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The 9 at 9: Wednesday

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

Image: A lone nine ball via Shutterstock

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

1. #STATE OF THE UNION: In the annual State of the Union address, US President Barack Obama laid out plans for his second term, pledging to narrow inequality, reignite the economy, fight gun crime and fix immigration. He also announced plans to withdraw 34,000 troops from Afghanistan in February 2014 and all military by the end of next year.

His indication that the US will begin talks with Europe about a free trade agreement has been welcomed in Ireland today with Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore hailing it as a historic move.

2. #GARDAÍ: Rank-and-file gardaí in south Dublin have voted in favour of industrial action, asking their representative body to establish guidelines for a work-to-rule to commence next week. The move comes as branches of the GRA across the country carry motions of no confidence in the Minister for Justice and Garda Commissioner.

3. #HORSEMEAT: Ministers from seven of the EU member states affected by the ongoing horsemeat scandal are to gather today to discuss the crisis. Ireland’s Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney will chair the meeting. Yesterday, the UK’s food watchdog and police raided two meat plants, suspending their operations.

4. #FUGITIVE: The manhunt for a former LAPD officer, suspected of going on a killing spree, has ended at an isolated mountain cabin. It is understood that law enforcement officials found a charred body, thought to be Christopher Dorner, inside the property which went up in flames after a shoot-out.

5. #MORTGAGES: Central Bank Governor Patrick Honohan has said the regulator is “ramping up” its engagement with banks because they are “behind the curve” in addressing the problem of mortgage arrears. However, he told a conference that negative equity is not “in itself a rationale for debt relief”.

6. #NO SMOKING: As Ireland marks National No Smoking Day, the Irish Heart Foundation has called on the State to spend more on helping people to quit the habit. Currently, the spend on tobacco-related illnesses is 100 times greater than what is used for quit services.

7. #ROADS: An elderly woman died in a road crash in county Roscommon yesterday evening. The 83-year-old was fatally injured when the car she was driving hit a wall at Carrowphadeen in Lecarrow.

8. #NATO: Calling Ireland a “very important partner”, the Secretary General of NATO said the nation would be “warmly welcomed” if it got involved in more of the military alliance’s projects in the future.

9. #WIN WIN: It was a historic day when Galway’s hurling team were crowned Leinster champions last year but at least one man has given up the prize, left only with his memories. A 2012 winner’s medal – one of only about 30 made – was sold on eBay for €570, according to the Irish Independent. The Galway Hurling Board said the sale to a collector was “regrettable” but added that the items are the individual property of each player.

  • Over on DailyEdge.ie: Beyoncé’s birth, Justin Bieber’s more sinister characteristics and Brian (née Bryan) McFadden’s Niall Horan predictions. All that and more in The Dredge.

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