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The 9 at 9: Wednesday

Here’s what’s making the headlines this morning.

Image: Shutterstock/Julia Sudnitskaya

Updated Dec 1st 2021, 8:56 AM

GOOD MORNING.

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

European Union

1. In our main story this morning, Rónán Duffy reports on what euroscepticism looks like in the EU now that Brexit has happened. 

He spoke to Dr Ariadna Ripoll Servent, a professor of EU politics at Salzburg Centre of European Union Studies who has written extensively about EU institutions and euroscepticism.

She has spoken about the various shades of eurosceptic MEPs elected to the European Parliament and says you can roughly group them as being either ‘hard eurosceptics’ or ‘soft eurosceptics’.

While the former may be opposed to membership or the very existence of the European Union, the latter are opposed to its goals and policies. 

Face masks for children

2. Children from the age of nine will be asked to wear a face covering in certain public settings for the first time on a temporary basis.

Children aged nine and older will be advised to wear masks in particular indoor settings, including schools, shops and public transport, subject to a review in mid-February.

In schools, the measures applies to children in third class and older classes.

Funding

3. The Irish Fiscal Advisory Council has called on the government to clarify how major commitments on health and climate change will be funded sustainably as “room for manoeuvre is tight”.

In its latest fiscal assessment report assessing the government’s forecasts in Budget 2022, the IFAC notes that the economy is continuing to recover with domestic demand returning to pre-pandemic levels.

But the report notes that it is currently unclear how major commitments on health and climate change fit into the government’s medium-term strategy given costs of Slaintécare have not been updated since 2017 and there is no estimate of the budgetary cost of implementing the Climate Action Plan. 

Oireachtas

4. Community services need to be adequately funded to support people in areas negatively affected by drug misuse, TDs and senators will hear today.

The Tallaght Drugs and Alcohol Task Force is appearing before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health this morning to discuss substance misuse, the crisis it is creating in communities, and the work that can be done by community services if they are funded appropriately. 

US shooting

5. Three students have been killed and six people injured in a high school shooting in the US, according to officials.

Oakland County Sheriff’s Office in Michigan said the attack happened this afternoon at Oxford High School in Oxford Township, a community of about 22,000 people.

A 15-year-old was arrested and a handgun was recovered. 

Epstein

6. Jeffrey Epstein’s longtime pilot has testified at the sex trafficking trial of Ghislaine Maxwell that he recalled flying Prince Andrew, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump on the late financier’s private planes.

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Lawrence Visoski, who worked for Epstein for nearly 30 years, said he was told when VIPs would be aboard because “you’d want to make sure the plane looked nice.” 

Negative tests

7. Munster have revealed that 34 members of their touring party tonight departed Cape Town and are set to land in Dublin tomorrow evening.

The development took place after that group of players and staff received negative results following the completion of a fourth round of PCR testing.

Roe v Wade

8. In the United States, former vice president Mike Pence has called on the Supreme Court to “make history” by overturning the historic decision that legalised abortion.

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments today in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organisation, a potentially precedent-upending case that directly challenges a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion before a foetus can survive outside the womb.

Weather 

9. Taking a look at the weather, today will be cold and windy around the country with scattered showers and some sunny spells.

Temperatures will reach five to eight degrees Celsius in the afternoon but it will feel colder in northwesterly winds. 

Tonight will be cold but mostly dry with some sleet possible on higher ground. Temperatures will drop as low as zero to four degrees, with some frost developing especially in the easter half of the country. 

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