Catch-up with what you've missed so far today with our lunchtime briefing

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

Catch-up with what you've missed so far today with our lunchtime briefing

IRELAND - #GE16

LATEST ... Fine Gael has published its long-term economic plan . It says the party would create 200,000 jobs over the next five years, abolish the Universal Social Charge and hire 10,000 extra nurses, Gardaí and teachers.

LATEST ... The Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has accused Enda Kenny of being   too scared to debate the real issues in this Election

LATEST ... The latest MRBI poll suggests that General Election 2016 is a wide open race.

ANALYSIS ... This election promises to be different. It has a new battleground: The digital world where likes, followers, retweets, and favourites make up a new currency of digital support which sits alongside party membership and audience applause as indications of party political support and affiliation.

ANALYSIS ... With only 21 days of electioneering, there is lots of guff to get out there, suggestsMichael Clifford.

SOCIAL ... The Alan Kelly rap from 2009  has been found and you're in for a treat.

For the latest #GE16  news, analysis and general banter join us HERE

IRELAND 

Ireland would be able to reduce children’s allowance to workers whose families live in poorer countries and could temporarily limit or ban EU workers for a range of reasons under the range of reasons under the terms of the proposed Brexit deal.

The manager of a supermarket was punched in the face as he and staff escorted a drunken man from the premises. The culprit was yesterday sentenced to two years imprisonment with the second year suspended.

WORLD 

Julian Assange has said he will hand himself over to police for arrest on Friday if a UN working party rules that he has not been unlawfully detained.

The director of the Pan American Health Organisation has said confirmation that the Zika virus can be transmitted sexually would change the paradigm of the quickly spreading epidemic.

SPORT

A report today suggests prop Cian Healy  has been offered a move to English side Worcester Warriors, the latest in a line of Irish stars to be linked with moves abroad.

Michael Ryan believes his Tipperary senior hurlers   are “almost public enemy No.1” and the team everybody still loves to beat.

City remain favourites while Arsenal have hit a slump, but everything could have swung once more by St Valentine’s evening, when the four contenders double-date in a genuine ‘Super Sunday’ showdown. Here we examine the dynamics of the title run-in.

BUSINESS

The European Commission has cut its forecast for economic growth in the Eurozone this year.

Microfinance Ireland has said 930 jobs were supported in small companies last year, after it approved €5.4m worth of loans.

Vodafone is offering Irish shareholders a chance to dispose of their shares at a much reduced, or in some instances, no cost.

VIEWPOINTS

Yesterday the American state of Georgia excuted a 79-year-old man for a murder he committed in 1979 — 37 years ago. Whether America likes it or not the death penalty, and its bizarre gun laws, are are a real blot on its character.

LIFESTYLE

Single and dreading Valentine’s Day? Don’t. There are plenty of positives about being single. It’s a great time to focus on you and what makes you happy, says Abi Jackson

VIDEO

Ireland will be missing some heavyweight frontliners but that does not mean their pack are about to get bullied by Wales when their RBS 6 Nations title defence begins in Dublin on Sunday.

VIRAL

An Australian man has put himself on a potato-only diet in a bid to stop binge eating. Andrew Flinders Taylor, who is 36 and from Melbourne, committed himself to 366 days of potatoes for his ’Spud Fit’ project at the start of the year.

A young entrepreneurial spirit has found himself in hot water after renting out his dorm room through Airbnb. Boston student Jack Worth thought he had found a way to make himself a quick buck but soon landed himself in trouble with his college for his money making plan.

TECHNOW

GAMING: Taylor Swift is following in the footsteps of fellow pop superstars Katy Perry, Britney Spears, and Nicki Minaj after signing with Glu Mobile for a digital gaming experience.

MOVIES:

A lot of stuff happens in Star Wars: The Force Awakens but that doesn't mean you can't tell it all in 60 seconds with some skill

TECH: Today is Facebook's 12th birthday, which coincides with its annual Friends Day. Facebook users will be greeted by a special Friends Day videos, which highlights a selection of your friends and memories you have shared.

SHOWBIZ

Bruce Springsteen is set to play Croke Park in May, it has been confirmed. The Boss will play the Dublin venue on Friday, May 27, with some reports saying a second gig on the Saturday will also be confirmed.

Friends actor Matt LeBlanc is to join Chris Evans as a presenter on the new series of Top Gear.

MOST READ RIGHT NOW

An Australian man has put himself on a potato-only diet in a bid to stop binge eating. Andrew Flinders Taylor, who is 36 and from Melbourne, committed himself to 366 days of potatoes for his ’Spud Fit’ project at the start of the year.

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