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The 9 at 9: Thursday

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

Image: Shutterstock/Jana_Slancar

Updated Dec 2nd 2021, 9:00 AM

GOOD MORNING.

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

Drinking in Ireland 

1. In our main story today, Hayley Halpin has the details of a new study which shows people in Ireland report the highest level of regret over getting drunk globally. 

898 people in Ireland participated in the Global Drug Survey 2021, which collected and compared data on drug use from over 32,000 people in 22 countries between December 2020 and March 2021.

On average, respondents in Ireland said they got drunk 14.6 times a year. 

NPHET

2. NPHET is set to meet today to discuss the public health advice it will give to the government on the risks posed by the new Omicron variant and social mixing in December. 

Health officials will consider whether more restrictions should be advised in the context of the current Covid-19 situation, the uncertainties around the Omicron variant and the vulnerabilities posed by more socialisation during Christmas.

Brexit

3. Simon Coveney has said reaching an agreement on the Northern Ireland Protocol before Christmas is “unrealistic”.

The Foreign Affairs Minister was speaking in London ahead of meetings with Brexit minister Lord Frost and Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis.

He suggested an agreement could be found in some areas, such as the flow of medicines into Northern Ireland from Great Britain.

AstraZeneca vaccine research

4. Scientists believe they may have found the “trigger” behind the extremely rare blood clot complications stemming from the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.

According to an international team of researchers from Cardiff and the US, the reaction can be traced to the way the adenovirus used by the vaccine to shuttle the coronavirus’ genetic material into cells binds with a specific protein in the blood.

Researchers think this may spark a chain reaction in the immune system which can culminate in the development of blood clots. 

Cancer survival figures

5. Improved cancer survival figures revealed today are being put at serious risk by pandemic-related disruption, the Irish Cancer Society has said.

The National Cancer Registry Ireland (NCRI) 2021 annual report outlines that there is a five-year net survival averaging at 65% for patients diagnosed with cancer between 2014 and 2018.

This marks a substantial increase from 20 years previous when the average was just 42%. 

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US abortion rights

6. The conservative-dominated US Supreme Court appears poised to roll back abortion rights in the United States by upholding a law in the southern state of Mississippi that would ban the procedure after 15 weeks.

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the imposing court in Washington as the nine justices heard two hours of arguments in the most pivotal abortion case to reach the nation’s highest court in 50 years. 

Australia controversy

7. An Australian Cabinet minister has stood aside from his post while allegations he was abusive toward a former staffer during their relationship are investigated, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced.

It comes just days after an inquiry found that sexual harassment and bullying are rife in Australia’s parliament, with both lawmakers and staff affected by the institution’s “sexist” culture.

Former government staffer Rachelle Miller has accused Education and Youth Minister Alan Tudge of emotional and physical abuse during their relationship in 2017 when she was his media adviser – allegations he has denied.

Kilkenny crash

8. A woman in Kilkenny died yesterday evening after a collision between two cars on the N25, with three others brought to hospital.

Gardaí are investigating the fatal road traffic collision that occurred on the N25 at Gaulstown in Glenmore. 

Christmas TV

9. RTÉ and Virgin Media both announced their seasonal TV programming schedules today with Tommy Tiernan and Mrs Brown leading the charge for the national broadcaster, while Virgin Media has plenty of Christmas specials to keep people busy. 

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