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The 5 at 5 - Wednesday

5 stories, 5 minutes, 5 o’clock…

Image: Wally Santana/AP/Press Association Images

EACH WEEKDAY EVENING, TheJournal.ie brings you five things you need to know before you head out the door.

1. #HSE: The head of the Health Service Executive Cathal Magee confirmed that he would step down from his post after Minister for Health James Reilly published legislation today that would abolish the service in 2014. Mr Magee was appointed to his job in 2010 for a five year term.

Opposition parties in the Dáil claimed that he was forced out because of the financial situation in the organisation, where the budget has overrun by €280m. However the Taoiseach Enda Kenny insisted that Magee had not been forced out and thanked him “for his service as a person of integrity and commitment”.

2. #SYRIA: The war in Syria has escalated to new levels with the first high profile killing of high ranking members of the regime in the 17 months of revolt. Syria’s Defence Minister and President Assad’s brother in law were both killed in a Damascus suicide bombing today.

3. #PYRITE: Over 10,000 homes could harbour unidentified pyrite problems, according to a report set up by the Minister for the Environment Phil  Hogan. The mineral compound, which was used heavily in the previous decade’s construction boom, can cause structural defects in houses when exposed to air or water.  This includes the cracking and buckling of walls and floors.

The report said the problem was confined to five local authorities-Fingal, Meath, Offaly, Dublin City and Kildare.

4. #BANKING: Permanent TSB is to close branches and cut jobs as it tries to return to viability. The bank’s CEO  told the Oireachtas Finance Committee that IT intends to reduce the number of branches down from its current 92. Full details will be revealed later this week.

5. #FAT PATS: More depressing news on the health of the nation, with a new Lancet paper suggesting that the Irish do less exercise than Americans. A lack of exercise is now causing as many deaths as smoking across the world, the study suggests.

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