Video: Sturgeon resigns as first minister, Gardaí seize cocaine worth €2.8m

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Nicola Sturgeon resigns as Scottish first minister

Nicola Sturgeon has stood down as Scottish first minister after eight years.

Speaking at her residence at Bute House in Edinburgh, Ms Sturgeon said she knows the “time is now” for her to stand down.

She is the longest serving – and first female – Scottish first minister.

“Since my very first moments in the job I have believed a part of serving well would be to know almost instinctively when the time is right to make way for someone else,” she said.

“In my head and in my heart I know that time is now. That it’s right for me, for my party and my country.”


Eight arrested as gardaí seize cocaine worth €2.8 million

Gardaí have arrested eight people and seized €2.8 million worth of cocaine following searches in Dublin as part of an operation targeting organised crime.

On Tuesday, personnel attached to the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau supported by the Special Crime Task Force intercepted two vehicles shortly after 11am in the Ballyfermot and Blanchardstown areas of Dublin.


In addition, a planned search of a business premises in the Long Mile Road area was conducted with the assistance of the Garda Dog Unit and personnel attached to the Divisional Drug Units in Ballyfermot and Sundrive Road Garda stations.

In the course of the operation an estimated 40kg of Cocaine with a street value of €2.8 million (subject to analysis), over 2,000 canisters of nitric oxide and €78,000 in cash was seized.

Also seized was a hydraulic drugs press, a quantity of mixing agent, drug mixing paraphernalia, a money counter and several communications devices.

Motorists 'being taken for a ride' with higher insurance premiums

Motorists are being hit with higher insurance premiums despite claims costs going down.

That is according to the Alliance for Insurance Reform, which says drivers are being taken "for a ride".

The average personal injury award has dropped by nearly 40 per cent since new guidelines brought in back in 2021- aimed at lowering costs for motorists.

But the Alliance said they have anecdotal evidence of an increase in premiums in recent weeks.

Director Peter Boland said there is no justification for it.

Mr Boland told Newstalk: "There is a deal in terms of the morality of this, in that insures must pass on the benefits.

"If it's the case that most motor insurance premiums are starting to drift up again, then clearly Government is being taken for a ride on this."

Republicans cool on Trump 2024 bid, poll shows


Democratic US voters express less support for president Joe Biden running for a second term 2024 than Republicans do for former president Donald Trump's latest White House bid, a Reuters/Ipsos poll shows.

It is a potentially worrisome sign for Mr Biden as he prepares to announce his re-election campaign.

Fifty-two percent of registered Democrats said Mr Biden should not seek a second term, compared to 40 per cent of Republicans who said Mr Trump should not run again, according to the national poll, which gathered responses from 4,408 adults from February 6th to 13th.

Taken together, the results signal that many Americans are far from enthused about a rematch of the divisive November 2020 contest won by Mr Biden. Mr Trump made false claims that the election was stolen from him through widespread voting fraud, and his supporters attacked the US Capitol on January 6th, 2021, seeking to stop Congress from certifying Mr Biden's election victory.

Trade union says minimum wage no longer fit for purpose

The national minimum wage is no longer fit for purpose and should be replaced according to a trade union.

The claim has been made by the Mandate trade union ahead of the publication of its 'Smoke and Mirrors' report.

It puts a spotlight on the pay of retail workers and shows nearly two-thirds are taking home below €451 per week.

Gerry Light from Mandate said instead of a minimum wage there should be a cost of living wage.

Mr Light said: "Clearly when you do the calculations it's [minimum wage] not fit for purpose. We're calling in the research [for] an hourly rate of pay of somewhere near €14 per hour.

"That's not far off the newly revised national living wage, that's only one important part of the jigsaw... this is all about weekly earnings."

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