Every morning, TheJournal.ie brings you nine things you really need to know before you start your day.
1. #FINANCE BILL: Nearly there now… the Seanad holds the second of its two days of debates on the Finance Bill today, with the Bill expected to defeat any opposition attempts to amend it before debate is expected to wrap up at 7pm – though that could be earlier, given how debates have finished ahead of schedule every other day this week.
Though the Dáil is prepared to sit tonight in case the Seanad spots any flaws in the Bill, it is not likely to be needed – one Labour Party figure told TheJournal.ie that the Seanad has identified just one flaw in any similar legislation in the last forty years.
2. #EGYPT: President Muhammad Hosni Mubarak, who has held power since 1981, last night sacked his government – but refused to step down himself – and promised to introduce democratic reforms in Egypt, while tens of thousands broke curfews last night to continue protests as the death roll rose to 27. The White House has waded into the dispute, asking that demonstrations become “a moment of promise”.
3. #FIRE: A 29-year-old woman has died in a fire at her apartment in Dublin’s north inner city. The alarm was raised shortly after 1:30am when the blaze had tore through the flat on Grenville Street. In a separate incident, a 93-year-old woman has been seriously injured after a house fire on Nutley Avenue in Donnybrook.
4. #AER LINGUS: It’s a lucky number 13 for Aer Lingus today: as the industrial dispute between the airline and its cabin crew reaches its 13th day, there are signs of a deal being reached. Though the airline has already cancelled 20 flights this weekend, talks yesterday have indicated that a resolution on the deadlock – over the introduction of new staff rosters – could be struck in the coming days, with the full flight schedule back in operation next week.
5. #DATA PROTECTION: Micheál Martin has only been leader of Fianna Fáil for three days, but he’s already being investigated for Data Protection breaches, it has emerged. The Data Protection Commissioner has received a number of complaints after non-party members received an email on Thursday morning intended for Fianna Fáil activists. Martin may not have broken any laws, however: the commissioner, Billy Hawkes, has previously complained that the legal definition of ‘direct marketing’ doesn’t include messages from political parties.
6. #SCHOOL’S OUT: The country’s primary and secondary schools may have to reduce the number of days set aside for exams at the end of the academic year in order to make up for the lost ‘snow days’ earlier in the year, the Irish Independent reports. Before children get too excited, however, there’s an alternative on the table: schools may also cancel their school tours to make up for lost time.
7. #GE11: In brief: we still don’t have an election date, or any agreement on debates; Fianna Fáil has announced it’ll be renting a building close to its current HQ to become its election HQ, while Fine Gael are renting the former Bank of Ireland on Leeson St Bridge. Irish Times columnist Fintan O’Toole, meanwhile, has written an opinion piece for today’s issue confirming that he won’t run.
8. #LUCKY LADY: The Irish waitress who won $21m in the New York state lottery has revealed that she wouldn’t have bought the ticket at all – and only ended up buying one when her flight home for Christmas fell foul of the snow. Tullamore native Trisha Eisel, 40, has made it home, however: the first thing she did after cashing her winnings was book a flight to see her mother.
9. #CHEATING: A new survey has found that half of men would forgive their girlfriends if they had cheated on them – but only if it was with another woman. Women, though, are far less likely to forgive their boyfriends if they had cheated with other men. The survey, carried out by the University of Texas, found that 50% of men would forgive a woman – apparently because they feel less paternally threatened – while only 22% of women could take a man back afterward, seemingly to do with a fear of abandonment.