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The 9 at 9: Friday

Nine things you need to know by 9am including: Enda and Nicolas’ brief encounter; Noonan urges us to spend spend spend; How Libyan rebels communicate; and the illegal Pulitzer Prize winner.
Jun 24th 2011, 8:17 AM 1,794 5

EVERY DAY, brings you nine things you really need to know with your morning cup of coffee.

1. #SUMMIT EU leaders will meet again in Brussels today as Taoiseach Enda Kenny and French president Nicolas Sarkozy held brief talks last night on the margins of the summit. Ireland is still pressing to secure a cut on its bailout interest rate with France seen as the last major opponent to this. The sticking point no longer appears to be a reduction in Ireland’s corporate tax rate as France had previously demanded as a quid pro quo for an interest rate reduction.

2. #WHITEY The notorious Irish-American gangster James ‘Whitey’ Bulger, who was arrested in California yesterday, will be transferred to Boston to face federal charges. He and girlfriend Catherine Greig appeared in court yesterday after they were arrested following a 16 year hunt for the man suspected of being involved in some 19 murders. An FBI publicity campaign, which included appeals on daytime TV slots in the US, is believed to have helped lead to his arrest. More details have emerged including pictures of what Whitey and his girlfriend now look like.

3. #SPEND SPEND The Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has urged people to go out and spend their money in order to boost the economic recovery. Noonan was responding to yesterday’s growth figures and appealed to those Irish people holding a total of €134 billion in savings accounts, according to the Irish Independent. The latest CSO figures showed that domestic spending was down but this was offset by strong export figures.

4. #GREECE That same summit of EU leaders in Brussels has agreed to a second bailout package for Greece. But that will all be dependent on the passing of austerity measures worth some €28 billion that are due to go before the Greek parliament next week. The Greek government has already agreed the terms with the European Union and International Monetary Fund and austerity measures include the selling off of state assets to raise tens of billions of euro.

5. #FAILED Police in Northern Ireland failed the families of six people who were murdered in the Loughinisland massacre at a pub in Co Down in 1994, according to a report by the Police Ombudsman. Two members of the UVF opened fire and killed six people indiscriminately at a busy rural pub on the night of the famous Ireland win over Italy at the 1994 World Cup. The Irish News reports that the Ombudsman has defended his report, insisting there was no RUC collusion as has been claimed by some families of the victims.

6. #LIBYA Rebels in the east of the country are using Skype and satellite phone to communicate with underground opposition in the capital Tripoli, which just about remains under the control of Colonel Gaddafi. BBC reports that the National Transitional Council in the east is trying to gauge the feeling in Tripoli amid NATO bombardment and reported low morale among rebels in the capital.

7. #GOOGLE The US Federal Trade Commission is preparing to issue subpoenas to Google as part of a wide-ranging civil antitrust investigation into the company’s practices, according to the New York Times. At issue is whether or not the search engine giant is abusing its dominance in the online market to gain an advantage in areas like online shopping, maps and videos. Google is responsible for two-thirds of all internet searches.

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8. #ILLEGAL A Pulitzer Prize winning journalist in the US has revealed in the New York Times that he is an illegal immigrant. Jose Antonio Vargas was smuggled into the US by his mother when he was 13. He then went on to pursue a hugely successful career in journalism, using fake documents to work for the likes of the San Francisco Chronicle and the Washington Post. United States immigration officials said they will only take “enforcement action on a case-by-case basis”. So it’s not clear what will happen to him.

9. #HOLY MESS The artist behind the controversial image of Our Lady has defended her work as religious protesters last night demonstrated outside University College Cork, according to the Irish Examiner. Mexican-born Alma Lopez insisted that her Our Lady of Guadalupe is not blasphemous. It will go on display at UCC today amid widespread consternation.

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Hugh O'Connell


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