Ireland

Regional News • Europe
Ireland halts use of AstraZeneca vaccine following blood clot reports in Norway
Ireland halts use of AstraZeneca vaccine following blood clot reports in Norway
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler. (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Ireland temporarily suspended the use of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. The move follows a report from Norway of patients developing blood clots post-inoculation.

The Norwegian Medicines Agency said there were four new cases of serious blood clotting in adults.

The Irish National Immunization Advisory Committee (NIAC) made the directive as a precaution.

Climate & Environment
Study points to a strong weakening of the Gulf Stream
Study points to a strong weakening of the Gulf Stream
Credit: Image courtesy of the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center / via Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

The Gulf Stream system is weaker than it has been for at least 1,000 years. This is the result of a study by scientists from Ireland, Great Britain and Germany published in Nature Geoscience. To reconstruct the history of the current, the researchers examined data mainly from the ocean floor and ice going back several 100 to 1,600 years. According to the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), which initiated the study, evidence was found that the weakening of the Gulf Stream system in the 20th century was more severe than at any time in the past 1,000 years. Researchers have long seen the slowdown as a result of human-induced climate change.

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
UK bans travellers from South America
UK bans travellers from South America
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler. (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The UK has banned people who are from or have travelled through Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela in the last 10 days. The ban will come into force from Friday and is due to a new variant identified in Brazil. British, Irish and foreign nations may enter the country but must isolate for 10 days.

Regional News • World
More than 40 countries ban British flights over new Covid-19 strain, EU members discuss co-ordinate response

More than 40 countries have imposed a ban on UK arrivals, include Belgium, Canada, India, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Russia, and Switzerland. On Monday, European Union member states meet to discuss a co-ordinated response and France is planning to establish a protocol "to ensure movement from the UK can resume.

Technology • Internet & Web
To avoid EU privacy rules, Facebook will move UK users to US terms
To avoid EU privacy rules, Facebook will move UK users to US terms
Credit: Illustration for Pendect by Ashley Winkler, Logo Facebook

In an effort to avoid the EU's privacy laws, Facebook will move all of its users in the United Kingdom into user agreements with the corporate headquarters in California. Google has done a similar move in February. 

"Like other companies, Facebook has had to make changes to respond to Brexit and will be transferring legal responsibilities and obligations for UK users from Facebook Ireland to Facebook Inc. There will be no change to the privacy controls or the services Facebook offers to people in the UK," so Facebook's UK arm.

Lifestyle • Religion
Religious leaders call for end of gay conversion therapy
Religious leaders call for end of gay conversion therapy
Credit: Jmquez, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Over 370 religious leaders from around the world are calling for an end to the criminalisation of LGBT+ people and a ban on gay conversion therapy, the pseudoscientific practise of trying to change an individual's sexual orientation. The leaders stated that "certain religious teachings have often, throughout the ages, caused and continue to cause deep pain and offence" to LGBTQ+ people and further have "created, and continue to create, oppressive systems that fuel intolerance, perpetuate injustice and result in violence."

Among those who signed are eight archbishops, including South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu; over 60 rabbis, including former Chief Rabbi of Ireland David Rosen; the Catholic former president of Ireland Mary McAleese and various senior Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists and Hindus.

Technology • Internet & Web
Twitter fined €450k for breaking the EU's Data Privacy Law by Irish data regulator
Twitter fined €450k for breaking the EU's Data Privacy Law by Irish data regulator
Credit: Twitter

Twitter has been fined €450,000 by Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) for breaching Europe's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

"The DPC’s investigation commenced in January, 2019 following receipt of a breach notification from Twitter and the DPC has found that Twitter infringed Article 33(1) and 33(5) of the GDPR in terms of a failure to notify the breach on time to the DPC and a failure to adequately document the breach," so the DPC in a statement on its website.

Regional News • Europe
United Kingdom threatens to back out of parts of EU withdrawal treaty

According to reports from the Financial Times, the United Kingdom's government under prime minister Boris Johnson plans to render some regulations from the EU withdrawal treaty void.

The British government allegedly plans to pass laws on Wednesday that could override parts of the Brexit agreement on state aid and border regulations with Ireland.

Regional News • Europe • European Union
Phil Hogan resigns as EU trade commissioner after breaching Ireland Covid guidelines
Phil Hogan
Phil Hogan Credit: European Parliament (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Phil Hogan, the EU trade commissioner, resigned Wednesday after the Irish government accused him of breaching Covid-19 guidelines during a visit to the country.

On August 19, Hogan attended a golf dinner in County Galway after not complying with quarantine rules when he arrived from Brussels.

Hogan said in a statement, "It was becoming increasingly clear that the controversy concerning my recent visit to Ireland was becoming a distraction from my work as an EU Commissioner and would undermine my work in the key months ahead."

Technology • Internet & Web
WhatsApp adds new "Search the web" feature
WhatsApp adds new "Search the web" feature
Credit: WhatsApp

WhatsApp added a new feature that makes it easier for users to verify whether the assertions made in forwarded messages they have received on the app are true. The new feature, called "Search the Web" works by allowing users to upload the message via their browser without WhatsApp ever seeing the message itself.

"Search the web" is being rolled out starting today in Brazil, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, Spain, UK, and US for those on the latest versions of WhatsApp for Android, iOS and WhatsApp Web.

Regional News • Europe
Ireland to ease travel restrictions, visitors from the UK "highly likely" to still need to go into quarantine
Ireland to ease travel restrictions, visitors from the UK "highly likely" to still need to go into quarantine
Credit: unsplash.com / Gary Lopater

From next month on Ireland is planning to ease the quarantine restrictions for travelers from other countries that have low infection rates. According to a memo of the Irish Cabinet, a "mandatory restricted movement" will be kept in place for travelers from countries with high levels of Covid-19 infections. It is "highly likely" that this will include the United Kingdom because of its "significantly poorer" response to the pandemic.

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
Irish startup and health authority cooperate to deliver medicine via drones

The startup Manna Aero has started working with Ireland's health service in order to deliver prescribed medicine to patients after they've had a video call with their general practitioner, as well as essential goods such as milk or bread. The initiative is hoping that it can provide these necessities to around 500 smaller more rural Irish towns in the future if the test go well.

Regional News • Europe
Irish Prime Minister goes back to practicing as a doctor amidst coronavirus pandemic

Before his career as a politician, Leo Varadkar, the Irish Prime Minister has been practicing as a doctor for seven years. In order to help fight the coronavirus pandemic, the prime minister has now re-registered as a doctor in the medical register in order to help with "one session a week in areas that are within his scope of practice", his office has announced.

Health
Donald Trump suspends non US citizens from traveling from Europe to the US

People wanting to come from Europe will be banned from traveling to the United States for the next 30 days. The ban applies to countries inside the Schengen economic and travel zone. The two exceptions are the United Kingdom and Ireland.