Five things you need to know today

Bus strikes; EU tax; North Korea nuclear test; Rio ticket scandal; Eighth Amendment

Dublin Bus strike enters second day. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Dublin Bus strike enters second day. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times


1. Dublin Bus services at standstill amid drivers’ strike

Motorists have been warned to expect another day of heavy traffic as Dublin Bus services remain at a standstill amid strike action by drivers.

About 400,000 people will again have their travel plans disrupted on Friday as bus workers stage a second work stoppage in a dispute with the company over pay.

2. EU to consider common tax regime proposals

New plans for further cross-border harmonisation of tax rules across the European Union are to be discussed by European finance ministers at a two-day meeting in Bratislava as Ireland finds itself increasingly isolated over the Apple tax decision.

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan arrived in the Slovak capital last night ahead of his first face-to-face meeting with EU finance ministers since last week’s record finding by the European Commission that Ireland granted Apple €13 billion in illegal subsidies.

3. North Korea ‘conducts nuclear test’

North Korea conducted its fifth underground nuclear test on Friday, South Korean officials said.

The test was conducted despite threats of more sanctions from the United States and the United Nations.

The latest test, according to the officials, produced a more powerful explosive yield than the North’s previous detonations, indicating that the country was making progress in its efforts to build a functional nuclear warhead.

4. OCI sports director Martin Burke named in Rio tickets inquiry

Police in Rio de Janeiro have named Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) sports director Martin Burke as a new suspect in the investigation into the ticketing scandal at the Rio Games last month.

Detective Ricardo Barbosa said police wanted to speak to him after an external drive seized in a search of the OCI’s offices at the Games on August 21st revealed a file titled “THG Additional Tickets”.

5. Women’s council to campaign for repeal of Eighth Amendment

The National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) is to campaign for greater access to reproductive rights and a repeal of the Eighth Amendment under a strategic plan published today.

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality Frances Fitzgerald, who was was chairwoman of the the organisation’s predecessor – the Council for the Status of Women – from 1988 to 1992, will launch the four-year plan.

And finally. . . Noel Whelan: Donnelly plots his course to ministerial office

“The Social Democrats had too little time, too little money and too few candidates of calibre to make a definitive break through in last February’s election. It was disappointing for the party to return with just the three deputies who had originally formed the party. That said, they achieved a lot for a party which at that stage had only been in existence for six months.”