Your speedy summary of today's must-read stories.
Irish volunteer Seán Binder to face trial this morning for helping migrants at risk of drowning in Greece
An Irish humanitarian has said his trial in Greece on smuggling-related charges after helping migrants who were at risk of drowning in the Mediterranean is “deeply damaging” to the European Union. Sean Binder said the trial, which is expected to begin this morning in Athens, was “an attack on the idea of human rights and the rule of law” but added he was confident of being found innocent in a fairly run trial. The Kerry native is one of 24 migrant rescue volunteers on the Greek island of Lesbos charged in 2018 with a range of offences including misdemeanour counts of espionage-related offences, illegal access to state communications and assisting criminal activity.
St Vincent’s creates list of Catholic iconography to return to orders after shares transfer
The hospital at the centre of controversy over the building of a new national maternity hospital has created an inventory of religious artefacts and images at their main hospital which may have to be removed or returned to the religious order they belong to. St Vincent’s University Hospital in Dublin has developed a lengthy list of Catholic iconography around its buildings after the shareholding of the Religious Sisters of Charity was transferred to a charitable trust last year. In internal emails from May last year, the group’s director of operations asked a number of colleagues if they could establish how many religious items there were around the complex.
Open water swimmers warned about fluid in the lungs
Open water swimmers are being warned about a potentially dangerous condition that causes fluid in the lungs. Medics writing in the journal BMJ Case Reports said swimmers should be told more about the risks of swimming-induced pulmonary oedema (SIPE), which has been linked to cold water swimming. They said the condition leads to fluid accumulation in the lungs resulting in difficulty breathing, low levels of oxygen in the body and a cough.
The Irish Examiner
Historic UK rocket mission ends in failure
Britain’s attempt to become the first European nation to launch satellites into space ended in bitter disappointment overnight when Virgin Orbit said its rocket had suffered an anomaly that prevented it from reaching orbit. The “horizontal launch” mission had left from the coastal town of Newquay in southwest England. Virgin’s LauncherOne rocket was carried under the wing of a modified Boeing 747 called “Cosmic Girl”, and later released over the Atlantic Ocean. “We appear to have an anomaly that has prevented us from reaching orbit,” the company said. “We are evaluating the information.” The Department of Transport had warned sea going vessels to stay out of an area of ocean south of Cork and Kerry, due to the fear of potential rocket debris falling from the sky.
Peru protests: 17 dead in fresh clashes as calls grow for President Boluarte to resign
At least 17 people have been killed in fresh clashes between protesters and security forces in Peru as rolling anti-government protests turned deadly again, pushing the overall death toll to nearly 40 in the nationwide unrest after the ousting and arrest of former president Pedro Castillo a month ago. Monday’s bloodshed took place near the airport in the city of Juliaca in the southern region of Puno, as demonstrators fought running battles with police. Social media images showed gunshots wounds and clouds of smoke as protesters threw stones using slings and used metal plates as shields. Other footage appeared to show a man being given CPR and images of injured protesters arriving at the hospital. A boy died in an ambulance that had been blocked from reaching the hospital by protesters. The rising death toll comes amid growing protests calling for President Dina Boluarte to resign, Congress to be shuttered and Castillo to be freed from jail. Boluarte was Castillo’s vice-president who replaced him after he attempted to shutter Congress and rule by decree on 7 December.
The Banshees of Inisherin wins most awards as Steven Spielberg honoured at National Board of Review Award
The prize for best film at the National Board of Review Awards went to Top Gun: Maverick, while Martin McDonagh’s The Banshees of Inisherin took home the most trophies – but the night belonged to Steven Spielberg. The 76-year-old filmmaker was named best director for The Fabelmans, and saw a host of Hollywood stars pay tribute to the man and his career during the ceremony in New York City. Colin Farrell, who was there to accept the award for best actor for his performance in The Banshees of Inisherin, said the experience of first watching Spielberg’s 1982 movie ET was the most euphoric of his life, ranking it even above the births of his two children.
Wet and windy today with widespread spells of blustery rain, bringing possible spot flooding. The rain will clear into the Irish Sea during late afternoon or early evening, with clear spells and showers following. Highest temperatures of 10 to 13 degrees. Strong and gusty southerly winds will veer westerly later in the clearance. Cold and blustery tonight with clear spells and scattered showers, most frequent over the western half of the country with the chance of isolated thunderstorms and hail. Lowest temperatures of 2 to 6 degrees in fresh to strong west to southwest winds. A Status Yellow Rain warning is in place for Munster and Galway until 3pm today with spells of heavy rain, at times leading to spot flooding, expected.