Every morning, TheJournal.ie brings you nine things you really need to know by 9am.
1. #GE11: Results are in from Laois-Offaly and Wicklow, while a full recount has been ordered in Galway West after five candidates had been elected. In Laois-Offaly, Barry Cowen, fellow Fianna Fáil candidate Sean Fleming, as well as Fine Gael’s Marcella Corcoran Kennedy and Sinn Fein’s Brian Stanley have been elected, along with Charlie Flanagan who was elected earlier. In Wicklow, 3 Fine Gael, 1 Labour and 1 Independent have been declared elected after 19 counts.
2. #TALKS: Talks between the coalition partners get underway in earnest later this morning. The Independent reports that Eamon Gilmore has been given the green light to carve out a deal – though some senior party figures still say opposition is an option.
3. #BANKS: Irish banks will be forced to pay a levy into a special fund to cover the costs of the failed banks under legislation to meet a condition of the EU-IMF bailout, the Irish Times reports.
5. #MURDER TRIAL: The final closing statements in the trial of Hazel Stewart for the murder of her husband and her lover’s wife will be made this morning. Her defence lawyer is insisting she is guilty of withholding information, perjury and perverting the course of justice, but not of murder.
6. #EMBEZZLEMENT CHARGES: The former personal assistant of Adam Clayton has appeared in court on charges of embezzling €3 million from him, according to the Irish Daily Mirror.
7. #GADDAFI: Muammar Gaddafi is “delusional” and “unfit to lead”, the US ambassador to the UN has said, after the Libyan leader yesterday laughed and joked as he spoke to reporters. Meanwhile, the Telegraph reports that the British government is on the brink of ordering military action against him, over fears that his people could be attacked with chemical weapons.
8. #PIRATES: Three Danish children and their parents have been snatched by pirates while sailing in the Indian ocean, the BBC reports.
9. #EQUATORIAL GUINEA: The son of Equatorial Guinea’s dictator of 30 years commissioned a yacht costing €288 million… that’s three times what his country spends annually on health and education, a corruption watchdog has said. Teodorin Obiang’s yacht will be 118.5 meters (387 feet), housing a cinema, restaurant, bar, swimming pool and a $1.3 million security system complete with floor motion sensors, photoelectric barriers and fingerprint door openers.