Population of Republic above 5 million for first time since 1851
The country’s population was estimated to stand at 5.01 million in April, the latest statistics from the CSO revealed last week.
This is the first time the population has risen above five million since the 1851 census, when the population stood at 5.11 million.
The CSO said the combination of positive net migration and natural increase resulted in population growth of 34,000 (0.7%) in the year to April 2021.
It noted that this was smaller than the rise of 55,900 (1.1%) the previous year.
The statistics show there were 55,500 births and 32,700 deaths in the year to April, giving a natural increase in the population of 22,800.
This is the lowest level of natural increase recorded since the 2000 population estimates, the CSO said.
International Space Station facing irreparable failures, Russia warns
The International Space Station (ISS) could suffer “irreparable” failures due to outdated equipment and hardware, a Russian official has warned.
At least 80% of in-flight systems on the Russian segment of the ISS had passed their expiry date, Vladimir Solovyov told state media.
He also said small cracks had been discovered that could worsen over time.
Russia has often raised concerns over hardware and has suggested it could leave the ISS after 2025.
The station was built in 1998 as part of a joint project between Russia, America, Canada, Japan and several European countries and was originally designed for a 15-year lifespan.
China cuts children’s online gaming to one hour
Online gamers under the age of 18 will only be allowed to play for an hour on Fridays, weekends and holidays, China’s video game regulator has said.
The National Press and Publication Administration told state-run news agency Xinhua that game-playing would be only allowed between 8pm to 9pm.
It also instructed gaming companies to prevent children playing outside these times.
Earlier this month a state media outlet branded online games “spiritual opium”.
Inspections of online gaming companies will also increase, to check that the time limits are being enforced the regulator said.
Earlier rules had limited children’s online game-playing to 90 minutes per day, rising to three hours on holidays.
The move reflects a long running concern about the impact of excessive gaming on the young.
A month prior to the latest restrictions, an article published by the state-run Economic Information Daily claimed many teenagers had become addicted to online gaming and it was having a negative impact on them.