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Dublin: 6 °C Friday 19 December, 2014

The 9 at 9: Friday

Nine things to know this morning, including: €5m funding for ghost estate issues; GE11 campaigns focus on jobs and constitutional reform; and private investigator believe Madeleine McCann is in the US.

Image: Chris Bloke via Creative Commons

Every morning, TheJournal.ie brings you the nine things you really need to know as you start your day.

1. #GE11: Today in the campaigns: Fine Gael launches its plan to create 20,000 jobs in the trades and construction sector, while Sinn Féin launches its community and voluntary sector development plan. Labour will launch plans for a new constitution this morning and Fianna Fáil will be discussing economic growth. The Green Party will be focusing on the potential impact of Independent TDs on the next Dáil.

2. #GHOST ESTATES: A new report has identified around 350 housing estates which are dangerous or developer-abandoned, the Irish Times reports. Some €5m will be made available to local authorities from today to address hazards at the hundreds of estates which are partially occupied, but were never finished.

3. #WATER: A new Environmental Protection Agency report says the level of E.coli contamination in Irish public drinking water has fallen by 50 per cent in the last two years, but warns that further remedial action is needed by water service authorities to further reduce and prevent contamination.

4. #MISSING: Gardaí in Dublin are searching for missing 15-year-old Jessica Maguire from Walkinstown, who was last seen at her home on Wednesday, 16 February. She is described as being 5′ 3” in height, with a slight build, blue eyes and brown hair.

5. #BAHRAIN: The funerals of four people killed yesterday when police stormed a protest camp are due to be held today, but it is not clear if security forces will try to prevent the processesions, as they did on Monday. Last night, New York Times reporter Nicholas Kristof said the Bahraini royal family was putting pressure on him to stop reporting on the unrest.

6. #EGYPT: Egyptian pro-democracy leaders are planning to hold a day of celebration in Cairo today to mark the first week since former president Hosni Mubarak resigned. Meanwhile, Mubarak supporters are also planning to hold a rally, the BBC reports.

7. #COURTS: The Irish News reports that convicted double murderer Colin Howell has told murder accused Hazel Stewart’s trial that he tried to trick psychiatrists into believing his wife was killed spontaneously in order to receive a lighter sentence.

8. #MADDIE: A private investigator claims in today’s Daily Mail that he has contacts which suggest missing child Madeleine McCann was abducted by a paedophile ring and has been taken to the US.

9. #MICHAEL JACKSON: The Michael Jackson estate, which was $400m in debt when the singer died in 2009, has earned over $310m since his death, according to papers seen by TMZ. About $159m in debts have already been paid off.

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