Thursday 26 April 2018

While you were sleeping - catch up on the stories you missed overnight

The front page of today's Irish Independent.
The front page of today's Irish Independent. Newsdesk Newsdesk

Six stories you need to know

Australia is in talks with the Philippines about resettling illegal migrants who try to reach its shores. A multi-million deal to resettle refugees from an Australian-run detention camp on the Pacific nation of Nauru to Cambodia already exists. But so far, only four refugees have taken up the offer of cash, free health insurance and accommodation to move from Nauru to the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh. Australia refuses to accept any refugees who attempt to reach its shores by boat. It pays Nauru and Papua New Guinea, which has a detention centre on Manus Island, to hold them instead.

Read More: Australia in talks to send refugees to Philippines

The stabbing of a US airman hailed a hero for helping to stop a terror attack on a French train was not related to terrorism "in any way", police have said. Spencer Stone, 23, was knifed three times in the upper body in what police said was an alcohol-related brawl, and he underwent two hours of surgery afterwards.

Read More: Stabbing of train attack hero Spencer Stone 'not related to terrorism in any way' - police

The Coalition's vote-transfer pact could collapse if Taoiseach Enda Kenny decides to call an election in November. Labour Party strategists say that the deal done with Fine Gael was based on the election being held next year but they would not feel compelled to enforce it if trust with Fine Gael was to break down before the campaign even begins. A senior Labour source with a direct role in election strategy said: "The pact was something agreed on the basis that both parties have worked well together. But it needs to be based on trust and that trust has eroded something in recent days."

Read More: Poll date row is putting Coalition pact at risk 

Meanwhile, more than 1,500 people united in a remarkable show of defiance against marauding gangs spreading terror among farming families and the elderly. They attended an emotionally-charged meeting in Thurles, Co Tipperary, where concerns over rural-based violence has reached unprecedented levels. A new organisation called 'Save our Local Community' has now been formed, following a dramatic rise in crime in the county.

Read More: 'It's just like everybody here is suddenly living in prison' 

A proposed sugar tax on fizzy drinks in the Budget has been blocked by Michael Noonan, the Irish Daily Mail reports. Despite the growing obesity among the country’s children, the Finance Minister has dismissed the idea. Health experts and Leo Varadkar had campaigned for the measure.

An Irish cosmetic surgeon who treated singer Michael Jackson, has written a memoir Behind the Mask: The Extraordinary Story of the Irishman who became Michael Jackson’s Doctor. The memoir hits Irish bookshelves today, the Irish Examiner reports. Dr Patrick Treacy spoke of how Jackson had been struck by a rare skin condition called vitiligo that left him with black and white patches on his skin.

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