Morning top 5: Judicial appointments; Stormont talks; and US claims Syria preparing for chemical attack

The top stories this Tuesday morning

The Government says it is determined to pass a new bill overhauling how judges are picked, despite major resistance from judges themselves.

A Government source says the Judicial Appointments Bill will be pushed through the Dáil, even though the Chief Justice and senior judges say it could have "serious implications" for how the courts are run.

But it has emerged that the Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan, who is sponsoring the bill, also has concerns about some of the measures.


Talks aimed at restoring the North's power-sharing government will resume in Belfast later.

They have until Thursday to reach an agreement that would see the executive reactivated.

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney says he hopes the parties will have reached broad agreement by tonight.

But he has warned that time is running out.


The US claims the Syrian president appears to be preparing for a chemical weapons attack.

In a statement the White House says it has detected potential plans, similar to those made before a rebel-held Syrian town was targeted in April.

But Washington has not provided any evidence.

That attack in April killed at least 80 people.


The jury in the 'Jobstown Six' trial resumes its deliberations later.

Solidarity TD Paul Murphy and five others deny charges of falsely imprisoning former Tánaiste Joan Burton, and her adviser Karen O’Connell, at a water charge protest in November 2014.

In her directions to the jury yesterday, the judge said the restraint of Joan Burton must have been total and intentional for it to amount to false imprisonment.


Four internet companies have teamed up to tackle terrorism.

Facebook, Microsoft, YouTube and Twitter are pledging to address what they are calling the "critical challenge" posed by the spread of extremism online.

The firms have recently been accused of not doing enough to deal with the issue.