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The 9 at 9: Thursday

Good morning! Here are nine things you want to know as you start your day.

Image: number nine via Shutterstock

EVERY DAY, TheJournal.ie brings you nine things you need to know with your morning cup of coffee.

1. #SYRIA Iran has rejected claims that the Syrian regime used chemical arms. The UN has said clarity is needed over the attacks, and calls the use of chemical weapons a “serious escalation”, says the BBC. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have called on the Syrian government to give access to UN weapons inspectors to the sites of the alleged attacks.

2. #FINANCE Minister Brendan Howlin has expressed concern that banks are not taking the Financial Ombudsman seriously. He made the comments after a report from the ombudsman yesterday said the banking sector has not seen an improvement in its complaint handling.

3. #EGYPT Nosayba Halawa has begged Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore to treat her siblings, who are in custody in Egypt, as if they are his own children, says the Irish Independent. Gilmore has spoken of his concern about reports that the siblings face charges.

4. #TROIKA The taxpayer has paid more than €220m in fees to the EU and IMF on top of interest payments for our bailout, the Irish Independent reports. It says that the fees are charged when the State draws down a loan. Michael McGrath of Fianna Fáil said the lenders should not be collecting the fees due to Ireland’s good prospects for leaving the bailout.

5. #CHARGED An 18-year-old male was charged in Limerick District Court yesterday with the rape and sexual assault of a girl (7), the Irish Examiner says. The rapes and 12 out of 13 sexual assaults allegedly took place between August 2010 – 2011 at two address in Limerick. The teen was granted bail.

6. #MALDIVES The Maldivian High Court has overturned a public flogging sentence for a 15-year-old rape victim whose conviction sparked outrage amongst rights groups. The step-father of the girl is on trial for raping her, but the High Court said that the girl had been wrongly convicted.

7. #OPEN WATER An open water swim from Ireland to Wales had to end in the early hours of this morning due to health concerns for the swimmer, Steve Redmond. The RNLI said that Redmond was showing signs of hypothermia just hours into the swim.

8. #COURT A judge has ruled that a high-achieving boy should be sent to a private school, the Irish Times reports. This is against his father’s wishes, as the separated parents could not agree on a school for their son. The judge said the boy would be best served by attending the private school.

9. #PSNI The PSNI is facing a shortage of 500 officers by 2015, the Belfast Telegraph says. The paper says that a study has identified gaps in staffing in the force, which has had to deal with intense violence and riots recently. Police Federation Terry Spence has written to the Chief Constable, calling for the recruitment of 1,000 officers.

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