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GOOD MORNING

The 9 at 9 Good morning. Here are the nine stories you need to know as you start your day.

EVERY MORNING,TheJournal.iebrings you the nine stories you need to know as you kick off your day.

1. #JOBS: Some 670 employees at Tara Mines have been put on protective notice by management at the zinc mine, RTE reports. The issue has been referred to the Labour Relations Commission and it is expected that talks will be held next week.

2. #SEVERANCE: Three TDs who previously held junior ministerial roles shared severance payouts of nearly €64,000 last year even though they now receive a TDs salary. Some former Fianna Fáil ministers who were entitled to severance pay after losing their positions gifted their payments back to the Exchequer, including Michael Martin, Éamon Ó Cuiv and Brendan Smith.

3. #TRAGEDY: woman in her 70s has died in a house fire in Bray, Co Wicklow which broke out at around 1.20 am, RTE reports. Two other people were believe to have been in the house at the time and were taken to Loughlinstown Hospital.

4. #LOTTERY: Organisations based in Health Minister James Reilly’s constituency received significantly larger shares of lottery funding than other areas last year, The Sunday Times reports today. Reilly’s constituency received some €195,030 in 2012 compared with just €10,000 in 2010, before the TD was made minister.

5. #INSTABILITY: A conflict has broken out between Labour TD Colm Keaveny and Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore over Keaveney’s position as chairperson of the party. In an interview with the Sunday Independent, Keaveney said the party leader was attempting to oust him from the role after he voted against the government on the Social Welfare Bill.

6. #TAX: Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin has criticised Fine Gael’s decision not to increase tax on higher earners in today’s Sunday Business Post. He said it is a source of regret to the government that they could not protect all payments in the budget but added that it was as fair as it could have been.

7. #SYRIA: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is expected to make a rare public address today focusing on the uprising against his rule. In an interview with Russian television in November, Assad dismissed suggestions that he would go into exile saying he would “live and die” in Syria.

8. #KASHMIR: Indian and Pakistani troops clashed in an exchange of fire across the de facto border in the disputed region of Kashmir, the BBC reports. This morning AFP reported that a Pakistani soldier had been killed and another wounded in the exchange.

9. #CITIZENSHIP: French actor, Gerard Depardieu has met with Russian President Vladamir Putin to collect his new Russian passport, AFP reports. Putin has granted citizenship to Depardieu after the actor said he was leaving France to avoid the new millionaire’s tax.

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