Morning top 5: UN warns of humanitarian crisis; Taoiseach in US; and Sean Spicer's flag

The top stories this Saturday morning

The United Nations is warning that the world is facing the biggest humanitarian crisis since 1945.

Humanitarian chief Stephen O'Brien estimates more than 20 million people in four countries are facing starvation and famine.

He has told the Security Council "without coordinated global efforts, people will simply starve to death" and "many more will suffer and die from disease".


The Taoiseach Enda Kenny begins his week-long visit to the United States today, during which he will meet US President Donald Trump, and watch the St Patrick's Day parade in New York.

Mr Kenny says he will raise the issue of US Immigration reform with both the president and the vice president and make the case for our undocumented Irish.

He will also be promoting Ireland as a location for jobs, trade, tourism and investment, through a series of meetings with business leaders.


A flood relief scheme planned for Cork city has been described as a "sticking plaster" which will not work in the long-term.

The plan is set to cost the Office of Public Works €140m, with the proposals involving replacing the city's historic Georgian quays with concrete walls and barriers.

The Save Cork City group is calling for a full design review of the OPW plans, which they say will cause massive disruption to business and tourism for up to 10 years.


European leaders are preparing for formal Brexit negotiations to begin within days should UK PM Theresa May trigger Article 50 next week.

EU leaders, meeting in Brussels, were told to prepare for the possibility that Britain could trigger talks as early as next Tuesday, with a formal gathering on April 6th pencilled in to respond to Britain's formal letter of notification.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny confirmed to reporters that the EU 27 had provisionally agreed a meeting in early April to agree a framework for exit talks.


When Sean Spicer stepped up to the podium to begin his daily press briefing at the White House on Friday, eyes quickly turned to his lapel.

Donald Trump's press secretary was inadvertently wearing his American flag pin upside down.

As he launched into a recap of Mr Trump's first 50 days in office, people on social media were quick to notice his error and joked about its potential meaning.

Some pointed out that an upside down flag is traditionally seen as a sign of distress.