Your speedy summary of today's must-read stories.
North Korea conducts longest-range missile test yet over Japan
Nuclear-armed North Korea has fired a ballistic missile over Japan for the first time in five years, prompting a warning for residents to take cover and a temporary suspension of train operations in northern Japan. The Japanese government warned citizens to take cover as the missile appeared to have flown over and past its territory before falling into the Pacific Ocean. It was the first North Korean missile to follow such a trajectory since 2017, and Tokyo said its 4,600km range may have been the longest distance travelled for a North Korean test flight, which are more often “lofted” higher into space to avoid flying over neighbouring countries. The Japanese government said it landed in the sea outside the country’s exclusive economic zone. The missile led to a rare activation of the J-Alert system, which appeared on screens showing national broadcaster NHK and warned residents in the north and northeast of the country to seek shelter.
Free STI tests will tackle ‘stigma and embarrassment’
Free STI home testing kits will help tackle “stigma and embarrassment”, the HSE’s Clinical Lead for Sexual Health has said. Last year, the health service piloted sending the tests for free to people’s homes in a number of counties and found there was a significant uptake in the number of people getting checked. The scheme is now being rolled out across the country and Dr Fiona Lyons expects a similar increase in testing nationwide: “This is all about handing people the responsibility and empowering people,” she enthused to Newstalk Breakfast. “This is all about giving them the responsibility and empowering them to look after their own sexual health. “We have a challenge in Ireland with capacity and access to STI testing, so this is one of the solutions to that.”
Former rugby player Damian Browne becomes first person to row from New York to Galway
Former professional rugby player Damian Browne has completed his gruelling challenge of rowing from New York to Galway, becoming the first person ever to do so. The journey began at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan on Tuesday, 14 June, and Browne spent 112 days at sea and rowed over 3,450 nautical miles. His epic journey ended last night in rather precarious circumstances shortly before 1 am when Browne was forced ashore on the rocks at Furbo Beach, just short of the Port of Galway.
Lifting of planning restrictions for solar panels may come into force this week
A motion is to be taken in both the Dáil and Seanad today to remove most planning restrictions for solar panels in homes and businesses. Currently, panels larger than 12 square metres on homes and 50 square metres on businesses require planning permission. The new rules would lift any requirement for planning permission for solar photovoltaic (PV) panels in 98% of the country. Some restrictions would remain around airports and helipads to prevent any potential glint and glare from the panels interfering with aircraft.
The Irish Examiner
Cloudy and rather damp with outbreaks of rain through much of the day. There will be fresh to strong winds in the east and southeast for a time this morning, but light to moderate south to southwest winds for the rest of the day. Highest afternoon temperatures of 13°C to 17°C, warmest in the southeast. Widespread outbreaks of rain will continue through much of tonight, heaviest along Atlantic coastal counties. By morning, the rain will become confined mainly to Leinster and Ulster with scattered showers following elsewhere. Turning quite windy once again with strengthening southerly winds increasing fresh to strong and later veering westerly. Lowest temperatures of 7°C to 11°C.