Your speedy summary of today's must-read stories.
Gardaí accused of keeping data on people cleared of sharing abuse material
The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) has accused An Garda Síochána of unlawfully retaining files on innocent people who have been cleared of producing or sharing child sexual abuse material. The US National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) forwards information about suspected child sexual abuse material, and the people who share it, to law enforcement agencies around the world including An Garda Síochána. Between 2017 and 2021, the Garda received more than 21,000 referrals from NCMEC. The ICCL said that of the reports sent by NCMEC to Ireland in 2020, gardaí verified that more than 11% of them, 471 referrals, were not child sex abuse material. The ICCL said that despite clearing the people concerned, An Garda Síochána did not delete their data. The Garda Press Office has been asked for comment but has not yet issued a statement on the matter.
Liz Truss prepares for crucial PMQs – as ‘dumpster fire’ column from Tory MP raises eyebrows
Liz Truss faces Sir Keir Starmer at midday for her first PMQs since her mini-budget was torn up by new Chancellor Jeremy Hunt. It is a chance for MPs to grill the PM and allies to show their support for the Conservative Party leader.
Central Bank to make limited changes to mortgage loan rules
Central Bank governor Gabriel Makhlouf is set to announce limited changes to its mortgage loan rules, but no major overhaul is expected despite the inflation crisis. The mortgage rules were first introduced in early 2015 to ensure no repeat of the credit bubble that led to runaway prices and the disastrous collapse in Irish home prices from the onset of the 2008 banking bust. The rules limit the amounts first-time and other borrowers can raise on their mortgages based on their household income, and the value of the property they are seeking to buy. Mortgage lenders also face restrictions on the amounts they can lend out. The Central Bank conducts an annual review of the rules, but the results of what it calls a framework review will be announced on Wednesday.
The Irish Examiner
Majority of people in Ireland would like to see pets in the workplace, survey finds
A majority of people currently searching for new opportunities would like to see pets in the workplace. A new survey shows how respondents believe that having a pet in the office would bring multiple benefits to their work life including stress relief, and better mental health support while helping to create a more relaxed and fun atmosphere. A total of 56 per cent of people believe that companies that have a pet-friendly policy are more attractive places to work, according to the study published today by the ISPCA and Mars Petcare. For more than one in four (27 per cent) a pet-friendly policy would even influence their choice of where to work. The research conducted by Mars Ireland is part of the Better Cities For Pets programme which helps cities become more pet-friendly so more people can enjoy the benefits of a life with animals.
Iranian climber who competed without a hijab met by jubilant crowds in Tehran
The Iranian competitive climber Elnaz Rekabi has received a jubilant welcome on her return to Tehran, after competing in South Korea without wearing a headscarf as required of female athletes from the Islamic Republic. Video shared online showed large crowds gathered early on Wednesday at Imam Khomeini international airport outside Tehran. The videos showed crowds chanting the 33-year-old Rekabi’s name and calling her a hero. The furore over Rekabi competing on Sunday without a hijab came as protests sparked by the death in custody on 16 September of a 22-year-old woman entered a fifth week. Mahsa Amini was detained by the country’s morality police over her clothing and her death has led to women removing their mandatory hijabs in public.he demonstrations represent the most serious challenge to Iran’s theocracy since the mass protests surrounding its disputed 2009 presidential election.
Biden vows to push abortion rights bill if Democrats keep control of Congress
President Joe Biden pledged Tuesday to push for an abortion rights bill if Democrats keep control of Congress in the November midterm elections. Speaking at a Democratic National Committee event in Washington, Biden said that if Democrats both hold the House and add seats to their Senate majority, he would offer make a bill to codify abortion rights his first priority. He said that if it passed, he would aim to sign it into law by the 50th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision in January.
Actor Kevin Spacey completes evidence at New York civil sex abuse trial
Kevin Spacey has taken to the witness box in a civil trial repeatedly rejecting suggestions he was not telling the truth when he denied an actor’s claims he made a sexual advance on him when he was 14 in the 1980s. His evidence for several hours on cross examination by a lawyer for actor Anthony Rapp, 50, went smoothly enough that Spacey’s lawyer did not ask any questions after the examination was completed by early afternoon. Rapp gave evidence earlier in the trial, now in its third week. He is seeking 40 million US dollars (€40.3 million) in damages.
Outbreaks of heavy or thundery rain this morning will continue to track over the northern half of the country leading to localised flooding. Dry brighter conditions in the south will extend to all parts for a time before further bands of heavy or thundery rain move up across the country from the south through the late afternoon and evening. Very breezy and blustery with fresh to strong and gusty easterly winds. Highs of 11°C to 16°C. The bands of showers rain will continue to track up over the north of the country early in the night with a continued risk of localised flooding. Drier conditions with clear spells and isolated showers will push into the south early, extending to all areas later. Fresh to strong southeasterly winds will moderate overnight, remaining milder though with lowest temperatures of 9°C to 13°C.