April 12: Today’s top stories in 60 seconds
Your speedy summary of today's must-read stories.
‘Two beautiful young people’ – Galway town prepares for first funeral of two victims of horror crash
The first funeral for two teenagers killed in a horror road crash in Galway will take place on Friday. The shattered communities of Annaghdown and Headford in Galway will come to a standstill this week and pay their respects as 14-year-old Kirsty Bohan is laid to rest.
Biden to stress US commitment to NI economy in speech
US President Joe Biden will meet British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in Belfast this morning. In a speech to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, he will stress the US commitment to support Northern Ireland’s economy to create prosperity for all. Mr Biden became the fourth serving US President to visit Northern Ireland when Air Force One touched down at RAF Aldergrove, a secure military facility attached to Belfast International Airport, shortly after 9pm last night. He was greeted and welcomed to Northern Ireland by Mr Sunak.
Scale of Garda operation for Biden visit to far surpass that of Obama in 2011
The security operation in place for the visit of US president Joe Biden will be one of the biggest ever seen on the island of Ireland involving over 2,000 Garda members and much larger in scale than when former US president Barack Obama visited in 2011. The cost of the security operation for the visits of US president Obama and Queen Elizabeth – both in May, 2011 – reached almost €40 million, nearly double the projected costs. While the operations were deemed a success, republican hardline rioters clashed with gardaí on the fringes of the queen’s visit to Dublin. In 2011, the threat from Islamist extremists was the main concern for the Garda and US security services during the Obama visit, though 12 years on the US security services are currently on high alert because of the war in Ukraine, security sources said. They added that any visit by Mr Biden to Europe was fraught with risk due to the war and the possibility anti-war or pro-Russian factions may seek to attack the president or embarrass the US with a security breach.
The Irish Times
Cork County Council pays out more than €5.6m in footpath compensation claims
One of the biggest local authorities in the country has paid out more than €5.6m in compensation related to injuries sustained on footpaths over the past four years. Cork County Council confirmed that the sum was paid out in relation to 233 claims made between 2019 and 2022. In response to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request made by Labour Party TD’s Sean Sherlock’s office, the local authority said that it paid €1.8m related to 76 claims in 2019 and €1.69m in relation to 69 claims in 2020. The amount paid out dropped to €930,000 in relation to 42 claims in 2021, but €1.25m was paid out for 46 claims last year, the figures show. Mr Sherlock called the sums “extraordinary”, saying that local authorities had to refocus on the safety of footpaths.
The Irish Examiner
China records first human death from H3N8 bird flu, WHO says
A woman has died from H3N8 bird flu in China, the World Health Organization reported Tuesday – the first known human fatality from the avian influenza strain. H3N8 is known to have been circulating since 2002 after first emerging in North American waterfowl. It is known to infect horses, dogs and seals. It had not been detected in humans before two prior non-fatal cases emerged – both also in China – in April and May last year. The woman who died was a 56-year-old from Guangdong province in southeast China. She fell ill on 22 February, was hospitalised for severe pneumonia on 3 March and died on 16 March, the WHO said. “The patient had multiple underlying conditions. She had a history of exposure to live poultry before the onset of the disease, and a history of wild bird presence around her home,” the UN health agency said in a statement. “No close contacts of the case developed an infection or symptoms of illness at the time of reporting,” it added.
Louisville shooting: Bank gunman Connor Sturgeon’s rifle ‘will be auctioned’ – as police release bodycam footage
Police bodycam footage has shown the moment officers confronted a gunman who had opened fire at a Louisville bank – killing five colleagues. Connor Sturgeon, 25, was shot dead by police following the attack at the Old National Bank in the Kentucky city on Monday morning. Two patrol officers who responded to the shooting were among eight wounded, with one of the officers hit in the head by a bullet. Sturgeon livestreamed the attack on social media.
Myanmar airstrike on civilians sparks global outcry as witnesses describe attack
A series of deadly airstrikes by Myanmar’s military on a civilian crowd has sparked widespread condemnation, as witnesses recounted the horror of the attack that could be the junta’s deadliest since a coup two years ago. The initial death toll stood at 53 from Tuesday’s attacks on a village ceremony in Sagaing region at which women and children were present, but later tallies reported by independent media raised it to about 100.
Elon Musk tells BBC that owning Twitter has been quite painful
Elon Musk has said running Twitter has been “quite painful” and “a rollercoaster”, in a last-minute interview with the BBC. The multi-billionaire entrepreneur also said that he would sell the company if the right person came along. Mr Musk, who also runs car maker Tesla and rocket firm SpaceX, bought Twitter for $44bn (£35.4bn) in October. The interview was broadcast live from Twitter HQ in San Francisco, attracting more than three million listeners.
Very windy or becoming very windy today, Wednesday, with strong to gale force northwest winds developing countrywide and some severe or damaging gusts possible. Showers will merge to longer spells of rain at times, with local downpours and the chance of hail and isolated thunderstorms. It will brighten up from the west through the afternoon and evening, with sunny spells and just isolated showers following. Maximum temperatures of just 6 to 8 degrees in Ulster and north Leinster, but 9 to 11 degrees elsewhere with winds easing from the southwest through the evening. Tonight will bring a mix of clear spells and scattered showers, the showers mostly in the west and north. Strong west to northwest winds will persist in Ulster and near the east coast overnight, but winds will be generally light to moderate westerly or variable elsewhere. Lowest temperatures of 0 to 4 degrees, coldest across parts of Munster and south Leinster. A Status Yellow Wind warning has also been issued for much of the country including all of Leinster, Cavan, Donegal, Monaghan, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary, Waterford, Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Galway, Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Tyrone and Derry. People in these areas are advised that strong winds may cause some disruption during the day.