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The 9 at 9: Thursday

Good morning! Here are nine things to know before you start your day…

Image: Flickr/Creative Commons

EACH DAY, brings you nine things you should know with your morning cup of coffee.

1. #ABORTION: Peter Mathews’s motion calling for a free vote on the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013 failed at a Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting last night, with the Taoiseach reiterating a three-line whip. TDs will begin debating the proposed legislation as it is introduced into the Dáil later today.

2. #SEPARATED: The UK Chancellor George Osborne has hinted that Ulster Bank could be sold off from its parent, Royal Bank of Scotland. He said RBS should have been split into a ‘Good Bank’ and a ‘Bad Bank’ back in 2008.

3. #RIP: Multi-award-winning Sopranos actor James Gandolfini has died. He was 51 years old. The makers of the television programme that made him a star, HBO, paid tribute to a “special man, a great talent, but more importantly a gentle and loving person who treated everyone no matter their title or position with equal respect”.

4. #BRAZIL: Despite a government decision to reverse the public transport fare increases that initially sparked the current unrest in Brazil, protests continued overnight in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia, BBC News reports.

5. #€€€: Following last night’s agreement on the European Union’s €960 billion budget for the next seven years, Finance Ministers will join up later today to discuss the next steps needed for a “banking union”, including rules for future bailouts.

6. #STRIKE? The Irish Independent reports that there could be misery for up to 150,000 Aer Lingus passengers over the August bank holiday weekend because the airline’s pilots have voted overwhelmingly for industrial action if a row over pay and pensions is not resolved.

7. #LUCKY: Three young children found a working firearm while playing in a vacant house in a Longford town housing estate yesterday evening. They managed to discharge the gun but – luckily – nobody was injured during the incident.

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8. #KEEP HER LIT: A flame taken from the eternal flame at the grave of John F Kennedy in Arlington Cemetery in Washington will arrive in Dublin today, carried by members of the Defence Forces to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the US President’s visit to Ireland.

9. #LIONS: Four Irishmen have been named to start for the Lions in their first test against the Wallabies on Saturday. Warren Gatland gave the nod to Brian O’Driscoll, Paul O’Connell, Jonathan Sexton and Jamie Heaslip.

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