The top four things you need to know – Thursday February 24th

Explosions and warning sirens have been heard this morning in some of Ukraine’s major cities after Russia’s president ordered a “military operation” into the eastern part of the country.

Vladimir Putin claims his orders will “protect people” in breakaway regions – who he says have been subject to bullying and genocide and he’s warned other nations not to intervene.

The Ukrainian president’s advised people to stay home as much as possible.

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EU leaders will meet in Brussels this evening for an emergency summit over the Ukraine crisis.

Last night the Taoiseach told his parliamentary party what we’re witnessing now’s like nothing seen since World War 2.

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Normal teaching and learning activities can return in schools from Monday.

Last night the Department of Education issued updated guidance to principles ahead of next weeks reopening.

It says class pods and bubbles will no longer be required and activities like sports, music and breakfast clubs can return, while restrictions on the use of changing rooms, PE lockers and staff rooms can also end.

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