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The 9 at 9: Thursday

Good morning! Here are nine things you should know as you start your day…

Image: Paul Joseph via Flickr/Creative Commons

EVERY MORNING,TheJournal.iebrings you the nine things you need to know as you begin your day.

1. #STRIKE: Luas drivers represented by Siptu will serve the Luas operator with notice of industrial action after holding a ballot yesterday. The workers are protesting over rostering and also the company’s decision to let staff go after they finish up 12 month contracts.

2. #SUICIDE: A report published by the Samaritans has said men from disadvantaged backgrounds in their 30s, 40s and 50s are at higher risk of suicide than the rest of society. The report said the changing labour market over the last 60 years has had an impact on masculine pride and identity.

3. #MORTGAGES: One in five mortgage loans are in default according to report on the mortgage market from rating agency Moody’s, the Irish Independent reports. Cork and Dublin cities have the lowest default rates while Cavan and Laois have the highest proportion of people defaulting on their mortgage, having not paid their loan for more than 90 days.

4. #JAMES REILLY: A motion of no confidence against Health Minister James Reilly was defeated last night by the government majority in the Dáil. However his Junior Minister Róisin Shortall’s speech gave a not so ringing endorsement of Reilly as she failed to even mention his name and criticised his performance.

5. #CHILDREN’S REFERENDUM: The wording of the children’s rights referendum and the General Scheme of Adoption (Amendment) Bill was unveiled yesterday, receiving mixed reactions. One expert said it was a positive development that would make a difference for children who are currently in the childcare system but the legislation has been criticised for singling out a specific group in society as the constitution is supposed protect everyone.

6. #POWER: The East-West Interconnector linking power grids between Ireland and Britain will be officially opened by Taoiseach Enda Kenny later today, allowing electricity to be sold between the two countries, RTE reports. The interconnector has the capacity to transfer 500 mega-watts of electricity with enough energy to power 300,000 homes.

7. #CANCER: The national bowel cancer screening programme will be introduced on a phased basis from the end of this year, Health Minister James Reilly has announced. Under the programme, free screening will be offered to men and women aged 55-74, every two years.

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8. #FRANCE: French embassies, consulates, cultural centres and international French schools in some 20 Muslim countries will be closed on Friday for fear of retaliation after the publication of controversial cartoons depicting Mohammad in a French magazine. Protests have left over 30 people dead in the last week, largely targeted at the United States following the release of the California-produced “Innocence of Muslims” film.

9. #AWARD: Burmese democracy campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi has been presented with the US Congress’ highest civilian honour, a medal she was awarded while under house arrest in 2008, the Guardian reports. At the ceremony in Washington, Suu Kyi said it was worth years of waiting to be honoured “in a house undivided, a house joined together to welcome a stranger from a distant land”.

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