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The 9 at 9: New Year's Day

Good morning! Here are nine things you need to know on the first day of 2014.

Image: Number nine via Shutterstock

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

1. #HAPPY NEW YEAR It’s New Year’s Day, and that means it’s time for a large number of measures from Budget 2014 to kick in. These include the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act, and changes to pensions, Bereavement Grant and bed charges.

2. #CHILDREN The Child and Family Support Agency opens today. Children’s Minister Frances Fitzgerald says it is part of a reform to lay the foundation for world-class protection for children in Ireland.

3. #ARMED Armed gardaí will be seen on the streets from today, with some members of the force allowed to wear pistols on holsters in public display, the Irish Daily Mail reports. It is part of the ongoing fight against gangland crime.

4. #EUROZONE Latvia becomes the eighteenth country and the second Baltic state to join the eurozone, as it switches to the European Union’s single currency. Recent polls show that more than 50 per cent of Latvians are concerned about the move.

5. #HOUSING Housing Minister Jan O’Sullivan has said that the price of rented accommodation should be capped, the Irish Examiner reports. O’Sullivan said this could be part of a system to regulate the rental market.

6. #JOBS Taoiseach Enda Kenny has pencilled in a Cabinet meeting on jobs for late this month or early February, asking ministers to fill in the details of the Government’s jobs strategy, the Irish Daily Mail reports.

7. #NORTH KOREA North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has said the execution of his uncle Jang Song-Thaek helped cement unity among his people. In his New Year’s message, he described the purge of a “faction” within the ruling party as a “resolute action”.

8. #IRISH WATER A new era begins for Irish Water today, with the transfer of responsibility for water and wastewater services to it from local authorities. Environment Minister Phil Hogan has described it as “a momentous event”.

9. #USA Today sees the introduction of US President Barack Obama’s landmark health care reforms, the Affordable Health Act, dubbed ‘Obamacare’. It is now illegal for insurers to deny coverage because of pre-existing conditions.

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