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The 9 at 9: Wednesday

Calls for new protest rules to protect private homes, solo provider of water services and an Australian earthquake.
Sep 22nd 2021, 8:57 AM 9,358 2

GOOD MORNING.

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

Proposed protest laws

1. There have been calls for measures to tackle protests at the homes of politicians following recent demonstrations outside the homes of Health Minister Stephen Donnelly and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar.

One TD said that the events were ‘intimidation’ rather than legitimate protests, and needed either existing laws or new legislation to stop them from happening. 

Solo Provider

2. There will be further discussions next month on the government’s plan to bring all water services in Ireland under one national provider.

Under this plan, around 3,200 water service workers employed by local authorities will be transferred to work for Irish Water.

Irish Water oversees the planning and delivery of all public water and wastewater services across the country through service level agreements (SLAs) with local authorities.

Australia Quake

3. A rare earthquake has struck southeastern Australia, shaking buildings, knocking down walls and sending panicked Melbourne residents running into the streets.

The shallow tremor hit east of the country’s second-largest city just after 9:00am local time (2300 GMT) and was felt hundreds of kilometres away.

The US Geological Survey put the magnitude of the quake at 5.8, later revised up to 5.9, and said it struck at a depth of 10 kilometres.

Climate Change

4. The two biggest economies and largest carbon polluters in the world have announced separate financial attacks on climate change.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said his country will no longer fund coal-fired power plants abroad, surprising the world on climate for the second straight year at the UN General Assembly.

That came hours after US President Joe Biden announced a doubling of financial aid to poorer nations so they could switch to cleaner energy and cope with global warming’s worsening impacts.

Homeless charity

5. Social Democrats TD Gary Gannon said he has turned down an offer of the position as the new chair of the board of Inner City Helping Homeless. 

The Dublin homeless charity has been embroiled in controversy in recent weeks following allegations made against its founder and former chief executive Anthony Flynn.  

Gannon confirmed to The Journal that he was “approached to take over as Chair of the ICHH” and after considering the offer, he has “declined to take up the role”. 

‘Horrified’ 

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6. US Homeland Security chief Alejandro Mayorkas said images of what appeared to be Border Patrol agents on horseback rounding up migrants trying to cross the southern border “horrified” him.

But he stopped short of calling the new influx of migrants there a crisis.

Ivermectin

7. A leading scientist has warned against the self-proscribing of worm drug ivermectin as a way to combat Covid-19.   

Professor Sam McConkey says it’s important to look in depth at the evidence using a critical theoretical framework, or ask someone else who can do this.

Peace process

8. Joe Biden stressed the importance of protecting the peace process in Northern Ireland and downplayed prospects of brokering a post-Brexit trade deal with Boris Johnson during a meeting in the White House.

The US President issued a fresh warning for the UK not to damage the peace process in Northern Ireland over the EU departure.

Lyra McKee

9. Police in Northern Ireland investigating the murder of journalist Lyra McKee in Derry in April 2019 have arrested two men.

The men, aged 24 and 29, were arrested in the Derry area this morning under the UK’s Terrorism Act and have been taken to the Serious Crime Suite at Musgrave Police Station where they will be interviewed later.

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Niall O'Connor

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