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The 9 at 9: Saturday

Air traffic control warning, citizens’ assemblies across Europe, a Cork cocaine seizure and Robert Durst guilty.
Sep 18th 2021, 8:58 AM 8,827 0


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

Air Traffic warning

1. A group of air traffic controllers has written directly to Government to raise concerns of disruption and safety in Irish airspace.  

The claims, which were sent in an emailed letter and not communicated via a trade union, include allegations around the safety of the air traffic control system in Irish airspace. They allege the problems have been caused by rostering issues and understaffing. 

In a statement the Irish Aviation Authority has refuted the allegations and appealed to the workforce to engage with the industrial relations mechanisms available. 

Citizens’ Assembly

2. Citizens’ assemblies in Ireland and other EU countries sparked inspiration for a European-wide series of citizens’ panels on topics such as migration taking place from this weekend.

Four panels – each with 200 EU citizens – will address topics like climate change and European democracy over a number of different dates in the months ahead.

Cork cocaine

3. Gardaí have arrested a man following the seizure of cocaine and cannabis at a house in Cork city.

A spokesperson said detectives seized approximately €129,700 worth of cocaine, cannabis and cash following the search of a house in the Knocknaheeney area of city yesterday.

Robert Durst

4. A Los Angleses jury has convicted millionaire Robert Durst of murdering his best friend 20 years ago in a case that seized the attention of the public.

The New York real estate heir, who faces a mandatory life term without parole when sentenced on 18 October, was convicted of the first-degree murder of Susan Berman.

She was shot at point-blank range in the back of the head in her Los Angeles home in December 2000 as she prepared to tell police how she helped cover up the killing of Durst’s wife.

Anti-protocol protest

5. A demonstration in east Belfast has called for an end to the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Crowds holding aloft Union flags and banners which read “stop the protocol” and “uphold Northern Ireland’s sovereignty: Trigger Article 16” gathered at Templemore Avenue amid a police presence on Friday evening.

The protesters walked along the Newtownards Road to the sound of loyalist band music for a short distance before hearing a number of speeches outlining opposition to the post-Brexit arrangements.

Submarine diplomacy

6. France has recalled its ambassadors to the United States and Australia for consultations in a row over the scrapping of a submarine contract, an unprecedented step that revealed the extent of French anger against its allies.

President Emmanuel Macron ordered the recalling of the envoys after Canberra ditched a deal to buy French submarines in favour of US vessels, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said.

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Contaminated water

7. Minister for Local Government Darragh O’Brien said two serious incidents relating to water treatment facilities led to people becoming sick following drinking tap water.

The minister said he was sent a letter by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which detailed how unsafe drinking water was allowed into parts of Dublin city and Gorey in Wexford.

O’Brien said that, in the case of Gorey, “illnesses [were] detected by the HSE in the community served by that water supply”.

Civilian deaths

8. The Pentagon has retreated from its defence of a drone strike that killed multiple civilians in Afghanistan last month, announcing an internal review revealed that only civilians were killed in the attack, not an Islamic State extremist as first believed.

“The strike was a tragic mistake,” Marine General Frank McKenzie, head of US Central Command, told a Pentagon news conference.

For days after the August 29 strike, Pentagon officials asserted that it had been conducted correctly, despite numerous civilians being killed, including children.


9. Pele was readmitted to intensive care yesterday as he continues his recovery from surgery to remove a tumour on his colon.

The three-time World Cup winner’s daughter, Kely Nascimento, revealed earlier this week her 80-year-old father was out of intensive care at the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo and “in a good mood”.

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