Evening top 5: Government to gear up Brexit preparations; European Commission fines Google €4.34bn

The top stories this Wednesday evening...

European Commission fines Google €4.34bn for illegal restrictions on Android devices

Search engine giant Google has been handed a €4.34bn fine by the European Commission over illegal practices regarding Android mobile devices.

The Commission says since 2011, Google has imposed illegal restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators to "cement its dominant position" in general internet search.

"Google must now bring the conduct effectively to an end within 90 days or face penalty payments of up to 5% of the average daily worldwide turnover of Alphabet, Google's parent company", it said.

Taoiseach: 'We need to up our Brexit preparations' amid political uncertainty in UK

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaks to the media at Derrynane House, Kerry, following a government cabinet meeting. Picture by: Brian Lawless/PA Wire/PA Images

Leo Varadkar has said the Government needs to 'up our preparations' for Brexit amid continuing political uncertainty in the UK.

The Taoiseach was speaking after a cabinet meeting in Derrynane, Co Kerry, in which ministers discussed Brexit contingency plans.

The Government plans to hire 1,000 people as customs and veterinary inspectors to prepare Irish ports and airports for Brexit.

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson today claimed a 'fog of self-doubt has descended' over the British government's Brexit plans - and suggested the Irish border has 'dominated the debate'.

No breakthrough in talks ahead of planned strikes by Dublin-based Ryanair pilots

Two upcoming strikes by Dublin-based Ryanair pilots are set to go ahead, after there was no breakthrough in talks between union representatives and Ryanair management.

Pilots with the Irish Air Line Pilots Association - a branch of Fórsa - are planning to strike this coming Friday (July 20th) and again next Tuesday (July 24th).

It follows an initial 24 hour strike last week, in a dispute over issues such as seniority and base transfers.

Thai boys describe "miracle" cave rescue on release from hospital

The 12 boys rescued from a flooded Thai cave show their respect and thanks to the retired Thai SEAL diver who died during their rescue attempt, 18-072018. Image: AP Photo/Vincent Thian

The 12 boys and their football coach who spent over two weeks trapped in a flooded Thai cave have been released from hospital.

Speaking at a major press conference, the Thai Wild Boars answered questions on their ordeal for the first time.

The group went missing in the Tham Luang cave in the north of the country on June 23rd, after flood waters trapped them within the cave complex.

Two brothers jailed for life over "savage, brutal and ferocious" murder

Two brothers have been jailed for life for what was described in court as a "savage, brutal and ferocious" murder in Dublin.

Dean and Jason Bradley chased Neil Reilly after he fired shots at their home at Liscarne Gardens in Ronanstown, while they were inside, on January 18th last year.