Catch-up with what you've missed with our morning briefing

Good morning. Here’s everything you need to know before you start your day.
Catch-up with what you've missed with our morning briefing

IRELAND

An internal Irish Farmers’ Association report has found that pay scales in the organisation are “broadly in line” with the civil service despite the revelation that former general secretary Pat Smith earned €3.4m over seven years. Meanwhile, Tim O’Leary has stepped down as acting IFA president with immediate effect but will continue in his role as deputy president.

The Government looks set to defy calls to levy households to help those who have been unable to get flood insurance. That is one of the key recommendations of the Oireachtas environment committee which is to publish a report today into the issue of flooding and insurance. However, Environment Minister Alan Kelly is to provide councils with €8m to pay for the cost of the clean-up after Storm Desmond.

A senior HSE social worker revealed in 2011 that Bessborough Mother and Baby Home files contained information on the “quasi-illegal deportation and adoption” of children to the USA, Britain, and Australia.

Fine Gael's director of elections Brian Hayes has said the Government remains committed to having full employment by 2018. Mr Hayes said the outlook was positive for the Coalition's re-election to power.

Downton Abbey star Michelle Dockery was preparing to bid a heartbreaking farewell to her fiancé today after spending her birthday making preparations for his funeral.

WORLD 

Republican front-runner Donald Trump has stood firm over his provocative call for banning Muslims from the United States as his party’s presidential candidates pushed their own plans for fighting Islamic State (IS) militants.

Los Angeles has defended its controversial decision to shut more than 1,000 schools after America’s two biggest education authorities received threats of a large-scale jihadi attack with guns and bombs.

SPORT

After a number of disappointing performances Donal Lenihan says Munster need to man up and take hard look at themselves, not at referees

Gambling in the GAA has now reached crisis point, according to the head of the organisation in Galway. Chairman Noel Treacy said that he was approached by two sets of parents recently who highlighted the problems created by widespread betting on Galway in the All-Ireland hurling final against Kilkenny in September.

BUSINESS

Policymakers at the US Federal Reserve will decide on interest rates today amid widespread expectations for the first hike in nearly a decade.

The collapse of oil prices has claimed its first bankruptcy victim in Norway’s offshore industry, and analysts warn more may follow.

ANALYSIS

The three ‘establishment’ parties may be diminished, but they command a clear majority ahead of the General Election writes Gerard Howlin

LIFESTYLE

Vicki Notaro tracks down some of the nation’s favourite gals and talks to them about the pilgrimage home for Christmas Day celebrations.

VIDEO

Little drummer boy Michael Magci is already generating big music vibes in Limerick.

VIRAL

Another day, another homecoming video. Not that we’re complaining! This time round, we have Fionan Henry and his wife Tara - the couple are based in Brisbane but have made the trek back to Dublin for Christmas.

It seems that the Teresa Mannion weather report simply will not go away. After the auto tune remix, the countless parodies and spoofs we stumbled across a new remix that should please rock 'n' roll fans.

TECHNOW

GAMING: Rocket League's cars are to become hockey players this winter with the addition of Hockey Mode.

MOVIES: Here's the first trailer for J.K. Rowling's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which is about the magical creatures of the Harry Potter universe.

TECH: The European Union is to vote on new regulations surrounding the age of consent for websites using personal data. It is possible that the age of consent will be increased from 13 to 16.

SHOWBIZ

The Force finally returned to Hollywood as Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill walked the red carpet at the world premiere of the new Star Wars movie.

Read our review of the film HERE

MOST READ RIGHT NOW

A taxi driver who was beaten up at work has spoken out after the man who admitted assaulting him got off with a warning.

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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.