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The 9 at 9: Friday

Nine things to know this morning, including: Mixed messages on burning the bondholders, Ericsson creates 100 new jobs in Athlone, and is today really the ‘happiest’ day of 2011?

Image: Underscore Design via Flickr

EVERY MORNING, brings you the nine things you need to know as you start your day.

1. #BONDHOLDERS: It’s the fire we can’t start, let alone put out: Michael Noonan has assured that Ireland will repay “every red cent” in what it owes to the senior bondholders of AIB and Bank of Ireland – while there’s mixed reports coming from the ECB on Ireland’s plans to burn Anglo. The Irish Times says the ECB will block the plans; the Irish Independent believes it could approve them…

2. #VAN ROMPUY: We’ve got another international visitor coming today – Herman van Rompuy, the president of the European Council, is visiting Dublin for a summit with Enda Kenny. It’s a meeting… about a meeting: it’s all a preparatory thing for next week’s summit of European leaders.

3. #ERICSSON: The mobile communications manufacturer Ericsson is to create 100 new jobs for software engineers in Athlone – undoing some of the 300 job losses it enforced two years ago. Separately, WPA Mobile in Co Roscommon is hiring 40 new staff.

4. #SHOOTING: The man currently being held over Wednesday’s shooting of Edward Flanagan in Coolock visited a priest before voluntarily handing himself over to Gardaí, it is reported this morning. A handgun was yesterday found close to the scene of the shooting.

5. #OPERATION: Dublin woman Becky Jones, 20, a cystic fibrosis patient, has become the first person in the world to have a double lung transplant while suffering from milt-resistant aspergillosis, a condition that causes fungal build-up in her lungs. After the operation in Manchester, Becky declared: “The world is officially my oyster.”

6. #GREECE: When it’s a grey and wet morning, it’d be easy to become miserable about your work – but spare a thought for Evangelos Venizelos, who could easily have the worst job in the world. Who is he? Why, he’s Greece’s new minister for finance - and must immediately set about slashing public spending or face a default.

7. #SAUDI ARABIA: Women in one of the world’s most conservative countries are today organising a nationwide movement of civil disobedience – by driving. The Women2Drive campaign will continue until the current regulations – derived from a religious edict which say women should not be permitted to drive – are lifted.

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8. #BROKEN RECORD: Poor Dave Browne. He’s the Irish guitarist who’s trying to break the world record for the longest non-stop guitar session – and had thought he had reached the current record of 100 hours mark. Only then did he discover that the previous record was actually 114 hours, so he had to keep going. He’s set to finish this morning, the Irish Examiner reports.

9. #HAPPY DAYS: We’ve already mentioned the dreadful weather this morning so we won’t dwell on it, but apparently today’s meant to be the happiest day of the year. A formula concocted by Cliff Arnall, a Welsh psychologist, claims to have developed a formula using social interaction, temperature and day length to decide which days are the ‘happiest’, and today is the happiest day of 2011.

Arnall is, however, the same man who came up with the ‘Blue Monday’ formula for depressing dates – a formula widely panned as mathematical gibberish. So if the weather gets you down this morning, don’t feel too out of sorts.

A female attendee at yesterday’s races at Royal Ascot takes shelter from the rain that has hit Britain and Ireland over the last two days. Photo: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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