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GOOD MORNING

The 9 at 9 Irish consumers paying more, Israel and Gaza war prompts US diplomatic worries and the HSE recruitment freeze causes issues for new psychologists.

LAST UPDATE | Dec 3rd 2023, 9:00 AM

GOOD MORNING.

Here’s everything you need to know as you start your day.

Irish pay more

1. Irish Consumers are paying more than their counterparts in Britain for the same goods from some British retailers.

There is usually a big increase in online shopping at this time of year with Black Friday and Cyber Monday kicking off the busy Christmas period.

Companies which operate in both Ireland and the UK often charge different prices for the same products.

Hamas Israeli war

2. Israel carried out bombardments in Gaza this morning as international calls mounted for greater protection of civilians and the renewal of an expired truce with Palestinian militant group Hamas.

The Israeli army said it had conducted more than 400 strikes in Gaza since a ceasefire collapsed on Friday, with the Hamas government saying at least 240 people had been killed.

Hamas and Palestinian group Islamic Jihad announced “rocket barrages” against multiple Israeli cities and towns including Tel Aviv, and Israel said that two of its soldiers had died in combat, the first since the end of the truce.

HSE recruitment freeze 

3. Prospective assistant psychologists have described feeling “left in the dark” and facing delays and confusion in trying to start their careers due to the HSE recruitment freeze.

A hiring freeze is currently in place across most of the health service as it was on course to “exceed its funded workforce target” for the year, meaning no new positions are being filled aside from some specific exceptions.

In interviews with The Journal, two recent graduates of master-level degrees in psychology described their experiences of the HSE halting their recruitment process for Assistant Psychologist positions.

Soldier killed

4. The father of a British soldier from County Tyrone killed while off-duty in Kenya has told of his pride in his “special” son.

Major Kevin McCool, 32, died in the African country on 29 November, the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) said today.

He was shot while on a motorbike trip away from base, his father Joseph McCool said.

Euro 2024 Draw

5. Spain, Italy and Croatia will meet in the same group at next summer’s 2024 European Championships in Germany.

The trio — who were all in the same group as the Republic of Ireland at Euro 2012 — will be joined this time around by Albania in Group B.

In Group A, Scotland will take on tournament hosts Germany as well as Hungary and Switzerland, while Group C sees England come up against Denmark, Slovenia and Serbia.

Philippines earthquake

6. A powerful earthquake, with a magnitude of 7.6, struck the southern Philippines today, the US Geological Survey said, as local authorities warned of a “destructive tsunami” and urged people in coastal areas to flee.

The quake struck at a depth of 32 kilometres at 10:37 pm local time (2:37 pm Irish Time) about 21 kilometres northeast of Hinatuan municipality in Surigao del Sur province on Mindanao island, the USGS said.

“Destructive tsunami is expected with life threatening wave heights,” the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said on X, formerly Twitter.

Petrol bombs

7. A 15-year-old boy in co Antrim has been charged in connection to an incident where two petrol bombs were thrown at two police officers who were inspecting an abandoned car in Carrickfergus.

The incident took place around 1am this morning and none of the officers were struck with the objects or suffered any injuries.

Tourism

8. The Guinness Storehouse in Dublin has been named as the world’s leading tourist attraction of 2023 at the World Travel Awards.

The facility beat some of the world’s most celebrated attractions, including Niagara Falls, the Great Wall of China and Machu Picchu in Peru to claim the title in Dubai.

The storehouse also earned the title of the top beer tour visitor experience for the second year in a row.

Terror attacks

9. There have been two terror attacks over night. In Paris a German man was killed and two others injured in a terrorism related stabbing. Police have arrested a suspect. 

In the Philippines an explosion ripped through a congregation at a Catholic mass killing at least four people and injuring dozens of others in a predominantly Muslim city in the southern Philippines.