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Here's What Happened Today: Thursday

Here’s your round-up of what made the headlines today.

NEED TO CATCH up? The Journal brings you a round-up of today’s news.


Moon flight 001 A flight of birds in Dublin city centre this morning. Source: Sam Boal

  • NPHET has advised the Cabinet that it supports Covid-19 restrictions being relaxed earlier than originally planned. 
  • Public health officials reported an additional 5,523 positive PCR cases and 5,048 positive antigen tests. 
  • The Taoiseach said he expects to be in a position to give a “clear and comprehensive” statement on the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions tomorrow evening. 
  • Police in Belfast launched a murder investigation following the death of a teenager who died weeks after an assault. 
  • Electricity consumption by data centres has more than doubled since 2015, new figures from the Central Statistics Office show.
  • Peat has been unlawfully extracted from peatlands in Co Westmeath to a depth of five metres “much like rock is removed from a quarry”, the High Court heard.
  • The new chairperson designate for the Land Development Agency (LDA) told an Oireachtas committee that they aim to deliver 5,000 affordable homes over the next four years.
  • The €1,000 tax-free bonus for public sector healthcare workers will be paid in February or March, according to the Tánaiste Leo Varadkar. 
  • Stormont ministers agreed relaxations on several Covid-19 restrictions in Northern Ireland.
  • Just one in five people in Ireland believe women are treated equally in the home, new poll results found.
  • The father of three children killed by their mother, Deirdre Morley, has begun legal proceedings in the High Court against the HSE and a healthcare facility where she was treated before their deaths. 


winter-weather-jan-20th-2022 A jet skier jumping the waves off the coast of Blyth in England. Source: PA

#CATHOLIC CHURCH: Former Pope Benedict XVI was heavily incriminated in a new report on the handling of child sex abuse in the Catholic Church in Munich.

#UKRAINE: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned that there would be a “swift, severe” response from the United States and its allies if Russia sends any military forces into Ukraine. 

#NO 10 CONTROVERSIES: Boris Johnson is battling claims that Tory critics are facing “intimidation” which could amount to blackmail as part of an effort to keep him in office.

#BRIDGE: Nearly €1.1 million worth UK taxpayers’ money was spent on a study commissioned by Boris Johnson which found it would be too expensive to build a bridge or tunnel between Scotland and the North. 


upi-20200123 File image of the Doomsday Clock in 2020. Source: UPI/PA Images

The Doomsday Clock, a symbol representing the likelihood of a man-made global catastrophe, was today set to 100 seconds to midnight for the third year in a row.

The hands have been in at 100 seconds to midnight since 2020. It reflects the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ view that the world is no safer than it was this time last year.

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The countdown considers the probability of emerging threats like climate change and advances in artificial intelligence and biotechnology. 

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists established the clock in 1947, starting at seven minutes to midnight.

In 1953, when the US and USSR tested hydrogen bombs, the clock was at two minutes to midnight. A decade later, the countries signed the Partial Test Ban Treaty and the clock moved to 12 minutes to midnight.

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