Video: Russian diplomats expelled, Leaving cert reforms, Covid surge

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Kenneth Fox

Russian diplomats

Ireland has asked four Russian diplomats to leave the State, Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has announced.

In a statement on Tuesday afternoon, Mr Coveney said his Department had summoned Russian Ambassador Yury Filatov to advise him that four senior officials have been asked to leave the country.

“This is because their activities have not been in accordance with international standards of diplomatic behaviour,” he said.

Leaving cert reforms

Major reform of the Leaving Certificate will see students sit some exams during fifth rather than sixth year in a move to reduce student stress levels.

The Department of Education confirmed on Tuesday that changes to the senior cycle, aimed at “managing the assessment burden,” will include the development of new and revised subjects to reduce reliance on final exams.

These subjects will have a maximum of 60 per cent of the total marks awarded for the written exam paper, with the balance awarded to another assessment component.

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It is understood that from this September onwards, students will sit Leaving Cert Irish and English paper one at the end of fifth year.

Covid wave

Ireland logged 14,549 new cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday, after the Minister for Health said underreporting meant the true number of cases each week was likely “several hundred thousand”.

5,962 cases were confirmed by PCR test, while 8,587 people registered a positive antigen test through the HSE portal.

There were 1,605 patients in hospital with the disease as of this morning, with 50 people in intensive care units (ICU).

Lisa Smith trial

Lisa Smith, a former soldier who denies membership of Isis, chose to travel to an area controlled by the "demonic" terrorist organisation having rejected peace and integration to embrace what is militant and violent, a barrister has told her trial.

Sean Gillane SC, for the Director of Public Prosecutions, has delivered his closing speech in the trial, telling the three-judge, non-jury court that Ms Smith did not embark on a "lawful and wholesome journey" to answer a religious calling but, having addressed and analysed the call by Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, she migrated to Isis controlled territory where she engaged in a reciprocal relationship with the Islamic State and then moved with Isis as it lost territory following the fall of Raqqa in 2016.

€19 million settlement

A five-year-old boy who suffered an acute brain injury at birth in the Coombe Hospital, Dublin has settled a High Court action for €19 million.

Adam Dediu, the High Court heard, was the lead twin but was delivered after his brother David by caesarean section just two days before Christmas 2016. It was claimed that the surgery was delayed due to the unavailability of a theatre.

Mr Justice Paul Coffey was told liability was admitted in the case last yea

 

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