EVERY DAY, TheJournal.ie brings you nine things you need to know with your morning cup of coffee, or tea…
1. #JAIL BIRD: Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has told Italian television that his tax fraud conviction is politically charged. Although his sentence of four years in prison has been cut to 12 months because of various legal loopholes and amnesties, it is unlikely he will serve any jail time at all.
2. #FRANKENSTORM: Those living along the east coast of America have been told to prepare for one of the worst storms the country has ever seen as Hurricane Sandy inches toward land and meteorologists expect it to collide with a blast of severe winter weather.
3. #FERRY SERVICES: A ferry collision at Rosslare Harbour last night is continuing to impact services today with Stena Europe’s Fishguard route cancelled this morning. The company said its afternoon sailing is also in doubt. Passengers are advised to check the website before travelling.
4. #SMOKING: The largest ever study on smoking in the UK has revealed that if women stop smoking before turning 30 years old, they can avoid any increased risk of dying early due to smoking-related causes.
5. #HOUSEHOLD CHARGE: Mayo County Council is the first local authority to issue court summonses for non-payment of the household charge, according to the Irish Daily Star. About one in four homeowners in the county have failed to pay the €100 fee.
6. #CARE FOR THE ELDERLY: Since the current government took office, about 1,200 public nursing home beds have been closed, according to the Irish Times. The coalition has been criticised for its policies as concern mounts over the provision of care for an ageing population.
7. #EGGED: A Dublin court heard yesterday that a recent egg attack on Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore’s car cost €9 to clean. Protestor Donall O Ceallaigh was charged with criminal damage and breach of the peace, reports the Irish Independent.
8. #A YEAR ON: Babies, Belfast, books and returning to the day job – Hugh O’Connell has been looking at what the failed presidential candidates have been up to for the past 12 months. Here’s what Seán, Martin, Gay, David, Dana and Mary did next.
9. #ALL-STARS: Karl Lacey and Henry Shefflin topped off a successful 2012 last night, being named Footballer and Hurler of the Year respectively. The 15-man hurling All-Star team was also revealed at the glitzy bash in the capital.