Thursday 8 December 2016

While you were sleeping: Stories you may have missed overnight

Published 21/03/2016 | 07:08

U.S. President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle exit Air Force One as they arrive at Havana's international airport for a three-day trip, in Havana March 20, 2016
U.S. President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle exit Air Force One as they arrive at Havana's international airport for a three-day trip, in Havana March 20, 2016

US President Barack Obama has started an extraordinary visit to Cuba, eager to push decades of acrimony deeper into the past and forge irreversible ties with America's former adversary.

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Mr Obama's whirlwind trip is a crowning moment in his and Cuban President Raul Castro's effort to restore normal relations between their countries.

While deep differences persist, the economic and political relationship has changed rapidly in the 15 months since the leaders vowed a new beginning.

Read More: Barack Obama arrives in Cuba in first visit by US president for almost 90 years

Meanwhile, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is taking Cuban president Raul Castro to task for not welcoming President Barack Obama at the airport in Havana.

Mr Trump tweeted: "Wow, President Obama just landed in Cuba, a big deal, and Raul Castro wasn't even there to greet him. He greeted Pope and others. No respect."

Mr Trump has said, if elected president he would try to negotiate a better deal with Cuba, but has also said he's "fine" with the US pursuing a new approach.

His top rival for the Republican nomination, Ted Cruz, is the son of a Cuban and opposes Mr Obama's policy.

Mr Castro makes relatively few public appearances. But Mr Castro did greet Pope Francis on arrival during a September trip to Cuba and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill last month.

Salah Abdeslam's family, friends and petty criminals helped him evade a manhunt for four months before he was arrested on Friday in the neighbourhood he grew up in, not far from his parents' home.

As security services seek to understand how Islamic State operates in Europe to prevent more attacks, Abdeslam's case highlights the difficulty of tracking suspects who can rely on the protection of community networks, many of which do not involve religious radicals and are not on the police radar.

"Abdeslam relied on a large network of friends and relatives that already existed for drug dealing and petty crime to keep him in hiding," Belgium's federal prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw said of the only surviving suspect of the Nov. 13 attacks that killed 130 people in Paris.

Read More: World's most wanted man Salah Abdeslam was 'helped more by friends than Islamic State'

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is taking Cuban president Raul Castro to task for not welcoming President Barack Obama at the airport in Havana.

Mr Trump tweeted: "Wow, President Obama just landed in Cuba, a big deal, and Raul Castro wasn't even there to greet him. He greeted Pope and others. No respect."

Mr Trump has said, if elected president he would try to negotiate a better deal with Cuba, but has also said he's "fine" with the US pursuing a new approach.

READ MORE: 'No respect' - Donald slams Raul Castro for not greeting Obama on arrival in Cuba

Closer to home, all of the paper's are dominated by the tragic events in Co Donegal which occurred last night. The Irish Independent leads with the  story and reveals that the infant who survived was a baby girl

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The Irish Independent also has the news that Michael Healy-Rae is recovering in hospital after an attack by a cow. The 49-year-old suffered injuries in the incident which happened around 6pm last night.

The Herald also leads with the tragic events in Buncrana last night. The paper reveals that the family's vehicle - an Audi Q7 - plunged off the slipway at 7.15pm

As well as featuring the Buncrana tragedy, the Irish Examiner leads with news that the Government was poised not to allocate a single penny to mental health in Budget 2016, but was forced to backtrack at the last minute.

The Irish Daily Mail  reports that there is still no random drug testing of firefighters and the gardai. The paper reports that random drug testing of 11,000 gardai and 2,000 Fire Service officers has never been introduced, despite calls to do so.

The Irish Daily reports that the Irish family who were caught up in the Turkey blast have returned home to Birmingham. Father Mohammed Ameen Bachik has told how he and his family narrowly missed being killed.

"We were hit with pieces of bodies and you could see people dead on the ground," he told the paper.

The Irish Daily Mirror reveals that political parties are facing fines for leaving election posters up. Dublin City Council have issued fines totalling €10,350 to parties and candidates for failing to take down the items.

The Irish Times reports that the some TDs are still suffering from a 31st Dail hangover with bar tabs of up to €800 owed to the Oireachtas.

Finally, the Irish Daily Star reports that Fine Gael strategists have debunked reports that the party's bad performance led to them by 'being roasted' by senior party members

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