EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you the nine stories you need to know before your morning coffee.
1. #SHOOTING: A 16-year-old girl has died following a drive-by shooting in Tallaght in Dublin. The teenager was in the passenger seat of a parked car when a number of shots were fired from a passing vehicle at around 10.35pm last night. The 16-year-old is believed to have been shot in the head.
2. #WHAT RECESSION?: A chef was hired to cook breakfast for Cabinet meetings in November 2010 at a cost of €300 per day, just days after then-Taoiseach Brian Cowen announced that Ireland would need a bailout. Figures obtained by TheStory.ie note that the Department of the Taoiseach spent over €28,000 on limousines and €37,600 on taxis in 2010 according to The Irish Times.
3. #PROSTITUTION: An organisation which works with women affected by prostitution has called on tougher sanctions and financial penalties to be used to deter organised prostitution in Ireland. The call from Ruhama comes following the broadcast of an RTE Prime Time documentary last night on the Irish sex trade.
4. #USA 2012: An unexpected twist in the battle to become the Republican nominee for president saw conservative Rick Santorum win three presidential contests last night, leaving front runner Mitt Romney trailing behind. Questions have now been raised about whether Romney can bring together the wide-ranging assortment of Republican supporters to seal the nomination.
5. #RETIREMENT: The government has ‘no plan at all’ for dealing with the number of staff leaving the health service under the early retirement scheme, a Sinn Féin TD has said. The party’s health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin criticised the government for not planning for the departure of around 3,800 health sector employees by the end of this month.
6. #CLAMPING: Clamping companies don’t make any money out of clamping, a Dáil committee has heard. Members of the Irish Parking Association also told Oireachtas members that there were around 300 appeals by people who had been clamped last year of which 50 per cent were successful.
7. #DRUGS: Four men have been arrested after cannabis with an estimated street value of €840,000 was seized at an industrial estate in Dublin last night. Around 1500 cannabis plants were seized by gardaí during the search along with freshly harvested herbal cannabis.
8. #NAMA: The National Asset Management Agency has spent over €27 million – or around €40,000 a day – on legal expenses in just over two years, new figures have revealed. Dublin-based law firm Arthur Cox received over €3 million, the highest amount of any one firm.
9. #OBAMA: Barack Obama made a schoolboy’s day yesterday when he helped fire the student’s home-made marshallow-shooting machine in the White House. The president warned journalists covering the event to stay out of the way of the projectile before firing the sweet across the room. Aw.