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All the day's rolling news with Sorcha Pollak

Sorcha Pollak Tue, Mar 18
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  • 09:54

    Good morning from Sorcha Pollak on today’s Daily Wire. It’s time to wipe those bleary eyes and lift those heavy heads after what I hope was a thoroughly enjoyable St Patrick’s festival weekend.

    Follow today’s blog to find out what’s been going on around Ireland and the world while we were all dressed in green and céilí dancing in the streets. If you have any suggestions or comments you can tweet me @SorchaPollak.

  • 09:55
  • 10:03

    The big news this morning is that Daithí Ó Sé óg has arrived into this world. Daithí’s wife Rita gave birth to a baby boy at 11.31am yesterday morning at University Hospital Galway. The gushing father quickly announced the news Twitter, writing “life doesn’t get much better than this.”

    The television presenter has paid tribute to his late father Maidhc by naming his newborn son Michael óg.

  • 10:09

    Minister for Tourism Leo Varadkar, who was the guest speaker at the Hibernian Society’s St Patrick’s day dinner in Savannah, Georgia last night, told the all-male event that Irish people everywhere should aspire to a society that included “Catholic, Protestant, believer and non-believer, gay, straight, male, female”.

    In his address last night, Mr Varadkar referred to Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore’s decision not to attend last year and spoke about the controversy about members of the Government attending the event in recent years.

    “It is not that we do not respect your traditions; we do. It is not that we do not value your connection to and support for Ireland; we value it immensely. But at home, our Government is pursuing an agenda of equality and reform.

    “We are striving to ensure equality for Catholics and Protestants in the North and in the South to amend our Constitution to modernise the way it refers to women and to grant equality to gay and lesbian citizens by 2016”

  • 10:25
    We sent the Irish Times video crew out yesterday afternoon to capture the best moments from Dublin’s St Patrick’s day festivities. Click here to watch the video.
  • 10:29

    Russian president Vladimir Putin announced today that Russia would move forward with procedures to annex Ukraine’s Crimean region.

    Defying Ukrainian protests and Western sanctions, Mr Putin signed an order “to approve the draft treaty between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Crimea on adopting the Republic of Crimea into the Russian Federation”. The order indicated the president would sign the treaty with Crimea’s Russian-installed leader, who is in Moscow to request incorporation into Russia, but it gave no date.

    By pressing ahead with steps to dismember Ukraine against its will, Mr Putin raised the stakes in the most serious East-West crisis since the end of the Cold War.

    For more on the latest news from Crimea and Russia, click here.

  • 10:45

    More news from Russia and Crimea:

    Russia has been suspended from the G8, according to France’s foreign minister.

    The other seven members of the group had already suspended preparations for a G-8 summit that Russia is scheduled to host in June in Sochi over the situation in Crimea.

    Laurent Fabius told Europe-1 radio that “concerning the G-8 ... we decided to suspend Russia’s participation, and it is envisaged that all the other countries, the seven leading countries, will unite without Russia”

  • 10:55

    Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood has taken a shower in public to highlight the link between the amount of water the meat industry uses and the world water crisis.

    Supporting the charity Peta, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Ms Westwood sheds her designer wear in favour of a shower cap and pink makeup to explain the environmental benefits of going vegetarian.

    "I am an eco-warrior, but I take long showers with a clean conscience because I'm vegetarian," she says, adding: "By avoiding meat, you do more for the environment than recycling or driving a hybrid car."

    Click here to watch the video.

  • 10:55
  • 11:19
  • 11:32

    A man found injured outside a north Dublin pub this morning has died.

    The man, who was in his 20s, was discovered with serious injuries outside the Cabra House pub on Fassaugh Avenue in Cabra before 7.30am. It is believed he had been assaulted.

    A Garda spokesman said the man died a short time later in the hospital.

    He said they were treating the death as suspicious.

  • 11:38

    Back to news form Crimea:

    Russian president Vladimir Putin has said it would be a “betrayal” to leave Crimea in trouble.

    Speaking at a press conference in Sevastopol, Crimea this morning, Mr Putin said that Russian military forces had never entered Crimea, except in compliance with the agreement which allows their presence.

