Dutch PM attempts to smooth Northern Ireland row on visit to London



LONDON — Boris Johnson has shown “willingness” to find a solution to the U.K.-EU row over trade arrangements in Northern Ireland, the Dutch prime minister said after a meeting in Downing Street. 10 Friday, Mark Rutte said if both sides can focus on “practical questions” and avoid “heavy language” it is possible to reach solutions to the problems related to the implementation of the Northern Ireland protocol, which London says causes disruption to trade from Great Britain. “And I notice tonight this willingness.”The two leaders “discussed extensively” differences on the protocol over dinner, Rutte said. A Downing Street spokesperson said Johnson “outlined the U.K.’s concerns with the current implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol and the strain it was placing on the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement. Johnson outlined details of the new AUKUS defense alliance between Britain, Australia and the U.S., and “stressed that the alliance will be an important force for stability in the Indo-Pacific,” the Downing Street spokesperson said.


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POLITICO - Irish president won’t mark Northern Ireland’s 100th birthday
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DUBLIN — Irish President Michael D. Higgins says he won’t attend a religious ceremony alongside Queen Elizabeth II commemorating the foundation of Northern Ireland a century ago. As part of Northern Ireland’s Good Friday peace accord of 1998, Ireland agreed to remove the territorial claim from its constitution. But that document still separately considers the head of state to be president of Ireland — representing Irish people worldwide, not merely the republic. The elfin 80-year-old has held the largely ceremonial post since 2011 and has often invited northern unionists to summer parties at his opulent official residence in Dublin’s Phoenix Park. “Each time President Higgins speaks about his boycott of this event, the rationale for his snub becomes more bizarre, backward and offensive,” said Democratic Unionist Party lawmaker Peter Weir.

CBS NEWS - 2 men charged with murder of Lyra McKee, a well-known Northern Irish journalist
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Two men appeared in court Friday in connection with the murder of Lyra McKee, a well-known Northern Irish journalist shot dead as she covered rioting in Londonderry in 2019. The New IRA, a small paramilitary group that opposes Northern Ireland's peace process, said its members shot McKee by accident while firing at police. Journalist Lyra McKee smiles outside the Sunflower Pub on Union Street during a portrait session in Belfast, Northern Ireland May 19, 2017. McKee was an increasingly influential journalist who had written powerfully about growing up gay in Northern Ireland. Sara Canning, partner of Lyra McKee, walks behind her coffin as it is carried out of St Anne's Cathedral in Belfast, northern Ireland, Wednesday April 24, 2019.