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The 5 at 5 5 minutes, 5 stories, 5 o’clock.

Every afternoon, TheJournal.iebrings you the five news stories you should know about by 5pm.

1. #BUDGET 2011 Labour and Fine Gael have presented their alternative budgets today – but with the Dail set to take a five-week Christmas holiday, it doesn’t look like there will be an early general election.

2. #AFGHANISTAN The latest Wikileaks documents have revealed that the US was scornful of the British war effort in Afghanistan during 2007 and 2009.

3. #SNOWWATCH The snow falls are moving towards the west of the country but icy conditions are still wreaking havoc on the midlands and east. Cheer up though – the weather made for some pretty spectacular photographs in our readers’ gallery.

4. #NEW LIFE? NASA’s announcement that it had discovered “a second line of earthly life” caused consternation in the scientific world – but some commentators are trying to quell the quick-jump conclusion that this means aliens live among us…

5. #AUSTRALIA An Irish woman has been found guilty of raping another woman in Brisbane.

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