Morning top 5: Latest Luas strike underway; UN envoy to Syria warns of escalating violence in country

The top stories this Thursday morning...

The Luas tram service in Dublin is being hit by another strike today.

Drivers are taking the action in support of a pay claim of more 20%.

No trams will operate over the next 24 hours, which is expected to increase pressure on other public transport services in the city.

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Government formation talks between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil will resume today in an effort to facilitate a Fine Gael led minority Government.

Sources close to the negotiations say a temporary suspension of water charges for nine months is expected to end the political deadlock.

As part of the new deal, it is expected an independent commission will be set up to examine the issue of water charges.

It is understood a meeting of the Fine Gael parliamentary party last night was not marked by any dissent over the proposed deal on Irish Water.

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The UN envoy to Syria has warned of escalating violence in the country, despite a ceasefire.

Staffan de Mistura says one Syrian has been killed every 25 minutes over the last two days.

In the city of Aleppo, at least 35 people died in government airstrikes on Tuesday - including five rescue workers.

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The impact of recent gangland killings on our jail system is to be discussed by prison officers at their annual conference in Athlone today.

There are fears the current wave of gangland crime in Dublin could result in further violence in Irish jails, once those responsible are imprisoned.

Earlier this week, two people were gunned down in Dublin as gardaí continue their investigation into drug related activity in the capital.

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Mental health advocacy groups will gather outside the Dáil today to protest against the diversion of funds from the mental health budget.

The Union of Students in Ireland and Mental Health Reform are slamming the recent decision to €12 million to other areas.

It comes as a recent report revealed that 1 in 7 adults in Ireland experienced a mental health difficulty in the last year.