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Dublin: 2°C Thursday 20 January 2022
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The 9 at 9: Wednesday

The latest on the storm, school closures and Boris under mounting pressure.

Image: Shutterstock/ANTON URICH

GOOD MORNING.

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

The storm 

Most of the country experienced Storm Barra’s severe gusts and lashing rain at some point yesterday. 

The storm isn’t quite finished with us yet – with a Status Orange alert still in efffect in Co Donegal. 

59,000 homes and businesses are still without power. 

Our early reporter Gráinne Ní Aodha has all the latest in this morning’s liveblog

The schools 

Parents in Dublin weren’t delighted with the late late notice of the decision to close schools in the capital last night. 

The message was communicated to schools and on to parents at around 10.30pm. 

Here are the main details in case you missed anything (or, like me, were asleep) when the news came in last night. 

One Fine Gael TD is calling for more detail on how the decision was made. 

Climate 

There are multiple “critical gaps” between the climate policies that the government has endorsed and the actions that it is taking in practice, according to an independent panel of climate experts.

The Journal’s Lauren Boland reports this morning that the Climate Change Advisory Council is concerned about missed targets and delayed measures inhibiting efforts to fight the climate crisis.

New road 

An Bord Pleanála (ABP) has given the green light to the proposed N6 Galway City Ring Road, an 18km road aimed at alleviating traffic congestion in the city. 

It follows months of deliberations and an extensive oral hearing, which was held last year.

Olympics 

On the international front this morning, Australia is joining the US diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics. 

The country will not send officials to February’s Winter Olympics, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said.

Mistletoe and wine? 

Slightly closer to home, there’s no let up in the pressure on Boris Johnson over that alleged festive breach of Covid guidelines at Downing Street last December. 

A video has emerged of senior aides to the Prime Minister joking about a “fictional” party in December 2020.

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Frozen out 

A partial outage hit Amazon’s cloud-computing business last night, affecting many of the tech giant’s customers including popular streaming services.

The outage also hit streaming platforms Netflix and Disney+, stock trading app Robinhood and Amazon.com Inc’s e-commerce website. 

Some good Covid news 

US health officials have said that while the Omicron variant of coronavirus is rapidly spreading throughout the country, early indications suggest it may be less dangerous than Delta.

Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser Dr Anthony Fauci told CNN’s State Of The Union that scientists need more information before drawing conclusion’s about Omicron’s severity.

“Thus far, it does not look like there’s a great degree of severity to it,” Dr Fauci said.

Tributes 

Sad news, finally, this morning that Peggy Morrissey, the mother of RTÉ’s Marty Morrissey, died in a road crash yesterday

Presenter Shay Byrne, who hosts Radio 1′s Rising Time programme, said the show had received “hundreds of texts” from listeners in relation to Peggy’s death and expressing their condolences.  

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam dílis. 

About the author:

Daragh Brophy

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