Other News In Brief

Police Investigate Suspicious Activity In West Belfast

Police are investigating a suspicious incident in west Belfast, after a young woman reported that two men pulled up near her with one shouting "grab her" as she made her way to work on Thursday 13 December.

The encounter happened at the Colinmill area just before 7am.

Police are linking the incident to a report of a creeper style burglary at a house in Premier Drive around the same time.

Sergeant Weatherald said: "It was reported that entry was gained to the house at around 6.30am this morning with car keys taken and used to steal a grey Vauxhall Zafira which was parked outside. A purse and a sum of money was also reported stolen.

"The vehicle was recovered a short time later in the Poleglass area.

"A number of reports of the vehicle being driven recklessly in the area were received by police with a further report from a woman who felt intimidated when the car stopped near her as she walked along Pembroke Loop Road.

"The young woman ran off and raised the alarm.

"We are appealing for anyone with information or who may have witnessed any suspicious activity in the area or have information about the incident to contact police on 101, quoting reference 223 of 13/12/18."

Sinn Fein Call For United Ireland Referendum If No Brexit Deal Reached

Sinn Fein's Deputy leader Michelle O'Neill has said the only eventuality to a no-deal Brexit would be a referendum on Irish unification to give people an "alternative choice".

The Mid Ulster MLA was speaking ahead of a Féile debate on Irish Unity on Thursday 13 December.
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She said: "Clearly, Brexit has injected a new dynamic into the debate and more and more people are looking at a future where our economy and our interests are not jeopardised by chaos and civil war in Westminster.

"A no deal situation would be catastrophic for our economy and society. It would see us crashing out of the EU with no terms of departure, over an economic cliff-edge with supply shortages and many businesses unable to trade, job losses, possible recession, no access to the EU single market and a physical hard border being put in place in Ireland.

"In such a context, a referendum on Irish reunification, as provided for in the Good Friday Agreement, is the sensible, logical and entirely rational response which, if passed, would see the North readmitted to the European Union.

"Not only would it alleviate the impact of Brexit, reunification would also unlock huge economic benefits. A leading international report recently concluded that reunification would provide an economic windfall of €23.5 billion by 2025 whereas a no-deal Brexit which would lead to a slump of over €10 billion."

Spike In NI Cases Of Scarlet Fever

Scarlet Fever cases in Northern Ireland have risen by 50% since this time last year.

458 cases have been reported so far in 2018, compared to the 307 12 months ago, with 11 reported in the week of 04 November.

The childhood infection is caused by streptococcus pyogenes which are most common among children under 10 years of age.

The Public Health Agency (PHA), which monitors cases of the infectious disease, has confirmed the number of cases reported to date is "higher than the same period last year", with a particular increase in the first five months of 2018, when parents were urged to look out for signs and symptoms.

Factors indicating the condition include a sore throat, headache, fever, nausea and vomiting.

The red rash only develops after 48 hours of contracting the infection, and usually first appears on the chest and stomach.


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