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The 5 at 5 5 minutes, 5 stories, 5 o’clock…

HERE ARE THE five stories you need to know as you head out the door on this particularly sunny day…

1. #SEANAD: The government has officially unveiled its proposals to hold a referendum on the abolition of Seanad Éireann in the autumn. Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the planned legislation, which includes a number of reforms to the Dáil as part of a move to a unicameral system, will be the biggest reform of politics in the history of the State.

2. #JOBSWATCH: Cost Plus Sofas, a furniture company with 23 branches around the country, has said ‘many’ of its stores are to close as part of a management decision to restructure the business. The company has not confirmed how many jobs will be lost or exactly which stores are to close in the restructuring, but has said that all outstanding orders will be honoured.

3. #VANDALISM: An investigation is under way after anti-Semitic graffiti was painted onto the shell of the building that was due to be the Anglo Irish Bank headquarters.  The graffiti was discovered this morning and the Central Bank, which now owns the building, says it is investigating how security arrangements failed to prevent a break-in at the site.

4. #GOT THE POWER: Dublin-born academic and human rights advisor Samantha Power is to become the United States’ new ambassador to the United Nations. Power, who was a senior advisor to Barack Obama when he was a member of the US Senate and has won a Pulitzer prize for her book arguing for humanitarian intervention in stricken countries, will replace Susan Rice as part of a top-level reshuffle.

5. #TOP SECRET: Former Irish Attorneys-General Peter Sutherland and Paul Gallagher are to join around 140 other participants at this year’s annual summit of the highly-secretive Bilderberg Group which begins tomorrow. Finance Minister Michael Noonan, who attended last year, has confirmed he will not be attending this year. Other attendees include former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and former prime minister of Italy Mario Monti.

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