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The 9 at 9: Thursday

Water supplies continue to be disrupted across the country; Newly released documents from thirty years ago cast new light on the relationship between Ireland and Britain; and the former president of Israel is found guilty of rape.

Image: Bucklava via Creative Commons

Every morning, TheJournal.ie brings you nine things you really need to know with your morning coffee.

1. #WATER: Disruptions to the water supply continue across Nothern Ireland and the Republic today, and may extend past New Year’s Eve.

Pubs and restaurants have expressed concern that the supply could be cut on one the busiest nights of the year – a scenario that would be  “absolute disaster” for businesses, the Restaurants Association of Ireland has said.

Meanwhile, the Department of the Environment has asked property owners to check for water leaks in a bid to get the situation under control as quickly as possible.

2. #STATE PAPERS: State papers previously held in the British National Archives in London and released under the 30-year rule cast new light on the relationship between Taoiseach Charles Haughey and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1980 – as well as revealing the mutual suspicion that existed between London and Dublin at the time.

The papers reveal that considerable progress on repairing relations between the states had been made, but that ultimately Thatcher had written to inform the taoiseach that if he wanted a much closer relationship, he would be “disappointed – very disappointed”.

3.#STATE PAPERS: The newly released documents from 1980 show that Pope John Paul II had urged Maze hunger strikers to give up their protest, saying that it clashed with Christian principles.

The pope had said: “The Bishops are urged not only to insist with the British Authorities but also to do everything possible in order to persuade prisoners to adopt a more human attitude, and I repeat, one more in keeping with Christian principles.”

4. #IVORY COAST: The first recognised envoy for Ivory Coast has warned the UN of ‘genocide’ in his country and uged it to intervene.

At least 173 people were killed between 16 and 21 December – because, envoy Youssoufou Bamba told reporters, “they wanted to demonstrate, they want to speak out, they want to defend the will of the people”.

5.# SEIZURE: Three men have been released by gardaí after a Dublin cigarette seizure worth €860,000.

RTÉ reports that gardaí and customs officers made the seizure as the contraband cigarettes were being loaded onto a truck at Greenogue Business Park in Newcastle yesterday.

6. # CLONDALKIN: A man has been taken to hospital after being shot several times in the leg, arm and hand in Clondalkin last night.

The Irish Times reports that the attack took place in the Wheatfield area of Clondalkin at about 9.30pm. His injuries are described as non-life threatening.

7. # IRAQ: The number of civilians killed by violence in Iraq in the past year was the lowest since the 2003 US-led invasion, a rights group has said, however it warned that the number may have reached an “impassable minimum” – meaning civilians were likely to die at a similar rate in the coming years.

The 2010 report from Iraq Body Count (IBC) 3,976 people had died violently in Iraq over the past year, compared to 4,680 in 2009.

IBC says that a total of 4,470 coalition military personnel have been killed in Iraq since 2003. In contrast, 108,398 Iraqis have died in violence in the same time frame – however the group says that a further 15,000 civilian deaths could be added to the count, following a document released by Wikileaks.

8. # ISRAEL: The former president of Israel, Moshe Katsav, has been found guilty of rape by a court in Tel Aviv.

The BBC reports that the charges date back to April 1998 when a woman alleged he had raped her at the Tourism Ministry office and later at a hotel in Jerusalem.

Katsav, who was the Israeli president from 2000 until 2007, faces four years in jail but is expected to appeal the sentence in Israel’s supreme court.

9. #BON JOVI: Bon Jovi’s was responsible for the highest-earning tour of 2010 – taking in a cool $201.1 million (€151.8 million) worldwide, according to music trade publication Pollstar.

Rockers AC/DC came in second, selling $177 million (€133.7 million) in tickets. However, U2 fell from their 2009 number one spot to third place, as their ticket sales totaled just $160.9 million (€121 million).

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