EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you the nine stories you need to know as you kick off your day.
1. #JOBBRIDGE: An additional 1,000 places are to be offered on JobBridge, the government’s National Internship Scheme. Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton said the number of places available is to be increased to 6,000 with immediate effect. A total of 6,840 people have started internships in the ten months since the scheme was launched.
2. #SPY GAMES: US officials have said the underwear bomber who planned to launch a suicide attack on an American plane was actually a double agent who was working for the CIA. The man who had been entrusted with the bomb by Al Qaeda instead delivered the device to the US government. The double agent is now back in Saudi Arabia and US officials say his identity will remain a secret.
3. #BREAST IMPLANTS: A solicitor representing a number of women who were fitted with potentially defective PIP breast implants has called for the implants to be replaced and not just removed. In an open letter to the State’s chief medical officer, the solicitors said that the three Irish clinics which fitted the implants have a duty to both replace or refund the costs of implantation.
4. #GREECE: Talks are continuing in Greece today in an attempt to form a coalition government after the parliamentary elections on Sunday saw no single party emerge victorious. However it is looking increasingly likely that the country may have to hold a second election after the country’s left-of-centre parties failed to come to an agreement to form a government.
5. #JOBWATCH: A Research and Development centre in Limerick is to create 35 new jobs for engineers and technicians, the Minister for Finance has announced. The highly-skilled engineering positions for graduates and technicians will come on line over the next five years.
6. #EARNINGS: Business materials group CRH has said its earnings in the first three months of the year have been significantly affected by severe weather conditions across Europe and the ongoing eurozone crisis. The company has said it saw a sales decline of 6 per cent for January and February as cold weather struck many parts of Europe.
7. #EXPLORATION: An Oireachtas Commitee is set to release its report into offshore oil and gas exploration in Ireland later today. Chair of the Committee Andrew Doyle TD has said the issue is “critical to Ireland’s future prosperity and sustainability”.
8. #ID CARD: A new ID card for people claiming social welfare payments is set to be rolled out on a phased basis from this month – but what exactly is it for? We’ve been taking a look at the new Public Services Card and how exactly it will work.
9. #CAREFUL NOW: Driving on the M7 this morning? You might want to keep an eye out for some unexpected visitors on the road: AA Roadwatch is advising motorists that two goats are wandering around the hard shoulder of the motorway at junction 16 near Portlaoise East. Apparently the two animals are frequent visitors to that part of the M7 but they don’t tend to disrupt. Phew.