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Dublin: 18 °C Wednesday 17 July, 2019
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The 9 at 9: Friday

Good morning! Here’s what you need to know as you kick off your Friday.

Image: Deyan Georgiev via Shutterstock

EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you the nine things you need to know as you kick off your day.

1. #BUDGET 2013: Social Protection minister Joan Burton has defended her decision to cut the annual respite care grant by over €300 in this week’s Budget. Burton said keeping the grant at its previous level would have forced her to cut other weekly social welfare payments. The comments put her on a collision course with Labour backbenchers who are seeking a U-turn on the cut, as well as on deductions to child benefit.

2. #JAPAN: A tsunami alert has been issued for Japan after an offshore earthquake about 200 kilometres off its eastern coast. The 7.3-magnitude quake stuck at 8:18am and authorities are warning of metre-high waves that could strike Japan’s eastern coast, which is still recovering from a tsunami in March 2011.

3. #PEDESTRIAN: Part of Nassau Street in central Dublin remains closed to traffic this morning following the death of a pedestrian when he was hit by a bus during the evening rush hour. Gardaí are still seeking witnesses to the incident, which happened at about 5:45pm. It is thought that they are seeking two men in connection with their inquiries.

4. #NORTHERN IRELAND: Hillary Clinton heads north this morning, meeting politicians in Belfast to discuss the peace process and the development of the Northern Irish economy. Her visit comes a day after First Minister Peter Robinson asked loyalists to scale back their ongoing protests over the flying of the British flag at Belfast City Hall.

5. #OMBUDSMAN: The Department of Health has “a long history of [...] carelessness about the law,” Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly has claimed. The Ombudsman told an Oireachtas committee yesterday that her report on the Department’s illegal tactic of turning down valid applications for mobility allowance appeared only to have “agitated” James Reilly.

6. #INVESTIGATION: Well-known PR guru Max Clifford has been bailed by police in London after his arrest in connection with the investigation into alleged child sexual abuse. Speaking outside the police station where he was held and questioned for 13 hours, Clifford said the allegations were “damaging and totally untrue”.

7. #2012: The world’s governments appear to be divided on the crucial question of whether the world is going to end this month. The US Government has put up a blog post to assure people that the world will survive… but Australian premier Julia Gillard has put up a video where she’s not so sure. (Thankfully, Gillard’s video is a tongue-in-cheek promo for a radio station.)

8. #NETFLIX: Streaming giant Netflix could be sued by US corporate regulators… for putting up a post on Facebook. A senior company official posted an update discussing how many customers the company had – but the SEC, which regulates companies in the US, says data like that is market sensitive and needs to be disclosed publicly first. Netflix, for its part, says a Facebook update is pretty public to begin with.

9. #SNIFFLES: Consuming large quantities of beer can help protect against the winter sniffles and can even help to battle the uncurable common cold, research has said. A chemical compound in hops can help guard against a virus that causes pneumonia and bronchitis, according to Japanese research. A word of warning, though: the research was revealed by a Japanese brewery, and you’d need to drink about 18 pints to get enough of the key ingredient.

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About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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