EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you nine things you need to know as you kick off your day.
1. #BANKERS: Bankers’ bonuses are to be capped as the result of an agreement reached by the European Parliament late last night. Under the deal, bonuses will be capped at one year’s salary, rising to two years subject to shareholder approval. The deal, which could come into effect as early as next year, would also force banks to hold enough good capital in order to safeguard against any future banking crises.
2. #HEALTH AND SAFETY: The HSA is believed to have warned government that additional cutbacks will lead to an increase in the number of preventable deaths and injuries in the workplace. The Irish Times is reporting that the warning came in response to a proposed employee cap of 151 at the authority.
3. #NORTHERN IRELAND: A pipe bomb exploded outside a house in east Belfast last night. No one was in the house at the time of the explosion, and no injuries have been reported. A number nearby houses were also evacuated.
4. #CROKE PARK: The trade union, Impact, is to meet today to consider the proposals put forward under the Croke Park Agreement. The meeting comes a day after the Teachers’ Union of Ireland and the AHCPS said that they would recommend that members reject the deal. The INTO is due to meet again tomorrow, with Siptu meeting next week.
5. #REPOSSESSIONS: Government is set to give banks the go ahead to start repossessing both homes and buy-to-let properties, the Irish Independent is reporting. This is set to follow the passing of a new law to allow for this, the first draft of which is to be available before Easter.
6. #LAST DAY: The resignation of Pope Benedict XVI is to come into effect later today. At 7pm Irish time, the office of the Pope is to be declared empty, at which point the ex-pontiff will officially be known by the new title of “Roman Pontiff Emeritus” although he will still be addressed as “Your Holiness”. Pope Benedict is the first Pope to resign in nearly 600 years.
7. #SYRIA: French President François Hollande is confident that a political decision to help end the war in Syria can be found within the coming weeks. The news comes as humanitarian body Oxfam said that the exodus of refugees from Syria is ‘overwhelming’ aid efforts.
8. #JOHN KERRY: Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has met with the Secretary of State John Kerry in Rome. In their first meeting since Kerry took up the appointment, talks centered on trade and investment between the US and the EU. Kerry is currently undertaking an 11-day trip of Europe and the Middle East.
9. #SPACE TOURISTS: American millionaire Denis Tito has unveiled plans to send a middle-aged couple to Mars. The private, non-profit project is aiming to sent the couple to the red planet in 2018.
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