Video: Corporate tax deal close, positive Covid outlook, man jailed for shooting garda

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Kenneth Fox

Defence forces

The fate of Ireland’s Reserve Defence Force is “precarious”, an Oireachtas committee has heard.

Neil Richardson, the general secretary of the Reserve Defence Force Representative Association, told an Oireachtas committee on Tuesday that the force was at the “lowest point in its history”.

Mr Richardson described a force that exists on a budget that amounts to “peanuts” and one that is often lacking in State supports.

Facebook whistleblower

A former Facebook data scientist has told Congress that the social network’s products harm children and fuel polarisation in the US, and its executives refuse to make changes because they elevate profits over safety.

Frances Haugen was giving evidence to the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, after accusing the company of being aware of apparent harm to some teenagers from Instagram and being dishonest in its public fight against hate and misinformation.

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Ms Haugen has come forward with a wide-ranging condemnation of Facebook, with tens of thousands of pages of internal research documents she secretly copied before leaving her job in the company’s civic integrity unit.

Corporate tax rate

An updated draft of a global corporate tax overhaul has dropped “at least” from a proposed minimum rate of “at least 15 per cent”, possibly clearing a major hurdle for Ireland as negotiations enter a final stretch, sources have told Reuters.

Some 140 countries aim to finalise the first major overhaul in a generation of the rules for taxing multi-nationals at a meeting on Friday so the deal can be endorsed by the Group of 20 economic powers later this month.

Until now 134 out of 140 countries in the talks had backed a minimum rate of “at least” 15 per cent, but Ireland has so far refused to sign up over concern the rate could end up being higher than that.

Settling on a rate of 15 per cent would likely clear the way for the Government to sign up.

Covid decline

The State is likely to see a "slow, steady decline" in Covid-19 cases over the coming weeks, according to the chair of the National Public Health Emergency Team's (Nphet) Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group.

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Speaking to RTÉ's News at One, Prof Philip Nolan said people should not be fearful of the virus, but added: “They should be careful.”

Prof Nolan's comments come as the Department of Health confirmed 1,124 new cases of the virus on Tuesday.

Mica redress scheme

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has said a revised mica compensation scheme will be “one of the largest financial support packages ever announced” in Ireland.

Mr Coveney, speaking at leaders’ questions in the Dáil on Tuesday, said he expects a final report on a compensation scheme will be presented to the Government by the Minister of Housing in a “number of weeks”.

Campaigners want 100 per cent redress for homeowners whose properties were built using defective bricks containing excessive amounts of the mineral mica in Donegal, Mayo and other counties.

Garda shooting

A member of the garda emergency response unit who was shot during a raid of a criminal’s home has said “not a day goes by” when he does not think of other colleagues who have been killed in the line of duty.

Sergeant Paul McManus was at the back of a house that had been secured for a drug search when Charles Moore (48) fired a shot that struck the officer in his left forearm.

The garda read his victim impact statement during Moore’s sentence hearing before Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on Tuesday, speaking of how he feels lucky to be alive while some of his other colleagues have died on duty.

Drug sentence

A man whose fingerprints linked him to a storage container with nearly €500,000 worth of cannabis inside has been jailed for five years.

Tomasz Lorenc (32) with an address at The Hill, Clon Brugh, Aikens Village, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to one count of possessing cannabis for sale or supply on August 24th, 2018.

A total of €467,000 worth of cannabis was found inside a rented 40-foot metal storage container at Meadowfield Storage in Saggart after gardaí obtained a search warrant, Garda Josh Doran told Mr Lorenc's sentence hearing on Tuesday.

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