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The 9 at 9 Tsumani warning in Japan, 24 killed overnight in Gaza, new year’s celebrations across the world


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


1. A powerful 7.5 earthquake hit central Japan today, prompting tsunami warnings and authorities to urge people in the area to move to higher ground.

“All residents must evacuate immediately to higher ground,” national broadcaster NHK said after the quake hit the Noto region in Ishikawa prefecture around 4:10 pm (07:10 Irish time).

Israel-Hamas war

2. The war in Gaza ground into the new year, with two dozen people killed overnight in Israeli strikes on the Palestinian territory, as Hamas fired a barrage of rockets at Israel just as the clock struck midnight.

New Year’s

3. Partygoers across the world celebrated the countdown to midnight on New Year’s Eve with fireworks and brightly lit signs.

It offered a hopeful start to 2024 for some, even as the world’s ongoing conflicts raised security concerns and led to muted or even cancelled festivities.


4. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that he will not change his routine despite a warning from the Garda Commissioner that there is a heightened threat to his personal safety. 

His comments come after a string of incidents involving government and opposition TDs in the last couple of years, with protesters now frequently targetting politicians’ homes. 


5. A woman in her 80s has died following a collision in Co Roscommon yesterday evening, while a man in his 30s is in a serious condition.

The two-vehicle collision happened shortly after 5pm yesterday on the N4 at Doon near Boyle in Co Roscommon.

Budget 2024

6. While some Budget 2024 measures kicked in almost immediately, others take effect from today, while more still begin later in the year.

Read about the measures that kick in today, and those that take effect later in the year, in our article here. 

Social media

7. Tánaiste Micheá Martin said it is not feasible to ban children from using social media, but said the government could be stronger in warning of its hazards.

Martin was asked about whether Ireland would give consideration to social media restrictions for young people following reports that the UK Government was considering a similar move.

Road tolls

8. Tolls on ten routes across the country, including the M50 and the Dublin Port Tunnel, will increase from today.

The increases were announced by Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) last month, the second toll increase in under a year. 

From today, most road users will see an increase of 20c per journey, with tolls for heavy goods vehicles increasing by 30c to 50c per journey. 


9. An Irish weight-loss guru doubled his pay to over €1 million last year, as the company seemingly reaped the benefit of WeightWatchers’ surprise exit from the Irish market.

Bodyslims – which files accounts under the company name Shard Ventures Ltd – more than doubled its profit in 2022 to €820,365.

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