Other News In Brief

Ulster Unionist Councillor Handed Partial Suspension

An Ulster Unionist councillor has been issued with a partial suspension from two of the roles he holds on Belfast City Council.

The local government watchdog ruled that Jim Rodgers had breached several parts of the code of conduct that governs councillors.

He was handed a three-month suspension from the policy and resources committee, although his role as a councillor remains unaffected.

Mr Rodgers has also been suspended from the East Belfast Area Working Group, one of the four area groups operated by Belfast Council, which decide on where money should be allocated across various local government projects.

The code breaches are in relation to his former roles in Belmont Bowling Club and on the board of governors at Ashfield Girls' High School, both in east Belfast.

Thousands Of NI O2 Customers Lose Data Services

Thousands of O2 customers across Northern Ireland have been left without data due to a technical issue.

The problem began on the morning of Thursday 06 December, with the first issues being reported around 5.30am.

A spokesperson for the network said it is investigating a technical fault which caused the issue.
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SDLP MLA and Economy Spokesperson Daniel McCrossan has called for an investigation into the source of the crash, which he said caused "understandable disruption to many people's lives, as well as preventing access to emergency services".

The west Tyrone MLA explained: "Now more than ever, society relies on mobile networks to carry out the most basic of tasks. Therefore, it is imperative that the network gets up and running as soon as possible.

"A thorough investigation must now be carried out to ensure a network crash of this magnitude this never happens again."

32 million people across the UK have been affected by the crash.

Cross Party Group Meets To Discuss Anticipated Homelessness Crisis

An All Party Group has met with the Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Housing Exective (NIHE), Clark Bailie, to assess the impending homelessness crisis Northern Ireland will soon be facing.

The delegation met on Tuesday 04 December and included a range of MLA's; Green Party's Steven Agnew, SDLP's Nichola Mallon, Mervyn Storey of the DUP, Robbie Butler of the UUP and Sinn Fein's Carál Ní Chuilín.

A statement from the group said the information delivered by the NIHE was "stark and of particular concern as winter sets in".

"In total, 18,000 people presented as homeless across Northern Ireland. Meanwhile, temporary accommodation for homeless people is running at full capacity.

"We are facing into a homelessness crisis in the knowledge that many people could be forced to sleep on our streets."

The cross-party delegation is urging the Housing Executive to resist any budgetary pressure to cut support services for people who are without a home.


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