Newsround: what Tuesday's papers say

Rollout of high-speed rural broadband delayed and six counties have one ambulance on duty

4th July, 2017
Tuesday's papers

The top stories in Tuesday's newspapers:


- The paper reports that Minister for Communications Denis Naughten has signalled a further delay to the National Broadband Plan, which was first promised in 2012, by at least a year. The plan to equip 542,000 rural homes and businesses with high-speed broadband has been beset with problems and delays, it says.

- It also reports that the government was last night forced into emergency talks in an effort to head off an Opposition challenge on proposed new waste charges. The pay-by-weight arrangements announced by Naughten last week would be the "next big political battleground after water charges", a senior government source warned.

- The government is considering introducing steep rises in property tax on vacant properties and using the proceeds to cut income tax or build more homes, the paper says. Property tax could be as much as doubled for owners of vacant homes situated in areas of the country where there is high demand for housing.

- In its business section, the paper reports that BlackRock, the world's largest investment manager with $5.4 trillion of assets under management, is considering Dublin among a shortlist of potential European cities to set up a post-Brexit EU base. Dublin is believed to be competing against Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam.


- The FT reports that two senior UK ministers have warned hardline Brexiteers they should be ready to accept some continued regulation from Brussels, writing that Britain's life sciences sector needs collaboration with the EU's drug regulator after Brexit.

- It also says that Tesla chief executive Elon Musk finally looks set to overcome a history of over-promising and under-delivering on new car launches. The first of his company's Model 3s - the car Musk hopes will turn low-priced electric vehicles from worthy but range-challenged rides into an object of desire for the masses - are set to be delivered to customers on schedule this month.

- China's president has warned Donald Trump of "negative factors" emerging in their bilateral relationship just hours after Beijing lashed out at Washington for sending a navy destroyer near a disputed island in the South China Sea. The message from Xi Jinping came in a phone call with Trump yesterday.

- In its Companies & Markets section, the paper says that Frankfurt is offering "risk takers" an exemption from aspects of its labour laws in its latest effort to lure international banks seeking an EU base after Brexit. German labour laws, which make it difficult to fire people and require big redundancy pay-offs, have caused problems for banks considering Frankfurt as a hub for business after Britain leaves the EU.


- Many counties are being left with just one ambulance on night duty, the paper says, adding that figures obtained from the HSE show that Donegal, Carlow, Sligo, Meath, Longford and Laois sometimes have just one ambulance on night duty. One paramedic said it was common for ambulance drivers to be sent to incidents up to 80 kilometres away.

- Axa, the largest motor insurer in the Republic, is to lay off more than 100 staff and close 18 of its branches as it moves operations across the border, the paper says. Staff will be informed about the cutbacks at meetings today as the company seeks voluntary redundancies but job losses will be compulsory if Axa does not get the numbers it wants.

- Stormont's political leaders have been given yet more time to resolve their differences and restore devolved government in Northern Ireland, the paper reports. UK Secretary of State James Brokenshire said the UK government remained focused over the "crucial days ahead" on establishing a coalition executive despite a deadline for agreement lapsing last week.

- The beef and dairy industries face combined costs of almost €1.2 billion in the event of a 'hard' Brexit, Department of Agriculture officials have warned. The stark estimate is contained in briefing documents which summarise the challenges of Brexit and efforts to counter the risks that it poses.


- Bedsits may be on the way back, the paper says, as the government examines a number of measures to solve the housing crisis. Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy said the government is considering several options including scrapping the help-to-buy scheme, new builds, a vacant property tax and forcing local authorities to use up to 700 land banks that have been lying idle for years.

- Tax exemptions for GAA players and other sportspeople have been mooted by newly-promoted minister of state for tourism and sports, Brendan Griffin. A reduction in charges or costs for tourists coming from Britain is also being explored to help Brexit-hit holiday-makers, he told the paper.

- The state spent almost €6.3 million last year to settle legal actions taken against the gardaí, the most in almost a decade. Statistics from the Department of Justice shows that while just €33,500 was paid out in three court awards, another €3.9 million was paid to settle 43 other actions.

- The paper reports that more than 56,000 people across the country have been treated for problem alcohol use between 2009 and 2015. Half of those in treatment for usage started drinking by the age of 16, it says.

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