Every morning, TheJournal.ie brings you nine things you really need to know by 9am.
1. #AER LINGUS: As the threatened pilots’ strike for Tuesday and Wednesday seems set to go ahead, Aer Lingus has now extended the grace period for which passengers can change bookings: if you have a flight up to next Friday, you can change it for free online.
2. #E-COLI: There might be an upside to the temporary grounding of the Aer Lingus fleet, though – a HSE spokesperson has acknowledged that the cancellation of 16 flights from Germany to Ireland on Tuesday and Wednesday could help to stop the current E.coli outbreak from making it to Ireland, according to the Irish Mail on Sunday. German media have begun speculating on the source of the outbreak, with a restaurant in Luebeck being suspected.
3. #ASSAULT: A post-mortem is due on the body of a man who died in hospital last night after being assaulted in the early hours of yesterday morning in Co Monaghan. The assault took place in Carrickmacross shortly after 5am yesterday; one man has been arrested.
4. #RACE FOR THE ARAS: Fianna Fáil are unlikely to run a candidate in this year’s Presidential election – with the Sunday Independent reporting that the party’s reduced status and popularity meaning money will be tight. The Mail on Sunday reports that the Fine Gael nomination could yet be a three-horse race – because with Mairead McGuinness’s limited popularity and Pat Cox being seen as a potential blow-in, the party may opt to unite behind Martin McAleese.
5. #IVOR THE TERRIBLE: Ivor Callely’s €226,000 retirement payoff has been supplemented by a backdated refund to his travel expenses. Oireachtas records show Callely has been refunded the cash withheld from him for 2011 as a result of his legal action – receiving around €15,000, and the Sunday Times reports that he’ll be due another €39,000 refund for the expenses he missed in 2010.
6. #INM: After Friday’s ousting of a Denis O’Brien appointee to the board of Independent News & Media, the Sunday Business Post reports that the chairman Brian Hillery could be set to step down next year sparking another leading battle between O’Brien and Anthony O’Reilly. The Sunday Times reports that a Garda investigation is underway under suspicions that O’Reilly’s son Gavin, the group CEO, was being spied on.
7. #PORTUGAL: It’s Election Day in Portugal, as voters go to the polls to give their verdict on the Socialist government of Jose Socrates, whose six years in power have seen the economy decline to the point of an EU-IMF bailout. The election was called after he lost a budget vote in March.
8. #STATE EXAMS: Watch out, exam-takers – you’re being watched. The Sunday Times reports that the State Examinations Commission has hired an online analytics company to monitor online chat about the state exams in a bid to potentially foil online cheating.
9. #BAGGY TROUSERS: Fans of the Madness song better not take their love too literally when on public transport in Fort Worth, Texas: the city has banned bus passengers from wearing saggy jeans that expose their wearer’s buttocks. “Our customers think it’s disrespectful,” a spokesman said.