Live: Unsettled weather conditions continue, Kraken variant likely to become dominant

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Live: Unsettled weather conditions continue, Kraken variant likely to become dominant

Kenneth Fox

McGregor case

UFC star Conor McGregor was too sick with the flu to face court regarding for his unresolved dangerous driving prosecution in Dublin, on Wednesday.

Judge David McHugh adjourned the case in his absence, meaning Mr McGregor will fully contest the prosecution at a hearing in December.

Gardaí stopped the MMA fighter driving a high-performance Bentley Continental GT on March 22nd, 2022 in west Dublin.

Bad faith

Sinn Féin has said there is "no room for bad faith and petulance" from the British government in talks regarding Northern Ireland.

Britain's foreign secretary James Cleverly and Northern Ireland secretary Chris Heaton-Harris are meeting political and business leaders in the North on Wednesday, however, Sinn Féin have criticised the British government for excluding Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald from the discussions.

The meetings are taking place in an attempt to restore the North's power-sharing Executive and discuss possible solutions regarding the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Weather warnings

Unsettled conditions look set to continue for the remainder of the week as Met Éireann issued further weather warnings for counties in the west and southwest.

Later, a yellow wind and rain alert will cover all six counties in Munster, as the forecaster predicts conditions will become very windy overnight with heavy rain and possible spot flooding.

The second alert of the day will begin at 8pm on Wednesday evening and will remain in place until midnight.

Kraken variant

A new, highly transmissible variant of Covid-19 is likely to become the dominant strain in Ireland, immunology expert Professor Kingston Mills has warned.

Prof Mills told RTÉ Radio’s Morning Ireland that the new variant XBB.1.5, also known as ‘Kraken’, was quite different from Omicron, but vaccines will still offer protection, especially the “bivalent variations”.

The Professor of Experimental Immunology at Trinity College Dublin urged people who have not yet been vaccinated to do so and to get the booster.

Golden Globes

Irish talent fared well at this year's Golden Globes awards, which did not shy away from its controversial past as it returned in-person for its milestone 80th year.

The event– one of the first major events of the award season calendar – saw several wins for Martin McDonagh’s The Banshees Of Inisherin.

Colin Farrell took home the award for best performance by an actor in a motion picture musical or comedy for his role in The Banshees Of Inisherin, which he stars in alongside Brendan Gleeson, and thanked his entire cast and crew.

Tourism VAT rate

The scheduled VAT increase from 9 per cent to 13.5 per cent for the tourism industry will damage the sector, according to a new report,

The report by Economist Jim Power and commissioned by the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation said the VAT increase could cost up to 24,000 jobs and add 4.1 per cent inflation to the cost of accommodation and food services

It concludes that VAT should be kept at 9 per cent to protect the competitiveness of a vulnerable industry particularly when key source markets are going through economic turbulence.

Yemen weapons

Weapons supplied by the UK and US and used by a Saudi-led coalition fighting in war-torn Yemen killed at least 87 civilians and wounded 136 others in just over a year, a report has said.

The report by the Oxfam charity found that the Saudi-led coalition used weapons supplied solely by the UK and the US in hundreds of attacks on civilians in Yemen between January 2021 to the end of February 2022.

Britain is the second-biggest supplier of weapons to Saudi Arabia, after America.

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