Morning top 5: Dáil to vote for Taoiseach again; Zika link confirmed; and Irish children deprived

The top stories this Thursday morning...

Another attempt will be made to elect a Taoiseach in the Dáil later, with Independents told this is their last chance to get Enda Kenny out of Government Buildings.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin issued the ultimatum to Independents to vote for him today as his name would not be going forward for the position of Taoiseach again.

The move followed an effective breakdown in talks between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil last night.

***

Scientists in the US have confirmed the Zika virus does cause microcephaly and other severe birth defects.

Until now, many experts had been cautious about making a definitive connection between the mosquito-borne disease and the conditions.

Pregnant women are being warned to avoid Latin America and the Caribbean, where the virus is spreading.

***

UNICEF says around a third of Irish children live in deprived circumstances.

The UN charity is releasing a report card for all OECD countries highlighting poverty and growing inequality in wealthy nations.

It shows many youngsters here aren't getting a balanced diet and don't have adequate heating in their homes.

***

Gardaí are continuing to quiz two men arrested after explosives were discovered in a car in Dublin last night.

The men in their early 30s and 40s were arrested after they were stopped by the Emergency Response Unit on the Naas Road.

The device has now been sent for forensic examination.

***

Footage has emerged of the moment two Russian warplanes flew dangerously close to an American warship in international waters.

The White House says it has "deep concerns" about the incident - which took place near the Baltics - warning the action could escalate tensions between the countries.