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The 9 at 9 Mortgage-holders encouraged to switch, unmarried widows hope for pension, and the highest single-day Israeli death toll since October.



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

Mortgage switch

1. In today’s lead story, Jane Matthews reports that mortgage brokers are encouraging homeowners to switch mortgage providers well in advance of the end of their fixed-term loans, as more rate rises may be in sight. 

Despite most forecasts predicting that the European Central Bank is done with rate rises for now, mortgage brokers have said the full impact of rate rises have not yet been fed through to consumers. 


2. A number of families are eagerly awaiting clarification on how a Supreme Court ruling on pensions for widows and widowers will affect them.

In a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court yesterday unanimously ruled that Johnny O’Meara is entitled to the widower’s pension despite the fact he was not married to his partner of 20 years, Michelle Batey, when she died in 2021.

Mr Justice Donal O’Donnell told the court that the distinction in legislation between a married and unmarried couple was “arbitrary and capricious”.


3. The Israeli army has said that 21 soldiers were killed in Gaza yesterday, the biggest single-day toll since the start of its ground operation on 27 October.


4. Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly will today seek Cabinet approval for a bill which will allow pharmacists to dispense some medicines, including the contraceptive pill, without a prescription. 


5. Finance Minister Michael McGrath will bring new proposals to Cabinet today to ensure there is “reasonable access” to cash at ATMs around the country.

The Access to Cash Bill due to be approved by Cabinet aims to ensure there is no further decline in the number of ATMs in towns and villages around the country.

The plan aims to restore the number of ATMs to 2022 levels, before Ulster Bank and KBC left the banking market. 

Storm Isha

6. There are still widespread power outages across the country today, as Storm Jocelyn is to bring strong winds which will cause very “difficult travelling conditions” in some counties. 

In the wake of Storm Isha 235,000 homes, farms and businesses were without power on Monday, and as of 10 pm last night 68,000 properties were still experiencing outages.

Medicinal cannabis

7. A review of research conducted into the use of medicinal cannabis has found that evidence to support the use of the drug in most cases “inconsistent at best”.

The review of a number of systematic reports into the drug’s use to treat illnesses such as cancer, HIV and aids, Parkinson’s disease and other conditions such as anxiety, said that there was no conclusive evidence to confirm the efficacy of the drug medicinally.


8. At least 50 people have been injured after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck along the mountainous China-Kyrgyzstan border, authorities said.

The major quake was registered just after 2am (6pm GMT Monday) at a depth of 13 kilometres in China’s Xinjiang region, about 140 kilometres west of the city of Aksu.


9. A study has found that a large amount of people in Ireland use negative stereotypes about disabled people to justify discriminating against people with disabilities.

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