Your speedy summary of today's must-read stories.
WHO to discuss monkeypox
The World Health Organisation will reconvene its expert monkeypox committee today to decide whether the outbreak now constitutes a global health emergency — the highest alarm it can sound. A second meeting of the WHO’s emergency committee on the virus will be held to examine the evidence on the worsening situation, with nearly 14,000 cases reported from more than 70 countries. A surge in monkeypox infections has been reported since early May outside the West and Central African countries where the disease has long been endemic.
Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions jump 5%
Ireland’s greenhouse gases have jumped by almost 5%, driven by increased use of coal and oil for electricity generation, as well as agriculture and transport, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has warned. Agriculture remains by far the largest contributor to overall emissions, at 37.5% of the total. However, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan and Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue continue to haggle over the carbon reduction target for the farming sector, with discussions in deadlock. Both ministers met on Wednesday in a bid to set a target which farmers will be expected to meet by 2030 as part of an overall reduction of 51%.
The Irish Examiner
ECB to increase interest rates to curb inflation
The European Central Bank is expected to increase interest rates later today for the first time in 11 years. Markets are expecting an increase of at least 0.25%, but reports suggest the ECB may go further and opt for a 0.5% rise. The bank is under pressure to increase rates to tackle significant inflation which is running at around 8.6% across the eurozone and 9.1% in Ireland.
World’s oldest male giant panda in captivity dies
The world’s oldest male panda in captivity died in an amusement park zoo in Hong Kong today. The panda, called An An, was euthanized at the age of 35 – the equivalent of a human living until the age of 105. Officials at Ocean Park say the decision was reached after he showed “steady signs of deterioration” over the past few weeks.
Cloudy and dry weather
Mostly cloudy and dry today with just a few light showers in the northwest this morning and possibly one or two in the southwest through the afternoon. Occasional sunny spells will develop but they will be fleeting. Highest temperatures of 15°C to 20°C in mostly light northerly or variable breezes. Tonight will be dry with cloudy conditions giving way to long clear spells. Lowest temperatures of °C to 13°C in light and variable breezes.