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The 9 at 9 Morning. Here’s everything you need to know as you start your Wednesday…

Every Morning, brings you the nine stories you need to know as you kick off your day — shortly before 9am.

1. #THE NEVERENDING STORY They’re still at it in Castlebar. Counting, that is. A recheck of ballots is under way after Pat ‘the Cope’ Gallagher finished less than 300 votes behind Marian Harkin. All the country’s other MEP seats have now been decided.

2. #SHOOTING A man’s been shot and injured in the Walkinstown area of Dublin. He was shot in the upper leg shortly after 5am at Slieve Bloom Park. Gardaí are appealing for information.

3. #OBAMA The US President has announced the country will keep 9,800 troops in Afghanistan after the US concludes its combat mission at the end of this year, according to CNN. It’s planned virtually all troops will be out by the end of 2016

4. #STRIKE IMPACT, the cabin crew union at Aer Lingus, has agreed to enter talks with management ahead of a planned one day strike at the airline on Friday, RTÉ reports. The talks are expected to get under way later today.

5. #UKRAINE Kiev says it has recaptured the airport in the eastern city of Donetsk after a day of air strikes and fierce gun battles with pro-Moscow separatist militants. Dozens have died as a result of the violence.

6. #BIG SHOP The competition watchdog has given the go-ahead for the sale of half of landmark Dublin store Arnotts. Two companies – Fitzwilliam Finance Partners Wittington Investments – together want to acquire 50 per cent of the department store.

7. #CANNABIS More than 80 per cent of drug seizures in Europe are for cannabis, a massive study on drug use in Europe has found. The study, published yesterday, said around one million seizures of illicit drugs are reported annual in Europe.

8. #THE FUTURE Is this a good idea? Google is to start building its own self-driving cars, the BBC reports. The car will have a stop-go button but no controls, steering wheel or pedals.

9. #THE OUTLOOK How’s the weather looking today? Pretty good, it turns out – up to 20 degrees by this afternoon. It’s looking pretty positive for the bank holiday weekend too — around 20 degrees for Saturday and Sunday, cooling off a bit on Monday.

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