Morning top 5: Two people 'exposed to unknown substance' near Salisbury; Report highlights hate crime in Ireland; Thai rescue continues

The top stories this morning on Newstalk

A major incident has been declared in the UK – after police warned that two people may have been exposed to an unknown substance.

It happened just kilometres from where former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned in March.

The pair were found at a property on Saturday and are in critical condition in hospital.

 Police say it is not clear if a crime has been committed.


Ireland has among the highest rates of hate crime against Africans and transgender people in the EU.

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties is calling for hate crime to be recognised in Irish law.

The council says the criminal justice system is failing to properly record instances of hate crime and has highlighted serious deficiencies in tackling it.

It has warned that the absence of legislation has led to a “policy vacuum” in relation to crimes motivated by prejudice in Ireland.


Thai divers say a group of boys and their football coach trapped in a flooded cave will have to swim underwater for nearly 2,000 metres to get out.

The divers admit it will be a massive challenge to train the boys.

Rescuers are aiming to get the group out as soon as possible before waters rise further.

The group has now got food and medical treatment - after being trapped for nearly two weeks.


Ireland's living wage has increased by 20 cent - meaning workers should be paid at least €11.90 an hour to have a reasonable standard of living.

That's according to the body that decides Ireland's 'Living Wage', which has announced a 20 cent increase.

It compares to National Minimum Wage of €9.55.

The Living Wage Technical Group said the change has been made largely due to the ongoing housing crisis.


The Tánaiste flies to London today for talks with senior British Ministers on Brexit.

Simon Coveney will meet with Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond, Northern Secretary Karen Bradley and Environment Secretary Michael Gove.

He will be calling for the UK to deliver on the promises it's made, after little was achieved at the EU summit last month.

He will also stress the importance of avoiding a hard border with Northern Ireland.