Your speedy summary of today's must-read stories.
New Alzheimer’s drug hailed as ‘beginning of the end’ in search for treatment
Experts have hailed the “beginning of the end” in the search for effective Alzheimer’s treatments after a new drug reduced memory decline among patients with early stages of the disease. Lecanemab, which is designed to target and clear amyloid – one of the proteins that build up in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s – was found to slow decline in patients’ memory and thinking. The phase three clinical trial results have been reported by Eisai, a Tokyo-based pharmaceutical company that has partnered with US biotech firm Biogen to develop lecanemab. Eisai reported initial results in September from a trial on 1,795 participants with early Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists found that after 18 months, the drug slowed the disease progression by 27% compared with patients taking the placebo. Full results from the study have since been published in The New England Journal of Medicine, with experts hailing it as long-awaited proof that Alzheimer’s disease can be treated.
Woman appears in New Zealand court facing charges of murdering children found in suitcases
A 42-year-old mother extradited from South Korea has appeared in a New Zealand court for the first time, facing murder charges after the remains of her two children were found in suitcases in Auckland. The woman appeared briefly at Manukau District Court, south Auckland, a day after landing in the country. Court suppression orders bar the media from naming the woman or her deceased children. But Judge Gus Andrée Wiltens allowed reporting of the fact that she is their mother. The suspect, who faces two counts of murder, was remanded in custody without making a plea until her next appearance at Auckland High Court on 14 December.
Four-day week can significantly benefit employers and staff, study finds
Employers as well as their staff can benefit significantly from the adoption of a four-day week, according to the authors of a new study based on a pilot project involving 12 Irish firms. The firms involved, which included a mix of tech services, telecoms and recruitment companies, among others, employed almost 200 people between them and all of the employees surveyed at the end of the six-month pilot said they wished to continue with the arrangement. Respondents to the study, entitled The Four Day Week: Assessing global trials of reduced work time with no reduction in pay – Evidence from Ireland, cited various benefits including reduced stress, improved family time and significantly better sleep. Women appeared to find the changed working arrangements particularly beneficial, according to the report’s lead author in Ireland, Dr Orla Kelly of UCD.
The Irish Times
Six storey extension proposed for Crawford Art Gallery
Cork city centre’s much-loved Crawford Art Gallery is reaching up and into the future: a six-storey extension is proposed for a building with 300 years’ urban cultural presence, in what is being billed as a 21st century flagship project. Arts and Culture Minister Catherine Martin has described the project as transformative and “a once-in a generation investment,” which will see the Crawford Art Gallery gain 45% more space. In July she and Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced a €29m investment in the gallery.
The Irish Examiner
Gardaí renew appeal for information on 1997 murder of Eileen Costello O’Shaughnessy in Galway
An Garda Síochána is renewing an appeal for information on the murder of a woman in Co Galway 27 years ago. 47-year-old Eileen Costello O’Shaughnessy was murdered on November 30, 1997. Ms Costello O’Shaughnessy was originally from the Corofin area of the county and was a well-known taxi driver in the city. At the time of her death, she was driving a Silver Toyota Carina registration number 97-G-6663. Eileen started work at 8am on the morning of November 30 and worked throughout the day. At 8pm that evening, she informed her taxi base that she was taking a fare to Claregalway. Approximately 20 minutes later the taxi base attempted to contact Ms Costello O’Shaughnessy, but received no answer. At 9pm she was due to meet the owner of the taxi in Galway to handover the car and keys, however, she failed to meet as agreed. The last known contact with Ms Costello O’ Shaughnessy was at 8pm.
Minister Madigan announces opening of public consultation in review of the Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act 2004
The Minister of State for Special Education and Inclusion Josepha Madigan TD has today announced the opening of the public consultation as part of the review of the Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act 2004, which provides for the education of children aged under 18 years with special educational needs. Minister Madigan said that the purpose of the consultation is “to ensure that legislation on education for students with additional needs is up-to-date, fully operational, and reflective of the lived experiences of students and families. This is about ensuring that the views of persons with disabilities are fully considered in policy making.”
Senate passes bill to protect same-sex and interracial marriage in landmark vote
The Senate on Tuesday passed legislation to protect same-sex and interracial marriage, called the Respect for Marriage Act, in a landmark bipartisan vote. The final vote was 61-36. The bill was supported by all members of the Democratic caucus and 12 Republicans, the same dozen GOP members who backed the bill for a procedural vote earlier this month. The House will now need to approve the legislation before sending it to President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law. The House is expected to pass the bill before the end of the year – possibly as soon as next week.
Cloudy today with scattered outbreaks of rain and drizzle. Drier intervals in the eastern half of the country through this morning and towards the south later in the evening, with the odd sunny spell. Highest temperatures 9°C to 12°C in light to moderate southeasterly winds. Mostly dry tonight with clear spells and patches of mist and drizzle in the west. Lowest temperatures of 5°C to 8°C in moderate southerly winds.