Your Wednesday lunchtime catch-up

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

Your Wednesday lunchtime catch-up

TOP STORIES - Budget 2016

The Health Minister Leo Varadkar has said he would have liked to see a sugar tax in Budget 2016, but that his request wasn’t granted. A tax on sugar-sweetened drinks was one of the measures Leo Varadkar had suggested as a means of tackling obesity, particularly in the young.

CASE STUDY: For Lorraine Cooke, the test of whether the budget would work for her was whether it would allow her to get a job. It failed. The 27-year-old Galway native, who has been blind since birth, is tired of scraping by on welfare and desperately wants to get a paying job.

CASE STUDY: It may be the first positive budget since I left Ireland but it’s still not enough to lure me back home says Aoife Breen. In 2009, I “temporarily” moved to London, confident I’d be back on Irish soil the following year having completed a master’s degree. Six years later London is still my home and the truth is I don’t know when, or even if, I’ll return.

Wondering what the Budget 2016 bottom line is for you and your family? If so check out our budget calculator - developed in conjunction with the KPMG group - right here.

For this and much more, visit our BUDGET 2016 section right HERE

IRELAND

The parents of Siobhan Phillips who was critically injured in Sunday’s shooting in Omeath in Co Louth have paid tribute to Garda Anthony Golden who was shot dead in the same incident. Both Siobhan and Garda Golden were shot in a domestic violence incident at her home.

The Taoiseach has called for consultations with local communities today over accommodation for survivors of last weekend’s halting site fire. Locals yesterday mounted a blockade at a proposed temporary site offered to survivors of the Carrickmines blaze which killed 10 members of the travelling community.

Democratic Unionist leader Peter Robinson has rejected as “outrageous and groundless” an accusation he was to receive a payment linked to the North’s largest ever property sale. Mr Robinson denounced the claim as he gave evidence to a Stormont committee investigating the controversial €1.6bn (£1.2bn) sale of assets owned by Ireland’s National Assets Management Agency (Nama) to US investment firm Cerberus.

WORLD

Russia has appealed to the International Civil Aviation Organisation to open a new probe into last year’s downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine. The Dutch Safety Board said in its final report released on Tuesday that the Boeing 777 was destroyed on July 17, 2014, by a Buk surface-to-air missile fired from the area controlled by Russia-backed separatist rebels.

Pope Francis is asking forgiveness for recent scandals that have hit Rome and the Vatican. The pope did not cite specific examples in his off-the-cuff request for pardon at the start of his general audience.

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Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.