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Karachi airport assault, Tuam story and all the day's news with Sorcha Pollak

Sorcha Pollak Mon, Jun 9
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  • 10:25
    Good morning, Sorcha Pollak here with you today reporting all the latest news in Ireland and around the world. If you have any comments or suggestions feel free to tweet @SorchaPollak
  • 10:38

    Trinity College has gone digital and will offer its first online course from September, writes Joe Humphreys in today’s Irish Times. The six-week MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) offers a free history course entitled “Irish Lives in War and Revolution: Exploring Ireland’s History 1912-1923” and aims to give people a “Trinity education experience” without having to attend the university.
    Dr Anne Dolan, one of the team involved, has said it's aimed at the “interested punter” rather than the professional scholar but would not compromise on quality.

  • 10:57

    Catherine Corless, the Tuam local historian whose research revealed that 796 children, most of them infants, died between 1925 and 1961 at a home run by the Bon Secours Sisters, has spoken on video to Rosita Boland at The Irish Times.
    ‘I never used that word ‘dumped’,” she said. “I never said to anyone that 800 bodies were dumped in a septic tank. That did not come from me at any point. They are not my words.” Watch the video here.

  • 11:13

    It’s Johnny Depp’s 50th birthday today so let’s celebrate with a clip of his scrumptious role in the movie Chocolat. He even pulls off a half-decent Irish accent.




  • 11:30

    Have you ever wondered who the real Mattress Mick is - the fella with that mass of hair plastered on billboards around the city? Ann Marie Hourihane met with the man himself where she learned that he is both “fantastic” and “considerate” in bed.
    “Mattress Mick is confident with women,” writes Hourihane. “He lies on his beds with his female customers.”
    “Even if the husbands are with them,” adds Mattress Mick. “And I say, `take a photograph’.”
    Matress Mick answers The Irish Times  ten questions.

  • 11:33
  • 11:36

    Clamping on private property will be regulated for the first time under measures being announced by Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar this morning, writes Mary Minihan.
    Under the proposed legislation, a regulator will be appointed to oversee the entire clamping sector on both public and private property.
    A maximum clamping release fee for clamping on private property will also be set for the first time.

  • 11:46
  • 12:00

    The latest news from the assault on Jinnah International Airport in Karachi is that the Pakistani Taliban, an alliance of insurgent groups fighting to topple the government and set up a Sharia state, has claimed responsibility, saying it was in response to army attacks on their strongholds along the Afghan border.

    “It is a message to the Pakistan government that we are still alive to react over the killings of innocent people in bomb attacks on their villages,” said Shahidullah Shahid, a Taliban spokesman.
    Peace talks between the government and the Pakistani Taliban have failed in recent months, dampening hopes of reaching a negotiated settlement with the insurgency, which continues attacks against government and security targets.

    Pakistan’s Taliban are allied with but separate from the Afghan Taliban.

    Militants stormed Pakistan’s biggest airport last night and at least 27 people were killed in a night-long battle at one of the country’s most high-profile targets.

  • 12:01
  • 12:03
  • 12:19

    Two men were today sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Anna Politkovskaya, an investigative journalist whose murder in 2006 raised international alarm over the dangers faced by Kremlin critics in Russia.

    Politkovskaya, who specialised in uncovering state corruption and rights abuses, was gunned down at the entrance to her Moscow apartment block at the age of 48. Five men were found guilty last month of the killing.

    Interfax news agency said a judge agreed to the prosecutors’ request to order life imprisonment for Rustam Makhmudov, found guilty of pulling the trigger, and his uncle Lom-Ali Gaitukayev, who organised the logistics of the killing.


  • 12:42

    Comedy sketch-show The Savage Eye has released a video entitled Wild Nuns which it claims was not allowed to run on RTÉ.
    Co-writer and co-star of the show David McSavage threatened to protest after he said certain sketches were banned from the series.
    So what do you think? Did the show take a step too far, or are we entitled, in the name of freedom of speech, to watch sketch comedy clips like Wild Nuns?

  • 12:50
  • 13:05

    Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn has backed calls for the establishment of an independent inquiry into mother and baby homes, saying it was important to find out the facts while also considering the context of the time, writes Steven Carroll.

    Mr Quinn said he “broadly” supported comments made yesterday by Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin, who said it was important that any investigation was independent and separate from the Catholic Church, the State or any other organisation involved in the homes.

    Mr Quinn told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland programme he felt it was important to show this generation of Irish people what those who came before them did to “young women who got into to trouble, so to speak”.

    “They didn’t get into trouble on their own [when they became pregnant],” he said, adding that many had their children taken away.

  • 13:27

    It’s only days until the 2014 World cup kicks off in Brazil. However, Subway workers in Sao Paulo have continued to strike for the fifth day even after a court ruled the stoppage illegal, spreading chaos across the county’s biggest city just days ahead of the opening match of the World Cup soccer tournament.

    The decision by subway workers, who are seeking a pay rise of almost twice the annual inflation rate, may trigger another day of record traffic jams in the city of over 20 million people.
    Analysts say Sao Paulo is gradually becoming a battlefield for dissenting political views, hampering the city’s economy and creating a climate of unease ahead of the World Cup.

