EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you the nine stories you need to know as you kick off your day.
1. #LENDING: More than one in four businesses which sought a loan or overdraft from an Irish bank were rejected in the six months to March, a major new study by the Central Bank has found. The Irish Times reports that Irish banks rejected more loan applications than any other country in the eurozone except for Greece.
2. #HOSPITAL: A draft HSE report which proposed eliminating the use of agency staff and overtime within the Louth-Meath hospital group has been strongly criticised by hospital campaigners who say that the move would lead to bed closures, inefficient hospitals, and could lead to the death of patients. RTE reports that the documents, obtained by the Save Navan Hospital Campaign, say that more than 170 agency jobs would go from the three hospitals in the region if the plan is implemented.
3. #DEATH: Gardaí are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a 28-year-old man in Blanchardstown in Dublin in the early hours of this morning. The man was seriously injured outside a house in the area and was taken to James Connolly Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Gardaí have described the death as suspicious.
4. #GREECE: Greece’s Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras, has said the country needs more time to implement tough spending cuts before talks take place later this week about Greece’s bailout. Samaras is expected to propose that Greece should be given a two-year extension to the deadline for vast spending cuts. He is due to meet with some eurozone leaders this week to discuss whether Greece has done enough to receive its next bailout payment.
5. #USA: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has called on Todd Akin, the Missouri congressman who said at the weekend that “legitimate rape” rarely leads to pregnancy, to end his bid to run for the US Senate. Romney described Akin’s comments as “offensive and wrong” and said that he should “very seriously consider what course would be in the best interest of our country,” NBC reports.
6.#TRAFFICKING: A support group which works with women affected by prostitution and sex trafficking has said it helped 200 women from 26 countries last year. In its annual report released today, Ruhama said that there were 91 suspected cases of sex trafficking in 2011 and that it is becoming more difficult for authorities to identify women who have been trafficked into the country.
7. #IVAN YATES: Businessman and former Fine Gael minister Ivan Yates has accused AIB of “vindictiveness” for pursuing an action to have the former Newstalk presenter declared bankrupt in Ireland, the Irish Independent reports. The High Court yesterday dismissed AIB’s application and said there were questions over how much money Yates actually owes.
8. #WAR CRIMES: A former Irish army officer who worked with the UN during the Balkans war is due to give evidence today at the trial of Serb general Ratko Mladic who is on trial for war crimes at The Hague. Colonel Colm Doyle, who is now retired, is due to give evidence on the formation of Mladic’s forces who killed more than 8,000 people.
9. #ROSE OF TRALEE: 26-year-old secondary school teacher and Luxembourg Rose Nicola McEvoy has been crowned this year’s Rose of Tralee. If you missed last night’s final – complete with singing, dancing, and lovely girls – you can catch up on exactly what happened on our liveblog from last night.