March 7, 2024 - 6:30pm

→ Ireland follows Canada’s lead on euthanasia

Where Canada goes, Europe follows. After the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain, Germany and Portugal, Ireland might be the next nation on the continent to legalise a form of assisted dying. Today it was announced that an all-party committee is to recommend that euthanasia and assisted suicide be introduced in the country, primarily for those with a terminal illness.

The group’s report will be published on 20 March, but has been agreed upon by a majority of cross-party representatives. It will then be submitted to the government for consideration. The committee has said that the proposed legislation should make clear that the patient’s illness is causing suffering which cannot be relieved otherwise. Two doctors would have to sign off on the severity of this condition. Given that 70% of the country’s population is Roman Catholic, the embrace of assisted dying may be far from universal…

→ Keir Starmer gets Steve Bannon’s seal of approval

As Britain trudges towards the ballot box, Keir Starmer is still riding high in the polls. The problem is, you can’t pick and choose from whom you get your support. Such a thought might have passed through the Labour leader’s head when he saw that when Donald Trump’s controversial former strategist Steve Bannon had expressed his admiration this week.

“I’ve always been very impressed with Sir Keir,” the Right-winger said, earning brownie points with traditionalists by referencing Starmer’s title, even though “I’m not a Labour guy by a long shot.” The UK’s governing party were given a slightly rougher assessment by Bannon: “I believe the Tories are essentially where the Republican Party was before Trump, and I think the Tory Party, as you see it today, will essentially collapse at the next election.”

Who did the strategist suggest could lead the Conservatives post-collapse? Nope, not Robert Jenrick but Nigel Farage. Well, stranger things have happened.

→ Illegal immigrants storm Icelandic parliament

Strange scenes in the Icelandic parliament this week as three men broke into the building, with one half-naked protestor being dragged away from standing on a ledge overlooking the chamber. The trio are reportedly illegally settled migrants, and demanded at the scene that their families be allowed to enter the country and that they be given social housing.

The protestors interrupted a meeting, which was then postponed, in which Justice Minister Guðrún Hafsteinsdóttir advocated a bill to amend Iceland’s Immigration Act. The as-yet-unnamed high-wire demonstrator heckled the minister, before being led away.

Iceland has a population of roughly 370,000 people, with just under a quarter from a foreign background. Though it has endured fewer recent flashpoints over immigration than nearby European countries such as Sweden and Denmark, things might be about to change. Keep your eyes on the upper gallery during the next Rwanda debate…