EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you the nine things you need to know as you begin your day.
1. #IMF: The International Monetary Fund has approved the latest release of bailout funds to Ireland. The Washington-based fund last night said it was releasing a nother €0.97 billion to Ireland, bringing the total amount lent to Ireland over the €20 billion mark.
2. #GARDAÍ: Gardaí have voiced concerns about their safety at work following the decision by Garda authorities to replace Uzi submachine guns with semi-automatic handguns. The decision to change weaponry was taken by Garda authorities last year, on the basis that the new gun has more fire power – but it also has a shorter range and officers feel it is less of a visual deterrent.
3. #PROPERTY TAX: Just under 1 per cent of households have returned their property tax forms so far, according to latest Revenue figures. 7,003 people had returned filings in either print or online by yesterday. The Irish Independent meanwhile reports that some children have received letters from Revenue asking them to pay the tax – seemingly because they have part-time jobs while one of their parents is unemployed.
4. #SAVITA: Praveen Halappanavar, the husband of the late Savita, will be the first person to receive the HSE clinical review into her death. The Irish Times reports that Praveen has been asked to meet the chief operating officer of the local HSE hospital group next week, so that he can be given a copy of the report in person.
5. #STOLEN: Gardaí based at a station where €9,000 was stolen from a safe were asked to repay the missing money from their own pockets. The Star’s Michael O’Toole reports that a senior garda suggested that officers pay about €75 each to cover the cash that was stolen from a safe in Balbriggan Garda Station – a plan immediately shot down by angry officers.
6. #ALASKA: An Irish fisherman is lucky to be alive after falling overboard and into freezing waters off Alaska – being in the water for 30 minutes without a survival suit. The Sun reports that James McCarthy, 36, was fishing off the Shelikof Strait when he fell overboard into waters of 3°C. McCarthy suffered from extreme hypothermia but is set to make a full recovery.
7. #CYPRUS: Intensive talks are continuing in Cyprus to try and secure a European bailout. Last night MPs voted in favour of setting up a new ‘solidarity fund’ which is likely to be offered as security in exchange for EU-IMF loans. President Nicos Anastasiades and party leaders travel to Brussels today to hold talks with senior EU figures to secure the much-needed €10 billion in external funding. Here’s a look at how the ongoing closure of the country’s banks is affecting local business.
8. #THEIR HOLINESSES: Pope Francis will meet his predecessor Benedict XVI today – in the first ever documented meeting between a pope and his predecessor. Francis will travel to Castel Gandolfo, the papal summer retreat outside Rome, where Benedict has been staying since stepping down three weeks ago.
9. #WEATHER: A weather warning remains in place for the east and north of the country, with Met Éireann warning of some snow and ice in Dublin and neighbouring counties, and in Ulster. Some surface water is also reported, particularly on the N11 and in Co Wicklow. However, most of Ireland saw far calmer weather overnight, with no repeat of Thursday night’s deluge. Thousands of homes in Northern Ireland are still without power after heavy snow.