EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you the nine things you need to know as you begin your day.
1. #NEWTOWN: Authorities in the US have released the names and ages of the 27 victims of the Sandy Park shootings in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday. The list includes 20 children, many as young as 6, and seven adults including the school’s principal. Barack Obama is due to attend an interfaith vigil in memory of the victims this evening.
2. #COURTS: A man is due in court later today in connection with a fatal shooting in Co Tipperary two months ago. The 29-year-old will appear before a special sitting of Clonmel District Court charged with the murder of Shane Rossiter, who was killed in Golden on October 17. Two other men remain in Garda custody.
3. #REPOSSESSIONS: Banks are preparing a significant wave of repossessions of buy-to-let properties in the New Year, the Sunday Business Post reports. The paper suggests lenders are recruiting panels of insolvency experts ahead of the introduction of new insolvency legislation, and the lifting of legal impediments to repossessions, in order to move in and take over properties bought as investment prospects during the boom years.
4. #BUDGET 2013: All eyes could be on the Seanad this week as opposition parties prepare an ambush to delay the Budget measures from taking effect for another few months. It’s thought that several Labour senators are considering following the lead of Colm Keaveney and voting against the Social Welfare Bill. Fianna Fáil is planning to force votes on each measure – and assuming all the independents oppose each measure, the defection of two Labour members would defeat the Social Welfare Bill and delay the introduction of its measures for 90 days.
5. #PROMISSORY NOTES: A “furious row” broke out at this week’s cabinet meeting between Michael Noonan and Pat Rabbitte over Ireland’s stance on the repayment of the promissory notes, the Sunday Independent says. Rabbitte had told last week’s ‘The Week in Politics’ that Ireland would not make its next €3.06 billion repayment – prompting finance minister Noonan to tell him the issue was “none of his business”.
6. #WHOOPING COUGH: The number of cases of whooping cough diagnosed in Ireland in 2012 is already double the number for all of last year – and almost four times as many as in 2010. The HSE said the outbreak is “of concern” and that it was offering advice to healthcare professionals to manage the outbreak.
7. #PUPPIES: Most of the 56 puppies seized by Gardaí at Dublin Port two months ago were returned to the man who was transporting them, the Sunday Times has revealed. John Mooney’s report says the man arrested over the seizure was found not to have committed a crime, and successfully sought to have 46 of the puppies returned to him. Only ten were kept by the DSCPA, all but one of which has since been rehoused.
8. #JAPAN: Voters go to the polls in Japan today for parliamentary elections which are likely to see the country get its fifth new prime minister in five years. The Liberal Democrats are on course for victory, set to elect the ambitious Shinzo Abe – who wants to kickstart the lagging economy and strengthen the military – as prime minister.
9. #ALCOHOL: Two circus elephants drank vodka to help them survive in the freezing plains of Siberia after their trailer caught fire, Russia’s news agency has said. Reuters tells us that a “quick-thinking handler” ran to a nearby village and bought bottles of vodka for the two elephants Jenny and Magda to drink, helping to keep them warm and survive in sub-zero temperatures while the party waited for assistance.