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Hugh Linehan Wed, Oct 23
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  • 09:15
    Good morning and welcome to the Daily Wire, bringing you rolling updates of all the news that's fit to digitally print on today, October 23rd, 2013. It's a blustery but not unpleasant autumnal day here in Dublin. Here's the forecast.

  • 09:21
    The most-read story on the site right now is Gavin Cummiskey's report on the decision by the Welsh rugby regions to break away from the Heineken Cup and join the new Rugby Champions Cup being proposed by the English and Welsh clubs. Read all about it here.
  • 09:22
    The Irish Times. Always where the action is. This just in from our correspondent Rosita Boland.

  • 09:33
    There is a lot of coverage in Irish and international media this morning of the fallout from the story of the young girl found living with a Roma family in Greece, and yesterday's apparently similar case of a seven-year-old in a Roma family in Dublin who has been taken into care pending the outcome of DNA tests.

    Damian Mac Con Uladh reports from Athens on what the story tells us about the position of Roma, who constitute 2.5 per cent of the population, in Greece. 

    Louise Doughty in the Guardian looks at some of the cultural and historical contexts:

    'This media reporting has to be seen within the context of a blood libel that has dogged Roma communities for centuries. The claim that Jewish people killed Christian children to have human blood for matzos at Passover was used to justify antisemitism throughout the middle ages; in the same way, the age-old myth that Romanies are in the habit of kidnapping white children entered popular folklore around the same time, and has persisted to the present day.' 
  • 09:38
    Looks like Michael D is having fun in Mexico.

  • 09:44
  • 09:50
    Here are those comments by Roy Keane on Alex Ferguson's book on ITV  last night

  • 09:54
    Do you care about the new iPad Air? Do you really? OK, here's a quick review.

  • 10:43
    Alright, I know this is supposed to be a news blog. But this clip is about news. And it has Anne Doyle in it.

  • 10:44

  • 10:58
     The three-month-old Prince George, who will one day (barring unforeseen circumstances, revolutions or abdications) be king, will be baptised by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, in the  Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace this afternoon at 3pm. His seven godparents include his parents' former private secretary Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, who continues to serve part-time as their principal private secretary and equerry. In a statement, Kensington Palace said the other godparents are Zara Tindall, Oliver Baker, Emilia Jardine-Paterson, Earl Grosvenor, Julia Samuel and William van Cutsem. They all sound like boutiques in Kensington to me.
  • 11:07
  • 11:25
  • 11:42
    The BBC reports the Greek parliament has voted overwhelmingly to suspend state funding for the far-right Golden Dawn party.
    The new law allows an indefinite funding freeze for parties whose leadership is charged with involvement in a criminal group or terrorism.

    Golden Dawn's leader and two MPs are in custody awaiting trial on charges of being part of a criminal organisation.
    Their arrests follow the murder of an anti-fascist musician, allegedly by a supporter of the party.
    The party strongly denies any link to the accused man.
    However, the fatal stabbing last month has led to increasing calls for the party to be banned outright.
    The new law was passed by 235 votes to zero in the 300-seat assembly during a late-night sitting on Tuesday.
    The move looks likely to deprive Golden Dawn of a major financial resource, the website of Greek newspaper Ekathimerini reported.
    The controversial party has a strong anti-austerity and anti-immigrant agenda and has been accused of perpetrating attacks on migrants and political opponents.
    It officially denies being a neo-Nazi movement, despite its swastika-like insignia.
  • 12:02
    Gardai have taken a child from a second family, this time in Athlone, according to reports coming in from a number of sources. More to follow.
  • 12:06
    Further reports on that story from Athlone indicate the child has already been returned to its parents.
  • 12:20
  • 12:32
    Ireland Squad for the autumn internationals – Backs (15): Rob Kearney (Leinster), Robbie Henshaw (Connacht), Tommy Bowe (Ulster), David Kearney (Leinster), Fergus McFadden (Leinster), Keith Earls (Munster), Brian O’Driscoll (Leinster), Gordon D’Arcy (Leinster), Luke Marshall (Ulster), Jonathan Sexton (Racing Metro 92), Paddy Jackson (Ulster), Ian Madigan (Leinster), Conor Murray (Munster), Isaac Boss (Leinster), Eoin Reddan (Leinster). Forwards: Cian Healy (Leinster), Mike Ross (Leinster), Stephen Archer (Munster), Tom Court (Ulster), Declan Fitzpatrick (Ulster), Jack McGrath (Leinster), Rory Best (Ulster), Seán Cronin (Leinster), Mike Sherry (Munster), Paul O’Connell (Munster), Devin Toner (Leinster), Dan Tuohy (Ulster), Mike McCarthy (Leinster), Peter O’Mahony (Munster), Kevin McLaughlin (Leinster), Seán O’Brien (Leinster), Chris Henry (Ulster), Jamie Heaslip (Leinster), James Coughlan (Munster).

