EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you the nine stories you need to know as you kick off your day.
1. #TALLAGHT: Justice Minister Alan Shatter has admitted that the case of the girl removed from a Roma family in Greece “may have had some undue influence” on the two cases in Ireland this week. Separately, there have been calls for a full independent inquiry into the decision by authorities to remove the children from their families in Tallaght and Athlone.
2. #RIP: The GAA community is in shock after Galway hurling star Niall Donoghue died suddenly last night. The 22-year-old, who would have celebrated his 23rd birthday on Friday, played in the 2012 All-Ireland final against Kilkenny.
3. #SPYING: Angela Merkel has called Barack Obama over claims that the US is spying on her mobile phone, demanding an immediate explanation. The US said it is not currently monitoring her phone – but a spokesperson would not say whether spying may have occurred in the past.
4. #CHEAP ALCOHOL: Details on new alcohol pricing laws – including a minimum price on alcohol in a bid to combat misuse – will be published today by the Government. However the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill will not contain any measure banning alcohol companies from sports sponsorship, despite previous plans to do so.
5. #ARREARS: Almost one third of Ireland’s 20,000 local authority mortgages are in arrears, according to new figures released by the Department of the Environment.
6. #NORTHERN IRELAND: Police in Northern Ireland say that an explosive device thrown at police in Antrim last night was designed to kill police officers. The PSNI said the force was fortunate that no-one was killed or injured in the incident.
7. #ROADS: The mother of Taidhg Burke, the bassist with The Calvinists who died following a car crash last weekend, has paid tribute to her son and said that his organs were donated to people who needed them.
8. #SHOOTING: Police in California shot and killed a 13-year-old boy carrying a replica gun after mistaking the item for a real gun, The Guardian reports.
9. #AAAARGH: A school in England was forced to close yesterday after becoming infested with – don’t read this if you’re eating your breakfast – venomous spiders. Shudder.