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The 9 at 9: Wednesday

Irish troops blocked from the US, rental supply bottoms out and Covid boosters

Image: Alamy Stock Photo

Updated Aug 10th 2022, 8:51 AM

GOOD MORNING.

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

Watchlist

1. In our lead story this morning, Niall O’Connor reports that some Irish soldiers who served on UN missions in Syria and other warzones have been refused entry to the USA.

Sources have said that it is feared that these military personnel have been erroneously placed on a terrorism watchlist by US authorities.

Normally Irish citizens can apply online for access to the United States, a so-called ESTA, but sources have confirmed that a number of Irish soldiers have been refused entry to the US.

Housing

2. Ireland’s rental market has plumbed new depths, as the number of homes available has dropped to an all-time low.

The property search website’s latest rental report finds that rents in the second quarter of this year climbed to an average of 12.6% higher than the same period of 2021.

The average market rent across Ireland between April and June was €1,618 per month. This represents an increase of 3.3% on the first three months of the year and more than double the low of €765 per month seen in late 2011.

Covid vaccines

3.People aged 60 and over and pregnant women can book an appointment for their next Covid-19 booster vaccine from today.

Those in the 50-64 cohort and people with long-term health conditions will be offered booster vaccines over the coming weeks.

Fraudsters

4. New figures have revealed that the average text message scam cost victims €1,700 in the second half of this year.

Businesses were conned out of an average of €14,000 due to invoice fraud over the same period.

War in Ukraine

5.

A Ukrainian energy operator has warned that Russia intends to connect the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in southeast Ukraine to the annexed region of Crimea.

Energoatom said that Russian forces occupying the plant – which is the biggest nuclear power station in Europe – are damaging it by reorienting its electricity production.

Elon Musk

6.Elon Musk has sold nearly $7 billion worth of Tesla shares, according to legal filings published yesterday, amid a high-stakes legal battle with Twitter over a $44 billion buyout deal.

The Tesla boss sold some 7.9 million shares between 5 and 9 August, according to filings published on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s website.

Emmett Till

7. A grand jury in the US state of Mississippi has declined to indict the white woman whose accusation set off the lynching of black teenager Emmett Till nearly 70 years ago.

This is despite revelations about an unserved arrest warrant and a newly revealed memoir by the woman, a prosecutor said.

Donald Trump

8.Donald Trump’s allies have thrown their support behind the former president following an FBI raid on his palatial Mar-a-Lago residence.

The raid marked a stunning escalation of legal probes into the 45th president and comes as he is weighing another White House run.

The FBI has declined to provide a reason for the raid, but US media outlets have said agents were conducting a court-authorized search related to the potential mishandling of classified documents.

Beluga whale

9. A beluga whale who has been stranded in the French river Seine has been moved in a risky operation.

Vets on the case warned he was in poor health.

The beluga, a protected species usually found in cold Arctic waters, was then given a health check and driven in a refrigerated truck toward the coastal town of Ouistreham.

Upon arrival, the beluga will be installed in a seawater lock where it will be held for observation for several days before being released into the open sea.

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