News Blog

A rolling look at today's events

Joanne Hunt Wed, Jun 12
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  • 08:47
    It's a bright, mild day in the capital with just a hint of rain in the sky. Well it is summer.
  • 08:48
    Joanne Hunt here on the Irish Times news blog for June 12 2013. Good morning.
  • 08:52
    Today's main stories from the Irish Times: HSE cuts funding for childcare training service. 'Outstanding issues' on abortion draft. Erdogan to meet protesters as Taksim Square cleared. The picture on the front is of Adrian Bayley, the man who raped and murdered Irish woman Jill Meagher in Melbourne last September. He had a record of 20 rapes and assaults.
  • 08:58
    Meanwhile over on Kildare Street, a special cabinet meeting that started at 8am hopes to settle the abortion legislation - the meeting was scheduled after serious drafting difficulties left Ministers without a definitive text to discuss at yesterday’s cabinet meeting. We’ll have more for you on this during the day.
  • 09:04
    The world’s oldest man in recorded history, 116-year-old Japanese national Jiroemon Kimura, died today. Mr Kimura was born in 1897 the same year as aviator Amelia Earhart and the year Queen Victoria marked her Diamond Jubilee. He worked as a postal employee and as a farmer at his home. On his 115th birthday, Mr Kimura told reporters he was keeping his mind fit by learning English. He attributed his longevity to getting out in the sunlight. “I am always looking up towards the sky. That is how I am,” Kimura said then. Mr Kimura is survived by seven children, 14 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, and 15 great-great-grandchildren.
  • 09:28

    Journalists fired from Greece’s state TV and radio have refused to leave the broadcaster’s headquarters, continuing internet programming after State TV and radio signals were cut. The government has closed the Hellenic Broadcasting Corp, ERT firing its 2,500 workers, citing the need to cut “incredible waste” as the bailed out country endures a sixth year of recession.
    Thousands of protesters remained outside ERT’s giant headquarters in Aghia Paraskevi, north of Athens, through the night as journalists continued a live broadcast which was streamed online.

  • 09:58
  • 10:11

    In today's Dail Sketch, Miriam Lord reports Sligo Senator Marc MacSharry's proclamation in the Seanad yesterday that Taoiseach Enda Kenny had "urinated all over this house". Oh Lordy.

  • 10:28
    Senator MacSharry told the Seanad that the Taoiseach was "clowning around Europe, acting like a clown and turning the Government and his office into a circus ring". Objecting, senator Marie Louise O'Donnell said: "How dare you?" Labour's Marie Moloney sought to apologise to the Cathaoirleach on MacSharry's behalf. "How dare you apologise for somebody!" said MacSharry.

    If the Seanad was this dramatic every day, they could sell tickets.
  • 10:39
    The state government of Victoria in Australia is considering a new law to make breaching parole a criminal offence as part of a review sparked by the system's failures in the Jill Meagher murder case, reports Victoria newspaper, The Age.

  • 10:49

    Do pictures of cute, chirpy babies on milk formula packaging idealise bottle-feeding to the detriment of breastfeeding? The European Parliament thinks so.


  • 10:50
  • 11:07

    “Julia Gillard Kentucky Fried Quail – Small Breasts, Huge Thighs & A Big Red Box”. That’s how the Australian prime minister was described on a menu at a fundraiser event for opposition candidate Mal Brough.

    Gillard has rounded on the opposition leader, Tony Abbott for standing behind the candidate. She has called the menu “grossly offensive and sexist”.


  • 11:08
  • 11:11
    Somebody clearly thought Rhianna was looking a bit chilly since the sun's gone in...
  • 11:12
  • 11:16

    Some lovely person is kitting out the singer, who appears topless  on billboards around the country promoting her new album, in clothes from Tesco.

  • 11:18
    Could it be the Norn Iron farmer who evicted her from his corn field when he spotted just how raunchy her "We found love in a hopless place" video shoot  was?
  • 11:27
  • 11:28
    Surely the quote of the day from yesterday's Irish Times Tweetwatch of Leaving Cert students. Best of luck Katee.
  • 11:36
  • 11:43
    "Imagine the world upside down. Imagine tomorrow, 8am. You're getting your son or daughter ready for school. All of a sudden you notice that your child isn't carrying a schoolbag; he or she is carrying a pickaxe and shovel. Not toy ones for the beach - real ones, heavy ones that will give their fingers blisters."
    Check out the words and photos of Fernando Molina Cortes, marking World Day Against Child Labour, in today's Irish Times. Cortes highlights child labour in a Peruvian brick factory.
  • 11:48
  • 11:53

    Minister for Finance Michael Noonan told the Dail yesterday that with more that 1.55 million returns made and just 3 per cent of those homeowners seeking deferrals, it was a "fair indication that the public regard this as a fair tax".

  • 11:56
    Mr Noonan hit out in the Dail yesterday at Sinn Fein objectors to the tax saying: "Lads, if you ever want to aspire to be over here [on the Government benches], would you ever grow up and take these issues seriously."
  • 12:05
  • 12:11
    Mr Kenny has said he is "a taoiseach who is a Catholic, not a Catholic taoiseach" - he was addressing the Dail after a Cabinet meeting this morning to discuss abortion legislation.

  • 12:11
    Mr Kenny told the Dáil he acknowledged the issue was sensitive. But he said: “I am now being branded by personnel around the country as being a murderer. I’m going to have on my soul the death of 20 million babies. I’m getting medals, scapulars, plastic foetuses, letters written in blood, telephone calls all over the system and it’s not confined to me.”
  • 12:24

    The long-awaited report of the review group appointed by the Health Service Executive to investigate the death of Savita Halappanavar is due to be published tomorrow.

