Opening Bell: Tim Cook says Irish are being bullied, Jameson sales spike, US Ambassador says Ireland's not a haven

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Apple CEO Tim Cook has renewed his criticism of the European Commission's ruling that Apple was given a 'sweetheart deal' by the Irish Government.

He dismissed the investigation's findings as "political crap" and added that Ireland has been caught up in a rift between the US and the EU and that the country is being "picked on" as the Commission moves to push through tax harmonisation policies.

"I think we'll work very closely together, as we have the same motivation. No one did anything wrong here and we need to stand together. Ireland is being picked on and this is unacceptable," he told The Irish Independent.

Mr Cook added that Ireland "played by the rules" and he is confident that the appeal will be successful.

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American ambassador Kevin O'Malley has defended Ireland in the wake of the EU ruling.

He said that analysts "throwing around terms like tax cheat and tax haven" are being irresponsible.

While the roots of the investigation lie, in part, in complaints from the US Senate about Apple's taxes - the decision has sparked an angry reaction across the Atlantic.

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Jameson whiskey has recorded a spike in sales - during the 12 months to the end of June 2016 the volume sold increased by 12%.

The Irish spirit, which is the world's most popular whiskey, sold 5.7 million cases during the period.

Sales were boosted by the launch of Jameson Caskmates - a collaborative series with craft brewers which ages whiskey in barrels which previously stored stout.

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The National Bus and Rail Union is warning that a meeting with management at Dublin Bus doesn't mean that planned strike action by drivers will be called off.

Six days of strike action have been scheduled for September - the 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, 23rd and 24th.

Unions representing drivers at Dublin Bus will meet with management at the company's head office tomorrow afternoon.

General Secretary of the NBRU Dermot O'Leary, couldn't say whether the meeting will lead to further talks at the Workplace Relations Commission.

"We will go in there with an open mind - there will be difficulties in bridging the gap what the labour court rewarded, which was rejected, and what our members are demanding at this stage," he told Newstalk.