Morning top 5: Taoiseach considers minimum wage to be middle class; White House condemned over transgender ban

The top stories this morning on Newstalk.com

The Taoiseach says he considers some people on the minimum wage to be 'middle class.'

He made the comment in an interview with TV3's Vincent Browne, who hosts his final show on the station tonight.

Mr Varadkar included the lowest-paid workers when he was asked to define what he considered to be an average 'middle class' wage.

He also admitted the housing crisis won't be solved in the lifetime of his Government – and gave clear indication he is considering a vacant homes tax.

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The White House says details of how transgender people are going to be banned from the US military haven't been worked out yet.

In a series of posts on Twitter, he said US forces "cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption."

The president has yet to confirm what is going to happen to those already serving.

Equality campaigners have condemned the announcement – and opposition politicians have accused him of doubting the patriotism of service personnel.

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Irish Water says it will cost up to €3m to completely replace a burst water main in the North East.

The first stage of repairs have now been completed - however it is set to be several days before full service is restored to households in Meath and Louth.

The utility says a preliminary scan of the pipe has found it'll take 18 months to replace it entirely.

Meanwhile, a leading economist has warned money will have to be taken from elsewhere to pay for repairs to our water network.

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The jury in the Jason Corbett murder trial has been told how police had to ask the Limerick man's children to close their eyes as they left the scene.

Molly Martens Corbett and Thomas Martens both deny a charge of second degree murder.

The court in North Carolina has also heard from paramedics who described Mr Corbett's bedroom as 'a horrible scene.'

Earlier, proceedings had to be paused when a female juror became physically ill after viewing Mr Corbett’s post-mortem photographs.

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A lack of mental health services in Irish prisons is being raised at the UN in Geneva today.

The Irish Penal Reform Trust is one of a group of Irish NGO's attending a two day hearing, where Ireland's record is being examined by the UN Committee Against Torture.

The trust will tell the UN that a high number of people with mental health issues are being held in Irish prisons.

It will call for prisoners with severe mental health illnesses to be referred to appropriate facilities.