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The 5 at 5: Wednesday

5 minutes, 5 stories, 5 o’clock…

Image: andrewasmith via Creative Commons/Flickr

EACH WEEKDAY EVENING, TheJournal.ie brings you five things you should know before you head out the door…

1. #BAILOUT: The European Commission has said it “regrets” the fact that a draft edition of its latest report on Ireland’s bailout progress – which reportedly calls for a clampdown on the issue of medical cards and dole payments for the long-term unemployed - has been leaked. A final version of the report, which also indicated Irish households will see their first charges for metered water usage in January 2014 (far ahead of the schedule outlined by environment minister Phil Hogan earlier this year), is not likely to be officially published for about two weeks.

2. #TAKEOVER: The European Commission has today opened an in-depth investigation into Ryanair’s latest offer to take over the Aer Lingus Group due to competition concerns, and will now have has 90 working days to take a decision on whether the proposed transaction would significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA).

3. #TARGET EXPRESS: Target Express employees are holding a sit-in at the Cork depot, with eight workers having stayed there overnight, demanding to be paid “several weeks” wages which are due to them as well as immediate negotiations on an acceptable redundancy package. Spokesperson Tom Cullen claimed a managing director instructed the workers to leave the premises as there was no money available to meet their demands.

Sit-ins are also taking place at depots in Galway and Carlow, where workers say the company has treated them “in an abominable fashion”.

4. #NETHERLANDS: Two Dutch jet fighter planes were dispatched to escort a passenger flight from Malaga to Schiphol  after a communications mix-up caused fears that the jet had been hijacked. It is understood that the plane’s pilot had failed to make radio contact with the ground which sparked the security alert .

It’s certainly been a busy day at Schiphol airport: earlier this morning part of a departures hall was evacuated after the discovery of a suspected WWII bomb.

5. #USA: It’s official: Mitt Romney has formally been declared as the Republican Party’s nominee for the US Presidency, lining him up as the main challenger to Barack Obama in November’s presidential election.

Romney himself only appeared briefly on the first day of convention business – however his wife Ann gave the keynote address to delegates in Tampa, with her speech focusing heavily on the theme of the role of women in modern America: “It’s the moms of this nation — single, married, widowed — who really hold this country together,” she said.

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