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need to know

The Evening Fix… now with added dogs comforting people

Here are the things we learned, loved and shared today…

A honour guard is covered by a flag during a welcoming ceremony for US Joint Chiefs Chairman General Martin Dempsey at the Bayi Building in Beijing, China, today. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, Pool)

HERE ARE THE things you need to know as we round off the day in three easy steps…


#PENSIONS: A report commissioned by the Department of Social Protection has outlined recommendations which may lead to mandatory pension plans for private sector workers. The OECD report said that doing so would help ensure that people have a reasonable level of income once they retire. The report recommended, however, that it should be left up to individual workers to decide exactly what sort of plan they contribute to.

#ABORTION: The Minister for Health James Reilly has said that pregnant women who are suicidal will not have to face a panel of six doctors should they want to access an abortion. His denial followed reports at the weekend that suggested that the Protection of Maternal Life bill would enforce such a clause. Dr Anthony McCarthy, who is one of Ireland’s three perinatal psychiatrists, called the proposals “ridiculous” and “a sick joke”.

#BOSTON: The man suspected of carrying out the Boston bombings, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, will not be treated as an “enemy combatant” by the US, the White House revealed today as he was charged with using a weapon of mass destruction. The news came after Tsarnaev, who is believed to be suffering from a serious neck injury, awoke and responded to questions. His first hearing with be on 30 May.

#JOBS: Government has published plans that it says will help to create 20,000 new jobs in the manufacturing sector by 2016. The strategy recommends building on strengths in pharma/biopharma, medical technologies, food, ICT, engineering, and off-site manufacturing (construction). Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton said that the plan was achievable “with the right supports from government”.

#DEFICIT: The government’s deficit for last year came in at lower than the Troika target, leading to this year’s estimate being revised, new figures released today have revealed. The news wasn’t all positive, however, as the figures also showed that government expects its debt-to-GDP ratio to hit 123 per cent at the end of this year, two percentage points higher than the estimate in last December’s Budget.


  • With news that ATMs across Ireland will soon start dispensing €10 notes, has six reasons why it’s great news for those of us who aren’t that flush.

We love tenners! (Image via Images_of_Money/Flickr)

  • The universe can be a pretty amazing place – the sights, the sounds… Speaking of sounds, this article from The Atlantic contains what scientists believe the actual Big Bang may have sounded like. The next time someone asks you whether you know what the Big Bang sounded like (a common question), you can say: “Yes. Yes I do.”
  • They say that dogs are man’s best friend. This video of pooches comforting Bostonions appears to confirm it.

(Lowell Sun Newspaper/YouTube)


  • Ahead of World Pinhole Day this Sunday (if you have no idea what that is, you’re about to), this article from the BBC shows just how amazing this DIY-form of photography can be. Why not give it a go and mail us the results?
  • Apart from ruining your concert experience, has 10 other ways that social media could be ruining your life. Check it out, after which you can Tweet it and Facebook it to your heart’s content.

(Hussein Malla/AP/Press Association Images)

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