EVERY DAY, TheJournal.ie beings you nine things you need know with your morning cup of coffee.
1. #GARDA CUTS: A total of 95 garda stations are expected to close across the country today as the government defeated a Fianna Fáil motion aimed at preventing the closure of the stations in the Dáil last night. Most of the stations were only open for three hours or less a day but their closure is causing concern in many of the rural areas affected.
2. #ECONOMY: The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) is predicting economic growth of 1.3 per cent in the year ahead in its latest forecast. The think tank’s prediction matches that of the Central Bank earlier this week. In other economic news less than 10 per cent of retailers say they expect to give their employees a pay rise this year.
3. #PROMISSORY NOTES: The High Court is expected to deliver a verdict this morning in the case taken by the businessman David Hall who argues that the promissory note payments to the former Anglo Irish Bank, €3.1 billion of which is due in March, are illegal as there was no Dáil vote. The State has been defending the case claiming that no Dáil approval was needed for the controversial measure.
4. #WIND: The high winds that left thousands of homes across the country without power overnight are expected to continue but lessen in strength as the day progresses. ESB Networks says that around 2,000 customers are still without power this morning.
5. #MISSING MAN: All of this morning’s newspapers report on the curious case of Michael Kevin McGeever, a 68-year-old property developer, who had been missing for the past eight months but who was located on the Cavan-Leitrim border earlier this week. He is said to have been walking alone with a torch and a mobile phone and claimed to have been held against his will for a number of months.
6. #SYRIA: The Syrian army has claimed that Israel carried out an air strike on a military research centre north-west of Damascus yesterday, killing two people and injuring five. Israel fears that Syrian chemical weapons and missiles could fall into the hands of militants such as Hezbollah in Lebanon while Russia has expressed concern at reports of the attack which it said would be unacceptable if true.
7. #CYBER ATTACKS: The New York Times has said that Chinese hackers have been persistently attacking its computer systems and accessing reporters’ passwords for the past four months. The paper says that it has managed to expel the attacks and points out that the cyber attacks coincide with the paper reporting on private fortunes amassed by relatives of Chinese prime minister Wen Jiabao.
8. #MALI: French-led forces in northern Mali have captured the last major stronghold of Islamist rebels, Kidal, just days after taking Gao and Timbuktu. BBC News reports that the town was taken without any combat with the militants appearing to flee the town near the Algerian border taking refuge in the mountains. .
9. #WIFI: Free WiFi is being rolled-out in 12 locations across Dublin city centre today. Smartphone, tablet and laptop users will be able to access the 24/7 broadband at various hotspots on the north and south of the city centre. Full details of the locations are here.
- Over on DailyEdge.ie: Which star had a strop and ditched social media? The answer to that and all the day’s essential celebrity dirt is in The Dredge…