Skaters enjoy the giant ice rink set up under the famous glass roof of the Grand Palais, in Paris, the largest temporary ice rink ever created in France. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
HERE ARE THE things you need to know as we round off the day in three easy steps.
THINGS WE LEARNED
#SCHOOL SHOOTING: The most horrifying story of the day came from Newtown, Connecticut where there are fears that a mass shooting in an elementary school may turn out to be the worst incident of its kind in the US. Reports already tally the death toll at 27 people – 18 of those are believed to be children. One suspected shooter is believed to have died on the campus.
#SLAVERY: An Irish Traveller family has been found guilty in Bristol Crown Court, England, of conspiracy to force destitute men to work for them.
#BANK DEAL: Can Ireland secure a deal on Irish bank debt before 2014? Taoiseach Enda Kenny reckons we can. Find out why he is so confident here.
#PROPERTY TAX: The Local Property Tax bill passed its first vote by 79 to 44 votes in the Dáil this evening. Meanwhile, Michael Noonan confirms that homes affected by pyrite problems will be exempt from the levy. See here for Phil Hogan’s insistence that he had “lobbied” for the waiver.
#BUS EIREANN: There is less consensus at the bus company today as unions refuse to take part in Labour Court hearings on changes the company wants to make to staff terms and conditions. Bus Éireann says it has to cut overtime, shift, premium and rota payments, as well as annual leave.
#FOR FLIUCH SAKE: Wet enough for you today? (Although we hear Cork was sunny.) This pic of sea levels in Clontarf in Dublin during today’s stormy weather went some way to explaining the flood warnings in parts of the country:
THINGS WE LOVED
- A very merry Kim Wilde singing Kids in America on a London tube train while wearing a pair of reindeer antlers? Yes, please. It must be a 1980s pop star thing. Remember Cyndi Lauper serenading fellow passengers in Buenos Aires airport?
- Powerful, upsetting, unforgettable: Time magazine picks its top 10 photos of 2012.
- How could you not love the news that there are plans to produce an Irish language version of Cheers? Sláinte! (Can we be Norm?)
THINGS WE SHARED
- It was naughty, not nice, of us to share this typo spotted by @DamoIRL/@DigoryKirke1 in the bumper Christmas RTÉ Guide. How would one describe Queen Elizabeth’s Christmas Day speech at 3pm? Oh.
- Hot on the heels of this disturbing job spec yesterday comes news that Ryanair needs a new spokesperson. The airline said today that the job is the “worst job in PR”. Don’t all rush at once.