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Thursday 23 March 2023 Dublin: 10°C
The 9 at 9 Earthquake devastates Syria and Turkey, Ireland’s climate strategy delay, and Beyonce’s big night.


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


1. 360 people are confirmed dead following an earthquake that has caused devastation in Turkey and Syria overnight, with fears that the death toll could rise significantly as rescuers are still hard at work frantically searching through the rubble, and many are injured. 

On both sides of the border, residents jolted out of sleep by the pre-dawn quake rushed outside on a cold, rainy and snowy winter night, as buildings were flattened and strong aftershocks continued.

On the Syrian side of the border, the quake smashed opposition-held regions that are packed with some 4 million people displaced from other parts of Syria by the country’s long civil war.


2. Pop queen Beyonce on Sunday reigned supreme at the Grammys, breaking the all-time record for wins with her 32nd prize and fourth of the night – but the Album of the Year prize that’s long eluded her slipped from her fingers once again, going instead to Brit Harry Styles.

All of the top contenders including Adele, Taylor Swift and Lizzo went home with an award  but it was surprise after surprise in the top four categories.

Beyonce entered the ceremony with the most chances at Grammy gold with nine, following the release of “Renaissance,” her rich, sprawling ode to club music.

Delayed Climate Strategy 

3. Ireland’s long-term climate strategy is set to be brought to Cabinet in the coming weeks amid ongoing EU infringement proceedings over a three-year delay.

The government has failed to date to produce a long-term climate strategy planning out the national approach to the climate crisis for the next 30 years which was meant to be completed in January 2020.

In 2018, an EU Regulation set out that member states needed to develop long-term strategies to help fulfil the bloc’s international climate requirements and to submit them to the European Commission by the start of 2020.

Coveney travels to West Coast 

4. The Minister for Enterprise Simon Coveney is travelling to the US West Coast today for a series of high-level meetings with a range of companies. 

Coveney will hear from enterprise leaders and highlight Ireland’s value as a location for foreign direct investment.

The minister will also visit some existing IDA client companies based in the region.

Chinese balloon over Latin America

5. China confirmed today that a balloon identified by Washington flying over Latin America is Chinese, after a similar device was shot down by the United States over the weekend.

“It has come to be understood that the relevant unmanned airship is from China,” foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told a briefing, saying the device “seriously deviated from its scheduled route, and accidentally strayed over Latin America and the Caribbean.”

Five killed in West Bank 

6. Israeli forces on Monday killed five Palestinians in a raid in the occupied West Bank city of Jericho, an Israeli security official said, with Hamas Islamists confirming its fighters were among the dead.

The Israeli official told AFP the army was holding the bodies of the Palestinians killed in the early morning operation.

Hamas in a statement said it was mourning members of its armed wing killed “in an armed clash with the Zionist occupation”.


7. Gardaí are to dramatically ramp up the practice of travelling to international airports to ensure those seeking refuge in Ireland are boarding planes with the correct travel documents, the Irish Examiner reports. 

A senior Government source has confirmed gardaí have already been travelling to a small number of mostly European countries after examining patterns and flows of people coming into Ireland, but that this is going to increase.

Protests in Iran

8. Iranian authorities detained a journalist at a reformist publication, local media reported yesterday, as her sister, also a journalist, remains in custody after reporting on Mahsa Amini’s death.

Iran has been gripped by nationwide protests since the 16 September death in custody of Amini, a 22-year-old ethnic Kurd, who had been arrested for an alleged breach of strict dress rules for women.

Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, meanwhile, has agreed to pardon or commute the sentences of a “significant number” of convicts, some of whom were detained during the protests, said a statement posted today on his website.

Natalie McNally 

9. Armagh football fans organised a minute’s applause at a Gaelic football match yesterday in memory of Natalie McNally, who was murdered at her home in Lurgan late last year.

Natalie, who was 15 weeks pregnant, was killed in the Silverwood Green area of Lurgan, Armagh on 18 December.

Fans from both counties could be seen rising to their feet at the Athletic Grounds in Armagh to applaud at the 32 minute mark of the game to symbolise the 32 years of Natalie’s life.



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