Morning top 5: British MPs to vote on election plan; teachers highlight impact of homelessness

The top stories this Wednesday morning...

British members of parliament will vote on holding a general election later today.

It comes after Theresa May announced her desire for a ballot yesterday saying it's the only way to secure certainty as the Brexit negotiations begin.

Mrs May had previously insisted there would not be an election until 2020, but a majority of MPs are expected to back her shock call for a vote in June.

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The Air Accident Investigation Unit says it is satisfied that best practice was followed in the publication of the transcripts of the cockpit voice recordings from Rescue Helicopter 116.

It follows strong condemnation from the Irish Air Line Pilots' Association.

The association said the decision was 'unnecessary and harmful' and claimed there was no justification for the move, "other than feeding a thirst for sensationalism".

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All pupils will study a foreign language for their Junior Cert by 2021 under ambitious new plans to be announced by the Education Minister.

The strategy also aims to increase the number of Leaving Cert students studying a foreign language by 10%.

Chinese will also be introduced as a Leaving Cert subject for the first time, and so-called heritage languages such as Polish, Lithuanian and Portuguese will get a proper curriculum.

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Teachers say the effect of homelessness is being felt in classrooms around Ireland.

Unions are holding their annual conferences this week - with the INTO voting to join campaigns to defend our right to a home at their meeting.

The organisation says children are coming to school hungry and in some cases do not know where they will be sleeping each night.

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Hundreds of psychiatric nurses at St Patrick's Hospital in Dublin will begin balloting for industrial action today over the closure of a pension scheme.

Staff say the decision to shut down the defined benefit scheme reneges on a deal reached with management in 2014.

St Patrick's Mental Health Services has claimed the scheme's 'financial position' was likely to deteriorate but it would honour the terms of the funding agreement.