Lunchtime briefing: Gardaí investigate three girls in relation to vicious attack. Catch up on the headlines

Good afternoon. Here’s all the news you need to know this lunchtime.

IRELAND

It is being reported that Gardaí are investigating three girls in connection with the assault  of 18-year-old student Kym Owens.

The HSE has unveiled its National Service Plan for 2017.  Health chiefs have announced a Christmas recruitment drive for nurses and midwives on December 28, 29 and 30 as well as funds to drive down hospital waiting lists and to fund services for the homelessness.

It reads like fiction — the baby born with half a heart saved by a surgical wizard paid for by Irish funds.  However the facts are indisputable: Yegour was born in Kiev, Ukraine, on November 9 with a partially formed heart and was destined to die within hours in the absence of emergency surgery.

An elite armed Garda unit for Dublin is being launched today  without a dedicated boss  at its helm because of persistent vacancies.

Government proposals to curb spiralling rents in Cork and Dublin have been left in doubt  after Fianna Fáil warned that the new limits did not go far enough.

WORLD 

Lunchtime briefing: Gardaí investigate three girls in relation to vicious attack. Catch up on the headlines

A ceasefire deal between rebels and the Syrian government in the city of Aleppo  has broken down,   threatening plans to evacuate the remaining fighters and tens of thousands of civilians.

Former football coach Barry Bennell has been remanded in custody  after appearing in a British court charged with child sex offences.

A heavily-pregnant woman had a noxious substance sprayed into her eyes  by car thieves in England who pinned her to the ground.

President-elect Donald Trump has announced his selection of former campaign rival Rick Perry  to be the country's next secretary of energy.

SPORT

Lunchtime briefing: Gardaí investigate three girls in relation to vicious attack. Catch up on the headlines

See the wonderful moment an Lionel Messi's biggest fan gave him a hug and didn't want to let go.

Brian Cody would have no problem acceding to Galway’s wishes to enter into home and away agreements  in the Leinster senior hurling championship and their minor and U21 teams to be incorporated into the province.

Munster head coach Rassie Erasmus has married the traditional strength Munster has always carried up front to a very clever continuity game,  writes Donal Lenihan.

OPINION

I have a sense this may be Gerry Adams’ last Christmas as leader of Sinn Féin,  but only because he chooses it to be, writes Gerard Howlin.

Retired US Marine general Stephen Cheney warns the incoming Trump administration of the ecurity dangers  of ignoring climate change

BUSINESS

The Commission’s plan to shake up the way corporate taxes are paid across the union is the greatest threat to Ireland’s economy  which could cost the country half of its corporation tax base, the Oireachtas Finance Committee has heard.

The suspension of water charges helped make October budget of spending rises and mild tax cuts  the first for a number of years that “had a progressive flavour” benefiting the lowest income group, the ESRI has found.

LIFESTYLE

There is still an air of mystery around Christmas Day. Particularly in Ireland, where nobody seems sure of the time you can have your first drink without someone saying you’re an alcoholic, says our columnist  Ask Audrey

SHOWBIZ

Lunchtime briefing: Gardaí investigate three girls in relation to vicious attack. Catch up on the headlines

Indiependence has announced its headline acts next year's summer festival  and it looks like it’s going to be a blast from the past. Welsh rock trio, The Manic Street Preachers make their very first appearance at Indiependence having previously headlined the likes of Glastonbury.

Robin Thicke has paid tribute to his father, Growing Pains star Alan Thicke,  following his death aged 69.

VIRAL

Remember all that practice you had as a child sneaking down to feel and guess what your presents were under the Christmas tree before your parents woke up? Well now’s the time to put those skills into practice, once more. We’ve created a little quiz  to get your brains ticking ahead of the big day by wrapping up a bunch of presents so that you can decide what they are.

Despite what your foul-mouthed friends would have you think, the human penis has no bones.  And, scientists think it could all be due to marriage and monogamy.

VIDEO - OUR CHOICE

Christmas is fasting approaching and so are the postage deadlines of the festive season.  Watch these clips and find out the best way to get your gifts to your loved ones right on time for the 25th, along with some great presents you can pick up at your post office.

TECHNOW

GAMINGThe Legend of Zelda’s: Ocarina of Time had a fantastic soundtrack that has endeared itself to fans for years.  So much so that Iam8bit and Materia collective will release the score on Vinyl as performed by the Slovak National Symphony Orchestra.

MOVIES/TV:Aquaman is usually one of three things to the general public, he’s either a joke comic book character who surfs on the backs of dolphins, or the super hero Vinny Chase played in Entourage, or he isn’t known at all.  We think audiences will be surprised at how cool of a character he really is, he often comes up against the Justice League as his real alliances lie with life under the sea, the entirety of whcih he is king over.

TECH: It looks like the Xperia XZ Z6 will be the first non-Google phone  to run Android 7.1.1 Nougat.

MOST READ RIGHT NOW

It is being reported that Gardaí are investigating three girls in connection with the assault  of 18-year-old student Kym Owens.


Lifestyle

‘Children of the Troubles’ recounts the largely untold story of the lost boys and girls of Northern Ireland, and those who died south of the border, in Britain and as far afield as West Germany, writes Dan Buckley.Loss of lives that had barely begun

With Christmas Day six weeks away tomorrow, preparations are under way in earnest, writes Gráinne McGuinness.Making Cents: Bargains available on Black Friday but buyer beware!

From farming practices in Europe to forest clearances in the Amazon, Liz Bonnin’s new show seeks solutions to some of the damage done by the world’s appetite for meat, writes Gemma Dunn.New show seeks solutions to some of the damage done by the world’s appetite for meat

Louis Mulcahy reads in Cork this weekend for the Winter Warmer fest, writes Colette Sheridan.Wheel turns from pottery to poetry

More From The Irish Examiner