Michael Staines
Michael Staines

06.55 9 Oct 2019


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Scotland’s highest court will today decide whether it can request a Brexit extension on behalf of the UK if the Government fails to do so.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is legally obliged to seek an extension if no deal is agreed by October 19th; however, there are concerns he may not abide by the law.

Meanwhile, the president of the European Parliament has warned Mr Johnson that a no-deal scenario would be a “disaster.”

Following a meeting with Boris Johnson in London David Sassoli said the only alternatives to Brexit Withdrawal Agreement currently on the table are no-deal or an extension.

He warned that no-deal would be “very negative” and would “clearly be the responsibility of the UK government.”

***

Trains in and out of Heuston Station in Dublin are facing significant delays after signalling equipment was vandalised overnight.

Iarnrod Éireann said equipment was damaged on the line between Newbridge and Kildare.

As a result, all trains in and out of the station are facing delays of up to an hour – with services from Dublin to Portlaoise terminating at Newbridge.

Real-time departures information on the app and website have also been affected and are “not accurate” this morning.

***

The White House has said it will refuse to co-operate with the impeachment inquiry against Us President Donald Trump.

A letter sent to Democrat leaders described the investigation into the president's dealing with Ukraine as 'constitutionally invalid.'

Last night, President Trump blocked his EU ambassador from giving evidence to the inquiry.

In a statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned that President Trump is “not above the law.”

***

The Finance Minister has insisted that his plans to consider moving civil servants away from Dublin is not 'decentralisation phase two.'

Paschal Donohoe announced yesterday that officials will look at the possibility of civil servants working from ‘support offices’ in smaller towns and cities around Ireland.

He said the civil service of the future will be very different in terms of skills, technology and geographical footprint.

He said the Department has “a lot of experience with this working for us,” but noted that the idea is still in the early stages.

***

More than 9,300 calls were made to the HSE's ‘MyOptions’ unplanned pregnancy helpline in the first eight months of this year.  

The helpline provides information on continued pregnancy supports and abortion services.

By August, the service had fielded calls from nearly 6,300 people who had been pregnant for less than 12 weeks.

Meanwhile, it heard from 244 women who had passed the 12-week gestation limit for an abortion.

The figures were released to Newstalk under the freedom of information Act.


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