The 9 at 9 Nine things to know this morning…

EVERY MORNING, brings you nine things you need to know as you start your day.

1. #ULSTER BANK: RBS, the parent company of Ulster Bank, has denied that Ulster Bank customers are low priority and says that ongoing problems at the Irish bank are not a reflection of its priorities concerning the UK banks in its group. Ulster Bank executives will face questioning from TDs and Senators later this week about ongoing problems at the bank.

2. #CRIME: Minister Richard Bruton is enacting legislation today which will double the maximum prison sentences for some white collar crimes to ten years.

3. #ORANGE ORDER: The Grand Secretary of the Grand Orange Lodge will address the Seanad today for the first time. Drew Nelson told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland today that he hopes today’s address will be the “start of an increased normalisation of relationships between the two communities”.

4. #BARCLAYS: The chief executive of Barclays Bob Diamond has resigned with immediate effect in the wake of a rate-fixing controversy for which the bank was fined a record £290 million last week. David Cameron has announced a parliamentary inquiry into the scandal.

5. #SYRIA: Human Rights Watch has issued a new report saying that former Syrian detainees have identified 27 detention facilities where torture methods were used. The systematic pattern of torture and abuse clearly show a police of ill-treatment and torture constituting crimes against humanity, the organisation says.

6. #TURKEY: Meanwhile, Syrian President Bashar Assad has said in an interview with a Turkish newspaper that he fully regrets that a Turkish military plane was shot down, the BBC reports. The incident seriously soured already-dampened relations between the neighbouring states.

7. #MICROSOFT: Tech firm Microsoft has announced it will absorb a $6.2 billion charge following the disastrous outcome of one of the biggest deals made in the company’s history. Microsoft bought online advertising company aQuantive in 2007 as part of a bid to challenge Google’s advertising revenue, but the company didn’t pull in as much revenue as had been expected. The write-down could impact on Microsoft’s latest quarterly results.

8. #LIBYA: Libyan authorities have released an international criminal court legal team it had accused of smuggling documents to Gaddafi’s son. The four staff members were “treated well during their detention”, according to ICC President Judge Sang-Hyun Song. However, all four have been summoned to appear before a Libyan court later this month as part of the state prosecutor’s investigation against them.

9. #WELCOME BACK: Around 20,000 people turned out early this morning to welcome the Volvo Ocean Race as the teams reached the Irish coast at the end of the nine-month-long competition. Here’s a taste of the welcome the sailors received:

(Image: Volvo Ocean Race @volvooceanrace)

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