Independent Reporting Commission members chosen

The members of a new body set up to oversee efforts to tackle paramilitary activity in Northern Ireland have been announced.

The Independent Reporting Commission was part of the Fresh Start deal which ended the political crisis at Stormont last Christmas.

Former US envoy to Northern Ireland Mitchell Reiss is the UK government's nominee, while The Republic will be represented by Tim O'Connor, formerly of the Department of Foreign Affairs.  

Former Human Rights Commissioner Monica McWilliams and solicitor John McBurney have been appointed by the Stormont Executive.

The commission will report once a year until 2021.

Pair arrested during CAB crime investigation

Two men, aged 26 and 47, have been charged on public order offenses following searches by gardaí from the Criminal Assets Bureau.

Around €150,000 was also seized by officers during the search at a number of locations in Rathkeale, Co Limerick.

The searches were part of Operation Oakleaf - an investigation into an organised crime gang.

Ireland may accept children from Calais 'jungle'

The Minister for Children has said the possible re-location to Ireland of children previously living in the Calais refugee camp will be discussed by Cabinet next week.

Katherine Zappone said a memo on the issue will be sent to the Government.

Last month the Dáil passed a motion calling on the Government to work with French authorities to identify at -risk children who wish to come to Ireland.

She said officials from her department and from Tusla are working very hard on the proposals.

The minister said more resources are needed and said she has requested that Tusla set up a project office to manage its responsibilities for meeting the Dáil resolution.

Cork County Councillor Claire Cullinane dies

Independent Cork County Councillor Claire Cullinane has died suddenly.

She was elected to Cork County Council in 2014, representing the Cobh electoral area. She also served on a number of the council's committees.

Cork Mayor Seamus McGrath described said Ms Cullinane's death as untimely and sudden.

Cork County Council Chief Executive Tim Lucey said she had contributed enormously to the workings of the council.

Putin continues reign as world's most powerful man - Forbes

Vladimir Putin was the world's most powerful person for a fourth straight year in 2016, with US president-elect Donald Trump in second place, Forbes magazine said this afternoon in its annual rankings.

"Russia's president has exerted his country's influence in nearly every corner of the globe," the US business magazine wrote.

"From the motherland to Syria to the US presidential elections, Putin continues to get what he wants." 

The 64-year old Russian leader is "unconstrained by conventional global norms [and] his reach has magnified in recent years," Forbes said.