March 20: Today’s top stories in 60 seconds
Your speedy summary of today's must-read stories.
Bank stocks tumble as markets digest €3bn Credit Suisse deal
Europe’s main stock market indices fell sharply on Monday, weighed down by tumbling banking stocks as investors digested the details of Swiss investment bank UBS’s historic takeover of its rival, Credit Suisse, and assessed the risk of contagion. UBS agreed to buy Credit Suisse for €3 billion on Sunday after a frantic weekend of negotiations brokered by Swiss regulators to safeguard its banking system and attempt to prevent a crisis spreading across global financial markets. Shares in the bank tumbled as much as 15 per cent when markets opened on Monday amid concerns about the health of the balance sheet it acquired after five days of panic.
The Irish Times
Ryanair wants action to prevent disruption to flights due to French air traffic control strikes
Ryanair has launched a petition aimed at getting one million signatures from passengers in order to force the European Commission to take action to prevent further disruption from French air traffic control strikes. The airline says the EU needs to take steps to ensure overflights of France are allowed during French ATC strikes, in order to guarantee the fundamental freedom of movement.
Warning: Terrorist attack danger as security screening at Dublin Airport ‘not fit for purpose’
Transport Minister Eamon Ryan has been warned security screening at Dublin Airport is “not fit for purpose” and leaves risks for a possible terrorist attack. A Dublin Airport whistleblower made the shock claim in a protected disclosure to the Green Party leader which is now the subject of an investigation by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA).
‘Shouting into a black hole’: Chronic delays to autism services failing children
“NOBODY IS TREATING this like the house is on fire.” This is how 12-year-old Cara Darmody recently addressed the Oireachtas Committee on Autism, not holding back in her disgust at how her two autistic brothers Neil and John – both non-verbal and in need of constant care – have been “treated disgracefully” by the State. Alongside her father Mark, Cara is a vocal campaigner, raising awareness through multiple campaigns, speaking at events and meeting some of Ireland’s most senior statespeople.
Tánaiste ‘worried’ about impact of legalising cannabis
Tánaiste Micheál Martin has said he fears legalising cannabis in Ireland because such a move could create the impression that drug-taking is acceptable. Mr Martin said his attitude towards drugs is to focus on prevention of use and he finds it “crazy” that people are taking drugs while socialising. He said that people dabbling in drugs is problematic, and they may not realise they are “storing up problems for themselves”. He said he finds it hard to comprehend the “habitual” use of drugs by young people given there is a “fine line between having a good time and disaster”. Mr Martin stressed that there is a difference between decriminalisation, which he is in favour of, and “making everything legal”.
The Irish Examiner
Macron faces no-confidence votes over hated pension reforms
French President Emmanuel Macron will face votes of no-confidence on Monday, after his decision to force through unpopular pension reforms sparked protests across the country and criticism from lawmakers. Macron’s government is likely to survive the motions, and he will remain president regardless of the result, although the anger against the reforms shows no sign of ending. The French government triggered special constitutional powers on Thursday to push through the controversial legislation to raise the age of retirement from 62 to 64 for most workers. On Friday, French lawmakers filed two motions of no-confidence against the Prime Minister – one from a grouping of small parties, and one from National Rally, a far-right party. In order to be successful, the majority of sitting lawmakers – 287 of them – would need to vote in favor. If successful, French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne would have to resign and the pension reform legislation would be rejected. This would leave French President Emmanuel Macron with the option to either replace the prime minister or dissolve the parliament.
Vladimir Putin says Russia and China are fighting ‘common threats’ ahead of President Xi Jinping’s visit
Vladimir Putin has said Russia and China are fighting “common threats” as he welcomes President Xi Jinping for a three-day trip to Moscow. Writing in the People’s Daily Newspaper, the Russian president described Mr Xi’s visit as a “landmark event” that “reaffirms the special nature of the Russia-China partnership”. The outlet is the official newspaper of the ruling Chinese Communist Party. Mr Xi has returned the favour in the Kremlin’s Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily, claiming a 12-point peace plan drafted by Beijing last month to end the war in Ukraine reflects “the unity of the world community’s views”. The Chinese leader’s visit on Monday is the first by a foreign leader since an arrest warrant was issued for his Russian counterpart by the International Criminal Court.
Today will be cloudy and misty with hill and coastal fog. This morning there will be rain in Ulster and Connacht and patches of light rain or drizzle elsewhere. The rain in Ulster and Connacht will clear northeastwards later this morning but more rain will move in across the country from the west during the afternoon and evening, with occasional heavy falls. Mild with highest temperatures of 11 to 15 degrees, in a moderate to fresh southerly breeze. Early tonight there will be rain in the north and east and scattered showers elsewhere, some heavy. The rain will clear northwards overnight but the showers will continue countrywide and may develop into longer spells of rain at times in the south and east. Lowest temperatures of 6 to 9 degrees with moderate to fresh south to southwest winds.