EVERY DAY, TheJournal.ie brings you nine things you should know with your morning cup of coffee.
1. #PERSONAL DEBT: A record number of new clients were dealt with by the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) in the first quarter of 2012, the Irish Examiner reports this morning. Around 7,593 new clients sought help with MABS with personal loans reported to be the biggest problem and those aged between 26 and 40 making up the majority of those seeking advice.
2. #BONDHOLDERS: The State will pay €1.5 billion of unsecured debt to senior bondholders in Allied Irish Banks (AIB) today. The bank, which is 99.8 per cent owned by the government, has so far cost the country over €20.5 billion. The repayment has been described as “criminal” by the independent TD Stephen Donnelly.
3. #RTÉ: RTÉ has denied new claims that the woman at the centre of the controversy over the false allegations levelled against Fr Kevin Reynolds did not understand the questions she was being asked. The Irish Independent reports that the State broadcaster has rejected claims from a family member of Veneranda Mudi that she did not understand what she was being asked during an interview for the Mission to Prey programme.
4. #TITANIC100: President Michael D Higgins will travel to Cobh in Co Cork today to attend a ceremony marking 100 years since the arrival of the Titanic to Ireland on its maiden voyage. The ill-fated liner docked at Cobh to take on supplies and the group of last passengers before it set off across the North Atlantic later striking an iceberg and sinking.
5. #SYRIA: The Syrian government is continuing to launch fresh attacks on rebel strongholds in the country despite calls for violence to end a ceasefire plan to be honoured. UN special envoy Kofi Annan has said that there is still time to salvage a truce and has appealed to Iran to put pressure on Syria as it is a key ally of president Bashar Assad.
6. #TEACHERS: The annual conference of the Teachers Union of Ireland will take place in Wexford today where cuts to guidance counselling and education for travellers will be discussed. The conference will be addressed by Education Minister Ruairi Quinn fresh from his frosty reception at the ASTI and INTO conferences yesterday.
7. #MICHAEL DWYER: The family of a man shot dead in controversial circumstances in Bolivia three years ago will lobby MEPs today to seek their support for their campaign to hold Bolivian authorities accountable for Michael Dwyer’s death. The 24-year-old was shot dead in a police raid in April 2009 amid claims he was part of a conspiracy to assassinate President Evo Morales, claims which his family deny.
8. #CIVIL SERVICE: Senior civil servants will be sanctioned if they fail to manage staff who are considered sub-standard under new proposals being put forward by the government, the Irish Times reports. The paper says that the performance management system implemented within the civil service has “serious deficiencies” according to a government review.
9. #NOT DYING: A woman who pretended to have terminal cancer so she could have a lavish wedding and honeymoon has been indicted with grand larceny and scheming to defraud by authorities in New York. Jessica Vega, 25, married Michael O’Connell in May 2010 having claimed she had terminal leukemia and accepting thousands of dollars in goodwill donations. The couple later divorced over the incident.