EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you the nine stories you need to know as you kick off your day.
1. #STORM: Met Éireann has downgraded its weather warning to status yellow this morning but it will still be a cold, wet and blustery day unfortunately. Wrap up warm and take care on the roads as AA Roadwatch is reporting heavy snow in some places and slippery conditions.
2. #POWER: Speaking of the storm, some 7,000 people are still without power across the country this morning after the strong winds caused a number of power lines to come down yesterday. The ESB said crews would be out at first light to start restoring services.
3. #NAMA: In the latest NAMA revelation, the Irish Independent reports gardaí are investigating allegations that the agency undervalued property loans deliberately before buying them from banks so it would stand to make a higher profit when selling them on.
4. #LOWRY: The independent TD for North Tipperary Michael Lowry was charged in Thurles District Court on Tuesday with “knowingly or wilfully” filing an incorrect tax return in 2003, the Irish Times reports.
5. #BAILOUT: New plans agreed by EU finance minister will see failed banks bailed out by the banking system and not taxpayers. An agency established under the new deal will see banks funded and then closed.
6. #CYSTIC FIBROSIS: A charity that raised millions to contribute towards a new ward at Cork University Hospital has now refused to hand the money over because management will not sign a contract to ringfence some of the beds for CF patients – something which had been agreed beforehand, the Irish Examiner reports.
7. #MEMORIAL: Taoiseach Enda Kenny is in Belgium today to attend the first EU summit since our exit from the bailout. Along with British Prime Minister David Cameron, he will visit a number of First World War graves and memorials during his stay.
8. #SOUTH AFRICA: The sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela’s funeral, who claimed schizophrenia after being accused of fraud, has been admitted to a psychiatric hospital . There was outrage when it emerged the man had not been translating eulogies as he was accused of merely “flapping his arms around”.
9. #CHRISTMAS DINNER: An animal rights group has urged RTÉ programme Ear to the Ground not to air a scene tonight of its presenter Ella McSweeney killing a turkey. ARAN said there is ‘nothing festive’ about killing an animal, though the programme has said the slaughter is “humane” and will not be graphic.