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Tuesday 28 November 2023 Dublin: 1°C

The 9 at 9 Nine things to know this morning…

EVERY MORNING brings you nine things you need to know with your morning coffee…

1. #DEBT FORGIVENESS: The economist who predicted Ireland’s property crash, Morgan Kelly, has said that the creation of a €6 billion bailout for householders in mortgage arrears would solve most of the current crisis. The executive chairman of AIB David Hodgkinson also recently suggested that the bank could offer debt forgiveness for its mortgage customers – but only as long as other banks do likewise.

2. #TIGER KIDNAPPING: The authorities are investigating a kidnapping that targeted a Belfast business earlier this week, during which approximately €250,000 was taken. A security worker employed by company Brinks Matt was forced to withdraw the money after his wife and teenage son were taken hostage.

3. #LILLIS: Republican prisoner Brendan Lillis has been freed from jail, following a campaign by his family for his release on compassionate grounds as he suffers from a severe form of arthritis. The 59-year-old had been sentenced to life in 1977 on explosives charges but was later released. He was then arrested again in 2009 on robbery charges.

4. #BURQAS: The former Lord Mayor of Cork has said it is “high time” that the government follows the lead of France and Belgium by banning the wearing of burqas. Joe O’Callaghan will lodge the controversial motion calling on the Minister for Justice to ban burqas, which he says are “incompatible with our modern society,” next month.

5. #BELGIUM: Five people have been confirmed dead after a violent storm hit an open-air music festival in Belgium, with about 70 more people being injured. The three-day Pukkelpop festival has been cancelled in the wake of the tragedy.

6. #MARKETS: European stock markets suffered the worst one-day fall in over two years yesterday – with US stocks also down substantially. The Wall Street Journal reports that EU leaders may be forced to pursue “radical steps” to preserve the single currency.

7. #AFGHANISTAN: At least eight people are believed to be dead, with fears the death toll may rise, after suicide bombers attacked a British compound in the Afghan capital of Kabul earlier today.

8. #SYRIA: The United States and European Union are to draft a UN Security Council sanctions resolution on Syria. Britain’s deputy UN ambassador said that Syria “had not changed course… if anything its actions over the last two weeks have escalated,” Reuters reports.

9. #HEROES: While most Leaving Certificate students were busy having a (well-earned) good time last night, two young men sacrificed their own safety to rescue two people from a burning building.

Cillian Mahon and Ryane Twomey, both 18, were out in Fermoy, Co Cork, celebrating their results when they spotted smoke coming from an apartment. The pair have been hailed as heroes after kicking down the front door and dragging two men from the building, very likely saving their lives, reports the Irish Examiner.

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