    Crimean authorities acted on the “Kosovo precedent, created by our western partners”, he said. There is no ban in law on declaring independence.

    Mr Putin contrasted Russia’s actions with those of the west in recent years, referring to western intervention around the world, including in the Middle East.

  • 11:39
  • 11:41
  • 11:49

    The chief defence lawyer at the Oscar Pistorius trial said today that police photographs of the blood-spattered scene where Pistorius shot his girlfriend indicate that evidence was moved in violation of investigation procedure.

    Chief defence lawyer Barry Roux has challenged previous police witnesses at the high court in Pretoria, seeking to uncover contradictions and reported mishaps to support his argument that officers bungled the investigation.

    For more on the latest from the high court in Pretoria, click here.

  • 11:50
  • 12:29

    English car mechanic Neil Trotter was the lucky winner of last weekend’s €128.8 million (£107.9 million) Euromillions jackpot.

    Mr Trotter who runs a repair garage in Mitcham, south London called Chameleon Coachworks, became the National Lottery’s fourth biggest winner on Friday night.

    “I took out my ticket to check the winning numbers and amazingly one by one they matched.” he said. “I told Nicky, my partner, ‘I’ve done it, I’ve won the lottery’. But she told me to shut up and to stop being an idiot.”

  • 12:36

    Journalism has been “infected” by “corporate public relations” and the media is part of a “seamless troika” involving governments and corporations, according to the British war correspondent Ed Vulliamy.

    The Guardian and Observer journalist, who has won awards for his reporting from Bosnia, the 9/11 attacks, Iraq and Mexico, said that resources had been curtailed to the extent that journalists had “shrunk in number” while those working in public relations had grown.

    Click here to read more of Mr Vulliamy’s speech at a discussion hosted by the justice and peace group Afri in Carrowteigue, north Mayo.

  • 12:37
  • 12:52
  • 12:54
    Click here to watch a video of Dublin's St Patrick's day celebrations as they continued late into the night.
  • 12:59
  • 13:03
    Click here to watch this magical video of shots of Dublin taken over the last year.
  • 13:29

    The Malian government has declared that Timbuktu is safe more than a year after Chadian and French troops liberated the ancient desert city from radical Islamists. However, the UN warns that such an announcement is premature as the country's path to post-conflict peace remains rocky.

    Some of northern Mali's nearly 300,000 displaced people have already begun to return home. Click here to watch a video from the Guardian on the uncertain future faced by these displaced Malians.  

  • 14:04
  • 14:06

    A 77-year-old man has been arrested in relation to the abduction and murder of Jean McConville in 1972.

    The PSNI said the suspect was today arrested in west Belfast in relation to the death over 40 years ago.

    The man is being questioned at Antrim police station.

    The 37-year-old widow was abducted from her west Belfast flat in December 1972 and shot by the IRA.

    The body of the mother-of-10 was recovered on a Co Louth beach more than 10 years ago in August 2003.

  • 14:26

    Prof Paul Kenny is a 41 year-old scientist from Finglas who feeds cheesecake to rats in a Manhattan lab in a set of experiments that has turned him into a world expert on food addition. The Irish scientist suggests that the combination of fat and sugar is so addictive it could lie at the heart of the obesity epidemic.

    Prof Kenny, who has developed a strong aversion to cheesecake, describes the experience of watching a rat dive head first into the dessert as “not pleasant.”

    I must admit, having eaten a big slice of cheesecake myself last night, I’m starting to feel slightly queasy reading this article. If you believe your stomach is stronger than mine, by all means click here to read on.

  • 14:32
  • 15:08

    92-year-old Bela Biszku, a former senior Communist Party official, went on trial in Hungary today charged with war crimes over the suppression of the 1956 anti-soviet uprising.

    Hungarian prosecutors say Mr Biszku was involved in ordering the shootings of civilians during the protests in Budapest and the town of Salgotarjan in December 1956.

    For more on the story, click here.

  • 15:10
  • 15:31

    Two people have died after a helicopter crashed in Seattle at around 7.40am local time, just feet away from the iconic Space Needle.

