EVERY DAY, TheJournal.ie brings you nine things we really think you ought to know with your morning cup of coffee.
1. #DOWNGRADED The United States has lost its AAA credit rating for the first time ever following a tumultuous week on the global stock markets. A deal to avoid default on its debt was agreed at the start of the week but that wasn’t enough to prevent global markets falling and Standard & Poor’s from slashing America’s credit rating to AA+ over night.
2. #HERO The security guard who foiled an armed robbery at a Bank of Ireland branch in Cork yesterday has been hailed as a hero. The G4S security man was delivering cash to the bank in Glanmire when he was forced to fight off two masked raiders, who were armed with a shotgun and a sledge hammer, before the pair fled, the Irish Examiner reports.
3. #GAYBO TV legend Gay Byrne has told the Irish Daily Mail that if the interest in him running for president continued to grow he might well consider a run for the Áras although he admitted that it was “extremely unlikely” at present. He told the Tubridy Show on 2fm yesterday that it would take some “considerable persuasion” for him to enter the race but didn’t rule it out.
4. #TRAVELLERS Plans to evict some 300 Irish travellers from one of Europe’s biggest Traveller sites in Essex in the UK could be in breach of their human rights according to UN experts. The Irish Times reports that UN experts on housing and minority rights are extremely concerned by the plans by the local council.
5. #ROADS Gardaí have appealed for witnesses after a man was left in a critical condition after being hit by a car in Ballymun yesterday evening. The 23-year-old is in the Mater hospital where his condition is described as critical but stable.
6. #POLAR BEAR The teenage boy who was mauled to death by a polar bear in Norway yesterday has been named as 17-year-old Horatio Chapple. He was killed while camping with an expedition group in Norway. Four others were injured in the attack.
7. #SYRIA Amid a growing crisis in Syria, the US has now urged all Americans in the country to leave, AP reports. A violent crackdown on protesters by forces loyal to the government of Bashar Assad saw 24 people killed in unrest across the country yesterday, according to BBC News.
8. #FACEBOOK SPAMMER A man who has admitted to sending more than 27 million spam messages to Facebook users has been charged by the FBI after turning himself in. Sanford Wallace aka the Spam King is alleged to have developed a program that breached spam filters and lured users to submit account details, BBC News reports.
9. #PAKISTAN JAZZ Finally, check out this fantastic version of the jazz hit ‘Take Five’ from an unlikely source – a group of veteran Pakistani musicians who, as the Guardian explains, are storming western charts with their unique and innovative jazz album which has prompted comparisons with the Buena Vista Social Club in Cuba. Check it out: