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The 9 at 9: Saturday

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

Image: Nine eggs image via Shutterstock

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

1. #TRAGEDY: A 14-year-old boy has died after sustaining serious head injuries in a fall from a tractor yesterday evening. The incident occurred at Knocknacullata in Mallow, Co Cork.

2. #BID-RIGGING: Four construction companies are under investigation by the Competition Authority over allegations that they agreed among themselves who would offer the lowest bids on projects and took turns winning different tenders,the Irish Daily Mail reports.

3. #WEALTH: Minister Michael Noonan has given a strong indication that he will not be considering a wealth tax in the next budget. Noonan said that there is not currently enough information on how much people earn to make it possible to implement the tax.

4. #DISABILITY: Over 300 families of young people with intellectual disabilities have been told that they will not get a day service that meets their needs now that the children have finished school, The Irish Times reports. Cuts to funding this year mean there there is a mere €4 million available to provide services for school-leavers compared to some €10 million over recent years.

5. #ENVIRONMENT: Ireland’s courts are being lenient on those who breach environmental laws by illegally dumping or even polluting rivers, according to the Irish Examiner, with the average fine standing at just €10,000. This compares to fines reaching six figure sums in the UK.

6. #DRUGS: Consumers in Ireland are heading north for more than just their groceries as the Irish Independent revealed that they’re paying up to seven times more for some popular medicines here than in Northern Ireland.

7. #SYRIA: A top UN official is to visit Syria today for talks as demands grow for a probe into claims that the regime was responsible for a chemical attack that killed hundreds, AFP reports. US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel has suggested that the Pentagon is moving forces into place ahead of possible military action.

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8. #FIRE: A huge wildfire that raged unchecked near California’s famous Yosemite National Park yesterday has now reached the park, BBC reports. More than 2,000 firefighters have been battling the blaze but it is just 2 per cent contained.

9. #CHINA: Disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai, who has been charged with bribery and corruption, has described his own wife as “unstable” and “insane” after she gave evidence implicating him in corruption, BBC reports.

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