EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you the nine stories you need to know as you kick off your day.
1. #GAZA: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for an end to the conflict in Gaza which has seen at least 85 people killed as the violence enters its sixth day. The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) says 1,350 sites in the Gaza strip have been targeted as part of Operation Pillar of Defence which began last Wednesday.
2. #SAVITA: The HSE has said it may publish the terms of reference of its inquiry into the death of Savita Halappanavar today, having confirmed that an international expert in obstetrics and gynecology will join the six-person inquiry team. Savita’s husband Praveen will be consulted as part of the inquiry. Separately, the Irish Times reports that Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has expressed his unhappiness with the reaction to the death of Savita and said that Ireland remains a safe country in which to be pregnant.
3. #PROTESTS: Third-level students are to escalate their demonstrations against further cuts to student grants and increases in university fees this week. The Union of Students in Ireland says thousands are expected to attend protest marches in Dublin, Dundalk and Sligo over the next five days as part of its pre-Budget campaign.
4. #GARDAÍ: One third of all Garda stations across the country are staffed by just one Garda, according to figures obtained by the Irish Examiner. A total of 205 stations out of almost 660 stations, mainly located in small rural villages, have one serving Garda, while a further 88 stations have just two.
5. #REBRANDING: National Irish Bank is officially no more – Danske Bank has completed its rebrand of the bank as of today. All 27 branches around the country have been closed and around 100 jobs have been lost as part of a cost-cutting measure by Danske Bank which will see customers using online and telephone services instead.
6. #PAS DE DEUX: The battle to succeed former president Nicolas Sarkozy as the leader of France’s main opposition party has become mired in confusion this morning after both candidates claimed victory amid allegations of ballot rigging. The count is set to resume at 9 o’clock this morning Irish time.
7. #BURMA: Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton met with Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma this morning as Obama became the first serving US president to visit the country.
8. #WHAT THE FLIUCH? Break out the anoraks: Harsh wintry weather which has hit parts of the country over the past 24 hours is set to persist for the rest of the week, with gale force winds, heavy rain, and a risk of minor localised flooding.
9. #RATBO: Enda Kenny: Taoiseach, teacher… rat-killer? A new biography entitled The Unlikely Taoiseach reveals that the Taoiseach had a brief calling as a sharpshooting rat-killer when the poor conditions of the school building he was teaching in necessitated a rodent cull. Who knew?
- Over on DailyEdge.ie: Journalists get naked on board Rihanna’s plane, Justin Bieber throws a tantrum in funny trousers, and Ryan Gosling gets a massage from Michael Fassbender… it’s The Dredge.