Video: Covid supports changes, Storm Barra power outages, An Post Book Awards

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Covid supports

Enhanced supports for businesses who qualify for the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) have been announced by the Government.

The changes will apply for December and January to assist businesses impacted by ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, particularly the late night and live entertainment industries.

The end-date for the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) has also been pushed back to January 31st.

Storm Barra

The ESB says it hopes to have the majority of the 8,000 homes still without power restored by this evening.

Counties Mayo, Sligo, Clare and Limerick are said to be the worst affected.

Schools also reopened on Wednesday morning after they were closed for two days in a number of counties due to Storm Barra.

Booster rollout

The rollout of the Covid-19 booster vaccine will extend to people over 50-years-old from today.

Officials say uptake to date has been positive, with the one millionth booster jab administered on Tuesday. However long queues have been reported around the country at walk-in vaccination centres, particularly at UCD and Croke Park in Dublin.

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The HSE is currently implementing a five-month wait since a person's last jab before they can receive their booster, but Professor of Biochemistry at Trinity College Dublin Luke O'Neill believes the timeframe should be reduced to three months.

Human trafficking

The sexual exploitation of vulnerable migrant women continued unabated during the pandemic, according to a new report from the Immigrant Council of Ireland.

The report, funded by the EU, is the culmination of the TRIPS (Trafficked International Protection Beneficiaries’ Special Needs) project which examined the integration conditions and risk for victims of being exposed or re-exposed to human trafficking across Europe.

The research found major downfalls in supporting victims of human trafficking in Ireland, including a significant reduction in public services to support victims.

An Post Book Awards

Fintan O'Toole's We Don't Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Ireland Since 1958 has won the An Post Irish Book of the Year 2021 award.

Members of the judging panel said the book "will remain important for a very long time", describing it as astonishing, fresh and passionate.

The other books shortlisted for the award were Sally Rooney's Beautiful World, Where Are You, Séamas O'Reilly's Did Ye Hear Mammy Died, Aisling and the City by Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen, Maureen Gaffney's Your One Wild and Precious Life, and David King's A Hug for You.

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