Morning top 5: Olympics opening ceremony, French fire and asthma breakthrough

The top stories this Saturday morning...

The Rio Olympic Games have been officially opened during a ceremony at the iconic Maracanã stadium.

Team Ireland was led in by Belfast boxer Paddy Barnes just before 2am Irish time. 

The flame was brought into the stadium by Gustavo Kuerten, the three-time French Open champion, and lit by Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima, a Brazilian 2004 marathon bronze medallist.


At least 13 people are dead after a fire during a birthday party at a bar in Northern France.

Police say the fire broke out at a birthday party at the bar in the city of Rouen in Normandy.

One source close to the investigation told the AFP news agency that candles on a birthday cake may have sparked the blaze.


Donald Trump has formally endorsed House Speaker Paul Ryan, after a damaging four day stand-off between them.

The billionaire tycoon ended the rift between two of the party's most powerful members with an announcement at a campaign stop in Wisconsin.

On Tuesday, Mr Trump shocked party members by saying he was not ready to endorse Mr Ryan in his campaign for re-election in November.


More than 600 new staff will be recruited by the National Ambulance Service as part of an investment package agreed at the Workplace Relations Commission.

Strike action scheduled for next Wednesday has also been called off as a result of the deal.

SIPTU representatives met with the HSE and the Department of Health yesterday, with the union saying it secured commitments on staffing levels and compensation for loss of earnings.


A new drug shows "massive promise" in its ability to help asthma sufferers, according to a study.

A report in the Lancet Respiratory Medicine journal reveals that a trial of the pill Fevipiprant by scientists at the University of Leicester helped reduce inflammation in the airways of asthma patients.

Scientists say the drug, which is being evaluated, may lead to patients with severe asthma being able to take a pill instead of using an inhaler.