EVERY DAY, TheJournal.ie brings you nine things you need to know with your morning cup of coffee.
1. #FISCAL TREATY: The executive council of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions is to meet today to consider its stance on the Fiscal Compact treaty but it is not expected to direct its members to vote either Yes or No on 31 May.
Meanwhile, Sinn Féin is seeking legal advice on whether the Government’s Yes campaign – in particular, its website – is breaching rules by using public funds to advocate one side in the referendum.
2. #WEATHER: A weather warning is in effect as forecasters expect up to 35mm of heavy rain to fall in the east and south of the country today. There is some risk of localised flooding, according to the good folk at Met Éireann. The rest of Ireland may escape the ‘monsoon-type’ rain with much drier conditions predicted for Ulster and Connacht.
3. #SYRIA: UN special envoy Kofi Annan has said he is alarmed of reports that government troops resumed their violent campaign in Hama just hours after observers left. The news comes as the UN prepares to send up to 300 monitors to the conflict-torn country but CNN reports that Syria will not accept observers from “certain countries”.
4. #SPILL: A former BP engineer has been charged with obstruction of justice after police discovered he had intentionally destroyed evidence related to the deadly Deepwater Horizon rig blowout and subsequent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010. It is understood that Kurt Mix deleted up to 200 text messages about the disaster from his iPhone.
5. #LEVESON: It’s another box-office day at the Leveson Inquiry into media standards in the UK with Rupert Murdoch taking the stand to give evidence.
British Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt is under pressure after documents revealed during yesterday’s hearings suggested that he secretly backed News Corporation’s bid to take over BSkyB.
6. #CHICKEN: Financial markets have gone clucky as chicken companies see their stocks rise following the confirmation of a case of mad cow disease in California, says Bloomberg Business. The US Department of Agriculture confirmed that the disease, found in a dairy cow, is the fourth such diagnosis in recent years.
7. #APPLE: An “incredible quarter in China” has seen Apple, under the new leadership of Tim Cook, surprise Wall Street and almost double its profits. In the first three months of the year, a record 35.1 million iPhones and 12 million iPads were sold.
8. #BACK HOME: The Government Jet, flown by Air Corps personnel, delivered a very special passenger to Ireland yesterday. Eighteen-month old twin Elie Madden returned home to Dublin after spending months at a Boston hospital receiving seven life-saving operations to grow her new oesophagus.
9. #THE BEAUTIFUL GAME: It was a blue night for Barcelona in the Champions League as an unlikely victory for 10-man Chelsea saw Messi and Co. knocked out of the competition. TheScore.ie followed the semi-final second leg and the post-match coverage, including that red card, a missed penalty, a sumptuous dink by Ramires and a goal (!) from Fernando Torres. Plus, the moment is ruined for poor Branislav Ivanovic as Geoff Shreeves tells him there’s no Santa Claus. Not really, but…