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The 9 at 9: Friday

Here’s the news you need to know this morning.

Image: Shutterstock/amenic181

Updated Nov 26th 2021, 8:59 AM

GOOD MORNING.

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

New variant

1. The Minister for Health has said he is “deeply concerned” by the emergence of a new Covid-19 variant in South Africa.

South Africa announced yesterday that they have detected a new Covid-19 strain, which has been detected in Botswana and Hong Kong, and scientists fear it could torpedo efforts to beat the pandemic.

No cases have been identified to date in Europe, but the UK has introduced travel restrictions on several African countries to prevent cases spreading there.

NPHET recommendations

2. The National Public Health Emergency Team last night recommended to Government that masks should be worn by children who are aged nine and older.

This latest advice means that children aged 9-12 will now be advised to wear masks in indoor settings such as shops.

English Channel crisis

3. France has cancelled a meeting with the UK on the migrant crisis in the English Channel, where 27 people attempting to cross were killed after their boat capsized earlier this week.

The decision comes after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote a letter to French President Emannuel Macron last night telling France to take back all migrants who cross the Channel.

Storm Arwen

4. A Status Yellow wind warning will take effect for nine counties across Ireland today, as the first winter storm of the season passes over the country.

Storm Force 10 winds are expected along coastlines in the north of the country as Storm Arwen travels across Ireland and the UK.

Kabul rescue

5. Minister for Defence Simon Coveney has defended his department’s handling of the offer of two heavy lift aircraft and insisted he wasn’t aware of the full details of the proposal received by his officials.

Earlier this week, The Journal revealed that Coveney’s department was aware of the offer eight months before the Army’s elite Ranger Wing were sent to Kabul to rescue stranded Irish citizens because the Air Corps did not have any aircraft suitable for the mission.

Protocol talks

6. The UK’s Brexit Minister David Frost and European Commission vice president Maros Sefcovic will meet again today for the latest round of talks about the Northern Ireland Protocol.

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The two may also discuss fishing licences, after the European Commission stepped up pressure on the UK over the ongoing dispute and set a 10 December deadline for it to be resolved.

Transport disruption

7. Bus Éireann has said that it is experiencing a high number of Covid-19-related illness among its Waterford staff, and has warned some routes in the county face cancellation as a result.

It is understood that 18 drivers are currently out of work, either by being a confirmed case or through self-isolation measures, and that weekend routes may be most affected.

Hakuna matata

8. Ryan Tubridy has promised an evening of “no worries” when the Late Late Toy Show airs tonight.

Speaking to reporters, Tubridy said he had been “bowled over” by the resilience of children during the pandemic, ahead of the annual show which will have a Lion King theme this year.

December protest

The hauliers who brought Dublin to a standstill this week in a protest over fuel prices have said that they could return to the capital to demonstrate during the first week of December.

The Irish Truckers and Haulage Association Against Fuel Prices wrote on social media that they were considering the move and called on other sectors to join them.

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