Morning top 5: EU leaders meeting in Malta; anti-government protests continue in Romania

The top stories this Friday morning...

Taoiseach Enda Kenny will join EU leaders in Malta this morning to discuss the future of Europe.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May will also be at the informal summit to cover issues such as security, and the migrant crisis.

After that, a meeting of the 27 member states will take place where preparations for the imminent Brexit talks will be held.

***

Massive anti-government protests have continued in Romania overnight.

Around 200,000 people took to the streets of the capital Bucharest for the third time in a row to oppose plans to free dozens of officials jailed for corruption.

The Prime Minister claims he is simply trying to ease overcrowding in prisons with the move.

***

It is reported at least 20 people have been killed in a surge in violence in Ukraine.

Vladimir Putin has blamed the rise on Kiev - saying it is a direct ploy to gain the support of Donald Trump.

***

A €400 million investment has been announced for Irish Agriculture.

The European Investment Bank is confirming significant support for Irish forestry, which is the first Irish agricultural initiative to be backed by the Investment Plan for Europe.

This represents the EIB's first support for the sector in this country for 20 years.

***

The controversy surrounding the British wife of France's centre-right presidential candidate has deepened.

French investigative TV show Envoyé Special has obtained a copy of an interview that Francois Fillon's wife Penelope gave to The Daily Telegraph in 2007, in which she says she has "never been the assistant" of her husband.

Over the past week, Mr Fillon, a former French prime minister and favourite to become president, has been fighting for his political career after it reports claimed that his wife had been paid €831,400 of public money as his parliamentary assistant despite having no parliamentary pass or work email.