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News in Brief
03 Jul 2015 18:06
Over 20,000 discretionary medical cards issued since 2014 report - HSE
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The number of discretionary medical cards issued has rise from 52,000 to 87,000 since the publication of the Keane Report in 2014, with this figure expected to increase further- the Health Service Executive has said.
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In keeping with the recommendations of the expert group the online medical card application process has been developed to further streamline access to general medical cards, the Drugs Payment Scheme and the Long Term Illness Scheme.
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In a statement the HSE said "Children with disabilities have been particularly targeted to ensure that no child is denied access to necessary healthcare."
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France rejects Assange asylum request
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France has rejected a request for asylum by Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.
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Mr Assange has been living for the past three years in Ecuador's London embassy, where he took refuge to avoid extradition to Sweden over alleged sex crimes.
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"France has received the letter from Mr Assange. An in-depth review shows that in view of the legal and material elements of Mr Assange's situation, France cannot grant his request," a statement by President Francois Hollande's office said.
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"The situation of Mr Assange does not present any immediate danger. He is also the target of a European arrest mandate," it noted.
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Man held after armed robbery attempt in Co Clare
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A man in his 50s has been arrested following an attempted aggravated robbery in Co Clare last night.
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It is understood three people were held at gunpoint outside a house at Deerpark, Sixmilebridge at around 5.30pm. An elderly man was inside the house at the time.
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A gardener working at the property was confronted by an armed man. The gardener's daughter and her boyfriend later arrived at the house and were also detained by the gunman.
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The situation continued for around two hours, before an attempt was made to overpower the armed man and during which the gun was discharged, but no one was injured.
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The armed man was later arrested and taken to Shannon Garda Station. It is understood he has no criminal background.
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One of those held by the gunman was slightly injured in the incident and treated in hospital.
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Varadkar to open new ambulance service
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Minister for Health Leo Varadkar will officially open the new National Ambulance Service Headquarters in Dublin this afternoon.
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The facility in Tallaght includes the National Emergency Operations Centre and the National Ambulance Service Education Centre.
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All emergency 999 ambulance calls to the HSE's service are now being dealt with by the headquarters in Tallaght, and by another backup centre in Ballyshannon in Co Donegal.
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Max Clifford charged with one count of indecent assault
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Max Clifford has been charged with one count of indecent assault, the Crown Prosecution Service has announced.
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The former publicist is accused of committing the offence in 1981. He will appear at Westminster Magistrates Court in London on 21 July.
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Baljit Ubhey, Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS London, said: "We have carefully considered the evidence gathered as part of Operation Yewtree in relation to Max Clifford, who was arrested at Littlehey Prison on 12 March.
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"Having completed our review, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest for Mr Clifford to be charged with one offence of indecent assault."
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Armagh Orange Hall destroyed in suspected arson attack
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Police are treating a fire that destroyed Ballytyrone Orange Hall in Co Armagh as arson.
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It is believed flammable liquid was used to accelerate the blaze causing extensive damage to the property in Loughgall.
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Fire crews were called to the scene at Creenagh Road just before midnight and spent several hours extinguishing the flames.
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Grand Secretary of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland Drew Nelson said: "The Orange Institution is devastated that another Orange hall has been destroyed in an overnight arson attack. Clearly there are still some in Northern Ireland society who are prepared to use violence to attack the Orange Institution."
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Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister, Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness, said "sectarian bigots" were responsible for the incident and called them "a disgrace".
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Burton says Ireland doing 'much better'
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The Tánaiste has said Ireland is doing much better and we need to have a conversation about a social recovery as well.
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She was speaking at a pre-budget forum organised by the Department of Social Protection to which 37 social advocacy groups were invited.
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She said there needs to be a balance in improving peoples incomes, including those on social welfare and investing in public facilities, such as schools, hospitals and public transport that add to the quality of peoples lives and also impact hugely on the efficiency of the economy.
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Dutch police detain more than 200 people for breaking curfew amid unrest
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Police in the Netherlands detained more than 200 people overnight for violating terms of a curfew, as unrest in The Hague continued for a fourth night.
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Protests in the mostly immigrant Schilderswijk neighbourhood began on Monday, amid anger over the death of a Caribbean man while in police custody. However, the nighttime disturbances since then have been largely devoid of any clear protest message.
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Residents have asked police and politicians to restore order, while Prime Minister Mark Rutte described youth lighting fireworks and throwing debris at police as "retarded".
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Of 61 people who had been arrested in connection with the unrest, police said almost all were younger teens suspected of vandalism.
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Syrian government forces attack rebel positions near Aleppo
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Syrian government forces have mounted heavy air strikes on Friday against rebel positions in and around the northern city of Aleppo, the focus of an insurgent offensive aimed at capturing areas controlled by President Bashar al-Assad.
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The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a group monitoring the war, said fighting between the insurgents and government forces continued into the early hours of this morning, and Syrian army air strikes on rebel positions were continuous.
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A Syrian military source said the attack had been repelled and heavy casualties had been inflicted on the insurgents, adding the air force and artillery had been used to target the rebels who in turn had used heavy weapons in their attack.
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The rebel attack spearheaded by Islamist groups was the most intense since insurgents took over most of the eastern part of Aleppo three years ago.
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