EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you the nine stories you need to know as you kick off your day.
1. #LITTER Over 80 per cent of Ireland’s towns are as clean or cleaner than the European average, according to the 2012 litter survey from Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL). Only seven towns are below the average, among them Dublin’s North inner city.
2. #NEW DELHI Five men will appear before court today charged with the brutal gang-rape and murder of a student in New Delhi. Police said they have forensic evidence to link the five to the attack on December 16. A sixth accused (17) will be tried in a separate court for juveniles.
3. #FLAGS A man (38) is due to appear in court in Belfast after being arrested as part of disturbances in the city on Saturday night. Seventy people have been arrested by the PSNI in connection with rioting over the decision to cut the days that the union flag can fly at Belfast’s City Hall. Last night saw a fourth night of violence over the issue.
4. #FUNERAL The funeral of Jason McGovern, who died after being assaulted twice on a night out in Omagh, is to take place today, RTÉ reports. Five men have been charged in connection with the death of the 19 year old.
5. #SANDY US President Barack Obama has signed a $9.7bn aid bill for victims of superstorm Sandy. The law will make funds available to pay the flood insurance claims of thousands of victims of the devastating October storm.
6. #CREDIT UNIONS Credit Unions have pursued loan defaulters to the tune of €37 million over the past two years, the Irish Examiner says today. In total, 2,120 members had legal actions taken against them.
7. #RESCUED Five people were rescued in Co Wicklow yesterday afternoon in two separate incidents. One involved a man who tripped and fell while out walking with his family, and was rescued by helicopter. The second was a group of four walkers who had gotten lost while descending Lugnaquilla.
8. #PHARMACIES The Irish Pharmacy Union has expressed concern over the centralisation of the taking of photos for driving licenses, saying that it “will have a devastating and unfair impact on hundreds of companies”, including community pharmacists.
9. #MENTAL HEALTH A new short documentary looks at the stigma attached to mental health in Ireland, and takes in the opinions of experts and experiences of people from around the country on the issue. What Stigma? can be viewed below: