Morning top 5: Concern over hundreds of jobs at HP; Cabinet to approve new drink driving laws; Decision on US travel ban due this week

The top stories this Wednesday morning ...

Staff at Hewlett-Packard face meetings with management at the Leixlip plant today amid concerns over the future of hundreds of jobs.

HP Inc employs around 500 people at the plant - which manufactures inkjet cartridges, and carries out research and development for the giant multi-national.

Senior management are reportedly due to address staff later about the company's plans and it is reported that they will deliver an update on the plant’s future.

Local Fianna Fáil TD Frank O'Rourke has said the news will come as a surprise to many staff adding that people in the area are nervous about what may be announced later.

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A US federal court has finished hearing legal arguments over whether President Trump's travel ban on seven Muslim countries should be allowed to stand.

It follows the suspension of the ban by a federal judge last week, after the president's executive order caused chaos at airports around the US.

A decision on the future of the executive order will be made by the end of the week.

In an unusual step, yesterday’s hearing was conducted by phone - and broadcast lives from the court's website.

Judge William Canby asked the court to consider whether the ban was motivated by anti-Muslim bias.

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The Cabinet is set to approve new laws next week that will see first-time, drink driving offenders disqualified from driving.

Transport Minister Shane Ross will say the measure is necessary when he addresses an Oireachtas Committee this morning.

Minister Ross will say the statistics around drink driving are extremely concerning and need to be tackled urgently - with the current legislation sending the wrong message.

The minister plans to bring legislation to Cabinet next Tuesday which will mean all drivers caught drink driving will receive a mandatory disqualification.

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The executive council of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Association (INMO) is to meet today to consider its next course of action in its dispute with the HSE over staffing and recruitment levels.

Negotiations over measures to address the issues adjourned without agreement on Monday.

The INMO has said it advised HSE management that proposals have to be radically improved before any further discussion.

Meanwhile SIPTU said last night that its nurses and midwives are "more than likely" to ballot for strike action in the dispute.

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The terms of reference for a Commission of Investigation into allegations of a smear campaign against whistleblowers with the gardaí will be published today.

The conduct of several senior gardaí is to be investigated after one sergeant claimed he was instructed to discredit whistleblower Maurice McCabe by senior members of management.

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald has yet to confirm whether Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan will have to step aside while the inquiry gets underway.

An Garda Síochána has welcomed the announcement of the Commission of Investigation and confirmed that it will co-operate fully the investigation.