Video: Calls to expel Russian Ambassador intensify, hopes to exceed housing targets

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Ukraine

Russia's invasion of Ukraine is now in its seventh day, with more than 2,000 Ukrainian civilians being killed in the conflict.

Air strikes on the country's second-largest city, Kharkiv have continued, killing at least 21 people and wounding 112, according to officials.

A Russian delegation is travelling to a meeting point for talks with Ukrainian counterparts, Belarus' Belta news agency reported ahead of negotiations which are expected to resume later today.

Russian Embassy

Protests have taken place outside the Russian Embassy in Dublin amid growing calls for the Government to expel the Russian Ambassador to Ireland.

In the Dáil, opposition parties said Yuri Filatov should be removed following his country's invasion of Ukraine, however, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said although such a move "might play well domestically in the short-term", he did not believe it was in the best interests of Irish citizens.

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Protests have also been held outside the head offices of Facebook and Google in Dublin, with protesters calling for the tech giants to block Russian state-backed accounts which they said are spreading misinformation about the invasion of Ukraine.

Remote working

A Government plan to allow workers to request the right to work from home is “fatally flawed”, an Oireachtas committee has heard.

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) condemned the proposed legislation as largely toothless and “stacked in favour of the employer at every turn”, while employers’ group Ibec portrayed it as a cumbersome piece of legislation that would impose drastic new obligations on businesses.

The Bill, which the Government says would allow workers to request the right to work from home, is currently being scrutinised by TDs and senators.

Lisa Smith trial

Lawyers for Lisa Smith, who denies membership of Islamic State, have told the Special Criminal Court that Facebook is involved in a "wholesale breach" of privacy rights by indefinitely storing users' personal messages.

Michael O'Higgins SC, for Ms Smith, is objecting to the admissibility of messages sent using Facebook between his client and known Islamist terrorists in Australia and Syria as far back as 2012.

The court heard gardaí initially received some of the messages from the American authorities who were investigating John Georgelas, a known associate of Ms Smith who was wanted in the US to face terrorism charges.

Gardaí later went to a District Court and received a warrant to go to Facebook's head office in Dublin where they were given access to the same messages on the social media giant's servers.

Housing goals

The Government will exceed its targets this year under its Housing For All plan, the Minister for Housing Darragh O'Brien has claimed.

Mr O’Brien said there is a target to build 24,600 private and public homes and he expects to hit and possibly exceed that number.

Last year, the Government announced plans to spend four billion euro annually on building 33,000 new homes every year by the end of the decade.

The Housing For All plan has committed to building an average of 9,500 social homes every year and to eradicate homelessness by 2030.

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