EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you nine things you need to know with your morning cup of coffee.
1. #DUBLIN MOUNTAINS A forensic examination is to be carried out on the human remains that were found by hill walkers in the Dublin mountains yesterday. Forensic examiners will look to determine the identity of the remains today after two people made the discovery in a forested area near Military Road in Tallaght.
2. #PENSIONERS Helplines will reopen this morning to help those who may be concerned about having to pay extra tax on their pensions this year following a review by the Revenue Commissioners. Revenue said it has already received 20,000 calls in relation to the matter. It comes as officials are likely to be hauled before an Oireachtas committee this week to explain why letters were sent to some people who may not be liable for the tax, the Irish Times reports.
3. #ECONOMY Half of families in Ireland are struggling to pay their bills according to a survey by the Irish League of Credit Unions. The ‘What’s Left’ survey highlights the impact of budget cuts on families many of whom may be forced to drop their health insurance in order to make ends meet. Meanwhile IBEC has warned that any expectations among employees of a pay rise in 2012 are unrealistic.
4. #HOMELESS In another sign of how the economic situation is having taking its toll, it is reported this morning that a fifth of people in homeless hostels are working but are being forced to use the shelters as they cannot afford rent. The Irish Examiner reports that more than 2,300 adults access homeless services in Dublin alone.
5. #LUAS There has been an 11 per cent rise in cases of anti-social behaviour, including abuse of staff and racism, on the Luas trams in Dublin according to the Irish Independent. There were just under 1,000 reports of anti-social behaviour in 2011 with the vast majority of cases occurring on the Red Line – which runs from Saggart in south Dublin to The Point in the city’s docklands.
6. #LEVESON The Leveson inquiry into media ethics in the UK returns today after a Christmas break with newspapers likely to get a chance to respond to much of the criticism they faced last year from a number of celebrities. The Sun’s current editor Dominic Mohan and one of its former editors, the controversial Kelvin McKenzie, are among the witnesses set to face questions today.
7. #MERKOZY Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy will meet in Berlin today to set the agenda for the first EU summit of 2012 at the end of the month . The German chancellor and French president are also likely to discuss the controversial financial transactions tax – the pair are not entirely in agreement on that – and the situations in Spain and Italy where there be crucial auctions of government bonds held later this week.
8. #NETFLIX The online video streaming service Netflix launches in Ireland today with a free one-month trial available to all and thereafter costing subscribers €6.99 per month. The US company already has over 20 million members in 47 countries and offers TV programmes and films from the likes of BBC, Channel 4, Disney, ITV, and movie companies such as 20th Century Fox.
9. #WIKIFAIL The Vatican may be home to “one of the most important research centres in the world” in its own words but that didn’t stop the good folk in its press office from allegedly copying and pasting biographies of the Pope’s newly appointed cardinals from Wikipedia. The Guardian reports that the potted biogs were taken directly from the online encyclopedia and sent to journalists. Whoops.