EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you the nine things you need to know as you begin your day.
1. #ETHICS: The Dáil’s internal oversight committee is to discuss whether as many as 14 TDs are in breach of ethics laws by failing to disclose their previous membership of local councils in the Register of Members’ Interests. TheJournal.ie has learned that members of the Oireachtas could be in breach of the Ethics in Public Office Act by not disclosing their previous jobs as local councillors – as the Standards in Public Office Commission believes members are required to disclose any position they hold, or had previously held, if it resulted in them receiving over €2,600 while they were a member of the Oireachtas.
2. #JUNIOR CERT: The long wait is over for almost 59,000 Junior Cert students who will today receive their examination results. This year saw the highest number of students to sit the exams in recent years, with a 3.4 per cent increase on 2011. Meanwhile, in a bid to curb underage drinking and related problems, the HSE in conjunction with a number of other groups has organised a free ‘mega party’ for Junior Cert students in Galway.
3. #ESM: Germany’s Constitutional Court will today rule on whether the country’s participation in the European Stability Mechanism, the Eurozone’s new permanent bailout fund, is legal or not. Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has expressed confidence that the court will give a “pro-European” verdict.
4. #PENSIONS: The Irish State faces a €324 billion shortfall between its future pension and social welfare liabilities and the revenue needed to fund them, according to a report in this morning’s Irish Times. An unpublished report commissioned by the Government, seen by the newspaper, indicates that a shortfall almost twice the size of the current national debt will emerge in 54 years from now.
5. #LABOUR: The Labour Party is holding a two-day think-in that will put children’s rights, education, and a national broadband plan at the top of the agenda. The party has defended holding the meeting at Carton House – a four star Kildare hotel – in response to criticism that the location is too luxurious.
6. #TRAVELLERS: Travellers rights group Pavee Point have called for the resignation of an Athlone District Court judge over comments made during a case with a Traveller defendant, saying his remarks reflect “a mindset that has no place in Irish society”. Judge Seamus Hughes said that some people from the defendant’s background were “like Neanderthal men abiding by the laws of the jungle”.
7. #HILLSBOROUGH: The independent panel set up to probe the Hillsborough disaster – which saw 96 football fans lose their lives while attending the 1989 FA Cup semi-final – will release its findings to the public later today. The group has said that it wanted to give those affected by the disaster time to prepare for the disclosures, some of which have been described as “shocking”.
8. #LIBYA: A US State Department official has been killed in Libya after militiamen stormed the Benghazi consulate in protest over a US-produced film that is said to insult the Prophet Muhammad. The fatal attack comes a day after protesters scaled the walls of the US embassy in Cairo and ripped down the American flag.
9. #NETHERLANDS: The Dutch public will vote in parliamentary elections today, with the result expected to be a close contest between the centre-right VVD Liberal party of the incumbent Prime Minister and the centre-left Labour Party. International observers will be watching today’s proceedings closely as the result could have significant indications of the direction of Europe.
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