Every morning, TheJournal.ie brings you nine things you really need to know by 9am.
1. #GE11: Education and mortgages are on the agenda as Fianna Fail and Labour launch their education policy documents today; while Fine Gael will be providing details of its plans to help families in mortgage distress; Sinn Fein is launching its plan for political reform, and the Green party is unveiling its social policy plans.
2. # PLANE CRASH: The solicitors acting for one of the survivors of last week’s plane crash at Cork airport have said Manx2 is shirking its responsibility to the victims after it said it was not liable for any claims. The funerals are to take place today of two of those killed: Capt Michael Evans will be buried at 1.30pm, while businessman Richard Noble will be put to rest in Belfast at 2pm. The pilot Jordi Sola Lopez was buried in Spain yesterday.
3. #NAMA: NAMA has made its first big sale after Google agreed to buy the Montevetro office development – Dublin’s tallest commercial building – across the road from its Barrow St HQ for €99.9 million.
4. #ST PATRICK’S DAY: Tourism Ireland is investing €28 million in a promotional drive which involves turning Table Mountain in South Africa, the London Eye, the Mannekin Pis and the Empire State building green for St Patrick’s day as a way of promoting tourism to Ireland, the Irish Times reports.
5. #CULTURE APP: You can now get your culture fix without leaving home at all; thanks to the new virtual culture trail, dublinculture.ie, which allows you to tour the capital’s culture highlights virtually or from your iPhone.
6. #BABY: A man has been jailed for life after a jury in Belfast unanimously convicted him of murdering his 14 week old son, Cameron Jay Leslie. The baby’s mother, Sheree Black, said afterwards she would “never, ever, ever forgive” twenty six year old Ryan Leslie for what he had done, after the jury found the baby had been assaulted on more than once occasion and had died from brain swelling, the Belfast Telegraph reports.
7. #WOMEN PRISONERS: Justice Catherine McGuinness said the only offences committed by women that get attention in the media are murders. She was launching a report on women in the criminal justice system, the Irish Times reports.
8. #DEMOCRACY PROTESTS: Four people are dead, more than 100 injured after a night of protests in Bahrain, in which security forces used tear gas and batons to disperse the protesters, the BBC reports. Meanwhile, anti-government groups have been using social networking sites to call for a Day of Rage in Libya.
9. #APPLE: Concerns are mounting over the health of Apple boss Steve Jobs, after he was photographed outside a Palo Alto hospital appearing to have lost a huge amount of weight – prompting one US tabloid to speculate that he may have just weeks to live. However, Jobs is due to meet the US president Barack Obama, Google’s Eric Schmidt and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg today.