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Take 5: Tuesday

Tuesday’s Take 5: Brian Cowen addresses the Dáil for the final time; journalists at the Sunday Tribune face an uncertain future; and Ireland expels a Russian diplomat over the use of forged Irish passports by spies.

Image: Forest Service - Northern Region via Creative Commons

Every afternoon, TheJournal.ie brings you five things you really need to know at 5 o’clock.

1. #GE11: Brian Cowen has confirmed that he will travel to the Park today to ask President McAleese to dissolve the 30th Dáil. Earlier today, he addressed the Dáil for the final time, saying:

“It has been a privilege to serve the people of Ireland in our government. In every government department in which I served, my overriding objective was to do my best by the Irish people.”

Read his full speech.

2. #JOBSWATCH: Today staff at the Sunday Tribune were informed that the newspaper was going into receivership – however no jobs have yet been lost. Editor Noirin Hegarty said that they would be told within 24 hours whether it will be possible to publish the newspaper this Sunday.

Meanwhile, 46 Waterstone’s staff face an uncertain future after management informed them that two Dublin stores would close by the end of the week. Both the Jervis Centre and Dawson Street stores will close their doors for the last time on Sunday 6 February.

3. #PASSPORTS: A Russian diplomat has been expelled from Ireland over the use of forged Irish passports by Russian spies in the United States.

Last summer, the US expelled ten people who were found guilty of spying for a foreign agency. Following a garda inquiry, the Secretary General of the Department of Foreign Affairs met with the Russian Ambassador this afternoon and informed him that Russian intelligence activity “in connection with the forgery of Irish passports and the effective theft of the identity of six Irish citizens” was completely unacceptable.

4. # JAPAN: Japan’s Mount Shinmoedake has erupted dramatically, shattering windows about 8km away and injuring at least one person in southern Japan.

The danger zone around the volcano has been extended after last night’s eruption and about 1,000 locals have been urged to evacuate in case of further volcanic activity.

5. # EGYPT: Defying all expectations, two million people took to the streets of Cairo today in protest against the rule of President Hosni Mubarak.

Mubarak was hung in effigy as crowds chanted “Leave!” and “Go Mubarak Go”.

Thousands more marched in Alexandria, Sinai and other Egyptian cities – as unconfirmed reports surfaced of up to 300 deaths over the past week of the protests.

Protesters have vowed to continue demonstrations until Mubarak leaves the country, and the Egyptian military announced it would not use force “against the Egyptian people”.

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