January 09: Today’s top stories in 60 seconds
Your speedy summary of today's must-read stories.
Health crisis: Cough syrups and soluble aspirin among 200 vital medicines out of stock in Ireland
Drugs needed by patients for blood pressure and serious pain are among a range of over 200 medicines now out of stock amid a growing shortage of essential treatments, a new index reveals today. As winter illnesses surge, common cold and flu medicines are increasingly difficult to get hold of in many pharmacies, the Irish Independent can reveal. But the new index reveals the ongoing wider extent of the problem. Eleven of these medicines are on the World Health Organisation’s “critical medicines list.” The index, compiled by industry experts Azure Pharmaceuticals, analyses the most up-to-date data published by the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA), the country’s medicines watchdog. It shows that 212 medicines are now unavailable, an increase of 25 since last month. Crucially, 40% of these medicines which are out of stock have just one supplier. Medicines which are running out of stock include those for respiratory and bacterial infections, strep throat, pneumonia, pain relief and blood pressure.
Pilot scheme at Ennis Hospital under way
Ambulance paramedics will be permitted to bring patients directly to the medical assessment unit at Ennis Hospital from this morning as one of the measures to ease severe and consistent overcrowding at University Hospital Limerick. However elective and scheduled day surgeries at five of the six hospitals in the UL Hospital Group are being reduced this week to free up beds at Ennis and Nenagh hospitals and at St John’s in Limerick city and Croom Orthopaedic Hospital, also as part of the measures to ease ED overcrowding. Under a new protocol being piloted at Ennis Hospital, ambulance service personnel will from today be permitted to bring patients with stable medical conditions directly to the medical assessment unit (MAU) at Ennis, as opposed to transporting them directly to UHL, but only if they meet agreed clinical criteria, and following consultation with MAU physicians in Ennis.
Cork and Kerry mariners warned about possible debris falling from sky
Mariners in Cork and Kerry have been warned about the possibility of debris falling from the sky tonight off the south-west coast of Ireland. The warning, issued by the Department of Transport, comes into effect between 10pm and 1am and is in connection with a mid-air launch of a satellite-carrying rocket from Virgin Orbit. The rocket will be fired into the sky from a 747 jet around midnight and head in a southerly direction.
The Irish Examiner
C103 GAA commentator Paudie Palmer passes away in hospital following hit-and-run
C103’s GAA commentator Paudie Palmer has passed away in hospital a week after being seriously injured in a hit-and-run. The broadcaster had been in CUH since December 29th after being hit by a vehicle which left the scene at Dunkereen Crossroads just outside of Innishannon. A man has been charged in relation to the case and it’s currently before the courts.
Cork dissident republican group fundraising through extortion racket on organised crime
Gardaí in Cork are monitoring a Real IRA gang that has established a lucrative fundraising method by forcing drug dealers in the city to pay protection money. The small dissident group is led by a man based on the northside of the city and backed up by long-time Republican activists. The gang, The Journal has learned, has established an extortion racket to force criminals they have identified to give money in return for an agreement that they can operate. Sources have said that the group, which includes a number of members who have convictions for IRA membership, have told the criminals that they will be shot if they do not provide money to the gang.
Brazil riots – live: Hundreds arrested as Bolsonaro supporters storm Congress
Supporters of former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro stormed the country’s National Congress, Supreme Court and presidential palace in the capital Brasilia on Sunday, in a grim echo of the US Capitol insurrection almost exactly two years ago. Thousands of demonstrators bypassed security barricades, climbed on roofs, broke windows and invaded all three buildings, which are connected through the vast Three Powers square in Brasilia. Over 300 people have been arrested so far following the invasion as the police cleared out rioters from the government buildings. There are not yet reports of deaths or serious injuries in the violence, but videos on social media show a trail of destruction with many supporters engaging in bloody clashes with police who were initially outnumbered.
The Independent UK
Blustery today with scattered showers and sunny spells, with isolated hail showers this morning. Showers will become mostly confined to the northern half of the country in the afternoon, before largely dying out this evening. Fresh to strong and gusty westerly winds will ease later in the day with highest temperatures of 6 to 9 degrees. Early tonight will be dry with clear spells and light winds. Becoming cloudy overnight with rain spreading from the southwest, extending northeastwards to all areas by morning and turning heavy at times. Southerly winds will increase fresh to strong and gusty with the rain. Lowest temperatures of 1 to 4 degrees, but turning much milder by dawn.