EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you the nine things you need to know as you crack open your first packet of Love Hearts.
1. #PRIORY HALL: The residents of Priory Hall fear that their complex may soon experience even more damage, after the ESB said it was cutting off the power to the stricken complex. Residents worry that pumps in the basement – which are needed to drain water from the complex – will stop working and cause flooding and other damage.
2. #JOBS PLAN: Opposition parties have criticised the government’s ‘Action Plan on Jobs’, announced yesterday, which aims to create 200,000 new jobs by 2020. Sinn Féin said the measures were a “rehash” of initiatives previously announced, while Fianna Fáil said there was “no new thinking at all”.
3. #AUTISM: Health minister James Reilly has lashed out at controversial columnist Dr Tony Humphreys, describing his assertions of a link between autism and parenting as “utterly outrageous”. Reilly, himself the parent of an autistic child, said he could still see the hurt caused to his wife 25 years after his son’s diagnosis.
4. #SHOOTING: Gardaí are investigating the circumstances after shots were fired at a home in Tallaght last night. Nobody was injured in the incident, which occurred at around 9:45pm, though a shotgun cartridge was recovered and two cars seized.
5. #DOWNGRADE: Ratings agency Moody’s has downgraded the credit ratings of six European countries – and put another three on negative watch. France has kept its AAA rating for now, but it has been given a negative outlook – like the UK, which now risks losing its coveted triple-A status.
6. #APPEAL: Police detectives in Northern Ireland have issued a fresh appeal for information on the death of Ronald Todd, who was beaten and bound before being dumped in the Lagan river. His body was recovered six years ago today.
7. #ALL CLEAR: Google has been given approval by trade regulators in the US and EU to complete its $12.5 billion takeover of Motorola’s mobile phone manufacturing unit. The deal now just needs to clear hurdles in China, Israel and Taiwan before Google can plough head-first into the mobile phone market.
8. #HEALING HEART: No, that’s not a Valentine’s reference. US research says damage caused by heart attacks could soon be repaired – using stem cells taken from elsewhere in the patient’s heart. The news has been hailed as a potential breakthrough for heart attack patients, whose hearts are not able to pump blood at the same rate as a ‘healthy’ one.
9. #VALENTINE’S DAY: Yes, it IS that time of year again. But even if you’re single – or if your other half isn’t close to you – you might spare a thought for the Irish soldiers out serving in Lebanon, who have been sending their messages home to their nearest and dearest. Alternatively, you might want to simply be happy you haven’t gotten one of these 15 terrible cards – or just indulge in our slideshow of what Hugh O’Connell has described as “animals in love”. You’re welcome – and Happy Valentine’s.