Wednesday 28 September 2016

While you were sleeping: stories you may have missed overnight

Published 16/12/2015 | 07:13

Republican U.S. presidential candidates (L-R) former HP CEO Carly Fiorina, Senator Marco Rubio, Dr. Ben Carson, businessman Donald Trump, Senator Ted Cruz, former Governor Jeb Bush and Governor Chris Christie head to their podiums before the start of the Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas, Nevada December 15, 2015
Republican U.S. presidential candidates (L-R) former HP CEO Carly Fiorina, Senator Marco Rubio, Dr. Ben Carson, businessman Donald Trump, Senator Ted Cruz, former Governor Jeb Bush and Governor Chris Christie head to their podiums before the start of the Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas, Nevada December 15, 2015

Republican front-runner Donald Trump has stood firm over his provocative call for banning Muslims from the United States as his party's presidential candidates pushed their own plans for fighting Islamic State (IS) militants.

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The Las Vegas debate was dominated by national security, reflecting the reshaping of the 2016 presidential contest by the recent attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California.

Hours before the debate began, officials in Los Angeles closed all schools after an emailed threat that was later deemed a hoax.

Mr Trump insisted his proposal, roundly condemned by his rivals, was not an attempt to discriminate against Muslims.

READ MORE: Republican debate: Donald Trump defends his Muslim ban

Also in the US, Los Angeles has defended its controversial decision to shut more than 1,000 schools after America's two biggest education authorities received threats of a large-scale jihadi attack with guns and bombs.

The threat was also made to New York City - which dismissed the warning as an amateurish hoax.

READ MORE: LA defends decision to shut down schools terrorism threat email

But in an extremely rare move, Los Angeles reacted by shutting down the entire school district, reflecting the lingering unease in Southern California following the terrorist attack that killed 14 people at an office lunch two weeks ago in San Bernardino.

In LA, the threat came in the form of an email to a school board member. Authorities in New York reported receiving the same "generic" email but decided there was no danger to schoolchildren, with mayor Bill de Blasio concluding that the threat contained "nothing credible".

Typhoon Melor left at least one person dead and wide areas without power yesterday, as it crossed over the central Philippines. About 730,000 people were evacuated to safer ground before the storm hit.

READ MORE: Man killed as 730,000 residents flee typhoon in Philippines

The government weather bureau said the typhoon had weakened but was still packing winds of 140kmh and gusts of up to 170kmh as it passed over Oriental Mindoro province. Classes, flights and ferry trips remained suspended in affected areas.

The governor of Oriental Mindoro, Alfonso Umali Jr, said strong winds were battering the province and iron roofing was flying about, endangering rescuers trying to reach flooded homes.

The Irish Independent leads with the latest developments in the Irish Farmers Association pay controversy.

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The lead story reviews that a review of IFA past presidents were not only paid up to €180,000 - but also received golden handshakes at the end of their terms.

READ MORE: 'Golden handshakes' for former IFA presidents

The paper also reveals that variable speed limits are to be introduced to ease M50 backlogs. The changes to access roads onto Dublin's m50, new signage to direct motorists to alternative routes in the event of lane closures caused by collisions and new orbital bus routes will be used to reduce gridlock and reduce the risk of collisions.

READ MORE: Variable speed limits to help reduce congestion on M50

The Herald leads with the story that injection centres get the green light. Addicts will be legally allowed to use hard drugs such as heroin in designated injection centres, under a plan agreed by ministers.

The Sun leads with the news that gardai are on the trail of Dessie O'Hare after he evaded arrest in a false imprisonment rap. The so-called 'Border Fox' who is the focus of an extortion probe, according to the paper, is thought to be in Northern Ireland.

The Irish Daily Mirror leads with the story of Downton Abbey star Michelle Dockery whose fiance John Dineen tragically passed away.

The paper says that the devastated actress thanked people for their "kindness" following the tragic death of her fiance.

The Irish Daily Mail also leads with the death of John Dineen and covers the expected retirement of up of 100 politicians who are expected to retire before the next general election.

The Irish Examiner's lead story is on the floods damage. The story says that the Government looks set to defy calls to levy households to help those who have been unable to get flood insurance.

Finally, the Irish Times leads with the story taht the Cabinet has rejected a key element of the Health Service Executive's spending plkans for next year, after fears it would create an election storm about cuts in the numbers of medical cards.l

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