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

Every afternoon, brings you 5 things you really need to know by 5pm.

1. #BUDGET 2011: Discussions on what’s in – and what’s out – of the forthcoming Budget seem to have picked up a gear. It’s reported today that on foot of last week’s demonstrations, the third-level registration will be raised to €2,000, rather than the €3,000 first suggested.

Social protection minister Éamon Ó Cuív, meanwhile, has refused to rule out the prospect of cutting the old age pension – despite an apparent ultimatum from independent Michael Lowry – whose support the government needs – that he won’t vote for any such cut.

2. #BAILOUT REPUBLIC?: Another poor day for Ireland on the bond markets, with ten-year bond yields approaching 9% as finance minister Brian Lenihan finally acknowledges that the price of government borrowing is “very serious“.

Earlier, Lenihan had been forced to clarify that central bank chief Patrick Honohan’s comments – that the IMF was “always there” in case Ireland ran out of cash – did not mean Ireland was softening the ground ahead of a potential bailout.

3. #HITMAN: Russia has dispatched a hitman to find and assassinate the Russian double agent who blew the cover of 10 secret Russian agents operating in the US, according to the Guardian.

4. #OBESITY: The developing world is on the brink of an obesity epidemic, according to a new study by the OECD, which has recommended a new education program, or the introduction of a so-called ‘fat tax’, in order to wean people off fatty foods.

If the levels do not slow down, the OECD says, developing countries will be crippled by healthcare costs for the growing numbers of obese people in their countries.

5. #TWITTER JOKE TRIAL: Paul Chambers – the man at the centre of the ‘Twitter Joke Trial’ – has lost his appeal against the £1,000 fine he received for writing an annoyed Twitter message where he jokingly threatened to “blow up” a Nottingham airport due to the frustrating customer service.

Newly-returned celebrity Twitterer Stephen Fry has already offered to pay the entirety of the fine.