EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you the nine things you should know as you start your day.
1. #ULSTER BANK: Ulster Bank will continue to open some of its branches this weekend as it continues to struggle with the backlog of customer transactions. Meanwhile, the Financial Services Ombudsman has told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that Ulster Bank customers can contact his office if they wish to lodge a complaint about the bank.
2. #JEWELLERY: Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has suggested that people struggling with their debts may have to forfeit their jewellery in a bid to pay their banks back under the new Personal Insolvency Bill.
3. #ORDER OF ST GREGORY: Former SDLP leader John Hume has been awarded a knighthood by Pope Benedict in recognition of his involvement in the Northern Ireland peace process. (Here’s what the Order of St Gregory is.)
4. #ARGENTINA: Two former Argentinian dictators – Jorge Rafael Videla and Reynaldo Bignone – have been convicted of the systematic stealing of babies from political prisoners three decades ago. Videla, 86, has been sentenced to 50 years in prison, while Bignone, 84, is to serve 15 years.
5. #STATELESS: An estimated 12 million people around the world are ‘stateless’, according to the United Nations. The Irish office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees is launching a new photography exhibition to highlight the plight of people who are stateless, having no legal identity and no citizenship.
6. #CHINA: Chinese authorities have broken up major child trafficking gangs, arresting 802 people and freeing 181 children, the BBC reports.
7. #FOXY: The ISPCA is appealing to the public not to keep fox cubs as pets, regardless of how vulnerable the cubs appear. The organisation says that the number of orphaned foxes being found around Ireland is rising.
8. #BROLLY TIME: Despite a dry start to the day, the forecast is for much wetter conditions to move in later, with heavy rain expected over Leinster and Munster in particular. Forecasters are issuing warnings of localised flooding in parts of Munster.
9. #OOPS: A technical hitch at Fourth of July celebrations in San Diego led to the city’s holiday fireworks being set off all at the same time. The fireworks display had been scheduled to last 20 minutes – but instead lasted about 20 seconds. The brevity of the show wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, as broadcaster Ellen DeGeneres pointed out on Twitter: