EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you the nine things you need to know as you begin your day.
1. #BAILOUT: The International Monetary Fund has approved almost €1 billion in new bailout payments to Ireland, saying we’d met many targets – and describing our return to the bond markets as a “positive symbol”. The brief report also comments on the recent health spending difficulties, and Ireland’s ‘unacceptably high’ unemployment rate.
2. #INQUIRY: A group representing survivors of clerical sexual abuse has called for a Garda inquiry to see whether some senior members of the Catholic Church were in breach of criminal law by recklessly endangering children in their care. Opposition parties have called for a statutory legal inquiry into clerical abuse, noting that the recent wave of reports have been commissioned by an internal Church body.
3. #APOLOGY: A Protestant loyal order has offered an unprecedented apology to a Catholic parish in Belfast after a marching band played music outside its Church. The incident last month – in which the music was played, in spite of advice to the contrary from the Parades Commission – was a contributory factor to recent renewed tensions and violence in the city.
4. #MORTGAGES: The Department of Social Protection has launched a free phone line offering independent financial advice to borrowers in mortgage distress. The new line is being operated in conjunction with the Citizens Information Board, MABS and other providers.
5. #ECB: There could be other good news for mortgage holders today. The ECB’s governing council is to meet in Frankfurt this morning and may decide to cut the bank’s main interest rate – triggering an immediate cut in interest rates for mortgage holders. The bank is also tipped to announce a new programme where it will buy unlimited amounts of the bonds of its member countries to try and abate the eurozone crisis.
6. #ALPS: A four-year-old girl has been found alive at the scene of a shooting in the French Alps. The girl was found several hours after authorities first arrived at the scene where three others were killed and another seriously injured. The victims are thought to have been a British family. A cyclist was also found dead.
7. #IRISH ABROAD: President Michael D Higgins has announced the first ten recipients of a new award to recognise the achievements of expatriates who improve the perception of Ireland in their adoptive countries. Philanthropist Chuck Feeney and the late Aussie Rules great Jim Stynes are among the ten.
8. #US 2012: Former president Bill Clinton has delivered an impassioned speech at the Democratic National Congress, formally proposing Barack Obama as the party’s nominee for November’s presidential election. Citing Obama as the only candidate who could unite rival political factions, Clinton joked: “He appointed Cabinet members who supported Hillary in the primaries. Heck, he even appointed Hillary!”
9. #RUMBLED: A Chinese man who swallowed a diamond worth €11,000 at a show in Sri Lanka will have to undergo surgery to have the gem removed. Police say the man had attended the show and asked the owner for a closer inspection of the diamond – then tried to smuggle it out by swallowing it. The diamond lodged in his gullet, however, and he’ll have surgery to get it removed before facing charges.
- NEW! The Dredge: What’s happened to Kristen Stewart’s birdie-flipping finger? The day’s best celebrity dirt over on The Daily Edge >