EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you the nine things you really need to know as you start your day.
1. #TROIKA: The EU-IMF troika is due to release its latest report on Ireland’s fiscal performance today. Minister Michael Noonan has already indicated that the report will show that Ireland is still on track to meet its targets and that the government will work to reduce the budget deficit to 8.6 per cent of GDP in 2012.
2. #RACE FOR THE ÁRAS: Independent candidate Seán Gallagher has denied that a loan made to him from one of his companies two years ago breached the Companies Act, describing it as an “honest mistake” in accounting procedures on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland today. Meanwhile, Michael D Higgins has attacked David Norris over his voting record on the Bank Guarantee Scheme.
3. #DANA: An investigation has been launched into claims that a tyre on Dana Rosemary Scallon’s campaign car was sabotaged. The tyre blew out as the candidate and her husband drove along the M4 on Tuesday evening.
4. #AVIVA: Staff at insurer Aviva have voted unanimously to ballot on industrial action in an effort to retain as many jobs at its Irish operations as possible. The company yesterday announced it was cutting 950 jobs – almost half of its Irish workforce.
5. #DALE FARM: Bailiffs are preparing to enter the Dale Farm site this morning as protests continue against the planned eviction of travellers from the illegal site. Twenty-three people were arrested yesterday as police worked to clear protesters. A 40-foot scaffolding tower at the site entrance needs to be taken down before bailiffs can carry out the eviction, according to BBC Essex.
6. #SPACE: An astronomer at the University of Hawaii has found the youngest planet ever to be discovered. Adam Kraus says that the planet, called LkCa 15 b, is five times younger than the previous record-holder. Here’s an artist’s rendition of the area surrounding the forming planet and its young parent star:
(Image: Karen L Teramura, UH IfA)
7. #GREECE: Further violence and protests are expected in Greece today as a mass general strike continues in opposition to austerity cuts. The Greek parliament voted the latest unpopular austerity measures through yesterday.
8. #RTÉ PAY: Broadcaster Joe Duffy has defended the high wages earned by top RTÉ presenters, telling TV3′s Midweek that he has already agreed to another pay cut and understands that further changes need to be taken at the company.
9. #BACK TO THE FUTURE: The DeLorean car made famous in the Back to the Future trilogy is being revamped and making a return to the market as an electric car, albeit without a flux capacitor, according to ABC News. Here’s how the sports car – of which just several thousand were made before the company went bust in 1982 – looked when it came out first: