Morning top five: Facebook uncovers attempt to influence US elections; PTSB criticised over mortgage sell-off; No fatalities in Mexico plane crash

The top stories this morning on Newstalk

Facebook says it has uncovered “sophisticated” efforts to influence the upcoming US mid-term elections.

The company closed dozens of apparently fake accounts it said were involved in “coordinated, inauthentic behaviour” ahead of the November mid-term elections.

Noting that it is still at the early stages of its investigation, it said was publishing what it knows so far “given the connection between these bad actors and protests that are planned in Washington next week.”

It warned that whoever set up the accounts “went to much greater lengths” to hide their identities than previous Russian campaigns.


Meanwhile, Facebook bosses in Ireland are appearing before the Oireachtas Communications Committee today over the social network's handling of violent and harmful content.

Committee members will grill the executives on revelations included in the Channel 4 documentary 'Inside Facebook

The programme used hidden camera footage to show how content moderation practices are taught and applied within the company's operations in Dublin.

It found staff were instructed not to remove content, even when it violated the company's guidelines.


Vicky Phelan has announced that she will be taking a break from campaigning on the Cervical Check scandal after today.

Phelan, whose case brought the scandal to light, said she was "deeply disturbed by the lack of empathy in some quarters" towards her and other women affected.

She is due to meet with the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar later.

Mr Varadkar on Monday was forced to row back on his promise that no other women caught up in the scandal would have to go to court.

He has said he hopes Ms Phelan can give him advice on what still needs to happen.


Permanent TSB is being criticised for selling off non-performing mortgages worth 1.3 billion euro to a vulture fund.

The banks yesterday agreed to sell its loan portfolio for €1.3 billion.

The controversial Project Glás portfolio includes 3,300 buy-to-let properties and 7,400 private homes.

Opposition parties are calling on the Finance Minister to bring the company that has agreed to buy the mortgages before the Finance Committee to outline its plans for the loan book.


An airliner - with 103 people on board - has crashed shortly after take-off during a storm in northern Mexico.

The plane hit the ground, remaining intact, but then caught fire.

Around 50 people on the Aeromexico Connect flight from Durango were taken to hospital.

There were no fatalities.