EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you the nine things you need to know as you start your day.
1. #BOSTON MARATHON: The FBI are investigating two explosions in Boston which have killed three people, including an 8-year-old boy, and left more than 140 injured. At least 15 people are in a critical condition and many more have serious injuries, ranging from shrapnel wounds to limb amputations.
2. #IRISH IN BOSTON: The Department of Foreign Affairs says it is unaware of any Irish who are missing or injured following the explosions at the Boston Marathon. Figures from race organisers listed 108 Irish citizens among the athletes taking part.
3. #OBAMA: US President Barack Obama is being cautious as to how he describes the double explosions, stopping short of referring to the incident as a terrorist attack. However, he has vowed to find out who carried out the Boston explosions and hold them accountable.
4. #US SECURITY: The Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg has confirmed that security has been tightened around its landmarks after the explosions which rocked the finish line of the Boston Marathon. He said that citizens would notice Criticial Response Vehicles on the street and that 1,000 NYPD officers had been assigned to “counter-terrorism duties”.
5. #CROKE PARK II: The fate of Croke Park II could be known later today as some of the biggest unions announce the results of their ballots on the deal. Only two unions – both of them small – have so far accepted the agreement while eight have rejected it.
6. #HORSEMEAT: Around 2,500 test results, carried out to detect the presence of horsemeat in processed meals and of the horse drug phenylbutazonen in horse carcasses, will be published today by the European Commission.
7. #HUMAN TRAFFICKING: Although 13 Irish citizens were suspected of being involved in human trafficking between 2008 and 2010, none were prosecuted. Figures outlined in a European Commission report showed an 18 per cent increase, but the number of traffickers who were convicted dropped by 13 per cent over the same period.
8. #NORTH KOREA: The military in North Korea has threatened the South with imminent “sledge-hammer” retaliation unless they apologised for burning effigies of its revered leaders. As the North celebrated the late Kim Il-Sung’s birthday yesterday, around 40 protesters in Seoul burned portraits of the leaders. South Korea called the North’s ultimatum “regrettable” and “absurd”.
9. #GOLD: Gold prices have suffering its heaviest slump in 30 years triggered by weak Chinese growth and reports that Cyprus was planning to sell part of its reserves. Analysts said the 13 per cent drop in prices between Friday’s open and Monday’s close could show gold’s 12-year bull-run was at an end.