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The 9 at 9: Monday

Cannabis poll results, ongoing violence in Gaza and shops reopening.

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Updated May 17th 2021, 8:53 AM

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

CANNABIS

1. In our lead story today, Rónán Duffy has details of a poll showing almost 40% of Irish people believe cannabis should be legalised for recreational use. 

Just 4% of people surveyed were opposed to the medical use of cannabis. The polling was conducted by Red C on behalf of The Journal

GAZA

2. Israeli warplanes have unleashed a series of heavy airstrikes at several locations of Gaza City, after a week of violence between the Jewish state and Palestinian militants left more than 200 people dead as international calls for de-escalation went unheeded.

Explosions rocked the city from north to south for 10 minutes early this morning in an attack that was heavier, on a wider area and lasted longer than a series of air raids 24 hours earlier in which 42 Palestinians were killed. 

MISSING CHILDREN

3. In Belfast, the PSNI has issued an appeal for help from the public in locating two missing children.

Five-year-old Patrick Hovarth and his brother, eight-year-old Fabricio were last seen in Belfast on Friday 14 May. 

Police said they are “increasingly concerned” about their welfare. They believe Fabricio and Patrick may be in the company of a relative in Dublin. 

SHOPPING

4. In a further easing of Covid-19 restrictions, all non-essential retail outlets can reopen from today. 

Many shops already opened for click-and-collect or retail by appointment services last week. 

Speaking ahead of the reopening, Duncan Graham, Managing Director of Retail Excellence, said today is “a landmark day for the retail industry in Ireland and fantastic news for 280,000 retail employees around the country”.

OFFICE WORKING

5. Preparations are ongoing for Irish businesses yet to go back to workplaces, with 29% expecting to return by September.

According to new research by Ibec, one in five organisations expect to be back in the workplace in the next three months.

INDIA

6. In India, a dip in the number of coronavirus cases in Mumbai is offering a glimmer of hope for the rest of the country as it continues to battle a surge in infections.

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In the last week, the number of new cases plunged by nearly 70% in the nation’s financial capital, home to 22 million people.

EASED

7. Over in England, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called for a “heavy dose of caution” as indoor socialising and physical contact resumed.

Johnson said “now everyone must play their part” as England pushed ahead with the third stage of the road map out of lockdown.

FLIGHTS

8. Ryanair group chief executive Michael O’Leary is looking forward to a summer of loosened restrictions and the release of pent-up consumer demand for air travel, Ian Curran writes over on our business digest the Morning Memo. 

It comes as the airline reported a record €815 million annual loss this morning after flying just 27.5 million passengers in the financial year, down from 149 million the previous year. Sign up to receive the newsletter to your inbox here.

WEATHER

9. This morning will be dry and sunny in many parts with isolated showers near northern and western coasts. Scattered showers will develop elsewhere in the afternoon with some turning heavier later in the day. Temperatures will reach highs of 11 to 15 degrees. 

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