EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you the nine things you need to know as you kick off your day.
1. #NEWTOWN: Vigils have been held overnight in Newtown, Connecticut, as the local community, and the world at large, continues to come to terms with the deaths of 20 schoolchildren between the ages of five and 10. Six adults were also shot dead, before the gunman turned the gun on himself. The shootings took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School. A tearful President Obama said that “meaningful action” needed to be taken to prevent further shootings.
2. #EGYPT: Polling stations have opened in Egypt as the country votes on a new constitution. President Mohamed Mursi has been criticised for what certain elements within the country believe is a constitution that does represent all of Egypt. The second round of votes are set to take place next Saturday, 22 December.
3. #BUS ÉIREANN: Strikes could be on the cards at the company following proposed changes to the terms and conditions for staff at the company, the Irish Independent reports. Cuts in overtime, as well as shift, premium and rota payments, in addition to annual leave, are set to come into effect from 13 January 2013.
4. #LABOUR: Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has said that his party will remain in coalition, despite controversies this week which saw the current Chairperson of the party, Colm Keaveney, vote against the Budget’s Social Welfare Bill. RTÉ have reported that Gilmore said that his party “is not going to flinch” and would continue to make the tough decisions which lie ahead. Keaveney has said that he has no intention of vacating his position.
5. #MEMORIAL: A memorial service has been held at the King Edward VII hospital in England, following the death last week of nurse Jacintha Saldanha. Responding to reports that the hospital had not been suitably supportive of her following the hoax phone call from two Australian radio DJs, the chief executive of the hospital, John Lofthouse, said that they had stood by her judgement, BBC News reports. Further memorials are set to take place today.
6. #DAMAGES: A women has been awarded €170,000 in damages after her baby was delivered stillborn. RTÉ news reports that Fiona Ní Chonchubhair, 36, travelled 110km in an ambulance which had no blood transfusion on board, when she experienced difficulties while 32 weeks pregnant.
7. #FLOODING: Flood defences are set to remain in place over the weekend, according the Met Éireann. This follows yesterday’s alert for the south and east coasts of the country.
8. #APPOINTMENT: The Church of Ireland is set to enthrone Dr Richard Clarke as its new leader today at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Armagh. Clarke had been appointed the Archbishop of Armagh in October.
9. #WORLD WAR II: Newly released files have revealed Ireland’s surveillance activities during the second World War. The documents show how both non-Irish and Irish were kept under watch by the state, the IRA sympathisers who were among them, attempts to turn Ireland into a fascist state, and the beginnings of Britain’s wartime recruitment within the 26 counties.