    Read full report here. 
  • 12:41
    Here comes the future. Expect this sort of thing to happen soon in this part of the world. ABC reports that mail will soon be delivered to suburban New Zealand homes just three days a week as the country's postal service responds to the rise of smartphones and the decline of letters.
    On Wednesday, the government agreed to a steep reduction in the six day a week service from 2015 following lobbying from New Zealand Post. The company said reduced delivery days will result in significant job losses.
    The move could foreshadow similar changes in other developed nations as businesses and residents increasingly move online to communicate and pay bills.
    From June 2015, New Zealand Post will be required to deliver mail just three days a week in urban areas and five days a week in rural areas. About 12 percent of customers live in rural areas.
    "Thirty years ago there were just telephones and letters. Then came faxes, emails, and smartphones, and they all allow people to bypass our network," said Brian Roche, chief executive of New Zealand Post. "People just don't look at their letterbox anymore as their principal form of communication."
  • 12:43
  • 12:53
  • 13:03
    Genevieve Carbery has details of the sharp fare increases which commuters will face in the coming months, with some cash fares and annual tickets seeing increase over 10 per cent.
    The National Transport Authority today published its fares determination reports  for Luas, Iarnród Éireann, Bus Éireann and Dublin Bus.
    Irish Rail
    Short hop cash fares on Irish Rail have had one of the largest percentage increases up by 15.2 per cent . Such journeys are up 15 c from €1.65 to €1.90. Short hop rail Leap card users will see an 11.1 per cent increase in their fares which is going from €1.35 to €1.50.
    Irish Rail commuters in other zones will increases which are not as large . For example Zone J cash fares will increase from 3.30 to 3.55 (7.6 per cent).Iarnród Éireann sought average increase on adult Leap fares of 10.3 per cent but an average 2.7 per cent increase was approved by the authority.
    There will also be sharp increases for Irish Rail, Dart and intercity monthly and annual tickets which go up by between 9 and 10 per cent.
    Fares on monthly, annual and tax-saver tickets will increase from November 1st. Fares for cash tickets, Leap card and pre-paid tickets will go up from December 1st.
    Dublin Bus
    The authority has approved increase of 8.9 per cent for Dublin Bus’s main adult cash fairs while Leap fares will increase by 2.7 per cent.
    For example Dublin Bus cash fares for zones 1-3 will increase by 15 cent from €1.65 to €1.80 while adults paying cash over 13 stages will see fares increase from €2.80 to €3.05.
    Overall Leap card increases approved tend to be less. For Dublin Bus Leap card users the zone 1-3 and 13 zone increases will be 5 cent (€1.40 to €1.45 and from €2.45 to €2.50).Dublin Bus monthly and annual tickets increase between 9.38 per cent to 10.27 per cent.
    Luas cash fares will increase by between 3 per cent and 8 per cent. However Leap card fares on the Luas are down on average 1 per cent . For example the central zone red and green line peak fares will increase by 5.9 per cent from €1.70 to €1.80, but the Luas fare will remain the same at €1.45. Luas annual and monthly tickets will increase by 0 to 6.7 per cent.

    Bus Eireann
    Bus Eireann cash fares will increase between 4 per cent and 7 per cent. Thus a cash ticket of €19.70 will increase by €1.30 to €21. However there will be no increases in Leap fares for Bus Eireann users. Bus Eireann monthly and annual tickets will go up by 6 per cent on average
    The National Transport Authority chief executive Gerry Murphy said fare increases were needed to “protect transport service delivery at a time of reduced incomes for the operators.”
    Fares for Leap card users would be “significantly cheaper” than cash fares and encouraged travellers to switch.
    Mr Murphy said fuel costs had increased and public service obligation subsidies declined while the numbes of customers and revenue had suffered.
    Details of all fare increases can be found here.
  • 13:19
    Is the Department of Social Protection directing jobseekers out of the country? A potentially very interesting story being broken by Newstalk right now.

  • 13:28
    Here's a rather nicely done video from VisitDublin about the current music scene in the capital.

  • 14:00
    “I said take my blood, take what you need but don’t take my kid.” The father of the midlands family talks to Eoghan McConnell for The Irish Times here.
  • 14:06
    ‘Stephen’ - not his real name - has been unemployed since last October, and spoke to Newstalk Lunchtime about his experiences job seeking. He told Jonathan Healy how he has been recommended jobs in Canada and Malaysia by the Department of Social Protection. Despite well over a decade of professional experience, he is also still being asked to take up JobBridge internships and new trades.

  • 14:36
    Corrections and Clarifications Dept:

  • 14:39
    Plans to hold the Miss Ulster competition in parliament buildings at Stormont have been pulled in the wake of an outcry from some politicians.
    Assembly members opposed to the event had criticised entry criteria that limited competitors to young women above a certain height and between a dress size 8 to 12.
    Democratic Unionist economy minister Arlene Foster claimed it was sending out the wrong message to women and compared it to something akin to the Lovely Girls contest from Father Ted. More here.
  • 14:54
    Waiting for the christening of Prince George at St James's Palace, London. Photo: Yui Mok/ PA Wire
    Waiting for the christening of Prince George at St James's Palace, London. Photo: Yui Mok/ PA Wire
  • 15:01
    Behold the future king.

  • 15:06
  • 15:33
    Tragic. This just in from the Guardian's royal christening liveblog.

    Caroline Davies has been talking to some disappointed royal fans outside the main entrance to St James's Palace.

    First they learned William, Kate and Harry were already inside.

    "Never mind. There is still the Queen to come," said Caryll Foster. "And maybe we will see then all leaving later."

    But there was to be no view of the Queen either.

    Caryll had been waiting from 2pm yesterday for this. 
  • 15:41
  • 15:46
  • 16:15
    Meanwhile, in another part of Dublin...

  • 16:29
    It's a truth universally acknowledged that all babies go through a Winston Churchill lookalike phase at some point. It appears young Prince George is right in the midstof that phase, judging by this footage of him arriving for his christening this afternoon. Lovely dress, though.

  • 17:03
  • 17:10