Morning top 5: Trump vows to "finish off" Obamacare; Kenny upset over leadership questions; Tusk appeals for calm

The top stories this morning on

US President Donald Trump has moved a step closer to scrapping his predecessor's healthcare law, which was one of his big campaign promises.

The US House of Representatives has backed a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.

The president insists the new plan means people's insurance premiums will fall – however it still has to get through the Senate where it is likely to face stiff opposition.

Opposition Democratic Party members have attacked those who voted it through the House.


Europe's top diplomat is appealing for calm ahead of Brexit talks.

European Council president Donald Tusk has said Brexit negotiations will become "impossible" if emotions are allowed to run unchecked.

It comes after British Prime Minister Theresa May claimed European officials are trying to influence the result of the general election in the UK.

Mr Tusk says we need moderation, mutual respect and a maximum amount of goodwill to make the divorce discussions a success.


The Taoiseach has hit out at the Irish media in Canada over questions about his leadership.

Enda Kenny had previously indicated he would deal with his departure after last weekend's Brexit summit.

However the issue was raised during a joint press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Montreal yesterday.

Asked about his plans Mr Kenny told the press contingent he “can’t believe” they had travelled to Canada to “ask a question like that.”


The Department of Education is to launch an independent inquiry into allegations of misconduct at the University of Limerick.

A number of staff and former employees have raised concerns over irregular expense claims and complained about bullying.

Among the irregular expense claims were mileage payments for senior staff for journeys to and from work and the delivery of a fitted kitchen for a relocating staff member.

The University previously rejected calls for an inquiry, but the college's new president - who took over this week – has said the investigation is warranted.


Russia, Iran and Turkey have signed a deal calling for the setting up of four 'de-escalation zones' in Syria, in the latest attempt to reduce the violence in the country.

The agreement followed peace talks in Kazakhstan but members of the delegation of the Armed Syrian Opposition shouted in protest and walked out.

Following the agreement, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan publicly re-affirmed their commitment to working together to end the conflict.