Wednesday lunchtime briefing: Ministers defend TD's pay hike . Catch up on all the headlines

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

Wednesday lunchtime briefing: Ministers defend TD's pay hike . Catch up on all the headlines

IRELAND

Crisis-hit Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan has insisted she is "not privy to, nor would I approve, nor would I condone" any targeted campaign by officers to silence whistleblowers in the force.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said childminders who work in the home but who are registered with the State's child agency, will be eligible for the new childcare package announced in the Budget yesterday.

The Government has defended salary hikes for TDs amid Budget 2017 reforms which offered most people €5 extra a week.

A teenage girl has been held at gunpoint in Armagh. It is understood four men pointed a suspected handgun at her and demanded she hand over her car keys yesterday afternoon in the Markethill area.

WORLD 

An intensive day of bombing in Syria’s besieged rebel-held Aleppo city left at least 25 people dead, including five children, overwhelming rescue workers who continued a day later to search for survivors under the rubble, according to activists and a civil defence spokesman.

People throughout Haiti's devastated south-western peninsula have formed makeshift brigades to clear debris as anger grows over the delay in aid for remote communities more than a week after Hurricane Matthew hit.

Lawyers for the only surviving suspect in last November's terror attack in Paris have said they will no longer defend him.

A man in the US charged with posting cyanide to a suicidal man in England has been found guilty by a federal jury.

SPORT

The new Clare management team have confirmed that Donal Og Cusack will be part of their coaching ticket for 2017.

Veteran Kerry defender Marc O’Sé has announced his retirement from inter-county football.

Psychology is arguably the most fascinating element of all sporting codes nowadays.

England's former top referee Keith Hackett has criticised the decision to put Wythenshawe-based Anthony Taylor in charge of next Monday night's clash between Liverpool and Manchester United.

OPINION/ANALYSIS

Joy Tutty’s 84-year-old mother, Nora, developed vascular dementia after she suffered heart failure and atrial defibrillation two and a half years ago. “It was good to see a €100 increase in the carer’s tax credit...however it would be great if we didn’t have to beg for everyday support,”

Bernie Mullins, 29, works as a staff nurse in Mid-Western Regional Hospital Dooradoyle, Limerick, on an annual basic salary of €27,483. The only way the budget will affect Bernie is through the 0.5% reduction of the three lowest Universal Social Charge (USC) rates.

BUSINESS

A transatlantic route from Cork will provide crucial opportunities for tourism in the south of the country, the chief executive of Tourism Ireland has said.

Oil fell back from one-year highs yesterday on fears that a production cut by the world’s largest exporters might not be enough to erode a two-year old global surplus of unwanted crude oil.

LIFESTYLE

Robert Hume looks at the duties of a good housewife… and the penalties for being a bad one

SHOWBIZ

Dance your cares away, Worry's for another day.

Let the music play, Down at Fraggle Rock.

Attention 80s kids, your favourite childhood series is making a return.

VIRAL

Donald Trump has urged supporters to go out and vote for him, but got the date of the election wrong.

VIDEO

Ben, a student with Down’s Syndrome, won the RHS London pumpkin competition this year with his giant pumpkin.

TECHNOW

GAMING: In the event that you missed any part of the Metal Gear Solid 5 extravaganza, the Definitive Experience is here to sort that out.

MOVIES/TV: Doctor Strange is in Irish cinemas on the 25th of October, which is a good bit earlier than in the US because we're just awesome in these waters!

TECH: As we predicted, the Galaxy Note 7 is dead and gone. It is an ex-phone.

MOST READ RIGHT NOW

For decades, we have wondered whether we will ever chance upon an alien civilisation or whether creatures from outer space will find their way to us. But physicist Brian Cox believes it is unlikely we will ever succeed in encountering aliens – because intelligent life has a propensity to destroy itself not long after it evolves.

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