    A news chopper was engulfed in flames moments after it crashed, killing two and sending a third victim to the hospital in critical condition, according to the Seattle Fire Department.

    Authorities said the helicopter crashed moments after liftoff.

  • 15:36
  • 15:36
  • 15:38
  • 15:45
    Click here to watch a video taken at the site of the crash.
  • 16:01
  • 16:01

    It appears there is such a thing as a wife-carrying contest. Men and women in Dorking, Surrey competed this weekend in the seventh annual UK wife-carrying contest. The couples had to race over a hilly 380 metre course with the men carrying the women draped around their shoulders.

    According to the event’s website, wife carrying originated in the UK over twelve centuries ago, on 8 June 793AD, when Viking raiders rampaged into Lindisfarne on the northeast coast of what is now England, destroying the monastery and most likely carrying off any unwilling local wenches. Such wife carrying (-off) continued intermittently for around 300 years. Wife Carrying was re-introduced into the UK by the UK Wife Carrying Race in 2008, after an absence from these shores of nearly 900 years.

    Click here to watch a video of the event.

  • 16:20

    Are you fascinated by the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 mystery and spending your days coming up with explanations for the aircraft’s disappearance 10 days ago? Then you’ll love this article from Slate which asks why the missing airliner’s passengers didn’t use their phones for help.

    "One part of the answer is that, at least at first, many or all of the passengers might well have been oblivious to the fact that anything was awry. There is no evidence that the takeover of the plane was violent; the view has become increasingly widespread among investigators that the captain himself diverted the plane.

    By this time, it was past 1 a.m., and many passengers were no doubt asleep. Apart from the lights of the occasional ship, the sea below would have been completely dark. In such a situation, without visual reference or navigational instruments, it is almost impossible to determine one’s orientation. The only way a passenger could have detected a change in course is if he happened to be watching the plane’s course on the entertainment system—but the cockpit can shut that down."

    To read on, click here.

  • 16:24
  • 16:27

    A Ukrainian serviceman has died after an attack on a Ukrainian military base in Simferopol, Crimea, Interfax has reported.

    The Ukrainian man who died was shot in the neck, the BBC’s Ben Brown reports. He says two bursts of automatic fire were heard and he says another man, a captain was also reportedly injured.

  • 16:27
  • 16:28
  • 16:44

    Fr Peter McVerry SJ is the founder of Peter McVerry Trust and a member of the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice. He writes in today’s Irish Times:

    “The problem of homelessness is out of control; it is getting worse every week and no one appears to be doing anything about it. The problem is most acute in Dublin where official figures show that six additional people are becoming homeless in the region every day, while only two each day succeed in escaping homelessness. More and more people who seek a bed for the night are told those beds are full. Just to keep pace with the problem would require opening a new hostel every week with 28 beds.”

    Click here to read the whole article.

  • 17:13

    Nate Silver, the man known for his US election predictions, has just launched the latest data journalism website,   With articles on how to track the missing Malaysian plane using data and a calculation of how many calories you burn during sex, this new site is bound to attract a readership both sides of the Atlantic.

    Here’s an example of the kind of article you can find on the site, a piece which addresses the life-changing issue of toilet seat covers: to use or not to use. What’s the answer you say? Click here to find out.

  • 17:28

    Ukrainian prime minister Arseny Yatseniuk has said the conflict in Crimea had moved from a political to a military stage. He’s asked his defence minister to call an urgent meeting with his Russian, US and British counterparts.

    “Today Russian soldiers began shooting at Ukrainian servicemen. This is a war crime,” he said, referring to the incident in Simferopol earlier today where a Ukrainian serviceman died during an attack at a military base.

    Military spokesman, Vladislav Seleznyov, told Reuters it was unclear who had staged the assault, but described the attackers, as “unknown forces, fully equipped and their faces covered”.

    Another serviceman told Fifth Channel television: “We are being stormed. We have about 20 people here and about 10 to 15 others, including women.”

  • 17:32
    That's all from today's Daily Wire, we'll be back tomorrow from 9.30am with the latest news. Enjoy your Tuesday evenings!