EVERY WEEKDAY EVENING, TheJournal.ie brings you the five things you need to know before you head out the door.
1. #AIB: AIB has announced a 0.5 per cent increase in its Standard Variable Rate mortgage which will affect around one-fifth of its mortgage customers. The bank also confirmed it is to close 67 branches around the country as part of a cost-cutting measure. The move has been criticised for disproportionately affecting rural parts of the country.
2. #SEAN QUINN: Seán Quinn has said he made a conscious decision to put his assets beyond the reach of Anglo Irish Bank in a bid to stop the bank from taking possession of his remaining wealth. The Fermanagh businessman said he believes he and his family have been made ‘scapegoats’ as the bank has sought to restore its damaged reputation by claiming taxpayers’ money back from the Quinn family.
3. #NEW BOSS: The Minister for Health has appointed Tony O’Brien, the current head of the Special Delivery Unit in the Department of Health, as the new head of the HSE. O’Brien will become the Director General of the HSE once new legislation is passed in the autumn which will radically change the structure of the HSE.
4. #FACEBOOK: Facebook has reported a loss of $157 million (around €127 million) in its first results since it floated on the stock market in May. Shares in the world’s biggest social network have plunged today after the news which came a day after Zynga, the game company which has become a key partner to Facebook, reported unexpectedly bad earnings.
5. #OLYMPICS: The much-anticipated opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games will be kicking off at 9pm tonight at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford in east London. Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle has spent months – and more than €30 million – preparing the ceremony, which involves live farm animals, cricket players, and Paul McCartney. Meanwhile, boxer Katie Taylor has found out who she will be facing in the quarter finals of the Women’s Boxing 60kg on 5 August.