EVERY DAY, TheJournal.ie brings you nine things you really need to know with your morning cup of coffee.
1. #ENTREPRENEURS: The Government has today launched a new entrepreneur recruitment programme which aims to deliver 100 new companies every year. The New Frontiers programme, funded and co-ordinated by Enterprise Ireland, will be delivered at a local level by the 13 Institutes of Technology across the country with the aim of “developing people into entrepreneurs”. It will cost €4.25 million to implement.
2. #EU TREATY: Irish business leaders have shown strong support for the EU fiscal compact treaty. Nearly three-quarters of those who responded to a survey by the employers group IBEC said Ireland’s ratification of new fiscal compact was important to the future prosperity of their business.
3. #ELECTRIC IRELAND: An ESB-owned energy company has introduced a new billing system which will see some customers have their bills increased – for not using enough electricity.
Electric Ireland introduced a ‘low user standing charge’ at the beginning of this month, which will see a charge being applied to households that use an average of two units (kilowatt-hours) per day across the two-month billing period – adding €9.45 to each bill if customers fall below that minimum usage threshold.
4. #JOBBRIDGE: The Taoiseach Enda Kenny has welcomed the news that JobBridge, the Government’s National Internship Scheme, has reached its target of 5,000 internship posts since its launch last June. Kenny said that the scheme has provided “invaluable experience in the work place” to thousands of people, and that some had already secured full time employment as a result.
5. #NO MAN’S LAND: The ownership of the seabed and waterline at Lough Foyle on the Derry-Donegal border has been questioned – with confusion about whether the area falls under the jurisdiction of the Irish Republic or the United Kingdom. Donegal County Council has signalled its intent to buy a part of the waters at Lough Foyle in order to construct a waste water treatment plant there, but the UK Crown Estate has also claimed propriety ownership of the area.
6. #EUROZONE: G20 finance ministers have said that eurozone countries must pump more money into their rescue funds before they can be approved for further assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Reuters reports. EU leaders have agreed to reassess the strength of their bailout fund next month.
7. #SYRIA: EU ministers will meet in Brussels today to discuss their reaction to the continuing repression of protests in Syria, RTÉ reports. The leaders are expected to agree on new sanctions to impose of Bashar Assad’s regime, including blacklisting a further seven administration figures and banning Syrian cargo planes from landing at EU airports.
8. #AFGHANISTAN: France and Germany are following in the footsteps of the US and Britain by withdrawing civilian staff from Afghanistan in response to the killing of two senior Nato officers over the weekend, reports the BBC. The men were shot in the midst of protests sparked by the burning of copies of the Muslim holy book at a military base in Kabul.
Meanwhile, nine people were killed at Jalalabad airport today in another revenge attack over the incident, ABC reports.
9. #OSCARS 2012: There were no surprises in Hollywood last night, with runaway success The Artist coming out as the big winner of the night. The homage to Old Hollywood took five awards – including best picture, best director and best actor in a leading role.
There was some Irish glory on the night too, with Belfast-born director Terry George and his daughter Oorlagh picking up the gong for best Short Film (Live Action) for their film, The Shore.