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Dublin: 14 °C Thursday 18 April, 2019
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The 9 at 9: Friday

In today’s 9 at 9: Some good news as VAT is lowered; a twist in the Strauss-Kahn case; new developments in the Race for the Áras; and who is a “snotty Miss Fancy Pants”?

EVERY DAY, TheJournal.ie brings you nine things you really ought to know with your morning cup of coffee…or tea.

1. #VAT Good news this morning as a new lower rate of Value Added Tax (VAT) comes into effect today as part of the government’s jobs initiative. A rate of 9 per cent has been applied to certain goods and services. Restaurants, hotels, newspapers, hot drinks, hairdressing, theatre tickets, and fairgrounds are among those subject to the new rate.

2. #WINNING Yet more success for Team Ireland at the Special Olympics in Athens. The Irish picked up ten medals yesterday with successes in athletics, equestrian, and bowling. The medal haul now stands at 44 in total with 12 gold, 24 silver and 8 bronze medals secured with more events today.

3. #STRAUSS-KAHN It is reported that the case against the former head of the IMF Dominique Strauss-Kahn is close to collapsing. Prosecutors in the case have discovered major holes in the credibility of the hotel chambermaid who alleged that Strauss-Kahn had attacked and sexually assaulted her. The unnamed accuser is said to have “repeatedly lied”.

4. #CHAVEZ Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has revealed that he is battling cancer after having a tumour removed during surgery in Cuba. For weeks it had been claimed that Chavez was recovering from a minor operation in Cuba but in a televised statement overnight, a thin and paler looking Chavez revealed his cancer battle, casting uncertainty over his  political future, AP reports.

5. #SETTLEMENT A paralysed woman who claimed she contracted a severe brain disease from parrots in a pet shop has won a record settlement of €7.5 million, the Irish Independent reports. Patricia Ingle is wheelchair bound and claims she contracted a permanent airborne infection while working in a pet store in Limerick in 2008.

6. #QUEEN’S VISIT The former Lord Mayor of Cork has revealed his shock and surprise when he received a phone call to inform him that Queen Elizabeth had accepted his invitation to visit the city as she did so memorably in May. Councillor Mick O’Connell told the Irish Examiner that after hanging up the phone: “I thought ‘Oh shit, what are we going to do now?’”

7. #RACE FOR THE ÁRAS New York-based journalist Niall O’Dowd has announced he is no longer considering a bid for the presidency later this year because of the logistics involved in mounting a nationwide campaign, reports the Irish Times. Meanwhile, the independent candidate Mary Davis has secured the backing of Louth County Council. She needs three more councils for a nomination. Read all of our Race for the Áras coverage.

8. #BABIES New research has indicated that babies can respond to emotions in the human voice at just three-months-old, much earlier than previously thought. The results of scans on 21 sleeping babies suggest their brains responded to different types of sounds such as laughing and crying, and noises like those of water and toys, BBC News reports.

9. #MONSTER-IN-LAW The father of the woman whose eating habits, manners and choice of wedding were all harshly criticised by her futue mother-in-law in a stinging viral email has hit back. It promises to be some wedding as the father of Heidi Withers says he will never forgive Carolyn Bourne who he describes as a “snotty Miss Fancy Pants,” reports the Daily Mail.

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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