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The 9 at 9 Good morning. Here are nine things to know before you start your day.

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

1. #GARDAÍ: More branches of the Garda Representative Association voted in favour of supporting industrial actions, including work-to-flu and ‘blue flu’, at various meetings across the country last night. The Tipperary, Cork North, Kerry and Dublin Metropolitan Region North branches joined their Cork, Limerick and Donegal colleagues in carrying motions of no confidence in Justice Minister Alan Shatter and Commissioner Martin Callinan.

2. #WHITE SMOKE: As the Catholic world digests the pope’s shock resignation announcement, attention today turns to Benedict XVI’s possible successor. Here are the 17 contenders. We’ve also taken a look at the key moments of the past eight years of the Holy See.

3. #NORTH KOREA: Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has joined international figures, such as UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon, in voicing his strong condemnation of North Korea’s nuclear explosion this morning. The communist state staged its most powerful nuclear test yet, so powerful seismic monitors detected an unusual tremor close to the Chinese border.

4. #PROM NIGHT: In some rare good economic news, credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s improved its outlook for Ireland’s credit worthiness from ‘negative’ to ‘stable’ as a result of last week’s promissory note agreement.

5. #AUSTRALIA: A 21-year-old Wexford man, suffering from neck wounds obtained in a stabbing incident, is still fighting for his life at a Perth hospital. A 32-year-old man has been charged in connection with the incident and is due before court later this month.

6. #ELLIE: Eight-year-old Ellie Silva was returned to her mother yesterday, seven months after she went missing. The Algarve Resident reports that Ellie’s Portugeuse father who had defied a court ruling to return his daughter to her Irish mother, was located near Lisbon last week after a months-long search.

7. #HORSEMEAT: As the horsemeat scandal gallops on, Ireland has called for an EU meeting of affected countries, reports RTÉ. The request comes after the latest revelation from Tesco that it found 60 per cent horse DNA in one of its frozen spaghetti bolognese products.

8. #MURDERS: Nine murders carried out in Ireland between January and October last year were committed by previous offenders who were out on bail, new figures have revealed.

9. #COKE HABIT: A New Zealand coroner found that a 30-year-old’s addiction to Coca-Cola was a contributing factor in her death. Mother-of-eight Natasha Harris drank up to 10 litres of the soda every day, providing twice the recommended safe daily limit of caffeine and almost one kilogram of sugar. She died in February 2010 from a cardiac arrest.

  • Over on Is Rihanna engaged to Chris Brown? Was Michael Fassbender trying it on with J-Law? And if so, can Lawbender be a thing? Answers in The Dredge.

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