February 13: Today’s top stories in 60 seconds
Your speedy summary of today's must-read stories.
Galway pier tragedy: ‘They drowned in two or three feet of water’ – gardaí investigate deaths
Gardaí investigating the tragic deaths of three teenagers who drowned when their car slipped off a pier are set to speak to several witnesses. The Irish Independent understands that a second car travelled in convoy with the youths to the Menlo pier area in the early hours of Saturday. A source said locals were alerted to the unfolding tragedy by the screams of teenage girls who were in the second car. It was the passengers of the second car who apparently alerted emergency services. John Keenan (16), also known as John Sammon, and Wojciech Panek (17) died at the scene while Christopher Stokes (19) was taken to hospital in a critical condition but later died of his injuries. Gardaí believe the car carrying the teens may have slipped off the edge of the pier and tipped on its roof, trapping the youngsters in a shallow narrow channel that runs alongside the pier.
Turkey-Syria earthquake: Survivors urgently need faster aid to ‘save lives’ – as WHO says disaster ‘overwhelmed everyone’
The World Health Organisation has said the earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria has “overwhelmed everyone” – amid warnings the flow of aid must be urgently sped up to save lives. The number of people killed in both countries continues to grow and now stands at more than 33,000. Dr Michael Ryan, WHO’s executive director, said it was “misleading” to compare the impact in both countries, with so much relying on the “extent of the earthquake” and “population density”.
Average rents top €2,300 in Dublin and €1,700 in Cork, as prices respond to chronic shortage of properties
Rents across the country continue to rise to record levels, driven by a chronic shortage of houses. In the final quarter of 2022, average rents hit €1,733 per month, up 13.7% on the same period a year ago. In some parts of Munster, the rise was even higher — with Limerick up 18.9% and Waterford up 20%, according to the latest report from Daft.ie. The worrying trend comes as the Government grapples with an escalating housing crisis, with a record 11,600 people now homeless, including almost 3,500 children. The State is also scrambling to house more than 70,000 Ukrainian refugees and 19,000 international protection applicants who have arrived since last year.
The Irish Examiner
Tributes paid as Banshees of Inisherin co-producer James Flynn dies aged 57
Tributes are being paid to film producer James Flynn who has died at the age of 57. Flynn, whose credits include the Oscar-nominated Banshees of Inisherin as well as Veronica Guerin, Angela’s Ashes and Love/Hate, has been described as an influential figure within the Irish film industry. Culture Minister Catherine Ryan led the tributes to him. She posted on Twitter: “I am greatly saddened by the news of the passing of James Flynn.His most recent success with the Banshees of Inisherin was the culmination of a career at the very forefront of Irish cinema & TV drama production.
Speculation grows as US shoots down new mystery object
A US warplane has shot down a new flying object near the Canadian border, the latest of three mysterious devices spotted since military radar settings were cranked up in the wake of the downing of a suspected Chinese spy balloon. Americans have been watching the skies as the mysterious incursions unfolded against a backdrop of acute tensions with China – although only the first object has so far been attributed to Beijing. Yesterday, the Pentagon said that it does not yet know what the other three objects – one shot down on Friday over Alaska, one on Saturday over Canada’s Yukon territory, and the most recent one yesterday over Lake Huron – are. But it said that the object downed yesterday had been tracked for nearly a day and did not resemble the alleged Chinese surveillance balloon that was destroyed off the Atlantic coast on 4 February after traversing the country.
U2 Announces ‘Achtung Baby’ Concerts at New Las Vegas Venue — Without Drummer Larry Mullen Jr.
U2 announced a series of concerts in Las Vegas this fall celebrating their 1991 album “Achtung Baby” in a cryptic 15-second ad aired during the Super Bowl on Sunday — although drummer Larry Mullen Jr., still recovering from surgery, will sit out this run of shows. Dutch drummer Bram van den Berg will fill in. The concerts, titled “U2:UV Achtung Baby Live at the Sphere,” will see the band launching the new venue, MSG Sphere at the Venetian, in Las Vegas this autumn. While further details were not immediately available, the unspecified “special run of shows” — which a rep stressed are not a residency — mark the band’s first live performances in four years, and seem likely to be a kickoff for a world tour (presumably next year, and including Mullen) celebrating the anniversary of “Achtung Baby,” similar to their blockbuster tours around the 30th anniversary of their 1987 album “The Joshua Tree.”
Rihanna reveals she’s pregnant at Super Bowl half-time show
Rihanna delivered an electrifying and hit-heavy half-time show at Sunday’s Super Bowl, but social media went into meltdown when the singer revealed an unexpected special guest. In an interview last week, the Bajan singer was asked if there would be any surprises during her performance at Arizona’s State Farm Stadium. “I’m thinking about bringing someone,” she replied. “I’m not sure, we’ll see.” Naturally, fans assumed she was talking about one of the many artists she’s collaborated with during her illustrious career. A guest spot from Jay-Z, Drake or Eminem seemed both likely and in keeping with the half-time show tradition of surprise duets. But Rihanna wasn’t referring to any of them. Although nobody twigged at the time, she was in fact hinting that she was pregnant with her second child.
Kansas City Chiefs beat Philadelphia Eagles for second Super Bowl in four years
Kansas City kicker Harrison Butker had the final say with eight seconds left on the clock, when the Georgia Tech product capped Mahomes’ 12-play, 66-yard drive with a successful 27-yard field goal for his side’s second Lombardi trophy since 2019.
Most areas will be dry today with sunny spells breaking through across many areas. Southerly winds will however freshen with patchy drizzle moving into southwest fringes later this evening. Highest temperatures of 9 to 12 degrees. Turning mostly cloudy with showery outbreaks of rain spreading from the south. Lowest temperatures of 4 to 8 degrees, or locally lower in the north and northeast in moderate to fresh and blustery southerly winds.