Video: Ireland has highest vaccine uptake, Higgins meets the Pope and today's courts

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Kenneth Fox

Costa Coffee harassment

A Costa Coffee manager sexually harassed a 19-year-old female co-worker when circulating a video of a male Barista drawing male genitalia on a flat white.

In the post on a staff Facebook messenger group, the Costa Coffee manager at a store in Belgard, Dublin told his colleagues "who does this, I’ll promote him to Barista Maestro straight away with no project".

This was two days after the manager posted a photo of himself on December 7th 2019 to the same staff group in his boxer shorts or "Santa Panties" before the staff Christmas party.

Trump strategy

Former US president Donald Trump has endorsed challengers to five congressional Republicans, part of his effort to assert dominance over the party after losing his re-election bid last year to Democrat Joe Biden.

Mr Trump's fire has been focused on the handful of Republican lawmakers who voted to impeach him on a charge of inciting the January 6th US Capitol riot, or to convict him on that charge in a Senate trial that ultimately ended in his acquittal.

Vaccine uptake

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A further 1,392 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the State today.

There are 288 coronavirus patients in hospital, of which 73 are in intensive care units.

Meanwhile, Ireland has the highest Covid vaccination uptake, including partially and fully inoculated, in the EU.

That is according to figures from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

President and Pope Francis

Pope Francis has described President Michael D Higgins as a “wise man of today” during an audience in the Vatican on Friday morning.

The Irish Times reports that the Irish President met the head of the Catholic Church for the fourth time on Friday and discussed issues including climate change, environment and global inequality.

During the formal photocall, the Pope said: “Today, I did not just meet a man, a President, I met a wise man of today.

“I thank God that Ireland has such a wise man as its head (of State).”

Long Covid research

Long Covid symptoms rarely persist beyond 12 weeks in children and adolescents unlike adults, new research suggests.

As the Irish Examiner reports, the review found existing studies on the condition in children and adolescents have major limitations.

It comes as research from the Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI) in Australia found that after 10 months in circulation, the Delta variant had not caused more serious disease in children than previous variants and most cases remained asymptomatic or mild.

Pelosi warns the UK

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Nancy Pelosi has said a breakdown in the talks over the Northern Ireland Protocol would be “problematic” for a post-Brexit UK-US trade deal.

The Speaker of the US House of Representatives has been critical of British prime minister Boris Johnson’s approach to Northern Ireland following Britain’s exit from the European Union.

The pair discussed the issue in Downing Street on Thursday and Ms Pelosi expanded on her views about the talks currently under way between the UK and Brussels to resolve issues surrounding the implementation of the protocol.

The senior Democrat said she felt it would be “very unlikely” for London and Washington to agree the fresh trade terms coveted by the UK government “if there is destruction of the Good Friday accords” as a result of the negotiations.

Labour court ruling

The Labour Court has set aside a €65,000 award made to an agency nurse who claimed that she was penalised by the Irish Prison Service (IPS) for making a complaint of sexual assault against a prisoner.

In the ruling, Deputy Chairman of the Labour Court, Alan Haugh stated that the evidence put forward by the IPS supports its conclusion that the reason for the decision to cancel Ms Maylena McEvoy’s shifts on January 17th, 2019 was her failure to fulfil her contractual and professional obligations with regard to her certification.

Mr Haugh stated: “This is perfectly consistent with the highly regulated nature of the nursing profession.”

Taoiseach rules out Cabinet leak investigation

The Taoiseach has ruled out an investigation into who leaked the appointment of Katherine Zappone from Cabinet.

Micheál Martin said that Sinn Féin’s Matt Carthy had “no evidence whatsoever” when he accused Simon Harris of leaking the information about the proposed appointment.

Mr Carthy used Dáil privilege when he named the Higher Education Minister on Wednesday.

Asked if he wanted an investigation into who was behind the leak, Mr Martin said: “No, let’s get real here, Matt Carthy had no evidence whatsoever. He admits he had no evidence.”

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