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News in Brief
30 Jan 2015 07:07
Magdalene survivors promised medical card entitlements
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Minister of State Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has promised Magdalene laundry survivors the same medical card entitlements as victims of contaminated blood products, excluding free alternative therapies with no proven medical benefits.
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However, Fianna Fáil's Colm Keavney criticised draft legislation on redress for failing to provide the full card or full pension rights.
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Mr Ó Ríordáin also supported deputies who compared institutions like the laundries with Direct Provision Centres for asylum-seekers.
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The Junior Minister in the Department of Justice and Equality, echoed criticisms by Minister Francis Fitzgerald of some advocacy groups for what they called their "incorrect" and "inaccurate" criticisms of the Redress for Women Resident in Certain Institutions Bill.
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Three US contractors killed in Kabul
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An Afghan soldier has killed three US contractors and wounded a fourth at Kabul's military airport, an Afghan air force official said.
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"It is unclear yet why he shot these advisers and no one else was there to tell us the reason," the official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
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A rise in so-called "insider attacks" in Afghanistan has eroded trust between Afghan and international troops in the final years of the combat mission that ended in 2014, prompting foreign forces to scale back interaction with their allies.
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Labour Court ruling in JJ Rhatigan dispute
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JJ Rhatigan and the UNITE trace union, who are in a dispute over the employment status of a number of workers at the company's Kishoge Community College site in Lucan, have welcomed a Labour Court ruling on the dispute.
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The ruling has recommended that JJ Rhatigan pay compensation to the workers.
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The trade union says the ruling vindicates its assertions that the rights of its members had been breached. However, the company says the ruling confirms the workers were employed through a sub-contracting arrangement and it says it is considering the ruling.
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The Labour Court will publish the ruling in seven working days from now.
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Partnership between Irish and US craft unions
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The US Secretary of Labour has announced a partnership between Ireland's largest craft union and its US counterpart that will see extra visas made available for Irish members.
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The Technical Engineering and Electrical Union signed the agreement with the United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters in the US.
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The deal, known as a Global Federation Agreement, was signed at a special ceremony at the Irish Embassy in Washington DC.
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The international agreement opens pathways for members of both unions to participate in training in the US and Ireland, and provides visas for work swap arrangements.
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It also allows both unions to work together on developing and maintaining employment standards.
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Humanist Association to discuss school enrolment
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The Humanist Association of Ireland, which represents people who are not religious, has said it had a "good" meeting this evening with Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister for Education Jan O'Sullivan.
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They discussed the difficulties faced by non-religious parents in enrolling their children in schools.
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Catholic and other religious-run schools are legally entitled to give preference to children of their own and related faiths.
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However, spokesperson Brian Whiteside said they received no indication of a willingness to change the equality legislation that permits this.
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High rates of influenza likely in EU countries
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The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has warned that medium or high rates of influenza intensity are likely to be observed in the vast majority of EU countries for the remainder of the season.
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It says that the number of severe cases of influenza, as well as fatal outcomes especially among older people and other risk groups, can be expected to rise.
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Co-pilot at controls when AirAsia plane crashed
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The co-pilot of an AirAsia flight that crashed into the Java Sea last month was at the controls when it went down, killing all 162 people on board.
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Investigators said French co-pilot, Remi Plesel, was flying the plane, rather than Captain Iriyanto, an experienced former fighter pilot.
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The announcement came as fishermen found two more bodies from the crash in waters off Sulawesi island in central Indonesia.
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Only 72 bodies have so far been recovered.
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Blatter confirms FIFA re-election bid
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FIFA President Sepp Blatter has confirmed that he had submitted his bid to run for re-election on the deadline day for nominations to be handed in.
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"Today is a key date in the electoral calendar. I've made my submission, now the electoral committee follow a process," the 78-year-old said on Twitter.
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Mr Blatter, who has been in charge of soccer's governing body since 1998, is running for a fifth mandate and is overwhelming favourite to win the election in Zurich on 29 May.
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Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein of Jordan, former FIFA official Jerome Champagne of France, ex-France international David Ginola, former Portugal forward Luis Figo and Dutch FA president Michael van Praag have also said they are running.
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New Delhi officials reject Uber application
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Uber has failed to win a licence to resume operations in New Delhi after one of its drivers allegedly raped a female passenger in the Indian capital last month.
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The US-based car-hailing company was banned from Delhi's streets in the aftermath of the 5 December attack, which sparked new fears about the safety of women in a city with a high record of sexual violence.
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Uber, which connects passengers to drivers through smartphone apps, last week said it was resuming operations after applying for a licence to operate as a radio-taxi company.
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But the Delhi transport department the application had been rejected after "discrepancies" were found, including lack of proof of an office address and details of management.
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