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Dublin: 12°C Thursday 28 October 2021

The 9 at 9: Saturday

Afghan migrant visas to Ireland, Angela Merkel’s last days in office and the army exercise in Dublin city.

Image: Alamy Stock Photo


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

Afghan migrant visa

1. Ireland has offered humanitarian-access places to 400 Afghanistan citizens since July, meaning they will be granted asylum if they arrive in Ireland.

The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration, and Youth said in a statement to The Journal that the 400 Afghan people have been offered humanitarian access to Ireland through the Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP).

Only a small number of those who have been offered protection have arrived in Ireland.

The eternal chancellor

2. German Chancellor Angela Merkel will soon be wrapping up a historic 16 years in power, leaving behind an uncertain legacy.

In office so long she was dubbed Germany’s “eternal chancellor”, Merkel (67) leaves with her popularity so resilient she would likely have won a record fifth term had she sought it. 

Instead, Merkel will pass the baton as the first German chancellor to step down entirely by choice. Germans will head to the polls tomorrow to elect new members of the Bundestag (parliament). 

Army exercise

3. Sounds of gunfire and helicopters may have left some householders confused in the Ringsend area of Dublin this week

Don’t worry It wasn’t an invasion (if it had been, you’d probably have heard more about it by now) it was a major training event for the Defence Forces. 

The spectacle, dubbed ‘Exercise Viking Landing II’, happened on Tuesday and was designed to test a group of soldiers as they took on a course to become corporals. 


4. Iceland votes today in an election that could see its unprecedented left-right coalition lose its majority, despite bringing four years of  stability after a decade of crises.

With the political landscape more splintered than ever, the process of forming a new coalition could be more complicated than in the past.

Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir, whose Left-Green Movement had never led a government before, is seeking a second term but the large number of parties could get in her way.

Shark fins

5. Thousands of shark fins were confiscated by Colombian authorities before they could be illegally shipped to Hong Kong.

Colombian authorities in Bogota “seized 3,493 shark fins and 117 kilos of fish bladders that were en route to Hong Kong”, environmental ministry head Carolina Urrutia said. 

The haul highlights the continued demand for shark fin, served at wedding banquets in some Chinese communities and falsely believed to have medicinal properties.

Texas migrant camp

6. No migrants remain at the Texas border camp where almost 15,000 people — most of them Haitians — converged just days earlier seeking asylum.

It is a dramatic change from last Saturday, when the number peaked as migrants driven by confusion over the Biden administration’s policies and misinformation on social media converged at the border crossing connecting Del Rio, Texas, and Ciudad Acuna, Mexico.

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Canary Islands

7. Fresh volcanic eruptions in Spain’s Canary Islands prompted the cancellation of flights, airport authorities said today, the first since the Cumbre Vieja volcano came to life again.

New evacuations were also ordered as large explosions and new openings were reported at the volcano on La Palma island.

A large cloud of thick, black ash spewed into the air, forcing several airlines to call off flights.

Renters versus landlords

8. Dr Rory Hearne returns to The Journal to discuss how Government treats renters versus landlords. 

The housing expert says the broken rental market in Ireland is down to years of failed political policy.

He believes that the Government favours landlords and investors over renters. 

R Kelly trial

9. R Kelly’s fate is in the hands of jurors after weeks of testimony in his sexual misconduct trial in New York.

A jury of seven men and five women began deliberating on racketeering and sex trafficking charges against the R&B superstar today.

Prosecutors and defence lawyers finished their closing arguments this week.

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