EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you the nine things you need to know as you begin your day.
1. #ESRI: The Economic and Social Research Institute has said in its latest quarterly economic commentary that Ireland is “bouncing along the bottom” of an economic rut and the economy will probably contract this year. The ESRI forecasts that Gross National Product (GNP), a measure of Ireland’s ‘domestic’ economy, will shrink by 0.2 per cent in 2012.
2. #EUROZONE: The Taoiseach Enda Kenny will meet with the Italian premier Mario Monti in Rome today to discuss the affect of the European debt crisis on Ireland and Italy, reports RTÉ. The meeting comes in the wake of Ireland’s cost of borrowing falling below 5 per cent for the first time since the country received the EU/IMF bailout.
3. #CHARITY: The Irish Association of Suicidology, which promotes positive suicide prevention, has requested the gardaí to launch an investigation into alleged financial irregularities at the charity. One member of staff has been suspended in relation to the investigations.
4. #AUSTRALIA: Two men have been charged over the assault of a 27-year-old Irishman in Perth, Western Australia, last Sunday. The victim, believed to be from Cork, was visiting a friend’s house when he was allegedly set upon by the men, reports News.com.au.
5. #SELF CARE: An expert healthcare group, the Self-Care Working Group, wants the State to encourage responsible self-care among people in Ireland – and is calling for more prescription drugs to be sold over the counter. It says the proposals will see patients enjoy quicker, cheaper access to medicines and reduce the number of work days lost.
6. #HOUSEHOLD CHARGE: The Revenue is to be granted new extraordinary powers to pursue as many as 600,000 homeowners who have not yet paid the household charge, the Irish Independent reports this morning. Passing powers of collection to the Revenue would reportedly mean access to a larger amount of information regarding those who have not paid the €100 charge.
7. #PROTESTS: Authorities in Pakistan are bracing themselves for widespread protests following Friday prayers today, as anger spreads over a film – produced in the United States – that insults the Muslim prophet Muhammad. Both the US President Barack Obama and the Secretary of State Hilary Clinton have come out to condemn the content and message of the film.
8. #AFGHANISTAN: The last of 33,000 extra soldiers sent to Afghanistan by the United States in 2009 have left the country, as preparations for a full security handover by 2014 gets underway.
9. #IG NOBELS: The Ig Nobels for improbable research have been awarded – honouring unusual achievements that “first make people laugh and then make them think”. Winners include a team that discovered a way to predict the shape of a ponytail, a team that studied why coffee spills out of mug when its carried, and another which researched how brain scans can detect brain activity anywhere – even in dead fish, reports the Guardian.
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