    The report is “ready to go” while the HSE was making arrangements yesterday for a suitable venue in Dublin in which to brief the media on its contents, writes Irish Times health correspondent, Paul Cullen.

  • 12:35
  • 12:51
    Ecuador is to lobby for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to be allowed to sunbathe because it is a "fundamental right" reports The Australian. Assange has been inside the country's embassy since June 19th last year.
  • 12:59
    Over 97 per cent of fathers were there for their babies’ birth at the National Maternity Hospital, Dublin a new survey shows.

    The study of 1,000 fathers found that when it comes to antenatal visits, 80% of fathers were likely to be present and as for the very first glimpse of the baby, nearly 90% were there for the ultrasound scans. 

    Of the dads that attended the delivery, the vast majority (82.2%) were delighted to witness the birth. (The other 17.8 per cent are clearly still in shock).
  • 13:02
  • 13:19
  • 13:30

    Geneva knocks Paris off the top spot as the most expensive city for a club sandwich at an average of over €23, according to the annual Club Sandwich Index.

    Dublin is one of the cheapest cities in Europe to purchase a club sandwich at just under €12.

    €12 squids for a club sandwich?? That better come with a pint.

  • 13:31
    Neil Maybe it is the theme tune for the g8 summit
  • 13:44
  • 13:54

    The Law Society is to deploy undercover agents  in courts around the country  in a bid to expose unscrupulous solicitors touting for business. The  society will  use “secret shoppers” at court venues to identify those solicitors engaging in the unauthorised practice of approaching court clients to represent them.

    What will these secret shoppers wear - I mean, what is someone who might need a solicitor supposed to look like?

    I love these honeytrap schemes.
  • 14:02
    Electronic cigarettes will be licensed as a medicine in the UK from 2016, under new regulations, according to a BBC report.

    Research suggests around 1.3m smokers and ex-smokers in the UK use the products, which are designed to replicate smoking behaviour without the use of tobacco.
  • 14:13
  • 14:27
    I cycled to work this morning at 8am, a journey of about 4km. Here's what I saw.

    Cyclists on the footpath: 1. Cylists breaking a red light: 5. Motorists driving with wheels in the cycle lane: About 7. Glass in the cycle lane: Lots. Cycle lanes that ended abruptly, leaving the cyclist stranded in the middle of the road: 1.Taxis stopping abruptly to pick up a customer without indicating: 1. Cylists breaking a red light and nearly colliding with a pedstrian: 1. Pedestrians crossing onto cycle paths when it was unsafe to do so: Lots. Cyclists wearing earphones: 2.
  • 14:29
  • 15:06
  • 15:08
  • 15:11
    The Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill 2013 is expected to be published either this evening or tomorrow.
  • 15:17
  • 15:24
  • 15:30

    Is the lack of evidence-based thinking the greatest problem afflicting the modern world?

    According to senator and professor John Crown, it’s the single greatest menace on the planet - responsible for wars, hunger, intolerance and more closer to home, the domination of politics by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.

     Eoin Burke-Kennedy reports from inaugural Tedx UCD talks at the college’s newly opened FitzGerald debating chamber, named in honour of the late Dr Garret FitzGerald.

  • 15:35
  • 15:44
  • 15:51
    Childcare fees should be tax deductible, say 78 per cent of people surveyed in an Irish Times Ipsos MRBI Women at Work poll.

    Some 70 per cent of respondents said the Government should provide free childcare for all pre-school children. Just 32 per cent say that child benefit should be used to fund State childcare for all and not paid directly to parents. Read analysis by Irish Times chief reporter Carl O'Brien here.
  • 15:55
  • 16:05
  • 16:10

    The US man accused of kidnapping three women, holding them in his home for a decade and raping them has pleaded not guilty to all charges. Former school bus driver Ariel Castro appeared in court in Cleveland, Ohio on an indictment charging him with murder, kidnapping and rape in more than 300 counts.

  • 16:17

    Barcelona's Argentina forward Lionel Messi and his father have been accused by Spanish tax authorities of defrauding the state of more than four million euros ($5.3 million) but the pair denied any wrongdoing.

    The World Player of the Year and his father Jorge allegedly filed fraudulent tax returns for the years 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009, according to a spokesman for the prosecutor's office for tax crimes in Catalonia.

  • 16:19

    "We have just known through the media about the claim filed by the Spanish tax authorities. We are surprised about the news, because we have never committed any infringement," Messi wrote in a statement on his official Facebook page.

    Messi, who will be 26 this month, is one of the world's highest-paid athletes with a salary of just over $20 million a season, according to Forbes magazine.
    On top of his Barca wages, he pulls in around $21 million in endorsements from sponsors including Adidas, PepsiCo and P&G and he is 10th on Forbes' latest list of top-earning athletes.

  • 16:27
  • 16:38
  • 16:47

    Australia soccer coach Holger Osieck has apologised after saying “women should shut up in public” following a World Cup qualifying victory over Jordan in Melbourne.

    Osieck made the comment prior to starting his post-match news conference, with the German adding “I’m going to be the darling of all Australian wives” after discovering the cameras were already rolling.

    Today, Osieck apologised. “I got information it created waves. That was not the intent. To everyone offended, I sincerely apologise,” the German was quoted as saying by SBS.

    “It was off the record and... a complete misunderstanding... it was more meant as a joke. There was no seriousness in it. “We shouldn’t take any remark (like this) literally.”

  • 17:01
    That concludes today's live blog. You can keep up to date overnight with and with @IrishTimes on Twitter.

    Further spells of rain are expected overnight, heavy and persistent at times. Lowest temperatures of 9 to 11 degrees. Breezy near south coasts in westerly winds. Mind how you go.