Lunchtime briefing: Aleppo evacuation believed imminent with regime set to take full control. Catch up on the headlines

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

Lunchtime briefing: Aleppo evacuation believed imminent with regime set to take full control. Catch up on the headlines

IRELAND

The future of the government's proposed rent reforms is hanging in the balance - after the measures were taken off today's Dáil agenda.  But housing minister Simon Coveney says he's still hopeful of bringing them back to the Dáil today, so they can be passed in time for Christmas.

A Portuguese mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter died due to blunt force trauma to the head following a fight in Dublin,  an inquest heard. Joao Carvalho (28) developed an acute subdural haemorrhage due to blunt force trauma to the head, a post mortem examination revealed.

The former head of Budget Travel and chairperson of Irish Life and Permanent Gillian Bowler has passed away.  Gillian and her husband Harry Snyder founded the package holiday firm in 1975.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) has warned that its  €14bn budget for next year  may not be enough because of a series of “risks”.

The University of Limerick is working closely with the HSE following  “an outbreak”  of sexually transmitted diseases on campus.

Gardaí in Dublin have carried out a series of raids  targeting the Kinahan gang this morning.

WORLD 

The warring sides in Syria confirmed on Thursday that the evacuation of rebel fighters and thousands of civilians from the last sliver of the besieged eastern city of Aleppo  is imminent,   with a Syrian army official saying all is ready for them to leave "at any moment".

A fire has broken out at a paper mill in Oldham,  causing the evacuation of 100 homes.

British women could be receiving a controversial “three-parent baby”  treatment on the NHS as early as next spring if the fertility regulator approves the proposal for mitochondrial replacement therapy (MRT) for inherited diseases.

Yahoo has said it believes hackers stole personal data from more than one billion user accounts  as part of a cyber attack that occurred in 2013.

SPORT

FIFA president Gianni Infantino's plans to expand the World Cup have run into  serious opposition  from the organisation which represents Europe's biggest clubs.

Chelsea’s 10th successive win  was predictable in a game against the Premier League’s bottom club, but few anticipated that Antonio Conte’s team would experience such a nervous 90 minutes before retaining the leadership.

Dessie Farrell has ruled out vever becoming Dublin football manager  and insists his decision to quit as Gaelic Players Association (GPA) chief has nothing to do with inter-county management ambitions.

OPINION

Arts funding should never be given the agenda of projecting a positive image of its country of origin,  writes Victoria White.

Housing Minister Simon Coveney looked set for a victory of sorts last night  over his rent cap proposals after an embarrassing climbdown by Fianna Fáil, writes Juno McEnroe.

BUSINESS

The son of incoming US president Donald Trump has said that next year will be a banner one  for the Doonbeg resort in Co Clare after it had its strongest year to date in 2016.

The Economic and Social Research Institute is not “particularly enthusiastic”  about the Government’s proposed rent controls.

LIFESTYLE

The annual missives are a minefield of social politics,  explains Nuala Woulfe

SHOWBIZ

Following her stunning performance of Million Reasons at the this year’s Royal Variety, Lady Gaga has released the long-await video.  Million Reasons is the second single off Gaga's current studio album, Joanne.

VIRAL

If you are a fan of the movie Frozen, you’ll probably wish you were in this little town in Scotland right now.  That’s because nearly every bollard in Callander, Stirling has been turned into Olaf (or a woolly snowman that looks like Olaf) as part of the town’s winter festival celebrations.

The most senior transgender woman serving in the British Army has said the fantastic support she received while transitioning  made the her job “business as normal”.

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

GAMING: GTA V online is some of the most fun you can have on the internet and the makers of the game are always endeavoring to give you a better experience.

MOVIES/TV: Yes Robin Hood is getting an origins film, with star of Kingsman Tarron Egerton to play the eponymous Robin Hood.

TECH: It was announced earlier in the week that the first episode of the grand tour was the most pirated episode of television ever.

MOST READ RIGHT NOW

The club of Clare hurler David McInerney has hit out at county board secretary Pat Fitzgerald  over his withering appraisal of Clare’s defending during the All-Ireland quarter-final loss to Galway.

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