February 14: Today’s top stories in 60 seconds
Your speedy summary of today's must-read stories.
Earthquake-hit Syria to open two more border crossings for aid delivery – UN
Syria’s government has agreed to open two more border crossings to allow aid into the country devastated by last week’s deadly earthquakes, the UN says. “It’s going to make a big difference. We are now using just one crossing,” a spokesman for UN Secretary General António Guterres told the BBC. The quakes in neighbouring Turkey are known to have killed almost 40,000 people in the two countries. Many Syrians have been angry over the lack of aid to their war-torn nation. The government of President Bashar al-Assad has blamed difficulties in rescue efforts on the impact of Western sanctions imposed on the country. But international aid groups say the key impediments are the Assad government’s mismanagement and refusal to engage with all areas of the country. More than 5,700 people are now known to have been killed in Syria by the 6 February earthquakes. In Turkey, the death toll has already exceeded 31,000.
Man in critical condition after Dublin city assault
A man in his 20s is in critical condition after an assault in Dublin city centre early this morning. The incident took place between 4am and 5am at Parnell Place, a laneway off Parnell Street. The man has been taken to Beaumont Hospital. No arrests have been made. The scene is preserved for a technical examination by the Garda Technical Bureau. Gardaí are appealing to witnesses to contact them at Mountjoy Garda Station on 01 666 8600, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any garda station.
‘I feel deflated, so low’: Magdalene laundry survivor loses case at UN Committee Against Torture
A Magdalene laundry survivor has expressed her disappointment that the United Nations Committee Against Torture (CAT) has concluded the Irish State did not breach her human rights. In her complaint, Elizabeth Coppin argued that Ireland had violated her rights under articles 12, 13, 14 and 16 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Coppin argued that Ireland had failed to undertake a prompt and impartial investigation into her allegations of abuse and had not ensured that she could obtain full redress, and also failed to act to prevent cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. However, in its final decision, CAT concluded that Ireland was not in violation of these articles. The committee published its decision on 31 October 2022, but Coppin has not commented on it until today.
Child benefit bonus and energy rebates will feature in spring cost-of-living package
A fuel allowance lump sum, a bonus child benefit payment, and a further energy rebate are to be the main elements of the Government’s spring cost-of-living package. A further once-off welfare payment is also under strong consideration.
The Irish Examiner
Cyclone Gabrielle causes third ever national State of Emergency in NZ
New Zealand has declared a national State of Emergency for just the third time in the country’s history as Cyclone Gabrielle continues to cause major flooding and destruction on the North Island.
Sky News Australia
Suspect has died of apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound after mass shooting at Michigan State University left 3 dead and 5 injured, police say
A suspect has died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound after a mass shooting at Michigan State University that left three people dead and five others injured Monday evening, police said. “There is no longer a threat to campus,” Interim Deputy Chief Chris Rozman said. “We believe there to only be one shooter in this incident and there is no longer a need to shelter in place on campus.” The shooting, which spanned two different campus locations, prompted an hourslong shelter-in-place order as hundreds of officers from multiple agencies converged on the campus to search for the gunman. The suspect, a 43-year-old man, was not affiliated with the university, according to Rozman, who did not name the suspect.
‘Significant’ debris from China spy balloon retrieved, says US military
The US military has recovered “significant debris” from a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon shot down this month, the Pentagon has said, after the White House claimed China had been operating a high-altitude balloon program spying on the US and its allies for many years. The US Northern Command said in a statement: “Crews have been able to recover significant debris from the site, including all of the priority sensor and electronics pieces identified as well as large sections of the structure.” The balloon, shot down off the coast of South Carolina on 4 February, was the first of a series of mysterious objects shot down by the US military over an eight-day period in North American airspace. However, China’s surveillance program, according to John Kirby, the US national security council spokesperson, dated back to at least the administration of Donald Trump, which he said was oblivious to it.
Mostly cloudy this morning with patches of rain or drizzle along with hill mist. Becoming mostly dry for the afternoon and some sunny spells will develop. However, patchy rain or drizzle will continue to affect some southern coasts and hills. Highest temperatures generally ranging 12 to 15 degrees in moderate to fresh southerly winds, strong on Atlantic coasts. A dry start tonight, but rain will develop in Atlantic coastal counties before midnight and will then extend gradually eastwards across the country overnight. Clear spells and scattered showers will follow into the west before dawn on Wednesday. Lowest temperatures of 4 to 7 degrees in moderate southwest winds.