Your speedy summary of today's must-read stories.
Sunak favourite to be UK PM after Johnson drops comeback bid
Rishi Sunak looks set to become Britain’s next prime minister after Boris Johnson withdrew from the contest on Sunday, saying that although he had enough support to make the final ballot he realised the country and the Conservative Party needed unity. Johnson had raced home from a holiday in the Caribbean to try and secure the backing of 100 lawmakers to enter Monday’s contest to replace Liz Truss, the woman who succeeded him in September after he was forced to quit over a string of scandals.
Rape crisis centres: Increase in helpline calls compared with pre-pandemic years
There was an increase in the number of people contacting six rape crisis centres (RCCs) last year compared with pre-pandemic times of 2019. According to the Rape Crisis Network Ireland’s rape crisis statistics 2021 report released today, a total of 11,414 contacts were made to six RCC helplines across Ireland last year. This was a 13% decrease in contacts from the same period in 2020 which saw a huge peak in people accessing helplines during the first year of Covid-19. The RCNI said it believes this decrease is due to RCCs resuming in-person counselling appointments increasing engagements within the centre for survivors. To put the 2021 figure into the context of pre-pandemic times, it is a 7% increase from the 2019 figure of 10,706.
Ministers to discuss lack of housing for refugees
Senior ministers will meet today to discuss the crisis in emergency housing for Ukrainian and other refugees arriving in Ireland. Around 43 Ukrainians have been left without State accommodation since Friday, with an overnight facility capable of hosting 200 people expected to open at Dublin Airport today. Today, the three Coalition leaders will discuss the crisis with the Minister for Integration and the Minister for Housing. Taoiseach Micheál Martin has confirmed that one measure on the table is increasing the €400 payment for host families. Another is paring back the level of free food in hotels in a bid to encourage people to move on. Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien will give an update on medium- to long-term housing solutions – something NGOs have called for.
Archives of movie legend Richard Harris donated to UCC
The personal archives of the late, great stage and film actor Richard Harris have been donated to UCC and will be available for study by future students and academics as well as going on display to the public. UCC and the Richard Harris estate have confirmed the final home for the that the collection, which spans over 5 decades and includes manuscripts, letters, photographs, literary works, artefacts and professional and personal documents which belonged to the late actor.
Walk this way: Limerick and Dublin locations chosen for new zebra crossing pilot scheme
A number of locations in Limerick and Dublin have been chosen as part of a pilot scheme for the provision of zebra crossings without flashing orange Belisha beacon lights — which can cost up to €80,000 to install. Transport Minister Eamon Ryan says that by replacing the lights with a reflective sign, road authorities could quickly and easily increase the number of safe crossing points for pedestrians and active travel use, particularly where speed limits are 50km/h or less. Belisha beacons are mostly used in Ireland, Britain, and in countries historically influenced by Britain such as Hong Kong, Malta, and Singapore. They were named after Leslie Hore-Belisha, then British transport minister when they were introduced in 1934.
The Irish Examiner
Uniper shuts down 50% of headquarters to save gas
German utility Uniper is shutting half the office space in its headquarters and lowering temperatures in areas remaining open to save gas, it told Rheinische Post on Monday, as it struggles to stay afloat even after being nationalised. The company has switched off all devices and lamps in 50% of its office space in Duesseldorf, stopped cleaning and lowered the temperature to 14 degrees, the lowest it can be without damaging the building, the spokesperson told Rheinische Post. In offices where people are working, temperatures were being lowered to 20 degrees, the report said. It did not give further details on how staffing would be managed.
North and South Korea trade warning shots on maritime border
South Korea’s military fired warning shots at a North Korean ship before dawn on Monday, saying the vessel had crossed the disputed maritime border, prompting the North to return warning fire, state and local media reported. A North Korean merchant vessel crossed what is known as the Northern Limit Line at 3:42am but retreated northwards after the South’s navy fired warning shots, South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff said, according to the Yonhap news agency. Pyongyang’s Korean People’s Army claimed a South Korean military vessel had “invaded” the de facto border by 2.5 to 5km (1.5 to 3 miles) a few minutes later and that the KPA fired ten warning rounds from the country’s west coast.
Any residual mist, fog and low cloud will clear during the morning leaving sunny spells and scattered showers, some will turn heavy at times in the north and west. Highest temperatures of 12°C to 15°C in moderate west to southwest winds. Showers will generally become confined to western coastal counties overnight while the best of the clear spells will be in the east, but cloud will increase towards morning. Lowest temperatures of 7°C to 11°C in light to moderate southerly breezes.