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The 9 at 9 What you need to know: 300 passengers trapped on board a cancelled flight for seven hours, a false alarm at the Embassy in Rome, and the visit of a certain man in red.

Every day, brings you nine things you really need to know with your morning coffee. With today being Christmas Day, though, we’ll leave it up to you to choose whether to kick off your day with something stronger.

1. #BRRR: Thousands are today looking to make alternative Christmas plans after airlines were unable to provide enough flights to get stranded passengers back home in time for Christmas.

Though Dublin Airport was able to remain open from 5am yesterday, airlines flying through Dublin were forced to cancel about fifty flights due to the previous night’s closure, which forced many planes to divert elsewhere and thus handicap yesterday’s flight schedules.

Aer Lingus has said it is striving to provide hotels for its affected passengers, while Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has promised passengers of his own airline that it will fully compensate any travellers forced to take emergency accommodation.

Bus Eireann is running intercity buses today serving the airport in a bid to get stranded passengers back home.

2. #US AIRWAYS: There was an even more frustrating wait for some passengers on a US Airways flight in Dublin yesterday, who had boarded their plane to Philadelphia ahead of departure at 11:05am – only to have the flight continually delayed, and ultimately cancelled.

While the delays were continuing, passengers were not permitted to get off the aircraft – leading up to 300 people to be stranded on board until 8pm before the flight was formally cancelled and they were allowed off again.

3. #EMBASSY: Staff at the Irish Embassy in Rome had a false alarm yesterday evening, RTÉ reports, when a package resembling those sent to the Chinese and Swiss embassies was delivered to it.

As it turned out, however, the package merely contained a greeting card.

4. #ECUADOR: 35 people have been killed in Ecuador when the bus on which they were travelling veered off the road and fell into a deep ravine. Seven of those on board were children, reports indicate.

5. #ATHLONE: Residents at a nursing home in Athlone had to be moved to alternative accommodation last night when the facility’s central heating system broke down. The residents at Loughloe House were moved to St Vincent’s Hospital until the heating can be restored.

6. #IVORY COAST: The leaders of some West African countries have met and promised they wil use “legitimate force”, if needed, to force Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo out of office after he lost the recent election in the country, but refused to cede power.

7. #PAKISTAN: A suicide bomber has killed at least 40 at a food distribution centre in Khar, near the Pakistani border with Afghanistan. The attack comes just a day after Taliban militia attacked government checkpoints, resulting in 35 deaths.

8. #NIGERIA: More Christmas horror in Africa too: the Nigerian city of Jos was hit by five explosions last night as residents returned home from Christmas Eve Masses. Eight are thought to have been killed.

9. #SANTAWATCH: He’s not quite home yet, but he’s nearly there. Well-behaved children are waking this morning to find gifts from Santa, who is thought to have passed over Ireland at about 2am last night.

Santa is currently finishing off his run in North America, having just left Alaska, and his run will finish in a couple of hours after he visits Hawaii and other islands in the Pacific Ocean.