    Workers want a 12 per cent pay rise, with the state’s subway company offering 8.7 per cent. With major subway lines closed since Thursday last, commuting in Brazil’s largest city has been chaotic.


  • 13:34
  • 13:41

    Hospital emergency departments (EDs) are facing a “staffing meltdown” next month because of difficulties recruiting qualified doctors, according to the Irish Association of Emergency Medicine.

    The association has said that over the past five years it has become “increasingly difficult” to staff the country’s 30 EDs, writes Paul Cullen. The problem will become “worse than ever” after the changeover of non-consultant hospital doctors (NCHDs), due to take place next month.

    The association say that while some EDs have so far avoided major difficulties with recruitment, “few if any EDs will not be short of their normal complement of junior staff come mid July”.

  • 13:48

    The other big birthday celebrations on today's blog go to Natalie Portman who has turned 33. Watch the talented Israeli-American actress descend into madness as she dances Swan Lake in her Oscar-winning performance in the movie Black Swan.  

  • 14:14
    A Dublin bus has gone up in flames in Harold's Cross in Dublin. More info to come.  
  • 14:27

    Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore is in Belfast today meeting political and business leaders to discuss whether there are any means of pressing forward with the Haass proposals on parades, flags and the past, writes Gerry Moriarty.

    Mr Gilmore is also meeting separately today with DUP First Minister Peter Robinson and Sinn Féin Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness to test whether there is any possibility of achieving some progress before the height of the marching season next month.

    US diplomat Dr Richard Haass published proposals at the start of the year on how the contentious issues of parading, flags and the past might be addressed. These were based on months of talks he chaired with the North’s main parties.

    The Haass proposals were effectively rejected by the DUP and Ulster Unionist Party, although talks have been continuing intermittently between the North’s political leaders to see whether the proposals can be resurrected or amended.

  • 14:30
    The Dublin bus fire ocurred at the junction between Kimmage Road Lower and Harold's Cross Road earlier this afternoon. If anyone in the area has more information please tweet @SorchaPollak.
  • 14:38
  • 15:24

    UPDATE on Dublin Bus fire:

    The bus caught fire at the junction where Kimmage Road Lower meets the Harold’s Cross Road around 1pm on its way to the Ringsend bus depot.

    There were no passengers on board the bus which was out of service. The driver, who was uninjured, alerted the fire services and the road remained closed until the bus was removed at 2pm.

    A spokeswoman for Dublin Bus said the source of the blaze is still unknown and that an investigation will be carried out into the incident.

  • 15:32

    VIDEO: Watch Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar call for an end to megaphone diplomacy in the Aer Lingus dispute. The Government has urged both sides in the Aer Lingus dispute to attend the Labour Relations Commission to try to broker a compromise, writes Mary Minihan.

    Mr Varadkar said: “If the union and the company can’t resolve the situation by bilateral talks they should now go to Labour Relations Commission, and the Government is inviting them to to to the Labour Relations Commission, which is a Government body, and they will try and broker a compromise.”


  • 15:38

    The world’s oldest man has died in New York at the age of 111, reports the BBC.

    Alexander Imich, a retired chemist and parapsychologist, was born in 1902 in a town in Poland that was at the time part of Russia. He and his wife left after the Nazis invaded in 1939 and eventually moved to the US in 1951. His wife died in 1986.

    Mr Imich had said that his good genes and a healthy lifestyle contributed to his advanced age.

    The world’s oldest person is a woman, 116-year-old Misao Okawa from Japan.

  • 15:39
  • 15:46

    In Egypt security officials say police have arrested seven men for sexually assaulting a 19-year-old student during the celebrations marking the inauguration of the new president, reports the Guardian.

    Video footage posted on social media shows the women naked and bloodied as police officers struggle to escort her out of Cairo's Tahrir Square, where tens of thousands celebrated Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi's inauguration until late last night.

    Last week the Egyptian government criminalised sexual harassment which is a real problem in Egypt.

  • 15:50
  • 16:02

    The world renowned exhibition of Terracotta Warriors is coming to Dublin in July.

    The exhibition consists of over 150 perfectly executed replications of The Terracotta Army of the First Emperor of China, displayed on 800 – 1,000 m2 (10,000 – 12,000 sqft) of surface.

    During his lifetime, Emperor Qin Shihuangdi ordered a spectacular tomb to be built in his honour. He died in 210bc and his tomb was quickly forgotten.

    In 1974, farmers in Xian, in the Chinese province of Shannxi found the tomb of the first emperor when digging for a fountain. They discovered a life size army of naturally crafted terracotta warriors and in 1987 the treasure was declared a world cultural heritage by the UNESCO.

    The exhibition of the Terracotta Army will take place at The Ambassador Theatre in Dublin, opening on July 4th. Tickets go on sale this Friday 13th June at 9am.

  • 16:07
    The Terracotta Warriors exhibition is coming to the Ambassador Theatre in Dublin on July 4th. Photograph: Fotolia
    The Terracotta Warriors exhibition is coming to the Ambassador Theatre in Dublin on July 4th. Photograph: Fotolia
  • 16:11
    British comedian and actor Rik Mayall has died aged 56, according to his manager.  
  • 16:21
  • 16:22
    That's all from today's Daily Wire. We'll be back from 9.30 tomorrow morning with all the day's latest news. Enjoy your midsummer sunny evening!