EVERY DAY, TheJournal.ie brings you the nine stories you need to know as you kick off your day.
1. #INQUIRY: The Health Service Executive has said that an “independent, external expert in obstetrics and gynaecology” will be part of the team which investigates the death of Savita Halappanavar, the 31-year-old woman who contracted blood poisoning and died at a Galway hospital last month following a miscarriage.
2. #SAVITA: Meanwhile, the woman’s husband Praveen has told The Irish Times that the couple moved to Ireland as they had heard “great stories” from friends about the babies they had in Ireland. “We had heard Ireland was a good place to have a baby,” he said.
A number of vigils in memory of Savita were held across the country last night, as well as multiple protests – including one in London – calling on the Government to legislate on the X Case ruling on abortion.
3. #MANSLAUGHTER: A 23-year-old woman is due in court later today, charged with the manslaughter of Northern Ireland pensioner Bertie Acheson. The 72-year-old suffered a heart attack and died following a confrontation with an intruder at his home on 30 April this year.
4. #ECONOMY: In its latest fiscal statement, the Government has predicted higher-than-expected growth of 0.9 per cent of GDP for 2012. It also stated that the austerity measures announced as part of Budget 2013 will not exceed the previously announced figure of €3.5 billion.
5. #ARREST: The President of the Union of Students in Ireland, John Logue, was arrested last night during a protest in the Dáil visitors’ gallery. He has since been released without charge.
6. #GAZA: The United Nations Security Council held an emergency meeting last night as tensions in Gaza escalated. Israel staged more than 20 air strikes on the besieged Palestinian territory, a move strongly defended by the US. Reports this morning say that three Israelis were killed in a rocket attack which was allegedly fired from the Gaza Strip.
7. #CHINA: Xi Jinping has been confirmed as the new leader of China. He will rule for the next 10 years, during which time he said his party will face “severe challenges”, including the possible alienation of the people.
8. #SOCIAL NETWORKING: The Irish Independent tells another story of a wrongdoer being caught out through Facebook. The man, who had previously been warned by a judge not to drink alcohol, has been told to reflect on his actions before his next court appearance after photos of him taking a tipple were given to Gardaí.
9. #HAPPY CHRISTMAS? TheJournal.ie reader Dee Roberts sent us this image from the Leeson Street City Bike stop this morning. “Has Dublin City Council got a surplus budget?” she asks.
And a Happy Christmas to you, mystery tinsel giver.
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