EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you the nine stories you need to know with your morning cup of tea.
1. #TENSIONS: Russia is hailing the results of a referendum in Crimea in which 96.6 per cent of voters chose to split from Ukraine and rejoin Russia. However the West has denounced the result and said the vote was illegal.
2. #ST PATRICK’S DAY: Tens of thousands of people are expected to take part in parades and events around the country for St Patrick’s Day today. Some half a million people are expected to turn out on the streets of Dublin alone, where the theme of this year’s parade is Let’s Make History.
3. #NOT HAPPENING: Guinness has pulled out of sponsoring the St Patrick’s Day parade in New York City today in a row over the treatment of LGBT groups. In a statement, Guinness said it withdrew after the “policy of exclusion” was not reversed ahead of the parade.
4. #GONE: Convicted criminal John Gilligan left Ireland late last night immediately after he was discharged from hospital following a gun attack in which he was shot four times, the Irish Independent reports.
5. #MISSING: The number of countries involved in the search for missing flight MH 370 has increased to 26, the Malaysian prime minister has said. Police officers have again visited the homes of the pilot and co-pilot, and taken a flight simulator from the home of the pilot.
6. #COURT: A man is due before a special sitting of the Dublin District Court today in connection with the shooting dead of 66-year-old Mary Dargan at her home in Killinarden on Saturday.
7. #IT WASN’T ME: The man named by Newsweek magazine as the creator of Bitcoin has issued a statement saying he has never had any involvement with the internet currency. Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto said the article has been the source of a great deal of confusion and stress for him.
8. #DRUGS: The Irish Medicines Board has reassured patients taking two blood-thinning drugs that they are safe following reports of a high number of deaths being linked to the drugs. RTE reports that that there is no increased mortality rate for the drugs.
9. #FAKE PRINCE: A Facebook user who pretended to be Britain’s Prince Harry conned an Austrian workman out of thousands of euro after offering him a contract to renovate the floors at Buckingham Palace. The workman transferred €27,500 to several UK bank accounts but never heard back from the prince. Ouch.