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Other News In Brief

Man Convicted Of Benefit Fraud

A man has been convicted for claiming benefits he was not entitled to at Newtownards Magistrates' Court.

Darren Haigh claimed Jobseeker's Allowance and Housing Benefit totalling £18,412 while failing to declare employment. He was sentenced to 60 hours community service.

Mr Haigh is also required to repay any outstanding money wrongfully obtained to the Department for Communities.

Call for 'Urgent Action' To Be Taken To Improve Air Pollution

Sinn Fein is calling for "urgent action" to be taken to improve air pollution in Northern Ireland.

The World Health Organisation revealed that the quality of air in Belfast, Armagh and L'Derry exceeded the recommended limit of safe exposure to particles, with Armagh's air quality level nearly as bad as those recorded in London.
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Sinn Féin MLA Cathal Boylan said: "Long term exposure to air that exceeds the limit is linked to the development of heart disease and other illnesses and over 500 deaths in the North per year are attributed to air pollution. This represents more deaths per year than road traffic collisions and passive smoking combined. Clearly, urgent cross-departmental action is needed to improve the standard of air quality here."

SDLP Calls For Support For Manufacturing Industry

SDLP MLA Pat Catney has met with union representatives to discuss the impact of Bombardier job losses on the manufacturing sector.

The meeting follows a turbulent period for the Canadian firm and local operations.

He said: "Workers at Bombardier have clearly been plunged into deep uncertainty. The toxic US Trade investigation into support for the C-Series, fuelled by cynical corporate rivalry, threatens job losses in Belfast at a site which employs more than 4,500 workers and sustains employment in other companies.

"Even before the current political impasse, the SDLP was calling for a robust Manufacturing Strategy to enhance the strengths of our local industry and protect it from external threats. In the absence of functioning institutions, our ability to defend the interests of our local economy has been critically damaged.

"This should also be an example to those who have rushed to flatter a US administration driven by a protectionist ideology that will hurt jobs growth in Northern Ireland."


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