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The 9 at 9: Tuesday

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

Image: Shutterstock/Snoopytkd

Updated Nov 30th 2021, 8:55 AM

GOOD MORNING.

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

Phone calls 

1. In our main story today, Garreth MacNamee reports that anti-Covid groups organised a campaign on Telegram and Facebook to contact the National Parents Council (NPC) to complain about schoolchildren having to wear masks.

The NPC has received thousands of calls and emails since news of the planned changes were announced last Thursday. 

While some of the calls and emails may have been legitimate, there is evidence of a coordinated campaign designed by far-right Covid deniers to bombard the NPC, which is the only representative organisation for parents of children in primary school. 

Government 

2. The Cabinet will meet today to consider a number of proposals after the National Public Health Emergency Team recommended that face masks should be worn by children aged nine or older. 

Barbados 

3. Fireworks filled the sky over Barbados today as the Caribbean island nation declared itself the world’s newest republic, lowering the British Queen Elizabeth’s flag as it severed colonial-era ties to the throne.

One of the first acts of the prime minister of the new republic was to declare Rihanna a National Hero of Barbados: “May you continue to shine like a diamond and bring honor to your nation,” Prime Minister Mia Mottley told the international celebrity.

Kerry

4. Gardaí in Kerry are investigating “all the circumstances” around the discovery of a body yesterday.

The body of a man was found in a vehicle in Abbeydorney, Co Kerry. 

Migrant crisis

5. France’s interior minister has said the country is ready to resume discussions with the UK on the migrant crisis if the British enter talks in a “serious spirit”.

Gerald Darmanin said negotiations could restart “very quickly” if the UK ends the “double speak” and its public comments align with what is being said in private.

Teachers

6. Teaching unions have criticised the Department of Education’s emergency measures aimed at alleviating the substitute teacher crisis at second level which will see teachers paid different hourly rates for the additional work.

The Department of Education announced a number of measures to alleviate the pressure schools are experiencing sourcing substitute teachers due to the Covid-19 pandemic earlier today.

Among the suite of measures, second-level teachers already working in schools are being asked to volunteer for overtime to cover shortages. Teachers will be paid a rate based on their salaries.

Both the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland and The Teachers Union of Ireland were critical of the temporary arrangement which will see a different rate of pay for those appointed from 2011 onwards.

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Bill Cosby 

7. Prosecutors asked the US Supreme Court to review the ruling that overturned Bill Cosby’s sexual assault conviction, arguing in a petition that a dangerous precedent could be set if press releases are treated as immunity agreements.

Cosby’s lawyers have long argued that he relied on a promise that he would never be charged when he gave damaging evidence in an accuser’s civil suit in 2006.

The admissions were later used against him in two criminal trials.

Trial

8. The trial of a US actor accused of fabricating a hate crime against himself kicked off today in Chicago with jury selection.

Former Empire star Jussie Smollett was accused in 2019 of orchestrating a hoax racist attack in the Midwestern city to gain publicity and secure a bigger paycheck.

England restrictions

9. The wearing of face masks in certain settings like public transport and shops is now compulsory again in England.

Also from today, most people arriving to the UK from abroad will require a Covid-19 test in the days after arrival. Ireland, as part of the Common Travel Area, is excluded from this requirement.

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