Video: Concerning Covid incidence, ticket-touting legislation and today's courts

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Kenneth Fox

Climate hysteria

A senior DUP MP has accused the UK government of “climate hysteria” as he demanded an “explanation” over the relative spending level on Northern Ireland.

Responding to chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Budget, chief whip Sammy Wilson told the House of Commons he was “encouraged at the path which he has outlined”.

But the MP for East Antrim warned those people in low paid and medium paid jobs “are going to face a rather bleak period in the near future”.

Judicial dispute

The European Union raised the stakes on Wednesday in a stand-off with Poland over judicial independence and the primacy of EU law, with the bloc’s top court fining Poland €1 million a day (£845,000) to prevent what it called “serious and irreparable harm” to the EU’s legal order and values.

The European Court of Justice imposed the penalty after a week-long war of words in which Poland told the EU to stay out of its judicial affairs while other EU nations insisted that Warsaw could not continue to get huge EU subsidies while disregarding the bloc’s democratic principles at will.

Increased Covid incidence

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A further 1,631 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the State, the Department of Health has said.

As of Wednesday morning, there were 503 patients in hospital with the disease, of which 101 were in ICU.

The 7-day moving average is now 2,043, up from 1,138 only three weeks ago.

Speaking about the latest figures, Dr Tony Holohan said the incidence of Covid-19 is increasing at a concerning rate.

Ticket-touting legislation

A Minister of State has said he is “disappointed and annoyed” at the failure of the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) to avail of new anti-ticket touting legislation, while a Sinn Féin spokesperson said the legislation had “fallen at the first hurdle”.

It comes after tickets for the Republic of Ireland's World Cup qualifier against Portugal on November 11th in the Aviva Stadium sold out within minutes on Tuesday morning, with ticket touts re-selling them for inflated prices online.

Minister of State for the Department of Enterprise, Robert Troy, told RTÉ radio’s Today with Claire Byrne show that all sporting bodies, music promoters and venues in excess of 1,000 attendees had a responsibility to seek designation for an event under the legislation introduced in the summer.

Vaccine passes

Leo Varadkar has said vaccine passes may be needed for hospital visits.

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The Tanaiste told reporters on Wednesday that the Government was working with the HSE on the introduction of a requirement for vaccine passes or Covid-19 certificates for anyone visiting Irish hospitals.

He said: “I think it does make a lot of sense. Hospitals are full of vulnerable people who are immunocompromised, and we don’t want them getting the virus, and hospitals are also full of people with the virus as well.

“So I think anything we can do to reduce the risk of the virus being introduced to hospitals makes sense to me.”

Home invader jailed

A man who tried to put a pillow over the face of a woman after he sneaked into her home and then repeatedly stabbed her has been jailed for seven years.

The attacker, who had previously pleaded guilty to the brutal incident at Oldtown, Letterkenny, Co Donegal in July, 2020, cannot be named.

He previously appeared before Judge John Aylmer at Letterkenny Circuit Court where details of the terrifying ordeal were given in evidence.

The man had pleaded guilty to a number of charges including aggravated burglary, assault causing harm and breaching a barring order.

Tipping laws

Workers in the service industry will soon be given legal rights on the payment of tips under new laws approved by the Government.

On Wednesday, Tánaiste and Minister for Employment, Leo Varadkar received approval of draft legislation which will prohibit employers from using tips to make up contractual rates of pay for their staff.

This law should be in place for next year, according to Mr Varadkar.

Employees will also have a legal entitlement to receive tips paid through debit or credit card payments with a provision that the tips are paid in a fair and transparent manner.

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