanwhile recovered the bodies of two British volunteers, killed trying to help evacuate people from the eastern warzone.

And the southern city of Odesa suffered a massive power cut affecting half a million households after an accident at a war-damaged electrical substation.

Pope Francis

7. Pope Francis has appealed to the people of South Sudan to lay down their “weapons of hatred” at an open-air mass on the final day of his pilgrimage to a country blighted by violence and poverty, AFP reports.

Large crowds of ecstatic worshippers streamed into the John Garang Mausoleum in the capital Juba to see the 86-year-old pontiff, who has made peace and reconciliation the theme of his three-day trip to the world’s newest nation.


8.A cargo train derailed in the midwestern United States, sparking a massive fire and triggering the release of small amounts of vinyl chloride, a hazardous chemical.

No injuries or fatalities were reported after around 50 cars of the 140-car train came off the tracks late Friday near the Ohio-Pennsylvania state border.

Sitdown Sunday

9.It’s a day of rest – and a bank holiday weekend – and you may be in the mood for a quiet corner and a comfy chair.

We’ve hand-picked the week’s best reads for you to savour.