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Dublin: 4°C Wednesday 8 December 2021
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Things we learned, loved and shared today…

Royal heads: these 12-foot-high statues of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh were built by Suzanne Ellis and her partner Ben Bennett in Fifield, Berkshire. Their full heads of green hair are made from a combination of grass, plants and flowers. (Image: Steve Parsons/PA Wire)

HERE ARE THE things you need to know as we round off the day in three easy steps…

THINGS WE LEARNED:

#STATE OF WAR: North Korea has issued a warning to Seoul and Washington DC, stating that “any provocation” could swiftly escalate into an all-out nuclear conflict. The US said it took the announcement “seriously” but South Korea dismissed the threat.

#NEW POLL: The latest Behaviour and Attitudes poll for the Sunday Times will show support for Labour is at an all-time low, while the popularity of Independent TDs has surged by six points. Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s satisfaction rating is unchanged at 39 per cent, reports RTÉ.

#MADIBA: Legendary anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela is said to be responding well to treatment for a lung infection in hospital. Current president Jacob Zuma told South Africans that the 94-year-old is now breathing without difficulty.

#SUPPORT: Messages of support are pouring in for jockey JT McNamara after his paralysis was confirmed last night. The amateur rider suffered a serious neck injury at Cheltenham last month but is said to be “in a positive frame of mind”.

#CHURCH: In a wide-ranging interview with Marian Finucane today, Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said the Catholic Church in Ireland is at a “critical juncture” and needs to reflect on its future. He recalled challenging Pope John Paul II’s belief that secularisation moved quickly in Ireland but admitted the Church was slow to come to terms with the changing roles of women in society. He also called for a review of education cutbacks that disproportionately impact already-disadvantaged children.

#NORTHERN IRELAND: Two separate explosions have been reported in Armagh this weekend. The first occurred in the quiet village of Bessbrook just before midnight yesterday, while the second took place in a residential area of Lurgan this afternoon. Nobody was injured in either incident.

THINGS WE LOVED

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THINGS WE SHARED

(YouTube Credit: TheGuardian)

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