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Dublin: 5 °C Friday 19 December, 2014

The 9 at 9: Sunday

Good morning. Here are nine things to know as you start your day.

Image: kirstyhall via Flickr/Creative Commons

EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you nine things you need to know as you kick off your day.

1. #ARREST: Two men are currently being questioned after they were arrested in the Dean Rock area of Togher, Co Cork, yesterday, during which two handguns were found. The arrests came as part of a garda investigation into the activities of dissident republicans.

2. #ITALY: Italians are going to the polls today for the first time since Silvio Berlusconi was ousted in 2011. It is believed that the most likely winner will be the Democratic Party, the leader of which is Pier Luigi Bersani. Bersani has said that he will stick to current reforms but will also try to increase growth in the recession-hit country. Everything you need to know can be found in our ‘Explainer’ piece here.

3. #PAY TALKS: Talks to extend the current Croke Park agreement are set to continue today. RTÉ News is reporting that today’s talks will focus on premium payments and, as the deadline looms ever closer, could run throughout the night. Government is also hoping to get agreement on a three-year freeze on increment payments and a commitment that staff will work at least 37 hours a week.

4. #FINE GAEL: Fine Gael is the most popular party in Ireland, according to today’s Sunday Business Post/Red C tracking poll. At 28 per cent, the party is just two percentage points ahead of the second most popular party, Fianna Fáil. Independents/others are at 18 per cent, with Sinn Féin on 16 per cent. Fine Gael’s current coalition partners, Labour, are at 12 per cent.

5. #TRIPADVISOR: A number of Irish hotels are seeking to have links to their corresponding TripAdvisor reviews removed from ireland.com, according to The Sunday Times. Their action is as a result of what they believe to be the false and malicious posting of reviews by anonymous users on the popular travel site.

6. #ADRIAN DONOHOE: The reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for the murder of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe is set to be doubled to €100,000 in the coming week. The Sunday World has said that the additional €50,000 is to be made available by Crimestoppers. This is in addition to the €50,000 that had already been offered by the Irish League of Credit Unions.

7. #PONTIFF: Pope Benedict XVI will deliver his last Sunday blessing today. Tens of thousands of people are expected to descend on St Peter’s Square in Rome today, ahead of the Pope’s resignation next Thursday, after which he has said that he will remain in “spiritual proximity”.

8. #PISTORIUS: Another Pistorius is in the news today, as media in South Africa are reporting that the older brother of Oscar Pistorius has been charged with culpable homicide over a car accident in 2010. Carl Pistorius allegedly killed a female motorcyclist while driving outside Johannesburg. His trial had been due to start last Thursday, a day before his brother, Oscar, was granted bail on a charge of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. It has now been pushed back a month.

9. #OSCARS: The 85th Academy Awards are taking place in Los Angeles tonight. While the films Argo and Lincoln are expected to win big, Daniel Day-Lewis is in the running to become the first ever actor to receive three Oscars for Best Actor. TheJournal.ie will be liveblogging the entire event so you won’t miss a thing.

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