EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you the nine things you need to know with your first cup of coffee…
1. #PROPERTY: Property prices are still dropping, according to the latest property reports from Daft.ie and MyHome.ie. However, prices have begun to level off in Dublin, where the average asking price has fallen by under 1 per cent for the first half of 2012 compared. Prices are down 7 per cent on average around the rest of the country.
2. #ULSTER BANK: Ulster Bank branches will continue to open late this week as it struggles to clear the transaction backlog. The banks says it will pay service providers on behalf of some customers who are experiencing delays in seeing credits and debits on their account.
3. #DEAL: Minister Alan Shatter has acknowledged that key details of the eurozone debt deal are still unclear and says that the government is currently working on “fleshing out” both the deal and what it means for Ireland.
4. #RATES: The chairman of Barclays, Marcus Agius, has resigned from his position but will remain in place “until an orderly succession is assured”, the bank said this morning. Barclays was given a record fine by British regulators last week for its role in fixing the rates of inter-bank lending. RBS, HSBC, Citigroup and UBS are also being investigated in connection with the rate-fixing scandal.
5. #SYRIA: Syrian opposition groups are beginning two days of meetings in Cairo to discuss alternatives to the new peace plan brokered by world leaders in Geneva over the weekend. The groups have largely rejected the plan which pushes for a Syrian-led transition of power but which hasn’t specified what role President Assad should play in that transition.
6. #APPLE: Apple has settled a case with a Chinese company over the rights to the iPad name for $60 million.
7. #AFGHANISTAN: Three NATO personnel have been shot dead by a man in an Afghan police uniform in southern Afghanistan. The gunman is being held after the attack and investigation is underway to establish if he was a policeman or not, according to Al Jazeera.
8. #CASH BACK: Irish punts are still being brought to the Central Bank to be exchanged for euros. New figures released by Minister for Finance Michael Noonan show that the Central Bank exchanged more than IR£2.1 million for euros last year.
9. #SILVER SURFER: Billionaire businessman Richard Branson has entered the record books as the oldest person to kitesurf the English Channel. Branson had to abandon an earlier attempt over the weekend – though his son Sam set a new record for fastest Channel crossing by kitesurf. Here’s Richard during and after his run: